This AAR i wrote before i started A Faerland Knight's Tale , and re-done some things now after comments about the big wall o'text and others.
It's a short story, this one post contains it all.

settings:
Normal damage.
Good AI on battle and campaign.
150 man in battle.
Blocking and attacking on mouse movement.
As hard as i could get.

I don't need to give an intro since the story speaks for itself. Enjoy and tell me your thoughts.


The master thief



My great-grandfather was a master thief, my father was a master thief, I’m a master thief, my son will be a master thief and my grandson will be a master thief but 5 generations before me our family father was a noble knight in the kings army. From there my name: William the Beaujeu, I’m his offspring, the 5th in a row, and I’ve the honour of carrying his name. People say I’ll restore my family’s name, get our family out of his dishonour with the king. What my ancestor did is a big mystery and so is my future. My father died so now I’m in charge of our clan, a bunch of people forming a small army, fighting for respect and renown. Although the renown only reflects on the leader of the clan, my great-grandfather before my grandfather, my grandfather before my father and my father before me. All where respected and known by the other clans as great leaders and good fighters. Now I inherited my father’s weapons and armour: 14 throwing knifes, 5 jomsviking throwing axes, a spear, a furs covered shield, a skull hat, a nomad vest and hunting boots. Since I’m the leader of the family now I’m finally allowed to let my beard grow, just like my father.

Together with some of my father’s soldiers we tried to kept control of the area, and fought of multiple enemy clans. Nothing we aren’t used to, but one battle I won’t forget. Some deserted soldiers came in our territory and thought they could do as they pleased since they were soldiers.
So we went to their camp with our little army of 25 men. All of a sudden they attack us, the battle was heavy, and I survived it only with a lot of luck. I was full of wounds and bruises. 5 of our friends died in battle, 10 were wounded, and the others looted the camp and killed the captured enemies.
35 days after I took command of our clan a tracker came to me telling there was coming an knightly army of 75 man strong. My courage was tested that day, we hardly won of a group of 10 deserted soldiers, what would we be able to do against a knightly army with 75 soldiers? We took positions and made preparations, we wouldn’t give them our bodies without a heavy fight.
Once we saw their banners at the horizon, we also saw a lonely man on a horse coming towards us. Only equipped it a tabard and a white flag, no weapons, no armour. He said his master, the marshal of the Kingdom of Rhodoks wanted to meet me. In private.

“How can I know this isn’t a trick?”
“If you are William de Beaujeu you have nothing to fear.”
“Why is that?”
“Our marshal’s ancestor was a good friend of him, and kept supporting him in the kings court. Still his family stays trying to get the family of de Beaujeu’s in the grace of the king again.”
I accepted the invitation of the marshal and went to him; we met in the middle both camps.
The marshal was a great man, with great appearance. All of a sudden I felt small.
“Are you William de Beaujeu?” he asked.
“Yes, I am.”
“The king is looking for mercenaries to fight in his upcoming campaign. Since my family has always been friendly towards yours, I’m willing to enlist you as a mercenary captain. You will get 300 denars for signing, and a monthly pay that changes together with the strength of your army. You are free to do as you please, but can’t hold land, nor wield a banner as that’s only for the kings most trusted vassals.”
“I’m very pleased with your offer. Everybody knows I want to restore our family’s honour, and this looks like the opportunity to do so.”
“It’s good you took this offer William, if you ever need anything, but really anything, come to me.”
“Ok, I’ll see you later.”
We both went our way and I told my soldiers the news. All were very excited, in service of the King himself! A couple of days later I received a message, I had to bring at least 8 man to the marshal to fight in the war against the Kingdom of Swadia.

Me and my man packed for a long journey, and went to Uxkhal. We met the Marshal during one of his meetings with all the officers and vassals of the king. He welcomed me and asked me to wait just a little bit as he was almost ready. I went back outside and looked around. The amount of soldiers here was just huge for me, certainly 300 in our camp, and at least 300 in the enemy city. I hadn’t wake up from this amazement or the marshal already stood aside of me.
“One day you’ll be one of those vassals, and you’ll be allowed to put your army’s camp between theirs. “
“I hope so, but you asked me to join this campaign, what are my orders?”
“Well, the king is fighting with some other vassals not far from here, from what I hear the fighting is tough, but we are on the winning side. I advise you to join them and prove you and your men can fight.”
“Then I’ll leave now, my lord.”
“Protect yourself William, this ain’t a clan war, this is a war of Kings.”

I went back to my man and we left toward the king’s army. After a couple of hours walking we saw an army, battling a Swadian caravan and a small army, not more than my own army. I went to their camp and told them I was one of the new mercenary captains. They told me to follow their man and do as they did.
Once the battle started again I did as I was told, the battle was decided quickly as the enemy was outnumbered by 3 to 10. On our side there weren’t any casualties, in the allied armies there was only 1 wounded guy.
I went to the commander and asked where I could find the king.
“He’s not far from here, he’s fighting King Harlaus together with 3 other vassals.”
“Where can I find him?”
“Just ride north and you’ll run straight into battle.”

I took some food with me and prepared our mercenary army for the next fight, the loot was divided and everybody was full of moral. Once we arrived at the kings camp we were very amazed to see all the decoration and ornaments in the kings sector. We were lucky again as the fight has stopped for some time. Both sides where peacefully gathering there wounded and dead soldiers. I went to the kings tent and was allowed in almost straight away.
“Are you William de Beaujeu?”
“Yes my liege, I am.”
“You’ll be forming the centre of my army, just like your forefather did. Prove yourself worthy, and my household might accepted your family in its company again.”
“I will my liege.”
“Now gather your men and take stations.”
I left the tent and told my officers the good news. Nobody could believe we were allowed to form the centre of the army. But nobody could have known the real purpose of this tactic.

Full of confidence we entered the stage of battle and as soon as the battle started I led my man into battle. As always I was running ahead of my troops, followed by my officers and after them the normal soldiers. We kept position between some trees to slow the enemy cavalry down. I only missed one of their men at arms an inch. We let the cavalry be and ran towards the main army, the infantry, as our allies would chop the cavalry down. But right before we engaged the enemy infantry, the cavalry hit us in our backs. Now we were facing the entire enemy army with the cavalry charging at us from all sides. We tried to beat them but my man kept falling like wheat to a scythe. As a good commanders duty I fought for the lives of my man, not thinking about my own security. I saved some of my men’s lives, but then I realised that there were still more than 50 enemy units and we were down to 5 men. My officers where all slain, my soldiers were knocked down or killed.

I turned around to see where the rest of the army was, and then I saw them. On top of a hill, with the officers on the first line, watching how me and my men got slaughtered. I shouted to them that they must engage or that we all would die. But they just stood there, laughing at us. In the mean time I was divided from my man and surrounded, I fought like I never fought before and achieved in killing 3 more enemy soldiers before I was knocked down. As soon as I woke up I saw that some of my soldiers carried all of us away from the field of battle, and where looking at our wounds. I felt like I was cut in pieces. I looked around and I say all 4 officers were still alive, but I was missing 10 faces of our soldiers. When I asked where they are the soldier who was in charge since I was knocked out told me they were already buried like it was done with soldier dying honourable. I thanked him and felt back in sleep. By the time I woke up again most man where working or eating.
Bahestur took control of the army, I tried to stand up but almost felt. Alayen helped me standing and together we walked to Bahestur, I told him I was taking control again. I asked me if I was feeling strong enough already, which I certainly wasn’t, but none the less I told him I was.
We gathered the troops and went for the village of Nomar. Once we arrived there I ordered my man to sack the village. We took all the loot of the village and burnt it to the ground. With our packing horses completely loaded we went back to Veluca. There we sold our loot, worth 10.000 denars. With this money we bought ourselves a good bad and bet. The next day we went to some villages nearby and recruited some new fellows. We got our army up to 35 man, 20 new recruits. Half of them would become crossbowman, the rest would become infantry. It was time for revenge!

We rode out to Swadian territory again. But this time, we were prepared and we wanted revenge.
We ran into an army of 45 men. Most of them were recruits or militia. We attacked them. The battle was bloody for the enemy but glorious for us. Our crossbowmen proved themselves once more and the enemy was completely annihilated. Afterwards we returned to our home region to put down some rebelling clans. Once they were crushed we hired some new recruits, upping our army to 44 men. Now I started to try and make a army with infantry, cavalry and crossbowmen that works together. It’s never simple to train farmers into soldiers. I decided to go back to our marshal, if I could find him. But it looked I had to go to the enemy on my own. So I took off, eager for getting revenge for my fallen friends. Eager for more power, as one day, I’ll over throne the king. He’ll pay for dishonouring my family and now killing my soldiers, good man who trusted me, and whose lives I should have defended. My revenge would be heavy.

The first target was the village of Emirin, which we happily sacked. Unfortunately for count Mirchaud he felt it would be noble if he fought us on the battle field. We were outnumbered by 4 to 6, but none the less we fought fierceless and without fear to die. All of a sudden I notice there’s nobody around me anymore. It’s just me and 4 men at arms and count Mirchaud. Great fighters of the Kingdom of Swadia those men at arms. Since I was on foot and count Mirchaud too, I first killed him with a single blow. But now I had to take care of 4 cavalry units, the same type that killed my army before during the battle of Nomar. So first I threw axes towards them, but I only had 3 axes left, two I threw into the horses and 1 I kept for the fight. Taking down the horses first seemed the best way at the moment. So I took down horse by horse, immediately killing the rider as soon as he hit the ground. When all 4 were down I thought about the spear on my back and of which good use it would have been now. I quickly made a count of my troops, 18 killed, 24 wounded.

The wounded enemies were killed on the spot. 67 Swadian fathers, sons, husbands were killed that day, and there leader was taken captive. On the same time the Nords where fighting for Dhirim and I would have joined them wasn’t it that I had a full inventory and 16 cows with me. So I went back to Veluca, still looking after our marshal count Gutlans to report that the battle of Emirin was a real slaughter. From the loot I took the armour apart to divide it between my officers and myself. When I was walking in the streets of Veluca I heard the rumour that count Gutlans was at Unuzdag castle, besieging it. So we went to there and found them in a heavy battle, fighting over the control of the castle. Me and my man joined the fight and eventually we took the castle from the Swadians. I visited count Gutlans and told him what happened. He became angry at the king and those so called noble knights. “I’ll see what I can do William, they just don’t like newer and better guys. For the time being, go to Yalen and collect my taxes. I’ll grant you one fifth of them. That would make 1.200 denars.”
I accepted this offer and travelled to Yalen. After collecting the taxes I had to go and look for count Gutlans once again. I found him at Uxkhal, preparing for yet another siege. In the meantime I took some resources from a nearby village by the time I returned Uxkhal had already fallen, so I continued my travelling deep into Swadian territory. Close to Kelredan castle count Montewars engages me, unfortunately for him we were prepared and we took positions quickly. A deadly fire of crossbow bolts followed by my newly trained cavalry took care of the organisation of his army. Chaos was everywhere. When I let my infantry charge I was able to kill 7 enemy units before all were killed. Once again outnumbered by 4 to 6. This time I let the count go. Knights are honourable, I’m not like the king and his vassals, I’m William de Beaujeu!

None the less I couldn’t leave it to attack a passing caravan of the Kingdom of Swadia. The caravan guards were quickly killed by me and my men and we went through our loot and found some nice pieces of armour. Most if it were guard helmets, but there were also 2 byrnies which I gave to Ymira and Bahestur, for myself I looted a guard helmet, mail boots and a scale armour:



With high expectations for our next caravan raid we went deep into Swadian territory and were almost trapped by two warbands which we were able to outrun, luckily. Not long afterwards we ran straight into another caravan, but the loot was scares and the killing easy, to easy. We decided to go and sell our loot in Veluca since we were already between Dhirim and Uxkhal, but I wanted to visit Count Guthlans. Not long after I sold my goods in Veluca a messenger came to me.
“Are you William de Beaujeu?” he asked.
“Yes, I am.”
“Marshal Guthlans wants to see you join his knightly army within 4 days. Be there on time.”
And before I could answer he disappeared again.

We start walking towards Yelkala to see if there was some lord I could ask where our marshal was. I was half way there when I heard the rumour that Vyincourd castle was under siege by the Kingdom of Rodoks. I went there straight away, and after 16 hours nonstop walking we arrived in the siege camp and get enlisted for the next assault. The fighting over the castle was once again pretty though with crossbowman and gunners shooting down at us from the sides while we were climbing the ladders. But after a hard fight and taking some losses we took the castle. Or at least that was what we thought. A sniper crossbowman had hidden himself in a house at the other side of the courtyard. William spotted him, he saw him aiming at Guthlans, the man who believed in him, the only man that kept defending his family. The crossbowman took his shot, the bolt went straight towards the marshal. Right before the bold would have hit the marshal, William pushed him aside, taking the bolt himself. The bold went right through his armour, into his heart. William died before a surgeon could arrive.

William might have died that day, but his memory kept living in the spirits of all Counts present that day. It wasn’t them that were the real lords, but he, the man they didn’t support in battle, the man they laughed about. This man saved one of them, while he didn’t had to, while they would never do the same for him, and he knew it. The king gave him the title of lords back, his family’s honour was restored.