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Twas a brillig day; the sun shone down on top of the spectators giving the world a hue of splendor. An ample castle that held a certain authority was enrobing an amiable village; the castle was not overbearing, but it didn’t look like a cozy cottage. The grass grew deep along the outer walls, with trees dotting the plains adding to the green luster. A rickety looking cobblestone path led out of the castle to the far East, which eventually led to the city of Manchester. The castle’s face was scattered with sharp details: gargoyles with piercing spears, lions roaring with bared teeth, a dragon with an utterly evil feel, and many more such figures trying to impose fear on any foes that might approach.
The main feature of the castle was a loud carving of a “beast-man,” as the people liked to call it. Massive in stature, it took up almost the whole of the space above the gate; it had intricate detailing, and almost looked as if it would ravage the countryside at a moment’s notice. Back when the castle was built, King Harold III had considered himself a god, and had his workers carve this statue into the castle wall. Harold was a prideful man, it was clearly seen in the construction of his immense castle.
Inside the castle walls was a mixture of streets, cottages, shoppes, and royal residencies. Daily life was pleasant for the villagers; they weren’t taxed overly oppressively, and all had their place in life. This kingdom followed the class system regular to the times; the city housed a lofty amount of Vulgars, along with a considerable number in the Aristocracy. The king lived in a sort of Chateau at the top of a hill inside the walls. It was of goodly size, and showed the true craftsmanship of the people. It was heavily influenced by the French way of living; wine glasses were hung along the walls, and the cabinets were stuffed full of sublime cheese imported directly from the exceptional country of France. Outside there was a large courtyard encircling a stage that was used for special events. Fountains dotted the area along with the rare appearance of a tree. It was the general meeting place for the town, this is where our story shall begin.
An ample crowd had gathered in the courtyard to marvel at the wonderful ceremony about to take place. There were five people assembled on the stage about neck-high for the average bystander; it was made of a smooth wood, and just looked like a comfortable surface to stand on. The event was a knighting ceremony, and our character of interest was part of the podium clan.
Another character appeared on the stage, it was King Harold XXI, a plump man of sorts. Unlike many kings that were ruling at the times who towered over their respective subjects, Harold was short as an un-magical beanstalk. Fat seemed to roll up on him at its own clumpy leisure; the law of the land was that any soul could call him pudgy, but any word more boorish was punishable by death. He wore fine purple and gold attire that held to his skin tightly making him appear much like a grape. It was his tendency to get bored at seemingly random times, quite an odd attribute for such a high character. He now stepped up as he decided to get the party started.
“Our first knightee, Amsden, please step up.”
Amsden was tall and lanky, quite unlike the other soon to be knights who all weighed at least 250 pounds. He had a short, stubbly beard that was quite patchy, and his eyes were a noticeably un-striking brown. His clothes were not trash by any means, but compared to the company he was surrounded by at the moment, they looked vulgar. Worn, his shoes were nothing special, just a regular piece of leather formed in the shape of a foor. Amsden sauntered up to the king with a considerably nervous look.
The king looked at Amsden with serious skepticality and clearly treated him with such suspicion. Overall Amsden was a solid 5 inches taller than Harold, but paled in terms of weight. The king started to speak,
“Before you today we have the fine man Amsden. His reason for being here in the midst of such high class is his heroic deeds. Admirable Amsden saved the wine cellar from the clutches of a herd of destructive squirrels.”
In reality Amsden had just been wandering about the grounds when he saw the cellar door standing gapingly open with a squirrel standing by dubiously. Amsden simply walked up to the cellar door and gave it a firm shut; however, a guard was standing, or rather wobbling next to a tree in the near vicinity. This guard was clearly under the influence of some mighty ale, but the alcohol ended up helping Amsden a healthy bit. The guard ran away yelling and exclaimed, “I must tell the king!” Amsden thought he was in for it, he was under the impression that the guard thought he had been stealing from the cellar, but as you can see, it turned out well.
“Amsden, in his display of cunning wits and bravery, has, in our humble opinion, earned the glory of a knight. If there are no objections, I shall proclaim Amsden the Brave, a knight.”
There were a few objections raised in the crowd, assumably because Amsden was nearly sitting in a pile of sweat, but the king swept in and yelled at the people saying that he didn’t care what they thought. He then had Amsden go onto one knee, and patted him quite firmer than usual on both shoulders and on the head. Then Harold said in a monotone voice,
“I hereby declare Amsden the Brave, a Knight of our land...”
The massive crowd mumbled with discontent in place of their usual cheering; it was a depressing sight for Amsden to say the least. He stood up, sauntered back to the place he previously had sat, and plumped down with other “knights to be.” The other knights had their chests puffed out and showed no sign of emotion, they were nice and stoic.
Amsden was the stereotypical “sit in the corner” type of guy; he never really went out to seek adventure. He didn’t do anything to suppress the un-subtle rejection of the crowd at hand. The seat away from the center of the stage was plenty good for him at this point, so he simply sat and envied the other knights as they went through the same ceremony as he, but in place of mumble and grumbles there was a loud cheer for each one that could be heard all the way to Old Glossip it seemed. The ceremony ended, and the light of the sun began to fade; Amsden trudged along with the happy steps of the people around him as each person went to their own respective homes.
Amsden found his way to his home which was at a lower level than most of the other homes inside the castle walls. He opened the door with relative slowness, and flopped roughly onto his plain, but well-used bed. He had no intention to do anything that night for himself, so he made no effort to keep his eyes open. His mind searched back upon the day, he took quite some time to think, he realized what a mediocre man he was. On the morrow, he thought, I shall seize the day and prove my fortitude.
The sun was the first to wake up out of the whole village, which was mostly due to the heavy presence of alcohol the day before. The people did, however, slowly rise out of their beds and start to roam about the streets. Amsden was a later sleeper than most, but today he was going to “seize,” so he got up at a more reasonable hour. Soon after he was up he had some eggs frying and was sorting out a plan for the day. In his mind all he needed was some girth, and some confidence, so the clear choice for the day was to go cow tipping; a popular sport of the village.
Amsden set out to hit the field and practice his cow tipping. It was quite the rigorous sport, and the all-time greats logged some serious practice hours. The main benefits of this sport for Amsden was that it would give him some popularity, and it would build muscle. This sport could be the outlet he needed to get the respect he so desperately needed for his morale. As he was walking, children, and others would run up to him and say sarcastically,
“Hello Siiiiir Amsden!”
Then they would give a short snicker-snort type of laugh and run away to where they came from earlier. It was the most distressing for him when the men of the village did this to him.
Amsden trampled the streets harshly with his heave footsteps. people were destroying his psychological game-face while he was simply walking to the field. He needed something to turn in his favor quickly. From all angles insults were thrown at him, and instead of deflecting them, he took them full force. At this point stick and stones broke his bones, and words hurt him. Amsden was about to turn back when he heard the voice of the town crier announce,
“The princess has been captured by the deplorable and impetuous dragon Tanith; if no heroic activity is taken by our knights, our princess shall for sure be slain.”
Amsden’s mind was slow in nature; he just stood there for a few moments while everyone else was murmuring about the incident. Then he saw the light which had been shining in his face for 5 seconds already. He announced loudly,
“I shall be the knight that goes on thither quest! I will go and rescue thine princess from the clutches of Tanith the dragon. Wish me luck, citizens. I shall head out now and not return until I have the princess by mine side!”
A small subdued laugh rose from the crowd, but Amsden didn’t care; for him, it was game time.