Friday, August 22, 2008

Lord Bolt

Taken from “Grand Commentaries on the Imperial Kingdom, Edition II: Royal Houses of the Kingdom” published originally in the Second Majestic Era.

House of Bolt
… the Estates and Manors of the fertile southern kingdom, one of the few areas of His Majesty’s Domain that survived the catastrophe of the First Majestic Era, have been home to the Esteemed Bolt Family since the earliest records maintained by His Majesty’s Imperial Historians. Lord Ato Bolt contributed to the earliest raids on the untamed hordes in the southern regions…he later was assigned by His Majesty to lead the first regimented cavalry against the organized barbarians of the south. Upon his victory, the Bolt estate was expanded to cover the streams and valleys of what was then the Wild South.

… Lord Ato Bolt had two sons, the oldest of which ascended to Lord Asante Bolt upon the death of his father. The youngest son, Byron Bolt, became the first member of the House of Bolt to embrace the call of righteousness and become a Paladin of His Holy Cavalry.
To this day, the Bolt family maintains its considerable estate in the southern hills oof His Majesty’s Domain. Lord Usain Bolt I is an Exemplary Cavalryman of Honor within His Majesty’s Honor Guard. His eldest son Asafa is a warrior for His Majesty’s Guardian, and his son Usain Bolt II is a Paladin with the Holy Cavalry.

… the Bolt family has long been known for their articulate nature and their extreme athleticism. Indeed, many bolts are renowned for being extremely swift of foot. The Kingdom Record for sprinting 100 rods has been in the Bolt family for 13 cycles, most recently set at 9.69 by Usain Bolt II.

Taken from “Palace News and Kingdom Report,” a circulation among the cities distant enough from the kingdom to escape the oversight from His Majesty’s Ministry of Truth, the most recent edition.

Palace News
Our palace bureau is sad to report the death of Asafa Bolt, presumptive heir to the estate of Lord Usain Bolt I. Asafa Bolt had been away from the palace for several months when word reached our desks that he had been killed. Our sources say Asafa was part of a contingent of specially assigned warriors who were on His Majesty’s Secret Affairs in the western kingdom. No further news of other casualties nor of the circumstances surrounding his death are available. With the deaths of Lord Bolt I and Asafa Bolt within eight months, the Bolt estate is divided by tragedy and insecurity.

Taken from “Know your Knowbles,” a published, detailed, unofficial history of the houses of His Majesty… “Knowbles” is an officially censored work. Possession constitutes imprisonment under His Majesty’s Dictums, Version XXI.

House of Bolt
Anyone who’s read the official description of the Bolt estate and finds themselves alone in the southern kingdom is in for a shock, we dare say! That’s right, the Bolt family is black as night! Dark skinned! No mention of it in the official commentaries of course… given that most other humans that look like the Bolts are slaving for his Holiness in the Commons, it’s no surprise!

… the Bolts have been known for their decency and their brevity (but not their levity) over the years… nary a Bolt has uttered more syllables than it takes to say his name! As for the former, their record of charity to all in need is well documented, even in the official records, even as the policies of His Dimwittedness become more and more restrictive to the natural rights of all His subjects. Of course, the Bolts still maintain a good old Pally in the Royal Family of Horsemen, and this year it’s Lord Usain II, second-oldest son of the Lord Usain. Of course, his Lordship includes none of the property rights to the Bolt estate, although he is second-in-line should something happen to Lord-To-Be Asafa Bolt, who does serve in his Majestic’s army. Another family in the kingdom and Asafa would be watching his back like a four-eyed owl! But with the Bolts you’d never think it, although they did evict Traymon Bolt (second-youngest!) after a business squabble not seven cycles ago.

.. the Bolts do exhibit a bit of emotion during His Majesty’s Contests of Skill. Usain II has gestured rudely at his competition for years, increasing in frequency proportionate to increases in the margin by which he obliterates subjects of his majesty in the Royal Contests. Common forms of his expression have included the “chest-pound” and the “throat-slash,” which must be seen to be believed.

Most recent Competition Results, selected, His Majesty’s Contests of Skill:
100-Rod Dash
Anthony, Brom – 11.56
Benedict, Peter – 11.95
Cartwright, Edmund – 12.50

200-Rod Dash
BOLT, USAIN II – 19.41
Bryce, Donald – 22.10
Gaunt, Cornwallis – 22.23
Benedict, Peter – 22.87

Personal Statement of Lord Usain Bolt II

I am a Paladin, a Holy Knight for His Majesty, like my uncle and many generations of Bolts before me.

Many cycles ago, before I was conceived, my father committed an unspeakable act of shame. I have never heard anything from anyone about his crime, and he has never spoken of it to anyone. For this reason, my father believed himself forbidden to have a son that bore his name. My oldest brother was named “Asafa,” prince of runners, and was to be Lord of the Bolt Estate upon my father’s death.

Seven years after Asafa’s birth, my father awoke one night under the compulsion of what he believed was a dream. To his own recollection, he walked, unobserved by any member of his servant staff or his family, from our estate in the south to the edge of the Northern Forest, whereupon he encountered a grove of apple trees in the shape of a star. Sitting at the base of these trees was a wizened old Moose, who pondered my father in silence. After several minutes, the Moose transformed into an old woman, who muttered something in Druidic language. My father, who could not read, write, or understand Druidic, nevertheless without comprehension wrote the message on his cloak, and immediately returned to our home. The following morning, my mother found him sleeping at a table in our kitchen, wearing a cloak stained with dirt and blood in the shape of an ancient language. The Druidic script was brought to the temple, and translated: “you have no sons but the one you shall now bear, and you shall call him as yourself.”

My father returned home from the temple to find my mother, crying with joy, revealing that she had discovered within herself a new life, and the Bolt Estate would welcome a second son. I was named Usain Bolt II.

I was told of none of the circumstances that led to my birth, learning these secrets from injudicious members of the temple’s maintenance staff. As is customary for the second Bolt, I became a Paladin and served righteousness and the God of Justice. Long after I had lost my faith in a God of Justice, I continued to serve the ideals upon which my Knighthood was formed. I served glory and his majesty for several years.

On my last visit to the Kingdom of my birth, I expected to discover my father and brother charting the fortunes of the Bolt Estate, as well as hear the latest of my oldest brothers exploits as a Servant of the Highest Court of Knighthood for His Majesty. Instead my father and brother were dead… my father dying peacefully, under mysterious circumstances, in his sleep one evening, and three months later my brother reported missing, presumed killed on detachment with his Majesty’s Knights.

I am now Lord Usain Bolt II, in service and by birthright. I fear the hands of destiny that have wrought uncertainly, strife, death, despair, and mystery upon my family. I fear for my mother, who now lives alone in the Bolt Estate with none but my youngest brother as her counsel. I fear for my youngest brother, who knows (for I am sure his curiosity has long since driven him to the temple, the way it did me some years ago, for the truth of his father’s dream) that I am decreed “the only son,” and has seen my brothers perish or disappear. I do not, however, fear for myself. I shall instead manifest that fear upon the druid who cursed my family to bear this torment, or the yet-unseen power that drove the druidic prophecy which has placed me at its nefarious center.

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