8/23/2013

Pistol Shrimp Interlude

Leander pushed hard at the ground, feeling his muscles protest over the damage that had been done to them by the supersonic blast of the nemean pistol shrimp. 

Not my finest moment.

He glanced around, examining the damaged Atlantean building he’d sought cover in.  In one corner, nestled in the hands of a skeleton clad in medieval armor, he spied it.  It shone at him, gilt dragon adorning it seeming to twist and turn stare at him.  He scrambled towards it, calling out to his teammates to continue their assault.

He gripped it, pulling it from the hands of the corpse thoughtlessly.  More details sprung out at him.  An image of the sun.  Red and white patterns chasing down the edges.  And an owl, nestled at the apex of the central point of the shield.  For an instant, his eyes caught on it.  And then he plunged into it.
Time stretched out as the owl spoke.  “Son of Battle, Mind-born, and child mine.  In times long past, I had another son who could claim rights to titles very similar to those, though he was adopted from a far land.  El Cid, they called him.  The Lord.  El Campeador.  The Champion.

He had a battle-prowess unmatched, and while he fought for a Christian cause, he was well-respected by the Muslims.  And beloved by the Gods.

He carried this shield, and it rewarded him for his battle-wisdom, allowing him to turn mortal wounds into mundane harms and to turn assaults aside with deft prowess.  He took aside his men before each battle and sought their insight and wisdom to add to his own and taught them all the lessons of my chosen.  For many years, he warred and was undefeated, gaining ever higher heights.  And then he passed on into legend.

His son, himself imbued with divine essence had died.  And little was left for El Cid.  And so he departed.  His shield was given to his wife and was taken by the Muslims who removed her from her reign.  One of their number carried it with him for he was a Scion of the Gods, as well.  His journeys brought him here.

And he was laid low, for none may claim the protection of my child’s shield without my blessing.  He died here and none of his companions could take the shield from his grasp, for I would not allow it to be.

It was El Cid’s.  Now it is yours.  You cannot carry it from this place, for I would not have our enemies know it has returned to the field of battle.  But when the time is right, it shall find your hand.  You shall strike them down.”

Leander blinked, at heard the sounds of combat resume.  It seemed as if only an instant had passed though he was sure his reverie had been minutes long.  He dropped the shield, gilt once more buried in a layer of silt and grime.  Pushing off, he emerged into battle once more, striking out with spear and command.  Unconsciously, he maintained space around his free arm, as if compensating the presence of a shield…

Other posts on Scion and Leander.  Related recap.