Lion Knight History 2

Chapter Two: 1985

6055: Prisoner Convoy
6102: Castle Mini-Figures

This period started as quietly as the last, with a few troops being added to the existing retinues on both sides of the Lion Knights and the Black Falcons.  An incident in the early stages, however, shows that life wasn’t quite as peaceful as everyone would have liked.  Troops were called up for a special assignment to transport a prisoner – but who was he?  The escort was given a fast carriage with four horses attached, and they were heavily armed, so the prisoner was no ordinary criminal.  There are various suggestions as to why he needed this extra level of protection: he may have been a popular outlaw with supporters ready to break him out; he may have been a religious leader charged with heresy; the best suggestion that I have found[1] is that he is the prince from the earlier Classic Castle period (see 383-2: Knight’s Joust from 1979, specifically figure CAS077), which had been conquered by the Lion Knights, and who had finally been caught.  That would explain his armoured escort and the need to have him transported out of the kingdom as quickly as possible – quite possibly to the outer edges of the lands where he would either be quietly disposed of or left to retire without any further threat to peace and order.  It must have been quite an event, as the Falcons even provided some troops for the early stages of the escort.  Wherever they were going, it was a one-way trip.

The peace of the kingdom seemed to be resolved and order restored for the time being – although everyone was very alert to new threats – some troops were jumpy about suspicious strangers being outlaws.  However, the biggest danger to the Lion Knights suddenly came from their closest rivals, as the Black Falcons launched a massive assault at the end of this period, and it seems to have caught the Lions by surprise.  Perhaps the signs should have been obvious, as the Falcons built up a military presence in areas that were under the Lions’ control, and they had started increasing the number of troops stationed in the area.

The Falcons launched a huge offensive campaign, with several armies approaching the main fortress from different directions.  The Lions were forced to call everyone up to the walls in a bid to make a defence, and thankfully they were able to bring in quantities of troops and supplies before the castle was surrounded and besieged.  Knights were made ready for a sortie into the packed Falcon ranks, and archers were assembled to fight off any attempts to breach the walls.  However, it was a small patrol that made all the difference to the battle, when they managed to slip into the Falcon fortress and seize their major outpost, which cut off all the Falcon supply lines.

We have no record of whether there was a great charge of the knights even after the Black Falcon fortress was taken, but we know that from this point, the nobles of Castle Lion disappear from view in the catalogues and ideas books.  I take the view that they launched a great desperate sortie from the besieged castle, and they were cut down by the infantry and artillery of the Falcons in what was almost certainly an impressive but ultimately doomed failure – which was even more pointless due to the fact that the Falcons’ rear lines had been cut off.

However the siege ended, it resulted in a call for peace from both sides – to be decided by a round of single-combat in the tournament field.  Champions were called forth and a joust held.  I cannot work out who the champion was for the Lion Knights – he is a previously unseen noble – but the sons of the Black Knight were forced to watch as their champion was beaten, and their dreams of conquest were shattered.  Was this unknown knight even the King, come back to claim his proper rights and titles in the face of the Falcon revolt?  Whoever he was, the war was finished, and the Black Falcons were beaten back and forced to submit to humiliating peace terms in which the Lions provided direct supervision of Falcon fortifications.

It was a win for the Lion Knights, but at huge cost, and things were going to have to change across the kingdom, but at least the major threats to peace and order had been suppressed.

[1] With huge thanks to the collective discussion in the LEGO Classic Castle Facebook group, particularly linked to my post on 10th April 2021 – this particular version is taken from an idea from Stephen Marshall.

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