Lord Nathaniel Jonessone (sometimes called Nathaniel the Dane or Nathaniel the Fox) is an 12th-century Englishman who has travelled much of the world whilst on Crusade, though he's never actually set foot in the Holy Land. He has taken the cross twice, once as a commoner and again as a mercenary. He is mundanely married to Catherine Rose Lamont.
Born in Calwetone, Cornwall in 1168, the son of John the husbandman (himself the son of William the Foreigner and Catherine of Wyght) and Marion the baker's daughter (the baker in question being William the Baker, and his wife Lillian of Hartwick), Nathaniel has lived in Mimizan, Aquitaine, and Ringsted, Denmark, and currently resides in Constantinople. He has further seen the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, the Kingdom of the Franks, the County of Holland, the County of Flanders, much of the Norse and Rus lands, Venice and Dalmatia, Croatia, Slovenia, the Principality of Zeta, and the Eastern Roman Empire.
Nathaniel began life as the son of a husbandman, when, in 1187, he left for the Holy Land on crusade, the carter for a knight named Harold Christian. They made it as far as Aquitaine when Harold took ill and could continue no further. He released Nathaniel from his duties so he had to fend for himself. Nathaniel soon took up the trade of houndsman with a Frankish knight named Martin who also had intentions of taking the cross and going to the Holy Land, though this never came to pass. Nathaniel lived with Martin for many years until his death in 1193 when, not having his protection any more, struck out on his own. While with Martin, Nathaniel gained a reputation as a womanizer and a scoundrel, and it was during these years that he gained the name the Fox. Many of the things he did during those years he now regrets; but no man is able to change the past.
From there Nathaniel saw much of the land of the Franks and the territories ruled by the English crown; he also spent time in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. He eventually ended his travels in Ringsted, Denmark in 1198, where, after a brawl, found himself as a thrall and sold to a merchant woman named Freya. From her Nathaniel learned humility and respect. It is from Freya that Nathaniel become known as “the Dane”. Her trade took her across the Norse lands, as far as Kiev and Birka. In 1201, her health failing, she gave to Nathaniel the precious gift of freedom by releasing him from her service. Having nowhere to go, and little to show for his life, he decided to begin his way home to Cornwall, traveling the coast along the Holy Roman Empire, the County of Holland, the County of Flanders and the Kingdom of the Franks.
Yet Nathaniel never made it home. In the city of Amiens, after speaking with some Frankish priests and renewing his faith in God, Nathaniel once again took up the cross to join in the ill-fated Fourth Crusade, this time as a mercenary. He soon found himself in Venice, readying to leave for the Holy Land. There the Crusaders met with poverty and deprivation as the Crusade's leaders were unable to pay for the vessels which we had had the Venetians prepare. Eventually their course changed, and instead of leaving for the Holy Land, they assaulted the Christian city of Zara in Dalmatia as a way to settle their debts with the Venetians. The siege was brief and soon after the left for Constantanople where they laid siege to the Great City in July 1203. Along the north wall Nathaniel and his comrades faced the famed Varangian guard, who reminded him of his days as a thrall. The fighting was vicious and savage, and soon his stomach was turned against such things, though he continued on as his contract stipulated.
The crusade went from bad to worse as the Crusader leaders set up a new Emperor, Alexius IV and he renewed their services. The next few years were filled with pain and hatred as the Greeks fought against the “Latins” openly. During the sacking of the city on April 12, 1204, Nathaniel found himself huddled in a small church, helping the priests defend themselves against his 'Christian' brothers. Disgusted to see men of the cross defiling such wonders as the churches of the Great City, and wondering how their leaders could allow such blasphemy, Nathaniel has nevertheless since been involved in a number of battles with the Greeks. He spent as much time as he could within the Great City, learning the language of the Greeks and trying to keep his faith.
Recently Nathaniel has met two Germans who belong to the Order of the German Hospital, or the Teutonic Order, who are looking for mercenaries to help them with a situation they have become part of in Transylvania. Perhaps it is time for Nathaniel to be on the move again…
Nathaniel currently holds no offices.
Nathaniel Jonessone joined the SCA in 1992, in the Canton of Greyfells. He started out as a fop, but then he “got better”. He was the thrall of her Excellency Mistress Freya for a long while, and now is happy to say that he is her Protege.
“Hello, my name is Nathaniel, Nathan by my friends and the Fox by the Lords whose Ladies know me…”