Even as battle raged at Fort Chuck outside of Ork, General Hochemont, leading 2nd brigade and the heavy cavalry arrived at the outskirts of Barney Castle.
The Connartist Ramblers, who had been the garrison of the place, quickly withdrew for points south.
Hochemont had feared they would remain in the castle, forcing him to leave troops to watch them. Luck was on his side as it had been so far throughout the campaign/ Perhaps the luck of the Guinaleans is no myth?
In any event the Ferach column was keenly observed from the castle walls.
For here was the seat of Guinalean spiritual power. The site of Barney Castle had been sacred for ages past, and none, it was said, could rule Guinalea without the blessings of the castle's Laird.
General Hochemont lost no time in seeking an audience while his troops settled in their latest billet.
That afternoon, the General assembled his troops before the castle walls.
The time was ripe, he reckoned, to read the proclamation he had so painstakingly worked on even before the invasion fleet had set sail. In an emotional voice, intended to carry the truth of his statements, the General read:
"Hochemont's Proclamation to the Guinaleans:
25 May, ‘98
Hochemont, member of the National Institute, General-in-Chief:
For a long time, the Orcs governing Guinalea have insulted the Ferach nation and its traders. The hour of their punishment has come.
For too long this assortment of slaves of the Ogre Kynge Gorge tyrannized the most beautiful part of the world; but Cernunnos, on Whom all depends, has ordained that their empire is finished.
Peoples of Guinalea, you will be told that I have come to destroy your religion; do not believe it! Reply that I have come to restore your rights, to punish the usurpers, and that I respect more than the Orcs Cernunnos, His Prophet, and the Ogham Stones.
Tell them that all men are equal before Cernunnos; that wisdom, talents, and virtue alone make them different from one another.
But, what wisdom, what talents, what virtues distinguish the Orcs, that they should possess exclusively that which makes life pleasant and sweet?
Is there a good piece of farmland? It belongs to the Orcs. Is there…a fine sheep, a beautiful house? They belong to the Orcs.
If Guinalea is their farm, let them show the lease which Cernunnos has granted them. But Cernunnos is just and merciful to the people.
All Guinaleans will be called to administer all places; the best educated, the wisest, and the most virtuous will govern, and the people will be happy.
Of old, there used to exist here, in your midst, big cities, big canals, a thriving commerce. What has destroyed all this, but Orc greed, injustice, and tyranny?
. . . Druids, tell the people that we are the friends of the true Guinaleans.
Did we not destroy the Orcs, who said that war should be waged against the Guinaleans?
Did we not destroy the Hobgoblins, because those insane people thought that Cernunnos wanted them to wage war against the Guinaleans? Have we not been for centuries the friends of Barney (may Cernunnos fulfill his wishes!) and the engines of his engines? Have not the Orcs, on the contrary, always revolted against the authority of Barney, whom they still ignore? They do nothing but satisfy their own whims.
Thrice happy are those who join us! They shall prosper in wealth and rank. Happy are those who remain neutral! They will have time to know us and they will take our side.
But unhappiness, threefold unhappiness to those who are themselves for the Orcs and fight against us! There shall be no hope for them; they shall perish.
Article 1. All villages within a radius of three leagues from the locations through which the army will pass will send a deputation to inform the Commanding General that they are obedient, and to notify him that they have hoisted the army flag: blue, white, and red.
Article 2. All villages taking up arms against the Ferach army shall be burnt down.
Article 3. All villages submitting to the army will hoist, together with the Guinalean flag, that of the army.
Article 4. The Druids shall have seals placed on the possessions, houses, properties belonging to the Orcs, and will see that nothing is looted.
Article 5. The Druids shall continue to perform their functions. Each inhabitant shall remain at home, and prayers shall continue as usual. Each man shall thank Cernunnos for the destruction of the Orcs and shall shout "Glory to Barney! Glory to the Ferach Army, friend!" May the Orcs be cursed, and the peoples of Guinalea blessed!
This proclamation was to be posted on the door of every hall and temple in the land...
Will this turn of events give the invasion legitimacy in the eyes of the world?
Somehow I doubt it.
The figures are all but one from Alternative Armies. The castle is Old Glory's wonderful Dracula's Castle. Terrain tiles are from Old Glory. The hill the steps is from Lemax as is the tree that adorns it.
Thanks for stopping by!