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Thread: La Pucelle de Carcassonne

  1. #1

    Default La Pucelle de Carcassonne

    La Pucelle de Carcassonne




    Acts


    First Act: The Trial of Huebald.

    Second Act: Hunting a Hunter.

    Third act: The green tides (first act).



    -Introduction-

    NARRATOR:

    Almost two thousand years after the crowning of the Great Uniter Gilles, the lands of the fair realm of Bretonnia were once more assailed by foes from every front. Foul orcs from the grey mountains, murderous raiders from the far North, beastmen brutes and merciless elves from the forests constantly preyed on the good people of Bretonnia, burning and killing as they pleased, or they would have done so, had it not been for the good knights which defended the realm. A thousand poems and songs were made of their feats and their names are as known as the blessed companions of old: Renart of Quenlles, who held the gates of Cuileux for half a day when all others had fled, Eldergar “The Red” of Aquitaine, only son of the duke, who broke a greenskin horde with a charge which saw half of the foul beasts dead. Duke Alberic of Bordeleux, terror of the northmen, King Louen, who never retreated from a fight and was blessed by the Lady more than any other knight.

    The stories of all these men are worthy of son, but it is another who will be the protagonist of our tale. Not a knight, or even a man, but a creature of great beauty and power, a damsel whose word was, and is, that of our Lady of the Lake.

    Morgiana Le Fay was her name, but there was another, known by both peasant and king: The Fay Enchantress.

    What follows is the tale of her deeds, told by a father to his sons, to be now heard by those who are willing to listen.

    I hope we do it justice and may the Lady of the Lake bless you all.
    Last edited by JulianApostate; April 04, 2017 at 08:16 AM.

  2. #2
    Caillagh de Bodemloze's Avatar to rede I me delyte
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    Default Re: La Pucelle de Carcassonne

    Oooh. Sounds very Arthurian.

    Well, I'm hooked.

    [settles into comfortable chair with popcorn , waits for next instalment]






  3. #3
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
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    Default Re: La Pucelle de Carcassonne

    I knew someone would do a Bretonnian AAR!

    Well, I'm looking forward to it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: La Pucelle de Carcassonne

    Thanks! The only thing I have issues with is how to edit the page so I might include links in the index

  5. #5
    Caillagh de Bodemloze's Avatar to rede I me delyte
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    Default Re: La Pucelle de Carcassonne

    I'm afraid you won't be able to edit your posts until you've accumulated 25 of them, JulianApostate. You're almost halfway there already, though - and I know you've commented on other people's writing before; if you keep doing that, you'll be able to edit your posts in no time!






  6. #6

    Default Re: La Pucelle de Carcassonne

    This sounds intriguing! And I agree with what Caillagh wrote, this sounds Arthurian. I am definitely willing to listen

  7. #7
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
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    Default Re: La Pucelle de Carcassonne

    Quote Originally Posted by theSilentKiller View Post
    This sounds intriguing! And I agree with what Caillagh wrote, this sounds Arthurian. I am definitely willing to listen
    Quote Originally Posted by Caillagh View Post
    Oooh. Sounds very Arthurian.

    Well, I'm hooked.

    [settles into comfortable chair with popcorn , waits for next instalment]


    The Bretonnians are based on Arthurian legend and French chivalric knighthood, that's probably why.

  8. #8
    Caillagh de Bodemloze's Avatar to rede I me delyte
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    Default Re: La Pucelle de Carcassonne

    Quote Originally Posted by McScottish View Post
    The Bretonnians are based on Arthurian legend and French chivalric knighthood, that's probably why.
    Ahhh. Well, there we go, my ignorance is showing again!

    Thank you, McScottish. (Please tell me you'll be around the next time I need TW:Warhammer (or anything else Warhammer-related) explaining... )






  9. #9

    Default Re: La Pucelle de Carcassonne

    First Act: The trial of Huebald.

    NARRATOR:

    Behold the court of duke Huebald of Carcassonne! See the proud banners of blue and red, crossed by the golden longsword and twin “fleur de lis” that his ancestors have worn since the times of the Companions. A hundred people, nobles and servants alike, await now the duke’s arrival with some nervousness. There are whispers of how he spends more and more time locked in his castle and, the few times he leaves, he does so with his visor lowered to cover his face. Huebald barely answers to any request of aid from the frontiers, to busy in his castle to care for his lands. People begin to disappear in the castle’s halls, not only servants, but squires and household knights too. Torn between their duty to their lord and that to their own territories, the knights of Carcassonne no longer ride together as one. Chaos reigns, bandits and orc warbands infest the countryside and still, the duke still does not leave his chambers. Until now.

    (Duke Huebald arrives. He is short of stature, yet his heavy armor and tall helmet hide this fact from his audience. He walks to his seat and silences the whispers with a mere nod of his head)

    Huebald: Thanks are owed to you all for your patience my friends. Some important changes needed to be made, changes which required my full attention. Do not believe for a moment that I am blind to what occurs beyond the walls of my keep. I know of the cowardly attacks of the elves at our West, of the orc raids which assail the South. None more than I regret the damage brought to our lands.

    ?: And yet, you do nothing to stop this attacks!


    (More whispers and gasps can be heard. Roland, younger brother of the Duke, arrives. He is black of hair and heavily-built, but needs a cane to walk as his right leg is missing)

    Huebald: A servant of the duke only speaks when his master gives the order, brother.

    Roland: True, but is not the duke’s duty to protect his lands from foes in and out of his domain too?

    Huebald: So speaks a knight who can no longer wield a lance or ride his horse.

    Roland: Name me cripple one time or a thousand, it will not change the fact that you have abandoned your duties. Your barons and knights will not speak a word out loud, but I will, because someone needs to bring you back to the right path.

    Huebald: And what is that path brother?

    Roland: To take arms, rally your knights and best the raiders on the field. That is the way of Bretonnia.

    Huebald: And what do you think I did before? Yes, I rallied my banners, levied as many spearmen and archers as my lands could spare and still it was not enough. For every village we save on the North, seven burn on our Southern flank. You yourself lost your leg facing those horned creatures from the forest at Carimonne, only for the village to be burnt by a different warband a month later. Where is the honor in that? Where is the reward for all the good men who lost their lives for the cause?

    Roland: Better that than do nothing.

    Huebald: On that at least, we can agree brother.


    (Doors burst open and a dozen knights in dark armor step in. Like Huebald, they wear their visors low, hiding their faces from the crowd. They all stand at the duke’s side, silent and still like statues)

    Huebald: This is the reason why I called you all for this meeting. Here you have the solution to our crisis, the way in which we will be able to not only protect Carcassonne, but also expand its borders like never before!

    Roland: Dark armor? If this is some jest…

    Huebald: No brother, this is our salvation. I have created an Order of Chivalry, one which will not only protect our lands, but finally annihilate all our enemies and bring peace to the land.

    Roland: How though? You keep talking about greatness and a solution but…

    (Roland gasps when he feels the blade of one of the black knights half an inch from the skin of his neck. The audience are also shocked at the incredible speed of the warrior)

    Huebald: Does that demonstration put your doubts to rest brother?

    Roland: Such speed…it cannot be human. What are they?

    ?: I can answer that question


    (The gates open once more. A young, blonde woman of great beauty appears, her feet never touching the floor. At her side, a score of a dozen knights appear, all gleaming with the same, ethereal light of their mistress. All black knights draw their swords at once and hiss as the damsel glides closer to them)



    Huebald: …the Fey.

    Morgiana: Greetings, Huebald, son of Louis, duke of Carcassonne. I believe you know the reason for my sudden arrival.

    Huebald: I am oblivious to it. But please, accept my hospitality and wine. It is the least I could offer to our Lady’s Representative on Earth.

    Morgiana: Pleasantries will not shield you from me Huebald, not will the “knights” who now point their blades at me. Is that the way you great your guests now? Naked steel and ill intent?

    Huebald: These are dark times my lady. Being prepared is paramount for survival.

    Morgiana: Do not speak to me of the times Sir. I have walked through the lands of this kingdom for more than a hundred generations. Dark times always come in the end. They test commoner and lord, peasant and king. It is in these times that we see who is worthy of his titles and who is not.

    Huebald: Will the Lady tell you this, sorceress?

    Morgiana: There is no need to call her for this matter. Raise your visors sirs and show them the truth of your change.


    (The black knights hiss a second time and step forwards. The Fey’s knights draw their own weapons and make a wall before their lady. The crowd parts away, some fleeing from the room. After a long silence, Huebald laughs and finally pulls up his visor, revealing a pale, yellow-eyed face and long, sharp fangs. Following their master, the other knights show their own faces, as pale and monstrous as their lord’s)

    Roland: A vampire? Huebald, please tell me this is some trick!

    Huebald: A trick? No brother, this is a blessing, a true blessing! I did not need to spend years doing the quests of some aloof goddess to become her slave like those so called “true knights”. Our strength and skill knows no limits, we do not tire or age…

    Morgiana: Yet you still thirst, right Huebald?

    Roland: The disappeared servants, the corpses drained of their blood. Is this how you protect your servants from harm Huebald? By killing them before your foe?!

    Huebald: The lives of a few dozen peasants are a small price to pay for this blessing. Then again, why use words to convince you of this when I can clearly show it with deeds? Here we have the Fey Enchantress, the representative of the “Lady” in our realm. What better way of show the might of my gift than to slay both her and her paladins?

    Roland: Huebald, you are mad! You will curse our whole line if you dare to do this!

    Huebald: I am tired of my brother’s restless rambling. Someone please silence this cripple.


    (The closest vampire nods and sweeps his blade across Roland’s throat in less than a blink. To everyone’s surprise though, Roland does not bleed as his neck is now covered by a solid layer of rock, hard enough to stop the vampire’s attack. The creature looks at Morgiana and leaps back in alarm at the glowing, emerald aura surrounding her extended hands)

    Morgiana: I accept your challenge traitor. No longer will you corrupt the minds and souls of Bretonnia’s protectors. May the Lady cure your corrupted soul, so you can finally find peace.

    Huebald: We will see if you keep your faith when I rip your beating heart out of your chest, false prophet. Go my brothers! Show them who the true knights of this land are!

    Morgiana: For the Lady of the Lake, finish these creatures!


    (As one, the cursed creatures charge, some climbing the walls to flank the slim wall of knights before them. As they close in with their foe, a mist emerges and surrounds the Fey and her loyals. The first vampire to dive into it emerges is quickly thrown out, headless and with his skin boiling under his armor. Huebald roars and draws his two-handed blade, as long as he is tall)

    Huebald: Cowards! Stop hiding under your Lady’s skirts and face us! Are you, or are you not knights of the Grail? Then show it! Match your steel against mine!

    Morgiana: I was not aware that such “superior knights” were afraid of some fog. If your jests were true, then this should not be even the most minor of obstacles for you and your ilk.

    Vampire knight 1: That witch! Sire, allow me to get in and I will slay that harlot and her lapdogs without delay!

    Vampire knight 2: You reckless fool! Did you not see the steam coming out of Tancred’s armor? That mist will boil us in our plates before we can land a blow on the witch.

    Morgiana: Huebald, you were a good man once. Let me end your suffering and I swear, the Lady will judge you fairly in the other life.

    Huebald: You are as deaf as you are foolish, witch. Thanks to this gift, I will no longer have to fear the cold touch of death for I have become it! Let us see how your cheap tricks fare against the cold breath of the reaper!


    (Huebald takes a deep breath and releases a crimson cloud, made of the howling faces of those he murdered towards Morgiana and her knights. The blessing of the Lady and Morgiana’s magic protect the loyals from harm, but the mists dispel, leaving them open to the vampires)

    Huebald: Go now my brothers! Slay them all!

    Morgiana: Stand close to me!


    (Vampires slam into the wall of steel of the Grail knights. Such is the impact, many are forced the cede ground, but none breaks formation. One of the dark knights throws his weapons away and climbs the walls to then leap on the knight’s unprotected flank, eager to rip into Morgiana’s throat with his bare fangs)

    Grail knight 1: My lady, foes to our left!

    Morgiana: Not anymore.


    (Le Fey waits a moment before unleashing her magic at the vampire, who now is to close to dodge. He is thrown like a puppet and slams on the wall. Only dust and armor reach the floor, the latter surrounded by roots and blooming flowers.

    The struggle for victory continues. A Grail knight falls, headless after a swipe from Huebald takes his head. Two vampires fall, one with three swords piercing his body, the other, screaming and devoid of limbs until a sword into his throat silences him. To Huebald’s shock, the Grail knights are able to match and even surpass his own brethren. As the last of them falls, leaving him alone, he finally realizes that it Morgiana who blesses both their bodies and spirits)

    Morgiana: This duel is over Sir.

    Huebald: Is it? I still stand, yet you look weary witch. Before long, your magic will no longer protect you or your pets from my blade.

    Morgiana: It is not my magic which you should beware Huebald.


    (Snarling, the Duke pulls up his sword, ready to charge once more, when a blade burst through the middle of his chest, covered in blood and gore. The Duke falls to his knees, eyes wide as his brother, Roland, steps forwards, holding the wave with one hand and his cane with the other)

    Huebald:
    How dare you cripple…

    Roland:
    Farewell brother. May you find redemption in the other life.


    (Roland sinks the blade through his brother’s neck and spine. Huebald screams and burns, becoming nothing but dust and smoking armor. Roland falls to his fours, trying to cover his face. Suddenly, he felts a gentle, warm hand grab his chin and pull it up until Roland’s eyes met Morgiana’s)

    Roland:
    I apologize my lady. Had I not been so blind, many lives would not have been lost. Now I am not only a cripple, but a slayer of my own kin. My life is yours to take.

    Morgiana:
    It is not you, but grief, who is uttering these words. I do not think less of you for showing sadness at the loss of your brother but if hundreds of years have thought me anything, is that you should never let this feeling consume your heart. I will send squires to help you back to your chambers.

    Roland:
    The void in my heart…

    Morgiana:
    Is a wound only time can heal. Go and rest. I need you at your best for what it is to come.

    Roland:
    What is to come my lady?

    Morgiana:
    Everything.

    (End Scene)

  10. #10
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: La Pucelle de Carcassonne

    Great start! Your chosen faction sounds like it offers intriguing possibilities. I like your style of writing and the way that you use dialogue, like a script for a play (complete with stage directions).

  11. #11

    Default Re: La Pucelle de Carcassonne

    Thanks! I admit, this is my first time using this style of writting. You guessed right about it being like the script of a play. I just imagine bretonnian kids in the future dressing up and playing the parts on a stage built by their parents, smacking each-other with sticks whenever there is a battle scene

  12. #12
    Caillagh de Bodemloze's Avatar to rede I me delyte
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    Default Re: La Pucelle de Carcassonne

    The playscript style is very original for an AAR, I think. I like the way you're using it.

    Huebald seems to have been dispatched fairly quickly. Will Roland and Morgiana deal with the bandits and orc warbands you've already mentioned, or do they have other plans, I wonder?






  13. #13
    Shankbot de Bodemloze's Avatar From the Writers Study!
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    Default Re: La Pucelle de Carcassonne

    Great to see another Warhammer AAR! Looking forward to reading through your first couple of chapters, briefly reading through the comments it looks like I'm in for something good.
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  14. #14
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
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    Default Re: La Pucelle de Carcassonne

    Exceptional stuff, and the way in which you set it out is - as has already been said - very refreshing...never would have thought of it.

    You sir, deserve some rep.

  15. #15

    Default Re: La Pucelle de Carcassonne

    Second Act: Hunting a hunter.



    NARRATOR:
    The Fey knew the menace of Huebald’s undead knights had not ended with the death of the duke. From dawn to dusk, the Grail Knights of her retinue rode across the lands of Carcassonne to hunt down those lords and nobles who had willingly turned to an eternal life of blood and murder. Using what was left of her weakened powers, Morgiana left his physical body in search of the vampires. Her ghostly form was often the last thing those cursed by undeath saw before a blessed sword cut them down. Later, it was discovered that at least one in every fifty nobles in Carcassonne had turned their backs on their lady. The victims of their thirst were later found in dungeons or the hunting fields near their keeps. They cared not if it was the peasants they had sworn to protect or the family who shared their coat of arms. Hundreds died, yet many more would have to had not the Fey intervened.

    Yet as one challenge was bested, another rose. The decimation of Carcassonne’s nobility brought a dark wave of doubt and suspicion amongst the survivors. Morgiana and her companions dutifully traveled across the land once more, only this time it was not to kill, but save those falsely accused of carrying the curse of vampirism in their veins. By this time, the Fey had exhausted her magic, but the power of her words proved just as powerful as she shamed ambitious barons, earning the love and respect of many villages and towns across the land. Soon, a small army of pilgrims and armed peasants followed her in her journeys, calling her “Mother of the Land”. With the nobles weakened and divided, this band of warriors and the capital’s garrison became the only force to stand between the dukedom and destruction. None of the men in this army showed worry though. Why should they, when the Lady’s chosen was their paladin and leader?

    Even those chosen by the goddess need help though, as the story of Gilles and his companions show us. Slowly, following the Uniter’s example, Morgiana began to assemble her own companions, making friends both new and old.

    (A woman of grey hair wanders across the forest, her only company a pair of ferrets and a tall, slender staff of ivory. Slowly, she comes to a stop and turns)

    Ginebra: What are you waiting for? Attack! I am just one woman, so old and weak I need a staff to support my body. If you search for money, luck sadly does not smile upon you, for I have not a copper coin on me. Weak, poor and alone, poor me…


    (None answer as Ginebra continues to look around, all the while speaking to her invisible guest)

    Ginebra: Then again, it might be that you are a starving creature and want to feed on my carcass to survive next winter. Again, you are out of luck. There is little flesh to be found here I am afraid, just skin and bones. If you are still interested though, please start with my left leg. It has been aching for weeks now and I would be glad to get rid of it.

    ? : You were never a good actress Ginebra.


    (Ginebra spins, revealing the short sword she had kept hidden under her robes. Just a few inches away from the stranger’s neck, the sword stops, blocked by a thick, curved branch which just one moment ago had not been there. Pulling back, Ginebra prepares another strike, but falters once she gets a good look of the pale, smiling young, blonde woman looking back at her)

    Ginebra: L-Lady Morgiana, is that really you? You look…

    Morgiana: Weak as if I had fought and rode for weeks without rest?

    Ginebra: Actually, I was going to say you look the as beautiful as you did thirty years ago my Lady. The winds of life agree with you better than the breezes of beasts do with me.

    Morgiana: Is that so? I know many knights who would love to have the speed with the sword you showed me a mere moment ago.

    Ginebra: Apologies my lady, my nerves are not what they used to since I was forced to flee the castle. I have lost count of the times those creatures have come close to end my life and turn me into one of their putrefied puppets. I still do not know how I managed to find the parchment and ink to send you that message.

    Morgiana: The Lady was with you Ginebra.

    Ginebra: And she did more than keep the vampires away from me. Not two weeks ago, I visited one of the Southern villages on the frontier with Estalia and made a dreadful discovery. Huge warbands of beasts ,who walk like men and carry weapons like warriors, have been burning and looting their way North. All armies who had marched to meet them were ambushed and butchered by the creatures and their leader, a monster with the head of a carnivorous goat and just one eye. The estalian king no longer bothers to send his men to die against this Cyclops, so it marches forth, right towards…my lady, are you well?

    Morgiana: I have seen the creature in my dreams. In the name of his dark gods, this demon is called “Khazrak” and its cunning is something we should not underestimate. That is why I have come, to bring you back so you can help me heal the dukedom and protect it when it is the weakest.

    Ginebra: Is not that the duty of the duke? I have heard he prefers to stay in his keep, but an invasion force…

    Morgiana: The duke was afflicted with the curse of vampirism.

    Ginebra: … things just keep getting better and better. Just when we need him the most, he turns his back on us and the realm. The duke was childless, who will be the next one in line?

    Morgiana: His brother, Roland.

    Ginebra: The one who people call “the cripple”? How will he be able to face the beast if he cannot even ride a horse and fight?

    Morgiana: You would be surprised by that man’s courage. He now protects the capital and trains an army for war. The castle garrison is strong and well-drilled but I cannot say the same for the newest recruits. Brave and devoted for sure, but they are not warriors yet. Many still cannot keep the march.

    Ginebra: The woods look safer and safer with every new sentence my lady. I am starting to miss the dark knights hunting me down for my blood.

    Morgiana: Trust me my friend, there will be other foes just as eager to drink your blood. Now come, there is one day of travel between here and the castle and we have no more time to waste.

    NARRATOR:
    Grave news greeted the two ladies when they reached castle Carcassonne. Using hidden paths, the one-eyed beast had managed to plough through the dukedom undetected, burning and looting at leisure. Covered by his own blood and that of his companions, a messenger arrived to the castle. He, alongside a hundred knights and thrice as many men-at-arms, had been led by Baron Louis in a mission to face the creature and best it in battle. Thinking that they would be only facing mindless beasts, Louis sent only a few explorers before his host. More patient than any of his kind, the one-eyed beast had waited until the host’s guard was at their lowest to finally spring its trap. A sea of fur and weapons poured from the trees and into the stunned bretonnians. Towering creatures, thrice the size of a normal man and with the head of rage-filled bulls, slammed through knights and men-at-arms alike like a hammer meeting bare flesh. Louis tried to rally the survivors, only to be brought down from his horse as the one-eyed monster’s barbered whip wrapped around his neck. The messenger was one of the few to flee the massacre and the only one to reach the castle alive.

    That was not the end of bad news though. Concerned about the origins of his brother’s betrayal, the new Duke began a thorough search of any clues which could bring him closer to the root of this evil. Day and night, he worked alone until finding an old parchment, hidden under the cuirass of Huebald’s old armor. Just one glance to the stamp and he knew where it had all begun…


    (Roland, Morgiana and Ginebra stand around a table in the duke’s chambers. The new duke takes a letter and leaves it on the table for the ladies to see)

    Roland: A dark fleur de lis over a field of gold. Mousillon, that is where it all began.

    Ginebra: Darkness and corruption in Mousillon, what a surprise.

    Morgiana: Ginebra…

    (Ginebra gives Morgiana an apologetic look and bows her head to Roland)

    Ginebra: Sorry my lord, it was not my wish to take the value out of your efforts. But you know the saying “If Bretonnia had a sewer…”

    Morgiana: …it would be Mousillon”. It always saddens me to see such a promising land fall so low. The city of Landuin, the best of the companions, is now little more than a plague-infested ruin, where only the damned and traitorous inhabit.

    Roland: And worse, if the contents of this letter are to be believed. The creature who turned my brother into a monster now lives in that cursed city, surrounded by his thralls and ready to extend this cancer across our realm. I fear my brother was only the first to be turned by this creature. I dispatched servants to the halls of those knights who betrayed us and found matching letters and even instructions to rally to Mousillon if they feared for their lives here.

    Morgiana: I will send messages to all damsels in the realm to warn them of this. If I could, I would rally our forces and march directly to Mousillon to end this rebellion in its infancy. Sadly, other foes demand our attention at the moment.

    Ginebra: The Cyclops continues his reign of terror. Half the coastal villages and towns of Carcassonne are now little more than bones and ruins, at least those without walls or castles to protect them. He wastes no time on sieges and contents himself with ravaging the countryside to feed his growing horde. His path leads directly to the North. If he has a target, we are not it.

    Morgiana: He signed his death sentence the moment he spilled blood in this sacred land. There will be months until I finally recover my full power, but this is still the land of the Lady, the land I promised her to guard until the End Times. There is not a river or mountain I have not seen, a secret path my feet have not touched. It matters not how hard he tries. In the end, we will find him.

    Roland: Finding him is the least of our problems my lady. The host you want to bring to war…

    Morgiana: Speak without fear.

    Roland: I neither trust their discipline or skill at arms. Half I was forced to send back to their villages for they could not keep the march of wield a spear without wounding their companions. What remains may be able to hold the line for some time, but without any knights to support them, we will only be leading them to slaughter.
    Ginebra: Without knights? What about those guarding our lady?

    Roland: The knights of the grail are one of the few reasons why we might yet win the day. Each of them is worth a dozen mortal men…but they are to few and cannot hold the whole line on their own. The pilgrims may give the beastmen more of a fight, but they too will end up being overwhelmed by the horde while the rest of our army shatters and flees back to the fields.

    Ginebra: Then we evacuate the villages and give another knight the honor of killing this beast.

    Morgiana: Do that and that knight will be ambushed and butchered with all of his men and horses. The Cyclops will grow in strength and renown, rally more creatures to his dark banner until the horde becomes to large for any army to stop. We need to face the Cyclops and soon.

    Ginebra: Now it is only a matter of knowing how to make our inexperienced men hold the line against mutated monsters and minotaurs.

    Roland: And save enough of them to face any greenskin incursions. There are reports of large warbands crossing the mountain passes towards Carcassonne. The frontier barons will try to hold the tide back for as long as they can, but they will come nonetheless.

    Morgiana: It seems there is no end to our foes. How long until the savages arrive?

    Roland: A month, if we are lucky.

    (Morgiana turns to Ginebra and shows a tired smile)

    Morgiana: I told you there was no time to waste.


    (Morgiana and her two companions walk down to the castle’s bailed, a great field where the Fey’s army awaits. Her small band of grail knights remain on their horses, still clad in their full armor as still and calm as statues. Thick squares of men-at-arms and archers await right behind, those of the garrison in tidy ranks while the rest try to keep their spears and banners up high. Ginebra stops and points at a great machine of war standing amongst the peasant ranks)

    Ginebra: A trebuchet? It will slow us down in our chase.

    Roland: Actually, I thought of brining three of these machines for your chase. They are light and easy to dismantle and build back up, so it will be easier to carry them around to battle. Trust me my lady; they will be more than worth the trouble once you see how their rocks pummel through a foe’s shieldwall. You will need to get the Cyclops and his horde to open ground though, or the rocks will hit more trees than they do beasts.

    Morgiana: It will be done. Like I said before, there are no paths on this land hidden from my sight. We will turn the hunter into the hunted.


    (Ginebra gives the peasant men-at-arms and archers a look)

    Ginebra: And our brave hunters? How will we motivate them to stand their ground against the beast?

    Morgiana: Leave that to me. Before we march, tell the crews of the trebuchets to bring their machines to me. Using the right words and prayers, I will bless their ammunition, making it even deadlier towards the forces of darkness. Our men-at-arms and devoted pilgrims will need some help too. Duke, please call those who carry the banners of each regiment forward.


    (Roland nods and shouts some orders. A moment later, eight men step forwards and kneel before their duke and the Fey. The banners cannot be any more different from one-another: A gleaming, silver sword over a field of red and blue for the men of the garrison, an old, hole-filled grey cloth with an image of the grail for the pilgrims)

    Morgiana: Today, we begin a dangerous hunt. Our prey is a hunter himself: Khazrak, the One-Eye is the name given by those few who survive his raids and ambushes. Many of you have lost kin and friends at the hands of this beast. What I am offering you is a chance for revenge, to stop invaders and monsters for ever soiling this beautiful land again! You will not hunt alone though: I will personally stand by your side and bring the Lady’s blessing upon you all.
    (Calmly, the Fey walks to each banner, leaving a single leaf of the modest crown on her blond head wrapped around the pole. To the surprise of those men carrying them, the flags begin to glow with a faint, ethereal light)

    Morgiana: When the battle is at its most chaotic, when you do not know what to do, or where to go, the light of your banners will show you the way. This is my gift to you, but I expect something in return: The death of the monster who dared to burn our lands. Do you agree to our deal?


    (A cheer rises from the ranks of both peasants and knights. Many bang their swords and spear against their shields or helmets, the sound a thunder loud enough to shake the foundations of the castle itself)

    Roland: Does that answer your question?

    Ginebra: As long as they are this motivated when minotaurs come charging at them, I will be happy. And what about you my lord, will you join our hunting band?

    Roland: Someone needs to stay at the capital and cover your rear. Besides, as our lady says, this is a chase which will require speed, something which a one-legged cripple cannot provide. My best wishes to both of you. May the Lady grant you victory on the field.


    (Roland leaves to his keep, leaving Ginebra alone with Morgiana)

    Ginebra: I thought he would be eager to join us.

    Morgiana: I have the feeling he wants to, but fears becoming a dead weight to the army. A duke who needs a cane to keep with his troops, who cannot ride, who killed his own brother… I would be more concerned if he was all laughter and smiles. When we come back, I will have some words with him. Until then, we have a monster to hunt down.

    NARRATOR:
    For weeks, the beastmen saw the roles turning as they now fled from the Fey and her devoted warriors. Using her deep knowledge of the land, Morgiana rushed her force across rivers and forests, cutting the path of the Cyclops at every turn. Quickly, his horde grew hungry, to busy running away from Morgiana to hunt or prey on the defenseless people of Carcassonne. Noticing the discontent amongst his minions, the creature known as Khazrak decided that it was finally time for the beastmen to strike back. The few explorers to come back to his horde spoke of weak men, sick and tired from chasing them through the West. Seeing his chance, the Cyclops rallied his forces for one last push, unaware that, this time, it was he who was running straight into a trap.

    There would be no mercy for the beastmen. It was time for the battle of the “Crimson Horn” to begin.




    Exhausted yet still ready, Morgiana’s army swiftly formed up lines at the shadows of the forest, ready to greet the beasts with spear and bow. As she had promised her warriors, Morgiana placed herself at the center, ready to face the brunt of the attack. Men-at-arms and pilgrims stood by her side, every single one more than willing to lay their lives for the Lady’s chosen. Lady Ginebra too chose to stand by the front at the left flank where her quick sword and magic would be more deadly. Behind her, the trebuchets, blessed by the Fey, got ready to release their deadly ammunition upon the foul beasts and mutants.

    Still fresh after days of constant riding, Morgiana’s knights immediately left the army, rushing to the right, following the Fey’s instructions. It would be they who would deal with the deadliest monsters in the horde, cutting them down with their magical sword and the strength of their arms. They went in with no support, but not a soul in the Bretonnian host doubted of their victory. Who could face, after all, the Lady’s chosen warriors?

    The sound of a great horn signaled the arrival of Khazrak and his loose bands of warriors. A parody of men, the horned creatures followed their master, some carrying spears and arrows, others, larger with the thick hors of mountain goats, wielding long, crude blades and axes. Stomping their way towards Morgiana and her troops came the minotaurs, tall, muscular brutes with axes almost as long as the beastmen hurrying next to them. Yet even these beasts stepped away when the leader of the horde appeared: Khazrak, the Cyclops, covered in steel, one hand gripping a cursed blade, the other, a barbered whip covered with dried blood. The songs say his anger could be felt even half a mile away amongst the bretonnians. That he, a master of guile and ambush, had been trapped by a mere human was a deep blow to his pride. And so, arrogance clouded his mind, taking tactics and strategy, leaving only one thought in his mind: Charge.

    Blowing his horn a second time, the horde followed their master’s wish and sprinted towards the Fey’s host. The trebuchets unleashed their fury upon the incoming wave of fur, tearing great holes in their loose lines while Morgiana’s knights, seeing their chance, sent their mounts in a charge to the horde’s unready flank. Shrieking, some of the smaller beastmen took their lances and tried to face the knights, but they lacked discipline and the Lady was with her paladins that day. Dozens fell during the charge, dozens more falling like bloodied puppets as the knights began the grim work of slaughtering their way across the horde.




    Neither Khazrak, nor any of those beasts around him seemed to know or care about their companion’s doom. Instead, they kept coming, their roars growing in pitch with glee as they saw the men-at-arms only a few seconds away. That glee swiftly turned into terror when, at one order from Morgiana, all archers let loose on the beastmen, cutting many down as the arrows bit into unarmored flesh. After the second volley, the wave began to disintegrate into smaller bands, some to weary of the arrow’s bite to keep going, others to consumed by their bestial bloodlust to stop.

    The Cyclops was one of the first to reach the line, cutting his way through brave pilgrims and men-at-arms as he tried to get closer to Morgiana. The Lady had still not recovered her whole power, but nevertheless stood her ground, sending her magic against the howling monster while her men clashed with Khazrak’s own minions. Skill gave way to pure savagery as each line tried to push the other back, the men-at-arms and pilgrims fighting for their land and Morgiana, the beastmen, fearing their champion’s reprisal if they dared to pull back. Quickly, bodies began to pile except for the circle which had been made around the Fey and the Cyclops.




    As the center held, the left began to push back their foes. Wielding the winds of the lore of the wild, Ginebra met the beastmen’s savagery with her own wildness. Soon, the men sworn to protect her had to keep up with their lady as the sorceress continued to cut a bloody path into the beasts, many of which began to flee at the slaughter occurring amongst their ranks. Some songs even speak of Ginebra laughing as she cut her foes down, to busy killing to care about the men trying to keep her away from harm.



    As the battle went on, one doubt would surely be growing in the beastmen’s minds. Where were their minotaurs? The answer was a small hill to the bretonnian’s right, a hill where the monstrous beings and the knights of the Grail shared blows without pause. Of those knights who fell under the axes and horns of these beasts, some never rose again. Others though, lacking their mounts, still carried on with the fight, stabbing at the creature’s legs or jumping on their backs to drive their blades far and deep into their thick necks. Slowly, as many of their kind dropped dead, the surviving monsters began to recover their senses and fled, pursued by the vengeful knights.

    By then, the battle of the Crimson Horn was at its dusk. Using Morgiana’s exhaustion and his greater strength to his advantage, the Cyclops began to push the Fey back, his blows growing in speed and savagery as the monster began to see his victory drawing closer. But just as he was ready to send his final blow, Morgiana used her last reserves to pull back out of his reach, leaving the Cyclops just enough time to see how his minions either laid dead under his hooves, or fled to the forest. Surrounded by the Fey’s vengeful warriors, Khazrak desperately cut a path to free himself from their fair wrath, only to sink to his knees as a score of arrows found their mark in the weak spots of his armor. Seeing his end at hand, Khazrak the One-Eye turned to Bretonnia’s host and howled in pure rage, only for an arrow to find its way into his one remaining eye, killing the bestial warlord in an instant.

    And so today, every 6th of March, we commemorate this happy event, where the forces of justice prevailed over darkness. The horns of the foul warlord now are displayed for every loyal servant and knight to witness and remember the Fey’s victory.

    Morgiana, Protector of Bretonnia,

    Guardian of Carcassone,

    Beastscourge.




    - (For those of you interested, here are the battle results)-


  16. #16
    Caillagh de Bodemloze's Avatar to rede I me delyte
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    Default Re: La Pucelle de Carcassonne

    I'd been wondering how you were going to do the descriptions of battles! I think your method works excellently.

    There's some very nice writing in this chapter. One of the lines I liked was this one:
    Wielding the winds of the lore of the wild, Ginebra met the beastmen’s savagery with her own wildness.






  17. #17

    Default Re: La Pucelle de Carcassonne

    Thanks! I also thought of including some extra lore about Bretonnia, from its lands to the people who live in them. It would be short descriptions in between chapters, just to add some background to the story.

  18. #18
    ♔atthias♔'s Avatar dutch speaking
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    Default Re: La Pucelle de Carcassonne

    great work+rep
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: La Pucelle de Carcassonne

    Quote Originally Posted by JulianApostate View Post
    Thanks! I also thought of including some extra lore about Bretonnia, from its lands to the people who live in them. It would be short descriptions in between chapters, just to add some background to the story.
    I can't speak for anyone else on this (naturally), but I think it's pretty obvious that would benefit me!






  20. #20

    Default Re: La Pucelle de Carcassonne

    Great! I like the dialogues and the battle description is great! Fey seems to be a fearsome enemy - I wonder if there are people who are equal to her!

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