Corylynn was born to high society. Her father was a knight in the kings court, her mother a high lady born of noble birth. Her father had always wanted a son, but the gods would see it naught. Cory was the only child they had produced, and the long line of Constance was now seemed fated to continue under another name. Still this did not dishearten Sir Gordon. A boy he wanted and Lord Gordon Constance found his daughter a willing substitute. He watched with glee as she picked up his two handed blade, wielding it around like a babe. Against his wife’s wishes, he found her suitable teachers. She enjoyed the play, but that’s all she ever felt it was.
Hard play with metal swords lead to a hard and lean body. Over time she grew and her father could not help be notice the defined angles of his daughters form. Her proficiency with the blade became something she was known for among the other younger children. While most of her time was spent learning the “womanly” ways of life, she looked forward most often to the times where she could get dirty, and cross blunted steel with the men her father put in charge of her training. Her mother noticed her growth as well, she prayed for another child to take her husbands attentions away from his daughter. The gods granted, a son 3 years later. Cory never knew why her “dancing” lessons stopped.
Cory grew to be a lady after all. Somewhere between her girl years and becoming a woman grown her mother had gotten her way. She traded leather arm guards for silken gowns, and muddy boots for velvet slippers. Her beauty was all her own, Cory seemed to have combined the striking lion’s eyes of her father with the soft curves and delicate features of her mother. The product was known as the Flower of the House. Lady Corylynn Constance was widely whispered to be considered quite a prize for the right suitor.
War came to the land as it often did over the most common things. Money, power, lands, and women. It just so happened her father’s king was under siege from the east, while another threat posed from the west. Lord Gordon and his host were tasked with keeping the western border while the King and his host held the east. It was at her mothers request, that the children and herself be sent to the center of the kingdom to wait out the war behind capital ramparts.
While on the kings road Lord Gordon had sent 50 of this best men, including two lessor knights under his command. Sir Eric of house Maron, and Sir Clapton of house Lovan, were to accompany the family to the kings gate and return with all haste. Cory’s new brother cradled in her mothers arms while Cory herself watched out the carriage window. Sir Eric was a handsome knight and Cory had always had a crush on him since he came under her fathers command.
“Aren’t you scared if you have to fight?” Cory asked him. She found him beautiful in his shining steel armor. His command of his horse steady so that he didn’t sway from the window, instead staying right there with them, and close enough that Cory need not talk loud to disturb her brother.
“It can be scary,” Sir Eric Said. “but its more about what you do despite the fear than the fear itself.” He resolved. “Only a fool will tell you he’s not afraid. What marks you as brave is what you do when you’re afraid.”
Cory took a moment to admire the answer. It seemed he was mature and wise as well as handsome. “Have you ever been hurt before?”
Eric nodded. “Of course, haven’t you ever felt the pain of a blow? My father tells me you used to jest with swords and such as a girl.” He looked at her, and she couldn’t quite tell if he was judging her or not for once having a boys passion.
Cory blushed. “I um, used to when I was a girl but, I’m sure I’ve long lost those lessons now mi’lord.” She looked down.
Eric mmm’ed with his lips. “That’s unfortunate. I would have liked to cross swords with you at some time.” He said.
Cory couldn’t tell if he was serious or not. “We.. Well mi’lord perhaps if you truly wish it I can show you a few things.” Her mother gave her a look that Sir Eric could not see. Cory already knew what was on her mind. “A daughter of House Constance would do well not to be so forward with the men.” Cory could almost hear the words coming out of her mothers mouth even though she said nothing.
Eric laughed and his hand went to his side. His sword was plane but well made and sturdy by the look of it as he unsheathed the weapon. “This is Magnus.” He told her.
She smiled. She’d often times heard that Knights will give their swords a name. Sir Eric’s blade was a proper long sword. Two handed and with a gleaming edge from the sun where she could tell he tended a razor’s bite. “Its magnificent.” She assured him. She bit her bottom lip while she looked at it, and now it was his turn to blush as she looked at his equipment.
Eric held out the handle to her. “You can hold it mi’lady, if you’d like. Just take care not to drop it, it is heavy.”
Cory reached out her hand and curled fingers around the handle. Indeed it was heavy, but she found that her muscles had retained their former fighting strength and the feel of steel in her hand made her remember the times in the courtyard. Learning to move and strike as quick as a viper, as deft as a hawk. She snapped out of the memories with a sick wet, thud. Blinking, she looked at Sir Eric’s face. He wore a stunned expression, glancing down at the cross bolt that stuck out from his chest. His steel armor unable to turn the blow, there was now a large dent and dripping red blood from the puncture. She reached out for him as he did the same, but their hands never touched, as he fell from his horse.
Her scream was the alarm. Men not paying attention found they were under attack. The caravan had been lax in its confidence that no one would bother to attack 50 armed men. Cory watched as forest came alive with hundreds of men moving through the trees, headed straight at them. Her mother grabbed her by the back of her dress and pulled her into the carriage just as another bolt slammed into the wood. The tip stuck through just where her head had been. Cory looked out the other window to see Sir Clapton rallying the troops, the men started to form a barrier between the forest and the carriage. “Protect the carriage!” His voice was a strong commanding baritone in the chaos. Shields were raised, footmen boarded the sides, and covered the windows with their own shields. Cory could see nothing outside, and her only sensation, was the supple leather handle in her hand, Sir Eric’s sword.
More and more bolts flew, the sound of metal clashing with metal could be heard outside. This was the melody of battle. The cries of men echoed into the carriage and those inside had no idea who was winning. Shouts of war continued for what seemed like eternity. Cory’s brother started to cry. Suddenly, a great blow hit the side of the carriage, the shield covering Cory’s window flew off, and the head of a man poked in. He wore a black and red tunic and leather cap over grey hair. He spread a toothless smile when he saw Cory and her mother, and reached in. “Their you are my sweet!” he said as leather clad fingers reached for Cory. Another thud, and the man went limp, a metal clad hand reached over the mans shoulder and pulled him off the carriage. The metal was stained with blood, and as she saw him again, Sir Eric had never looked so beautiful. “GO!” he yelled. Cory tried to hand him back his sword but the jolt of the horses leaping to speed sent her flying back into the carriage. She looked out the window as he fell back, he had taken another sword, not as magnificent as the one in her hand, but usable. Sir Eric watched her as she watched him. His brown eyes locked with her stunning blues. He fell back, as more, and more men kept surrounding him.
“What marks you as brave is what you do when you’re afraid.”
Cory gripped the handle of the sword.