Restitutor Orbis

Badon

Arthur Pendragon and his army arrive at Aquamann as Ælle’s vast Saxon horde begins to close in. They move quickly to seize a hill just outside the city, called Badon.

With the vast force arrayed against them, Arthur and his knights decide to attack the flanks to concentrate the Saxons, so that they can break them with one massive charge.

They attack the western flank on the first day, commanded by Ælle’s son, Cissa. Cissa is a berserker, and commands several others like him, but the knights defeat him, breaking Ælle’s western flank and killing his son in battle.

On the second day, they attack the eastern flank, commanded by Ælle’s last remaining son, Wlencing. Wlencing has a greater reputation for cunning and strategy, and he does not disappoint, as he uses the Roman road to deploy Hun horse archers against Arthur’s knights. Despite the surprise, though, the knights still manage to win the day, breaking the eastern flank and killing Wlencing.

In the night, Arthur’s forces smuggle a shipment to the hill from Aquamann: clibinarii armor imported from Byzantium. Arthur had prepared for this moment even before they had left Camulod, and made sure that this would be prepared for them here. He has only enough armor for his own warband, but in it, they are veritable living tanks. The armor is heavy, though; if the fighting goes on too long, they’ll become exhausted. But if they can win quickly, it could give them what they need to break the Saxon threat once and for all.

A terrible storm rages that day. Arthur and his knights meet Ælle on the field.

“I should thank you,” Ælle tells Arthur. “Without the threat you pose, I never could have united all the Saxons under my banner.” Arthur can’t help but smile, and that sets Ælle on edge. “What is so amusing?” he asks.

“That was my plan,” Arthur says. “The problem was that you Saxons were striking and raiding all across the isle. There was no end to you, and no way to fight you off. So I gambled everything on this. I created you because I needed you. I needed someone who could bring them all together, so that you could all be defeated at once — in one battle, in one charge. Whatever else may happen, the war ends today.”

In the middle of the storm, Arthur led his warband in a mighty charge down the slope of Badon Hill, directly into Ælle’s line. Titus Drustanus beat Ælle into the whirlwind, but was himself swept into it and dashed against some rocks, breaking his legs irrevocably. Caius avenged his father by delivering the killing blow against Ælle. The battle was brutal, but in the end, the Bretwalda was dead, the Saxon threat broken, the war ended, and Arthur, High King of the Britons, was victorious.

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