We all jeered in truimph as we let our captive go and the gold was given to us. It was a good start to a promising year, and the men were smiling and happy. They were money makers, loot hunters and they were getting what they came for. The French pulled back to their tower and we rode away, leaving the dead to be buried by the vanquished.
Perhaps i should introduce myself. My name is Thomas. You might think i am a lord or noble, at least a one of the gentry, but i am only an archer. My father was a free man farmer who owned a small portion of land, and like many others i had to practice with the bow from young age. I began to enjoy it, and decided to become a soldier, for our times are troubled and there is a constant need of good fighters. There had been a good amount of feuding and strife in England, but in my time we were at peace. I saw my chance when our King Edward decided to invade France.
Alas, my hoping was in vain, for after marching to and fro we had neither loot nore enemies, and when i learnt our king had settled for a truce, i parted with a group of men who were going east to fight for Burgundy, who was in need of fighters i heard.
It was in their pay i killed my first French man, and i was in the company of a man named John Stafford. He was from a town near my village and he was kind to me, as i turned out to be an excellent shot with the bow, but he was known for being a womanizer, loving the company of married women, and he also wanted money and power well above his birth. He was a good rogue, i thought, and i think we did too.
After perhaps a year, we were attatched to the company of a Burgundian named Steffen Vogel, or Sir Vogel i should say. He was a tall, good looking man and he was brave and a good Christian. He was planning to attack France, not an invasion but several over border raids, and he hoped to take some land from the less well defended places. We went south, i can't say where, and set up our base in some old castle. Some said we were in the south of France, but i had no real idea and nore did i care.
We scouted the French lands and discovered that many of the fighters were away fighting elsewhere, and the plunder was ripe for the taking. Steffan, smart as well as brave, heard of a column of soldiers returning from the Burgundian wars elsewhere and was returning to protect the estates from raiders. We set up an ambush near a look out tower and waited.
I did not see the skirmish, but it was quick. Sir Vogel and his men at arms, mounted on horses, galloped from their cover and quickly cut down some of the French men. The others, including their leader, took cover behind a fence but some of the men at arms surrounded them and, after killing more of them, they surrendered. I followed on foot, bow strung, and i saw more men coming to help them. They lost heart when they saw us and Steffan held us back from attacking, not wanting to loose men and also seeing a band of crossbow men in the tower. Instead, he called their leader forward and, after some talk, decided to ransom back our prisoners and went to find the gold. I think they took it from a church for they were quick, and we returned to our castle unmolestered.
If the French thought we had gone, they were wrong, for during April and May we raided them. They did not seek battle and so we rode freely through their lands and after one raid Steffan rewarded us more than normal. He promised land and more gold if we fought well, and so, in June, we marched out to take the French lands.
This is the started for a campaign i am running, where a Anglo-Burgundian force is trying to fight off the French. It is away from the main fighting of the Bugundian War of Succession and is instead in a far flung part of France, where the defence lies on the militia boosted by some professionals. The first game (only lasting 2 turns!) gave the Anglo-Burgundians two months uncontested raiding and Steffan was promoted to a Chevalier.
I'm using a mix of Jim's modifications, and images and more info will come in the next post, with pictures of the first raid.