The Chronicle

of the month of Ternost in the year 152

Linrodeth is celebrating a stunning victory of the navy over the Noordic invasion fleet! When news first reached the city that over a hundred Noordic warships were heading down the coast, a massive mobilization was ordered to fight off the invasion and to re-float the ships which had been laid up for the winter. The news was brought to the Admiralty by Lieutenant Giotto Mortovelli following a desperate dash across land and sea. The naval patrol ship Vexatious had encountered the fleet whilst moored at the far village of Drigg. Lieutenant Mortovelli is believed to be the sole survivor and he described the determination the crew felt when they spotted the fleet, and the rapidly taken decision to get one man through no matter what it took. Lieutenant Mortovelli told of the brave efforts of his colleagues who sacrificed themselves in order to enable him to get free with the news.

With possibly only hours before the enemy arrived, massive efforts ensued to clear the ships from the mud and squadrons were dispatched north as ships became available. However with such a huge fleet to face it seemed unlikely that Linrodeth fledgeling and unproven Consortium navy would be able to do anything other than delay and harry the raiders. A full military mobilization was ordered and preparations were made throughout the city to repel an invasion. Activity was particularly strenuous to protect the unwalled Northern wards and the exposed shipyards along the Ishtan river.

Stunningly, the enemy fleet was defeated at sea, miles north of Linrodeth. Commodore Emmanuel Cortez led the hastily assembled fleet against the invaders in a devastating direct attack from which only a handful of the enemy escaped. Commodore Cortez's leadership is said to have been astonishing and verging upon genius. The Commodore himself has continually praised the skill and bravery of the naval crews which fought so fiercely against such massive odds in a battle which many expect to lose. The other decisive factor was the new design of the Consortium ships. In a vindication of the huge sums of money spent of these innovative designs, Commander Cortez explained that it was the speed and size of the new Resolute class ships which made the difference to the battle. A full battle report is given later in this Chronicle.

The scale of the victory is still difficult to accept and it seems unlikely that the Noord will be able to threaten Linrodeth for a generation. Hawks in the Citadel and the Witanmoot are already talking about a counter-strike to be launched in the Spring to recover the northern city of Nyskilde. General Olvini is understood to be counselling caution instead as this only eliminates "one of the many threats to our safety". Princess Selina has declared a special feast day to be held in honour of the Navy and in celebration of our victory one month from the day on Firstday Thirdweek Kruthos.

The preparations for the Noordic attack have dominated events in Linrodeth this month during what would normally be a key campaigning time for the Midwinter elections. Election campaigning has been subdued but fierce and clear alliances are emerging, reinforcing the three way split first reported in last month's Chronicle. In the Witanmoot Marcus Lambourne reintroduced his 'democracy' motion pointing out a mechanism by which it could still be made legal. However, after Lady Andrews scathingly described the likely reaction of the citizens to the Witanmoot "contemplating its own navel instead of matters naval", he respectfully deferred the motion to next month.

The Torians are rejoicing after a Miracle of Torus. Following a special prayer vigil on Ghostmoons the strange wasting disease has disappeared. There have been no new cases reported this month and all the existing suffers are making a rapid recovery. The Temple is also preparing a special Service of Thanksgiving for next month's feastday, in gratitude for the deliverance of the city.

A heavy blizzard during thirdweek has brought business in Linrodeth to a standstill, although it has failed to dampen celebrations in the taverns. No messages announcing the victory have been able to leave the city, and the river ice has thickened rapidly. Officials at the Admiralty are now concerned about laying up the older fleet ships again to avoid storm damage.

The following report has been published by the Admiralty Board:

"Following reports of a Noordic Fleet of some 100 ships heading for Linrodeth, a full mobilisation of the Navy was ordered with ships taking to the seas as they became ready. An initial squadron of ships under my command sailed out to meet the Nordic fleet. The squadron was primarily made up of Invincible class warships together with the Revenge which had been in dry dock as the flag ship. The squadron sailed up the coast into the teeth of the wind, which was blowing from its customary Northerly direction. About one third of way to Drigg a group of five raiders were encountered just pulling out from a raided village. The larger size of the Invincibles, and especially the Revenge, soon overran the enemy sinking one long ship and capturing four others. Loot in the captured vessels was returned to the fishermen who had wisely taken to the hills to avoid the raiders. The vessels were dispatched back to Linrodeth under prize crews.

Having dealt with the raiders the squadron proceeded up the coast until they met, in strong winds, the vanguard of the Noord fleet which outnumbered the Linrodeth ships three to one. Lulled by their superior numbers the Noord allowed us to get to windward, whereupon we swooped down and eliminated the Noord squadrons individually. Despite oars, the enemy were unable to regroup to meet him together. Again our navy triumphed, capturing approximately half the longships and sinking the rest.

Despite their two successes the squadron sailed up the coast with trepidation, passing many burnt fishing villages. All the crews knew that ahead lay their toughest test; the main Noord fleet. The next day dawned clear and very cold with a moderate breeze and good visibility. About midmorning the enemy fleet was sighted. Lookouts initially reported 36 vessels, which rapidly rose to 60 and finally to over 70 long ships. Realizing that we could not hope to defeat such a force, I opted to retreat before the enemy while keeping them in sight. Due to the wind direction the two fleets swept rapidly down the coast until, about half a day's sailing from Linrodeth, my squadron were met by a second squadron comprising largely of Resolute class warships under the command of Commodore Phillipe Vincento.

I took overall command of the fleet and began to manoeuvre, hoping to split the enemy fleet. However, rather than stop to engage the fleet, the enemy split off a force of four squadrons to keep us occupied while the bulk of approximately 50 vessels pushed ahead for Linrodeth. Declining to engage the delaying force, I decided to attack the main body of the enemy with the heavy Resolute class vessels, while detailing Commodore Vincento to hold up the covering squadrons with Invincibles.

With the Revenge in the middle of the line, I ran the squadron into the rear of the main Noord force. Initially, the heavy vessels smashed through the light hulls of the longships but soon lost their momentum and Noord swarmed about us. The battle settled into a fierce hand-to-hand fight with the Linrodeth forces holding their own until a determined attach by the Noordic commander and his personal Huscarls overwhelmed both the Rapide and Resolute. Despite this we fought on and I commend the bravery of the crews. We made a great number of boarding actions against the enemy, during which dozens of the enemy vessels were sunk. Finally, however, the exhausted crew of the Revenge were overrun by Prince Guthrum's' personal bodyguard and I was taken aboard the enemy flagship Isarwhar.

Observing my capture, the rest of the fleet rallied and smashed back into the Noord turning the tables once again. The Intrepid stalled the escape of the Isarwhar at the cost of being overrun herself. The Noord flagship was sunk however I was dragged from the icy sea and was able to resume command shortly thereafter. The Intrepid and the Revenge were recaptured while the Noord managed to sink the captured Rapide and escaped with the only the Resolute and a handful of longships.

This was a decisive naval victory. Over 90 enemy vessels were either sunk or captured for the loss of only two of our ships. Thousands of the enemy have lost their lives and the Noord threat to Linrodeth has been eliminated for the foreseeable future."

- Commodore Emmanuel Cortez