Battle of Westmark
The Battle of Westmark was the final battle of the Riga War, between the Duchy of Courland and the Coalition army of Duke John of Carnatia and his generals Ser Rickard Barrow and Britannus Vanir. The Courlander host was commanded by George Staunton and Hetman Sveneld. The result of this battle marked the start towards rebellion in both Courland and Krajia.
The defeat at the Siege of Kraken's Watch forced the remaining Courlander host into full retreat to Riga. Duke Alexander had been brooding over his losses from the Siege of Kraken's Watch and was unable to effectively command Courlander forces. Taking up the mantle of leadership, George called for retaliation for those lost at the siege and began reforming the Courlander army. Hetman Sveneld, who had felt a sense of betrayal from his former ally, Duke John of Carnatia, left the Coalition and declared his intention to side with Duke Alexander.
Upon receiving word of the Hetman's betrayal, Duke John began rallying more forces from Carnatia, ushering them in to the main camp at Kraken's Watch. Two weeks before the battle, they broke camp and crossed the bridge on the River Westmark, prepared to meet a small host consisting entirely of Courlander and Krajian soldiers. Upon their arrival, they were surprised by the size of the enemy force, and quickly began to form ranks as the Courlander host prepared to charge.
As the horns of battle sounded, Staunton immediately ordered his archers to climb to higher ground in front of the palace of Westmark, allowing them to fire down upon the Coalition's forces, who took cover within the ditches alongside the roads. Seeing this, Kovachev ordered for his skirmishers to return fire, causing minor casualties among the enemy archers. Attempting to force the enemy archers to retreat from their position, Kovachev sent forward his cavalry in a full charge at the enemy skirmishers, who Staunton called back to the main lines. As the cavalry charged however, a surprise flank from Krajian cossacks caught ahold of the cavalry, causing them to rout.
Seeing that the Coalition's cavalry had been forced off the field, Staunton ordered a full charge at the Coalition's lines with his own cavalry and infantry. Ser Rickard Barrow attempted to have his men hold the line but at the sight of the enemy charge, many retreated as they were newer recruits straight from Carnatia. The few men that did hold their ground found themselves surrounded by enemy infantry, with the Krajian cavalry cutting down the routing Coalition infantry. In an attempt to relieve his men, Lord Barbanov took command of a contingent of the infantry and attacked the Courlander troops from behind, providing a long enough distraction for Barrow and his regiment to pull out of the fight. This was successful, and many troops were able to retreat from the fight. However, an arrow from a Courlander archer, rumored to be Ser Demetrius Palaiologos himself, struck Lord Barbanov's steed, throwing him to the ground, where he was quickly surrounded and captured by Courlander infantry. In the panic of the retreat, the Coalition commanders were unable to rally enough men to launch a potential rescue strike, and so were forced to withdraw to Kraken's Watch, where they prepared for a siege.
The assistance given to Courland by Prince Danis of the Dreadlands, who was seen fighting on the battlefield, was seen as a slight against Imperial authority by Emperor John II, who immediately noted the Riga War as a victory for House Vanir, and declared House Staunton and House Vsevolodovich as rebels of the Empire. Following the Emperor's declaration, Duke Alexander would crown himself as King of Courland, with Hetman Sveneld declaring himself King of Ruska, making way for the Krajian Rebellion.