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Knight's Tale

Posted on Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 @ 3:22am by Category V: Supervillain Frederick Hollywood

Mission: The Villain's Spire
Location: The Villain’s Spire - China/Arthurian England
Timeline: The Year of the Apocalypse

Title: Knight’s Tale
Location: The Villain’s Spire - China/Arthurian England
Timeline: The Year of the Apocalypse

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The young red-haired woman had been left by her brother to tend to his massive estate. That day alone she had seen to a few tax collectors to check their books, and farmhands about attacks on the borders, and still had to speak with a few masons about work on the castle. Some of the battlements had come under disarray.

While the regal chair in the great hall made her look somewhat diminutive, no one that knew the young woman well would call her frail. She had long ago proven a worthy successor to her father, and, had she been born with boy parts, she may have well had the chance. Instead, the entirety of her father’s wealth and lands had been left to her bastard of a brother, save for a small monthly pittance and a small estate that once was the family’s summer home.

While her brother was not the worst ruler in the land, nor cruel by any means, he was somewhat of an absentee landlord, most often to be found either at court in Camelot or at tournament. It was the tournament that had been the greatest drain on her people. In the last six years there had been three raises in taxes to cover his extra expenditures. Worse yet, any ideas the young woman had put forth to increase the wealth of the land had been put aside because of the baron’s hobby.

Just before the head of her mason’s guild came in for his appointment, her handmaiden came running in from the main doors. Once within earshot of her lady, the woman dropped to the ground. “Milady, I have urgent news.”

“Speak woman!” the noblesse of the manor spoke in a forceful tone.

With her head still facing the floor, the poor woman spoke out in a very distressing tone. “There is a man heading through our lands. Some of our people have started to spread rumors that this man has been performing miracles.”

The lady whispered under her breath and her green eyes flared. “Wizards.” Surely they could be a blessing in time of need. So many had agendas far removed from the eyes of kings and queens. “Send him an invitation. Let’s see what sort of miracle worker we are dealing with.”

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The entourage could be heard for miles. When the castle gates opened and a parade of people came through, the lady did worry. At the forefront of the precession were two horns, each shaped like a dragon. One was black, the other red, each making a deep noise loud enough to be heard out at sea. There were also drums, equally as strange in shape; those seemed to be carved with the angry faces of giants. Together they played a song that she, and likely no one in her realm, had ever heard before.

All of the people marching in the group wore masks covering their faces and eyes. These were shaped in classical themes like jesters and devils. Some of them danced in ways that made many of the onlookers feel slightly uneasy. They also tossed out gifts to the crowds of onlookers, coins and candies from far away places.

Once the parade reached the middle of the courtyard, a black-and-red robed figure came forward. He bowed with an amazing amount of grace. His legs where crossed and his arms outstretched like a minstrel just finishing a performance. He waited, almost frozen in place, as the music stopped.

The lady brushed a few of her wild red locks from her face and smiled, although worry still filled her mind. “Greetings! Whom do I have the pleasure of meeting?”

Frederick could see the look of concern in her eyes, but she hid it quite well. If it hadn’t been for his training in the east, he wouldn’t have any idea. “I go by many names, but most simply call me Lorde.” The man stayed on a bent over position, but pulled the hood away from his face.

His hair was more blonde than any she had ever seen. He wore strange jewelry, and his eyes also had a strange air to them. Stranger yet was the smile of the mad that sat on his lips. “Please, arise my dear lord.” She waved her hand upwards in the air.

He sprung up quickly. Enough so that some of her guards jerked to attention, warily eyeing the man that was standing there with his hands raised in the air in a vee shape. “Ah! Thank you, thank you, Milady! I also thank your people for being so kind as to give me such a grand escort to your castle. They have played their parts rather well don’t you think?” He began clapping towards the parade members, and some of the crowd that was gathered in the castle began to chime in.

The green-eyed woman’s eyes fixed on that of the mage’s. “What have you come to my realm for, Milord?” She somewhat hoped this would be the climax of the strange man’s visit.

Then again came that devilish smile. “I have come to save your people from a great blight. The Dragon Of The North.” Almost everyone in attendance gasped.

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The handmaiden had informed her that the parade of people had disappeared as soon as this Lorde had entered the castle. She wondered if that all had been some massive illusionary magic.

The lady had the strange man brought into the great hall. He was offered food and drink, which he took graciously. One thing was for sure, the man liked his pheasant. She had asked everyone else to leave while they spoke of dire things. “So how do you plan to stop that dastardly beast from taking virgins from our lands?” She prodded at her food. The noblewoman couldn’t think of eating when it came to saving her people.

Each year, for the last six years, there had been a lottery. They would choose one of the realm’s virgins to be taken by the white beast. Once, news had been brought back to confirm that they had been eaten by the dragon after being tortured for some time. This was started after the great white serpent had ravaged much of her father’s kingdom. In the end, she felt that the guilt of it all had led to his death.

“Quite simply, Milady, I will do nothing.” After taking another bite of the succulent bird, he pointed what was left of its drumstick her direction. “You will bring that monster down with my help. You will be my champion.”

She couldn’t help but wonder if that was the catch. Sadly that couldn’t have been farther from the truth. “Is that it? Or is there more?”

“Of course, all of that will require some training by me. Maybe some special armor, weapons, and so on. These things will take time, but I assure you that it will not interfere with you running these wonderful lands of yours.” He placed his food down, and after taking a sip of the wine looked her dead in the eye.

After thinking for a moment, the lady asked, “Shouldn’t that sort of training take years?”

He nodded. “Oh yes, ma’am, it should. But I can take you to my lands, and years will be but moments in this place, I assure you. One more thing. In the end, it is you who shall be the baroness of these lands and your brother will be the one staying in the summer cottage. Okay, two more things. I also know about some of your childhood accidents.”

She couldn’t help but be intrigued by the offer. One thing she had gotten from her father was a thirst for power. “How would we get to your realm?”

Lorde clapped in a strange way, as if excited by the lady’s interest. He dusted off his robes, stood up, and walked over to the high lady. He outstretched his hand and offered it to her. “All you have to do is take my hand and say yes.”

Terror filled her mind. This could be some strange incarnation of Puck, or just some dark wizard trying to take her kingdom from her. Then her anger settled in. For one, at her father for not naming her regent. Secondly, at her brother for treating her like a simple girl. Even at herself for allowing that to go on for so long.

So a leap of faith was made. She took the strange man’s hand and said the word. “Yes”

TBC

 

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