Postfest V, Part II: The Knighthood of the Old Green
Date: Tue, August 09, 2005
Topic: Peoples & Culture
Knights - shinning armor? Lance dipped for the charge, or sword held aloft? Not necessarily. The Knights of the Old Green wield a most unusual weapon and engage in combat like no other. And every year, the Knighthood of the Old Green may be contested by anyone up to the challenge. But be wary, because it can be quite embarrassing to be trounced by a spry octogenarian, who you must then address as "Sir" for a year and a day, until next the Knighthood of the Old Green is contested.
The Knighthood of the Old Green
By: Glenn Vincent Dammerung, GVDammerung
Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.
Date: 25th of Harvester
Location: Rel Mord, Nyrond
Before the city of Rel Mord was home to a great university, and before it was the capital of the Kingdom of Nyrond, it was a local baronial seat of more than large size. In that time, a great green common was established. Throughout the ensuing years, the Old Green was maintained as a public park. Today, the Old Green is bordered to the west by the grounds of the University of Rel Mord, to the east by the city hall, and to the north by part of the royal enclave. The Old Green is at the center of the city and is enjoyed by all of the citizens. In Harvester of each year, one of those citizens may become elevated to an honorary knighthood in a most unusual way.
As the story goes, in the earliest days of Rel Mord, the village was once beset by goblins intent on wiping out the little village. After much skirmishing to and fro over some period of time, the goblins advanced to the center of the village, the Old Green. While all fled from their approach, upon the Old Green they espied four elderly men engaged in a lawn bowling match. Whether the old timers were too blind or deaf to hear the goblins approach, too engrossed in the game or simply too stubborn to quit the sward, the goblins quickly came upon them and their game. The goblins might have made short work of the lawn bowlers were it not for the fact that goblins love to bowl, although theirs is a game played in caves and caverns. The goblin chieftain was an especially fine bowler and paused to watch a particularly close wood. When the bowler was proclaimed the victor by his companions at some distance from the jack, the goblin leader guffawed that such placement of the second wood should give victory. Now, the old men looked around to find themselves surrounded by hooting goblins.
The old fellow having won, but hearing his victory disparaged by the goblin chieftain, squinted and made to address the goblin. “Could he do better?” the old man wondered.
“But of course,” the goblin replied, to the approving looks of his fellows.
“Prove it,” the old man answered. That was all that needed to be said, and the match was on. The goblin chief, good to his word, took out an early lead on the first few woods, upon which he again grew boastful. Whereupon the old man replied that, if the chieftain were so certain of victory, perhaps he would wager his success in the town upon it. The goblins already all but had the town at their mercy in any event, but the chieftain could hardly turn down the dare without losing face. Well, of course, the old man won on the final wood, fully hitting the jack and coming to rest right beside. The goblins had to depart and never bother the town further.
When word reached the local lord, the old man was dubbed an honorary knight. The first knight of the Old Green. Since that day, every year the Knighthood of the Old Green is decided by a lawn bowling contest. Great crowds gather to watch the proceedings. The winner is dubbed Knight of the Old Green by the king himself and for a year is addressed as “Sir.” Prior Knights of the Old Green are styled “gentlemen commoners” for the remainder of their days and together form the Knighthood of the Old Green. Most such knights are young at 60, for lawn bowling is not something quickly mastered. Occasionally, however, some young cub joins the company of the old lions. But not very often.