Ye Opinion: Siege Engines Don’t Destroy Castles, Besieging Lords Hellbent on Territorial Expansion Destroy Castles
After ye latest spate of sieges the Kingdom ‘round, many folk hath brought forward the proposition of a new decree to limit the construction and use of siege engines, or even to ban them outright.
Such propositions are wrong-headed, for ‘tis clear to any sane despot that siege engines doth not destroy castles, besieging lords hellbent on territorial expansion destroy castles.
If we were to ban siege engines outright, what of the thousands of law-abiding dukes and duchesses who use their siege engines for legal, non-conquest purposes? Most lords employ their siege engines in totally legitimate uses, such as seeking vengeance for an indecent remark made upon their character at Court. Are such decent lords not to avenge such an affront to their goode name? In one of our fynest Royal Decrees, The King explicitly granted the right to any of His loyal vassals to bear siege engines so long as they are used solely for the ruination of His enemies or self-defense. Are we to question The King’s Word on this matter? Methinks nay.
Showeth me one instance where a siege engine raised its own army and invested a castle without an ambitious lord at the helm. Such a spectacle doth not exist.
Doth the occasional rebel prince get hold of a few siege engines and wipe an entire city off the map? Sure. But these be isolated incidents, and certainly were it not for siege engines such bastærds would find some other toole of siegecraft with which to obtain their disloyal ends. Doth the occasional babe find its father’s siege engines lying around the castle and launch an accidental three-year investment of a rival’s estate? Assuredly, but this be the fault of the father for leaving his siege engines unsecured, and not the fault of the siege engines themselves.
If one were to find oneself in a castle under siege, one would certainly welcome the presence of siege engines in the castle’s defense. ‘Tis not uncommon for the Dark Army to be on the brink of victory, whereupon a valiant hero lurches into the fray with his siege engines and casts off the Dark Lord’s yoke. ‘Tis a fact that the only way to stop a badde lord with a siege engine is a goode lord with a siege engine (plus sound logistical planning, well-engineered fortifications, and a solid knowledge of counter-siege tactics). Yea, occasionally a castle is laid to siege and the defending lord slips away in the night to safety whilst leaving his people behind to die, but such circumstances are rare.
‘Tis a slippery slope, I fear. If we are to ban siege engines today, whatfore ist next? Longbows? Torture chambers? Our entire feudal system wherein the vast majority of the population pays fealty to a few élites so that we may live a lyfe of luxury? This should make any nobleman worry.
‘Tis tyme for us sounder voices to speaketh up. For the goode of all that is feudal, keep siege engines in the armies of law-abiding lords.
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