The Battle of Boar Charge Hill
Boar Charge Hill
The events leading up to the battle of boar charge hill began with disputes over a pivotal bridge located in the northeastern section of The Vale of Arryn. House Eventide was to fortify and rebuild a destroyed bridge which linked it’s seat, Shadowmoor castle, and harbor to the prosperous King’s road. Fortifications were set around the accessible side of the bridge while scouts and outriders searched for any signs of miscreant mountain clan activity. These clansman despised civilized man, and would brazenly attack and kill them on site causing an overwhelming sense of fear among the traveling merchants and surrounding small folk. Over the course of a week, the men had secured the bridge and were able to begin its rebuilding. As is tradition, the nobles of Eventide worked closely with their people providing support and leadership during the dangerous reconstruction.
One night with the bridge half complete, a vanguard of mounted clansmen from The Black Ears tribe cut through Eventide’s sleeping camp. Surprised and unprepared for the attack, the men tried desperately to fight off the rampaging invaders. Their efforts were in vain, soldiers were massacred before they could reach their swords, tents were burned with men still inside them, and all but two of the noble family were slaughtered unmercifully. With the high command dead and their main fighting force routed, it was easy for the Black ears to find and abduct Elend Eventide and his father. Amidst the chaos, Elend’s bastard brother Asher Stone quickly organized and led a tracking party that was able to trail the fleeing clansmen into the night. Asher’s deadly precision in near pitch black conditions left a macabre trail of arrow filled bodies for the men of Eventide to follow. The clansmen retreated across a treacherous river pass, where they waited, entrenched with their entire tribe atop a lofty hill. The host of Eventide’s wounded and remaining army, rallied together, and pursued the clansmen coming to a stop just out of arrow range at the base of the menacing ridge.
The morning of the battle was damp, the humid air draped over the tired soldiers like a wet blanket. Glenn Stonehearth, newly assumed commander along with longtime friend and trusted companion Skud Mornweed, took charge of the disorganized army in an attempted to regroup them. The two had spent hours carefully devising the plan that would free the captive nobles of House Eventide. Now comprised mainly of farmers, peasants and a few remaining hedge knights, the make-shift army grouped themselves at the bottom of the deadly hill. Atop this precipice lay the Black ear clans main encampment, spiked barricades made of timber were scattered across the top of the ridge preventing an easy assault. Beyond this crude bulwark stood dozens bowman and combatants eagerly waiting to bombard any advancing force.
The plan was simple enough in design, Skud’s trained boars and monstrous dire boar Grissle the Siegebreaker would lead the charge up the steep hill followed by an infantry vanguard. As the boars and first vanguard engaged the enemy full on, secondary units led by Stonehearth would climb the hill from a side angle and attempt to flank the entrenched clansmen. What the two had not accounted for was the weather. Heavy rain beat down like a deluge, the hill was now more than just a treacherous climb, it was a death trap. Thick mud and slippery grass prevented man or beast from gaining any kind of foothold, but time was of the essence, the nobles must be saved.
Continuing as planned Skud sorrowfully sent his boars forward; they charged the hill taking heavy arrow fire and countless casualties. Witnessing the boars being decimated and their attack plan crumbling, the men of the first vanguard’s courage began to wane. From the rear of the troop a man stepped forward, armed only with a small shield and a broken spear bearing house Eventide’s tattered banner. The men looked at Aidan Black as they had always looked upon him, a coward, an oath-breaker, and a drunk. Only the acceptance and friendship offered by Glenn Stonehearth and Skud Mornweed had kept him from being a complete outcast in their eyes. He strode across the front line meeting the gaze of every soldier, his effulgent blue eyes determined, his posture proud and strong, in this moment he was every bit the knight he once was. He spoke in a voice that touched every ear, and captured every heart…
“Honor…True honor comes from a mans actions, not tales of what he would have, or should have done, not stories told to children by old men who have never taken up sword and shield to defend their families. These are men that tell tales because they did not act, they stood aside when honor called, and allowed their brothers to fall into darkness while doing nothing to intervene. Who of you will become these men? Who will turn his back on his brothers?…his blood?"
“Every man that sheds his blood on this field today is eternally bound to one another through the bonds of honor, and bravery. Men, from this day until the end of days, we shall sing songs of your valor, and tell our grandchildren that when we fought by your side we drew our strength from your courage, and your sacrifice.”
“So who will follow me? Who will follow me into the mouth of the abyss, if it would protect all that we hold dear?, if it will bring back just one of our brothers?…this," he raised the banner high in the air, "this is my sacrifice…”
With that Aidan charged alone up the hill, shouting “Bleed with me my brothers, to Lord Eventide!” The rallied troops let out a unanimous war cry that some say could be heard throughout the seven kingdoms and fearlessly followed Aidan up the precarious incline. The remaining boars that made it to the top were able to slip under the higher placed fortifications and ravage some of the archers that were raining fire on the advancing troops. Aidan and his force reached the top with great fervor and broke the enemy front line. Glenn seeing the opportunity, advanced his smaller strike team up and adjacent side of the hill and deep inside the enemy’s encampment. Once in position, Skud was able to reorganize Grissle and his boars, unleashing them onto the rattled clansmen. This maneuver pushed the barbarians back far enough to allow an ancillary unit to ascend the hill. As this host was about to break the ridge line, Asher Stone’s keen eyes spotted a Black ear frantically running towards a rolling log trap in an attempt to spring it. His arrow would have to be perfect; 60 yards, up hill in the rain, and on a fast moving target. A miss would result in the loss of the ascending regiment, but a hit would be near impossible. On that tempestuous day the impossible shot became an awesome reality, the arrow struck true and buried itself deep into the savages forehead, halting his movement and killing him instantly.
During this time Glenn Stonhearth was able to focus in on his main priority, finding the captive nobles and freeing them unharmed. Amidst the chaos of battle Glenn’s steely gaze met the eyes of a massive barbarian, a full foot taller than any other clansman and twice as muscular, he knew right away the he looked upon Kromac the ravenous, Chieftain of the Black ear tribes. His astute battle mind quickly realized that in order to truly subjugate the clansmen he must defeat the source of their tenacity, he must kill Kromac. To those who witnessed it, this clash of commanders took on such an epic semblance that onlookers said it was reminiscent of stories they had heard about from the age of heroes. Glenn parried and deflected blow after massive blow circling the chieftain like a predator about to pounce. During a particularly brutal assault, Glenn masterfully sidestepped a hammer strike and smashed his ball and chain into the chieftains chest. Stunned, Kromac was unable to maneuver his weapon to defend himself. Glenn’s second attack crushed the mans knee, dropping him to the ground with a thunderous boom. Stonehearth unsheathed his sword and dispatched his enemy with honor, giving him a clean, warriors death. Seeing their leader slain caused great discord among the skirmishing clansmen, the fighting few were abated quickly and the rest ran off in fear. Relishing in no joy from his victory Glenn began the intense search for the captive nobles. After frantically tearing away tent flaps and kicking down crude doors he found what he had most feared, Elend Eventide and his father Lord Eventide were dead. Glenn dropped his weapon, and entered the large fur lined tent. The two nobles were lying motionless, face down in a massive pool of fresh blood. Glenn knelt down with reverence next to his fallen liege, removing his battle worn gloves and gently turning Lord Eventide over. The laceration on his neck was deep, thick dark blood covered his chest and his distant eyes stared lifelessly into nothingness. Glenn covered his own eyes for a moment as if trying to mask the sadness and feelings of failure that burned deep within him. After that brief pause he looked down upon the battered and bloodied body of young Elend. With stunning disbelief Glenn watched as the boy slowly began to stir. Fearing his mind was playing tricks on him the old veteran shook the boy until he opened his weary eyes. Quickly Glenn picked up Elend, placed him on his shoulder, and carried him out of the tent.With the fighting ceased Skud scanned the ravaged encampment, trampled bodies and slaughtered boars were strewn about making his feelings of victory bitter sweet. Suddenly his eyes met a welcomed sight, looking at him from across the battlefield was an uninjured and completely unscathed Aidan Black. Skud smiled warmly nodding his head with pride and approval, knowing that the broken man who landed on the docks of Shadowmoor so many years ago was to be no more. Aidan returned the smile and raised his shield in gratitude, paying homage to the one man who truly had saved his life. Almost in unison they noticed Glenn Stonehearth carrying the body of Elend Eventide, the pair raced towards him believing their worst fears had come to pass. As they came closer they realized Elend was in fact alive, the blood on his clothes was not his and he had taken no serious wounds of any kind. Glenn placed Elend on his feet once he reached the center of the camp. In a spirited voice strong with conviction, Elend addressed the surviving members of house Eventide…
“Men of Eventide, my lord father has perished at the hands of these savage clansmen, and although we will mourn his death do not look on in despair, our house will endure. You have all done me the greatest of services this day, and for that I am eternally thankful. I will work tirelessly to ensure that the blood spilled here was not spilled in vain, and your heroic sacrifices are never forgotten. We will persevere, living not only for ourselves but for all those that paid the ultimate price. I do not know what the future will hold, but I swear to you all by the old gods and the new that I will not let the sun set on our beloved Eventide, nor the sea reclaim our seat.” He paused briefly as the impassioned speech washed over and galvanized the exhausted assemblage. “What are our words!?”
The men chanted their credo quietly at first steadily growing louder and louder until it rang through the mountains like a chorus. They raised their swords and spears high that day battered, bloodied and absolutely victorious.