Dawn broke on a hilly spot in Kent. The middle earth of the Saxons was under it's greatest threat; Willelme, Duke of Normandy, had come to their shores, demanding the death of the Saxons and to conquer the ripe lands of England. Eadric had took his English army and camped opposite the Normans, who were now forming up into battle formations. The sun was now high above the sky by the time both sides were ready. The Normanz; their line was wide covering the valley while the Saxons; tight in their dense formation. Willelme patted Engle-Killer, his mount, gently. He ordered Skvor and Osbern to stay close to him. The Chevalers galloped off to follow their Duke, going around the Engle tight formation ready to attack from behind. Malgerius, the pious Archbishop of Rouen stood strong with his Regis Bannum; men that he had brought to help Willelme in his struggle to conquer England and bring the Fyrningas to their knees. The Bretons swung around and came to attack the Saxons flanks, but the power of Eadric's attack broke the centre totally. With the blow of his horn, the Duke ordered his cavalry to come from the rear. The blood was everywhere. Willelme galloped straight for his first target; an archer who was focusing else-where. The grizzled Duke thrusted the lance into the archer's face, the impact causing him to fall to the ground, scream in pain! The Normanz were now fighting as fierce as they ever had in their history. Willelme carried on the charge with his chevalers, causing a small amount of panic in the lines of the Saxons. But then came the man Willelme so wanted to kill; the man behind this uprising, the man who challenged the might of the Norman armies; Eadric Fyrninga, Eorl of the English and commander of their forces. Thrusting widly, the lance glanced off the mail shirt of the Eorl, who staggered slightly forward because of the impact. The Duke reigned Engle-Killer to the left before coming once more for the Eorl, but several spears came for the Duke, who reigned his mount back. Skvor came galloping up toward his Duke.
"Bloody fuckers have got us in a tight situation!" Skvor exclaimed, gripping the reigns of his horse as he spoke.
"The Bretons though have got them fixed, we have to try to get some sort of advantage," Willelme shouted his reply before ordering Skvor to follow him down to attack some lone Saxon men fighting with men of the Runeville. The point of Willelme's lance striked the man in the leg who clutched his leg, screaming in pain and calling out to his mother to keep him alive. He was killed insantly by a sword thrust by Richard of the Runevilles. The spears grew for the Engle and the cavalry would soon not be able to get to grips with their prey. Willelme, regardless, charged forward like the proud warrior he was. The scars he had won with over many years of warfare proved that he was not one to give in, he would die if he believed the cause was right and he knew the cause was just, he was the rightful King of England but arrogant nobles such as Eadric refused to accept a Norman as King and they fought for what they believed was right.
Eadric ordered his brothers to surround him and to protect the eorl, the man who had risen up against Dux Willelme! He watched the Duke run circles around them, probing and watching.
"These Normanz are true demons. We broke their lines and yet they will not give up. What the **** will it take to finish these orcs?" Guthmund shouted at his Eorl, probably demanding an answer by the way he answered, thought Eadric. He put a hand on his brother.
"The Normanz are orcs, that much is true, but we all know that they can be killed! Did you not see how we broke their lines! Now, back into formation!" came the reply of Eadric as ordered a charge at the remaining Normanz and Bretons. The battle was nearly up, it would finish soon, surely. The Normanz were small in number. It was getting dark though, the sun was slowly sinking behind the horizon. Both commanders; both Eadric and Willelme ordered a retreat to their respective camps. It was a disaster for the Normanz but it could have been worse. Willelme gathered his council at his tent and told them what they thought.
"They destroyed our well done plan! Those ******** bastards must pay with their lives. ******** assholes!" the angry words of Balduin de Runeville, a young conte that was eager for glory and personal honour.
"God made you a vile creature did he not, Balduin? We should order a retreat to that nearby river where we can gather some water supplies for our men," came a idea from the archbishop of Rouen.
"You ******** dare talk like that to me, monk!" Balduin stood up, his hand grasping the hilt of his well crafted sword. "We are Normanz! We do not retreat!"
"And what would you do? Fight them?"
"Better that then having them on our backs!"
"Who put you in charge, Balduin?" came a new voice, a man nicknamed Smiley for his cheesy grin.
"Forgive me, your grace, I only spoke of what I think."
"Please speak freely, Balduin. Just no bloodshed would be nice," replied the cool headed voice of Willelme. He was thinking hard while the others bickered about honour and courage as well as Norman beliefs.
"We should retreat, it is the only way, unless you want this invasion to stop in its tracks!" Malgerius spoke out with a hard voice, not like that of a monk.
"No, I will not all..."
"Shut your ******** mouth, Balduin!" came a shout from the end of the table as Willelme stood up from his throne. "We are beaten! Malgerius is right, we should retreat to gather our strength! Your chance for glory will come again, I assure you!"
So, that night, the Normanz packed their equipment and headed south for the river.
Willelme wiped some saliva away from his mouth with his hands. His mouth was very dry. He had hoped the Archbishop's idea would work, but alas for the Duke, the Engle had had the same idea and now were in battle formations far on the other side of the river. Willelme mounted upon Engle-Killer and galloped him forward before reigning him in so both the rider and the mount faced the Norman army. He drew his crafted sword and spoke to his men.
"Look who has come to meet us here! Those diseased animals known as the Engle. What do they want to do? They want to kill you, kill your children, rape your wives. Yet the Fyrningas, the leaders of this English army, speak of honour! Here is what I say to their honour!" -Willelme took some saliva in his mouth before spitting on the ground- "**** their honour! **** their beliefs! **** their country! Let's show them what it means to deal with Normanz. Let us show them how it feels to face a Norman. Send them to their bloody underworld and get rid of these diseased vermin known as the Engle. I ask you, brave men of Normandy, who will fight with me today?" Willelme shouted at his men and all the Normanz drew their swords into the air and came various cries such as "Willelme! Willelme! Willelme" or "Normandy! Normandy!" Willelme sheathed his sword before picking up his spear and shield from Serle. He ordered his chevalers to follow their duke as they crossed the river before galloping uphill and staring down at the Engle, now formed at the edge of the river bank. He watched his Normanz do the same, forming into a shieldwall, taunting the enemy to come at them. The Duke watched and waited. The Norman archers did their duty well, hammering the Engle will arrows, forcing them to act to raise their shields to block the incoming arrows. Studying the Engle wall, he saw Eadric at the middle of the wall with his brothers, the Fyrningas, around him. The Duke watched and waited to see if Eadric would fall for their trap.
Blocking up with his shield to stop an incoming arrow from hitting him, Eadric watched the Norman wall. He knew the Normanz could wait all day, the Engle were short on time though. They wanted this invader off their shores sooner rather then later. Eadric's thoughts were racing around his head. Doing duty for his country, saving his people but also the fact of killing the orc, Willelme, as soon as possible. After some time thinking carefully, still under fire from Norman archers, Eadric ordered the entire Saxon army across the river and to meet the Normanz head on. It was a risky idea, but one way or another, Eadric knew it was his only hope. He went in first, leading by example, like a true warrior should do; like a true Eorl should do. He kept his kite shield held high and marched through the boggy ground of the river. The river was stopping to flow because of the many soldiers of Engle were in it, it almost look as if they had built of dam of men standing there while they crossed that river and marched to face and hopefully kill the hated invanders from middle earth! He reached land with his men but behind him, he heard screams of pain and galloping horses. Damn, he forgot about the weapon most feared and most used in the Norman arsenal, the one that had come at such cost across the Whale Road. The cavalry broke through the archers like knife through butter. Eadric watched Willelme and his feared mount, Engle-Killer steer right and come from behind his wall. He could have called back but it was too late. The Normanz had charged and now it was choas. An angry Norman came with his spear and shield and thrusted at the Eorl, but Eadric brought his sword to the block before trying to counter-attack but another Norman armed with a short sword came for him and he blocked with his shield to stop the attack. The Normans tried again but Eadric, blocking the sword attack, cried in agony as the spear was thrusted into his arm. The Norman pushed his shield forward and the boss of it contacted with Eadric and he fell to the ground, unconscious. The Norman cavalry now pressed their deadly advantage and before long, the Engle could not hold and it was becoming a matter of survival for the poor farmers of the Engle. Thorkell, commander of Eorlingas, cut his first Norman at the throat, bringing blood into Thorkell's eyes but he wiped it away with his hand and moved on. He knew that the Normanz now had the momentum in their attack and with the support of their feared chevalers led by Dux Willelme in person, the chances of winning this battle were very slim indeed. Yet the Engle, much as their mead oath recites, they carried on fighting, until the last. Thorkell watched his next opponet carefully before he felt a terrible pain in his back. The neigh of a horse confirmed he had been cut by a sword by a chevaler. Knowing he would die, Thorkell glanced to see who it was. The grey stallion was none other then Engle-Killer. Mounted on it, clearly delighted was the man himself, Willelme, Duke of Normandy, Cousin to Edward the Confessor. Thorkell fell to the ground. The Engle were being hacked to the ground, piece by piece, little by little.
By the end of the day, the corpses of the Engle were being floated down the river towards the whale road. The Normanz allowed the Engle to collected their dead and wounded. Guthmund and Hrotha walked up to their Eorl, laying there, idle. Guthmund grabbed the Eorl's legs while Hrotha grabbed his arms as they heaved him across the blood-soaked river. They carried him across to the English camp on a small hill overlooking the plain and the river. There were small groans from the Eorl as he was placed upon a bed to treat his wounds. Eadric eyes blinked open back into life.
"Atleast you are not dead, Eorl," Guthmund said, forcing a slight smile to come upon his face.
"What happened, brother?" came Eadric's reply, which sounded much more like a grunt then a normal reply.
"The Norman chevalers were too strong. William's plan was well thought of and it worked perfectly. We were cut down far too easily," came a recultant reply from Hrotha who wrapped some linen around Eadric's wound.
"Then, have we lost?" Eadric questioned.
"No, the Engle still hate the Normanz for their victory. They have regrouped at Essertford and the Normanz will apparently march tomorrow," Guthmund replied to his Eorl.
Sun setted on that day. The decisive battle would be fought tomorrow, at Essertford.
Ting-Ting. Ting-Ting. A blacksmith carefully modeled his hand-made Saxon nasal helmet. He watched as the sun was high in the sky, signalling midday. It was a hot summers day, not one you are used to in Middle Earth. A sound came from across the river. Some strange looking soldiers bearing kite-shields and carrying crossbows had been seen into view. The blacksmith, when they got closer, recognise who they were; Normanz! Willelme had come here; clearly he must have beaten back Eadric and his forces so much as to make the Eorl order a retreat back to Essertford. The blacksmith carried his equipment and stored it in his smithy before locking the door and hiding in his smith. The Engle had decided to split their counter-attack. Half the Engle under command from Eadric in person would cross the northern wooden bridge while the rest would cross at the southern wooden bridge, hoping to take control of the marketplace. Eadric marched forward at the head of his column towards the Normanz. Eadric had the advantage, he had reached there first and formed in a shieldwall. The Norman crossbowmen fired a couple of bolts at the wall before Eadric, looking over his kite-shield noticed the man he wanted to kill; Willelme, the Ðéodloga himself! He had with him his two faithful bodyguards and the rest of his company the day before, where Willelme had tricked Eadric into a trap. Eadric, desiring for revenge, advanced with his wall against the Normanz. Eadric aimed for the man in the middle with the blonde hair. He ducked under a slash from a short sword before thrusting at his blonde target but the man blocked it with his shield, forcing bits of shield to come off as splinters, falling close to Eadric's shoes. Eadric attacked once more but was once again blocked before his blonde target swivelled 180 degrees before bringing a slash at Eadric who, with all his skill blocked it with his kite-shield before forcing his sword to cut at his testicles and shoving it deep down. The blonde screamed in pain, but was silenced when Eadric slit his throat, not forcing the head to roll off, but enough to make him fall to the ground, dead. Moving forward he came under attack from a blot from the crossbow; the bolt burrying itself deep in Eadric thigh, which forced him to grunt slightly in pain but he turned around and faced his opponet. Smiley loosed off another bolt but it just penetrated Eadric's shield forcing more splinters to rise but not enough to trouble the fearless Eadric. The Eorl's sword was cut into Smiley's shoulder and he screamed in pain and staggered back, but then, Hrotha threw a javelin at Smiley and he was thrown true into Smiley's chest who fell to his knees, clutching the javelin before falling face first into the mud. However, the Engle were eyeing for their target, the Ðéodloga but Eadric watched as he rushed over to the another battle at the stone bridge. We have him on the back foot, thought Eadric, now we must press our advantage; capture the flag near him and he will be forced to drag men from that fight to fight us, Eadric minded in his head a plan to bring down the Norman Ðéodloga. Crying out to his brothers and comrades to follow him as he rushed to the flag, turning off the main road, he guided his men left and headed down a small alleyway before turning right to see the flag pole and a big shock. Willelme had gathered his men to defend the flag, but as Eadric tried to recover from the shock, volleys of javelins came in and killed half of Eadric's men. Bloody bastard, thought Eadric, clever bloody bastard. Eadric had fallen for yet another of the Ðéodloga's masterful traps. Willelme cried out the famous warcry "FOR NORMANDY!" and charged unto Eadric's rabble of men. Eadric focused on Willelme but as he aimed for a strike, he was cut at the leg, the same leg where the bolt from Smiley had struck. Eadric staggered back and ran back across the wooden bridge away from Willelme. Eadric had gained a small advantage but Willelme had made his hopes of a quick victory be cast into ruin by the trap that was so well planned. Eadric imagined that all Normanz were this crafty but if that was so, what was the real Dux Willelme like? He knew he eyed the English Throne but was it possible that he could destroy the world Eadric knew; his brothers; his family; his country? Only time will tell, thought Eadric.
Bringing his sword up from the dirt, Willelme grapsed his fine Norman sword and marched with his band towards the battle at the stone bridge, where the Runevilles and the Regis Bannum were holding out against wave after wave of English attacks. When they saw their Duke coming, they cried out and shouts such as "Willelme! Willelme" or "The Duke! The Duke!" which put fear into the Engle, except for one. His shield, showing the Fyrninga standard, Guthmund kept his arms tight in his grasp. His men may be afraid of the Duke but Guthmund showed by his courage on standing on that bridge alone facing the Duke, he showed he was not scared. Willelme, himself, stepped forward, shield and sword ready.
"Come and get me, you Norman Bastard," Guthmund taunted which made Willelme growl in anger. "I am not afraid of you, you son of a whor...." Willelme thrusted the sword deep into Guthmund's chest, unallowing him to finish his sentence.
"**** you, you worthless piece of shit!" Willelme replied at the corpse of Guthmund. The Norman troops shouted at the Engle and charged off down at the Engle wall which buckeled under the strain and gave way before a massacre of blood and steel happened. The Engle ran across the southern wall, casting their weapons down to make sure the Normanz did not catch them and disemballow them or mutilate them, as most Normanz were famous for doing. Willelme pulled out his blade from Guthmund's chest before a great pain was felt in his right shoulder. He gasped as a javelin was lodged into his shoulder. The armour might have saved his life, but the pain was unbearable. He grabbed the javelin and pulled out the throwing spear, screaming as a hell as he was dislodging it. He continued to advance and as he ordered some of his men to capture the marketplace, he casted his eye at the southern wooden bridge and could not believe his eyes. "Oh shit!" he exclaimed as he saw a whole warband of Saxons come rushing over the wooden bridge and charged a semi-formed wall by the Regis Bannum. Willelme rushed in, his two loyal bodyguards, Serle and Osbern following right behind. He raised his sword in an attack position and ran at a pony-tailed Saxon who was caught off his guard as Willelme grabbed hold of the man's neck and sliced his sword at his neck the blood forcing to dribble down his shirt. He let the dying man go from the Duke's strangle and the pony-tailed man slowly and painfully died, choking on his own blood. It may have been a barbaric act but it was general business for a Norman like Dux Willelme. Willelme rushed forward, but as he did, he fell to the ground, clutching his head. A javelin and lodged itself in his veiled helmet, at the top and the impact and been so great that the iron-tipped javelin and wedged itself through the helmet and caused a small trickle of blood from the Duke's head. For the second time of the day, Willelme dislodged the javelin but found it was too dangerous to do so, as it was risking his own life to do so. Malgerius, the pious archbishop of Rouen, came to help his wounded Duke. With great care, the javelin was dislodged and Willelme was able to continue as normal, despite having a small dent in his veiled helmet. He faced an opponet he recognised in the battle the day before; the day where Willelme had fooled Eadric into a trap.
"Turn hell-hound, turn and face my wrath, you son of a whore!" Thorkell shouted and crused at Willelme, who narrowed his eyes at the enemy. It came to Willelme's mind; he was the one he had struck down with his sword when riding with Engle-Killer at the battle near the river. A glorious site! Clearly though, Willelme had not injured this man enough to kill him. He would make sure this time, he did.
"Yesterday, it seems I did not injure you enough. I will make sure you are nothing but food for the crows this time!" Willelme shouted back at Thorkell, challenging the man; come on then, you bitch, show me what you got! Thorkell attacked first, aiming his sword for Willelme's chest, covered with the mail hauberk that rich Normanz were accostumed to wearing. The thrust by Thorkell was poor, and Willelme beated it away with his sword and shoved the boss of shield into Thorkell's round shield, forcing the bearer to stagger back. Watching their enemies' footwork, they circled each other; watching and waiting. Thorkell suddenly attacked at Willelme's thigh, hitting the underneath of it and Thorkell, waiting for this all his life, brought his sword up and the Duke was lifted off the ground by a few centimeters before he crashed down to Earth, with small groans and a lot of dust. Thorkell may have finished off the Duke but a Norman was preparing to bash Thorkell with a mace and his attention was deverted away from his wounded prey. Willelme, seeing this chance, gathered himself up, sheathed his sword and trudged back to where his army had begun, near the church. The battle had been a bloody ordeal and in the end, thanks mainly to numbers, the Engle had won the Battle of Essertford. Willelme meet up with a few band of Norman survivors, among them Malgerius, Balduin, Conte de Runeville and few of the Runevilles and Regis Bannum. They formed a circle around the Duke, waiting for the unholy Saxons to come. At long last, the Engle came; the gleaming armour of their theigns were a sight to behold. The Engle closed in on their prey; the man who had come here to take the crown by force; Willelme, the Ðéodloga himself.
Willelme grasped the reigns of Engle-Killer. He trotted his mount forward along with the survivors of the bloody massacre at Ashford. He urged his mount on through the cold. It was early morning, the mist had thickened. The Norman survivors were counting on the fact the Engle could not see them making their escape so early in the morning. Willelme nibbled on a piece of stale bread to keep his energy up, although the bread did not taste any good at all. He galloped on with his small band. They were making for the cost, hoping to buy a ship bound for Normandy as for Willelme, all he wanted to do was to get home away from this accursed country. His thoughts were racing; what to do now? He was still thinking about the battle, thinking how he could have won it, thinking how he could have fooled Eadric into more typically styled Norman traps. But also, what to do when he reached home? Serle, Willelme's bodyguard tapped the shoulder of his Duke. "Come on, we should carry on, sir," Serle told his commander and Willelme nodded and urged Engle-Killer forward. They carried on, not using the main roads to avoid detection but using small paths. It was a difficult journey espically for the horses. But the more they ploughed forward, the closer they were to home, to the safety of Normandy and to their homes and lifestock. About midday, it started to rain; as hard as hammers on Willelme's cheeks. His mail hung heavy on his shoulders and his back and arse were aching for they had ridden for about six hours non-stop. But, no matter how much they wanted to, the Normanz knew they could not rest. They were weak and tired but they were in enemy territory and could not stop if they did not wanted to be captured and killed by the Engle. They approached a thick forest as they continued to follow the narrow path through the forest. Leaves rustled against Willelme's mail armour but he did not concern himself with that. The horses hooves was all that could be heard for miles, it was quiet, perhaps, too quiet. However, the city of Haestings and their escape was in sight. The town was deserted bar a few merchants with their ships docked in port. The small band arrived and Willelme dismounted with Balduin and Malger close to his side. They walked to the a merchant who was already preparing to leave for Normandy. The merchant had ordered a hefty sum of money, but Willelme had just enough to pay for him and his band to escape England. It would be a 24 hour journey to the port of Fécamp. Willelme did not sleep at first. He sat with his back on the mast and thought. The Battle, he could not forget. It was a too close call, but deep inside his head, Willelme thought he could have won, that he could have beaten back the English. He was outnumbered, yes, but he had one of the finest groups of soldiers in the world. But the English were too strong and they were too many, like a horde of people. He also knew that even more English armies were avaible to be called in, so even if he defeated one, he would probably lose against the next one. He thought about those he had killed. The one on the bridge, who had called him a son of a whore before Willelme thrusted his sword into his chest. They had courage, Willelme had to give them that, but sometimes, the Engle courage was their downfall. He stood up and walked to his chambers and while resting on his bed, he swore that someday, the English would be ruled by a Norman. Those were his last thoughts before he dozed into sleep.
The Dux of Normandy sat on his throne, his crown worn on his head. He was thinking hard about what happened on the last few days. Ever since Eadric Fyrninga has sent that letter, he had been following the situation closely; an impostor claiming to be him, plotting to gain a foothold in England and waging war in his name? He thought about what to do. He even did not know who this man really was but whoever he was, the punishment had to be swift and brutal. He knew that if he did not punish the man, other lords would see that their Duke had become weak and would plot to overthrow him and William was to make sure that never happened. He had always been a man of war and blood, he had been in danger ever since the age of seven when his father, Robert died. He had always ruled over Normandy with an iron fist and even today, it was no different. William knew that punishment had to be done but what if the imposter was one of his most faithful vassals? The Duke kept his thoughts of punishment for tomorrow and he stood up and went to get ready to sleep.
The ship slowly made its way to the pier at Fécamp. Home was near. A wooden planks was casted onto the pier and Willelme and his companions guided, carefully, their mounts over the plank and to the pier. They waited until all were disembarked before the thought about what to do next. Willelme knew he had to go to Caen as soon as possible and he explained that with his companions, but most of the horses were not in any condition for such a long ride. Therefore, they agreed upon Willelme and Balduin and a few chosen companions, whose horses were not in a severe condition, would go to Caen while Mauger would look after the horses whose conditions was severe with the rest of the party and the remaining gear. Both Willelme and Balduin agreed upon this, after all no man was better for this task then Malger, the Archbishop of Rouen and kinsman of the Duke. Willelme said their farewell to Malger and Willelme urged his Engle-Killer with his chosen companions following right behind him. They planned to stop at Cabourg to get some rest before the final leg of their journey to Caen. As they rode, Willelme thought what to say to the true William and most importantly, what would he do? Everyone knew what William was like, he rarely pardoned anyone for their crimes and he ruled Normandy with an iron fist which had never ever been dented. So what would the Duke do? It was on his mind through-out the entire journey.
At his royal palace in Caen, Duke William was still pondering the matter. After reading reports before Eadric's mesage, William could only think of one man possible for this: Mauger, his kinsman. The Duke had regarded him with suspicion as he was very impious and he had been removed of his archbishopric and confined to his chambers, but William had ordered that he be treated well and with honour. The Duke thought he was too merciful and that he should have given Mauger a more harsher punishment. He, though, had no proof that Mauger went with the arch-imposter. He picked up a scroll detailing a scout report from the port of Fécamp before Eadric and sent his letter. William noted his finger on one sentence. "That bloody son of a bitch," he cursed Mauger, for he had discovered in the report that Mauger had travelled with the arch-imposter across the water to England.
Willelme and his companions reached Cabourg just as the sun was setting on the horizon. As they rode into town, a small figure was waiting for them. Dressed in a fine red coat, the man identified himself as the Mayor of Cabourg. The Mayor offered them dinner at his quarters and Willelme and Balduin were only too happy to accept, dismounting their horses and leaving them in the care of Willelme's chosen companions. They walked into a brightly lit room, with a long wooden table layed out. The Mayor took his place at the end, with Willelme and Balduin beside him. Willelme asked the mayor what had happened in Normandy.
"The Duke has proclamations out to every corner outlawing Mauger and his companions, which includes you two," the mayor answered, eating a bit of pork once he had finished talking.
"Why? Mauger is the archbishop of Rouen, is he not?" Balduin asked.
"He was, but not anymore. The Duke had ordered that he be kept his quarters but treated well and with honour," the mayor said, slurping a bit of wine from his goblet.
"Meaning?" Balduin asked once again.
"He is just a bandit, not an archbishop," the mayor said, eating a pork as he did.
Balduin stared into the face of Willelme who was scratching his chin before smacking his hand on the hard wooden table.
"That little ******** son of a whore!" Willelme cursed.
"What do you plan to do now then?" the mayor questioned Willelme.
"We have no other choice, we have to go to Caen and hope the iron Duke William will accpet my request for an audience so we can ask for his pardon. At the same time, I will order Serle, Skvor, Osbern and the rest of the companions to arrest that ******** idiot, Mauger," Willelme replied.
"But you know the chances of getting a pardon from Duke William are slim," the mayor remarked.
"I know," Willelme said and he gulped down the remaining of wine from his goblet before preparing to go to sleep for his ride to Caen and hopefully, meeting the Duke.
As Willelme and Balduin prepared to go to sleep, Skvor, Osbern and Serle recieved their new orders and mounted their steeds and rode out of Cabourg. It was pitch black when they rode out of the city gates but knew they had to ride hard to Fécamp to arrest the bandit, Mauger. Willelme had explained the situation to Skvor who understood the need for speed on this mission. If he did not capture Mauger quickly, the most likely chance was that Mauger would have escaped; escpaed the justice he rightfully deserves. They rode on through the night.
Early the next morning, Duke William had got news that the arch-imposter himself had asked an audience with him. William was shocked at what the man was doing. He would have expected the man to run away but instead, is prepared to face the man who he played at. Naturally, Duke William accpeted the request. He wanted to see the man who had the guts to face him. The request for an audience had been granted and William would meet them at midday. So, at midday, Willelme and Balduin entered the court of the Duke. Willelme look around the court. It had gleaming windows, with the light shining. He then changed his focus to the man sitting on a golden throne, it was none other then the iron Duke; William. William had a red cloak wrapped around his shoulders and wore a red and golden robe. He also had a belt and the only thing on it was the sacred mace of Normandy; the Baculus, passed down from generation to generation since Rollo had become the first Duke of Normandy. Adoroned on his head was the crown of Normandy. The Baculus lay on William's right which clearly showed that the Duke was left handed. William's red hair was famous and he had his hair trimmed up at the back in the typical Norman style, much like Willelme and Balduin had done it. The scars on the Duke's face pointed to the fact that he had been for many years a man at war. His most famous battle so far was the battle of Val-es-Dunes where he had, against the odds, with a small amount of help from Henry I of France, defeated the rebel forces commanded by Gui of Brionne. The Duke, currently, sat in his throne with his left arm resting on the end of the throne while his right hand was touching the tip of the Baculus. He was about to order his guards to lower their spears on the two men but then Duke William recognised who they were. The man on the right was Balduin, Count of Reigneville. The man on the left, though, was one of William's most faithful vassals, a man that had been thick and through with the Duke. He was none other than Willelme, Count of Ivry; he was famous for having a scar near his right eye. The Duke ordered that the men explain clearly what happened. Willelme nodded and began to tell the Duke that he had embarked on the Kentish mission himself at the instance of Mauger, who Willelme thought was on good terms with the Duke and kinsman. He only wanted nothing but to the Duke's will and win the support of some of the most noble English houses such as the Fyrnings to the cause so that these houses would support William when he finally claimed the crown of England. The Duke asked for proof and Willelme showed that he had exchanged with Mauger and to which William recognised that on the letter was the seal of the Duke of Normandy. William cursed Mauger under his breath. He put the letter away and looked up to stare at the eyes of the Count of Ivry.
"Do you know where Mauger is now? I need him captured so I can give him the justice that idiot deserves," William questioned, once again, touching the brim of the Baculus as he talked.
"We left Mauger at Fécamp to look after the horses and gear. It was not my idea, though, your grace," Willelme replied
"What a clever son of a bitch! He has probably now selled those horses and gear to buy himself an escape route away from justice!" William noted, smirking.
"Rest assured, your grace, I have sent trusted men to capture him. He will not escape the justice that bastard deserves," Willelme stated.
William nodded in approval, before standing up and showing his true height.
"It seems you have conducted yourselfs well, my vassal, so it seems I will pardon you. I am shocked to see your bravery at coming to meet me here in Caen but from what I read from reports of the Battle of Ashford, you showed bravery there too." -William smiled a little- "I do wish all my Normanz were like that." William laughed before allowing Willelme and Balduin to leave the court. The next day, tidings reached Wiliam that the men that the Count of Ivry had sent to capture Mauger and found him in Étretat to which William ordered that he be exiled to Guernsey for the rest of his days. Justice had been served. The Engle may have got rid of Norman occupation but soon enough, the Normanz would return and get some revenge; at Haestings.