The dream is very vivid but hazy at the same time. You see yourself, unable to move with the exception of your head. Beside you are figures of people, you can see three of the silhouettes but there are no details. The sky is grey and stormy and you realize you are on the walls of a castle but all you can make out is the stone beneath your feet. Ahead of you is an army, featureless figures in a massive sea and you feel that they are after you, trying to destroy you and those behind you which is a similar army that can't be made out. You awake abruptly as the sun beams into your eyes to see that you are once again a child and have to wonder if the dream is some sort of prophetic vision of what's to come in your adulthood.
Europe: April 1369
Tensions are high as the results of the 9 years of treaty that have passed seem to fade. While the war ended 9 years ago no one actually thought it would last until the lands of France were fully under one crown. Those of the nobility scrambled to make allegiances to further their goals, knowing that once the coming storm was to pass there would be gaps of political power to fill. Greed was the most powerful motivation for them. The nobles who were knights were different, they still had honor and clung to a code of ethics that would win the hearts of women and give a sound example to the young men.
While on the battlefield they would fight with valor and strength seeking to conquer their foes but off the field of battle they still carried themselves upright. While war hasn't broken out on a large scale, small skirmishes still exist. When not in an engagement they would treat the other officers with dignity and respect, using the test of skill in the form of archery, sword, and jousting competitions to win favor for their flags and gain honor. When the call to war came they would pick up arms and head out, leaving personal gain for that of their family, friends, and country. Not all knights are that way though.
For those who hail from a country not directly involved in the previous war share no allegiance to either France or England, they sit in an interesting position. Should war come like the sunrise they would be open for hire as mercenaries for either side. During the previous conflict some even fought on both sides, in some cases recapturing a castle they just captured for the other side weeks prior. It was about money and personal honor, but when some mercenaries are lacking in the category of knightly virtue, they tend to bring a black eye to others unfortunately. When a knight serves as a mercenary they are usually only in command of what troupe they bring with them but should others be placed under their authority by the hiring force, praises are sung in their homeland should word reach that far.
Château de Caen, Normandy, France: April 1369
Spring Tournament aka The Blossoming Tournament
Château de Caen, the impregnable fortress during the past war was now host to a lower tiered tournament not visited by many of the higher esteemed knights but proved an amazing start for upcoming contestants. The town outside the castle wasn't too large but enough to attract a decent crowd and provide numerous services to those visiting. More than one knight found his beginning here and to find one that didn't would be a hard pressed endeavor. The tournament here consisted of over two weeks worth of events, with the archery, sword sparring, and jousting being the top three. Each Sunday after the church holds its mass the knights and their heralds are permitted to dine with the castle rulers in the keep's dining hall which, for a castle that doesn't host a high prestige event, is very nice and well kept and the masters of the castle ensure proper manners are adhered to at all times. In a way they are seen as the groomers of the younger generations.
On the outskirts of town to the south east is an older man in his armor, worn and weary. He sits by a tree with eyes heavy and breaths shallow. Around him was his troupe that he brought together now led by his son. Each that was there was vital to his travels and tribulations, providing something substantial to their survival. The knight and his son had been traveling for years, having had some people come and go, and more or less getting by. He had no castle to call his own, no others sharing his blood line any longer with the exception of his son. And so it was here, early in the morning, the he finally passed. His request was to be buried there, facing the castle where he himself had started many years ago and his gift to his son being his endorsement of the man into the competition in which ever categories he saw fit.