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Combat Chaos - Story 15
D&D - Combat Chaos, Fantasy Stories of Battle

Story 15


The Tourney!

Anton sprung out of bed today, not because he could smell the bread and ham that his mother cooked for breakfast. No, indeed today was the day! The day of the Annual Tourney held by Lord Morgan. Knights from all over the realm of Wellington would be in it, but the best part of today's joust, was that Sir Jilles De'Rant and Sir Lofel Mastmeire the legendary rivals of the tourney. Sir Jilles De'Rant was the King's Champion and Sir Lofel Mastmeire held the title of Premier Chevalier of the Kingdom, the Current Champion of last Knight's Rally. This would set the stage for the next Knight's Rally. Anton had every intention of witnessing this historic battle. He left for the tourney field before his mother could catch him with chores.

Lord Morgan surveyed the massive list field where the tourney would take place today. The stands had been constructed all last week and could hold over 1000 seated spectators, the hill at the end of the horse shoe shaped field would be where over 2000 peasants would watch their heroes battle. He was pleased this event was part of the Knight's Rally. Six massive tourneys would represent the six principalities of the realm. These Six warriors and the Kings Champion would meet on a field about ten times the size of this one and battle for the title "Premier Chevalier" a title that distinguished them as the best of the best in the realm. The winners of the tourney would enjoy hero status throughout the realm. Invitations from most nobles to become their General, commissions in the Royal Knighthood, marriage to high a class than they would have dreamt of earlier in life, gold, prestige, and fame. It was one of the highest honors that the crown could bestow on a Knight.

Lord Morgan felt his smile leave his face as Jenkins his majordomo ran towards him. Jenkins did not run except if something was wrong. Behind him Lord Morgan could see the beginnings of an escort with the banner of the King! No not the King, but the symbol of the Crown was on it. A large six-wheeled covered carriage came into view. Jenkins barley made it before Lord Morgan began to realize why the Kings Champion had decided to come to his provincial tourney. It was not because of Sir Mastmeire's presence at all. It was because the Royal Princess Ariel was attending. The most eligible single noblewoman of the realm would be in attendance. Lord Morgan sighed to himself, there just went 1,000 gold sovereigns, just having her here.

"M'Lord! M'Lord Morgan!" Jenkins cried out.

"I see Jenkins, I see. Have the master guest room made ready and inform Lady Jessica that she will be entertaining the Princess Royale Ariel this evening." Morgan said.

Gasping for breath the majordomo simply nodded at his lords commands. His knowing smile on his face let Morgan know that he heard him and that he was most unamused at this surprise visit. Jenkins nodded and simply walked back to the manor houses main gate to the east of here. The Princess' escort and group set up a pavilion before even coming to find him to inform him she was here. No doubt the Princess' commands. Lord Morgan smiled to himself, "That girl is going to get herself killed someday with these foolish acts." Lord Morgan thought to himself.

Another noise caught the Lords attention he looked to his right as he saw the massive heavy war horse of Sir De'Rant being excersided by the knights senior squire. Armor Crusher was one of the finest animals that Lord Morgan had ever seen, and was aptly named. Soon Armor Crusher and his counter part War Master would be bearing the two most prominent knights in the realm.

The two knights palvion's were alive with movement, each had about nine squires each. The duty of the senior squire was the horse of the knight, the other squires were responsible for pieces of their armor and their weapons. Each knights beginning preparation for the tourney is nearly identical, an hour before the contest each finishes their vigils within their respective shrines. They make their way to their personal pavilion and begin the 30-minute process of putting on over 90 pounds of armor that will protect them from their enemies lance and sword. This is how they spend their day. Once the armor is one the senior squire enters the main tourney grounds called the List Field. This is where the various lesser knights have already entertained the crowds and nobles with their knocking the snot out of each other. Once the senior squires report to the List Marshal that their knight is ready for the main event. The List Marshal rides to the center of the field and stands in his saddle.

"M'Lord! Ladies and GentleFolk of the realm, one and all! What you have all been waiting for has arrived! The combat martial between the two top knights of the realm is at hand. Sir Jilles De'Rant the Kings very own Champion and Sir Lofel Mastmeire Premier Chevalier of the realm are ready to do combat for your pleasure!" the List Marshal said to the crowd. The Crowd goes wild. The Applause can be heard in the middle of town over 1/2 mile away. Signaling to everyone that the main event is about to begin. In the lesser knight's tents and cadres the younger knights speak to the older knights. "I bet you'd love to be out there, eh Hector?" Guy deMond said to his elder.

"I'd rather piss glass." The old knight said in a matter of fact tone.

"What?" Guy said with a shocked chuckle.

"What you young'ins are about to see is what we elder knights call the dance of death. Both of these men have killed over a hundred knights of our realm's enemies and untold monsters and bandits. All of use working together against one of these two would only earn us an early grave stone. These two are killing machines, they both were raised in a martial house from the age of seven they were in armor and wielding a weapon. Every time Knights of this caliber meet everyone one expects one to die in the fray of battle," Hector said turning to Guy, "As I said before, I'd rather piss glass."

The two warriors walk in full joust armor to the list fields edge, their minds sharp and on the matter at hand. Winning this battle. Each warrior has the same reaction when they walk to their horses and mount them. With the aide of their squires they place over 230 pounds of muscle, bone, and metal atop these 1000+ pound mounts. The power of their steeds can be felt as they seem to bear their load with a grace that only a fully trained war-horse can. At the moment that the Knight and the horse meet as one they become, a monstrous killing machine that won't stop until either they or their foe is dead or yielded the battlefield. Their mouths become dry, their breath becomes timed and regimented. Their muscles begin to flex and relax with the motion of their steed. The crowds heat, from hundreds of yelling people, hits them and almost like a drug begins to awaken the adrenaline that flows in battle. The world beings to focus on their foe, they slowly allow the crowd to recede into the background. Only their foe can be seen, only his defeat is important. Only VICTORY matters!

They barley acknowledge the List Marshal as he goes over the rules of the joust and list combat. They then turn and lower their lances to the Lords Stand, where Lord Morgan, Princess Ariel and Lady Jessica sit. Then they return to their side of the jousting field. The List Marshal looks back and forth twice and yells, "Lay On!" and lowers his scepter. The two knights urge their steeds on. The two massive animals crouch and spring forward with a snort and catapult themselves and their riders into a gallop. By the time they are less than fifty feet apart they are at full speed. They lower their lances and bear down with their knees. The impact of these two small hollow poles upon each of their shields will have the impact power of twenty men.

As the two warriors meet in the center of the field their lances strike home into the shields of the other. The crash of the lances upon the shields of the knights is joined with loud cracking noises as the lances give under the strain of the impact. Each of the knights steeds are forces into a crouching position and dig into the sandy field in an attempt to defy the forces driving them down. The muscles of the knights strain to keep themselves both on the horse and upright. Their natural instinct has them twist slightly into their enemy and raise their shield then trust outward with it. The shattering lances slide off there now marred shields and they ride past one another.

The crowd cheers and shouts its approval that neither was unhorsed just yet. They reach the other side and turn and calmly ride past one another back to their side of the list field. Their squires come at them taking the reigns of the horse to clam it. The animal natural defies them a bit. It's own adrenaline pumping now. The animal stomps a little in defiance of being slowed to a stop. The other squires check the tack and harness. The saddle belts are checked for rips and frays by another. The senior squire hands his master another lance and asks, "How do you fair my lord?" a tradition that the senior squire has learned from others. It is his responsibility to note if his knight is coherent and able to continue.

The knights nod and say that they are fine. The squires' move away from the knight and horse as fast as they arrived and the knight turn's his mount. Again they urge their steed on to battle. The two knights at this point are breathing heavy and the weight of the lance is uneasy in their hands. In a single pass on the list field each feels like they have been in battle for at least a quarter of an hour non-stop. Then they meet again in the center of the field lances crashing into the others shield. Sir Jilles De'Rant is the first to give way. His foot slips from the foot hold on his saddle and he slides off the back end of his rampaging steed and is sent sprawling into the ground. The crashing noise of his armor is as if one of the armor statues in the house fell over and shattered into its parts. Sir Jilles De'Rant showing both excellent field sense and experience rolls when he hits the ground. As he rolls he allows the massive armor to carry him up onto his feet rather than roll onto his back or face down. He staggers for a moment as the world spins one extra time as he stops. He reaches up for the massive helm that protected his head in the fall. First the faceplate is opened then the helm is removed and discarded. He bends over and places his hands on his thighs and takes a deep breath attempting to regain some of the air he lost in the fall. Then straightens up in time for his senior squire to hand him his favorite combat weapon, the half-spear pole arm.

Sir Lofel Mastmeire walks his tired steed around to face the knight on the ground. Seeing he has his combat weapon in hand and is ready for a fight. Sir Lofel Mastmeire decides that the chivalrous thing to do would to dismount and take up his great sword. So without prelude he dismounts to the delight of the crowd. The List Marshal cries out, "Act of Chivalry!" and the crowd goes wild with cheers of approval. Sir Lofel Mastmeire's squires give him his great sword just after he too removes his great helm. He looks at his squires and taps the extra joust shield guard on his right shoulder. They immediately set to removing it. Sir De'Rant nods to his squires as well. They remove the two small extra upper joust armor pieces. This gives the knights back freedom of movement needed for a foot combat.

Sir Lofel Mastmeire great sword in hand and Sir De'Rant pole arm in hand circle one another. Then they enter into combat with a blur of motion that is hard for even experienced warriors to follow. Sword and pole arm crash against one another sending sparks flying. The two warriors moves are hard to follow completely, they seem unhampered by the heavy field plate on them now. Both have spent days in this armor on the battlefield for the king and kingdom. It is a second skin for them. They are at home within it. The battle is not long for all their equal abilities it is plain that Sir Lofel Mastmeire is the less fatigued man. Finally Sir Lofel Mastmeire parry's a thrust from Sir De'Rant and brings his sword up and over. This move removes one of Sir De'Rants hands from the pole arm. Sir Lofel Mastmeire takes advantage of this small upper hand and thrusts a shoulder into Sir De'Rant. The maneuver was completely unexpected, as it is a dangerous move. Hitting De'Rant in the chest in this sandy field causes him to step back flat footed in this less than steady ground. Forcing him to recheck his balance for a second. This second is what Sir Lofel Mastmeire needed to slide his sword up the pole arm and with the broad side of the great swords blade slap the pole arm from the grasp of Sir De'Rant. De'Rants hand releases the pole arm and flies up, the pole arm flies into the air and does a single lumbering flip and lands blade first into the ground. Sir Lofel Mastmeire brings his upper body back around in a great sweeping move and forces De'Rant to back peddle even fast to avoid the great swords blade. In doing so his flat-footed state forces him off balance in he falls backward into the sandy field with a thud. Before he can recover the great sword of Sir Lofel Mastmeire is at his neck.

"Do you yield the field Sir De'Rant?" Sir Lofel Mastmeire asked aloud. For a moment both men stand their with their chest gasping for air. Then Sir De'Rant simply nods, "Aye I yield this day Sir Mastmeire." The crowd, which was dead silent, erupts into a roaring applause for the winner of the tourney. Sir Lofel Mastmeire extends his hand to Sir De'Rant. De'Rant takes it and the two men leave the field after saluting their sponsor for this event Lord Morgan. Smiling the two walk off the field. "You know that maneuver you used was foolhardy." De'Rant said to Mastmeire.

"I know I only use it in tourney's. Otherwise I'd get my bloody head handed to me in a real fight." Sir Lofel Mastmeire said. Both men laugh and slap each other on their backs, and enter their tents to get their armor off them.

By: Matt Hayden

* Coat of Arms 1.2a
* Promisance
* World of Phaos 0.9.2
Is Magic Armor Lighter Than Standard Armor of the Same Type?
Yes indeed
No, never!
In 1E yes, in 2E no
Only for encumbrance
Of course it is
Not in my world
* And-Mag.com

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