Tuesday, January 16, 2007

534: Adventures of the Left Behind

Meet Sir Clarian

I think you know my brothers, Sir Monroe and Sir Lancruis. I'm sure you've heard of Earl Mortimer, Castellan of Portchester and my dad. Father took me to winter court at Camelot, and now I am a knight! I was so excited, especially since I got to go to two tournaments right away: Leo's tourney of roses, and father's tourney of justice. But father did not let me sail to the Continent for our Queen's cousin's wedding there, though my brother Lancrius got to. So very disappointing, that!

Looking for adventure, cousin Brevis of the Dyke and I hooked up with the Knight of the Finger, who also did not go to France, along with a knight with a heavy accent. I believe his name was Blois. Since everybody of note was away at the tournament, we offered the lady our help. She took us to meet the three damosels of the fountain: a maid, a comely woman, and a grandmotherly type. So, not just one lady to rescue, but three!

The first damosel in distress was the young maid Cliane and her lover, Sir Rowan, kept apart by her ogreish father, Sir Garhaus of Estragales. [We never did figure out how we got from Salisbury to Estragales and back. None of us is much up on Geography, anyway.] With the help of Cliane's nurse, we devised a plan: Clydno and Blois rode to Sir Rowan to arrange a tryst while Brevis and I were to spirit Cliane and her nurse out of the castle and to the rendezvous.

I foolishly said aloud, "Is this the secret way out of the castle" [sometimes I do that] and before Brevis and I knew it, the four of us were surrounded by Sir Garhaus and a score of spearmen. With the women safely behind us, we fell to it, hacking and slashing ferociously at the now-quite-literally ogreish Sir Garhaus. We battered away for what seemed like hours, eons, and, while in the courtyard just inside the gate, we almost had him at our mercy when Clydno and Blois rode through the gate with lances lowered. That was the end of Sir Garhaus and any objection to the lover's tryst. After Brevis and I got a little first aid, we rode off to the Chapel of Love in the Wilderness. If I ever get married I want to get married there; it was quite lovely.

We then went in search of Sir Garhaus's sister, the Baroness Griane, whose husband had died for Arthur at Badon and had since that day locked her heart away in a strong stone tower of despair and loneliness. Or so we were told. I'm sure the lady's husband did die at Badon, but jeez, that was sixteen years ago. How great a husband could he have been, anyway? Neither am I sure how great a wife she was, because her interest in us extended only to torturing us with pointless games of romance such as in fashion among the ladies of court these days. Oh, you should hear my old man argue with my mother about it! After meeting the Baroness, I can see his point. We spent a looooong time trying to "woo" her with our bad poetry, singing, oration, composition. Good old Brevis finally pulled out a win for us, and we were allowed to go on our way with the lady's thanks. Ugh.

More to our liking was, when we returned to the damosels of the fountain, they told us that the maid Cliane had run into further difficulties. Say no more! Off we go. A renown cur going by the appelation Knight of the Hare had kidnapped Cliane, and challenged us to one-on-one jousting in order to save her from having to skin and cook the knight's rabbits over a campfire. Can you imagine those little white hands covered in blood and soot? No way.

Clydno jousted him first, and went down. Sir Blois was next and he, too, went down, but did not get up after being knocked off his horse. Dead! Poor man. I was next and, I'm not to ashamed to admit, a bit scared at the prospect of ending up dead at the hands of the Knight of the Hare, but God was with me and I bested him. I'm not particularly forgiving or vengeful, merciful or cruel, but standing over the prone form of my opponent, looking over at the body of my unintelligible companion, I made a move toward cruelty that day and cut off his head!

I then had the great pleasure of escorting most dear Cliane back home, seeing the look of radiant worship in her eyes when they turned toward me, before riding back with my two companions to Camelot.

I wonder how one normally gets to Estragales from Salisbury?

Best lines of the night:

"Can we combine our damage?" [Brevis and Clarian together do 6d6 damage with a sword...when we manage to hit.]

"Wow...if the Knights of the Finger, the Dyke, and the Hare got together, it could be quite a party."

"And this is why we weren't invited to the wedding."

"I'm glad I'm dead."

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