Author Topic: Defender of Teos  (Read 1491 times)

Alain D' Arcy

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Re: Defender of Teos
« Reply #15 on: 23 June, 2017, 07:57:54 AM »










By Alain D' Arcy
**********************************************









The two, bloody and beaten opponents, chests heaving and drawing upon whatever it is deep inside that makes one keep going way beyond what death must surely feel like, stared deep into each other's eyes from a distance of several paces.

This would be the deciding, last semblance of a stand to claim not only victory, but to decide the outcome in a herculean test of stamina.



For both of them...



                                         
*******************************************




That outcome, clearly in doubt in Alain's mind right up to this very last barrage of attacks that was mere seconds away, had never really been a certainty from the outset of the duel.  Alain expected a masterful display of martial skills from the Lady Barbossa, but he could not have been prepared for the ferocious skill at which she displayed them.

Sensing more than seeing the very beginning of her charge, he began a series of wide, arcing swings into her oncoming path.   The first of these she dodged with unbelievable deftness---causing Alain to pause in admiration a slight half-second: giving the Lady Warrior just enough time to find a target in his right ribcage (both of his arms being to his left at the moment of impact.)   This knocked Alain slightly off-balance and as he was stumbling toward his left and slightly backward, his double-armed recoil of the deadly fauchard came back to his right.   The odd angle of this slash and the fact it was farther back than normal had put the blade of Alain's weapon right across the exposed right forearm of Lady Barbossa and spun her to the left nearly half way.

As he was nearly all the way to the ground with his fall, Alain took advantage of this new altitude and came back sharply across her legs and the mighty Lady Fighter of Bulgaria went down.


                                                                                                   
                                     
*******************************************



Battered nearly as badly as in the first round, Alain managed to not lose consciousness the during the entire trip (actually not that far) to a a villa Luc had found for them to rent on the outskirts of Cairo.   The young squire reasoned Alain would be able to heal more quickly and fully if removed from all the temptations to wander (one of Alain's weaknesses/supreme loves) to be found around the tournament area in the city.   Before the Knight was well enough to leave his bed, Luc wanted to take no chances (or at least smaller ones) with the healing process.   The next duel was Saturday (with the King of Prussia, ironically) and Alain would need to be at 100% or as close to it as possible.   Luc told Alain that the official scroll naming him Constable of Jerusalem had arrived from Queen Gilda's personal messenger whom she had dispatched to Cairo.   He thought this announcement would help to motivate his Lord to heal even quicker.


                                                                                                     
                                                 
*******************************************



The news of the annulment of Alain's marriage to Esmee reached the villa a day after they did.   It was performed by some low-level cleric (hand-picked by Esmee) to do away with the bond she had forsaken to remain in "good standing" among those gathered in the unholy circle immediately surrounding the Godless Queen of Flanders.   Alain was relieved and felt like his spirit was finally cleansed, after the stain of such an ultimately pointless marriage to a woman with no concept of honor in matrimony.


                                         
*******************************************



Now it was time to take his newly free and washed spirit and devote it to healing and focus totally on defeating his next opponent. He was committed to moving on in this tournament and vowed the Prussian King would not be his final test.   He wanted to win this whole thing---and why not?





He had absolutely nothing to lose.   He had his freedom once again and he felt unstoppable...




« Last Edit: 25 June, 2017, 02:58:24 PM by Alain D' Arcy »

Alain D' Arcy

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Re: Defender of Teos
« Reply #16 on: 27 June, 2017, 03:54:25 AM »










By Alain D' Arcy
**********************************************









                                                                                                               
*******************************************



The day of the duel with the Prussian King found Alain in good spirits and feeling ready.   Almost too ready.   The normal, small, nervous buildup of anticipation which precedes the start of a contest such as this was not normal, today.   Alain simply could not wait for this thing to begin!   He could find no explanation for this abnormal eagerness, save the extra desire to be the best of this particular contest--just in case a certain someone somewhere happened to be interested in the outcome...


                               
*******************************************


All of this over-stimulated Alain and when the duel began, he could not contain himself and charged swinging like a madman at the opponent smiling at him from the opposite side of the arena.   Three wild swings were deftly avoided by the King, who managed to score the first hit with a strike to Alain's midsection at the start of three swings of his own.   Fortunately for Alain, this shook him from his over-charged state into a focused, single-purposed machine. 

Alain charged again and this time hit the Prussian with two hard blows to the left arm while taking a couple more from the King who was starting to back away a bit.   Here is where the momentum shifted Alain's way---for good.

Now came a quick series of jabs and blocks from the two combatants who grew more and more tired as this wore-on.   Sensing a momentary lapse in the Prussian's defense, Alain put nearly all his remaining strength into one more massive hit on that injured left side of the King.   The blow was devastating and the mighty regent collapsed to his knees.   Alain then moved-in and made short work of dispatching the defenseless man, and the King of Prussia was out cold.

Very sore and bloody, Alain was at least able to walk away on his own this time---after he also went to his knees---and gave thanks to Teos.   He would later learn his opponent for the Championship of the Cairo Tournament would be another King---the great warrior of Serbia: Tsar Dusan Nemanjic.     Alain would take Luc's advice and stay near the villa outside Cairo and not try to leave before the final duel.   Rest had to take priority over wanderlust--at least for a few days.   Besides, he had a lot of scrolls to catch-up on to keep him busy.   He did not wish to be over-focused like last time!

He would give the Serbian Tsar the perfectly ready Alain.   It would be plenty for His Majesty to handle, All, he could handle as a matter of fact.   





Of that---Alain was sure.




« Last Edit: 28 June, 2017, 01:56:31 PM by Alain D' Arcy »

Alain D' Arcy

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Re: Defender of Teos
« Reply #17 on: 01 July, 2017, 11:14:35 AM »










By Alain D' Arcy
**********************************************





It was before dawn on Championship Day of The Middle East Tournament when Alain arose and began the short journey into Cairo on horseback.   He had instructed Luc he wanted to make this trip unaccompanied, as he wished to be with his thoughts before the duel with Tsar Dusan.   To a small, mostly symbolic protest from his disapproving squire (who was to follow him into Cairo, shortly), Alain left the villa.   The morning was nice, but, in less than a few hours it would be back to another scorching day under the blazing Cairo sun.   For now, it was not yet oppressive and rather enjoyable.   After several prayers offered to Teos, Alain paused in his worship and wondered how heated it would get inside the dueling arena...

Reaching his destination in a bit of a prayerful reverie, Alain felt almost like he was watching himself from a few paces off---like he was merely observing himself dismounting his horse and enter the arena.   He quickly snapped back to full awareness as the crowd gathered inside to cheer-on the Serbian leader was already in full-swing and very vocal.   Alain noticed General Stark---the leader of the Serbian Army and Alain's good friend---right in the middle of the pack of Serbian fans leading the cheering.   This made Alain smile as he recalled seeing that the winner today would face the General in a "duel for fun" in the Mini-Tournament to follow the primary one.   Picking-up his pace a bit, he began to make his way toward one of the Tournament Heralds to check-in, as his match with Tsar Dusan was set to begin shortly.   This would decide the Championship and was the moment Alain had worked (and bled) for since the opening day of this thing.   It was to be the "Crown Jewel" of the nearly month-long event, and Alain wanted that jewel to shine brightly!

He then went deep into his pre-duel ritual: using prayer and meditative focus to seek the inner calm and soothing contentment of soul he liked to reach just before facing an opponent.   In what seemed like no time, he was facing the fauchard-bearing Tsar and exchanging greetings as the Tournament Herald announced their impending clash to the now fully packed (and very vocal) crowd jammed inside the arena.   It was feeling very warm, now...



                                                                                                                         
*******************************************



The first two rounds of the duel were over in lightning speed, finding both combatants nearly evenly matched and only mildly injured.   It was in the third round that the quickness and dexterity gap started to become apparent.   Alain was quicker overall than the mighty Tsar, but he learned that the Serbian leader was made of iron and simply would not fall.   It would take two more grueling rounds before Alain realized his opponent was on his last legs---but so was he!   The victor and Champion was going to be one of them and they both were at the end of their respective "ropes."   Out of breath and nearly out of energy to continue,  he watched as Tsar Dusan put all his remaining energy into one last, savage attack.  Barely dodging two of the mighty blows, Alain was not so lucky on the third as it crashed squarely and soundly on his helmet-clad head and brought him to the very brink of unconsciousness.   A lot of luck---or help from above---kept him upright just long enough to launch his own final strike.   Connecting with all his remaining strength to the side of the now reeling monarch, Alain knew this would be it---it had to be it---for he was now totally exhausted and had nothing left to give.   For the rest of his days, Alain would never again remember relief like he felt as he watched the Serbian fall and the contest declared over.   He had done it!   He was Champion of Cairo!   Praise Teos!




*******************************************



He barely remembered being congratulated by General Stark before joining Tsar Dusan in an exhausted, unconscious collapse.   Stark grinned at Luc who had rushed to Alain's side, "Take good care of him and get him back to health quickly, as he still has to face The Wolf."






Luc shuddered. A hungry Wolf, no doubt...





« Last Edit: 01 July, 2017, 11:17:31 AM by Alain D' Arcy »

Alain D' Arcy

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Re: Defender of Teos
« Reply #18 on: 09 July, 2017, 08:11:38 AM »










By Alain D' Arcy
**********************************************





Alain dismounted his horse and tethered him to some saplings near a small stream he had followed for some time.   It was a tiny branch off the mighty Dnieper River, mostly secluded in its channel which cut its way across a large part of the Chortitza region of the vast Kiev Principality.   He was now more than halfway to his destination: the wedding celebrations of his new friend and Brother Guard Captain, Lord Gustav Wolfsangel of The Kingdom of Sweden.   Meeting and becoming fast friends at the Middle East Tournament in Cairo, the two had stayed in touch since departing and Alain was happy to make the rather long trip to support Lord Gustav and give his best wishes to the bride-to-be, Clara, whom he had never met.   Against nearly furious protest from Luc (sent home to Jerusalem by Alain to take care of matters until his return), he began his journey and had plenty of time along the way to recall the events that shaped the final days of his stay in Cairo:


The duels with General Eddard Stark and Lord Tervel Dulo taught Alain that he needed to improve his skills when a knife was the only weapon used.  It also taught him that those two were not only good, solid men very skilled in combat, but that they were gracious, respectable and honorable Lords and he was grateful to call them friends.   He was also grateful the mini-tournament was over, as he did not fare so well in those matches.   Luc insisted Alain was too tired and not fully recovered from the actual tournament to participate, but Alain had agreed to do so, and would not listen to his imploring squire.   When the stay in Cairo was over, Luc headed for Jerusalem and Alain sailed north.


Preparing to make a camp for the night, Alain remembered something else of which he was grateful: Luc had no idea about part of the entertainment planned for Lord Gustav's wedding in Sweden.   He had no idea and therefore could not pester Alain about his being part of that entertainment:






Dueling with knives.





Alain D' Arcy

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Re: Defender of Teos
« Reply #19 on: 31 July, 2017, 07:58:10 AM »
END OF:  DEFENDER OF TEOS series.

« Last Edit: 04 August, 2017, 07:59:53 AM by Alain D' Arcy »

Alain D' Arcy

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Re: Defender of Teos
« Reply #20 on: 04 August, 2017, 08:00:31 AM »
Thank you for reading and look for the D' Arcy Chronicles to continue in a new series starting in September of 1317....somewhere! ;)
« Last Edit: 17 August, 2017, 05:14:26 AM by Alain D' Arcy »