Monday, October 16, 2006

528: Fighting the Devil's son-in-law

Sir Trently relates

After such a chaotic summer, it was good to stand, assembled again, on the field of battle, old campaigners such as Sir Leodigrance, Sir Tanigard and Sir Wim, good old Jerry and Sir Gilbert alongside newcomers Sirs Galonors, Berel, Dalan, and young Count Garin. Oh, the excitement of standing at the head of an army!

Less exciting was staring across at the disgorgement of hell's maw, but it is the duty of a knight to fight heroically, and the burnishment of chivalry to fight righteously so really, I was ready to go, even though it looked for sure like I was going to not walk away from this one. Oh, the spirit was there, but I was so, so tired from my ride...all praise to my lord Emperor King Arthur Pendragon for the courser he lent me for the ride north. I only wish the knights I found and gathered with such hope at Camelot had been able to keep up.

At the first clash of arms with hell's own spawn, on the brittle grass surrounding the White Castle, my faithful Ethiop went down. We fell like autumn leaves! Sir Jerry and Sir Gilbert, not the best fighters unless it's over last call, went down together, Garin fell (though I later learned his steed saved him). I was on autopilot, hacking and slashing without regard for my own limbs. Once, when I looked up, I could see the Hate burning in the eyes of Leodigrance and Tanigard and they mowed their way through the Saxon line, while Sir Wim rolled over the Picts before him like so much hay.

After the Saxons, the Picts, the Orkney lads and the cannibals had softened us up, the ogres and their ilk took the field. Good squire Florence of the level head stood fast, along with the rehorsed alemen, and while they held their own against the two-armed variety, they were done in by the four-armed Fomorians; I don't think there's even a scrap of armor on that pair worth salvaging, they were smashed so hard.

The last thing I remember was Sir Wim leveling his lance at a group of trolls...then the cannibals pulled Leo and I off our horses and everything went dark.

When I came to I was in a small room in Castle Penrith, along with Leo and Garin. Florence was there, and he told me that shortly after Leo and I went down Sirs Ywain, Lamorak and his brothers, Gawain, and many others from the Round Table showed up. Florence said that all they really did at that point was mop up, and not to worry, as people knew it had been us that had won the battle. Nice of him to say. Sgt Dalan was dead, too—never let Sir Wim search your wounds! never! But the forces of the devil were vanquished, and though the Fisher King is still gravely injured, his lands won't be overrun. All praise to Emperor King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table!

I'll winter here in Penrith before heading south in the spring.

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