Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Chronicle of Rydychan
Twelfth day of December in the Year of Our Lord 508
I am afraid I spend more time than is wise in my chambers as of late. My spirits are dampened by the sight of the new faces at table where my friends formerly sat. Of my old companions, those who knew me before I claimed my inheritance, only Mortimer remains. It is possible, perhaps, that Marmaduke too still lives for we found no corpse upon the field last summer. But if he lives why has he gone from us?
I am uneasy with this plan of Brastius’. We have seized London through another treachery of Duke Ulfius, although this time his betrayal served us. He claims to be a changed man. I scarce believe it. He will be gone again, perhaps to King Idyriss when he senses advantage elsewhere. After the siege of London I doubt the Saxons will ever take him back.
Next year I expect all of the weight of the Saxon Kings to be thrown at us. Brastius claims this will allow us to crush them upon our own terms, once and for all. But have we strength enough? The forces of King Nanteliod were broken by just one Saxon king, and Nanteliod’s forces were greater than ours, and better led. Brastius has assured me that taking London was necessary for a greater plan of which he has only shown me a brief glimpse, yet another matter that weighs upon me as I have sworn not to reveal what he has shown to my companions, or even to my dear mother, the Countess.
At the urging of the Countess I have once again begun to search for a new wife. My poor Nia deserved better than to die so young in childbirth! Yet mother is correct, I must get myself an heir, and soon, for the sake of both Rydychan and Gloucester.
Not all is gloom however. Taking the offensive has kept the Saxon dogs close to their kennels. Neither Rydychan nor Gloucester were troubled by war this year and the respite has paid off in rich harvests. The peasants are looking well nourished and the extra tax has enabled me to replace most of our casualties from the seige and to strengthen some garrisons. God grant us the strength to stem the Saxon tide next year!
Bellengere, Count of Rydychan and Gloucester.
What was that?! Greg is the worst dice-roller, a fact we love to tease him about. But last night Greg just about killed us all on the first charge of the first battle of the night. Yeah, storming London—at Brastius's request, too. He had A Plan, and the help of that forest woman, Niniveh. Count Belinger was all for it, and his household knights were with him on it, too. But until Brastius and Belinger agreed to neutralize Silchester Sir Mortimer was not having any of it. But they agreed, we took his sons hostage, and on to London...where we promptly got our butts kicked. Sir Mortimer out on a lance charge, the household knights done in by a berzerker (I haven't seen -30 hit points in a long time), and Belinger major wounded but valorously continuing the fight. The money spent on those 500 knifemen paid off, as they swung the battle in our favor and we (barely) carried the day.
But get this! Guess who was fighting the Saxons inside London? Yeah, that traitorous dog Ulfius. Tsk! He says he's a changed man. I'll believe it when he settles his score with Mortimer.