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This question is the continuity of "How do I escape my Knight duties".

We're in a country that share many similarities with 16th century scotland.

I'm a local lord and I noticed, this morning, that my daughter and main military leader is missing. Last info I have is that she left the family house by the front door, on foot, in the middle of the night.

If this situation lasts long enough, I will not be able to hide this from my liege, she'll be considered a deserter and exposed to much severe consequences.

Her assets :

  • She knows the country
  • She has military training
  • I'll delay informing my hierarchy as long as I reasonnably can

My assets :

  • I am wealthy and willing to pay.
  • I have manpower of my own.
  • People from nearby villages probably know what she looks like.

What are the means I have at my disposal to get her back as soon as possible, unharmed, and as discreetly as possible ?

If the first part of the plan fails, and the government takes charge of it, what mesures will be applied to retrieve her ?

More important :

What are the odds for her to get caught and will it be increasing or decreasing with time ?

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closed as off-topic by Renan, JBH, Frostfyre, elemtilas, JohnWDailey Oct 18 '18 at 20:32

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    $\begingroup$ Hello Zaa, I did not answer the first question and I did not comment, but this time I've been triggered. Scotland is a small country, almost completely surounded by the sea, and with a particularly indented coast; there is no place in Scotland more than 50 miles from the sea. Your Fräulein Ritterin can simply take a ship to the mysterious continent to the east or to the emerald-green island to the west, and your chances of catching her drop to near zero. And in the early modern age there was no such thing as border controls. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Oct 18 '18 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ So the first thing I should do is send riders as fast as possible to the nearest harbours and establish some kind of control on the departing ships ? $\endgroup$ – Zaa Oct 18 '18 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Zaa except the coastline is full of many small villages who rely on fishing as part of their lifestyle and any beach a small boat can be dragged up will probably have a boat capable of reaching the western island. There are too many possible boats to seize control of all of them. The Government forces could not prevent the escape of Charles Stewart by boat following the failed Jacobite Revolution, hence the Skye Boat song. $\endgroup$ – Sarriesfan Oct 18 '18 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ Wouldn't she need some money for that ? Can I not spread the word that I offer more ? $\endgroup$ – Zaa Oct 18 '18 at 16:29
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    $\begingroup$ Questions about individuals are off-topic as too story-based. $\endgroup$ – JBH Oct 18 '18 at 16:39
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The noble father will have to draw his own conclusions on what happened, and act according to this (wrong?) understanding in his social context.

  • Does he think she was mentally disturbed? Whatever he thinks, it might or might not make sense to spread this story. In a historical middle age, talking about a somewhat irrational woman might go easier than in a setting where she is a senior knight.
  • Is the father her military superior? If so, approve her leave effective yesterday together with a suitable story for public consumption (spiritual retreat, visiting relatives, ...). Even if daddy exceeded his authority in granting indefinite leave, he might face lesser punishments for that than she would for going AWOL.
  • Consider to craft the cover story so that it looks like a flimsy cover for a deniable military mission. That way she might be safe whatever she says to people she meets.
  • The daughter apparently left on her own will. The father will check if the daughter seems to have prepared her departure -- has she packed bags for wilderness living, taken money, taken her arms and armor? Supplies missing from the kitchen stores?
  • Immediately inform any nearby, trusted henchmen that she is not to be given horses or supplies. Otherwise she could show up and simply request them for a "leader's reconnaissance" mission. (Not exactly in those terms, probably.)
  • There might be an order to follow and support her mission, even against her will. "A true knight, she wants to take all the risk on herself. But a true man-at-arms won't let her."

All that assumes the father can cover his daughter and lie. His knightly code of honor might say otherwise.

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  • $\begingroup$ Well, your second point was going to be a good part of my answer my answer. $\endgroup$ – ShadoCat Oct 18 '18 at 18:19
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Send four messengers on horse (north, south, west, east) with news that, on the same day she disappeared, you (or your wife if your daughter loves her more) were attacked. Offer a reward for the assailants and be very vague about the results of the attack.

Those messengers can do 125 km/80 miles in a day if you pay them well and start spreading the news there (and then towards your lands). They will travel in a day what a well trained soldier on foot do in three days and a normal horserider in 1.5 days.

The news will literally advance your runaway daugher. If she is slightly responsible (that is, if you taught her well), she will come back at least to check your family. If someone recognizes her, they won't try to capture her because they will think she is looking for your assailants, too. But they will inform her and she will know something happened.

If your liege wants to interrogate you, you can feign being sick (or needing to be next to your wife). If he comes all the same to your manor, you can tell him your daughter was probably kidnapped by your attackers. You lost sight of her, you are very worried, yes, we will keep you informed if we receive any news.

Finally, calling this desertion is too far-stretched. If your liege calls for his knights and you can't provide your daughter because she left, you just need to pay something like a fine or special tax for it, normallly the cost of sending another professional warrior in her place.

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