Slay! Loot! Burn!
The Crusader spurs his horse forward, through vast swathes of sand and waste, eventually finding the Holy Land before him in the eye of the rising sun.
He takes heart, for he knows their victory against the heathens will be swift and merciless!
The Crusader rides forward into camp, delighted at the many who would fight in the name of God and their kings.
Ahead, sitting around a small campfire are several knights. One with a large bucket helm, a red plume, and one with a rooster embroidered upon his coat.
The Crusader steps ‘round the fire, taking up ale and bread.
“My fellow CRUSADERS! Are ye ready to slay, maim, torture, loot? Ahahaa, these heathens, we’ll rip ‘em from the walls and drag them from their homes!” He stands drawing his sword and pointing it up in the air. “Their cries will be heard from the highest tower in Antioch to the hallowed gates of Jerusalem! Friends! What! Say! Ye?”
There is a pause.
Red Plume looks up from his soup, squinting. “Chill out man.”
“Yeah, that’s a bit much.” Bucket Helm says, “Just relax.”
“You’re gonna have to chill out a bit for sure.” Rooster Coat says, raising his hands and then slowly lowering them.
The Crusader looks around in dismay. “Is this not the GLORY AND BLOODSHED I was promised? Where is your WILL TO FIGHT IN THE NAME OF GOD AND YOUR KING?”
“That’s not really what we’re here for. Just take a seat.” Rooster Coat says.
The Crusader sits, glowering as soup is passed to him.
Siege of Antioch
A vast army sits outside the walls of Antioch. He can feel it, the calm before the storm, the steady swaying of hearts and minds to slay for their right to the holy cities.
The Crusader grips his sword, hopes and dreams of storming the walls, to hear the clash of steel, and he looks for the battering ram.
A single man goes forth, and knocks on the gate. It opens ajar slightly.
“Hey, we’re here to siege you. Can we come in?”
And the gates open, with everyone walking in. The Crusader looks to and fro in his visor sit, surely this is a trap of some kind! He grips the sword handle tighter, eager to spill the blood and brains of some heathen.
People shake hands as they enter, one of the defenders offers people water and fruit.
“Thanks man.” Red Plume says, taking an apple.
“No problem, bud.” The defender says.
“Can we loot and plunder your homes?”
“Sure, you guys won today.”
And the crusaders go from house to house, taking a thing here and there, usually with permission. But even then the citizens don’t mind for the most part.
The Crusader gets a wagon, taking the contents of one mans home. There is A SILVER CHALICE, SEVERAL MONIES, MANY CLOTHES, AND MUCH GRAIN, DRIED FISH AND MEAT, AS WELL AS WINE AND ALE.
The peasant man looks on, meanwhile Bucket Helm approaches.
“Hey man, what’s going on?” He asks.
“This man is plundering my house, he’s kind of taking a lot of stuff.” The peasant man says.
“Yeah he is, that’s pretty rude.” Bucket Helm says, crossing his arms and looking at Crusader sternly. “Don’t you think the nice man would like to keep some of his stuff?”
“What? We took the city fair and square, the glorious LOOT is ours!” The Crusader says.
“Well, it’s just that you’re taking all our clothes and food. I don’t think my family will be doing too well without it. We won’t have enough for the year otherwise.”
Bucket Helm glances at Crusader. “Give the nice man his food and stuff back.”
The Crusader sighs, handing back all the PLUNDER. “Can I at least keep the Silver Chalice?”
“The cup? Sure.” The peasant says.
“There now.” Bucket Helm says, clasping The Crusaders shoulder. “Was that so hard.”
Upon the walls, the mayor of the town looks out across the water. Red Plume and the Crusade Admiral look out. A fleet of ships blockade the port, meanwhile the cities own ships are blocked from entering.
“Hey, that was a pretty nice move you pulled there. Blocking our port.”
“Thanks! It took me three hours to come up with that plan.” The Admiral says. "I'm just kidding. There wasn't enough space in the port ot park all our ships so we just left them anchored out that way."
“Would you mind moving the blockade? We sort of need our ships to deliver supplies and goods to the city. They're blocking the way, but there is another city with a nice port nearby they can park at."
A massive throng of crusaders and their camp followers move through the cracking desert sands, punctuated by the sounds of creaking wagon wheels and vultures circling above.
A wind blows over the hills, taking with it sand into the eyes and hard to reach places of the defenders armor. It gets pretty itchy after a while.
The Crusader blinks. Seeing a massive glorious host ahead in the sunlight, a gold crown shining like that of the sun.
Be it illusion?
Ahead, lies the vast host of King Richard, the Lionhearted! Surely he will lead the host to victory! To finally crush, maim, destroy and scatter the vast armies of the heathens! To liberate the Holy Land!
“Yes!” The Crusader calls, raising his sword. “It is our king! Richard the Lionheart! Hark ye! For we shall boil the blood of our enemies in his glorious wrath!”
Everyone stops and stares idly at the Crusader.
“We will burn, slay, and-”
“Hey man, would you stop yelling.” Rooster Coat says. “It’s making my ear hurt.”
“What do you mean Lionhearted? Wait what?” Bucket Helm says. “Rich isn’t here to burn and loot. Look closer.”
The Crusader squints, and sees the banners and host of Richard the Lionheart pressed up against fast swathes of heathens!
He prepares his lance. “Come, we must go this aid! Skewer the barbarians!”
“What? No no.” Bucket Helm waves his hands. “Look even closer dude.”
The Crusader squints again.
The crown of Richard glimmers in the sunlight, it king of hurts his eyes a bit. He sees the king pat a Mamluk on the shoulder, and another he gives some water. The Lionheart even shares fruit with another one, and seems to be in the middle of telling what must be a really funny joke.
“What…what is this?” The Crusader says.
“Yeah, we may call him the Lionheart back home. But they’ve given him a different name here. Richard the Kindhearted, they say. He’s such a chill guy, look at him.”
The Crusader spends the next three hours watching King Richard crusade into the hearts and minds of the people of the Holy Land.
Evening campfires and braziers let off dark smoke, tents flap in the wind. Tense looks cut across from each side, as mules, horses, and camels all come to a stop.
The Crusader looks on a bit nervously, Saladins warriors seem hardened and quite tough.
Richard and his retinue edge closer to the tent, casting glances side to side.
Within, the Sultan Saladin sits on a pretty nice chair. Glowering up at the crusaders, surrounded by really tough looking fellows.
“Hello, how are you?” Red Plume says to a nearby guard.
“Pretty good. Some nice weather we’re having.”
“Anyways, I have to get back to stuff.”
The Crusaders and men of the Sultan meet.
Richard and Saladin clasp hands.
“What’s up bro.”
“So, can we have Jerusalem.”
“Alright, just checking. Well, you lads have a good day.”
“You too. Do you want some water for the road?”
“Yeah we would appreciate it.”
The Holy Mail
The Crusader, Rooster Coat, Red Plume, and Bucket Helm ride along the sandy slopes and hills. Ahead, they see a house in the outskirts of Jerusalem.
“Let’s find some shade.”
The Crusaders enter the house, finding it quite abandoned. On the second floor, they find an envelope, set aside against an open pile of mail.
It is addressed to Jesus Christ. Unopened.
Red Plume makes the sign of the cross. “Cool, this must be where Jesus hosted the Last Supper.”
“This one piece of mail is unopened.” Bucket Helm says, gingerly taking it up.
“Jesus must have left it unopened for a reason.” Rooster Coat snort laughs. “He left someone with unanswered mail.”
“What a legend.” Red Plume says in awe.
“Well what is it?” The Crusader asks.
Bucket Helm slowly opens the letter and unfurls it.
Dear Mr. Jesus Christ,
We’ve been trying to reach you about your car’s extended warranty.
“By the heavens!” Crusader Helm says. “With this holy relic! We will use it to dismay our enemies, convince them our cause is just even! Yes! We can bring them to great ruin!”
“Can you stop with that. It’s not okay.” Bucket Helm says, holding the letter slightly more away from the Crusader now.
“Are you alright?” Rooster Coat asks.
“Yeah, I’m just…” The Crusader says.
Red Plume pats his shoulder. “He just got a bit excited is all.”
“So what about this letter?” Bucket Helm says. “Isn’t it a sin to open up Jesus’ mail?”
“We could bring it to the Pope.” Rooster Coat says.
“Such a relic must be investigated to the fullest extent.” Red Plume says. “Let us bring it to the Pope, he will know what to do with it. Surely he can pardon us for opening it.”
When you realize the crusades were just one of those organized all included group roadtrips but they let 'Crusader' write his version of events in the history books.