The Red Lance

From Create Your Own Story

You stand beside a mounted terror. His armor is dark - oiled to fight the cancerous rust that will come should the dark clouds overhead have their way. The armour of a knight shines - The armour of a mercenary does not. A mercenary's armour does not shine because his armour is not a work of art, but a tool. A mercenary's armour does not depict the noble lie of 'chivalry'. It's dents and scratches are an unyielding portrait of violence, not unlike a tavern boxer's knuckle-worn face. This armour is dark because the war machine must be greased and ready for battle. It is dark, because you made it so. You spent all knight preparing the linseed and applying it to his cuirass. You are this man's squire, and this man is no ordinary mercenary. He is the finest of the lot. He is the Red Lance of Southcliffe.

But this is no battle. You were not hired under the service of a power-hungry monarch to cut down enemies of the crown. Infact, it is you are the one who is hungry for a change. It has been nearly 10 years since peace was brokered between the Kingdoms, and now the only way a landless knight makes money is by traveling to the tourneys for whatever purse may be won. It has only been five years since you were taken in as the Red Lance's squire. In that time, you saw that the man from the stories is not the man in the suit. He has aged, and grown weary from the frivolities of tournament 'play'.

The rain starts to patter now. The chainmail you wear sits uncomfortably over your already soggy black gambeson. Standing upon the soft earth, weighed down by your sweat-laden armour, the summer rain is almost a sweet pleasure. Your heart is pounding. The sound of your breathing is louder than the crier announcing the upcoming joust. You can only take in pieces as you strive to prevent hyperventilation.

"In honor the wedding of His Royal Majesty, Prince Nhero the Benevolent." Inhale. You know what needs to happen. "To Her Highness, the Duchess Ellena Lueca." Exhale. Give him the lance, count to three, and make the move. The announcer continued to rile the crowd and verbally fellatio the royalty watching over the jousting list. Inhale. "A spectacle to remind us of the conflict that fragmented our lands like the splinters of a lance! And on this day, the day that Duchess Elena, the last of her line, becomes of age to wed! May Prince Nhero conquer the Southern enemy once again, and usher in lasting peace through his benevolence and love!" The announcer finishes.

Exhale. Your next breath may be your last. Make it count.

"Lance," a muffled voice calls from within the mercenary's locked visor. You have rehearsed this moment with him for years.

Hand him the weapon. You know the plan. Hesitating now could throw off everything.

Hesitate. You take a moment to remember the steps of plan through your head.

Category: The Red Lance

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