Here we go again, ladies and gentlemen. I have another piece for you. I warn you, it may or may not be the next in line within a series of prgressively sillier and sillier stories.
This was it. The end of the road. In the vanguard, and in the toughest plate armor. Wielding the largest of the swords, and fated to either learn how to fight at long last, or die trying.
He'd started out as a farmer. Farming various vegetables. Due to a lack of imagination, however, he had decided that his line of work was too boring, and had clawed his way into being a knight. Only now that he was a Heavy Knight, did he appreciate how much less likely he would have been to die, if he had remained a farmer.
His warrior career hadn't gone well for somebody of his "talents". It started with the standard light armor and medium weapons. Cheap equipment that wouldn't be wasted too much on inexperienced new recruits. He hadn't put much faith into it, but when both his weapon AND armor began to break in the middle of combat, he trusted it even less. He didn't have a lot of time to complain about it though. He was too busy dodging as much as possible, and he somehow survived the skirmish.
After that battle had been won, he'd recieved a minor promotion. His superiors had mistaken his broken weapon and ruined armor for the particular kind of violent enthusiasm that they were looking for in soldiers.
He was given a choice: become a pikeman, or a horseman.
The horses didn't like him.
In medium armor, and wielding a strong, sturdy pike. Ordered to stand near the front lines, just behind the shield-bearers, and await the enemy cavalry.
But the cavalry never came close enough. Instead, Vikings sprang an ambush, rapidly overrunning the enemy on their flank, and overrunning them slightly less rapidly once they'd been "surrounded" by the remaining horses.
To the dismay of the cavalry, they discovered that an army of Vikings will simply work faster when they're being run down.
Fortunately for our apprently-about-to-die hero, his side had better archers. They were able to send a steady stream of arrows into the horde. The effect was somehow lesser than what one would expect, but it certainly helped, and the horde eventually retreated after several unfortunate deaths on both sides.
Surviving that particular battle had won him yet another promotion, a higher salary, and much heavier armor. If he tried to dodge around this time, he'd find himself unable and, shortly after, probably dead.
The Vikings had been moving up the coast at a steady rate, and didn't appear to want to stop. The resident military authority felt that he'd identified the perfect spot from which to attack the Vikings and defeat them. In true military style, he'd chosen the nearest hill.
Upon said hill, the Knight comtemplated the relative ease with which one can talk about fighting Vikings when one is not actually fighting Vikings.
In the present, and at the crack of dawn, the Vikings were moving. They could clearly see each other in the bright light of the morning, and niether side felt particularly happy about the other. Although, the archers behind the knight and his heavily-armored comrades felt pretty confident.
War cries went up, horn calls went up, axes went up, shields went up, and then several smaller axes went up and forward at an alarming velocity. Suddenly, the archers were scattering, as the knights in front of them couldn't reach the throwing axes to halt their flight.
The knight resolved to actually try using his weapon for once, as the Vikings lesuirely moved up the hill. But then something happened, for the third battle in a row, that the knight didn't expect. Specifically, it happened just off the shore.
Lightning began striking, water began churning, and the wind picked up the pace. Sand and dirt started flying into the face of anyone not covering it with their arms. It looked like a hurricane out at sea, not that anyone was able to get a good view, of course.
During the confusion, one of the soldiers decided to keel over because of "the wind" and start a chain reaction that knocked, not only all the knights over, but also down the hill and into the Vikings.
When the tumbling and shouting and rolling and accidental bone-breaking had stopped happening quite so frequently, several of the assembled warriors got a good look at the nearby sea.
Upon it, they saw a ship. With black sails.
They were very confused, and unfortunately for some of them, the Vikings noticed that most of the heavily armored knights were within execution-distance. With a single battlecry, everyone was up in arms at each other. Except the ones with broken bones.
Meanwhile... On board the ship...
Soaked, bewildered, and completely sober (much to the discomfort of the "sailors") the men on board the newly-appeared ship... Lay around. They'd been hit with a spontaneous and violent storm, which had only just stopped being so violent. They weren't inclined to do anything.
But then their Captain recovered his boot, got to his foot/peg, and began shouting at his crew to:
"Get to the crow's nest!"
"Prepare the grog!"
"Get this ship on course!"
"Put the sails in order!"
"Prepare the grog!"
"Check the hold!"
The captain's voice managed to get them moving, albeit, not with a lot of effort. With the crew in motion, the Captain had a look around. He quickly discovered that they were not where they were a mere hour ago.
The only item of interest was confirmed by the Spaniard in the crow's nest. The landmass with the fighting warriors on it's coast.
"Well then! Let's go an' introduce ourselves!"
Back on land, our hero thought that he could use his sword after all. In actual fact, all the Vikings he found himself in combat with were expecting him to do something smart. Such as block.
He didn't attempt much blocking, because he didn't see anyone trying to hit him. He was swaying in and out of combat with his eyes half-closed, and as a result, missing most of the action.
His fellow soldiers were attacking and defending in a fairly effecient manner, as they had trained, and had been trained to do. As such, they weren't knocked unconscious by a clumsy swing from a Viking who wasn't even trying to hit them.
His armor protected him from being trampled too badly, but it didn't protect him from the cannonball that came hurtling in from the ship, which had now sailed much closer. No, the fact that it missed him completely is what protected him.
The combatants that had seen the cannonball speeding across the water were temporarily stunned. The ones that hadn't were either dead or downright shocked. Neither the stun nor the shock lasted long enough to prevent them all from rapidly withdrawing.
When our hero awoke, he was surrounded by corpses. He looked around for a minute. Afterwards, his mind had a pretty good idea of what had happened.
He'd been on the field. He'd fought like a hero. He'd taken a few wounds, but kept fighting. The enemy has fled from his might. His fellow soldiers had chased after the fleeing Vikings. He'd bled out, and died. Then The Almighty God The Almighty had sent him back, becaue he was so heroic.
He was... He... He was a saint! Ha!
The black-sailed ship and the cannon balls on the beach didn't factor into his little delusion, but he ignored them and started heading in-land. It only lowered his confidence a little that amongst the trail of corpses, there were fallen knights.
While he'd been unconscious, the Pirates had quickly cottened on to the fact that they appeared to have landed in the past. After getting over the fact that it really was cursed treasure they had recently plundered, they cheered up as they realised that nobody during this era had guns! They had the opportunity of a lifetime! Or so they thought.
When our hero reached a nearby dock, he found the Pirates and Vikings had pinned each other down. There were significantly less than when they fought on the hill and shore...
The Vikings had their backs to the water, but were ferociously holding their ground behind a wall and some barrels. The Pirates had guns, but not quite enough guns to properly assault the Viking position and take control of the fish that they'd secured.
Not knowing what a gun was, our woefully uninformed hero began marching down to meet the enemy. Before he got there, he noticed that some surviving Knights had taken up a flanking position on the other side of the dock. Neither the Pirates nor the Vikings had noticed them approaching yet. There seemed to be another Heavy Knight and a couple of Archers.
Assuming that his comrades would appreciate a distraction while they moved into a decent spot, Saint Knight (the patron saint of knights, he had decided) boldy strode towards the red-clad sailors.
"Hey! Hey you, over there!"
This got the attention of the Pirates. The Captain of whom merely nodded to the nearby Sharpshooter, who readied his rifle, and fired at the stationary target. His shot glanced off of the sturdy helmet, but only because it hit one of the tougher rivets.
Emboldened by his apparent invincibility, he began striding faster. One of the smaller Pirates readied a cutlass, and the Captain readied his trained attack-parrot. The combination of quick annoying parrot and quick annoying pirate rarely failed.
To the temporary befuddlement of the assembled Pirates, the Parrot did not attack the Knight. Rather, it flew in the complete opposite direction. On a direct collision course with the Archer leading the small group of Knights.
By this time, the Sharpshooter had reloaded his rifle. He wasn't in the slightest bit happy at having effectively missed. This time he was going straight for the eyes. Not only that, but the small one had darted away from the rest of the group, and was nowhere to be seen. This left the frail-looking one-legged man with the sharp-looking blade, the relative giant of a man with a very large oar, and the man with the magic stick.
Just as the Sharpshooter was about to fire, he was hit in the head with the blunt end of a throwing axe. The Vikings had been paying attention, and they weren't about to go down without a fight.
The Huscarl in medium armor readied another axe as a much older Viking tossed a javelin at the small group of Pirates. The Knight drew his sword, while his comrades tried to catch the parrot. The Captain readied his trusty blunderbuss while the larger Pirate caught the thrown javelin on his oar. He didn't even flinch.
As the melee escalated, the sneakier fighters began to emerge from the shadows. A Viking wielding a bow appeared upon some scaffolding near the water, only to be pushed to the ground by a Pirate with a scarf over his face. The small Pirate Skirmisher had re-appeared, this time carrying a keg of gun powder. As he arrived, so too did a large man wearing a wolf's head as a cowl, madly swinging a short-sword and axe. The Pirate was forced to abandon his barrel, lest he be cut down to bite-sized chunks.
The parrot was eventually stunned when the non-saintly Heavy Knight finally managed to hit it with his shield. This freed up the Archers to begin firing at the relatively easy targets, or at least, they would have fired. If the Pirates hadn't moved away with their stunned Spanish comrade, into one of the nearby store houses. Or if the Viking Huscarl was not advancing with his shield raised, and the Viking archer had not recovered from his non-fatal assassination attempt.
Predicting that there would be trouble if they stayed, the Heavy Knight suggested a retreat, to which the pair of Archers agreed immediately.
Our knightly protagonist had found himself under attack from the rather intimidating Pirate who had leapt down from the roof, cracking his whip.
He didn't pose much of a threat, however. The knight was wearing heavy armor. He thought he'd be completely fine if he simply charged towards the whip-weilding Pirate.
Meanwhile, the Skirmisher was running and jumping and dodging and sliding around as if the earth itself was going to swallow him up. But no matter how fast or tricky he was, that Berserker either kept up step for step or ploughed through obstacles as if they weren't there.
He was going to lead him to the other Pirates, but had to change that plan when he saw the other Vikings beating down the door to the building the Pirates had retreated into.
He decided to do something typical of a Pirate. He ran directly to the Vikings and:
"They're not in there anymore! We're out 'ere!"
The two Vikings turned, saw the Skirmisher, looked at each other, and silently decided to let the Huscarl lunge at the Pirate. The Berserker was left out of this little discussion, and didn't anticipate is brother-in-arms leaping in front of him. The Vikings were sent spawling upon impact.
The Gestir readied a spear to take up the fight, but was also sent sprawling by the Buccaneer kicking the door open. It seemed that their Sharpshooter had been healed. Unfortunately for the Pirates, the three Vikings had picked themselves up.
Having witnessed the battle that took place upon the shore, the sailors knew that three Vikings could easily take on five Knights and win with barely a flesh wound. The Vikings wasted no time in applying serious pressure to the Sharpshooter, and giving the Buccaneer a reason to block.
Meanwhile, our hero had a stroke of luck in the form of an Assassin Bounty Hunter. He was probably in the employ of a local lord, which meant that the Lord himself couldn't be far behind. It was just as well, the Freebooter was harder to charge into than a brick-wall that moved backwards when you approached.
He didn't quite notice it, but he was actually getting in the way of quite an epic duel between two under-handed, sneaky and venomous weasels, while being peppered with arrows from that bow-using Viking. After the ninth arrow embedded itself in his chainmail undershirt, Saint Knight decided to deal with him.
Bringing up his shield out of sheer principle, he jogged as best he could towards the Viking, who cursed and tried to flee to a better position. He found that water blocked one way, the dueling backstabbers blocked another, and the Knight blocked the last. He tried the first thing that came to mind, and aimed an arrow at the head of his assailant, who instinctively raised his shield.
With his attacker's eyes covered, the Bondi made a break for it, pushing the Knight over as he went. His plan worked smoothly, and he made for the inside of a nearby house. Within the building, a healer was tending to the Jarl, who'd been shot in his shield-arm by the Pirates. His strength had returned rapidly to it, after the herbs had been applied. He got back to his feet as the Knight followed the Bondi into the dwelling. The Knight's pride, mortally wounded from falling for such a simple trick.
With a shout, the Jarl grabbed his sword and quickly closed the distance between him and the Heavy Knight, but just before he was able to strike, he saw the Assassin Bounty Hunter over the Knight's shoulder, and was forced to duck out of the way as a crossbow bolt sailed past the Knight's head, and through the space where his head was, only moments ago.
The Freebooter had seen the Knight going after the Viking, and had tried to get close enough for a quick stab at his back. He didn't expect the Bondi to push the Knight towards him and then barrel past, and into a building. The temporary pause this caused him to experience opened up an opportunity for the Assassin Bounty Hunter to lay down a carpet of caltrops at his feet. They didn't deter the Heavy Knight, who was following the Viking, but they seriously inconvenienced the Pirate, who ALMOST yelped, and after kicking them away, had to hop back to the other Pirates on his good foot.
Hearing the Jarl's cry, the Assassin Bounty Hunter turned to check on his comrade, aiming his handheld crossbow over his shoulder plate. After he missed his target, he turned around to check on another cry that had come from behind him.
The Vikings had heard their leader's cry, and were coming to aid him! He darted up the scaffolding and called to the Heavy Knight in the doorway. He was engaged in a furious blocking maneuever agaisnt the Jarl at the time, but he understood what the Assassin Bounty Hunter was trying to tell him, as he heard the Vikings rushing to meet him from behind.
With nowhere else to go, and with only a little speed to get there, our hero made the one move that was available to him. He deftly stepped away from the Jarl (due to his weight, it was more like three steps) and pulled out his two-handed sword. Believing with all his might, he prayed as hard as he could, without saying a single word or putting his hands together or getting down on his knees...
Then he spun around like a top.
The Pirates, who had been on the verge of a serious routing, were granted a temporary respite from the fighting. It was only temporary, though. For as the Vikings moved across the dock, more Knights moved in. There were the Knights from before, as well as a Lord, several Men-at-Arms, more Archers, a priest, and that Assassin Bounty Hunter was probably with them as well.
These new reinforcements, and the Assassin Bounty Hunter, began firing arrows at the Vikings. Just like before, this is what caused them to retreat into their chosen building.
With the immediate threat removed, and the two rival forces safely containted within their respective buildings for the time being, Saint Knight chose this moment to regroup with his fellow soldiers. The Lord had selected a small number of men to follow him around to the side of the Viking's building, and attack from the side. Among them were the Archers and most of the Men-At-Arms.
While taking a moment to rest and recover from the fighting with the aid of the Cleric, the Knight observed a dedjected-looking Man-At-Arms, and decided to inspire him with his heroic tale.
"Hail, may I ask of what has thou so troubled?"
At that moment, the Man-At-Arms looked him dead in the eyes and in an exceptionally high-pitched voice, screamed: "***** **** YOU ***** *** I NOT ******** ******** *** I FROM ******* ***** ******** COD NOT ******** **** ****** GAME FOR ****** *** **** ******* *** IN A ******* *** ********** *****. *****."
The Knight was shocked. How could anyone think that cod was a game, when it was clearly a fish?
Let's see if I can keep my current vocal approval rating at 100%... I admit, it's not saying much when less than ten people like it, but it's something.