The Tale of the Deadly Grovel

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Sir Ian MacBaird used to be fond of saying that every Texas lie begins with "No Shit there I was…", and every Ansteorran lie begins with "One day, when Inman was pissed…"

So, this story begins with one and ends with the other.

NSTIW, with Sir Ian MacBaird at an Inter-Kingdom Peace between Ansteorra and Calontir. Inman and Drusilla were on the Ansteorran throne at the time.

Now to provide the proper historical context you should know that Sir Ian, had been Inman's squire, during which period, I was Ian's page. When Ian became Sir Ian, I recieved a promotion from page to squire. At the time this story takes place, I was still his squire, at the tender age of 15. This was long before there was anything like youth combat, and since I was Ian's only non-fighting squire, I probably had a bit of a chip on my shoulder about proving my worth.

Also in the realm of historical context, Inman had, since his last reign, gone through a divorce, and his current paramour had no interest in sitting on the throne at that time. So he chose a consort based solely on the criteria of how good a queen she would be. Say what you will about His Grace, I think no one in this case, can say that he chose unwisely. If you Google her excellency, you should be able to quickly turn up the amusing tale of her first meeting of Duke Inman.

So Sir Ian and his house Clan MacBaird happily joined Drusilla's Entourage.

By any means, back to Interkingdom Peace. So, Ian, Drusilla, and myself had this routine which had been practiced, performed, and polished by this point. Upon first encountering the then Queen at an event, Ian would bow deeply and bark to me the command "Drogo, grovel."

Sir Ian would growl this command, and dutiful squire that I was, I would literally jump to it's execution. Not pausing to ask "how high" or "how far", I would leap from where I was standing, land prostrate, and squirm my way to Her Majesty's feet on my belly, whilst muttering in hushed and reverent tones, "Grovel, grovel, grovel, grovel...."

Again, by this point this was something which had happened at least a dozen times. It was a well oiled machine, it was a schtick. Her Majesty, being who she was, was always a bit dismayed (or at least made a satisfactory show of it) by this flagrant display of fealty, which made it all the more P H U N.

Anywho, at this particular event, we had just set up camp, when Sir Ian spied Dru walking towards us. I was hydrating after hauling gear from Ian and Marsali's white Dodge van, when the command "Drogo, grovel!" was bellowed from Ian's mighty lungs like a battle-cry. With Pavlovian reflexes, I targeted the Queen. She was still a ways away, perhaps 10 or 20 yards, far enough that I gulped down the last of the water in my pewter mug and made a running start.

In my haste, somewhere I miscalculated my distance and/or power of pounce. Where I had intended to land perhaps six feet in front of those royal little-piggies, giving me ample room for belly shuffling and wormy declarations of my lack of worth, I landed almost right on them.

I say almost, for my head was perhaps a two score inches away from the royal presence, whilst my pewter mug landed squarely on her majesties little toe, with a sickening crack.

That's right. I had, in an over-exuberant exercise in debasement to the royal personage, broken the Queen's toe.

NSTIW, with my mug on the Queen's broken toe, quickly turned to "One Day when Inman was Pissed..."

Somehow, through only the largesse and mercy of the crown, I avoided banishment, or worse.

- Drogo MacIan]