Some history of the Period...

In terms of time, la Grande Compagnie de St. Claire is situated in the middle period of the Hundred Years War. There has been a long period of peace, since the truce was signed at Leulingham, in 1389. It was only supposed to last for three years, but what with all the turmoil that's been on amongst the English, they haven't had the time to be invading every summer anymore. All in all it's been a good season. Though it's going to get hotter soon, no doubt. There's a new king of the English, got there buy blood and murder, he'll be across the sea as soon as ever he can...

This is the Hundred Years War, second half. England and France have been intermittently going at it since 1337 (officially, at least), when Edward, king of England renounces his fealty for his duchy of the Aquitaine to Philippe, king of France. Philippe confiscates the Aquitaine, and Edward raises armies and sails for France. One of the big theaters of the war is Brittany, where a civil was breaks out with the death of the Duc de Bretagne in 1341. England supports de Montfort, the late Duc's younger half-brother, France supports de Penthievre, the daughter of the late Duc's elder brother. Meanwhile in France proper the battles of Crecy in 1346 and Poitiers in in 1356 stun the world with great defeats for the French.

Throughout the next 50 years, through periods of intense fighting and some lengthy truces the war drags on in fits and starts. Large parts of France, mostly in the north and west, are devastated by both the 'official' war and the bands of brigands that roam the lands in between times. The balance shifts between the French and the English, and alleigences and loyalties shift as well. The arrival of the great pest in 1347, which ravages the population of Europe for beginning of the schism in the church in 1389 only makes matters more difficult.

Currently, France has known a relative state of peace for the last 20 years, the last serious raid by the English being in 1383, when Hugh Despencer leads his 'crusade' through Flanders. The Peasant's Rebellion in England in 1380, the loss of the Duc de Bretagne as an ally and the Parliaments increasing reluctance to finance the continuing war in France have all led to a great decrease in the ravaging of the French countryside, and a certain 'return to normality' amongst the French. England has been at war mostly with itself, the capricious and ineffectual government of Richard II dividing the country into violent factions and, in the late 1390's, leading to plots against and the eventual overthrow and murder of Richard II by Henry Bolingbroke. Bolingbroke ascends the throne as Henry IV (part I) in 1399, and spends the next few years dealing with factions and politics at home, as well as the Welsh rebellion that followed.

The French have recovered a great deal from the earlier predations of the English armies, though small bands of brigands still roam about and a great deal of the country side is depopulated due to both plague and war. The King, Charles VI, has been on the throne for 22 years, though he only began ruling in his own right in 1388, re-instating his father's advisors and reforming the government. He fell ill in 1392, however, and was has been subject to alternating periods of madness ever since. This has allowed Louis, Duc d'Orleans, and Jean sans Peur, Duc de Burgogne to contest for power within the government, to the general detriment of the land. This division in the government, added to the fact that there's a new, more warlike king on the throne in England make these uncertain times...

In terms of the Compagnie, we have been mustered as part of the feudal host of Monseiur le Baron de Sainte Claire, and are marching south to the Aquitaine to support Monseuir le Duc d'Orleans in his renewal of the war against the English in the south of France. The Compagnie has marched on ahead of the great gonnes, fielding the smaller batons de fer that can be easily transported by footsoldiers, and hoping that the baggage train with the great gonnes will catch up with us if we end up settling down outside some town for a siege. Meanwhile we go marching around the Aquitaine in the train of the Duc d'Orleans...

Crustus an Mors

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