Upon this Earth long ago in medieval Normandy, there was an untold tale of passion and plight, triumph and tragedy, love and loss, brotherhood and betrayal…That story all began with a gang of reckless bandits, the brothers who rose to something greater: The Brigands of Normandy.
"Catch that thief!" shouted the bread maker as a ruffian brutishly pushed him aside.
"Hopeless fool!" Corin called out behind him as he bolted down the cobble stone streets of Lower Lorraine, arms full of fresh bread. Feet, fail me not he thought to himself making a beeline towards the hideout.
Of course, being the cunning thief that he was, Corin knew better than to lead the guards straight to their sanctuary, so he took a few detours to confirm that the pursuing guards were no longer following him. He then crept down the alleyways to the slums and went down into a nearby cellar of a run-down tavern that had long since been abandoned.
"At last, the savior has arrived," greeted a sarcastic Emile. Corin never really cared for his fellow brethren, Emile, but he tolerated him as best he could. "I figured you to be dead in a dungeon by now," Emile smirked, "It took ages for you to get here, did you get lost?"
"Oh shut it Emile, I got the bread didn't I?" Corin replied. "Besides if I'd have come straight back, the guards would have followed me here and then where would we be, hmm?"
"Corin is right Emile, you should hold your tongue and leave the boy alone," said Benoit, the eldest of the group.
"Boy?!? Why I'm as tall as you are and you're only two years my senior," complained Corin indignantly.
"Hey quit the bickering and split the bread, you all sound like a bunch of grumpy, old women!" retorted Damian, the youngest.
"Right Damian, we should all calm down and eat before this bread turns stale," laughed Benoit.
"Fine," Emile muttered, suppressing his frustrations.
"Sure thing," Corin said putting the bread on the table, feeling a bit unappreciated.
Benoit sat at the head of the table and watched his brothers exchanging banter over their simple dinner. Ever since their parents perished when their farmhouse burnt to the ground during a barbarian raid, he had taken responsibility for his brothers. Benoit had silently cursed himself for not having the courage to rescue his parents from the flames. He was only a child then, no older than ten years at the time. As orphans, he and his brothers sought shelter in the nearby town of Lower Lorraine, the finest citadel in all of Normandy. Benoit figured he could forge a better life for them all, but all his hopes devolved to petty theft. He and his brothers lived on the bottom rungs of society. It was only a matter of time before they were caught, ripped from those rungs, and tossed aside, or worse, thrown into a dungeon, where the world would pass them by just as it always had.
"Brother, are you alright today?" asked Damian, drawing Benoit from his contemplative depression. "Your brow seems more and more clouded each day. Is there something that is bothering you?"
"No I'm fine, don't worry about me," Benoit sighed.
"I wasn't planning to," Emile bit out.
"Why do you always have to be like that, Emile?!?" snapped Corin.
"Let's just all get some sleep okay?" Benoit stated getting up from the table, "And save some of that hostile energy for tomorrow."
"Don't fret brother, tomorrow will be a better day," Damian consoled, taking his older brother to the side.
"If only," Benoit muttered under his breath.
"What was that?" said Damian, straining to hear.
"Oh nothing, just get some rest my little brother," said Benoit with the smile, tousling his brother's hair.
"Well then, good night brother, and do try not to worry so much", said Damian slipping into his cot.
"Good night; and quiet down there!" Benoit shouted down to where Emile and Corin were sleeping, another argument brewing between them.
"Night," Emile and Corin called out in unison, Emile landing a punch on Corin's arm before he went to his own cot. "Ouch," Corin cried punching back.
"I'll come down there and settle this feud for you both if you don't quit it and get some rest!" boomed an irritated Benoit.
"Alright" the two brothers said once again in unison, settling in for the night as the room fell to the quiet of the summer breeze.
The sun rose swiftly as dawn approached. As was typical amongst the brothers, Benoit was first awake and the first to scout around on a food mission for breakfast. He stuffed course cotton shirt into his trousers and drew his cloak about him. Pulling up his hood, Benoit then climbed the staircase out of the tavern cellar and went out to perhaps snatch a few eggs and ham for the others.
Meanwhile, Emile awoke and realizing the eldest brother had left, took the opportunity to pound the snuff out of his sibling while he slept. Corin, rudely awoken, retaliated with several sequential punches to Emile's gut and jaw until Damian awoke and rushed in to break up the two combatants.
"Hey, you two, cut it out!" Damian exclaimed, "Benoit will be back any minute with breakfast and would most definitely lose his temper if he found you two feuding so early in the morning."
"Shut it you little goodie, goodie," Emile huffed, attempting to shove Damian aside to get to Corin.
"Don't tell him to be quiet, you little puke!" Corin proclaimed as he grasped for Emile's throat.
"SILENCE! All of you! I've had enough of all your bickering," Benoit bellowed as he marched back down into the cellar with a small hunk of ham and a satchel of eggs. "I am sick of see you two fight! Now find a seat and settle down the both of you." Corin and Emile grumbled all the way to their chairs as Benoit took Damian aside. "I appreciated your intervention, Damain," said Benoit, "those to sure would have killed each other without supervision. I thank you, brother."
"No worries, Benoit, I've got it under control, I may be the youngest, but I'm by far the scrappiest of the bunch as well," said Damian giving his brother a hearty handshake.
Benoit chuckled quietly as he motioned for Damian to take a seat while he prepared the meal, "I don't doubt it, Damian, I don't doubt it in the slightest."