The Company leaves the Caves of Chaos and camps at the Overlook without incident. During the morning of Day 70 they are nearing the Keep and meet two riders. One is a man in leather armor and the other is knight in full plate and shield. He blocks the road and views the Company as they approach.
[I rolled this on my new encounter table. The table is for the area around Bree, a small town to the south, but it works well enough for now.
Arden spoke with the knight, but he was in no mood to talk. He issued a challenge for single combat until one of the combatants yielded.
The knight insulted the Company, remarking to his man-at-arms that only Martin, the templar, looked worthy of the challenge. Arden was unarmored and the knight felt the others were beneath him.
Martin was angered by the knight’s insults and felt justified in taking the challenge. He knew that the knight had better armor (Martin was in chainmail with no shield) but Martin had faith and a sturdy morning star.
The knight did offer one accord to Martin. He climbed down from his warhorse and foot on foot. His man-at-arms tied the horses off and stood a short distance away with his arms folded.
“Tis early yet in the day, templar. But this may be the only sport I have today. Yield when you feel you have had enough. I’ll spare your life.”
Martin clenched his teeth and said nothing to the brash knight. He did whisper a prayer to Eos and tightened the grip on his morning star.
The rest of the Company stood in a loose circle around them.
The knight charged and narrowly missed Martin with his longsword.
Martin stepped aside and swung a heavy blow, catching the knight on the back.
“Hitting a man in the back?! Not fair, not fair…” he laughed mockingly.
Martin replied, “My apologies, but your back appears to be all you want to show.”
That seemed to strike a nerve and the knight swung viciously at the cleric, narrowly missing once again.
The two men circled each other and Martin received a couple minor blows but his armor withstood the blade. [Martin has 4 luck points and I spent them all to either avoid damage or bringing his own attack roll to 12]
The knight stopped bragging and rejoined combat in earnest. He hit Martin again but not hard enough to put him down. Several heavy blows by Martin left the knight stunned and down on the ground.
“I yield!” the knight yelled, a look of shame on his face.
“I yield and offer my arms, armor, and horse to you, sir.”
Martin knew he could take the knight’s possessions and then sell them, but he had another idea. “Keep your possession, Sir Knight. As you have yielded, I ask of you one task. You will labor on the building of the new church in Coot’s Mill. When it is complete, you will have fulfilled you honor bound duty.”
The knight knew that Martin had him over a barrel. If he lost his equipment, he would be hard pressed to gather the silver to purchase another.
And so, Martin solved two problems…one, the need for workers on the church, and two, teaching humility to an arrogant knight.
Martin laughed at the thought of this arrogant nobleman’s son taking orders from the village carpenter. He hoped the young man would learn a much needed lesson.
More to come…