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Age of Intrigue - historical RPG in England's 17th century Restoration • View topic - Horsing Around | 10am 28th

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Horsing Around | 10am 28th

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Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby John Bramston » Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:46 am

John sat on his white horse, a scattering of dogs all about him running and playing. It was something of an effort just to exercise them, but that was the price. Notable among them was a peculiar concentration of collie puppies which John was trying to find homes for. They were the hardest to control, though even they had had some training. There was also Fastulus and Larentia, his large hounds, trained to protect him... but also his faithful companions.

He trusted Robert wouldn’t mind. He looked forward to their ride together. John was an isolated sort of fellow but he was not a shut in. He enjoyed the outdoors. Many wonderful days had been spent beneath a tree, quietly reading and curled up with his pets… John sighed at the mere reminiscence.

But for the moment he looked around, waiting for Robert to appear. His dogs, and even his horse, seemed eager to get on with it. They knew what this meant: that they were about to go out, to get to play.

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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby Fortune » Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:05 am

John and Robert

As his horse cantered along with seeming enthusiasm, Robert Gerard raised one hand to push down on the fur cap he was wearing against the winter cold. Still he was more at ease riding out in the cold then he had been in attendance at the ball this holiday season. And awaiting him was not a crowd of people, the vast majority he did not know and probably had no interest in knowing him but rather, another young man he had made acquaintance with at that event, Lord Maldon.

Ahead there were dogs wandering around playfully or maybe restlessly even as his sharp young eyes recognized the rider on the white horse. His own animal was a fine black and a creature he was quite proud of. Once he closed to within speaking distance he threw up a hand in a friendly wave and flashed a youthful smile.

"Good day, my lord!"
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby John Bramston » Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:16 am

“Good day!” John greeted in good cheer. “That is an impressive horse.” He commented, remembering that the young lord had a great deal of pride in the creature “You m-m-must make allowances for me lest you leave me in the dust.” He said with a chuckle.

With a sharp whistle the dogs, with a few, mostly younger, stragglers, came up around him. “Where shall we head?” He asked. He presumed Robert knew the area better than he… but if not, they could always make for nowhere in particular and see where they ended up.
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby Fortune » Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:52 am

It pleased the young man that his new acquaintance, dare he say 'friend', recognized the quality of the horse Robert was upon. That brought forth a boyish grin on his face.

"Yes, he is indeed. He cost enough, he should be. But do not fret, I am in firm control of him and we shall not leave you behind. What fun would that be?"

"Oh and besides, would that not be 'in the snow'? Rather than dust?" he quipped.

Robert now looked upon the pack of dogs Lord Maldon had brought with him.

"You must like dogs, my lord. Quite a following. Do you not worry some of the puppies might not be able to keep up?"

Robert liked dogs also and would not want to see that happen.
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby John Bramston » Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:12 am

John smiled back. He laughed as Robert was too innocent to even conceive of running past him or making a show. “In the snow, in the snow.” He surrendered to the quip.

“I do.” John said, “And p-p-plants. And cats. And everything else, I think.” He leaned over the side of his horse to pet one of the wolfhounds, huge dogs. “I’ll be g-g-going relatively slowly.” John assured him. “And I’ll be d-d-doing headcounts to make sure none of them get left behind.”

“Tailcounts?” John offered with a grin. “Come, we should g-g-get going. The tribe is… restless.” John gestured to the dogs.
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby Fortune » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:11 am

Robert did like dogs though probably not as much as he enjoyed horses, he found he could not share his mother's enthusiasm for cats though. Mostly unfriendly creatures. Lord Maldon assured him that they wouldn't lose any of the puppies by going on this ride, he would make a point of going slow enough to allow them to keep up.

"Very well, they are your creatures, you should know them better than I," Robert nodded, these were pack animals afterall and had a natural affinity to keep grouped, hopefully even the youngest of the dogs.

Nothing more to discuss, Robert urged his horse forward and headed toward the route paralleling the stream, that stream may well hem the dogs in too at least from one side. He did not let his steed have it's head but kept the pace more of a canter.

"So my lord, can I ask you something?" he didn't wait though for John to say 'yes' or 'no' before inquiring anyhow, "I am curious from your opinion is on the possibility of war with France? I realize not during the winter season but come spring.....?"
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby John Bramston » Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:25 am

John followed along. He was obviously distracted by the dogs, a wide smile spreading over his face as they sniffed and ran around to their hearts’ content.

John looked over curious when Robert asked if he could ask something. He asked about the war, “There’ll be a w-w-war, I think. I c-c-can’t imagine France won’t keep up the attack. And the King has b-b-been moving… towards closer ties with the Dutch.” Besides, John added, We have every interest in keeping the continental coast divided.

“Why d-d-do you ask?” He said. He was curious if Robert dreamed of being a soldier or had some other interest.
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby Fortune » Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:42 am

Lord Maldon seemed to give it a bit of thought then voiced his opinion that there would indeed be a war after the winter season. Robert nodded, he realized that the man's opinion was quite the prevailing one throughout the land. Certainly his family believed so, in fact it seemed they looked forward to it. And yes, the Dutch would seem to be the perfect allies to help face the French fury. Well, if one put aside the Dutch naval rivalry with England and seemingly, most did.

The young man was then asked why he had inquired so, a reasonable question actually.

"Oh well I should think the military men would look for martial glory and promotions, loot, that sort of thing," Robert declared, he came from a military family.

"I cannot be certain but it is my belief my father wishes me to eventually get an officer's commission. He could afford it easily enough. My brother hinted at that, he is an officer too in case you did not know. I do not know how I feel about it all," he reflected truthfully.
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby John Bramston » Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:51 am

“There’ll be glory and promotions in driving the French out of allied territory. Not m-m-much loot.” John opined. He supposed the army could loot the allied lands. That would give a great deal of ammunition to those who wanted the army disbanded.

“I d-d-don’t know how your father is placed,” John said. “But there’s… more of a future in being an adjutant to someone high up than a b-b-battlefield lieutenant. Still, I suppose some experience w-w-wouldn’t go awry. And you might make friends with some fellow officers.”

John wondered if anyone from his family would be sent over. He wondered too if the young lad would end up near some relative of his. That was a common enough goal for those seeking military preferment.

"Do you have anything else you w-w-want to do?" As a younger son he'd need a career. But there was nothing wrong with going into a different calling than Robert's father. Especially when that calling was something as disreputable as soldiering. "Feel the calling of a churchman or a diplomat? A m-m-minister or courtier?"
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby Fortune » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:38 pm

"Ahh, glory of course. I imagine it must be most exciting....at least when you win. On the other hand defeat...or even worse, a rout...that must be frightening," Robert left unmentioned the other great risk - death or maiming.

Lord Maldon had a suggestion he had not himself considered.

"An adjutant? To assist a general or some such? Yes, that might be interesting and I suppose profitable...again if the army does well."

Of course everyone almost seemed to assume they would trounce the French. He hoped that was so but he knew enough about the past to know the French army considered an excellent one. There was all so much to consider really.

Maldon brought up the possibility of something other than soldiering for a future career.

"Well, we have a military tradition. Though I do not know how proper a soldier I would make. But no, definitely not a churchman," Robert declared, leaving out why as perhaps Maldon was an ardent believer and the boy did not wish to ruffle any feathers.

"Now a diplomat might be interesting. One would definitely travel and see other lands and capitals and without the risk of being shot by the locals," Robert grinned.
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby John Bramston » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:15 am

John had still found getting shot at faintly terrifying. He’d since learned to stop flinching, but he was still not likely to make much of a soldier.

As for the possibility of adjutancy, “You m-m-might go and befriend Lord Monmouth. He’s… out of f-f-favor, so he’ll be looking for friends. And he’s a m-m-military man.” And his father meant, in victory or defeat, he was likely to advance. Besides, Devonshire had spoken of his military capabilities. “He’s in Scotland. D-d-dealing with rebels I think.”

John nodded to the idea of diplomacy, “You’ll have to d-d-decide whether you want to be an envoy or an… ambassador. And what p-p-part of the world you want to serve for. You should p-p-pick one, start studying the language and culture. Take a trip there, see how you like the people.” Robert was young enough he had time to do that.

John was already turning with how he might help the lad. Small favors, but he'd be glad to give him a hand. First, though, he'd need to be sure it was what Robert actually wanted.
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby Fortune » Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:24 pm

ooc: Sorry, keep forgetting to log into this ID.

Lord Maldon had plenty of advice, some of it no doubt worth exploring, Robert realized. There was one name in particular.

"Lord Monmouth, ahh, yes my father has talked of him. He has a favorable view of his soldierly qualities, though he did wonder if the fellow was a bit....rash?" Robert smiled.

"Still, I think no one can truly advance very far in the military unless one is at least brave, right? And you can only find out if you are truly brave by being in amongst it. The proof is in the pudding as they say," Robert was thinking aloud as much as talking to John.

"I don't know, I think ...sometimes....that I would like to try it. I mean....be in one big battle. See the fighting up close and be a part of it. That would tell me if I am really part of this family. For there are no cowards in our blood...or so we always brag," the lad shrugged.

Lord Maldon did make diplomacy sound quite appealing though. Travel would be a fine adventure and a good deal safer than warfare.

"So if you could be an envoy on the continent...where would you pick to go? Say you had complete freedom of choice as to your assignment?" Robert posed the theoretical question.
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby John Bramston » Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:33 am

John had been thinking of such things. He had a brother about Robert’s age. And he did have some need to think of his own future. Though as a lord he could choose just to be a Parliamentarian if he wished.

John chuckled at Monmouth’s rashness, “Then he’ll n-n-need sober headed men around him.”

“I c-c-can shoot at you, if you want.” John said, though his smile was warm. “You c-c-could go fight some rebels. Get some taste of it without g-g-going too far.” It wouldn't commit him to the army if he decided he wanted another career afterward.

If he could serve anywhere? “The Netherlands.” John said easily enough. “It’s capital is about a d-d-day from my home. They’re d-d-drawing closer to England and I have… connections there.” John had never considered a diplomatic career. The idea did have its appeals.

“But if you want advancement, France m-m-might be better. Especially if you’re fluent. There’ll be a… peace following the war and p-p-plenty of intrigue afterward.” Of course, it would be dangerous as well. But he suspected it was a plum assignment nonetheless.

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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby Fortune » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:08 pm

"Oh, you mean I will be required to be sober on top of everything else? Military duty sounds very taxing," Robert quipped, while he certainly did drink some he had only been drunk a few times at family weddings and such. He had never enjoyed the next mornings though.

"No offense, but you shooting at me would hardly compare to a battle, mayhaps not even qualify as a mere skirmish," the young man smiled.

As for fighting rebels, that might be more risky than fighting a foreign foe. Rebellions oft encouraged ruthless massacres and cries of no prisoners. What if his side lost the battle? Best not think about that.

Diplomacy would indeed be much safer and quite intriguing the more he thought about it. It also meant travel and he could get away from his family, for what young man did not oft desire that. Granted he might well miss them dearly once he was far from the familiarity of home. Still, it was part of growing up. He asked the lord his view on where might be a proper country to go to.

Lord Maldon answered instantly, it was Holland, the Dutch. Though he did point out France might be a better long term choice, upcoming war notwithstanding.

"I know Latin and that is about it," Robert would not tell him he was not exactly the best of students or with scholarly inclinations.
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby John Bramston » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:28 pm

“Only if you w-w-want to win.” John replied with a chuckle. “It m-m-matters more if His Grace… is drunk on wine or beer.” John wasn’t going to get too specific with that. "I d-d-don't think anyone expects him to be sober anymore."

He laughed at being called less than a skirmish. “What am I then? A riot? An unpleasant evening? A b-b-bit of bad beef?”

John let out a puff, “B-b-best not to serve in… Latin’s country.” John imagined being the diplomat to the Vatican would be perilous and unrewarding. “It’d be a simple matter to find a French tutor. Only slightly harder to find… a Dutch one. I think your… father would pay.” Few fathers objected to their son taking lessons.

“Or Spanish or Danish or whatever… you p-p-pleased.” The young lad didn’t have to follow John’s advice. “You m-m-might strike up a friendship with the relevant… ambassadors and envoys too. It’d g-g-give you a chance to practice.” Both language and diplomacy.
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby Fortune » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:15 pm

"So while winning would no doubt help with furthering a career, is it really necessary? I wonder? It does not seem to matter for Kings or the very highest of lords," Robert simply expressed these thoughts aloud.

Lord Maldon took some umbrage to his comparision with a mere skirmish but it was plain to see such anger was not serious, that he took it in the spirit Robert had conferred it.

"Oh, my humblest apologies then. Remember that this is a person who has yet to witness any shot fired in anger. So what do I know?" Robert smiled.

As for Malston's advice on where to be a diplomat, he seemed to think poorly of serving in Italy, no more likely serving at the Vatican.

"Oh because of the Catholics? I daresay they do view us all as heretics now I suppose," he nodded.

"There are Catholics in England of course," he shrugged, "but I do not believe I truly know one. I mean personally not simply know of them. They cannot all be fanatics."
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby John Bramston » Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:24 am

“Probably not.” John admitted. He wouldn’t know specifically. But that was often how the world worked. “But the b-b-best thing is someone both well connected and who wins constantly.” And John did hear that Monmouth was good at that.

John rolled his eyes bemused at Robert’s reply.

John nodded. Dealing with a Catholic nation like Portugal was one thing. Dealing with the seat of Catholicism, especially a seat so far away, was another. “I’ve m-m-met a few recently. The foreign ones d-d-don’t seem so bad. I haven’t had the courage to ask the locals why they don’t convert.” John admitted.

"I suppose whether soldier or diplomat you'd d-d-deal with both religions, though." Not in the English army, of course. That was entirely Protestant. But on the battlefields, both ally and enemy.
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby Fortune » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:55 pm

The conversation slid to religion, not a topic Robert actually knew much about and did not mind admitting it. He attended services, read the Bible of course but lacked any real zest about it all. He had heard more than one of his relatives had only found any fervent belief while almost on their death beds. He figured, no make that hoped, he had plenty of time then to make his peace with God.

Maldon stated his personal acquaintances with Catholics were all foreigners, made sense really. It did sound like the man believed all English should at the very least convert to the English church though.

"No doubt a prudent course of action I would think too. So what do you think of the those Catholic homes and businesses being gone after by the London crowds. I heard some people died in all of that and of course fires are always a risky business. I mean a fire can as easily spread to a Protestant house as a Papist one," he smiled.
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby John Bramston » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:09 am

The question was more out of curiosity than hostility. John wanted to understand the mindset of those who were openly Catholic and English. He didn’t understand, but he attributed that to his own experiences rather than the absolute correctness of his views. But he was not going to ask York.

“There were Catholic homes and businesses? Local ones?” John was obviously surprised they’d existed at all. Simply being a Catholic was a crime. John had never been aware the extent to which common Catholics quietly got on with their lives, preserved by the occasional lie.

John took a moment to recover. “You’re right, of c-c-course.” John was sympathetic to the motivations and fears of the rioters. Or at least what he saw as them. But he did not condone rioting. “It’ll p-p-probably restart when it warms up. Unless all this nonsense gets… sorted out quickly.” John’s tone he implied he didn’t think it would be. He sighed.

"I'm afraid gruh-greater men than I will have to see to such things." John had no delusions his voice would weigh much there. Though unlike Robert, John had to steer his family himself. Although he had aid from his relatives.
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby Fortune » Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:42 pm

Lord Maldon seemed quite surprised, almost shocked, to hear of Robert's news about Catholics being attacked. Not that the boy had witnessed anything at all but rumors had flooded all London of such things. In one burned down residence there had even been a body found. Or so the wagging tongues said. Robert felt it had to be true considering how many people had heard of it.

"Yes, you really must listen to rumor more," Robert grinned, "Sometimes rumors are even true. Or so my father always says."

But Maldon recognized that at least the gist of the stories were indeed truthful and, to Robert's relief, asserted he did not condone such things. Robert was neither pro nor anti Catholic but saw no good accruing the country when mobs roamed the capital and started up fires. London and indeed all major cities feared fires which could easily enough turn into conflagrations that could devastate large swathes of any urban community. How would that help anybody?

"I do believe the King must then do something about a fresh outbreak. Even if the common mob is ..so called patriotic now...what if some other time they become ...well, set on overthrow of the established order. We cannot have the commoners behaving in such a fashion, do you not agree?" Robert pointed out.
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby John Bramston » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:11 am

John smiled of rumors, “I shall expect you… to k-k-keep me in full supply.” It was always useful to hear the latest. Though John was generally distrustful of what he was told over what he saw.

“Commoners d-d-do not behave in such a fashion. At least… not the sort of c-c-commoner who participates in a mob.” John said. “This is not… Wat Tyler. This is the Gracchi.” Only that was not the appropriate metaphor. They had already had their Sulla in Cromwell. England was at a later stage. John was a historian. It was not too difficult to draw comparisons to the popularies and optimates. Or to imagine the King like the consular restoration after Sulla.

“He must do something.” John repeated in agreement. “But using the m-m-military could spark another Civil War. There is no… government right now either. And Parliament is hostile. More so without Danby and his Anglican Tories. What d-d-do you think that something is?” John’s question was genuine. He had his own ideas but was curious to hear Robert’s.
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby Fortune » Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:34 am

"I do not like to think of myself as a purveyor of gossip," Robert frowned but then added with a grin, "Let us consider it to be......intelligence gathered."

Neither of them much cared for the mob, not surprising given their social standing. Lord Maldon did agree that His Majesty would be forced to do something if rioting got out of hand. No true ruler can tolerate anarchy. John pointed out the political turbulence though too, nothing was ever quite so simple.

"It is easy for me to say because I am not one but I think any King must use force..indeed has the right to use force to disperse an out of control mob. Even if it comes to executions...you know, as examples," Robert declared.

"My father would approve of such actions too," he added.
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby John Bramston » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:57 am

“Intelligence.” John confirmed with a smile. “You’ll… m-m-make a diplomat yet.” His tone was entirely complimentary. Still, John was not fond of the mob. He was not unsympathetic to their reasons or causes, but he preferred order at his heart. He had not liked the rioters last season either.

John nodded solemnly that it was easier to speculate over such things. Neither of them had to make such decisions. Yet John let out a laugh. He speaks so easily about death. “And what… if the mob uses force? What if they win?” John asked. “And if they… lose, will it not be a great slaughter? Englishmen killing Englishmen?”

He noted that Robert’s father tended towards violence. John wasn’t sure how Robert himself was yet.
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby Fortune » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:19 am

"So intelligence is a needed ingredient for being a good diplomat?" Robert raised one eyebrow, "I had rather thought it would be the ability to flatter and be charming."

"I think my father would say diplomats lie as their primary activity," he added in a tone that made it unclear if he was in agreement with that assessment or not.

Lord Maldon posed some real complications in their discussion of mobs. Robert honestly did not know how to answer those though he did not disagree they were in the realm of possibility.

"We've had enough civil war in our land I believe, I don't wish for any more. It's one thing to go to the continent and kill a Frenchman but no...civil wars are ugly. Right?" the young man was looking for agreement hopefully on that point. Maldon seemed the peaceable sort. Unlike Robert's father.
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Re: Horsing Around | 10am 28th

Postby John Bramston » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:13 am

“Both, I’d imagine.” John said. “When you negotiate… knowing the t-t-truth of everyone involved gives great advantages. And no one will offer it willingly.” John opined. Though he was speaking here of general politics. John’s life had often relied on finding out the truth of matters before anyone told him.

John let out a laugh at saying diplomats primarily lied, “They d-d-do a little of that too.” John admitted. He had no horse in defending diplomats.

“Yes, Englishmen killing Englishmen. Civil Wars are ugly. May God protect… us from another.” John said, his intonation that of a casual little prayer.

Perhaps he saw the mob as overly mighty. But then, there had lately been a successful rebellion in England. The government appeared to be growing weaker to him. John had his own peculiar beliefs about Civil War and the future. But regardless, he imagined that if the mob felt its life at stake it would strike out rather than disperse. There were a great many more Londoners than soldiers, and the Londoners had defensive walls.

"Perhaps our soldiers are b-b-better than the mob." John said in a conciliatory tone, "But a fine... way to lose to an enemy, is to think they can't fight at all." That was the historian.
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Age of Intrigue

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An AU historical RPG set amidst the decadent Baroque court of Merry King Charles II of England. Join us for the 12 days of Christmas, intrigue, seduction, arts, politics, innovation, and danger in the winter of 1677.

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