#333 (In Topic #91)
Percival and Galahad fight to keep a love once allowed but now threatenedThe Tourney Grounds
Just Outside of Auratose, the Provincal Capital of the Province of Calista, Morley County, Kingdom of Asteria
Lunas, 20th of Elasys, year 1280 of the Third Era
The Tourney Grounds were a favorite place for Sir Galahad Corby. Being a third cousin to Count Nathaniel Meerson, Galahad himself wasn't considered nobility, but lived the life of such just the same. It was a life that he had loathed, a life of pampering and high expectations, a life where others assumed any achievement you made, any title you carried, were all simply given to you due to your family connections. For many years Galahad trained here, first as a squire, attempting to break those preconceptions and achieve something on his own for his own.
And trained hard he did. Many a squire would soon leave the life of tourneys and hard training behind for the sweet smile of a comely girl and the promise of a far less innocent relationship. Especially one with any connections to nobility. Especially one as handsome as Galahad Corby, who many had considered to be one of the more handsome men in the province, if not the kingdom entire. But Galahad was not so easily distracted or swayed. Despite the many beautiful women that poured their affections on him, the many slipped breasts and lifted skirts, Galahad was simply not interested.
Without the intrest of lustful companionship with the beauties of Auratose, Galahad was free to focus on his training and soon began winning matches of his own. It was after one well fought tourney that Galahad was knighted by the lord governor of the province, Jameson Morley. And it was at the knighting tourney that Galahad was first distracted, not by a dashing smile from a cute girl but by the innocent smile of the lord governor's son, Percival Morley.
Galahad could not understand his attraction to the handsome young noble. At first he tried to ignore it, to fight it even. Once he even visited the local brothel, determined to get Percival's sweet smile forever out of his mind, but alas he could not. The sight of a naked lady of the night just could not arose him, and it made him long to know the young noble even more.
Over time Galahad would finally give in to his attraction for the other man, and much to his delight, the other returned his affection. The two families would eventually approve of their courtship, though Galahad's father was not as open to it as Percival's father seemed to be, and within time they had found a temple that would agree to their engagement and eventual unionship.
Throughout all of this, Galahad still didn't end his training. Other knights who came to know of his love with Percival would wrongly think that Galahad had become a dandy, a misconception often corrected to the other knight's embarshment. And every tourney Percival would be there to watch, and they'd celebrate Galahad's win each night together.
But today, something was different. The King, Armeas Mercleis, who's more open and gentle rule would allow their courtship had fallen into a grave and deep state of despair that he seemed unable to snap from. In his absense, the Mouth of the King Lord Kyp Valen, had taken to rule in the King's Place. Kyp had always before been a meek man, there simply to fulfil the lesser tasks of the King and never one to rock the boat, but ever since his need to take on much greater responsibilities, the Mouth of the King seemed to turn sour. In the King's name, Kyp Valen was rounding up those he deemed to be impure and threats to the moral stability of the kingdom, and sending them to work camps, to Turnkey Prison, or even to their deaths. This roundup of undesirables had reportedly included anyone unlucky to be born under the rune of Death and anyone who lived a life in a way that was not in keeping with the Church of Mogen David's doctrines. Galahad knew that this could possibly include Percival and himself. He had to do something.
So there Galahad waited, at their usual spot within the Tourney Grounds, for his beloved Percival. He waited to warn him. He waited to come up with a plan with him. But more importantly, he waited for he longed to see him.
Pushing Percival back abit, Galahad's lips trembled, "Sweet Percival, I've heard terrible rumors."
Gallahad took a quick look around before letting his gaze fall back upon his love, "You've heard of the King yes? Of how he's fell into some sort of depression given the recent deaths of his wife and one of his daughters and locked himself up in the royal tombs? Of course you have, who hasn't?" It was quite evident that Galahad was nervous, which was unusal for the knight. "Well, you'd also have heard that the Mouth of the King has taken over ruling in the King's stead."
The knight looks around again and then pulls Percival a little closer so that he could talk in a lower whisper. "They say that he's begun rounding up anyone he don't like. They say that theirs already a bounty on anyone born under the rune of death, on gypsies, and on anyone who don't fit his moral and religious views. Why I've heard that just yesterday a couple like us was rounded up by the Kingsguard and executed!"
Galahad trembles at the thought of this happening to them. He'd fight to the death of course, and he was quite the skilled knight, but would he really be able to fend off a squadron of Kingsguard? "Oh what should we do Percival? We... we could make a run for it. Maybe make it to Silvenesti, just outside of the kingdom in the Chalcedon. Maybe we could live out our lives and be happy there?"
Galahad shakes his head as he mentally slaps himself. He couldn't run, he wouldn't run. He was a knight, a protector of the people, and a brave knight at that. To run would stand against everything he's ever believed in and trained for. "Oh I can't run though... I have to stand and fight. But... but what about you?"
"My beautiful love, I think we have to run in order to stay alive. Let's head for Silvenesti. Maybe there we can start a family."
Galahad sighs and thinks, "We... we should go get married. That's what we should do. We can go to Silvinesti to do that, save the temple priest here from getting in trouble for doing so. Maybe we could even get some help in Silvenesti while we are there." He grabs Percival gently by the shoulders, "But my love, please understand I can't truly abandon my family and your family. I can't abandon our town, our kingdom, our king. I'd be honor-bound to return, to make things right."
He smiles sweetly to Percival, "So, what do you say? We leave tonight for Silvenesti? We'd be there by week's end and we'd get married. Then we come back and fight for love such as ours here?"
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