Chapter 5: The feast
20 May 1257
I went to the feast in Praven. Even though it was a lot more sober than I was used to in The Hague or any other European court (there wasn't even a minstrel playing a lute!), it was still fun, in a way. There was a lot of ale, which helped with that part. For the rest it was, just like home, mainly a political gathering of counts and their daughters. Since I hadn't penetrated the inner circle of the nobles yet, all I could do was enjoy that ale. But after quite a lot of beers I became more daring, and approached the counts. I spoke to three of them: Clais, Mirchaud and Stamar. Seeing my elevated state, they were of course glad to let me promise to take up some errands. I got stuck with the following missions:
- Count Clais asked me to deliver a message to count Delinard. The moment I woke up, I thought: 'Not again!'
- Count Stamar wanted me to hunt down the notorious Euscarl the Black, who is currently residing in Nomar.
- Count Mirchaud wants me to bring three Nord trained footman as prisoners of war.
But that's not all: I had met count Delinard earlier, and I had promised him to take out some bandits hiding in the forests. Also, I still had to deliver the taxes to count Klergus. A busy month lies ahead of me!
At the feast not only noblemen were present: also young and lustfull women strolled around in the hope to find a future husband. They were all 19 or 21 years old, quite old to still be a maiden. In Holland I married when I was 14, a proper age to get your responsibilities. But I was too drunk to be surprised by this fact. I must admit: I made a fool out of myself. Being drunk, I tried to say to five different girls that I admired them most of all. The first four waved me irritated away, but to my surprise the fifth, lady Gaeta, was actually quite pleased by my manners, drunk or not. This can be interesting for the future: a political marriage will ensure my holdings in this kingdom. But that's for later.The feast in Praven is joy and fun, as you can see.
Seeing the tasks that lied ahead of me, I decided to go to Nomar first, and look on the road for tracks that could lead me to the bandit's hideout. I did spot some bandits, but unfortunately my food supply ran out, and I was forced to leave them and go to Uxkhal to replenish. So I quickly went to Nomar, where I easily found that criminal and eliminated him. I reported back to count Stamar in Praven. One mission down.
While I was in Praven, I paid a visit to lady Gaeta. She had even sent a messenger after me to call me to her: she longed to see me. I don't know what her problem is, falling in love with the most drunken man at the court, but I profit gladly from it. Sooth her with a poem, visit her once in a while: in a few months she will be totally nuts for me. I'll see what this will bring me. Before I left the city again, I quickly fought in the tournament held there, but was defeated in the first round. Again.I pay a visit to lady Gaeta in Praven.
I still hadn't found a trace of those bandits, so I decided to bring the letter to count Delinard. He was a lot more easy to find than count Haringoth: I knew that he was residing in the city of Uxkhal, and when I got there, he was still there. I think I like therefor Delinard better than Haringoth: at leas I can find Delinard easier.
The bandits were still nowhere to be seen, so I rode on and on, until I came to the village of Ibaran. There I heard the peasants complaining about regular raider attacks. They asked my help: if I could only train a few of them to withstand the attacks, they would be able to defend their village in case of a raid. I decided to help them. During the training, I heard about a Swadian lord fighting a Nord noble. When I sent some scouts ahead, I learned that both jarl Marayirr and count Rafard were fighting each other, so I decided to jump in and help the count. Together we had three times the amount of troops as the enemy. I used my horse to charge around his army, and ride-by attack many of his archers with my axe while the rest of our troops engaged them on the front. This tactic worked splendid. Even though jarl Marayirr escaped, I managed to capture one Nord footman. I intended to hunt down the other two I needed, but that soon proved unnecessary: right after my victory, the kingdoms of Nord and Swadia made peace.As I approach the enemy, I circle around them and attack them from behind.
The same moment I received news about the peace, I also heard that lady Gaeta wanted to see me again. Another feast was held in Praven, with another tournament attached. Of course I didn't win it, but this time I advanced to the second round. I hope to one day get to the third, and maybe climb further until I get to the end. Anyway, I rode of course back to Praven, to not only see the lady and fight in the tournament, but also enjoy another big Praven party. This time king Harlaus was present. As I walked through the party, I recounted the mission status for the past time:
- I have successfully delivered the message from count Clais to count Delinard.
- I have successfully killed the murderer Euscarl the Black.
- While I was working on capturing Nord footmen, the war was over and the mission was cancelled.
- I should destroy the bandit's lair, but haven't found it yet. With just a few days to spare, I don't think I will.
- I still need to bring the taxes to count Klergus.
While thinking about this, the king took me apart and told me he had a delicate matter: in Khudan, a Vaegir city deep in their territory, he has a spy. He needs to get the report, and wants me to ride hence and forth to get it for him. This is a great opportunity: maybe he will grant me with land after this. I'll prepare immediately for my departure.
At this moment the game has been updated to version 1.113.
Here is a picture of Floris' current stats: