Chapter Ninety-Three

May 25, 2013


1st of Darkmonth


 Boian and I are given a month off of our regular duties, so we spend the time learning about one another and getting closer.

On the first of Darkmonth, Boian wakes me and tells me that we need to go to the castle.  We dress and head into town before daylight breaks.  He is dressed in his formal livery, so I wear my court dress in green.  When I ask him why we are travelling so early, he replies that someone is coming.

When we arrive at the castle, Gustav wakes Ulric and Briggette after we wake him.  He leaves us in the Great Hall, and shortly returns to let us know that the Heltragens will be remaining in their chamber until such time as this unknown visitor arrives.  He and I wait.

After about two hours, someone comes into the gate, and Gustav wakes our friends.  They dress and make their way down to the Great Hall.

Before they make it down, Gustav leads a huge man into the Hall.  He is six foot eight and at least 350 pounds.  His skin is swarthy and quite dark, and he sports a long curly black beard.  He wears heavy leathers and a large bejeweled symbol of cuatl.  His weapon is a large scimitar.  Boian stands and walks toward the man.  I am able to see that they are making some extraordinarily rapid hand movements, but they are too complex and quick for me to be able to duplicate.

“Gizli,” Boian calls me forth.

“Yes,” I stand and step up next to him.

“This is Abdul Mahammin.”  He turns to his friend, “Abdul, this is my wife.”

The man looks between us and kneels before me.  “Gizli,” he says and looks up at Boian, “I’m sure you could have done much better than him.”

I smile back at him, “I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I think I did just fine.”

“Well, then, he must have improved,” he says as he stands and embraces Boain.  Gustav offers a cup of wine, and Abdul accepts readily.  He looks around at the chairs available and finally chooses one to gingerly sit in.  When Ulric and Briggette come down, Gustav introduces them both by their full titles.

Boian looks at Ulric, “My lord, Abdul is here for Briggette’s daughter, to be her protector.  I assure you he is quite skilled.”

Briggette rolls her eyes, “We’ll see about that.  He can come out and train with me.”

“She’s incorrigible.” Boian explains to Abdul to expect such behavior.

“If it is required,” Abdul nods, “of course, with His Excellency’s permission.”

“Oh,” Ulric looks amused, “you have my permission, if you can hit her.”

They agree to spar before breakfast, though Abdul notes that this is somewhat uncivilized.  They prepare to head out to the yard, and Abdul carries his wine with him.  As guards are awoken to bring torches, Ulric asks permission and examines Abdul’s strange sword.  It is oddly weighted to the knight, but he recognizes the quality of the workmanship.  After a few moments, both parties indicate their readiness, and she swings Helga toward the big man.  As she hits, he grabs her wrist with hand, and strikes the back of her bicep with the other, forcing her to the ground and taking Helga deftly from her grasp.  He steps back to allow her to get up, and when she lifts her hand, he readily helps her stand.  He promptly hands the sword back to her, and Ulric turns to walk inside, “Glad we didn’t wake the men to see that.”

Abdul comments on the strength of Briggette’s hit and she compliments his disarm technique.  We all head back inside to have a hearty breakfast.  We talk of all the different areas where we have contacts.  In speaking with Briggette, Abdul swears, “I will keep your daughter safe.”

“I trust that you will,” Briggette replies. “No one’s ever disarmed me.”

After some time, Gustav brings Bernadette down to meet her protector.  The rest of the morning is spent in introducing Abdul to the castle grounds and people, and letting him in on what each of our roles are and what is going on in the duchy and the kingdom in general.

The rest of the day goes rather uneventfully.  Abdul holds Bernadette most of the time we are moving about and seems to be carefully planning escape routes should they become necessary.

That month passes in relative peace and calm, and we have a small celebration for my birthday on the 25th.


During the first week of Wintermonth, we receive word from the Duke that he has had a son, his first born heir.  In the babe’s honor, he will hold a tournament during the second week of Plowmonth.  We spend the months in training and preparation before heading toward the capital about a month before the tournament is to begin.

Our caravan takes about three and a half weeks to arrive at Tulcea.  We get there the day before St. Cuthbert’s Day.  The city is already filled with banners and tents from knights hailing from near and far.  It is truly a sight to behold.

We visit with the Duke and meet his new son as well as introduce him to the younger Heltragens.  It is a pleasant afternoon, and we soon depart to other duties, allowing the Duke to tend to his as well.