Baron of the Riverford Delta
Originally a spirited and charismatic your knight of noble heraldry, Montbassano was a catalyst of peace between Lindel and Chusei throughout the ‘cold war.’ When Lindelian forces were stalled at Arcaro mid-march, Sir Jacob quickly became a demagogue of the wayward forces; his canny leadership quelled an uprising known shortly as Hadran’s Rebellion. This act saved Arcaro and the many texts and artifacts therein from looting and destruction while also securing the allegiance (and attention) of the displaced military forces.
The Archduke of Lindel offered Montbassano an olive branch to draw attention away from his maligned march against Chusei by granting Montbassano the title of Baron and land tenure of the delta between Oakvale, Arcaro, and the Dhugdzur Pass. Though obviously a ploy to put anyone between the slighted elves and Lindel, Montbassano outlandishly accepted the gift, christening his new territory Riverford. Since his lordship, he has fostered peaceful trade between Lindel, Chusei, Arcaro, and even Kaldheim, and donated funds and labor forces to install towns along the mountain passes and desert roads.
Jacob Monbassano is a cavalier, a top-rank graduate of a Lindel City Grand Officers’ Academy.
An Unlikely Career
It is, perhaps, unfortunate that Jacob Montbassano, middle child of the well-known and mildly respectable Montbassano family of Lindel (an offshoot of the better-known and eminently respectable Trento family), came across the book when he did. The book was tucked away in an underused corner of the lower library catacombs, with a fair amount of marginalia. The marginalia, as it happens, was far more useful than the text of the book itself.
It was entitled On Terrain and Tactics and was authored by one Hiryu Hiram, one of the leading generals in the Chusei-Dwarven war.
It was, as well, unfortunate that Montbassano took the book quite seriously, studying its charts, memorizing its authors maxims, even using it to correct the more accepted tactical teaching.
But what is tragic is that Montbassano kept the book a secret from everyone, including his instructors at Lindel City Grand Officers’ Academy, where he matriculated. Tragic because, had he mentioned the book in the presence of any of the stationed officers or instructors, they could easily have pointed out that Hiryu Hiram never wrote a book. If they had a further chance to analyze the book, they could have pointed Cadet Montbassano to precisely the outdated tactics manuals the formulae, charts and scenarios had been copied from. (The maxims were all original to the plagiarist.)
Here is an excerpt from the book.
When attempting to storm a fully defended keep, a minimum of 4x the defending force is required. If this number is not met (or has not been maintained through siege conditions), any attack must be called off and the plan reformulated. Refer to previous chapter on methods of lowering defenses. For each of the following missing defenses, the attacking force can be reduced by an additional five percent, to a minimum of 2.5x the defending force: battlements, sapper defenses, sortie gate, moat, counter-artillery, crenelated exterior walls…