The few and far between moments Claire and her beau, Guillemont, get to spend together. They’re both busy bodies, so the little time they get together is something Claire ICly wishes could last for eternity.
September 3, 1916 - Central Powers Invade Romania, Bulgarians Bomb Bucharest
Pictured - Not as easy as they’d hoped.
Ethnic Romanians welcomed the advancing army that invaded Transylvania, giving hope to Bucharest’s plan for a short war to grab long-desired territory. Unfortunately, while the Romanian Army’s plan fulfilled territorial goals, strategically it left much to be desired. On September 3 the first counter-attack came from the Central Powers in the south, where Bulgarian soldiers crossed the border and their planes bombed the Romanian capital. Soon the Germans and Austro-Hungarians would be pushing back Romania’s advances in the north as well. Bucharest pleaded with Britain and France for aid. The British began another battle on the Somme, at Guillemont, in response, while the French sent thousands of tons of aid, everything from rifles to grenades to helmets.
*The impenetrable barrier of darkness hummed quietly at the door. Denz had kicked Astrelle in the chest and had pushed past anyone who had tried to stop him within his path, covering his escape. However, the De'bayles could sense that Denz was no longer retreating further than being outside. Nuarmac still blinked, his long beard frizzled from the commotion of his nephew’s hasty flight.*
Armont ’s weight shifted quickly as he leaned over to fetch his halberd from the pillar that it leaned against. “Grab your arms, all of you!” He demanded with a shout as he too began his quick sprint up the stairs to make chase after his brother. Jancis recovered from being pushed out of the way, losing her grip on Nuarmac’s arm and hand. “Denz!” Not waiting for a plan, Jancis tries to follow, confronted by the barrier. Eyes staring at it a minute in her rush, her hand reaches out to feel at it, trying to see how powerful the barrier was and if she could convert it to another form.
Guillemont releases his grip on the older man, turning towards the aetherial barrier. He steps towards it, silently wiping his mouth. Suddenly, he turns and throws a heavy gauntleted punch at the man’s gut. “You old fool!” Watching in some stunned fear; fear that her giving Denz this object had done this, Carina thinned her lips as a wave of determination came over her. Watching as the scene around here seemed to dissolve into chaos, the woman grabbed out her axe. Approaching Astrelle, she offered the woman a hand up to help her, “we have to save him from himself sister, if he cannot do it on his own…” she leers back over toward Nuarmac, who had just been punched so it seems. Astrelle reaches to rub at where Denz had kicked her, a scowl now adorning her features. As she recovered, her eyes widened at Guillemont’s sudden aggression towards Nuarmac. She looks then to Carina, giving a firm nod and taking the offered hand to pull herself up before unholstering her long gun and clicking back the hammer. “Guillemont,” she grunted as she stood, “enough.” *Guillemont’s strike was met unopposed, the old man doubling over the plated fist with a hoarse gasp. His vision was blurry with the tears of pain and the fading impression of his controlling nightmares. Blinking through it, he grimaced up at the headstrong cousin, more than willing to strike back before seething through his teeth.* “Save your strength, -boy-… I am not the enemy here.” *He stepped away from the knight, shambling over to the barrier with a hand on his stomach, cane now serving more as a crutch. He watched as Armont ’s spear flecked off measly scales from the powerful shield, placing a hand on it.* “This was… not meant to lock us in. I can feel a protective desire upon this aether, and it is certainly more potent than I would first guess.” *He turned back to the younger adults, eyeing them carefully.* “If we are done placing blame, I shall open the path. If we are swift, we can stop Denz before he is overwhelmed. Otherwise…” *He sighs, closing his eyes.* “He will not be immediately lost, but I doubt he will remain idle while the darkness continues to gnaw away at him. Detain him, and we shall continue.”
Guillemont turns his head to the side, spitting on the ground. His expression is mostly blank, but there is a fire behind his eyes. Walking closer to the barrier, he draws his zweihander. “Open the path then.” Armont looked back towards his uncle as he thrust the bottom of his spear into the ground in anger. “Release us Uncle! I wish to not wait another moment within this basement!” He shouted once more.
Stepping forward toward the shield behind Armont , Carina readied her weapon tightly within her grasp. “It is easy to fall into chaos. It is harder, to remain balanced when fear chokes you. We must set aside our fear and anger to help Denz. Later, can we weep over the emotions that overcame us. Steel yourselves,” she remarks out in a sort of eerie calm. There was a soft click as Astrelle’s gun unlatched from her belt, her hand going back into her pouch to click on the siphon orb hidden within. With a flick of her wrist, it was once again attached and a soft, blue glow emanated from within her coat. She calmly walked beside her family and Jancis. She gave a simple, firm nod to Nuarmac and reached out a gloved hand to pat his shoulder. “We are ready,” she muttered. “Detain.” The word was hard on Jancis’ throat as she repeated it. Her hair and eyes were still torn by the dream walk she had experienced, anger and concern still there in striving calming collecting breaths. “Wounds will heal after he is safe.” *Nuarmac back standing up straighter, sucking in a light breath as he collected himself. Back to his full height, only slightly shorter than Armont did the Spiritual Leader of the De'bayles slam the tip of his cane into the ground. White aether gathered at the head, before a beam shot out to the dark barrier. The shield look unaffected, Nuarmac’s face growing more and more strained as he focused greater amounts of aether into the attack. With a final roar, he grasped the staff with both hands and struck the shield with enough strength to shatter the barrier. The dark shells shatter like glass, falling to the ground before dissipating into wisps of smoke. The uncle fell to a knee, pointing his cane towards the entrance.* “GO!” *Before she could leave the room however, his cane halted Jancis momentarily.*
House De’bayle heads to Halonic Mass like the good little believers they are. It’s a very interesting service, and worth attending at least once! Well done and a good read if you ever get a chance to even see the logs for it.
And believe me. We all need more Halone in our lives.
Left to right: Basile Feurieux, Denz De’bayle, Guillemont De’bayle, Claire Nyhmidu, Carina De’bayle, Hestia De’bayle, Armont De’bayle and Joikan Leisthelm
The fall of Guillemont came as a savage psychological blow to the German army, which had invested so much blood and effort in its defence. Infantry Regiment 76 from Hamburg published a detailed book later which, apart from describing fully the course of events, devoted much space to a description of how the men of the Regiment had done all in their power to hold on, to explaining that their artillery support had faltered at a critical time and to putting forward the case that rigid defence here was pursued longer than it should have been. They really had nothing to apologise for. The losses on the appalling day were simply dreadful. 2nd Battalion Infantry Regiment 76 was utterly destroyed. The survivors of the 5th company, having reached the rear assembly point, posed for a photograph. There were five of them. When, some years later, the time came to write their Regimental History, nobody at all was left from 3rd Company Fusilier Regiment 73, the Regiment of Ernst Junger, of ‘Storm of Steel’ fame, to contribute. They had all fallen in the defence of Guillemont. Struggling to do justice to their sacrifice, Major Seiler, their historian, hit on a possibly unique solution. One entire page carries, in bold typeface, a simple statement:
Nobody from 3rd Company can provide a report - all the men were killed, as was every officer. We honour these courageous comrades symbolically through this silent page, believing that the simple '3./73,’ is more eloquent than words…
The German Army on the Somme, 1914-1916, by Jack Sheldon
Killed during the final battles on the Western Front, the bodies of Australian troops, each with its simple wooden cross, are gathered for burial at a cemetery being constructed at Guillemont Farm, 3 October 1918
The bodies of Australian troops killed during the final battles on the Western Front. Gathered together for burial at a cemetery that was being constructed at Guillemont Farm, each man had his own simple cross/3 October 1918
The main street of Guillemont after its capture by the British.
September 3 1916, Guillemont–Haig was looking ahead to an offensive later in the month which he hoped would be war-winning: using the new weapon of the tank to capture the third German line and achieve the desired breakthrough. In the meantime, however, the British still needed to take the rest of the German second line. Additionally, the entry of Romania into the war heightened the need for the Allies to attack the Central Powers from multiple fronts at once, to prevent them from concentrating their strength.
On September 3, the British attacked in multiple places. As usual, the artillery concentration required for a broad front attack was not available (though an attack on a narrow front would face enemy fire from multiple sides), and the attacks largely failed. However, near Guillemont, they had managed to sap close enough to the enemy lines and put enough pressure on the beleaguered German defenders to capture what remained of the town. However, even in this successful attack, the British still suffered immensely. Private Francis Fields recalled:
I lay crouched in a shell hole in No Man’s Land. My leg, arm and side were numb and bleeding fast and I was half blooded by blood from a slight shrapnel wound above one eye. With my teeth and right hand, I struggled to tear the first aid dressing and iodine phial from my tunic lapel. I began to realize I was not alone in that shell crater. Two still figures hung over the lip. Spouting earth and soft “phuts” made me thank my lucky stars they were protecting me from the traversing machine guns. A voice was sobbing nearby, “Water!” or “Mother!” I could not tell which. An Edinburgh lad from the earlier King’s Own Scottish Borderers attack was lying beside me, his thigh and knee shattered. Already his eyes were beginning to glaze. I pressed my water bottle to his lips, and took the last sip myself, as the burning thirst from loss of blood was becoming intolerable. Then I realized that the clean face turned towards me from one of the protecting corpses was Larry. Larry, from one of the May drafts, was precise in manner and dress and would go to any lengths to perform a clean shave. Early that same morning we had scavenged some extra tea dregs for him to shave….The sweeping bullets had twice cut across Larry…breast high; the same sweeps had only caught my arm and side. I slipped down beside them, utterly exhausted.
With my right hand and using my head as a butt, I forced the rifle out of Larry’s grasp, checked the magazine, and then wedged it between his limbs so that it was sighted on the irregular rim of the nearby German trench line. As all four of us carried an extra belt of ammunition, I could hold out for quite a time, I thought. I then remembered that, as a signaller in the first attacking wave, I carried a Mills bomb in each pocket. These I laid out in a row. It would be easy to remove the pins with my teeth before lobbing them into the enemy line after drawing their fire with my rifle. Then came a blank. My next recollection is of a complete metamorphosis, for I was lying on my back. Darkness was above me, save for the stars and occasional flashes like distant summer lightning. There was a heavenly silence, but for the jingle of harness, creaking wheels and groans beside me when the wagon lurched. Spasms of cramp and still the burning thirst. For us at least the Battle of the Somme was over.
The French had slightly better luck on the day to the south, capturing Cléry; however, they too struggled on their left, near the British.