the smuggler’s bible


It’s over in a minute, and the two knights from the tower are stone dead in the clearing.

“Should we do something?”

“Man, we didn’t know those guys.”

“Yeah, but still—Oh shit, here he comes.”

Marhaus rides over the corpses toward Gawaine and Uwain. He stops a little ways off and looks them over. “What’s your story?” he asks. His voice is cool and even behind his visor.

Gawaine shrugs. “Just out looking for trouble.”

“Well shit, brother, I’m right here,” Marhaus thumps the butt of his lance against the ground. “So I guess that means you found it.”


The knights meet back at the forest glade after one year exactly. Gawaine comes alone.

“Where’s your damsel?” Uwaine says without even getting off his horse.

“My what?”

“Your damsel. Everybody had a damsel for the adventure, remember?”

Marhaus and his damsel wave from over by the fountain. Uwain’s sits behind him in the saddle braiding her hair. A breeze drifts through, shaking some branches while everybody stares at Gawaine.

“No, I don’t think any of that is ringing a bell,” he says.

Later, a blonde in a ratty dress stomps out of the woods and spits on his boots.


Fergus says horses won’t go near the giant. Neither will most people. But when Marhaus signed up for adventure, he promised to take the good with the bad. And if we’re being honest, he hasn’t seen much worse than the 14-foot monstrosity sitting under the tree picking a stable boy out of its teeth with the kid’s own bones.

“So do I have to pick a fight or what?” Marhaus says before the giant notices him and reaches for its club. The first hit knocks his shield into two pieces, so Marhaus ditches the footwork and swings for the fences.


King Anguish just wants his money, and honestly there are only so many ways to get it. He sends his knight Marhaus out to crack some skulls and wring seven years of back taxes out of Cornwall.

Tintagil sure ain’t Ireland, but it isn’t nothing. Marhaus drops anchor and wagers every red scrap of treasure on the notion that he’s the baddest dude in town, then spends a long six weeks waiting for someone to take his dare.

When he finally comes home, there’s still a piece of the sword stuck in his brain. And my god how it gleams.