Talespinning Tuesday: The Weeping Knight cont'd

                                        Leio Ohshima McLaren

He looked down at his blade, a simple, unadorned longsword, the only other item in his possession that had weathered the years. She had given it to him at the beginning of his quest. It was the sword of a soldier, plain and utilitarian. He had had many offers to replace it with blades of greater value but he had refused. The sword served the purpose for which it was forged and he did not wish adornment for an implement whose sole purpose was the taking of life. He would not demean the lives of those that died by his hand by ostentation in the weapon that slew them. Like him, it had no name, at least none that he had given it. In the tales that others told of him, it was called things like Reaper, Heartrender, even Demonblight. But in his mind, it was simply sword. It was well cared for, its edge sharp enough to split a hair, the blade well oiled, and its grip retooled for the greatest purchase. He slid the blade home into its scabbard and exited his command tent.
“Galon,” he said to the man that had taken up post next to the tent flap. Galon was a hulking brute of a man, of pure Derandi stock, with the telltale wild beard and hair. He wore a simple leather jerkin and carried a two-handed sword that most men would struggle to lift, let alone swing. On his cheeks were three tattooed tears, the mark of the Weeping Men, a group of warriors that had taken to following the Weeping Knight. Galon was one of the first Weeping Men, having followed him since the war against the Seven Immortal Barons. While he had never officially recognized them as followers, neither had he made any effort to chase them away. And thus they were here, helping him reclaim the kingdom that was lost so many years ago. In fact, they made a major portion of his army, their ranks having swelled to nearly two thousand strong. They were a strong fighting force, having weathered many of the same battles as he had. The Weeping Men were a crack force, whose reputation was nearly as fearsome as his own.
“M’lord,” Galon said and he almost smiled at the title. He had given up long ago trying to convince them to quit referring to him so because it had proved futile.
“Gather the men, I wish to address them,” he said simply.
“Aye, m’lord.”
The men were gathered in short order, those not at the pickets or sleeping the shift. He didn’t worry, whatever was said here would be disseminated to the rest of camp quickly enough. He looked across the sea of expectant faces and cleared his throat. He said, “I am not a man of words, so I will keep this simple. Men such as you and I, we are good at one thing: we fight. We have fought for other men against people and lands that we have no quarrel with because that is what men like us do. And tomorrow will see us doing it once more. We will fight, for there is an enemy for which blade and arrow is the answer. This time though, I don’t wish you to fight for me, I wish you to fight with me. I wish you to fight for a future that will see you living peaceably, able to lay down the blade at last. Take up the hoe, find yourself a woman, and have nice, fat babies. To this end, I offer any man that fights with me tomorrow a stake in what we win free. You shall each be given a parcel of land to work, if that is your desire, for taking back the land is only part of the mission to reclaim this kingdom, this once great and peaceful land.
To any and all that fight with me tomorrow, now and forever more, you will have a home and you may call yourselves Trageans wherever your life’s path may lead. For Tragea!” he finished, thrusting his fist into the air.

His answer was a resounding echo, “For Tragea!” carried across thousands of throats.