Session 2: The Hunt.   Posted by The Powers That Be.Group: 0
The Powers That Be
 GM, 106 posts
Wed 1 Sep 2021
at 09:35
Session 2: The Hunt
A few days have past and the nobles have all gone home, except for the local ones or those who stayed on invitation or the extended hospitality of the host. It is him —Godfrey le Flamand— that has now organized a hunt. Besides being a opportunity for the brave knights to kill some innocent deer or boar, it's also a prime opportunity to mingle and network.

Among the invited are Lady Anne d' Arras, Handmaiden to the Castellan's wife. Besides supporting the lady Marie d' Hainaut during her pregnancy, she also has boasted of her own hunting skills. The young Castellan, being sporting and of a modern outlook, has been supporting of Anne joining in the hunt.


Sir Gerhard de Colmar and Sir Roland de Sergius are here as well, attracting the attention of ladies and men all the same. Gerhard with his large and powerful posture and Roland with his knighthood reputation.  Ladies are offering handkerchiefs for luck and asking for certain prizes. The one wants a fox for its skin, the other a live ferret as a pet, etc, etc. The men are looking forward to hunting with you are are joking that if they encounter a bear, Gerhard should wrestle it. They are discussing who of you would win. Opinions are divided. As to Roland, they are looking forward to see how a Knight of the Golden Fleece would hunt.
Both of you, feel free to invent one knight/lord and one lady involved in this. They can be new or already established.

With the footmen on the ground we find Helena of Ghent, a merchant of considerable wealth and part of the court at the moment due to good relations with the Duke. She is joined by other merchants and wealthy people that like to use their wealth to gain station in life. One of these is Dietmar, whom she encountered at the feast. He's currently petting some of the hunting dogs and in visibly good spirits. His father is here as well, holding on to Dietmar's crossbow. He seems to be scolding the young man that playing with the dogs is for children and not for grown men.
Did Dietmar invite you to the hunt or did you come of your own accord (or both, refusing his invite but coming because you want to hunt)? And did you "write to your father" yet and gave his reply to Dietmar or is this something he might confront you about in this episode?

Everyone, feel free to describe your character and start some role-play before we start the hunt.
  1. The Lords and Ladies all have horses.
  2. The commoners are on foot.
  3. The weather is sunny with some clouds.

Gerhard de Colmar
 player, 41 posts
 Pool: 6
Wed 1 Sep 2021
at 18:39
Session 2: The Hunt
Gerhard was among those in attendance that had come to hunt in earnest.

He wore a faded and much abused jupon in green, the padded jacket having once been intended to be worn over armor in cold weather, it had now been relegated to a position of comfort in Gerhard's wardrobe when he needed something practical for cross country travel.

Likewise his brown boots were old, scuffed and bore an obvious stripe across the middle from many long miles in the stirrups.

He was equipped in the german style, a short broad bladed messer with the handle decorated in antler rested in a sheath on his hip, a horn for signaling the others hung on a strap across his body and his head was bare to the sky, his wavy blond hair golden in the bright sunlight.

He had forsaken the bow for the day, but had taken a fine looking spear that he now carried by the balance in his right hand. Swiss in manufacture, that sort was sometimes called a "winged" spear thanks to the two protrusions just under the head.

His horse, his only riding horse as destriers that could support his weight were both rare and expensive, was a massive but aging stud of around 17 hands.  At probably over twenty years with a "palomino" coloration, it seemed more than content to stand stock still while it chewed on a mouth full of long green grass plucked from the trailside.

Near him, and mounted alongside Le Flamand, was none other than the famous painter Rogier van der Weyden astride a docile black mare.

The artist was an unassuming man in his early sixties, his graying hair cropped short, his face furrowed against the bright sun.

Famous for having captured the likeness of the Duke himself some ten years prior, and for his talent in portraying feminine beauty in his various works, van der Weyden was returning to Brussels from a pilgrimage to Rome, and Rethel happened to be the most direct route.

Le Flamand had been indirectly suggesting that van der Weyden might stay in the County for some time, that he might even be persuaded to capture the likeness of his young wife or their new child for the right price. But the Castellan's suggestions seemed to have fallen on deaf ears for the most part, the eminent painter no doubt wishing to be home as soon as it could be arranged after his long absence.

That was until the rumor of great beasts roaming the Ardennes had reached his ears. Being road weary and saddle sore, and of course being advanced in age, van der Weyden had accepted the invitation out of some small hope of seeing one for himself while he and his small entourage rested and recovered for the next leg of their journey home.

He did not plan to hunt personally, of course, but planned to be present among the onlookers as an expression of politeness to his host.
Roland de Sergius
 player, 33 posts
 Knight of the Gold Fleece
 3 dice
Wed 1 Sep 2021
at 20:00
Session 2: The Hunt
Both Roland and Pepin had come for the hunt today, well-prepared. They were mounted on 2 destriers, Roland on the auburn one and Pepin on the white steed. Both had dressed in green tunics, and wore brooches with each other's heraldry.

Roland glanced over and saw Gerhard, the other knight from the feast earlier, and the two rode over.

"Hail, Gerhard! It's good to see you again," Roland said with a warm smile.
Anne de Arras
 player, 59 posts
 Scheming noblelady
 * Dice pool: 5
Wed 1 Sep 2021
at 20:41
Session 2: The Hunt
Riding a palfrey with a peregrine falcon at her left wrist, Anne rides at an ambling pace.

She’s wearing a riding habit of bottle green velvet, riding side-saddle. Finding a ladies’ saddle has been even more complicated than acquiring the falcon; Anne wasn't exactly surprised. The bird of prey shifts its stance, changing position nervously. Not used to the dint of so many horses and humans marching. Sloppy training, she observes. And the beast is still unused to its new mistress, but that was to be expected.

“Shh. Settle down, Icarus,”
she whispers affectionately. Under its little felt hood, the falcon moves its head minutely, but seems to relax. Its talons are firmly embedded in the heavy leather glove on Anne’s hand. “Good boy.”

An expert application of talc powder has mostly covered the bags under her eyes; mostly. She takes a deep breath, trying to relax. It’s a lovely day, a prime hunting ground, let us have a good time, yes?

She spurs the palfrey softly, just enough to catch up with the Castellan and his entourage of noblemen. She observes with satisfaction the absence of Catherina; good riddance.

“My dear herr Gerhard,”
she calls out with a smile. “We shall see if the hunting is as great as you promised, good sir.”

Her eyes slide to the knight of the Golden Fleece, the very same that thoroughly ignored her greetings at the ball. Her attention moves to le Flamand.

“And good day to you, monsieur le castellan. What a delightful hunting party, my congratulations and thanks, my lord.”
Gerhard de Colmar
 player, 43 posts
 Pool: 6
Wed 1 Sep 2021
at 21:13
Re: Session 2: The Hunt
Roland de Sergius:
"Hail, Gerhard! It's good to see you again," Roland said with a warm smile.


"Gentlemen!" Gerhard greeted the pair with a nod and a faint smile, his eyes narrowed against the sun. "Glad you could join us" he acknowledged Pepin in the sort of way one night greet the friend of a friend.

His horse took a tentative step towards the other horses, sniffed at the foremost and then pinned it's ears and pulled back its lips like it might bite. Gerhard responded with a sharp smack with the back of his hand on the horses neck and a slight jerk of the reins as he muttered something sharp in German.

"Don't mind him, he's used to getting his way in his own herd. Something of a bully." Gerhard explained as he urged the horse back, the creature shaking it's head now I'm mute protest as it retreated.

Anne de Arras:

“My dear herr Gerhard,”
she calls out with a smile. “We shall see if the hunting is as great as you promised, good sir.”

The voice made Gerhard swivel in the saddle, and he broke into a genuine smile when he saw the source. "The lovely Anne de Arras, you are looking very well. Your bird is cute, lethal I'm sure, but he complements you. It is a he?" Gerhard looked the bird over admiringly as she approached.

This message was last edited by the player at 21:14, Wed 01 Sept 2021.

Helena of Ghent
 player, 59 posts
Thu 2 Sep 2021
at 13:41
Re: Session 2: The Hunt
It was a fine day, but the same could not be said of Helena's mood, which had not exactly improved since the feast. She'd written dutifully to her mother (albeit having discarded the first draft, which was a little too cutting even for her standards), and had spent the next few days stewing quietly by herself over the events that had passed.

Two things were bothering her - the first was the increasing evidence to suggest that most of the court had indeed spent her gold and were not in a particularly willing mood to make amends, and the second was the offer of what seemed to be an increasingly poisoned chalice from Dietmar and his father. She'd mulled both over for a few days, but had yet to come to any real conclusion beyond declaring a pox on all of them.

Still, she knew that she couldn't spend all her days locked up in the small room at the back of the castle which the castellan had provided for her use, and the opportunity to get some fresh air was certainly tempting. Unfortunately, it also meant that other people were there too, but such was the vicissitudes of fate.

Arriving with the rest, she was somewhat irked to discover that Dietmar and his father had not met with an unfortunate end in the intervening period, but she put on a brave face and tried to be civil, even if she was willing to make it very clear that she was here of her own free will and right, rather than just because some youth had invited her.

Said youth seemed to, at the very least, not be one of the sort who treated his hounds badly, which slightly redeemed him in her eyes, and at least meant that she could keep conversation to a minimum.

She wasn't the sort of person who really cared about hunting, seeing the need for it but possessing neither the skill nor the inclination to undertake such activities herself when she could get other, more skilled hands, to do it for her. That, and she never understood how much some people were willing to pay not just for their birds, horses and hounds, but indeed for ornaments to said beasts.

Especially when it's my bloody money.


As she averted her eyes from the family bickering, she caught sight of some of the familiar faces in the Castellan's entourage, including the Duke's vixen of a daughter, and indeed the figure of Roland de Sergius, who she knew through his liege and 'close friend', Pepin.
Roland de Sergius
 player, 34 posts
 Knight of the Gold Fleece
 3 dice
Thu 2 Sep 2021
at 14:37
Re: Session 2: The Hunt
In reply to Gerhard de Colmar (msg # 5):

"I'm glad I could join you too. This is Pepin, my liege lord and one of my closest friends." Roland smiled, though he couldn't help but overhear the woman's voice as she introduced herself.

"Hail, and well met. I am Sir Roland de Sergius, and this is Pepin, my liege lord and one of my closest friends. I apologize for missing you at the feast the other day."
Anne de Arras
 player, 61 posts
 Scheming noblelady
 * Dice pool: 5
Thu 2 Sep 2021
at 14:59
Re: Session 2: The Hunt
Anne receives Gerhard's compliments with a courteous smile. As if imitating her mistress, the falcon twitched minutely, its legs tensing under the leather jesses.

"You cut an impressive figure on horseback, my dear sir,"
she countered. "Do you favour the spear or the crossbow? And yes, he's a he," she added, raising her gloved fist so the magnificient raptor could be admired in all its glory. "Unfortunately I haven't had enough time to train him properly, he is still a bit skittish. So I advice against trying to pet it, unless you do not value your fingers and eyes much. Properly done, it takes years, but I have had to make do with what was available."

And the falconer hasn't been paid yet, but he's a commoner and he can wait. I, on the other hand, could not attend this hunting party without a proper falcon, naturally. Sensing the bird is getting restless, Anne feeds it a small piece of jerky from a pouch. The falcon devours it in a second.

"One must keep them sated enough that they shall follow commands instead of their own primal instincts, but hungry enough that they shall hunt with gusto once commanded to. Very much like vassals," she says, smiling at Le Flamand, then deigning look at Sergius for the first time. "Or men in general. Well met, monsieur de Sergius. A friend of my august father is always a friend of mine, and good day to you, my lord Pepin. You would certainly be excused to not notice such a plain woman as myself, but I would have been sorely offened on behalf of Icarus, had you failed to notice this avian beauty today. Isn't that true, my dear baby? Aren't you a darling, my little one," she coos at the bird.
It is a hot day and she's getting thirsty; her eyes slide down and to the side, to some nearby woman of the retinue.

"Fetch me water and wine, girl,"
she commands Helena, smoothing Icarus' feathers with a careful finger.
Helena of Ghent
 player, 63 posts
Thu 2 Sep 2021
at 15:48
Re: Session 2: The Hunt
Helena's reverie was interrupted by the sound of a female voice demanding refreshment in a tone of imperiousness which suggested a definite wont of manners and decent breeding. Turning to see from whence the call came, Helena was somewhat less surprised to discover that it had come from the Duke's little indiscretion, who was turning out to be a much larger pain than she had any right to be.

What was perhaps more surprising that the woman appeared to be looking straight at her, as if somehow...

Oh, she doesn't mean...

She took another second to confirm that the look was meant for her.

Oh, that little strumpet!

Her jaw dropped slightly at the nerve of the woman, but she kept quiet, at least externally, and nodded, before turning away and moving towards the refreshments. Internally, she was seething.

So, she thinks she can treat anyone like a servant, just because she's willing to plunge her neckline and bat her eyelids at the knights? Which of us, pray tell, happens to have been born in wedlock? And which of us, pray tell, is actually keeping this little court afloat with their family's gold?


Such thoughts continued as she entered the tent which had been set aside for the sustenance of the hunters, and which was staffed by a few of the castellan's servants, who at least had the good sense to recognise that she was not among their number, and who asked what service she might require.

Pausing for a second to restrain her choler, Helena smiled and politely requested a cup of wine, along with a cloth for her brow.

I note, I ask politely, and I say thank you when things are provided. Like someone who has actually been brought up properly without the need of exile to a nunnery!


These having been provided, Helena thanked the servant who provided it, and walked back out into the sunlight, squinting slightly as her eyes readjusted. As she walked back across to the source of her ire, she wondered what the best course of action would be to take.

She knew her mother and her priest would both suggest doing as the Lord had done, and turning the other cheek, but she also knew that her family had only got to their current situation by being willing to take action when it was required.

Fully aware that her demons were winning out against her better angels, she made sure to approach the figure of Anne by way of an especially muddy rut in the turf caused by the pawing of one of the many horses which were assembled. As such, it was perhaps no great surprise that, a few steps short of her target, she seemed to slip and stumble, causing the cup of wine to spill all over the adjacent leg of its intended recipient.

Steadying herself and casting an eye across her handiwork, Helena quickly adopted a look of horror.

'Oh, my lady, a thousand pardons. I am so, so very sorry!'

She moved forward and gamely patted at the area where the wine had spilled, managing to do little more than soak it in deeper, and indeed spread it even further across the garment.

'It's the heat, I'm afraid, it's made me giddy. Oh, and your dress, it is soaked!'

At this point, it would probably have been best to leave things as they were, but she couldn't resist a last, somewhat churlish, rejoinder, to make it very clear who this trumped up harlot was dealing with.

'I do apologise. Send it to my apartments this afternoon, and I'll be sure to have the servants wash it for you.'

Gerhard de Colmar
 player, 45 posts
 Pool: 6
Thu 2 Sep 2021
at 16:04
Re: Session 2: The Hunt
In reply to Roland de Sergius (msg # 7):

Gerhard inclined his head towards the two men and waved off the apology with a sma gesture. "Not at all, there was a lot going on." his accent a little less pronounced than it had been at the feast. Indeed he looked more respectable, than he had, his eyes sharp and his face free from the flush he had possessed that evening. "Gerhard de Colmar, it is a pleasure." his horse took another step to access the next bunch of grass nearby as he spoke.

"I am eager to hear some of your stories in fact. I squired under Gaspar de Durtain, and he fought a famous duel with our dearly missed monsieur de Lalaing some...well, I suppose it's been about ten years now. I was only a boy at the time really. I believe you two were well acquainted?" he asked Roland, the natural ebb and flow of the conversation allowing Anne in with her complement, which he appreciated with a small smile and a glance to the ground.

"Ah, the spear for me. I appreciate the crossbow, I do, and I own an excellent one. But trying to carry both at the same time is a chore, and I find fewer people bring the spear at all these days. It is always wise to have one or two around I think."

Her comments on the behavior of vassals and men brought a low chuckle from the man and a rakish gleam into a sidelong glance that showed some appreciation for her ribald humor. It seemed his tastes did not vary much with his sobriety.

"True, but I think it a fact that some vassals, like horses I suppose, require more attention than others. Xanthos here for example needs a substantial feeding at least twice a day, or he gets ill tempered. Where as some horses are more than content with just a little fodder in the morning." he reached down and patted the horses neck and shot Anne a little sideways smile as she attended to her new falcon.

"Did you see that Herr van der Weyden is here? He is a famous artist you know. He supposedly arrived yesterday on his way home from Ro..."he stopped mid sentence as the dark wine splashed over Anne's green ensemble and looked mildly amused at the whole situation.
Anne de Arras
 player, 64 posts
 Scheming noblelady
 * Dice pool: 5
Thu 2 Sep 2021
at 16:51
Re: Session 2: The Hunt
Anne nods sympathetically at Gerhard's words. The spear, of course. Why shouldn't a bear of a man take advantage of his physical superiority? Anne bets the German giant could skewer an adult boar with a single thrust.

And for some reason, that mental image makes her slightly uncomfortable for a second.

"Oh, you mean Jacques de Lalaing? That Lalaing? He was all the rage in court when I was a little girl. The troubadours were full of his praises, and I daresay all of us maidens were in love with him. Was he really that gallant?" she sighs, as if that was a century ago. She pats Xanthos' neck absent-mindedly. "Ah, the reputed painter? I have seen his portrait of my father, naturally, but I did not know that..."

...And then something splashes her left side.

She turns around, fearing a sudden shower or very unfortunate bird droppings, but instead finds the silly blonde servant, intent on rubbing spilled while onto her left thigh and skirts. Anne furrows her brow, finding the incident suspiciously similar to Catherina's social downfall. Surely it cannot be a coincidence?

"Nay, it is not the heat, and I do not believe you have been born this simple, but rather did stumble on someone's orders"
she counters, softly but decidedly using a foot to kick Helena away. "Go back to your wretched mistress, you knavish wench, and tell her if she wants a rematch she can come herself, rather than send some servant to be whipped in her stead."
Helena of Ghent
 player, 67 posts
Sun 5 Sep 2021
at 23:40
Re: Session 2: The Hunt
Of all the responses that Helena had been anticipating, that had not been one of them. She looked up at Anne, mouth open, in genuine confusion and shock, before she felt the boot flick out and push her backwards, although thankfully not to the point where she ended up slipping in the same mud into which she had come.

Dear God, she must be mad! Or, at the very least, so warped in her mind that she sees enemies and plots where there are none. I mean, a prank, perhaps, but not a plot.

Tempting as it was to catch the foot and pull the lady into the dirt, she suspected that it might be pushing her luck, and indeed the patience of the rest of the court.

No, better to play the wronged innocent than sink to her considerable level. Not, of course, that it would be particularly easy to go that far - I would need to be one of those free divers from the Middle Sea to get down there!

Moving from a look of shock to one of innocent, unhappy mortification, she sniffed loudly and bowed her head.

'I apologise, my lady, I meant no harm, but I see my offer to make good my mistake is not to your liking.'


She nodded both to Anne, and to her companions, and turned, stiffling a sob in a manner which was perhaps a touch too theatrical for any who knew her, and quickly retreated to the other merchants.

God, what an utter cow. Still, I suppose now there's something to mark her out as such to those around her... beware the pretty face and the scarlet thigh...

As she calmed down and took stock, she began to consider whether she had been entirely wise to pursue such a course of action. She knew that, for all she liked to pretend otherwise, that she suffered from the same tempest as emotions as any person at the court, and for all her hopes of mastery, she was still young and prone to bursts of pride and passion, especially when she felt slighted.

Deep breaths, smile sadly, and start thinking before you act. You don't want to cause scandals and have people asking questions...
The Powers That Be
 GM, 110 posts
Thu 9 Sep 2021
at 07:04
Session 2: The Hunt
The Castellan, seeing the commotion, comes up. "Anne, is everything alright?", he asks. Most of the servants look surprised at the lung, but quickly turn away their gazes and carry on. Dietmar's father is chuckling softly, but silenced by his son. Van der Weyden even looked up from the absentminded doodling he's doing.
Anne de Arras
 player, 65 posts
 Scheming noblelady
 * Dice pool: 5
Fri 10 Sep 2021
at 11:50
Session 2: The Hunt
'Not to her liking!' There was a wench asking for a whipping, if there ever was one. But it didn't suit Anne's intended image as a sophisticated and cool lady to waste her time and make ugly faces berating some commoner.

"Oh, get lost, you knave," she said with a dismissive wave of a hand, losing all interest in Helena.

More interesting was Le Flamand's sudden appearance; quickly Anne thought of a way to seize the chance to use the interest for her own show.

"Just some incompetent servant, my lord, nothing of concern. But I cannot hunt in sodden clothes, for I would risk catching a bad air. Pray, help me out of this," she said, starting the long task of unfastening the catches of her riding habit and letting it sag down as she did so, like a cicada discarding an outer skin. Under it, Anne's kirtle was a bright yellow, in sharp contrast with the white linen of the bits of inner chemise that sticked out from under it.
The Powers That Be
 GM, 111 posts
Sun 12 Sep 2021
at 09:07
Session 2: The Hunt
There are probably some tents set up for the ladies that stay behind and have tea and biscuits while kids are playing in the woods, nearby, hunting bugs and such. Lady Anne gets changed into one of these and when she comes out the hunt is about to begin. A horn will be blown and the footmen will go ahead with the dogs and with sticks. With the sticks the bushes are being whacked so that pheasants and rabbits and whatnot might be startled out of there and fly up, being then hopefully shot by the nobles who follow on horseback. Groups will split up and hunt until the horns will be tooted again at which point people can return with their spoils and compare. Any animals is game for this hunt. From partridges and pheasants to boars, deer and even a bear.

Do you want to be in the same group or do you want to split up?
Anne de Arras
 player, 66 posts
 Scheming noblelady
 * Dice pool: 5
Sun 12 Sep 2021
at 18:04
Session 2: The Hunt
Boldly wearing her kirtle without a riding habit on top, Anne stepped out of the tent and got back on her horse, retrieving her falcon as well. That was bound to cause a commotion, a lady hunting in her kirtle! But she knew how to play the attention game better than any of those provincial women; let's see whose eye she caught.

Decidedly she rode forward, catching up with the gentlemen and keeping Icarus calm before it was time to pounce.


Tea and biscuits? What are those? Surely you mean wine and honey-based sweets? ;)

Gerhard de Colmar
 player, 46 posts
 Pool: 6
Mon 13 Sep 2021
at 03:12
Session 2: The Hunt
Gerhard did not indulge in the laughter or hooting that accompanied the exchange between the two women, indeed, he looked more concerned than anything. More serious than he had been certainly.

When it seemed that the hunt was about to begin in earnest, after Anne had moved off to change and after the woman who had spilled wine upon her had gone about her business, Gerhard urged his horse nearer to the front of the pack. He was not there to shoot rabbits.

There was a brief smile and a chuckle as Anne emerged in her kirtle. It appeared that the man was not so starved for affection that he stared openly, but he seemed to find her decision bold, and he did not seem to disapprove.

From his aggressive stance in the saddle, and the glint in his eye, it seemed that he would ride on alone if need be. As a partridge drew the bulk of the groups attention, and the sharp clack of a crossbow stave going slack could be heard, he urged his horse onward into the undergrowth and off towards a promising and secluded section of the wood he had spied on the ride in.

Gerhard will move off from the main group, but any of the other PC's are welcome to join him, of course.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:08, Fri 24 Sept 2021.

Helena of Ghent
 player, 69 posts
Mon 20 Sep 2021
at 23:31
Session 2: The Hunt
Helena spent the next few minutes doing her best to blend back into the background, making polite conversation with Dietmar and ignoring both his father's obvious amusement and any of the other whispers which may have been circulating in the group.

She deliberately didn't look back in the direction of Anne, not wishing to either look like she cared, or indeed to stoke more confrontation with the other, seemingly irrational, woman.

OOC - Helena is most likely going to take her cues from those around her; as she doesn't have a horse, she's not particularly mobile at this stage, so will probably look to remain with the tents etc, or look to move out with a more sedate group on foot.

Roland de Sergius
 player, 40 posts
 Knight of the Gold Fleece
 3 dice
Fri 24 Sep 2021
at 16:05
Session 2: The Hunt
Roland chuckled as Pepin wrapped an arm around him, the two mounting up before rejoining Sir Gerhard. "Mind if we join you, Sir Gerhard?" Roland asked, getting ready to ride into the woods with the other knights. Hopefully they'd find a good stag or some other creature.
Gerhard de Colmar
 player, 47 posts
 Pool: 6
Fri 24 Sep 2021
at 16:10
Session 2: The Hunt
Gerhard spared a glance behind himself as he heard his name, then nodded very briefly before turning his attention back to the terrain and the footing of his horse.