Blood in the Water
Montegue du Montaigne
The Peasant General
Montegue was originally a peasant from the province of Paroisse. His mother died when he was very young, and his father followed when their plow horse, frightened by a wolfkicked him in the head. Montegue was fifteen years old at the time.
He sold the family farm and joined the army. After two years of service, he rose to the rank of corporal and received training at the hands of his immediate superior, a nobleman named Luc Flaubert du Doré. Luc taught him military history as well as a smattering of strategy and tactics. Montegue found that he had a gift for what he learned. He could remember every detail of each battle he read about and envision them in his head, replaying them and spotting the mistakes the other commanders had made.
Not long after came the moment immortalized as “Montegue’s Stand.” The Inquisition raised an army to attack King Léon and storm the palace. Things went poorly — the Montaigne forces were suffering tragic losses. Then Luc fell to a Castillian volley and command passed to Montegue. He had no particular loyalty to his king, but could see the different ways the fight could go, and chose the path with the best outcome for himself and his men.
Almost mechanically, he gave the orders that saved the day. His life then became a whirlwind of events. The King promoted him to the rank of General and married him to his youngest daughter, much to the soldier’s profound embarrassment. The servants attempted to take the hard edges off his manners and he had to learn and dress the part of a noble. Finally, in a grand ceremony, the King presented him to the nobility of Montaigne and placed him in charge of the army. After receiving his commission, the King gave him his first command — liberate the people of Castille from the oppressive Vaticine Church and place the true Castillian royal bloodline back in command of the country, if they could be found.
The war effort went well under his command. He devised innovative ways to use the few Porté mages available to him, assigning them to carry messages to his subcommanders, and used this advantage to split his army into smaller, more maneuverable blocks. Normally, an army so fragmented would be taking a terrible risk, but with Porté, the troops could receive word of where they needed to be. Pressing his advantage, and always taking the offensive, Montegue steadily forced the Castillians back. He became a hero to the peasantry.
Then the King crowned himself Empereur after the Hierophant’s death, and things changed again. Montegue found that he was no longer Léon’s favored son. In fact, the Empereur called him away from the front line and ordered him to assault Ussura instead — something which had neverbeen successfully accomplished. Nonetheless, Montegue bid farewell to his wife and left to carry out l’Empereur’s orders.
To do otherwise would have been suicide, and Montegue, above all else, is a pragmatist.