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title.gif

==================================================

They say the third time's the charm, so here is my third attempt at an AAR, which will hopefully be more successful than the previous two abortive attempts. I have - foolishly, perhaps - decided to try my hand at the most difficult AAR genre of all, that of comedy, and will no doubt fail abysmally at making anyone laugh. Still, it's worth a shot.

The AAR will be sporadically updated, and in the form of relatively brief character-based narrative vignettes, loosely based on the goings-on in the game itself, and will follow the rise and fall of one Roger Salopard, a Norman noble of dubious moral character.

roger.gif


That's him. Charming fellow, isn't he?

It is heavily "inspired by" (i.e. blatantly and shamelessly plagiarises) such works of comedic genius as Blackadder and the Monty Python sketches, so you'll probably enjoy at least those bits. Now, without further ado, the first episode of the series... Comments are encouraged.
 

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EPISODE I: STORM 'N' NORMANS

It was a dark and stormy night in Oxford, and not a creature was stirring, apart from two cloaked figures trudging their way through the mucky roads of the Saxon township. One was tall and slender, the other short and tubby, and both were utterly soaked to the skin. The cottages of the town's Saxon residents showed no signs of being occupied, though curious blue eyes followed the odd couple as they made their way through the abandoned streets.

"Brilliant, just bloody wonderful. He couldn't have gone off and conquered some sunny and pleasant country, like Provence or Mallorca or something. No, he has to go off and invade England - the rain and fog capital of Christendom.", the taller one shouted after muttering a string of melodious French expletives, "I swear to God, LeBoeuf, I should have gone to Apulia. Fine wine, Italian women, paved roads... But instead, here I am. In bloody Oxford of all places. Saxon place names... I suspect they were concocted specifically as a ward against foreign invasion. Who wants to be known as the lord of Ox-ford or Penistone or Ramsbottom or Gaywood-on-the-Piddle or whatnot?".

It was an unusual comment, coming from a man who until recently had been the obscure lord of the manor of Salope-sur-Mer, a scenic Norman village with a rather odd name. The name itself was connected to an old legend involving a mermaid, some fishermen, copious amounts of Calvados and venerical diseases, so at least it was more interesting than that of Roger's new fief, which was unsurprisingly named so because it was originally the site of a ford. For oxen.

"I wouldn't know, Sir.", his portly companion replied, nearly tripping over a log that someone had left in the middle of the road for no apparent reason.

"Of course you wouldn't, LeBoeuf, you're an imbecile."

"Yes, Sir."

"Bah, we'll never find the castle in this weather.", Roger said, grimacing after stepping into a soggy pile of cow excrement, "And besides, I'll get pneumonia, which would be bloody inconvenient. We'll check in at that shoddy little inn over there and get to the castle tomorrow. Come along, then."

And so, our intrepid heroes trudged through the mud and into the courtyard of a run-down inn. A faded, rotting sign hanging above the door featured a crowing rooster and two golden orbs. Roger banged on the door, rather carefully, as from the looks of it a mild sneeze could knock them down. After a few moments, the door was opened by a young blonde, who quizzically observed the new arrivals.

busilla.gif


With a sigh, Roger rummaged through his soaked baggage and dug up his nearly illegible copy of the Saxon Phrasebook For Feudal Lords.

"Erm, hmm, let's see... Hwaet gydren gifa deofol fynge nyrple hraghnarr blargh?", he uttered with a heavy Norman accent, mangling virtually every rule of Saxon grammar, syntax, phonetics and assorted linguistic elements. He wasn't quite sure if what he had asked was even a question, let alone if it was the right question to ask of the tall blonde.

"Your nipples explode with delight and my mother is a walnut?", she replied with befuddlement, confirming his suspicions and eliciting a sigh of relief. Roger was in no mood to try and communicate with some Saxon peasant in the guttural snorts and grunts those people called a language.

"What? OH! Oh, thank God, a Norman! I am Roger Salopard, Earl of Oxford, and I would greatly appreciate a room at your, eh... fine establishment.", he exclaimed, striking a pose befitting his position.

"Oh, it's you!", the girl's eyes lit up with delight, "My lord, we were expecting you. Do come in."

Roger and his not-so-trusted retainer/dogsbody LeBoeuf were shown inside, where two other women awaited. One was a young brunette with a copious bosom, and the other a stern, older blonde who was copious all over. She looked at the two guests the way one looks at disemboweled rodents the cat drags in and proudly leaves on your carpet.

"My name is Busilla, and these are Hadwis and Emonie. We stayed up to give you a warm welcome.", the blonde chirped, introducing her companions who greeted their lord with a perfunctory curtsey.

"Oh yes. We're at your service, ready to do what ever you wish.", Hadwis added with a polite smile that was grossly misinterpreted.

hadwis.gif



"Though you are probably tired after your long trip.", Emonie sneered, sizing up the tall, scrawny Earl of Oxford with an icy glare.

emonie.gif


"Well, this is nice. Not a bad way to end the evening, eh LeBoeuf?", Roger said sotto voce, nudging LeBoeuf and grinning wolfishly.

"Quite so, my lord. I am curious, however... Would you be so kind as to...", LeBoeuf whispered back.

"No."

"But there's three of..."

"No."

"Can I at least get the fat..."

"No. Shut up, LeBoeuf. And no, you cannot watch, either. You will stay here and dry off my clothes for tomorrow, understood?"

"Yes, Sir."

"Shall we get on to business, my lord, or would you prefer to rest beforehand?", Busilla interrupted the bickering men.

"Oh no, I'm ready to go. Believe me, it takes more than a few drops of rain to sap my strength.", Roger replied, adding a hip thrust to accentuate his point.

The ladies were a bit puzzled by Roger's leering manner, and Emonie, probably the most perceptive of the trio, began to suspect the Earl had misunderstood their position.

"You should get out of those wet clothes, my lord.", an unfortunate suggestion came from Hadwis, and Roger obliged.

"Right, then, we might as well get on with it. "

Roger's breeches were swiftly undone and slid to his ankles, but the reaction of the three ladies was not what he had expected.

"My Lord!", Hadwis blushed and covered her eyes.

"What in God's name are you doing?", Busilla asked, outraged, turning away from the not-too-impressive sight.

"I've heard it shrinks in the cold, but not this mu...", Emonie observed with a smug grin, apparently unfazed by the spectacle.

"What? Do I have to pay in advance?"

"Pay?! My lord, we are not harlots!", the three women clucked angrily, taking turns to enlighten the hopelessly confused Roger.

"We are your court! And this is your motte and bailey."

Blink. Blink. Roger's gaze moved from Busilla to Hadwis to Emonie, finally stopping at LeBoeuf, who was distracted by a cockroach slowly making its way up the wall of the room. An awkward silence ensued, and was finally broken by Roger himself.

"This dungheap is the cast..."

"Yes."

"And you three are helping me run it?"

"Yes."

"Oh God..."

He wobbled over to a desk, stunned by the revelation to such an extent that he forgot to pull his breeches back up. Stroking his goatee, he pondered the situation, and was soon shaken from his thoughts by the steady drip of rain droplets falling onto his head and down his neck. He moved aside, pulled up his breeches and turned towards his court, assuming his usual regal posture.

"Well, that was awkward.", he announced, the ladies vigorously nodding in reply, "My ladies, I apologise for the besmirchment of your honour and good reputation, etc. etc. Now, I'm off to bed. I'm wet, tired, sleepy, and rather disappointed by the fact that the only person available to warm my bed tonight is LeBoeuf, so if you'll excuse me..."

He turned on his heel and marched off down the hall, dramatically entering the first room he came upon. To his chagrin, it was the broom closet.

"You wouldn't happen to know where...", he asked the trio upon dramatically exiting the closet.

"Down the hall, second door on the right. Good night, my lord.", Emonie instructed him, rolling her eyes.

"Right."

And so, Roger retired to his modestly appointed, lice-infested quarters, and slept like a baby. Namely, after every two hours of sleep, he'd wake up and cry, and the situation was made worse by LeBoeuf, who decided his tone-deaf renditions of Norman lullabies would help his master sleep. An attempted murder by strangulation sufficed to convince him otherwise, so Roger managed to get at least a couple of hours of uninterrupted sleep.

***

He was awakened by the first rays of sunlight that rudely intruded into his room, and by the symptoms of LeBoeuf's sleep apnea. Wincing, he concluded his first official act as earl of Oxford would be the purchase of curtains for his bedroom. The bedroom was filled with the pungent stench of humidity, old wood and LeBoeuf's shoes. Upon getting dressed, Roger stumbled down, praying to God and St. Euthanasius - patron of woodcutters, woodchippers and woodpeckers - that the creaking frame of the inn doesn't collapse on his head. Still half-asleep, he shambled along the poorly illuminated hallways of the castle/inn, his bloodshot eyes scanning the surroundings for signs of his court.

At last he found them, in a sparsely decorated room that contained a table and some sort of seat that he deduced was his throne. The women were already awake, busily debating something or other. They did not notice his entrance.

"Ladies. Starting without me?", he drawled and yawned.

"My lord, welcome to your first official council meeting.", Busilla greeted him and motioned towards the seat.

"Wonderful.", Roger muttered as he took his seat, "Anything of importance to discuss?".

"Well, there's appointments to positions of authority, and not much else.", Hadwis said, passing a sheet of paper to Roger, "We've already divided them up, but we thought you'd want to confirm it, being the Earl and all."

Roger examined the paper and nodded, although it was unclear whether he was expressing agreement or just nodding off. The roles picked by the three of them seemed to suit them well.

council1.gif



"Very well.", he mumbled and added an X and the official seal of the realm to the bottom of the document. With a sigh, he passed the list back to Hadwis, now Chancellor Hadwis.

The meeting went on for an hour, or maybe two, or three - he had lost track of time, bogged down in the minutiae of managing his fief. Somehow, being an Earl of the realm sounded a lot more appealing on paper, when the Conqueror had bestowed the honour upon him in front of the whole court. Finally, Nature called, and he decided to take a little break. As he moved briskly through the courtyard, which was still mucky from last night's torrential downpour, and entered the rickety outhouse in the corner of the yard, two elderly Saxon peasants watched him from the sidelines, ponderously chewing on straws.

"Hwo do euoe yink dat un ist, Hrothgar?"

"Must be ye newe ealdormann, Eadgar."

"Hoew cyn you tell?"

"He hasn't got scitte alle over hym."

As they commented, a cry was heard from inside the outhouse, and followed soon by a muted splash, muted Norman curses, and a loud voice angrily calling for someone named LeBoeuf.

"Maybe it's nott ye newe ealdormann, Eadgar."

END OF EPISODE I
 

volksmarschall

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Good luck! I will be reading.
 

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Extremely Blackadder-ish... and I love Blackadder!

Morsky said:
"Your nipples explode with delight and my mother is a walnut?"

I laughed for a couple minutes after that! :rofl:
 

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You know, I've hardly had time for AARland at all the past months... but every now and then a new gem pops up! I see the rich inspiration from Blackadder, and like the General above me I am a huge fan of the series. Consider me subscribed.
 

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You have my interest!
 

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volksmarschall: Thanks.

Banovich: Thanks, too. :)

General_BT: Figures. The one joke that makes people laugh is the stolen one. :D

Snugglie: Yees, rich inspiration. >.> As Picasso said, good artists borrow, great artists steal. I am a great artist. :p

Leviathan07: Yes. An indispensable manual for controlling your foul-smelling Saxon serfs. Includes the most useful phrases in all major categories (berating serfs for laziness, insulting the mothers and extended family of opponents on the battlefield, soliciting sexual favours and purchasing alcohol) in all four dialects of Old English (Phlegmish, Gruntish, Orcish, and Kentish). Painstakingly illuminated by the monks of the abbey of Theleme, the Saxon Phrasebook for Feudal Lords is an affordable and superbly useful book.

Testimonials:

"I find it very useful, and I can't even read."

- Sir Godfrey le Beau, knight

"It's a great book. Durable, slow-burning, bulky... Quite the thing for those cold winter days when you really need to warm yourself up."

- Simon de Beausejour, earl of Cocksley

"The pages are soft and smooth, and don't chafe like the Bible or those Greek plays I found in my basement. The King swears by it too. For all your lavatory needs, I heartily recommend the Saxon Phrasebook."

- Lord Geoffrey de Sauvage, Groom of the Royal Pisspot

IamWhoa: Well, then, Sir, you are in luck. :D There'll hopefully be lots more nudity, lewdity, and general debauchery in the AAR.

Saithis: Ah, an Oxfordshire native. :) I apologise in advance for any slights against your fair county, and assure you the Salopards shall not hold it in their grubby little hands for very long.


The next episode should be up sometime this week. It's about marriage. Stay chooned, people, and thanks for reading. I'd also appreciate some constructive, deconstructive, reconstructive, or just plain destructive criticism - feedback is useful to see what works and what doesn't.
 

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Very good work.
Morsky said:
An indispensable manual for controlling your foul-smelling Saxon serfs. Includes the most useful phrases in all major categories (berating serfs for laziness, insulting the mothers and extended family of opponents on the battlefield, soliciting sexual favours and purchasing alcohol) in all four dialects of Old English (Phlegmish, Gruntish, Orcish, and Kentish).
A must have for every English teacher :D And Roger seems to have all the good traits:)
 

Enewald

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"He hasn't got scitte alle over hym."

Brilliant!!! :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

This aar is great!
But when I finished reading the update I got sad. Too bad that the update could not last forever. :eek:o
 

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phargle: Holy Knytlings, Batman! It's phargle! Reading my AAR! :) I hope I'll manage to keep your attention.

kadvael56: Yeah, I was going to add a few more (bastard, sceptical, and whatnot) but it makes the game nigh unplayable, so...

Enewald: Note to self - keep stealing Python material. :D It seems to work wonderfully.

Hrothgar and Eadgar will keep appearing as my glum Saxon versions of Statler and Waldorf (or, more pretentiously, Vladimir and Estragon), offering commentary from their unique perspective. BTW, does anyone know how to get the thorn and eth letters in posts, if at all possible?
 

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BTW, does anyone know how to get the thorn and eth letters in posts, if at all possible?

Do you mean the title in the first post? If so, you can only get it into the forum the way you have now: by creating a picture of it. As far as I know it is impossible to import fonts.
 

phargle

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phargle: Holy Knytlings, Batman! It's phargle! Reading my AAR! :) I hope I'll manage to keep your attention.

The humorist you should endeavor to trap is Alfred Packer; your style in your current ruler is quite alike his dearly departed Crovan king. I am loving what you've got here. The series of "no" answers to the desperate servitor was a terrific setup, even if you telegraphed the setup. No, especially because you telegraphed it. With four out of five parts of my body, I salute you.
 

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Poor Roger. Those ladies did say nasty things about his manhood.
 

coz1

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Great start! That had me laughing. Definitely had both Python and Blackadder influences going heavily which I enjoyed. Our old boy seems to have his work cut out for him, the least of which is understanding the locals. ;) Let's see some more. :)
 

unmerged(96639)

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EPISODE II: JUST MARRIED

The morning was chilly and unpleasant, as all winter mornings in England were. Roger tried to keep himself warm by wrapping himself in a fur overcoat and imbibing copious amounts of hard cider, but only succeeded in keeping himself moderately chilled, as opposed to frozen to death. Shivering slightly, he pondered lighting a fire, but quickly abandoned the idea due to the general high flammability of the wooden fort and the limited effect fire would have on increasing the temperature of his chambers. Perhaps, if the hall had windows one could close and the walls weren't decomposing logs ineptly tied together with ropes and plastered with dung, the castle would be easier to heat in the winter months. However, right now life had handed him a particularly bitter lemon, and all he could do was suck on it, grimacing sourly.

Now that he had a title, he needed an heir, which meant he had to trick some poor girl to marry him. After some looking around, he had decided on one Adelais de Ponthieu, a lady at the court of the young Duke of Normandy, who was from a rather prominent Norman noble family. The letter from the Duke approving the marriage was due any day now, which meant he would have an alternate means of keeping himself warm. A few moments after, there was a knock on the door.

"Enter!", he announced regally. Chancellor Hadwis entered, carrying a piece of parchment.

"Letter from Normandy, my lord.", she informed him.

"Excellent.", Roger replied, grinning smugly, "When does little Short-Shorts want the wedding held?".

Short-Shorts, or Curthose, was the unfortunate nickname of the young Duke Robert, earned for his mother's tendency to dress him in the eponymous garment as a child. For this, he was tormented from childhood by his brothers' (and occasionally his father's) taunts of "Who wears short-shorts? Robbie wears short-shorts!". Due to this abuse, Robert Curthose developed quite an irascible temper, and switched to wearing pantyhose, which did not help matters at all (though at least it did not earn him a new nickname).

"He doesn't, I'm afraid.", Hadwis said, clearing her throat before reading the contents of the Duke's reply, "Dear Mr. Salopard, do sod off. Adelais is far too valuable to be married off to some nameless twit ruling some ramshackle county in the arse end of England. I suggest you endeavour to find yourself a wife more suitable to your breeding and influence. I hear Madame le Fan's bordello over in Caen has quite an impressive selection. Yours disrespectfully, Robert Duke of Normandy. P.S. I hope you get a social disease and your prick falls off, you impudent he-strumpet."

shortshortssezno.gif


An eyebrow arched, and Roger's fingers reached for his goatee.

"Well, that was rude.", he remarked with surprise.

"Perhaps his reaction would have been more positive if you had not framed your request in the way you did.", Hadwis noted, folding the paper and passing it to Roger.

"Yes, I may have been a bit too informal.", Roger mused, idly tearing the letter to shreds. In retrospect, asking for Adelais' hand in marriage with a curt "Dear Short-Shorts, I've decided to marry a girl from your court" may have been unwise. Oh well, he thought, you can't please everyone. Then again, pleasing the heir to the throne of England might be a good idea.

"So, what now?", he asked, brushing the pieces of the letter off his desk.

"Shall I fetch the Big Book Of Blushing Brides-To-Be?".

"The what?".

"It's a guide to all the eligible and not-quite-as-eligible women in Europe, from Portugal to Kievan Rus, compiled by a group of Benedictine monks with far too much free time on their hands.", Hadwis explained, "Or... You could try looking closer to home."

"Closer to home, eh?", Roger muttered, clasping his hands in front of his mouth and pretending to be deep in thought, "Have anyone in mind?".

"Well, there is a girl here at court that's available. Young, buxom, feisty brunette, good child-bearing thighs, clever, of noble birth...", Hadwis said, lowering her voice to a husky feline growl and inhaling deeply after rattling off the list of her qualities. Granted, Salopard was a loathsome, snivelling wretch with a rather classically proportioned masculine implement, but being a Countess had its advantages. It's not like men were bashing down doors to marry her, and the old biological clock was ticking away like a ticky thing of some sort.

"Sorry, my dear, but I'd prefer to marry someone important.", Roger replied with a condescending smirk, "Now, do fetch that book thing."

With a sigh, Hadwis left the chamber, and soon returned hauling the heavy tome. She laid it on the desk with a thud.

"Mmm...", Roger mmm'ed as he perused the Big Book, sneering occasionally at the highly flattering portraits and the sales pitches of the various ladies. The book was indeed a comprehensive source. It had everything, from spicy Castillian senoritas to mail-order Rurikovich brides, from kinky sixteen-year-olds to inexplicably included sexagenarian spinsters. The depressed, the inbred, the chronically diseased - all had their place in the Big Book. Finally, a girl caught his eye.

"Alison Colvile, spymaster at the court of Robert, Duke of York. Likes assassinations, conspiracies, and long walks on the beach. Dislikes: Saxon peasants, idiots, and Bulgarians. Bulgarians? Odd. Hmmm... No smokers, fatties or nobles of rank lower than earl need apply.", he read the description, his lips curling into a mischievous smirk. Here was a woman after his own taste, a woman that could prove sublimely useful in his future schemes and machinations.

alison.gif


A grain of doubt surfaced in his mind, however, and he soon diverted some blood from his lower head back to his upper head. He recalled the sage advice his father had given him in one of his rare sober moments: "Son, you can marry a woman smarter than you, or a woman more ruthless than you. But never, in the name of all that is holy, NEVER marry a woman that is both smarter and more ruthless than you." His father knew what he was talking about, considering the fact he was found dead in his room a few weeks later, having accidentally stabbed himself in the back 17 times while shaving. There was a distinct possibility that Alison was the kind of woman who was both smarter and more ruthless than Roger, but he was willing to take the chance.

"Right. Send a letter to the Duke of York. Tell him I'd very much like to marry the young mademoiselle, and try to make it more polite than the one for Short-Shorts.", he gave the order, "And tell LeBoeuf to fetch more cider."

With a curtsy, Hadwis withdrew from the room, and Roger returned to the company of Calvados.

***​

Almost a month had passed since he had asked for Alison's hand (and assorted other body parts) in marriage, and still there was no reply from York. Roger began to doubt his chances of securing the elusive blonde as wife. Pacing up and down the hall, he pondered other options. There was some Nordic beauty with an unpronouncable name - he suspected she was named after the noise Vikings make when kicked in the privates - and a couple of Frenchwomen who seemed desperate enough. Failing all that, he could always stoop to marrying some of the shrews on his own court. Options were plentiful, certainly.

His ruminations were interrupted by Hadwis, who entered the chamber with a look of smug achievement. She carried a letter.

"Good news, my lord. The Duke has accepted your suit, and Lady Alison shall arrive tomorrow for the wedding ceremony."

marriage.gif


"Good. Great. Good. Excellent!", Roger beamed, continuing to pace about the chamber. There was a spring in his step and a tingle in his loins. Now, where was he going to find a priest?

Suddenly, LeBoeuf stumbled into the room, uninvited, nearly tripping on his laces from the rush. He appeared to have important news, but knowing him, Roger concluded it was something depressingly irrelevant. It took LeBoeuf a good three minutes of incoherent sputtering and gasping to regain his breath and collect what little thoughts he had. His announcement, once made, was rather stunning.

"My lord, we're being attacked!", he shouted, gesticulating in a panicky manner.

"Attacked?! By whom?!".

"I don't know."

"You don't know?".

"Well, there's all sorts... Hungarians, Frenchmen, Normans, Danes, Spaniards, and I think there's one fellow from Moldavia or somesuch."

"Mercenaries? Disgruntled peasants? Religious nuts? What the bloody hell do they want?".

"They said something about wanting our women."

"Our women? They can sod off back to bloody Moldavia, then. Nobody ravishes my women except me."

"All talk...", Hadwis muttered, rolling her eyes.

"What was that?".

"Nothing, my lord, nothing. Perhaps it might be wise to parlay with these men, considering the fact our defenses consist of a handful of very reluctant Saxon men-at-arms, a flatulent knight named Sir Clarence and a very thin wooden palisade.", she suggested.

"Yes, yes, I'll go talk to them.", Roger muttered. Diplomacy was never his strong side, but he hoped he could convince the roving band of soldiers to go and ravish someone elses women, or at least to settle for the Saxon village girls. He made his way to the gates of the fort, where a sizeable group of men waited impatiently. Despite his rather vulnerable position, he knew that pretending to be confident and mighty often deterred attackers. Then again, there were times when the bluff was called with very painful consequences, but he could always rely on LeBoeuf to absorb most of the blows.

"Parlay, gentlemen! I demand the right to parlay!", he shouted, waving to the assembled mob.

"You have to grant it! It's in the Pirate Code!", LeBoeuf shouted from behind, wiping his forehead with a dirty rag.

"Shut up, LeBoeuf.", Roger hissed, smacking his manservant with a practiced backhand.

The gathered men whispered, mumbled and squealed amongst themselves in a cacophony of voices, their interpreters struggling to make sense of the statements of their masters. Finally, an agreement was reached, and one of the men in the group, a burly Norman with a bowl haircut, stepped forward.

"Parlay, goombah? Do we look like an army to ya?", the Apulian said.

A Hungarian made some noises that sounded like he was trying to dislodge a hamster from his esophagus.

"We has comed for to seek the marriages of lady in yours courtses.", his interpreter stuttered out in broken, heavily accentuated Norman.

"Marriage?", Roger replied with a cocked eyebrow. Hadwis seemed pleasantly surprised at the news.

suitors1.gif
suitors3.gif


"Well, sorry to disappoint you, gents, but none of the ladies at my court are available for marriage, so I'm afraid you shall have to take your business elsewhere.", Roger announced with a smirk, causing great consternation in the ranks of the suitors, who showered him with insults in 15 different languages.

"What? You mean I came all the way from Apulia for nothin'? What are they, married already?", the Norman growled, fixing Roger with a cold stare.

"Single, not looking.", came the reply.

"But, my lord...", Hadwis interjected. It seemed to her she should have at least some say in the matter.

"Sorry, my dear, but I'm afraid I need the talents of you three here at court. Can't have you married off just yet.", Roger replied, moving back into the relative safety of the fort walls as the crowd of suitors began to disperse.

"But I want to get married.", she protested.

"Oh come now, you don't need a man to be happy. It's the 60's, you're an 11th century woman - free, independent, whatnot. Stick to diplomacy, darling, or take some blond, blue-eyed Saxon rube as a lover if you get the itch and need a proverbial scratch. Saxons are good at scratching, I hear."

They returned to the hall, Roger getting back to lazing about and LeBoeuf embarking on a task his master had given him, believing it to be so simple that not even he could mess it up: organising tomorrow's wedding.

***​

"You just had to mess it up, LeBoeuf."

"Sorry, Sir. I did my best."

LeBoeuf had failed to get fish and chicken for the guests. Indeed, he had forgotten to get guests. For the ceremony, he booked a gaudy little chapel run by a chaplain from the Order of Saint Aelwis, founded in memory of the legendary Saxon king and bard who according to folk legend was still alive. The monks of Saint Aelwis kept the memory of their colourful rolemodel alive by impersonating him, and around 2 000 Aelwis impersonators of varying quality were scattered across England. The bride and groom stood impatiently before a makeshift altar covered in Aelwis memorabilia, hoping to get the whole thing over with quickly, while the monk stood before them dressed in a rhinestone-encrusted white tabbard and muttering benedictions in Latin.

"Unus per pecuniam, duo per circensem, tres per preparandum et ite ite ite...", the monk intoned, gyrating his hips in a bizarre fashion, "Dearly beloved, we have gathered here today to unite..."

"Oh, for God's sake, there's no one here! Do get on with it.", Roger said irritably.

"Huh... So, uh, do you, Roger Millicent Salopard..."

"Millicent?!", Alison snorted derisively.

"Don't ask... Get on with it, you, I haven't got all day."

"Do you, Roger Millicent Salopard..."

"Millicent!", LeBoeuf giggled, and was promptly smacked on the back of the head.

"... take Alison to be your lawful wedded wife, to have and to hold, to treat with tender lovin' care, etc. etc. til death do you part?"

"Yes, yes, go on."

"Do you, Alison Cruella Colvile, take Roger to be your lawful wedded husband, to have and to hold, to obey, honour, and so on, til death do you part?".

"I do."

"Well, then, by the power vested in me by the King of England, I pronounce you man...", the monk thrust his hips forward in a provocative fashion, "... and wife. Thankyuh, thankyuhverymuch. You can kiss the bride, man."

Alison winced as Roger pulled her closer, removed heir veil and kissed her in the French manner. Resisting the urge to knee him in the groin, she waited for the ordeal to end and sighed. She'd get used to him, eventually.

"The rings, LeBoeuf.", Roger demanded, already fretting his imbecilic servant had forgotten those as well.

"R-rings?", LeBoeuf muttered, confirming Roger's suspicions.

The day was saved by the Aelwis impersonator, who took off two of his own rings and offered them to the grateful couple.

"A little somethin' as a present from the brethren. It's what the King would have done, bless him.", the monk said with a hip thrust, "Now, can I interest you in some holy relics?".

"I don't think so.", Roger replied, thankful that the whole thing was over with.

"We have the pelvis of Saint Fecunda of Trier, patron saint of pregnancy. That's popular with newlyweds.", the monk continued, "And perhaps I can interest you in some authentic Aelwis memorabilia? We have his belt buckle, his codpiece, a lock of his hair - it's said to cure male pattern baldness...".

"No, sorry... I think we'll pass.", Alison replied coldly as Roger examined a pair of very nice shoes laying on the altar.

"Hey!", it appeared to cause quite a strong reaction in the monk, who hurried to pry the shoes away from Roger's fingers, "You can do anything, but lay off the blue suede shoes, alright? They're not for sale."

"Well, then, I think we'll leave.", Roger said tersely, surprised by the monk's directness, "Come along, LeBoeuf. And you as well, my lady wife. Let us return to the castle, where I shall endeavour to make your first night with a man unforgettable."

"First night?", Alison chortled, but quickly cleared her throat and pretended to blush, "Oh, thank you, my lord. I am but a humble virgin, pure as the driven snow and unschooled in matters carnal. I do hope you shall teach me well."

She innocently batted her eyelashes at him, trying to keep herself from bursting into laughter. And so, they were homeward bound. The first wedding night of the happy couple did indeed prove to be unforgettable - but for Roger, who found himself on the receiving end of a pair of handcuffs, a ball gag and a steel-reinforced strap-on Alison affectionately referred to as William The Conqueror.

END OF EPISODE II
 

phargle

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Oh my God, I thought the Blackadderian tirades about marriage were funny, and then you weaved in the proposal bombardment the game sends you, and then the Elvis impersonator. . . it had me grinning quietly all the way to the end, when you just had to slip in William the Conquerer.

I salute you.