by Hector of the Black Height
Not so many years ago, when the Royalty of all the Known World assembled in the Debatable Lands at the behest of the Kings of the East and the Middle, at the great Court that marked the final truce between the battles of those days, it pleased the King of Ansteorra to make a new Knight. He called forward a great fighter named Kif and, at the request of the Chivalry there assembled, made him Knight.
Each Knight bears three tokens of his Order. One is the gold chain around his neck, gold for splendour and chain as a reminder of the weight of the bonds of fealty. The second token is the belt of white girt about his waist, a sign of purity, courtesy and all the other attributes that become chivalry. The third token is a pair of gold spurs, sign of the equestrian warrior's noble estate.
The King of Ansteorra gave Kif his chain and Kif's Lady gave the belt. The King of Ansteorra looked at the assembled Chivalry and asked "Does one here have spurs for this Knight?" A voice from beside the King said "I do", and Stephen, King of the West and Knight in his own right, stepped forward. From his belt he pulled a pair of spurs which he held up, and he said:
"These are my father's, the spurs of Duke Paul of Bellatrix. Long has he known of this Knight and admired him. He bade me take to him these spurs and give him one, which I do. I shall return the other to my father, who from this day forth shall wear but one spur. When any man asks my father why he wears but one spur, he shall tell of this day, and of this man."
The King of Ansteorra took that spur, and girt it upon Kif's heel. The rafters shook with cheering, and then Sir Kif took up his crutches and stood on his one leg, the one leg that had supported him since he had first picked up a sword, and never has a single spur shone brighter than on the heel of that most noble warrior.
First published in A Book of A Warrior, a single-copy work written and compiled for Sir Haakon Oaktall on the night of his vigil for Knighthood and the night before he won Aethelmearc's Coronet Tourney, which was a spectacularly busy day. Of course the story is true, but in any mythology all the best stories are. And, like Haakon, Kif is an amazing man.
Copyright A. McLean 1995, 1998. All rights reserved
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