Written By Abdun Nur
The air was smokey and a light drizzle, almost mist like, fell gently, the day was dim and very cold, the sky was heavy with grey clouds as Lanfranc’s rode to the side of Harold. In the far distance Harold could see smoke rising from a walled town.
William had sent Lanfranc’s over and requested he explain the feudal system in all its finery to Harold, and so Lanfranc’s addressed Harold. “My Lord. May I give you a lesson in the Feud method.”
“Please.” Harold replied, he’d been plodding along the dirt tracks of France for over a week, and any distraction was welcome.
“To dominate under the feudal method, town after town of the allodium is attacked, surrounded, laid siege, and bombarded, if this fails, then blockaded and starved out.
Once defeated, the town is made an example of, to show other towns what awaits them if they do not beg to be slaves, and in this way, most towns will eagerly seek fealty, and so, the feudal domination expands.
The perpetual feud is not about hating your victim, but about controlling them, through the total control of the land they inhabit;. The church create through Ba’al, a ship on the holy see, the see claims creator, then charters their own creation to feudal lords, who act as tenant.” Lanfranc’s explained.
“What do you mean by a ship on the holy see?” Harold asked.
“When you make something into a ship, you change the state or condition of what something was, into being something else, you alter the real for the fictional. For example the idea of the Ba’al ship controlling land is to externalise the internal, from a man believing, the internal idea of ‘this is my own land’, into them believing the external idea of, ‘I own this land”, once externalised the hierarchy of Ba’al can sell the land to every man as tenancies, and gain an annual
The Holy See, also called the See of Rome or Apostolic See, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, known as the pontiff or Pope. The Popes jurisdiction is catholic, meaning all-embracing, as he wears the triple crown of Ba’al, so owns, through the constructed fictions of Ba’al, the entire earth, all life and all souls upon it.
In any case, this is the basic tenant of the method, of course, this only works if each town is isolated.
If other towns came to the aid of the besieged townsfolk, the model would quickly fall apart, but there is no unity here, and so they’re powerless.
This is the reason feudalism has failed so completely in Spain, as the Islamic model of anarchic unity completely prevents the feudal method.
And the reason the same anarchic unity that pervades Albien will present a problem when the feudal model is imposed.
Feudalism is good for both Lord and church, we, the church, take tithe of 10%, and the serf labours for free, as much for us as for the Lord he is tied to. All serfs are tied to the land; farmed like any other animal of the wild.
The church takes the choicest lands, and their vassal, the Lord or king, give protection.
One we’re freed from the local gemote’s, terrente’s duty of care, we’re above accountability, just as the feudal Lords and their minions themselves. As the owners of the slaves we make the slave laws, there is no terrente, no champions of the weak; the peace of the mind of a slave is of no importance in the feudal model, and any champion of the weak is quickly crushed under the heel of the feudal lords.
The true beauty of feudalism, is the siege never ends, the slavery of perpetual isolation and the beleaguerment of both body and mind are its foundations. The slave can not live, they can barely exist. The endless struggle to simply survive, prevents any hope of escape.
Every siege is based on isolation, the slave could throw off their chains at any moment, if all the other slaves stood as one, but the mind of the slave is ours, we posses it, we fill it with nightmares and cowardice.” Lanfranc’s explained.
“Not all men have the same mind.” Harold commented.
“There are three types of mind, the bold and vulturesome man, this mind we can use, they are the slave overseers, they wheeled the whip and are eager to rape and pillage, terrorise and mete out justice on behalf of church and Lord.
There are the curious minds, the thinkers, these are the most dangerous minds if they’re not in league with the church, and we call these dissenters. We simply defame them, they are the witch, the warlock, the demon possessed, the satanist, the traitors or the heathen.
Horrible torture and as gruesome a death as possible is the answer, striking fear into any thinking mind that even considers uttering a word of dissent.
Then finally the cowardly mind, this mind is the very foundation of feudalism, the conformist coward, willing to debase themselves, sell out their wife and children, betray their neighbour, existing vicariously in blind worship of their lords and betters. These minds are why power exists.
The heart of a coward will betray themselves, sell themselves, whore themselves, and all the while ‘thanking’ their exploiter and abuser for the privilege of serving.” Lanfranc’s smiled.
“It seems a great improvement on the protection model we’ve used in the past, this is total enslavement, not simply extortion.” Harold commented.
“You Harold, just as William are champions of the church.
Siege keeps our losses low, and the victims losses high, and the outcome is secured. We avoid open battles at all costs, as the losses are heavy, and the outcome uncertain.
The people under siege starve, and exist in terror, for sometimes months, they are deeply and permanently within themselves, disturbed by the experience.
Siege must end in total submission, and ideally extermination, the more brutal the better, as the idea is to encourage others to surrender without you ever even threatening them.
A few must survive the horrors of the siege, in order that they may tell their stories to others, and spread the fear,, if their bodies are broken and deformed from the suffering of the siege, all the better, fear creates power.” Lanfranc’s explained.
As the caravan of soldiers, carts and whores approached the besieged town, the air was alive with the sounds of suffering and terror. “Harold.” William waved his hand, gesturing to go in a certain direction. They walked through the carnage of the siege, William chatting as they walked. “Most men are worthless as soldiers, you can train them, they can be expert with a weapon, but when faced with slaughtering their fellow man, they cannot, I’ve found that most men are of this sort, worthless.
But, there are men, one in every 20 or 30, that take great pleasure in slaughter, but these men are difficult to find.
Many years ago I took a garrison town, maybe ten years past.
The idea came to me then, to determine a method of identifying the chaff from the wheat so to speak. A soldier from a slave.
We shall apply that same method today, as I’ve done whenever the opportunity has availed itself, since I first came up with the answer, all those years ago in that garrison town.” William boasted proudly, and led Harold into the open common of the town, a large wooden wheel was laid flat on the ground with a woman, and three very young children tied to it, in front of the small towns church, that William’s men had filled with the survivors of the siege.
A man stood, his face ashen, his eyes red from the tears of desperation, his hands bound behind him, with a solider stood at both sides. William addressed the tied man. “Is this woman your wife, and these your children?” William asked coldly. William’s squire brought food and placed it near William, leaving part of a roast boar on a pewter platter.
“Please my Lord, I’ll do whatever you wish, please do not harm my family. Please my Lord, I am a good Christian man, I give tithe, I serve the church always.” The man pleaded.
“Make your choice, cut yourself, and join the ranks of my army, or we will cut all.”
Harold was puzzled as to what William meant, until he saw a large number of severed hands and feet discarded around the wooden wheel, and realised he meant for the man to cut the hands and feet from his family.
The tied man’s hands were released and he was handed an axe. Two arbalists, a short distance away with a clear field of fire, aimed their belly bows at the untied man. “Cut.” William commanded.
In an instant the man swung the axe towards a soldier but it didn’t connect, as two bolts from the cross bows of the arbalists hit his face, and a sword almost instantly opened his skull wide, and he fell to the ground dead.
“Cut.” William gestured disinterestedly, his mouth full of meat, the woman tied down screamed at the death of her husband, her tears of fear now also of loss.
A dirty, nasty looking solider lifted the axe from the dead man’s hand, and walked over to the youngest child, aged around 3 years old, a pretty little girl, who was shaking and crying, terrified, he smiled at the girls mother who watched frozen in horror. He lifted the axe above the small girls arm, his eyes never leaving the mothers gaze, he held the axe there smiling, watching the mothers terrified stare, it just hovered there second after second. The axe dropped, his eyes fixed on the woman, as he cut the hand from the girl, taking great delight in the suffering he was causing, he continued cutting the next hand, then slowly he cut the child’s feet away, all the while his eyes were fixed on the mothers suffering. The mother was screaming in silent insanity as she watched. he continued around the wheel cutting away the feet and hands of her other children, until he finally reach the woman.
As the soldiers cut the hands and feet from the woman and children, the air was filled with the sounds of true suffering then the wounds were sealed with a glowing iron from the fire, the unconscious bodies of the woman and her children where untied and dragged away.
Another woman and her children were brought out of the church, dragged forward and tied down, even though they struggled to escape, the soldiers were well experienced in this process, and had it down to almost a science.
Another man was now pushed forward, his hands tied. “Is this woman your wife, and these your children?” William asked
The man did not answer, but simply spat in William’s direction. “Cut… Now?” William wasted no time, and gestured towards the woman and her children. “NO!” the tied man screamed as the axe fell, the screams of agony where almost drown out by the screams of anguish from the tied man, who fell onto his knees as he was forced to look upon the mutilation of all he loved.
Lanfranc’s walked over to William. “Save the best for me my Lord.” He asked with a smile. “This one.” He gestured towards the four year old boy tied to the wheel waiting to be mutilated. William had the boy released to Lanfranc’s.
“May I inspect the children in the church, my Lord?” Lanfranc’s asked.
“Take what you will.” William replied, wanting him to be gone; you could tell William didn’t like Lanfranc’s in the slightest.
“Is the priest saving some from a tortured death?” Harold asked feeling a man of god would do what he could to stop some of William’s abuse.
William began to laugh, he laughed for quite a while, “Save them?
They would be better off in my care! That was funny.” William slapped Harold on the back.
“What fate could possibly be worse than this?” Harold said almost rhetorically.
“Lanfranc’s and the priests do terrible things my friend, terrible, terrible, terrible things.
If you ask they’ll let you join in.” William offered.
“Cut.” William nodded towards the man on his knees.
Once the family had been dragged away, the wheel was refilled with the next family, the choice was offered once again. This man was not quite as angry as the ones before him.
William enjoyed this process, like all psychopaths, he gained pleasure from the suffering of others, especially children. “Is this your family?” William asked.
“It is my Lord.” The man replied.
“Make your choice.” William told him. The man was untied and handed the axe.
He moved forward and looked down upon his wife, “Please Algernon, what are you doing?” his wife pleaded, he did not speak to her, but raised the axe and cut away her foot, the scream of agony and suffering rose above the chorus of the many who suffered. He continued as if chopping firewood, to remove the hands and feet of his wife and children, all five children, even the baby, William’s soldiers sealed the wounds, and dragged the woman and children away to join the others.
“We’ve found a soldier Harold.” William smiled.
Lanfranc’s and a small number of lesser priests entered the small church, which was still three quarters filled with several hundred people, many of whom were praying.
The people clamoured around them, begging for help.
Lanfranc’s was aloof as he walked among them, he looked through the crowd, and when he found a small child, that he wanted, he indicated them to the priests that came with him, who ushered the child out of the church. The mothers of the children always thanked Lanfranc’s for his mercy.
He spent quite some time in the church and when he’d finished he’d collected some 30 children for sacrifice. The people in the church gave there prayers and blessings toward the priests throughout this affair, convinced they were saving their children.
Throughout the day the trial’s continued, until all the surviving men of the siege town had been tested. Those families whose husbands and fathers had perished in the siege were more fortunate, as they were the only souls to escape the choice and to retain their extremities.