Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Elfin's leap

"Sarge, were are drunk and tired, tell us a story. Who was your first kill?"

"Well, I was a younger man, green as grass, and I was at my first war. We had traveled to Rowany festival, at the Tara site, and I was in my colours. Ventbarre, in the quarterly red and gold, fresh from the sweat of the loverly ladies who sewed long into the night. Delicate maidens they were then, mostly peers now. One of them had the nicest set of..."

"War stories Sarge, there are kids up still. the kiddles only get the war stories"

"So I was in my colours, and we were marching down to the bridge. I had my three footer shield, bright and strong, and I was in the shield wall next to my grizzled Sarge, Van den Order. Bigger than me, and he had the four footer shield. Hide a small house behind that bastard, you could. I was new, and I looked on that thing with envy, I can tell yah. Sargent Cashlin had the other one, and this other newb called Wolf had the same green eyes for that one.

Down to the bridge we march, when an arrow rips into my left leg. Down I go, left behind, as the boy march to contact on the bridge. Damn and bugger, I'm not sitting here, I'm crawling off to the side to have a watch and have a bash at anyone going by in the case of a breakthrough. So I get to the edge of the bridge. Its about two metres wide, and five long, but the drop is long and invariably fatal.

So I get one of the best viewing spots, and watch the interplay of the shield wall, the mighty pushes, the wild shots, the pikeman getting to their craft, and the clever men muscling the foolish. It's pretty much a traffic jam, and the battle is out of the reach of my good sword arm.

Suddenly, I see a man running towards me. He's going to leap the chasm! I see his angle, and he is going to land just by me! The silver armoured blur bends and leaps, and I react. I spin on my knee, turn around backwards and throw. The man (yes, and knight! I see at this range the white belt that denotes chivalry!) makes the gap and crouches, just as my shot finishes it's spinning arc and lands clean across his faceplate.

The poor bastard has just made one of the great all time leaps in armour, and was unlucky enough to fall into a newcomers blade. I see him fall back into the gap, and hit the water, gone to this battle. Later I ask who the brave knight who tried the leap so bold would be and I was advised that it was Viscoun Elfin of Mona. He survived the fall and river, as we seem to do in this endless battle for Lochac.

I was new and never met him for more than a fleeting moment. He was a popular man with more friends than time, but I still remember the leap, and I imagine he might still curse his luck that such a fine leap would be intercepted by such a lucky blow. And luck it was, for I was new, and a spin off a knee would never be known as a high chance shot.

So bless me, my first kill in a war was a knight and a Viscount! Remember that my lads and lasses - victory isn't always won by strength and cunning, sometimes just being in the right spot, being keen and being lucky IS enough.

Where's my cider, and where's my wench got too?"

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