Chapter 36: The feasts of Khudan
10 November 1259
I had fought in the war against the Khergit, and gotten all that I wanted. Four castles, a city and several villages had been added to my domain, while I defeated the main Khergit army. But even though my funds were slowly recovering, I still needed more money if the treasury was to survive. So I decided that, if the Khergit came begging for peace again, I wouldn't demand a castle, but just a large sum of money. At the same moment I set out to ride along the trade routes again.
I didn't have to wait long for the Khergit to offer their peace: just when I rode past Yruma castle, they caught up with me. Before I could say anything, they started yelling that they would leave immediately at any demand for a castle, which made me laugh out loud. They looked at each other nervously, afraid that I wanted more. Hadn't I defeated them on every possible front? How glad I was that they knew little of my financial affairs, so when I demanded a sum of 8000 denars, because they had declared war on me
, they sighted relieved, and accepted it. Later I heard they drew the funds from the ever rich Tulga, which had reserves way above the 100.000 denars, but well, I needed this money badly. Now I could continue with my trade route without worrying about Khergits coming over the mountains to invade my freshly conquered fiefs. I'll finish the job of conquering the Khergit after my finances are more in order.After the Khergit paid me 8000 denars, there was peace: now they were just at war with the Nords.
After the peace was settled, I continued my journey through Calradia. The Nords and Khergit continued to fight, but on a low level: the Khergit were beaten and couldn't do much, so the Nord could concentrate most of their forces on their war against the Rhodoks. That was necessary for them, since the Rhodoks were doing pretty fine. Until on 23 August the Sarranids declared war once again on them. I don't know how often they have fought, but always it has been about the border around Shariz. Now the Sarranids were stronger after their recent conquests upon the Khergit, and decided it was time to create a larger buffer zone around their city.
This declaration of war from the Sarranids meant a lot to the Rhodoks-Nord war. The Rhodoks were putting all their efforts in ending that one, and succeeded: after they conquered Praven, they forced the Nords to sign a peace deal on 1 September. Now it was like the old days again: Sarranids against Rhodoks. The Nords were tired of the warfare, and two days later they made peace with the Khergit too. I guess Calradia was tired of the wars, since for the rest of that month the only fighting was between the Rhodoks and Sarranid, and only around the city of Shariz. After a month of fighting they saw the futility of their war, and on 5 October they made peace. With no war in progress, it was a peacefull time.
That gave me the perfect opportunity to ride the trade routes and not only gather more gear for my companions and get myself out of financial troubles while training more men, but also allowed me to get the final ingredients to a good party. Nelda thought it was a good idea too to hold one, but she mentioned that I would need a lot of goods. Oil for lighting the candles, ale and wine for beverages, spice for displaying our wealth and, not the least important, a lot of different kinds of food. As I travelled around Calradia, I visited all villages and cities and scraped the goods from all places. It surprised me that pork and chicken were so rare. For the past few months I had tried to build a decent collection, and on 10 October I returned home with the final ingredients. We were ready to party.On the left and continued in the middle, are the contents of my household inventory. On the right are the contents of the chest in the middle of the throne room. There is still some space for pork and chicken, but that is very hard to get.
Lady Nelda wanted to sent out the invitations, but I had a better idea: I would go out to the field, and track all my vassals down. Once I found them, I would order them to follow me, until we all ended up in the great hall of Khudan, where my wife would welcome all for the surprise party. That way no-one would have the time to think of any excuse for not being there. And once we're there, I'd just order them to stay in the castle until the feast is over. I bet they would like it that way.
I set out the next morning, and rode along all my holdings. Following the directions my wife had given me, I found lord Taisa near Rivacheg. From that moment on I rode along all my holdings, asking directions to my lords. Every night, at midnight, I repeated my orders to follow me, so they wouldn't dare thinking of wandering off. In the meantime I did some decent trading: I was out there anyway, so why wouldn't I? Unfortunately the travelling went really slow: a large army goes as fast as the weakest link, and in this case there were quite a few slow ones. So in the end it took me 14 days to gather them all and bring all 20 lords to Khudan. But then it was time to party.Parties in Calradia are pretty dull. Have they never heard of music or something like that? This is just before I let my wife Nelda sing the latest hitsong from Walther von der Vogelweide, the star minstrel from the Holy Roman Empire.
Not much of my goods were consumed, and even though my vassals were glad by this surprise party, they weren't changing their minds of me much. So I decided to hold another feast. And another. It has been 17 days now of nonstop partying, in which I gave 63 feasts, and now I finally ran out of grapes and olives. Next time I'll add more of those to my inventory. Everyone likes me now, with 15 nobles maximal devoted to me. Grainwad and Montewar are even devoted beyond any question! And Plais, who has hated me for a long time, thinks I'm pretty nice too. All those feasts not only made me more popular among my nobles, but also raised my renown a lot. I think it's time for action now, before they all get too lazy. They are all here, loving me deeply. I think it's finally time to finish off the Khergit. I just instructed Nelda to send a messenger to Sanjar Khan with my declaration of war: in a moment now I'll speech to my lords, and we will ride out. To war!
Those feasts not only improved my relation with each lord in the castle (all of them, since I had gathered them) with 2 per feast, but also raised my renown with in the beginning 21 per feast, although the higher my relations became, the lower this got (in the end I got 16 renown per feast). I didn't knew that. How fortunate! I also know that the maximum relation you can get is 100, but in two cases, Grainwad and Montewar, my relation with them has gone up to 124. Their slider has disappeared, as you can see:
Here is a picture of Floris' current stats:
The Nord have lost Praven and surrounding cities to the Rhodoks: for the rest nothing has changed.