∴ A Knightly Vantage ∴
“How did I get here?” you wonder, and not for the first time.
You never were much of a joiner. Your father once told you, back in the Black Forest, that there was no honour in swinging a sword for a country. For an ideal. For a god, even. When you fought, you were to fight for your own skin, and that of your fellow man.
“Do you understand?” he pressed, and waited for your sullen nod.
Then with twinkling eyes he passed you his messer. Heavy and reassuring, like the man himself. It was a simple tool for a simple purpose: protecting your family.
That was before. Before your fellow men rose up for their ideals and brought down the wrath of the aristocracy. And how you fought then – tooth and nail for what little you had to lay claim to. But in the end it was gone. Your trade, your home, your kin.
The Knights found you in Gengenbach, half mad from horror and haplessly seeking trade. They sized you up and offered you a new one. And with it bed, board, discipline. Literacy. The chance to start again. Would your father have blamed you for taking it?
A clamour of vespers bells rouses you from reminiscence. With a bittersweet smile, you take in your vista. A band of indigo marks the horizon, stark above gleaming blocks of golden sandstone. Little boats scud about the wide harbour, bringing their catches home. A flock of white doves rises over Birgu, startled by the sudden bells. The sunset gilds their underbellies as they wheel on the warm sea air.
Shaking your head, you unsheathe the sword from your belt. It is a thing of beauty, to be sure. The rich, dark ebony of its grip gleams with studs in the shape of the cross of your order. The stern hawk head pommel and sturdy crossguard are the satiny dark of a stormy sky. And yet, beneath the knightly renovations, the core remains the same: your father’s sword.
You allow yourself a sigh, and it sounds something like contentment. Continue reading