Sunday, June 12, 2011

Another quiet year in the Renaissance

Dracmuller MacTavish has been alive (mostly) and kicking in the online RP world, Renaissance Kingdoms, for nearly four years. It's been over a year since I last related his exploits in any detail, and even that was merely a reprint of his ingame profile.

At that time, Dracmuller's horizons had generally shrunk to what was visible from where the walls once stood surrounding his hometown of Ardencaple. After spending years in the army and in public life, usually surrounded by controversy, he had retired and taken up sheep farming on the hills above the Clyde.

When we last left him there, his most public activity was a weekly rostered shift in the Clan Guard, helping maintain a watch over comings and goings in the quiet village (does this sound like the start of an Asterix comic to you?). As it's rather late but I still feel creative, I'll blog for our mutual pleasure the exploits of Dracmuller MacTavish since then:


27 May, Take up sheep farming - where we left our hero the last time we looked.

19 Jun, Oscar Hohenzollern MacTavish born to Arien. A busy night for Drac and his cousins as they provided moral support.

10 Oct, Convert fields to corn - in response to the threat of the new Count to bankrupt all sheepfarmers. To this threat is added increased levies of taxes on local town halls, closures of mines, massive tax hikes on vegetable farms. To this is added the continual insult of a shouting, deaf, aging madman as Count. The Count takes control of the courts and laws, all verdicts and legislation being reduced to his whim and backed by his mercenary muscle.

22 Oct, MacTavish Torc Tog Aghaidh. The flag of protest is raised outside Ardencaple, shortly followed by two allied commands. Over the following week the county marshals its own and allied forces in the capital, while free citizenry and clansfolk congregate around their banners and organise themselves at Ardencaple. Eventually, the county army marches on the town. The locals retreat behind the walls at the last moment.

1 Nov, The Siege of Ardencaple begins. It will last about a month. Significant events of the siege would include: the attempted rebellions of a 'fifth column' within the town; the imposition of martial law to restore order by the MacTavish Commander; the furious debates that occured about tactics and strategy amongst the town inhabitants; the cameraderie of the town taverns; the dying expressions of liberty or death by clan, citizen (and even a revolutionary frenchman who happened to be present on his honeymoon); the aid given the non professional rebels by a handful of hardened foreign volunteers; the Count's need to retreat back to the capital on one occasion to reorganise and re-equip; the valiant though illiterate milita; the international interest; the fact that the town did not declare independence from the king, and that work on the harbour continued almost without break through the siege; the mad escapade of a couple surviving MacTavishes near siege's end to burst through the besieging army and make a mad cross-county dash to confront the count in his home town (he cowered and didn't show himself) before returning past a second hostile army hunting them down, back through the seige lines, in time for the last of six or so battles - all but one (the last) won by the rebels.

8 - 16 Nov, Treason Trial of Dracmuller MacTavish occurred in the County Courts. He had been grievously wounded in the first assault on the gates, about a week into the siege, and found himself before a trumped up court with a judge who dispensed with all evidence or charge in his urgency to finish the trial and execute the clan leader. Condemned, the Count's men came at dead of night to do the deed - but failed. In the morning Drac was to be found at death's door, but at home (and his would-be executioners, unexplainedly found dead in his old cell). And there he remained till the final days of the siege, protected by the King's Edict until he again raised the sword of rebellion.

29 Nov, Siege of Ardencaple ends in a welter of blood. All the defenders have been either killed or badly wounded in battle, most have been bound up by the king's bailiffs following trumped up trials. The rebellion's leaders and their advisors are all put on trial for their life, lesser rebels are generally paroled after a hefty bribe. The final battle occurs on the day Dracmuller first feels fit enough to again pick up a sword (!) and he is taken down again, the last man to fall, taking the banner from his valiant wife as she is struck down, and holding it aloft before being overwhelmed (somehow, smuggling it to a cousin before he is again led off to captivity and trial).

30 Nov, Disorderly trial starts. The first ever trial in Scotland where the penalty for disorderly conduct is death.

2 Dec, 'The Wounded Boar' opens, Drac's tavern. Displaying the blood stained banner of the rebellion behind the bar, many come and have a drink with Drac while he waits for the drawn out trial procedures to end and him to be put into custody.

9 Dec, Disorderly trials ends. Needless to say, Drac loses the trial (which is a repeat of the farce of the first trial). In total, 36 MacTavishes and friends face the courts, 35 are found guilty, there are 9 executions. The repression begins. Drac executed, exists in limbo for four days before deciding to 'resurrect'. NB 'death' in RK need not be permanent unless one wishes it to be. There are, however, attendant ingame penalties and restrictions that follow a 'death' - even after one 'resurrects'. These penalties are particularly harsh if one dies by 'execution'.


13 Jan, Return to good health, the regulation 45 days after the execution. Now able to travel again, if he chooses, his stats are markedly poorer than they were when the banner was first raised.

19 Jan - 1 Feb, Picnic in Stirling with an armed mob of cousins to get some wood from their forest as there is none in Arden due the Count's austerity measures.

Feb - Mar, Childcare and home duties. Self explanatory, while Arien goes into longterm retreat following long term harassment from our foes. Drac does not blame her, is himself tempted, but who would look after the baby?

April - producer of fine axewear to support the local forestry industry, freeing other smiths to work on the harbour's defences.

2 May - Clan Guard reforms and takes up duty, this time in accordance with a contract with local authorities. Outside the town a county army lurks, ostensibly keeping watch over the harbour but equally keeping a watch on the locals.

These days, Drac occupies himself doing a couple days on town hall duty per week with the clan guard, parcels out the rest of his time between various tasks at his blacksmith forge. He keeps the Boar's Head open despite the fact it loses him money (everyone needs a hobby) and can be found in one of the local taverns (not necessarily his own) for between a half hour and an hour of an evening. Life goes on.

In other words, just another quiet year in the Renaissance!

No comments: