Echoes of Invasion: Plains Problems | Scene 2

As the elves approach the fallen knight, Tric stoops to pick up the broken lance tip that went flying earlier. By the time they reach the defeated party, the person has climbed back to their feet. Their plate armor is dented and dirty, a far cry from the shiny equipment on parade at the Full Bloom Festival. “Ho there, friend,” Tric calls out. “I think you dropped this.” He holds out the end of the shattered lance. “Are you doing all right?” His approach is deliberately casual in order to hopefully throw the knight off their guard. 

A heavy metal gauntlet closes over the wood in Tric’s hand and then flings it away. “Well, that’s useless,” a gruff male voice says. The speaker pushes up his visor, revealing a human with white skin and dirty blonde hair, including a full beard. He looks to be somewhere around Alric’s age, definitely older than Terwaen. “Hail, strangers. What are you doing here?” he asks.

“I’m Tric Manu and this is my cousin Hepalonia of House Thrandolil. We are elves of the Estbryn Forest.”

“It’s a pleasure!” Heppa interjects excitedly.

“We’re just passing through after coming from the Heart Mountains,” Tric explains. “Who would you be? Sir…?”

“Sir Anyc, at your service,” the man replies glumly. “For what it’s worth right now.”

Tric takes no offense at Sir Anyc’s rough manner; the man did just lose a duel and his sword, after all. “The only service we require is good company, so I think you can probably help us out with that.”

“Only if you’re on your way to Dolydd,” Sir Anyc replies. He whistles, and the brown steed grazing nearby trots over. He catches the reins to stop the horse, which is enormous compared to Butterbell. It is well muscled, bred for strength rather than speed. 

Tric shares that Dolydd is, in fact, their destination. Anyc asks what the news from afar is, and as Tric answers, he begins unbuckling pieces of his heavy armor and slinging them over his horse’s back. Heppa eyes him closely, trying to judge how injured he is. There are some nasty looking dents in his armor, and he was flung off his horse. He does not move stiffly though, perhaps used to the soreness that follows a joust. Or maybe it is pride that makes him ignore his many bruises.

“So, will you get your sword back later?” Tric asks Sir Anyc. “I understand swords are expensive.”

“When I ransom it, I will.”

“Oh! They make you ransom it?!”

“Yes. Of course,” Sir Anyc answers flatly.

“That’s harsh! Or could you fight them again to get it back?” Tric asks.

“With what?” Sir Anyc growls. Tric points to the metal gauntlets and then forms up his own fists in pantomime. “That’s no way to fight,” the knight says with a frown. After a moment’s reflection he adds, “I suppose I could approach my liege and ask her to borrow weaponry, but as I have already failed to defend her honor here, she might not be so keen to grant it.”

“I know what you mean about bosses,” Tric says companionably. “You don’t want to upset her. Who is your liege, by the way?”

“Dame Merriver.”

Oh! She’s the one who was buying weapons from Untdunben, Heppa recalls, but she is wise enough to not blurt that out loud.

Dame? That is the first time Tric has heard that title joined with Merriver’s name. “Oh, right, she’s Sir Owaec’s—Earl Owaec’s? I’m so sorry… I’m a half-elf; I don’t really understand how the clan structure works.”

“Yes, she is Sir Owaec’s daughter,” Anyc clarifies. “Do you know Sir Owaec, or have you only heard of his great deeds?”

“I’ve seen him at the tournament in South Tower, where he performed rather well. And of course I’ve heard of many of his deeds. I mean, what elf has not seen those dark times of Mal-Ravanal’s invasion?” Tric asks rhetorically, suggesting he and Heppa lived through that period as more than just toddlers. Heppa throws her cousin a questioning glance, but Sir Anyc does not pick up on it.

“I have some poultices that could help with those bruises or any other injuries,” Heppa offers.

“If you have some sort of wrap to abate the bruising and swelling around my ribs, I would appreciate you administering that when we reach the village,” the knight agrees. With Anyc’s armor now draped over his horse, they begin to make their way towards the village of Dolydd.

“Do you mind if I ask who you were dueling with?” Tric pries. “I understand that might be a sore topic, in more ways than one.”

“Sir Vinny,” Anyc answers disdainfully. He adds in a mutter, “The ninny.” Anyc is still in a foul mood from losing the duel. It gives him some pleasure to imagine the man who bested him being embarrassed by elves calling him Vinny right in the center of town.

There is clearly bad blood between the two knights, and Tric wonders if Vinny really is that other one’s proper name. It does not really sound like a Wesnothian name to him. Or if it is, not a very distinguished one. Better for a Rat than a knight, Tric thinks. He maintains his composure though and forces his mind back on track. “And he slandered your liege? What did his foul tongue dare to spew?” That she’s plotting a traitorous uprising? “If you can bring yourself to share, that is. If you can’t, I understand.”

“Under normal circumstances, I would not utter such words myself. Sir Vinny suggested that Dame Merriver was disloyal to Wesnoth.” As he says this, Sir Anyc clenches his right fist in agitation. His scabbard is empty, so there is no hilt to grasp.

“That’s a pretty bold claim. Where did you catch this Sir Vinny spewing this? Was it in the town square?”

“It was not a public argument,” Sir Anyc replies, and he leaves it at that.