Voldo's Asylum
Episode 3: The Determined Stranger
by J.C. Sciarra
sword Welcome to my tale of history. What I am a about to tell you took place in Germany when I was but a squire lad and second to my master: a great knight and lord of his castle and realm.

Oh, I'm sorry I have not introduced myself. I am Guessepi Belli. I became carried away with my grand introduction. I have told this tale before, and understandably few have believed it, so I felt it needed more of an important introduction. It is about the Italian... Voldo.

I myself know nothing about him. I am also and Italian so I understand some of his eccentricities and need to gesture; but, I would like to state for the record I speak not for him. I am not afraid mind you, just trying to be complete.

Back to my tale. It happened one fine day, and as often happens in spring, some of my masters enemies were sieging the castle. They were a weak lot and bound to fail. Their catapults with a full load could not even clear our walls. Their archers had the low ground. I'd seen it before.

My master had such an admirable armory I was not worried. Not until I saw 'him'. The stranger just appeared in the distance. A lone figure walking directly for the castle. Once he was closer all could see the most unusual mode of dress. I did not know if he was a messenger who had been through some great trial to reach us or a madman. The sieging barbarians parted to let him pass, probably because of the great knives he held in his hands, and partly because they wanted to see what he would do.

The stranger approached the castle gates. He motioned to open them. Not a word did he utter. Of course opening the gates was the last thing we would do for him or any other. When he realized this he gesticulated no more, but calmly walked up the gate and slammed one of his great trio of blades into it above his head. I thought, "What is he trying to do, cut the door down, how laughable". The next thing I knew, his other blade, which I later learned was called a 'katar', fixed itself above the first and he began to scale the gate with the grace and speed of a spider on it's web. The oak gate shook with each blow. I was amazed at that point but not worried, for the great gate was fifty feet high, and the gateway was fifty more feet of solid stone.

The splinters flew around him as he approached the top of the archway. Then I can only tell, and you will have to take my word on it, he did not stop! His katars slammed into the granite. Chips of stone and sparks few everywhere. You'd think he would have to stop for fear of being blinded by this trauma, yet he accelerated to the top.

I now began to panic and rang the bell that sounded the alarm and pandemonium broke loose: the sieging army was cheering, the troops were putting on their armor coming out of the barracks half-dressed, and the master was running into the courtyard, and HE was standing atop the gate tower surveying the chaos below. Of course he was a sight. Wrapped in a blue garment made of straps of leather, webbing, bright colored fabric, and metal. Straps even covered his face. I cannot begin to describe it. One leg was completely bare!

Seeing no invading army coming over the walls everyone stopped and looked up. The half-dressed creature swung his arm down and pointed his blades at my lord and master. We all knew what this meant: mortal combat. I looked at my lord to see what he would do. I knew all of the others' eyes were on him too.

Lord Siegfried, who had entered the courtyard in full armor, even had his sword with him. Unlike many of the other knights he was always ready for battle. He lived for it since his father died. Sometimes I thought he was a little too eager.

His reply finally came: " By my father's grave come down here, and speak your piece." His words were still echoing in the palace when the man-monster leapt from the parapet down to the guard tower, to the gate house, to the ground--like a monkey jumping from branch to branch. His decent was almost a unbelievable as his ascent. My master must have felt a weight in his stomach at that moment. He didn't have much time to ponder it though. Both were on a small 18 x 18m stage constructed for a recent festival. My master has his zweihander sword. The Italian crouched down and sprung forth looking like a tiger attacking his prey. It knocked Sir Siegfried backwards, but not out of the ring. He would keep his guard up after that I would think. I guess the banded man was not in a talking mood.

My master attempted a long sword jab that landed on Sir Voldo's katars with the characteristic sound of metal against metal. The bandit reposted with a slash, slash, and uppercut that sent my poor lord into the air. He rolled out of the way just in time to avoid a pummeling into the ground that surely would have dug his grave. My master sweeped as he rose and caught the monster's leg. Down he went, but back up he was with distance between them. I knew why in a moment. He released some kind of beautiful spinning attack that reminded me of...a rose. Luckily my master was not as mesmerized as I and blocked this with ease.

I know his mind was not elsewhere for immediately he charged his zweihander with such power lightening struck it, and when he released it, I dare say none could block such power. It cut through the man-machine's guard and he was hurled back. If it had missed it's mark the blow would have cut the earth in two and both warriors would have disappeared into the rift. All cheered at the result. Maybe it was over. I did not think we could be that lucky. My fears were realized. He rolled to stand upright. His tall physique as straight as ever. The only clue to his knockdown was his position across the ring. This he soon changed. He ran full speed across the stage. My master was not about to stand still either. He prepared to use his shoulder charge, but Voldo unleashed a combination of moves with blinding speed that knocked my master back, sent up, up into the air with a flash of light; and then (not content he was falling fast enough) swiped him down. Lord Siegfried, I regret to say, was truly dwelling in a house of pain.

That was the beginning of the end. Voldo parried my lord's vicious brutal smack without even stepping back, and followed with one of the most spectacular feats I have ever witnessed in combat. This demon lifted my poor master into the air upon his right-handed weapon and spun him in the air in a horizontal fashion. His left blade was simultaneously spinning, seeming to warn anyone from interfering. Voldo then launched him into the air and out of the ring. My master though alive was helpless and could have been finished at that point.

The warrior though didn't seem to care. I believe the battle was ended long ago in his mind. He spun on his heel. We all feared for our lives. He touched us not though, yet headed for the armory. I attended to my beaten master, and no sooner did Volvo appear from the large stone building. He either found what he was looking for or realized it was not there. Upon his hands were a pair of weapons Sir Siegfried's father had acquired on an ancient quest. I had seen them often hanging on the armory walls. More of an oddity decoration I had guessed. No one had ever been able to figure out how to use them. The gleaming instruments were unlike any sword of a knight I had ever seen. I describe them as the claws of a bear. What good in combat they would be I know not. Strangely though they seemed to be quite in place on the stranger's hands.

Voldo wielded them as though they were light, delicate felt gloves. The troops parted before him. He strode up the my Lord who's head I was holding and gave a fearful if graceful bow, then continued on toward the gate. He waved the gate open. This time the guard did not laugh, but did as he was...well...told. He never did say a word. None of the outside marauders ventured in, for they parted as he exited. Stunned they were as we at the sight of the claw shaped weapons spinning on his hands like a boy with a new toy.

Voldo left not from whence he came: the South; but, to the West. I heard he was seen in Spain.

"And the Blind Shall See"

The End

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