“Ah, Haskeer.” his uncle said softly, almost inaudible amongst the jubilant cries of the people of Pice. “Still the same young squire, underneath it all. Fearless and valiant when steel and death are at play, but unsure when words are the weapons.”
Sir Barnabus held up his shield, a perfectly detailed rose worked in silver, the petals seeming to breathe and drip with dew. ” You see this shield, nephew? I have borne it for nearly forty years. In that time I’ve fought many battles – this shield has kept me safe against many dangers. This sword? ”
The golden blade sang out, ringing like a church bell.
“Many an evil creature has met it’s end at the taste of Valor.” Haskeer could read the familiar word etched into the crossguard of the blade. ” But all that I’ve seen and done, all the enemies I’ve faced in my long years on the road – this sword and shield have been at my side. They are a testament to my great deeds.”
Barnabus put the sword away, and tucked the shield back over his shoulder.
“My sword has slain a fraction of the evil that you can claim, my shield has protected a pittance compared to the lives that you and your companions have saved this day. The story is on every lip in city – you united the brawling factions of Pice, you gave them hope when they had none. Every man that lives to see the end of this war will tell the tale of Sir Haskeer the Spider-Bane. Some of the Library Scholars have already taken to calling you Maegnas , a High Elf Word. How many times did I tell you the tale of Bilbo and his sword, Sting when you were a boy? You are stepping into legend itself, boy.”
[Yeah, The Hobbit is a book/tale in Aufero — deal with it!]
Barnabus took Haskeer’s head in his hands, and for the first time the paladin realized that his uncle had to reach up to do so. His uncle had always seemed so large, so powerful — but now he saw that his uncle was a full six inches shorter than he.
“On this day, they can deny you nothing — the Savior of Pice! But more than that…it doesn’t matter what they want to hear. It matters more what they need to hear, what must be done. You must lead them to the proper path. It is not a leader’s place to soothe and cajole, but to command. Especially when time is so precious. You are not their king, you should listen to their words and desires and find the best solution for all. But I don’t want you walking in there, hat in hand. You are Sir Haskeer, Knight of the Rose ..but more than that you are my beloved nephew. You have paid the iron price for your life, and proven your worth a thousand times over. Your heart knows the way to victory, speak with your companions and lay your battle plan …then show the Lyceum the way.”