GCX - Lenfel Pikes
As word spread throughout Lenfald of its newfound independence, the rioting quickly subsided and was replaced with celebration in the street and even public displays of national pride. Citizens walked with purpose and went about their daily labors with vigor, invigorated by the exciting news. Young men once again lined up to enlist in the service of Lenfald.
Abner was sent with Gottfried to assist in the training of some of these new recruits and to share with them some of his personal experiences with the rangers. This task took the men to the southern wall of Ainesford city proper, where the new training area for spear units had been constructed. It consisted of not much more than an open field adjacent to the perimeter wall, but it was well-kept and served its purpose well.
The rangers were escorted by Captain Harmon, the commander of the training center and its garrison. He briefed the two men as they made their way alongside the wall.
"We learned a lot of valuable lessons during the war with Loreos," he said. "Namely that Lenfald simply lacked a solid defense against the might of the Loreesi cavalry and elephants. But no more." He gestured in the direction of a formation of pikemen on the drill field. "Observe."
"Ready... BRACE!" came the command from the sergeant in charge of the formation. The soldiers moved in perfect synchronization, the front rank dropping to a knee and simultaneously lowering their long spears and the men behind them filling the gaps with their own pikes. Any enemy coming against the formation would now be facing a deadly thicket of sharpened steel.
"As you can see," continued Captain Harmon with a smirk, "That problem has long been resolved. We have also been training new spear units, armored and carrying kite shields, to protect the flanks of our armies. All of our new soldiers will be useful in fending off enemy infantry and cavalry while our archers rain death upon them."
Captain Gottfried Meyrick nodded. "Well done, Captain. It would appear that Ainesford is well prepared for any contingency."
"Aye," came the reply, "and not just Ainesford, but all Lenfald."
Abner spoke up, "To what do you refer, sir? Have you more news to share?"
Captain Harmon lowered his voice. "Aye, ranger. The Areani think themselves quite clever spies, but they are nothing compared to Lenfel scouts. We have them thoroughly convinced that our nation's military is in disarray and that our people continue to riot. Even now the Loreesi are assembling a mighty host under the command of Mark of Falworth just south of our borders. They believe us weak and disorganized. This will give us a critical advantage if the desert rats decide to attempt another incursion into our lands. We will rout them and send them running back to the sand pits."
Abner furrowed his brow. "But would it not be more advantageous to arrange a great show of force along the border? Discourage Loreos from invading to begin with?"
Captain Harmon shook his head. "One would think so, at first," he replied, "but Jarius does not think in this manner. He has likely already decided whether or not he will invade Lenfald; it matters not how many men we amass at the border. Jarius' pride is too great for him to back down no matter what the odds. No, young warrior, our best course of action is to continue to feed our enemy false intelligence. But in the meantime, let's continue with our preparations."