Silence lies in an old ancient abbey. Nothing but the scribbling sound of a feather-pen against old paper can be heard.
It's a great room, the walls covered with shelves of hundreds of old books and scrolls, more than the young scholar had seen in his entire life… more than he thought existed. The young boys eye fell on the old man writing, he made no sound apart from the moving pen. It was almost spooky, and the young boy dared not even breathe, for fear of interrupting the old fellow. He came here sometimes, in search of stories. Most nights, the old man said nothing. But at times, old stories came from him. Tonight was such a night. The old man spoke.
"Do you know of Valour boy?" He didn't wait for an answer. "I don't think anyone does anymore…"
The monk looked at the boy, his old eyes piercing through the darkness.
"They say that a true leader is not he who acts first, but the first person to follow him. It takes courage to follow, when no one else does. To act alone is pride, but to have the courage to first follow what is right, when no one else does. That is valour."
The old man waited for the younger boy to react, but after some time went by, he gave a huge sigh. He knew he would never get the reaction he so missed. The reaction he himself would have given as boy. Such children did not exist anymore. Still… a story could not hurt. He spoke again.
"What most people do not realise, is that the legend of King Arthur was forged by his followers, not himself. I'll tell you boy… to understand who Arthur really was, I need to tell you of his followers."
The old man fell silent, and for a moment the young boy thought the old man could fall over dead. He was more afraid of not hearing the rest of the story, than the man's soul. But then suddenly, the old man moved again. As if he changed his mind, his story took new vigour.
"To really UNDERSTAND we must begin all the way back in ancient time. Before the SWORD OF VICTORY…"
The old man's hand suddenly drew a fictitious sword from a stone, and the young boy almost fell out of his chair. But the old man didn't stop for a second.
"…was first drawn, and before its magic had enchanted Britain. This was a time where the evil King Vortigern still ruled the land, and every decision he took brought doom upon the Islands. This was long before Pax Arthuria. It was a time of old. Where the law of the land was that the strong ruled the weak, and a knight was nothing more than a man with armour and a horse. I'll tell you the story of four brave warriors of Belgae and Durotriges. This story takes place in 460."
The man settled down again, and sat down on his chair. His eyes looked dreamy, almost as if had been in those ages himself.
"It was a few years after the Battle of Kent, where king Vortigern had sent his troupes to aid the Saxon King Hengest to retake Kent from the rebels of the Cantaii Tribe. The tribe was defeated, and many of them ran for the harbours to travel to Brittany, where they had been promise refuge by King Bans father. "
The monk went over to a shelf of books, and picked out an ancient looking tome. He put it on a table, opened it and then pointed at a paragraph.
"Our story begins in spring, when four famous warriors gather for Easter in Sarum Rock, in those day called Sorviodunum. This was the year, when they all learned the lesson of Hospitality. And the price or rewards it could hold upon them. "