(1866-07-29) Turning the Tide
Turning the Tide
Summary: Elrick and Michael meet the Hartswood rebels.
Date: 1866-07-29
Related: All Hartswood Logs
Elrick  Michael  

See scene

The army of the villages numbers some three-hundred men and makes its way slowly along the road to Hart's Home. The narrow road has forced them into a tightly packed column with their leaders at the fore and the rest of the men marching behind. There are no banners, drums, or siege engines, and few enough men in armour. There are weapons though, clearly the bows and spears kept for the levy have been raided and handed out, but, like with any levy, how well can they be used?

So, it is no wonder that the much smaller company with Elrick and Michael seem confident faced with the mass of men before them.

One of the crossbowmen, the one who shot Osmund, sits mounted near Elrick and suggests in a low voice, "I can ready the bows, if things turn bad, a volley into the ones up front will send the lot of them scattering."

Michael for his part doesn't react to the comment, leaving it to Elrick to decide. The man though does have full plate and the l'Corren name to protect him, blue and white tabard with the horse and sun of l'Corren leaving little doubt to who he might be.

It is certainly hard to hide three-hundred men marching down the main road to Hart's Home, especially if they are an untrained mass of peasants. So when Elrick hears that the peasant army has been spotted, he reaches for his helm to slip it over his head. After securing it, he glances to the crossbowman and nods his head, "Do so, let us set up an ambush for them. Even if they fire off an arrow or two, do not release until I give the order or Sir Michael gives the order. I do not want a bloodbath because a peasant pissed himself and accidentally fired off a shot." The t'Tremaine Heir glances towards Michael, to see if the other knight has any other suggestions.

Michael pull notices Elrick's look and shakes his head. The plan sounded reasonable enough. He beckons for a small party of men to form up around them then turns back to Elrick. "Let's go," he says and then lower's his visor. His sword though stays in its scabbard.

From where the villagers march Leon, a veteran of the fighting up north and indeed the Thirty Years War says to the men at the head of the column. "Good masters, they're here," he says and then nodding to some of his bowmen, they move out to take up positions in the woods.

Riding at the head of the villagers is a man wearing a leather jerkin and some mail. An axe hangs at his belt and a half helm rests on his head. When the group of villagers reach Elrick and Michael's location, he gives a nod from the saddle, "My lords, do you stand here to block our way or to treat with us?"

Elrick is similarly without blade in hand, instead both are holding onto the reins of his warhorse, his visor is also raised for the time being. After the 'honor guard' has formed up around himself and Michael, the heir to House t'Tremaine nudges his steed into a forward trot, a pace that has a bit of urgency in it but not a cavalry charge, not even close. When he begins to make out the features of the men and feels that they are within hearing range, Elrick raises a hand with his palm open, as if in greeting or to show that he has no intent of hostilities, not yet. When the spokesman of the peasants speak up, he focuses his gaze on the man, "I am here to speak with the leaders of this band. There has been too much bloodshed and hostilities. Some of you may have served with me in the north, you know that the last thing I want to see is more loss to our people."

Michael reigns in his horse infront of the village army and despite the bowmen slipping off into the trees he raises his visors. "Good masters," he greets with a slight nod to the men leading the army now peering at the baron's son and his party.

Leon steps forward, "I served with you, my lord, if you recall," he says to Elrick. "But I count myself a leader of this band as well." The old soldier is familiar to the heir having been among those who stood at Avondil.

"And I am Hakon, a reeve." Hakon ponders and then asks Elrick, "I assume you have terms for us? Else you would not be here waiting for us." His tone is gruff, and the man is certainly not pleased.

When Leon steps forward, Elrick looks the commoner over and nods his head to the man, one with respect which is rare from the noble who fully believes in the difference between nobility and the baseborn. "I do recall and I am glad you have made it home from the war in the north. And seeing that you are the leader here, I am not surprised, the men march orderly, a testament to the leader." Then when Hakon speaks up, the t'Tremaine Heir looks the other man over and nods again, "You may call them terms but I call it an update of the current situation."

Once more, Elrick moves his gaze over the large group of men gathered, "There were traitors that had infested my home and managed to place themselves close to my father, your Baron. Traitors that poured poisoned words into his ears, pushing our lands to further ruin, ruin that we are still trying to recover from since the Rivanan's ruthless invasion." There is a pause, the heir's expression stiffening slightly before he continues, "The leaders of the traitors have been apprehended, chained, and currently are resting in their new homes, dark cells in the dungeons of Hart's Home, while their old homes are being confiscated." Elrick stops there for now, letting the words sink in.

Hakon thinks for a little bit and says, "I see. We still have grievances that need to be addressed, such as the damages caused by these villains. Are we to still suffer from these wretched men's deeds?"

Michael for his part stays out of the discussion, but he is not idle, he watches the men around them and those bowmen in the woods.

Leon nods. "Good to see you back as well my lord," he says to Elrick before he turns to Hakon and back to Elrick again. "Hakon is right, they took a good deal of what was precious to these people, these traitors, and their hanging will not fill their victim's bellies."

"Hakon, we have all suffered from the traitors, and they are not going to simply be hung for it. In fact, you will all be seeing their punishment first hand, of what awaits those that would betray our House." Elrick says as the subjects turns to further grievances from the peasants. He then looks towards Leon and nods his head, "You know I have just returned home, so my first order of business is to purge this land of all the traitors that had a hand in stealing from the people. That will take time, but once the traitors have been found, we can then we can work towards making things right."

There is a pause before Elrick tries to steer the subject to the actual uprising, "Leon, as you know, and as I'm sure everyone here knows, rising up in revolt is against the law. You rise up not only against our House, but our Liege, and our King. Which is a /very/ serious crime." The heir does raise a hand, knowing that there will be vehement verbal protests, "I know that you all had good reason to your actions, so I was able to convince my father that you all did not revolt against him, our liege, and our king. But against the traitors that had set themselves close to my father, as you are all loyal and dutiful subjects, which many of you have proven when you answered the call to fight the barbarians in the north. Though my father still dislikes the thought of this uprising occurring, he has agreed to pardon all who had taken action. The pardon will be granted to those who are there when the punishment to the traitors is carried out, in Hart's Home."

Michael moves a little closer to Elrick, for effect, when it is mentioned that rebellion is not just a crime against the baron. A visible reminder of the world and the might beyond the border of Hartswood.

The men murmur at the proclamation, that the men must bear witness to the punishment to be pardoned. A few sound eager, many more seem worried, the word trap can be heard spoken a time or two.

Leon hushes them and turns to Hakon for guidance.

Hakon listens for a bit and says, "Will we be getting back anything we have lost from the thieves?" Clearly he is not terribly pleased with it and continues, "Though a pardon is a good place to start."

The concern over the required attendance being a trap can be dealt with later, and rather easily, in Elrick's opinion. For now, his gaze returns to Hakon, who is still worried about reparations, "Hakon, you know that is something I am not able to promise, to return everything that has been stolen from the thieves. When they stole from you, they also stole from us. But you know that the last thing I would do is leave my people improvished. If you are starving and living a life of misery, how can you strengthen our lands to bring in bountiful harvests? How can you answer our call to arms, if there is another invasion from the barbarians or the Rivanans? Your strength is our strength." He then looks to Leon and nods his head, "Leon, what is your honest opinion of me when we were in the north? What were the men's opinions?"

Leon looks up and meet's Elrick's eyes. "The men trusted you my lord and you stayed with us to the end at Avondil," he says before turning to Hakon. "If Elrick gives us his word, I will go."

"M'lord, we will go, though we shall see what your lord father has to say on this, though I do not see us disbanding anytime soon" Hakon says bluntly.

"And you have my word Leon, you all have my word, that when you witness the punishment of the traitors, you will be safe. The Captain of the Guard and the guards in Hart's Home has already been changed. The men that replaced them are good men that went north with us, men that served with me, with you." Elrick says not only to Leon but to those gathered, building upon the soldier's words. As for Hakon though, the Heir turns his gaze on him, a hard gaze, "Choose your words carefully Hakon. The uprising is at an end. If you choose to rise up again, this time it /will/ be against me, my Father, our Liege, and our King. And it /will/ end badly. For not just you and the men who chooses to side with you, but to me because men of my homeland lay dead not at the hands of barbarians or southern invaders, but from each other. It /will/ end badly for the sisters, mothers, daughters that are waiting worriedly for this madness to end, because they will lose their loved ones, their providers, their family. It /will/ end badly for our liege and our king, because a House that was once one of the prominent Houses of our lands is reduced even further. Hakon, do you truly wish for that?"

Leon for his part seems mollified by Elrick's words and leans in close to Hakon to whisper to him.

Michael speaks up as the men whisper. "My father, the duke, would not be pleased by further rebellion, when the men who you were rebelling against are in chains."

Hakon nods and looks to the two, "M'lords, we do not mean to cause harm, we just want to know what is to be done. We wish for war no more than you do, trust us at that. Let us go, then and see."

With that, Elrick seems satisfied with Hakon's response, "Then we can march to Hart's Home together, as a unified people again. But I must let you know, the sentence is not to be carried out immediately. And it was made by my request. I have plans for the traitor, Osmund. He has much to answer for and I believe he has many answers that he has not divulged. Answers about harm to our people, and also possible answers of harm to our Kingdom. So the answers will be peeled from his traitorous hide. So, if you wish to march now, we go. If you wish to return home to your families, to let them know that it is over, that is your choice as well."

Leon looks to Hakon then. "If you want to oversee things, I can take the men back to their homes to be summoned," he says. After all he was the soldier among them.

Hakon nods and says, "Very well, I know where to find you." He whispers to Leon and then looks to Elrick and Michael, "Then let us go, I am sure there are things to be dealt with before the bastard gets his due."

Look from Leon to Hakon, Elrick gives the latter a brief nod before turning to Michael, "Let us return back to Hart's Home and tell my Father that the uprising is at an end." It will be time to clean out the infestation of corruption and rebuild, but not before the heir finally gets a good night's sleep. He does motion to one of the guards that rode with them, instructing him to let the sergeants know that the men are to prepare to depart. The meeting is over.

Michael is relieved when the meeting comes to an end and no blood is shed. So he turns his horse about and flashes Elrick a smile. "Well done," he mouths to the man when he's sure the others can't see it.

Leon for his part calls the men back from the woods, and then gives orders for the villagers to withdraw, "Home!" he calls out. "Home and wait for justice to be done!"

There is a cheer from some of the villagers and others are just relieved, as they begin to withdraw, feet turning for home.

With both sides visibly making preparations to depart, Elrick finally releases a slow but very long breath. He looks over to his cousin and shoots Michael a grin in return, nodding his head in appreciation of the words. Then he nudges his steed into motion as well, ready to return home again.

Hakon joins the entourage of the lordlings and rides towards the keep.

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