Antoine de Cliché
Having joined the Freemen of Gwent in September 2008, I was faced with the decision of what character and part to play within the group. It was clear to me that I wanted to be a part of the combat and I was very keen to develop a character that would be interesting and entertaining for the public as well as myself. I quikley realised that I wanted my character to have some comeidic elements and therefore decided to play a French nobleman down on his luck with an "outrageous accent". Hence the name Cliche.
With no more right to call themselves Lord and Lady than your average rat catcher, Antoine and Yvette Cliché nevertheless cling to the idea that faribole baffles brains and proceed to sweet talk and/or bluster their way out of almost all situations.Both possess accents that shift wildly from outrageously French one moment to broadest Welsh the next. Neither one has previously owned up as to why this should occur but, on this occasion only, they are prepared to tell their tale. It should however, be taken with a large pinch of salt – these Cliches are a tricky bunch see?
Antoine de Cliché was of respectable birth but his ambition far outweighed his fortune. Bored by the idea of wheelwrighting, his father’s trade, he set out from the port of Marseille and made for Wales to take his chances fighting in the constant border skirmishes in the Marches. He fared well, learned the Welsh tongue (useful for double agent activities) and soon found himself with coin to spare. The fashion for pilgrimage did not pass him by and he hired himself out as protection to a travelling band of pilgrims headed for St Davids in Pembrokeshire. Alas for the pilgrims they becme hoplessly lost in the twisty, treacherous Welsh roads and found themselves instead in the ancient town of Neath.It was there that Antoine first set eyes on Sian-y-Caws (so called for her skill in the dairy and the making of cheese) walking by the river and his fate was sealed. Sian’s father disapproved of the match but the strong minded young maiden found fromage infinitely preferable to caws and she had no hesitation in running away with her French adventurer, shedding both name and nationality on the way. Thus Yvette de Cliché was created. They have three young daughters, each one as devious as their father and as stubborn as their mother.
It was an autumn day on the edge of the Brecon Beacons that the Antoine and Yvette fell in with the Freemen of Gwent as they had all tagged on to the ragged retinue of Owain Glyndwr. The freedom of the life in a mercenary company suits them both and they continue to thrive as soldiers of fortune. Antoine de Cliché has his eye permanently fixed on the main chance if he can find a way to advance his position with the minimum of exertion or risk. At the battle’s start he is something of the blaguer, with his singing and taunting of the opposition. However, once battle is joined, he is best described as circumspect, making good use of such cover available to him which can be loosely interpreted to understand that he hides behind other (wider) men and he runs away a fair bit as well. He is famous for going through the Battle of Marle without exchanging a blow in anger. Off the battle field he can mostly be found lying down somewhere or if he is feeling energetic he will try to annoy Squire Bob. Sometimes he chops wood.