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    Omnipotent View: Knights of the Hart
    Posted on Fri, February 22, 2002 by taladmin
    Longetalos writes "In which the King of Furyondy repays old debts to allies and detractors both...

    Author:Richard Di Ioia

    Knights of the Hart
    by Richard Di Ioia (
    (Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.)

    Lord Caglin looked over the faces of the Knights of the Hart from his vantage on the raised dais at the end of the Great Hall. Although there were many young faces, all of them shone with pride. The last few years had been difficult for the Order. The wars in Furyondy had cost the Order many knights and retainers. But to the victors go the spoils, as the old saying says. And the Knights of the Hart had made certain many of the spoils went to them. A large portion of the land grants given by the King had been offered to the Knights who served him so valiantly. As always politics came into play and luckily Lord Caglin had been around long enough to play the game well. The King had requested that sons of certain Southern nobles be granted admittance to the Order in exchange for the land grants. Lord Caglin was not too disappointed by this request as the King had chosen nobles who had at least served courageously in the wars. Although not all of them were up to the Order's standards, they had all shown valor and honor. The older Knights would be certain to teach them what they did not know in due time. Lord Caglin knew he could trust the King to choose the recruits wisely, King Belvor was a warrior himself and could tell the hearts of men.

    "….the Leader of the Knights of the Hart, Lord Caglin." Intoned the master of ceremonies. Finally finished with the opening ceremony the master of ceremonies stepped down and allowed Lord Caglin to take his place.

    "My fellow knights, today is a great day. I have with me new land grants from the King. All of you have fought valiantly during the wars and it will be my honor to bestow upon you these new titles to be added to your holdings. Although many of you had expected the land grants to be in the newly taken Northern provinces, the King has given us lands within the Southern provinces instead. Many of those lands have lost their lords in the battles and some of them lost their lords due to treason to the King and Furyondy. The King has given us a great honor with these lands, let us not disappoint him."

    After a few days of revelry, the Knights left Lord Caglin's keep and traveled to inspect their new lands. Only a few of Lord Caglin's most trusted Knights remained behind to discuss the future of the Order.

    "Caglin, you do realize that the Order is bankrupt." Asked Lord Potrik. "Rebuilding and organizing these new lands will take a lot of money and time. In addition most of the Knights are new to the Order, very young and inexperienced in ruling lands."

    "Not to mention that the rulers of the Noble Families are certainly not pleased with warriors controlling their lands. The nobles of the Southern provinces are not renown for their fondness of a warrior's blunt speech. Having some of our young Knights at the same ball as Countess Rhaevelle will be interesting to watch." Remarked Lord Darnoth.

    "Of course I am aware that these lands were a political move by King Belvor. He was quite angry with the rulers of the Southern provinces for their reticence to help during the wars. He is hoping that by placing Knights of the Hart on these lands he will have a stronger and united Furyondy for the future. I do not disagree with him." Answered Lord Caglin.

    "What I do not understand is why you lobbied for a non-Knight to take over an Earldom in Crystalreach. She is a Shieldlander as well as being ill suited to rule such a large domain. Those lands would have been ideal for us to rebuild a navy on the lake and strike directly at the heart of the Old One. Don’t tell me you were swayed by her looks, I heard she put the last courtier who tried into a temple of Pelor."

    "Nay Lord Darnoth, she saved my life when I was a slave in the mines of the Old One. She is also a priestess of Heironeous and as such can be relied upon to defend those lands from evil. My honor would have let me do no less than this to repay her for saving my life. It also doesn't hurt that she is one of the most beautiful women in Furyondy."

    Note: Furyondy, Knights of the Hart"
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