A Lord Cannot Even Leave His Castle Unlocked in This Neighbourhood Anymore
This fief is going downhill
By Lord Forwende
This fief hath been in my family for generations. Ever since The King usurped this land from the Wood Elves and gifted it to my great-grandfather for being a loyal vassal, my family hath called it home. I’ve spent my whole lyfe here. I’ve watched many a sunrise o’er the fertile barley fields (from a distance, of course, because I would ne’er soil my pointy noble shoes in such muck).
But I’m worried that this fiefdom is going downhill.
One doth not e’en feel safe leaving one’s castle unlocked at night anymore.
This used to be a family neighbourhood. Noble children couldst walk the streets without fear of being crushed by a catapult projectile from the besieging enemy forces. Peasants would toil obediently without remonstrances about “pay” and “rights” and “not using us as human shields for the enemy arrow volleys.”
Now, ‘tis like wherever I turn there’s someone trying to ram down the gates with a battering ram, or there’s a band of Wood Elven scouts scaling the ramparts at dusk. One hath to order all of the commoners to stand double guard shifts just to get some semblance of sleep aroundst here.
I went for a hunt just yestermorn, despite the protestations of my bodyguard whomst cried, “But m’lord, the castle is surrounded by an army of Wood Elves. ‘Tis a rather inauspicious tyme to go hunting.” ‘Twas a fyne hunt, and I’m glad I went, but dozens of my attendants were killed in a hail of swords and arrows as we attempted to sneak back into the castle in the twilight of early dawn. One cannot e’en hunt one’s Enchanted Forest in peace these days! A lord shouldst not have to live like this!
Also, the schools are terrible. (In that there are no schools and school doth not exist yet.)
‘Tis not that I have anything against Wood Elves, per se. Far from it. I’m all about diversity on our fief. ‘Tis just that all this tomfoolery is causing property values to plummet. Nobody wants to invest in a fief that is actively being invested by the largest army of Wood Elves the Kingdom hath e’er seen.
Some may say that I am part of the problem, seeing as I sired half of the people on the fief leading to an endless blood feud amongst bastard children vying for my heirdom. Some say I provoked the Wood Elves by spitting mutton in their leader’s face during our last peace conference then painting “WODE IELFES DOTH STYNK” in manure on our gates. Others blame my policy of treating everyone like the subhuman scum that they are and causing irreparable grievances amongst my lessers.
But I think ‘tis because our fief hath lost its feudal values. ‘Tis tyme to get back to a neighbourhood where noble children can walk the streets in safety, where a peasant will lie face down in the mud so a lady can trod upon his body rather than begrime her slippers; a neighbourhood where commoners happily volunteer to be trebuchet ammunition after we’ve run out of boulders, and where my bastard children stop killing all my legitimate heirs in single combat.
I long for a neighbourhood that is not being besieged by an army of Wood Elves, a neighbourhood where a lord can once again leave his castle unlocked at night.
In other news:
I didst write a book! It is a choose-thine-own-adventure style story, and I shall send it to all subscribers for free in the coming days.
Prior to the year 1550, 30 percent of noble European men died in battle, according to a study by Neil Cummins. After 1550, less than 5 percent did. Why? Possibly due to a change in the technology and methods of warfare. With the emergence of large, standing armies and modern weapons and artillery, more officers were needed, and a system of merit at least partially replaced one of privilege. Also, with the decline of cavalry, nobles who previously would have served as cavalry officers (and thus “in the fight”) took on increasingly administrative positions in the rear (i.e., away from the fight). Former warhorses also took on new roles as administrative officers, with mixed results.
Ye Olde Tyme News is a vassal-supported publickation. To bend thy knee before The King, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.