Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Part the VIth - Upon the Fields of Glory

Excerpts from the Diary of Leviathan Cherrychoate:

September the 12th, A.D. 1683

This day have I been in the Great Pavane and I wish never to dance that step again as long as I live. Although I am weary unto my heart, I shall endeavor to set down here my thoughts and observations of this day. A day which shall no doubt be trumpeted and gloried by fine gentlemen, courtiers and scholars who were not here and do not have the stink of burning flesh in their nostrils nor the sight of corpses devoured by carrion birds before their eyes.

Sandorius, in great sickening enthusiasm, had awoken me before dawn this day. My first reaction was to bury my head in my pillow and hope all was but a bad dream. But no dreaming did I do and Sandorius bustled me to the works which were in a state of much consternation. The Turks were truly gathering up for a great assault, their drums and trumpets making a hellish sound that threatened to drown out the sound of their guns.

Staremburg and the Archbishop were there, both waxing greatly at the thought of so much slaughter to be done. The Archbishop pointed to the heights at Kahlenburg, some two leagues off, from which signal rockets could be seen flying. "There lies our fornicating succor," the thistle-gobbed paddle-pate intoned. "It shall be hot work for the copulating catamites this day, being caught betwixt two fires. My sincerest hope is that that fornicating bastard, King John, leaves to us a ration of the copulating catamites to slay." At this, I nearly put my pistol to the full-gorged ratsbane's head and blown out what passed for his brains. I was prevented from this course, however, by a too-conventional spirit and a fear of what the unmuzzled fustilarian might do should I miss.

Soon however these noble worthies decided upon our individual course of action. Sandorius hath wrought a fevre-factum, a most devilish device like unto a great bell which when struck by an alchemically charged wand would resonate in but one direction. Those in this path wouldst have their blood attain a great heat unto boiling and so death. Sandorius did take this unto a tunnel he had rendered which traversed unknown below the Turkish lines. He would sortie out with device when the assault was at its fiercest and so attack the Turk from behind. He took along a company of the city's Trained Band to help in raising this confusion.

As for me, I bethought that any place of execution would serve as well as another so cared little whither they sent me. The Turks had placed their embattlement before the western most portion of the town. Two great gun redoubts opposed them with walls lined by infantry betwixt. I must needs take charge of the southern most of these redoubts hardby the Hofburg, the fled Emperor Leopold's palace which hath been wrecked by the bombardment and was still afire. The beslubbering clotpole of an Archbishop would command at the Northern Redoubt while the beef-witted Staremburg would ready such reserves as we had to halt any breech.

I had just gotten into my redoubt, called by the ludicrous name of the Big Gonzaga, after some Dago strumpet that some slack-jawed Hapsburg had tippled half a century before, when the storm broke with greatest fury.

Our guns were ready, the Wieners being a stolid but dependable lot, and the first shots bombarded the Turks' saps, causing a number of losses to them. Immediately, the Turks reciprocated with a great bombardment but their shot did but little damage and several fell short or went astray and struck their own lines. There followed a battery by rocket troops that likewise miscarried.

Of course, the one point where their aim proved true was upon the Big Gonzaga. Several great shot and numerous rockets fell upon us, killing at once all those fine stolid gun crews who had so graciously stood betwixt me and the Reaper of Souls. Then a great huzzah went up and I perceived what seemed every blackamoor upon God's Earth coming forth with each having what seemed some mortal grievance gainst me personally. I was ready to fly when suddenly a troop of militia and sappers entered into the Big Gonzaga, having been sent by the barnacle bum-brain Staremburg. So I must play the part of hero, though my spine was transmuted into water, for fear of showing an Englishman inferior to mere Germans, and Papists at that. So I called for them to come join me in the grand affray.

Then great waves of the Turk fell upon us, their numbers six or more to our one. They flung up ladders upon the glacis of the redoubt and charged reckless upward. To our respite, the walls of the Redoubt were high and the Turk could not bring all his numbers to bear at once, else they would have swamped us like a bum-boat in a great squall. So to they fell upon the northern redoubt, the Little Gonzaga, which was similarly held under the Archbishop. Through all the din, though far from the Little Gonzaga, I could hear the hedge-pigged old hugger-mugger shouting "Slay the copulating catamites!" for all his worth.

We did much execution then with our grenadoes and spirit mines but soon it came to this that we must defend ourselves by blade against the great host. Most who came against us were blackamoors from the farthest reaches of Upper Egypt. How far they had traveled only to serve up as so much roasted and spitted meat this day. For they fell in their hundreds this day and a pitiful sight they made when once I saw the back of them though they were fearsome enough in the advance.

I know not how many attacks they made upon my redoubt. Oft it seemed one had scarce ended when the next began. And all about me fell. At one point, I found myself alone again but for the dead and a single militia girl, for the pribbling lout Staremburg allowed e'en women to partake in the slaughter. She was young though, and fair enough that in better times I wouldst surely hath given her a tumble. But she was sore feared which was no disgrace since I was most like feared worse. Her presence, however, steadied me for I must needed play the hero to impress her. And thus vanity doth lead us all to the Fall. I took her by the arm and led her to one of the cannons and we readied it for firing. Suddenly the Turks began another great bombardment and I, in anger, fired my pistol at the nearest mortar. Fortunately, my seeming act of bravado had a most pleasantly unexpected return. I had forgotten that the pistol contained one of my alchemically wrought charges and the bullet flew to the battery and ricocheted off each member of the crew in turn until it entered unto the powder casks beyond. In a moment the battery entire was blown heavenward. "Mohamet shall need find plenty of virgins this day for all the heathen we are sending to paradise." The girl was much cheered by this and we both laughed and embraced in comradeship. Lord bless me but twas the first I recall ever having taken a woman into my arms without the least venereal thought. But such a day was this.

Betimes Staremburg sent a troop of grenadiers into both the Gonzagas. I heard later that at one point, the pottle-deep Archbishop, like me, found himself alone in his redoubt. But the venomed coxcomb called for the grenadiers to cast their grenadoes toward the sound of his voice. This volley threw back a great host of enemy and, of course, the Archbishop escaped without a scratch. Truly our Lord doth love fools, for He hath created an abundance of them. But these grenadiers were the last of the reserve and although we held the line, twas a thin and sickly line we held.

All the while, Sandorius made his way below the ground in his mad sortie. I should perforce mention that Sandorius had sought further succor in this endeavor. At the outset of the siege, he hath placed himself into a state of trance and, so claims he, went unto the realm of Briah there to summon an Elemental of Earth to lay low the Turk when we were in our greatest need. Of the bargain he struck for this aid, I will more anon.

However, even as Sandorius progressed, he was soon frustrated. As becomes clear only now, the Turks had with them a foul malodorous pigeon-egg of a self-claimed sorcerer. This low callow fartswaddle discerned Sandorius and did set upon him a fierce Elemental of Water. By the narrowest of chances, Sandorius and the bearers of his fevre-factum did endeavor to survive. However the whole stout company of militia with them did suffer the misadventure and were drowned under the earth. Only with great difficulty did Sandorius achieve the light of day once more, and this well within the works of Turk. He chose this moment, lest it be lost, of raising the Great Hullabaloo with his Elemental Earth. He sent the dirty thing against the tent of the Vizier and thus wrought like unto an earthquaking in the silken pavilions of Kara Mustafa Pasha. I saw with mine own eyes how the Elemental took the form of a great beast, clawing and pounded with earthen paws the servants of the Vizier.

Soon however the Elemental of Water came forth from the tunnel, in a form like unto a great Squid and did attempt to fall upon the Sandorius' Elemental. Betwixt them stood the works and a portion of the great camp. Most fled in great panic and fear from both of the unnatural, or should I say supernatural, constructs. All, that is, save a great caravan of camels bringing victuals unto the camp. Now these caravans came constantly throughout the siege and the vast host of the Turk could not have been sustained without them. The Turks however are as cruel to their animals as they are to their subjects and treated these camels in a most harsh manner. Maddened by the thirst of so many miles upon the road, these humble creatures fell upon the Water Elemental and began to lap at the watery creature with utmost greed. The Elemental struggles furiously against this most unexpected attack and finally but with the greatest difficulty smote down the camel herd.

It then progressed much reduced against Sandorius' Earth Elemental. The two came together with a crash like unto thunder and a rain of mud fell upon those nearby. The weakened Udine proved to ill-matched in the struggle and was soon dissipated. Sandorius' Gnome proved to be likewise reduced and was soon reducted back to an inactive form.

Afore this however, the Turks made one last toss of the dice gainst the Big Gonzaga. They threw a heavy weight of their remaining shot at me. A host of Turkoman tribesmen flung arrows, thick enough to darken the now waning sun. The barrage proved quite deadly to our diminished ranks with the walls betwixt the two redoubts emptied. Fortunately, the last attack came with a half-hearted cry and only a last pitiful remnant came gainst us. In short order even these were sent away and the guns did cease to play.

Twas then I saw the rout of Islam. Sandorius hath wrought much confusion in the camp of the Turk. He dist wipe clean whole lines of their entrenchment and many more fled before his wicked engine. His attacking came at the most critical point in this final assault , for the great bombardment was cut short when the Vizier's slaves fled unto the Grand Battery causing much confusion. Also, the acts of his Elemental had put a great fear into the heart of the Vizier who chose this most importune time to act the poltroon and flee the field.

I then had occasion to fling the enchanted cannon shot at the enemy. Though intended for the Grand Battery, the shot flew wide. A battalion of the janissaries fell victim to the deadly shot for it seems they hath found our lures and thinking them good-omened carried them for luck. The vizier too had been given one of the magic bullets and a ball went right through his carriage as he fled, killing a secretary but doing little to the Vizier save causing the fouling of his pantaloons.

With Mustafa Pasha fled, the rest of his troops had not the heart in them. Even the fearsome Janissaries could I see fleeing in great disorder. I soon perceived the Allied horse hard upon the great camp, the Polacks being most forward, slaying the Turks and driving the heathen before them. Soon word went up that the Abraham Pasha, who was the second man in the Grand Army, had been struck down by King John himself. This signaled the collapse of the Turks and the whole host of them took to their heels.

I then noticed among that vast reeling host, a figure of recognition. It was the unspeakably foul, speely Switzer De Dulier. Within a moment I lost sight of him in the great multitude. I hope our Lord has sent him a great winged lancer to foist the little footlicker with a twenty foot shaft, pennon and all, unto his rectum. Nay, the catamite wouldst surely expire in too much joy from that dispatch. Let us wish him drowned in the Danuvius instead.

With the passing of the great host and hard-riding cavalry, a great weight went out of me. I collapsed upon the redoubt and cried like a babe for fear and relief and joy. I then walked numbly about the redoubt. I saw the stricken body of the girl who had stood by me earlier. She had been struck down in that last furious bombardment and lay dead from a gapping wound in her chest. No more was there a promise of sweet kisses upon her lips and no fine lad would ever feel the warm of her as they tussled gladfully amongst the summer grasses. What a grand folly and waste these glorious works of Mars.

I went from the redoubt then, much melancholy but General Staremberg sought me out and was much pleased with the work I had done in the Big Gonzaga. He clapped me about the shoulders, calling me "son" and saying that he was right glad I had come through safe and whole. My mood being much improved by the heartiness of the usually grim old mammet, I said I expected as such a hero as I should be given the liberty of the town or at least of all the bedchambers therein. To which he promised that he would venture me in the best bawdy houses in the town for a week and would find me a dozen countesses to ravish. With much jesting we went forth from the town, the first time to walk without the walls since midsummer.

We came upon Sandorius then. Exhausted likewise was he and looked bedraggled as a waterlogged rat. But a great grin came to his face when he saw me alive which much heartened me. He said, "Good work, Cherrycoate. Well done. I shall most likely kill you in the morning." But still he smiled as he spoke.

Betimes we reached the camp of the Grand Vizier and there was good King John, fat and besweated and bloody but looking to me as the fairest king that ere ruled, with a grand host of the Polack cavalry like avenging angels sweeping through the encampment.

It was then that I saw amongst the winged hussars, a well-turned figure in fine gilded armor and a vacant look upon his face bearing a most lovely and near naked beauty in his arms. Truly that is plunder, thinks I. Then to my surprise I recognize the rider as the Jackass-Prince Lithuanie Radivue. And the no-doubt-soon-to-be-ridee, the fair but vicious Penruddick. Ah noble Prince what trouble hast though gathered up in thine arms. Thou shalt make some handsome children but no doubt the most foul-tempered and addled-pated in Christendom. Mind ye, I did feel some twinge of distress when I saw the look of joy in her face as she rode pinion upon the Prince. When she is not in tantrum, she is most exquisitely fair. And I expected not that she was of the kind to be conquered by the fair but stupid and a foreigner at that. Ah well, on the morrow, I shall begin to take up Staremburg upon his offer and this night I shall while my way to sleep composing the list of the dozen countesses that I shall present to him.

Thus my recollections of this day are set down ere I turn to my rest. I have found the tent of some French officer, for there were many with the Turk serving as engineer or gunner. Thus do I find myself suddenly richly appointed with good food and wine, several suits of fine clothes including a richly befeathered hat, gilded breast and back and several suits of arms. Most importantly there is a soft camp bed which, for this night, shall be used only for sleep, being now lulled to rest by the soft murmurings of the blue-coated Walloons as they rifle the bodies of the valiant fallen. And so to bed.

Sept 12th, A.D. 1683
From the Camp of the Army of the Sublime Porte
Before Vienna
In the Realm of the Emperor Leopold

To Madame Nelle Lyzzard-Penruddick
Marshalsee Debtor's Goal

Dearest Mother,

I am this day delivered from cruel oppression by the infidel and arrived safe in the midst of the mighty army of Christendom. I do hope Uncle Nehemiah has recovered from his apoplexy.
We arose early in vizier's pavilions this day since the great assault was to go forward ere the Allies break through the defense made by Ibrahim of Buda. Kara Mustafa saying, "Fear not my little palm flower, Ibrahim is a fool but a loyal and solid one. He shall fight to the last breath against the infidel and by then we shall have taken the city. Then shall Subayki Pasha and his winged Lechs be forced to retire in despair. Tonight, we shall consummate our love within the walls of Vienna while twenty thousand Christians shriek their death cries. It will be most exciting. By the way, my little oasis from whose pond I wish to drink, I have a most delectable costume which I wish you to wear tonight." At this he flung me a few thin gauzy things of the sheerest black silk. I changed quickly into them, asking him merely to turn his back. When I was completed, the Vizier turned back to me and pocketed a large mirror. "Please Allah, hurry sundown," he said in a croaking voice.

The morning went by slowly with messengers running to and fro with great bustle. But I made sure they received no answer from the Vizier as we played game after game of chess whilst I did occupy him with most lascivious posings. Only the distant firing of cannon reckoned that a battle took place nearby.

Finally, near noon, one of Ibrahim's lieutenants burst into the Vizier's presence. He reported that a strongly-held village had fallen to the Austrians on the right flank and the Poles had descended from the heights on the left flank. Ibrahim had ordered the subject Balkan horse regiments against the Austrians and wished the Tartars to be sent against the Poles. Kara Mustafa was much discomfited by this news since the Allies were advancing faster than he had expected.

At this I acted much afeared and interjected that he should order the Balkan horse back to camp in order protect us here. I also said not to trust the Khan of the Tartars since he had cast covetous eye upon me when last he had seen me. At this the Vizier flew into a great rage and order the Balkan cavalry as I asked. He also summoned the Khan to his presence to answer my charges. Within the hour, I could hear the sound of many horses being drawn up near our encampment. There was also the sound of cannon, different from that of the Turks' big guns and this time coming from the west.

Kara Mustafa fumed until well after noon, the Khan finally appeared. At this I began a disputation over the Khan's lechery. He replied in a most surly and impudent manner calling me foul names until the Vizier cut him short. I tried my best to distract the Vizier but we could now hear the sound of gunfire and great shouting off to the west. The Vizier grew more and more agitated especially after reports that all assaults on the town had failed.

Suddenly, he cried out, "Khan, go and slay the infidel. If you do this, perhaps I shall spare you." The khan left although I could see he bore hatred in his heart. Whether twas more for me or for Kara Mustafa I could not say.

By late afternoon, the sound of the western battle approached closer every moment. A number of messengers came to ask for the janissaries to be sent to aid in the battle. Kara Mustafa, whose seemed on the point of madness, suddenly shouted, "Let the dice be cast, all troops into the battle… victory or death! Now leave me all of you!" When we were alone, he began to approach me and a most lustful look was in his eyes. "Though this day means my ruin, one thing I shall have before I die and that is you, you wicked enchantress."

The Vizier then did lay most gentlemanly hands upon me and pressed his body upon mine which was most disconcertingly afflicted with a garlicky odor and discomfiting protuberances.
The high voice of the eunuch Sufi then called for him to stop. But the vizier merely flung a dagger behind him and I heard Sufi cry out in pain. "So much for your chambermaid, witch!"
At this I grew quite calm and as he wrestled me down, I said, "You, sir, not a gentleman."
He seemed surprised and confused by this statement, "This is the best you can do? No, Feringee temptress, you must curse and scream and claw me like a wildcat."

To which I replied, "No proper Englishwoman would ever make such a spectacle of herself as that. No, you wicked cad, do your worst, for I have already been avenged upon you. All your armies and all your torturers have proven naught against me, a mere slip of an English girl. Why in time, an English fleet and army shall bring you foul empire low and…

"Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!" cried the Vizier. "For three months I have put up with your annoying pratings simply because I lusted for your body but the time for that is over. I shall…"

The Vizier was about to remonstrate further when suddenly the earth began to heave violently. I surmised that an earthquaking had most fortuitously struck. Much of the great tent collapsed and the Vizier's servants went running and screaming in terror, calling out that a devil had arisen.

Now I too noted that in this quaking, the earth was most curiously flung up in such a way as to appear as a beast. But unlike the superstitious Turks, I surmised the occurrence to be caused by the patterns in the soil had been disturbed by the constant digging of the Vizier's army and that when further disturbed by the earthquake, the soil was flung into curious patterns in a manner similar to the way our fancy oft times sees shapes in the form of clouds. Nevertheless, the Vizier was quite discomfited, especially when a great arm of dirt appeared to reach for his throat. He released me and fled to his carriage calling for the gypsy spellcasters to protect him.

I laughed at this performance but then the earth shuddered again neath my feet. Sufi called out to me in pained voice, indicating that I get upon the nearby rug. I thought he meant that I should use it a travois to assist him in escaping as well. However, once I placed a foot upon it, he called out certain words in a strange tongue, no doubt slipping into delirium. At this point, a great updraft of air, released no doubt from the breaking of the ground above the numerous tunnels, propelled my carpet aloft. We literally flew out of the wrecked tent and over the battlefield.

I noticed that a great wall of water had sprung forth from one of the tunnel shafts and was inundating the still buckling ground near the camp. A great herd of camels attempted to lap up this water but the force of the current was too great for them and many were drowned before the waters finally subsided.

At this point, the air rushing beneath my carpet ceased and I found myself falling into the midst of the battle which was now raging at the edge of the encampment. The white-hated janissaries were locked in mortal combat with horsemen bearing wings upon their backs. I was greatly disturbed for I would fall, virtually naked, amongst this great violent mass. Suddenly, I notice with joy, a familiar face. One of the horsemen was the good Prince Radziwill who had shown me some compassion when we last met in Southwark.

As best I could, I tried to steer the descending carpet towards the prince, calling out his name. At first, he did seem most confused so I stood up and flung my arms wide though the wind blew furiously through my scant clothing. He must have recognized me then for a great smile came across his face and he opened his arms to catch me.

I fell quite lightly into his reach and clutched him closely. He caused his charger to rear up upon its hind legs and walk forward out of the melee, the valiant steed kicking away any foe who came against him. The Prince too struck out at the enemy with a great sword he bore easily in one hand all the while running his other hand thoroughly over my body, no doubt to ensure that I had suffered no broken bones in my fall. Such consideration, for the Prince is a man of simple nobility, honesty and courage. So unlike that villainous polluter Cherrycoate. I wonder were the craven lackey might be?

In any event I shall write you again soon and with the help of the gracious prince I shall no doubt be back among my family and countrymen afore the year is out. Do advise me how my cat fairs.

Your Loving Daughter

Excerpts from The Memoirs of Oktawjan Zagloba:

Chapter XXXVI
The First Occasion Where I Saved All Europe and Christendom Herself

…Throughout the night I directed the armies of the Allies over the dark heights of Kahlenburg. By dawn of the twelfth, we had driven in the piquets of the enemy and we readied for our descent. As the sun rose, good King John asked to speak to me, he being always desirous of my counsel. When I approached, he asked what I thought of the enemy's deployments which we could spy from the heights as if upon a map. I said simply, "Look, Sire, this vizier is poorly camped, he knows nothing of war. We shall beat him easily." At this the King was much heartened and I returned to my guns.

The courageous and lovely Georgina, Countess von Schnitterboch-Falkenburg was the first of the relieving army to strike a blow against the enemy, leading the Austrian horse down from the Heights and impetuously charging a battalion of voynuk foot formed behind a orchard hedge. Now, the good Countess had been a protégé of mine during our sojourn in England. Much of my vast knowledge of the Arts of Mars did I pass onto her as well as sufficient of the Arts of Venus that the Rhine nearly overflowed its banks with her tears when I left her.

With such an apprenticeship as I had provided her, she routed the enemy troops and sent them fleeing. Another battalion came up and she cut them down as well.

Not wishing to leave the poor dear unsupported, for I know she acted so courageously merely to gain my attentions, I ordered Lubomirski's carabineers to her support. I also moved my guns up upon the right with the infantry following close behind.

I had left Prince Radziwill with the regiments of hussars waiting upon the heights. I had given him some paper and some styli made of colored wax to keep him busy lest he become overexcited by the battle and spoil my stratagems. I did leave instructions that all the horse regiments should descend the heights upon the order of the King, who was a fairly bright fellow in his own right.

I then directed that the light guns be placed to advantage against the Tartars who were drawn up opposite our right flank. We made much show of preparing to fire into their midst but held.
I then sent to the Tartars Selim Mirski, a Lithuanian noble of Tartar descent and fine man even though doomed to Hell Eternal for his error in being a Musselman. Mirski stated in the overblown and pompous phrases favored by the Tartars that the Commonwealth had suffered much in the thirty years of war and now suffered from too many homesteads abandoned and peoples killed. He relayed the King's offer, which I had first suggested, that any Tartar who joined us should have a plot of land and receive the status of noble.

There was much disputation amongst the Tartars then. Their Khan Gersai was loathe to obey the fool Vizier and also loathe to face me again since we had crossed swords in battle previously and he had escaped on several occasions only through my mercy. The Khan held his men and went to dispute with Vizier.

I took his absence as an opportunity to attack the Arab squadrons which were drawn up before us. I fired so heavily with my New Mortar that the poor fools were persuaded to charge upon our horse regiments that were deploying upon the plain.

These light horse squadrons, brigands really, were no match for our incomparable cavalry, most of whom I had lead or trained or at least drank with before this day.

With the sound of trumpets and shouted Kyrie Elieson, I sent the squadrons of our horse forward. Pancerni and kozak squadrons fell upon the Arabs. Foremost among these was the poor orphan Anusia Borzboghati, whose family had been slain by the Turks during the intaking of Podolia. I had advised her that, as the last of her family, she had no time for womanly weakness and tears but instead should keep within her all the anger she bore. Like a rope thrown to a drowning man, she clung to my words and upon this day acted with a fury close to madness.
Then the hussars advanced, led by Prince Radziwill. I had informed him to keep the pretty fireworks coming from the Church of St. John as his goal and strike down anything in his path. Given clear instructions spoken in a loud voice and using small words, even the Prince and his regiment of peacocks were able to follow direction. With their entry into the fray, the Arabs were all quickly thrown down and the horse regiments advanced upon the last ridge which separated us from the enemy encampment.

Upon the left, the Imperial troops advanced, led by the Walloon regiment of Colonel van der Snaecht.

Now the Colonel had also received my instruction in England, as had the Countess. That is to say in the Arts of Mars and certainly not those of Venus, for although I am of a passionate nature, my interest is solely for the company of women en boudoir. Mind you I am not loathe to teach either sex my skills in the Arts of Bacchus. I believe this a skill which the gentler sex need have more instruction in, for wine doth make all more sociabilis. In fact, I have found that my greatest conquests de amor have oft resulted when an abundance of spirits made my companion more agreeable.

Although the Colonel had been something of a layabout when I knew him, he must have remembered my admonishments and feared my chastisements. For the Walloons advanced steadily upon the remaining voynuk infantry holding the village that anchored the Turk's right flank. They stormed resolutely into the strongest of fortified houses and easily ejected the voynuks defending it. They soon came to the succor of the Schnitterbochers and carabineers holding the orchard hedge. As one battalion advanced against the front, the other led by van der Snaecht sprang from the house with mighty shout. The voynuks were soon put to flight. As they rallied and came forward, again the Walloons saw them off. The Bavarian soon came up to gather in the few Wallachians remaining in the village.

Upon our right, I observed the Khan's return. What interview he had with the Vizier I could scarce surmise, but he turned with fulsome words and called for all his men to join and aid us against the false Vizier! A bloody internecine struggle began then amongst those who favored the Khan and those who favored the Turks, eliminating the Tartars as a concern for us for the rest of the battle. Thus my stratagem enjoyed immense success.

In the center, upon achieving the crest of this ridge, our cavalry dressed its lines. Placing things in a straight line has proven to be another of Prince Radziwill's limited talents, along with placing things on top of one another and finding shiny objects in the dust. By this time, we could see the force of Sipahis, the Turkish elite cavalry advancing upon the center.

When they had reached the foot of the ridge, the King shouted to the Prince, "Now, Radziwill, now is your time!" The hussars flashed forward over the rise, their sudden appearance throwing the Turkish horse into fear and consternation. They swept forward breaking the enemy horse as I had shown them how to do so many times. The Sipahis put up barely a fight, no doubt having heard that the terrible Zagloba was among the enemy they faced.

At this point, however, our cavalry found itself between the Turkish redoubts, the last line of enemy defenses before their camps. Little Anusia directed her troops into the northern most redoubt and cut down the Levantine levies like so much wheat. The other redoubt, held more stoutly by a regiment of Janissaries was attacked by a squadron of hussars under Prince Radziwill who was no doubt attracted there by some loud noise or bright object. Our other cavalry advanced to fill the field. Soon, the Imperial cavalry came to their aid as well, being led by the Countess Georgina who was no doubt anxious to be at my side once more.
I then observed the Wallachian cavalry, which had been oddly remiss in the action, readying themselves for a charge against our left flank while the full corps of janissaries were advancing against Prince Radziwill's hussars.

Knowing that our successes so far could be wiped away in an instant, I implored Our Lord, the Virgin and all the Saints if I had ever been of service to Them that now They should assist me. And being on such good terms with the Heavenly Host, my prayers were answered. A great rumbling on the earth struck the camp of the Vizier and that worthless heathen recognized that against God and Zagloba he could never succeed. He fled in great haste, taking his Gypsy torturers with him.

There was much hard fighting yet, for his lieutenant, Pasha Ibrahim was a stern and valiant warrior. He ordered his reserves into the battle and the corps of Wallachians struck hard at the light horse. Little Anusia performed well, no doubt remembering my previous instructions to her. Her small force held the fierce attack until the Walloons and Schnitterbochers advanced to her support, striking down great hosts of Turkish infantry in their wake.

On the right the janissaries engaged our hussars. Now I have never been a devotee of these regiments, most of their members being rich, arrogant and stupid. But with stupidity comes stubbornness and on this day, Prince Radziwill and his kindred were in their element. With a great effusion of blood, the janissaries were held in check. Seeing this, I immediate ordered a squadron of pancerni to strike at the flanks and rear of the janissary columns. This they did to marvelous effect, routing these proud regiments one after the other. At the same time, King John led another regiment of pancerni directly against the Vizier's great red tent. Here he met Pasha Ibrahim and with his own hand struck the Pasha down. Now the King had been an excellent warrior previously but lacked the finesse in the arts of the sword that I was able to teach him ere we set out on this campaign. With this action, the Turks fled into the growing gloom of night and our troops entered into their vast encampment.

Thus by my planning, instruction and inspiration, our victory was secured. All this I accomplished without drawing sword, for the Turks and Tartars knew better than to come against the steel whirlwind of Zagloba. I had truly been the author of this great triumph and had, in fact, saved all of Europe and Christendom Herself.

From the Collected Ruritanian Folktales, ed. A. Esterhazy (Nish-Strelstova 1932), excerpts from the story of King Vlad and the Angel:

And on that day, Prince Vlad slew five hundred Turks upon his right hand and a thousand upon his left. And when the janissaries surrounded the Prince and he was alone in their midst, he thought he heard the Virgin calling to him and he struck more furiously yet and slew the great host of the janissaries to the number of five thousand with his own hand.

Then our Lord decided to reward Prince Vlad's courage. So He went amongst His angels and took up the fairest of the female angels. Plucking off her wings so she could not fly away, He flung her down to earth where she landed in the arms of the good Prince. And the Prince was most pleased with this reward and took no further plunder of the Turk's camp though King John offered him the choice of rewards.

For the Prince did say, "Though thou awt a gweat king, the King of Heaven hath given unto me a gweatew gift. Who am I to wook a gift howse in the mouth. " And all did marvel at the piety and wisdom of the Prince.

And the angel's name was Wendy.

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