The Stand of the Seven
Eight years ago the seven sons of Augustus Capeci fled their homeland, haunted by the guilt of not having been able to save their father, their farm or their village. Now Quan Knights, they are sent on a mission, all seven of them together, to rid their homeland of bandits... the same bandits they failed to stop before.
Burning to wipe out the memory of their former defeat, they eagerly travel to Vesuvia. But once there, the memories of guilt resurface and feelings of revenge creep in. They must fight not only the bandits, but also themselves.
Sometimes peace must be fought for, but it must be with justice and mercy.
The hour of sunset approached, tinting the mountain peaks orange, pink, red and purple. Out on the Teardrop cliff the Quan gathered. Along one side, the Pages and their Caretakers; facing them, the Templars and their Squires; and along the third side, facing the mountain, the Knights stood.
In the front row of Knights, five tall men stood shoulder to shoulder, eyes intent on the door of the tunnel that led to the cliff.
The Paladins filed out with stately step and stood in a semi-circle with their backs to the mountain, leaving an open space between them and the other Quan.
Four cloaked and hooded figures issued from the tunnel and into the open space. They bowed to the Paladins. Two moved off to one side and the other two uncloaked, revealing Templar Nabar and Squire Fileno.
The oldest Paladin, Kellian Dragor, spoke solemnly, “Dost thou, Nabar, Templar of the Quan, affirm that this thy Squire hath faithfully and truly passed through all his trials and is worthy to be given the honor of knighthood?”
“I do so affirm,” Templar Nabar’s voice was firm and confident.
“Then do thy final mentor duty.”
The Templar turned to his Squire, who knelt on one knee.
“Squire Fileno. As thy Templar I do hereby avow that thou has been faithful and true in thy training and has passed each test and every trial set before thee. Whereof, on this day, I do declare thy Squirehood over. I hereby knight thee, Sir Fileno. Arise, Sir Knight and take thy place among the ranks of the Knights of the Quan."
The young man stood, bowed to the Templar, the Paladins and then to the other Quan. A thunderous applause greeted the newest Knight. The ceremony was repeated with the other two, Templar Gilamu and Squire Benci.
Paladin Kellian pronounced the final blessing, “Pax et justitia,” the signal that the ceremony was at an end.
Hardly had the words left his mouth when the two new Knights were grabbed in bone-crushing hugs by the five Knights from the front row.
Zorzi Capeci beamed proudly at his two youngest brothers and then at the other four brothers. “Now are we all Knights and a right joyous day it is, indeed.”
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Miss Melody Muffin