Doesn’t have quite the same ring, does it? Sorry. My router died over the weekend, so I was internet-free for a few days. Look at the bright side: It’s that many fewer days until you get to finish Chapter 3.

I was going to lead with a pull quote this week, but my exciting router news took precedent. So without further ado:

“Hey!” I shouted, as the soldier stepped back and grasped his axe. As if I’d been doing it all my life, I leaned forward in the saddle, kicking my horse solidly in the ribs.

I don’t know what I was thinking. No, that’s not true: One small part of my brain, maybe a 10% chunk, knew exactly what it had in mind. Charge that guy. Lower the lance. Skewer him, then trample his friends.

The rest of my mind was a spectator, shocked and stunned, unable to do anything but watch helplessly and hold on for dear life.

The horse leapt. Fortunately it was already aimed almost directly at the guy. The lance came down, but it turns out those things are a lot easier to hold up than to hold out. I was doing a decent job staying on the horse, but I could barely keep the lance pointed forward, and the guy’s chest suddenly seemed a much smaller target than it had before.

The soldier turned toward me. His jaw fell and his eyes practically popped out of his head. It was like a Warner Bros cartoon; it would have been comical if the anvil falling from the sky hadn’t been real. Er, in a metaphorical sense.

The horse crossed the distance in four strides.

The soldier was surprised, but he wasn’t a chump. The axe came up in a blocking move, and he stepped to the inside as the lance closed on him. I doubt I would have hit him anyway, but he struck it away, sending a sharp, painful jolt up my arm. His movement, though, had put him in the horse’s path, and although the animal tried to dodge, its shoulder struck the man’s. I felt the impact through the horse’s body. The soldier spun, arms flying as though he hadn’t a bone in his body. I spun too as we passed him, the horse’s dodge and the momentum of the parried lance throwing me around.

Holy shit: I did it. I may not have speared him through the heart, but I rode him down. I saved that dude. Me.

And then I fell off the horse.

Read all about it here:


Click through for PDF.

As alway, comments more than welcome. And it’s not too late to get in on last week’s design-a-shield-for-Stephan contest and have yourself written into the book. And maybe even earn yourself a lollipop!