Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by ladyanglaise
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A pale and cloudy dawn over Mercia puts one wise of coming spring rain. Peasants emerge from thatch huts, clothed in rags and clutching what little gold they can muster, making their way to the still-sleepy market. Smoke is rising from the chimneys of tiny inns as breakfasts of ham and porridge is being prepared, with colorful patrons groggily partaking in the meal. Justiciars and learned men dot the road from the abbey to Celnaer, seeking audience with the local lord. A young woman in a flax cowl wandered among them, seeming quite aimless, quietly observing her surroundings.
In Celnaer Manor, the lord is still asleep in a silken bed. Hooded men wander through his dungeon, glancing in at the various prisoners held there to see if any have died in the night.
The distant hides of the wealthy begin to rouse with the work of thralls and leisurely thegns. Some of these slaves, mostly very young men and women, pick up their carts or the leather leads on their livestock and tote them into market to make coin for their masters. One such is an auburn-haired girl clutching a fat hen, with a young hound nipping at her ankles as she walked along the Churn.
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by bloonewb
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Sigrid hummed to herself as she arranged the messy deck of her ship. There were as many wares hanging over the sides as littered all over the wooden floor, and it seemed that no matter how well she left it, the moment she turned her back it reverted to its piles and mess. Still, though, this was the life she decided to live, and she relished every morning she awoke on the deck. Grandfather was off to Helheim, having died of sickness and age, but before he did, he worked his surest in making her a woman as he saw it. She hated every second she had to clean the house, but now she found herself grateful in the most minuscule way that she learned to handle such things on her own.

As the chorus to one of Grandfather's old sea-songs came to a close, Sigrid attached the last hammer to a hook and threw it over the side, bringing her morning chore to a close. She allowed herself a wide grin, knowing through a recently found experience that she was done earlier than usual. Perhaps there might even be time to visit the local shops and do some trading. Carefully, she selected various items from her carefully-stacked piles, doing something of a river dance on her deck to avoid disturbing them and having to start her morning chores over. Dry fruits, bread, cookingware, tools, slowly she filled a sack with her own possessions. Patting her coinpurse, she set off for the town square, a smile on her face. Before she could go, though, she had one more thing to do. Sigrid bent down on the wet shore where her boat was tied up, and picked up a generous pile of brown clay. With a slight grimace, she poured the mud over her head, then rubbed it along her scalp, trailing her fingers all the way down to the fringes of her hair. She admired her handiwork in the stream, looking for all the world like an Angle girl. Now, she was ready for the market.
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Simple Unicycle
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'Dawn is breaking,' Garod noted uneasily. Light began to stream in through the windows of Celnaer manor, eliminating the already sparse shadows the thief used to remain hidden from the guards. Just his luck; he had been foolish to try breaking into the manor at such an early hour, and he had little to show for it, what with all the more valuable pieces of loot being in well lit areas with lots of guards. Still, these little trinkets he managed to nab would fetch a high price, if Bado could find the right person to sell it to.

There was no point in sticking around. If he was here when the sun finally rose, he would be caught in no time. Slipping through the now lit up halls, he made his way back to the dungeon where he first entered through a high window. It was too small for most to fit into, but if he sucked in his gut enough he could slip into it. But when he reached the dungeon, he found himself instantly regretting the decision, noticing the hooded men checking the prisoners, most likely to see if they had died.

"Go' a dead one o'er 'ere," one said, removing the chains from the shackled corpse.

"Throw 'im in the cart," another replied. The first obliged, carelessly tossing the corpse onto a wooden cart like a toddler discarding a toy he had gotten bored with.

Carefully, Garod crept through the dungeon, avoiding any loud surfaces and being sure to stick behind cover when possible. Thankfully, the dungeon was rather dark, even with the men's torches lit. Before long he had reached the window, crawling on top of wooden crate and sucking in his gut before beginning to climb through it. It was a tight fit, but before he knew it he was out of the manor and sprinting back to the inn he shared with Bado.

He climbed through the window of the room he shared with Bado, already discarding his gear.

"Do good, Garod?" the older man asked, giving Garod a start. Bado wasn't much of a sneak but, for whatever reason, he knew just how to surprise Garod.

"Well enough," the thief replied, opening his loot bag and emptying it out onto the table. "Just a few things that should fetch us some coin."

"Aye, better than nothing," Bado said, looking at the loot as though already calculating how much he could sell it all for.

"A high risk job, that. All for some junk." The thief crossed his arms, scowling at the handful of items he had risked his life for.

"Don't worry, lad. I can work with this."

"Let's hope so."

"Don't need hope, when you've got me." Bado grinned, laughing heartily as he slapped his companion on the back.

"Ha ha," Garod chuckled dryly, before releasing a sigh. "I'm going downstairs to grab some breakfast. You get to work on selling that."

"Can do."

Without another word, the two men headed downstairs, Garod sitting down at a table to have some ham and porridge while Bado made his way to the market to sell the loot.
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by ladyanglaise
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As she plodded along the river as barefoot as the pup that trailed her, the auburn haired girl caught a glance of Sigrid's ship. She picked up her pace, skipping down to the waterfront, finally standing in the mud just at the streams edge as the boat passed by.
"Ƿes hāl, sailor!" She greeted loudly. "Are you new to our hamlet? Are you headed to market?"
@Simple Unicycle
Awakening from her cloudy thoughts, Wilmot found herself without her master. She bit her lip and looked around, turning her bead pendant around in her hands as she searched her surroundings for a familiar landmark. She spotted an inn that they'd stayed in many times before, and thought he'd maybe went inside when she wasn't paying attention. With one last glance up and down the main road through town, she went inside.
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by My Own Hero
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The handsome Chad woke to find himself in his Ladyship's bedroom again. He found that this was a recurring thing whenever his Lordship, her husband, Lord Deormond, was on one of his trips away from the manor. Lady Judeth was only four years older than Chad at twenty-five but he held no proper feelings for her and nor she for him. At least he thought she didn't. This 'arrangement' was purely part of the service he provided to the Lady of the manor in which he had served for six years. It was a duty, an order and who was he to decline a request from his mistress.

He rose from the bed, removing the bed sheets, revealing his naked form. Perched on the edge of the bed he yawned, before glancing over his shoulder at the sleeping Lady Judeth. She was a beautiful woman, with long locks of fair hair, and could do much better for a husband than the much older, fatter, Lord Deormond. Still, he was wealthy and a nobleman and could provide a much better life than a farmer or blacksmith could. Chad reached for his clothes that had been thrown to the floor. Still on the edge of the bed he carefully and slowly began to pull on his trousers. It was at this moment he heard Lady Judeth stir behind him, before he felt a soft hand press against his arm. "Leaving without saying goodbye?" said Judeth not maliciously.

Chad found it slightly odd that after three month's, which was the current duration of this affair, that she had wanted him to say goodbye or even say anything at all, before he left. It was a sort of unsaid rule that they weren't to say anything the morning after their nights of passion. He hesitated, feigned a smile and continued to dress. Lady Judeth released Chads arm and elegantly sat back against the pillow, revealing her bosom. "My husband will be back from Cealnor at noon. The bastard will no doubt take advantage of Lord Banweald's hospitality and eat as much as the mare's in our stables," she said, this time a little malice and loathing in her tone. Chad was again taken back that she had chosen to speak.

He turned and faced her. "I must get back. The other's will be waking." He turned away as she nodded and this time stood up from the bed. He put on the rest of his clothes and ran a hand through his hair. Before he could place a hand on the doorknob and get ready to make his way back to the servants quarters, Lady Judeth had one last request. "Have my food brought here today. I wish to break fast alone and await my dear husband's return." she said, mockingly.


Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Simple Unicycle
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As Garod was finishing up his meal, he looked up to notice a woman who seemed to be a few years his junior (though quite a bit taller than him) enter the inn. She looked rather lost, scanning the room as if in search of something or someone. She seemed like an easy mark. He wasn't too good at the whole cheating people out of their money bit, that was more Bado's area of expertise, but if he was lucky he might be able to squeeze a few coins out of her.

Standing up from his table, he approached the woman, already putting on a false grin. Speaking in a more aristocratic tone than usual, he began to speak, milking his foreign diplomat "Good morrow, fair lady. May I ask what you've come to this inn for? If it is to break fast, then I'm afraid you've missed the free hour; however, for six pence, I can gladly cover the rest of the price for you."
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by ladyanglaise
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Wilmot smiled politely, but lowered her gaze and kept fiddling with her pendant. "Thank you sir, but I've no money to spend for myself. Even if I had six pence I couldn't stay; you see, I'm just a humble servant. I need to get back to my master soon, or he'll be... he'll be very angry with me." She looked again around the room, but couldn't see a single familiar face. Her eyes returned to Garod. "Oh! Maybe you can help me! Has a judge in red robes been here?"
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by bloonewb
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Sigrid stopped, hearing the sound of a chipper voice. Was it calling to her? She turned, and saw to her surprise saw a tangled mess of brown hair right before her face. Below that were a pair of shining eyes, both affixed to her. "Ves heil," Sigrid responded. Oops. She had let a bit of her accent come through. In her mind, she was panicking, trying to worm her way out of a rude encounter, and praying to Loki the trickster that the other girl suspects nothing. "Ay, It's the market for me. You?" By the instinct drilled into her through experience, one of Sigrid's hands wandered down to her belt, where her coinpouch hung. Best not let the other girl get too close. "I'm Sibley. From . . . " Come on, she has sailed the entire Thames by now! She must know a town far enough away that her false step could be mistaken for a local accent. " . . . Sweyn's Dun. What's your name?"
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by ladyanglaise
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The girl nodded, pretending to know where Sweyn's Dun was as she shifted her arms to stop the hen escaping her grasp. "I see, then, you're an outsider like me! I'm not from Cirencester either; not from Gloucestershire at all. I'm Mildemaer of Crowland, though..." She smiled wickedly "If you ask the other merchants in town, they'll tell you I'm Mildemaer the Miser."
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by burnski
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Alfred found himself in the middle of the forest. It was foggy and he couldn't really see further than two feet from his face. As he was walking he suddenly felt a chill rise through his spine. It left him with a feeling of utter dread. He remembers feeling exactly like this before. He felt helpless, weak, stupid, worthless, and afraid. Wanting to crawl into a fetal position he instead listened to his instincts and ran as fast as he could trying to get away from that place. As he was running he was suddenly slammed on chest that landed him straight to the ground. It hurt badly and he couldn't breathe. All of the sudden there were a pair of hands wrapped around his throat. The man towering above him was laughing maniacally. It was at that moment Alfred realized who this man is. It was Lord Ædelric. The man that tortured him day in and day out for over six months so many years ago.

That's when Alfred woke up visibly shaken and dripping with sweat in his large but sparse bedroom.

"Not again," he said to himself. "Over ten years and I still can't get you out of my head." Alfred still scared from the torments he suffered in the hands of Lord Ædelric. In his head he knows that he shouldn't have nightmares like these. Especially since Lord Ædelric was confirmed dead before the end of the war. But the nightmares they come. Almost every night they come.

He rose from his bed and decided that it would be best to try and forget the dream and instead go through the motion and get ready for the day ahead. Once he was dressed he slowly grabbed his war hammer and headed out and straight for the town centre. Alfred may live in a stone manor by the farming hides but his home didn't really have the sufficient amount of servants in it. So, when he left that place he didn't even see a single person. He grabbed his horse and headed for the town centre.

Once he got to the town centre he proceeded straight for the county's militia barracks.
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by bloonewb
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Sigrid laughed. "Everybody's a miser," she said. As far as she has seen, that was true. Up and down the rivers, from small villages with no name all the way to grand Lundenwic itself, the locals worshipped money more than they worshipped Jesu of the Cross. Her mind went back to her early days, when she was but fourteen, and the long hours of haggling and sweet-talking that went into every little transaction. No matter how she seemed to win them over, the final price was never where she wanted it to be. Ruefully, she reminded herself in her head that those times can't have been longer than a year ago, and not to get so high-and-mighty about experience she didn't yet have. Though still not yet visible, the bells of the town square rang out, piercing through the early morning. It was the church, no doubt. "Come, I'll race you to the village," Sigrid said, a grin creeping across her freckled face.

No town she had ever seen was quiet, and this one was not to be an exception. The shouting of angry traders, the crunching of famished peasants, and the preaching of zealous priests permeated the square and its surrounding woods, possibly for furlongs out. Sigrid unslung her sack from her shoulder and loosened the tie, quickly counting up the contents of its insides. Metals were a precious thing, and she was too smart now to flash it in front of everybody like a Jarl. No, this time she would be smart. Trade goods for goods, like a local would, and try to go through the morning without having to dig into her coins at all. "Care to show me around?" she asked. Mildemaer didn't seem like the deceitful sort, not to her at least. Better yet, she must know some of the locals. This would be a good time to get into the market, as well as the good books of a couple of big names. Already, she could imagine how she would leave this town, her karve spilling over the sides with radiant gold and silver.
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by ladyanglaise
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"Maybe I will, if your old boat is faster than little ol' me!" Mildemaer taunted jokingly, taking off down the road. Her hound chased her clumsily, almost tripping over itself more than once.
Deep within the girl bubbled a new feeling, a blossoming happiness at making a friend. Among most of the townsfolk she was considered quite an outsider, strange and detestable, and though some had warmed up to her with time it was rare to find anyone she could relate to. As the stone walls of Cirencester proper came into view, Mildemaer saw peasants wading into the river shallows in search of mussels and seasoned sailors untying their boats for the day ahead, as the dawn sun peaked through the otherwise gray sky.
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Simple Unicycle
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Garod's false smile faltered when the woman told him she didn't have any money and was in fact just a thrall looking for her master. He felt like abandoning the conversation there, but once one committed to a role they had to see it through to the end. She asked if he had seen the man, a judge in red robes apparently, and he shook his head. "I'm afraid that I have not. Though perhaps I could assist you in your search for him." He could only hope this judge would be able to provide a monetary award to whoever brought his slave back to him.
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Wilmot seemed pleased by Garod's offer. "You're a very kind man, thank you ever so much! I'm very grateful for the help, I get lost quite often and I don't want him to be upset with me." She stepped toward the door but waited with some hesitation for Garod to lead the way while she nervously chattered on. "My master's name is Alexius, Justiciar Alexius... he's a very fine master, always kind to me; never starves or beats me. Nothing like folks say."
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by burnski
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Alfred finally gets to the barracks where the county’s militia has been practicing their regular exercises. The moment they see him they stand to attention clearly noting his presence. Alfred then says, “You, you, and you let’s go,” as he points to three of the militia men standing with the group. His men dred this ritual that Alfred has adopted ever since he became Commander. The three men he pointed to now start to cautiously move towards him. One of the men takes a swing and Alfred is able to duck this punch, the second man tries and manages to kick Alfred on the back of the left leg. He winces from the pain, and with that delay the last fellow punches him on the mouth, which he starts to bleed from. Alfred thinks that he’s getting slower as he gets older. The second guy now wraps his arm around his troat as the two other guys start punching and kicking him. They might be fast but they are still not strong enough he thinks to himself. He then elbows the guy behind him and in a split second flips him to the ground. Alfred stands up smiles and says, “My turn.” He then kicks one of his attackers and quickly tackles the other to the ground. He starts hammering the man on the ground with his fists until he has visibly been defeated.

Alfred then screams out, “It doesn’t matter if you can land punches and kicks if you can’t immediately take out your oppornent. This was just not good enough.”

He starts to walk away from the group and starts talking to his second in command asking him, “Any reports from the townspeople today?”
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by ladyanglaise
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Beornraed led his commander away from the soldiers' barracks as he began to reply. "Nothing from the town yet, my lord, but the day is yet young." He stopped walking to speak to Alfred more directly, now sufficiently distanced from the sometimes nosy young recruits. Beornraed seemed slightly tense as he reported to his superior.
"There are more pressing matters than local skirmishes today, sir. Lord Banweald has requested audience with you, as soon as possible. Says it's urgently important."
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by burnski
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Alfred is trying hide from Beornaraed his body's need to breath hard after that brawl. As they were walking he runs his arm across his mouth to wipe the blood away. Apparently he bled more than he thought he did. "Beornaraed these skirmishes are important. These men need to learn how to fight and to fight well. I was their age when we went to war for the King and if you weren't ready to fight you'd die, or worse." He would never say it out loud but aside from training his men with these morning "rituals" he just loved the violence to get him going for the day. Pummeling that kid just got his blood going the right way.

Alfred always respected Beornaraed but he could never quite figure out why. Perhaps it's because of the humanness in his second that Alfred suspects he himself had lost a long time ago. "The men needs to get stronger," he says to Beornaraed, "maybe have them lift large rocks or something."

They get to his horse and Alfred turns to Beornaraed to say, "Lord Banweald and I are supposed to have our weekly visit tomorrow. This indeed must be important. I had better be off quickly." He jumps on his steed and as he rides off he yells, "Keep your ears open towards the going on about town, I want us to be ready if something happens!"

He rides speedily that he almost runs over a man. Alfred screams at him, "Get out of the way fool! Or I'll have your head next time I see you." He finally arrives by the entrance Celnaer Manor grabs Beadu and quickly goes in to see Lord Banweald standing there and pondering intently. "My Lord, you wanted an audience with me?" he asks.
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Simple Unicycle
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Garod's blood froze as the girl told him her master's name. The man was fast gaining notoriety throughout the land for taking a zero tolerance approach when it came to criminals. If Garod had to be perfectly honest, he was scared of the judge. 'Commit to the role, Garod. You can do it,' he thought to himself.

Instead of openly panicking or leaving the girl, he took in a quick breath and continued to speak. "Ah, I have heard of him and his reputation. It is good to know he does not mistreat his thralls." He placed a hand on his chin, as though pondering something. "Well, a man of the Church might spend most of his time there. If you haven't already checked, we may head there and have a look for him."
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" . . . Three pouches of herbs!? For that!?" Sigrid exclaimed in mock surprise. The morning's trading is quickly coming to a lovely end. Throughout the day, she had seen her bag of things empty and fill up multiple times. She had promised herself three exchanges ago that that was the last one, and this time she intended to go through.

"The fruits I pick are the highest quality in the village, and my hide is the most fertile in perhaps the entire eorldom," the man said, turning his nose up.

"Isn't that what the other man . . . what was his name . . . Æthelbald, said?" Sigrid said. She had to hide her giggles when the farmer's blood vessels began to pulse in his neck.

"Well, that inbred cow thinks he can grow better pears than me, eh? Well, taste changes depending on who's buying, but price is constant! At two pouches of herbs, that makes one of my pears the less disagreeable price, doesn't it?" the farmer sneered. Sigrid couldn't believe her luck. She didn't even know there were any other farmers, and she just picked a name out of her mind.

"At one and a half, not only are your pears at the least disagreeable price, they are the most delicious as well!" she said. Still, he looked on the fence, so she took the initiative, plopping down one pouch of herbs and another smaller one, and nabbing a pear. Best not let him think too much. "A pleasure buying from you," she said, flashing him a wide grin. "How's that?" she asked Mildemaer, tossing the large, ripe pear in her hands. "Fancy some pears for breakfast?"
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Grimmdreamer13
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Fryor woke in a haze with a slight shutter he pick out some hay from his hair and brushed it off his clothing. He had slept in this horse pen for a day or two in exchange for labor in the fields Fryor's back and hands ached Fyror was a warrior his whole life so slaving in the fields was a long call from his old life. "Alas this is my lot in life now to walk this land until my shameful death brings this chapter shut" he said in a hushed tone.

the former Viking stood up slowly he brushed off the hay that clung to his tunic and trousers "well i think i have worn my welcome a long overdue" he said as he pushed open the gate closing it behind himself he walked the dirt path out into the cobble road. Ahead lay the road to a large city Fyror had never been to it before most of his time here was spent raiding the coast with his Kin.

He started his stride down the road a meager coin pouch weighed little on his waist. "well i hope this place is kinder to my folk than the villages i've passed i'd like to not lose my head this day" he joked to himself.
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