|I'm no theologian, but long ago I came to the conclusion that the only thing that makes sense is that it's all a trial. Life is one long series of problems to solve. The more you solve, the better a man you become.... Tribulations spawn in life and over and over again we must stand our ground and face them. So, now go to Sasau and solve this one, hmm?|
|- Sir Radzig Kobyla|
Sir Radzig Kobyla was Lord of Skalitz and the trustworthy Hetman of King Wenceslas IV of Bohemia. He is a skilled and well respected diplomat, capable of handling himself in a fight but preferring to reason with his opponents. He takes a special interest in Henry after his parents are killed, promoting him to his personal service - an unusual honour, for the son of a blacksmith.
In 1403, Bohemia is in chaos. The King, Wenceslas IV, has been imprisoned by his brother King Sigismund of Hungary, who has forced him to abdicate. Radzig, a loyal subject and personal friend of Wenceslas, has continued to send him the silver from the Skalitz mines, much to Sigismund's displeasure.
However, despite his loyalty, even Radzig later admits that Wenceslas has been, at best, a neglectful King, although he points out that Sigismund's idea of "order" is a far-cry from what the Lords who support him expected. Sigismund has recently raided Kuttenberg, and forced its inhabitants into submission. According to rumors, King Sigismund is marching at the head of an army of foreign mercenaries, known for their savagery and ruthlessness.
One morning in March, Radzig, along with Sir Istvan Toth, was inspecting a new and magnificent sword that was made by the local Skalitz blacksmith, Martin, with help from his son Henry. Radzig praised Martin's skill, and even allowed Henry a few practice swings. However, shortly after he returned to his castle, Skalitz was attacked by King Sigismund, whose general Markvart von Auliz is commanding a Cuman army.
Trapped in the castle along with the surviving citizens, Radzig watched from a high window as Henry, armed with the sword, fled on horseback to Talmberg to warn them of the upcoming attack. The next day, under the cover of a heavy thunderstorm, Radzig and his people snuck out of the castle and fled south. That evening, they passed by Talmberg, where Radzig ordered an injured Henry not to return to Skalitz.
The survivors of Skalitz continued on to Rattay, and Lord Hanush of Leipa, on behalf of his ward, Lord Hans Capon, gave Sir Radzig and his soldiers the use of the Lower Castle, while the peasants set up a refugee camp in the dried up moat. Some time later, Henry returns to Rattay in Awakening, having defied Radzig's orders by going to Skalitz, where he was badly beaten and had the sword stolen by the bandit Runt.
Radzig scolds Henry for risking not only his own life, but the lives of the soldiers who went to find him. But he quietly comments that Martin and his wife were remarkable people, and he is clearly saddened that Henry was unable to bury them, even going so far as to taunt the Friar when he declared that Henry's parent's souls would be in purgatory until their graves are consecrated.
Henry informs Radzig that he intends to retrieve the sword and return it to him. Radzig points out he has lost far too much to worry about one sword, but softens when Henry tells him he promised his father that he would deliver it. He is sympathetic to the young blacksmith's emotional turmoil, and defends him from the disparaging comments from Hanush and Hans, eventually agreeing that he will pay for his basic training.
After the events of The Prey, where Henry manages to save the life of Sir Hans Capon after the nobleman is attacked and kidnapped by Cumans, Sir Radzig and Hanush discuss the recent troubles that have plagued their land. He decides to reward Henry's loyalty by taking him into his personal service, and gives him permission to investigate the massacre at Neuhof during The Hunt Begins. After Henry completes Ginger in a Pickle, Radzig encourages him to find the thugs who participated in the massacre. It is Radzig who points out that the Neuhof raid was not about money, or revenge, but about spreading fear.
Radzig sets up camp near Merhojed while Henry conducts his investigation. Eventually, Henry returns and reveal that the bandits have been hiding in the abandoned village of Pribyslavitz. Radzig, along with Henry and Sir Robard, will charge the camp in Baptism of Fire. There, Henry makes his final stand against Runt, and Sir Radzig will praise the young man for his courage once the battle is over.
Soon after, during Questions and Answers, Radzig discovers that the bandits are still conducting raids, including an attack on Merhojed where a bandit has been captured. He also learns that the coins recovered at Pribyslavitz were forgeries, but is quick to determine that whoever was creating them must have access to a forge, skilled craftsmen, and a source of materials - which narrows down their hiding places considerably. He orders Henry to travel to Merhojed and interrogate the bandit in order to find out where the coins are coming from.
While Radzig travels to the lookout point in order to be better placed to protect the people of the region from the marauding bandits, Henry is able to find some more information that may lead to the man they call "Chief". He returns to report to Sir Radzig, who agrees he should look into it. He also tells Henry to speak with Master Feyfar in regards to The King's Silver.
The two men take a walk to survey the lookout, gazing over the forest at the Talmberg quarry. Radzig once again praises Henry for his investigative skills, and Henry questions what the point of all the bloodshed and suffering might be. Radzig responds that he believes life to be a trial - a series of problems to be solved. The more challenges you can overcome, the better a man you will become. He sends Henry on his way to complete All that Glisters with a cryptic "good luck, son", and returns to Rattay.
Henry will soon track down the counterfeiter, an impoverished knight named Sir Jezhek, and may even ask Radzig to take him into his service if he cooperates. Jezhek reveals that he was hired by a recruiter in Sasau, and Radzig requests that Henry continue his investigation in If You Can't Beat 'em.
Henry may return to ask his Lord's advice in Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. In order to prove himself to the bandit gang, he has been ordered to murder a former bandit named Pious, currently living as a monk in the Sasau Monastery. Radzig is hesitant to approve the murder, even of a former bandit, and is horrified at the concept of killing him on hallowed ground. Instead, he suggests to Henry that the best course of action would be to escort Pious back to Rattay for a fair trial.
Regardless of Henry's path, he will return to Radzig during The Die is Cast to tell him that he has learned the location of the bandit camp. While Hanush is excited at the prospect of Henry infiltrating the bandits and getting more information to sway the battle, Radzig is hesitant, warning Henry not to take any unnecessary risks.
Some days later, Radzig was dining with Hanush, clearly worried about Henry. At that moment, Henry stumbled into the room, bloody and bruised from his torture at the hands of Erik and Istvan Toth, now revealed to be the masterminds behind the bandit attacks.
Henry is able to report that they have over one hundred men, far more than the forces of Divish, Hanush and Radzig put together. He reveals that Istvan told him something else - that his father was not Martin the blacksmith as he'd always believed, but that he is the illegitimate son of Radzig himself.
Radzig acknowledges the truth but tells Henry they will talk about it later. For now, their focus needs to be on the bandit camp. Hanush proposes that they launch an attack that very evening, as Istvan is sure to muster his forces as soon as he notices that Henry is missing. Radzig tells Henry to immediately ride for Talmberg to tell Sir Divish what was happening, and to bring the Talmberg troops to Vranik. Henry responds with his customary "my lord", but Radzig corrects him, telling him he can now call him "Father."
That evening, in Payback, the Lords launch their assault on Vranik, and are able to defeat them - but there is no sign of Istvan or Erik. Henry searches the homestead and finds a clue, a letter, which mentions that Istvan will "soon succeed in seizing the castle". At that moment, the soldiers drag up a bandit that they've captured alive, who laughs at them and mockingly asks which castle they left unguarded. As Divish realizes with horror that Istvan has taken his men to Talmberg, Hanush kills the laughing bandit with a swift blow from his mace.
Together with Henry and the other lords, Radzig rides to Talmberg, but it is too late - Istvan has already captured Stephanie and murdered the guards. In Out of the Frying Pan, the men launch a desperate attack to try and breach the castle before the enemy can roll up the drawbridge, but Istvan appears holding a knife to Stephanie's throat, and revealing he has also captured Radzig, who had raced ahead.
Henry, Hanush and Divish are forced to withdraw, and, after a brief discussion, decide that Henry should covertly sneak inside the castle that evening, and rescue the hostages.
? - 1416
Racek (in KCD Radzig) Kobyla was a Bohemian yeoman, the Royal Hetman of Wenceslas IV and, between 1410 and 1415, Burgrave of Vyšehrad. In 1403 he resided at the castle in Silber Skalitz (Stříbrná Skalice) where he oversaw the mining of silver. The king was known for his generosity to lower nobles who received high titles for their loyalty. Racek Kobyla was apparently one of these and probably the king's friend.
In 1403 Skalitz was besieged and burned to the ground by King Sigismund and his Cuman army. For his service and loyalty King Wenceslas IV permitted Racek to build his own castle at Veselí nad Sázavou. Standing on this site today is Chateau Komorní Hrádek.
He was killed in 1416 in a tavern in Kutná Hora by a mob of miners, incited by preachers a year after the burning of Jan Hus. "They seized them in the inn where they were staying, cut their bodies into pieces and threw them out onto the street, where the mob vigorously stomped on their remains and then went in merry song to the home of the preacher to be praised for the act they had been encouraged to commit.“ This occurred when Racek was there to collect taxes for the king, which is odd because six years earlier he had apparently been a robber knight and soldiers had been dispatched against him as a scourge of the land. Sources are not clear as to why he was later rehabilitated for "services to the king".
- The Prey
- The Hunt Begins
- Ginger in a Pickle
- Baptism of Fire
- Questions and Answers
- The King's Silver