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Lord Nathaniel Jonessone ‘the Dane’

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Arms: Quarterly gules and ermine, a cross counterchanged

Born: 1168 in Calwetone, Cornwall

Ancestry:

Father:John Williamsson
His Father: William the Foreigner
His Mother: Catherine of Wyght
Mother: Marion Baker's daughter
Her Father: William the Bakler
Her Mother: Lillian of Hartwick

Spouse: (Mundanly married)

Home: Currently resides in Constantinople

Life Story:I am Nathaniel, son of John the husbandman, and of Marion the baker's daughter, sometimes called Dane, sometimes called Fox, sometimes called Jonessone. I was born in Calwetone, Cornwall in 1168 and I have lived in Mimizan, Aquitaine and Ringsted, Denmark and currently reside in Constantinople.

I have seen the Holy German Empire, the Kingdom of the Franks, the County of Holland, the County of Flanders, much of the Norse lands, Venice and Dalmatia, Croatia, Slovenia, the Principality of Zeta, and the Eastern Roman Empire. I have never set foot in the Holy Land, though I have taken the cross twice, once as a commoner, a second time as a mercenary.

I began life as the son of a husbandman. In 1187 I left for the Holy Land on crusade, the husbandman for a knight named Harold Christian. We made it as far as Aquitaine when Harold took ill and could continue no further. He released me from my duties to fend for myself. I soon took up my trade with a Frankish knight named Martin who had intentions of going to the Holy Land. This however never came to pass. While with Martin, I gained a reputation as a womanizer and a scoundrel and it was during these years that I gained the name the Fox. Many of the things I did during those years I regret, but I am unable to take back. I lived with Martin for many years until his death in 1193 when I struck out on my own.

I saw much of the land of the Franks and the territories ruled by the English crown. I also spent time in the Holy German Empire. I eventually ended my travels in Ringsted, Denmark in 1198, where, after a brawl, I found myself as a thrall and sold to a merchant woman named Freya. From her I learned humility and respect. She is also the one who called me Dane. In 1201, her health failing, she gave to me the precious gift of freedom by releasing me from her service. Having nowhere to go, and little to show for my life, I decided to begin my way home to Cornwall, traveling the coast along the Holy German Empire, the County of Holland, the County of Flanders and the Kingdom of the Franks.

I never made it home. In the city of Amiens, after speaking with some Frankish priests, and renewing my faith in God, I once again took up the cross, this time as a mercenary. I soon found myself in Venice, readying to leave for the Holy Land. There however we met with poverty and deprivation as our leaders were unable to pay for the vessels which we had had the Venetians prepare for us. Eventually our course changed, and instead of leaving for the Holy Lands, we assaulted the Christian city of Zara in Dalmatia as a way to settle our debts with the Venetians. The siege was brief and soon after we left for Constantanople where we laid siege to the Great City in July 1203. Along the north wall we faced the famed Varangian guard, many of whom reminded me of my days as a thrall. The fighting was vicious and savage, and soon my stomach was turned against such things, though I continued as my contract stipulated.

Our leaders set up a new Emperor, Alexius IV and he renewed our services. The next few years were filled with pain and hatred as the Greeks and the Crusaders fought openly amongst each other. During the sacking of the city on April 12, 1204, I found myself huddled in a small church, helping the priests defend themselves against my crusader brothers. It left me hollow inside to see men of the cross defiling such wonders as the churches of the Great City. I wondered how the Pope could allow such blasphemy. When the crusading armies finally left, I remained behind, learning the Greek's language, and helping the priests of the small church rebuild. I have remained in the great city ever since, a simple man, yet still a mercenary for hire.