Author Topic: [CRP] Diary of Simon Van Veen  (Read 1590 times)

(RIP) Simon Van Veen

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[CRP] Diary of Simon Van Veen
« on: 06 January, 2016, 01:02:44 PM »
December 4, 1315

First thing that I can remember is warmth upon my face  ... and something else. When I cracked my eyes open against the brightness of daylight, I noticed some ants traversing across a tall blade of grass that hung over my face, to pile grains of soil on my lips. I laid there pondering the strange sensation and wonder at the curious behaviour of these ants. There was some fragment of a memory regarding some meaning regarding this behaviour of ants, but I could not remember more than that. The ants began to scatter shortly after I awoke and I decided that it was time to see where I was. Looking around for places to place my hands to prop myself upright and not crush those ants, as it did not seem proper to not take care after witnessing their curious behaviour, I noticed that there was a large bee resting upon my chest, and I’m sure it was staring at me. After a moment, some areas were clear of ants and I propped myself upright. The bee clung to what I then noticed was a grey worn shirt as I stood up. The bee almost seemed to nod its head then flew off to the west; very unusual behaviour. Another impression of a memory came forth, something about some who believe that bees are bridges between worlds.

I was at the edge of a field on relatively flat terrain, hills far off to the south, a large body of water with the far side unseen to the north. A man approached along the road, and introduced himself as a messenger from the Sovereign, and said that he was looking for me.

“Yes, I am Simon Van Veen. Although, I do not know why you would be looking for me, I ...”

I then realized that I could not remember anything about my past except my name. Not where I was, what day it was, when I was born, how old I was, how I got there, nor anything of note earlier than when I woke mere minutes before.

In a panic, I started to search myself for clues, and found that all my clothing was used and worn, practically rags, my coin pouch was empty, and my feet bare of footwear. The messenger studiously ignored my embarrassment and confusion, but proceeded to inform me of the options of tasks that someone in my position could undertake. It became immediately obvious that I was not the first person to whom he encountered in a state similar to my own.

Perhaps this was the work of the Fair Folk, displacing me from a distant land and/or time. Or perhaps this is the result of some injury to my head or some affliction that wiped most of my memory. Either way, I shall take the situation as being granted a chance for renewal from whatever came before. I might never learn of or remember my past, for good or for ill.

I found out that I woke in the county of Brugge in the Kingdom of Flanders. I have yet to figure out where that is, but luckily I winnowed information from a passerby to a nearby cartographer, where I acquired a map. A more relaxed and secure feeling came over me as I clasped my hands on the map.

A pleasant place this Kingdom of Flanders is, I said to myself, and as I looked around, I noticed some coins on the ground, that I would swear to a magistrate, wasn’t there moments ago. Very peculiar that, but I wasn’t going to complain about a bit more silver as I did not think that I would enjoy cleaning prisons in the long term just for bread to keep my belly full.

Brushing off one of the coins I recently found, I flipped it, caught it, slapped it to the back of my left hand, and raised my right hand off the coin to look. The coin had turned up heads. I flipped it again. Heads. I flipped it a few more times. All heads. I checked both sides of the coin and saw that it was a regular coin with both a heads and a tails. A vague memory came forth about a couple of friends of a usurped prince of some northern kingdom. Was it from some story or was it something historical? Rosen... something. Guilden... something. Were they dead? Try as I might, that bit of a vague memory faded. As I started to head to the first task that the messenger suggested, cleaning the nearby prisons, I continued to flip the coin. Flip. Heads. Flip. Heads. 
« Last Edit: 06 January, 2016, 01:07:48 PM by Simon Van Veen »


(RIP) Simon Van Veen

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Re: [CRP] Diary of Simon Van Veen
« Reply #1 on: 07 January, 2016, 06:32:25 PM »
December 7, 1315

The coin flipping resulted in 79 heads in a row before I reached the prison, perhaps it is indicative that I should try my luck at dice in an attempt to redistribute wealth, but the tavern keeper refused to allow me to join any dice games. He said I was too young. I opened my mouth to disabuse him of his misconception, then closed it, as I still could not recall my actual age.

I decided to carry on to the prisons, and I periodically paused my work to flip a coin and by the time I finished a couple of hours of cleaning the prisons, the count was up to 157 heads in a row. I decided that I should stop flipping coins at this point, in case my luck should change. After all, I don’t want to end up as an envoy to some distant land, bearing a sealed missive requesting that Sovereign to behead me after reading the letter.

I progressed through some other tasks that were set for me by the messenger of the Sovereign, and they allowed me to see the procedure regarding the activities of several professions, but since I was able to complete them all with the deftness and speed of someone experienced, I was left with more questions regarding the holes in my memory. Was I once a farmer? A leatherworker? A lumberjack? A merchant?

During these past few days, I received messages from Queen Giulia Aldobrandeschi, Sovereign of Flanders. She wanted to greet me and make my acquaintance! Well, sovereigns are busy people, and one of my current status (regardless of what status I might have if I it wasn’t for my amnesia) doesn’t make sovereigns wait without a good reason. Having no finery to wear when presenting myself to my Sovereign was a concern, but she seemed to have a greater interest in the kind of person I am, and plans for the future, much to my relief. I too had questions, which she answered, and my awareness of the world grew. There was much knowledge shared, and many points to ponder for future discussion.

Unfortunately, I embarrassed myself greatly on my way out, as I backed out towards the throne room door and bumped into one of the throne room guards. To make matters worse, I saw the guard’s polearm and blurted out, “that’s a pike right? I bet the sharp, pointy end goes in the other guy.” The throne room guard calmly said that it was a halberd, the pointy end does go in the other guy, that it is as sharp as it appears, and that he hoped that I was sharper than I appeared or it would be a very long week for him.

I received a suggestion that there was work available at a nearby Kingdom construction site, so I figured that it would be a good place to begin working.

Knowing that I should properly prepare myself for this line of work, as well as by the suggestion of the Sovereign, I headed to the marketplace. Turning the last corner to the marketplace, I was hit by a wall of sound produced by people talking, several hawkers trying to draw attention to their wares, and the general sound of activity as people shipped goods to and fro. Oh and the people, it was akin to the inside of a beehive!

It took some time wading through the sea of people to find items that I needed, some items that I thought that would also be useful, and some items that could be of use further into the future such as some seeds for my tiny seed pouch that I had prepared. There were two benefits to my seed pouch, I would not need to wander the land in search of seeds, should I take up crop cultivation, and that the seed pouch (with seeds) was so light that I could almost forget that it was there. I could even continue to add seeds to it to complete a set as I progressed, and it would only take a few silver, and a few moments more whenever I passed a marketplace.

Finally, I felt that I was prepared to embark upon my first activities, and headed to the nearby Kingdom construction site. There I could begin to earn some silver, and think some more on my possible past and what direction I would try for my possible future.
« Last Edit: 07 January, 2016, 08:48:05 PM by Simon Van Veen »


(RIP) Simon Van Veen

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Re: [CRP] Diary of Simon Van Veen
« Reply #2 on: 07 January, 2016, 09:20:55 PM »
December 14, 1315

While taking a break from working on a Kingdom construction site, I reflect on the awareness that in my many communications with my Sovereign, she assured me that she wasn’t upset with the deluge of questions on many subjects that I asked. I find it somewhat disorientating to not know the nature of many aspects of the world and yet perceive so many possibilities.

There are a number of us working with dedication on these many Kingdom work sites and we find a sense of accomplishment at the completion of each project. Perhaps I should just speak for myself, as those of us on the work site spend much time working, and little time talking.
With the speed of construction, I now have another possible past to consider; was I once a mason?

I have decided to continue masonry for a while, working on projects that improve the habitability of various counties of the Kingdom.

I am content with the knowledge that my Sovereign seems to be a well balanced individual, who undertakes great efforts in caring for the Kingdom and its peoples that she has rule over. It also seems like she is guided by internalized ethical principles, while not needing a set of dogmatic rules that tries to substitute for a void of ethics. It would be quite unpleasant if I had instead woken up in a field in some other kingdom that was ruled by some greedy, ethic-less, bloody tyrant, presided over by a dogmatic structure led by a power hungry, equally ethic-less leader.
There is a great difference between those who use a religion to enrich their own spiritual well-being, and those who use a religion to enrich their materialistic ambitions. I hope that, in my travels, that I encounter many of the religious that are part of the former group, and few who have fallen to the latter group.


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Re: [CRP] Diary of Simon Van Veen
« Reply #3 on: 07 January, 2016, 09:28:43 PM »
December 20, 1315

There is also great freedom of movement within Flanders, and I took up one of the many choices available to me which was a Flanders-Native liaison in Leipzig. Upon arriving, I have found Leipzig to be a fairly chilly and somewhat inhospitable location, but upon my arrival, I saw that the Sovereign had already brought some attention to the area. There was already a tavern and a marketplace that was already in use by Natives. I arranged temporary lodgings at the tavern after I met with the local bookkeeper to sign the documents regarding my change in residence.
The bookkeeper seemed so eager to see such a new face that he declined to ask me for payment for updating the official records.

I introduced myself to the Natives, and asked around about their concerns and issues. They shared with me many stories of their past, but alas, I lack the skills of a Bard, and I was able to retain few details, and certainly not enough to recreate any of their stories. The Leipzig Natives seem to be content with the influence of Flanders in the region, and they did not voice any outstanding issues to me.
There were even a couple of the younger members of the Natives who expressed some interest in becoming citizens of Flanders. Since their Elders did not quiet them, I was encouraged by the apparent relationship standing of Flanders to these Natives, and I took the liberty of the Crown to say that Flanders would welcome them, should they choose to pursue their interest of joining Flanders, but that they also should not forget the needs of their community. Apparently, I chose the right words, as some of the Elders nodded their approval after I said that. I chose to ignore the scowls coming from one of the Elders. Perhaps not all are in agreement in their opinion of Flanders, but if there was no issue of contention voiced, then I have no information on the concerns to be able to address.
Perhaps, one day, Flanders will see new citizens come from Leipzig.

In addition to great freedom of movement within Flanders, there is also freedom in the choice of types of employment. I have found that there are a few restrictions due to Kingdom security, but other than those, I can choose my line of profession, as well as where I may decide to operate from. In this regard, I have been weighing and discussing many options, and receiving valuable feedback, and I have not yet finalized my preference.

Later in the day, I got notification that the Kingdom appointment that was in the works would require me to leave Leipzig. I decided to inform the Natives of this inevitable development, and one of the Elders agreed to meet me again so late in the evening. I told the Elder of the developments as well as, “I will stay as Flanders-Leipzig liaison until such time as another Flanders citizen comes to replace me here, or until I am commanded to relocate to fulfill the requirements of the appointment.” The Elder did not seem too happy about the possibility of me leaving so soon (or perhaps me as a Flanders’ representative), but seemed appreciative of my effort to maintain lines of communication with them.


(RIP) Simon Van Veen

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Re: [CRP] Diary of Simon Van Veen
« Reply #4 on: 07 January, 2016, 09:35:19 PM »
December 31, 1315

Another Flanders citizen arrived in Leipzig to act as Flanders-Native liaison while I was working on a Kingdom project in Anhalt. Now that there was a liaison to replace me here, and to fulfill one of the requirements of my upcoming appointment, I decided to take the opportunity to relocate my residence.

On my way to Thueringen, I made a stop at the tavern in Leipzig to gather my possessions. I passed by the new liaison’s room in the tavern, but he was not in. I decided to leave the few notes I gathered concerning the local Natives for him outside his door. I hope that he finds them useful.
I also said my farewells to the Leipzig Natives, I was happy that there was another liaison present before I was required to relocate. The Leipzig Natives also seemed content at the uninterrupted break in the presence of a Flanders’ liaison.

Upon arriving in Thueringen, I checked in with the local bookkeeper to change my official residence. After signing the documents in triplicate, I reached into my coin pouch to pay, but the bookkeeper stared at me, looked me over, then shook his head and refused payment.
Again I arranged temporary lodgings at the local tavern and then returned to the Kingdom worksite in Anhalt where construction is progressing at a merry speed.


(RIP) Simon Van Veen

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Re: [CRP] Diary of Simon Van Veen
« Reply #5 on: 10 January, 2016, 08:25:48 AM »
January 5, 1316

The paperwork regarding my appointment for Tower Guardian in Thueringen has been formalized which had been delayed until today. I did not wait anxiously as I expected there to be delays due to celebration plans. I had witnessed the numerous celebrations of the season, that of the winter equinox where the days were at their shortest and are now growing longer, the celebrations of the birthday of one of importance to some devout, and the celebrations of the new year as marked upon the Gregorian calendar. They all pointed to the hope for the renewal of spring against the chill of winter, as well as a reminder that spring will come.

I stood before the tower where I will perform my duties to the Kingdom of Flanders for the foreseeable future. I noticed a small plaque near the door, completed July 26, 1315. I traced my fingers across the list of those who were prosperous enough to be able and willing to divert the time and effort from their fields, farms, and workshops to raise such a building to completion.

Using the steel key impressed with the Lion of Flanders upon its handle, I unlocked the tower door. The key turned in the lock smoothly, and the door opened without a creak; a good indicator that the building is well maintained and that there is little that is forgotten in the Kingdom. I entered to perform my initial assessment of the building, its contents, and to familiarize myself with its capabilities. After all, it would do no good for me wait for the arrival of a crisis to enter the building for the first time. I took a mental note of the provisions available in the tower stores, as well as the list of those who also have keys to the tower.

There was also a sheet of paper titled, ‘Insults to use when besieged’. How bizarre. There was only one insult currently on the sheet, but there was space to add others. It read, “I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food trough wiper! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!” What? Who comes up with these things? One Montgomery Snake appeared to have made a claim to authorship of that insult. Shaking my head, I decided to check out the rest of the guard tower.

My shoes made barely a whisper as I climbed the stairs to the top of the tower. And I was quite unprepared for the view that awaited me from the perspective at the top of the watch tower. As I gazed upon the wide flatlands of Flanders, there was a cool, gentle, breeze blowing at this height. Within the area of my view, there were orderly rows of beehives, a number of farm animals scattered about peacefully grazing, as well as a wide variety of crops growing. The variety of colours from the crops was quite amazing, the golden wheat, the blue flax flowers, the pale green hops, as well as smaller patches of other colours from other crops that citizens decided that they wanted to try growing. There was an active construction site within my view, covered with other citizens working to raise another building who, no doubt, were diverting time and effort from their personal ventures.

I noticed a person who was not a Flanders citizen moving about within Thueringen. Perhaps an incident of significance was unfolding before my eyes! I decided to watch this person some more to try to determine his intent. He entered one of the buildings, then proceeded with some activities that were not immediately clear to me, then exited into the yard of the building with some items. Thief! No, wait, it’s just to the yard and he just went to the kiln and put the items inside. He then proceeded to wipe his brow. Is he working there? Not an incident of significance, but a most curious situation.

While inclined to let this hard working person be left to his activities undisturbed, I decided that I must send a message to the Queen regarding this situation and asked for instructions on how to proceed, if any action was desired. A short time later, I was informed that the Queen was already aware of the arrangement regarding this person and the owner of the workshop. I was further informed that he, and all others, are welcome in Flanders as long as they followed Flanders’ laws.

Not only is there no prosecution based solely on religious beliefs, gender, or race, as some Kingdoms might grudgingly abide by, but there is prosperity, and that potter’s assistant is contributing to and partaking of the prosperity of Flanders. Waking up at that field in Brugge just over a month ago may have been the result of fortune greater than 157 consecutive coin flips turning up heads.


(RIP) Simon Van Veen

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Re: [CRP] Diary of Simon Van Veen
« Reply #6 on: 14 January, 2016, 01:57:46 PM »
Jan 9, 1316

After much personal deliberation and planning I have decided upon a working plan for the future, discarding some other plans that I had pondered. While I had the option to begin pursuing a plan much earlier, there was much that I felt that I did not know well enough, and needed to learn before committing myself. The Queen and Vassals were pleased to share their knowledge and advice to my many questions.

Had I rushed headlong into my initial plan, I would have made my life quite challenging. Although I was cautioned against my initial plan, I was doubtful. As I learned more and deliberated on the information, I realized that my initial plan had a few critical deficiencies that I had not perceived earlier.

In spite of my long deliberations discussions for my future, I did not have to endure the same conditions that I had heard rumors of from other Kingdoms, that of endless days of unproductive prison cleaning.

So I have decided to open an inn, and I have named it Simon Van Veen’s Scrumptious & Vital Vittles

While stocking up on supplies for my new inn, I heard traveling merchants talking of delicious meat pies at a bakery on Fleet Street in London, and the finest shave that they’ve ever gotten from the barber shop above the bakery. Perhaps I will travel there at some point to check out the rumours, and if true, perhaps see if the baker there would be willing to share her recipe. I don’t know about the barber though, a shave is a shave.


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Re: [CRP] Diary of Simon Van Veen
« Reply #7 on: 16 January, 2016, 12:34:12 PM »
Jan 14, 1316

The latest build site, a barracks & prison in Leipzig, is nearing completion. It will probably be completed by the end of the day. This has gotten me thinking of the buildings built by Flanders since my memory of events began nearly a month and a half ago.

Upon the expected completion time of the Leipzig barracks & prisons will have taken a mere nine days from the point that the construction was authorized, eight days from the point that the first nail was hammered. The Anhalt barracks & prisons, eleven days, and part of it occurred during the winter festivities. Ten days for the Lueneburg barracks & prisons, also part of it occurred during the winter festivities. Seven days for the market in Loon. Two (maybe it was three) days for the tavern in Loon. Six days for the market in Kleve.

Other projects were already underway and partially completed from the point that I started to get my bearings in this world. One third completion to full completion of the Holland barracks & prisons in seven days. Two thirds completion to full completion of the Lueneburg castle in three days.

With so much building going on, I think that there are few counties left in Flanders where even the most destitute would have difficulty surviving, not that they’d be destitute long. The prosperity in Flanders is certainly not getting squandered; it is being reinvested to pave the way for even greater capacity for prosperity, and for the future citizens that will contribute to it.

I have noticed that the foreigner that I espied last week now bears the colours of Flanders, after gaining royal permission.


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Re: [CRP] Diary of Simon Van Veen
« Reply #8 on: 20 January, 2016, 02:47:30 PM »
Jan 15, 1316

I spent a bit of time to rest from my recent labours, and relaxed by walking along some of the woodland paths in Weimar near my new inn.
I came across a man in the woods, clad in black leathers, but not a vagabond nor ruffian. It was clear to me that he was a warrior due to the greatsword at his hip, the hawk on his arm, and most telling, his great black destrier. As a trained warrior could pose a problem to the locals if he were so inclined, I decided that it was necessary to find out more about him. As I approached, he seemed to have not noticed me, but his hawk and steed did.

I should have hailed him as I approached, but I was preoccupied in trying to gain visual cues to his origins. When I drew near, and before I could open my mouth, his hawk cried a warning, and his greatsword was out of its scabbard in an eyeblink and into River of Light. So fast! I had only a work hammer and a hatchet on my person at the time, but I was quick enough with the hatchet to deflect his River of Light with Rain in High Wind.

He then took a moment and realized that I was no brigand, then said, “don’t sneak up on me like that!” I replied, “I wasn’t sneaking”. As he sheathed his greatsword, I spotted an empty gem socket above the hilt. Pretty unusual; maybe there’s some story there. I returned my hatchet to my belt loop, noticing the great gouge in the handle. Looks like I’ll need to buy a new hatchet now.

“Simon Van Veen, of Flanders”, I said as introduction.

“Captain Navarre” he replied. Seemed civil, and I did not recognize the name, but he avoided mentioning where he was from. Banished from another Kingdom perhaps?

“Might I ask where you’re from and what brings you to these parts?” I asked.

“You may.” Hmm, intelligent enough to dodge the question, but why was he avoiding the question?

“Have you traveled to Weimar based on the reputation of my inn, Simon Van Veen’s Scrumptious & Vital Vittles?” I asked, knowing full well that few people of Flanders’ would know that an inn opened in Weimar, let alone my name or even the name of my new inn.

“My apologies, but I have not heard of your inn. I am not from these parts and I travel a lot.” Honest, a good sign, but still little information. Perhaps a more direct line of questioning would get answers.

“I do apologize, but as one who’s responsibilities include the safety and security of the inhabitants of this Kingdom, I must ask you, a trained warrior, of your intents here.”

“Ah, duties and responsibilities. That I understand.” His grew misty eyed and then looked at his hawk before he continued. “I seek a sign. A sign that our, I mean my, curse will end.”

I was not sure if this man had full retention of his mental capabilities, talking about curses. But unusual things do happen, so prudence dictated that I should find out more about this apparent curse, who inflicted it, and its claimed effects. “Curse? Who cast this curse, its effects, and how might our inhabitants prepare or defend against it?”

“The curse is upon me, and will not affect other inhabitants. The curse, and myself, are no threat to the region. That I swear. But I do not wish to talk about it further.”

I decided that, while I did not glean full knowledge, it was sufficient, and I laid the matter to rest. He then asked me if I was new to my duties and responsibilities. I cautiously replied in affirmation. He then seemed to take me under his wing and imparted tips regarding Tower Guard duties and also of Guard Captain duties, that he said could come in handy as I progress through the ranks. So a question, left unasked, rose in my mind, “why does he no longer have those responsibilities, and is now wandering the lands seemly aimlessly?”

We continued to talk, until at one point he suddenly said that he must take his leave of me. Curious that the talking was ended so abruptly, and there was still time before dusk. But he insisted.

So I parted ways with this cursed warrior, obviously a Guard Captain at some point in his past.

I went back to my inn to collect some things, as I decided that it was time to continue on to Celle for the next worksite. I stopped in at the tavern in Braunschweig to rest since night had fallen. As I entered the common room, lit by a large fireplace, to seek the tavern keeper to acquire lodgings, there were a few patrons present. Nothing special in that, but something was out of place that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. There was a sense of fear in the room.

Making my way to the tavern keeper, I scanned the room for clues of the source of the fear. The patrons were divided into two groups, one group was a mix of male and female natives of various ages, and the other group was a single foreign female. Voices were low but not whispering, and the patrons weren’t in small groups, so there were no secret deals or talks that they didn’t want others to hear. Were they afraid of the foreign woman? Although alone, staring into her cup of wine, she appeared to be unafraid. Sad, but unafraid. The group of natives, on the other hand, were very afraid ... but none were secretly glancing in the direction of the foreign woman, they weren’t paying any attention to her at all. The foreign woman wasn’t the source of their fear then.

I caught snippets of the natives' conversation, “black creature”, “where did it come from”, “huge”, “unnatural”.

Upon reaching the tavern keeper to secure lodgings for the night, I tried to casually ask what’s gotten everyone afraid?

The portly tavern keeper, with some surprise said, “you didn’t see it?”

“See what?”, I asked.

“See the wolf. Not out in the countryside, where they’re supposed to be, but it was right within the town! Huge, and black it was. Everyone’s afraid to head home alone.”

“Not everyone”, stating my observation.

“Yes, that crazy woman. Don’t know where she’s staying, but she wanted to go outside. We had to keep her inside for her safety. If she wants two glasses of wine, she can have them, if it’ll keep her calm enough to stay inside. And that fighting man has gone and retired to his room for the night, locked his room, and though we’ve banged on his door, we can’t rouse him to hunt that wolf.”

“What fighting man?”

“He didn’t say his name; insisted on a room on the ground floor with a window. Odd that, as someone with a horse like his would want a better room, big black horse too. He warned us not to get too close, as the horse bites. Maybe he’s a stingy one?”

So, Captain Navarre must have been very tired to have cut our conversation off so abruptly.

Heading over to the one other person in the room that wasn’t terrified of a wolf, I noticed, sure enough, two glasses of wine. One glass sat on the table in front of her, into which she stared like answers to life were there, and one glass on the table across from her, in front of an empty chair.

“I have a few questions, may I join you?” I asked, gesturing to the empty chair. Her eyes snapped to focus on me, flashing with great hostility, “not there!” Quite taken aback, I was unsure what to say next. The hostility faded quickly from her eyes, but the sadness reappeared and she continued, “that chair is saved for another”.

So I pulled up a chair from another table, half expecting another outburst, but none came. I introduced myself, “Simon Van Veen, of Flanders.”

“Isabeau.”

Hmm, another one today that does not reveal their origin.

“So, you aren’t afraid of the wolf, like the others here?”

Without looking up again from her cup, she replied, “No.”

“What is it that makes you so courageous, while the rest of these natives are terrified”

“It won’t harm me.” She said with confident calmness.

“Oh, really? Are you a skilled fighter then?” Remembering that women fighters often use men’s misogynist preconceptions to their advantage.

“I’m no fighter.”

Maybe she was unwilling to reveal her martial skills, maybe there was some other reason she was confident that she would be unharmed. “Are you in league with this wolf?”

“No.”

Deciding to gently pry for information, I asked, “But you know of this wolf?”

“Yes”

Now that was an answer I was not really expecting to hear.

“Our fates are intertwined”, she continued. “That’s why I do not fear that wolf.”

Did this woman really believe that her fate was intertwined with a wolf? We sat in silence for a little while, as I tried to reason out what she had said. Maybe she really was as crazy as the tavern keeper claimed.

She then said, “excuse me, but I find that I am more tired than I realized. I think I shall retire for the night.”

I stood up as she stood, “sleep well then, Isabeau”.

She said, “thank you”, and then turned to head to the tavern’s accommodations.

She had left both glasses of wine untouched.


(RIP) Simon Van Veen

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Re: [CRP] Diary of Simon Van Veen
« Reply #9 on: 20 January, 2016, 02:49:52 PM »
Jan 16, 1315

I woke up late, with the sun shining brightly in my face. Heading out through the common room, I noticed many of yesterday’s patrons asleep at the tables. It seems like they decided to stay all night, rather than to chance an encounter with the wolf. The tavern keeper was agitated though, and talking to himself, “Where did she go? Maybe she’s dead?”

Not good to hear of deaths. “Who?” I asked the tavern keeper.

“The crazy woman”

“She retired for the night.” I replied.

“But she never paid for a room, and she’s nowhere to be found in the tavern”

Then it hit me. The tavern keeper did say last night that he didn’t know where she’s staying, but I got distracted by his talk about the fighting man, Captain Navarre. “Let’s get that fighting man to help with the search.”

“He left a bit after dawn.”

A search was started, with the aid of the natives that slept in the tavern common room. After a couple of hours of fruitless searching of the town, we turned up no sign of Isabeau, alive nor dead. And more strangely, the only people to have seen a person matching her description were the people who were in the tavern.

On a separate note, I received a letter notifying me that I was promoted to Guard Captain in Thueringen. It looks like Captain Navarre’s tips would be put to use earlier than expected.


(RIP) Simon Van Veen

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Re: [CRP] Diary of Simon Van Veen
« Reply #10 on: 28 January, 2016, 09:05:51 AM »
Jan 23, 1315

Eat well on the night before the battle, and on the morning of, eat nothing. Seems like good advice; don’t want to be overcome by the stench that comes with a battle, bent over retching, making yourself an easy target for beheading while you’re ... preoccupied. Perhaps there are other reasons for that advice, including its timing, but then its timing probably has a dawn start to battle in mind.

It’s cloudy, but there’s no precipitation. Might be some to the east, where there’s lightening, and the natives preparing for battle. Our reconnaissance reported back that the natives plan on attacking in the late afternoon. They should have chosen on attacking shortly after dawn, that way they’d have the sun at their backs, and we’d be forced to battle with the sun in our eyes. Late afternoon, that would put them at the disadvantage, if it wasn’t clouded over. No precipitation, that’s good; easier to keep your footing on dry soil than in mud, that is, until the battlefield gets churned up by feet and becomes slick from the blood.

I think that I’ll make alterations to the advice that came from somewhere in my memory. No images, no names, no places, just that bit of isolated advice. Anyway, a wheel of some fine Flanders cheese from the township of Gouda would do nicely to break the night’s fast and will keep me from thinking of food when the time comes to cross blades. But I think I’ll skip the noon meal. That should line things up fairly closely to the advice, if I understand its reasoning correctly.

Pendants flap in the light wind, marking the Scottish, and those who have chosen to stand with them. Many of those for whom this will be their first battle seem, eager, some apprehensive. Some are venting some of that nervous energy by boasting of how many opponents they plan on defeating. Then there those for whom this is not their first battle. Some are honing their weapons, some are checking their armour straps, some are practicing, and some have rolled back into their beds to sleep some more. No nervous energy there, just the sure knowledge of what will be needed to be done. Being my first battle, I distantly feel that I should have more nervous energy than I have. I seem to be somewhere between those new to battle and the veterans as I mentally play scenarios of tactics to use depending on the possible characteristics of my upcoming opponents and their arms.

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It is now late afternoon, and the pickets report activity has increased in the opposing camp. It is time to dance. Well, one kind of dance; not the kind I prefer. It’s the kind that brings ties of karma that will need to be rebalanced, not the kind that brings a smile to a lady’s lips. And no music either. Perhaps vectors align to rebalance a past karmic tie; that is less likely though.

The column has started to head out, and I have noticed that one of the Scots has brought a bagpipe. It seems that there will be music after all.

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More than two score natives had drawn themselves up in a line formation, single rank. Maybe they had intended to envelop us with their numbers, but a line that thin could easily fragment. There was one that wore an animal skull for a helm, and dressed differently then all of the other natives. My first impression was that he might have been their leader? Odd behaviour though, he ran up and down the line, calling on one ‘Connor Macleod’ to come out from hiding. Macleod, that sounded like a Scottish name.

I looked with a questioning eye to one of the Scots, but she didn’t notice me. She stopped playing the bagpipes for a moment, and I overheard her comment to herself, “What he gonnae oan abit? There nae Connor Macleod haur. An’ there nae Clan Macleod either.”

Well, the raving lunatic was also pompous. He had seemed like everyone cared what his name was, since he bellowed that he was ‘Thayk Urgan’. I wonder if it was just him, or if there are others like him wherever he came from?  The native battle line started to advance under the direction of one of the natives. Perhaps this Thayk was some mercenary trying, badly, to blend in with them?

The battle ended quite quickly, with few of the defenders laying in recovery. So quickly, in fact, that there were several of us that never made it out of our reserve positions, myself included.

Some pitied me since I didn’t get to actually fight in my first time in a battle, but I saw things differently. People free of tyranny, not threatened like a slave if they did not join the battleline, and yet our numbers still exceeded what was needed for victory by a staggering margin.