The story of Gregory through the letters to his father, is the story of a Knight in the Third Realm.
For me, this was a story I wrote for Fathersday 2013. I wanted to try something in even more archaic English than I already use and this was my first attempt.
The Third Kingdom’s war. The letters of a dragon slayer.
Lord Gregory, Knight of the Third Realm, Keeper of the Helfain Guard.
Servant of His Majesty Prince Edwin Time, who is the King’s loyal son.
It has now been six days since the last of the Great Dragon’s spawn have been eradicated. I, with my own hand, slew the greatest of his offspring, Barist. I admit I have never been so elated to kill, but I shall never forget Barist’s scream when his black soul departed. Terrible and mighty it was, with all his malice and vengeance released at the last. Were I a man of superstition, I would say he vowed to haunt me with his dying breath.
But all has been well for these last days and curses have gone unheeded for centuries. The horrors of war lay heavily on me and through the many wars with other kingdoms we have fought. I would long to fight men again and not these unfeeling monsters. There are few of them in what we hope are the last days of this war and my prince believes the war is indeed ending. For myself, I will hold that the worst is yet to come. Forsooth, the Great Dragon lives and he will thirst for retribution.
“I am no longer a lowly palace servant (though to work for His Majesty in a humble capacity is no mean accomplishment); I have been promoted to Knighthood and I could not bear my position with more pride if I sat enthroned in the First Realm itself. The Guard of the Palace of Helfain has been committed to my stewardship as well and my new responsibilities are a joy to carry out. My quarters are finer than any I could have asked for and indeed than I would have wanted, given the choice. The fine living which comes with Knighthood is a trial on my conscience, though not so much so I would have turned down my promotion. My rooms are part of the palace wall and I have view of half the valley on one side and half the courtyard on the other. Nothing near the gate escapes my sight, and I find this commission easy to bear and more to my liking than a barrack bunk.
“Tonight a feast shall be held in my honor and in the honor of the two men who hunted with me to find the dread Barist. They, too, have the poisonous blood of dragons on their blades. The claws of Barist’s offspring will grace their necks this night and ever after.
“Earlier my youngest brother, Simon, brought me my garb for the evening. My prince has promoted him to my service as a manservant and Simon is overjoyed that we are together once more as in the latter days of my youth. Though he is not permitted to join us for the feast, I sorely wish to bring him if just to show we do not eat the dragons as he invariably thinks. To him the wars are a distant thing and he is untouched by it. I fight on to preserve this in him as much as I may. Perhaps there will be peace one day, when I am old and reading letters from my own son.
With affection and sincere gratitude to my father.
Lord Gregory, Knight of the Third Realm.”