Friday, August 17, 2012

The Lay of the Errants - By Lance

Chapter I:

In the age of King Louen, long may he reign,
There came to Leoncouer a most dire tale.
The good King sent forth his heralds to say
"Pray, attend your King, you knights who would claim
By leal valor a chair at Mine table."
To bold Louen the bloom of knighthood came
And on His regal word the court did wait
Until at last He spoke, grim of mein
"Upon the east has dawned an awful day:
From the frozen roots of the world raised
A host of twisted death, driven by hate.
Alike in wretchedness with them blaze
Out of fallen Estalia the ill omened blade
Of Samaniego, his thirst to slake
On the blood of men, faithful and great."

So spoke great Louen, King of Men.

Up rose the herald of crimson and bronze
"Now comes the knightly Lord of Artois!"
And so he approached, tall, fair, and drawn
The Duke Chilfroy drew breath to bid, "Calm,
Though dread be this news, from us it stays far.
Should ever these blackguards come anon
Against our lands, they shall find only loss."
Again voiced the King's herald, "Now comes Bastonne!"
Then spoke the renowned Duke, in name so grand
That even the King were guest in his hall.
"Alas and alack, you yet know not all
In line with the dead are the Greenskin spawn
From the peaks and vales descent to maraud.
To crown the peril comes a dread unsought:
Among this host mingle the Demon Flock."

So spoke venerable Bohemond, of Lordly mein.

Up rose the herald blazoned white and black
"Now comes fearsome Brionne, the gallant!"
And so strode he forth, battle-axe in hand
"My Liege and Lords, though we fear no man
This terrible host which darkens the land
Must be met by all powers we command.
No hasty gambit or foolhardy stand
Though Empire bleed and Tor Galad blanch
Though the Marches weep and the Wasteland quake
Until all Dukes of Bretonnia mass
In one great charge the heart of ills to smash
I can do naught, for my power is far."

So spoke dread Theodoric, Master of Hosts

Brionne's wisdom weighed heavy on the King
Who spoke unto all, "Sound is thy council
Yet to hear this, my regal heart grows ill
That we must leave to bleed our brother Kings
Ringed by foemen, yet resolute still
Who by their deeds, stand great glory to win.
To ride to their succor would be most fit
While the great Lords muster, what paladin
Shall bring my banner in the fray to sit?
What knight here gathered possesses such will?"

So spoke great Louen, King of Men.

No herald announced the noble cavalier
Whose voice, though among Lords, seized all ears
"My name and deeds are well known to those here:
The Captain Lancelot, Guillaume's heir.
I have served the Realm for many a year,
Good Bastonne's foes recall my face with fear.
By your word, my good liege, and with your leave
I shall bring to thy banner those who seek
By strength of heart and arm to do great deeds
In tomes of legend a bold name to leave.
We shall drive back the dead and lay low beasts
Or by the Lady, our gallant deaths meet.
Call forth armour and bid ready my steed
With fire in mine heart, it begins this eve!"

So spoke mighty Lancelot, grand of voice.

Up rose the errants in a great clamour
First stood Hennequin, first son of Montfort.
Who spoke, "By valor I'll my high birth own."
With him were Richard, sworn to Gisoreaux.
So too came Alain, heir of Carcassone
As good-son to Quenelles, the bold Marstone
Added his voice and brandished high his sword.
"For the Lady and our good Liege!" he roared.
The Baronet Guy, of Parravon born
To join his peers in nobility he strode.
Acclaimed by all stood Huon the Troubadour.
Yet when to slippered feet the Damsel rose
Silent the great hall, and awestruck the court.
She of the raven hair, so spoke Leonore:
"In Lady's Light, with this band I shall go."
Many were the gentlemen of quality who followed.
To regal acclaim and with the Duke's hopes
Forth from Bastonne the courageous band rode.

So began the Ride of the Errants, in the age of great Louen, King of Men.

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