Friday, November 17, 2006


Recently becoming a Redcap Walchelin had been a student of the Universitas Magistrorum et Scholarium in Paris. He graduated first from the School of Arts, and then attended the School of Theology. While at the University he was also a member of the Normandy Nationes and an apprentice to the Mercer Redcap Mireille LaCroux of Marseille, a Goliard who took more interest in the Order of Hermes’ affairs within Paris and the Schools of the University than traveling the paths between Covenants. Walchelin’s apprenticeship and education has therefore been a full one - if somewhat minimal regarding skills to survive in the outdoors, focusing more on interpersonal skills, performing, composing and achieving a broad education.

As a member of the Normandy Nationes and a student within the Schools of Arts and Theology Walchelin was always rowdy and boisterous during his revelries, but at all times remained articulate, charming and passionate, especially towards his studies within the University; something he has carried with him into his Redcap duties. His time in Paris also paralleled the University riots and strike.

Events in Paris

In March 1229, on Shrove Tuesday, Paris's pre-Lenten carnival began and Walchelin, along with a band of Normandy Nationes associates began their revelries at the tavern of Les Yeux d'Émeraude (the Eyes of Emerald) in the suburban quarter of Saint Marcel. Walchelin and the other students drank heavily, got rowdy, and Walchelin undertook a lively and spirited performance of a large number of drinking songs, ballads and poems to an increasingly raucous audience. Eventually a dispute broke out between the band of students and the tavern proprietor over the bill which led to a physical fight. The students were beaten up and thrown into the streets, Walchelin and his associates returned to their college. But word of the dispute and beating had somehow quickly spread and the next day, seeking revenge, students arrived at the tavern in large numbers. Armed with wooden clubs they broke into the tavern, beat the offenders and destroyed the establishment. Other shops were damaged in a subsequent riot which spilled into the streets.

Because students were exempt from the king's courts, angry complaints were filed with the Pope's courts. The Pope's courts knew that the University tended to be very protective of its students and they were trying to approach the matter carefully. But the secular ruler, Blanche of Castile, the ruler of France, stepped in and demanded retribution. The University authorized the city's police to punish the student rioters. The city guardsmen, known for their rough nature, found a group of students – including Walchelin - and with an unexpectedly heavy hand, killed several of them. After attempting to do what he could for his bloodied Compatriots, which was sadly very little, Walchelin eventually fled the retribution of the guard and made his way back to the University and his Parens to continue his studies and apprenticeship.

The strike and the results for Walchelin

Unfortunately the response from the University was immediately to go on strike. Classes were closed and striking students either went to other universities such as Rheims, Oxford or Toulouse, or returned home or found employment elsewhere. Faculty ceased to teach. Walchelin was now left only with his apprenticeship, which he finally completed, and on the suggestion of his Parens and a newly discovered friend he decided to head towards Provencal to seek a home, perform, fulfill his Redcap duties and hopefully learn from any Troubadours that survived the Crusade as well as spread the word according to Golias.

The role of Euphêmía

On the night of the riot, during a break in his performance at Les Yeux d'Émeraude, Walchelin was befriended by a beautiful young woman by the name of Euphêmía. With her striking green eyes he was immediately attracted to her and he performed to the best of his abilities, attempting to engage her with a passionate performance. During the ensuing songs he performed the full spectrum of his repertoire, including a beautiful and original tale of Hades and Perspehone which referenced the unmatched work of Ovid – it was especially successful in the satirical targeting of Hades in-ability to control his stolen wife Persephone. The performance, ultimately unfortunately, attracted some unexpected attention from a quarter that Walchelin has yet to realize – Hades himself. Additionally the performance had a substantial impact on all of his audience who, rather than become friendly and happy towards each other became rather unfriendly, and extraordinarily passionate in their unfriendliness – not only those in the audience but Hades himself had quite an adverse reaction. Unknown to Walchelin a well-intentioned member of his audience had botched her intervention in the events of the night. During his performance the young woman he had met led a dance amongst a number of the crowd but unknown to her this dance had not only failed but gone completely awry having the reverse of her intention of friendliness amongst all who witnessed the performance, instead unfriendliness, leading ultimately to fisticuffs and bloodshed ensued over the following days.

But, the magnificent performance of the Troubadour Walchelin won the undying adoration of Euphêmía who proceeded to spend much time with the young Walchelin, arriving at all his performances and taking part in many dances with the crowd. Eventually she revealed her true form of a Nymph of Dance to Walchelin – who had already guessed – and she is accompanying him south to continue her dancing, carousing and enjoyment of Walchelin’s art. For his part Walchelin appreciates the beauty and dance of Euphêmía, he suspects that she enhances his Music through her performance, but little suspects that her dancing is Magical Folk Dancing that requires a human to perform in order for it to succeed in having any effect.

The Curse of Hades

Unfortunately for Walchelin Hades took great umbrage at the young Troubadour’s performance and is biding his time to exact revenge. Hades plan is that when the Troubadour finds himself truly in love the Faerie God has decided that he will steal the object of the Troubadour’s affections away to Hades, as he has done with a number of young loves in the past, and then, at every opportunity, taunt the forlorn Minstrel with his powerlessness in the face of the Fae God of Hades.

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