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

Chapter 125: Oxford
Chapter 125: Oxford

June, 1460

The cell door opened and a figure walked in. The hour was late, and so John didn’t get a very good look at the man who stood before him. He was tired. Terribly tired. He’d been here for months now. Nobody had come and visited him. He didn’t even know if his family were well or not.

“Why do you resist?” The voice asked, it sounded vaguely familiar.

“What?” John asked.

“Why do you resist?” The voice asked again.

“Resist what?” John replied.

“The pull of the White Rose.” The voice said.

“Pah.” John snorted. “I won’t betray my King.”

“Even though your King has made no attempt to try and bring you out of here?” The voice asked.

“He has his reasons.” John said.

“And what reasons would those be?” The voice asked.

John moved slightly. “I am not going to discuss my King’s inner motivations with you, traitor.”

The voice laughed then. John looked at it, the voice belonged to a man, that much was clear, but otherwise he couldn’t quite tell what was going on there. “I am no traitor.”

“Yes, you are.” John said. “You are working for York. A man who has usurped the throne.”

“Usurped the throne or taken what is rightfully his?” The voice asked.

“Enough of these riddles!” John snapped, his patience was thinning. “Tell me what you want, or get out!”

The voice changed, becoming deeper. “To make you an offer.”

“An offer?” John asked. What sort of offer would this scumbag offer him?

“Yes.” The voice said. “Recant your loyalty to Henry of Lancaster and the King shall free you, and allow you the right to your lands. You shall have a place of honour at his side and the right to deal with your enemies as you see fit.”

That sounded like a brilliant offer, which was why John asked. “What’s the catch?”

“There is no catch.” The voice replied. “It is a genuine offer.”

John took a breath and then said. “I shall need to think about it.” If it was a genuine offer, then perhaps he should take it. He would be foolish not to. But something in his mind was telling him that there was something wrong with it. Something not quite right.

The voice said nothing then, and a silence fell between them. John wanted to ask why the voice was still there, if indeed it was, and it wasn’t just an illusion, but before he could, the voice spoke again. “There was something else that you are to know.”

“And what is that?” John asked.

“Henry of Lancaster has named your son as Earl of Oxford.” The voice said.

“What?!” John exclaimed, if that was true it meant the King considered him dead.

“Yes, it seems Henry of Lancaster believes that you are a dead man.” the voice said. “So, I ask you again, do you want to be his man, or change and side with the King?”

John took a deep breath. “How do I know you are speaking the truth?”

The voice laughed and then thrust something at John. He picked up the thing and read it. “What is this?” He couldn’t read the writing; it was barely legible.

“A letter from a friend in Truro confirming what I’ve just told you.” The voice said.

John looked at it, and was able to make out a few words, but he still didn’t feel that this information was right. The King must know that he hadn’t been killed. But then what was this. He handed the thing back and said. “I will think about it.”

“Very well.” The voice said, he heard movement and then the voice said. “Be ready.”

“Sorry?” John asked.

The voice and the figure it belonged to came into greater focus then and John gasped. “There will be an attempt on you, be ready.”

“Dee?” John exclaimed. “What are you doing here?”

The man laughed. “Helping you.”
Hopefully the plan for catching the traitor in Wales works! I have a feeling the mysterious man is one of the York’s or one of their relatives. Brilliant updates!
It would be funny if the Lancanstrians loyalists ended up attacking those who chear the Yorkists songs and got mauled before anyone can enter the fray in their favour.
The way this timeline works, no matter what the Lancastrian lords try to do the charming, handsome and oh so very clever and lucky Yorkists will thwart it.
Can only throw double 6 so many times....well in real life anyway.
Why do you assume they'd get mauled?
Bad luck, bad timming, bad choosing of targets.

If this ends being a Lancaster version of the Anglo-saxon Long Knives' purge it may end up hurting more their cause than Yorks. Terror and treachery seldom are rewarded with final success.
Chapter 126: Calais New
Chapter 126: Calais

July, 1460

“We have enough food to last us through the winter, Sir.” John Dynham, the treasurer of Calais said.

“And the imports?” Sir Lionel Welles, Captain of Calais asked. “How badly affected are they?”

“We’re running short by at least twenty percent, Sir.” Dynham replied.

Lionel sighed. That was not good. Not good at all. “Very well, you’ve kept the food in the appropriate places?” If the food was anywhere near the beggars, then they were all screwed.

“Yes, Sir. It’s been kept in the City Hall’s granaries and in the fortress.” Dynham said.

“Excellent.” Welles replied, both places were practically impregnable.

“There was another matter, Sir.” Dynham said.

Lionel sighed. He could only imagine what that matter would be. “Go on.”

“Some of the garrison are worried about the defences of the city.” Dynham said. “They worry that we’ve been too focused on the north side, and thus have left the southern walls weakly defended.”

“And are they, right?” Lionel asked. He wouldn’t be surprised if they were. He’d been terrified that York would send ships from London to try and bombard them, hence he’d shifted the cannons from the south to the north, but so far nothing had come.

Dynham sighed. “I fear they might be, Sir. We know the French are coming, but we don’t know where they’re coming from. It could be from Paris, in which case the western wall is under threat, or it could be from the Dauphine, in which the south wall is under threat. Or it could be both.”

“So, what do you propose?” Lionel asked. He was very much aware that moving those cannons would take time.

“I think it would be wise to start moving the cannons now, Sir. The sooner the better.” Dynham said. “I would also recommend preparing the long guns.”

“The long guns?” Lionel replied. The long guns were a new type of gun developed in Calais that it was claimed could provide better aim and take out an enemy from miles away. They’d never been tried before, and Lionel was hesitant to try them now.

“Yes, Sir. I think this would be the best chance to try them out.” Dynham said.

“I do not know if it is wise to try out something so new against an enemy such as the French.” Lionel countered. “What if it all goes wrong?”

“Then it goes wrong, Sir. But at least you would know that you did everything that you could.” Dynham said. “The alternative is worse.”

The alternative was engaging in a long siege that would no doubt lead to Calais’ fall. Lionel didn’t want to be the man who gave up Calais to the French. Such a humiliation would be too much to bear. He had tried to get help from Truro where the King was, but the man had understandably been too busy to send much in the way of assistance. As for York, well, Lionel was half convinced that the man wanted Calais to fall.

Lionel took a breath and then said. “Tell the men to get the guns ready.”

“Sir.” Dynham replied, bowing once and hurrying off.

Lionel was left alone to brood over what had become of the entire thing. He had arrived in Calais a few years ago, when things had been looking reasonably well for the King. But now the situation had deteriorated. York sat the throne and that man seemed content to allow the last remaining part of English held France to fall into French hands. He had done nothing to strengthen the garrison, other than send his nephew Bourchier out to try and take control. Lionel had thrown the man into a cell and sent his retainers packing.

Perhaps he shouldn’t have done that.

But then, the man had refused to acknowledge the King as the King and had insisted that York was the King. Such foolishness was not something Lionel could tolerate.

His wife had berated him for that.

She had claimed that with her daughter married to York’s son they should abandon the King. Lionel had hit her and told her never to say those words again. She hadn’t but he got the feeling she was communicating with her daughter still.

Lionel didn’t trust his wife. He barely trusted Dynham. The man had ties to York, though so far he’d been unfailingly loyal to the King. And yet, there was a part of Lionel that whispered against Dynham. He didn’t know what to do, or what to say.

“Sir.” A voice said, interrupting his thoughts.

Lionel turned and saw Dynham standing there, panting.

“What is it?” Lionel asked.

“Banners have been spotted to the south.” Dynham said.

Lionel got up then. “Whose banners?”

“French banners, Sir.” Dynham said.

“Fuck.” Lionel replied, it had begun then.
Uh oh. This is only going to make Henry VI looks worse! Hopefully a miracle occurs!

I think it depends on who you support. If you're a Lancastrian, then this is York's fault, because he's done nothing to aid Welles. If you're a Yorkist then it's Welles and Henry's fault for not allowing Bourchier in.
I think it depends on who you support. If you're a Lancastrian, then this is York's fault, because he's done nothing to aid Welles. If you're a Yorkist then it's Welles and Henry's fault for not allowing Bourchier in.
Oh I know realistically it's York's fault (if he was a real and rightful King, he'd be supporting Welles), but he's just going to blame Henry VI and what not.