The Chalice and the Swords

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By DamonWakes
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And so it came to pass that the Great Dragon came down from the mountains and claimed for his own the golden chalice that had belonged to the late Queen Kasala, and so was most precious to King Rabou. This, he could not stand, for as well as causing him grievous personal pain, it was an affront to the honour of the very nation itself.

“Father,” said the young prince. “Let me go and see the dragon!”

But the king wouldn’t hear it. Without hesitation, he sent out the greatest of his three knights, wielding the mighty sword Slambring.

“Great Dragon!” Shouted the knight, waiting on horseback before the dark cave. “Return the chalice at once, or face my blade!”

The dragon did not reply. It did not even turn around. It simply lashed out with its tail and knocked the great knight from his horse, sending him back to the castle with bruised ribs and an even more bruised ego.

“Father!” said the prince. “Let me go! I will succeed where your knight has failed.”

But King Rabou recognised his mistake, and knew how to mend it without risking his son’s safety. When he came to send out the second greatest of his three knights, he bestowed upon him Bamswing, an even mightier sword, too fine to see regular use in battle.

“Great Dragon!” Shouted the second knight, having the sense to get off his horse first. “Return the chalice at once, or face my blade!”

This time the dragon turned. It eyed Bamswing, and was right to do so, for that blade was much mightier than Slambring. But still there was no battle to be had. The dragon reached out with a huge, clawed hand and clapped the second knight around the side of the helmet, sending him back to the castle with ringing ears and hurting pride.

“Father!” said the prince once more. “I beg of thee, let me face the dragon!”

But still the king would not risk the safety of his son. Instead, he sent the last of his three knights bearing Vunderslash, the mightiest of all swords.

The final knight dismounted and called into the cave. “G-g-g-great Dra...”

“Go home, little knight.”

“Yes sir.”

And so the third of the three knights turned around and went back.

“Father,” said the prince. “Truly, it pains me to disobey you, but I must face the dragon!”

And so the prince climbed up the hill to the dark cave where the dragon waited.

“Great Dragon!” he called into the cave. “I have come for the golden chalice. Please may I claim it from your hoard?”

“No.” Said the dragon. Then, after a pause: “I’ve not tidied up in here for a while, and your tunic would get all grimy. I’ll fetch it myself.”

And so the prince returned to the castle triumphant.

“B-b-but,” stammered the king and all his knights. “How did you do this thing? Nobody else could!”

“Ah,” replied the prince. “Nobody else said ‘please.’”
Written for round five of the #WritersInk March Write Off. The prompt for this round was "Honour." I also think it's worth mentioning that this is the first Write Off where I've managed to come up with something for every round!

In hindsight, I sort of wonder if wizards would have worked better than knights, but this is one of those rare Write Off pieces that I'd thought of before the event. I'd say more about it, but I've had a long, long day at the animal shelter. :p Something really unexpected happened, but I think I'll save that for a journal entry.

The Write Off Shortlist is out now! Go and vote here: [link] .
© 2013 - 2021 DamonWakes
anonymous's avatar
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shelleypalmer's avatar
Good story and one that resonated with me as my latest story is about good manners and mentions please and thank you!
saturdaystorytellers's avatar
I know I keep saying this in every review of one of your stories, but I have to say it again: delightful! I enjoyed this one greatly! Keep it up, yeah?
C-A-Harland's avatar
This was a great story, sounds like the kind of thing parents would tell their kids before bed time to teach them a lesson.
DamonWakes's avatar
Thanks! I do find fable-type stories quite appealing--there's a lot you can do with them.
LadyofGaerdon's avatar
I love the names of the swords. "Vunderslash". :giggle:
DamonWakes's avatar
Thank you. :D Those were fun to write.
DailyLitDeviations's avatar
Your wonderful literary work has been chosen to be featured by =DailyLitDeviations in a news article that can be found here: dailylitdeviations.deviantart....

Be sure to check out the other artists featured and show your support by :+fav:ing the News Article. Keep writing and keep creating.
Gracethewriterartist's avatar
I really like the ending. Sort of like a "moral of the story" that also wraps up the piece.
DamonWakes's avatar
Thanks. :XD: That's the bit I thought of first.
falling-like-rain's avatar
A silly but wonderful ending. It brought a smile to my face- thank you :)
DamonWakes's avatar
:D You're quite welcome.
TheMoorMaiden's avatar
:giggle: How sweet, this is a lovely little piece. It reminds me of the kind of tales Aesop or Kipling used to write; I could imagine finding this in an anthology of children's stories or something. :D
DamonWakes's avatar
Thanks! I grew up with those tales, so maybe they've left some sort of impression?
Rovanna's avatar
:rofl: Slambring! It Brings the Slam.
DamonWakes's avatar
:laughing: Indeed it does. Naming swords like that simultaneously follows a long-standing literary convention and saves a whole lot of time over coming up with something more subtle.
MillieBee's avatar
Tch! What sort of knights do they think they are, galumphing around without any manners?
DamonWakes's avatar
When there are only three knights in the kingdom, I imagine it sort of goes to your head. :giggle:
KronoDelanio's avatar
Oh my fat cat! That ending is absolutely hilarious!
DamonWakes's avatar
:laughing: And that's quite the exclamation!
anonymous's avatar
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