Good update! You really showed the emotional part of being a soldier on a battlefield. Great job!
Good update! You really showed the emotional part of being a soldier on a battlefield. Great job!
Indeed. Very well described although I do feel that Eustace was harshly treated by Sir Thomas. Sorry I forgot to respond to your PM - I would just use the character bio's and leave out the flowchart type thing which is fiddly and doesn't show very much info.
All in all very nicely done
Thanks a lot, I'm glad you liked the battle descriptions as that was the thing I tried to work on
I felt so too ... poor Eustace, things are rapidly going down the down the drain - and at the moment it isn't looking to get any better
Thanks for your advice , I think your right- the family tree is a pain to do, and for me it never turns out quite right.
Volume 2: Securing the Nation - The Diary of a Bastard Chapter 5
I was running down the corridor away from Howard. "Eustace! Wait up," he whined from behind me. "Catch me if you can!" I shouted back doubling my pace. We ran around the house for ages, bumping into Servants and Nobles alike without a care in the world, well maybe one; Howard was gaining on me. I looked back and saw he was almost within reach, turning my head around I didn't even notice the people in front of us. I ran straight into them, Howard then running into me.
"Phillip, what's this?" A voice boomed out from behind the person I crashed into. Looking up I saw it was father we had crashed into him.
"Apologies your majesty," father replied smiling. "Let me introduce you to these two miscreants, my sons, Howard and Eustace. Boys bow to your King."
"Your majesty," we panted, bowing.
"Hmph, I remember when I had the energy to run around all day," the King replied. "Very well Phillip, and which one is the-"
"This one, your majesty," father interrupted pointing at me. If the King was annoyed at being interrupted he didn't show it.
"Hmph," the King snorted, "Anyway let’s get down to business."
"Of course, sire. Boys be off now," Father said to us. We bowed and ran off around the corner, but before I could say anything I looked around and saw Howard had pulled out a bucket of water, seemingly from nowhere.
"Wake up, bastard," he sneered, grinning chucking the bucket of water over my head.
I awoke with a splutter, lying down in the mud, dazed and wondering what had just happened. "Oi scum" someone shouted, with the same voice Howard had. I looked up and saw a solider looming over me.
"What?" I croaked weakly.
"You have a guest," he sneered, again flashing the same evil grin Howard had given me, pouring water over me again. I choked and was seized by a fit of coughing.
"Leave us,"a voice ordered.
"Yes sir," the solider snapped, standing to attention. He gave the person a salute and marched off.
I looked up, expecting a headsman or something worst, so I managed a smile when I saw it was Walter.
"Walter," I whispered. "What - what's happened?"
"I'll explain everything, but first eat this," he said throwing me a chunk of bread. Seeing it made me realise how hungry I was, and my stomach growled. Gobbling it down I muttered my thanks, bits of bread spewing out of my mouth. Walter watched me eat the bread and then said "Listen Eustace I don't have long, the assault on Paris is about to begin."
"What!?"I shouted standing up, shocked at think how long I must've of been in this wooden cell.
"Shhh," Walter retorted, "Keep your voice down."
"It's fine, as I was saying I don't have long. I've just come to tell you that what happened it wasn't my father's doing."
"Then whose bloody was it!" I snapped, my anger getting the better of me.
"I -I don't know," Walter mumbled, had my outburst upset him? "A message arrived... bearing the royal seal, calling for your arrest."he continued, faltering somewhat under my gaze.
"What, but I haven't done anything"
"Well obviously you have, because whatever it is had the King interested. My father didn't have any choice. It was during a meeting when the message arrived, men began calling for your arrest. He couldn't stop it, it had a royal seal." He said again.
I was confused and worried now. Here I was in a wooden sell, being treated like a criminal all for a crime I didn't even know I had committed. "Thanks," I replied. What else could I say? "For this and the bread." Walter nodded and was just about to say something when a horn blew. The assault had begun.
Walter heard it to. "Sorry Eustace, I truly am," he whispered marching off to join the men. My heart saddened, seeing him go. I was back on my own again, just me and my conscience. I did, however, have quite a good vantage point of the assault from where I was being held.
I saw our men form up, Thomas Mountford signalling the advance, and then our men marching off into the distance...
Here I was, holding the ladder again. We would be the first on the wall, and we had to hold it. That's what Mountford Senior had said when he rode past. He told us we were fighting for our King and Country, that we had a duty to our fellow men to hold the walls. Usually Mountford's speeches were inspirational and rousing, this was wasn't. It was hollow and cold -he had been since the bastards arrest, we still cheered though. We had a duty to.
The city walls loomed in front of us, like giant pillars of stone sticking out from the ground, which I guess they were Ma' never said I was the quickest of kids. Ma', she would be back at the arm with Lilly, tending the fields and milking the cows, it was hard work but ever since father had died money was tight. That's why I signed up to join the army under Thomas Mountford, and ever since I had been marching the up and down France, clearing towns and villages of French troops - the advance sounded, clearing my thoughts. We picked up the ladder and ran towards the walls, praying not to get hit. We didn't. Either the French were as bad archers as we had been told, or God was truly and Englishmen as the Priests claimed. The ladder was placed onto the wall,
and the men in front of me began climbing up the rungs. I rushed forward yelling out a throaty cheer, soon picked up by the rest of 'em. I threw myself on the ladder and began my ascent. I reached the top of the wall and was met by a group of enemy spearmen.
More men followed men and soon we were on the offensive, pushing the enemy back, step by step.
I was basking in our glory when another lot of enemy spearmen charged out from the gatehouse, cutting down our front ranks before we had time to react.
But that was all they managed to do before I grabbed the nearest of our men and hurled ourselves into the oncoming enemy. My blood was up and I battered my way through, swinging at anything that moved. For everyone they cut down, I cut down another two, I was unbeatable.
I was doing exactly what Old Willy taught me: hack and slash. I had my doubts, but it was proving rather effective. I was cutting them down as they cowered before me, and that’s when I heard it. The screams. I knew those sounds. The high pitched squeal of men catching fire. Burning Oil.
I looked down and saw our men at the gate were getting the full works. Oil was being poured onto them causing blood-curdling screams to rip through the air. That was it! Bloody Frenchmen using oil to kill our men. "Cowards! I" roared charging into the enemy's shield wall, causing the fighting - which had been stopped by the screams - to resume.
Some of them must've of grown a pair because this time the resistance was stiff. They weren't cowering away from my hack and slash like they had done. I picked up a few scratches here and then, each one sending me into another fit of rage. I launched myself into them, but this time they stood their ground. I thrust my sword out at one of them and swung my shield round to his head. There was a resounding crack, as his skull broke from the blow and he collapsed onto the floor. In the corner of my eye I saw another one stab out towards my chest. I parried and feinted left, my opponent fell for it so I swung my shield around again. This time though my opponent blocks the blow with his own shield, the impact reeling me backwards. He brings his spear and stabs out at me before I can recover; I go to block the blow with my sword, but move to slow and his spear stabs into my thigh. I howl in anguish as the pain shoots down my leg, I fall down onto one knee, and I see the little grin on my opponents face as he withdraws the spear, that's all I needed. With one last effort I lift up my blade and plunge it into his gut. The grin forms into an 'O' as his faces changes from triumph to shock. He spasms and falls to the ground.
I manage to pull myself up and retreat back a few paces, away from the fighting. Panting I look around and see some of our men have gotten off the wall and down onto the streets.
I watch them as they charge down the street and into the back of the enemy guarding the gate. Looking down at my leg I see blood gushing out of it, this sends a wave of nausea down my body. I steady myself and rip off a bit of my tunic to tie around my thigh. It stops the blood but doesn't numb the pain and the pressure causes me to scream out in agony. Men turn around to look at me and I just nod my consent and tell them to get stuck in, just as they move on I hear our men let out a cheer. I look down and see our men pouring through the gate.
Us men on the walls press home the attack and watch as the general comes through the gate, charging down anyone in his path.
Seeing our men flood through the gates final pushed the balance in our favour and I watch as the enemy spearmen begin to flee.
As the men at the back flee, the ones at the front realise they can't win and then, after a final charge by our men, also flee.
It was as Old Willy said - Routing is infectious. With the entire enemy gone off the wall I sit down, rest my knee, and regain my breath. I was spent. I glance down again and sew our forces causing mayhem on the streets, their blood-lust overcoming their exhaustion.
I feel a huge weight lift of my shoulders as I realise the city will soon be ours, but I wasn't happy, how could I be when looking round I see almost as many of our men amongst the dead as well as the enemy's.
But still, I had done my part and deserved a rest. I watched as our forces wormed there way through the streets, eliminating the last pockets of enemy resistance, and out of sight. I trudged my across the wall and sat down, relieving some of the pain off my leg. That's when I heard it, I turned around and saw, to my horror, a Frenchmen, barley alive, was thrusting his sword out towards me. I couldn't even move before the blade plunged into my heart, my last thought was of Lily back at the farm... how I would never see her again...
I breathed a sigh of relief, the battle was finally over. It had been frustrating watching but not being able to do anything. At some points I thought we might have lost, like when the oil was poured onto our men at the gates, hearing those screams had made my blood boil. Eventually though the city was ours.
It had been a victory, what only remained was too see at what cost...
There we go, my next update As always let me know what you think!
A big thanks to everyone who voted for me in the MAARC although we didn't win Congratz to Knonfoda, Thorkan, and la coupe est pleine for wining, and to everyone else for brilliant entires.
Heres to next month
A big thanks for all your comments and support. Robinzx and la coupe your advice has been a lifesaver, cheers
I really like the POV battle report maybe spell check some of the earlier bits though
Good update worth the wait, long live the Bastard!
Cheers for spotting out the spelling areas, when you say "earlier bits" do you mean earlier in the same update, or earlier updates generally?
Thanks for your support, and I'm glad you like the update
Really nice work I loved the first person perspective and the last screenshot just caps everything off perfectly. Keep up the good work!
Servants and Nobles alike without a car in the world' should be careEarlier in the update in general, nothing major though keep them coming matethe KIng'
Just gone through it on Word, hopefully all the typos in this update are sorted Thanks for pointing them out
Robinzx Im glad you like it I was hoping the last screenshot would create some sort of effect :
Your last update was brilliant It'll be interesting to see what happens next
Read throught some of it, and I really like it . In the beggining you used very many pics, but little text. In my opinion it got better with more text and less pics. Keep up the good work .
(Why would you need more readers btw?)
Very nice chapters.
I don't know which one I like most... as they are different, and very well told. The first person telling is a gift for that.
Your intrigue is interesting. I really don't have a clue about why our heroe had been arrested.
But I have the clue about how you took Paris. You just cheated...
It is impossible for swordsmen to beat spearmen on the top of the battlement. French spearmen obviously...
Thanks for your comments la coupe, it means a lot
To be perfectly honest I'm still working on why he has been arrested
How dare you accuse me of cheating! I won that battle fair and square and who knows, maybe the French spearmen had just eaten some rotten snails
Sorry guys but RL has finally caught up with me
In all seriousness I've been quite busy over the week-end so no update this week
Sat/Sunweekend () coming will be when the next update is (Hopefully )
Volume 2: Securing the Nation - The Diary of a Bastard Chapter 6
It was late in the evening when the guards came for me. The brought food and water, not with the insults and jeers like before but with a quite compliance. Once I was fed they lead me to the city. Everywhere I looked there were scenes of destruction: corpses thrown across the street; rubble obstructing streets; and flames engulfing houses. I tried to ask what had happened but I was met with a stony silence, none of my escort willing to look me in the eye. We travelled up the main street, one the few that hadn't been sprinkled with rubble, and arrived outside a rather large building - most probably the town hall. As they escorted me inside I was met by an aged Walter. He looked worse than the city, his hair was matted, his face gaunt, and looked as hollow as one of those fabled Parthian Bows. "Walter?" I questioned.
"Leave us," he replied, waving his hand at the guards that had brought me here. Once the guards had filed out he sat down with a sigh, motioning for me to sit down. I pulled up a chair and sat down, wondering what had happened to age my friend so much.
"Walter?" I began again; he shakily raised a hand to stop me.
"Eustace, I can understand you have a lot of questions, and I'll do my best to answer them, but first let's have a drink," he responded. I just nodded my head.
"Arthur," Walter said and a servant appeared from the corner of a room, the flickering light of the fire betraying his presence. "Sir," the servant responded, pouring us both a glass, I noticed Walter had quite a large one. When the servant was done he retreated back into the darkness. Walter took a swig, "Ah that's better. Best in wine in the whole world that, courtesy of the French," he replied chuckling to himself. I left my glass on the table, wondering what was going on.
"Hmm where to begin," he mused, fondling the glass in his hands, staring into the pool of wine. "Probably why I summoned you here," he continued. "Well Eustace, the simple truth is we lost too many men in the assault, and my scouts are reporting the French are getting closer and closer to the city."
I nodded, understanding the implications immediately. If we stayed with too few men then we are at risk of being assaulted, yet if we don't retreat quickly enough we could be trapped. "So I've summoned you here to tell you of my plans, after all we are comrades-in-arms," he continued, a slight smile crossing his face. "The plan, after much consultation, is to retreat back to Caen, and wait for the next campaign season. That will give us enough time to lick our wounds and raise more men. We simply can't hold Paris with amount of men we have left, and the as I've mentioned our scouts are reporting of a large French army on the way. If we stay we'll be trapped."
I thought as much, it pained to me think of how many lives must've been wasted just for us to retreat but it seemed like the only sensible course of action, yet something was still bugging me. "Sounds like a good idea, although-"
"Wait, there is something else." Walter mumbled, interrupting me. "We can't leave Paris with anything of use to the enemy. So I've given the ordered for the city to be razed to the ground."
"Walter, you can't!" I replied, my voice raising, shocked at his suggestion. This wasn't the person I knew. "Think of the families, the lives you'll be destroying."
"They killed him Eustace!" Walter shouted, his voice cracking. "They killed my father," he whispered, slumping back into his chair, tears rolling down his cheeks.
"Walter, I'm - I'm so sorry" I replied, shaken at the thought of Thomas Mountfords death, I realised that was the thing that had been bugging me the fact that Lord Thomas wasn't present.
"That's why they deserve this Eustace, they killed my father." Walter pleaded, it seemed his was justifying his actions with himself.
"Walter I understand you're angry, but there must be another way,"
"There isn't," he replied coldly, setting his mind on the matter.
"For god’s sake man, think of the people they didn't kill your father, why should they suffer? Walter, your father wouldn't want this."
"What else can I do," he choked "the men want revenge - and so do I."
"Leave the people, leave there homes. If you are truly set on the matter then destroy the things that killed your father. The barracks, stables, blacksmiths, but Walter don't raze the city, its folly the French would come down on us like a storm. Our castles are defended by token garrisons, all the men joined the army. We're not strong enough to hold back the French," I begged, trying to say anything that might convince him.
I saw him fighting with himself, the side that wanted revenge, and the side that knew this was folly. He was battling with his conscience. "Very well Eustace, I agree with you. I'll give the orders," he answered. I breathed a sigh of relief. "We'll march on the morrow, at dawn. Return to your men."
"My men," I questioned, "I thought I was under arrest."
"Oh yes, I haven't forgotten about that Eustace," my heart sank, "but as you are the only one with any sense left now, I'm sure I can forgo your arrest, as long as you behave," he finished, chuckling at my reaction. I began to laugh as well, glad that I would have a respite from my arrest.
"Thank you Walter," I said, extending my hand, he shook it. "Go and get your men ready Eustace, I'm sure they'll looking forward to seeing you."
"I'm sure they will," I replied grinning, standing up and making my way to the door.
"However, Eustace, remember that the King has ordered your arrest, and there is nothing I can to do to stop that. Once we reach Caen you'll be on the first ship to London," he called after me.
"I understand," I muttered, my smile fading.
"Be ready to march at dawn, I want to get a head start on the Frogs." Walter's voices echoed as I walked out onto the street to find my men.
********************************************************************************I awoke to the sound of men shouting out orders and horses being saddled, ready for the retreat. It was great to wake up in a bed and not some wooden cell. The reaction on my men’s faces when I walked in last night was priceless, cheers went up and we drank late into the night. It was good to see them again, but it saddened me to see how many remained, all of the light cavalry were missing, dead, or injured and the original men that had made up my bodyguard were few in number. They told me how they had charged in through the streets, and how Lord Mountford led them, slaying many Frenchmen before he was finally cut down. The men seemed pained by his lost, I was surprised at how high the men’s morale was still high considering everything that happened, the Inns of Paris must be bone dry.
Once I was washed and dressed I walked out of the house that been assigned as my quarters. Some of the other men gave me looks and muttered something or other, but the majority seemed glad to see me - or just didn't care either way. I ordered my men to form up at the back of the column, we would be the rear-guard, tasked with driving off any Frenchmen that bothered us. Walter would be in charge of the vanguard, leading the way back to Caen, the few scouts that we had left would be reporting back to him letting him know of any problems ahead. The wounded were in the middle of the column, protected by a ring of spearmen. The ones that were most severely injured would be riding in the wagons, whilst the rest walked beside them. Some of the injured had requested to be left behind with a sword, we understood what they planned to do and accepted their request.
Once everyone was formed up, less than half with what we set out with, Walter gave the advance and we began our march out of the city, past the anxious faces of the residents, towards Caen. There was none of the bravado like before, just a sense of determination to get home - which it was for the men. For me it meant an uncertain future - I still don't know what I've done and now I'm not sure I want to find out.
Sorry for the delay guys and I know it's rather short, but there we go. I'm even more sorry for the pitiful update, I just didn't know how I could move the story forward, nevertheless I hope you enjoy it and any comments you have on how I could improve it will be great, cheers
Thanks a lot for all the support guys, it really does mean a lot
P.S I know about the lack of pictures and how I go on about including more but I couldn't find a way to include any. Sorry
Very Nice! I sat down and read it one sitting, and it was quite enjoyable! Keep it up!
My Current AAR: Have Faith, My Son
"If you are lucky enough to be Irish, then you are lucky enough"-Irish Proverb
Very nicely done. Still find it mildly bizarre they will simply abandon Paris but it's good to see Eustace at the head of his men again. Great work - keep it up!
Agree with Robin that the sense in abandoning Paris is lost to me, but I'm sure there is some grand plan which will lead to Eustace becoming King Eustace first of his name! Showing signs of the wisdom already
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