Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Siege Of The Erlking's Castle

Poul Anderson, The Broken Sword (London, 1977), Chapter XXIII.

Troll Siege Weapons
mangonels casting fireballs
wheeled towers
battering rams
trebuchets hurling boulders

For mangonels and trebuchets, see here. And, for mangonel, see also here.

Defensive Measures
boiling oil
upsetting of ladders

Battle Sounds
trolls yelping like dogs
trampling of feet
clash of metal

Humanly Detectable Effects of the Sounds
ringing ice-fields

rides a Jotun horse that leaps a ravine;
speeds through the almost empty troll camp, burning the tents;
carries shield on left arm and sword in right hand while guiding the horse with knees and words;
wears iron that the trolls cannot touch;
kills cavalry with his sword while the horse kicks and bites infantry;
calls the elves out of the besieged castle;
has trapped the trolls between their burning camp and the sallying elves;
kills the troll king, Illrede;
leads the elves who cut down fleeing trolls or drive them into the burning camp;
will lead an elven army with Illrede's head raised on a spearshaft.

Skafloc's single-handed turning of the battle resembles the deeds of John Carter. However, Carter relied only on his skill as a swordsman, not on a magic sword.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I would add as well that the surprise and shock felt by the trolls also contributed to their defeat. Absent the magic sword Tyrfing, the trolls should still have won the battle and the war.