Black Knight

This is a dark age, a bloody age, an age of daemons and of sorcery.

Black Knight

Postby exitus_10 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:45 pm

My solution to writers block has always been to write whatever that comes to me. Writers block is basically when there is a ton of ideas in your head that are trying to get out alongside the ideas for the project or text that you are writing, the best way to rid it is to write down whatever it is that is causing you to block. Atleast that is my view of it.

This is one such piece I had to write because it was driving me crazy and not allowing me to finish a old as story I have been writing for a year over in WH40k section

Anyway here is something odd and removed from the normal old world shenanigans...well not all that much.

It is set during the Crusades in Araby and it involves a young knight of Mousillon named Alaine Rachard and his travails when he is lost and abandoned by his erstwhile lord.
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Re: Black Knight

Postby exitus_10 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:47 pm

Part 1

1453 – By reckoning of the Imperial Calendar.
4th Year of the Crusade against Araby.
South of Martek, Town of Aligarh.

A knight armoured in black stood over the cliff’s edge and stared dubiously at the bustling township and a small castle that stood watch over it.

His bronzed and sunburnt face showed a young but violent life, the eyes burnt with a vigour and will that his damaged form and armour belied.

The burning sands and sun of an Arabyan day was still taking a toll on him, the knight wiped his dusty hand on his ruined purple tabard with a torn black fleur-de-lys and reached for his water satchel and tipped the last of the brackish liquid he had scrounged from those that had sought to kill him.

With that thought in his addled mind he set off toward the town the warm wind giving him some semblance of peace as he walked the dirt road, yet the fact could not be denied, the bastard Baron d’Chatlon had tried to rid himself of his kind.

But as his father had told him all those years ago and again when he had joined the Errantry War against the hated Jaffar; A Rachard is not easily rid off.

Three weeks ago he was just another knight amongst an army of knights making a steady and costly way toward the city of corsairs, the infamous city of Lashek, only for Tuareg ambushes to stall the advance by their rear attacks and raids on already conquered settlements and townships. The Grand Master of the Imperial Knightly Orders asked for the Bretonnians to seek and engage the bandit army that was harassing and destroying their supply routes, while the bulk of the army continued toward the city of corsairs.

Baron d’Chatlon, a lord and leader of the division Rachard was under had ordered him and two score of Knights in the black of Mousillon to ride west into the desert and to deliver important battlefield information to the supposed detachment of knights from Martek to coordinate an attack from the west led by the Baron and the north led by the infamous Sir Thibault, Captain of Couronne Palace.

It was an unusual honour for the Knights of Mousillon and should have been noted as such, the knights were almost always systematically discriminated against due to their land of origin throughout the campaign, pompous knights from Quenelles or Couronne or L’Anguille consistently contradicted the actions of the black knights in the Scroll of Deeds recorded by troubadour knights who accompanied the Crusade.

But such an honour could not be shunned and it was seen by the most senior knight of Mousillon, Sir Gerard of Naizon, as an honour and thus he and the forty knights bearing the golden fleur-de-lys of Mousillon including Alaine Rachard set out on their quest under the burning sun of Araby and as Alaine most were young and dumb, but had seen their share of battles in the Crusade against Araby.

They rode for a whole week passing small oasis and settlements, fighting scattered and few Tuareg raiders through cliff passes and river crossings until they broke through into the desert, less than a dozen of them were alive by then and the realization that there was no detachment of knights suddenly dawned on them the further they rode north in the horrid deserts of the place. When they tried to save themselves from the burning noon in the shadow of the mountains they would be assailed by local tribes or by ancient beasts and spirits called djinns when they tried to sleep in the cold desert nights.

By the third week hunger and thirst had set in and keen ache of betrayal joined the other physical ailments that slowly sapped the strength of the eight remaining knights.

Sir Gerard, no longer the cold and calculating leader was a mumbling and depressed wreck, the death of his sword-brother Albard by the Manticore on the fifteenth day of their doomed journey had turned his humours dark and his outlook bleak, he was not alone in such sentiment.

Eventually Sir Gerard, a named champion of the Battle of Magritta, slayer of a dozen of the feared Black Guard Captains of the dead Jaffar and a Knight of Mousillon drove the tip of his blade through his own neck when they found themselves chasing disappearing oases, the men were struck with grief and confusion over the champion’s death, yet to Alaine, the reason was all too self evident.

The implication that the lord they were sworn to would so wantonly rid himself of such valuable knights finally struck them, the eldest among the group of seven that survived; Sir Garnot had finally sought to address their situation.

“We have been betrayed,” he had said on their seventeenth night, “it is evident it is not because of our deeds and as is usual of our damned homeland, it is because of our birth.”

The surviving knights began to nod in agreement.

“We are short of water, food and our horses are starving, there is little hope in this bleak land so I have come to one conclusion, we disperse, we leave on our own path because we have more of a chance of reaching our brothers in Martek, inform our lord Baron d’Hafleur.”

“But, sir, we are in a strange land and how are we to know if he still lives?” a young knight had asked. The question was fair; the level of betrayal the survivours felt justified such an unthinkable question, what if there was a conspiracy against the knights of Mousillon?

“Such a thing may happen, but we are many in number in Martek and the knights of other lands too few, the Imperials there are staunch allies of the Baron, I am sure he lives. We need to find him and tell him of this betrayal.”

That night they had all agreed and departed their own path north and west in the near infinite desert that stretched before them.

Alaine rode until he found himself alone in at the edge of a rocky crag, below him lay an empty ruin of a ancient city or town, he slowly climbed down the length of the cliff until he came to the ruin and took an old path that led to a small stream that ran into a fissure on the cliff. There was foliage there for his tired charger and berries in a nearby briar that seemed edible, as he had settled himself down for a moment of rest he heard his horse shriek in pain and bowl over on its side.

His muscles ached and his head hurt from the heat but Alaine’s reaction was instantaneous, his blade was in his sword hand and his shield on his other arm, he looked around him and saw a shadow somewhere above him, a slight mechanical creak and a snapping bowstring immediately made him raise his shield over his head.
He felt an impact and the bolt head of the arrow appear through his shield inches away from his forearm.

A pair of footmen armed with clubs and armoured in leather jerkins charged him from behind a pillar and swung their weapons in wide arcs, the first blow snapped the bolt that jutted from Rachard’s shield; the second blow was blocked by the knight’s blade.

Alaine kicked out with his armoured boot and caught the nearest one of them in knee and sent him falling to the ground in pain his unarmed hands clutching at his broken kneecap and his weapon on the ground beside him.
The second assailant backed away as he took stock of the situation, this allowed Rachard to assess his attacker and he wore a quartered blue and yellow crest over his armour.

“Bastard,” Alaine hissed through his teeth at the recognition, one of Lord Brandyn’s men, the right hand man of Baron d’Chatlon.

He felt another bolt pass by his head by a few inches and raised his shield again and looked up at a crossbow wielding peasant desperately trying to reload his weapon.

Alaine looked back at the peasant with the club who was a little shaken before but was gathering his wits, the second was still wailing on the ground.

Finally the peasant charged and the black armoured knight met him with a shield to the filthy peasant’s face and a blade through his chest, the peasant slid of the blade shuddering as he died.

Alaine immediately looked up at the peasant with the crossbow who was desperately trying to get the bowstring aligned with the trigger, the knight sheathed his sword and picked up the dropped iron tipped club and weighed it in his hand, and he practiced a few swings and balanced it in his hand with his shield held up.
The third bolt shot at him by the peasant crossbowman was once again caught by his shield; it deflected of the curved surface and bounced on the ground.

Alaine aimed the club and then threw the weapon, through luck or some hidden skill, he didn’t know which, the club smashed into the man’s head and cracked his skull and the peasant fell into the twelve foot drop from the little raise, and there was a distinctive wet splat as the peasant died.

Then Alaine had walked to his fallen horse, he had reared the beautiful beast since it was a foal, he stroked its neck and mane and checked the bolt that had impaled its jaw and through its neck, he whispered a prayer silently and stood up, and unsheathed his sword.

“Thank you old friend,” he whispered as he bought the sword down piercing the steed’s skull and ending its torment.

He turned and walked toward the whimpering peasant who still lived.

“Where is the nearest town?” was all he asked, the peasant hurriedly explained that there was a small friendly town some two miles away.

Alaine had driven his sword into the peasant’s chest and took whatever he could from the dead, the valuable pack off his dead horse and began his walk toward the town.
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Re: Black Knight

Postby exitus_10 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:48 pm

Part 2

His thoughts suddenly returned to his present.

He was taking his last few tired steps toward the township, a pair of local horsemen rode past him giving him a look of daggers, Alaine paused and returned their stares, sliding a few inches of his blade from its sheath as a sign of intent, the riders shouted something and laughed before galloping away, he turned back toward the crowded gate ahead of him where a dozen or so people and three filled trade carts of what looked like a caravan were filing slowly into the township, guards were directing the rear of the column in through the wide stone gateway as dirty children screamed and jumped about at the feet of the guards.

Alaine approached the gate slowly as last of the caravan had entered the town and the wider gate was shut firmly. People still shuffled in and out of the side doors in two neat lines overseen by a half a dozen guards, armoured in leather and gray scale and tall pikes, their helmets were a strange mix of a black turban and metal, the tail of the turban hung by their left shoulder spilling on to their armoured chest.

A guard at the gate an officer by the golden dome of his helmet, scanned Alaine as he approached the gate with a practiced eyes; the battle-worn and tired condition of the black knight indicated a long and arduous journey through the desert, the torn tabard and the insignia therein.

“You look broken my friend,” the guard officer called out to Alaine as he shambled toward the side door.
Alaine looked up at the guard and met the swarthy soldier’s face, he had a neatly trimmed goatee and a hooked nose, he had a high forehead and a bushy brow. Alaine smiled with a mild hint of surprise to see a foreigner speaking Breton, however accented.

“You speak my tongue, outsider?”

“Outsider?” the guard officer laughed and called out a brief statement to the other guards, the all laughed, “dear, traveller, you are the outsider here, in a strange land not of your birth wandering the burning sands searching for treasure.”

Now it was Alaine’s turn to laugh, “Treasure? There is no treasure, only death, yet it is bleak enough to remind me of my forsaken home in Mousillon. So now tell me how you speak the language of Breton?”

“I speak it with my tongue, traveller,” the guard officer face a mischievous smile.

Alaine chuckled darkly at that remark, “Indeed, may I enter your fair town?”

“Fair? Huh, sir, sincerely, you do not speak the tongue of the land and you look beaten beyond a dead camel. There is little this town has to offer you and you to it.”

Alaine then recalled one thing he had overheard from another knight when they had left for Araby, that coin was the universal language in any part of the world.

“I do have coin,” Alaine said as he retrieved a leather pouch from his belt.

The demeanour of the guard changed and he smiled, this time with genuine mirth, “Tell me your name friend and purpose then let me show you what this Aligarh has to offer.

“I am Sir Alaine of Rachard and my purpose is to seek answers.”
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Re: Black Knight

Postby exitus_10 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:50 pm

Part 3

A single gold coin, only one single coin from amongst a dozen gold coins had allowed him a large bungalow at the foot of the castle keep, the guard at the gate, Kabir, the Captain of the Gate Alaine later found out had taken him to the place and shown him around, another three silver pieces had fetched him a dozen house-servants and enough silk clothes to last him a year.

Alaine bathed for the first time in two months that day and soaked in every minute of the bath, literally, when the servant had arrived and informed him that he had been in the bath for over an hour, asleep for most of it, he had reluctantly gotten up from the filthy water and dried himself before slipping into a smooth and loose linen pants and a fine silk coat that fell till his knees.

As he walked outside he saw a trio of the young girl servants poke and prod at the black armour that had been arranged on a rack outside the bath, the girls shied and ran away giggling when they saw their erstwhile master walk out from the bath, he approached the rack and took his sheathed sword and belt from it and strapped it around his waist.

Alaine followed them out into the foyer into the living room where he saw Captain Kabir lay reclined in the with his legs propped up on the sumptuous pillowed and carpeted ground as he listened to a ending note of a performance on the lute by a pretty dark haired girl.

“Enjoying my coin, Kabir?” Alaine asked as the girl finished.

Kabir looked up from his comfortable lay and waved his hand, “This girl is on me, and so is all of this,” he said as he waved his hand toward another room, a gaggle of servants suddenly burst out of it with platters of roast meat and sweetmeats and jugs of what Alaine thought was wine.

“A meal worthy of a rich new friend,” Kabir said to the slightly perturbed Alaine, raising a metal goblet and handed it to the Knight, “drink deep and enjoy.”

Alaine took the goblet and saw the reddish liquid, he sipped it first, it was cool, sweet a hint of rose flavour within, there was none of the strong sourness and flavour of wine but this was different, sweet and pleasant. He looked up from the drink at a smiling Kabir.

“I have...never tasted this it from a fruit?” Alaine said as he sipped a more substantial amount and felt it slide down his throat.

“Yes and no, it is made from many sources, it is called a sherbet,” he said as he poured himself a goblet and sipped on it.

Alaine nodded as he seated himself down, a servant rushed over with a small table that reached the sitting knight’s sternum, a platter of roasted meat, gravy and fragrant yellow rice with a jelly like sweet and a sheaf of flat bread.

Kabir sat next to him and began to dig into the plate that was offered to him, he looked up at Alaine and smiled with a mouthful of food, he gulped it down and nodded to his plate, “Eat up, it is good food.”

Alaine dug into the food like a wild animal, he tore the bread apart and shoved the meat into his mouth, he ate the sweets with the spiced rice and gravy without a need for taste, he cleared the plate within a scant few minutes since he began and looked up at the servants and pointed at his platter, they simply took the platter away and bought a jug of sherbet and refilled his drained goblet.

“No, not more of this, more food!” he growled at the serving man, Alaine turned to Kabir, “How do I say more food?”

Kabir chuckled as he asked for more food in his weird tongue and shook his head at Alaine, “Tell me young friend, how old are you exactly?”

“Exactly? I would have to guess; I have lived seventeen winters, though I suspect I have crossed into my eighteenth sometime these past days.”

“Intriguing, you measure your age by seasons, here we measure by the day of birth in relation to the year.”

Alaine shrugged uninterested as he dug into the second platter of food that was offered.

“So tell me young knight, how is it that you are here?”

Alaine paused from attacking the platter and waved his hand, “First, tell me how you speak my tongue, you are yet to answer me that.”

Kabir nodded, “Fair enough, I am what you call a poet and bard; I travelled through the north for a time in my youth and learned many things; especially in Soreil and Erguy in L’Anguille for a few years before going to the Empire, amongst the tongues of the land I also learnt the art of battle, especially when my employers were increasingly violent individuals and adventurers who set out on quests and campaigns that involved a lot of bloodshed.”

“I see, well that seems rather eventful,” Alaine added as he drained his goblet.

Kabir nodded, “Now tell me young knight what is your purpose and story?”

Alaine’s mood became a little darker and defensive, “Well, I was...betrayed by certain members of the nobility I owe my allegiance to, I have to ride to Martek and speak with my Baron and find an answer for all of my travails.”
“I see, is there anything I may do to help you, young Alaine?”

“What can a simple Gate Captain achieve more that let me into this town?” Alaine asked in a joking tone.

“Simple am I?” asked the captain as he broke out laughing, “Your tongue stings me, a friend so generous! Well as for the fact; I am a Mercenary Captain, hired by the Emir of Aligarh to oversee the retraining of his depleted men who had marched to liberate Martek with your masters. I have trained the three companies of warriors according to my contract. At any rate, it expires tomorrow or day after as my dues dictate and they are long done and I can continue somewhere else working for coin.”

“So you have no master?”

Kabir held up a silver coin with a square gap at its middle, “None so sacred, nay but the coin!”

Alaine laughed at that, “That is something I am yet to understand.”

“Does that mean you still owe your allegiance to a lord, the Baron in Martek or the King of Brettonia?”

“I think you know the answer to that question,” Alaine replied bitterly, his mood changing suddenly and left it at that.

“I do young knight, but choosing the life of a sword for hire isn’t such a bad life, your allegiance is to yourself.”
“Then what about honour?”

Now it was Kabir’s voice that became bitter, “Honour deserts people as quick as their friends.”

“They did not desert me! I did not desert them! We had no choice!” Alaine shouted as he flipped the table over in a spurt of rage and stood up his blade in hand, “You don’t know what we faced! We died like ignoble fodder!”

Kabir slowly got up and raised his hand, his palms facing the raging Alaine, all around them the servants whimpered and cowered in fear.

“Please, young friend, please calm yourself,” Kabir implored, Alaine did not relent.

“Damn them for doing this! Damn the King and damn Chatlon and his damned treachery! They abandoned us and drove us into the maw of the enemy! The Lady forsook us, all of us! Even Gerard! We died to terrors in the sand, horrible things from the mountains!”

Kabir stood back patiently listening to the distraught Alaine who swore and cursed, his blade swinging and cutting air and his cheeks reddened even beneath the darkened flesh of his face, tears rolled from his eyes, “Sir Gerard! He was the best of us! But we were forsaken because of our land of birth! Why Kabir? Why?”

“Sir Alaine, please, calm yourself,” Kabir implored again as he stepped closer to the weeping Alaine, “please.”

Alaine dropped his blade and fell to his knees; he looked up at Kabir with tear soaked eyes and asked, “Why?”

Kabir looked Alaine in the eyes and pursed his lips, “Do not fret dear friend, we will find the cause in time, you need to rest for now and gather your strength, we will ride out tomorrow to Martek and solve your riddle.”

Alaine rose up and nodded, “I...apologize and it is not in my nature to be so...emotional.”

“You are young and I can see in your eyes you have been afflicted by some horror. It is good to release such burdens, however...unorthodox.”

“Thank you for all of this, Captain Kabir,” he said as he wiped the tears and collected himself, “I must ask why you are so generous to me?”

Kabir’s eyes darkened, “Because once I was in the same place as you, long ago, I was betrayed and left to fend for myself, I did not have someone to help me in that time, but now I can at least help you.”

“So you do have honour, sir.”

Kabir smirked at that statement, “Honour? No, this is the code of my faith, dear friend. The One will always judge a man by his actions and his influence on his peers.”


“Not entirely, I could use a good sword hand in my company and you seem like you have the spirit of a wanderer.”

“We will find out when I find my answer, till then I am a knight of Mousillon” Alaine said as he sheathed his sword.
Kabir smirked at this, “But not the King and Lady?”

“I pray to your god that I am never so gullible,” Alaine replied darkly.
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Re: Black Knight

Postby exitus_10 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:48 am

Part 4

“So you don’t care that foreigners are in your land?” the young knight in his black armour asked as he wiped the sweat from the burning afternoon sun.

Kabir squinted his eyes as he stared out into the mirage ridden trade route that travelled to Martek, “That is quiet a stupid question to ask,” was all he said as he drew a telescope from his bag by the saddle and pointed the larger end at the distance and the smaller at his left eye.

“What is so stupid about it?” Alaine asked lamely as he steadied his uneasy black steed, he could feel that it was unused to the weight of his freshly polished and repaired armour.

The Mercenary turned to him as he returned the telescope to his satchel, “I must say your naivety is wearing thin. Regardless, my patience is as generous as my spirit.”

Alaine frowned at this, ever since he had met the Mercenary he kept speaking of the virtues of his character like some sort of strange mantra.

“If you say so,” was all he could say as he looked back at the file of a thirty strong column of horsemen, all mercenary cavalry, armed and armoured in exquisitely crafted lances, bows, blades and armour.

“How much did it cost you to arm and horse them all?” Alaine asked changing the subject.

At this the mercenary captain smiled, “Half my life’s fortune. But being the best is worth it you see?”
“Really? You are certain you are the best?”

“Absolutely, we are yet to lose a battle for an employer,” Kabir explained as he took the reins of his white steed, “but there seems to be little time for me to elaborate that point.”

“Oh? Why?”

“Well for now there is a caravan approaching from the east through the Ka-Sabar trade route and we will meet them at the Oasis of Heads the last stop to Martek, and also they are being trailed by Horsemen, a lot of them...that’s odd, the pennants and sheen from the pursuers and the caravan...”

“What is it? Are they some of Jaffar’s Bastard Captain?” asked Alaine his eyes lighting up at the prospect of fighting the remnant of the great army of Jaffar, at least it will be in line with his original purpose here.

“Not so simple I am afraid, Rachard, come!” with that Kabir galloped forward on his steed and his men behind began to follow, Alaine kicked his own horse and caught up next to the Arabian mercenary and gave him a sidelong glance.

“Why should we intervene?” Alaine asked as he pointed to the far off caravan.

“Because it has a twofold purpose,” Kabir said as he flicked a coin to Alaine which he hurriedly caught with his riding hand while engaging the reigns with his sword hand.

“Coin and what?”

“Gratitude, young knight, gratitude; in this world gratitude can get you many things that coin cannot, it can be the key to getting in between a noble woman’s legs or into an occupied city and if what I spied with my long-glass is true I will be securing more of your friendship.”

Alaine still did not quite understand the meaning but he rode on as the armed column advanced toward the caravan.
Within an hour they had rode into the Oasis of the Head to find it unoccupied, the tents and fire pits were all devoid of activity and the rations in the place looked stocked for the next caravan to arrive and rest.

Kabir had by then formulated a plan to deal with the threat that was riding behind the caravan that was bound to stop in the oasis, he split his soldiers into two groups, Kabir himself will take twenty horsemen and wait for the caravan in the oasis, once the traders and their guards are informed of the coming threat an offer will be made and the fact of ten more horsemen, under his Lieutenant Akram, will be awaiting hidden beyond the nearby hill in a wadi will be available to intervene if the offer is accepted.

Alaine was sceptical; it seemed overly cautious to keep a reserve of horsemen instead of presenting the full force to the traders or whoever it was in the caravan.

As the mercenary soldiers set about feeding and watering their horses, Alaine went about loosening and stretching himself readying for the inevitable battle that was about to happen while Kabir stood at the top of a short mud wall that surrounded the oasis and was pointing his spy glass toward the chase and muttering to himself.

“What is it?” Alaine asked as he stood up next to Kabir.

“The sun is setting soon,” Kabir said oddly as he held out the spyglass and pointed at the approaching caravan kicking up a swirl of dust behind them, “do you recognize that pennant?”

Alaine took the spy glass looked at it then back to Kabir who simply returned his glare, he turned toward the caravan and raised the spyglass to his eye. It didnt quite look like a caravan just a column of riders with three carts in tow, then he saw the pennants and gasped in surprise.

“By the Grail, that’s banner of Baron d’Hafleur!”
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Re: Black Knight

Postby exitus_10 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:50 am

Part 5

Alaine awaited the hurrying column of a score of Baron d’Hafleur and his knights by the entrance of the oasis, he hurriedly waved at the knights, one hand on the pommel of his blade in caution.

As the knights closed in Alaine noticed their haggard and bloodied state, they wore long dusty shawls and torn cloaks a dozen cuts and dents throughout their armours, not a single knight looked unscathed, some raised their visors or undid the hauberk around their heads, lowering their guards at the sight of another knight from Mousillon as they rode past the waving Alaine.

One of the knight’s on a massive black charger and armoured in the suit of dented and dusty armour with the red fleur de lys over black crossed blades over a field of scarlet, the sigil of Hafleur worn only by the Baron.

“Where is Sir Ardric?” the Baron asked, his voice hoarse and spoke through gritted teeth.

“Sir Ardric, my lord?” Alaine asked confused.

Behind the cursing form of the three huge trade carts driven at speed by cloaked and hooded figures sped in followed by another pair of Mousillon knights.

“Who in the name of fates sent you?” the Baron looked over him and noticed the tattered tabard, “Rachard is it?”

“Alaine d’Rachard, my lord, I was under Sir Gerard d’Eremy,” Alaine related as he looked back down the path at the other group of horsemen approaching the oasis, his eyes widened in recognition as he saw dozens of Knights of Brettonia.

“Where the hell is Gerard then?”

Alaine looked back at the Baron and nodded, “He is dead, my lord. But I have a mercenary captain with me, thirty of his best horsemen!”

“What mercenary?” the baron asked as he turned his horse around to regard the twenty mercenaries that were on their guards facing the black armoured knights of the baron, they were all Arabians, “what in the hells are you doing in league with these wretched locals?”

“Wretched seems too barbaric, Sir Baron,” Kabir declared as he walked up behind Alaine and gave a slight bow, “but what my friend here says is the truth, we are the best and your only chance to turn the table against those pursuers.”

The baron turned his horse around toward the approaching knights of the realm and cursed once more, he reached into his cloak and retrieved a clinking purse of leather which he threw at Kabir, “Prepare yourself for battle then, you are hired!”

Kabir caught the purse and yelled an order in his tongue as he checked the purse, one of the mercenaries got on his horse and sped off toward the wadi to the east where the reserve horsemen were hidden and the rest began to string their bows and run toward the mud walls.

The mercenary looked back toward the Baron and smiled, “May I suggest that you and your men put your horses aside and fight on foot, honoured lord? We can defend this place more efficiently.”

After a moment of thought the Baron nodded, “Men, dismount and prepare to repel the enemy!”

Alaine meanwhile observed the charging knights with the spyglass and was shocked to spot knights from a dozen different houses bearing down on them, he drew his sword and turned to the knights who were still some three hundred meters away, he loosened his wrists and swung his blade about in an arc.

“They are close enough,” he heard Kabir say as he stepped toward the wall, “Al-hujum!”

Twenty arrows were suddenly loosed from the bows of the mercenaries and most found their marks on the heavily armoured knights.

The sun was setting and with what light there was Alaine could distinguish no less than three renowned Paladins and a dozen Questing knights of fame, the Grail Knight he recognized as Sir Barduin of Bastonne, the infamous slayer of the Beast of Gardonne.

He wondered what sort of event required such a force of warriors to give chase to a baron no less.

“My lord baron, why are such august knights as Sir Barduin seeking to slay you?” Alaine asked lamely trying to keep the fear he felt from his voice.

“Misplaced sense of justice, young errant,” the Baron said as he turned to his men and gave them curt orders, while the Arabians fire had made the charge falter and the pursuing knights had broken to reform their charge to address the massing Knights of Mousillon on foot and the archers simultaneously, a pair of the pursuing knights lay dead pierced by arrows through their helmets.

The Baron approached the three large carts that stood to the side, their driver’s were stock still, except the one the Baron was near, it turned its hooded head toward the Baron and he heard some strange whisper and wisps of ethereal mist emanate from the dark depth of the hood. The Baron nodded and pulled out his blade and looked at the setting sun.

“A few more minutes and we can awaken him!” the Baron shouted as he ran to the line of black armoured knights who were fixing long lances under their back foot and preparing to meet the charge that was less than a hundred meters away.

Another barrage of arrows caught another knight and fell on the ground hard as the weight of the impact snapped his neck and killed him instantly, other arrows stuck to shields or failed to pierce the heavy armour of the charging knights, none of the arrows hit the Grail Knight who had a nimbus of light glowing behind his helmet.

Alaine gripped the sword in his hand and felt the weight of the blade comfortable, his armour felt flexible and easy even though he was sweating underneath on the silk garments and leather cuirass he wore underneath it.

“Don’t worry, young friend, I told you that we have not lost a battle yet, I am not about to lose here to your silly foreigner friends.”

Alaine laughed nervously and nodded, “Where is your second with the rest of your horsemen?”

“They will be here soon enough, but only when the time is right,” Kabir said as he lit a torch and unsheathed his curved sabre with the other hand.

“Keep in line men! We fight for our master and the promise of immortality! Shed your blood and the promise is assured!” the Baron growled as he stalked down the line of his knights who slammed their fists into their breastplates.

Alaine joined the line and heard the thundering of nearing hooves, his gaze fixed toward the charging knights less than a dozen meters away from him, he raised the blade and readied to meet his inevitable death.
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Re: Black Knight

Postby exitus_10 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:57 am

Part 6

Between the clash of metal and the cry of the dying men, Alaine found his courage; the madness of the battle had suddenly brought something out of him as it always did. He did not quite know what it was but as his father had told him it was the old Rachard will to triumph, to stand and fight to succeed in the face of madness and embrace doom like it was a brother.

The oncoming lance of the Knight, a Brionne by his heraldry, pierced Alaine’s black shield, he took the impact and twisted the shield in his hand trying to lessen its force, but he miscalculated and was thrown on to his back, another charging knight behind the Brionne, a young faced helmetless Errant lowered his own lance eagerly to skewer the prone Alaine and the tip of the lance pierced his flank tearing into the metal but missing the flesh and plunging it into the dry dusty ground instead.

The errant forgot to release his grip as usual of those who were young and inexperienced are wont to do and Alaine quickly grabbed the haft of the impotent weapon.

The young errant knight was thrown from his horse through the momentum and landed in a clatter of sound as the lance pinning Alaine snapped with a crack and a shower of splintered of wood.

A shadow fell over him, it was Kabir the mercenary pulling the rest of the lance out of Alaine’s flank and helping him up.

“Beware, young friend the knight returns!” he warned as he raised his sabre in a blocking riposte.

Alaine simply leapt out of his way and let Kabir deal with the Brionne as before him the Knight errant had recovered remarkably unscathed and raised his blade and pointed it at him.

Alaine as a knight had to accept the challenge and he discarded his shield and raised his own sword in reply, the errant knight, a Bastonnian Alaine assumed by the blue and red livery with the dragon, charged him on foot, Alaine parried the first blow then ringed around him and gave a sharp kick to the Bastonnian’s shin stopping his charge.

“Fight fairly!” the Bastonnian grunted as he backed away.

“Fine,” was all Alaine said as he leapt at the errant knight with a flurry of blade work that drove the Bastonnian back foot by foot, unable to contend with the slightly more experienced and technical blade-work of the elder knight, until finally with a deft flick of his wrist and a feigning cut he allowed the Bastonnian to back away only to leap once more at him and pierce the blade into the errant’s forearm.

The Bastonnian cried in pain as Alaine pulled his blade from the Bastonnian’s arm, the blade falling from the weakened grip.

“Fair enough?” Alaine grunted and drove the blade through the young knight’s throat who fell gurgling blood and twitching.

Alaine turned to see the Brionne fighting on foot with Kabir, he admired the Arabian sword-work, it was exquisite and was giving the Brionne Knight a good fight, it was infact looking tilted to the mercenary as the knight had no idea of how to penetrate the circular defense the Arabian weaved expertly around himself.

“’ Ware yourself, young knight!” he heard a shout from beside him and turned to see a large Paladin step toward him with a two handed blade, a dozen cuts all about him and a arrow stuck from a bleeding wound on his waist, but behind him lay two dead knights of the Baron, the knight was far from weakened.

Alaine held his blade up and awaited the Paladin advanced and the duel began the Paladin fought like a lion, there was little Alaine could do but retreat under the furious blows that rained down upon his blade.

Three arrows struck in quick succession against the paladin’s flank and the knight staggered sideways due to the impact of the arrows. Seeing his chance Alaine lunged forward and tore into the mail coif around the paladin’s neck, a spurt of crimson sprayed from the gaping wound that appeared, some of the blood splashing onto Alaine as he dragged the struggling body of the paladin and threw him toward the cart.

Alaine turned about and saw that the rest of Kabir’s horsemen had charged in firing their bows from horseback, he gritted his teeth at this dishonourable way of slaying, but he had to agree that it was effective. He looked worst of the melee and saw that a knot of knights had surrounded the handful of black armoured knights of Baron d’Hafleur.

Alaine charged into the melee and met a knight in a blue tabard with a flail that swung overhead and caught Alaine’s blade in its weighed chains wrapping around the flat of it, while the knight’s shield swung around and smashed into his chest throwing him down on the dusty ground.

Immediately the knight was over him and Alaine desperately struggled against the edge of the kite shield that was aimed at his throat barely held back by his blood slick right gauntlet while his left reached down to his belt and drew his dagger, with a assumed strike he stabbed into leg of the knight who screamed as he crashed onto his knee in pain, the shield falling from his hand.

The flail however came down toward Alaine’s face but it missed by a hair’s breadth as he shifted his weight sideways, his free hand pinned the knight’s arm and he thrust the dagger up under the knight’s helmet.
The knight gurgled and spilt blood onto Alaine who threw the knight off him and retrieved his blade from the ground.

Suddenly an immense weight smashed into him, Alaine was thrown on the ground once again as he felt blood around his mouth and chest, Alaine grunted in pain as he struggled to his feet and ripped his blood soaked tabard from his chest and threw it away behind him before him stood a giant of a knight in glowing plate of silver and a halo about his golden head an immense two handed sword in his hand a strange aura of light emanated from the knight in the dusk.

It was the Grail Knight, Barduin.

There was a sudden crack of splitting wood from behind Alaine and he looked back to see the felt being ripped apart, a coffin lid shot out of the cart as a armoured figure in fluted and baroque piece of ancient armour set emerged from the coffin, the thing was a huge knight of antiquity come to life, an immense black blade with glowing ember red edges gripped around its spiked gauntlet.

A horrified Alaine turned around shocked and utterly beleaguered by the vision of immortal death that loomed over him blocking out the setting sun.

“I am returned!” the thing said, it was like a whisper and a loud threat at the same time as the red-edged blade was raised and pointed Alaine’s direction.

Alaine gulped in confusion, but then realized that the black pit like eyes was not pointed at him, but at the Grail knight behind him, Alaine lowered his blade and moved out of the way, the melee had ground to a halt as the six surviving knights were surrounded by the Kabir and his score of remaining Arabian mercenaries and the seven black knights of the Baron d’Hafleur.

“You are a hard one to kill Urash, I will give you that,” the Grail Knight spoke calmly as he stepped forward and swung his sword down, the tip burying into the ground.

The bloody faced vampire knight smiled exposing lethally sharp canines that dripped with blood, “There are advantages of being my kind, this time there won’t be a siege engine to save you, Barduin.”

Sir Barduin of Bastonne raised his blade in salute, "Let us end this, dark one."
I have not returned! Be afraid or something.
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Re: Black Knight

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Wed May 07, 2014 11:30 pm

I've only read part one so far but look forward to the rest as I am dead intrigued by all this. There are a couple of jarring phrasing issues but nothing too bad really, the worst was "As a Rachard he had proven that maxim right." Who else would he be but a Rachard considering it was a familial maxim told to him by his father?

A bit nitpicky but that did annoy me, whereas I mostly enjoyed everything else. I'll read the rest soon.
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Re: Black Knight

Postby exitus_10 » Fri May 09, 2014 8:40 am

schaferwhat‽ wrote:I've only read part one so far but look forward to the rest as I am dead intrigued by all this. There are a couple of jarring phrasing issues but nothing too bad really, the worst was "As a Rachard he had proven that maxim right." Who else would he be but a Rachard considering it was a familial maxim told to him by his father?

A bit nitpicky but that did annoy me, whereas I mostly enjoyed everything else. I'll read the rest soon.

Yea I agree, its a odd little phrase I wrote down very randomly. I thought it meant something at some stage, gonna remove that.
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