Saturday, January 22, 2011

Agincourt: The Fall of Soissons

Soiossons is a town in France that the youngbowman Hook finds himself fighting to defend against the French in France.

When it falls, Hook eludes capture but has a prime vantage point to see how a captured city fares when it does not openly surrender.

Rape, pillage, burning, looting, and mutilation of the enemy troops.

There are no neutral sides in war. Or at least, that's what I took from this historical event. Your fellow countrymen may love you compared to their feelings against another country, but stand against them in war time and suffer the ravages that only the army can bring.

Something similiar happened in Bernard's other book, Sharpe's Escape when the town Sharpe is in comes under occuptation.

Depending on where the players are in such a situation, and what level they are, players have lots of options avilable to them. There may be some who take full advantage of the situation in the most morbid ways, but in a standard 'adventuring' group, smart adventurers should use this opportunity to seek out rare and potent items that they may need. In some instances, the players themselves may have set up the whole sacking of the city merely in order to move through it unmolested by the local laws, guilds, and other obsticles that may have stood in their way.

Higher level players that wind up on the losing side may have a better fate than the arhcers in Soissons though. One of the benefits of being an adventurer is often an amount of wealth that defies the standard station of such a character. On the other hand, some adventurers are so because they could afford all the tutoring and equipment necessary for such efforts.  In these instances, the players may be held hostage. Their captors may treat them fair or terrible but chances are their equipment and prized possessions will be stripped from them.

In such cases, it depends heavily on the players attitudes and opinions of such events. Those players who despise such incidents are probably better off dead and making new characters, perhaps even characters designed to save the others from their fate. Those that 'go' with the flow so to speak, may find themselves with some contacts among the enemy or with a new personal nemesis. Use the events of the game to influence future events of the game, like a series of dominos.

The fall of Soissons showcases brutality and for many, could be seen as a rallying point. In your own campaign, don't forget to include the horrific events that showcase the penalty for failure as well as the stakes when swords are drawn.