Bardic Chestnuts: Jacque de Payton

Born February 22, 1269, Jacque was the second son of three to his nobleman father Delmon de Payton and very religious mother Marguerite Claude. His brothers were Maurice the elder, and his younger brother Bernard. Maurice was a very arrogant boy knowing his father was going to pass all the lands and title to him. So he would hold that over Jacque. Jacque knew he could best Maurice in anything even if he was the older brother. Jacque did his best to prove he should be considered to be the better choice for the family line but his parents rarely even listen to this. Bernard on the other hand knew it was no good to try and best his two older brothers so he began to practice and read the bible. Their mother being very religious would preach the word of God to them.

Jacque began to take a new path after reaching the age of 14. He began to study the sword and warfare, the tactics involved and the means of how to win a battle. By age 17 Jacque was put in charge of his father’s men-at-arms. This was a big responsibility, these men guarded their home and would also be summoned to fight for the king if he so choice to call a pond them. Jacque met many generals and knights well leading the men-at-arms. The year of 1287 Jacque and the men were called a pond by the King to serve him. Jacque being very confident felt that this was his chance to make a name for himself. The king sent them to help Poland in their fight against the invading Mongols. This journey was not an easy one but proved to be a true test for Jacque. Jacque lead his men to some get victories while in Poland, and some in Germany where they felt they deserves some spoils for their travels. Once back in France in 1288 Jacque was knighted by the king and given land for services rendered while in Poland. Jacque finally felt he was being respected for his great skills.

For about two years Jacque would tend to his lands and train young men who would become part of the king’s army. In 1290 Jacque became bored with tending to lands and training men. He felt the urge to return to war, he joined the Templar Knights in May of 1290. He only had the summer to get to know and understand this order of knights before he was to be sent to the Holy Lands. December 1290 he and 100 men at arms were sent to Acre as reinforcements that had been requested. Acre being one of the last strongholds for the Christians, Jacque knew he would do his best to keep it that way. He knew that with the symbol of God no man could defeat them.

April 4, 1291 the siege had begun. Jacque had never once been on the defending side of a siege. He always did his best going head long into the enemy. The days were filled with the sounds and sights of men being killed, and of stones hitting the walls. At night the sounds weren’t of men being killed but men screaming from the sudden feeling of being covered in snakes from the dark sky. Jacque had this happen to him many times while on his post of the wall. He learn to look forward to the light of day because with it he could at least see the enemy coming at him and the sudden feeling of weight that moved and hissed. On May18, 1291 William of Beaujeu, the Master of the Templars was killed, and the Muslim forces had finally managed to breach the walls. The Muslim were now inside the city fighting the defenders in the streets and alleys of Acre, which turned into a terrifying chaos as the inhabitants were fleeing towards the sea. Many inhabitants perished. Jacque and some of the men he came with were in the Templar fortress when the Muslim forces finally broke the lines of the defenders. We knew that for lives of the Christians we would be their lost hope. That night Thibaud Gaudin, the new master of the Templar gathered a handful of men at arms and remaining knights and escaped under the cover of darkness. Jacque didn’t want to go but it was not like him to disobey order’s from his order.

After fleeing Acre and the Muslim forces Jacque travelled from city to city under Thibaud. Jacque finally made passage to return to Avignon, France to meet with the remaining members of the Order. After he reconnected with other member he left for his manor and awaited further orders from the Order. At dawn on Friday, 13 October 1307, Jacque was awoken by the sound of his bedroom door being knocked down. His days at Acre had prepared him for moments like this. Without thinking about it jumped from his bed armed himself with his sword and was three men coming through his door. One by one they fall to his sword. The moment was so fast Jacque had not even looked at them before killing them.

As he stood over their bodies, Jacque realized he recognized one of them. It was a monk, it was his brother Bernard. In Bernard’s hands was a parchment. With great sadness and remorse for killing his brother he reached down and held his still warm body. After a few moments Jacque took and opened the parchment. It was an arrest warrant. Jacque read the arrest warrant which started with the phrase: "Dieu n'est pas content, nous avons des ennemis de la foi dans le Royaume" ["God is not pleased. We have enemies of the faith in the kingdom"]. Jacque was shocked, as he read he saw that it was ordered by the Pope himself. The voice of God in this place, how could he have issued such lies with the power of faith against the men who had fought for God. There he thought about his time with the Templars and how they were to be protect by God because they wore his symbol, and he thought about all the innocents that were lost because the warriors of God didn’t protect them in Acre. All these thoughts and then the thought that he had just kill his brother, a man of God. Christianity had failed Jacque and the Templars. Angered by this he quickly dress and armed himself, he headed to see his mother with questions.

When he arrived at his parent’s manor, he found it in ruins. As he entered he found Maurice alone in what was once the great hall. There he talked shortly with an intoxicated Maurice, learning his mother had been burned alive for heresy and his father executed for treason. The lands and title were no more and Maurice was left with a burned out ruined home with no one left. Jacque told him about Bernard. Maurice could take no more and flee through the ruins and away from Jacque. Jacque left knowing now that Christianity was not what he was taught as a child and vowed to never care or defend it again. As he left the ruins of his parent’s home, he found himself becoming lost in the forest as it turned night. As he stopped for the night he heard cries for help.

He ran toward the screams to find a woman being attacked by three men. Jacque quickly pulled his sword knowing that his skills as a knight would prove useful once more. He quickly subdued one man and killed a second. The third did not give up quickly for he fought very were for what looked like a peasant bastard. After a few moments the fight seemed to be going in the favor of the peasant but Jacque would not give up. He continued to fight and finally won with a quick knock out punch with the guard. The woman thanked Jacque and request his assistance in turning these men into the local sheriff. Jacque worried about being arrested himself did not want to be involved anymore than he already was but remembered his oath as a knight to help those in need.

The woman introduced herself as Lady Annabel, member of the Faction Justice. She explained that these men had began to follower her after learning that her loyalties were to the faction Justice. Jacque being curious asked questions about Justice and why it would make a difference to these men. Annabel soon figured out that Jacque was new to the lands and began to explain everything to him Jacque was a little over come by this new information but also started to think she was not right in the head. He would confirm some of these things once they arrived at the sheriff’s. Once in town Jacque started to question people about the thing Annabel had told him. He soon began to think he had gone to hell for killing his brother, but soon realized that this was not the hell he had learned about. He spent time with Lady Annabel and even became a member of Justice himself.

After they had separated and gone their own ways Jacque soon tried to build a reputation as to become a knight in these lands. He wanted everything that came with it again, respect, lands, women, and to be known with the nobles. He trained like did when he was younger, running in armor, weapons training, tactics on a field of battle, and being aware of people’s actions that could cause problems. His actions did not build the reputation he was hoping for, people felt him to more of a snitch than courageous. Always informing the sheriff or the town guards of things that were small or not a big deal to them. He also would not drink with people because he felt that alcohol would weaken him from becoming a knight. He knew that he would change his reputation and become a knight again.  


Posted on January 11, 2017 .