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Diary of Knight Commander of the Left Lonel D'Chombois Excerpt 1

My dear Giselle,

I’ve made this little diary for you to see if I do not return to you. I know its not the most hopeful of beginnings but I am getting old my love and even a lion isn’t impervious to harm. Especially when his mane has turned as grey as mine. But I won’t speak of despair here I’ll tell you what I’ve seen.

The men here are either young hot-blooded knights far too eager to break lances and test their new swords or aging lords of a time passed. There are a few who seem to have potential though. One of the younger knights, the heir of Castle Chevon, Ferrnon Demarat is quite the chevalier. He and his men remind me of my youth and all the faces that were still around at the time.

Though instead of the blonde hair I had he’s got his mother’s black hair and the green eyes of both his father and grandfather. I miss them, my dear. I remember Ferrnon’s late grandfather from the first time I lifted my lance for my king in battle, he saved me from a mace when our horses were killed under us. I’m not sure where the boy’s father is now though, we had heard reports that he had been skirmishing with the rebels as our vanguard.

It’s strange really, a few decades ago when my hair was gold, not grey I would be leaping with joy at a new campaign. But all this feels...different. I’ve raised both lance and banner for two kings against all their foes. Imperial Knights, Cazadores and even a few times I was called to put down upstart compts and barons who thought their men at arms and retainers could challenge our King’s throne.

But this? I’ve been sent to put down a peasant uprising. Most of the men don’t really care. They view the commoners as decent workers, bread makers, and gardeners that are fine attendants but not their equal, never. How could they? They were simple people of the fields who know nothing of honor or martial valor. That’s what I thought too when I was young Giselle. I thought myself a king myself of my estates and the peasant’s bricks used to build my lands.

But these long decades of being a lord? What I’ve seen? All the burnt villages plundered towns and corpses? The people who tend to our fields and raise their cattle aren’t beneath us. We nobles take our taxes from them, their sons for our levies, and their grain for our tables. We might hold the swords and wear the steel but when there is peace and plenty they’re the ones who ensure we enjoy it.

I am unsure where the path of this rebellion will lead me, my dearest Giselle.

The men we faced aren’t just well-armed. They seemed to be well trained too. I saw them in crude imitations of the plate us knights wear, simplified and far more basic harnesses with no backplates. I have had no knowledge as to who supplies their arms other than the blacksmiths that may have joined their rebellion. Though the amount of manpower and material needed to refine and process all this steel would be ludicrous! Though finding the ore wouldn’t be that hard seeing as the southern coast has a high concentration of iron mines in the rebel-controlled area.

All the parts of the cheap plate were identical save for the variants in size. The armor we found the rebels wearing were made like plain clothes; no polish, no ornament. But still, the craftmanship was immaculate. The plate was light yet strong, able to take a hit from most weapons save a lance or poleaxe.

If they can give an entire squad of rebels this kind of armor, what kind of disaster awaits us if they can muster a whole army wearing this?

I shudder at the thought Giselle. Every time there’s been some kind of rabble-rousing us knights were always able to quell such rebellions quickly and quietly with our household guard. But so far we’ve been at this for months with little to show for our efforts save for a few prisoners we captured.

Though I’m not sure how we can make any headway seeing as the passes and bridges leading to the rebel territory have been manned and fortified well. Whoever is leading this rebellion is no simple peasant.

I wonder if someone from the neighboring kingdoms is behind this. Creating a civil war to weaken us so that they may fall upon our borders while we deal with the peasants.

Everything is so uncertain Giselle and I’m quite glad we had that painter make that little locket with your likeness for me. It reminds me of what I must fight for. That I fight for you my dear Giselle and for the future of our children. I know, I know my dear that our sons are old enough to be men now but I can’t help myself. They’re still the boys I remembered so long ago and not the men they grew into. I hope that my venture will spare them from this war. These rebels aren’t amateurs and they’ve killed a good number of our men with practiced discipline. If our sons were to bare their lances against these men I fear they may not return to our home.

That is why I bade them to remain and train the levies and reinforcements we’ll need to replace our losses. I fear we may have many, more so due to the fact that I’ve noticed a fair amount of desertion from some of my colleague’s peasants. Seem’s they think the rebellion is better than baking bread and harvesting our wheat. Though I can’t say I fault them given how some of the lords are far less understanding towards their commoners.

If I do not return then everything goes to you and if you do not want it all then give it to our sons.

Though at the last Giselle I love you with all that I am.
With all my heart,
Lonel

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