Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767.   Posted by The Bard.Group: 0
Sir Gontran
 player, 47 posts
 Gifted Physique
 Illiterate
Thu 1 Nov 2018
at 01:20
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
Gontran unhorsed the Saracen warrior, much to his own surprise.  In that moment, he hesitated, and lost the knight behind numerous feet of warriors and horses from both sides.  He much wanted to press in and retrieve the knight's sword, but heard the rallying cry behind him.

The soul of valor and desire for glory overwhelmed both his selfish desires and prudence, and he turned his horse to follow Ogier into the fray.  Perhaps his luck would hold.
The Bard
 GM, 88 posts
 Singer of Songs
 Teller of Tales
Sun 4 Nov 2018
at 18:09
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
Pressing forward, Ogier charged through the battlefield with the Oriflamme streaming behind him.  Many Franks rallied to the cause, including the squires, cutting their way toward Prince Charlemagne.  In one last push, Ogier broke through the last line of saracens and united with Charlemagne.  The few Franks left cheered at the dashing rescue, but they were still surrounded.

As the fight continued, the squire Roland saw a saracen approaching Charlemagne from the rear, knife raised.  Roland charged and ran through the would-be-attacker, saving Charlemagne.  At the same time, Gontran saw an enemy knight flanking Charlemagne, but Gontran was able to intercept the man before he engaged Charlemagne.  Gontran and the knight then traded blows.  Thibault, meanwhile, was staggered in the charge and was unhorsed.




Gontran gets 10 Glory for the heroic act.
Gontran takes 17-16=1 damage this round.
Thibault takes 18-5=13 damage and is knocked down, then takes 1 damage from the fall.
Though Charlemagne is reinforced, he is still in a bad spot.  Now Thibault has been unhorsed and pretty wounded, too, and may choose to fight more defensively.

Sir Gontran
 player, 48 posts
 Gifted Physique
 Illiterate
Mon 5 Nov 2018
at 02:02
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
Gontran expected to be dead by now, or that he would arrive too late, and yet here was Charlemagne alive.  Things were going better than expected.

"My lords!" he cried as he broke through. "Pardon our intrusion!  The festivities here were just too tempting!"  His jovial words masked his belief that they would all be dead soon.

Still, there was a duty to perform.  Though he would never be so presumptuous to claim a place fighting at the side of Charlemagne, when he saw the charging Saracen, he saw no one else to take fill that role.

As sword met sword, he raised his voice, knowing that his voice would not likely carry over the din.  Unlikelier still that his opponent would understand him.  All the same, he cried, "I am Gontran, son of Baylin of Buchenborg!  To hell with you, heathen!"
Sir Thibault
 player, 17 posts
 Scholar
 Mercenary Knight
Mon 5 Nov 2018
at 21:52
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
As the air is knocked out of him from his fall, Thibault returns to his feet as quickly as possible.  He knows he's injured but this isn't the time to let that slow him down.  Instead he takes a defensive position and carefully tries to make his way to the group by the Oriflamme Banner.



Thibault will fight defensively for now.
Sir Gundric
 player, 11 posts
 Paragon of Virtue
 Bastard
Mon 5 Nov 2018
at 21:57
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
In reply to Sir Thibault (msg # 34):


Gundric will fight defensively, assisting thibault as much as he can.
The Bard
 GM, 90 posts
 Singer of Songs
 Teller of Tales
Wed 7 Nov 2018
at 13:39
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
Gontran's battle cry was matched by shouting in a foreign tongue of his opponent, before the knight was knocked down, another victim of Gontran's strong arm.  The fall cracked the knight's helm, and as he was removing it, he was cut down by another warrior in the swirl of battle.

Thibault, wounded and unhorsed, stood to get his bearings.  Gundric wheeled his horse around, pushing back the saracen warriors and giving Thibault and other Frankish footmen the chance to rally and unite.  The assembled footmen, able to draw together, formed a small battle line with other Frankish cavalry behind them, giving them a fighting position.




With the rescue of Prince Charlemagne, the whole temperament of the battle changed.  The saracens, once keen to swarm over the few Franks on the field, began to panic.  Though still outnumbering the Franks, the saracens threw themselves like wave after wave of humanity against the Frankish knights, yet like the cliffs above the sea, the waves could not budge the Franks.  Bolstered by the presence of the Oriflamme, the Franks pushed back any enemy advance and indeed the battle turned based on attrition.

Soon, the Franks, Lombards, Romans and others were moving forward in all directions, pushing the battle lines back toward the enemy camp.  The saracens, so surprised by this, turned from orderly retreat to disorganized flight.

The squires, still filled with the youthful lust for battle and exhilaration of pushing back the enemy, continued to press forward.  However, they were met by two saracen knights, Sir Falseron and Sir Morlant.  Sir Falseron was to guard the prisoners taken by the saracens during the battle, but now that the Franks had pushed so deep into enemy lines, he was close to the fighting.  The other knight, Sir Morlant, was already blood-stained from the battle, with his armor chipped and dented in a dozen places.  Sir Morlant was enraged, riding here and there striking at any opponent he could find.

Sir Morlant raged across the battlefield and approached the squires.  Hacking wildly with his sword, he was intercepted by Gontran, thought Gontran was no match for the man and was wounded.  Bishop Turpin of Reims, who had been at Prince Charlemagne's side throughout the whole battle, saw the huge Frankish squire Gontran being pushed back by the ferocity of Sir Morlant.  Bishop Turpin shouted, "That man is possessed by some devil to be barbaric!  He must be slain!"  At that, several knights, including Bishop Turpin, joined with Gontran to knock down and slay Sir Morlant.

Sir Falseron was one of the last saracen knights to fall, slain by another squire Oliver.  With his death, the saracen army was in full rout.  Ogier the Dane road up and down, waving the Oriflamme before the cheering Christian warriors.





Gontran lost to Sir Morlant, but took 17-13=4 damage and stays horsed.  Actually, I miscalculated your armor from last round, so you should have taken 3 more damage there too.
Gundric protects the wounded Thibault, gain 5 Glory.  Due to putting yourself in harms way, you take 5d6 damage while Thibault takes 3d6.  Gundric takes 20-5=15 damage.  This is not considered a major wound as it is cumulative from smaller injuries.
Thibault takes 12-13=0 damage from this round.
Bishop Turpin was in the battle all along... not sure if I mentioned him before.

As the battle is wrapping up, and now the rout is on.  You may
  • Free prisoners (previously guarded by Sir Falseron)
  • Plunder the baggage train (very lucrative)
  • Capture a pagan warrior

Or whatever else you can think of.

Sir Thibault
 player, 18 posts
 Scholar
 Mercenary Knight
Wed 7 Nov 2018
at 15:15
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
Thibault eyes dart back and forth as he tries to determine what should be done next. The feeling of gratitude that he has for Gontran and Gundric stepping in and helping himself and other knights make it to the line is incredible.  So strong is this feeling, overriding his entrepreneurship, that he has calling to help free the other prisoners and pay this feeling forward.

He tries to catch their eye and give a nod of thanks to the fellow squires, but he's not sure if it's seen. He reaches deep to try to push past the hindering pain and presses the attack to free the prisoners with the battle cry "Free the Prisoners!"
Sir Gontran
 player, 49 posts
 Gifted Physique
 Illiterate
Sat 10 Nov 2018
at 22:56
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
Gontran cheered with the full-fledged knights.  Inwardly, he marveled at their luck that they had survived.  That a handful of squires had turned the tide was nothing short of miraculous.

As the Saracens fled, they left many things behind.  He scanned the field for the beautiful horse and sword he had previously seen, desiring some token of his personal victories to display at Buchenborg.  Finding none, he took up Thibault's cause and moved to free the prisoners.
Sir Gundric
 player, 14 posts
 Paragon of Virtue
 Bastard
Tue 13 Nov 2018
at 22:54
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
Gundric cheered with the knights as well, shocked that they had survived - and turned the tide of battle. He sprinted to help Gontran and Thibault with the prisoners.
The Bard
 GM, 92 posts
 Singer of Songs
 Teller of Tales
Wed 14 Nov 2018
at 06:29
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
Riding up to the prisoner pens, the squires were surprised to find that these captives were not fighting men but were mostly women and children.  They appeared to be citizens of Rome, cheering and thanking the warriors in Italian.  The squires freed person after person, dozens and dozens, leading some to question whether the saracens had taken the whole city of Rome prisoner.




The remaining saracens fled the field, retreating back to their ships in the harbor.  The Frankish pursuit could not possibly track down every fleeing warrior, and many escaped to the safety of their ships.  The battle was a bloody one for both sides, but it was clear that the Christians were victorious.  Searching the field, the body of Duke Toto of Nepi1 was found dead.

Prince Charlemagne returned to the Frankish camp, where he was greeted by the cheering victorious warriors.  Ogier, still wearing Sir Alory's helmet and shield, rode up to the Prince and handed him the Oriflamme, then knelt before him.  Prince Charlemagne said, "Rise, valiant Lombard."  Instead, Ogier removed his helmet and cast it aside, to the surprise of the Prince.  "Ogier the Dane!  Rise, rise!  Let no man question your loyalty, or that you belong as a noble knight among the Franks."  Quickly, several questions came to his mind, and he replied less certainly, "Why are you wearing the arms of the Lombard?  Has Sir Alory fallen in battle?"

Ogier, still kneeling, remained silent.  He looked back and forth, but could not bring himself to look up at Prince Charlemagne.  The Prince looked back and forth, toward the other squires, not recognizing them as either knights or squires, but clearly expected some kind of answer.

1 Recall that Duke Toto of Nepi was an Italian duke from just outside Rome that had allied with the saracens.




Each of the squires gets a check for Merciful and Honor for freeing the prisoners.
Now Prince Charlemagne wants some kind of explanation.  Recall that Ogier was on trial due to the misbehavior of his father, the King of Denmark.  Also, Sir Alory is still alive and (presumably) somewhere still in the camp.

Sir Thibault
 player, 19 posts
 Scholar
 Mercenary Knight
Wed 14 Nov 2018
at 14:04
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
Thibault takes a step forward toward Ogier "My Prince. Ogier showed great courage and loyalty to you when it was discovered that you had been surrounded on the battlefield and some felt it prudent to leave you there. He requisitioned Sir Alory's armor after Sir Alory had been unhorsed and rallied us behind the Oriflamme banner to fight our way to you."
Sir Gontran
 player, 50 posts
 Gifted Physique
 Illiterate
Thu 15 Nov 2018
at 01:44
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
Gontran knelt alongside Ogier before Charlemagne.  He had intended to tell the Prince the whole truth, but he would not contradict a fellow squire before his liege.

"My lord, we had heard you had fallen in battle.  We are much relieved to see you among the living.  I suspect that, were it not for Ogier, we would not be speaking so."  He turned his head to nod to the Danish prince.  "Ogier spurred us to break through the line, and to great effect, when Sir Alory found himself unable."

He remained kneeling beside the Dane, but lapsed into silence.
The Bard
 GM, 93 posts
 Singer of Songs
 Teller of Tales
Sat 17 Nov 2018
at 16:48
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
Prince Charlemagne listened to the pleas from the squires.  "Each of you have distinguished yourselves in battle, now you are not afraid to speak the truth to a prince, in defense of the Dane.  What honorable men you are."  Then to the group, "Rise, all of you, for you have proven yourselves honorable warriors and no mere squires.  And you, Ogier, have shown in deeds of arms that you are as loyal and courageous as any knight of the Franks.  No longer will you be considered a hostage, but a free man among the Franks."  Looking around, Prince Charlemagne declares, "Any of you squires who took up arms will be knighted two days hence in the cathedral.  First, I will send for the doctors to leech your wounds, then give you a full share of the spoils so that you may outfit yourselves in the full manner of knights."

While the prince was honoring those successful warriors, the dukes and other lords snickered.  "And what of Sir Alory, the vile deserter?"  Another said, "That base coward abandoned the prince, and fled the field with the Oriflamme."  The noble prince raised his hand to silence the others and said, "Sir Alory shall be brought in judgement in the coming days, but now is a time for celebration."

The squire Roland spoke up at this, saying, "Sir Alory did what he could, but he who was born with the heart of a hare cannot exchange it for the heart of a lion."

Prince Charlemagne considered, then spoke.  "Roland, is it?  I remember you saved me from a knife in the back during the battle.  Now, how well-said, Roland.  We have more pressing concerns, setting things aright in Rome than one man's failure."




Gontran and Thibault gain 5 Glory each for defending Ogier.
Each squire heals 3 HP from immediate medical treatment.
The spoils are not overly rich, at 3 per squire.  However, now being in Rome is more opportunity.  There are two days before the knighting ceremony.  The ceremony itself involves fasting and staying awake all night, which may prove rather strenuous, particularly for injured characters.  In the meantime, the PCs have several options:
  • Shop the markets of Rome for exotic goods (particularly since far-off saracens have recently been there)
  • Get new tailored clothing for the ceremony and beyond
  • Visit the sights of Rome
  • Pray at the holy sites
  • Spend time resting in a monastery to heal (for a 1 donation, heal 1d6 immediately)
  • Hire a specialist in some task for your entourage
  • Assist Duke Thierry and Prince Charlemagne in the political work that needs done to reestablish Rome and the papacy (as the false pope had been appointed)
  • Continue chasing and rooting out the remnants of the saracen army/camp/fleet

Pick one option for each day (or two of the same) before the knighting ceremony next post!

Sir Gundric
 player, 15 posts
 Paragon of Virtue
 Bastard
Sun 18 Nov 2018
at 21:06
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
Gundric is amazed at what his cousin Walter, along with the aftermath of the battle. How had a group of squires, and Gundric a simple bastard, born of an illegitimate affair between his noble mother and some other man, would become knights of the Duke? Surely God was good.

Yet he winced in pain from the wound. With that in mind, he will heal, get clothing, and pray.

This message was last edited by the player at 23:31, Mon 19 Nov 2018.

Sir Gontran
 player, 51 posts
 Gifted Physique
 Illiterate
Sun 18 Nov 2018
at 23:49
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
The spoils from the Saracen army weighed heavily at his belt.  It reminded him of richer days in Buchenborg, when he would wander into the village to buy the people a round of drinks and bask in their adulation and good company.  Those were the days when the iron beneath their feet lined their pockets with silver, and all the responsibility fell on Baynard to carry on the family reputation.  It was times that he felt successful, like today, that Baynard's shadow fell long over him and reminded Gontran that he was the second choice... and had there been any younger brothers, he would have been third or fourth.

He remembered little of scripture, not having taken to reading, but he recalled the story of the three servants given talents of silver by their master.  Much as he desired to hoard the coin away to present, it was the servant who buried his who was chastised.  Funny, he thought, that none of the servants had tried to invest the talents but lost it all.  What would the master think of that one?

He hoped not to find out as he wandered the markets.  What here would fetch a good price back home?  It was a conundrum.  Best to find the things that he was unfamiliar with undoubtedly... but those were also the things he knew the least about.  As he wandered the markets and streets, he took in the sights: structures that had existed long before the days of Christ.  Perhaps it was for this reason that he was moved to think of scripture.

((Taking in the sights of Rome and visiting the Markets))
Sir Thibault
 player, 20 posts
 Scholar
 Mercenary Knight
Mon 19 Nov 2018
at 22:22
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
Thibault knew that there was more to come and that he needed to be at his best during the knighting ceremony.  As such, he would spend the days in the monastery recovering. He decided to donate 1 of his spoils to them as well.
The Bard
 GM, 94 posts
 Singer of Songs
 Teller of Tales
Tue 4 Dec 2018
at 04:14
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
The Franks, Lombards and others settled into the city of Rome, and the residents returned to their homes.  The saracen army, though far reduced in number, regrouped and camped on the far side of the Tiber River.  Prince Charlemagne and Duke Thierry, along with many other nobles, occupied the palaces in Rome and worked to reestablish the city.  The false pope Constantin was captured during the battle and awaited his fate in the dungeon, while the College of Cardinals convened and within a day elected the new Pope Stephen III.

Gundric and Thibault found a large monastery inside the city of Rome, secluded by its high walls from the rest of the city.  The quiet provided by this seclusion, broken only at regular intervals for prayer bells, allowed them each to rest while the monks applied the healing arts.

The second day, while Thibault remained in the monastery, Gundric went to the tailors.  The fabrics were so exotic, including cotton from Egypt and silk from the orient.  The peasant workers were so happy to be back in their homes, and knew that they could profit from the occupying army, that they worked long into the night to have the garment ready by the next morning.

Meanwhile, Gontran took in the sights of the city.  The ancient temples with their Latin inscriptions made no more sense to him than Frankish writing, but he was told they were of ancient design.  The sheer size of the city was astounding - walking block after block through the winding streets seemingly without end.  There were the Vatican and its palaces, the numerous churches and monasteries, as well as secular buildings of government officials, theaters, and taverns.  What caught Gontran by surprise was the great water-works, huge aqueducts which fed fountains on every corner, and huge bath complexes.  Never had Gontran seen so much water controlled and put to use.

As he went about the city, Gontran found several markets.  He debated what to spend money on, but found that the exotic spices were to his liking - it was something that he could sample himself to test the quality, and would be useful either as a gift or to sell at a profit in the north, where such things were unheard of.  He used some of his spoils from the battle to buy a large sack of spices.





Both Gundric and Thibault lose 1, but each heal 3 points.
Thibault spends a further 1 and heals 4 more points.
Gundric then spends 1 for clothing (Rich quality)
Gontran gains +100 Glory for seeing the sites.
Gontran spends 1 on a bag of exotic spices.
Make sure you update your character sheets!




The appointed day and time had come for the whole group of squires to be knighted.  The ceremony began with a mass celebrated by the new Pope Stephen III at the Vatican, though the pope retired after and was not seen again.  The squires, now together with their mates Ogier, Roland and others, went through a ritual bath and cleaning.  Many of the squires moved gingerly during this time, favoring their still-fresh injuries from the battle.  The arms and armor of all the squires were to be placed on the altar, but because there were so many being knighted, the equipment was stacked according to each man in small piles which filled the dais.  Then, according to tradition, the knights were to remain in the chapel all night without eating, drinking, speaking or sleeping.  This was meant to focus them in prayer, and to strengthen their devotion.  However, for some of the more wounded squires, quiet and sleep was their natural state, and they had to force themselves awake by standing and walking.  By the end of the night it was a near constant stream of squires walking circles around the chapel to stay awake until daybreak.

When the Sun's light pierced the stained glass windows of the chapel, the doors were opened.  The Frankish nobility, including Prince Charlemagne, entered and took their seats.  The squires took their equipment from the alter and dressed themselves as warriors devoted to God.  One by one the squires were called up to to front, where they were knighted by Prince Charlemagne, using his own sword Joyeuse.  Gundric, Gontran and Thibault were rather early in the procession, as the position of honor was reserved for more illustrious figures of Ogier (wearing Sir Allory's arms), Roland and Oliver.  All the new knights are applauded and cheered by the crowd.

Prince Charlemagne then announces, "By the grace of God, and if you agree to it, I would like to choose twelve worthy men to lead my palace guards in battle to confront the pagans with courage. The crowd cheered again.  "I will name as paladins first my kinsman Roland, then Oliver, thirdly Turpin. Let also be Ogier the Dane, Guy of Burgundy, Odo of Lengres, Berenger the Gascon, Warin of Vergy, Samson of Brittany, Anses the Proud, Ivory the Foundling, and Yvo the Black. I place them at the head of my army to fight the pagans, in memory of the order God gave his twelve apostles to spread His word all around the world; and likewise shall each one of you bring aid and strength when danger is highest, as if you were all blood-brothers.

Though it is still morning, the celebration begins in earnest.  Prince Charlemagne and his newly appointed Paladins retreat to the palace to continue the military, civic, and religious preparations.  The newest knights of Bastogne, along with Duke Thierry and their brotherhood, all retired to a tavern.  Though customarily a gift is given to a new knight by the lord who knighted him, no one was offended that it was Duke Thierry instead of the prince that gave out gifts.  To Sir Gundric he gave a blessed spear to pierce the bodies of pagans.  To Sir Gontran he gave a golden ring.  To Sir Thibault, he gave a fine charger.




Sir Gundric gains +1,000 Glory for being knighted by Prince Charlemagne and +200 Glory for being knighted in such rich clothing.
Sir Gontran gets +1,000 Glory for being knighted by Prince Charlemagne
Sir Thibault gets +1,000 Glory for being knighted by Prince Charlemagne
Sir Gundric gets a spear which gives +1 to spear skill vs pagans.
Then, Sir Gontran gets a golden ring worth 2
Sir Thibault gets a charger.




Two more days passed, in the same way of rebuilding and reestablishing the city, before Prince Carloman arrived with reinforcements.  Prince Charlemagne teased his brother for the late arrival.  Though Carloman himself took this with a laugh, his man Count Gerard of Vienne took offense and immediately declared that he would march against the remaining pagans.  At this, Roland and several other paladins, now dressed in their scarlet and gold, jumped up and volunteered to continue the fight against the pagans.




The newly knighted PCs are not strictly obligated to continue the fight, and may be excused due to their previous injuries anyway.  Now you may choose from the previous list of options (staying in Rome), or go on and fight with the paladins.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:35, Wed 05 Dec 2018.

Sir Thibault
 player, 24 posts
 Scholar
 Mercenary Knight
Tue 4 Dec 2018
at 16:46
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
At the Tavern Sir Thibault finds his fellow former squires of Duke Thierry "Hello Sir Gontran and Sir Gundric. How are you doing this evening? I'm feeling blessed to have survived the battle and am thankful to both of you."




Sir Thibault feels better and almost back to normal.  With a few aches and pains, he decides that the glory of the fight and his new knighthood calls to him.

"I, too, will fight against the pagans!" he says to no one in particular as the paladins rise up and volunteer to fight.  He knows he needs to make a name for himself out on the battlefield and earn some renown for himself to keep climbing up the ladder for status and earn something else for himself. It is great to be a knight but still there is farther to go.
Sir Gundric
 player, 19 posts
 Paragon of Virtue
 Bastard
Wed 5 Dec 2018
at 05:07
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
In reply to Sir Thibault (msg # 48):

"Hello there, Sir Gontran and Sir Thibault," Gundric says as he chuckles, buying a mug of mead. I am glad to have also survived and to have met good friends such as you. I will need to stay in Rome to recover for now, but another time I will gladly fight the pagans alongside you." He takes a long swig of the cool drink, enjoying a reprieve from the heat of the Mediterranean, and a chance to truly relax for a bit.
Sir Gontran
 player, 53 posts
 Gifted Physique
 Illiterate
Sun 9 Dec 2018
at 02:21
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
A weapon for Gundric... a charger for Thibault... it was hard to wonder if Charlemagne had not snubbed him with such an... ornamentation.  He accepted it as gratefully as a clumsy man was able and withdrew after the ceremonies.  He was embittered that the heroism of he and his fellow squires had been so overlooked.

Given the option to remain behind, it was hard to see the benefit of pressing on in the fight: would he be able to do more than charge in at the last moment?  Probably not.  Still, he thought of Buchenborg, and he was beset by the thought of the crumbling facade and his parents aging in poverty.

When the worst of the resentment had passed, he placed the ring upon his finger and went to volunteer for the fight.
The Bard
 GM, 97 posts
 Singer of Songs
 Teller of Tales
Thu 13 Dec 2018
at 03:54
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
Now it was that Sir Gundric was not swayed by the words of Count Gerard of Vienne, or taking into account his still serious wounds, and returned to the high-walled monastery to pray and heal.

But Sir Gontran and Sir Thibault were eager to show themselves worthy of their spurs1.  There were many knights who fought in the previous battle outside Rome that now volunteered to fight again, though their shields and helms were still dinted from foreign blows.  The army of Price Carloman all arrayed made a magnificent sight, though their baggage train was slowed in the Alps leaving many warriors without full arms or armor.

The saracens, meanwhile, had organized themselves in the rolling hills near the coast at a place called Mount Bittert.  Though their numbers were greatly reduced, they held the terrain advantage of defending their positions with their ships nearby for a quick retreat.  However, as the Frankish army approached, the saracen archers let fly volley after volley of arrows, slowing the attackers progress.  Both Sir Gontran and Sir Thibault were struck, but their armor prevented any injury.

When the Franks had closed the distance, the saracen archers ceased and their mounted warriors led a charge against the Franks.  Here, Sir Gontran was struck by a lance but remained in the saddle, though bleeding.  Sir Thibault was struck and unhorsed, hitting the ground.  He lay there for several moments, knocked out by the blow, before he slowly rose to his feet, though pained by broken bones.

Soon a lumbering saracen, a giant standing head and shoulders above any other warrior on the field, engaged the young Prince Carloman.  The prince had the worse of it, being unhorsed and injured, before his guards were able to pull him back from the battle.  They shouted, "It is a descendant of the heathen Goliath!  No man can match his size and strength!"  The Franks were now in disarray, many still without equipment, their charge broken against the saracen defense, and their leader Prince Carloman wounded.  There was no Oriflamme to rescue the knights this time, as happened previously, and the saracens had repelled the offensive.


1Spurs being symbolic of knighthood (i.e. cavalry), they were often used metaphorically to mean knighthood.




Sir Gundric heals another 4 HP.
Sir Gontran takes 12-7=5 lance damage but stays in the the saddle (thanks to a huge Size trait)
Sir Thibault takes 16-11=5 lance damage and falls, taking a further 5 damage.
With friendly forces in retreat, you could either simply flee, or attempt to hold off the enemy, or aid Sir Thibault or Prince Carloman, who are both unhorsed.

Sir Thibault
 player, 26 posts
 Scholar
 Mercenary Knight
Thu 13 Dec 2018
at 05:10
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
Thibault tries to escape on foot and yells to Gontran to try to save Carloman.
Sir Gontran
 player, 54 posts
 Gifted Physique
 Illiterate
Sat 15 Dec 2018
at 19:05
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
The last lance had hobbled Gontran, he raised his visor to spit blood, and held the lance gingerly against his shoulder.  He considered joining the retreat until Thibault charged him to protect the young prince.  Although the prince was withdrawing, perhaps more time could be bought to secure the escape.

He threw down the visor again and wheeled his horse.  Wincing in the face of he wounds, he spurred the horse again for one final charge.

((Hold off the enemy with the intention of buying time for the Prince.))
The Bard
 GM, 98 posts
 Singer of Songs
 Teller of Tales
Sun 16 Dec 2018
at 03:26
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
Sir Thibault, injured and on foot, stumbled back toward the Frankish lines.  He could see Prince Carloman, injured, being swept back from the battle by his guards.  At that, Sir Thibault believed the battle to be lost, and did what he could to escape.

Sir Gontran, his mouth wet with blood, gritted his teeth and spurred his horse on.  With every stride he could feel the pain in his shoulder, but he knew that if Prince Carloman should fall it would be disastrous.  However, as he moved across the battlefield, he was overtaken from behind by Sir Roland, his armor decked with the new scarlet and gold of the Paladins, who charged ahead to take the battle to the saracens.

Meanwhile, the saracen giant called out in broken Latin, "I am Aumont, son of Agolant, the Emir of Babylon!  Let any man who wishes challenge me!"  The battlefield cleared in front of him, as much due to fear of him as due to the Frankish retreat.

Sir Roland continued his charge and shouted, "I am Sir Roland, a Paladin of the Faith!" though the rest of his message was lost in the din of battle.  Quickly they joined in battle, before even Sir Gontran could catch up, and Sir Roland unhorsed Aumont.  The two knights joined in a terrible battle, each striking the other with crushing blows.  Sir Gontran approached was able to grab the reins of Aumont's horse, a magnificent foreign charger, but as he did so, Sir Roland struck the death-blow to Aumont.  Sir Roland despoiled the giant but was not challenged by any of the saracens, who recoiled in fear.

When he had taken the arms and armor1, Sir Roland cried to the saracens, "I have no desire to dishonor your champion, Aumont.  Come and claim his body without contest, and give him burial according to your customs.  Then be gone from Italy and all of Europe!"  With this, Sir Roland took the reigns of the horse from Sir Gontran and thanked him, while both armies parted.




The Battle of Mount Bitter did not turn the tide of the war, as both sides simply retreated after suffering losses.  The main knights of our story, Sir Gontran, Sir Thibault, and Sir Gundric, were too wounded and spent the rest of their time resting and healing.

While they recovered, they received news that formal duels had occurred between the Franks and the saracens to exchange prisoners and settle the invasion.  After one dishonorable ambush attempt by Prince Carloman is unsuccessful, prisoners are exchanged to ensure the duels are completed honorably.  One saracen, Sir Carahue, volunteered to be offered as a prisoner to the Franks.  Ultimately, the duel was between Ogier the Dane and Sir Danemont - another Dane, though by most accounts a pirate and opportunist who had sided with the saracens.  Sir Ogier slew Sir Danemont, at once redeeming the Danish people and ending the saracen invasion.  The saracens shortly left Italy, though Sir Carahue was released.  His noble actions impressed the Gloriande, a sultan's daughter, and they married.  Sir Carahue, hated and considered a traitor by most of the saracens, then stayed behind in Italy.

After several more weeks, Prince Charlemagne and Carloman were able to reestablish the Papacy and the government of Rome.  The Lombards shared in the glory, then returned to their homes north of Rome.  Slowly the Franks returned to Frankia, including Duke Thierry and the Knights of Bastogne, as successful defenders of the faith.

The Knights of Bastogne returned to their homes only in October of that year 767, barely in time to oversee the winter preparations.  Though many of the Knights of Bastogne were injured, few had been killed during the campaign.  After the happy reunions and a few funeral masses, life in the county went back to the way it had been, with the notable exception that many knights had brought back valuable spoils from their travels.



1 These spoils include the famed sword Durendal, the elephant-tusk horn called Oliphant, and the horse Veillantif.




Sir Gontran gains 150 Glory for the battle
Sir Thibault gains 100 Glory for the battle but loses his horse
There are no significant spoils from the Battle of Mount Bitter since it is indecisive and both sides withdrew.
This now goes to the winter phase.  All injuries are healed.  Follow the Winter Phase steps.

Sir Gundric
 player, 22 posts
 Paragon of Virtue
 Bastard
Mon 14 Jan 2019
at 19:51
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
Gundric returned to the manor in the October of 768, watching over the end of the harvest season. He practiced his skills of observation and at the lance, feeling more improved by the end of the winter, and although he practiced hunting, he didn't feel like he had improved. He also tried to find a bride for himself during the winter.