Kross & Sweord
The Blog of The Paladin. Sometimes dark, sometimes light, and concerning itself with items of interest to its author. History (Medieval and Crusades being of particular interest), Literature (Tolkien, Charles Williams, C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling to name a few), Opinion, Short Stories, and whatever else may strike my fancy.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
A fire burned dolefully in the corner of the small inn. Comfortable chairs ringed the hearth and oil lamps burned on the smattering of tables scattered around the room. Behind the bar an elderly man puttered about filling mugs and stacking dirtied crockery. The place, despite its smallness was comfortable. It was a place where one could sit, receive a hot meal, a bath, and allow the blessed nectar of the old man's honeyed mead to mend the mental strains of life or the road.
Eston sat carelessly in a large wooden chair fronting the fire. He was tall, as were all of his family. Standing a full six feet four inches he dwarfed friend and enemy alike. His hair, now returned to his liking was long and blond, thick and straight and his face was cleanly shaven. Chiseled features, a shapely nose, high cheekbones, and dark chestnut tan only served to make his sapphire blue eyes stand out the more. Vanity ran in the family and he had become convinced of his comeliness at his mother's knee.
Eston's right leg was draped over the arm of the chair and his face turned staring into the flames absently turning his third mug of mead which was clutched tightly in his hands. Though his head spun and threatened to break open and spill its entire contents upon the wooden floor, he did not outwardly betray his anxiety. To a casual observer he simply would have appeared to be a serious man lost in thought. To those close to him, however, here was a man on the brink.
A serious man was the last way that one who knew him would have described Eston. All his life he had loved it. Life that is. And had lived in the moment at every turn along its road. Though well bred and educated, having come from an ancient noble family of Saxon stock, his family's fortunes took a turn for the worse upon the landing of The Conqueror. Of course this was four generations ago. It was his great-great-grandfather who had the ignoble job of swearing fealty to him. But he was by no means raised in poverty. His family's contributions and willingness to get along had always, it seemed, secured for them fair treatment from their Norman lord. His father was answered to and answered to and that was the way of it.
Of course Eston never really cared who sat on the throne, and as he grew he secretly nursed the belief that his family was in fact descended from Thor and that his family ought to rule simply because relation to a god who controlled thunder and led armies with a great war-hammer seemed the much more qualifying claim to kingship than did those claims of England's current overlord Henry. This notion was nourished by his grandmother who still believed it, to the dismay of their family priest, and drummed it into him during his earliest lessons with her.
As he grew, however, he never had issue with his Norman counterparts, that is until he desired entry into The Order and was blackballed due to his lineage. It did not stop him. He went to Jerusalem anyway, at the advice and encouragement of his father, and was hired into the army of the Leper King Baldwin IV which he soon found out was commanded by the irascible Humphrey II of Toron.
By God how his blood could boil. That ancient battle-beat of the shield-walls of his fore bearers would rise in him in a moment's notice and it was his utter daring and contempt of death that had won him the notice of the Grand Master of The Order of the Poor Knights of Christ, Odo de St Amand at the great battle of Montgisard.
Eston was with the King at Ascalon and the army, now effectively commanded by Raynald of Châtillon, Lord of Oultrejordain, was itching to attack Saladin and his forces.
Only three-hundred and seventy-five knights snuck out in order to prevent Saladin from reaching Jerusalem by making a surprise attack upon the Chief Infidel's forces.
After getting through the pitiful attempts to hem them in made by Saladin in his arrogance, they struck the encamped army without hesitation, battering them into submission. Though Saladin’s thirty thousand strong horde covered the terrain, it was as if nothing could stand before the heavy horse unleashed by the King. Some said that St. George appeared upon the field directing the commanders and supporting the footmen when their lines grew weak.
During the battle the young Saxon knight rode to the defense of a Templar who was coming under attack by five savages, each attempting to unhorse their foe, screaming like the devils they were, and whirling their curved blades above their heads. In a battle-fury spawned, it was later said, by the devil himself, Eston tore into the attackers. He split the head of the first from behind, the momentum of his horse carrying him between the Templar and into the small, but lightning quick pony of the Mameluke opposite. Bashing the beast in the face with his shield, he buried his sword in the right hip of his opponent, his cut beginning at the left shoulder. He had effectively cut him in half. Wrenching his sword free, he wheeled his horse around and allowed the effectively trained animal free reign as it reared and plunged down upon two adversaries with its tremendous hooves. The Templar took the last man with a massive blow to his lightly armored chest and in those few seconds of calm, the Templar's eyes met his saviour's. Eston hooted like a madman, laughing maniacally as he wiped the vermin's blood from his face. He turned his horse and plunged away into the retreating Mameluke forces, butchering as many as he could catch.
Later that night, he was approached by a young servant boy and summoned to the Templar section of the camp. Tired though he was he followed the boy blindly and was surprised to find himself standing before the Grand Master's tent.
After being announced, he heard a gravely voice tell him to enter. He bowed slightly in order to do so and was a bit taken back to find himself looking into the eyes that he had seen mere hours before upon the field.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
SO WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN??????
Well, to be honest, I have not been in the blogging mood. There are tumultuous changes going on in my world and it has been a wild ride. I have had some good times.
Saw Roger Waters perform in Atlanta and that my friends was absolutely amazing. In the Flesh opened the show and that was worth the price of admission. The first set was mind-blowing with selections from The Wall, Animals, Wish You Were Here, and some originals. The second set was the entire Dark Side of the Moon without interruption! Encores? Oh yeah . . . all from The Wall including Vera and ending with Comfortably Numb. The best concert I have ever been to by far . . . surpassing Pink Floyd (minus Roger) in 1994.
Also, if you are into good blues/ alt. country . . . try out this guy. From Opelika, AL (right outside Auburn), he has been tearing up the highways playing his "different groove". Visit Adam Hood here.
Hopefully, I can get back in a groove and get some thoughts out there . . . been writing just not for public consumption . . . don't want the folks in white coats descending.
Monday, April 16, 2007
N.I.C.E. losing ground in England?!?! Perhaps The Merlin is walking about the countryside again.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Bong Hits 4 Jesus! Zaney Free Speech experiment turns out to be a good one.
The Supreme Court?! And now the t-shirt is selling out! I must say that I side with the student on this one. Apparently so did a former employer of mine in an amicus brief the organization submitted. Good for them.
Now, I am no dupe, but this is good political advertising, unauthorized or not. I love it and Obama would be smart to pay this person and use this add as it is sublimely clever. This will appeal to those reluctant dems who despise Hillary and as well as those repubs who obviously tremble in their sleep at the prospect of Madame President Hillary. It also appeals to cynical Catholic Monarchists who look down at the entirety of the field and shake our heads in derision. VOTE ZOD! (A vicious totalitarian who will show the world exactly how babies in western-world wombs feel . . . at the mercy of their parent.)
Friday, March 16, 2007
Happy St. Patrick's Day Tommorrow!!!
May those who love us love us.
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we'll know them by their limping!
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
POST-SYNODAL APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI
TO THE BISHOPS, CLERGY,CONSECRATED PERSONS AND THE LAY FAITHFUL
ON THE EUCHARIST AS THE SOURCE AND SUMMIT OF THE CHURCH'S LIFE AND MISSION