Released from Silent Gallows, Galvin the Bard tidied himself up and went to the Royal Palace to entertain a party in one of the King’s halls.
The King was honoring elderly veterans of war by hosting a banquet.
He was nearly late.
James the Bastard was in attendance as he had found a place in the court and Galvin greeted him. “A round of reverence to James Rainport, rough and reliable!”
James placed a hand on his sword.
“Bard, I am no longer of the house of Rainport. I am James the Bastard.”
Galvin was taken aback.
“Why rotten revelation! What is wrought? Would Lord Rainport’s woebeggotten welp wean himself from wickedness?
James remembered his manners somewhat. After all, this was a bard he was talking to.
“walk away minstrel, I have not named my sword and do not wish to name it Foolsplitter. It would be too bloody funny.”
Galvin laughed so loud that everyone nearby stared. He looked at the muscular man with the worn armour.
James, you have changed.
Evil Rainport mean and plastered,
Changed your name to James the Bastard.
I see you here in palace at peace,
Join me for music at the feast.
Veterans of all kinds were at the banquet. The King himself attended and Galvin was called forward to perform. The King’s Alchemist was present.
I look at the lattice and am reminded of arbor,
And look at fine faces and think about harbor.
The attack was unexpected, we were surprised,
Our defenses were down and dragons did fly.
Fire and mayhem beset each ship and each sail.
Men drowned and did burn flesh melded to mail.
Men lost and trapped in water below
Tried to escape and lost their air flow.
The tapping from under was heard from attop,
For weeks it went on, then it did stop.
A lady she stood at the dock and did greive.
She lifted a torch and shouted Freedom,Believe!
We gathered together in saddened remorses.
Assembled ourselves and mustered our forces.
We went to the land from whence fear did assail,
Demanding victory we put boot in dragon’s tail.
We encountered the fierce,
and we were much fiercer
We cut down the cowards
with sharp pointed piercers!
It is an honor to honor you fine veteren men,
Invite me next year and I’ll honor you again!
The moment Galvin finished, a woman came running through tables frantically shouting, “I need to speak to the king!” The king’s guards followed in hot pursuit and were blundering about trying to catch their nimble intruder. “Stop her!” Yelled a guard. A veteran tripped her. She sprawled to the floor and the guards violently secured her arms.
Galvin recognized Violet. He leaned over to the king. “A fool doth ponder, listen to lady yonder.”The king raised his scepter and she was escorted to the raised platform where the king sat. He raised an eyebrow but did not speak. Violet was sobbing. ” My lord! there is a plot to overthrow you!” The King’s Alchemist interrupted. He spoke loudly and authoritatively. “Let’s give Galvin the Bard and his wench a hand for such a wonderful performance! “
The veterans stood, clapped and whistled. Guards ushered the king out of the hall, followed by the Alchemist. The event was over. Galvin was not expecting Violet, but knew it was in her best interest to speak for her.
“Unhand her helplessness the hussie, hulking habergeons! Heretofore her handling was hopeless and horrible.”
” MOVE FOOL!” A palace guard shoved Galvin and he landed square on his rump. As they escorted her towards the gate, a guard squeezed her arm so hard she cried out. He said, “my, you are spirited. If your face wasn’t so mangled I would….”
The distinct sound of sword coming out of its scabbard caused everything to stop. The palace halls were full of sightseers, merchants, and nobility. The palace guards drew their swords in conditioned response to the noise.
James stepped forward.
“My brother was rejected by the lady you are so roughly handling because he is a filthy pig. He marred her appearance with lye. Say something about her face and I will remove yours. Let her go. “The offending guard spoke. “unhand the woman.” Violet fled.
The guard approached James pulling off his gauntlet striking him in the cheekbone. ” She is a hag and her face isn’t worthy for a sow to look upon.”
Blood trickled down James’ face and he stared at the guard. A duel was inevitable.
His gaze was ugly and unnerving.
“When we duel, I will make good on my word.”