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  • Public transport moments that take your breath away

    There are some moments in life that just take your breath away - today was one of those for Rich and I. So let me tell you the story about a ride on the public transport home on a cold wet Wellington day.

    Rich and I had finished work for the day and while waiting for the bus, got talking about our weekend. Rich asked me if I went to the Street City Church on Sunday night and how I found it. We got on the bus and sat opposite each other on the bus as it was pretty full. We carried on talking over the isle about the respective sermons we had heard and the impact they had on on us. We carried on talking about church and God for most of the trip home.

    When a lull in the conversation arrived, the girl sitting next to Rich asked what church we both went to. Rich replied with each of ours and immediately as Rich said his, a man sitting across from Rich erupted with disgust at the Church Rich attended.

    The crazed man proceeded to yell at Rich and asking him questions with no space for the bemused Rich to answer. When the crazed man was finished he closed his eye, shock his head and said something to the effect of "I wasn't going to say anything and now I'm not going to talk about it". Rich started to offer replies to the questions that had been asked of him. The man just talked straight over the top of Rich saying "No, nope, I'm done talking about this" and then after a second he carried on asking questions and making statements that Rich wasn't allowed to answer!

    To Rich's credit, he didn't get upset but just smiled to himself while trying to start a conversation he was clearly being denied of.
    I snapped at this point and got my loud voice on saying "Oi, are you going to let him (Rich) talk?". The crazed man then addressed me with a range of questions that I ignored while I raised my voice and asked the man if he would talk with Rich again. The crazed man told me he would NOT have a conversation with Rich but wouldn't give a reason why.

    The poor girl sitting next to Rich looked a little shocked and laughed a little as she watched what her question had led Rich into ensued. Conveniently all three of us, Rich, the girl, and I all got off at the same stop. We all laughed and had a quick chat about her being new in town and wanting to find a church. Without being interrupted, Rich and I told her about some of the churches we know. Hopefully she wasn't put off by the crazy man and maybe, just maybe we will see her sometime.

    The thing that stuck out to Rich the most was his comment "...if he's (Rich) strong enough in himself he can take it..." Well yes Rich and I might well be strong enough in our views to handle it, but I don't think our other passengers on the bus are strong enough in their life views to not realise you're a bit of a nob.

  • The blind date and the girl I flew to another city for - part four - the finale

    Note: This is the final post in this story. You will want to read 1-3 before you read this.

    We drove into central Nelson and found an awesome café full of old farming and settler type things e.g syths, old cart wheels etc. Finding the couches were all taken for the moment, we setup shop at a table and waited until a couple that looked like they were about move finally left. I think we hung out at the café for about an hour.

    When it was nearing 5:30pm we left the café and headed to ‘The Boatshed’ down at the waterfront. It was a classy joint she picked. It was one of the nicest restaurants I’ve been in for a while. We order a bottle of Pinot Noir and laughed most of the night, and had a couple of good deep-ish conversations as well. Towards the end of the dinner fireworks started out on the harbour. So we had dinner and a show. The fireworks were a little average but it was still great to be in a prime position to see them. Dessert followed the fireworks. We had planned to go back to my cousin’s place for Lemon Meringue pie cooked by my Granny so we didn’t want to spoil that by having lots of desert at the restaurant. We ordered a sticky date pudding for the two of us.

    While she went to the bathroom, I took the opportunity to pay for the meal. When she came back, we finished the pudding and headed out for a short walk along the water front. It was fairly cold so we didn’t walk for long.

    The night was drawing to a close and it was time to head back to have more pudding and coffee with the cousins and Granny. I must say, this girl was brave for coming along. Who would want to meet a guys cousins and Granny on a second date? That’s a little crazy, but then again it was a crazy adventure the whole way along so I’m not really surprised.

    Gran’s Lemon Meringue pie was brilliant as always. We had a few laughs with the family and the night was over. I walked her to the car, gave her a hug goodbye, and let her go on her way. We agreed to stay in touch, and with that my two day whirlwind trip to take a girl I had never meet out on a date was over.

    Now the part you probably want to know - what has happened since? The short answer is nothing. I got an email that Tuesday saying ‘lets just be friends’ and that is ok with me. She is a lovely girl and lives far away. She has also just come out of a relationship and isn’t interested in anything more. That's ok with me. These things rarely end up the way we think.

    At the end of the day, I was taking an opportunity to have an adventure. I had a great time. She was absolutely lovely. I’m very lucky to have been given the opportunity to take her out.

    Thank you to the young miss that let me have a couple of her evenings - you were a lot of fun.

  • The blind date and the girl I flew to another city for - part three

    Note: if you haven’t read parts one and two, you should do that first to get the whole story.

    She arrives at my cousin’s house and she is as pretty as in her photos. Tall, blonde, and sporty with a great smile. We go to a restaurant close by. It’s a very nice place. Great wine and huge plates with tiny delicate food. We hung out at the restaurant for a couple of hours talking about all sorts of things. It was a nice evening. When the staff were well and truly closed, and had setup for the morning, we decided it was time to leave. Walking out the door I spotted a great looking water fountain across the road. It was shooting water straight up from the ground and I wanted to play in it. She was good with the idea so we went across and jumped around in the fountain. I was the only one that ended up wet – right down the front of my jeans. It looked like I had pee’d my pants which made us both laugh. She didn’t get wet at all.

    After playing in the fountain, and getting wet, we noticed the bar next to us had karaoke going and it was sounding awesome. She looked at me with an inquisitive adventurous look and said

    “Wana check it out?”

    “Heck yeah!” I laughed while looking down at my wet pants wondering if anyone would notice.

    Lucky enough, the bar was dark (aren’t they all?) and no one noticed. As we walked in there was a short, squat, bald guy singing Sweet Home Alabama while bleach-blonde slightly tubby woman danced seductively with on each other, if you can all it that (eeewww). We had clearly joined the ranks of the local bogan bar. We laughed and headed to the bar for a beer.

    The night ended at 11pm when she dropped me home. It was great evening and I had a heap of fun. I can’t speak for her, but I know it was a well worth taking the opportunity. The trip to Nelson to go blind date with a random girl had been a success in that I didn’t behave like a total arse, and I don’t think embarrassed her or myself.

    So I had a good night and so ended date one of two. There is also a funny story about getting locked out of my cousin’s house but I’ll post about that after I’ve finished this story.

    I got a txt from her later that night saying she had work to do during the day on Friday but was keen to hang out again tomorrow night. So we set up for another dinner on Friday.

    The next day, Friday, I worked from the dinner table at my cousin’s house. Then checked in with my sister and her fiancé who wanted to check I hadn’t made a total arse of myself. They agreed I had conducted myself ok.

    In the early arvo I heard from the lady. She was keen to have dinner and gave me a couple of options of Thai or a really nice place on the waterfront. I liked the sound of the waterfront.  She would be free at 4pm and would pick me up for coffee, then we would head for dinner.

    She arrived at 4pm and we set out for the second date…

    [To be continued]

  • The blind date and the girl I flew to another city for


    This is a story about an opportunity that I took "once upon a time" in my life. I’m recording it for no other reason than that it’s a good story, a moment I will remember, and a story to share with others in years to come. This is my recollection of events, and I’m happy to be corrected if I remember wrong. That said, let the story begin…

    I was talking to my sister on the phone one beautiful Tuesday evening, and as we chatted about what was going on this week she said, “I have two gorgeous new flat mates – you should marry one of them!” Laughing, I said “Sure, why not?” At the same time I heard a woman’s voice in the background say, “Kate, who are you talking to?” “My brother,” said Kate. Then the woman yelled out “Dibs!” Kate laughed and told me, “You’ve just been bagged. Here, talk to this girl!” So the phone was passed to the lady who ‘baggsed’ me and we chatted for a few minutes about what each other does etc. We had a good laugh, teased each other a little, and at the end of the phone call the woman said, “I feel like I know you well enough to add you on Facebook” - and so she did. When I got the chance to look through her photos, I quickly realized she was very cute – beautiful in fact.

    The next day (Wednesday) I got a Facebook message from this woman that said: “Where are you taking me for dinner tomorrow night?". I laughed to myself and made a quick call to a friend in Nelson – where this woman was at the time – and found a highly recommended Indian restaurant. I suggested I take her there, which she thought that was a great idea...“I like it, pick me up at 7:30pm!” she wrote back.

    I laughed; I’m sure she did as well. Ahhh the fun of flirting on Facebook - but nothing was ever to come of it. The next day (Thursday) I was having a coffee with my good friend, and I told him the story of the beautiful Christian girl who had asked me to take her out to dinner. My friend looked at me with an open mouth and said, “Dude, why are you not down there taking her our for dinner?!” “No way man! I only just got introduced to this girl. I can’t turn up and take her out. That would be creepy!” I said. "Dude, you’ve got a gorgeous Christian girl asking you to take her out for dinner – get on a plane today and call her bluff. If you can get cheap tickets, you should totally go. Just set a limit on how much you're willing to pay for plane tickets, and if you can get them for less than that amount, you have to go,” my friend argued.

    So I set a ticket limit of $400. Now remember that I was trying to buy tickets on the day of the flight, to a small New Zealand town – these are NEVER cheap even when you book weeks beforehand, let alone on the day and less then 5 hours till the flight leaves. But I got on my phone and checked flights and prices – lo and behold, I could get tickets for less than my $400 budget. My friend just laughed and said, “Looks like you're going to Nelson tonight, mate!”


    [To be continued...] 

  • A wasted knight – part Five – Rejection and creation

    [Please read a wasted night - part Four before reading this]

    A wasted knight – part Five – Rejection and creation


    The young knight was gaining his strength back and while the Raevac talked, he began to plan how he might escape. However, it was obvious that the Raevac was not stupid, or inattentive. The knight would have to plan his escape far beyond the first move or getting away. He continued to think through his options.

    "The sad story of a Raevac is that we were once Guardians of the Diplomat. We are the ones who where set free from service for one reason or anther. Set free to wonder the world alone…"

    The young prince piped up, perhaps a little hastily "Why alone? You said there were always two Guardians for every diplomat. Aren't you meant to even be married to the other Guardian? Where is your wife?"

    Quietly the Raevac moved along the pillar it was on, then spoke very softly, almost a whisper which was rather hard for the young prince to hear.

    "Foolish child… use that head of yours and think about this for a moment. Why would a guardian who is so committed that they serve one diplomat their whole lives, suddenly turn away from the person they love the most? Why would you think that a Guardian who is taught the highest levels of integrity, honour, loyalty, dedication possibly consider ever going out alone? Young prince, ill assume that you are still coming to you senses after the battle and wound you have received, but hear me on this. A Raevac would never give up or leave. You remember that, as long as you live."

    It dawned on the knight that something must have happened to the Raevacs wife, and what happened to her was obviously death or the Raevac would still be fighting to set her free, or she would be here. The knight felt very…

    "And why do you assume I am a man, that my wife would not be here?" grinned the Raevac, who until this point had its hood pulled low over its face. The Raevac pulled the hood back to reveal the face of a weathered, but pretty female face.

    The knight was indeed surprised but then realised that he should not have been. If both Guardians where as formidable as each other and the myths portrayed, then a female Guardian this could indeed be. He said nothing and tried to keep his thoughts off his face.

    "I was once a Guardian and yes I once had a husband who was everything to me. Strong, compassionate, and dedicated to the cause and to me. I love him and miss him and will forever…"
    The Raevac just trailed off as she thought about her Husband Guardian.

    "You see the way a Guardian team worked with a diplomat was very formal. Women would travel in a carriage and men would ride on horse back. It's the royal, formal way of doing things and that is very important in these situations.

    In this instance we were actually travelling with two diplomats and their guardians with particularly sensitive orders. When ever the king had something of incredible import that he could not be present for, he sent two diplomats and their associated guardians. Sort of double the wisdom and double the protection.

    The location we were to travel to was a costal city and there were only two passages in and out. This made the city easy to defend but also risky to visit, hence the extra protection. The king we were to visit had been hostile and threatening all sorts of things. The diplomats where being sent to ease the situation and find out exactly what was wrong.

    We Guardians spent a long time trying to ascertain the best route to enter the city. After a lot of scouting we found no presence of a threat along the coastal roads, and so proceeded into the city. It was then, however, that we realised the threat was inside the city. As the gates opened to the city on our arrival, a large party of horsemen wearing foreign armour rode out to meet us. The coat of arms was not that which we were expecting and it became apparent that something had gone very wrong in this city.

    Diplomacy is always the first choice of a Guardian but soon talking turned out to be useless. The horsemen became hostile and insisted that we let the diplomats be taken without a fight, when we obviously refused a full fight ensued. Several of the horsemen split the guardians down the middle and drove the carriage which had the female diplomats, the other female guardian and myself in it. That was the last I saw of my husband… I watched carefully out the window as the carriage careered away from the fight. We were flanked by several of the horsemen. The fight looked terribly fierce and hopeless. It was clear the horsemen were warriors' and well prepared for the attack.

    Our carriage was taken to an awaiting ship where we were sent away and held captive for a very long time. I can only assume that a ransom was asked because one day the prison we were held in was liberated by the army with King Gyidon himself at the forefront.

    We were taken back to the kingdom and given rest for several months. During this time we learned that none of the men had survived from the fight outside the city. Evidently they had fought for a long time and struck down many of the horsemen. It appeared that it was an arrow which ended the lives of the Guardians, not the sword. It would be my guess that the horsemen could not kill them at close range with the honour the guardians and diplomats deserved, and would have pulled back to allow a shower or arrows to take the lives of such challenging foes.

    King Gyidon released the women diplomats from serve as they could no longer serve as just the female halves. They were offered positions in the King's court for the rest of their days. The King also set us Guardians free and offered a very comfortable live as a King's guard. But I could never serve in the palace for the rest of my days. I will always need to be outside and fighting in the mud. The palace life was not something I could accept. So I was set free with the palace gates always open behind me for when I will return. The name they give to us that travel the country side now is that of Raevac. We are not in the kings service, but are forever searching for those who could be"

    The prince had forgotten about his plan to escape and had become very interested. "What do you mean searching for those that could be?"

  • Memoirs of Sir Robert Williams

    By Hayden Sanders and Jo Brunskill 

    About this story: This is a funny story Jo and I wrote over email. We would each write a paragraph or two then email it to the other to carry on. It's a very fun way to write a strange and interesting story.



    Chapter one - The Wallnut tree and the storyteller

    There are many things I wanted to be as I was growing up. First it was a policeman, but I soon realised that had to stop bad people and that could hurt, so I gave up that idea. Then i wanted to be a firefighter, then realised that they keep going into the places that people are running out of, I didnt like that idea. Once I wanted to be a soldier, then found out that they get shoot at! so I gave that up as well. But the one thing I was wanted to be was a good storyteller...

    Not just an average one mind you. Growing up I'd quickly grown tired of the "and then and then and then" stories of my peers, and the unimaginative adventures of Dick and Jane and fanny the dog that they forced down our throats at school. No, I wanted to be a storyteller with a difference. Someone whose tales meant something and touched people.
    I had only ever known one good storyteller at that point in my life. Stories came and went with their creators, but only one man's stories endured in my heart. And the teller of those stories was a gentleman that I had lived next too for several years when I was a young boy.

    We lived close to the ocean but not right on the beach. In our back yard there was a large walnut tree. It had been there for centurys, or so I thought when I was young. I would climb in it all summer and spend hours gathering the walnuts and eating them while I sat in the branches. The tree was enormous and so high that I was scared to ever climb all the way up to the top. The tree was strong and would have held me if I had ever been brave enough to climb up. I would sit in the middle of the tree and look at the highest point and wonder just what the view would be like from the top. I was content to sit where i was and look out of the corn feild behind our house that seperated my house from the beach. I remember many a summer day sitting in the old walnut tree dreaming about the adventures that life had to offer.

    Now the house next to mine was rather unasuming. There was nothing about it that stood out for anyreason. But living in that house was the most amazing storyteller i have evern ecountered, Sir Robert Williams.

    At face value, Sir Robert Williams was as unassuming as his house. But right from the start I knew there was something special about him. He was a man of small physical stature, with a greying moustache and a comb-over any senior citizen would be proud to sport. A plain looking man, except for the small glint of mischief in his eyes.

    The first time I met my fascinating neighbour happened purely by accident. I had been watching him for a few weeks from the old walnut tree, but hadn't yet brought up the courage to address him. The day in mention was a particularly stunning Saturday in early summer.
    Sir Robert was pottering around the garden. Although he didn't actually appear to be gardening as such. In fact, I wasn't sure exactly what he was doing, and it was my curiosity that led me to climb onto a rather flimsy branch that leant over onto his property.

    I could see that the old man had a spade in his hand and he was digging at something but not the sort of shallow digging that my Dad did in the garden. When my Dad digs in the garden, its short sharp lines for planting seeds in. or its with a pitch forlk as he turns up potatoes. But the diging the old man was doing was in one place and he kept going down. He was diging close to the fence by our house and I had trouble seeing whether it was a hole in the garden patch or in the grass. I crawled out a little furthur on the branch I was currently sitting on but as I did a large leafy branch entered my view and obscured the old man even more. I leaned out to the right and placed my hand on a branch. I put a small ammount of weight on it to check that it would hold. statisfied I would not fall, i put my full weight on it and crained my neck to look around the leafy branch and down over the fence. just as my head peered over the wooden rail enough to see what the old man was doing, I heard a soft crack somewhere behind me. Experience had taught me that this was not a good thing and as i turned my head to see which branch had given way, I began to fall through the lofts of the walnut tree. As I drifted through the branches, i wondered to myself which side of the fence i might land, and prayed that i would land one side rather than a top the solid wooden fence..

    As I saw the ground getting larger and larger and closer and closer, I panicked and screwed up my eyes, as if I could stop the inevitable by not looking at it.
    Thankfully, someone up there was looking out for me, as it wasn't the fence that I landed on. But to know for sure where I was, I had to open my eyes.
    Slowly, painfully, I peered out between my eyelids. The first thing that I could focus on was a tall blade of grass about an inch and a half away from my nose.
    Eventually, I managed to widen my sights to other blades of grass, and even to the large pile of dirt to my left. Uhuh, that must mean I was in the - suddenly, I heard a voice that I'd never heard before. A voice that chuckled out..

    "Heavens my dear boy, are you alright?"

    For a moment I thought about just closing my eyes and pretending nothing had happened, that I wasn't there, then I thought the better of that plan. I had landed on my left shoulder and as I rolled over and put weight on my left arm it collapsed beneath me and I could feel the dull throbbing pain that said I had hurt myself but probably not broken. I rolled over on the ground and said

    "I think Ive hurt my arm"

    "Well, youve landed in the right place" said the old man "I was a feild doctor once upon a time, amoungst other things, lets have a quick look and see whats happened"

    I lay on the ground half scared but curious about what a feild doctor was. I had heard of Doctors that fix brains, and doctors that fixed hearts. I had even heard of doctors that fixed trees, like the one i had just fallen out of. But what did a feild doctor do? how do you fix a feild? do you need to be a special doctor to fix a feild of corn like the one over the fence?

    I was just working up the courage to ask him what the largest field he'd ever worked with was, when he spoke again.

    "Come on then, no point in just lying there lad - can you sit up?"

    Swallowing my questions like the rice bubbles I'd eaten that morning, I focused my energy on sitting without bumping my aching arm.

    "Uh, I think so" I said, while proving myself right.
    "I don't think anything's broken" I said, in case he wasn't sure about arms. After all, a field doctor wasn't like a real doctor, was it?

    The old man stepped in to take a look. "Hmm, a few bumps and bruises but I'm sure you'll be just fine. Want to come inside for a biscuit?"

    Now, I had been well trained by my mother and various bossy aunties over the years of what to say to a stranger's invitation, so my answer was clear -
    "Sure!"

    Oops, I thought. How did that pop out when I was meant to say no??

    Chapter 2 - The house of wonders....and good biscuts

    The old man helped me to my feet then promptly put out his hand and introduced himself.

    "Well now that you have landed in my yard and we are about to share afternoon tea, I supose its about time we introduced ourselves. My name is Sir Robert Williams. and what is your name lad?"

    I stuck out my right hand, which Sir Robert grabed instnatly and gave a good solid shake. his hand was big and mine almost disapared when he shook it. My name is...

    "Robert too! But usually my family call me Bob or Bobby. Except for my Grandma, but she's really old."

    At that point, I stopped abruptly. This Sir Doctor man was at least 5 times as old as my grandma. I hoped he wasn't offended and wondered how I could dig myself out of the hole I had just begun to dig. Speaking of holes -

    "What are you digging?"

    At my question, Sir Robert started to look a bit sheepish. He let out an "Um" and a careful clearing of the throat like my Dad makes when Mum asks his why he hasn't done the dishes yet, as if considering how to break the news gently. Or just something to distract my Mum from the fact the he's not answering.

    "Well, ahh uh-hmm, you see lad. Life is a series of stories. We all have them, some last a long time and others are just short, but every story needs to come to an end. So I was just about to burry this" He picked up a small silver box that was sitting next to the fence. It was very bright and shiny, just like a ring that was also bright and shiny. The box reflected the light straight into my eyes and blinded me for a moment. I shirked away and put weight on my left arm, the arm gave out and I flopped over sideways. Sir Robert chuckled "Its only a box lad, it wont bite"

    "The box caught the light, and the thing with the shining, and then the ouch and its like...." I protested. Sir Robert laughed louder now as he helped me to my feet while saying "Come on Bobby, lets have that biscuit shall we"

    We walked to the back porch of Sir Roberts house. I could see through the open door that his walls held many picture frames, and most of them had pictures in them as well! in fact I think all of them had pictures in them... "hmmmm" I thought, and stood at the door just looking inside. Sir Robert had gone inside and already returned with a tray, on which resided a plate of biscuits, a large jog of lemonade and two glasses.

    "Lets sit our here shall we Bobby? There is nothing like a sunny day to lift the spirits and it would be a shame to waste such a day...." his voice trailed off because my eyes had caught the sight of the worlds most glorious biscuits. I knew these biscuits well and my heart leaped for joy when I saw them sitting there on the plate. These were the one-of-a-kind girl guide biscuits. oh yes they were, but not just the plain variety! Oh no these were the type with chocolate on one side. All the training and proper up brining from my parents told me that I should never talk to strangers, I should never accept gifts from them, I should never go home with them, and I should never take food from them. But all that had completely slipped my mind as I stared at the biscuits on the plate..

    "Go on then lad. Take one - or two if you'd prefer!!" Sir Robert said with a chortle.

    I didn't need to be told twice, these were my favourite biscuits, which my Mum never bought because she said girl guides had ruined her life. I often wondered how they'd ruined it. Maybe they'd sold her poisoned biscuits? Good thing these ones didn't taste poisoned.

    After a biscuit or three, I turned my attention back to my new friend ( I figured one became friends after sharing biscuits), who was watching me with a very bemused look on his wrinkly leather face.
    Hearing my Mother's voice inside my head, I spluttered a quick but grateful "Thankyou" through the soggy biscuit remnants around my mouth.

    "You are most welcome, my boy" Sir Robert replied. His Mother was obviously very strict on manners too.

    "Now, how would you like to hear a story?" he asked with a warm smile.

    "Is it about the shiny thing?" I asked hurriedly.

    "You'll just have to wait and see..."


    Chapter 3 - Stories and shiny things

    The old Sir leaned over to me and grinned "would you like to hear a story about the name Robert?"
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    I was intrigued "is the main character called Robert?"

    Yes, but even better than that, this is the story of how the name Robert first came to exist"

    "Wow, how do you know where my name, I mean our name came from?"

    The Sir grinned and leaned back in the sun and began

    "Many years ago, a long time before you or I were born, there was a family that lived in the farming community called Phoebrance. Have you ever heard the name Phoebe? Well Phoebe means light. So this area was know as the community of light. It got that name because of a very well known school in the area. The school was very good and all the royals in the region would send there children there to learn.

    Despite all of the royal children who attended the school there, Phoebrance was filled with normal people like you and I. Some of them were even less well-off than we are, and these villager's children grew up to be farm labourers or servants to those who were more advantaged. Fiscally that is."

    "Sorry - what? Fish-cally?"

    "Uh, yes. Sorry about that young lad. Sometimes I forget my audience! They served the people who had more money and could afford to have someone around to do their chores for them."

    "Gosh - I'd like to have someone like that around!"

    "I bet you would" Sir Robert chuckled, with a twinkle in his eye.

    "Now back to Phoebrance. Of all of the families in the community, there was one family who was the poorest of all..."

  • A wasted knight – part Four – back story to a Raevac begins

    [Please read a wasted night - part three before reading this]

    A wasted knight – part Four – back story to a Raevac begins


    "Not many people understand the incredible responsibility and subsequent pressure a King or Queen come under when they rule a Kingdom. No decision is ever simple or without consequences. The smallest change to common law or kingdom planning decision will always impact someone or something and as a result will start a chain of events that can create issues much large and future removed from the original decisions than most people might think.

    As you know, the largest kingdom is not our own, although it is one of the largest. The largest is the land of Muerdon ruled by King Gyida. Back in the history of the Muerdon Kingdom, it became obvious the protecting the borders of the kingdom was incredibly resource intensive. Often the battalions required to protect the borders where kept away from their families for years on end. The monarchy realised this was not having a positive impact on the population, for while they were all safe, they missed those that were away serving their country, and those that were away become demoralised as they watched the days go by without seeing their family for birthdays and the like.

    The king began to search out ways to ease the pressure of protecting the borders of the kingdom. A plan was hatched that solved several of the huge kingdoms issues. Plan involved appointing a very select few people to be representatives of the king in all matters that concerned the kingdom. In essence they became second in command and responsible only to the king. They had the ability to send commands that would over rule anything sent before, even from the kings own hand. They had the royal signet with which to seal letters and orders. They held as much power as the king did.

    The King knew that anyone with the level of power that the diplomats had, would become a target. So guardians where also appointed to serve and protect the diplomats.

    Selecting a diplomat was not as simple as just looking for someone with good looks and a quick wit. They had to be the very definition of integrity, honesty, and all those fruits-of-the-spirit things.

    Now as a side point, the definition of diplomat means to be an exact representation of the person or governance to which one is bound. This meant that every diplomat needed to be an exact resemblance of the kingdom of Muredon. Now everyone knows that there is no such thing as a perfect person, we all have our flaws. So how was the king to get around this? In his court, the king had many advisors both men and women who were wise and experienced. The best representation of the kingdom would be to allow both a male and female aspect to the diplomat. And so the very first diplomat was not a single person, but a married couple representing both man and woman. Our dictionaries don't reflect this at all, and the use of the word these days bears no resemblance to how it should be used. When ever a diplomat was invited to a neighbouring country, it was understood that a diplomat was two people and also the guardians that went with them.

    The guardians that travelled with a diplomat where a unique breed; like the diplomat, guardians where always a duo, male and female. The bond between the diplomat and the guardians was impenetrable. Diplomats had to be able to trust their guardians with their life. For this reason and diplomat and guardians where paired for life. If a diplomat ever left the kings service, the guardians would never be sent with another diplomat. It didn't matter what reason the diplomats left the kings service for, if it was treason–which never happened in the Muerdon Kingdom, then the guardians could never be trusted. If it was death, the guardians were set free to do as they wished. The assignment as a guardian meant a lifetime of service to one diplomat and that was their life.

    Diplomats and Guardians become so important to the Muredon Kingdom that young adults were hand picked and taken into special court education, and so were the guardians that would eventually protect the diplomat.

    Guardians underwent years of training in everything from etiquette to martial arts. They become expert killers and perfect gentle men. The roles of each guardian differed but the responsibility was the same for both — protect the diplomat at all costs, never let anything happen to them. They were given absolute licence to kill should the need arise, and frequently it did. Guardians where expert military tacticians and would regularly adjust travel plans for fears of ambush. A Guardian was not a coward, and in the interest of protecting the kingdom, would also eliminate an ambush by sending the diplomat around another way, then heading back to deal with the ambush — Guardians where a bread not to be messed with.

    It's not surprising then that Guardians became the most urban legend in the surrounding kingdoms. You see, a guardian did not dress like a warrior. They looked so similar to everyday royalty that people where never sure if a guardian was present or not. Thus people never really realised they had seen a guardian. When tails of the devastating destruction a guardian had brought on an ambush party were told, no one was ever sure guardians really existed because they had never seen a mighty warrior pass their way.

    And so that is the life of a guardian" the Raevac said
    The knight had listened without comment, but now he felt just a little jipped.

    "Hang on, that's a lovely story but it's not about the Raevacs" complained the knight.

    "Ahhh that's right, now let me tell you about the Raevacs and how they are know only by the tails that are told of the destruction they leave behind"

  • A wasted knight – part three – back story to a Raevac begins

    [Please read A wasted night - part two before reading this]


    A wasted knight – part three – back story to a Raevac begins

    The knight didn't move for a long time, and neither did the Raevac. They both watched each other but didn't pay any attention to the other. As the day drew the hot wind blew up the dark valley and made the situation very uncomfortable. The Raevac pulled a wine pouch out and moved over to the knight.

    "Drink"

    The knight just looked at it and said "why do you bother to keep me tired up like this, why don't you just kill me, or let me fall on my sword"

    "In time I will let you be, but currently you are wounded and in no shape to look after yourself" said the Raevac, "Now drink"

    The knight just looked at the wine and did nothing. This slightly frustrated the Raevac. Lurching forward, the Raevac grabed the knights helment and stuffed the end of the wine punch into the knights mouth. The prince bit down and closed his mouth refusing to drink. The Raevac grabed the Kight under the chin and forced two fingers into the checks of the knight. This resulted in the knight having to open his mouth, and the wine poured down his throat. When the wine was almost all gone, the Raevac pulled the pouch out and drank the remains.

    The knight began to feel a little better, until this point he had not eaten or drank anything since the encounter with the princes almost two days ago. As his thoughts began to clear, the young prince started to realise just who it was that he was now a prisoner of. A cold chill ran down him as he began to think that this could be a Raevac that had captured him.

    "No, it cant be" he thought, prayed. "No please let it be anything but a Raevac" he begged his brain to find another answer to the question of who this stranger was. But his mind came back with no other answer. This must certainly be a Raevac.

    You see the problem with this being a Raevac is this; Raevacs' are a fierce group of people, if you can call them a group. They travel alone and live as they please. No one ever meets a Raevac and lives to tell the story. The closest you may ever come to a Raevac and live, is to come upon a scene of destruction and death only moments after a Raevac has been there. Or when you lie in a thicket to rest and think you see a shadow move in the bush, you look around and decide that it was just a branch. But actually you have come as close to a Raevac as any living person has. Having said this, like all things there is a certain amount of Myth that is bound to a Raevac, and separating the stories that are spoken in hushed whispers in the taverns is no easy task. Yet the simple truth is that to encounter a Raevac is a rare experience and few have ever told of such an encounter.

    The knight pushed himself around to face the Raevac. "Sir, if I may be so bold, are you a Raevac"?

    The Raevac sprang to life and the knight kicked himself for having asked the question. The Raevac flew from the felled pillar and landed next to the knight, grabbed him by his good shoulder and threw him up on a broken section of wall.

    "Why would you think that?"

    "Well" began the prince "I have never seen someone such as you before, yet you are well equipped and seem very capable of looking after yourself, so my assumption is that you travel alone and take no prisoners with you. This would seem to be true of the Raevacs I hear stories about"

    The Raevac glared at him "don't listen to every story you hear in a tavern lad."

    The knight looked at the Raevac and in a moment or gusto, or perhaps stupidity said

    "I've know people like you, gutless, cold killers that travel the world and have what ever you want with out concern for life or love"

    The Raevacs eyes flared with such passion that they alone could have light the valley on fire, but the rest of the Raevac stayed still and strangely calm.

    "Contray to the rumours, Raevacs are peaceful characters. I understand how you could think such things about me. But often the people who start such rumours know little of the wider story which has brought about many unfortunate situations in their eyes. Do you know what the word Raevac means prince"?

    The young knight was startled as no one knew he was a prince in this land. While he wore fine armour, that didn't make him a prince or give away any indication of such a thing. He had made sure of that before embarking on the adventure for fear of being treated unequally on his path.

    "No, I know nothing of the Raevacs apart from what my men report back to me"

    The Raevac sat back on a rock and began "Raevac means 'Guardian' its an old term that comes from ancient lands and has its grounding the idea of a guardian angle. A long time ago all we were all Diplomatic guardians for a King in another land. We were assigned foreign diplomats to protect for the entire length of time they were in the Kings service. But things change and we were no longer able to continue."

    "How did you become a Raevac? What things changed? Please tell me as if I am miss informed about the Raevacs, I wish to be promulgating the truth about you rather than enforcing lies" asked the prince

    "I will tell you the whole story if you wish; you aren't going anywhere soon so you may as well hear it"

    And so the Raevac began to tell a story that was not secret but had still never been told to anyone in the histroy of the world...

  • A wasted knight – part two – The Raevac draws near

    [please read my post called A wasted knight to get the full story]

    The knight tumbled back down the stairs of the tower, back into the court yard of dead knights. As the knight looked around through his blurred vision, he noticed that the dead knights didn't seem so horrible this time. In fact the dead knights had a calming peace about them that the Knight wanted. How could the dead poses anything that a living knight could want? Yet they did, and what they possessed was peace. He could feel the peace that they had and he didn't. The pain in his chest burned where the arrow was stuck. He longed to be free of the pain this world brought. He yearned for the peace the dead knights had, and with this he lay down and let the dark night envelop him.

    On the cliff high above the knight, a Raevac watched. The Raevac watched carefully and patiently for the perfect moment, the ideal time to sneak down the cliff. A Raevac is a very crafty and cleaver character, knowing much more about life than almost any other living thing. A this Raevac had been watching the knight for sometime; watching for longer than anyone actually realised, watching since well before the knight had started his journey.

    When the knight had closed his eyes and breathed his last waking breath, the Raevac moved, and moved swiftly. Down the cliff and across the court yard of dead knights. The Raevac drew near to the knight and after a pause, tied the hands and feet of the knight together, and removed the knight's sword. Then in one final movement, the Raevac lifted the head of the knight, and knocked it firmly against the ground, sending the knight into la la land for quite some time. Please with the work, the Raevac moved back into the shadows.

    Morning broke over the land, although in the deep valley you would never have known it. The knight stirred and growled as he felt the thump of his headache. Then rolling from side to side, he realised that he was immobilised which induced and even louder growel. The Raevac, who had been observing from a felled pillar, moved towards the knight, who until this point had thought he was alone. The knight felt a sudden fear of the Raevac and tried to crawl out of the way. The Raevac bent down and said in a firm yet hushed voice

    "Be quiet"

    The knight howled back "you vile serpent of the night…"

    "Be quiet you fool, that princess will finish you if she knows you are still hear" the Raevac snapped.

    "I care not what that lady will do to me, my life is pain and my only wish is to find the peace these other knights have found. Please send me there with them, or I shall have this princess send me there herself"

    The Raevac looked hard at the young prince and then nodded

    "you are a foolish one. You don't know what you are do you?"

    The knight tried to think about this question, but between the thumping headache, the pain in his chest, and the very awkward situation he now lay in, he could not make sense and so simply lay still on the ground breathing deeply.

    The Raevac moved back towards the fallen pillar and retook the position that had been used for observing the knight. For the mean time the Raevac would stay here until the knight thought about cooperating…

  • A Wasted Knight - Part one

    [A story I wrote a while ago and posted on myspace. I'm going to cross post it now and think about writing some more of it. I'm not a writer so go easy on me, or just ignore it all together.]

    There was once a knight, well he was a knight but he was young, first years out of knight school. Ha-ha get it night school Knight School... So anyway, our knight was a great fella. Even though he was young and had only been in a few battles, he had gained the wisdom and strength to survive.

    In the days our knight lived in, many terrible things had been done to lots of people, especially beautiful young damsels. Some of these young damsels had been taken away and locked in towers. Often, these towers were very old and dangerous places. Some even had dragons that lived around them who were told to guard these damsels, so that no one can ever get near them. The rumour amongst the knights was that these beautiful women were the best that ever existed. I don't mean just physical beauty; these were women with whom no women from any other country could compare (at least thats what the knights believed). These women were smart, elegant, captivating, intelligent, dedicated girls who had been taught by the best. Perhaps that's why they had been locked up; maybe they were seen as threats.

    The knights were often exhorted to take on the most dangerous and challenging adventure that there was the rescuing of one of these beauties from their towers. Now this was no mean feat! First he must find a tower with a beauty just waiting to be rescued. Once the tower was found, the knight would often have to travel great distances to get near the tower (always in some really deep valley, or on a titanic mountain). Our young knight thought about the wisdom and beauty of these damsels and realised that there was a lot to be gained from such an adventure; but being so young, he had no idea how to find one or where to look. There were many older, wise knights that had already been on such an adventure and they had many wise things to say. They offered to guide and help the young knight prepare for such a journey. But all of them said that in the end the young knight must embark on this adventure alone, and walk the path knowing that he was loved and cared for at home but that that was all he could take for support.

    So after many years of waiting and preparing for the adventure to rescue a trapped princess, the young knight set out. The trip would take several months at the shortest and many two years or more at the other end. He knew there would be many battles to fight along the way, many lonely cold nights. Several times he would see other knights that had died along the way, there was nothing that scared him more than seeing a knight that lay in the middle of a sunny field but had been killed. Sometimes there was not even the sign of a battle or fight at all. It just seemed that these knights had died of nothing more than an abandoned heart. These others knights had simply found the first part of the adventure to hard. The young knight wondered why that was as this was meant to be the easiest part of the adventure.

    After several months the knight, who was gaining more understanding and wisdom by the week, came into view of valley that held a very precious princess. She was more precious than any other that had been known before her, and than anyone could foresee coming after. Because of her captivating life, she had been locked in the deepest, darkest valley that anyone had ever seen. In fact, the valley was so steep, rough, and deep that no light ever shone down onto the tower, which stood hundreds of meters below. The young knight looked over the edge and could see no way down. There were sheer cliffs on both sides, and the gorge stretched for miles. This problem was huge, but still, it was only one of many that the young knight had overcome through the past months. Sometimes the problems needed a very gentle approach and some time. Then again there were situations that need a deep commitment to jump in with both feet. This was certainly a problem, but the knight found the means needed to scale the walls.

    The next part was the dragon. Our young knight had found his way down the walls and discovered the remains of many a knight. Some of the armour had claw marks from the dragons. They looked like they had been torn open like a can opener wound. But the thing that caught the attention of the young knight was that some of these knights had arrows through their armour. This was most curious as there was no one around here and the only people that ever came here were knights travelling alone. Who could have shot these arrows at the knights? Our young hero decided that these arrows must have been wounds that had been sustained the in fierce battles when trying to get to this place. Still, the young knight thought that he should remember this, as he was always taught to be attentive to his surroundings and the stories that dead men do tell.

    The dragon proved vicious and nasty - he had particularly bad breath that smelt of rotting flesh. As the young knight fought the dragon and finally beat it back to the point where he could finally kill the beast he remembered a wise saying that he had once been told by his mentors - "Do unto others as you would have them do to you." He looked into the face of the dragon as it lay battered and helpless. The dragon spoke and made a pact to spare his life, and the knight granted the request. They agreed to allow mutual passage away from this horrible valley where the dragon had been guarding the princess for so long. As a token of his appreciation for sparing his life, the dragon spoke of several different paths that could be taken to the tower; he also guided the young knight past several pitfalls that had been well hidden in order to trap anyone that got past the dragon.

    Our hero survived and made it up to the tower. Upon reaching the top he could see the door that leads to the princess room. The lock on the door was very strong, yet with the long years it had rusted to the point where it would simply fall open with the swing of his sword. The young knight took a moment to thank the Lord for all He had brought him through, to thank God for the blessings that had been bestowed upon him, and also to ask for the wisdom to treat this beauty with all the respect and grace that such a princes of the most high deserved.

    As the knight prayed he could hear the princess inside praying. She too was speaking to God, asking for the prince of her dreams to come and rescue her. She asked for a man of daring, integrity, honesty, loyalty and many other things. As the young knight heard her pray, he thought back over the adventure he had come on and remembered all the things he had experienced and learned in the process. And while our young prince would never have thought it, he had gathered all the things this princess was asking for. But such things are never seen on the surface, they only ever really get seen on the journey back home when they are together. Such things as honesty and integrity cannot be explained or interviewed for; they are learned, and then seen in the hard times that ensue after. And so both the prince and the princess had grown into things that they were not before they began their adventures.

    With a swing of his sword, the prince laid open the door. The princes looked around, saw the prince and then quickly sat down on her stool. She looked at him and asked if he would sit and speak with her a while. The young knight was both relieved and bemused. He thought to himself "Surely this fair maiden knows how hard the journey has been to get her; why is she not overjoyed that she has been rescued?" - but the knight was too tired to argue at that moment. He sat down as the princess began to unravel a long scroll. The princess began to speak and asked the prince many things about himself. As the prince spoke, he could not help but feel that he was being measured against a list. The beauty asked about the experiences he had encountered. These were not always easy for the knight to talk about. Some had been traumatic and broken his heart, others he had never talked about with anyone and had no words to describe what he had experienced. For some reason, this was not acceptable to the young princess, and the knight began to become very worried that something had gone horribly wrong in this room. As he gained his breath from the adventure he had just been on for months, he tried to explain that life was a journey and there were many things that had to be experienced to be fully understood. But the princess did not listen; she continued to look at her list.

    Finally the Christian princess looked up and said to the young knight, "You can not take me from this tower. You don't meet the requirements on my list." The young knight stood up and stumbled backwards, completely dumbfounded. He had experienced many surprises in his life, many unexpected battles and twists in the path he had walked, but this was not something he had ever experienced before. As he stammered, trying to ask questions, to try to explain, the princess picked up her bow and drew an arrow. Aiming at the young knight, she said, "Leave me alone and never come back to this tower! I am waiting for my knight to come rescue me. Don't even try anything with me; do you think I don't know how to shoot an arrow? Take a look outside at the many I have wounded, and some even killed!"

    As the sun began to set on the story of the young knight, the world kept moving. Perhaps it didn't notice the passing of such a young and vibrant light, or maybe the world had seen it all before. Perhaps the world had stopped caring, because it too had realised that to care is to hurt and with a world so full of people and lives being extinguished before their time, the world would only be a sad place all the time. So maybe the world knew something that we don't. At any rate, we will never know because we can't ask the world what wisdom it had, more is the pity. And so the world went on and time passed. The story of knights kept being told; some of them lived and others died, because not all knights can be winners and get the girl. If they were all winners there would be no adventure, because every adventure must have risk. Why, if it weren't for the risk, there would be no thrill and no story to tell! - And so is the way of life. And along with many a brave and valiant man, our young night was mourned and missed, and then forgotten. But he wasn't dead, at least not yet