"Even if a submarine should work by a miracle, it will never be used. No country in this world would ever use such a vicious and petty form of warfare." - Admiral William Henderson, 1914

The Normans

Starting Roster

Prologue

Leaning across the dragon's neck, Sybald gazed over the prow of his ship to the horses being led across a rickety gangplank onto the bustling dock below as his longship tugged gently against the ropes holding it alongside the jetty, its journey complete. Arriving home, as welcome as it was, always seemed an anticlimax after the long journey across the turbulent seas to get here. Still, Sybald thought, it would not be long before he might set sail again, perhaps next time to visit shores closer to home.

This time, he hadn't returned to Normandy entirely by choice. While in distant lands he'd received word from the Duke, his liege lord, that he was needed. War was on the horizon, soon, if word from England and the island nations was to be believed. And if that was true, the Duke needed him to lead his army into the field. It was a command as much as an honour, and could not be denied. But Sybald understood it was also an opportunity. Second in the kingdom only to the Duke, he was already an Aetheling - a man who could, and if all fell in his favour would - be king. He knew he had little choice but to set sail for home.

And now, here at last, he contemplated what the future held in store.

Roster after Defend options, Campaign Season 1

Campaign Season 1

The Normans choose to Defend.

While Britain and the islands seem to be all at war, there is peace on the continent. Trade between the Normans and Franks is healthy and Sir Sybald spends the time strengthening the defences of his towns and building his forces.

Unfortunately, the poor weather affecting Britain extends to the continent this year, and the farms of Normandy do not produce healthy livestock. Grain has to be bought from more fortunate lands to keep the people from starving.

The Normans roll Poor Harvest on the Fate table and the end of the Campaign Season. they lose -1 point of Wealth. Because their Faction have only 2 Wealth but 3 units of Warriors on the roster, one of those Warrior units is temporarily dismissed.

Starting roster, Campaign Season 2

Campaign Season 2

The harsh winter had left Normandy weaker than before, while other nations were becoming stronger and richer. The cost of the poor harvest had even meant he had been forced to temporarily dismiss some of his men. As a Norman, it felt uncomfortable to be in such a position. Funds had to be raised, and so Sybald readied his forces for war. Some of those enemies had also been weakened by the poor harvest, and were ripe for raiding. Sybald, prudent in the ways of war, had spent the winter making his plans. Emissaries were sent to the strongest and most battle-tested of the nations, the Norse Gaels - an alliance would make them both stronger in the year ahead. And he had just received word from Leif, accepting his proposal. He smiled. It was time to raid into wealthier lands across the sea.

The Normans choose to raid the Anglo-Saxons in East Wessex.

Roster after raiding East Mercia, Campaign Season 2

The Raid on East Mercia

With the Anglo-Saxon army busy in the north of that land having attempted to capture the city of Jorvik, and in the hope that the south of that nation would be poorly defended, Sir Sybald gave the order for ships to be laden with men, horses and provisions and to set sail for that land. After a calm crossing the Norman army landed on a beach in East Wessex and moved inland towards the town of Hastings. But in the time their fleet had been made ready, the cunning Anglo-Saxons had learned of these plans and brought their army back to the south as hurriedly as possible. Aethelflaed, keen to prevent these raiders from making off with any Anglo-Saxon wealth, ordered valuables to be transported inland to safety, under the protection of her warriors.

Thus Sir Sybald, accompanied by his knights, their retainers, and a motley bunch of peasants hoping to cash in on the adventure, found themselves face to face with a warband led by the Lady of Mercia herself, accompanying a wagon train laden with gold. He ordered the attack immediately, but the response from his men was slow at first; there were rumours that those who allowed the convoy to pass would be paid off by their enemy, and a few Normans, hopeful that this might be true, were hesitant to commit. Realising that delay would not help a Norman victory, and there was little time for complicated tactics, Sir Sybald ordered a general attack across the line. Time and again his horsemen threw themselves against the enemy line, but the shieldwall in front of the baggage held, and many a brave knight died on their enemy's spears.

Sir Sybald himself, in the front of the line, was among the last to fall. Barely surviving, this brave knight who had led the attack in person, was dragged off the field later by some of his surviving retainers. The Normans were unable to prevent the enemy from escaping with their hoard, and, carrying their wounded with them, they returned to their boats and home.

The Normans gained nothing from their raid. They lost 2 Hearthguard and 2 Warriors, but replaced the 2 Hearthguard in their post-battle recruitment. Sir Sybald, severely wounded, permanently loses one attack dice, and the Normans must now defend during Campaign Season 3 while he recovers from his wounds.

Roster at the end of Campaign Season 2

Instead of rolling on the Fate Table Sir Sybald chose to roll on the Far Traveller table. His travels increased the reputation of the Normans as explorers and they gain +1 point of Reputation.

Roster, Campaign Season 3

Campaign Season 3

The Normans are compelled to defend during Campaign Season 3 while Sir Sybald recovers from his wounds. They gain one point of Wealth for the additional trade that happens during this year of peace, and recruit an additional four Warriors to their roster. They are left alone by the other powers for this season.