Sarah Tintagyl Posted April 1, 2010 Report Share Posted April 1, 2010 (edited) [i]May 10, 1431 Rouen, The Kingdom of England [/i] There were gray skies across the city of Rouen as ten English guards rolled a small wooden cart through the main square of the city, the Vieux-Marche, erected in the center was a wooden platform, along with a large wooden stake held to the ground by the platform. Around the platform a large crowd had gathered in the square, many of them English aristocrats, many of them English clergy, and yet so many in the crowd were French. Men and women who despised the English control of their state, but to avoid persecution kept their heads veiled as they watched in horror as the brave woman in the cart, only nineteen at the time look up at the wooden pillar where she was doomed to be consumed by the flames of hatred. Her name was Joan and it was this nineteen year old girl who had saved France. Guy Josselyne stood in the crowd, he was a captain in Joan's army, the army of France and had been with her since the beginning, when they had left the rain soaked camp in Eastern France to take the young girl for an audience with the Dauphin, since that time, nothing had been the same. Josselyne had rode with her to Orleans, they had fought Sir John Fastolf in the Loire Valley together, and together they had laid siege to the city of Paris. It was during that fateful siege that Joan had been captured by her enemies and traded to the English and now after her trial, if such a mockery of justice could ever be called such a thing, she was to be executed for heresy, for trusting in the word of God that France should be free. Josselyne turned his face to the pillar as Joan was helped off the cart, her frail body dangling in the executioner's arms as she was led up to the stake and tied down. Her frame had been reduced to bones, her hair hung down like withered wheat, and her normally flashing blue eyes, were pale and gray, God's Warrior reduced to a shell of her former self. As the executioner held the torch above his head, the dried kindling and wood tense under Joan, waiting for the flames. The Bishop of Rouen walked onto the platform and stared down at the young girl and closed his eyes. "Joan, listen to me." He said with a harsh and raspy voice. "I can still save you, I can still allow you to live, you can go free, just tell this court, tell this crowd that God never asked these things of you. He never spoke to you and you made all these tales up." Joan looked up at the Bishop and smiled. "I cannot lie to tell you something that I know is true and that you know is true Your Excellency. God asked all these things from me and I have preformed them to the best of my ability. Everything that you have seen before you, was God's work, I was His agent and it was He that helped me lead France to freedom." "What freedom have you gained Joan?" The Bishop bent closer to her face. "You are going to die for heresy and your armies are scattered. You are nothing but a girl who has been possessed by the devil, you lead armies not as a warrior of God, but as a agent of Satan, as a witch." "If that were the case Your Excellency then wouldn't your armies have bested my own on the field, since God is almighty?" The Bishop jumped back in shock, clenching his hands in rage at what the young girl had said. "God will never forgive your insolence witch, may he have mercy on you, lest you spend eternity in the fiery abyss." He turned to the executioner and nodded his head. "Burn her." The flames jumped into the sky as the crowd watched in silence, the girl never once raising her voice in pain and yet in the midst of the smoke and coughing, she opened her mouth and smiled. "A...A...Crucifix...Please, let me pray..." Two French priests as part of the clergy of Rouen immediately heeded her wishes and stood amongst the smoke as they held the Crucifix to Joan's face. Josselyne watched, his hands shaking in sadness and grief as she shouted the last words of her prayer. "Let God protect France from her enemies and deliver her as I delivered her. In the name of the Father...the Son...and the Holy Sp-" Her voice overcome by smoke finally disappeared within the fire and as the last breaths of life left the young girl, the gray sky above finally began to cry as Josselyne turned his face to the ground. "For France..." He muttered under his breath as the rain ran down on his face, hiding within the tears falling down his eyes. --- [i]May 10, 20XX Bordeaux, Aquitaine [/i] The picture had changed so much over the past six hundred years. Where had the country gone? Where had the wishes of the Maid of Orleans gone? Adelaide Josselyne sat alone inside the Hotel de Ville of the city of Bordeaux, she was dressed in a long blue frock coat, golden epaulets with the fleur-dis-lis emblazoned upon them as she folded her hands. Her blonde hair was braided tightly behind her back and her brown eyes darted around the floor thinking and shaking of what was coming. It was the birth of their country, the birth of a new France, a nation that would see itself as the successor of the French people, Aquitaine. Aquitaine had always been the step child of the French family, owned by the English, owned by the French and always with the iron rule of its Dukes and Duchesses. But it was not Eleanor who Adelaide looked up to, but the French Knight that saved her nation from the English invasion. Adelaide had risen throughout her life as an officer in the Scottish Army, it had been an experience filled with pain, longing, and growth, but upon returning to her home in Nantes, the longing for her home country would finally be realized. Her friend, Therese Zelle, then the Mayor of Bordeaux had been in heated negotiations with King Douglas of Scotland to create a new state along the shores of the Bay of Biscay, to allow Aquitaine its independence and today it would be achieved and it was Adelaide who would be given command of the Army of Aquitaine, a formidable force of hundreds of thousands of men and she looked back to Joan for her inspiration. So sitting there, she couldn't help but feel that she should have been saying a prayer. "Adele?" Therese's voice sounded from down the corridor the the City Hall, calling her commander by her nickname. "You look like hell, did you get any sleep last night?" The new Prime Minister of the Republic of Aquitaine. Her bright green eyes, bright blonde hair, put Adelaide immediately at ease. "And you don't even have as big of a day as I do. I have to make the speech after all." "Oh I know." Said the Knight standing to her feet and straightening her coat. "This whole publicity thing is new to me." Therese patted her on the shoulder and guided her towards the entrance, their bureaucrats following behind them. "This will be a day to remember Adele. Eleanor would be proud." They walked out into the main square outside of the Hall, the throng of people in front of them, the world's eyes on Therese as she took a deep breath and walked up towards the podium. There she spoke: [i]Ladies and Gentlemen of the World, Free citizens of Aquitaine, Today I stand before you a citizen, not of Scotland, not of a territory with no destiny or leader, but as a free citizen of the Republic of Aquitaine. To the world, my name is Therese Zelle and I am the Prime Minister of this grand Republic and stand before you humbled to your great nations. The history of the French people has been divided amongst various republics, empires, kingdoms and states and even today, the people of France remain divided. However, I state now that, Aquitaine, like the Duchy of Eleanor in the past seeks only peaceful relations with her neighbors, our aims are as I say them now, to protect our people, to respect our neighbors, and to profess the advancement of Aquitainian culture, strength, and desire. Bordeaux, Nantes, Toulouse shall rise as centers of culture as they were in ages past and the wealth of the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and the Industrial Revolution. Aquitaine stands to preserve its way of life forever from this day forward and it is our task to ensure this for our people. I tell to all of you now, my people of Aquitaine, you will be safe, you will prosper and will with thrive, thrive as we have always done. To you the world, I ask only that you treat us as you would treat any nation and we will treat you as the same. Let us work for making a united Europe in peace, a united world held together by the words of righteous men. Let this be the start of a revolution, a revolution of prosperity, peace, and progress.[/i] And Adelaide smiled and looked up at the sky, as the flag of Aquitaine flapped in the wind. Joan stood by her side as she always had, as with her ancestors and now with this new French Knight. [img]http://farm1.static.flickr.com/45/139741018_232fb93045.jpg[/img] Edited April 1, 2010 by Sarah Tintagyl Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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