Colyne Stewart, April AS XXXVI (2003)
For the April Fool’s TankArd
It was a stormy day when our Seneschal, now Emperor, Bobo took the field. He was to hold it against all comers as proof that he was worthy to wear the white belt. At first Eirik was confident, his mouth spewing forth ironic barbs and quips. He leaned casually against a column, a sword dangling from his hand, chewing on licorice and talking to the ladies.
Then Colyne, called Meinfretr by the Norse, tapped him on the shoulder and Eirik’s ready grin slipped from his face. He looked in the direction that Colyne was pointing with his thumb, and saw a long line of armoured fighters waiting patiently. They were all looking at him and laughing, some giggling with anticipation, some actually hopping up and down in glee. Siegfried was there, his sword wrapped in a scarf with Eirik’s name written upon it. Sir Berus, the Kingdom Earl Marshal, was also in line, holding an ‘experimental’ great weapon covered with many wicked looking points and claws. (As Berus was found of saying, as Earl Marshal he could pretty much use any thing as a weapon, as long as it was ‘experimental’.) Beyond them stood Sir Evander, most of House Hrogn, the entire populace of Ardchreag and verily many people of the kingdom. Many, in fact, had traveled from kingdoms afar to take part in the mashie-pow.
Grinning, Colyne left Eirik and took his own place in line, fist tightening and relaxing on his hilt. On a noose hanging from his basket hilt was a small stuffed monkey.
When the marshals walked on to the field, Eirik’s nerves failed him. The line numbered over a hundred strong, and he had no wish to let that many folk take a crack at him. He turned to flee but Duchess Eanor was waiting. She grabbed his arm and marched him on to the Lists.
What then followed was a brutal scene unequaled in Ealdormere’s history. Blow after blow rained down on Eirik’s head, limbs and body. Swords, cudgels, maces, axes, spears and even the occasional rubber chicken knocked him to and fro until finally he lay flat on the ground. His shield sat by his side, cracked in three pieces. When he was pulled to his feet again he left behind an imprint that has become a holy relic to all those who worship the wise crack.
As he regained his feet, thankful that his ordeal was over, he saw the giant, Wulfgang Donnerfaust, running to the field. He was waving his sword and shouting that he had just authorized, and was ready for his turn.
Screaming in horror, Eirik ran into the trees. The Emperor of Ardchreag has not been seen in weeks now, and likely won’t reemerge until his Austmannaskelfir Legions have managed to capture Wulfgang. To date, fourteen have perished in the attempt.