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1349: The Road to War

Medieval France, during the Hundred Years War

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a part of 1349: The Road to War, by XavierDantius32.

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XavierDantius32 holds sovereignty over Medieval France, during the Hundred Years War, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Setting

Default Location for 1349: The Road to War
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Medieval France, during the Hundred Years War is a part of 1349: The Road to War.

4 Characters Here

Muse [1] A chorus of voices unbidden, to describe and reveal the stage before you.
Felix Greer [0] Sometimes, I prefer being lost. The woods are kinder to me than my lord.
Keiron Smithston [0] "The Devil has no wrath like the memories of madness on a battlefield."

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Our stage is set, our players arranged before you, in motley company. But what goes on beyond our mortal sight? To London, swifter than a harrying hawk we must travel, to present the backdrop to our scene...

The Tower of London.

“Where is Lancaster? Steward, fetch me him!”

The iron-bound doors banged aside, and a lordly figure clad in sodden mail and leather, his jupon clinging to the iron rings. He was accompanied by a number of attenders, dropping to their armoured knees in deference to the figure at the far end of the long room.

Edward, the third of his name reclined on a ornate oaken throne, chased with gold and precious gems. A red doublet hung to his knees, doeskin breeches falling to ermine-lined leather boots. At his side hung an arming sword laden down with gilt and fiery rubies. The fury of battle had taken it's toll on the king's once vital features, lines and wrinkles edging forth from his greying hairline.

Behind the throne stood his son, the Black Prince. He was carved from the same stone as his father, grim-featured and stoic, attired in mail and plate despite the security of the castle around him. His pale hands rested on the hilt of a notched and battered sword, a far cry from his father's ornate weapon.

With lordly grace, the Earl of Lancaster took a knee before the king, inclining his head towards the hewn flagstones. There was a weary creak to his voice, his poise leadened by months in his mail, his posture split by an ache in his wounded leg. “What would you have of me, my liege?”

The king smiled as he rose from the throne, reaching down to clasp his lord's shoulder. “Rise, cousin. I will not have you at such discomfort.”

Clasping the king's hand Lancaster stood to his full height, brushing aside the entanglement of his empty scabbard. “News from France, m'lord?”

“Aye, coz.” Reprising the throne the king settled himself, one hand curling protectively around the jeweled pommel of his blade. “Most troubling. Guy de Nesle reprises his position in Saintonge, and means to retake our possessions in the Gascoign”

“We expected this. We knew the dogs wouldn't keep to the truce.” A note of incredulous anger entered the earl's voice, as if he could not quite comprehend the kind of thinking it would take to go back on an agreement signed under God. “Can we match them again?”

The Black Prince stepped out of the shadows, the fires of battle alight in his eyes. “Let me go, Father. Let me create another Crecy on their fields. Another glorious spectacle to be forever mourned by the women of France.”

“No, Edward. I need you here.” The king's anger flared in his weary voice, an irate jab at an impetuous boy. “The pestilence has drained us and our brother France of soldiery. They can hardly stand, let alone bring the might to crush us.”

He turned to the earl, standing silently as the royals bickered. “I wish for you to reprise your seat in Gascony, cousin. Take Northampton and what men you can muster. Keep the bastards back till I can gather the strength to drive the dogs back into Satan's arsehole.”

Another wry smile from the earl, a deferential bow to both king and prince. “As you wish, my liege. Lancaster will answer your call.”




Southampton dock, a few weeks later.

Atop a cart laden down with provisions, the earl of Lancaster stands. He is garbed as before, in a heavy leather hauberk, studded with iron. Links of shining mail cover his arms and fall below the jack, the skirt falling almost to his knees. An iron arming sword sits at his side, paired with a broad swordbreaker on his other hip. At his feet lies a lead-weighted pollaxe, the hooked axe-blade gleaming in the mist-laden air.

Around him are grouped his knights and captains. Ventenars and Centenars of archers in leather and mail, leaning on cased bows with sheafs of arrows piled at their feet. They are silent, save for the rustle of cloth in the stiff sea breeze. They await the Earl's speech.

Behind them, drifting on the misty sea stand sixty burgeoned galleons, sails unfurled like seabirds wings. Men and horses bustle around them like a colony of disturbed ants, loading the provisions of war into the holds.

A small army of no more than two thousands prepares to cast off from English shores on this damp, October. However small the host might be, it benefits from the experience of a thousand battles. From border wars against the Scots, to the killing fields of Crecy. The nobility of France should be quaking in their beds at the thought of this host reaching it's shores.