Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Kisah AKU n Red Lion of Castamere - A Coat of Red


This is the continuation of my latest miniseries - Red Lion of Castamere. For those yang missed the first episode, can check this link: Red Lion of Castamere - Savior of Westerland

The year is 301AC. Castamere has been once again became the seat of House Reyne. Fredrik withdrawn a large portion of his ancestor's wealth to rebuild the castle and funding his rebellion. In total, he managed to levied an additional 6,000 men from various Westerland houses, on top of the existing 8,000 soldiers. The army is well equipped and trained with tactics adopted from Dornish warfare which emphasized the importance of fast moving cavalry. Tywin's advance into Westerland was being halted for almost five months caused by a logistical horror at Riverland. This is due to constant harassment by the famous Brotherhood Without Banners in response to the Lannister's brutal tactics against the population there. The situation gave Fredrik an ample time to prepare for his defensive operation.

Knowing he might not be able to challenge the might of Lannister alone. Fredrik went to a diplomatic mission to Pyke and met King Balon Greyjoy requesting for his support to divert the attention of Lannister's ally, the North and Riverland from joining their overlord. "The Lannister defeated you during your failed rebellion. They razed your capital. They killed three of your sons. A Greyjoy. I know you want vengeance. This is the time King Balon. I hope you consider my offer". In manner of good faith, he returned Balon's daughter, Yara regardless of his decision. 

He also wrote to the Dornish leader, Prince Doran Martell who still reluctant to rebel against the realm even after his brother's untimely death, Prince Oberyn during Lord Tyrion's trial of combat shortly after the death of King Joffrey Baratheon in Purple Wedding. In his letter, he shared his grievance while comparing the brutal death of Elia Martell and her sons at the hand of Tywin's banner man, Ser Gregory Clegane twenty years ago with the tragedy of House Reyne. 

Three months after he initiated open rebellion against the Lannister, the region is in a content situation with exception to on-going blockade of the Loyalist stronghold, predominantly at Casterly Rock and Lannisport. Fredrik used his wealth and distribute it for better welfare regardless their allegiance to win the heart of the people. Due to his fairness, Lord Terrence Kenning and Lord Quenten Banefort willingly submitted to House Reyne, adding another 2,000 soldiers at Fredrik's disposal. 

However, a sizable army around 18,000 men led by Lord Randyl Tarly of the Reach is advancing into Westerland from the south in order to support their newly-minted alliance with the Lannister. Two days later, Tywin's army was sighted at the Westerland-Riverlands border near Golden Tooth. Here, Tywin split his forces into two fraction - the main army marshaled by his son, Ser Jaime will advance directly into the heart of Westerland to relieve the Lannister's ancestral seat, while Tywin himself is leading 6,000 men to link up with the Tarly by taking alternative road via Silver Hill 

But Fredrik is no stupid. His spy at Ashemark reported that Tywin's army never separated and remained intact, pushing together to Casterly Rock. Fredrik sent raven to Lord Crakehall to lead 7,000 men to fortify the castle of Cornfield from the invading Tarly's army while he concentrated his forces at the crossroad near Tarbeck Hall. 

Fredrik earlier negotiation with King Balon Greyjoy was paid off as the Ironborn's king sent a detachment of 2,000 elite Housecarl to raid the North cities of Flint's Finger and Riverland's Seagard, respectively. This limit the participation of North and Riverland's armies. To the south, Prince Doran Martell was forced to enter the war by his council vote against the Lannister and its ally. The situation led to mobilization of Dornish troops into the Reach's territory, leading Mace Tyrell to recalled half of Tarly's army back to their own territory. The final stage of the Westerland Civil War is now set. 

Despite losing half of its forces, Lord Randyl Tarly continue to besiege Cornhill against Lord Crakehall. At the central front, Fredrik led 8,000 troops to fortify the ruins of Tarbeck Hall against the entire Tywin's army, numbered around 16,000 soldiers. 

Although Fredrik is outnumbered almost two to one, he held a favorable ground with Tarbeck River at his right and Tarbeck Hill at his left. This means any attempt to bypass his flank will be easily discovered. If Fredrik lost this position, the road to Casterly Rock will be widely open.

8am - At the opening phase of battle, Tywin sent a flying column around 2,000 cavalrymen under his son, Ser Jaime to strike Lord Kenning in order to create diversion before his grand attack. While the attack meant to shift Fredrik's focus, an overconfident Jaime charged deep into the enemy line and met with heavy resistance from Kenning's heavy infantry who braced a spearwall to absorb the charge. Less than an hour, the Golden Lion of Casterly Rock barely escaped with his bodyguard and retreated after suffering heavy losses.

Enraged with Jaime's failure and the lost of his surprise element, Tywin send the first coordinated attack with 7,000 battle hardened troops led by his brother, Ser Kevan directed against Fredrik's position. Kevan's missile troops released a volley of arrows against the rebel who comfortably defending the ruined hall. In response, Fredrik command Lord Westerling, who is in charge with the missile companies to deliver a counter-barrage against the advancing Loyalist.

Marching under fire, the Loyalist continues to push uphill in a discipline manner before reaching the rebel's wall of spear. Heavy fighting at the center between the Westerlanders where the elite Lannister troops trying to smash the rebel's line manned by the newly formed but well trained Reyne troops commanded by Ser Lyman Vikary.

To reinforced his overwhelmed center, Fredrik passed the command to Lord Rolph Spicer and instructed him to plug the gap while he personally led his cavalry, some 500 horseman to circle around the Loyalist and eventually smashed their unguard rear. The sudden charge managed to wreck the enemy morale as Kevan's right flank starts to waver, fearing encirclement.

Near Tarbeck River, the Loyalist managed to caused heavy damages to Westerling's troops, leading a great numbers of soldiers to flee the battlefield as the line was unable to absorb the numerical superiority of Kevan's infantry. Lord Rolph reinforced the faltering right flank with a contingent of Spicer's man-at-arms led by his cousin, Ser Samwell. 

At 12pm, a restless Tywin was being informed by Ser Lancel, Kevan's son that his father required reinforcement to execute his final attack against the rebel army. Lancel reported that Fredrik is on the verge of defeat after Kevan managed to seized Tarbeck River and enveloping his position from there. Now, it's the time for Tywin to launch his second attack, to strike the Red Lion while he is wounded. A careful Old Lion sent 3,000 infantry and 500 cavalryman led by Ser Jaime to support Kevan.

Ascending the Tarbeck Plain, the Loyalist troops confidently march with victory in their grasp. Unknowingly to the Lannister, the rebel's commander was left with his final card and he is about to unleash it now. As Jaime's reinforcement reached Fredrik's trap, Lord Westerling ordered his marksman to shoot a fire arrow towards the grassfield. In a matter of seconds, the arrow ignited a massive fire, followed by an unbearable heat and black smoke which caused heavy casualties to the advancing Loyalist. Unable to wade in the fire, most of the Loyalist were either forced to march forward or returned back.

Seeing the destruction of his reinforcement, a devastated Kevan began to waver as he realized his army was trapped between the resilient enemy at the front, nature at his flanks and a blazing fire at his rear. Most of his troops already lost the initiatives and surrendered. The only fighting occurred near Tarbeck River where majority of Loyalist held their ground until the survivor from the reinforcement party arrived to renew their attack. At the late stage of battle, they were eventually being overrun by the rebel and destroyed.

Lord Fredrik Reyne reorganized his army to ready for the second Loyalist attack. Both armies are fairly balanced now. The first Loyalist attack was a catastrophe to Tywin as he suffered 5,000 dead and 3,000 wounded in battle or wildfire while 2,000 captured including a few members of the Lannister's family - Kevan and Lancel. The rebel army lost half of its initial strength - around 3,000 casualties recorded. 

However, the Old Lion did not commit any attack and decided to retreat eastward. Fredrik called for his war council, asking for his commander's advice. While both Lord Terence and Lord Gawen urged him to chase Tywin, Lord Rolph advised Fredrik to maintain his army's position at Tarbeck as the location is strong enough to repel any incoming attack. Ser Lyman agreed "Fredrik, do you know how Tywin defeat Roger?" Fredrik nod his head "My uncle crushed him at Golden Sheer, Tywin lured him here, at Tarbeck Hall.. and destroyed 3,000 Reyne soldiers including 500 Vikaries. I will not repeat the same mistake. We will fortify this ground. ."

A week later, Fredrik received raven from Lord Crakehall citing on his hard-earned victory against Lord Randyl Tarly and subsequent fall of Lannisport to the rebel's army. To confirmed the event, Fredrik personally sent Podrick to avoid any false flag operation from the enemy spies. Tywin is in a desperate situation to reclaim Westerland as he is now trapped between numerous enemies - Lord Brynden Tully managed to recaptured Riverrun and liberated Riverland from House Frey. Jon Snow succeeded in defeating Lord Ramsay Bolton at the Battle of Bastards and seized Winterfell. He is later crowned as the King in the North by Stark's loyalist. Tywin realized he need to either crush the Reyne's Rebellion now or raced back to King's Landing to avoid being trap in the enemy territory. 

With only Casterly Rock left to capture, most of the Westerland lords has flocked to support House Reyne after their brilliant victory at Tarbeck Hall with exception of a few Lannister's staunch supporters such as House Serret, House Lefford and House Marbrand. Fredrik continue to command respect as the new Lord Paramount of Westerland, although his rebellion yet to end with the Lannister's complete defeat.

Tywin's army assembled near Sarsfield in his final attempt to crush the vengeful House Reyne. He forcibly levied an additional 3,000 fresh troops from his loyalist making the total number of his army around 9,000 soldiers against 5,000 Fredrik's determined troops. Tywin sent an invitation to Fredrik for a peaceful resolution at Ashemark where he offered him to marry his grand-daughter, Myrcella Baratheon. Sensing similarity with the infamous Red Wedding, Fredrik immediately rejected the parley as he did not want to share the same fate like Robb Stark and his entourage.  

9am - Tywin decided to strike. He ready his troop in a battle formation, 9,000 soldiers divided into three column - the left wing commanded by Ser Jaime, center column by Lord Tywin and the right wing led by Ser Tygett is now advancing in-parallel directly to Fredrik's position. "He must be so desperate my Lord, I've never seen Tywin send an all-out attack during the battle" Lord Rolph told Fredrik. "Well, this is it gentlemen. This is the day he die. Let's crush him and end this rebellion" Fredrik gave general order for his commanders to ready their troops.

Firing from high ground, Lord Westerling have the advantage against the advancing Loyalist. Tywin ordered his missile unit command by Lord Leo Lefford to provide missile support to the infantry. Simultaneously, he signaled a cavalry charge from the right flank led by Lord Addam Marbrand to attack Fredrik's infantry at Tarbeck River. The charge intended to weaken the line before the 
Loyalist infantry attack. A careful Tywin decided not to strike the rebel's left flank due to rocky hill which limit his cavalry movement.

Fredrik is now facing his real match, against the Old Lion of Casterly Rock himself. In an effort to stabilize Tarbeck River, Fredrik command Lord Rolph to bolster the defences. However, by doing this he was forced to compensate his left flank which still unengaged. Seizing the opportunity, Tywin ordered another cavalry charge led by Ser Jaime to assault Tarbeck Hill which is under-manned. The swift attack managed to break Kenning's line, followed by loyalist's infantry attack at all front. At 10am -  both armies were committed into the battle.

11am - Fredrik rode together with his Reyne's knight to assist his failing right flank. The brutal combat caused Fredrik to fight on-foot after his horse was wounded by a sword thrust by the enemy's knight. Here, he finally met the heir of Casterly Rock, Ser Jaime Lannister in combat. 

Like an ancient Greek duel where the battle was temporary halted as both armies watched the duel between their commander. "So, they called you the Red Lion, isn't. They called me Kingslayer. Soon I shall have your head, traitor" Jaime tried to intimidate Fredrik. "You are good swordsman, Fredrik. Where did you learn that..from a Braavosi too? Jaime taunted him again, mocking the late Eddard Stark. "I learnt from my uncle, the Sword of the Morning - Ser Arthur Dayne". Jaime looks surprised and shivering, Fredrik took the change to disarmed the Kingslayer's sword and cut his left hand. "Go, Kingslayer. You are lucky I "missed" your sword's hand.." Jaime's bodyguard dragged him from the battlefield and retreated. Despite that, the skirmish at Tarbeck Hill became more and more intense. With the presence of the rebel leader, Kenning's troops starting to gain cohesion and pushed the enemy back.

In his effort to regain the lost ground, Tywin led his cavalry into the battle. Around 1,000 Lannister's knight charging with full speed to ram the rebel's center. However, he miscalculated the charge as they accidently crashed into its own troops which caused confusion among their ranks. As the threat at Tarbeck Hill was neutralized, Fredrik ordered Lord Kenning to execute a pincer movement to trap the Loyalist and cut their retreating line.

With the death of Lord Addam in the hand of Ser Lyman at Tarbeck River, the Loyalist resistance begin to collapsed, many soldiers drowned into the river as the general retreat turned into a disorganized rout after the death of its commander. Lord Rolph led his cavalry to chase the Loyalist as far as River Road to avoid any regroup effort.

At 12pm, the victorious rebel's left and right flanks keeping up their attempt to press the Loyalist who still fighting for dominant at the center. Despite their relentless defiance, the battle is all lost for Tywin as the encirclement was completed. A vengeful Fredrik ride hard to Tywin's bodyguard, successfully killed Ser Amory Lorch in process, together with his brother Ser Lorent in a one-sided swords duel before locking sword with his arch-nemesis. 

Finally, the ultimate showdown between the Red Lion of Castamere against the Old Lion of Casterly Rock happened at the field of Tarbeck Hall where forty years ago, a young Tywin crushed the Reyne-Tarbeck's army and sealed their fateful rebellion. "You killed my family, you drowned us Lord Tywin!" Fredrik shouted while wielding his Red Rain. Tywin tried to reason with him: "They rebelled against my father. I did what I must, will you do the same?". "I'll not kill the entire House for that, you're a murderer. They don't have any sins to you..". Fredrik managed to break Tywin's sword and disarmed him. "You are brave, just like Roger and.. Reynard's cunning. Go on Red Lion, take your revenge now.." Tywin accepted his fate. "I spared your son's life, but forgive me Lord Tywin. You are going to die for your sin to my family, today." Fredrik thrust his Red Rain straightly into Tywin's heart and killed him instantly. 

With the death of its commander in-chief, the remnant of the Lannister's army retreated back to Crownlands. Tywin's gamble to crush the rebellion was proven catastrophe with the annihilation of the Royal army, three members of House Lannister were captured and most importantly, the Old Lion himself was being killed in the battle. His demise signaled an unfolding downfall of House Lannister of Crownlands, without him to advise the young Tommen, the Iron Throne is at risk of manipulation and power scheming by the crook politician and the Queen-Regent herself, Cersei Lannister.

302AC - the victorious Westerland's highlords pledged to House Reyne gathered at Casterly Rock after its capitulation. Lord Westerling asked Fredrik "So, it's over then, Lord Reyne. What now? Looking to all lords sworn to him "I guess we shall rule ourselves now. No more tie with the Lannister" Lord Crakehall step forward "And how may I address you now, Lord Reyne. King of the West?". Fredrik warmly replied "We don't need a king, only a Protector.." The fall of the last Lannister's stronghold marked the end of the Reyne's Rebellion which saw the ascension of House Reyne as the master of Westerland. A jubilant ceremony was being held at Castamere to proclaimed Lord Fredrik Reyne as the Lord Paramount and Protector of the Westerland, together with the declaration of Westerland's separation from King Tommen's rule. However, little did Fredrik know, across the Narrow Sea, the heir of Targaryen is amassing her forces now to invade Westeros and reclaim the Iron Throne. Will she let the Westerland to preserve their independence or crush them into submission? 

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