An excerpt from, “Remembrances of the Last Days of Avalon” by Adrian Pascal.
I was sitting in the Chancellor’s Office at the University of Avalon after a long day of teaching. At the time I was working on a Master’s in Abjuration and was also teaching First Year’s the basics of protective magics. The Chancellor and his two senior assistants had been called over for an emergency meeting with Cardinal Loftin at the Cathedral. So my meeting with the Chancellor’s assistant was going to be delayed, likely for sometime. So I was just sitting there relaxing.
The next thing I knew, there is an Azure Guardsmen striding into the Chancellor’s Office wing like he owned the place and said to the receptionist, “I need someone to be an official observer.” It wasn’t a request. I was pretty sure he didn’t have the authority to order us around unless he used his “In the name of the King” authority. All the Azure Guardsmen had that, but I was so intrigued with why an Azure Guardsman needed an official witness that I volunteered, “I guess I qualify,” was all I said. And with that, he turn and started walking with purpose toward the library wing. “Um, Sir? If I may ask, what am I to witness?” I asked with more curiosity than was really good for me. I was stunned into silence when he responded in conversational tones, “Oh, I am headed to the library, I need to put the fear of screwing with the Azure Guard into someone.” And with that we arrived at the library wing.
I was just starting to wondering which one of these poor idiot students had gotten the ire of one of the King’s Own up, but to my surprise we didn’t head into the main lobby. Instead, we turned and headed into the office wing for the senior library staff. The Azure Guardsman was headed for none other than the head librarians office, Magus Guillaume Douaumont. The Guardsman stop to speak to the receptionist just outside of the Magus’ office and all he said was, “Is he in?” The receptionist just stared at the Guardsman, finally she tried to speak and nothing came out. With a wide eyed expression she finally just nodded and with that, Kalnius Shieldarm, Senior Guardsman to King Aslyn I pushed the Magus’ office door open, walked over to the very large oak desk the Magus was sitting behind, and pushed the desk up against the Magus pinning him to the back wall with his own oak desk. I was just staring, mouth hanging open like I was some First Year.
Then, in a completely conversational tone Kalnius said, “Dewey, I’ve about had it with your interfering with Taiglin’s ability to do his job. I am not here in an official capacity, but if I have to come back, I will. And if I do, I will be bring Crimson Guardsmen with me, at which point we can discuss your misadventures in a more… comfortable setting.” And he just nodded in the general direction of the Bastille. The Magus got the point. The Magus got the point so well he was shaking. He was shaking like a leaf. He didn’t say a single word. He was a Magus of the University of Avalon and he just sat there, shaking and staring. Kalnius told me later he hadn’t intended to scare him that much. I was a little nervous myself, and I wasn’t even the target. Well, anyway, Kalnius continued speaking in that same conversational tone, “You are responsible for the book worms in Taiglin’s spell books.” Dewey didn’t say a word, he was guilty, and everyone in the room, in the whole office wing for that matter, knew it. Dewey was making some kind of choking sound but didn’t speak. I couldn’t help it. I know it cost me later when I had to take Dewey’s class on Advanced Defensive Abjurations but I just couldn’t help it. It was all I could do to keep from laughing out loud. I know I was smiling, I was really trying not to, but I know I was failing miserably. I will always remember how in awe I was of what Kalnuis had just done. He overawed one of the University’s Magus’ and a fairly powerful Arch-Mage, in his own office for crying out loud.
At that point Kalnius blandly stated, “You can challenge Taiglin to a sword duel if you like, but do not ever interfere with his ability to perform his job again.” Kalnuis then carefully pulled the desk back into place and without another word, just as causally as you please, strolled out. And with that, I just nodded to the Magus and followed out in Kalnius’ wake. After we left the office wing, as politely as possible I informed Kalnius, “You know that Magus Douaumont is one of the senior Magus’ here, and he is one of the more powerful Arch-Magi in at the University,” and HE SHRUGGED!! I couldn’t believe it. I would have followed this man anywhere! It was the most impressive act of intimidation I have ever seen! The next thing I knew I was telling him if he ever needed a field mage to let me know. I escorted him to the main entrance to the University where he politely thanked me and left. It wasn’t until later that I realized why Dewey was so scared. Kalnius could have arrested him on the spot for attacking the king by doing what he did to one of the King’s Own. The Bastille was really more than just an idle threat.
That was the first time I met Kalnius Shieldarm. In the years to come, Kalnius and I would become good friends. Much later, Kalnius confessed to me that he had met with Dewey again and had a more polite sit down. The conversation was a long, very constructive discussion about the kingdom, and the azure knights in general. I would have loved to have seen that.