19 December 2010

Usurpers and Trespassers in the Scottish woods

It was a cold, windy day in the Scottish highlands as our party set out on a hunting expedition. With the other two knights and myself, Almaric was in charge of 4 archers, one mercenary javelinman working off a debt to me, and and unlucky peasant who met my gaze as we rode past on the road. For his impudence, he would be charged to dress our kill.

As we approached the woods, Roberge and I rode to the left to drive game along the woods to our waiting attackers deployed just west of a small rise in a clearing which was to become our killing zone. As Roberge left my line of sight around the north edge of the woods, I heard him cry out and fill the air with curses! Thinking him to have blundered into some sort of ignominious injury, I turned my mount to follow at a walk, but I soon heard him cry "Archers!" then, "B@astards!" as swords clashed!

Rounding the northwest edge of the trees, I found Roberge engaged with two horsemen, whose colors I did not recognize. I also spotted two archers atop what we had assumed was a badly damaged and abandoned small keep. Worse, 4 more of these interlopers were crossing the plain opposite the woods, racing to the keep with the other squatters.

Almaric had spotted the 4 newcomers and deployed his archers on the small rise to the south, where he had a clear view of the plain and 4 runners. His longbowmen unleashed a murderous volley, taking down one and forcing his fellows to carry him up the stairs into the keep, where they could be dispatched at our leisure soon enough.

With the archers' success, all that remained was to dispatch the two usurpers harassing Roberge, which were soon hopelessly outnumbered and would surely have fallen had we not pitied their poor equipment and obvious lack of martial skills. We magnanimously offered to allow them to yield and spare their wives the status of "widow," provided they would order their associates in the tower to do likewise. One of them appeared to be of low birth, but one claimed to be of great worth and a valuable ransom. We shall see.


Medic252 said...

I, Sirrah, am heir to the throne of Scotland. Your tresspassing and poaching on my family lands will be dealt with at a future date, on the field of honour.

John Comyn

Spencersb said...

You speak an infinite deal of nothing, commoner, awaiting by my mercy a ransom which has yet to materialize. Scotland HAS a King: Edward, and needs no other. However, if you ARE ransomed, I would avoid the Greyfriars Monastery, if I were you.

Spencersb said...

I received a most curious message today from our recent "guest." It

"The ransom is paid, and my companion and I have our freedom returned. Poach on my lands again, and you will be met with force.

I have no fear of Greyfriars. I meet friends there all of the time..."

Indeed, the ransom was a remarkable sum, I must admit. Quite a nice return on the investment of a couple of arrows in Roberge's considerable backside. Someone apparently found our guest worth retrieving, though I cannot fathom why. Perhaps in his clan he is the crazy uncle whom everyone loves, but no one has the heart to correct his unwarranted indolence. In any event, he must know that the King can never "poach" what already belongs to him, as all the land and everything thereon surely does. I feel we may meet again, this "Comyn" and I.