Already we have been called to war. Excellent. The Sarranid Sultanate are at war with the Khergit Khanate, who were besieging the town of Ahmerrad. I met up with the Sarranid marshall, a graying commander by the name of Emir Uqais, and together with the assembled army we rode to Ahmerrad.
But our fate did not lie at the walls of the city as anticipated. Instead, the Khergits broke off their siege and met us out on the open desert. Many were their number, but ultimately we had 529 to their 478. Our greater numbers did not make for an easy battle by any means, however. The Khergits have fierce cavalry troops, lancers and horse archers.
I found myself at the edge of the battle, fighting an incredible warrior indeed. He speared my horse in the chest more than once, but the hunter remained miraculously on its feet somehow! I rode off a ways so as to fire upon the man with my bow, but it seemed I could do no damage. Ultimately I regained my bravery and rode in close enough for the swing of my sword, and prevailed. With his body limp and bleeding into the sand I was able to see that he was actually a Khergit lord. No wonder he had been such a worthy foe!
But ultimately they bested us. At one point it was me against perhaps fifty of their men, and I was knocked unconscious by a couched lance. When I awoke, the next battle was to begin, and while our numbers were still slightly greater, I could tell we were overwhelmed. In short, I left.
My troops were not happy with that decision. Klethi in particular felt the need to speak up. I know the shame! Why must she rub it in my face?
But she got her wish. Urubay Noyan of the Khergits caught up with me, and would not let me run a second time. However, due to some last minute maneuvering, more Sarranid troops had caught up with us, and the margin was much more comfortable. Over two to one, in fact: 478 to 209. Better odds. We dove back in, though my head was killing me from the earlier blow. I did not seek out the front lines, kept my horse moving, the sound of its pounding hooves echoed in the pounding within my skull.
Again I was knocked unconscious. Some little bugger with a mace.
The troops kept up the fight. Klethi would be pleased. As I lay unconscious, we lost many men. But not as many as the Khergits.
When I awoke, Urubay Noyan was standing over me. In chains. "Stop! I yield!" he cried. Though it barely seemed right, I was allowed to take him as my prisoner, along with a handful of his troops. It hardly seemed fair.
Somehow, my party came out with forty-four men standing. How, I have no idea. But I should not question the gods.
As darkness fell, I rode past another battle, this time between two Sarranid nobles and the Khan of the Khergits. The Khan! I was feeling horrible, of course, having only just recently regained consciousness, but the odds were too good to pass up. Think of the reward that would be given if we could take their ruler prisoner! We jumped in on the Sarranid side, bringing their numbers to 168 against the Khan's 77.
Perhaps not one of the best decisions I've ever made. Eventually I found myself as the sole cavalry on the Sarranid side. But I was barely cavalry; my horse wasn't doing well. I decided to take a risk. I found another horse, and rode in front of it to keep it from bolting. The horse stopped, and I dismounted with the intent of riding the other steed. Just then a Khergit lancer killed my horse and scared the other one off. I then tried to kill him just for his horse, and eventually succeeded, but his horse ran away. I as I was running back to the relative safety of the other infantry, I was shot in the back.
Shockingly, while unconscious (again), we won (again). We were not fortunate enough to take Sanjar Khan prisoner, but we freed many Sarranid troops, and I hired them into my band of mercenaries, bringing our numbers back up to what they had been before the battles.
Baheshtur pulled me aside, and complained about the number of casualties we'd suffered. "Whatever Baheshtur," I thought. "Perhaps you should have fought harder." I checked my tongue, though, and told him merely that I hoped it wouldn't happen again.