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The End of the Petain threat PDF Print
Sunday, 30 December 2007

Followers of these scribblings will recall the name Simon Petain, a rogue Bretonnian Noble whose covetous ways had resulted with his being banished from Bretonnia.

 During the expedition into Araby he is found to have allied himself with Chaos and this sealed his fate.

Now ye O reader that in every garden there is a serpent and in the garden of ther Marquis d'Ascoyne the serpent had a name, one Simon Petain. For it was Petain who had orchestrated Misery and Calamity on the house of the Marquis. First he married the widow of the Marquis's brother and then took over the Shipyard at L'Anguille and the Bank Maritime which she managed, his second attack was direected at the Marquis himself who was poisoned, but recovered for the help of family and friends. When he heard that Petain had crossed over and embraced Chaos in Araby, he became as a mad lion in his pursuit for Revenge.

After the capture of the Caliph's Keep, the Marquis wasted no time in rushing to the next objective, the Noble's district. For he knew his adversary in this matter and Petain was as much a creature of Habit as the hyenae who prowled the desert looking for carrion to consume. His charger thundered up and down the streets , seeking something to trample.  The Marquis daughters accompanied him and a small force of Mounted Yeomen.

They made inquiry from horseback, ignoring the black draperies of the homes and apartments which denoted surrender to the Arabian Reclamation Pact and the forces of Tariq.    Riding into a courtyard the Marquis shouting one word ' Petain!' and those who responded gave whatever information they could.

Word of this search traveled afoot quicker than by horse and in most cases the answers returned were not the information required.

He had left the walled home of a minor official of Haseem's and after finding nothing rode into the Plaza of Nobles. Standing in the very middle of the Plaza were Zaid and Friggs who beckoned to their master.

Friggs rolled his eyes and waggled his eyebrows 'Heard the hounds baying most of the morning, have you found your fox?' Pausing to catch his breath the Marquis looked at the skinny little man. 'Friggs', he pleaded, 'just tell me what you know.'

Friggs opened his mouth with a gesture of dramatic proportions and Zaid stepped forward with Friggs ensnared in her strong arms. 'M'lord the steward of Haseem lied.' She turned, still holding Friggs helpless, and gestured to the east with her captive's body. 'Two streets over and one North and you will find Petain. Look for the red door, Petain is there.' The Marquis whirled his horse about and made ready to canter off. He stopped and turned to Zaid, 'My thanks to you for the work ye have done.' And he was gone with his entourage in pursuit.

Once they left, Zaid released her prisoner and politely thumped him on the chest. 'Come, let us provide that lying steward with a lesson in true humility' and Friggs was all for that.

As they crossed the first two streets, both AndreaLyn and Cobina were near tears at watching their father so enraged.
Ignoring the wounds on his person, he was beyond reason and AndreaLyn prayed to the Lady to spare her father his rash plans, Cobina asked the Lady to intercede and stop her father from violating the Laws of Chivalry through Monstrous Revenge. They had turned the corner and headed north. A red door was seen and it was breached moments later.

Entering the courtyard, the Marquis got down off his charger and drew his sword, not the enchanted Sword of the Lady's Champion, but a simple scimitar in the Arabian manner. As he paused, a door was flung open and running down the stone stairs were the Petains who fell to the ground when they came to the courtyard.   Two of the men were retching and the women begging for mercy. At first they appeared to be terrified, but the horror on their faces indicated they had seen something evil.    Wicked.
The Marquis stood over the young men and asked the whereabouts of Simon Petain.

At the mention of their uncle's name both men started screaming and soiling themselves in the process. The women finally calmed down. 'He is in chambers abed' said a veiled woman. The Marquis walked over to her and pulled the veil to reveal a face horribly scarred by cuts across the face.   He dropped the veil. It was his brother's widow and the woman who had married Simon Petain. She was in the twilight world of madness.

'He is in chambers abed', she said in a droning monotone. 'He is in chambers abed' and she was looking ahead with a blank stare. 'He is in chambers abed' 'He is in chambers abed' and she repeated the phrase over and over.

The Marquis was up the stairs and searching through the rooms and he found the chambers and opened each door without care.  He finally  saw the bed with Simon Petain covered as if resting. Simon Petain was alive, but the Marquis sheathed his scimitar to stare at the villain before him.

Petain was breathing in long breaths, his chest rising and falling slightly. His arms and hands , bloodied and under the covering sheet, did not move. The sheets spoke of woulds at chest and abdomen and thigh by the red stains. His face did not exist.

Part of the scalp remained, but from brow to chin his flesh had been removed until the bones were exposed in many places. Musculature was also exposed and the nose was gone as were the lips and one cheek. The remaining eye saw the Marquis and a singular tear ran from the corner of the eye into the gaping wound where the cheek had been.

Movement under the covers caused the Marquis to draw the sword of Araby once again. Cobina took a spear and thrust under the sheet. With a small effort, the covers were removed.

Cobina and AndreaLyn screamed at the sight averting their eyes to the horror before them. The stomach had been eaten through and a huge camel spider had taken up residence therein. Another had devoured one thigh and there were more crawling about the   body of Petain.

The Marquis raised the scimitar and said 'Simon Petain, I forgive your crimes against  the Lady of the Lake, Bretonnia and my family.   I release you to stand before the Lady this day'. He beheaded Simon Petain with one stroke.

He shouted out an order 'Cover this bed with oil and the floors and the carpets and the wardrobe with oils as well, then set it afire.' It was made so and while the fires burned through the rooms and the rest of the house.
He calmly attended to those who had seen the body of Petain and by and by those who had witnessed the fate of Petain recovered enough to return to camp.

The Marquis pondered 'Never have I seen such spiders so big and inside a hard walled building' He ate the bread slowly. 'Tis passing strange.' AndreaLyn, silent nodded in agreement.
Cobina nibbling at some smoked meat and cheese shook her head. 'No Papa, I believe it to be an answered prayer to the Lady, for you were near mad in your rage' AndreaLyn found her voice and continued 'Papa you were mad for revenge. I doubt the Lady herself could have stopped you had you met Petain in combat.'
The consensus of opinion from his daughters was that the Spiders were but part of divine retribution and that the Marquis had done the perfectly right thing by forgiving Petain and putting-

'That snarling dog out of his misery.' Said Cobina Marie.

When all were back ahorse and returning to camp the Marquis sent word ahead for Lady Gandolfyn to attend his daughters as they recovered from the events of the day and to once again notify the healers of his new wounds and old wounds reopened.  "Methinks I was destined to prove the capacity of blood in a Bretonnian is 10 times greater than the Empire or Estalia or Tilea."  He began to swoon.  "Kislev does not count, they are 50% more Wodka than blood."

The Mounted Yeomen returned with a story to tell which was told and retold for the remainder of the campaign in Araby.

It was also learned that the Araby Reclamation Pact was victorious in its fight against Chaos. That as they entered their camp the remaining citizenry were burning the bodies of the enemy and columns of black smoke could been seen rising over Lasheik and what was happening there was happening throughout Araby.

He immediately sent out brief letters of congratulations to all the commanders and now that Bretonnian Martial Law was in effect throughout the country for a while, he drew up his officers and told them to tell their warriors what and what would not be allowed and appointed each officer as magistrate for their units.

'The Grail Knights will dispense the Law to the population of Arabv and the Mounted Yeomen will act in the same capacity as they have at the Sentinel, as Rangers on patrol.'

And they made ready for the return to Maharek
Last Updated ( Sunday, 30 December 2007 )
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