Pellinore’s got issues. Probably the most hated man in Britannia, Pellinore is the ruthless mercenary leader of the Brood of the Black Bloods. He’s only twenty-two, but everyone knows he’s a legend in the making. And as with most legends, Pellinore’s story isn’t a pleasant one. The bastard son of a barbaric knight. A child who was ripped from his mother’s arms. The stigma of forever battling the very idea of becoming just like his sadistic father…indeed there is a lot of pain masked behind his demented laughter.
Chapter 9 – About Pellinore…
By Rock Kitaro
It was a turbulent world of warring clans and backstabbing kings. Death was always just looming over the horizon like a volcano waiting to erupt mayhem down on the beleaguered villagers. The meek and innocent lamented being born in the Dark Ages. There was no end to the threat of raids and pillaging. There wasn’t a moment’s peace, no hope, no security. Only the strong survived. Only the ruthless felt right at home in the midst of the chaos and destruction.
In that regards, one man possessed probably more strength and ruthlessness than any one of his peers or contemporaries. Before he reached the fiery age of twenty-two, his name would be loathed by nearly every clan in Britannia. His name was Pellinore, the dark gristly haired wolf who sank his teeth in and never let go. The man who can’t cry.
Pellinore was born in a small mining village outside the castle of Listenoise. His mother was the homely daughter of a coal worker. But his father was one of the most barbaric knights the world’s ever seen, a cold-blooded ax-murderer named Sir Pellam.
Everyone knew of Sir Pellam’s depravity. They knew he extorted from the miners and bullied visiting nobles but no one could do anything about it because his brother was the King of Listenoise. When Pellam learned he sired a son, he snatched the then four-year-old Pellinore from his mother’s grieving hands, determined to rear him in the art of war.
Pellam was a cruel and relentless father. Before the boy was old enough to string whole sentences together, Pellam had him training and would beat him like a grown man every time the heavy sword fell from his soft tiny hands. The toddler cried every night but only when he knew Pellam had left the castle.
Maids could only mourn from afar with the deepest sympathies. They dared not coddle the child, because they knew Pellam would find out. He made an example out of the first two ladies who tried to care for his son by breaking their legs and leaving them to wander the castle as penniless cripples. When brave knights and duty bound husbands tried to stand up for justice and challenge Pellam to a duel, they were promptly sent to their graves.
It wasn’t long before the child Pellinore was regarded as a leper. No one wanted to touch him. No one wanted to be around him. Everyone saw through the boy without a hint of acknowledgment as if he truly was invisible.
And Pellinore never forgot his mother. His sadness would enrage his father who would launch vitriolic tirades at the boy for possessing such weakness. Sir Pellam thought the boy was weeping from the abuse. In truth, Pellinore couldn’t get the sight of his screaming mother out of his head. Her face. Her voice. Her hair.
He remembered the way the villagers had to restrain her as she fought and clawed her way to the horse Pellinore was slung over. The traumatic image of her despair was a painful painting forever seared into his memory. Every time he closed his eyes, he’d see his mother and the saline would seep. It was like a burning cut that refused to heal. Watching everyone else enjoy the affection he so desperately desired only worsened the affliction.
Then, at the age of nine, the warlord Ambrosius came tearing through Listenoise demanding the king’s head on a spike. The village of Pellinore’s mother was directly in the warpath. Pellinore stood atop the castle ramparts as his mother’s village burned in the night sky. The clamor of clanging metal and pounding trebuchets thundered for hours. The agonizing screams of a mass slaughter funneled to his ears. One scream penetrated and rose above all else. It was a loud coarse shriek that paralyzed him in place.
It was his mother. The same tormenting wail that’s haunted him for years was abruptly silenced once and for all. His fists tightened. His glossy eyes flared red as the flames stripped away at the city below. The orange flickering ashes carried in the wind and sought out the young Pellinore. And as the tears trickled for the last time, a smile surfaced.
Pellinore was reborn.
Since that day, Pellinore embraced his father’s brutal regimen and pushed himself to get stronger. He was consumed by combat, obsessed with it, dreamt of it. Even when Sir Pellam was out in conquest, Pellinore fought with the ferocity of a future king who would one day be called upon, not to protect his people, but to conquer for his people. That day came sooner than expected.
At the age of impressionable age of fourteen, King Cynfarch’s emissaries came begging Listenoise for help. High King Uther was visiting the Kingdom of Rheged when an immense Viking army laid siege, hoping to knock out two birds with one stone. Sir Pellam and a majority of the castle knights were already out fighting the Goths, so Listenoise didn’t have many swords to send.
Fourteen-year-old Pellinore volunteered.