Mount And Blade: Rise of War, Chapter VII – Rafard

Tharon continues his adventures in the land of Calradia. As time passes, he will connect with Rafard, the only son of Delinard. Together, apart from the adventures they are going to have together, they have to face new enemies. Much more powerful enemies…

January 23, 1267 CE, Praven, Noon

I have been at Calradia for six months now. I thrived during this time. Under the service of Count Delinard, I managed to get my own warband, around the number of on hundred by this time, and also receive knighthood for my liege count. I still wasn’t a vassal of the Swadian Kingdom, but it was an honorable title for simple folk like me. I was a local hero at Uxkhal, because of my deeds against the local bandit warbands. My strategic mind and the warfare skills of Fendrel were doing miracles. Our name was bringing fear amongst our foes and the people were looking up to us. In simple terms, we had become local heroes.

It happened at these days following the receiving of my knighthood, King Harlaus to declare the yearly Swadian big tournament, at his capital city. During these festivities people, from veteran soldiers, to knights and even lords could participate at six sports. Swordplay, archery, javelin throw, horse racing, wrestling and of course, the most famous sport, jousting. Delinard and his son Rafard, proposed to go to Praven together. I took with me Fendrel and Oliver and of course five other men. Delinard brought with him his wife, Lady Bela, a most kind and wonderful woman. She was always smiling, and she had always something nice to say.

Delinard also brought his daughter with him. The only thing I knew about her was that her name was Elina. Rafard was always joking when we were talking that his father was trying to keep her away for my grasp. The truth is that she was going to be married with Count Mirchaud, a perverted and twisted man, who took advantage of a hopeless situation.

During the great war at Calradia, Uxkhal was besieged by the Rhodoks of King Graveth. Things were looking bad for Delinard. But then Mirchaud showed up, with an army at his back. But the bastard send an emissary to Delinard, saying that he will attack the Rhodoks, only if he agrees to give him his daughter as a bribe. Delinard, preferring to save his family and his people, agreed and Mirchaud managed and broke the siege. But Delinard didn’t want him as a groom for his only daughter.

He was always making excuses to Mirchaud, in order to hide her from him. Delinard was not of the old school ideology. His daughter would marry whoever she chooses. But Mirchaud started to run out of patience and being much more powerful than Delinard, his grip around him was closing even more. As Rafard told me, they needed a miracle to save her from his claws.

Nevertheless, we arrived at Praven six days later, the tournament was about to begin the day after tomorrow. Many lords had arrived at the capital, with their shiny armors on and their magnificent horses. Many lords, as Delinard, had their families with them. One girl caught the attention of Fendrel.

“She is Sonadel” Rafard whispered. “The daughter of Grainwad, sister to Despin. Unlike her charming looks and personality, her whole family are men full of evil and shite in their heads”.

“I see…” said Fendrel, unable to take his eyes from the lass. And none of us could blame him. She had a skin in the color of olive, with some incredible and well-balanced curves. Her face was so perfect and symmetrical. She looked at Fendrel. I can say that he kinda lost it. She smiled and winked at him. Then she turned. Me, Rafard and Oliver were laughing so hard with a Fendrel redder than a tomato. But then Delinard came beside us and hitted his son and me to the stomach in order to stop.

“Hey, what the…” Rafard started complaining, but in front of us was standing, Count Despin and his father, Grainwad. Both ugly and hairy, nothing like the beautiful Sonadel.

“So Delinard” started Grainwad. “Are you and your puppets going to join the tournaments?”

“That’s the idea. My son, Rafard, and my commander here, Tharon, came to compete. I, unfortunately, I’m too old to join”.

“So, you are the new puppet” said Grainwad to me. I wanted so much to punch to his ugly face, but Rafard’s glance stopped me. I didn’t say anything.

“Hm, not a talker, are you?” said Grainwad again. “Anyway, I can’t waste anymore time with you. Come on Despin let’s go!”

During all this time, Despin was looking towards Fendrel, with a dead cold look. When his father summoned him, he approached me and whispered: “Let your man look at my sister again, and your friend will wake up without his balls”.

“At least he has them” I answered.

Despin looked at me with hatred and he was about to hit me, but his father violently pushed him away. After they left Delinard turned to us.

“Are you out of your freaking minds?!” shouted with anger in his voice. “We came here for some fun, not to end up dead. DO NOT DO THAT AGAIN! You hear me?!” shouted, like a father to his young sons. Then Lady Bela appeared.

“Come, my darling, let them do their mad things. They are young. When we were young, we were much worse”.

“Bela… Listen… I’m…” Tried to say Delinard, but his wife turned to us.

“Go, boys, have fun but take care”.

We were staying at the royal palace. Delinard was marshal of the king’s army, so he was enjoying some privileges. First, we made sure to sign up to the games. I signed up for the jousting and the swordplay. Rafard signed for jousting only, Fendrel signed for javelin throw and archery and Oliver for wrestling. We thought that was better to leave horse racing aside, because it was one of the most dangerous and we didn’t want to risk Rafard’s life over some stupid sport. After the sign-up process we headed to the tavern of the city, to have a drink. At our way there, some one stood at the road with a hood covering the person’s head.

“Elina!” shouted Rafard. “What the hell are you doing here?”.

The lady took off her hood and I laid eyes to one of the most beautiful creatures in the world. Where to start, her soft and pale skin, the sky-blue eyes, the auburn hair. Everything about her was so perfect.

“I was tired sitting in a room, so I decided to sneak out. Staying inside is killing me!” said with a sweet and soft voice. Then she saw us, the “escort” of her brother.

“So you are Tharon!” shouted in excitement. “My brother said a lot about you. I think he forgot to mention that you are devilishly handsome too” said with a playful look, that make me almost swallow my tongue. I was just standing there, like an idiot, just looking at this magnificent and perfect human being.

“Aaaalright, time to move” said Rafard, playing the role of the serious brother, but I knew that this whole situation was amusing for him.

This night was one of my favorite. The best so far in my life. Not only I came closer with Rafard, but I met Elina. And I fall for her immediately. I had never felt like that in my life. And this night, over the drinks – which played a major role to make that agreement – I would fight with him, to get Mircaud away from his sister. Letting this screwed up family of his without their grip around Delinard’s house. I must to admit… I don’t remember much else from this night.   

January 24, 1267 CE, Praven, Morning

I woke up with my head pounding. I had to stop drink like this, especially when I am going to compete at the jousting, which was today. We were at the play-offs phase. Thirty-two contestants. Each fight was best-of-three. Everyone had to beat his opponent two times to win. Good odds. There were two knock out phases and then the remaining eight enter the final stages of the competition. The sport was simple. It was a best-of-three. If the champion just hit the other without breaking his lance, the player takes one point. If the lance breaks, two, and if the opponent fall off the horse, three. I ate breakfast and arrived at the arena. At the first hours of the day, the “minor” competitions would take place. Me at swordfight and the others at their competitions. We managed to win from the first games.

3D rendering of a medieval tavern interior

At the afternoon of every day, the jousting competition would take place as I said at the afternoon. For three days, we were going to fight for the absolute competition of Swadians. And fight we did. I had a personal reason to fight and this was Mirchaud. In order to get me on my nerves, he challenged me. But to get him angry, I maybe risked everything. If I won him at the competition, he would back off from his “claim” on Elina. Nevertheless, these days were unforgettable. The fights were epic, but the best moments were at night. Me, Fendrel, Rafard and Elina having fun at the tavern. Sometimes, even Sonadel came – Fendrel was enlightened. We got together as a company of friends, although it was quite obvious that Fendrel wanted Sonadel, or that I was flirting with Elina. But the sky was getting darker and darker above Praven.

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