the smuggler’s bible


The damosel hefts the shield and pirouettes so the whole room can see. It’s black as midnight under a new moon, except for a white hand in the center holding a white sword.

“And the last guy who used it died,” she says, finishing her story. “He was really hoping someone would do his quest. You know, keep the dream alive.”

Nobody says anything for a very long time, until finally Kay steps out of the crowd and takes the shield.



“Oh, it’s nothing,” the damosel says. “Just, like, I sort of figured it would be someone … good.”


It’s tough being the best, so Lancelot decides to be someone else. He wakes up early and straps on Kay’s armor. The innkeep sees him going. Lancelot gives him a wink and puts a finger against his lips. “Shh,” he says, “it’s better this way.”

Heading out of town, he stops long enough to wallop the first three chumps who fall for the trick—just to get warmed up, you know? The brothers Gaunter, Gilmere and Raynold eat his dust. Hard.

“Wow, fellas,” Gilmere says, “Kay is way better than I remember.”

Gaunter rolls over and coughs up some blood.