“The Investiture of Honda and Samii”
Written by His Excellency Andreas Blacwode (Drew Nicholson) for Baroness Wars VI (2018)
This past weekend, Mistress Epona Brodin stepped down as Baroness of Carraign Ban, a position she has held for many years. In her place stepped up two good men: Samson Muskovich, and Honda Heihachiro.
This is the story of how that came to be.
In the days of old, the Barony of Carraig Ban was ruled by a powerful Baroness. Epona, she was called, and as Baroness she turned Carraig Ban into a White Castle on a hill, with gates open to all travellers, but also, strong walls and guards to protect the people of the Barony when enemies did come to attack them. But Epona was tired, and had ruled for a long time, and she knew that soon, another would sit on the Barony’s thrones.
One day, the Baroness saw an enormous army of Vikings marching from the North. As she turned to sound the alarm, she saw the flags of another army, Japanese, coming from the East. The two armies came close to each other where the roads joined before the moat, and halted.
“Close the gate” she called, and Carraig Ban made fast its defenses behind her as she descended, and rode out on her steed, and waited for what came next.
She spied two men standing, each before an army, arguing.
“I was here first,” the one with skin dark as ebony cried. His name was Samii.
“No, it was I,” the other in ornate samurai armor retorted. His name was Honda.
“Who are you, and what do you want!” Epona thundered. Both men turned, shocked, and took a step back from her formidable self.
“Well,” Honda said. “I have heard of the treasures of Carraig Ban, and wished to come and see them for myself. If they please me, I should like to come to an arrangement. My army of… movers… is here to assist me.”
“Never,” replied Samii. “I am here to provide rule and order to this land, and my army of… administrators… is here to assist me!”
The two men turned towards each other, hands drifting to sword hilts, but then stopped as Epona spoke.
“Gentlemen! The treasure of Carraig Ban is hospitality. The administration of Carriag Ban is handled by myself. And your armies are too equally matched to defeat each other, and even should one win, I, myself could beat what is left.”
Samii and Honda looked at each other and shrugged. She was probably right. But little did they know that Epona was weary and worn, and had long pondered the fate of her Barony once she was gone.
“But,” Epona continued, “Allow me to show you my Barony’s famed hospitality. Open the gates!” she cried, and both men followed, their armies behind them.
She took them to her Inn, called the One Paw, and sat them down. And she made them sandwiches with meat patties, and they drank of her beer, called Pabst, and ate Pabst bread, and Pabst cheese soup.
“The food here in your White Castle is delicious,” Honda exclaimed.
“And the beer is so good, I would give it a blue ribbon!” Samii replied.
“I, Honda, am in accord,” he agreed.
And to their surprise, during the meal, they had become friends, and Epona saw that she had a solution for everyone’s problems.
“Gentlemen. I have a proposal for you,” Epona said.
And thus it came to be that Epona had found two good men to take up the rule of Carraig Ban, and let her go to her rest. And they lived in friendship and magic until it became time for the next rulers of Carraig Ban to sit on the thrones. But that is a story that has not yet been written.