A quick posting tonight. I’ve hit 34k, hurray! Without further ado, here’s today’s snippet.
“Well, Nicephorus, in actuality that is exactly what we hope they expect. As far as we know, trains have never been used to launch an attack. Transport soldier, certainly. But the Mongols see trains as transportation for civilians. While we ride southward in comfort, the VII Germania will be remaining at Castellum Herakles with a large cavalry force. They will run raids east and south, pulling the Mongols eyes in that direction. Several raids were dispatched yesterday morning, along with more throughout the day. With luck, we may pull some of their cavalry out of the city.”
“But sir, that’s an incredibly short amount of time to launch raids. What reason do we have for retaking Antioch? The city’s walls are breached, the palace and citadel heavily damaged. Even if we retake the city…” Another tribune voiced his concerns.
“We will retake the city, Lucius, or die trying.” Gwendyrn replied, his voice uncharacteristically gruff.
“The Senior Tribune is correct.” Julius said, emphasizing Gwendyrn’s authority over the rest. “Beyond simply a morale victory, holding Antioch will help patch a gap in our eastern front. In addition, it will force the Mongols to divert forces towards retaking the city. Unlike the first time they sacked the city, this time we will have warning of their new weapons and be prepared. Our heavy infantry are at an advantage in the close environs of a city, and with the damaged city walls and gates, their usual tactics of encirclement via cavalry and harassment with archery will be unusable.” He held up a hand to forestall any arguments. “But this attack has a second objective. One more precious than actually holding Antioch.”
He lowered his voice and his men leaned in, anxious to hear what could be more important than retaking the second largest city in the empire.