A Thorn In The Rose: A War Of The Roses TL

He may not have the time to have an episode
It would certainly make trying to take him to the tower an interesting experience. And it could sabotage his whole party if it happens. Of course, that doesn't mean that certain others can't start fighting independently of Henry of course.
 
Chapter 104: War
Chapter 104: War

December, 1458


Thomas Percy, Lord Egremont ignored the itch in his side. With a full plate of armour on, there was no chance that he could actually hold things together and scratch the itch. He would just have to let it ride itself out. Given that there appeared to be no immediate appearance of the enemy though, he supposed he could call the army to a halt.

That was what he did. Thomas raised a mailed fist and stopped his horse. That brought the whole army to a stop. 3000 men, drawn from the Percy, Dacre, Clifford and Westmoreland estates. All brought together to help protect the King. After Birmingham, Thomas was very much of the view that these men were essential.

His spies in York’s camp had written to him telling him that York intended to do something incredibly dangerous when he got to London. He had no intention of attending to the reconciliation that the King wanted with Somerset. Thomas had sent a letter to his brother to inform him of this, and his brother had written back telling him to act as he saw fit. Hence the wide array of men gathered here today.

“How many men do you think they will bring?” a voice asked.

Thomas turned slightly in his saddle and found himself looking at Humphrey, brother to Baron Dacre. The man was tall with a muscular frame. His eyes sparkled in the light.

“Probably the same as us. My sources say most of the men are drawn from Salisbury and Warwick’s estates.” Thomas said, which made sense given that they were technically in Warwick territory. How they’d managed to get this far without being spotted impressed him. After the whole issue of Warwick’s non-appearance at the inquiry the King had wanted for their little scuffle, Thomas had been allowed to return home. And now that he was back he wanted to end Warwick once and for all.

“Do you think it’s a trap?” Dacre asked.

“Could be.” Thomas conceded. “But if it is, then they’re leaving themselves exposed.” He gestured all around them. The ground was flat as anything. There would be no room for archers to really make an impact, or for surprise attacks.

A moment of silence passed and Thomas got the feeling that Dacre was trying to measure him up, to see if he would hold. Thomas could understand why the man was doing it, if he were in the other man’s shoes, he’d do the same. That didn’t mean he didn’t find it annoying. They had a war to fight, they couldn’t be second guessing one another right now.

To stop Dacre from continuing his rather annoying investigation, Thomas spoke. “You are going to be fighting in the van with me.”

“I know.” Dacre said.

“I know that you and your brother prefer to fight side by side, but I think it is better that you fight at my side.” Thomas said, he knew how brutal a fighter Dacre could be and he didn’t want the man’s brother worrying over him.

“Fair enough.” Dacre said.

Another silence passed over them then. Thomas found his mind starting to wander. He knew that this would be a fight to preserve the soul of the Kingdom, he also knew that he was having doubts about the fitness of the King. The man was God’s Chosen, but he was also incredibly incompetent. Surely things would be better if the King were to suffer an accident and his son ascended. Yes, the lad would be a child, but that would give them a chance to groom him into being the proper monarch that England needed him to be. Not the pathetic little worm that his father was.

It continually amazed him that King Henry was the son of Henry the Lion, the victor of Agincourt. How was such a thing possible? How could that man have produced such a weak son? Thomas did not know, but if he had his way, he would ensure that Edward, Prince of Wales never turned out like his father. It would be a difficult task to achieve, but it was one Thomas was determined to ensure happened.

England could not afford another weak King.

“They’re here.” Dacre said then.

Thomas blinked and sure enough, he could see an army approaching in the distance. The scouts had been correct, there were around 3,000 men in York’s army as well. They were evenly matched. He knew he had to send someone to speak with York, but he would wait until the man’s army was closer to him before he sent anyone.

As York’s army eventually came to a standstill, Thomas prepared to send someone, but before he could, he saw someone detach from York’s army and ride toward them. “Hold!” Thomas yelled, the command passed down the line.

When the figure appeared before him, Thomas was surprised to see that it was a young man who was before him.

“What do you want?” Thomas barked.

“The Duke of York asks that you move aside, and allow him and his men to pass.” The figure said.

“His men? He has an army with him. Why?” Thomas shot back.

“The same question could be asked of you, my lord.” the figure replied.

Thomas laughed. “I am simply responding to what I see before me, which is York actively committing treason against the King he swore to protect.”

“And you believe you are not doing the same?” the figure asked.

“What?!” Thomas exclaimed. “Of course I am not committing treason. I have raised my men to defend the King.”

The figure looked at him with contempt and simply said. “This discussion is at an end. You can either move your men, or you can be removed.”

“York can try and remove me if he wants.” Thomas said simply. “Let us see if he has the balls to do so.”

The figure said nothing merely smirked, turned around and rode back to York’s army. Thomas watched the man go and wondered if he’d made the right choice. He supposed they would just have to wait and see.
 
It's happening!.gif

That aside, things are about to truly go down. And they at least look evenly matched. There might still be some attempts at reconciliation, but that depends on what happens next. If York wins, we get a true war with far more notables jumping in, and then others jumping in in response to that.
 
Chapter 105: Whirlwind In A Cup
Chapter 105: Whirlwind In A Cup

December, 1458


Henry rubbed at his eyes. The hour was late. He’d just been about to fall asleep when a servant had entered his room to tell him that the Duke of Buckingham had something urgent to tell him. Something that couldn’t wait until morning. Henry had gotten changed and walked into the council chamber and had found Buckingham, Northumberland, Shrewsbury, Lisle, Somerset and the Archbishop of York all gathered in the room. Why Northumberland and Somerset were in the room he didn’t know, given that he’d not restored them to their positions, and where Norfolk and Exeter were he didn’t know either.

“Well?” He asked, barely able to stop the frustration creeping into his voice. “What is it that was so important it couldn’t wait until the morning?”

“There has been a battle in the Midlands, Sire.” Buckingham said without preamble.

“A battle?” Henry asked looking at the man and wondering just what he was talking about. “Between who?”

“The Duke of York and Lord Egremont, Sire.” Buckingham said.

“What were they dong in the Midlands?” Henry asked, the Midlands was Warwick and Somerset territory, but Somerset was here. So, why York was there, he didn’t understand.

“It appears that Lord Egremont had mustered a force of northerners to try and intercept York as he marched south with a small army.” Buckingham said.

Henry looked at Buckingham and then at Northumberland and said. “Explain.”

Northumberland took a breath and then did just that. “We received reports that York was bringing an army comprising men from his estates as well as men from Warwick and Salisbury’s estates. My brother believed they were coming here with the intention of preventing any sort of reconciliation between York and the Duke of Somerset from taking place. Indeed, we believed they were going to try and remove Your Grace from the throne.”

Henry digested this information. Dee had told him that there was some trouble brewing with York, that the man had become discontented. But he had not thought it would come to this. He took a breath and asked. “Why did you not tell me before?”

“We wanted to take care of the problem before it reached you, Your Grace.” Northumberland said.

“York is a Prince of the Blood.” Henry said, as much as he might wish it were different that was the truth. York was a male line descendant of Edward III who was legitimate, he was a Prince of the Blood and as such entitled to certain protections.

“I know, Sire.” Northumberland replied, he didn’t sound contrite at all or as if he particularly cared about what the implications of his actions were.

“Even more reason for why you should have come to me before doing anything.” Henry said.

“Time was of the essence, Sire.” Northumberland protested.

“York is a Prince of the Blood, by rights, if he comes to London he could demand you executed and I would have to comply.” Henry said.

Northumberland’s jaw jutted out then. “I will not apologise for acting as I did, Sire.”

Henry sighed. Northumberland was only doing what he thought was right, Henry supposed. But still, this put them in a very awkward situation. “How do you know he intended to subvert the reconciliation process?”

“Multiple sources within his army confirmed as much.” Northumberland replied.

“And you trust these sources?” Henry asked.

“Yes, they’ve never been wrong before, Sire.” Northumberland said.

Henry nodded, then asked. “What was the result of this battle?” A part of him hoped that York and Salisbury were lying dead in a ditch somewhere, that way he would only need to deal with Warwick, and Henry had a feeling he could bring Warwick in line.

“It was inconclusive, Sire.” Buckingham said.

“Inconclusive?” Henry repeated.

“Yes, Sire. It seems that whilst Egremont’s men had the initial advantage, York managed to turn the tide, though neither side declared a winner.” Buckingham answered.

“So, where is York now?” Henry asked.

Henry saw Buckingham exchange a look with Somerset, and felt his patience start to fray, it was late at night after all. After a moment, Buckingham answered. “We don’t know, Sire.”

“You don’t know?” Henry replied.

“No, Sire.” Buckingham said.

“How can you not know where the fuck York is? He’s got a fucking army with him!” Henry yelled.

He didn’t usually swear but the stress of all of this was finally starting to hit him. York was trying to overthrow him, of that he had no doubt. Everything was twisting and snarling its way through, and here he was, trying to fight against a foe he didn’t see.

Before Buckingham could reply, Somerset spoke. “There are two choices before you, Sire.”

Henry looked at the man and wondered if he was loving this. Somerset had just been proven right. “And what are those?”

“You can either stay here, and wait for York to come, or you can leave London and take up ground in Cornwall, where it will be far easier to draw men.” Somerset said.

“You want me to leave London?” Henry asked.

“Only temporarily. It would be easier for myself and for the Earls of Devon and Oxford to get their men to Your Grace’s side than if we remained in Devon.” Somerset said.

“If Your Grace leaves London, York will declare himself King.” Shrewsbury pointed out.

“And if His Grace stays in London there’s every chance York has him killed.” Northumberland countered. “York knows his history.”

Henry closed his eyes. If he fled, he might never come back to London. But if he stayed? Henry knew that he would not live. And as much as he might want to become a martyr, he didn’t want to die just yet. He wanted to live, to raise his son and to try and make things right with Margaret. He exhaled. He opened his eyes and said. “I want you all ready to leave for Cornwall come the morning.” With that he turned and walked out of the room.
 
Just wanted to say, thank you to everyone who nominated me in the best medieval timeline poll, I really appreciate it and am flattered.

If you'd like to see A Thorn In The Rose take a cleansweep, the poll for the best timeline is live here. Regardless of what happens, thank you all for reading and commenting. It means a lot.
 
And now is truly started once for all. I hope who Henry is deeply regretting all the time he has lost in waiting to eliminate or remove Somerset as York was a foe who he had created himself with NOT dealing once for all with Somerset sooner.
 
And now is truly started once for all. I hope who Henry is deeply regretting all the time he has lost in waiting to eliminate or remove Somerset as York was a foe who he had created himself with NOT dealing once for all with Somerset sooner.

It's going to be a fun time for all involved that's for sure
 
Just wanted to say, thank you to everyone who nominated me in the best medieval timeline poll, I really appreciate it and am flattered.

If you'd like to see A Thorn In The Rose take a cleansweep, the poll for the best timeline is live here. Regardless of what happens, thank you all for reading and commenting. It means a lot.
My duty is done!

And Henry is in a difficult situation indeed. Abandoning London gives York much-needed legitimacy and shows weakness that might cause a few defections. Of course, without nearby forces, staying also doesn't make a lot of sense. But the comparison to Henry's father will be made and it won't be a kind one.
 
My duty is done!

And Henry is in a difficult situation indeed. Abandoning London gives York much-needed legitimacy and shows weakness that might cause a few defections. Of course, without nearby forces, staying also doesn't make a lot of sense. But the comparison to Henry's father will be made and it won't be a kind one.

Gracias :)

And most definitely, I think if Egremont had emerged a clear winner, Henry would've stayed, but as it is, nobody knows where he is.
 
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