Master Hector of the Black Height
It was the woods battle at Pennsic XXVII (or
so; the Wars start to blur together after a while). For those who haven't
experienced a woods battle, the two sides line up on either side of a
large copse of trees, usually just after noon on a hot August day. On an
agreed signal both sides charge into the woods and beat upon each other,
allegedly in the guise of a full-contact game of capture the flag. And the
individual participants get killed, wander out of the woods, sit in the
shade, drink water and tell lies until they feel ready to do it again.
And I was finished drinking water and telling lies and was getting ready
to go back into the woods to gather more material to lie about, when I
passed a knight, sitting under a tree drinking water. So I greeted the
knight, who was surpassing blond and tall, even while seated, and asked
him how fared his battle.
And this tall, blond knight said to me, "Hector, I killed Bedford." And
this was a great accomplishment well worthy of celebration, for Duke
Michael of Bedford is a hard fighter, said to be right difficult to kill.
And I cheered this noble knight, fair and lofty as he was, for defeating
Bedford of Atlantia. And then I asked this Nordic man-mountain how I could
reward such a legendary deed.
And this golden giant of a knight said, "Hector, just tell people I killed
Bedford in the woods." Then he thought about it and added, "And every time
you tell the story, make me a little bit taller and a little bit blonder."
And that is how Viscount Sir Menken Brechen, Master of the Pelican, became
the tallest, blondest knight in all Ealdormere.
All five feet and eight or so inches of him, and every black hair upon his