August 4, Present Day
Summre Citie, Euraniah
Caleb told Gabe in no uncertain terms that he would not go to sea with him in December. “It’s too cold, and I never liked riding the waves.” Gabe tried to explain that the ship he would be taking was designed to ride through the swells, but then Caleb became even more adamant that he would stay in Euraniah and continue his unusual education.
Since they arrived in July, Caleb had been sitting in at the Summre Citie Upper Fortress Academy for Historical Studies. He had told Gabe a good deal about history, military courtesy, and tradition that Gabe did not have time to learn himself.
“Well, fine. I suppose that everyone is afraid of something” Gabe left the table he was leaning on and pounded on the door of the Navy Bookings Officer. That man was starting to take a little too long.
“Do you want to come to the Euranian Knights Banding Ceremony?” Gabe walked over to the table again.
“Well, I guess. It’s not like I was going to the Ball anyway.”
“You’ll make it to the ball. It’s right after the ceremony, and it’s going to be held in the Courtyard as well.”
“Hey Gabe, is Davy Crocker’s Dinner Place going to cater?”
“Yes. He’s coming here himself to see that everything goes right.”
Caleb raised his eyebrows. “Really? Of the two hundred Davy Crocker’s’ in Euraniah, he’s coming here.”
“Caleb, it’s an important event. He does work for me. Oh, Gotta go!” Gabe sprinted out of the room.
“I have never read about a king like that” Gabe said to himself as he more slowly followed.
Gabe was preparing to address the 12 men who were standing in front of him, all of whom he had just knighted. These were some of the most loyal, brave, and capable men in Euraniah. These men were banded together under a solemn oath, to protect the Districte of Euraniah, and its king. Like the Navy Seals, these were the elite of the elites, the most capable with the sword and in archery, and most wise in when to kill and when to scare.
“Gentlemen,” the king began, “you have just given yourselves to the highest service in the world. I know that your duty will not be easy, but I also know that you, that we, together, will not fail at this duty, because God is our leader, and our country is our purpose.”
Over the next few months, the Euranian Knights rode together throughout all of Euraniah, freeing prisoners, liberating the AMCs, and sabotaging the most deadly plans of the enemy. By the time the next Campaign Voyage came, when the king would sail to the islands and rally his subjects once again, the name of the Euranian Knights was so feared, that anytime letters of state were sent, the writer would dictate in this manner:
To: King Gabe,
Ronv Vyzu of Euraniah,
Royal Colonel of the Armed Forces of the Districte of Euraniah,
Leader and chief of the famed and feared Euraniah Knights:
And the scribe or penman writing the letter, and anyone in the room, would stop what they were doing and look at the writer, because there was no officer of state who did not know the name Euranian Knights, and hate the sound of it.
Summre Citie, Euraniah
The hay in the massive stable at Lionwind Castle glowed in the swinging light of a lantern, the shadows dancing with joy on the stage of yellow light. Horses nosed at the young rider, who, suited in armour and a purple cape with a golden crest embroidered on it, opened the corral of a white horse at the end of the stable. A brass plate on his door read, “Thunderbolt”. This horse was already saddled and ready. The young rider swung up onto the horse’s back and galloped out of the stable. As he rode, he took a spear from its place on the wall and rapped methodically on a bell the wall of a barracks as he rode past it.
Twelve pairs of boots came out of the building and into the stable. The men climbed onto horses and galloped out to meet the first rider, joining him in a formation like a flock of geese. They slowed to a walk as they rode across the expanse of the courtyard. People walking to their places of work within the castle stopped to watch them go by. Suddenly, the two riders nearest the leader blew their trumpets, and the entire column came together into two lines, side by side, behind the first rider. The horses sped to a gallop again and the Euranian Knights rode across the bridge and out onto the open plain south of the castle.
At Sea, Near the Lone Isle of Sierr
07:23 EUST — 0823 SST (Sierr Subtracted Time)
The Seritoniah, an LC-14 battleship, was riding through heavy, 15-foot waves. Endless sheets of rain fell from the sky and the thunder was only as loud as the roar of the water. The Seritoniah had been designed so that most of its 24-foot height was underwater, except for about 8 feet which rode almost steadily on the water and went right through all but the tallest swells. Though this design made the ship more stable, the sailors became more convinced, every time a wave washed over the deck, that this was the worst design possible.
“Land! Twenty Away!” the watchman yelled. — In the Euranian Navy, “Twenty” refers to the degrees of rotation to the left or right of the ship’s direct front. “Away” means that the land is to the left. If it was to the right, he would have shouted “Twenty Astride!”
The watchman was about to follow up with “Rocks!”, when the ship suddenly rose to the top of an excessively tall swell, rolled down extremely fast, and struck on a bit of rock. It rolled about forty degrees to the left; and most of the guns and cargo on the deck broke loose.
Gabe, who had been standing against the side of the gun closest to the stern, began flying forward. When the ship rolled, it pushed him over the side and into the water, but as soon as the wave rolled back, he found himself lying almost twenty feet away from the shore.
Gabe could see enough to know that the next wave would hurl the gun which Gabe had stood against onto the shore, because that gun was hanging by a thread, so to speak. But as he began to run back to the ship, a hand was laid on his shoulder.