Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The Battle of Lower Snotling

To: Mykew Gregorovitch, Grand Master; Gormenghast Guild of Wigmakers
From: Garrick Ollivander; Purveyor of Perukes and Periwigs to the Gentry

Most Honourable and Distinguished Grand Master,
as per your Excellency’s instructions I find myself ensconced amongst the sutlers and victuallers of the army; a most disagreeable situation to be sure but, as you yourself intimated, an excellent position from which to assess the periwig needs of the army. This most imposing of armies is currently encamped on the borders of the Expectorant of Covonia, after a most unfortunate rebuff by Covonian forces.
Ostensibly, the nobility and gentry of Gormenghast are here to assist a certain Mademoiselle Pumphosen; a lady of some notoriety (shoulder length periwig of natural human hair, tightly curled, scented violet wig powder).
Our fair damsel in distress, for some singular purpose dressed as a vivandiere, is purportedly detained in the town of Lower Snotling, whilst the brave Constable (shoulder length goat hair, un-powdered) has determined to issue forth and penetrate said defences……ahem.…..Unfortunately, for all the Constable’s obvious ardour (a most upsetting sight), the fulfilment of his fervently wished for desire was not to be and the lady remains securely behind Covonian walls.
The day began with a heated argument between the Constable and the odious Master of Ritual, Barquentine (no wig, little hair, unwashed, unscented and un-powdered). The army was witness to the disgusting spectacle of Barquentine hopping about, spitting and drooling but the Constable evidently prevailed and the army deployed as per his command.

The Covonians had taken up a strong defensive position, of two lines, anchored on the towns of Upper and Lower Snotling, with their weak cavalry forces split between both flanks. 

The Constable manifestly espied a weakness in the enemy deployment and planned to turn their flank; sending forth the Gormenghastian cavalry under Filip Korecczki (short un-powdered, horse hair). To this end the Constable had reinforced his cavalry force with the Gentleman Adventurers of Gormenghast, a mercenary regiment of some renown. These strapping fellows (medium, goat hair, powdered) in their redcoats made a fine sight on their thoroughbred chargers. 

A spirited countercharge by the outnumbered Covonians held the Gormenghast advance whilst their infantry moved to support their cavalry. Sadly the Gormenghast Dragons (no wig but very fine horse hair plumes) were broken by Covonian volley fire.

Not to be discouraged by this set back, the Constable pulled back his cavalry and sent forth the elite Gormenghast infantry. Both the Guards (short goat hair, white powder) and the light infantry (short horse hair, no powder), by much oblique and cadenced marching, threatened to turn the Covonian flank.
Nonetheless, the Covonian forces showed a quite remarkable aptitude for retrograde motion and, after much wheeling and dancing, steadied their line. Now the Constable sent forward the Gormenghast Foote (no wigs but powdered and queued) and Fencibles (short queues, no powder) to put pressure on their infantry. Grigori Savvinos (medium brown, horse hair, no powder) led the 2nd Fencibles (the Children of the Night) through the ploughed fields, fronting Lower Snotling, to threaten the hard pressed Covonians.

As dusk approached, this concerted effort was coming to fruition, with several enemy regiments of both horse and foot falling to massed volley fire. Regrettably, the enemy were saved by the fall of night and the Constable was obliged to fall back in the dark. Sadly the unfortunate, and one hopes still chaste, Mademoiselle remains out of the Constable’s reach, if not out of his thoughts.
So that, Grand Master, is where we stand at the moment. My initial evaluation is that there may well indeed be opportunities for an enterprising wigmaker with the army. The Foote regiments, for instance, are presently unwigged! I have not, as yet, discerned the most appropriate periwig or peruke for the common soldiery but, as we say in the craft, ‘the wig chooseth the man’.
I have the honour to be your most obedient servant,


No comments:

Post a Comment