> Sample, by J.R. Hawboldt
>© J.R. Hawboldt.
> All rights reserved. No part of this text may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, reposting, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without express written permission of the author.
It was a frantic day all throughout the kingdom, for today was the coronation of it’s tenth King, Brand Dragonheart.
The standard of the Dragon was displayed in abundance; as the citizens showed their support by flourishing the new King’s house sigil wherever possible. It could be found on flags, banners, streamers, and of course various drawings, paintings & sketches; as artisans were hoping to make their purses thrice heavier than usual during the festivities.
For three whole days, the city was bustling and busy, as there were many hoping to catch a glimpse of Brand taking the crown. Due to the vast amount of people, a fair share of them were content to being in the same city at the same time. Aside from the city’s own citizens, many had traveled far to see the new king take the crown.
From all across the land, the nobles, knights & stewards of various factions streamed into the city to observe & support the ceremonies, some of them bearing gifts for the new king.
Inns & taverns had been busy for a solid month before the ceremonial weekend, as people streamed to the city. The way the men kept frequenting the brothels, however, the wenches liked to think that they could match a princess’ riches with their expected earnings.
However, not all were happy about Brand’s ascension to the throne. There were a couple factions who have been lobbying their own Steward as King, or some who wanted anyone but Brand, and some who believed after five kings in a row, a queen was needed. And of course, there were some who wanted no ruler.
Because of assorted protests associated with large crowds, and the beginning of a new ruler’s reign, extra security & precaution was to be expected.
Without a doubt, the Black Knights, the most elite of knights found within the faction of the king, were to be out in full. Their ebony suits shining & reflecting in the sun, and deep emerald plumes in the shape of a dragon, standing proud atop their helms.
Even the mounts of the the Black were fully outfitted, both for ceremonial display and combat. Great, black chargers with coats so shiny, they looked as if to be velvet.
Being unveiled during the celebration would be their new barding, also black and deep of emerald. The new addition, however, was a plate helm, with a single long silver horn upon the forehead. The rider could detach the horn and use it as a miniature javelin, or keep it attached to the horse’s helm during a charge, giving his opponent some extra pointy damage upon impact.
The Hawks would also be providing some of their arms over the course of the celebration, despite their usual neutral position. The best among them would be coming with their Steward to the city. Should their Steward ever become King, then most like the knights he brought with him would become his Black Knights.
This particular faction often remained neutral during wars & political skirmishes, offering aid to those who need it most, or where it would benefit them most.
Yet for all their efforts, a single figure had eluded them all throughout the celebration, by blending into crowds and sticking to the shadows. Other trickery was used, such as arriving with a full beard, and shaving it all off. He always kept a change of clothes hidden nearby, its location changing with his throughout his stay in the city. He was garbed in dark colors, leather jerkin, and cloak. On his belt he wore two daggers, carried a crossbow, and a shortsword on his back.
When it was time for Brand to formally become king and accept his crown-helm, the man scrambled up some nearby windows, almost being spotted by some of the Watcher’s birds along the way. Finally, he came to a roof overlooking the courtyard where the Dragonheart would accept his reign.
His eyes searched all around for Black Knights. Considering the added protection & extra guards, he had evaded them all. Sneaking and skulking around shadows was his gift, after all.
Fools, he thought, One lone man escapes your watch, fully capable of disposing this new king of yours.
King Dragonheart bent the knee, awaiting his crown. The man on the roof, readied his crossbow, aiming for his target’s chest. He squinted, ready to deliver his killing shot.
He had his shot, and was ready to loose a bolt.
The man’s bolt misfired, missing Brand altogether, and catching the King’s nephew in the throat.
The man turned around in surprise, to see two orphan boys who had come up the roof only seconds before. While the man was caught off guard, all attention was diverted to the building. The sounds of hundreds of hundreds cheering almost instantly transitioned to screaming, cries of terror and chaos. With the King’s nephew dying quickly and struggling for life, the Black Archers wasted no time in retaliating, letting loose some arrows his way. Before he could dodge, however, two of them caught him in the back; for the Black Archers were too quick on the draw for him.
He had given the archers their shot when he confronted the orphans. The man staggered and tumbled off of the building, landing with a crunch. Nearby guards ran to where he had fallen, and seized him.
If it was information the Dragon Knights were after, they had got none, for the assassin was certainly dead once he hit the ground.
Later, it discovered, that underneath his leather jerkin, the man wore a tunic with a Fox design. With an assassination attempt on the king, the killing of a member of the royal family, and the discovery of the Fox standard, the war had begun.