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Short Story: A Medieval Conundrum

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(An account by Lord JVA as scribed by squire Matthias)

As lord of one’s own castle, one is often faced with the greatest of conundrums. How does one most effectively protect one’s own castle from the uncouth hordes intent on besieging one’s afore-mentioned castle?

Time and again cursed invaders wouldst lay siege to one’s castle, and whilst thwarted all attempts have been, one’s treasury has now succumbed to a sad disposition. The antiquated defences at one’s disposal can no longer compete with the modern siege equipment and armour of the marauding war bands in this day and age. Whilst vats of boiling oil proved most effective as discouraging foe intent upon scaling ladders over one’s walls, one’s oil reserves were almost depleted. Indeed one’s cooks removed fried foods from one’s menu, much to one’s disgust. Additionally, these vats required superfluous amounts of time to heat, and one soon tires of hearing one’s serfs complain about the weight and burns from said vats.

Rocks and other thrown objects have met with less success, despite assurances from one’s aged military advisors. One’s new, younger, military advisors agreed most satisfyingly promptly to one’s observation that plate armour deflects all but the heaviest stones. Unfortunately one is currently faced with a peasantry uprising, and thus the razing of one’s peasant homesteads for the required stones has thus been prematurely adjourned.

Archers have performed to their usual standard, however their exorbitant upkeep costs, in both gold and wine, prevent the hiring of sufficient numbers to adequately man the full extent of one’s walls. One is also displeased with the rate at which one’s troops are wasting one’s stock of arrows. If one’s archers would consume less wine, and hence shoot more accurately, a more efficient usage of arrows would result. Alas, one’s archers firmly insist on ceasing fire if wine rations are revoked.

What was needed was some new deterrent of sufficient potency to quell all war bands of besieging persuasion. A revelation came to one’s self during disagreement with one’s neighbour. Whilst battling within weather most foul it came to one’s notice that the lightning did indeed seem the most attracted to the heavily armoured knights of one’s most hated foe. And those struck did indeed seem most recalcitrant to continue fighting.

If only one could contain the power of lightning and unleash it at will. Accordingly one did raise such problem with one’s courtly wizard whilst feasting on honeyed quail (baked, not fried), and sadly unaccompanied by wine. After much incanting, waving of wands and scrying of stones - of which one believes was purely for show - one’s wizard replied that one would need a measure of wire encircling one’s castle walls and connected to a magic box where stores within the lightning charge. Fortunately, said one’s wizard, such a magic box exists. He called it the “Z14 Warrior”, and said it would be the ultimate solution to one’s conundrum.

At one’s immediate request, this magic artefact was installed, and one was most impressed with its astounding success. For not only did the “Z14 Warrior” deter the irritating advances of one’s persistent enemy, one was also delighted to find the “Z14 Warrior” also deterred the escape of one’s rebellious peasantry.

The “Z14 Warrior” truly holds the magic of the future.

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