The last time we saw Jackson, he and the mysterious old man had just dealt with a couple of Mythronian soldiers who were attacking the man. The old man had believed that the soldiers had been looking for him. Why? Well, I’m sure we’ll find out soon...
“Hiding their bodies is one thing, but we’ll need to be getting a move on pretty sharpish. There may be more Mythronians around, and I doubt they’ll be any friendlier than the last two”, said the old man.
“We could at least take their weapons and armour first, I don’t think they’ll have need of it anymore” said Jackson. He had, after all, been hoping to claim some of the leftover steel from the Mythronian attack on Rainos. That was what had brought him here. He had hoped to turn a bit of a profit from the battles in the north-east.
“No. We won’t be stealing from them. Although I do not agree with what they were fighting for, they fought and died bravely, and now they have earned the right to be left alone”, replied the man sternly. “And besides, we do not have need of their steel. Hand me your staff”.
Jackson handed the man his stick. He didn’t feel that the old man was one to argue with.
“Wait here, and don’t go wandering off” said the old man, and then he headed into his house.
Jackson waited patiently, whilst cluttering and banging could be heard coming from the wooden building.
After what seemed like an age, the door of the hut opened.
Out came the man, wearing full steel plate armour and helm and wielding an impressive shield and broadsword. The steel looked slightly worn and beaten but still had an elegance that shone through, indicating that it was once very grand.
Jackson was speechless. The old, feeble man suddenly seemed to tower above him and did not seem so weak any more.
“Wipe that stunned look off of your face, lad. Have you never seen a knight before?” Growled the old man, “Go inside, boy. You’ll find your staff on the table. I’ve readied it for our journey”.
Jackson entered the man’s house and found his staff. The man had indeed readied it. But readied it for what?
He had attached a weighty axe head to the staff, making it quite the formidable (though slightly heavy) weapon.
“Are you ready, lad?” asked the man.
“Well that depends,” said Jackson, “What should I be ready for?”
“Anything.” Smiled the old man. “Now, let us get going”.
And go they did. A slightly bewildered Jackson and the old man in his old armour set off down the long, dusty road.
After what seemed like an endless walk, the unlikely companions made camp for the eve.
Jackson was pleased to get a bit of a rest, but the old man hardly seemed tired at all.
“So what’s the deal then? We’ve walked in silence for hours. I don’t even know your name. I am Jackson Korby, but what do I call you?”.
“Well met, Jackson. I am Sir Maxwell. Although, most call me The Lion Knight. At least, they used to. I have lived a more modest life in recent years, playing the role of the old, limping peasant. But once I was once a renowned and powerful knight. Renowned on the battlefield and in the tournaments, and well known at court. I wanted for nothing. I was also captain to a group of sellswords. We served Mythron as an independent company. That was until I was betrayed by a so called friend of mine, and my second-in-command, The Wolf. The Wolf robbed me of everything. My family, my home, and even my eye.
We had been fighting alongside the Mythronian army in a seemingly never-ending battle for the peace. One day, after securing a small town that had been overrun by Outlaws, The Wolf caught me off guard and slashed out my eye. He had plotted with some of the company to overthrow me, and he took control for himself. He and his mutineers killed the loyal members of the company and then burned the village to the ground. The Wolf and the remaining company had laid the blame with me and I had to leave my life and family behind and flee to Rainos. I have been a wanted man ever since. That is why those soldiers were eager to take me back to Mythron, dead or alive. I believe that The Wolf has tracked me down, and told them of my whereabouts. He would have gotten paid a pretty penny for the information, and it would have saved him getting his own hands dirty. And that is when you came along, lad.”
(Here's an old picture of the Lion Knight in his youth. His mouth looks much the same, though the rest of him has aged a bit).
Jackson was gobsmacked. It was a lot to take in and he sat silently for a few minutes. Finally he spoke again “So, you mean to find The Wolf?”, asked Jackson.
“Aye. Find him, and rid the earth of him once and for all.”, growled Sir Maxwell. “You do not have to come with me, lad. Nor will I be offended if you choose not to. Now, get some rest, we shall not be staying here for long”.
Jackson was still amazed. He sat and thought about everything The Lion Knight had said, and he thought about what he would decide to do next.
That’s all for now. Sorry it was a bit wordy, wanted to get lots of back story out of the way. Thanks for reading, please rate and comment. Read the previous instalments here: Episode 1 , Episode 2 and Episode 3