Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767.   Posted by The Bard.Group: 0
The Bard
 GM, 75 posts
 Singer of Songs
 Teller of Tales
Sat 29 Sep 2018
at 03:00
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
After having a taste of some adventure in the previous summer, the winter seemed to drag on for the squires of Bastogne, who were eager to be out on more adventures.  The short days and long winter nights slowly gave way to warmer weather, and the snow that covered the land thawed away.

This spring, Duke Thierry assembled his knights and men-at-arms in Burgundy for May Day.  King Pepin was already on campaign in Aquitaine, leaving Prince Charlemagne and Prince Carloman with Duke Thierry.

The journey from Bastogne to Burgundy took about two weeks, which led to two distinct thoughts.  Firstly, for the most part, the young squires had never been outside their home county.  They had heard of far-off places like Rome and Constantinople, but had not traveled more than a city or two away for their whole lives.  Burgundy was still Frankish territory loyal to King Pepin, and thus spoke the same language and had many of the same customs, leading some to wonder just how wide-spread the kingdom was.  This feeling was not unique to the young squires, as even some more experienced knights were filled with the same level of wonder.

Secondly, being amidst an army on the march was quite a departure from the lavish feast of last spring.  Some of the young squires embraced the hardiness of sleeping on hard cots instead of soft mattresses, eating hardtack1 instead of freshly cooked meals, and always marching.  In addition to the rigors of life on campaign, it also gave them ample opportunity to observe and participate in the day-to-day operation of the army: feeding the men and horses, planning travel routes and supply lines, repairing and replacing worn down or broken armor and equipment, establishing campsites and fortifications, and a dozen other tasks that are necessary for an army on the move.

However, despite these two differences, there was still no shortage of rumor and gossip.  Pope Paul had died, and many of the devout were waiting to hear word from Rome as to whether the next pope had been chosen.  There was also the matter of Ogier, a Danish prisoner.  His father, the King of Denmark and nominally a vassal of King Pepin, had defied the king's messengers.  This led to his son, Ogier, being taken as prisoner.  Currently, Count Ganelon of Ponthieu was the appointed guardian of Ogier, though many people disagreed as to what his fate should be.  Some believed that having Ogier as a prisoner ensured the king's good behavior, and while he may be rude to messengers he would not dare to rebel or make war against King Pepin.  Others, including Count Ganelon himself, believed that Ogier should be made to suffer for his father's behavior.

1  This is flour, water and salt, dried to form biscuits or loaves.  Somewhat like unleavened bread, it would not spoil for a long time and could be transported while in the field.  This type of ration is very old and has many names, I am not sure if "hardtack" is what it would have been called at the time.

The army is assembling in Burgundy for campaign.  Each squire has several options:,
  • Attempt to buy or outfit himself with additional weapons, armor or supplies
  • Find exotic or unique goods to buy and sell (essentially function as a merchant)
  • Talk or carouse with the lords during travel (it is easy enough to walk or ride near a lord for an hour or two and talk)
  • Learn the ways of war and strategy from veterans
  • Make devout prayers at small churches and shrines as they pass

Or any other thing you can think of while on the road.

Sir Walter
 player, 90 posts
 Cardinal Sin - Pride
Sun 30 Sep 2018
at 00:28
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
Walter was, rather unsurprisingly, in the middle of the swirling gossip and conversation.  And there was plenty of the stuff to go around!  The death of the Pope had tongues wagging, as did the royal prisoner.  And while only a squire, his position as the Duke's cousin (to say nothing of his silver tongue), made Walter a very welcome addition to any conversation. Getting to hear the latest rumors and gossip was something Walter always indulged in, the better to leverage power at court after all.  But today he wasn't overly concerned with such things, as he had a rather specific person with whom he wished to speak.  Sir Odo, a Knight of the Tower, and brother to Lady Giselinde.  The lady was, of course, one of the most eligible ladies in the entire Barony, and Walter had set his sights on winning her hand in marriage.

For his part, Walter held no illusions as to how such things worked.  While the Lady's input might matter some (and he fully intended to charm her at a later date), it was her brother who would ultimately decide such things.  And so as the army traveled, Walter casually conversed with the man, attempting to learn all he could about him and his family (but most importantly his sister and her potentially suitors) and to make a favorable impression.  He might be only a squire now, but given his age, that was likely to change shortly, at which point his advances would be taken far more seriously.

This message was last edited by the player at 11:25, Sun 30 Sept 2018.

Sir Thibault
 player, 3 posts
 Mercenary Knight
Sun 30 Sep 2018
at 04:34
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
Thibault stood and watched and gawked at all of the new world he was seeing. His father had told him a bit about the sites hed seen traveling and fighting but taking it in first hand was something new. Something intense. But he loved it.

He browsed the area trying to find something of interest. Something exotic and novel but plentiful and cheap here. So he could try to sell it for a profit. He knew from his father that being a mercenary knight wasnt the worst thing in the world, serving a lord could be good if it was the right one, but there were higher heights to reach than mercenary knight. And money could help make that happen.

This message was last edited by the player at 00:43, Mon 01 Oct 2018.

Sir Gontran
 player, 39 posts
 Gifted Physique
Sun 30 Sep 2018
at 22:40
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
Winter was hard at Buchenborg: the family faced their first winter and Christmas without Baynard, Gontran's brother and the once-heir to Buchenborg.  The solemnity was matched by the winter weather which was cold and unpleasant.  Without the security of the iron mine to support their income, Gontran's father ordered several of the fireplaces blocked up.  Gontran spent dreary days in heavy furs, tending the horses, practicing with a sword, and generally just killing time until spring.

Baldwin, his father, saw him off with a reminder that the family's fortunes rested with him.  It was the fitting end to a depressing season.

Two weeks to Burgundy would give Gontran time to clear his head, he thought, before setting to the business of the season.  As he met up with others on the road, he found himself preferring the company of the veteran knights who -- though some of their physical strength might be waning -- possessed minds for combat which could easy compensate for the slowness of their steps.  Gontran spoke little, but attended carefully, in the hopes that he could learn something new.
Sir Gundric
 player, 3 posts
 Paragon of Virtue
Wed 3 Oct 2018
at 22:28
Book I - Chapter 2 - Anno 767
Sir Gundric had spent what time he could with his cousin and friend Sir Walter. While he had never been interested in gossip and rumors as much as Walter, anything to get away from his father was nice, considering just how often he reminded Gundric that he was a bastard.