Sunday, March 3, 2019

'Fellowship' from AdamC: Fellowship Lions of Al-Rassan

I present the principle Male characters Guy Kay's The Lions of Al-Rassan. At First Glance two men about to engage in single combat for the honor of their respective armies and gods may seem an add choice for the Theme of Fellowship.

They are in many ways a study in contrast.

Rodrigo Belmonte "The Captain" a renowned  Soldier, a Rancher, commander of the most celebrated company of horse soldiers in Esperana and beyond. A family man with a beautiful wife (to whom he is loyal) and two son

 Ammar ibn Khairan Poet, Councillor, swordsman, diplomat and the assassin who killed the last Caliph of Al-Rassan.  A man with few close friends and associates and string of lovers (of both sexes).
Still when they are both exiled and meet in the City of Ragosa they become fast fiends. Indeed their meeting could almost be described as "love at first sight" as many in the crowed sense the silent interaction between the two men.  On the day they meet they fight a tournament of two men against five and emerge victorious taking down five capable veteran soldiers with ease.  Ammar reflects that it was like their two bodies where commanded by a single mind.
The best showing of my poor attempt at Rodrigo's Eagle helm. 

Over the next few months the two men engage in a number of adventures working together.  They swap lead position back and forth without any difficulty or rancour.   As event move in the wider world it becomes clear that the Jaddites (Christians) of Esperana and the Asharites (Muslims) of Al-Rassan are on a collision course.  Both men choose to deffer the decision even as they discuss there limited choices in what Rodrigo describes as a war in which most of the combatants will be "Driven by hatred and holiness."  Rodrigo asks the question: "what shall do men do in such a war, Ammar?  Ammar's bleak answerer: "Kill each other, until something ends in the world."

I think this shield and the matching head band are some of my strongest free hand work. 
Shortly after this exchange comes one final adventure as they rescue the family of the mutual friend (and Ammar's final lover) Jahane bet Ishak from the path of the invasion.  There they are met by the army of Valledo (Rodrigo's home) and the king of that country a man of culture who while bent on conquest would prefer not to wage holly war offers Rodrigo the postion of Constable and Rodrigo offers to share that position and power with Ammar so that together perhaps they can keep the war from being "worse than ugliness."

Ammar cannot accept because of loyally to his own people, heritage and religion but manly because he Killed that last Caliph of Al-Rassan and now it is he who carries the burden of defending that land.

And so the war begins each leading the principle army of there respective side until a challenge to single combat is offered and accepted as it must be.  And so two men meet at sunset to do battle, two men who would rather set aside their arms and be friends but who cannot because of the obligations their place in society puts on them. So they battle a battle that on lookers say resembles a dance as at first they prove a match for each other until the final brutal exchange of blows where one is wounded and the other kill and the survivor weeps over the body of the man he has killed.

Ammar who survives writes this of Rodrigo the epitaph the will stand over his grave

Know, all who see these lines,
That this man, By his appetite for honor,
By his steadfastness, 
By his love for his country,
By his Courage, 
Was one of the Miracles of the god. 

The moment I have chose to depict is the pause in their single combat that happens after the first exchange of blows and parries they are sizing each other up again and perhaps they are each dealing with the realisation that this battle is actually happening and that only one of them will survive (and what survival will cost). Guy Kay is limited in his description saying only that Rodrigos helmet has an Eagle and Ammar's has a pattern of vines. I put the vines on Ammar's shield as well as his head band. I also dressed him in a red cloak since the city who's army he lead was famous for its red dyes. Rodrigo bears a shield with the emblem of the sun and I tried to suggest the eagle on his helmet. His cloak is yellow as that color is sacred to the sun worshipping Jaddites and he stands as the champion of that faith. Both Figures are 28mm the Rodrigo figure is from Crusader miniatures El Cid collection and is in fact the dismounted el Cid on whom Rodrigo is partly based. For Ammar is from the Andalusian command set that are part of the Artizan collection. So with the bonus these should add 60 points to the pile.


  1. Very cool submission Adam. I've not read the book (and so didn't read your spoiler) but will have to give it a go. Characterful figures and a great shield motif for Ammar.

    1. The audio book version is excellent if you don't have much time for reading. Its one of my favorite books and it has a lot of depth and ambiguity for fantasy with out going all game of thones everyone is despicable on you.

  2. Guy Gavriel Kay's work is spectacular. He's written probably the best chariot race description ever, and his worldbuilding incredible.

    A good choice!

    1. Couldn't agree more about the worldbuilding and it just keeps getting better.

  3. Great synopsis; I was hooked!

    1. Thanks if my synopssi hooked you get the book my writign hardly counts as a pale refection.

  4. Lovely figures,I remember reading all of Guy Gavriel Kays work,really well written as I recall!
    Best Iain

    1. Thank you. Among other acomplishments Kay is the man who helped polish the Silmarillion.

  5. A favourite author of my wife and I, we drove 2.5 hours each way to see a book reading for his last work. He said he was very happy that the planned Hollywood treatment fell through on this one!

    Well done and great idea.

    1. Yeah Hollywood would have screwed it up. I wouldn't mind seeing someone (with Kay involved) start a TV series based on Kay's other earth. Each season could be a book. Start with sailing to Sarntium and work your way up to Children Earth and sky.