by Andrew Blackwood MacBaine the Purple
Do heed this tale as ancient mist o’er crumbled past will lift
And you will hear a story now of dragon’s shining gift…
Two knights, one prince, this tale does take from tournament to throne
And here therein, the honor of each man will be well known.
Sir Pieter came that day in fall to make Nan Astrid Queen
As Gaylen smiled at Lady Mebh, he knew his strength was seen.
A tournament was held therein to choose the MidRealm Heirs
No death was dealt, but chivalry, honor, grace and care.
First Pieter faced James Sebring called, a Sword and Shield he chose
At “lay on” Pieter took control, like flames of war, he rose
Then Florentine did Pieter wield, and planned his strategy,
Precise as clockwork went the fight, and Pieter soon was free.
Sir Gaylen faced Lord Angus, both of wordfame most replete,
But Gaylen was determined that he would not bear defeat.
He took Lord Angus with his sword and then again with shield
And at the end of tourney’s bout Lord Angus had to yield.
Now Pieter ‘gainst Sir Bonnor strong, Sir Morgan’s sparring friend,
They took up glaives to glorify their ladies, to the end.
That fight was Pieter’s, Florentine was Bonnor’s bout to win,
Long arms with sword and shield helped Pieter, to that Knight’s chagrin.
Gaylen then fought Stein, a hearty fighter of some fame,
And who could charge against a man with such a wondrous name?
But Gaylen was triumphant once again, his second bout,
He took the victory and advancement with a mighty clout!
Istvan Toth was next in line as Pieter walked the list.
Istvan charged and both men swung and realized they’d missed,
E’en though both were armed with swords, t’was Pieter swung again,
and took that bout and then with glaive, Lord Istvan lay there, slain.
Gaylen stood there well opposed to Morgan, Knight and Lord,
With Florentine they thrashed away till Gaylen took accord,
With Sword and shield Gaylen was again the victor named
And Morgan, mighty Knight of Pentamere was duly tamed.
Then good Sir William onto Peter’s thigh a shot he clanged,
But William underestimated Pieter’s range a’legged,
As William closed Sir Pieter rose and struck across his brow,
Then florentine did Pieter pour like waves o’er William’s bow.
Erik sought to stop the flow of Gaylen’s inexorable tide
With mace and shield he made the Viscount dance, but was denied
And then with sword and shield Erik hoped to balance out
But Gaylen would not be denied, and Erik went without.
Sir Stephan gave Sir Pieter his first great loss of the day
With florentine did Stephan step in close and Pieter slay.
With spear of length and sharpness Stephan thrust at Pieter’s face
And disengaged around the block that Pieter tried to place.
Then once again the two knights stood, the winner would advance,
And lo! be spoken of in tale and song and sweet romance,
With single sword Sir Pieter reached long with his mighty arms,
And with that sword he did Sir Stephan necessary harm.
Then Sword and Spear in Tarrach’s name did Pieter take to fight
Less than four feet long it was, but with a healthy bite!
It weaved, it danced, it stung — Sir Stephan powerless against!
And there into the finals of Crown Tourney Pieter fenced!
But who would face him? Gaylen and Sir Gunther now would choose!
Gunther of the Brandenburgs, he had a warrior’s muse.
There he comes out, ready now, to give his queen a crown,
A mighty blow with GreatSword, and he took Sir Gaylen down.
Gaylen needed time to think, and when he was at ease,
With sword and board the two knights fought, like titans in the seas,
With sword as sharp as razors, Gunther’s shirt he cut to shreds,
And though Sir Gunther tried to win, he took a loss instead.
A florentine bout they did fight, with flurries all around,
And resevoirs of strength and cunning in their hearts they found,
They struck out at each-other, once again, and once again!
And at the last it was Sir Gaylen who was Gunther’s bane.
In the Finals of Crown Tourney would our two strong warriors fight!
They’d raise their chivalry and skill and grace to newfound heights!
The Roses gathered Nan and Mebh together near the list
To help them cheer and cry and flinch at each shot hit or missed.
With Florentine they first came out, and like so oft before,
The blows were thrown so fast they blurred, and Gaylen hit the floor,
The shot that Pieter landed had hit square upon his head,
And resonated with the blow that Gunther’s sword had bred.
The two conferred and stated that they would fight sword and shield.
But Gaylen was delighted when Sir Pieter took the field,
His shield is Round? But why? But how? This gift he’d surely take
With Gaylen’s skill of sword, Sir Pieter’s legs and head did break.
It all comes down to this, my friends; the last bout of the day.
And when it was all over Lady Fate would have her say
With Single Sword they both came armed, for wordfame, love and crown,
Though only one could be the Prince, each would have great renown.
Oh, weary, both, they stood weighed down with swords clenched in their hands,
And each one prayed that they could strong outlast the other man.
Gaylen knew his greatest weakness was Sir Pieter’s range
And several shots that were not good the two men did exchange.
Pieter was exhausted, but he knew that he had reach.
Yet neither fighter could the other’s strong defenses breach
And then Sir Pieter threw a shot, took Gaylen by surprise
For Gaylen was now tested, as the question did arise.
Before the shot had landed, hitting Gaylen on the brow,
His hand he raised, the shot he blocked, the move was not allowed
And had his hand not been there, the blow clearly counted good
Thus Gaylen’s honor suddenly upon the crossroads stood.
“T’was easy,” Gaylen said to me, “to do the right thing there,
As natural as sleeping, aye, or breathing clean free air,
The blow was good, he bested me, he won this fight today.”
So all praise to Prince Peter, now, good gentles, you I pray!
And thus the crown of MidRealm gold did balance on the edge
Of one man’s honor, chivalry and grace that he had pledged
Sir Gaylen yielded the crown of Dragons, truth he did fulfill,
Made Pieter Prince by Right of Arms and Prince by his free will.
A test of strength that tournament showed us on that fall day
But none of us knew in what way that test would be displayed.
T’would be of heart and spirit strong, the strength of Dragon’s Wings
And long of Gaylen and the Prince will bards forever sing.
So praise to Gaylen, strong of heart, and Pieter, Dragon’s Heir
For long will lessons of that day stay with those who were there,
That armor, steed and steel do not complete a warrior’s role,
‘T’is chivalry and mettle that make up a fighter’s soul.