previous threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=crusader+questThread 5 didn't archive fully: http://archive.4plebs.org/tg/thread/34542810/#q34542810Twitter: https://twitter.com/KoblOfcharacter sheet: http://pastebin.com/2STedMGRIt is the Year of our lord, 1135.You are Hugo, squire of Ramla, currently in service to Sir Orlando Grenier.And you sight Antioch from the prow of the ship, a distant spec inland beside the broad Orontes river. The ancient city in which St Peter evangelized to the heathen, where St Ignatius was martyered. One of the corner stones of the Christian faith. Protected by great Roman walls that sheltered a metropolis. The broad Roman roads that still stood, teaming with pilgrims and travelers. You would be disembarking upon a boat, rowed to the shore, and then walk up the rest of the way following that ancient highway, that flat stone path that had kept men moving for centuries.Your footsteps would join those of the saints themselves in making their way up to that mountain shadowed city. It was enough to put a nervous flutter in your belly, and to dry your mouth.It was also enough to set guilt rotting in your belly. Shame for your transgressions against the laws of God. You would seek confession within, you had much to confess.Preparing to be let down was your current master Sir Orlando, and beside him steadying him upon the rocking craft was Sir Hector. The Saxon had a grave expression but a tender hand for your master, who still seemed pale and sweaty from time to time. Indeed, though the days were cooling faster and faster he still seemed to sweat, and squint for the harshness of the light."Come Hugo, let's be on our way," he said, beckoning you to the craft.
With you also was Raymond, the heir of Tripoli. He looked to the countryside with a restless, hungry look. Fidgeting his fingers within the sleeves of his coat, chewing his bottom lip. The man did not like to sit still for long, and was burning with a need to be about in the world.Burly Greek sailors lowered it down, and one remained to row you to the shore. You had foregone horses to better land close to Antioch, but Orlando had sent along a letter to a relation in the city for steeds to be provided once they were in, reimbursed with a letter of credit to be turned in to the local Templar chapter house. It was a convenient system the Templars had arranged, a network that allowed the fast transfer of goods and coin. Orlando found it quite impressive, and had attempted to educate you on its proper function during the journey, pausing only to engage in bouts of vomiting. Whether from the lack of wine of the rolling of the deck upon the sea you couldn't say.All of your travel gear was packed into the craft. As lowest ranked you were the pack mule for this journey, and you wore it like a second set of armour. A pack upon your back, slung from your shoulder, hanging on your chest. You must have looked a walking luggage. You tipped and staggered when you walked. Only Hector kept you upright, and after helping Orlando onto the beach he turned to help you.Raymond forged ahead to the top of the beach, slapping his thighs, as you and the others waded out of the knee high water. He pointed to Antioch."There we have it, the jewel of the Levant," he said. You came to stand with him, to admire the city.Truly it was larger than Jerusalem, and prettier to with its low mountain range upon its back, the tiled roofs a burned orange, the distant peak of the great church, and the waters of Orontes curling up beside it like a long, blue snake. Raymond thumped you on the shoulder, and started up toward the Roman road that would carry on to the city.
The rest of you followed after, you stumbling with your load, Orlando ginger from his poor health.A parade of road born pilgrims and travelers that you were forced to join. Behind a fat man on a mule, his equally fat but barefoot wife, and their three fat children, one of whom nursed a babe. They were Franks, or at least European, but they spoke no tongue you knew when the fat man tried to make conversation."Occitan peasants," Orlando looked upon them with mild revulsion.It was not just them, but dark burned Greeks and hairy, pale Slavs that filled the road. Hairy Easterners that clucked to each other in alien tongues. The likes of the Bulgars and Poles that had made their way down to this blessed city, Christian no doubt but their strange dress excited in you a sense of heathen birth. Women as black as Sabeen with men folk just the same stood with tanned Cyprians and bronzed Egyptians, waiting for a chance to be admitted into the walls and admire the places of saints and martyrs. "Shall we wait with the riff and the raff," Raymond asked you, "Or make to the head of the line as our station demands?" To that he touched his sword and grinned.> wait> cut to the front of the line
> cut to the front of the lineWe're knights and nobles, not a bunch of dirtscrabblers.
>>44313795> waitbut see who cuts ahead Inb4 Poitersmight I also say merry christmas HF and happy one year anniversary of CQ
>>44313795> wait> "quit waving your sword around, it's uncomely"
You shake your head."This is a holy city," you said, "We shouldn't behave in such a way. We're all equals on the road of God."Raymond chuckled, clapped your shoulder. "Well if you say so little monk," he said, recalling your time in Jerusalem disguised as a priestly novice.The four of you were resolved to wait patiently as others preceded you into the city. Orlando looked a little faint, and leaned upon Hector's shoulder. "I'm just a little tired," he said, but when he watched the fat man on the mule drink from a wine skin you saw a hungry flinch in his eyes.The sun rolled over you. Though winter would soon come to the Levant, still it much warmer than you were used to. Doubly so with your extra layer of baggage upon your body. But you remained a foot, waited with diligence even as Raymond started to mutter curses beneath his breath for the time it was taking.Soon though you were before the tall gates of Antioch.A men-at-arms in the livery of the Princedom gave an apologetic smile."Beggging your forgiveness sirs, we've some Romans looking to call upon the Princess, and you know the fuss they make," he said."By Romans do you mean envoys from Rome..." Orlando began.The guardsman, who was a native by look, shook his head. "Nay, forgive me. I meant from the Emperor. A couple big men from up that way. Doing as they do. Swaggering about like cunts.""We've also come to meet Alice," Raymond said, "You might know me."The guardsmen squinted. "Tripoli right?" he said, then he bowed lower, "Aye, Sir Raymond. Welcome. It's been a few seasons since your father was last here.""He has been busy," Raymond replied. With that you were all given freedom of the city.Orlando begged off to go meet his cousin to fetch the horses prepared for them, while Raymond was determined to march on to Antioch's castle. Hector would not allow Orlando to go alone he was in such a weak looking state.> go with Orlando> go with Raymond
>>44314343> go with Orlando
>>44314343Dammit this is one of those decisions wherewe change things on either a personal or Grand scale right HF?> go with Raymond>Tell Hector to not let Orlando drink no matter what
>>44314343> go with Raymond
>>44314343Not sure, but I guess I'll go with >>44314426
>>44314343Supporting this >>44314426|It's been awhile since I caught one of these live, I'm excited, HF!
You decide to attend to Sir Raymond, but take the time to remind Sir Hector to keep Orlando away from strong drink."No, really?" he asked with heavy sarcasm as he followed your knight off a branching path toward the hosteler that held your mounts. You went with Raymond down the chief lane towards the inner walls that sheltered the castle itself.It was over a bridge, a slender branch of the great Orontes river cutting through the city proper itself, and behind a thick wall guarded by an iron portcullis currently raised. Others were crossing the bridge to seek the audience of the regent of Antioch. Some were mere merchants, wealthy of course but still low stationed. Others were journeying knights looking to find a new patron. There were black clad Templars and white clad Hospitallers as well.But what drew your eye were the eastern Romans. Standing out in their harnesses, the scaled plates that covered their chests and the tassels that hang down from their shoulders, and velvet robed besides with heads covered in complicated ornaments.Men, and a couple of attending women. Hair covered and faces veiled.One man strode with teenage impatience. Around the age of your brother, he wore a robe gilded with purple, and a small crown upon his head. Like the robe that fell upon his armour he also wore a haughty arrogance. You did not know him, but you did know the man to whom he was spitting at in fierce Greek.When last you had seen him his face had been glowing, fresh from the rape of his wife. He seemed at ease now, smiling and nodding as he listened to the younger man fire of hot and angry words.Those Roman soldiers that were here kept a dutiful watch. All except the long bodied men who cradled long axes. They lounged in the shade, dicing into an upturned helmet speaking their own queer, Northern tongue. Varangians."What right has that whore to keep me waiting?" you heard the young man snarl.
"Be patient dear Alexios," Theodore said, "Perhaps she merely wishes to get her house in order to best receive a prince of the Empire.""I am no prince, my father has named me co-emperor," he snarled, and looked like he might lash his fist at the heavy soldier. But the smile he gave the boy kept the bundled fists at his side. That furrowed dark brown instead turned to you and yours."Who are these, pig herders?" he asked in Greek, perhaps thinking you could not understand.Theodore looked you both over. If he recognized you he clearly didn't care. "From Tripoli," he said, "I think this is the son.""Jerusalem," Alexios looked as if he'd spit, "Stinking barbarians befouling a holy city. Their bitch of a queen should be bowing her neck before my father."Raymond was smiling dumbly, nodding at the Imperial attention he was receiving. Alexios smiled, nodded back. "Doesn't understand a word I'm saying. Pig shit brained Westerners.""Yes," Theodore seemed as mild in his manner as Raymond, but his eyes told you he knew you both could understand fine.Out from the gate came the castle seneschal. An older man with grey locks and a face like a dried prune. He swished back priest-like robes and went to Raymond at once."You will be seen," he said, beckoning to the door.Alexios, the so-called co-emperor of the Roman Empire, stared at the seneschal agog, near a fit of apoplexy. "They see shit stinking pig farmers before us," he said, rounding on his companion, "This will not stand!"> insist the Romans be seen first> proceed to the castle
>>44315191> proceed to the castle
>>44315191>> proceed to the castle>Roman Empire>Roman
>>44315177>When last you had seen him his face had been glowing, fresh from the rape of his wife.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJodkaMiYrE
>>44315191> proceed to the castleGive our apologies to the great co-emperor in greek. Try to keep a cheery face with no sarcasm, though undoubtedly we are taking the piss.
>>44315191> proceed to the castleWhere is everyone today?
>>44315332Actually I take back the apologies idea, it would be better to hear future conversation without his knowledge of our understanding.
>>44315191> proceed to the castle> no dialogue
>>44315427Better to be cleverer than you look than looking cleverer than you are.
>>44315427Yup, it's a classic trick. Pretend you don't speak the language so you can listen in.
You say nothing as you follow Raymond through the gates, though you cannot repress your smug feeling as you passed the outraged young 'emperor' and his companion. Raymond offers apologies for you both in Latin, doffing his head as he walked by.Such casual politeness seemed to rankle the young man even more, but he kept his mouth shut. It mattered little, soon he was gone from view, and you walked with the seneschal across the castle grounds and into the fat, stone castle itself.It was a very rich greeting hall. Tapestries cloaked the plain stone and a great candelabra lit the whole thing with a soft glow, fat candles sticking from iron holders gilded with silver and gold. The candles were not just wax, but were perfumed as well, inviting spice into the air that made it all the more intoxicating a place.A throne sat at the end of the hall, with a seat before it. Upon the throne sat a little girl done up in great finery, hair hidden under a white silk scarf which was beneath a lordly crown set with jewels, dress decorated with pearls and amber. She wore red slippers that dangled above the earth, kicking back and forth, though she held the arms of he chair with small hands and looked at her petitioners patiently.A very rightful little princess, with a very pale face and the barest little blonde curls escaping from beneath her silken head covering. Constance, grown only a little taller since last you'd seen her.
Upon the seat in front of her was a woman you took to be her mother. She had the Rethel look. Blonde hair, skin like honey and cream, and smokey eyes. But she was thicker than her sisters, though not one you'd call fat, and had a more indulging smile. She dressed near as fine as her daughter, but left her hair uncovered and without crown, allowing her thick gold locks to act in that measure.Though the seat she sat upon was not large she seemed still to be lounging upon it, like a feline sprawled across a rock.You both, Raymond and yourself, took a knee."Welcome cousin," Princess Alice said, "We are pleased to accept you into our hall.""My thanks," Raymond said."Tripoli has long been a dear friend, since the days of my husband god keep him," she said, "What brings this visit from our friend?""Truth I'm but a companion of another in this," he said, "Sir Orlando, in service to Lord Wilhelm of Ramla. Come to discuss matters of faith and trade.""Oh Lord Wilhelm," you misliked the way she spoke your brother's name, so richly and with a little worldly knowing, "He too has been a friend to me. Where is his envoy so I might embrace him?""Sir Orlando...was delayed," he said, "He was-""Hello Hugo!" Princess Constance interrupted, waving to you from her chair.Both Raymond and Alice frowned at the girl, who wilted beneath their glares. She kicked her slippered feet back and forth, well chastised. Still Alice turned her head to you with a hawkish expression. You felt a little like a mouse.Raymond made all apologies for your master and Alice accepted it with grace. She set for you quarters in the castle. 'A little piece of Ramla' she told you specifically, 'close to my heart'. And then you were permitted to go.Before you were gone far, Raymond tarried in the corridor, looking back to the chamber. The Roman delegation would be admitted next.> wait with Raymond> prepare the chambers for Orlando
>>44315800>> wait with RaymondHope things are t too bad HF.
>>44315800> wait with Raymondtry to be somewhere so as not to draw attention, chances are the young emperor will be loud enough for us to hear everything regardless.
>>44315800> prepare the chambers for Orlando
>>44315800>> wait with Raymond
You tarry with Raymond, who leans in eagerly to catch what the young man might say. You expected rage and fire to fall upon Alice's ears, a hot temper tantrum to shake the walls. And you are mistaken."Good greetings to you from my father, Emperor John of the Roman Empire, and from myself," Alexios said, "Greetings to you, Princess Constance, and to you, Regent Alice. Long health and happy days to you both.""Our thanks Prince Alexios," Alice's cool voice."Not prince my lady," Alexios' voice was mild, "My father had me crowned as co-emperor but a few months ago.""I-" you heard the choke in Alice's throat, "My apologies your majesty. You travel so humbly, it might have thought-""My father encourages humility, and I do my best to emulate him. He is the greatest lord upon the Earth, and I am a dutiful son.""Of course."You look to Raymond and see him frowning."You know my cousin Theodore Doukas Komnenos. Imperator of the Roman fleets and Imperial Archon?""We have heard tales of him," she said, and she did not sound pleased. "Can I ask on what matter brings such prestigious guests to Antioch?" she spoke quickly, trying to steer the conversation back to what was at hand."Outside a simple desire to see the rock of Christianity? We come on business two-fold. As ever my father stresses on matters of the Saracen frontier. He looks to Antioch and frets. So close to the enemy, and so lightly defended. He wonders if Antioch is prepared to renew obligations of defense with our illustrious father.""He seeks vassalage," Raymond whispered to you."We thank your father for his concern, and would have an answer for him but only after more private and....intimate discussion is made."
"Of course," such a pleased voice Alexios had, "And on other matters we bring up your daughter. The unwed ruler of Antioch. We ask if her regent has found her a suitable match.""Not as yet," Alice's voice was cutting, "She is still too young for wedding and bedding.""A betrothal is not a marriage," Alexios replied, "My father has bid me to speak with you on such things. Marriage that is, of our beloved princess.""That too we shall discuss later," Alice's voice now had a frantic edge. She wished to be rid of her guest, that much was clear. "I shall have the royal quarters turned over to you and your men, your majesty. I hope you find your stay comfortable, and will dine with me this evening.""Our thanks, you are known to be a generous woman, to friend and stranger alike," such a mild voice but you sniffed a hidden poison in his words.Raymond grabbed at your cuff to pull you away. Now dismissed by the princess, Alexios and his men were approaching the corridor.> roll 1d100
Rolled 40 (1d100)>>44316319I got this
Rolled 12 (1d100)>>44316319
Rolled 44 (1d100)>>44316319
Rolled 53 (1d100)>>44316319
Raymond pulls you away as Alexios rounds the corner. You stumble a little, and something slips from the baggage you carry. You haven't the time to stoop and fetch it lest you be caught eavesdropping, and Raymond's pull wouldn't permit that anyway.He drags you fast through the corridor to the Ramlan quarter, and once there pushes you in, and closes the door behind you."That Alexios, he is not a fool," Raymond says, back to the door and eyeing the room nervous.He had certainly turned against your expectations. For all his raving in the waiting once he was presented before the princess he had seemed the perfect diplomat."Their schemes are obvious," Raymond continued, "They want Antioch back under Roman dominion, and will use threats of force or marriage to do it. Me thinks our 'co-emperor' means to wed little Constance, if not him then one of his brothers. Damn it all, if only the Patriarch were our only concern. Fucking Romans."You couldn't disagree. All manner of meeting you'd had so far with these easterners had turned out unpleasant.Raymond looked to you. "What do you think about the princess wedding a Roman?" he asked.> I'm against it> I'm for it> write in
>>44316533>> I'm against itFuck "Romans"
>>44316533>> I'm against itThe last time I saw a Roman he raped a girl in front of my brother and I.
>>44316533>I'm against itFuck all romans. Let them come after it like men, rather than scheming after it like cowards.
>>44316533> I'm against itI despise the Romans.
>>44316533>> I'm against itGood night anons, remember to kill all filthy Romans
"Never," you said, recalling Zoe. It put a hot knife through your heart, thinking about her. It made you sick remembering what you had seen. "I'd sooner she marry a peasant.""You perhaps?" he asked. Your blush made him laugh. "I only jest. She's for higher stationed men than you or I. Whoever weds her gains Antioch, and all the wealth that goes with it. We should beware the Romans, the Franks, even the Saracens might aim to abduct her and force her into some heathen ceremony. Father was wise to be so suspicious. Vultures circle the little girl."You grip the hilt of your sword. "I won't allow it," you said."But what can we do?" he asked. Asked the air itself as he paced the floor. "I'd like to meet with the Patriarch, if I could." He said at last, looking through the arrow slit window of the room. "I would know all the players of this game."You sat upon the cot set for you, belly rumbling from hunger as well as anger. If only there were people to strike out. Clear armed foes to cut down. You did not like this game of whispers. Give you sword and shield and be set, that was how it should be done. The ancient ways of Old German, still held sacred through the years.No Greek skulking or Roman politicking."Orlando returns," Raymond said, "In company. Who are they?"You go to the slit to catch a glance yourself. Sure enough Orlando had finally arrived with Sir Hector with him, but they had two others. A man and a woman. The man was a slim, brown haired clerical looking fellow, hunched in the shoulders like a scholar. Indeed his brown hair was a ring about a tonsure. The girl wore hair short, a girl so blonde her hair was near white. They seemed of a like age.When she smiled you saw a shadow of Orlando. His cousins, both of them."No doubt introductions will be made," Raymond said, freeing it from his mind as he turned away.
While you waited Raymond seemed possessed of a sulk. By the time Orlando arrived he seemed full agitated."You tardy arse," Raymond snarled at Orlando, who was still in company of the monk and the girl, "The world does not wait upon you.""Easy Raymond," he said, "These are my cousins, Jean and Yolanda."Raymond gave them unfriendly smiles.> keep silent> greet the cousins
>>44317093>> greet the cousins
>>44317093>> greet the cousinsSigh at Orlando's antics. Where did Sir Hector go?
>>44317093>Greet the cousins
>>44317093> greet the cousins
"Good to meet you," you said to both.They were twins, it turned out, though not identical. Yolanda had dimples and straight white teeth that she flashed in a smile, while hunched over Jean gave a crooked bow with his own smile tight pressed.This did nothing to ease Raymond, who just sat and glared at Orlando, who tried to draw his cousins into good conversation. Hector soon returned, he had been gone to stable their horses.Finally Raymond gave a sour little smile and said, "I can't bear to keep looking at you." Got up and strode from the room, pushing past Hector."What's got under his collar?" the Saxon asked, unbuckling his sword.You couldn't say.It seemed the Grenier twins managed the business interests of their aged father, Orlando's uncle. He was the owner of a number of wine distilleries and dabbled in textiles. The man was too ifirm to do more than sit a chair and count the hours until his death, or so his children said. They had an elder brother in the Templars, and their youngest brother was still at their father's new young wife's breast, suckling. So such matters fell to the two of them. For all of Raymond's grouching this was a meeting of business as much as familial reunion."That man will make some woman very unhappy one day," Yolanda said, "My own husband is not around long enough to upset me however.""In Edessa currently," Jean explained, "and has been for some time, assisting against the Turks.""A strong bold soldier that leaves a cold, empty bed," she sighed, "But enough on men, let's discuss business."You and Hector had little say in such things, and merely remained to listen, but you found accounts a chore to endure. You could go for food, your belly yowled, but your sword hand itched as well. Also your thoughts drifted to Raymond, his mood turned so darkly sour, and you worried for him.> go practice the sword> go to the kitchens> go find Raymond> remain and listen
>>44317447My trip vanished. Strange.
>>44317447>>Go practice the sword with Raymond and Hector.
>>44317447>> go find RaymondExcuse yourself politely and/or discretelyAlso>Hugo stopping anyone from acting rashly
>>44317484This. Roman serpents about, not a time for our fellows to be parted, especially in foul moods.
Whoa HF...it's pretty damn late but I'm glad I didn't miss the thread
>>44317447> go practice the sword Let's go pretend to fuck up some Romans
>>44317447> go practice the sword
Damn. Thought you werent going to run anyway so i went to bed. Glad i caught some of it.
>>44317447>> go find Raymond
The itch in your hand was too much. You had to go and relieve this stress some how. Swordplay seemed the trick, and at least by doing so you might imagine your enemies were standing before you.With small excuse you departed and Orlando let you go. When you beckoned to Hector however he remained where he stood.He gave little motive, the man was usually keen for fighting, but gestured subtly to the bargaining table. You think you understood. He did not trust Orlando to see to these matters alone.So you left, hoping you might run into Raymond on your way to the practice yard. Unfortunately wherever he was he was not in evidence, and the man had a way of disappearing. He would reappear when he wished to be seen, searching would be of little use.Ten that left just going to the training yard.Antioch was no small place, as a city or province. The principality was rich, fertile ground much unlike their southern neighbours, and as a result could boast a healthy number of troops. As a result the practice yard was quite busy with soldiers, men-at-arms and some temple serjeants, practicing at war.The spear, the sword, and others wrestled. A few of the servants, the girls, lingered around the ring to watch muscled menfolk sweat and grunt as they battled one another, flushed cheeks admiring the spectacle. It was a little indecent for women to openly eye men in such a way, but you were not so easily shocked now as you had been before.A Roman man, that is a Greek soldier, wrestled with a Frankish man-at-arms. Heads bowed in and arms outstretched, they grabbed one another, pushed and turned and each tried to gain mastery of position, to bear the other to the ground. The Greek soldier was soon the victor, to the cheers of his companions and the mock-boos of the locals.
"You fight well blood," he said, ruffling the Frank's sweaty hair."Atticus is a skillful wrestler, best in the legion," a companion said. Atticus did not deny it, only nodded.You looked to see who was in swordplay. A norseman, a Varangian, battered at a poor Syriac looking fellow. He swept his sword like it was a hammer, and struck just as hard, knocking back the man-at-arms. He was a long-limbed creature, not thickly muscled but still clearly strong, and the reach he had was astounding.Other Varangians hooted him on. "Bjarni," they called him, "Bjarni, stop fooling!"In the spears there was a man who looked like some mix of local Syrian and Frank. Olive skinned yet red haired. He made a pass of thrusts against two others at once, his spear light and fast flashing in his hands. Two at once and they could not take him. He was a tough man.This man they called Furio, and he was thought the best soldier in all Antioch. The watching serving girls eyed him so wistfully as he took off his helm, pulled back his coif, and rung out his dripping red curls.Who will you challenge?> Atticus> Bjarni> Furio
>>44317858>AtticusSee how them Romans fight first hand
>>44317858> BjarniWrestling is gay. Let's hone our real combat skills.
>>44317990>He doesn't want to "accidentally" kill a Roman in a tragic training accidentLive a little, anon
>>44317990Wrestling is the foundation of all fighting - Pietro Monte.
You decide to square off against the long Varangian.Looking him up and down he became more familiar to you. Yes, you recognized him as one of the Norsemen that had been there on the day of Zoe's rape. They had killed her bodyguard, and kicked his head back and forth like a game ball as they waited for their master to finish.He looked to you and frowned. The Antioch man he had battered down, and his companions had to drag him away. His knee had been mashed up, clean broke. Setting it would be tricky and he might never take up arms again."You for me next little boy?" he asked, pointing his sword at you.You nodded, taking up sword and shield.The Varangian looked to his companions. Shrugged."This will not take long," he said, as you stepped into the little arena.Few watched your fight. The men of Antioch had given you up for lost already.> first round is five passes> Strike beats thrust, thrust beats bind, and bind beats strike, block negates all hits
Rolled 49 (1d100)>>44318328Strike
Rolled 58 (1d100)>>44318328Block
Rolled 8 (1d100)>>44318328Thrust
Rolled 50 (1d100)>>44318328Strike
Rolled 17 (1d100)>>44318328Block
Rolled 3, 2, 3, 4 = 12 (4d4)rolling for Bjarni1 strike2 thrust3 bind4 black
Rolled 2 (1d4)>>44318399Sorry, missed one.
> strike < bind> block > thrust> thrust > bind> strike < block> block > thrustYou throw a cut for his head and immidetaly he turns your blade aside and rings your helm like a bell with the flat of his own blade. His friends give a cheer for him and jeers for you. Bjarni throws the point of his blade forward at your face, but you push it away with the rim of your shield, opening up for a thrust at his chest.He tries to bring his blade down on yours in time but your strike is true, if a weak touch. You turn that thrust into a high cut that drums against the surface of his shield. He thrusts out again, but you step away, throwing aside the thrust on your shield boss.The two of you circle on another. Bjarni's swagger has dropped down, his eyes drawn narrow, his arms out, shield and sword put forth, trying to use his greater reach against you.> second round is five passes> Strike beats thrust, thrust beats bind, and bind beats strike, block negates all hits
Rolled 44 (1d100)>>44318484Strike for glory!
Rolled 55 (1d100)>>44318484StrikeHe's probably going for thrusts for reach.
Rolled 95 (1d100)>>44318484Thrust
Rolled 61 (1d100)>>44318484bind
Rolled 82 (1d100)>>44318484bind
Rolled 29 (1d100)>>44318484Thrust
Rolled 27 (1d100)>>44318484bind
Hugo mode is about to be activated.
Rolled 4, 1, 1, 4, 4 = 14 (5d4)Rolling for Bjarni
>>44318634Son of a bitch.
>>44318634Bjarni just went into full block
> strike < block> strike - strike> thrust < strike> thrust < block> bind < blockYou cut for his sword arm but he catches it on the rim of his shield. The two of you both cut for the other, but he pushes your sword away and before you can do much collapses it against you, the edge of his blade ringing your helm again. You grit your teeth against the ringing ache and throw your blade out wildly, turning your pain into anger and trying to chop through his defense, but the man falls back putting out his shield.There was no fighting through his shield, and even if you did it was far past his reach.You circle one another again, trying to find an opening, licking your lips.> third round is five passes> Strike beats thrust, thrust beats bind, and bind beats strike, block negates all hits
Rolled 71 (1d100)>>44318722bind
Rolled 18 (1d100)>>44318722Thrust
Rolled 44 (1d100)>>44318722Strike
Rolled 19 (1d100)>>44318722block
Rolled 36 (1d100)>>44318722Bind
Rolled 59 (1d100)>>44318722strikeI wish there were some modicum of strategy involved in these duels
Rolled 1, 1, 4, 3, 4 = 13 (5d4)Rolling for Bjarni
Man, we keep fucking up. We should just train and play chess while Raymond does the secret agent man thing.
> bind < strike> thrust > strike> strike < block> block > bind> bind < blockBjarni grows impatient with your circling and opens up to you with a cut. You take it on your sword edge and turn it about, bring the point of your blade across the side of his helm. Bjarni stares wide, an inch to the left and he'd have lost an eye. He cuts out at you as he backs away, blade cutting across your maille'd sword arm. You hissed, there'd be a bruise at least across your forearm.You answered his cut with one of his own and he caught it on his shield. He answered it with a return which you soon caught as well. There was an exchange of cuts like that, drumming one another's shields, until you were set back to circling one another. Bjarni had sweat in his eyes and gave a sniff.> end the bout> go another pass
>>44318883> go another pass
>>44318883> go another passbastard is getting tired
>>44318883>> end the boutThank you for the match. No reason to get injured.
>>44318883>> go another pass
>>44318883> go another passsurely this time will be decisive
You resolve to continue fighting, and lift up your sword and shield.He grunts and does the same.> this last pass is all or nothing, roll 1d100 best of three
Rolled 29 (1d100)>>44318947
Rolled 85 (1d100)>>44318947I've been rolling like shit lately, hopefully this time is different
Rolled 33 (1d100)>>44318947
Rolled 80 (1d100)>>44318947
>>44318966You saved it. Potentially at least anon.
>>44318966We went toe to toe with a Varangian Guard. Nice one Hugo
You come in fast with a roll of cuts, snapping from the wrist and pressing hard, darting this way and that. Bjarni doesn't buckle. He catches many of your blows either on sword or shield, but a few break through, ringing his helm or crunching his maille. His break for distance comes with hard, fast cuts that you block on blade as you push your shield in, bashing it against his to drive him further to the arena edge, ducking under his long lashing arm to cut him across the side of his chest.With you so close he drops his sword and grabs you by the shoulder, trying to wedge the rim of his shield up into your face. As you struggling against his superior weight pressng down you cross your own sword behind the back of his neck and grab it with your shield hand, then with a roll of your hip pressed against his leg, and a pull of your sword, the bigger man comes down, thrown across the dirt.Dust is thrown up in your face and you blink, rub at your face. Bjarni lies face down, panting.Many had come to watch your fight, and many cheered your victory. Servant girls waved cloth at you as if they were high born favours while the soldiery only cheered, loudest the friends of the crippled Syrian. Even some of the Romans applauded you. Atticus the wrestler, and some others happy to see a swaggering Varangian put down a peg.Those others in Bjarni's company remained silent. They neither cheered you nor cursed you out, but watched with heavy eyes.You crossed the arena, sheathing your sword, glad to have had at least some of Bjarni's measure."Look out!" a girl screamed.You turned to see Bjarni was on his feet, bet he forewent sword and shield and was reaching for the long axe that was the signature of his breed. His eyes called for murder, his brow lowered for killing.> roll 1d100, best of three
Rolled 25 (1d100)>>44319156
Rolled 22 (1d100)>>44319156
Rolled 4 (1d100)>>44319156
Rolled 94 (1d100)>>44319156Fucking asshole stay down!
Rolled 36 (1d100)>>44319156Let's see if my luck holds
>>44319171>>44319169>>44319165Think Hugo is going to stay in bed for a while... or the grave
>>44319176Fucking Christ 4chan doesn't let me post and the one time I roll high it's 4th.
>>44319156"this last pass is all or nothing,"
>>44319223Aye, The fight is over and Bjarni is a sore loser and tries to cut us down from behind.
>>44319230More like HF lies.
>>44319245It was all or nothing for the duel. He lost and attacked us for real. Quit being a salty bitch because we rolled poorly.
>>44319260It was ALL or NOTHING. We won. We shouldn't have to do any more rolling.
>>44319268All or nothing for the bout. This is already past the bout. A new action.
>>44319268I expected this to happen if we won. You're just being a petulant child about it.
You raised your shield against the axe. And felt the shield splinter apart upon your arm. A second blow fast delivered finished it, and you felt a crunch in your arm, a sudden numbness, then pain that made you howl. A boot caught you in the stomach and your sword dropped from your hand as you doubled over retching."I'm going to fuck you," Bjarni said through teeth and spit. He grabbed you, pulled off your helmet, grabbed you by the hair. Twisted it up as he pulled you up. "I'm going to fuck you til you call me sweet heart." His hand smacked across your face. He was frothing at the mouth.You spat blood. As he pulled your head back you spat blood in his eyes, and threw a right hook that mashed his nose. He winced as blood poured from his nostrils, grinned."Pretty boy got girl lips," he said, jamming his mailled fingers at your mouth.You punched, him, kneed him, kicked him, but it wasn't doing much to stop him.Then from your shoulder there was a flash of a spear point. And Bjarni's nose fell away.He howled as he clutched at his ruined face, dropped you to the ground clutching at his ruined face, the empty nostril socket."Honourless bastard," Furio said, standing beside you.Bjarni howled, thrashing about like a wild bull as he bled around the arena. Furio looked to you, handed you his spear."Do as you think right," he said.You gripped it in hand. Turned, spat up a mouthful of blood again.> kill Bjarni> don't
>>44319291> kill Bjarnifucking swine
>>44319277>>44319284Oh, if it was a new action that we saw coming, we should have been given an opportunity to do things besides get caught off-guard like a chump.
>>44319291> kill BjarniHe has no honour and cant even defeat a teenager. The emperor and the world would be better without him
>>44319291> don't> cut off his hands
>>44319291>> kill BjarniThough to be honest I'd rather not but its not likely to win.
>>44319291>> kill BjarniKill the disgrace to the Varangians.Take his axe and sword and return them to his fellows.
>>44319311That was what the roll was for.And best of 3, not average of 3 too.HF was already giving us good odds. Not his fault we fucked it up.
>>44319291>> don't"Bjarni, you swine! Your treachery cost you your face! Further will cost you more!"
He was one of the men who helped Theodore rape Zoe. He tried to strike us down from behind like a coward. He is a disgrace and a coward>>44319291> kill Bjarni
>>44319291We can't really hold him accountable, God made him do the things he did.> don't
>>44319363>>44319357>>44319325He is a rapist coward who will no doubt hold a grudge against us and try to kill us or one of our friends. We have every right to kill him. He is no better than that english rapist Hugo killed.
>>44319291>> don'tBeat him with the unpointed end.Have him kneel and repent.
>>44319354There should not have been just a roll, there should have been options like, "Help him up" or "Spit on him" or "Smile and nod at the crowd." However, HF took away control of our character so we could be caught flat-footed for story purposes.
>>44319291> don'tHe's already screwed, the human form is sacred in Byzantium.
>>44319383Not gonna lie, I strongly suspect that you're samefagging right now
>>44319291>> kill BjarniAlso:>and you felt a crunch in your arm, a sudden numbness, then pain that made you howl.This fucker may have just ended the era of Hugo the god of war.
>>44319388Oh do you never hold up with your constant bitching ?we had a choice when we chose to continue the duel. If we had ended it that would had been that.
>>44319407Our choices shouldn't be taken away for plot purposes. This isn't a story, it's a game we're playing.
>>44319426Fuck off retard.
>>44319443>insults instead of counter-argumentsSo you're conceding?
Rolled 1 (1d2)Alright the votes are pretty close. I'm going to flip a coin.1 kill2 don't
>HF finally returns>thread devolves into whining and extreme samefagging halfway throughthis is true suffering
>>44319472I just wish HF didn't take away our ability to choose what our character does so he could spring something on us.
Everyone please ignore the troll. If he persists report but do not engage.
>>44319471HF, what are the vagarian laws and customs concerning this sort of thing?
>>44319489But our character didnt do anything. The guy got pissed and tried to murder rape us cause he is a salty bitch. It was a consquence of winning the fight.
>>44319489Nothing we could have done would have changed the fact that he would attack us after losing. Now shut the fuck up.
>>44319502Could you please tell me how getting mad at the QM for taking away the control of our character so an NPC could get the jump on us with an axe is trolling?>>44319507>>44319508For one, we could have noticed "Holy shit, that guy's getting an axe."
>>44319505Bring his weapon and equipment back to his fellow guards and dont act like a smug twat and they will no doubt respect us a bit.
>>44319505>>44319524Actually...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varangian_Guard#cite_ref-7>An illumination of a scene from the Skylitzes Chronicle, depicting a Thracesian woman killing a Varangian who tried to rape her, whereupon his comrades praised her and gave her his possessionsThey might be the ones offering his possessions to us.
>>44319507>>44319508We could have been on our guard while he was getting an axe.
>>44319537We weren't solely the one to kill him though.
>>44319354>HF was already giving us good odds. Not his fault we fucked it up.There shouldn't have been odds about this thing yet, not until we could decide to have Hugo turn his back on his foe for ourselves. However, he did that for us and put us in that situation. It's his fault we were in that position at all.
>>44319524Fuck that. We're keeping the axe.
>>44319489The fuck are you whining about? This is something the other guy did, not Hugo. Now stop shitting up the thread.
You look at the thrashing maniac, his eyes like animal eyes all lost to pain and rage. They catch sight of you and you hear an anguished, maniacal growl rip out of that throat. And you remembered the way he'd stood over Zoe, and watched the rape unblinking.With your good arm, the other hanging lip beside you, you raised up the spear and gave a single, solid thrust.It pushed through Bjarni's throat, the tip coming out the other side, broad blade almost severing the head. Then you pulled it out with a wet shluck, and the body of the Varangian dropped.The other Varangians muttered amongst themselves for a while. It seemed a serious discussion held in their lilting tongue, with much pointing and gesture. You and all of the Antioch garrison watched them uncertainly. Finally one of them nodded, stepped out."Bjarni was a sore loser," he said, "We give you his arms and armour, fairly won."> acquired Dane Axe> acquired maille coat> acquired nasal helm> acquired round shieldThe man you figured to be the chief of the northmen gave you a respectful nod as the others gathered up the body of their comrade.You sagged, the bloody spear hanging loose in your hand. It was all you could do not to fall over. The soldier Atticus took you by your good arm and helped you over to a bench, while Furio took his spear. The Roman soldier felt along your forearm, and his touch brought you such a pain you nearly punched him."Arm's broke," he said, "But no fear. It's a clean break. The fun'll be taking the clothes off and setting the damn thing, but once it's held it'll not slow you down. Seen literally hundreds of these. Broke my own in a match when I was about your age." He called to one in his company, a physician who came jogging over.With a little help you pulled off your maille shirt, huffing in pain as you did, then the cloth doublet beneath until you were bare chested. Girls watching gave excited sounds at your chest scar, and were fawning over you in general.
>>44319584HF turned Hugo's back on Bjari, not us. If we were in control, we could have seen that the guy was getting an axe, and prepared for that.
"You want to do this here, or with a bit of poppy in you?" the physician asked, unscrewing a flask he wore, "It'll help the pain, and give you good dreams."> take the poppy> take the pain
>>44319600>> take the painClear head, clear mind. Pain is good. Keeps us alive. Teaches us not to make mistakes.
>>44319600>> take the pain
>>44319593Nigger.The match ended. Hugo walked away. The fuck were you imagining we would do, vote to stand there and stare at him?We rolled poorly and were taken off guard. Such is life. Cease bitching pls, it's over and he's dead.
>>44319593Seriously, it's like Hugo didn't take that spar with Mathilde to heart at all. Just because you won a duel doesn't mean the foe's defeated. Having him turn his back on his foe is really out of character with HF writing.
>>44319600> take the painCant afford to go to sleep. Too much is happening and we need to be awake for it.
>>44319600> take the painbite something
>>44319600>> take the painDrugs are for losers. -Hugo of Ramla
>>44319609We voted to throw sand in Mathilde's eyes, Hugo should be fully aware by now how sore the defeated can be.
>>44319611A broken arm will teach that lesson.That being:Never turn your back on a foe and have friends to watch your back anyways.
>>44319600> take the poppyProbably pass out from the pain anyway
>>44319591Can we even wield that Dane Axe and Round Shield yet ?I mean those things are huge and Hugo still has some growing to do.
>>44319644Dane Axe is a two handed weapon, so you can't use them together, but yes you can use both. The Dane Axe you can use once your arm is fixed.
>>44319644If Hugo can't maybe Solobro might want to try them. Might even be a handicap in training for him so he doesn't walk all over everyone.
>>44319609>The fuck were you imagining we would do, vote to stand there and stare at him?If given the option to stare at somebody, questers will vote to stare at somebody on the off-chance that they'll wig out and grab an axe.
Salty faggot decided to archive the thread. At least the tags are right I guess. I just don't understand how someone could feel good about themselves after doing something so pathetically childish.
>>44319774>Its actually trueHoly shit. How salty can one person be ?
>>44319794Never question how salty an anon can get. If we could mine it the earth would never run out.
>>44319774>>44319794>>44319826So are y'all gonna vote it up, or what?
You push aside that poppy flask."I'll take the pain," you said, mustering a blood toothed grin.The physician rolled his eyes. "Suit yourself kid," he said, and had Atticus brace your shoulder.Essentially he broke your arm a second time. Took your broken arm and snapped it back down. And boy did it hurt, hurt more even. You felt your guts roil and you leaned forward, vomiting all over yourself. It hurt too much to do more than that. You gasped, your whole body a-sweat and shaking."Nnn," you manage to say, regretting your decision not to drink the poppy. The world was spinning around you."He's passing out, he's passing out!" you heard the physician say in thick Greek. You fell backwards, and into the dark.-The dark. It was like the sea at night. All around you, but it felt soft. It was not a threatening blackness. You lay in it, feeling warm, safe.You could not move but you did not mind. You couldn't speak, but that didn't bother you.Was this what dying felt like? Were you dying? Am I dying?The thought echoed across the sea.You heard a rustle, like blankets. The darkness swelled up before you. A woman's shape formed. She had no face that you could see, her body was cloaked in the black of the sea but that sea black shroud gripped her form, a woman's naked form. A perfect shape. Hips and thighs and shoulders, legs, arms. So expert and perfect. But it did not arouse you, not like that.You did not see but felt arms around you. Heard a voice singing soft, like at the other end of a corridor but right by your ear as well."He has a fever but-" a sudden jar of sound, a voice. The woman shivered. Don't go, you thought. "He should be fine with-" the sea began to churn, and fade. Light broke into the warm dark. Illuminating light.
Don't go, you yearned, and wished you could move. So that you might grab her. To hold the woman close. Don't go. The more you tried to move the more the light grew across the ocean, washing it away. The light then fell across her, and with it she faded. In the last second before she was gone you saw eyes. Dark cat's eyes."- a few days rest," the physician stood by your bed, talking with Orlando. You blinked out the light, raised up your arm to shield your eyes. It was swathed with bandages, held together by a splint. It was itchy. The dream was gone and forgotten in the passing of seconds. A memory of a memory lingering."Awake," Hector said, he sat at the foot of your bed with a waiting cup of broth. "Here, drink." He held it out for you. You took it with your right hand, drank slow."He's a tough lad," Orlando said, looking to you with a brotherly concern, "Do you think we need fear reprisal?"The physician shook his head. "No, the Varangians have a rough sense of honour. They'll count justice done.""My thanks," Orlando shook the Greek soldier's hand. Sent him on his way. Then looked to you. "You'll be staying in bed," he said, "And I'll not hear a word against it."> yes sir> no sir
>>44319919> yes sir
>>44319919> yes sirNow that i remember it. Is Joyce and Elaine in Antioch still ?
>>44319919> yes sirlol told you we'd pass out. you guys wanted to look tough and it totally backfired.
>>44319919> yes sir> ...> Shatranj?
>>44319919> no sir
>>44319919>> no sir>>44319934Crap. meant to say.> no sirAlice and Constance still needs our help
>>44319919>> no sirNigga we got Romans to stop.
>>44319919> no sirWe have to save antioch
>>44319936We would have passed out either way. >>44319969>>44319988I think we should just wait for Raymond to do whatever it is he's here to do while we stay in bed with our 71 INT.
>>44319995We find out first if Raymond do need our help and if not we promise to be a good boy and take it a bit more easy ?
>>44319995Well we wouldn't have puked all over ourself
>>44320004Raymond does not need our help. In fact, by trying to lend our help we've already endangered both him and us.
>>44320018We could atleast get up and send our regards to Alice from Wilhelm. Hugo doesnt know they have already talked.It would also give us a chance to interact with Constance and Alice, trying to understand the situation a bit better. So long we dont do anything rash
>>44320030We can't do anything. We're just a swordboy, and it's high time you realized that before causing us more grief.
>>44320046>We can't do anything. We're just a swordboy, and it's high time you realized that before causing us more grief.We cannot do anything in public, but we can do something in private, we are a good friend of Constance and a good friend of Princess Alice's sister the Queen. We may be able to influence the matter.
>>44320081We cannot, sorry. Just hope Raymond can manage something. Pray.
>>44320090Begone with your defeatisim
>>44320100Not all fruits are apples, and knowing when to quit is not defeatism.
"No sir," you say, struggling up into a sitting position.Orlando frowns. "You're no good to anyone like that," he said.You raise your good hand, flex out your fingers. "My sword arm," you said, "And I can just strap a shield onto the broke one.""Hugo, we aren't on a battlefield despite your carrying on," Orlando replied, "There's no need for swords and shields.""Not yet anyway," Hector added with dark humour, sipping his own broth."Quiet you," Orlando said, raising a fist for the chuckling Saxon. Next he turned back to you. "I'll be meeting with the Patriarch to discuss matters of importance, you remain in bed until I get back. No arguments." His word seemed final on that, and he strode out as if that had put you in his place. Hector went after him, setting aside what was left of his broth.Of course, just because Orlando told you to do something doesn't mean you would automatically do it. Duty or not, you were determined not to lie in bed like a useless lump. Once you judged them far enough gone you slipped out of bed.You were nude, and stank of vomit and fever. Your body was still a little shaky. You washed yourself quick with a bowl left, scrubbing a sponge across your body. Then you pulled on hose and britches. A proper shirt was too painful to draw on, so you wore your doublet un buttoned, good arm drawn in, the other side hanging off your shoulder, broken arm held to your chest.Last you strapped on your sword. You patted it. Then began to creep toward the door.It swung inward. You leapt back toward the bed.Raymond grinned down at you."Excellent, you're up," he said, "I could use your help with something.""What?" you asked."I need you to kidnap a princess," he said.> no!> okayI'm very tempted to end the thread there
>>44320114> okayI hope you got a plan Raymond
>>44320114>> okaySee Defeatist!Anon? Gotta go save/doom Antioch.
>>44320114hopefully I won't be needing both arms for this plan of yoursdo it I need to sleep
>>44320114> nigger wut
We can use our bedriddenness as an alibi!
>>44320188>I kidnapped the princess?>Sure i did with my broken arm and almost feverlike state
>>44320203>We have witness testimony saying that when eloping with the duchess, the culprit said, and I quote, "Oh fuck, my arm!"
You look up at the heir of Tripoli. He really was mad."Okay," you said, and offered him your good hand. He took it, pulled you into an embrace."Here's the plan," he said.-You walked to the princess' chambers with a staggering step. You were still far from well. Men-at-arms gave you respectful salutes as you passed. It seemed the young Syrian Bjarni had maimed had been well liked. They were all glad for what you'd done.Round the corner you came to a door, a large oaken door. Within you could hear the sound of giggling children. The soldier at the door hesitated at the sight of you."When I was in Jerusalem," you said, "The Queen asked me to bring her niece a gift." You drew forth the favour of the Queen, the colours of the kingdom in finest silk. There was no denying it was genuine. "And her son asked me also to call on his cousin, give her his wishes."The man-at-arms rolled his tongue along his teeth, but finally nodded, and stepped aside.You must have seemed a strange figure standing in the open doorway. Wounded from battle and fresh from the hospital bed, barely dressed with arm strapped against you with a sword jostling against your hip. Doublet half opened to show the scar that ran across your chest, face half swollen with artful dark bruising.The girls of the private solar of Princess Constance gasped for the sight of you. Little Constance at a game of dolls with other noble daughters."Hugo," she said, and stood up from where she knelt. Smoothed her skirts, and bowed. "Welcome." She had a smile of such open innocence."Princess," you knelt. Bowing took too much effort. The other girls were all a giggle behind raised hands. YOu pulled out the queen's favour again, handed it to her. She took it in both hands, unfurled it before her. "Do you trust me?" you asked.Her brow crinkled. She looked over you, but then she gave a sharp little nod.
"I need you to come with me, now," you said, holding out your good hand.She looked back to her friends, then up to you."I'm taking you to see your aunt, the queen. Antioch isn't safe for you." The girl was so guileless she believed your lie. But then, you weren't entirely lying.She placed her little hand in yours. And you didn't wait, immediately you were off, out the door, the girl hitching a step to keep a pace with you.> roll 1d100 best of three
Rolled 61 (1d100)>>44320277
Rolled 28 (1d100)>>44320277
Rolled 89 (1d100)>>44320296
>>44320311>>44320277Shit. It sitll counts right?!
Rolled 11 (1d100)>>44320277
Atleast we know it wont be a complete failure.I get the feeling everyone was too scared to roll
>>44320361I know I was
Quick break. Be back as soon as possible.
Why do i get the feeling everyone is going to end up either dead or raped ?
>>44320470Because you have learned from the past and know our QM enjoys having blonde princesses raped, duh.I still love you HF.
>>44320549Jokes on you. Zoe is black haired.
>>44320696The suffering will continue on schedule.
The time it is taking is really not helping my nerves.
If anyone noticed you leading the infant ruler of Antioch by hand through the castle grounds, none stirred to raise alarm. You felt your fever stronger than ever as you led the child through the corridors, ducking out through fine little gardens, only to disappear back into a castle corridor again. It was a rabbit's warren of such things, the large castle a sprawling place.When you heard a servant or a soldier approaching you stopped to press the girl against the wall, heart a drum in your chest waiting for them to pass, and then you skulked out again.You felt like a man abot on misdeeds, like a criminal or villain. This felt wrong. But then you looked to the girl nd saw another girl's face, streaming with tears and chewed up with anguish. You'd not let that happen again.Finally you came to the wall, and at it a small porter's gate. Just a little hidden out of the way place for servants to cart goods in and out. It was locked."No," you shook the handle, "No, no!"Constance tarried at the gate."Should I really not tell mother?" she asked, "It seems un-Christian."You looked down at the girl, sweat beading across your brow. You knew a wasted moment might raise the alarm. But still she stood uncertain, twisting the favour about in her hands. You knelt before her so that your eyes were level, good hand upon her shoulder."Your mother will understand," you said, "With time. Believe me."She frowned, but still nodded. You took her hand again, and looked for another way out of the castle.You walked and were near discovered, once you tripped upon another little garden. A gang of Romans stood guard upon a door. Quarters given over. Soon though a veiled woman emerged and gave them sharp orders, sending them off. She went out with a vase, filled it with water from a small fountain. You stuck to the corner, watching, waiting for her to leave.Her head came up. Sharp eyes catching a glint of you from round the corner.
"Who is there?" he called, "Who are you?"That voice. It seemed maddeningly familiar."I see you there," she said, "Show yourself or I shall call for the guards."With that threat you had no choice. You slipped out from behind the wall. Constance behind you, still gripping your hand. The veiled woman stared a time at you. When she spoke it was through a painful memory."I know you," she said, and she unloosened her veil. Your guts clenched.Zoe had a noble face, a noble, gaunt, haunted face, and still so painfully young."Stylianos," you said, the boy's name she'd worn in masquerade."You tried to help me," she said. Then her eyes turned to Constance."I'm sorry," you said, "I'm sorry to have failed you.""This is the child they fuss over," she said, "Those men." You nodded. "You are trying to get her away?" You nodded again. "You are a good man. A foolish, hopeless, doomed young man." She came over and touched your cheek tenderly. "I will help.""We need to get out of the castle," you said, "We've a boat waiting on the river."Her eyes were large and strange, unreadable to you. She turned her head, and walked toward the wall. A hand touched the stone. "There are bolt holes all through this city," she said. She knelt down, cleared aside some tangled weeds. A door, like a cellar door. "I had thought to run as well, but he would find me." She spoke as she pulled open the stubborn door. It did not give easily, but with effort she had it open. "Follow," she said, and she strode down some steps.It was not a long corridor. It opened up on some quite no place outside the inner wall. "The old lords would skulk into town," she said, "To make mischief and have their pleasure, as lords do." She stood in the dark, looking up at you as you manned the stairs. Such a hollow eyed woman, standing in the dark.> come with me> thank you
>>44320930> thank you
>>44320930> thank youWe cannot save Zoe right now. But one day, one day we will make it all right. That we promise
>>44320942We'll open 'Hugo's House for Princesses, the No. 1 place to protect your daughter from evil Romans.'
"Thank you," you said, taking her hand.She nodded to the princess. "Just make sure she does not become like me. There are far too many of us in this world," she said."I promise," you said.She smiled. "I do not need your promise, I know you'll keep your word," and then she reached up and kissed you light upon the cheek, "God guard you, for no one else will." And then she turned away, and was gone.You took Constance again by the hand and headed up into the city.The castle was not the problem, not the only one. The city was as well. Soon enough they'd know Constance was gone and lock down the gates. You'd be hunted like a rat through the streets, with no place to hide or friends to help you. Getting caught would mean being burned at the stake.But you trusted Raymond. Didn't you?He had arranged a small rowboat, to escape along the Orontes river. It would not be far, he said. You hurried, hurried as fast as you could without running and ruining the whole show. You weaved through those Roman streets choked with a multitude of pilgrims from every Christian corner of the earth. Rushed on a prayer that no one would recognize the girl led by hand."Oi," a voice called, and you broke into a run for the city gate, fear giving you flight, the beat of your heart the marching drum of an army at your heels. You took Constance up in your arms and when she wrapped her arms around your neck and held tight you hissed through the pain it sent burning down your broken arm.You burst through the gate ignoring the call of the man-at-arms that stood watch there, heading straight for the river bank.
You ran along the river edge, looking for a sign of this small river craft. It waited for you, not far, and in it was Raymond. You knew him though he had a hood raised. Looked down at him from a bluff. You saw a man-at-arms running toward you, a furious scowl upon his face. Looked back down to Raymond.There were no down to the craft except to jump. He beckoned with his hands. Held out to catch the girl.You could not throw her with one arm, nor was she quite the small child to make such a pitch easy. Instead you took her by the shoulder again."Jump," you said.She eyed the water. "I won't," she said, "I can't."You heard a cry go up. Your head shot around. A man-at-arms was pointing toward you. Bells were being run. Cries came up from Antioch. They knew she was missing."You can," you said, squeezing her shoulder, heart thumping.She bit her lip, gathered up the skirts of her dress, and took a leaping lunge.Fell short and dropped immediately down into the water, her heavy dress dragging her deep."Damn!" Raymond said."Shit!" you threw off your doublet and immediately leaped in. The water burst around you as you dived, a high splash. It was deeper than it seemed. You pulled yourself down with one arm, kicking furiously, squinting into the muddy water. Searching. You caught sight of skirts billowing up like some great jelly fish. Struggled deeper. Clenched something in your fist. She was so heavy she was like a rock, dragging you down with her. You pulled your knife from your belt and cut at the heavy skirts until they floated away from her, and dropped your knife as well to grab at her again. The weight more reasonable, you turned about and kicked upward, only your feet of any use. Kicked up to the light of the world as you dragged the girl behind you.
You gasped as you exploded out of the river, and Constance did too as you pulled her up next to you by the hair, resting her head against your shoulder. Raymond reached out first for her, whom he pulled into the boat like a sopping wet dog, then you. You rolled onto your back, gripping your broken arm and hissing.Constance gathered herself to the side of the boat and retched up river water as she sobbed."I want to go home!" she cried, even as Raymond set the oars.You thought to comfort the girl, but when you moved hot pain fired up your arm and you could only lay back."No stress princess," Raymond said, "We're taking you to the safest place in the world.""Down to St Symeon," you said, "And then a boat to Jaffa."Raymond laughed, shaking his head. "South?" he said, "I'm afraid they'll be looking for us in the south. We'll need to take a more crooked road to Jerusalem. We go east.""The Turks are east," you sat up sharply, damn the pain as you did."Yes, it'll be quite the risk," and he laughed, long and loud as he rowed up river, heedless to the chaos blowing up in Antioch.And with that you realized what you had long suspected. He truly was mad.-End of threadHugo +1 lead, +1 chaSorry it wasn't as long today, and I kind of finished it all in one big rush, but I'm tired.In hindsight I really wished I had finished it there:>>44320114But I wanted to set a faster pace and not drag this out over too many threads.
>>44321076Goddamnit Raymond you mad fool.Playing with Constance and Baldwin back in Jerusalem really paid off for Hugo in the end. And trying to help Zoe did aswell.
>>44321076Thanks for running HFThis really is on a scale of terrible to stupid, a dumb plan.
>>44321076Thanks for running HF. Was nice to have you back. Sad i only got in halfway through.Though i am worried that Hugo's arm is not giving time and care enough to heal properly
Constance and Hugo a both blond right ?Could make a cover story that they are brother and sister if anyone should ask. Should probably use fake names.I vote for Welf to be our cover name.
>>44321076So Hugo and Constance is pretty much going to do what Wilhelm and Iovetta did this time with Romans instead of Turks ?
Oh yeah, Merry Christmas everyone.
>>44321132Likewise HF. Hope you got all your shopping done. Heard the heat is terrible down there aswell
Also roll 1d100 + 30
Rolled 18 + 30 (1d100 + 30)>>44321146
>>44321141It's not too bad in Brisbane.I still need to pick up a couple things though.
Rolled 84 + 30 (1d100 + 30)>>44321146Ok. Do we get to know why?
Rolled 44 + 30 (1d100 + 30)>>44321146
>>44321153Queen Melisende endures difficult labour.Roll 1d100 +30, best of three
Rolled 49 + 30 (1d100 + 30)>>44321175
Rolled 90 + 30 (1d100 + 30)>>44321175
Rolled 74 + 30 (1d100 + 30)>>44321181Holy shit thats the child. If the roll is any indication on its genetic traits it will become genius level almost..>>44321175Rolling for third time
The Queen and the child both survive in good health. The royal physician delivers a dark haired baby girl. She is named Morphia, in honour of Melisende's mother. Jerusalem is blessed with a new royal princess.The world thinks she is the child of Melisende and Fulk. Only a select few suspect she is in truth the bastard child of Lord Wilhelm and the Queen, and their loyalty to the queen is absolute.
>>44321218Awwww Yiiiissssssssss.I take it her hair is dirt blond instead of blond like the Queen?And Wilhelm should hold a small feast to celebrate this good news. May the young princess be as beautiful as her mother and as strong as her father!
>>44321226>I take it her hair is dirt blond instead of blond like the Queen?Black as pitch. They excuse it by claiming some distant Armenian grandsire had the same colouration.
>>44321246Black as pitch. They excuse it by claiming some distant Armenian grandsire had the same colouration.Ow shit. I take it that is bothering Fulk a lot.
>>44321258It niggles at him a little, he's suspicious, but he goes along with it so that none might call him a cuckold.
>>44321276Better to remain silent than admit yourself to be a cuckold. Besides, if he complains Melisende will just ground him again and not let him out hunting.Also nice that Alain has a sister now,Any chance you could tell us when next thread is ?
>>44321287Probably after boxing day but before new years eve.
>>44321295Can you tell us what other consquences would be if we had chosen differently?Who we dueled, if we stayed in bed and so on?Is Alice in on this or is she out of her mind with worry, Wilhelm is probably going to hear for this.
>>44321319>Can you tell us what other consequences would be if we had chosen differently?You missed out on bumping into the Patriarch by going to the training yard. That would have changed this thread considerably. I've kind of been looking forward to writing Ralph into the quest too, which is a shame.There's a bunch of other stuff too but it's minor stuff.>Who we dueled, if we stayed in bed and so on?You wouldn't have ended up in a sick bed fighting the others for a start. Atticus was a potential companion. I might recycle him though.If you stayed in bed Raymond would have still asked you to help him. If you'd said no to helping him your time in Antioch would have been a longer stay with more intrigue between Alice, the Patriarch and Alexios.>Is Alice in on this or is she out of her mind with worryAlice is a mess. No way in hell Raymond would tell her.I have to get to bed.
>>44321366Goodnight HF and takes for running.
>>44321388Thanks for running mate. Sorry I passed out near the end.
>>44321366Thanks for the run, HF.
>>44321295Thanks for running, HF!
>Get his arm broken by a dirty cowardHugo pls>Kidnaps a princessHugo plsFun thread, but holy shit Hugo's not doing his brother any favors here
>>44322331>It seemed like a good idea at the time!
Princess Morphia is best princess.Please ignore that her hair is black
>>44322331Damn it all Hugo, nobody actually *expects* heroic knights to rescue princesses from towers! That would endanger the whole feudal political system!
>>44322449>>44322331>>44322416>tfw Hugo will be remembered as a villain in the history booksIt is just something he will have to carry
>>44322331>Fun thread, but holy shit Hugo's not doing his brother any favors hereAlice is probably writing angry letters to Wilhelm as we speak, demanding that he return her daughter.