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Ross Fisher

[OL - FB - Fort Arltrees] Introducing Général de Oleon Hercule François

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The Bishop had spent hours on the beachhead, walking back and forth between the troops; offering a blessing here, a commendation there. Enough to let the troops know that the gods were with them. 

Now, he just needed a moment to himself. Within months, many of these warriors would be dead, and he would offer prayers to Hades for their eternal salvation. 

Suddenly, his reverie was interrupted. He spotted a familiar figure. One that was very out of place.

A reunion

"Hercule? What the hell are you doing here?" he asked.

"Little Brother!" boomed the jovial gentleman. "I thought I'd come and see what trouble you were getting yourself into!"

The Bishop stopped short, looking his brother up and down.

"I thought I left you safely drinking yourself into a stupor on your little vineyard back home?"

"And so you did, Jules. But old soldiers never truly retire, eh?" As usual, Hercule missed the sarcasm. 

"You were recalled?"

"Our sister's idea, really. There was an unfortunate incident. One of the girls from the village is with child..."

"Hercule!" snapped the younger brother. "Where is your wife in all this?"

"Damned if I know. She winters in the spa towns. Summers with her family. Sends me a postcard twice a year."

"And you knocked up one of your peasants?"

"Lovely girl," beamed the old soldier. "Plump, nice smile, you know... Or maybe you don't?"

"And you're here to escape the consequences of your own actions?"

"Oh Jules! You wound me! No, I'm here because your little colonials needed a real soldier to show them the ropes. Dusted off the old Juniper Wars saber and I'm ready to show these horse-munchers a thing or two!"

"We're fighting on the same side," the holy man warned.

"Details, details," replied his brother. "Just point me at the enemy and we'll test his mettle"

"Back to the point, though. Why did Celeste decide to send you to me?"

"Ah yes, well. You know how her mind works. Wheels within wheels. Sister seems to think that if I acquit myself well out here - mentioned in dispatches, all that - well then his Majesty might see his way to legitimising my ill-gotten offspring. 

"She talked about it in terms of keeping the family strong, shoring up the bloodline. In truth, I think she just wanted to Pierre from inheriting."

"Well, quite right," replied the Bishop. "He'd be a worse Vicomte Guemain than even you."

"Yes, I know. I'm a terrible failure. But I suppose if there's a chance to put things right, I ought to seize it?"

Jules paused, sensing just a glimpse of his childhood playmate. The big, bluff softie, who would go to the ends of the earth for his people. Perhaps the horrors of combat, and the deprecations of the drink had not completely ruined this man. Did he not deserve a shot at redemption? But was this the best way to accomplish that?"

"Understand this, Hercule," he addressed his brother. "Celeste didn't just send you to the front. She sent you to me."

"Oui, that is clear."

"I will help you. Many of your troops are beholden to me already. And I am gaining influence over the rest. I will provide you with information, intelligence, and advice."

"I am much obliged to you little brother."

"I'm not finished." He snapped. "In return, you will do your utmost to follow that advice." The man merely nodded. "You're not the only one of us who has fought in war. But my battles have been on these islands, with these troops, against this enemy. I know them."

"Very good, brother." Hercule replied.

"And be sure, if you disregard my instructions, I will have you relieved of your command and sent back home."

And for the first time, his older brother looked at him with genuine wary respect.

"He giveth and he taketh away, eh?" 

"You must understand, Hercule; to you they are wolves. But to me, every one of them is a sheep in my flock. I hold them as they are dying and usher them into His tender care. And I'll hold you responsible for every death."

The old soldier nodded grimly, and remounted his horse. "I'll see you at Headquarters this evening. Bring all the intelligence you have."

Edited by Ross Fisher

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On 11/27/2022 at 11:59 AM, Ross Fisher said:


That's funny, he doesn't seem to like all of Oleon's allies. :pir-grin:Général de Oleon Hercule François is an interesting character.

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2 hours ago, NOD said:

he doesn't seem to like all of Oleon's allies.

Got his experience in the Juniper Wars. But he's not bitter about it. Just wary.

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