Sir Manon first met Kai Larsen five years ago, when Kai asked for hospitality at Han D'or and access to the library, researching the encroaching desert.
Naturally Manon arranged a feast in Kai's honour. The new guest had to be properly introduced to relatives and friends. The daytime sparring matches between the various warriors invited, guests and host alike, proved Kai a cunning fencer, stronger than his slight but pudgy frame would make him seem, but still generally outclassed by Sir Manon and some of his other guests. A grand disappointment was when his newest guest, for whom Manon had arranged this party, was not willing to attend the grand dinner that same night. He preferred to have his meal alone in the room prepared in the west wing close to the library. This caused a bit of distress but as always Manon handled the situation with grace and explained for the other guests that Kai was not to be sharing their meal due to circumstances he could not reveal this very night. Although his guest later inquired on the circumstances, Manon never shared what he knew or what he did not know. According to the gossip of Han D'or maidservants, in private- the meals delivered to Kai in his room or the library go untouched or can be found entire in the slops.
The Lady Beatrice spent a noticeable amount of time in conversation with Kai during his first visit, and was more sincere in her exhortations to visit again than Manon himself. Although Kai had spent almost three weeks at Han D'or the count had not really got to know his new found friend. Even so, he found it hard not to like the solemn and distant character.
Later, in private, Beatrice remarked on Kai's remarkable store of knowledge and subtle wit for a man in his twenties; a wit Manon was hard put to recognise in the apparently dull and unresponsive mammoth of a man.
Four years later, the Hawk would again prevail upon count Ehron for hospitality, having come across the desert ahorse, and in need of watering and feed, and a good spell in pasturage for the creature. Markedly grown- a foot or more taller, broad now of shoulder, Kai presented some confusion in the manse, Sir Manon himself mistaking him for perhaps a relative of the original. Still, beyond bulk, Larsen's features were so unchanged he would have to be twin to the first- and what twin has such a difference in stature? Lady Beatrice in particular could assure Manon that the two men were one- continuing a tale broken off at his departure with a sequel that doubled the humour of both, according her, his knowledge of the idle chatter of days four years past better than her own bard trained mind would have held without his reminding. Too, his manner and way of speaking (though not the timbre of his voice) were like peas in the pod to the oddly still man Manon had hosted these four years past.
One other thing was different, now the Hawk had gained enormously in skill, using the blunted broadsword in the practice yard he was now the equal of Sir Manon in skill, and could best him in strength- with his experience, Manon knew that strength matters relatively little in sparring, where the blows which land are counted, and strength in excess of that needed must be held back, to avoid true injury. Kai carries still the elaborate twin daggers he bore in the past, dresses still all in black, but now wears a steel breastplate, bears a leather faced shield and a very heavy crossbow, rather than the light leather armour and sling he once carried. An expert in a variety of weapons, Manon finds it difficult indeed to countenance such a distinct change, and such advanced skill in a weapon taken up within such a brief period of time. But this, beyond understanding, is the same man who stayed at Han D'or four years ago.
For a man who had recently crossed a desert, Kai Larsen was remarkable in his lack of need for victuals or drink, once again exciting gossip among the servants- his horse confirmed his tale, shew all signs of dehydration, starvation, sunburn, and exhaustion, more than a week was required ere the beast could return to his duties. Drawing upon the castle stores, Kai would set out again, taking full provisions for his steed, and none whatsoever for himself, unless he dine on hard corn and honeyed raw grains, and drink exclusively water from the several five gallon skins rigged to accept a horses mouth...
Also see: Kai's description, Manon's description and Manon's character chart.
Send email to: Claes Piper piper(at)df.lth.se
Story provided by Lance Berg, edited by Claes Piper to fit the background
of Sir Manon Ehron.
Last updated 18 July 1997
Last updated 18 July 1997