Written By Abdun Nur
The Bastard Educator
William sat like a ruined child, his narcissistic nature was at the fore when his victim was powerless, simply a play thing of his will. He considered his latest victims with cold contempt. William was an arrogant burly man, his nature was that of a strutting peacock. “When I was a boy all the lords warred, Normandy suffered famine and death. Torment and hardship reigned everywhere for Lord and slave alike.
I was forged upon the anvil of those times.” William said, as he looked past his guests to the log fire that raged in the centre of the hall, he spoke as if recalling what he considered a golden age.
“You think yourself a bandit Lord, Earl Godwinson, like William Talvas, but I think you’re more like his enemy Giroie.” He continued now looking directly at the figure standing before him.
“I think perhaps they were before my time, my Lord, I don’t recognise the names.” Replied Harold, who was a tall sinewy man well over six feet, flaunting an air of wealth in his fine clothing, even though they were dirty and well worn.
“You know the family of Bellême?” William asked.
“Of course my Lord.”
“Well, it’s the story of William Talvas Bellême.
Talvas was a man after my own heart, he acted as his nature.
He was married to a woman named…” William looked down thinking for a second. “Heudebourg.” He said his head lifting up in triumph.
“They’d two children, he, or by his order, strangled her to death for reproaching his nature. He was a cruel, deceitful man, one who freely indulged every vice; rape, murder, theft, torture, he was held back only if prevented. And few could prevent him.
Anyway, he arranged to marry the daughter of Robert of Beaumont shortly after; and a fine wedding was organized. Not to let an opportunity go to waste, Talvas invited his most hated enemy to his wedding.
To his surprise the fool turned up!
Much like yourself.” William explained, the man before him looked shocked and stepped back slightly looking about him. He dropped to one knee, his genuflection was theatrical and expressive.
“My Lord, we’re not enemies.” Harold Godwinson pleaded.
William ignored Harold and continued. “His enemy was William Fitz Giroie, he was a large man and was confident in his strength and his fighting skills. Of course arrogance and pride are a fools clothing. His problem was, at a wedding you don’t go armed, and there he was defenceless. Much like yourself.” William pointed out. The man and his companions were becoming nervous at these remarks.
“Giroie took with him a large escort of men, just like you, but this didn’t save him. Talvas welcomed his enemy, but when the time was right, his men sprang upon them.
Talvas took a knife in his own hand and gouged out Giroie’s eyes, cut out his ears, and chopped off his bollocks while he was held down screaming in agony.” William smiled.
“Then Giroie was given to the monks, he didn’t want so hated an enemy to die, he wanted him to suffer a long and horrific life.” William explained; then there was a short silence.
“I’ve a problem.” William continued.
“I’m being forced to attack the peoples occupying the land that the Angles wish to occupy, your desired land Harold, I myself have no desire to do so, but am compelled.
The Angles and the Saxons were formerly the Vatican’s military Muscle; but now Europe is in total turmoil, feuds rage everywhere, as you found when you petitioned the Pope for aid in the struggle against your enemies Earl.
The Albic have joined with the Danes, and the Danes are no easy enemy, although Lanfranc tells me the Danes will not be any hindrance to my efforts, plans have been made, he tells me. But the Danes have driven your support, either into the grave or into hiding. But mostly, into the grave.
You’ve tried every white slaver in the Vatican’s empire. And now, here you stand, like a man with an empty cup attempting to offer me the memory of its wine.
You haven’t fared well in your would-be Angle land.
The Angles and Saxons are no longer the force to be reckoned with, no longer the slavers of the past; here, in Gaul exist the white slavers of feudal dominance, we have perfected slavery, while you only toyed with it.
We show absolutely no mercy!
We take everything. We rule through absolute fear. We are dread, we are terror, we’re relentless.
But to travel to Albien and help the Angles means I leave my lands at the mercy of my enemies, and I can’t fight here if I’m there.
I’ve informed all the land Barons of Hildebrand’s wishes, warning them against attacking my lands, on the grounds that my mission bears the Papal banner and Papal ring.
The slaver, Lord Conan, the Duke of Brittany, is a problem. My spies sent me warning, telling me that he would take the opportunity to invade the duchy. But, as it happened, I needed no spies, as he himself declared it openly. So now I’m forced to war with him, before I can advance to aid the Angles.” William said calmly.
Harold stood attentive. “I would aid you, as you intend to aid me and my kin, my Lord.” Harold’s French was good; he was a well-educated man, speaking many languages skillfully, in contrast to William who spoke only his own native tongue.
“I murdered, so I’m told, with poison, Conan’s father.” William involuntarily discharged a small mirthless laugh.“
How could you not know?” Harold asked.
“I was eight when I became Duke, and he was poisoned on my behalf by my guardians when I was but a boy. I had no part or knowledge at the time. But, as Duke I bear the blame.
So, that may have embittered Conan towards me.” William smiled.
He changed the subject. “In my view the Angles are a lost cause, and I’d waste no time on them, let the Danes have Albien, they seem to love that feeble race.” He continued.
“Your ‘master’ has commanded you to give us aid!” Harold stated coldly and with a strong tone of authority.
“You don’t understand what a MASTER is.” The Bastard shouted with a cold and arrogant tone, looking down on the men before him. Then once more relaxing on his wooden throne at the head of the hall.
“I was invited to your great hall, is this how you speak to your guests?” Replied the Earl, aggressively.
“I brought you under sword, that’s true. Did I invite you?
You were invited by the Devil himself.
Who would accept an invitation from the devil; only a fool. Better you fought while you had the chance and secured your liberty?” The bastard answered.
“I don’t understand?” Replied his guest.
“The Devil himself invited you into my duchy…
Let me be very clear, I ‘have’ no ‘master!’” The bastard told him.
“Your master, is my master?
I don’t understand what you’re meaning?” Harold replied, now nervous.
“You were ‘not’ invited here by me. Indeed, if you’d have asked, I would’ve advised the opposite.
Who invited you into my Duchy Harold?”
There was a pause as the Bastard considered the well-dressed man standing in the great feasting hall of his keep. Harold’s mind was conflicted at William’s words, his master had sent him to the duchy, not advised it, but demanded it.
“It’s a miserable night.” William commented as the sound of thunder rumbled around the walls of the keep.
“Storms come in many forms Harold Godwinson, a raging storm is unconquerable, soaking the land in turmoil and destruction. A true bastard can generate a storm upon a single man, or an entire nation, through ‘will’ alone.
So I’ll teach you something about a bastard. Your present situations demonstrates you’re a man in need of an education.
Something that will give reason; after all I’m the greatest of all bastards. ” William’s brow furrowed and his face became hard and angry.
William didn’t like having a master, and even more so, didn’t like having another telling him his masters will. “Hildebrand is our master, yours by choice maybe, but mine by deceit, blackmail and the intimidation of greater force.” William said bitterly.
“Do you work against his plans?” Harold asked.
“My duchy must be secured before I depart for the coast of the slave land of the Angles.” William stated almost rhetorically.
William pondered the figure standing before him. “You like having masters?
You’d have another?
I’ll be your master Earl, you can do my bidding.” William stated.
“I was born a Lord’s son from a noble mother, I’m more a nobleman, maybe not a higher rank, but a higher purity of status than you. I’ve full nobility of blood. I’ll not bow to you as my master.
You openly admit to bearing responsibility of the iniquitous murder of nobles and now you would intimidate me, threaten me?” Harold replied indignantly, feeling his status should be enough to give protection.
“Blood does not make a man a Lord, their nature does. A lord after all is nothing more than a soulless shackler of the souls of men.” The bastard replied.
The bastard gestured for his men at arms within the great hall to take the companions of the Earl under sword.
“You see a Lord has no soul, why do you think we’re tested as a child, the rituals of our birth right are not mere ornament, we’re exposing our true natures, to be certain our natures are sound. You cannot enslave your fellow man if you care about them in the slightest.” The bastard continued.
The Earl looked around the hall concerned. He was realizing he’d made a grave mistake entering the feudal regions where deception and murder formed all noble interactions.
“Only one with blue-blood can be Ba’al. Is your blood so cold it chills the blood of all who stand before you?
You’re not Ba’al Harold, you don’t own the souls of those around you, you don’t make them tremble within, fearing your every word.
I ‘AM’ Ba’al.
And Ba’al means ‘OWNER’.
No one here doubts I own this dutchy, or every living soul upon it, every stick of wood, every drop of water, every blade of grass is ‘MINE’!
No one would refuse my command, because ‘I AM BA’AL”.
You wait for my decision, you tremble, you panic at my every word Harold, because you are ‘NOT’ the ‘owner’ of the souls of men.
You’re the slave. The mere puppet of ‘owners’.” William stared at Harold, and the hall was silent.
“Do you intend ransom?” Harold asked.
“I do, or worse.” William replied coldly.
“Do you intend murder?” His guest asked.
William smiled and said nothing
“Who among your men is your most trusted?” William asked.
“It would be my cousin.” Harold replied.
“Have your cousin stand forward.” William ordered. A young man in his mid twenties stood forward among the crowd of Harold’s companions.
William looked around the room, until his eyes came to rest on a young girl serving food and drink at the long table, she was small, and looked to be around thirteen years of age. William stood and walked over to the girl, grabbing her arm. Shocked, she dropped what she was carrying.
William dragged the girl before Harold’s Cousin, took two handfuls of the child’s cloths and pulled them apart, exposing some of the terrified girls body, then released her, where she dropped to the floor hurriedly covering herself back up.
William now stood close to Harold, and spoke in a low voice. “Now. Harold. I want you to order your most trusted cousin, to take out his knife, hold this girl down, and ‘slowly’, cut her face away from the bone.” William told him coldly.
Harold stood silent. He looked down at the trembling child, considering what he should do. William smiled at his discomfort, watching him closely. “Come now Harold, make the order.” William tormented him.
The silence continued. William felt he should increase the pressure, so, he moved again close to Harold and spoke softly once more. “If you do not make the order Harold, I will have the faces of ever man in your company cut from the bone.” William said dispassionately.
Harold remained silent, still staring at the shivering child. Then he looked to his cousin. “Wilfred. Take out your knife.”
William was gleeful as he watched.
“Cut the face from this child.” Harold spoke softly.
“What my Lord?” Wilfred said in disbelief.
“Cut the face of this child from the bone; and hand it to our host.” Harold repeated. The young girl huddled on the ground released an involuntary squeal, her terror was like a physical force, she felt sick, her head was spinning, she focused at the ground hard, which waved in and out of focus, like a spinning tunnel to her sight.
Wilfred looked horrified. “But my Lord. I cannot.”
“I am commanding you. Do as I say.” Harold said sternly.
Wilfred took out a small knife from his side, and stood with it in his hand, as he looked down at the trembling child. “My Lord?” Wilfred pleaded.
“Do as I ask.” Harold said sternly.
Wilfred kneeled before the child, who was breathing heavily. He took hold of her and pressed her to the ground, placing his knee over her chest, the child involuntarily urinated onto the floor, breathing frantically.
“My lord?” Pleaded Wilfred.
“DO AS I ASK!” Shouted Harold. William was smiling broadly.
Wilfred looked into the terrified face of the child, her shinning green eyes were wide and her breathing frantic, Wilfred lifted the knife close to her face, he stared down at her, such a petty face he thought, “My lord?” Wilfred said again quietly.
“Cut her face Wilfred.” Harold told him.
The knife hovered over her face, the girl stared at the blade and Wilfred stared hard into the child’s face. There was a long silence.
But eventually Wilfred closed his eyes, breathed in slowly. “No. My lord!” Wilfred said defiantly. This made William laugh out loud.
“You see Harold, you are not ‘Ba’al’. You are ‘not’ powerful, even the command of the most trusted of your men is weak.”
William looked at his bailiff and nodded his head towards the young nobleman.
While the group was held under sword Harold’s cousin, Wilfred, was manhandled by three soldiers and held to the ground. “I want to demonstrate power to you Harold, I want you to understand a Lords nature.” William said as he shoved the trembling child with his foot and gestured to her to be gone. The child scrambling away, like a broken animal fumbling along the ground.
He took a small knife from his belt and kneeled by Wilfred, slowly he placed the knife close to the man’s eye, then slowly cut it out, Harold’s cousin screamed and thrashed around, then William removed his second eye. William wiped his knife on the tormented man’s clothes and stood sliding the small knife back into its sheath, as he casually walked back to his chair and sat.
Harold was flustered, “What could I do to repair the mistrust you hold against me?
I would give you my word I’ve no knowledge of the methods or abuses of Hildebrand, not in the past, present or future. What would tie my word?” The Earl asked through his growing hatred of this cold bastard holding him powerless.
“Earl, you fear even to mention the act of torture and disfigurement I just committed against your most trusted kin…
THAT is power!
You’re the next in line for the control of the Angles kingdom, not much of a kingdom by all accounts, the Allodiarii with the help of the Danes have all but vanquished your flames, you’re now left cowering in the city fortress of London; sneaking out to raid the vulnerable; stealing what you may to scratch out an existence.
You think I do not know the situation of your lands?” William replied, seeing Harold’s look of surprise at his statement.
William considered his advantage, and his mind suddenly changed, he breathed in deeply and shouted. “Lanfranc.” The name echoed through the hall.
A thin man in his mid fifties dressed in a heavy brown cloth, which looked layered against the cold, walked into the hall, as he approached he’d a tough unhappy face with a white beard cut to square the outline of his balding head, he carried a long thin staff made of metal scrolled at the top.
“Abbott, meet the next King of the Angles. So he tells me.” William said with a smile, Lanfranc bowed his head slightly as he approached the Earl in feigned subservience, then passed by him, he almost slithered along, his deceitful nature being almost palpable, a man so vile in action and reputation even to look upon him gave some a cold shiver.
Lanfranc walked to Williams’s side and spoke softly into his ear, standing close by William who listened with an expression, as if the air was filled with the thick stench of excrement. When Lanfranc had finished speaking William gestured him to move well away from him aggressively.
“Well, the Church, Hildebrand, has granted you reprieve Harold, luck is with you, the Abbott who is Hildebrand’s voice, has determined your ransom.
Hildebrand wants you to sign a feudal bond with the Vatican, if you break your word it will be with the church, and they’ll use all their considerable power to rectify such a violation, they want an annual tithe of gold and considerable land grants with military protection, this is the price of your salvation.” William then gestured his men to lower their weapons and retreat, at which the group of men held constrained rush to the aid of their injured companion, still wailing and writhing on the floor.
“You’re their victim Harold, so it’s their mercy not mine. Enjoy my hospitality.” William continued now seeming disinterested in the Earl as he stood and walked towards the long banqueting table.
Harold talked with Lanfranc as they walked together out of the main hall, and after about an hour Harold returned. He talked with his companions and they all prepared to leave.
“We’ll leave now, the bond is sealed.” Harold was cold in tone and manner.
With his mouth full William replied. “Leave?” William spat the contents of his mouth onto the floor.
“Is that your wish?
But you gave your word, defend my lands before I might defend yours.
So, rest up we leave when the weather breaks.”
Then, as Harold had walked away and joined the mass of his companions, William changed his mind, and lifted his head from the trough of the banquet table, waving Harold over to him. Harold looked at William like a condemned man would view his executioner, but reluctantly left his companions and walked to William’s side.
“You can spend time with me, see what a bastard is really like, learn the bastard king’s methods, after all only a supreme bastard can be a king, who else could do kingly things?” William said looking up fleetingly from his food as he ate heartily at the head of his table.
“You’re merely a Duke.” Harold replied.
“Make no mistake this is my ‘kingdom’. Here, I, am, God.” William stated aggressively.
William’s burly and robust frame was very strong, bull like, under the obese layer of fat, when standing he was 5 feet 10 inches, and he spoke with a guttural voice, he was a man who enjoyed and demanded a constant flow of rich foods; he always indulged himself gluttonously in every pleasure or vice.“
When you departeth, herd and herdsman both, you’ll take the knowledge of feudal slavery, and even perhaps learn to be Ba’al over the souls of men, both house and field.” William said gesturing Harold be seated.
Let’s talk of kingly behaviour. As you would, ‘you say’, be a king one day.
Every king is a tyrant, they can be no other, but to mask that, deceit and falsehood are a duty, nay, more a craft, we weave lies as a spider.” William drank greedily from a metal cup, then wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
Harold said nothing, and sat on a bench near William’s chair.”
A lie is truth, Harold, if the word of a king, no matter how blatant an affront to reason.
That is, as Lanfranc tells me, statecraft. Lies are feudal parlance; luckily I’m a gifted liar.” William boasted.
Harold was sullen. “Yes, my Lord.” He said dispassionately.
“The trick to any lie is plausibility. Making someone believe what you say is knowledge. There is no falsehood in knowledge, but to make a lie appear to be knowledge; falsehood dressed as knowledge must be accepted without question. If questioned it would quickly fall apart, and the lie would be exposed to all.
Remember well, the word of a king cannot be questioned. That’s the first rule of feudal slavery.” William explained.
“How could you make someone accept up is down?” Harold scoffed.
“The trick to a lie Harold. You’ve to believe it yourself.
I ‘am’ Ba’al, and so what I say “IS” the only truth that matters.
Lies dissolve truth like piss dissolves snow.” A large ugly man walked to William, his body odour was quite pungent, he spoke to William close to his ear then left.
“You see Harold, vanity rules a shallow man’s mind, not reason. Hierarchy is based on vanity, gaining rank means you are superior to another man solely because someone higher in rank gives you rank. The concept of rank is very simple, there is Ba’al, the owner, who grants rank below, and slaves who seek rank.
There is but one Ba’al riding upon the backs of the stupid.
No slaves may own, what they possess is the Ba’al’s, they possess nothing that is not my property.
Rank means status. The higher status, allows the power of theft without accountability of all below you in rank, which is the basis of both slavery and the feudal state.
It goes against ‘reason’ to want to be a slave Harold, but not to want to be Ba’al.” William waved over another of his men, spoke quietly to him, after which he wondered away.
William continued. “According to Lanfranc, intelligence is not the same as wisdom.
He tells me wisdom is the pursuit of truth. But the truth is a hard bitch, a lie a gentle lover. Which means we’ve an easy job, no one wants the truth.” William explained.
“That explains why wisdom is such a rare commodity in the feudal regions.” Harold commented coldly.
This attitude annoyed William a little, as he felt he was helping Harold, and he changed the subject abruptly. “Albien posses a great problem, from the point of view of feudal slavery, they have no masters, so they know not the whip and poverty of kingly domination.
I believe the only solution for you Harold is to wipe the British out completely, and bring in feudal slaves, held in the fear of fealty. Repopulate with European serfs.” William pointed out.
“There is vast wealth in that land, the peoples are true craftsmen, and the land fertile and rich in resources, it’s fat and ripe for the plucking, easy to get support within Europe for such an undertaking, greed’s a powerful motivator for the very worst of men.” William smiled.
“Hildebrand sees Albien as the key to the Feudal systems success, he has big plans for Albien.” Harold pointed out.
“Hildebrand holds the Christian world in catholic slavery, a vast prison to which the Ba’al sovereign of Rome is gaoler, where virtue and truth are acts of dissent and rebellion, and feudal domination spreads to putrefy life for the wretched upon the Baal-ships of toil and ignorance.
The feudal order is a great achievement Harold, an advance upon the old methods of enslavement, we hold the very souls of men in our grip, to mutilate and torture. Acting above account. Wealthy beyond anything we achieved in ages past. We’re gods over men.
By Gods bones, the priesthood and the Khazar Jews know how to make men suffer and pay, pitting neighbour against neighbour, in endless feud, as a tool to enslave all to the will of the Ba’al and the apparatus of usury.” William elucidated.
“What do you mean apparatus of usury,” Harold asked almost involuntarily.
“Usury is a clever way to steal.
Before we simply threatened, or inflicted violence and murder to steal, but this new method, the church and the Khazars are establishing, allows far greater theft and domination.” William lamented.
“I still can’t grasp the ‘ownership’ you spoke of before, it seems a difficult system, perpetual conflict?” Harold replied.
“Usury is simple, it is a one-side trade if you will, I take and you give sort of idea. It’s based in interest.
As the Ba’al over the land, I’ve an interest in the land, as a slave working on my land you have an interest in that part of my land, and the slave is compelled to pays me for my interest in the land perpetually. All below Ba’al are slaves, even lesser lords, all below the lesser lords are slaves to the lesser lords and so on down to the serf.” William explained.
A commotion broke out a distance away from the two men, a large man was repeatedly punching a young girl who had been serving food and drink, she was unconscious, hanging limp in the violent mans grasp, he threw her, like worthless trash, to the floor, her face disfigured and bleeding badly, and returned to his food.
William and Harold returned to their conversation disinterested. “There are five basic forms of usury, ownership is the foundation, as with ownership you can dominate through hierarchy, then you can ‘take’ from other interests.” William smiled.
“How?” Harold asked, now getting intrigued.
“Taxation is interest in the physical body of the slave, you are taking a share of the fruits of the labours of that body. All becomes property in the feudal model.
Rental is an extension of ownership, the interest in land can be descending, so the sovereign has domain, the lord has title, the slave has tenancy, and the slave can rent out to other slaves, each in the pyramid ‘taking’ a share of the return of the labours the user invests in the land. Rental can also be applied to buildings or goods.
The church and the Khazars are taking the interest on debt as their monopoly for developing the model, the church is the bank for anyone above a serf, and the Khazars are the bank for the serfs, all others are forbidden to be money lenders.
The final form of usury is profit, this is the interest demanded for the use of capital, so as a merchant you invest capital to make goods, the amount you add after all your costs are met, of materials, labour and running costs, is the interest for the use of your capital. Profit.
Profit can only be imposed if a monopoly is enforced, as inherently both cooperation or free competition would prevent profit, but as Ba’al I can gain through granting and protecting monopolies, it’s a sound system of extortion.” William concluded, he felt some pride in his explanation of usury and drank deeply from his goblet.
William belched loudly and stood. “We’ll speak more tomorrow.” He walk away and left Harold sitting watching him until he was gone.