- Episode 37 -
Tonniel Rainborne had been king to the realm for many years, succeeding his father as a young man he had been forced to temper himself through tumultuous times. The young ruler had always relied upon wise and capable figures such as Mal to provide him counsel, trusting as his father had in their sound judgment. Over time Tonniel had come to leverage his own keen mind and proven that he had learned greatly from those around him. It was a day filled with sadness however when he granted Mal his leave and bid him farewell. And yet, here he was being told that one of his most respected champions had returned seeking an urgent audience. Curiously he couldn't help but wonder what could have prompted the old hero's return but prudence warned him that whatever it was - it certainly wasn't good.
"Very well," the king conceded with a slight wave of his right hand, his left still cradling his chin in contemplation. "Bid my old and trusty former knight to bring his concerns before me. It is the least I can do to repay his long and fruitful years of service by hearing him out." Silently the awkward young page rose from his customer kneeling position to bow curtly before making his exit, careful to keep his pace proper before slipping into a sprint just two steps out of the throne room. It always made Tonniel chuckle to watch his page drop his royal etiquette the second he thought he was out of sight. If only the lad knew that if he had waited only a few steps more that no one could notice or let alone that it truly mattered enough to hide.
It was Mal who he recalled had taught him that lesson; that the importance of a task far out weighed the presentation. All the fancy words and well presented fluff meant little compared to weather or not something was done. "What was it that he used to always say," the king quietly asked himself trying to spark his memory. "Oh, yes; 'A stout blade no matter how crude is worth well over twice it's number whose only use is being shiny and new'."
When he was but still a young lad following at his father's heels the notion had always puzzled him. He riddled over how something so plain or simple could ever truly be worth more than anything crafted with refinement or artistry. After one lesson with Mal in the yard he quickly found a firmly grasped understanding as he starred at a shattered, yet elegant, sword hilt in his hand. No matter how beautiful it had been the blade had proven worthless when set against a simpler piece of steel. It was on that very day Tonniel opened his eyes to the true worth of the old knight that had always served his father and set himself to dutifully study at everything that he could teach him.
Those lessons had always served him well over the years, but he had still missed his absent mentor. Now he had returned, but what trouble could have brought him back? The thought darkened his mood slightly as he waited for Mal's arrival to be announced. Times of late had been peaceful for a change but all things change he supposed. A strong simple steel sword without any adornment rested beside the throne however. Even in times of peace it paid to be prepared, his old mentor had truly taught him well.