Ruland von Bern
|Baron Sir Ruland von Bern|
|Mundane Name:||Heath M. Lawson|
|Current Rank:||Ritter of An tir|
|Title:||Fourth Baron of Terra Pomaria|
|Predecessor:||Gowain of Keviloc|
|Baroness:||Emma von Bern, Born Emma la Blanc|
|Father:||Charles von Bern|
|Mother:||Fillipa of Portugal|
|Date of birth:||Sept. 9, 1494|
|Place of birth:||Bern, Switzerland|
|Location:||The Barony of Terra Pomaria (Monmouth, Oregon)|
In the year 1493 a child was born that would change the world forever. His name was Maximillion I of Habsburg, the hier to the Holy Roman Empire.
Chapter 1 - Cheating at the Rusty Arquebus
During the autumn of 1514 in the shire of Cour du Val, near the city Augsburg, the cold biting wind announcing the coming brutal winter to come, stripped the bright red and gold leaves from their branches, to reveal the dark green fir trees that will rule the landscape during the long winter months. A wagon drawn by oxen rolled slowly through the mud and the muck that had just weeks before had been a bustling road of commerce. The wagon carried kegs of beer and other goods to be delivered to the Rusty Arquebus, a small tavern, frequented by the local rabble and low of station. The sort of place the nobility had no use for and preferred to pretend did not exist. It was far removed for the opulent palaces of the Holy Roman Emperor, where burnished gold and fine white linen were common place. The rain fell steadily making it difficult to walk and for the heavy laden wagon to move. With each step of the great oxen the road was churned more and more. Inside the dimly candle lit tavern was heard the sound of music and laughter. The crashing of dirty trenchers and crockery. The sound of heavy tankards of beer being placed soundly upon the sturdy oak tables. Smoke from the hearth billowed out of the chimney and filled the air as it mixed with the smell of sausages and cabbages. In the corner of the room at a small table sat four men playing cards. All of them had clearly wagered more than they could have afforded to and all of them had already had far too much to drink. The youngest of the men, twenty four or twent five years old, was named Ruland. The three older men were soldiers. Ruland looked at his cards and looked nervously at the money on the table. The other three men looked confident that they would win the wager. The first man placed his cards on the table with a laugh, "Beat that!", The second man, smiled and placed his cards on the table and said, "Sorry Hans, not good enough!", the Third man threw his cards down in disgust for his hand could not win, and he stood and stumbled his way to the bar to get another tankard of beer. It was Ruland's turn to show his cards. He smiled at the second man and said, "that is a good hand, Gerhardt, not easy to beat. Do you want to up the bet, I have one gilder to wager and make this a bit more interesting. Are you in?" Gerhardt, frowned and said, "Show your cards!" Ruland agiain challenged him, "Why are you afraid?" Gerhard insulted but confident he would win the bet, grabbed his pouch to find what money he had left. With Gerhardt distracted, Ruland slid the card from under his chair into his hand. This was sure to improve his hand. Gerhardt finding his last coin slammed it on to the table and demanded to see Ruland's cards. Ruland then placed his cards confidently on to the table. Instantly, Gerhard knew that Ruland was trying to cheat him. The Ace of spades that Ruland had slipped in to his hand matched the ace of spaded in the hand that Gerhardt was holding. Gerhardt was enraged and pulled his dagger from his belt. He was drunk enough and had killed enough men on the battle field that it would be nothing to end the miserable existence of this street wretch. Ruland saw the glint of steel in the candlelight and knew that his attempt to cheat at cards was now revealed and he would have to make a run for it. Ruland quickly darted for the door. Gerhardt's friend that had left for the bar saw what was happening and as Ruland passed by him hit Ruland in the face with his tankard of beer. The clay tankard shattered spilling beer all over the floor as Shards of the tankard embed them selves in Ruland's face. He felt his teeth shatter and tasted the blood and beer mixing as it ran from his face. Ruland tried to pick himself up from the floor but buy then Gerardt and Hans had began kicking him on the ground. He felt ribs break and the air leave is lungs. Cheating at cards did not seem to be such a bright plan now. The dim candle light of the tavern started to fade as Ruland slipped into unconsciousness.
Chapter 2 The Falconer and his wife
Ruland awoke with the feeling of the stinging cold rain upon his face and the slick mud covering him. The smell of oxen dung entered his nostrils and he was surprised he could smell with his broken nose. More surprising was that he was alive. He remembered that just as he passed out he though he would be killed by Gerhardt and his dagger. "Get up boy!", a voice said. " I said get up! You will surly die if you stay there in the mud and cold." The cloaked figure standing over him, extended a hand. Ruland looked at the out reached hand. "I'm only going to offer it once." Ruland reached up and took the mans hand. The man helped Ruland up and said, "your not very good at cards are you? That is a dangerous thing to do, cheat at cards, if your not good at it. Come with me and I'll get you a meal." Ruland looked skeptically at the man, he couldn't see his face. Ruland had no other options and a meal sounded good, he hadn't eaten for days. Ruland went with the man. They walked through the back streets and alleys of Cour du Val. They came to a small shop that looked to be a bakery. The man looked around and then opened the door and walked in. He beckoned for Ruland to follow. The smell of warm bread filled the room. They walked to the back where there was a kitchen and a woman making bread, on the fire was a cauldron of boiling rabbit stew. The woman looked at he man and without a word said retrieved a piece of hot bread and a bowl of the stew. She handed it to Ruland and encouraged him to eat. She looked carefully at Ruland's cuts and began tending to them by pulling the shards of pottery from the wounds. The man removed his cloak and hung it near the fire place to dry. The man then carried a string of 3 rabbits to the chopping block. He looked a the woman and said, "that is the best bird I have ever had three rabbits in a single afternoon." The man was a falconer and the lady was his wife. Ruland said nothing and silently ate the hot food despite the sting of the salt in the cuts in his mouth. The man fetched him self a bowl of stew and a small loaf of bread and sat near the fire. His wife returned to the chopping block to butcher the fresh rabbits. As Ruland finished his meal and hoped for more, despite feeling full, because he didn't know when he would eat again, he said, "my name is Ruland von Bern." The man without turning away from his meal or his fire, said, "I don't care who you are." His wife shot a quick glare at her husband and looked at Ruland, with the sweetest of smiles, "Welcome Ruland, I am Luaithrenn, I am the falconers wife, and this is my husband Christopher. How is your stew?." Ruland responded with a quick smile and nod of his head. "You may sleep here in the kitchen near the fire, for tonight," said Luaithrenn. "and tomorrow we will take you to the Graf to see what shall be done with you."
Chapter 3 The Graf
Ruland did not like the idea of being taken anywhere to have his fate decided by anyone, but he was too tired and too full to put up a fight. And the prospect of a warm dry place to sleep appealed to him at the moment and he could always sneak away in the morning before the falconer and his wife awoke. Ruland felt something cold and wet sniffing his face and then a warm wet tounge licked him. He slowly opened his eyes and a small dog stood near him. Ruland could barely see the dog because his eye was nearly swollen shut. As he began to focus he saw that the fire in the fireplace had burned out and was only smoldering. The sunlight was shining in through a window and the sound of frying meat and the smell of food filled the kitchen. "Damn!" though Ruland, he had over slept and would not be able to sneak away now. He slowly stood up and stretched his sore and aching body. Luaithrenn greeted him with a cheerful, "Good morning!", as she went about her morning routine of cooking and baking bread for the day. Ruland responded with a silent half smile. "we will eat breakfast and then my husband will take you to the Graf to see what he will do with you." She handed Ruland a plate with food and he ate. Christopher came in from the back side of the house through the rear kitchen door. "it is all arranged." He said, " Graf Berek will see you today." "What is this Graf Berek like and why is it that he should decide my fate?" said Ruland. Luaithren replied, "he is a good, kind and just man that serves the King as the royal patron in this shire." After they had finished their breakfast they three walked out of the bakery to make their way through the bustling streets of the shire to the Keep of Cour du Val. The rain was gone and the crisp cool autumn air felt good and fresh as the bright sun warmed their facs. As they approached the keep's tall grey outer wall Ruland saw the heads of criminals on the end of pikes lining the roadway. The crows feeding upon the decomposing flesh of their faces and the eyes cloudy like not quite cooked egg whites. Their tounges hanging out and swollen as if they were choking. The sight caused Ruland to become nervous. This would not be an easy escape should this meeting with the Graf go poorly. Ruland wondered if Christopher would say anything about him cheating at cards. While it was not illegal to gamble, it was illegal to cheat at gambling. Ruland like his head right where it was and did not fancy the idea of having it on a pike as a warning to other potential criminals. They entered the main courtyard of the keep through a huge stone archway with a raised iron portcullis and thick oak doors drawn back. There were many men training in various forms of combat, with weapons of many kinds. There were units performing Pike drills, men fighting with great zweihanders, men fighting with pole hammers and halberds, men fighting with sword and shields. There were men maintaining cannons and men shooting Arquebus'. There were men tilting at the quintain and men marching in formation. One young man a mere eighteen years of age was dressed in a magnificent suit of armor. He appeared to be directing many of the soldiers and his commands were instantly obeyed. Ruland though that the man was far too young to be the Graf. He asked Luaithrenn, "Is he the Graf?" referring to the young man. "No," she said, "that is his son Johannes. He is training his men to go off to war in the south, near Italy" As the crossed the Court yard avoiding the soldiers, a courtier, came forward and greeted the three on behalf of his Excellency the Graf and he guided them to a great hall where he told them that the Graf would be with them momentarily. The room was dark with the rich mahogany and walnut. Great chandeliers with white candles illuminated the room. Tapestries lined the walls depicting great battles and noble men. Ruland could only have dreamed that he wuld ever again see such splendor and finery. He had see such thing before, he had lived in such a place, he had been born and raised in such a place in his home in Bern. The great table that stretched the length of the hall was covered with food. The feast was set for the departure of Lord Johannes and his men. Ruland was intently looking at the food when the Graf entered the room. Luaithrenn and Christopher bowed low in respect of the Graf, but Ruland was far to intent on the food that he did not notice the Graf. "You are clearly not a cultured man nor a man of manners and etiquette," said the Graf. Ruland spun quickly around and saw the Graf and bowed, "My humble apologies your Excellency! I did not mean to offend.. I pray that you would grand me your forgiveness," said Ruland. "Well maybe you are a well spoken gentleman after all. I am Graf Berek von Langental, royal patron of Cour du val. Who are you and how is it that you have come to have such grace but dress as a commoner?" asked Berek . "I am Ruland von Bern, I am the third son of a Swiss nobleman from the city of Bern. Charles von Bern. When My father died he left all titles and land to my oldest brother. My second brother joined the clergy to serve the Cardnal at Worms. An I was left as you can se with nothing. I have been living on the street for the past two years. And now I find myself here due to the kindness shown me by your populace." "Bern you say?" said Berek, " know of Bern" I was born and raised in Langental until I left to serve William the Lucky as his squire in the West Kingdom." " Why have you come to me?" asked the Graf. " Your Excellency, I knew that you were looking for men to go off to war with your son Johannes, so we thought that he may be able to serve you in that capacity," said Luaithrenn. "Have you been trained in the arts of war or served in the army?" asked Berek to Ruland. "No, your Excellency. I have not," replied Ruland "Then you would be of no use to me. However, I do find myself not willing to dismiss you out right. You have endured much and have showed resiliency and determination to survive. I will have to think upon what to do with you. Until I decide you may stay here. I h\thank you Lady Luaithrenn for bringing this young man to me., and Lord Christopher we thank you for the Rabits you brought," said Berek, "Ruland, my servant will show you to your quarters." And with that the Graf promptly left the hall and went on about his daily business. Luaithrenn and Christopher bade Ruland goodbye and made way for their home. Ruland went with the Graf's servant to see his new quarters.
MORE TO COME...... Berek decides to send Roland to Terra Pomaria to serve the Baron
-Shortly after Roland was sent off to serve as a squire to Sir
William Percival, The Baron falls into a deep depression and goes on a crusade to find the meaning of his soul
-Roland was left in the care of Sir William, who sank in to an
unexplained deep depression, which caused him to take up the cross and crusade in the Holy land in search of his salvation. This left Roland a scavenging street thug, who one day heard the drums of war, and fell into the service of a noble swiss family that had been displaced by the Helvetic confederacy.
He is an officer in a war company called Die Fahnlein von Stockschmerz or more commonly known as the Company of Stickpain.Die Fahnlein von Stockschmerz
Roland was knighted by King Amalric Blackhart at An Tir September Crown 2006.
Roland inherits the Barony of TerraPomaria Sir Roland has served the Principality of the Summits as the Summits defender. Sir Roland has twice Served the Barony of Terra Pomaria as Baronial Defender. Roland has served as defener of the shire of Briaroak. Roland was knighted by King Amalric Blackhart at An Tir September Crown 2006.