Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Realm of Fury!

Let me take you to a place centuries ago. Where furious battles took place. Strategies were made. People were killed. And nature took its own toll. Read the national level winning fiction story!!
This story was written for central India's biggest cultural national level creative writing event on the topic of 'Medieval Age'. Plot is from Italy and proximity.


Artistic expression Pompeii Volcano in 79 AD
Eons ago in 6th century, today’s mainland, Italy, was ruled by King Adaloald, living in Herstmonceux Castle. The realm was known as Lombard. Kingdom was an early medieval state established by the Lombards, a German-speaking people, on the Italian Peninsula. Its capital was Pavia. And Naples was a distant state which was under imperial control. King Adaloald had put all his efforts to accomplish the win over Naples. But his all efforts went futile.

The Kingdom of Lombard was furnished in all vertices. Wealth was stacking. Glory was at optimum. But future was having something else in its mausoleum. King Adaloald was having great alchemists in form of Alessandro Cagliostro and Isabella Cortese.

King was intending to attack on Naples. But alchemists, in the shrine of prophecies, with the help of all their magical chants yelled a prediction. A prediction that an attack on Naples will attract the mass carnage of soldiers. And it might be so vast that it could be compared to the biggest genocide in the history of Lombard. This lead to public’s fury and rage. The Lombards were already facing theological and political differences. Both alchemists were the most reliable consultative and they never went wrong. In dread, the king ordered all knights to gather. Invasion of Viking from North and Saracen from South was another concern that influenced king’s judgment. King Adaloald was going leaps and bounds with the thought - What in the word has the power to demolish his burly army? "Yes, we are going to attack Naples", King shouted with raucous noise.

That's the amount of research required while writing on
 a medieval era story! Writer of '300' movie, #RESPECT
King then ordered to arrange an assembly in his fortified huge castle. All his consultative, priests, monks, ministers, advisers, pope was accumulated with all knights equipped with techniques of sword-and-buckler and sword-and-board providing surveillance outside fortified castle.
The castle was transformed in to stealth mode. They were preparing for pitched as well as siege warfare. Lombard's army includes cavalry forces, horse riders, armours, ballista, infantry, armed knights. Belfries were getting refurbished. King Adoloald was not willing to leave a single decision for luck. He was quick-witted and had experience to use all warfare tactics. This being the reason he remained undefeated in his reign. All army units started heading towards the Naples.

King Adaloald claimed, “Our alchemists have never been wrong. What if their prediction comes true?” his voice getting sturdier. “Your highness, we are marching with the biggest infantry and siege warfare against them. Our army number can overcome whole population of Naples. I do not think we have much to worry about.” Autari, a minister, answered. Taking a sigh of relief King said, “What if we establish an alliance with our ally, Greeks? Their army is equally strong to ours...” King was in apprehension.

Thinking deeply Paul, King’s strategy adviser, said, “Highness, to convey this message to Greece and aligning their army might take a whole month. We cannot wait this long. Naples army might get stronger and they might attack us before we do.” In affirmation king tilted his neck. Interrupting this conversation Alessandro and Isabella entered the assembly. “What are you planning for now?” Isabella quoted. “We are telling you, once you enter Naples there will be no turning back” Alessandro supported Isabella. All ministers blew out laughing. For them Lombards was an insuperable power. Disappointed alchemist left the hall in disgrace.

King Adaloald remained on same stance. To attack Naples with full throttle. Breach ever building. Destroy the whole infrastructure.

Zoom out Google Map image of Italy and proximity.
The army was so large that they have to chop the whole forest to build strong arms, ballista, spears, and also for burning fuel. Food was required in so huge number that the tonnes of wheat, meat and grain ration they carried along them were falling diminutive. And if the whole infantry uses their bow-arrow it could eclipse the Sun. It was burly army.

The whole troop was encroaching in Naples’s proximity. King and all his advisers, scholars were drafting their strategy to attack on Naples. Isabella and Alessandro decided to boycott this meeting.

Paul explained, “Beside Naples we have Mount Vesuvius, which is a stratovolcano. It has not erupted since 79 AD. Instead of attacking from north-north-east we should firstly capture Pompeii. Pompeii is a small state in south-east-east of Mount Vesuvius. We can send one-third of army to capture Pompeii.” Another adviser, Bavarii interrupted Paul saying, “But this will disrupt the strength of our army.” “Exactly, they too will think the same. Instead, our two-third army on north-north-east will remain in stealth mode. We will attack only on Pompeii. This will give Naples an illusion that we are attacking them from south-east-east. And they will divert their army towards the south-east-east. Taking the advantage of this situation we will attack Naples from north-north-east. In disruption they might fail to revive their strategy and we will win.” Paul was known for his intuitive mind. And this strategy was much convincing for King Adaloald. “Paul, you are the best strategist, our kingdom has ever produced. You will be endowed with golden coins once we are back in Pavai.” Paul’s heart fulfilled with the proud.

Political map of Lombard (493-553 AD )
Following this strategy, troop was divided. One-third of them were diverted to attack Pompeii. Sparse population, degraded infrastructure, slavery were the features of Pompeii. Cannon, catapult, sling, crossbow, longbow were used. Lombards very easily captured Pompeii. One-third of the army was a large troop for Pompeii than two-third of Lombardian army for Naples.

The news of acquiring Pompeii by Lombards reached Naples instantly. Till now the predictions made by the alchemists seem a distant myth. May be this was the first time alchemists' predictions were going fallacious.
The Lombardian’s trick worked and Naples was preparing to send their strongest troops to fight against Naples. King Adaloald happily said, “We will march tomorrow on Naples.” But it seems nature was having a surprise in its tomb.

BOOM!! BANG!! The thundering sounds stroke everyone’s eardrums.  For few seconds Lombardians went dumb and they thought they had been attacked by Naples. The sky was covered with dark clouds. It started raining, but of ashes. Loud thundering. Sky was so dark that it was replicating night amidst sun overhead. Breathing became harsher. Calling someone was impossible. Visibility was minuscule. Land developed wide cracks. Intense hot lava was pouring out of earth. King went eccentric over this situation. Their attack was postponed for indefinite time. Mount Vesuvius erupted with all its might! Puking hundreds of tonnes of ashes and lava in air. Many soldiers were killed in this catastrophe. Two-third became one-tenth of two-third now.

Though Naples’ army was undersized, they were quick on field. With less warfare goods and conversance with the milieu favoured them. Naples on the other hand utilized this opportunity and demolished Lombards in Pompeii. And shortly realized the intention of King Adaloald. King Adaloald was unaware of these logistics that King James Junior, king of Naples had in his mind. King James Junior was having precise knowledge of every sand grain of this region. He had scholars who can predict the direction of winds which will carry ashes. Very soon he sent an infantry of troop from Naples and he himself went with another infantry to attack the Lombards from Pompeii. Though King James Junior had a small troop, but unpredicted attack and unfamiliar circumstances lead to defeat of King Adaloald. King Adaloald surrendered him to Naples and thus Lombard became part of Naples. Except Isabella and Alessandro all were imprisoned and then they became alchemist of Naples.


This is my third consecutive national level winning article. :) Won second prize in VNIT Nagpur's Aarohi national level cultural event.
My previous national level prize winning article on the science fiction of a Dog and a child from parallel universe - Fanciful Dorth - http://sanketthodge.blogspot.com/2013/02/fanciful-dorth.html

Real preserved plaster cast of the victims on the night of volcanic eruption!
 Thank you for reading! Your appreciation will be appreciated. :)

P. S. Though the locations are true, story is completely a work of fiction!! ;)

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