To the Most Honorable Gentlemen and Swordsmiths at Arms & Armor, 1101 Stinson Blvd. NE, Minneapolis Minnesota 55413 United States, Planet Earth.
My Dear Sirs,
Pursuant to your advertisement for an Authentic and Most Perfect Recreation of one Leeds Castle Sword (Type XVIIIc), please permit me to enlarge on why I require this sword most particularly. It is an extraordinary tale, and I share it with you only under the strictest confidence!
It was in the early days of the fifteenth century. How well I remember those times! The sky was never so blue as when it shone above the rolling green hillocks of the Mesaoria Plain and the shimmering water of the great Pedieos river as it wound its way beneath the amber spires of great Nicosia. Nicosia was a fine city in those days. I remember well those summer banquets beneath the stars! I remember the merry song of the minstrels as they plucked upon the gittern, the sweet scent of the olive groves wafting on the breeze, and the lusty visage of many a comely maiden. And then, The Turk came.
We fought nobly, but in vain. From the harbor of Limassol to the sorrowful fields of Chirokitia, we did battle against The Turk, and many a fair Christian knight spilt his life’s blood upon the Makeluk’s blade. At Chirokitia we made our final stand, and there our knights were humbled, and the royal banner was cast down upon the bloody ground. So it was that I was brought in chains to Egypt, and received the cruel mockery of the Sultan. For many a long, weary month I languished in the dungeons of Cairo, until I was at last ransomed. Upon my return to Cyprus, the land was in turmoil. The peasants, suffering sorely of scourges and pestilence, had risen in arms, and the leaders most cruelly slain.
It was on a dark, dreary day in those times, when I was riding through the plundered villages of Mesaoria. There I came upon a peasant woman. Her face was worn with care, and her eyes blazed with helpless rage at the sight of me. She spat upon the ground, and cursed the king for his cowardice, for so it was that our land now paid a heavy tribute to our conqueror. And then it was that she called upon the Saints, and laid a wicked curse: That the soul of the king should never rest until he returned his sword to its scabbard having once more tasted the blood of The Turk.
And this, gentle sirs, is why I require this sword most particularly. For although many of the king’s swords were given in tribute to the Sultan, they have since been scattered across the world, locked behind crystal walls alongside other ancient curiosities, out of reach of the king or any of his kin. Yet, the king’s scabbard has remained in the hands of sons of Janus, secreted in hidden places over the centuries. And it so happens that this very scabbard is of the exact type which you, gentle sirs, have so perfectly recreated today. I beg you, merciful sirs! Bequeath unto me such a sword, wherapon I shall replace it to its rightful abode. And then at last, my soul shall rest in peace.
I remain your humble and obedient servant,
Janus, King of Cyprus
PS: If you, perchance, also have access to a disposable Turk (or mayhap the blood thereof), I would be most grateful if you would also dispatch the same along with the sword.
Original message “transcribed” by Jack Sutter, September 2020