*reopened - sample introductory post*
The Kingdom of France was traditionally seen as the most powerful European nation.
And Paris was its crown jewel.
Flourishing and easily one of the most impressive cities in Western Europe at the time a disease was spreading through it now.
With the king having been absent for the most part of a decade, the Judge and chief magistrate Frollo had obtained a stranglehold over the city. A subtle war was being waged and it had yet to reach its highpoint as Phoebus arrived at the city gates.
Phoebus held the reins of Achilles, his large well trained warhorse. He put a gloved hand on the flank of his white horse. Achilles let out a little snort. Phoebus kept his cape in such a way that it covered his armor partially . His blue cape flowed gently as he walked. Phoebus rubbed his little blonde beard with a brown gloved hand as he looked at the people arriving at the city. Judging by the appearance of these people, most were a bit nervous. Several were traders with karts while a few were locals returning from a trip.
Phoebus wasn’t sure why but there was an odd tension in the air.
The guards barely paid attention to him as soon as they saw the karts. They interrogated the traders and started to check the karts very thoroughly. VERY thoroughly.
Phoebus halted and watched them as they stabbed into some grain and even opened wine barrels. “No gypsy scum? No dissidents? No traitors?”
one of the guards asked a man.
The slightly overweight trader waved his hands “No… of course not! Je viens d’Armagnac! How could I be involved with such a thing?”
The guard snorted, his face mostly concealed by his helmet. The guards were all clad in dark colors.
All of them had daggers or short swords and most held halberds.
One of them held out his black gloved hand and Phoebus saw the trader offer some coins…A bribe...“Hmpf… some things never change in this world”
Phoebus lightly shook his head and continued into the city.
However after a few minutes it became quite apparent the city had changed dramatically since last he was here. Phoebus had left Paris over a decade ago as a young man to join the King’s army. He’d been going from war to war ever since.
And as much as he was shaped by the soldier’s life, he craved something more. He had seen enough combat and bloodshed. He wanted something ‘better’ out of life. He wanted to have a career that came with benefits and had a far smaller chance of getting him killed.
Phoebus checked the old map of the city he had with him, grumbling a bit about the changed layout.
As he did so, he saw a patrol of soldiers march by. Perhaps finally he'd be able to ask someone some directions to the Palace of Justice. “Soldiers! Soldier…”
they didn’t react though as they rushed off, running after a duo of gypsie boys
A woman was crying “Thieves! Thieves! They stole my purse!”
she pointed at them and the five soldiers barked at the young boys to stop.
His gaze followed the group and he walked down the street in the same direction, not even bothering to pursue. Undoubtedly the soldiers could deal with the situation correctly.
What Phoebus suddenly saw was shocking to say the least.“STUPID BOY! You filth always thieving!”
they were kicking and punching one of the boys. The other one was held tightly by the Sergeant who only wore a ‘kettle helmet
’. He had a large moustache and a nasty scar across his nose. He had recovered the purse but attached it to his own belt.
The Captain approached them "Hey... ease up men... they're just children!"
he stated raising his gloved hand to indicate he was not an enemy.
The boy on the ground was wearing rags and bleeding profusely, he wimpered and let out a groan. The other child was struggling to get free.
As one they all turned to face him. There was agression in their gaze. They were aching for a fight. Phoebus knew the look all too well.
He tensed under his blue cape but then relaxed as he gauged them.
Brutes. They lacked discipline. They oozed confidence but they seemed careless. They looked intimidating yes but they looked like thugs and bullies not true soldiers. He suspected none of them had ever been involved in any war. They were City Guard and thus scorned by professionals like himself. Still he would not underestimate them too much. It took a man but one lucky blow to kill his foe. Still, as one of them approached him, holding his halberd in a cramped fashion, Phoebus couldn't help but smile lightly."What are you smirking at? You affiliated with the dissidents?""Hardly..."
Phoebus said smoothly "Just doing my civic duty..."
The man growled and lashed out with his halberd "Resisting arrest!".
Phoebus casually sidestepped and tripped the man. The guard fell face first in a puddle of mud. "You didn't even ask..."
he put his foot on the man's back. He applied so much pressure, the man groaned in agony."Why you... do you even know who we are?!"
the Sergeant barked as he threw the boy he held into the arms of another soldier. He drew his short sword.
Phoebus waited for his approach. Achilles snorted annoyed. The horse recognized the threat but didn't move, it was well trained.
The Sergeant looked somewhat competent, he seemed to know how to handle the short sword."Surrender!"
the Sergeant barked."I think that is not necessary"
the Captain said calmly.
The Sergeant lashed out but found his short sword casually blocked by the sword of his adversary.
As the cape moved, the golden laquered armor underneath was revealed.
Phoebus smiled lightly at the startled look of his opponent."You are a knight?"
The flick of his wrist, a mild but precize motion and his opponent found himself disarmed. The short sword fell onto the ground.
His sword aimed at the Sergeant's throat, Phoebus smiled amused.
Captain Phoebus finally removed his foot from the fallen guard."I am Phoebus. Captain Phoebus. Newly returned from the war against the Holy Roman Empire."
he said with a smile. "Je suis ton capitaine."
He then lowered his sword. "Given how you acted... reacted and the skill you displayed... I am quite certain i'm going to have my work cut out for me. None of you are up to snuff"
The man looked at him shocked "I... we... we didn't know."
he blabbered."Let the boys go... they got the point. Then lead me to the Palace of Justice"
he said. "J'ai un rendez-vous avec Seigneur Frollo"
he said."Immediately Captain. Come boys... an escort for the captain!"
the sergeant barked, they all formed up in something vaguely ressembling a professional formation. The muddied man with the halberd was last and looked away from Phoebus, embarassed by what had happened.
Phoebus put a gloved hand on the bloodied boy. "I apologize little one but you should NEVER steal"
he said "He handed him two silvers and a few coppers"
he looked at the fit boy "Get him back home safely and never try this again. If you're a thief when you're grown up... you WILL be punished severely"
he stated adamantly.
The boys nodded, one of them badly bruised and bleeding then they rushed off."Oh and Sergeant... before we leave...""Yes Captain?""Do return that purse to the owner..."
he pointed at the woman from whom the purse had been stolen."I'm sure it was a lapse of memory on your part but... It does give us a bad image. We are here to serve and to protect after all"."...yes sir"
the Sergeant replied and reluctantly handed the purse to the woman. She smiled and nodded at the captain before moving away, glancing back surprised at all that had happened.
As Phoebus and the men walked away, his hand holding the reins of loyal Achilles, he glanced back momentarily and he saw the children talking to someone...