|“||If the measure of a man was the size of his hat, these were great men indeed.||”|
Chapter Summary Edit
Major West and Lord Marshall Burr stand before Lord Governor Meed, the ranking nobleman in Angland. Burr dresses down the Governor for committing his men to the field against to orders of the King. Meed’s response is self-absorbed, only able to lament the loss of his sons. Burr ends the conversation by taking command in Angland, and setting the Governor to provide for refugees.
At a meeting of the command staff, Major West briefs them on Angland’s geography. The Generals and their flunkies seem far more concerned with petty rivalries than with the war to come. Burr follows West’s briefing with a detailed strategy that will split the army into three commands, two to flush Bethod into a decisive battle where The Union’s five-to-one advantage can win the day and one to guard their retreat led by Prince Ladisla.1 Burr, fearing Ladisla’s incompetence, assigns West to the Crown Prince’s staff. To soften the blow, he promotes West to Colonel.2
With the meeting concluded, Burr takes West with him to inspect the regiment. Indulging in memories of his youth, the Lord Marshall puts the spurs to his horse and takes off through the fields, with West in pursuit. Suddenly, a rope pulled taut across the road rips both men from their horses and into the muck. The ambushers are Rudd Threetrees and his crew. To their surprise and relief, they offer an alliance. Grateful to be alive, the Lord Marshall Burr agrees and assigns the crew of Northmen to Colonel West.3
|Fedor dan Meed||Collem West||King Guslav the Fifth|
|General Kroy||Lord Marshall Burr||Bethod|
|General Poulder||Crown Prince Ladisla||Harding Grim|
|Lord Smund||Rudd Threetrees|
|Tul Duru Thunderhead|
Locations and Terms Edit
- Although Crown Prince Ladisla is assigned to rearguard action, Burr drops a subtle foreshadowing when he admits, "…war is anything but a predictable business."
- Although validated by his promotion to Colonel, West is simultaneously aware of and frustrated by the limitations of his birth.
- The Northmen have lived their whole lives in a meritocracy, albeit a brutal one. How will they cope in a Union forces that is anything but?