Tuesday, 28 July 2015

McDeath: The Battle of Winwood Harbour Part 2

We must return again to Winwood Harbour, home of the Greevant clan and now under invasion from the sworn enemy of McDeath, Julia McEwen. With the overwhelming need to not encourage their laird-in-chief to warm up his torture-tongs, the combined forces of the McArnos and the Greevants set about trying to defeat the would be usurper, out numbered as they were.

To the west of the orchard, the McArnos closed in with the valkyries of clan McEwman. Kit, his eyes now a furious bloodshot, yelled across at Julia's warrior-women his thoughts for the future. "We will send ye back tae th' scullery whaur ye aw belang an' make sure ye hae plenty ay socks tae darn tay!"

No sooner than the curse had left Kit McArno's lips than the two forces clashed together in violent struggle. Swords sliced, spears struck, axes fell and hairstyles were adjusted (not just by the valkyries, either) as the two groups fought for dominance. The McArnos had won the charge but they were outnumbered. A caber (to this day, no-one is sure if it was shaved or not) was tossed through the air and it fell onto the head of a valkyrie. She was killed instantly and fell to the floor. 

Would the same irresistible force of the the enraged clansmen hurt the McEwmans deeply? Or would the numbers Julia brought to battle tell their tale instead?

With two great battles in progress, the fate of McDeath's rule held in the balance. Slowly, the Greevants began to take the advantage in the orchard as more of the McEwmans fell. Fergus fought desperately, but was wounded and later cut down in the melee. His last words were said to be: "Sae Ah die haur 'neath th' apples. At leest mah lips waur ne'er defiled by unsavory oat based foodstuffs!"

His death left a single McEwman fighting under the boughs. Carefully, the surviving Greevants encircled him. This fighter's fate was now sealed. 

To the south Juggo was feeling frustrated. There was little he could do beyond watch his comrades in combat with the local clans. Guard duty was not his preferred responsibility and he had initially thought to find a great deal of booty within the harbour. He had been sorely disappointed. 

His attention suddenly switched to the orchard where he noticed that Fergus' force seemed to be in trouble. He hadn't been looking long until he realised that Greevant clansmen were moving from the trees. It was obvious now that his fellow McEwmans had failed in their mission to stop the advance and a counter attack was now is place. 

Smiling, Juggo ran his thumb along the edge of his axe. 

Leaving the mangled bodies of friend and foe alike behind in the undergrowth, Richard Greevant lead his men back towards their homes. As far as he could see, there were a few ragged invaders between him and his beloved rough inn. "Thaur is only puckle ay them," Richard hollered to his men in joy, " an' a body ay them is a dwarf! Lest a body haem has tae buy th' drinks!"

With that, Richard led his men across the scrubland towards Winwood Harbour! Juggo's men moved to counter their advance.

To the west, the shieldwall still held. Bodies now littered the ground but the numbers had mattered and now only two of Kit's clansmen still stood. Julia pushed her way through the fighting to get close to her rival. With the Laird dead, resistance would crumble...

Alec sent forth yet another shot put and as before it struck with deadly force. One of Juggo's charging men was knocked down, his chest now a mass of splintered ribs. It was now four against five and anything could happen. A wicked gleam in his eye, Juggo pounced forwards and struck for slaughter. 

The fates are cruel. And the Greevants suffered badly in the melee. After an almost unstoppable advance, their numbers began to fall. Two clansmen were cut down in quick succession, leaving only Richard and Alec fighting. With the presence of the dwarf, there was little that they could do to stop their likely demise. 

A great cheer went up behind Juggo as Kit was felled by Aili, the chief valkyrie. Her heavy hammer ending the dream of a despotic Winwood for generations to come. With the last of the McArnos cut down, their clan passed into history. The truth about the rumour of supportive underwear was never proved either way. 

With the McArnos defeated, Julia's forces moved against Richard and Alec. Only two of them now stood and they knew that their final moments were now here. With the gods of animal stomach based cuisine looking down at them expectantly, they did not stand around to disappoint their ancestors. "Ah will cut as mony ay ye idiots doon afair," Richard called defiantly, "Ah faa an' mah ghost will haunt yer early hoors wi' mah flatulent renditions ay 'Ooo Lassie' oan mah bags!

"Gang blaw it oot yer erse 'en," Julia replied and struck the leering Greevant laird down with her spiked mace. Bryvon Anvil, one of her champions, followed suit with Alec and the final local defender was slain.

The flower, diseased as it was, of Winwood lay on the scrub. Julia was triumphant. She ordered extra Iron-Brew for her exhausted fighters and ordered them back to the hamlet. The inn would see feasting through the night, no doubt but in the morning there would be much reluctance to clear the tab. 

As darkness fell and the sound of revellry abated, Julia ordered her most loyal followers to guard the harbour against any further incursions. But with all the clansmen dead, there was little chance of news getting to McDeath in the immediate future - news travelled slowly in the north you see. Still, it was sensible not to take risks and her best were posted on watch. 

Julia had found a little respite. She had taken the harbour and now stood poised to land the rest of her forces. McDeath was still a long way away and there were many other struggles to overcome before she could face him. 

For now she was content to be Mistress of Winwood. 

But at what cost?


  1. Great write up. I love the Aili model. Looks like she should be singing opera.

  2. Excellent!!


  3. Cracking play through and a most entertaining write up!

  4. Very enjoyable reading. I look forward to more McDeath!