Chapter 7 Stag's Folly

It was to be said that after the consolidation of the Crownlands, it was already known that The War of the Five Kings was forever changed. The "Great Betrayal" (as many Westerosi Nationalist would call it) saw many minor nobles and even smallfolk flock to the French Empires for better life, education, and liberties that many of the higher nobility scoffed at , or were downright hostile to such change. On the other hand, The Crownlands did not care for Under The Stags rules . Harsh war reparations and taxes lead many to be spurned by the Baratheon dynasty. Under Joffery's rule, regardless of his legitimacy, many Crownlanders in the inner lands preferred to submit to the French Empire's demands than throw their banners to the Lannister and Baratheon. This decision proved to help them later on. However Renly Baratheon , known as the "Young Stag'' , by his supporters truly saw the French Empire as an upstart and proclaimed to "Liberate" the Crownlands from the Tratiots , and the "Heathen" Warlocks. His army was led by Reachmen and Stormlanders as well as the Marcher lords, from the Crownlands , who began a march to King's Landing. It was unfortunate that Grand Marshal Ney, leading a deployed Veterans of the Coalition war, was marching, to engage his Army.

Renly's army had 2,000 Infantry and 1,000 Knights of Reach , including 500 levies and Stromlander . In total, he had 3,500 army . He was arrogant of the French tactics which we find out while losing to an army of 1,580, 1,160 Infantry, 420 Calvary, and 3 Artillery batteries.

By U.S.A Historian Adam Hock , in "The Westeros folly" 1896 AD April 12,

Borders of the Stormlands:

The Grande Armee was setting up camp after a 5 day march from Eagles landing. The Emperor's command was a straightforward march to the stormlands and to defeat Renly's Army. During the General Conference meeting ; the few noble lords who sided with the Empire, as of now some lords major ones at that, have cold feet and want to "wait" to see who the victor will be but some border lords have sided either Lannister or Baratheon. Ney understood that a show of force must be done to prove the Martial Prowess of the Grande Armee.

Under his command of the 1,580 army, 420 of those were Calvary, 12 Artillery Regiments, including a Howitzer regiment. 1,160 Veteran troops ready to put the backwater heathens in their place. All was almost going well, had it not been for the condition made by the Lords of the Crownlands.

"Lord Marshal, I must implore you to send for more troops. Surely you must understand Renly's Army outnumbers us." Blane of House Brune asked with worry.

Ney was more or less close to cupping the boy for his voice grated him greatly. He also had two other lords, Kil Rykker, and a true young lad of 14 years of age, Addam Buckwell. Accompanying them was a small retinue of bodyguards.

"Monsieur Blane, I assure you my troops are veterans of many battles, I have full confidence in their abilities ,'' Ney stated, through a false sense of calmness. The three lords did not care about his words.

Lord Rykker spoke up, "My lord, I have no doubt in your troops but you must understand that you have 420 light cavalry, with no knights for a crushing charge and your soldiers only have your Firespears". "And I don't wish to question this but why bring iron rams?" Ney pinched the bridge of his nose. "This is utter nonsense!" Ney said in his mind.

"They are artillery, Monsieur Rykker . I assure you , they are good for siege and field battle.'' Micheal explained how the cannons would be the great advantage of his army and to his surprise a young Addam understood it better.

"You plan on whittling them down from afar like archers do?"

Micheal felt relieved ,"Finally some intelligence."

"Oui, Monsieur Addam , like your archers are cannon and Howitzers will soften them up and our carabiners and skirmishers will whittle them down."

"Tha..that's a dishonorable , unchivalrous way of war Lord Marshal," Suptered Rykker. "Such an act would tarnish your honor. If you do not engage in combat , it would even seem cowardly. Those "Cannons" are barbaric. I could understand in a siege but in an open battlefield…?"

Micheal Ney finally had enough and turned from his maps and messages.

"Monsieur Ryyker , Do I need to remind you that such warfare is what most of the new and old world use for many generations. Once this continent is conquered and enlightened , this too , shall be the norm."

Ryyker's face looked like he bit something sour; his traditional stance was conflicted.

"I must agree with Lord Ryyker, Lord Marshal, what you are doing is… dishonorable. I doubt that many lords would agree with your "tactics"." Lord Brune said to support his fellow countrymen. "However , if this is how your Empire fights , then I am willing to see how it works."

Rykker was taken aback from the statement, and looked pale.

"Lord Brune , Jesting, you must be !" Rykker exclaimed.

The final nail in the coffin was when Buckwell voiced his opinion.

"I also agree with Lord Brune , that while it is truly dishonorable ; we must be open to new things as well. After all, when the battle is finished ,we will be submitting to the Emperor."

Micheal Ney was again impressed with the boy's intelligence , maybe there is hope for the barbarians.

"Then it is settled, Lord, I wish you a goodnight for we march at first light tomorrow."

Renly's Camp:

The mood of the combined armies of Reach and Stormlands was tense to say the least. Victory was so close for the army after the "Convergence" and Stannis , with his fleet missing, made all the other Stormlands rally to Renly, who now is truly, the only Legitimate claim to the Iron Throne. Ergo, an army launched an attack on the capitol that led Renly and Mace Tyrell

with Hightower and Selmy banners proving it was almost in their hands and all would be over but then a new player caused an upset. The French Empire , as it called itself, sent a raven to all lords of the proclamation that The Emperor Napoleon of House Bonapart had seen Westeros as now part of "his" Empire and further sent copies of his Rights of Men and Code Napoleon. Some minor lords, 3rd and 4th sons ,including bastards of nobility flocked to this "Paragon" ,it 's madness smallfolk getting a say in politics, and nobility losing power resulting in complete lunacy.

Renly was pushed back by Napoleon's attack on kings landing but now he will retake it back to prove his right to rule just as Robert did, His forces were tense due to the unknown strength of the enemy force that was going to confront him.

"Your Grace, the lords are awaiting you in the command tent." Renly looked to see his rose Loras Tyrell, the man that gave his heart warmth.

"Good let us go then," Renly said, as he was escorted by his Rainbow guard to his command tent. Along the way, Reachmen and the Stormlanders shouted cheers and wishes as Renly walked to the Command tent.

"Your Grace," Lord Mace Tyrell said ; as all Nobles stood at their King's presence .

"Sit my lords, it is time to discuss our strategy." Renly commanded and they obeyed as he sat at the head of the table.

''Your Grace, Lord Selmy's scouts have sent word that the French Imperials have marched their forces to the Stormland borders," Lord Durran reported.

"And what have they sent?" Renly asked. To his dismay ,Durran's face looked confused.

''I must confess ,your grace, they have sent a force of 1,580." Durran's words caused many lords to balk at his words.

"Why can't this be true ?" Renly asked.

"Are the French mad?" Renly inquired again. Renly smiled and thought to himself, perhaps this will be the easiest battle yet. The lords all called out this army couldn't possibly be true and must be a decoy or others believed the French have become arrogant after beating the Lannisters. "ORDER!" Renly said and the lords quieted down.

"Lord Durran, are you sure that Lord Selmy's words are true?" Renly inquired.

"Aye ,your Grace Selmy's would never write tall tales or exaggerations," Durran said and Renly took his word for it ,as many of the lords were still weary with the number of the enemy.

"I believe it is time then," Renly stated before Mace and the other lords could say a word.

"But my Lo…"

"My fellow Lords, we will strike now. We have 3,500 ; we shall wipe this army of warlocks and funny dresses." Renly continued as he moved a stag piece onto the map. "Lord Durran will lead our Knights of 1,000. They shall charge and sweep them aside, Lord Mace. Lord Hightower shall lead our 2,000, Men-at-arms to clean up the rubble left."

The lords looked baffled at the strategy to many; it was just a simple charge and infantry to clean up stragglers. Still yet , it felt to many that this was not a traditional enemy.

"Your Grace, surely should we not leave some of our troops for reserve?" , Lord Cuy asked , drawing attention.

"We have 500 levies to act as a reserve ; I assure you, Lord Cuy, there is nothing to worry about !", Renly said , matter of factly.

Lord Hightower pipped in. "Still your Grace , we don't know the full capabilities of the French forces. For all we know ,they may be using it to bait us into a trap."

Again murmurs in the tent sounded out , but Renly was not having it. Trap or not, he will not let this advantage go.

"Understable, but we must do this ; Lord Tarly is leading an attack into the Westerlands, this is my chance to claim the Iron Throne and liberate it ." "The French will show how the Lannisters were weak against an''Upstart ."

"Aye, his Grace is right, we must push on to liberate the Crownlands and punish the traitors." A lord spoke who he felt no one bothered to know.

"AYE!" the lords all said in unison, much to Renly's delight.

"Then ,no need to wait any longer to get the men ready, we march now to fight!''

Next Morning Marshal Ney:

"Mon General, the enemy was spotted by some scouts." Micheal nodded at the report.

"They decided to march full steam, it seems… well then, so be it." He said , bearing the rains of his steed before looking to subordinates. "Get the troops into position and have the Voltiguers and Chasseurs engage the enemy."

"To how many paces?"

"Whenever they come into eyesight, have the Howitzers ready along with our cannons. I want them loaded and prepared, and have the Carabiners ready to ride out." Micheal Ney continued giving orders before his general staff were dismissed. To his credit the three lords who came were amazed by the discipline of the soldiers. The red shirt ones prepared small trenches, blue ones fixed spears on the Firestaffs and the Iron barrels were positioned in a timely manner.

"I must say it is strange how disciplined they are."

Lord Addam looked at his fellow lord. "Is that bad?"

"Nay , I say, It's just hard to believe that they have no levies. All of these men seem to be veterans or at best well trained like the Valrayin legions of old." Ryyker stated, while the French forces continued the work laid before them.

After an hour, the defenses were done, the trenches and artillery in position and loaded Fusiliers ready with Musket and Bayonet, ready for the Stags army.

The sound of loud musket fire was heard and the cries of dying and wounded were heard from the forest.

Micheal Ney stared at the forest edge." So it begins."

Baratheon force: Lord Durran

Everything was going well in Durrans eyes, his knights 500 under him and 500 for Tyrell to charge down the French army; it was just getting past the forest that was hampering their progress. And then loud thunder noises with clouds of smoke from trees and bushes caused chaos. Screams of knights and horses rang the air, many fell off their saddles, others were crushed under their Steads.

"Damn them damn that young fool!" Lord Durran said Renly's poor tactics were showing in how he sent his knights with only few men at arms to help. And no light horse to chase the ruffeins down. Quickie getting ahold of his stead he looked to his 2nd Damian.

"Send forth the men at arms and chase the dishonorable Kurs!"

"Aye mi lord." Damian responded by sounding a war horn rallying the vanguard and charging into the bushes.

To their shame no one found the french ambushers and worse thunder sounds were heard more men fell screaming. "Seven hells! Where is Lord Tyrell!?" Durrans question was answered as Reach Knights came riding into the forest with more soldiers charging into the clear.

"Come Lord Durran, let's show how a real war is won!" Lord Mace shouted as he rode by with his 500 knights. Damian rode back with his riders before looking at his lord.

"But mi lord we 50 of our Knights and 20 are wounded what do we.."

"Leave them!" Durran ordered much to the 2nds' shock but stood at attention as what remained of Durrans charged into the clearing.

The thundering of hooves was loud, men shouted jeers and oaths against the French who were firing and retreating to the Trench bulwark. Some knights fell from the firing of the skirmishers, but no matter they continued onward it was only too late when the lords Durran and Mace realized the Voltigurs and Chasseurs stopped and formed a square.

"The hell are they!?" That was Lord Durrans last thought before a cannonball obliterated him and his retinue.

Lord Mace stead bucked and reed from the cannon fire as bombardment from 8 9ib cannons roared alongside the whistling of Howitzer rounds slamming into the enemy and exploding shrapnel or throwing aside knights.

"What hatw hj!" Mace in shock from the horror of the French artillery so many knights cried in pain and some fled running away from the fight only

for a French bugle sound and out came green dressed riders armed with Carbines firing shot into the routing knights and men at arms.

"How sad not even a single loss for us." the snap of the telescope sounded as Ney brought it to his right eye. The battle was by all rights won, Renly's main force was almost to bear but at this Ney found it time for his troops to get some action.

"Capitan sends out the order to have the men go into battle formation and have Cannons, and Howitzers continue firing when Renly's forces arrive. When that is done, have them stop our Soldiers shall carry on to finish this.

"Qui Monsieur Ney." The order was given and as Renly's forces came into the field no one needed to know the horror on their faces as the Vanguard was annihilated. Flutes and drums began their rhythm tone as soldiers marched in formation as Artillery fired away causing the Baratheon forces manpower cannonballs and explosive shots caused more casualties and morale was dropping.

Renly gave the order his Rainbow guard, Stormlanders, and Reachmen Charged with the enemy, men and horses pushed themselves to avenge their fallen comrades. Fusiliers ready their muskets, as their captains held their saber high.

"Feu!" The captains slashed forward with sabers and muskets let loose death on the enemy. Baratheons fell by the hundreds, many dead,lying in pain, as lead punched through armor like paper. Valiant Knights fell off steads or died from their mounted weights.

"Your Grace must retreat, their magic is too strong."

"NO!" Renly shouted in anger his retinue was in shock in his outburst. The young stag waved his sword around for all his forces to see.

"Rally to me men of the Reach and Stormlands fight for Westeros!" aiming his sword down and kicking his steed into a charge followed by his rainbow guard and rallied man at arms.

Before he could reach the battle lines of the charging french legions a expulsion blew Renly off his mount along with many in his Guard. Renly felt numb, his legs not obeying and his hearing ringing like bells.

The men routed again and before much more Renly saw his beloved Loras coming towards him with tears in his eyes only for others to drag him away by force as the marching Fusiliers continued their advance.

Renly was so tired but was happy to see his Rose one last time.

French army: Micheal Ney

The battle was over when the Howitzers round blasted the young stag for shrapnel surely got him as of the rest of his retinue. Micheal Ney rode alongside his entourage including the crownland representatives who at most were very shocked or speechless of the carnage the french suffered perhaps 20 or deaths more just wounded from stray arrow or bolt or a cut from a despite levy.

After a moment of silence Micheal Ney spoke. "As you can see lords that the French Empires Grande Armee is trained professionally and we had a

previous war that made many veterans, I hope that our army's demonstration is enough to sway any doubts."

Neys words made the trio lords strainted their backs up, they knew that what they witnessed was a coming of a new era and change to Westeros. "We shall send our letters to our families and to the other reluctant lords they shall arrive with their answers in the morrow." Lord Addam the youngest spoke as the others nodded. Lord Ryyker mumbled a prayer to his pagan gods after the death of Renly Baratheon, truly the Baratheon dynasty had ended.

AN: My humblest apologies for not updating sooner. I understand some dislike for that and for that i must say the only thing is that a lot is going on. My little bro is in the hospital and our financial situation is grim. All i ask is prayer and hope that things get better soon.