The Marshal of Tremisona and the Gali Khan of the White Horde sat opposite of each other on their steeds. Both kept their eyes fixed on each other, and raised their lances. Then, with two fearsome yells, they charged forward, lances lowered. With a great splintering of wood, the lances cracked on the pair’s shields. Both tottered on their horses, but kept their seats, then turned to regard each other.
Gali Khan glanced at the broken lance in his hand and nodded. “I have given a blow, and I have taken a blow--let all know, I consider my honor as the Khan of the White Horde to be kept!” He smiled slightly as the Marshal rode towards him. “And let it also be known that I respect and honor the Marshal of Tremisona as a most worthy man!”
Marfisa nodded. “Yes!” she declared. “And I also consider my duties as Marshal discharged, and I…” She came opposite to the old man and dropped the shattered lance to give him an affectionate slap on the shoulder. “I love this man!” She gulped. “Umm… in an abstract ‘crazy uncle’ kind of way…” she clarified.
“I suspected as much,” noted the old Kizak with a nod.
“Right, right,” continued Marfisa. “Just… had to make that clear.” She pointed at him. “You are one cool Kizak!”
The Gali Khan turned towards the crowd. “And now that all matters of honor have been discharged! We shall feast! And celebrate! And make merry!”
“Woohoo!” shouted Marfisa. “Gali Khan, you are quickly becoming my favorite Kizak leader! WOO!”
The pair rode together towards a box overlooking the jousting field. “Did you see that? Simultaneous lance breaking!” said Marfisa. She gave a happy squeal. “All my life I’ve wanted to do that! And now I did it! With the Gali Khan! The hereditary foe of the Marshal of Tremisona! Who is now my buddy!” She grinned blissfully. “This war is so COOL!”
Elaine peaked over the box and gave a tired nod. “Well, glad you’re enjoying yourself, Marfisa.” She sighed and looked at the others. “Okay, just got word from dad… there’s been… some toss-up at Montalban… Nothing major, from our point of view, but he’s hoping that we can get over there soon. The situation’s getting… unstable…”
Morgaine leaned back in her chair. “Well, the first part of our assistance should be getting there soon, and as for us… we’re at the Crossing. We’ve managed to produce one of the larger armies that the Lands of Night has ever seen. And we’ve got buddies on the other side of the river who are willing to give us some aid.” She smiled. “Man, I just realized, Dad is probably screaming in envy right now, down in Hell.”
The Gali Khan gave a nod. “And that is most assuredly as it should be.”
Nisrioch smiled. “I must thank you, Konstancy--you’ve been… surprisingly agreeable. By your standards.”
The old Kizak gave a bow from his horse. “It is my fifth time over the great river, the Murkenmere. I have… great hopes for it.”
“Ahh,” said Nisrioch. “Yes, I see that now.”
Konstancy nodded, and rode away.
Marfisa pointed after him. “You know, I have to say, I am amazed by how COOL he is. I mean, I don’t think I could say what he just said and have it turn out so amazingly awesome and poetic. I’d start, and then I’d interrupt myself halfway through--because I do that, you know. I’m really bad at public speaking if I have to do it for long stretches…” She blinked, as she realized the others were watching her. “Ummm… right. I’ll be quiet.”