From Burning Wiki
October 3rd, 1150 AD Perpignan, France
Giraud de la Campagne (Giraud hereafter) receives a message at his estate that there is a merchant partner who would like to speak with him at the docks. Expecting one of his ships in port that afternoon, Giraud heads to the docks and meets with the merchant. There is news that a man from Carcassonne has purchased the merchant's share of their partnership, and the merchant is being polite in telling him this. He also warns that there may be more such purchases in the future, as the money he was offered was considerably more than the value of the share. The merchant excuses himself as Giraud and Brace's ship arrives in port. Brace and Ro-ber are on board with Ro-ber's father's corpse. Giraud asks for help after explaining the circumstance with the merchant. Brace offers to investigate the port while taking his men out for drink. Meanwhile, Ro-ber has landed without armor, finery, a gift for his sister, or horse, and begs Giraud's aid in acquiring them (which is freely given.)
Brace discovers that the man from Carcassonne is named Constantin, and has hired a man named Marcell to conduct business on his behalf in Perpignan. He has interest in buying claims of Giraud in the area. His motivations are still unclear. However, a meeting is scheduled with Marcell, Giraud, Brace, and Ro-ber. Marcell is invited to attend with the funeral procession to Foix. (Note, invited was probably a very polite way to say that Marcell had very little choice in the matter.) Giraud leaves instructions to make attempts to purchase land by the sea and hold any open shipping contracts for the time he is gone. He mobilizes some of his men in anticipation of making a large purchase.
The procession arrives without consequence, and the funeral is held for Ro-ber's father. After the funeral, there is a reading of the will. Each character receives a letter:
-Ro-ber inherits the rights to Foix, though there are a number of upstart lords who have also made claims to his lands (as well as some upstart peasants.) -Brace receives a codebook, a mysteriously old lamp (possibly 1000 years old), and a map written in a number of different languages. -Giraud receives a letter introducing him to a contact in Toulouse, as well as warning him to make explicit deals that take advantage of Ro-ber. Don't go soft on him just because he's like family
Ro-ber decides to hold a fantastic wake as a means for re-acquainting his peasants with him. The day is made into a holiday in his lands, and the people are invited to come eat and drink. The meal is financed with some fiscal help from Giraud and Brace and is a wonderful success. Even Lord Mercoix, a nearby lord of considerable power, attends.
During the feast, a peasant from the area north of Foix pulls Ro-ber and Brace aside, asking their aid in protecting their lands from the 3 nobles who currently use them as a battlefield. The peasant's lands are stuck between three lords who believe themselves the rightful owners (including Lord Mercoix). They seek an agreement on protection, in exchange for some rights for the Count de Foix. After much haggling and dueling of wits, the following deal is struck:
-The Count may take a knight's fee from the lands -The peasants are allowed arms, but only at the Lord's discretion, and they must be stored at the knight's manor otherwise -The peasants must provide preserved food twice annually -The peasants may allow 1/2 of their able bodied men to carry bows and hunt, but they must also therefore serve the Lord if called to war -Each peasant gives the Count 3 days of every week -The peasants are under the protection of the Count
The peasants seem somewhat pleased at the arrangement, though they made major concessions.
Afterwards, a note is received from Senorita Marta, who wishes to speak with Ro-ber. Although he is not immediately available, he sends his horse (which was recently purchased by Giraud) as a gift, along with a message that he will arrive in two weeks to talk with her.
A meeting is held with Lord Mercoix, who seeks to make Ro-ber his vassal, calling upon him to provide 1/2 his nights for 60 days a year during campaigning season. Ro-ber does not turn him down, and politely requests additional time to consider the offer after speaking with Brace and Giraud. Giraud is quick to counsel Ro-ber to 'never take the first offer.' Mercoix is displeased, however, to hear that Ro-ber has accepted the peasants into his fold, however he maintains his composure.
Meanwhile, Giraud meets privately with Marcell. It is confirmed that he works for a man named Constantin who is a shipping Magnate from Carcassonne. Marcell has a wife and two children who live in a tenement in Carcassonne, and though they do not live well, Constantin makes sure they do not want for necessity. Giraud compliments Marcell on his ability to win over men from him, and suggests that maybe he'd be willing to improve his situation some -- noting the recent land acquisitions he's been making near the sea. The two men come to an understanding that Marcell could act as an inside man in Constantin's organization in exchange for land by the sea and a comfortable, labor free job in Perpignan. Marcell and Giraud part amicably.
Marcell meets also with Ro-ber and offers Ro-ber "all the money you need, provided you only accept money from us." Surprisingly, Ro-ber agrees saying, "Provided you can supply me with all the money I need, I accept." Marcell leaves Foix.
The next day, the group heads southward to the other peasant group -- the communes. After bickering with Brace over whether he should purchase small gifts for the children, he finds the village elders of the communes. Attempting the same offer made to the peasants in the north was met with flat denial. "The communes," the elder said, "were not interested in being owned by any lord." Ro-ber and Brace attempt to sweeten the deal slightly and then attempt to appeal to the elder's sense of social order. Neither attempt was successful. The group returns to Foix somewhat frustrated.
While they were away, they hear that two people had arrived and wished to speak with the Count. The first was a tall, thin, grim looking man who worked for Rome. He was inquiring about artifacts, particularly things that may have been passed down from the will and were from the ancient world. Ro-ber shows him his father's sword, and a few other items, but keeps the secret of the lamp safe. The Roman thanks Ro-ber and reminds him that he would be willing to pay generously if anything turned up.
Finally, a monk from the local monastery arrives, looking for a hand out in exchange for the use of their facilities. Included there is a considerable library and legions of (ok, maybe just a few) scribes who would be willing to work. It is decided that this represents a worthy and noble investment, and the monk returns to his monastery with gift in hand.