2nd Iberian Campaign (Part V)
Chapter XLVI : Slaughter and cruelty, Louis is back !
An de Grâce 1207 AC.
Royaume de France.
!!!Medieval Music to listen!!!
The Flanders’s troops tried to round the church when the crossbowmen began to shoot them. It was an easy target. The hill position was increasing the strength of the arrows. The other French soldiers were watching this rain of iron with some pleasure.
The first Dutch troops targeted were some unfortunate pikemen. Their deadly spears were useless tools against the hundreds of sharpen tips. They were falling on the ground of their Duchy.
Nevertheless, they were still moving forward, with the bulk of the army behind them. The French crossbowmen were shooting and reloading as quickly as possible.
Willem was behind his army, surrounded by the best of the Dutch knights. He was shouting orders to increase the speed and cohesion of his army. His armor was one of the best of the Christendom. It was clear that he wasn’t there to have some friendly times with Louis.
Everything was going well for Louis. He was watching the foes losses because of the arrows. The Dutch were near the French lines, but there were still time before the clash between the infantry troops.
Suddenly, Louis or maybe one of his bodyguard caught sign of a cavalry troop trying to outflank the French lines. Louis didn’t think too long and decided to charge them with his own bodyguards. Indeed, the other French cavalry troops were at the opposite side of the lines, hidden under some wood.
Louis charged the foes cavalry. They were some mailed knights, less experimented than Louis knights, but still a dangerous strength. The clash was bloody and without mercy.
Willem saw this movement and decided to take the opportunity to charge the French troops with the rest of his cavalry strengths. It was clearly a diversion that the Dutch made with their mailed knights.
The axemen were the first line to be broken through by some mailed knights. Fortunately, the hill position decreased the speed and strength of the cavalry charge, but it was still deadly.
Quite in the same time, Nicolaas van Rijsel, the Dutch general, charged with his heavy knights the other side of the French lines. They were some swordsmen there. It was hard for those French soldiers to support the charge because their shields weren’t designed to be protected against cavalry spears. A lot of French soldiers found their death hammered by the steed hoofs.
Then all the Flanders’s infantry charged the French lines, already broken by the cavalry charges. Willem was amongst the bulk of his army, encouraging and motivating his soldiers to take the French blood.
It was too much for the French lines. They were near to rout when the French cavalry rang the charge. The aimed the Dutch general Nicolaas.
The fight was awful. Every cunning blow was allowed and pain cries could be heard everywhere in the field. The battle reached its height. Nobody knew where Louis was. Nobody knew where Willem was. Every soldier was fighting, for his life, for his leader, and for his Kingdom.
The Dutch general Nicolaas was finally surrounded by dozens of French knights.
He didn’t accept to surrender and fought till the end. He was then killed by a massive blow in his shoulder, breaking his armor and shattering some of his bones. He fell down and was soon trampled on by French hoofs.
A clamor rang out in the left lines. They were now safe from the Dutch and they regained courage.
Willem heard that and decided to launch his last strength in the battle and to fight himself in the melee. He fought some knights, some infantry, and succeeded to maintain the cohesion needed for his infantry troops to be efficient. He was like a lion, roaring and shouting.
Nobody knew where Louis was. The French lines were still fighting but they were shrinking quickly. There were less ardor and enthusiasm.
Everybody feared the worst for the King. And everybody could see the Dutch Heir, still fighting in the middle of his troops. It was the key time of the battle.
It was when Louis came back…
He was still alive, with just two of his bodyguards. The rest was still fighting against cavalry troops. That was a trap made by Willem to Louis. Much more than a single mailed knight troop was in fact fighting against Louis.
But he succeeded to slaughter a lot of them and to escape in order to maintain the courage of his soldiers in the main field.
He was right, because the French line suddenly took the best upon the foes and began to surround and flank them.
It was when Willem decided to flee, like the bastard coward he was…
Louis ordered all of his light cavalry to chase and capture him. The rest of the French cavalry started the hunt.
The remains of the Flanders’s infantry troops were beginning to rout, after hearing for the flight of their Leader.
Louis and the rest of his bodyguards were drawing drills of blood in the Dutch lines. It was the end of the battle, and the beginning of the carnage.
However, there were still some groups of warriors to fight despite any hope of victory. Some pikemen were keeping their cohesion and inflicting heavy damages to the French spearmen, quite defenseless in close fight against the long spears.
They finally agreed to surrender.
In the other parts of the fields, the men hunt was at its height.
Some unfortunate pikemen who decided to flee were coldly executed without any possibility to surrender.
Even Louis the Merciless was participating at the butchery. In fact, he wouldn’t have let to others the pleasure to slain and spread blood in the field.
Blood, swords and tears. Louis’s world…
The victory was celebrated as a heroic one and people of France were proud of Louis. He was the new hero of the Kingdom.
The battle was bloody and terrible for each side but the French were victorious. Thousand of corpses were lying on the field.
However, the French army was severely damaged and reduced, due to the heavy losses. The cavalry was the shadow of what it was at the beginning and the infantry couldn’t support another great battle.
The great news was that the heir of the Duchy, Willem, was finally captured alive by the French light cavalry.
Louis decided to come back in Paris with that very interesting prisoner.
The rumors said that Louis tried to negotiate the exchange of some land and money against the Heir. But the request was too heavy. Louis was said having asked for Antwerp and the land around.
The King of Flanders finally refused to agree and the poor Willem was tortured for one week in front of Notre Dame, before to die. He had been mutilated, castrated, blinded…
Louis was not called Merciless for nothing.
Even Parisian people who suffered the previous Flanders sieges were annoyed of such a punishment suffered by Willem.
After that, it was clear that the fight between France and Flanders would be a death one…
These news were quite annoying. I was extremely disappointed to know that Louis had definitely regained its authority, and had a new son.
However, I had already taken my decision and it was too late to renounce. I was heading to Paris, to catch that bastard Louis and to punish him.
The dices were already thrown.