Things Henry has done

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Things Henry has done

Post by Casey on Mon Nov 03, 2014 6:29 pm

So I was born in Angeln in the Eastmarch. I’m a warrior from birth. That’s how it works in the old ways in the Eastmarch. If your father is a warrior, you’re a warrior too. If your mother is a warrior, you can choose to be a warrior or not. Both my mom and my dad were warriors. So when I was young they taught me how to fight. And that’s what I did most days, is learn. We use swords with shields. Some of my friends learned how to use the bow and arrow. I didn’t like that much, so I stuck with what I was good at.

My lord was Lord Angelsy, who didn’t even live close, but had his house and stuff way out west. But he would come to visit sometimes. Lord Angelsy worked for someone, who worked for someone, who worked for the Queen. It’s complicated, but that’s just how it works.

When I was ten or so my dad died fighting somewhere. They brought his body back and shaved his head and put the ashes on his head and all the other stuff they do when a warrior dies honorably in battle. When they put his body on the wicker bier and lit it on fire my mom gave me a look that was like “I will kill you if you cry”. But I wasn’t going to cry. My dad was a warrior, and he died in a battle, so what’s so surprising about that?

I was pretty good at what I did. When I was a teenager I won some fake fights that we put on for our lord and for other lords who were visiting. I wasn’t the strongest and I wasn’t the fastest, but the reason why I won so often was because I trained really really hard. So Lord Angelsy tells me that now I’m going to be trained to be his bodyguard and that my whole family is moving to his house it a city called Westminster.

I didn’t really like the idea, but what was I going to say? The city was a bad place. There were too many people, and they didn’t always bother going number two in a latrine! I liked living in the forest in our little huts, and even though I lived in a big house and there were other servants who did most of the chores I still didn’t like it. My mom liked it though. She was a bodyguard for the Lady, but no one knew because my mom actually wore a dress everywhere! What people didn’t know is that under the dress she was wearing armor, and under the skirts she was hiding a sword!

My older sister didn’t like it much either. My sister didn’t want to be a warrior, even though I think she would have made a good one. So anyway, this is where she comes into the story. One day I’m coming back into the manor house, and some guy has my sister pushed up against the wall and was touching her boob! To her credit, she had been fighting him because he was bleeding from his lip and from his eye. But I was still going to kill him! I drew out my sword and ran at him. He heard me coming though and took off like the coward rabbit like he was! He must have been more scared than I was angry because he ran faster than I did, but I was also wearing my armor too so maybe that’s why he was faster than me too.

So he got away, and I went back to the manor. My sister was real angry because I didn’t manage to kill him. So we went right away and told Lord Anglesy what had happened. We knew who the guy way. He was some son of some lord that would come and visit our lord sometimes. That lord’s name was Killpatrick. His son’s name doesn’t matter, because I’m about to tell you how I killed him.

Lord Anglesy was furious. You could tell that he still had some Eastmarch blood in him because of how angry this made him. He sent messages right away to Killpatrick and to Lord Fitzhugh. Lord Fitzhugh is the lord that Lord Anglesy works for. Killpatrick works for him too, but he is less of a lord than Lord Anglesy.

So then we had a meeting. Lord Anglesy was there, so was Lord Killpatrick and Lord Fitzhugh. Killpatrick’s son wasn’t there. That was a good thing because if he was I probably would have killed him right then and there, even if that would have made Lord Anglesy really mad. Except I probably wouldn’t have gotten a chance because my mom was there and she probably would have killed him first, except I don’t think she would have gotten a chance because my sister would have killed him first!

Lord Killpatrick said that his son didn’t do what he did, and that he would never do such a disgraceful thing. Me and my sister kept saying that he did do it though. I think Lord Fitzhugh had already talked to the son and he believed me and my sister over him. Killpatrick was really pale and sweating, and kept trying to tell his son’s lies, but no one really believed him. Lord Fitzhugh told Killpatrick that he was going to strip his son of his titles, and since that was his only son that meant that Killpatrick would have to find someone else to be a lord when he died. Killpatrick almost fell out of his chair, but I was pretty angry. I told Lord Fitzhugh that I brought the accusation so I had rightful status of primary combatant.

Killpatrick was angry now, and he said things like calling me a “barbarian” and “backwards forest dweller” and that I wasn’t even noble so how could I even claim that right? But both Lord Fitzhugh and Lord Anglesy tell him that since there are two witnesses, and since his son was denying what had happened, I DID have that right, and his son could either admit he touched my sister’s boob and be stripped of his title or he could fight me.

Killpatrick didn’t like it, but he didn’t know how good of a fighter I was and thought his son was better because he had a fancy private teacher from Tuscone, so he said that his son would fight. The lords then talked about arrangements, like when the fight would be and what the conditions were. I insisted on what they call a duel à l'outrance, which means that there are no rules about where you can hit the other person and that it’s just fine to kill him too. Lord Anglesy didn’t seem to like that, because he thought I might lose. But my sister told him that if I lost this fight I deserved to be dead and that she wouldn’t even burn my body in a warrior’s funeral unless I killed Killpatrick’s son too. Now how do you like that! But I guess she had a right to feel that way since that man had touched her boob.

When we got to the manor everyone had already heard what had happened and they were cheering and clapping their hands for me. It took a few days for the fight to actually happen because Killpatrick kept trying to delay the fight, and once he even sent a letter over and asked Lord Anglesy if he could pay my sister some money and then the matter would be over. Lord Anglesy asked me and my sister about that and we both told him no way!

So we did have the fight. It was in the arena where the knights and lords do their jousting. There must have been a thousand people there. Some were there because they were involved, like my mom and my sister and Killpatrick and his son. Others must have been there because they had nothing better to do.

So first we both had to talk about what had happened to the Duke of Marlborough, who is the leader over all the lands there. I told him what I had seen. Then the son gave some made up story about how he had fallen down the stairs and had hit his face on the floor and also hurt his nutsack on a pisspot that was on the landing. And then when he stood up he had accidentally grabbed my sister by her boob! So I guess my sister had hit him in the junk too, and that he had to make up a story about why he had a bruised dick! How embarrassing!

Then Duke Marlborough asked me a lot of questions, like that I knew the rules of the fight even though there weren’t any, how serious my accusations were, and how if I lost everyone would think that my sister was a liar. I said yes to all his questions. Then we were led away to where the weapons were. I was going to fight with a sword and a shield, and Killpatrick’s son was going to fight with a rapier and a tiny bucker. We weren’t allowed to wear any armor, and even though that favored him I didn’t care because I wasn’t planning on letting him hit me anyway!

So now we’re walking to the little table where all of the weapons are laid out. We were allowed to look at the other guy’s weapons to make sure he wasn’t cheating. There were three Ebony Hand guys there to tell us that none of the weapons weren’t magical, and that we weren’t wearing a magical armor shirt that looks like a regular shirt or anything like that. They were also there to make sure that we didn’t start the fight until we were allowed to.

So anyway, I’m looking at his rapier, even though I don’t know what I’m supposed to be looking for because a sword is a sword. And he’s looking at by broadsword. He’s real white, and looks nervous, and the coward tells me that he’d make me a deal and if I agree that I’m not going to fight him he’ll give me a thousand groats! I could have killed him right there except the Ebony Hand guys were still watching. I’m sure they heard what he had said but they didn’t say anything, although one of them rolled his eyes. I told him no that I would make him a deal and that I was going to kill him! He told me that wasn’t a deal and offered me ten thousand groats! Now what am I going to do with ten thousand groats? Especially since if I don’t fight my mom and my sister are both going to kill me, and since I don’t care about the money anyway because I want to kill this creep?

I just walked away and stood in my spot in front of Duke Marlborough. A bit later Killpatrick’s son stood in his spot. Everyone was real quiet, even in the stands where before they had been talking and shouting. The Ebony Hand bring us our things to fight with, and we face each other. Duke Marlborough gives a speech, but now he’s not talking to us but to my sister, Killpatrick, and the crowd.

Finally it’s time to fight! It didn’t last long at all. Not really any longer than it’s going to take you to read this. Duke Marlborough gave the signal. We were about twenty feet apart or so. I started walking towards him, all casual like you walk down the street. I felt very calm, even though I felt like I was on fire from the rage. He held his rapier out in front of him, and his edge on fencer’s stance made him look even smaller and weaker. The tip of his rapier trembled.

Trying to use the length of his weapon to his advantage, he lunged at me as I approached. Taking two quick steps, I parried his thin blade as I went, and in almost the same motion drove my own blade half a foot into his face. Before he even fell I swung my sword around, cleaving deep into his neck. Blood spurted from the wounds and he hit the ground. Before the Ebony Hand could say Halt, I drove the point of my sword into his heart three times.

Then he did say halt. I dropped my sword and stood in front of Duke Marlborough. The Ebony Hand told him that it was an honorable fight and that there was no magic. I don’t remember Killpatrick being there still, but he must have been. I do remember that my sister was crying with happiness, and my mom was looking at me in a way that I knew that I had done her proud.

So that was that. There was a big party at the manor and everyone but me got real drunk. I was happy it was over and that I killed that guy. And you know what? No one has touched my sister’s boob since then, I promise you!

After that it was usual work stuff. I was sent off to fight in some sort of problems with a baron back in Eastmarch who had sent secret messages to Harwick that he was on his side. I was designated as what they call a heavy skirmisher. It was pretty easy work. We fought a little battle with his men at arms and some peasants in a forest by a swamp. I killed several of them, but one of the men at arms got lucky and I got a spear in my gut. We won anyway though. That laid me up for a bit, but when I was better I went back to Westminster.

When I got back Lord Anglesy told me that I was volunteering for something, and that I was being given over to a lord named Marquis de Lesselyn. I thought that was fine. de Lesselyn came and talked to me about it, and we had a meeting with some other people. I was there. So was de Lesselyn and Anglesy and Marlborough and some other warriors and some wizards. de Lesselyn was a wizard too. He told everyone that he had been doing some things in some old building and such, and had fought some monsters. Then he started to talk about the laid lines. He said he had found something in those old buildings called the hard drive, and that would fix the laid lines. He showed it to us. It was a flat rectangle of green metal, hardly bigger than a man’s hand. It had black things on it that looked like rectangle bugs. The bugs had lots of legs, the longer the bug the more legs it had. The legs came out of the bugs and onto the green metal and into really thin copper wires that made mazes on the green thing. He said that with the hard drive he could fix the laid lines. We had to go really far north though, because he said he took some sort of measurements and we had to go really far north to do the deactivation with the hard drive.

So I guess that means I’ll be going up north. We’re leaving the day after tomorrow, and I’m supposed to go around with Marquis de Lesselyn and buy the stuff for our trip. When we get back de Lesselyn said that we’d be fighting against Harwick and his rebellion.

I’m looking forward to it!

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Re: Things Henry has done

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:47 pm

Fighting a duel over handling a young maiden's love pillows? Man, medieval time were tough.

I think it would be interesting if your character managed to include his sister in conversations with the party telling them of penalties they or any man will suffer for even looking at her sideways. It's harsh, man. Harsh but fair.
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Re: Things Henry has done

Post by Casey on Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:20 pm

I’m a warrior. That’s just how it is. I’ve never really questioned it. I just don’t see the point. Different people do different things. That’s all there is to it. Blacksmiths make horseshoes and plows and shovels and things like that. Basketweavers make baskets. Warriors fight, and warriors die. Some warriors live to be old, but not many real warriors. I might die when I’m old, or I might die tomorrow. You don’t ask warriors to make plows or shovels or baskets. You don’t ask farmers to fight war, even though every single man has the duty to fight to defend himself and his family, even if he’s not a warrior.

One of those holier-than-thou mages asked me once if I liked fighting, and if I liked killing. No, not really. It’s just a job. Does a bricklayer really like being out in the sun all day with his trowel and mortar? I don’t think so. That’s how it’s like for me. I won’t ever shy away from a fight that I’m supposed to fight, or a kill that I’m supposed to kill. I’m not lazy like that. But that doesn’t mean I like it.

The worst part about it is the other people who aren’t warriors. My dad taught me to respect even those I kill, even if I hate that person. Maybe they were ordered to fight by their lord, and if they were they shouldn’t be lazy and they should fight me, and they should try to kill me. But if there’s a fight, there’s always the other people besides the warriors.

The time we went down to fight that baron who was on Harwick’s side, the fighting was the easy part. Even getting stabbed by that spear wasn’t bad. I’m a warrior, and I got stabbed with a spear. No one is such a great warrior that he doesn’t get hurt. Even though it hurt a lot,that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was after the battle. I was lying there, and Berwyn – I’ve known him since our village, he’s a great fighter, really calm no matter what – was wrapping a bandage around me and telling me that I was going to be fine and that it was just a really small wound and that I didn’t need to worry about it. Then people started coming out. Families and the like. I don’t know where they had been during the battle, but they must have been close because they saw what we did.

The part I remember most was a little boy and a little girl came out and went to that same man-at-arms that had stabbed me. When he did that I killed him. I stabbed him in the face and cut his throat with my sword. The children came up to him, knelt down beside him, and tried to get him up. They were crying. It was so horrible, looking at them. I knew that they weren’t being raised to be warriors, like I had been. I guess that’s not how they did things in those parts. I didn’t feel guilty; I didn’t feel bad for killing their dad. I don’t know how to tell you what it is that I felt. I didn’t do anything wrong. But their dad didn’t do anything wrong either. He didn’t deserve to die, not like that, not before his kids grew up and learned how to make a living and had kids of their own and did stuff like that. I didn’t regret what I had done, and if I had to I would do it again. That’s what being a warrior is all about.

The doctor came by and told Berwyn not to waste his time, that I wouldn’t survive. Berwyn didn’t give up, though. Those kids looked at me. I think they knew that I had killed their dad. They didn’t look at me like they hated me though. They looked at me like they wanted to say one word: why. If they had asked me, I wouldn’t have had a good answer. I still don’t, not even after all this time. I remember I wanted to close my eyes. I didn’t want to see their faces, tears streaming down, their deep brown eyes with all that confusion that no one would ever answer, not ever. I didn’t though. I knew that if I was going to be a warrior I had to remember. I had to remember those faces. I could never forget those little faces and those tears.

It wasn’t until later when I was with the Marquis that I learned a little more. We had to pass through the northlands. They were in a bad state. It was horrible. There was a war that they were fighting and a bandit had taken over and wasn’t sharing any food. Also the wights had come and were killing people. We had to sneak around so we wouldn’t get caught when we were on our way to go over the mountains.

One night it was really cold. So cold I don’t think I had ever felt it that cold until we got way farther north. We were setting up camp in a little copse and trying to hide. It was getting dark. A woman wandered into camp. She was really bad off. She was starving, and so were her two little kids that were with her, a little boy and a little girl. They were all really thin. They begged us for some food and some warmth. The woman told us that they were all going to die. Some of the lord-mages were really angry, and told her to go away. One of them even said that we should kill all of them so they wouldn’t tell the thorn lord about us.

I’d never even thought about not doing what a lord told me. I’d never even thought about hurting a lord. The thought had never even crossed my mind. Lords were there to obey, and everyone obeyed them whether or not you like it. But I felt the cold grip of my sword in my hand. I didn’t even remember that I had drawn it. I don’t know what I thought I could have done. These mages had powers that I couldn’t even understand. They could blow me to cinders or turn me to stone or freeze me to death where I stood. But I was there with my sword in my hand and an anger that I had never felt and a vision of two children crying for their father.

I would have died there. I was willing to die there, alone. But that’s not what happened. All of a sudden the mages got really pale and they were looking at something to the left of me. I looked too. Marquis Malcolm de Lesselyn was standing there, his thin rapier in his hand. But that’s not what they were staring at. He was holding what looked like a little green candle flame in his left hand, so small and dim that you wouldn’t think anything of it. He didn’t say anything to his fellow lord-mages, just talked to the woman. Of course she could stay with them that night. Of course we would share our fire and our blankets and our food. He told her that the Queen had named him a Lord Protector of the Realm. He told her that her life was more important than his. That doesn’t make sense because of course the Marquis is really rich and has lands and a castle and servants and things, and this woman is poor and has nothing. But I understood what he meant. I can’t explain it, but I understood.

So they stayed the night with us and ate some of our food. When we left them the next morning I gave her one of my blankets. The Marquis gave her three gold guineas. He told her directions to a fort and told her to tell the lord there that she was under his protection. The woman was crying and so were her kids and she swore that she would serve de Lesselyn forever.

Then we went to the north and she went south to the fort. I hope she made it. She taught me a valuable lesson.

She taught me why I am a warrior.

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