A Knightly Demeanor/Phantasy Friday

Work as an ocasional stringer sends a person to some interesting places. Maybe even on a trip back in time . . . .    Wandering through the boisterous and colorfully-bannered medieval village by day is a collection of impressions. Savoring the aromas and flavors of traditionally prepared foods; meats roasted on a spit over an open coal-filled pit. Fresh breads, fruit pies and steaming kettles compete with the herbalists to spice the air. Standing so close to the mesmerizing glow of the smithy’s forge its heat brings a flush to the skin, heart pounding in time to the rhythmic blows of hammer on anvil. By night to dance to the drums and pipes, raising a sweet summer sweat as both laughter and people weave phantom-like through the drifting smoke of dozens of camp fires. Enjoying both wineskin and the glittering profusion of stars tossed like jewels across the black velvet sky . . . .  The experience planted the seed for my current WIP. One about a knight, but with a paranormal twist. So other than a brief definition of Knighthood, today’s post will be mostly pictorial to share the inspiration.

A defender, champion, or zealous upholder of a cause or principle . . .   It may be what got my hero into his current situation, but that definition leaves quite a large suit of armor to fill. Knighthood wasn’t today’s typical day at the office. (Even if it would be kind of nice to find a few of those brave warrior types around the water cooler! All that sword swinging took a man, if you know what I mean, and had to have produced some incredible shoulders and pecs!) The seven Knightly Characteristics are Courage, Justice, Mercy, Generosity, Faith, Nobility and Hope; with emphasis on the virtues of courage, honor, and service. Their Chivalric Code originated in France in the late 10th century during the early history of the mounted “knight” (French: chevalier). They were Warriors held to the highest principles, true, but I’m more awed by the . . . well, testicular fortitude it must have taken to face one another armed with blade and shield, whether on foot or from the back of a mighty destrier.

Combatants salute each other at the beginning of each bout to demonstrate good sportsmanship before circling in search of an opening to strike. And some love to strike a pose to impress the ladies fair.

                                                                   

                                                                                                                                         

                                         Enter the mighty ebon war-horse, Dragon.

Destriers are bred for their huge size to support the weight of a man in full armor. An intimidating sight, they carry their riders forward at full thunderous gallop for the joust, coming together with the weight of small trucks as the crowd screams. Even the horses flinch from the impact as pieces of lance explode around them.

A demonstration of swordsmanship from horseback: an apple sliced while atop a squire’s helm. Broadswords could weigh up to a staggering 70 lbs., capable of cleaving an arm or leg, or severing a head with a single sweep.  And yes, those are dents, and that’s a real person under there!   (Historical note: Families of those under death sentence in that era often paid the Executioner extra to ensure execution by sword, much swifter and cleaner than an axe which often took  three strokes or more, or the more typical strangulation.)

Here’s a final pic I hope worthy of dreaming on: The honored Knight being lovingly prepared for his next contest by his chosen Lady.

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8 Responses

  1. I love Ren Faires — although as a history purist, I always have this urge to shout: “Inaccurate! This is a Medieval Faire, not Renaissance!!!” I don’t, though, so you don’t have to be afraid to go to a Faire with me.

    Why can’t someone do a Regency Faire? I guess because all the DHs would rather do armor and ale-guzzling than the waltz and ratafia. Pity, that.

    • Well, I know a soon-to-be-published author who could do her own gathering ala Heather Graham’s style in New Orleans—-only in her OWN time setting! lol I know I would attend, in correct period attire of course, if she did! (Hint, hint.)

  2. Love it, Runere, but you know how I feel about Hunks in History. Have actually seen the knight in your pic joust with all that shiny armour. Mmmm! RitaVF

    • He’s from Canada, and at the time I covered this he was ranked third in the world in joust. Sad part? I can’t remember his name, but I can his horse’s! lol Guess I have a fixation on my own shiny knight, Sir Stevie-doo! T(hey usually attend the Faires in Ocean Springs and at the Harrison County Fairgrounds every year, though.)

  3. Ok- the first paragraph evoked the smells so well, I’m craving a roasted leg of some kind of meat! I am salivating not only over the meat roasted over a spit but the meaty hunks you’ve shown here. Yummmmm all the way around.

    And of course you remember the horse’s name! No shock there. Hope your son doesn’t see this post, this will be the next challenge for him- horses and lances!

  4. Awesome Runere, giggles I almost called you by your real name. Loved today’s issue of Fantasy. I remember when you went, you were so excited. I’m hungry.. Can I have a leg with that potato salad? Should I call Jerry, and ask him when’s the next Medieval Fair? hmmm… the dark side of me show’s her horns in a sinister playful manner.

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