the smuggler’s bible


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?”


“You have to help. I’m dead meat if my boyfriend finds out.”

“Jesus. Fine. Give me a hand with my armor.”

The tree is big as hell, and Lancelot sucks at climbing, but he scrambles to the top where the falcon is tangled up and gets a hand on its leash.

“You touchin’ my falcon, you son of a bitch?” a new voice calls out from down by the castle. “I’m gonna chop your head off.”

“Come on, man,” Lancelot whines. “I’m just trying to do the lady a solid.”

“Yeah, well you better save your favors for yourself, asshole.”


Lancelot is number one, baby. So when people in the stands start making a ruckus because the mystery knight with the black shield is kicking ass all over the tournament, it gets him sour.

“You want a shot at the champ?” he shouts, visor down, horse already in motion. “Well, you got it.”

They hit each other and the sound is like thunder in the mountains. The mystery knight’s spear shatters, but Lancelot’s punches through his side and draws blood. Kind of a lot of blood.

“Jeez,” Lancelot says, watching him limp away, “I didn’t mean to hurt the guy.”


Madok and his partner in crime Hew de la Montaine get sort of antsy before the big tournament. So antsy, in fact, they decide it’s in their best interests to joust with Lancelot. He sends them home with bruises.

“I need you to deal with this,” their boss, the King of Northgalis, says later to Palomides, who’s simply trying to rest in his pavilion. “It’s embarrassing.”

“Absolutely not.”

“I wasn’t asking, son. Tell Lancelot you want a match.”

“Ugh. Fine,” Palomides sighs. “It’s not like I’ll be the first guy ever to get an ass kicking at his own request.”