Campaign of the Month: August 2014
The Concord of Ashes
Sir Matthew of Montmorency
A valiant warrior, loyal vassal and quick thinker; Sir Matthew is accounted one of the most promising young knights of France. He is the protégé of both Sir Geoffrey de Villehardouin and his own father and namesake, the Seigneur de Marly et d'Attichy.
A good-looking young Frankish knight with short, sraight brown hair and blue eyes. He is in his prime- athletic, strong and vital. His blue and white surcoat bears the device of a yellow field with a red cross bearing an alérion in the middle, and a black cross is sewn on the shoulder of his grey cloak. He habitually wears mail, and is armed with a sword and dagger.
The Coat of Arms of Chevalier Matthieu de Montmorency, Seigneur de Marly et d’Attichy
Sir Matthew is a scion of a prominent line of the French nobility, the Montmorency’s, whose home lands lie some ten miles outside of Paris, in the province known as the Île-de-France. His cousin, also called Matthew, is the second seigneur (lord) of his name of those lands, and rules from the castle of Montmorency, for which the family is named. Matthew II is a favourite of King Phillip II Augustus. Before his passing, Sir Matthew’s own father, again called Matthew, was seigneur (lord) de Marly et d’Attichy, some 65 miles further north-east of Paris, and he had long been a valued advisor to his nephew and the king. Matthew the elder was also the son of Alice Fitzroy, the illegitimate daughter of Henry I of England, the last monarch of the House of Normandy, and the second cousin of his fellow crusader, Count Baldwin of Flanders and Hainault.
Matthew the younger is young indeed to have already won his spurs, having been knighted by the king at a tournament outside of Paris just after his 16th birthday. One month later he joined his father in joining the Fourth Crusade and travelling to Venice. In spite of youth he has a great sense of self-possession and maturity, and is a natural leader. He is often mistaken for a seasoned knight many years his elder, and indeed frequently outfights and outwits most others in the practice yard. A great many squires and pages look to his example, and hope to earn knighthood with the incredible speed with which Matthew has done so.
It was Lord Matthew Montmorency “the elder” who volunteered the services of he and his son to Baron Simon of Montfort, and later to Marshal Geoffrey of Villehardouin when Montfort quit the crusade in disgust after the sacking of Zara. Matthew Montmorency has busied himself ever since trying to find a use for himself as aide to Sir Geoffrey and Boniface of Montferrat. He is young, but his prodigious talents with sword and lance, and his quick mind, have so far kept him in good stead.
On the island of Corfu, Sir Matthew displayed uncommon skill protecting the troubadour Sir Raimbaut from the assassins hired by the former prince, Aglaia. He killed one Norman and wounded another with his sword before slaying another with an especially long dagger toss.
Barely a month after the First Battle of Constantinople, Lord Matthew suddenly fell ill and passed away on the 19th of August, 1203. At the time of his abrupt illness he had been touring the city with some apparent secret purpose. His loss was a great blow to the council of Barons, as his wisdom was greatly valued. Matthew the younger was confirmed as his successor to the lordship of Marly and Attichy in early October, and has striven to live up to his father’s reputation ever since. His value as an agent and advisor of Marshal Geoffrey and Marquis Boniface has been obvious since hostilities with the empire were renewed, but he does not seek praise for whatever discrete works he does on their behalf.