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Current Campaign Date:  1/26/2008   

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Prelude 5 - Stories

Prelude 5

A look at what happened during and/or after Prelude 5.

Story - Start from the Center

Game Date: 1/10/2004

Who: Guillaume de Rouen

Guillaume was furious. "The meaning of what you just said is that the Pope no longer holds his sway. This is blasphemy. Pure blasphemy!" He rose and began to draw his sword.

Helena shrank back.

Chris grabbed Sir Guillaume's arm and gripped his shield shoulder hard. "Calm down," he said. "The Pope still has massive influence with many millions throughout the world. It just isn't like you're used to."

Besides, they did it to themselves, as you have explained, said Brasidas. But there have been good and bad popes in that time. And the current Pope is still holy.

"For now just concentrate on the current Pope," said Chris. "He's very well regarded."

"What is his name?" asked Guillaume.

"Pope John Paul the Second," said Chris.

"How many has it been since Pope Victor?" asked Sir Guillaume.

"Which Pope Victor?" asked Helena.

"The third of that name," said Guillaume.

"I'll look it up," said Helena. "There have been a lot of them."

"I thank you for your time and your consideration," said Guillaume. "What caused this? What could have possibly happened for the world to be this way?"

"OK, let me give you the basics," said Helena. "Around the mid-1200s, the kings started pushing the Popes around, and the Cardinals were taking sides with various kings and dukes and other leaders. This was kind of natural since the Pope is elected from the College of Cardinals, and the Cardinals are chosen from the various countries where Catholics reside."

"Very well," said Guillaume. "I think I see your point."

"In addition, some clerics were acting more like secular rulers and not holy men," interjected Chris.

"Aye, this is true," said Guillaume. "I still remember the fighting King Guillaume had to do to quell the revolt of Bishop Odo."

"Bishop Odo?" Chris and Helena said in unison.

"Bishop Odo of Bayeux. He was King Guillaume the Conquérant's half brother. He felt that the succession was done in the wrong way, and sought to put it right."

"Which succession?" asked Helena. "I'm confused."

It was Guillaume's turn to be the one in the know, and he took the mantle of leadership easily and gracefully. "Guillaume le Conquérant had four sons. The eldest was Robert, called Curthose because of his short stature."

"That is mean," said Helena. "That is like a bunch of tall people calling someone Shorty because they want to pick on him."

"Very true," said Guillaume. "Many disliked Robert because of his obvious Flemish heritage and that he was so short. Indeed, Guillaume's dislike of his eldest son helped matters not at all." He saw the blank looks on Chris's and Helena's faces. "Guillaume le Conquérant married Mathilda de Flanders, who bore his brood," explained Guillaume.

"Oh," the two lovers said.

"To continue," said Guillaume, "Richard was the second son, and his appearance and manner were very pleasing to Guillaume. Guillaume was the third son, called Rufus because of his bright red hair. The youngest son was Henri, called Beauclerc because he was originally groomed to go into the Church, so he could read and write."

"Very interesting," said Chris.

"Guillaume was forced to give the Duchy of Normandy to Robert as Robert was the eldest son, and that was how Guillaume had got it. However, since England was gained by conquest, he could dispose of England as he wished, and he did not wish to give it to Robert."

"That must've made for a happy family," muttered Helena.

"Indeed it did not," said Guillaume. "So Normandy was supposed to go to Robert, while England was supposed to go to Richard. But cruel Fate intervened, and Richard died before his father."

"That must have been horrible," said Helena.

"It was," said Guillaume. "A stag applied an antler to Richard's groin, and exited same antler through Richard's chin."

Guillaume thought it strange that he heard two sympathy groans and felt a third. "Richard was a very good knight and huntsman. I am proud to report that Richard still killed the stag with his hunting spear in spite of his injury." Guillaume drew himself up and stood proudly. "If that should happen to me, I should like to kill my stag in spite of my injuries."

Quick note, said Brasidas. You should tell him about shotguns and rifles.

I will, thought Chris.

"So what happened next?" asked Helena.

"Ah, right," said Guillaume. "So Guillaume then apportioned England to Guillaume Rufus, to the severe displeasure of Curthose."

"Stop calling him Shorty," said Helena.

"I shall not," said Guillaume. "He is short and not very admirable at that."

"Can we stop calling him Curthose for the moment, continue with the explanation, and settle this later?" asked Chris. "I want to preserve the spirit of peace and accordance in the room."

"So we shall, Sir Chris," said Guillaume. "You have my apologies. I have brought enough disruption to your household already." He took a breath. "So when Guillaume the Conquérant died, the apportionment went as he wished. But as Bishop Odo agreed with Robert that Robert should have both Normandy and England, he revolted."

"I guess William Rufus won," said Helena. "I never heard of England having any King Roberts."

"Quite so," said Guillaume. "Guillaume Rufus put down the revolt and kept England. Indeed, he is my liege lord to this very day."

"Actually, he isn't," said Helena. "But, getting back to the Popes, they started acting less like holy men and more like feudal barons, and people got tired of it and revolted."

"That is grievous news," said Guillaume. "What of England?"

"They revolted," said Chris.

"Horrible," said Guillaume. "What of Normandy?"

"They are still technically Catholic," said Helena. "But that's another long, complicated story. The important thing to know is that the Pope voluntarily gave up his infallibility in all areas and kept it for only the spiritual sphere."

"Well, I suppose that is for the best," said Guillaume. "It is still hard for me."

"I can imagine," said Helena.

"Would you like to go to a Catholic Church?" asked Chris.

"I certainly would," replied Guillaume.

"We need to get him some clothes," said Helena. "He's going to draw too much attention like that."

"Right," said Chris "We'll work on that first thing in the morning."

"I guess he'll sleep on the couch," said Helena.

"I thank you for your hospitality," said Guillaume. He stripped off his hauberk and chainmail breeches and went right to sleep on the couch.

Record Last Changed Date: 11/28/2009

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