Monday, May 26, 2014

Character Journal: Lucanus

Another journal of 7th Night, this one from Lucanus.

Seventh Night bohort. I had been thinking about it all week, ever since Sieur Alan told me about it and said I could borrow his horse. During our visit to the Tower, our interview with Torremonte, the ride to Ostalric--it was in the back of my mind, constantly in my thoughts. Even during our fight with the manticore, when Sieur Alan charged into the cave and speared it right in the head, I thought of how it might be to strike someone just so in the bohort. 

As an aside, everyone thought charging in like Alan did was foolish, and that it would not work. But he is a true knight and showed us all our folly. Moments like that only reinforce my resolve to become one of the Knights of Miles.

Ah, but the bohort. I spoke to the others often of it as we returned to Miles, telling of what I thought it might be like and how I hoped to do well. The only thing that distracted me from my thoughts was the sight of the Pillar stretching from the center of the city into the heavens at dusk, a streak of sunlight pointing up into the darkening sky. Miles truly is the greatest city in Arunia. 

We took care of our business as the Ironbreakers as night fell, and I left the Manticore's head with the Sieur in the Commandery. I took his horse, Jovinian, for a night ride before I returned to the townhouse. In spite of my nerves and excitement, I was able to get a good night's rest and eat a decent breakfast. 

As I checked over my gear and saddled Jovinian, I thought of the things that might go wrong. Even after fighting the manticore, after watching two others cut down by its tail spines, I never really considered death as a possibility. My biggest worry was riding Jovinian into battle for the first time. We didn't really know each other, but he has served Alan well. If I performed poorly in the bohort, and perhaps disappointed the Sieur, it would be my fault, not the horse. 

Stuck in my thoughts as I was, I was not immune to the revelry spreading throughout the city. Seventh Night in Miles is perhaps the greatest celebration in the world. Singers, dancers, jongleurs, and musicians of every instrument were on every corner. So, too, were the Rayans, but never for very long. The entire city had turned out and joined in the festivities. River Hill sounded like a riot. River Hill probably WAS a riot.

But my path did not take me through River Hill. Instead, I went just out of the city, to the fields where the bohort will take place. They had hung red and white linin around the grove there, and even as I arrived they were still sanctifying the ground with holy water. But the knights! Never before had I seen so much heraldry in one place. Followers of Haeron and Halor, Knights of Orders I had not seen before, and many in their own heraldry. I felt out of place for a moment, wearing my plain mail, and resolved to get a surcoat with my heraldry upon it at some future time before my next event. 

The crowd was monstrous. I knew that so many people could live within Miles, but seeing them all in one place was a little disconcerting. Not only that but it seemed all of Saxa came as well. These people, the sheer number of them, they are why grain ships ply the Annorius.

From afar, I espied Caesar, but I did not have time to greet him before we started. Had I known he was coming, I would have broken my fast with him. But it was time to draw our stones. I drew red.

After I put on a red tabard, I introduced myself to the others on my team. Sieur Clemant of Mermarch, Sieur Lancellon Norandor, Sieur Telmar of Bataille, and Sieura Lyrana the Rose. Sieura Lyrana was a Rose Knight, and the only one of us in plate. She said something about a warm place to bury my sword if I went with her, and it seemed like a good idea to have a friend amongst my teammates. 

Then, the horn blew. The crowd screamed, hungry for our blood, and the priests pounded their gongs like the world was ending. I was excited, nervous, a little scared, and a little aroused. A deep breath to calm my stomach and then we charged in. 

I cleaved to the flank of the Sieura. She unhorsed a knight of the tagmata and I captured him. Then she was struck down from behind. Splinters of lance flew through the air as I wheeled around to challenge her assailer, a large tagmata knight wearing enough mail for three squires. Even as I turned he drew an axe and spurred towards me. 

The sounds of battle and the din of the bloodthirsty crowd faded to a dull roar as we met in battle, and he seemed to slow down as he swung his axe at me. It thumped into my chest, but my mail absorbed the worst of it. But his second blow almost took the wind out of me. In spite of his girth, he was able to avoid my lance, and I tossed it down and drew my sword even as I deflected another blow, catching it upon my shield. 

Then I struck a mighty blow against his arm, forcing him to drop his axe. He started flexing his hand in the manner that people do when they have lost feeling in their arm, and then yielded to me. Two knights captured, not bad for my first bohort, I thought, and we're not even done yet.

While we caught our breath, a knight on the gold team approached us and told us that someone had been badly hurt and had asked for me. I feared for Caesar, but I was suspicious of a ruse and thought this knight might just be trying to break up what was clearly a winning combination. Fortunately for me, Sieura Lyrana wanted to go as well. He led us towards the healers, and once we were a fair distance from the melee, he tried to push Lyrana forward, telling her to look to herself. She tried to twist around in his grasp even as a blade scraped against the mail across my back. 

I turned to see a small, grinning man I had not met before. Even as he smiled at me, he sank another blade into my liver. I collapsed, he escaped, and Lyrana broke the breastbone of this knight that had collaborated with the assassin. 

Later, Lyrana visited me in the healer's grove. It was nice.

Oh, and while the rest of our team was captured, we won a fair amount of coin, nearly doubling the amount I had already. I suppose that was nice too.

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