An Honorable Vow

Written by EM Drosselmeyer

“Sir, I wouldn’t advise…”

“Then don’t.” The reply was simple as he stepped out onto the battlefield, surveying where human, elf, and gargoyle alike had fought and fallen. He picked up a broken sword, missing an insignia…and had no way to tell to which side it had belonged. The battle here had been fierce, and it was still being fought, and he knew it would continue to be fought…long after he had once again departed. It was one that had to be fought though; the forces of Vice and Evil must always be opposed, or else there would be nothing left.

“Sir, we should…”

Lord British sighed, standing and brushing off his cloak, turning back to begin the walk to the moongate. The guard had good intentions, but he had not wished to have him along at all…but King Blackthorn had insisted, and told him that it had been too long since he had been in these lands…and that even a King would not be likely to see mercy from those that roamed the old lands. He looked out one last time before he turned his back on Felucca once more, knowing it may be some time before he laid eyes upon them again.

“Sir Dupre, it is good to see you victorious…and better to see how little you have changed. Especially in your taste for excellent drink and companionship.” Lord British grinned to his friend across the table at the Keg and Anchor, who was celebrating with some of his knights, despite many of Minax and Anon’s forces escaping to lick their wounds and fight once again.

“There are many things inconstant in this world, M’lord, but Trinsic’s liquor will always be a safe haven.” The knight took a long drink before placing it down. “But it seems to me that you would ask to meet with me for more than to congratulate me…with as pressing as the business you tend to have usually is. So lay it on me, and let us not waste time, so that once the business is done we can return to our revelry.”

“It is good that you have never given up on Felucca…on the ways of old, and the lands that people hold dear. It seems that too many have taken the easy route, of simply avoiding strife and conflict, abandoning their beliefs because to support them means to fight…and fight we must.” Lord British paused for a moment, gathering his thoughts, and continued on. “These followers of Minax…and Anon, sad as it is to have confirmation now of his betrayal…must be opposed. The Vices they espouse cannot be allowed to hold sway over our lands, and Virtue must once again be upheld across Britannia. You have always been the most honorable man I have ever known, Sir Dupre…and I would ask of you to take a vow, an oath to the Kingdom and King and Virtue as you once did before…but now under your new King.”

Dupre had set down his glass by now, listening more soberly to Cantabrigian’s words, and spoke. “I have never given any reason for King Blackthorn to…”

Lord British interrupted him before he could go further. “Nor do I think you would…but it is a symbol, and vows have power. By officially pledging yourself to the cause of Virtue, many will flock to it’s banner under the power of your name; Many whom still view King Blackthorn with hesitancy, or distrust due to the machinations of Minax and Exodus. You are well respected and loved whether you admit it or not, and you have a responsibility to live up to it.”

Dupre looked down into his drink for a long time, before taking the cup and finishing it, going to answer Lord British.

The pack on his shoulders weighed heavily on him as he walked through the city of Britain, passing by the entrance to his castle and lingering for just a moment to stare at it longingly. It still sat, empty and waiting, eager to see life once more…but Lord British continued on, heading south. He passed the bank and overheard as the town criers were shouting out through the streets.

“Extra! Extra! Sir Dupre pledges to stamp out the forces of Vice and any who follow the traitoress, Minax! Volunteers are encouraged to assist with his efforts, and all able bodied citizens who wish to fight will be accepted!”

A smile tugged at the corner of his lips as he passed by, his large hooded cloak hiding his identity and preventing him from drawing attention…not that he might have drawn that much, with so many around him preparing armor, weaponry, and beast and spell alike to take up the cause. He could hear the fading voice of the town crier shouting something about strange things turning up in the dungeon of Doom in Malas, and he followed the old road to the moongate. While he could not lead the fight or take up the cause himself, with so much left to do elsewhere…he knew that King Blackthorn and Sir Dupre would not let the lands fall to Minax. And he knew he would return…even if he did not know how long the journey might be, or where else it might take him.