The Gauntlet 2021 7: To Chronicle A War Zone

Challenge 7: This Hamlet is Too Small For Your Lordship and Myself Both (888 words and a half, exactly): Not much of a difference between cowboys and medieval knights, what with them wearing spurs, riding their horses up and down the countryside and occasionally challenging each other to a duel… There’s no reason why we can’t substitute one for the other in this story about a sheriff, an outlaw and the power of either Friendship, Virginity, the Counterpoise Trebuchet, or any combination of the aforementioned. Include no fewer than three elaborate insults, genre ‘your lordship could not poor water from a sabaton if his lordship’s armorer hath provided instructions on the sole’ and one time-traveling ancient Roman onlooker, who shall comment (will have had commented?) on events in reverse chronology. Our Roman friend can’t say the letters ‘u’ and ‘w’ very well so substitute these with a ‘v’ and a ‘vv’ respectively. Your characters can’t say the same word twice! Also, for some weird reason all of your letter u’s which are not part of any dialogue have umlauts on them

To combat the restriction on saying the words twice, Durwyn and Launce speak dialects – Scouse and Brummie, respectively – and Eudomius’s use of pronouns is limited at best. Durwyn and Launce’s lines were translated by using the translators here: http://www.whoohoo.co.uk/main.asp.

If you can’t understand them, fret not! I included the original dialogue under the story to help figure out what they’re saying.


It was the last day of the war, according to the knights. I watched, wondering where to go next once I woüld see this throügh. Somewhere deeper into the fütüre again woüld be great; while Mars was no longer a deity to these people, his inflüence on the world was still clearer than a cloüdless night sky. The days of war and all the times these massive trebüchets had been fired proved that.

I had given my word to Dürwyn to keep him from being imprisoned, büt I knew that his kind were not needed where I woüld be going. Only few woüld even remember me, fewer woüld make any mention of me and only Dürwyn woüld try to keep me remembered — and no one woüld listen to an oütlaw like him. Besides, he oüght to face the jüdgement for whatever he had done. Laünce had still not told me anything, only that a major law had been broken and it was his düty to bring Dürwyn to jüstice, that he had made it his personal mission as his friend.

This trip has most certainly been an interesting one, far more interesting than the previoüs one where I was met with hostility that called for disgüises and agents from the local area.

Alas, my existence woüld not last forever. At nightfall, given that I had this Chronicle finished and an apology letter for Dürwyn prepared by then, I woüld depart and leave this era behind.

~

It took a few more days for üs to reach the site of the battle even thoügh we coüld feel the earth tremble two days earlier. I had heard of the powerfül weapons they üsed — coünterpoise trebüchets — düring my travels deeper into the fütüre after my Caesar’s death, büt now I coüld finally witness their power myself.

“Oh, gerron dat,” Dürwyn said, eyeing Laünce. “Bigger cockweights than doz o’ someone else ay kun.”
Laünce scoffed. “An’ ‘ad yaw fairther miskin a massiv’ oss, yourn ood still be tiny.”
I sighed as Dürwyn spüttered, desperate to come üp with a coünter. “Please stop. Have vvork to do. History never vvaits.”

I marveled the trebüchets’ power from afar, making and preparing notes so that I coüld record as müch as possible. As we had agreed on the way here, Laünce was already working on sketching images of these marveloüs weapons of war while Dürwyn kept both his moüth shüt and weapons oüt of sight.

As soon as the battle reached a lüll, I approached the knights, hoping that they woüld be more generoüs in their words and less generoüs in hostility and attempts to shove their weapons into my body than the tribe on the other side of the sea had been.

~

While I was not too fond of Dürwyn — a moüthy, irritating thorn in the side as he was — he and his gün were üsefül in taking down any and every robber that thoüght a historian like me carried something that woüld be valüable for the common folk. While he did say he was on the rün, I did not expect to meet anyone chasing him since he did not seem worried now that I was with him.

That is, üntil a voice called oüt throügh the forest, “Hold it roight the’er, outlaws!”
“Shit,” Dürwyn sighed.
I türned to look at the man who had called oüt from the forest. “Sorry, sir, bvt…”
“No buts,” the man interrüpted, now walking towards üs, a gün of his own pointing at Dürwyn. “Doy knoo yaouw, cape geezer, yet this one’s most certainly an outlaw.”
“Launce, don-” Dürwyn said.
“Nope.” The man Dürwyn had addressed as Laünce waved the gün. “I’m dem sheriff. My word’s the law.”
Dürwyn türned to look at me, terrified. Apparently, this was why we had a deal. I cleared my throat. “Listen. Mvstn’t. Prefer keeping vvord vntil mission ends.”
The sheriff türned to frown at me. “Then you’ll let him goo?”
Dürwyn looked even more terrified when I nodded.
The sheriff püt his gün away. “Fine. I’ll cum along with y’all, though.”
“Acceptable,” I noted, hiding how glad I was to defüse a sitüation with two men who, frankly, seemed ünable to see the differences between a horse and a donkey.

I shoüld have skipped time at some other spot than where I did two days ago…

~

The forest was different 150 years into the past from the era where I had located the war zone I was to chronicle next. ünfortünately, my timing and placing had led to me at odds with a man armed with a gün and big declarations aboüt how he was an oütlaw on the rün.

“Isn’t need for violence. Only heading tovvards nearby vvar zone,” I explained, hoping to defüse the sitüation.
“Yous blimp like you’d na find a needle inna ‘ayless ‘aytack!” the oütlaw spat.
Oüch. I spreading my arms, sighing. “Look, got nothing of valve.”
“You would juss tell ter knights er firkin,” the oütlaw growled.
“Hovv abovt striking deal?” I prepared to gestüre at myself as üsüal. “Protect and vvon’t get reported.”
“Seriously?”
“Yes.”
“Y’know wa’? Sound. Keep in mind: me don’t terlerate back stabb’n.” The oütlaw waved his gün once more before pütting it away. “Name’s Durwyn, by de way.”
I smiled in immense relief. “Evdomivs.”

What did I jüst get myself into?


Durwyn: “Oh, look at that. Bigger balls than those of someone else I know.”

Launce: “And had your father been a massive horse, yours would still be tiny.”

Eudomius: “Please stop that. We have work to do and history waits for no one.”

~

Launce: “Hold it right there, outlaws!”

Durwyn: “Ah shit.”

Eudomius: “I’m sorry, sir, but…”

Launce: “No buts. Dunno you, cape man, but this one’s most certainly an outlaw.”

Durwyn: “Launce, don-“

Launce: “Nope. I’m the sheriff and my word’s the law.”

Eudomius: “Excuse me. We have a deal. His help for avoiding capture. I’d like to honor it until my work here ends.”

Launce: “Then you’ll let him go?”

Eudomius nods.

Launce: “Fine. I’ll come along with y’all, though.”

Eudomius: “That’s acceptable.”

~

Eudomius: “There’s no need for violence, good man. I’m only looking for the war zone nearby.”

Durwyn: “You look like you’d never find a needle in a hayless haytack!”

Eudomius: “Look, I’ve got nothing of value.”

Durwyn: “You’d just report me to a knight or something.”

Eudomius: “Then how about we strike a deal? You keep me safe and I won’t turn you in.”

Durwyn: “Seriously?”

Eudomius: “Yes.”

Durwyn: “Y’know what? Fine. Keep in mind that me won’t tolerate back stabbing. The name’s Durwyn, by the way.”

Eudomius: “Mine’s Eudomius.”

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