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Tapscott

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so much being lain on the heads of 2 young children ... very plausible and quite disturbing at the same time

Being kids in this time period sure does suck. If only Gudrød had lived a bit longer... Then things would have been a lot simpler regarding who is the rightful heir to the Kingdom of the Isles.
 

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Well I was gonna update today, but photobucket's been acting all weird. I'll try again tomorrow.
 

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A Birth and Fond Memories

25/7/1089
Gregor paced outside a stone doorway as another bout of screaming broke out from the room behind the closed door. “This is agony!” he thought as soothing and encouraging voices were made in conjunction with the cries. “My wife! My darling Adela! I hope this bloody labour finishes soon. I can’t bear to hear her scream.” As another scream came he turned to just in time to see a nursemaid open the door. “Is she alright? Is everything going to be okay?” he asked desperately. The nurse nodded and said loudly, so as to be heard over the cries of pain, “She is doing well. The labour is long but she will be fine. I said suggest your lordship should go somewhere else, as you will do naught but worry until the delivery is complete.” With a quick curtsey the woman closed the door and went back to her duties. Gregor stood there unsure, before shaking himself and walking down the hallway of his castle. “Need to think about something else! Anything! I can’t stand the wait!”

As he approached a balcony he deeply breathed in the cold night air. Refreshed, and feeling less flustered Gregor pondered about how events had led him to this point in time. As he stared into the night sky his mind went back over 4 years remembering how his life had played out for the better.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“You brought this upon yourself by sleeping with that harlot!” Helga screeched as she leapt at Gregor, knife in hand. Starting in surprise Gregor rolled out the way and narrowly missed having his throat cut. Falling out of his bed Gregor scrambled to his feet with a mixture of surprise and fury clear upon his features. “Try and kill me lying down will you, you old sow? I’m going to make sure you rot in jail till the end of days!”

Now standing Gregor easily evaded her next swipe, and countered by swinging one of his shovel-like hands towards her face. The blow lifted Helga off the ground and sent her sprawling across the floor, concussed.

Suddenly a pair of guards burst into the room, swords in hand. Gregor grimly remembered that they were loyal to the regent of the Isles rather than the actual girl sitting on the throne. Pointing their swords at him, the older of the two stepped forward his scarred face scowling at the angry naked Scotsman. “Get dressed and follow us. Regent Domnall heard the racket and demands to see the both of you immediately.”

Giving a curt nod to the guardsmen, Gregor waited until they left the room before outfitting himself in his favourite tunic. This particular tunic allowed him to keep a number of small knives in it in case of an emergency. Judging by the way this day had begun he would need all possible tricks up his sleeves. Gregor looked at himself in the mirror five minutes later, noting with satisfaction that no weapons could be seen on him, aside from his personal sword. With a happy nod he set off down out the doorway and down the stairs preparing himself for the coming political battle of the minds. “It’s a shame that Domnall’s mind has become addled with all that drinking.” Gregor thought, “It’s really no fun insulting someone if they don’t realize it. All well. Hmm, I actually better give what I say some planning. She attacked me shouting nonsense. Mention the possibility that she might be possessed and old Brother Malcolm should take my side. And if Domnall sides with his sister? I suppose I’ll just have to scare the shit out of him, as usual. This is gonne be fun!” Grinning Gregor waited outside the throne room before being admitted in. Taking a deep breath and carefully putting on a saddened expression he strode in.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gregor chuckled as he remembered the way he had convinced everyone that that bitch Helga had been possessed, and that he would not demand her execution if a divorce would be given. And it had. Oh and how Domnall worked himself up over the ensuing argument causing his heart to give out still made Gregor squirm with joy. He blamed it all on Helga and the scared mood of the court had done the rest. Promptly given a divorce on the spot, by good old Brother Malcolm mayherestinpeace, Gregor then set out to formally introduce Adela to his court. She took them by storm and within a couple of months of the divorce, they were married.

“Except that bitch Helga stole little Janet from me!” Gregor muttered, the smile dropping away from his face. Even when accused of witchcraft, she had still managed to use her position as aunt to the Lady of the Isles to save her skin, and keep Janet with her at young Gydrid’s court, in Innse Gall.

Now here he and Adela were with a child on the way. Gregor’s rivals lay dead and he himself was now proudly both Marshal and Cupbearer of the Isles. This powerful position had given him the opportunity to expand his personal holdings; all in the name of the Isles with him claiming the small Kingdom of Ulster from that pathetic count in Northern Ireland. That was just five months past. “So much has happened.” Gregor thought contently, “Now with a child from the love of my life on the way things are going to be even better!”

The sounds of footsteps approaching broke Gregor out of his silent reminiscence. Taking a firm grip on the sword that hung by his side he whirled around ready for combat. Instead of seeing some skulking assassin, he was met by the terrified face of one of the nursemaids. Loosening the grip on his sword Gregor growled, “Don’t you dare sneak up on me like that again! What is it you want? Spit it out already!”

Swallowing hard the woman whispered “Lady Adela has given birth to your child sire. Both are healthy, and the lady requests your audience.” Gregor immediately lost all feelings of anger and felt only joy and elation. Rushing past the nurse he all but ran down the hallway to the room where his wife lay. Pausing at the doorway Gregor stopped just long enough to regain his composure before stepping into the well-lit room.
On the bed lay his beautiful wife Adela. “Though she may not be of noble stock, she is the one person who makes me happy.” Gregor thought as he walked to her side. As she smiled tiredly at him she passed to him the small bundle in her arms. Firmly grasping his newborn child Gregor looked at his wife then back to wailing babe in his arms with a huge grin plastered across his face. “Is it-” Gregor begun.

“It’s a boy Gregor. We have a son.” His wife said. Smiling Gregor looked into his newborn son’s face and noted the fierce red hair, just like his own, on the crying child’s head.

“Have you thought of name Gregor?”

“I have.”

“Well? What is our son to be called?”

Grinning Gregor looked at his wife and said “His name shall be David; and like his namesake from the Bible he shall smite mighty Goliath!”

bf41339f.jpg

A portrait of David Mac Gregor at 1 year of age
 
Last edited:

loki100

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like the way you are condensing some bits and concentrating on others. So Helga was less than pleased with his activities ... and Donnell gone too. It looks good, but that is usually because you've missed the obvious threat ..
 

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Nice AAR!

Oh, your too kind!

like the way you are condensing some bits and concentrating on others. So Helga was less than pleased with his activities ... and Donnell gone too. It looks good, but that is usually because you've missed the obvious threat ..

I was actually a bit worried that it would seem I rushed everything in this update, but I'm glad it seems to have worked out. And yes, with those two gone I thought I had dealt with my biggest problems, but worse was yet to come.
 

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The Day After the Feast

3/3/1093
Light streamed through the banquet hall in the castle of Inveraray, Argyll. As the sun rose groans could be heard throughout the hall, as well as the occasional sound of some men throwing up. Gregor blinked and lifted his head from the table, looking around blearily. “That was one hell of a night.” He thought as he smacked his lips.

Grunting with effort he pushed himself from the table he had collapsed on and looked around the hall. The wedding feast for Janet Mac Gregor and Alv Crovan had been one of the largest banquets the county of Argyll had ever seen. Many people had attended the wedding, including Gydrid and Helga Crovan. Thinking of his former wife brought a frown to Gregor’s face, as he recalled how she had sought to make things as uncomfortable as possible by constantly haranguing the bride and groom.

She had to try and ruin everything just to get back at me.” Gregor thought grumpily. Gregor had ended up bodily throwing her out, leaving her in the mud outside the chapel. The wedding had continued onwards though with the guests and happily married couple brought back to the banquet hall for the wedding feast, at Gregor’s personal expense. The feast hadn’t been his idea, but rather his wife’s, Adela. She had reasoned that it would be a good opportunity to foster goodwill with his daughter and new son-in-law as well as to tie closer the bonds of loyalty that the many barons, mayors and bishops of the Isles had for Gregor. It was also an opportune moment to properly examine shis new son-in-law.

Alv has actually turned out quite well.” Gregor acknowledged, as he staggered towards an empty seat, his head pounding. “The lad is thrifty with money, knows when to put down the food and drink and doesn’t have any thoughts for any women aside from Janet!”

Groaning, Gregor reached the chair and slumped into it, head in hands. “However the boy is bone lazy, unwilling to do anything unless it benefits him personally. I hope the bastard starts getting a bit more ambitious and diligent, otherwise I'm going to have to support that fat pig of a sister of his.”

The sound of footsteps caused Gregor to groggily look up from his resting place, a twinge of worry and irritation forcing their way through his head. As he watched he saw Adela enter the banquet hall, disapproval clear on her face. Upon spying Gregor she swept towards him with the fury on an incoming storm.

“What is it darling? Why do you look so upset?” Gregor managed to mumble.

“Fool! Don’t you remember what you did?! You personally insulted Lady Gydrid and stated that you would not rest until young Alv sits upon the throne!”

Gawking at her, Gregor’s mind struggled to comprehend what had just been said. “You mean, I just declared war upon her?”

“No you had that much sense at least.” Adela growled, “But she did say that she wasn’t happy with your lack of loyalty.”

“Bah, you worry too much woman. The nobles of the Isles support me. If war is declared, she will be overthrown!”

“Not likely! To emphasis her power she has just declared herself the Duchess of Galloway, much to the irritation of the King of Scots, Malcolm, and Count Máel-Patraick. She-”

“Okay, just slow down will you? I am still recovering from last night’s festivities.”

Shaking her head Adela sighed and said, “Gregor, I wish you had taken less drink. You embarrassed yourself as well as your family.”

Concern apparent on his features Gregor reached out a hand and grasped Adela’s arm. “You know I would never do anything to hurt or embarrass you on purpose, right?”

“Of course. Just… Just don’t do what you did last night, again. I don't want you to drink so much that you collapse on the banquet table itself. Again.”

“I promise.” Gregor said sincerely, “Now who is this Count Máel-somethingorother, and why should I care?”

“He’s the Dual Count of Clydesdale and the Isle of Man. He’s as powerful as you Gregor, but is more interested in politics than warfare. He’s a big, strong coward. He has muscles and political clout, yet he is to scared exercise either.”

“Right. Gotcha. Let me just go over what you just said. I essentially declared my support for Alv publicly, insulted Gydrid, made her retaliate by giving herself a second title and have caused the ire of both a King and a powerful Count to be leveled at the Isles, right?

“Yes.”

“Fucking great. Oh well. At least Alv is tied to our family now. If war comes, I'll place him on throne and be done with this whole stupid affair.”

“Be careful Gregor. Politics isn’t your strong point.”

Grinning Gregor said, “Of course it aint. But it isn’t in the Lady’s court that the question of who shall rule the Isles will be decided. It will be in my arena. The battlefield.”

Romanesque%20Mosiac%20of%20Argyll's%20Banquet%20Hall_zps75a5b052.jpg

A Romanesque Mosiac of Count Gregor of Argyll's Banquet Hall.
 

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Sorry for the pretty crap quality of this update. I'm a bit sick at the moment so this was the best I could do, without passing out.
 

loki100

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well it works to drive your narrative forward. I think there maybe a few anachronisms in there, but that is perchance me being very picky ....:(

I rather like Gregor's confusion as to whether or not he actually declared war.
 

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An Unworthy Lord

1/8/1096
Screaming, shouting and the stench of blood and death washed over Gregor Mac Gregor as he charged once again into the thick of battle. As he and his men crashed into the skirmish, for the fifth time that day, Gregor couldn’t help but wonder when the battle would end.

Christ.” He thought as he hacked at the exposed neck of a surprised enemy, “This battle has gone on for over 6 hours.” 6 hours. 6 hours ago Gregor and his son-in-law Alv Crovan, the rightful Lord of the Isles, had engaged the armies of Gydrid Crovan, which were led by the imposing Irish count Maèl-Patraick Ua Ímair, count of Clydesdale and the Isle of Man. As Gregor and Alv had prepared for battle, Gregor promised his Lord that he would personally oversee the defeat of the Irish Count.

A gloved fist colliding with his nose caused Gregor to stumble, losing his train of thought. “I’m getting too bloody old for this.” He thought darkly. Gregor then swept his sword upwards, cleaving it into the soldier’s groin, resulting in a very gratifying scream. Smiling grimly Gregor tugged his sword out and in one quick motion, loped off the right arm of the wailing man. As his men continued to clash with the enemy, Gregor took this brief moment of respite to scan the battlefield. The dead lay scattered everywhere, their blood making the once green field a reddy-brown hell. Already the carrion birds circled overhead waiting for their chance to feast.

Suddenly a large figure on horseback entered Gregor’s sight. Gritting his teeth, Gregor recognized the gaunt features of the Irish Count, Maèl-Patraick. The Count seemed to spot-out Gregor, despite all the action going on around them. Pointing his sword at the huge Scotsman, the Irish Count charged. Shifting his stance, Gregor prepared himself for the attack as men dived, jumped or were crushed underfoot by the giant stallion of Maèl-Patraick. However Gregor noticed something strange about the Count. His face was not one of confidence or courage, but rather was filled with fear and foreboding.

Just as he was about reach Gregor, the Count reigned in his horse. Staring at each other the two commanders examined their adversaries. Gregor noted how the man dressed foppishly, not looking the part of a commander, or even a soldier. The man didn’t appear to be a worthy adversary. However the man’s imposing stature reminded Gregor that he must be careful. Pride begets fall after all, regardless of how unworthy a Count the man appeared to be.

“Well met Scotsman.” Murmured the hulking Irish Count.

“If you say so Irish.” Gregor laconically replied.

Shifting around nervously the Irishman continued to stare at Gregor.

“Will you surrender? You have already lost the battle you see.”

“Dismount Irish, or I will pull you off that damn horse.”

His face reddening Maèl-Patraick nodded acceptance. Dismounting cautiously his hand never left the sword at his side.

“I didn’t realize all you Scots were so ill-mannered.”

“And I didn’t realize you Irishmen were so lily-livered that you’d prefer to dance around words rather than fight.” Gregor spat. “Fight me Irish, so that I can take your castle for myself.”

“What?! This castle is mine! It has always been with my family! This dispute is between Alv and Gydrid Crovan! My land must come back to me!” Maèl-Patraick stammered, “You have no right! This land is mine!”

Grinning evilly, Gregor chuckled “Sorry Irish. Me and Alv have made a deal. Clydesdale goes to me and the Isle of Man goes to him. Alv feels sorry for his sister so she gets to keep Galloway. She’ll even be allowed to continue to call herself the Duchess of Galloway! My son-in-law is a generous man!”

“What about me?! What am I left with?”

“Oh, about six feet of dirt.”

Panic swept across the pinched features of the Irish Count. “No! You can’t do this! I won’t let you!” he yelled desperately grabbing his sword out of its scabbard.

“Now finally we can fight!”

As a battle cry began to scream out of Gregor’s throat, he noticed Maèl-Patraick swinging his fist towards his face. Smirking, the Irish Count opened his hand and threw a handful of dirt into Gregor’s face. Shouting obscenities Gregor fell to the ground, desperately trying to get this vision back.

“You bastard! You filthy fucking Irish bastard! I’ll kill you! I’ll fucking kill you!”

“Now now Gregor.” Maèl-Patraick chided, “It’s not my fault you weren’t clever enough to realize I had a back-up plan. You see we Irishmen are just naturally smarter than you Scots. We…”

As Maèl-Patraick’s voice droned on Gregor frantically felt the ground for a weapon he could use to shut the arrogant man up. His fingers touching something cold and heavy Gregor quickly grasped it.

“Take this you Irish fucker!” he screamed, swinging the heavy object towards the voice. The sound of Maèl-Patraick talking suddenly stopped and the weapon Gregor was holding seemed stuck. Rubbing most of the dirt out of his eyes, Gregor glanced towards where the Irish Count had last been. Lying backwards on the dirt, his face turned towards the sun was Maèl-Patraick Ua Ímair. However his eyes still flicked around and his chest continued to rise and fall, despite the weapon, which turned out to be a mace, being embedded in his skull.

Looking around Gregor noticed the forces of Gydrid Crovan in full retreat, and several of his own men were running towards where he lay. As they approached him Gregor heard a sonorous voice say “Good job Gregor. You truly have proved your worth today, and have earnt the county of Clydesdale!”

Turning towards the voice Gregor squinted trying to make out the figure outlined by the Sun. “Gregor?” The voice said, concern entering its melody, “Are you alright?” Suddenly the world came into focus and Gregor saw Alv standing above him, worry spread across his face.

Grunting Gregor sat up, “I’ve never felt better Lord!”

“Ha! Don’t scare me like that!” Alv said a relieved grin breaking out “We’ve won the battle! After this Gydrid can only hide in her castle at Galloway, right up until we break the doors down and tell her to get her gluttonous arse off my throne!”

“As you say sire!”

“Such formality! I’m your son-in-law Gregor! Just call me Alv.”

“Very well… Alv. What should we do with Maèl-Patraick here?” Gregor said, mentioning to the limp body of Maèl-Patraick.

A cruel glint appeared in Alv’s eye. “He’s crippled is he?”

“Yes, he can only look around and breathe. He’s alive, though I wouldn’t call that living.”

“Well Gregor I have an idea…”

An hour later a large hole was dug and all the dead were piled in it. As Alv’s men began to shovel the dirt back in the booming voice of their Lord called out to them, “Stop! I have need of it still.”

Gregor and Alv approached the dug pit with the drooling body of Maèl-Patraick held between them. With a toss they threw the body straight into the hole, where it landed with a soft thump atop the putrefying corpses of the dead. Horror apparent in the eyes of the immobilized Irish Count, Gregor spat upon the body and shouted at the soldiers watching. “Well? What are you waiting for?! Fill it in!”

Within 10 minutes a mound of dirt covered the bodies of the recently deceased and the soon-to-be deceased. With that done the armies of Alv Crovan and Gregor Mac Gregor set off to Galloway, to end this bloody war once and for all.

RomanticEraPaintingofDeath_zps1965d42e.jpg

A Romantic Era Painting of Death
 
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Tapscott

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wonderfully grim and picking up the hack and slash of the era

I do try to show the darker side of this era, espcially when the characters lean towards cruelty.
 

Tapscott

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The Council of Finlaggen

1/3/1098
The sunlight of a new day and a new month spilled into the empty Council Room in Finlaggen Castle, Innse Gall, the home of the King of the Isles. Six chairs were positioned around a round table, giving the Lord and his councillors a place to discuss matters of state. A hacking cough from outside the closed room broke the tranquil calm. The door was opened and inside stepped the form of Gregor Mac Gregor, Count of Argyll, Ulster and Galloway, Marshall and Master of the Hunt of the Isles. However these days Gregor did not look as imposing as he had just a decade ago. His once fiery red hair was now streaked with Grey, his blue eyes were rheumy and glazed and his stature seemed bent down with the weight of age. He appeared, to those that saw him, as a man past his prime. A man who should put down the sword and his courtly responsibilities, and who should return to his castle waiting till his end. But to those who could look deeper than just appearances they noted a mind still sharp and physique still imposing. Age had taken its toll on Gregor’s body, but in his mind he still felt as young as he did 30 years ago.

Another cough shaking his body Gregor wandered over to his seat at the right hand of the seat of his liege, Alv Crovan the King of the Isles. As he relaxed Gregor let his mind wander over the past year. The War of Succession had been won by Gregor and Alv, with Alv’s sister, Gydrid, being exiled to Galloway, from which she ruled as Lady rather than as a mere countess. And, as a smile crossed Gregor’s lips, the succession had been secured. Young Gudrød had been born not long after Alv had been anointed as King of the Isles. Gregor was now a proud grandfather. The boy already looked like his father, and Gregor was pleased to note that the child had inherited Gregor’s own hard blue, eyes.

A polite cough from the doorway, snapped Gregor out of his pleasant reverie. His hand automatically reaching for his sword Gregor began to rise and look at the doorway, only to find his son-in-law and the rest of the Council waiting outside. Embarrassed Gregor gave a bow, “Sorry my liege.” He muttered awkwardly.

Laughing the young Lord crossed the threshold and embraced the old Scotsman. “No need to apologize father! Are you ready for this month’s meeting?”

Nodding Gregor signalled his affirmative.

“Very well then. Alright everyone, please take your seats, we have much to discuss today.” Alv said, ushering the Councilmen to their seats. Gregor had noted a definite change in Alv since he had become a father. He was no longer needlessly cruel or harsh, but rather had become more kind and trusting. It was interesting change, but not one Gregor was entirely comfortable with. He had often warned his son-in-law to be more careful with security and punishment, but had his fears laughed off and himself reassured that Alv knew what he was doing.

Clearing his throat Alv spread a number of letters across the table. “The most important issue we must discuss this month is the Civil War in Scotland.” He announced. “The Duke of Moray, Maèl-Snechtai a Muirebe, is fighting King Malcolm Dunkeld for the Crown of Scotland.”

The Chancellor of the Isles, a bald and portly Norwegian known as Magnus, looked up from his letter, concern radiating across his plump features, “Does Moray have any support for such a claim? If he has just decided that he would make a better King than Malcolm, then we must oppose him. Such an unsubstantiated claim could put your own position in danger Lord Alv.”

Nodding Alv said “I understand your concern. Moray does indeed have claim for the throne, and a strong one! He is son of a previous Scottish King known as Lulach. The House of a Muirebe has held the throne of Scotland before.”

Gregor leaned forward, a frown clear upon his features, “Are we to join with Moray then, and topple Malcolm? We could earn ourselves a powerful ally, plus it couldn’t hurt to take those bastard Dunkelds down a notch.”

“I’ve considered doing just that Gregor, but as much as I’d love to kill the Dunkelds we cannot afford to intervene in such a conflict so soon after our own war. We’ll remain neutral, for now.”

Gregor nodded grumpily and muttered “If you say so sire.”

“I do. Now, Magnus you have information on the situation on Ireland?”

“Aye lord. You see…”

Gregor tuned the rest of the conversation out, his mind fixed on the subject of the Scottish War. “We should get involved! I pray Malcolm loses his crown. He’s caused much suffering to come to the Isles, and even his own people. He truly has earned the epithet ‘the careless’ with the way he treats his subjects. And his enemies.”

As dark thoughts swirled through Gregor’s head, the humdrum activities of the Council continued as the Sun continued to rise in the clear, blue sky.

Painting_of_Finlaggen_Council_Chambers_zps60a7877a.jpg

A Painting of the Council Chambers in Finlaggen Castle
 
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Tapscott

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A Life Cut Short

21/8/1099
The wind howled through the halls of Finlaggen as the storm beat at the castle. Inside the castle, a room was filled with the great men and women of the Kingdom of the Isles. All but one of these advisors sat and discussed the now uncertain future they, and their Kingdom, now faced. The man standing was the Scottish lord Gregor Mac Gregor. He is the Marshall, Master of the Hunt and now Regent of the Isles.

Looking outside Gregor glumly recollected recent events. “I can’t believe the boy's gone.” Gregor thought as the sound of the rain, thunder and politics surrounded him. “Damn that assassin. Janet’s lost her husband and little Gudrød has lost his father.” Sighing Gregor looked over his shoulder at the ragged Council of the Isles. Several faces looked at him, full of worry, and one looked at him with tears in her eyes. Janet Mac Gregor, the late Alv’s wife, had been spymaster for the Isles during the entirety of his reign. The loss of her husband had shook her deeply, causing her to become depressed, with Janet blaming herself for being unable to prevent the murder occurring. “Murder.” Gregor thought bitterly, “This was a bloody revenge driven assassination! Damn it, I know that Gydrid planned this even if there is no proof. Damn that cow to hell!”

Gydrid, once Lady of the Isles, now just the Lady of Galloway was believed by many to be the cause behind Alv’s violent death. The young lord had been stabbed in the back 7 times before the guards arrived. The culprit outwitted the guards and escaped from their custody in less than 15 minutes. The moment Gregor had been informed of his son-in-law’s death was one of the worst in his life. “Well” Gregor thought miserably, “I better organize this damn council.”

Clearing his throat Gregor caused the room to quiet, until the only sound was the raging storm outside.

“We all know why we are here. This Council must choose one amongst us to lead our Kingdom while Gudrød is in his infancy.”

“Gregor. You are the most able of us, and have already lived through the trials of one regency. I thought the we had already decided you would lead us.” Stated the normally jovial Chancellor Magnus, “Why do you raise this issue now?”

“I raise it because I do not wish to lead this Kingd- BE SILENT!” Gregor thundered, causing the room that had began to go into an uproar to quiet down once again, “I said I don’t want to lead this Kingdom. I accepted the role as regent, at Alv’s funeral, because we were unorganized. Now that we all sit in this one room I ask that you choose someone else. After battling through one regency, I have little stomach to confront another.”

“Gregor…”

“No. My mind will not be changed on this. Choose someone else!”

Sighing the Chancellor rubbed his bald head and looked around the room. “Well then Gregor, if you are to be so unreasonable as to accept leadership so be it. Do you have a suggestion for your replacement then?”

“I do. My daughter Janet.”

“What?! She is inexperienced at matters in court and she could not possibly lead the Kingdom!” exploded the Steward, a small rodent looking Norwegian known as Harald, “Not only is she a woman, but that incompetent bitch also let her husband be killed! I think-”

Rising quickly, despite his advanced age, Gregor crossed the gap that separated him from the Chancellor in two long strides and held the squirming Steward up by the front of his tunic. “If you ever, EVER, address my daughter in such a manner again dwarf, I’ll skin you alive. Understand me?!” The Steward began to cry, and pissed himself resulting in Gregor throwing him bodily against the wall. “Disgusting fucking bastard! You do something like that again, and I won’t just kill you!” The Steward nodded, tears and mucus running down his thin face. Turning towards the rest of the Council Gregor glowered, snarling “What are you people waiting for?! Choose!”

The result was instantaneous. Terrified for their lives the Councillors all agreed unanimously that the tearful widow Janet Mac Gregor was to be regent of the Isles. Gregor smiled paternally at his daughter, before turning back to the cowering Steward. “Remember what I said dwarf.” With that, Gregor turned away and strode out of the Council Chambers, his mind full of thoughts of revenge.

Outside the storm continued to rage, and a figure on horseback looked back at the castle with a smirk on his face and his purse full of gold. Rearing his horse, he rode off into the night.

PaintingofAlvsSuspectedAssassin_zps0fcc2b97.jpg

A Modern Portrait of Alv Crovan's Assassin - It based purely on speculation
 
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Mr. Capiatlist

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Victory With A Cost

3/7/1106
The sun shone brightly in the cloudless sky, casting its light across the carnage that lay strewn across the fair hills of Galloway. The host of the old Marshall Gregor Mac Gregor, and his 17 year old son David Mac Gregor, was busy looting the corpses of the fallen enemies and burying their own dead. The enemies dead were left for the carrion birds.

A cough shook Gregor’s powerful frame causing his men to pause and look at their lord, surprise and worry apparent in their eyes. “What are you all gawking at?!” Gregor growled, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, “Get the loot of those corpses, and hurry up and bury our men!”

Gregor and David had rode to the county of Galloway, the capital of Lady Gydrid of Galloway, with a piece of forged paper between them. They had demanded she vacate the county, or suffer the wrath of Count of Argyll. She had scorned their offer. The two men had left, and returned a week later with large army full of men from all over of Gregor’s domain. That had been 2 months ago. After 2 months of besieging her castle her host had arrived and a mighty battle had took place. Gydrid's army was vanquished and Galloway was now theirs.

David Mac Gregor turned and looked at his father’s hunched frame, concern crossing his features. “Father?” he asked, “Are you alright?”

“Of course son, of course. Just a bit sick from the cold nights.”

David studied his father, as worry seeped into his mind. “I told the old fool to stay at home, but he’s just too stubborn! He’s too old to do this sort of thing anymore. It’ll kill him!” David had thought he would be allowed to lead Gregor’s armies himself, but had been bitterly disappointed. The old man had insisted on taking charge. This had caused a rift to open between father and son, but through shared experience in battle they had become close once again. Gregor truly looked ancient these days. He was still mighty in size, and maintained an intimidating visage, but much of his muscle had turned to fat and his once fiery temper now exhausted him quickly. He was, in David’s eyes, a broken giant. Unable to accept old age, he still acted if he was young, and this was wearing his health down.

Gregor felt himself being studied. Looking out of the side of his eye, he saw David staring at him. “Heh” Gregor thought, “The boy better keep his thoughts to himself. He might not realize it yet, but he’s just looking into the future.” Gregor took this opportunity of silence to examine his only son. As David’s attention returned to the battlefield, Gregor looked his son up and down. “Well he certainly isn’t as big as me!” Gregor thought with a mixture of satisfaction and disappointment, “He is tall for his age though. Red hair, clean shaven and blue eyes. He certainly is my son, regardless of his build!” Gregor was proud of his son, and went to great pains to remain close with him. Gregor knew the boy as well as he knew himself, and it was true that they shared a remarakble number of similarities aside from appearance. Like Gregor, David was incredibly easy to anger. Both father and son had the same skill in leading men, and both had the same disregard for their soldiers’ lives. But whereas Gregor was devoted to one woman, David had a seemingly insatiable interest in the opposite sex. Gregor smiled as he remembered catching his son ‘entertaining’ himself with two of the castle’s maids. David certainly enjoyed the company of women. “I can only pray he learns to think with the brain in his head, rather than the one is his britches.”

David’s polite cough made Gregor realize his son had noticed Gregor’s evaluation of him. “There a problem father?” David asked sarcastically

“Well aside from Gydrid escaping there hasn’t been any problems.” Gregor muttered. Lady Gydrid’s escape was a sore point for Gregor. She had fled during the night just before Galloway’s castle had fallen. Gregor had wanted her in chains, convinced as he was of her role in Alv’s death over 5 years ago.

“Ah cheer up Father!” David said cheerfully, “The County is yours, and the old bitch has been dealt a severe blow!”

Grinning reluctantly, Gregor nodded and said “Aye, I guess your right David. Tonight we feast, and tomorrow we ride to Carrick and present her with her letter of surrender.”

Bewildered David asked, “How do you know she’ll be there?”

“That’s her last piece of land boy. Once we take that, we’ll have her!”

“Unless her husband saves her fat ass.”

Snorting Gregor shook his head, “I doubt he will son. That Norman lord married her just for the prestige of being married to the former Queen of the Isles. Hell, I heard the man was so disgusted by her weight that he never even consummated the marriage!”

“Ha! Really?”

“Aye, son!”

Sharing a laugh, the father and son headed back to their camp. “Well Father I-” David began. His eyes widened and he pushed his surprised father to the ground, shouting “Watch out!” as the well dressed assailant stabbed at where Gregor’s head had been. As Gregor hit the ground, he rolled and tried to get before falling back down, a scream coming out of his throat. Looking at his foot, he saw it facing the wrong way. Snarling he looked up at the attacker, and called out for the guards.

David and the assassin circled each other, as Gregor called out for help. The assassin smiled at him, his well-kept black hair being whipped around by the wind, and taunted him “What’s wrong lad? Afraid to attack me? I really don’t blame you. After all, I was killing people much more important and dangerous than you before you had stopped clinging on to your mother’s dress!”

Roaring David stepped forward swing his left fist at the assassin’s grinning face, as his right hand gripped the pommel of his sword, getting ready to draw it out. The assassin, instead of turning away from the blow, laughed and quickly, much quicker than David thought possible, slashed at David’s fist with his thin knife. The pain was immediate and intense. Screaming David fell to his knees, clutching at his left hand. Looking at his bloody hand David saw, with horror, that he only had his thumb and index finger remaining. His remaining fingers, and over half of his hand, had been shorn clean off. The assassin laughed and kicked David in the mouth, causing his scream to be suddenly cut off.

As the sound of Gregor’s soldiers’ got nearer, the assassin spat on the ground, a smug look apparent on his face. Turning to the furious Gregor he laughed and said “I heard you had been looking for me. You know Alv didn’t die with much dignity, in case you were wondering. He even offered his wife and child as his replacements before I killed him. I wonder if I could get you to do the same? All well. Maybe when we’ve got more time on our hands, we can find out. ‘Till then, take care!” As the assassin walked over to black stallion he called back, over his shoulder “Oh, and Lady Gydrid sends her regards.” With another cruel laugh the assassin whipped the horse and quickly galloped out of sight. The guards got to the camp just as the assassin disappeared over the hill.

Gregor turned round and shouted at his stunned soldiers “He’s rode off over the hill! Get some horses and run him down!”

One of the soldiers ran over to Gregor, and helped him up saying “We can’t do that sir! Someone’s cut our horse’s harnesses. They’ve wandered all over the battlefield.”

Chocking back a scream of rage, Gregor merely nodded, and with the aid of the soldier hobbled over to where his son lay. Looking at his son the damage the assassin had caused was obvious. David’s nose had been shattered, causing blood to streak his face and mat his curly red hair to his head, and his left hand, and at this Gregor paled, his left hand only had his thumb and forefinger remaining. The assassin had cut off everything from the edge of his index finger, down to his wrist on the opposite side.

Gregor quickly got some men to cauterize the wound, while his son was still blissfully unconscious. Staring across the field, as the sun beat down on him, Gregor suddenly felt, for the first time in his entire life, very old.

Battle_of_Gallow_Painting_zpsebaf16d8.jpg

A Modern Painting of the Battle of Galloway
 
Last edited:

Apelstav

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May 26, 2011
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Oh, this is a must-read. Great to see that you finally started to write an AAR. I'll get back with the whole feedback-thingy as soon as I've had time to read through it.