Vox Populi Forum
For myself, there was a day of celebration! I found myself surrounded by true friends, while my hated antagonist danced his last jig - heels clacking in time to the creaking of the swinging of his noose. Still, not long before I had been in the direst of straits.
I had been knocked senseless in battle found myself in the hands of Olaf Porse, the "Black Spot assassin." I taunted the man mercilessly while telling him all he could wish to know. After all, it would do him no good. Dis-satisfied Porse took me to his master, the swashbuckling Pyrate-King, Sebastian Monroe, brother of the foul Lennart Tortensson.
Meanwhile, Leon Leonard L'eonce had caught up with the rest of my compatriots, bringing with him Chip Wildemoon, the famed Killer of Kit Marlowe. With Leon's "Lion's Pounce" joining the "May Sun," the two ships together obviously proved too hazardous a prey for the pyrates near Salerno. The pyrates scattered to the far horizons when the two galleons approached the sea cave lair of Monroe. Natt och Dag warned the crew that Monroe might prove unbeatable in his own lair, yet the party were determined to at least destroy the pyrate's stores of munitions before pursuing the pyrate himself.
Prowling the caves, near the entrance Leon convinced a minion of the pyrates to defect - the location of the powder stores stood revealed. Crossing a stinking bog, emissaries of Roma (there to consult with Monroe about his demands for Naples, made them emissaries of the brown-nosed Lord) were convinced by Percy the Confessor that the group were also delegates of Roma. Guards filled the barracuda grotto. Could "One-Punch Percy" hilt punch them all into the arms of Morpheus? Not quickly enough. He took down the first two, but the rest took up arms. Leon's sacrificed purse of coins distracted some. Francois Duclos' sword held others at bay but he was unable to escape. Chip Wildemoon feigned cowardly pleas to distract guards away from Duclos, while Percy snuck Gaspard Oceane through. Leon's battle cries distracted the guards long enough for all to pass through.
Duclos promised Wildemoon a position of Major over a company of his Royal regiment - a somewhat ironic appointment for a fresh Freebooter.
The munition stores were located. Duclos led the troupe into battle against the guards (who were torturing another poor captured soul) while Leon detonated the powder stores. The rescued man, Joe the Fop, swore to serve as Duclos' manservant. The mission had been completed - the destruction of the pyrate's base of operations - yet Monroe himself remained at large and - bless them - the Vert Valliant hoped to find their humble chronicler.
They continued through the caves finding a fire-pit guarded by enemy artillery. Yet those guards were already on edge after hearing the roar of the explosion of their stores. When the guards recognized the Killer of Kit Marlowe, their morale broke and the fled.
The trap door to the lower levels past the fire-pit initially seemed truly sealed to Percy, the only sapper. Back to the north where a charnal pit was found. The horde of pyrates looting the butchered bodies lept into battle. The valiant Valliant made a tactical withdrawal, yet, during the maneuver, Percy is able to procure a key for the trap door. A return trip to open the pass to the lower levels was made, and, from the lower level, drifted up the screams and oaths of a tortured man.
Of course, it was I. I had been suspended in chains over a bottomless pit when Porse and Monroe had determined they had no more use for me. I screamed for my friends to get after Monroe and Oceane agreed, yet those stalwart friends chose to cut me free instead. Monroe will be a problem for another day.
With the destruction of the Pyrate lair complete, May Sun set her sail for Marseille, while Lion's Pounce set for Kleef. Nat och Dag, satisfied, signed over the deed to May Sun to Merd-a-Din once and for all while the Confessor Percy found himself elevated to Bishop of Marseille!
Before returning to our task of securing funds to retake Nantes, we took time to cross-train amongst ourselves. The skills of Gesticulate Garment, Hilt Punch, Oriental Pummeling, and, my favorite, the Uncontested Dagger Thrust were shared between Gaspard, Percy, Duclos, Wildemoon and myself, along with a quick course in the advantages of Better Valor.
Duclos left to inspect the grounds of a factory he is having built, while Alain Gignot joined the party. We set sail on May Sun with Wildemoon's Company, set ashore and journeyed up the King's Highway with two added companies of cavalry, then met up with Merd-a-din to load our forces aboard May Sun for the crossing to Roma.
Och Dag had seemed an honest man on the last voyage, yet Duclos warned us against the man. Were these Dag's men who led the mutiny aboard May Sun? Gaspard's new skill in Oriental Pummeling failed him in a situation where a Hilt Punch would have served. The Killer of Kit Marlowe inspired our loyal sailors by diving headlong into the fray, but found himself in the center of a trap. When the second wave of mutineers boiled from below-decks Percy called for both sides to lay down their arms, but found his pleas ineffectual. The rest of us fought through the assault, but it was the Feigns of Alain the felled the leader of the mutineers.
We made landfall and rode into Roma to speak with the Abbot Costa. Bishop Percy negotiated with Abbot Costa for a tithe of a tenth (is that redundant?) of the season's grain harvest to feed the French army on her Campaign against the Russians. This grain will feed four regiments for a season.
But... Lennart Tortensson is in Roma. The Abbot will trade the traitor to our troupe if we reduce our tithe of grain by half. I, of course, voted to give up the grain. Gaspard dissented (I cannot blame the man for thinking of France), yet Merd-a-din, Alain, and Wildemoon agree to reduce the tithe in exchange for disgraced Tortensson. Percy also agrees, provided that we place Lennart on trial, not just murder him out of hand.
If Tortensson had crossed my path in battle, I'd have not hesitated to slide a dirk into his heart, but, even I saw the value of placing the man on Trial. Rather than death in a duel, it would be delicious to bring him to true French justice that all may know of his crimes and none lament his passing.
A Fair and Just trial was held aboard May Sun. Merd-a-din served as Judge while the ship's Officers were jury. Tortensson's Crimes were laid out in detail from his Betrayal at Lucerne Peak, his cowardly invasion of Nantes at the head of a foreign Army, to smaller crimes, such as spoilage of stores of Rum.
Of the Jury of Officers, our Masters of Guns, Arms and Sails - Ethiopes all - found Tortensson innocent. We thought. No one aboard speaks their odd, singsong language well. Our Quartermaster, a Serbian, abstained in his vote, but did state he was inclined to think Tortensson was innocent of at least some charges. Helmut von Bismark, that ineffectual military leader so often humiliated by our band, reduced to being a lowly sailor Grumbler - he voted Tortensson innocent... Most likely merely to annoy his betters! Gignot, Gaspard, Wildemoon, the Ship's (English) Vicar and our Scotsman Scapegoat Swabbie all voted Guilty. Percy the Gentle Confessor spoke movingly of the foibles of man's pride before casting his guilty vote. I, of course, called guilty as well. The final word came from Captain Merd-a-din, who gravely pronounced Tortensson Guilty of Crimes Against Man and Crimes Against the State.
I was glad to hold the rope. I am unashamed to admit I laughed as Tortensson's heels kicked, and I admit to an amused pride that the tale was dramatized and performed in Nantes. Still, the playwright and I must speak one day. There are corrections that need to be made in his tragic tale where True Love does not prevail.
Gentle Percy Wischard, Bishop and Confessor, and I spoke at length during the rest of the voyage. The Bishop helped me see how I have been overly driven by anger and vengeance. The Bishop has absolved me of my sins, and, from this time forth I will aspire to be a better man and husband. I am resolved to return home after the Russians are expelled from Nantes and set the Russians on my Estate and in my Family in order.
Ashore we found Monks, common men, and artisans following our companies of soldiers. The reputation of the Vert Valliant is known on this isle, and the kindness of Bishop Percy returning half the tithed grain had made us even more loved by the people. A Cavalry troop from Ansbach presented themselves into our service. Thus we continued on our task.
Forces loyal to Merchant Prince Rizzo of Salerno ambushed our band on the road to Palerno. Rizzo should have known better than to send his troops against us. While Rizzo's soldiers had the advantage of familiarity with terrain, Alain was able to form some of the Rabble following us into an effective Tercio company, while Wildemoon was the one to defeat the enemy commander.
And this is where we find ourselves.
From our starting assembly of three companies of Light Infantry and one Cavalry, we also found ourselves commanding a Renaissance Block of Infantry, a Tercio Block of Infantry, one Cavalry formed here, as well as the Ansbach Cavalry, a self-proclaimed unit of enthused Rabble, and the Religious Pilgrims following our band. The Buccaneering Bishop rallies and inspires these "Sons of the Vert Valliant," what Gaspard steps into the Quartermaster role for what has become a full Regiment. I find myself functioning as Colonel of this ad-hoc Regiment (interesting to command the "Sons of the Vert Valliant" as I was not at the Battle of Salerno where the Vert gained their name and reputation) with Merd-a-din as my second.
With supplies in hand and new recruits to our banner every day we move closer to the day when the Russians are pushed out of French land and poor Nantes is returned to the Crown.
Lord Bailey Baylee Bayleigh (Chronicler)
Somehow in all the chaos, I regret I do not recall reading of the charges ... -- Bishop Percy (posted: 7/4/2018)
Expansion and invention in the narrative. -- Mike Myke Mique (posted: 7/4/2018)
Confession accepted by subtle or course handling .... -- Bishop Percy (posted: 7/4/2018)
Charges of Record... -- Mike Myke Mique (posted: 7/5/2018)
Not Henri the PC, Lord Mayor Scotland Lord High Mayor McAndrew of Dublin -- red (posted: 7/5/2018)
Thanks for the correction. -- Mike Myke Mique (posted: 7/5/2018)
Melodrama means Is he Dead? -- red (posted: 7/5/2018)
Ethiopians were Not Pleased -- red (posted: 7/4/2018)
Agreed. -- Mike Myke Mique (posted: 7/5/2018)