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Charles of Tours

Adventure #02 - Foreign Fancies

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Meanwhile a few miles away, unaware of the carnage, Sir Charles Loring was enjoying his dinner.

 

Yes, he was actually enjoying it. Against his own expectations it did not consist only of old bread and water. Instead it was pretty decent: a few slices of freshly baked bread, a slab of butter, some cheese and even a bit of pork sausage. And a big mug of beer to go with it.

 

Whatever the reason, his captor must have decided there was no gain in treating him badly. Perhaps Duke Renault wanted to keep the door open to have Sir Loring swear fealty to him on the day of his success. Whatever his plans were, he would need loyal retainers to govern his estates for him. Or - perhaps more likely - Duke Renault had no idea whatsoever who he was. He may not believe the Merchant story, but he probably figured that it would cost him next to nothing to treat his prisoner well, while that would make his position much easier, should a situation arise where he would have to apologize to his unknown captive.

 

 

Be it as it may, the food and drink were good and Sir Loring enjoyed them.

While he drank, he wondered where his companions were and especially Lord Christopher. Then another idea came to his mind.

 

Some time ago, on a cosy evening at Riverbourne Castle with lots of food and good ale, the night had been long and his friends had started singing an old drinking song. Singing at first, then they got creative and started to compose a few new verses for it. It was nothing more than a joke and a pleasant memory on the next morning. They had laughed about it and not talked about it anymore. But now, no one other than his friends, Duke Christopher included, would know the extra verses.

 

Chales Loring took another big swig from the beer (he always needed to drink up some courage before raising his voice to song) and then started. Humming at first, then singing quietly, then louder and louder. Eventually the guard poked his head through the door.

 

"Sorry master - oops. I guess it was a bit much beer on an almost empty stomach. Next time you better bring me only half a pint." The guard grinned, then took away the dishes and the mug and when he saw his charge slumb back on the rack, he closed the door behind him without further ado.

 

But after a while, very quietly, Sir Loring heard the drinking song again - including the verses that only a few people knew.

Duke Christopher was here. Wherever "here" was.

Edited by Nigel

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Back at the cavern, Geralt insisted that treatment was not needed, and that he would be just fine. This of course was before he continued to walk, then collapsed to the floor beside Goodman. There was something more than just a wound affecting Geralt, and surely it would need further treatment. He sighed, looking up at Goodman, who was knelt beside him, resting a hand on Geralt's shoulder, whilst shaking his head in dread of what was occurring.?

 

"Friend, as much as I wish to help you retrieve your ally, I fear I am not fit to do so in my current state," he stared into the distance as he thought. "I beg you, come with me somewhere where I can be healed, and I will be forever in your debt." Geralt's eyes showed a sign of fear. It was clear to Goodman that the young man was not comfortable to be led away by some strangers, yet for some reason had already formed some sort of trust with Goodman himself.?


"Gofyn wyf am galon hapus, calon onest, calon l?n."

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Goodman saw to it that Geralt was taken to the Baggage Train, which trailed Goodman?s Forces. Thus was fortunate for Goodman, for his Tunic and trusty Sword was present as well. After a good and thorough ?cleaning? (and a mouthful of food), Goodman sat astride his Horse. His Tunic moved with the slight breeze even now blowing gently across the sizable Force.

 

Goodman called for his Courier. ?Give the order to Advance by soft word, only. I have no doubt our movements are known by now to Renault. But if are lucky, he will be unaware of the true movements of the orhers. Be about.? The Courier wheeled his Horse around and rode off.

 

Several minutes later, Goodman raised his blade. The Sun glinting off the polished steel. Bringing it down, he advanced into the Woods. The Army followed.

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They travelled for a while, but soon stopped to rest. They took up again as it was getting later in the day - though the forest became much narrower and more winding and they soon lost their way again. Forced into much smaller lines, this was an ideal point for some form of ambush so Goodman kept vigilant - he knew only too well how these kind of circumstances usually end up ....

 

They became more and more tried searching for the correct path out when they suddenly came across another field within the forest. This was a pure clearing and was extremely different to the one they were previously in - almost, like they were too far towards the edge of the forest altogether .... Goodman ordered the men to stop there and camp for the night. It was highly unlikely that they would find the Castle now as the light was starting to leave them, and he was very much aware the men needed some rest. While he could continue wandering around the forest for hours on end, they needed a break for the night.

 

It didn't take long until the men setup a camp and Goodman informed one of the Chief Constables that he intended to have a look around. Walking in the direction towards the edge of the camp, Goodman was spotted leaving by Geralt who came running over. "My friend, what is the matter?!" he cried, sounding quite alarmed. Goodman replied, saying "I'm having a look around to see if I can find a way out". He knew no later than the words came out of his mouth that Geralt would likely want to come as well, and it was in his best interest to rest. He stopped for a moment, looking at Geralt and continued further. "Rest, dear ally. I will be back soon."

 

These words seemed to comfort Geralt who still remained as puzzled but nodded his head and backed off, leaving Goodman to exit the camp alone. He walked into the forest and quickly found a small path. He walked over and looked for sure signs that could help him determine where he might be, or at least where to go next. And what he did find, was tracks: various broken twigs lay scattered on the ground in different locations along the path, foot prints and other nearby clues led him to know instantly that people had been here before. He continued along the path, trying to remain as quiet as possible and climbing over large tree branches which had fallen in the way of the path. He eventually stumbled near the exit, which appeared concealed. He had a quick look through the gaps within the tree undergrowth and could see soldiers of Duke Renault's guard - bearing the Royal Crest - casually talking to some Civilians. And some stone buildings nearby too - it looked almost like the edge of a Town, and Goodman was surprised. He did not expect such a place here, and it was clearly here for a reason.

 

After a few moments the Civilians walked away down the road. The guards waited for a moment, and then continued along in the opposite direction on their patrol - leaving the path completely free of obstructions. Goodman waited for a few moments, and then made his move. He crept out of the forest and waited nearby the Stone building immediately to his left. He stood for a moment, and decided to have a look around. Lining himself against the wall, Goodman shuffled along and peeked around to the left. What he saw was astonishing: a wall and gate leading inside Barnemouth, manned by guards atop. The same guards which chased him before were here guarding it, and here for a reason .....

 

Outside of the gate was a small town and market, though as it was now past dusk, it was deserted - the Town's Curfew was now taking place for the night. No wonder they had become so lost from Duke Renault's Castle, Barnemouth was many miles North from it. They had to get inside - and unseen - to find out what was going on. Knowing the guards from before would instantly recognise him - and just how tight their checks were - he knew that he would have to find an alternative route into Barnemouth ....

 

Goodman must get back to the camp and tell the men what was happening. But before he could head back, he felt a hand on his shoulder, which had an electrifying effect on him paralysing him for a second with shock. "We must get back to the camp!" whispered a familiar voice, filled with excitement. Goodman turned around, to find Gerault facing him - having not been able to resist and adventure, Gerault had followed him out of the camp!

 

Goodman quickly heaved a small sigh of relief before nodding and creeping back into the forest with Gerault. He knew he could no longer keep things to himself and had some explaining to do .....

 

Meanwhile, back at the dungeon Sir Loring was placed in, everything was completely silent. All of a sudden, a rustling of keys could be heard and several guards walked into the corridor. Walking past, Goodman heard part of what they said - "So we're moving the Duke in 1 hour?" asked one of them. "Yes - we have all the arrangements made, he will be taken from his castle and placed into the agreed location" replied the second. Before Loring could hear more, both guards had passed his cell and continued on their way.


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The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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The Arrow clanged off the the of Young Prince Sancho, in a glancing blow. ?Onward!?, he cried to his Knights as they met the first Salvo of Renault?s soldiers. Advancing forward, they moved directly into the first Rank of Archers. Toledo Steel?..none finer.

 

The Prince was well trained in The ?Art of War?. His Father had seen to it. His Countrymen had perfected their ?craft? from Centuries of fighting the accursed Moor.

 

Sanchez arranged his dismounted Knights on groups of 4. Moving forward as ?Walls of Steel?, as Men at Arms supported them from the Rear with a combination of different Heavy Pole Arms. As Renault?s Guards moved forward to meet the Enemy, they were met with stabbing Sword and thrusting Spear.?

 

The young Prince had swept much of the Field to his front. Prudently, his few mounted Horse as Rear Guard, finishing off any wounded and dying. ?Besides?.? As Sancho thought, ?The quality of Mercy should not be laid aside?.

 

The Spanish Force continued forwards into the Woods. They would no doubt soon make contact with The Temple and his Forces.

 

Meanwhile, Goodman?s Senior Aide (who was Commanding ?The Crows?), was finding out that Irregulars can be difficult to command. Upon their contact with Renault?s Soldiers, The Aides Troops broke Ranks and charged carelessly into them. He list a fair amount before he was able to maintain his Command. Remembering his first foray into battle with Goodman and The Wolverines, he formed a Square. This kept him from losing his Force. In this Formation, they were finally able to break Renault?s resistance. Battle worn they rested. The Aide knew that they could not do so for long. They had to keep moving forward and make contact with The Prince.

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[OoC] I seem to be slightly lost. My bad. Crusader, was your most recent entry a continuation of Chris' last? Or does that take place elsewhere? :P?


"Gofyn wyf am galon hapus, calon onest, calon l?n."

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[OOC] I, too, have the feeling we are slightly out of sync.

Before Chris's post Goodman and Gerault and their soldiers were fighting. Then Chris continued the story with "...It didn't take long until the men setup a camp ..." and I had the impression that the fighting was over.

 

I guess we can assume that Goodman and Gerault are in the camp near Barnemouth now with the main part of the army and the Prince has just finished the last hours of fighing and beat back the remainders of Duke Renault's troops. Does that make sense?

Edited by Nigel

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(OoC)

Your correct, Nigel. Chris placed Goodman and Geralt near The Town. I was going into epic "battle mode", so I just fleshed out The Prince and The Aide.

 

I have an idea..........wait and see. The Prince and Aide are close to Goodman.

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[OOC] I extended the story by using this line from Crusader's post:

Bringing it down, he advanced into the Woods. The Army followed.

 

If I'm correct, the Prince is still fighting while Goodman is in the camp?


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The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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[OoC] I believe we're all on the same page now! :)

 

 

Whilst the group sat idle at the camp, cooking, talking, and eating, Geralt took the chance to ask further about what was happening. He noticed Goodman sitting down on a thick log, placed conveniently in front of the campfire. He sat beside him. Staring at the flames of the blaze, he spoke, "Friend, perhaps now is a good time for you to explain what on earth I am getting involved in. Do not mistake me, I wish to help, but I wish to know what side I'm fighting in this war." He awaited Goodman's response, but quickly interrupted once more, "Also, your name, I still haven't learnt it!"


"Gofyn wyf am galon hapus, calon onest, calon l?n."

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Goodman looked at Geralt , pondering his question. ?No matter now?, he mused. Goodman stood, ?I am Brother John Goodman, late of The Order of The Knights of The Temple of Solomon, or Templar ? should you prefer. I am Lord of a Shire seconded to Duke Christopher of Riverbourne.? With Goodman?s official introduction, he proceeded to tell Geralt of the Good Duke and the many battles and intrigues of the past year.

 

Goodman chose not to tell Geralt of The Dukes recent capture, only expanding on a Military Mission of The Duke ? given to Goodman. He told Geralt of his raising his Shireman as a Force, and of recruiting sizable from nearby Villages . Finally, he explained The Spanish Prince Sancho of Aragon, fighting with Duke Christopher against The ?Pretender? Renault. He stated that The Duke?s future betrothed was Sister to that Noble Knight.

 

Goodman paused to await Giralt?s questions.

 

Meanwhile, as determined ? The Prince and Goodman?s Aide had joined up. Both The Aide and Prince surveyed The Walls of The Town, unawares that to The South, Goodman was doing the same.

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At the same time in the dungeons Sir Loring felt his blood pressure rising.

One hour until they will move Duke Christopher to a new, unknown location. Was there nothing he could do about it?

 

This time conicidence came to his aid. Only a few minutes after the two guards had left, the warden, who was responsible for bringing his food, entered his cell with a dish and a heavy mug of ale in his hands.

 

"Only half a mug of beer you wanted, right? Well, it shall be as you wish." With a slightly insulting grin the warden handed him the mug - it was barely a quarter full. But the smell of the man's breath and his unsteady walk told Sir Loirng where the other two thirds of the ale had gone.

 

When the warden turned his back to leave the cell, Charles Loring did not hesitate to act. He brought the heavy mug down on the back of his head and the man fell like a tree. Quickly Charles grabbed his keys and made off into the darknes of the corridor.

 

 

 

He was barely able to see further than his outstretched hand, but he whistled a well known melody and sure enough, as he passed one of the cells, his tune was answered. Great was the joy as he and Duke Christopher finally shook hands.

 

"Mylord, we have no time to waste. They come for you in about 30 minutes to take you away to yet another place. There is no way out of this dungeon, but quickly give me your royal cloak and take my huntsman's tunic instead. It is dark night and for sure it will be many hours before they notice the exchange - and with some luck they will not noice it for days, for the simple guards will not know your face and as for my face, I doubt that even the officers who arrested me will remember it."

 

"Head back to my cell at the end of the corridor. You cannot miss it, there is a drunken guard lying right in front of it. When he comes to, tell him how his foot slipped on the stone and his head hit the wall. He will be greatful to believe this, for the true story would make him look really bad in the eyes of his superiors." A few minutes later, Charles Loring heared the locks of his old prison cell snap back into place. With a sigh of relieve he curled up in the darkest corner of his new cell and waited for the things to come.

Edited by Nigel

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He waited for a while, until eventually heavy footsteps of a patrol could be heard. Several guards came trooping through the corridor and arrived at Loring's cell. "Alright, it's this one" one of the guards said in a casual tone. It was clear they were certainly not under any time constraints by their movements, as two guards opened the door to the cell carefully in a relaxed manner.

 

They approached Loring in his cell, grabbed his arms and lifted him up onto the ground before placing him in irons. One guard then moved in front and one behind, marching him out of the cell into the corridor. The door was immediately locked again and the group marched off, with a Junior Constable at the front of the group. As Loring had hoped, they did not notice the fact he was not Duke Christopher. They marched him to the end of the corridor, before going through a wooden door and later on down the narrow and very lightly lit corridor, a locked Iron door, for which only the Constable held the key. This was promptly locked after the group had gone through. They were now in a spiral staircase, and moved up several floors, making Loring lose count of exactly how far below them the Dungeon now actually was. They stopped all of a sudden and moved out through a wooden door which came out of a side room, into a large Grand Entrance, which was very heavily guarded on all walls. It was clear that this was the main entrance of the castle, and before they had simply come through some form of other entrance.

 

The Constable paused for a moment to take note of the large golden clock above the very well designed - and massive - set of entrance gates into the castle, along with a large, sharp, portcullis dangling underneath it in a raised position. It was a little after midnight and he did not appear to look in a hurry after noting the time and started walking towards them with Loring and the group, when all of a sudden, another Junior Constable - Constable Quinn - came running down the grand stairwell behind them. "Constable Edwards, wait!" he cried out. The Constable with Loring stopped and turned around, waiting for Constable Quinn to catch up. "Sir, Lord Sullivan has requested that he personally approve this transfer."

 

Constable Edwards gave a look of annoyance, before tutting and starting to move in the direction the Constable came from. "He signalled for Loring to be brought along with them."

 

They started moving up the grand stairwell, and came to a large balcony-styled landing which eventually turned into a corridor. They moved up another stairwell before moving into an antechamber with a waiting area. Constable Quinn signalled to Constable Edwards to move straight through. He in turn signalled to the guards with Loring to move him in as well.

 

They moved into a semi-circular shaped room made of stone, various book cases lay scattered around the room - at the end of which sat an elderly man looking over various papers. Two other smaller desks were present near the door of the room, where two clerks sat working through paperwork. The elderly man wore not an officer's uniform, or indeed any uniform at all. Rather he looked more like a Magistrate of some kind; dressed in a legal court dress - consisting of a black silk velvet cutaway tailcoat, with a white shirt, lace stock and cuffs, black silk stockings and cut-steel buckled patent court shoes. He also wore a black silk damask robe of state with a long train trimmed with gold lace and frogging over the top.

 

He immediately looked up from his desk when the group entered the room. Constable Quinn immediately introduced him: "His grace, the Lord High Constable ..... Lord Sullivan!" The two Constables took a ceremonial bow which was acknowledged by Lord Sullivan. "Bring the necessary paperwork." he commanded one of the nearby Clerks. He then turned his attention to the group. "Tell me ..." he started: "What is the name of the location the Duke will be transferred to?"

 

"Galadhor Fortress, M'lord." replied Constable Edwards. "Good, ... good ...." replied Lord Sullivan. "I trust all the necessary arrangements have been made?"

 

"Absolutely Sir. Everything has been arranged and is already under way." Lord Sullivan nodded to show his approval, while one of the Clerks returned with a scroll full of writing. Lord Sullivan moved to pick up his quill and was about to sign when he suddenly looked up again. He left his Quill hovering in mid air: "Where is, the Duke?" he asked.

 

"Behind us, Sir." replied Constable Edwards. He moved out of the way and pointed to Sir Loring. The look on Lord Sullivan's face slowly turned to one of both concern and confusion. He spoke up with a slightly raised voice. "That, is NOT The Duke." he replied in a forceful manner. "Where is he?"

 

The two nearby guards looked blankly at each other while Constable Edwards looked back motionless at Lord Sullivan, in shock. Sullivan finally dropped his Quill. "FIND HIM." he ordered, sternly. The guard moved to take Loring out of the room, but Sullivan yet again intervened. "NOT him. Keep him well guarded outside this room." He moved up out of his chair and towards Constable Edwards. "YOU must find The Duke. NOW. If necessary, tear the entire castle apart. Constable Quinn will assist you. I will deal with you later - you have one hour to find him."

 

Constable Edwards clearly understood this order meant business, as for the first time Sir Loring saw him act with a real sense of urgency. Both Constables hurried out of this room and towards the Stairwell they arrived from. Loring saw them hurry down a flight of stairs before summoning more troops to join in the search.

 

Loring waited for what seemed like an eternity, endlessly hoping that The Duke would remain un-noticed. Eventually, after a very long time, Lord Sullivan came out of his room. He opened his mouth and started giving an order to the guards: "Take him to the nearby ...." he never finished his sentence as Constable Edwards and Constable Quinn came running back - with several guards - and also The Duke, who like Loring, was also in Irons. "Sir, we have him!" cried Constable Quinn. "He was in one of the nearby cells, locked in with a guard." Lord Sullivan looked slightly more relaxed, and immediately responded. "Good ... 3 minutes and 22 seconds to spare ..... " He pointed to Loring "Take him back to the .... no wait ... He knows too much now. He must now be transferred as well." He went to his room for a moment before returning with a signed scroll, handing it to the Constables.

 

"Take them both: there is nothing more we can do here. I will deal with Constable Edwards later. Hurry; you are now 1 hour late." he said, clearly very dissatisfied. He then returned back to his room leaving the group alone. They moved back towards the castle entrance and took both The Duke and Loring out into the courtyard. They added extra irons to secure both of them and took them further out past the moat and through the final courtyard. They were both hastily lumbered into the back of a nearby cart before being locked inside.

 

A small convoy of troops both on horses and in carts nearby disguised themselves as Merchants and they all started to move off on the long journey to Galadhor Fortress ......


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The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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In an unobserved moment Sir Loring leaned over to Duke Christopher and whispered:

"Well, at least we tried. Whether our little charade has been helpful or just made things worse, only time will tell".

 

 

edited for typos

Edited by Nigel

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Rather impatient, Geralt stood up, and in a quiet but stern tone, spoke to Goodman, "I believe it is of great importance!" He paused, as two soldiers walked past, when they were out of audible range, he continued. "You wandered off alone with the understanding that nobody would know. What were you up to? What are you hiding?"?

 

Geralt took a breath, then sat back down. "I am sorry," he began. "I shocked myself with that outburst..." Geralt placed a hand lightly on his covered wound, wincing at the pain. He moved his hands together between his knees, then leaned forward slightly. "Please, Goodman, I wish to know what this is all about. You know my reason, and albeit petty, it was still revealed." Geralt sat up straight, watched as Goodman sat back down, then awaited a response.

 

Goodman began to speak, however, this was swiftly interrupted as a scout came shouting Goodman's name, "Goodman!" He called, clearly the scout was well-acquainted with Goodman, as he chose to ignore his title. "I have urgent news!" The scout was breathless, it was apparent that he had ran far, and in a hurry. "A group of merchants were seen riding past Renault's fortress."

 

"At this hour?" Geralt questioned.

 

"That's exactly my point, Sir!" Geralt felt strange being referred to as a sir. It was uncommon to him. "I should add that two of the merchants seemed to be holding something...at least it seemed that way, the moonlight did very little in terms of visibility!"

 

Goodman stood up. "They weren't carrying anything. A group of merchants would have had a horse and cart to carry their items. Those two merchants were detained. Did you see a cart?" The scout nodded. "Then my suspicions grow deeper." Goodman turned to Geralt. "Do you think you can stay awake long enough to join me?" He smirked.

 

Geralt let out a slight laugh, and with a grin on his face, he replied, "Let's go find out where these so-called merchants are heading!"


"Gofyn wyf am galon hapus, calon onest, calon l?n."

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Brother Goodman watched intently as the Wagon with Merchants moved down the road and away from The Town. He pondered if it was that ?easy?. Perhaps, if one wished to smuggle out a thing of value?? After all, he had used the tactic several times before. Turning to Geralt, Goodman said ?I have an idea?. Glancing over to a Courier nearby, Goodman ordered ?Bring two Horses and 3 additional Mounted men. Make sure three are armed with Bow and Arrow?. Within minutes, Goodman?s orders were obeyed, Geralt, Goodman and the four Mounted Soldiers moved out from their location.

 

Riding slightly ahead of the Wagon, The Group waited in the nearby Woods in ambush. As the Wagon approached, Goodman said ?Cover your faces with rags. We are now Brigands?. As The Wagon approached, Goodman and Geralt rode out from The Woods and blocked the road. Two of The Horsemen flanked the Wagon, Bows drawn, with two in the Rear of The Wagon, similarly placed.

 

?Stand and Deliver!? Goodman cried to The Driver and apparent Guard on The Wagon. Then, suddenly, a clashing and trampling from the far Woods could be heard. ?Could it be an ambush?? Goodman thought. With that he beheld the Sun shining off fine Armor and Steel. Dozens of well Armored Warriors burst through The Woods. Goodman relaxed as he saw The Royal insignia of Spain. It was Prince Sancho.

 

?Well, Goodman? The Prince said. ?It seems we have a Prize?. The Prince ordered 5 Mounted Knights to surround The Wagon. Each Knight brought the points of their Lances to within several inches of The Driver and Guard on The Wagon. ?If they move?..slay them?, The Prince said matter of factly. Dismounting, The Prince approached Goodman (who also dismounted). ?Let us see what this Wagon?s treasures are, Brother Goodman?. With that the two Warriors stood at the Rear Door of the vehicle.

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Geralt had a smile on his face that he could not rid of. The excitement of the ambush gave him a sense of pride and belonging. He had a chance to see Goodman do what he did best, and a full military power supporting. He was not a man who often worked with others, but he felt that he could soon warm to the idea. As he and Goodman walked to the back of the wagon, he tapped Goodman lightly, and said quietly, "That was thrilling!" He chuckled.?

 

The two men faced the rear doors, holding their swords firmly, but freely. Ready to act quickly and correctly. Goodman gave a nod to the warriors, and on the count of three, the rear doors were pulled open. Inside, there were numerous bags filled with foods. Apples, bread, and barrels holding wine. All the men present were in total bafflement. Geralt heard the scout mutter to himself, "What on earth..." Goodman walked over to the scout, immediately questioning what he saw. The scout was certain that he was onto something. The scout apologised, and pleaded for forgiveness.

 

Geralt believed the scout. "Goodman! The merchants!" Geralt and Goodman walked over to the two that whose hands were tied, removing their hoods. The two men laughed, with a sincere grin on their faces. "We've been mislead, but not by the scout" Geralt spoke. "Goodman, there must be another wagon, this was here to lead us astray, they are hiding something, or someone!" Geralt was desperate to locate that wagon. It would prove to himself, and to his new allies, that he was more than useful. Goodman nodded in agreement.?


"Gofyn wyf am galon hapus, calon onest, calon l?n."

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After Geralt's revelation, the Prince was visibly furious. With a signal of his hand, Prince Sancho ordered the immediate execution of the two "merchants" by lance. Geralt and Goodman, although also annoyed at this new information, were still surprised by the young knight's ferocity. Goodman, accustomed to sometimes having to read men's souls, couldn't help but notice a flicker of darkness in Sancho's eyes ... but maybe it was just his old vision failing ...

 

---

 

Meanwhile, in London: the King of England sits on his throne. A messenger appears. "Your Majesty, your loyal subject Duke Renault begs to report that his lands are under attack by soldiers of Aragon. He requests the assistance of the realm in repelling this invasion."

 

"Very well," speaks the English king, turning to a nearby bailiff, "muster the Royal Guard. We shall ride to Duke Renault's castle and see what is the matter; we do not wish to provoke a conflict that may yet be handled peaceably. As for you, dear messenger, we thank thee for thine service. Return to your master with haste and inform him of what thou hast heard here."

 

"... there is one other thing, sire ..."

 

"What is it? Speak up!"

 

"Knights bearing the emblem of Duke Christopher have assaulted my liege's men-at-arms. If the young lord's deeds go unpunished ..."

 

"If this news is true, then we shall see justice done - as it shall be regardless of the details. Inform Lord Renault that I know he has allowed the Imperial Wolverine Guards to march through his lands unchecked on several occasions, on their way to raid those possessions of Lord Christopher. Let him know also that I am aware there is a faction of upstart lords in this country that would claim some titles - even the Crown - as their own, and that he and Lord Christopher must both prove their loyalties to the Realm in the coming weeks."

 

"Aye, milord, it shall be done!"


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[OOC]

Oh No...it's The "Baron's War". Will it be "Magna Carta" or "Hung, Drawn and Quartered":.......

 

Careful Charles, I am The Historian....not Brother Goodman (although I heard he was reading up on The "Peasant's Revolt". Something tells me he will need a much larger Army. (Spoiler Alert.....lol)

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[OoC]

That's Louis VIII's time, if I am correct? :P

 

 

Geralt thought back to his time as a mercenary. Sancho's actions had bothered Geralt, however, he knew Sancho's power, and certainly did not want to confront him on the matter. Instead, he turned his gaze to Goodman, who looked back at Geralt with a shared thought. The two merchants were led away by a few of Sancho's men. As Sancho approached, Geralt felt slight discomfort, as if Sancho could read his mind. He did his best to stand up straight, and show respect.

 

"I see you have some new friends of your own, Goodman" Sancho said with a positive tone.

 

Geralt let out a slight sigh of relief, believing that he kept his thoughts discreet. He cleared his throat and replied, "My name is Geralt Cynan. It is an honour to meet you, Sir." The prince nodded, it was clear that he enjoyed the unconditional respect his men and others would give...even if they wished not to.

 

"Goodman, it is important we find this other wagon that Gareth speaks of!" It was unclear to Geralt whether the young prince intentionally pronounced his name wrong, or whether he didn't know, or even if he had already forgotten it. Either way, he was irritated by it. The young prince continued, "I propose my men go to do so, and the rest of us continue with the main task at hand!" Geralt did not want to interrupt, which would have surely annoyed the prince, and so waited for Goodman's response, in hope that he would speak sense.

Edited by Mathew Steel

"Gofyn wyf am galon hapus, calon onest, calon l?n."

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?At Your Liege?s pleasure?, Goodman lowered his head in submission (something of a hard task for The Warrior, to be sure). ?We shall do as you Command, Sire?. With that ? Brother Goodman gave orders for his Men to remount. ?Alert The Forces that The Prince with our Contingent, here ? will go along this Route?, Goodman motioned down the front of the road. ?Remove this Wagon and imprison these Men?. The Rider wheeled and rode off immediately to carry out Goodman?s orders.

 

?

Once Mounted, The Prince and Goodman rode on, initially in silence. The Prince chimed in ?Brother Goodman, take it not too hard of this deception. I am sure you have seen worse in The Deserts of Palestine?, The Prince laughed. Goodman managed a smile himself. His campaigns in Palestine were indeed fraught with Muslim deceptions, it seemed ? around every sand dune. It took some ?getting used to? in the ways of European battle tactics.

?

 

The Grouping of Riders moved onward down the road. The woods seemed to grow denser and denser. The sunlight was beginning to wane.

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The wagon rattled through the night.

The dark interior lit only by a small oil lantern.

 

Sir Loring and Duke Christopher were sitting on the hard bench next to each other, their hands tied.

With his shoulder Sir Loring moved the curtain from the window and tried to look outside. "Oi, leave that curtain shut", came the command from the guard immediately.

 

The time had been too short and it had been too dark to see anything notable outside.

But maybe, just maybe, it had been long enough for someone from the outside to notice the light shining out of the wagon and indicating the direction in which they moved.

Edited by Nigel

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Geralt trailed behind on horseback. There was a clearly look of displeasure on his face. He was angered by the actions of the Prince, and couldn't understand why Goodman had not challenged him. Nonetheless, he continued to ride forth, keeping his distance from the two. Soon enough, birds were heard chirping in the forest, indicating the coming of the morning. Geralt debated with himself in his head on whether this would make the wagon easier to find or not. He remembered how a friend of his once said that the human eye is capable at spotting the flickering of a light from a great distance, and questioned whether he'd be able to spot such a light.?

 

The sun had not risen far yet, which meant there was still time for lights to be easily spotted. He made a conscious effort to scout the local area at all times. Turning his head left, then right, then left, then right, as the horse continued to move. With a stroke of luck, and a lot of staring, Geralt spotted a light. It seemed his friend's story was truthful. "Goodman! To the east!" A light could be seen flickering in the wind. Becoming brighter then fading every so often at random intervals. The group started to head for the light, in high hopes. As they became closer, it was very clear that the light was being covered by some thin material, that was being blown to the side every so often as the wind would pick up speed.

 

"Get ready, men!" The Prince demanded. "This will be fun..."

 

Alarms immediately rang in Geralt's head. There was no guarantee the light would lead to any danger or any foes. The Prince was a reckless thinker, and Geralt believed him a threat to innocent people. However, he did not question it. He knew, just like before, that he was in no position to question someone of such a status. He remained silent as the group got into position for an ambush of this moving light. Just as the light was a few ten metres away, it stopped moving. Then all of a sudden, it disappeared.

 

Seconds later, lights began to appear in random directions. Two to the north, then four to the east, another three to the north, one south. In time, it became obvious that these were not candles, but torches.?

 

"Do not move" Goodman warned the group quietly. "Our presence may be known, but where may be another story."

 

"Foolish! Men, charge!" The Prince screeched in fury, as his men began helplessly charging at the different directions in an attempt to achieve the unknown.?

 

Goodman cursed under his breath. He turned to Geralt, "Come! We will not be killed by recklessness!" The two got onto their horses and galloped away from the bundles of torches, riding into the darkness, in an attempt to remain unseen. This led the two away from the Prince's men.


"Gofyn wyf am galon hapus, calon onest, calon l?n."

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The sounds of Battle rang true through the darkness of The Woods that Goodman and Geralt concealed themselves in. The occasional flicker of torch did not betray their positions to either The Prince's Troops or their even more unseen ?Enemy?.

 

Goodman mused to himself. ?Good thing Geralt pulled him back to his senses?. Goodman was always keen to battle. After what seemed a half of an hour passed. The clanging of Sword and Sheild began to die out. But who was the Victor?

 

Goodman leaned over to Gerlat. ?Let us venture out quietly and see what The ?Butcher's Bill? is?. The two krept out of the woods, on hands and knees at first, scanning left and right. Seeing no immediate threat, the two Warriors stood up.

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As the two stood up, the beaming sun had finally reached its resting point, where it would likely remain visible for the coming hours. It was warm, and Goodman's clothing was clearly too much for him, as the heat remained trapped inside. "Geralt," Goodman called. "Take these for a moment," Goodman handed Geralt his holster, along with his now-empty oil lantern. He then removed his cloth cap, allowing some heat to escape the sauna. Once he was ready, Geralt returned Goodman's items, with a gentle nod as if to say "You are welcome."

 

The two began to walk once more, taking in the area around them. There was not much to see, except for sand, some sad looking plants, patches of dry greenery, and rubble. There was no obvious path to follow, however, there was a very shallow bank between to areas of land where folks had clearly travelled along over time, leaving their traces of existence as a piece of these rural lands. The two men naturally decided to walk along the path, hoping to find some evidence of civilisation, and not too late. As the two began their journey, Geralt could not help but ponder the recent events, and without much thought, he spoke, "Goodman?" Goodman turned his head to face Geralt, answering with a curious "Yes?"?

 

"Why did you not speak up against the Prince? It was evident that you disagreed with his actions, and I would have tho-"

 

"Geralt, what do you think would have happened if I had decided to confront a powerful prince?" Goodman interrupted. Geralt had no verbal response, but his face now showed signs of guilt and conflict, clearly he knew the answer, but was annoyed at it. "You are not a fool, Geralt, you know the reason."

 

"Of course I do...It is just worrying." Geralt answered quietly, not expecting any continuation to the short conversation.


"Gofyn wyf am galon hapus, calon onest, calon l?n."

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