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Subject: To battle and to fight rss

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Aaron Bedard
United States
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What we have here is tale of two French Grognards, Roberte and Gerarde. Who grew up in same village outside of Marseilles. Who saw their bitter, childhood rivalry grow more dark and vicious with every year that passed.

The day would come for each of them, to strike out and seek the fortune and glory being promised to young Frenchmen, with a life in the military.

Even then, their contempt for one another refused to settle, and would follow them wherever they went.

Two lives that would go on to see incredible adventure and conquest in the Grande Armee' of Napoleon.

It brought them across the world. Often in different wings of the Army. Early on Gerarde was sent to Italy while Roberte stayed in the Reserve.

Gerarde spend his years focused on his swordsmanship and gambling every cent that he could muster. While Roberte worked hard to be a model soldier. Longing for the attention and approval of Napoleon and the great generals that surrounded him.

But it was his rivalry with Gerarde that would keep him from rising through the ranks. Too many duels, drinking bouts, bloody fist-fights in dark alleys. Ferocious rumors being spread back and fourth. They challenged each others honor to all who would listen. It kept them overlooked for promotions and decorations. They would miss major events, great Balls and Weddings, spent being punished for their actions instead.

But the clashes would continue. Those watching would swear that one would certainly kill the other someday. Gerarde was said to carry a pistol with Roberte's initials carved into it's handle.

Though soldiers they remained and slowly they did make their way up the chain of command, while the years wore on and the French tried valiantly to conquer the globe.

They both took wives.

Gerarde, the far better swordsman once wounded Roberte so severely that he was hospitalized for weeks and forced to miss an entire campaign. A year later, while battling through Austria, Roberte would be taken prisoner and mount a dramatic escape.

Gerarde's health was a constant issue, lung fever would torment him and he grew old before his time.

Each of them marched into Russia, and from different front-lines they saw the great dream begin to crumble. In the flurry of snow-flake and cannon fire, they witnessed more death and destruction than either would ever care to recount.

Once his Corps had escaped across the bridge that lead them back into Prussia, Gerarde's lung fever had become crippling and forced into retirement.

Sent with the other wounded back to Paris, his first order of business upon release from the hospital was to find Roberte's wife, Yvette and take her as a mistress.

It would be the final blow in their epic duel.

Roberte would be told of the indisgression while still off fighting through Germany. Broken-hearted and so very far from home, he severed their union through a letter and swore his revenge.

Though it was not to be. Badly wounded in the Battle of Leipzig, Roberte was also sent home to France and nursed back to health, but his military career was over.

Neither of them would take part in the defense of the Homeland a year later. They would only read about the abdication and exile of their great Emperor.

Nor would they witness his triumphant return, or final stand on that fateful spring day in June.

Instead they grew old, a most unexpected result, by all accounts. They had found a way to survive not only two decades of warfare, but also each other.

..and they would never cross paths again.

Roberte (red)
Rank: Colonel
Legion of Honor (3 levels)
N: 73
G: 192
E: 186
M: (Paris) 437
M: (Purse) 61 (Total 498)
H: 15
F: 9

Rank: Colonel
Legion of Honor: 2 levels
N: 55
G: 176
E: 176
M: (Paris) 201
M: (Purse) 171 (Total 372)
H: 0
C: 8
F: 12
(Wife + Mistress)
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