Thursday 3 October 2013

The Footman’s Tale (Winter War, March 5, 2005)

By THLaird Colyne Stewart

I went for the knighting, my lord. As you know I took a wound in the side during a foray into the East Kingdom the week before. The tygre managed to break two of my ribs, he did, and as such I thought I would spend the day in rest. But milady, well, she’s a fighter too, as you also know, my lord. And she was chomping at the bit to fight herself, since she missed the afore mentioned foray. And we did both want to see the knighting. So we set out for the Shire of Trinovantia Nova, lugging her armour. Or rather she lugged her armour, for I couldn’t lift much more than her half-gauntlets my lord, shamed as I am to admit it.

When we arrived we found that the hall was already full, but we managed to wiggle our seats down near the list field. Milady quickly strapped on her armour and waded out into the fracas, marking her return after a knee injury side-lined her for two years or there abouts. There were plenty of fighters on the field that day, my lord, including many visitors from the Middle Kingdom, including the newly knighted Sir Jocelyn le Jongleur, as well as the King and the Prince of the Middle, Sir Brannos and Sir Alaric le Fevre.

Generally I spent the day sitting in that chair, watching everyone else battle and fight and prepare themselves for War should the East and Middle clash yet again. And I know that envy is a sin, my lord, but I must admit I felt much envy that day for those in the lists. I hungered for a sword in my hand, and wondered just what it was I used to do at events before I learned the noble art of combat.

I watched as several good gentles did authorize in new forms of combat. The first was Herr Wulfgang Donnerfaust, squire-brother to Kasimir, who did authorize in great sword that day. The others I saw, my lord, were all of House Galbraith. For Nigel of House Galbraith did authorize in sword and shield, while Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr was authorized in dagger and Anna became the second Galbraith to ever authorize in fencing.

I also watched the long battles, my lord, and predominate in my mind is the bridge battle. This, my lord, was an unlimited resurrection battle, which lasted for forty minutes and was a test of endurance for even the hardiest warriors.

But all this is a digression, my lord, for it’s the knighting of which I meant to speak. For the Honourable Lord Kasimir of Stargard had been placed on vigil, to be elevated into the grand Order of Chivalry. You know of whom I speak, my lord, for this is the same Kasimir who made such an excellent showing at our kingdom’s last Crown Tournament. And so the good Vendel did hold the field against all comers, my lord, and battle long and hard he did, until all were satisfied. He then retired to a yurt which the Rozakii had erected, and there he heard the words of wisdom from all those who came to visit him and wish him well. And in the evening he did serve, for this is how Sir Sarnac Bahadur, his knight, had spent his own vigil day.

There was a feast, my lord, but as I could not raise the funds to partake (what with my ribs, my lord, I can not walk my rounds, and so cannot be paid) I instead wandered from table to table where the good members of House Galbraith and House De Taahe did take pity on my condition and give me food and drink.

And when feast was done, my lord, Their Royal Lupine Majesties, did hold Their court, where many good gentles were recognized for their skills and service. Finally, Kasimir, son of Sarnac, son of Roak, was brought before Their Majesties, preceded by his squire-brothers, who bore his shield and helm. There, many noble people did speak of his many virtues, and he was laden with gifts. For he was cloaked, and spurred, and given a sword. Also was he given a spear, for he was, my lord, a Vendel. And, of course, he was given custody of the chain of the Ealdormere’s Order of Chivalry. His Majesty Malik then invited His Majesty Sir Brannos and Sir Sarnac to place their hands with His upon the Sword of State, and together they did dub Kasimir, and make him a Knight of the Realm.

I went for the knighting, my lord, for it is not every day that we see a man such as this gain his golden spurs.

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