Author Topic: A Young Rider Seeks to Join the Queen's Cavalry  (Read 721 times)


  • Noble Lord
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Unotosa marked the northern reach of the great Empire of Arcaea, which spanned nearly 650 miles south, all the way to Idapur. Queen Eva quietly traveled west through the countryside with her Royal Dragoon riders, her four knights and their commands of archers and infantry. The rolling coastal lands were dotted with small fishing villages and shops catering to traders, but much of the land was empty of any settlements.

She conversed with her young knights: Mathias, Marche, Rolf and Wolfgang, who rode alongside their queen. She recounted for them some of the long history of these lands. How a legendary empire named Arachon once ruled here, before Sartania came and conquered it, and nearly defeated Arcaea then, as well. Sartania finally fell, and Arcaea and Arachon fought over what remained.

Arcaea grew into the great empire we know today, and marched north into the Dark Isle to defeat Arachon, leaving the island in a barbaric state. King Azgath broke away from Arcaea to found Coralynth, and then bent the knee to the Emperor and signed a treaty with the great empire to secure the future of our realm for all time. These were the same stories that her father told her when she was growing up. When she had finished recounting the histories of the area, a lone rider approached the company.

"Halt!" Captain Heimar, the queen's captain shouted. "You approach her majesty, Queen Eva Ji'Ardan of Coralynth, Lady Protector, Duchess of the Dark Isle, Margravine of Enlod, and Marshal of the Shield. State your business!"

"Sirs and your majesty, word has spread across the land that the hero Queen Eva was in Unotasa, and I knew that this was likely to be my only chance!" The rider was young, but sturdy for his age, and he carried a spear and a sword was attached to his belt. She could see the man's mount was a good breed as well.

"Your only chance to what?" Captain Heimar asked sharply. He was agitated that as his queen became more and more popular, a large part of his daily job was to keep the many suitors and so-called lotharios at bay.

The young man jumped down off his horse. Drawing his sword from the sheathe, he fell to one knee while holding the sword in the air over his head. "I pledge my sword to you, your majesty! Let me join your Royal Dragoons and prove myself a worthy recruit!"

Queen Eva looked at the man and smiled briefly, "If you can stay on your horse for longer than one minute against any one of my men, I will take you with us." The rider quickly jumped back on his mount. Captain Heimar barked orders to one of the queen's riders who came up to meet the stranger.

They faced off, the stranger and the horseman. The soldier was not impressed, he drew his sword and the two hacked back and forth at each other, while on their mounts. It was a duel, but not to the death, the goal was to unseat their opponent. Finally, the Royal Dragoon rider's skill and training caught the young man off balance, and he slid over the backside of his mount.

"Hah! Your minute is not even up yet and already you're off your..." the captain stopped speaking. While he was no longer on top of his horse, neither was the young man in the dirt. With all his strength, he was clinging to the saddle, still hovering inches above the ground.

At such a ridiculous sight the Queen allowed herself a laugh, and a smattering of chuckles could be heard throughout the rest of her company. "Captain?"

"Yes, your majesty!"

"I'm quite sure the young man's tenacious spirit has won the day," at which point the young man's spirits soared into the clouds. "I'd be proud to count him as one of my riders."

"Yes, your majesty!" The Captain turned to the rider, "Fall in with the other Dragoons in the rear! We will get you proper armor and attire when we return to Enlod. Until then, you will have a lot of hard training to do to earn your place here, keep your mouth shut and your eyes open!"

They continued on to Athios, their company now enlarged by one very happy rider who had just become the queen's newest cavalryman.