"Silence! Will you not silence for but a minute, you insolent brigand?" the Krawk shouted, moving his hand to his sword as he strode off in an effort to get away.
"Am I, then, a brigand because of my poor clothing? Or is it because, as you chose to bring up earlier, because of my face and your dislike thereof?" came the mutant Korbat's quick reply while he walked alongside his verbal assailant. He was, indeed, in rather tattered apparel, starkly contrasting the lace and gold threading that hung about the Krawk. "Ah, I see your hand moves to a blade. Perhaps you would care for it to meet its twin?"
"Your face, decidedly. Raiment, even that which you are wearing now, pales in comparison. As to my blade's twin, you haven't even got a sheath, much less a piece of scrap iron to stick in it. Unless, of course, you intend to fight sword with cane?" the Krawk enquired, pulling out his rapier and tapping it to the bronze spyder figurehead of the Korbat's walking stick. "They said Harspedar was a proficient swordsman, but I did not expect him to manage such a reputation with a walking implement."
Harspedar merely smiled, answering with a slight nod. "My reputation, it seems, precedes my person. You yourself have touched on the heart of the matter. Reality is often masked by appearances, a fact that has often been a consolation when imbeciles such as yourself deign to insult me on mine." With that, he twisted the bronze spyder, and pulled. From the walking stick came a thin double-edged sword. "Will you fight?"
Taken aback at the sudden production of a weapon, the target of the query stepped forward. He nodded, smiling. "Than perhaps a few more scars may grace that face of yours, and give it reason for its... ugliness." He suddenly thrust his rapier forward, only to find it parried by Harspedar's own.
"Ah, the beginning showed promise. But finishing on such a frail word as 'ugliness' does insult to the entirety of the insult, and little to the entity insulted." Another parry, and a dodged lunge, both assaults being attempted on the speaker. "Grotesqueness would have been more apt, or perhaps deformity. Not that, mind you, I am advising the use of such terms, as they would likely offend me nearly as much as the one you did employ. But if offence is what is intended, however foolhardy, then it should be carried out properly." Harspedar stepped forward, flicking his sword about to knock aside stabs. "All of that, of course, to say nothing of your swordsmanship. Or, to be more accurate, the distinct lack thereof."
"Idiot, imbecile, hideous self important ignoramus!" the Krawk shouted back, now swinging his sword around in a fit.
Harspedar ducked under a poorly aimed attack, and put in a swipe of his own across his opponent's embroidered coat. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance. I'm Harspedar, poet, swordsman, and now, it seems, tailor." Recoiling in surprise at the sudden attack, the nobleman quickly lost a scrap of lace, his hat's feather, and the hat itself in quick succession, finally finding the point at his throat. "But I rather suspect you were about to leave. Shame, that, isn't it? Things were going so well."
My apologies, allow me to introduce myself. As you may have already heard, I am Harspedar. The Krawk was some nobleman, whose name I can't be troubled to recall, who thought it entertaining to jest about my countenance, and added yet another enemy to a growing list. I seem to collect a fair number of them, and I'm proud to say that not one of them is, as of yet, unmerited.
They all now bear some scar, as do I, but for them it is often upon their pride rather than their face. If they can't beat me, they coerce some other lordling to do so, who in turn acquires his own scar. It often saves me the trouble of going out and hunting for the over-stuffed aristocrats myself. Though, of course, now and again one will catch my eye, and I myself will take the initiative. One cannot always wait for good fortune.
Comic by Gruba_Smoczyca, dialogue by Neesboy.
Necros is my companion, an even more unusual sight than myself. He is little more than a bundle of animate bones with more energy than most things with muscles to spend it in. He gets into half as many fights as I myself do, often when some hapless warf attempts to bury part of him. He invariably comes out on top, as there's little his opponent can do that would have the slightest bearing at all. I merely hope that he never gets into a scrap with another sklyde. How one of them would win, I can't imagine.
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