To Break Under A Tide Of Iron

From the Chronicle of An Icelander at the Swedish Court in Stralsund

…when the armies formed up on the Plain of Lüneburg, the army of the Swedes looked pitiful, a thicket of pikes against an ocean of the Kaiserliche troops. The tattered banners of the Swedes, their small horses and raggedy uniforms looked like a child’s idea of an army against the steel-clad might of the best the Kaiser had to offer: the knights of the Danube, wearing fabled the black-gold steel plate. The riots of color of the halberd-carrying Landsknecht infantry spread among the silvery armor of the Imperial musketeers. Fifty thousand men and women, the finest the Danubian Empire could field.

Against this, ten thousand Swedish infantry, flanked on the left by the levies of the Hanseatic League and the militia of Stralsund, and on the right, the cavalry of Archduke Tott.  Less than twenty thousand soldiers.

They had never fought before. The Kaiser hadn’t even shown up himself, instead an Imperial Legate commanded the army. The orders were to cast the Swedes back into the Eastsea and then march onwards towards the League cities.  The Kaiser’s army advanced, even leaving their artillery behind in the absolute certainty.

It began with rain and wind. The rain turned into a monsoon, turning the heath into a muddy quagmire. The wind was as harsh as a whip beating the army. Still the Imperials kept advancing.

Then the thunder began. Like the wrath of the gods, lightning fell down on the Imperial army, killing hundreds within a few heartbeats. The Swedish guns opened fire, felling more. The flanks of the Swedes moved, opening up gaps between the main body and themselves.

Out of those gaps, dragonfire. The terrible song and roar. Red-clad men and women, singing their songs, turning their voices into an inferno. Then it hit the front ranks of the imperial army. Flesh melted off bone, banners burned, armor turned into molten lava on the soldiers. The Imperial Army finally wavered. And stopped advancing.

The clouds parted. A horrid flapping of wings was heard. The Winged Wizards of Gotland came. The guns roared, the Winged Wizards let loose with all their might in lightning and thunder. The dragonfire poured out from the mouths of the singers.

No one who was there knew how long this went on. All they knew was that everyone was dying or dead. The Rainbow-bridges opened in the camp of the Imperial army and Swedish guardsmen poured out from them. The Imperial Legate was slain. The Swedes put the entire camp to the sword.

Archduke Tott’s cavalry charged. The Swedish infantry charged. The Hanseatic League charged.

Not one in five from the Imperial army made it off the Plain of Lüneburg.

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This entry was posted in Swords of the Eastsea and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to To Break Under A Tide Of Iron

  1. Pingback: Swords of the Eastsea: The Gazetteer, summarized | Lions of the North

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