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Friday, 09 November 2007


Being first to Arrive does not insure Victory


The pride of the Western Carcassone had sallied forth, taking advantage of a minus tide and had surprised the Army of the Tomb Kings.

The Marquis had expected a quick victory. That did not happen. The only units that did not escape injuries were the peasant bowmen. The damsels dispelled the enemy's magics. effectively, but he had failed to contact the Bone giantess until the fourth cycle and that fight neer cost him everything.

The Errants failed their impetuosity tests and one unit was cut down by two units of Skeletal warriors and three chariots. The Grails were effective, but blocked by the Tomb Guard and that fight took until battle's end. The Knights of the Realm had slain a Liche Priest eliminating some skeletal warriors, but as he sat outside his tent watching his men limp by or the maidens attending injured horse and the chichurgeon attending the two wounds on the Marquis he pondered his future as a Military commander.

Richelieu, his Battle Standard Bearer, walked slowly up to where the Marquis was reclining. He had served the Marquis with fierce loyalty and friendship. He pulled up a solid chair and sat down, groaning as his battered body slid into the seat. He looked about for the Marquis usual supply of wine and tarts, cheese and dried meats and found nothing.

"Well, at least we didn't lose."

The Marquis groaned as the doctors bound the last wound. "Neither did we win." He drank some water. "We should have won." Silence settled in like a rising damp.

"A draw, a cursed draw!!." He snarled, blaming himself for the failed Victory. Richelieu responded "The Tomb Kings were stopped!" They were beginning to argue between themselves. Faces 50 feet away were turned in their direction and the Prophetess emerged from her tent.

Sensing this they both returned to the silence, Finally the Marquis said matter of factly. "I am too old for this. My wits are no longer young. Were it not for the Armor of Agilulf, I should be lying dead on the battlefield."

"Praise the Lady you were deemed worthy to use the armor." But the Marquis was not assuaged. "I have spoken to AndreaLyn. Maybe it is time I return to Bretonnia and live out my dotage chasing comely wenches, reliving all my victories and drooling as I babble incoherently into my wine."

"Her response?" asked Richelieu, acknowledging the Prophetess as she approached. The Marquis made a face. "Not Good" he said, "she left with tears in her eyes"..

"Well the others will be arriving shortly. We have the damsels and the Prophetess working night and day healing man and beast alike. Although we lost almost 20 percent of our warriors, we will be ready in ten days", and he got up and left.

The Marquis asked for more water and the steward left to get it, Lady Gandolfym sat in the same chair thet Richelieu had vacated. "Do ye remember the first time you saw me completely naked?"

The Marquis acted as if drenched by waters from a glacier. "WHAAAT!!?" His eyes shown with outrage and shock. His eyes narrowed for although the event had truly occurred many, many years ago, he was confounded by the bluntness of Lady Gandolfyn.

She sat across from him, regally and composed. "Good, broke the enthrallment of your melancholia." She brought forth some sort of cookie from a small box she was carrying. "Have some baklava, Hercule." He took the treat and ate it slowly.

"I am a Prophetess of the Lady and learned in many magics and the Lore of Heavens." She opened the box and put it on the table between them. "You are a mortal with a lifespan far, far shorter than mine. When you are struck, you bleed" and she noted the blood coming through the bandages on his belly. She notified the doctors who began to unwrap the Marquis trappings.

She reached deep into a pocket of her coat and withdrew a small Brass colored candle and lit it. "You have lost battles before, this last was no loss-"

"I should have won!" He looked out to the open sea. "My men deserve better"

"Lady Gasndolfyn saw the wound exposed to the sun, a jagged line, infected and bleeding slowly. She dusted it with what appeared to be sea salt and the bleeding stopped. She poured the hot wax from the candle over the full length of the wound then instructed the doctors to allow the wax to absorb into his skin, then wrap the bandages again.

She returned to their conversation. "Deserve better, nonsense.." She leaned back in the chair. "Ye are a fair and just man, Ascoyne Hercule Achille du Bois Guilbert. You eschew all pomposity and effete manners of many at Court and this has brought resentment from many nobles to you."

"Since I first became the Marquis d'Ascoyne." He muttered.

"Fighting enemies from without the borders and villains within the border, ye have amassed a considerable brotherhood of friends". She looked at him with those penetrating eyes. "Ye are not giving up. You do not quit something you have started. You can be relentless. Tis why the folk of Athel Loren respect you."

He was listening to her now. Without distraction. Lady Gandolfyn raised her hand and men came with a large stretcher, attended by three daughters of Araby. The Marquis was transported to an Arabian tent and taken inside.

His old bed from his tent was there with a fresh mattress and linens.. "You have complained that you are old" and here she laughed, "Compared to what? To these three healers?" the women giggled. "To those dear hearts you are considered older than mud." She went to an ancient chest and opened it. Compared to me?" She looked at him and shook her head "Ye are but a suckling newborn babe to me."

Two of the women began marking mystical signs on the hard packed sandy floor around his bed. The third began to anoint him with oils. Lady Gandolfy brought out mortar and pestle, dried

leaves, colored powders, incense sticks, colored candles and a tome of information which she consulted greatly. A damsel entered with hot tea, which smelled of peppermint and she helped the Marquis quaff it down and then she left.

The two floor scribers completed their work and took out large, narrow rolls of bandages. The Marquis eyes widened with the knowledge he had been drugged. He felt the control of his body leave him slowly. He noted the three Arabian healers were wrapping him in bandages. The room got darker and darker. The last thing he said was "Am I to become a Mummy?"

"Nonsense, you're a daddy!" The voice was unmistakably that of Cobina, his youngest daughter.

Last Updated ( Friday, 09 November 2007 )
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