the smuggler’s bible


He watches as they come through the city in high spirits, waving their spears and boasting. The crowd shuffles behind them into the tournament ground with a great deal of heavy sighing and melancholy expressions.

Palomides spits into the dirt. “You the guys?” he says.

“We’re the guys.”


Two on one is a chump’s game. Palomides kills Helake on the first pass before the brothers are ready. This leaves him in the less complicated (but arguably tougher) position of having a fair fight against a man who hates him. Thus and so, they start in on the sword work.


They waste a whole day slugging each other senseless before the other guy taps out.

“Fine,” he says, panting. “Fine. You can do the quest. Whatever.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought.”

“Hey, you’re pretty good, though. Lemme guess, you must be, uhm, Lancelot? Maybe Lamorak.” He starts ticking off fingers. “Or else—wait, who’s the other one?”

“I’m Palomides,” Palomides says.

“Oh, okay. Cool. I mean you’re up there too, you know.”

“Thanks.” They stand awkwardly. “Would you mind telling the murderers that I’m here to fight them?”

“Who?” Helius and Helake say in unison. “You’re sure it wasn’t Lancelot?”