I wanted to read everyone a little story before heading off to sleep. (Thanks to Uncle Earl at BoC for the inspiration)
Once upon a time, in the distant land of Ottawa, there was a gathering of young knights. Each knight had finished his sire training, and was now ready to be claimed for service, protecting one of thirty realms in the Empire of the NHL. Each realm is governed by War Lords (some former knights themselves), who act on behalf of the Kings and Queens of their realm. These War Lords would choose the new knights and employ their services for an agreed upon length of time and compensation.
This would be first knight selection after a brutal, year long, internal war between the knights and the Kings and Queens of the realms. The warring factions finally laid down their arms, and signed a peace treaty known as the CBA; however, their NHL Empire was in complete disarray. After the war, the citizens of the thirty realms had lost their faith in Emperor Bettman. Nearly all had turned their back on the Empire, in favor of vacation spots, like the Empires of NBA, MLB, and NFL. The Emperor knew he needed to regain the hearts and minds of the NHL's citizenry, and the 2005 knight selection was an ideal start.
All eyes were focused upon one knight in particular - Sir Sidney the Valiant. Emperor Bettman was sure that all would be united by the pure talent and boy-next-door looks of Sir Sidney. Town criers touted Sidney as the next Sir Gretzky the Great. To no one's surprise, the first knight selected by King (Sir) Super Mario from the realm of Pittsburgh, was Sir Sidney. Yet, the heroic tales of Sir Sidney are ones for another day. For today, we focus on the knight selected second.
From the realm of Anaheim, the feared War Lord known as Baron von Burke, selected a knight from the land of New Jersey – Sir Bobby. All knights entered selection with their nicknames, Sir Bobby did not. For no one knew what to make of this knight. The most citizens knew about Sir Bobby were his past personal battles with dragons at home that lead him to find solace in training for knighthood. He had size and talent, but could this blue eyed, baby faced, knight live up to the expectations the Baron?
After agreeing to service terms and compensation, Sir Bobby was sent to the sub-realm of Portland. As a new knight, Sir Bobby was required to protect a sub-realm of Anaheim’s before being deemed worthy enough to represent Anaheim at war. While Sir Bobby was in Portland, the citizens of Anaheim experienced great changes. With great changes came great success – yet another tale for another day.
Sir Bobby felt like he was in the sub-realm for ages. As each new war in Anaheim approached, Sir Bobby was waiting, hoping for his call to serve. During his second year in Portland, Sir Bobby was summoned by the Baron to fight alongside veteran knights in the War of 2007-2008. It was the first battle for the men since achieving the highest honor in the Empire - capturing Lord Stanley’s Holy Grail. Sir Bobby knew that it was his time to prove his worth and did not disappoint, scoring a kill late into a losing battle with the realm of Los Angeles. However, Sir Bobby’s run in Anaheim would be short lived. Five battles into the War of ‘07-‘08, he was sent back to Portland. This back and forth would continue throughout the entire War, leaving Sir Bobby more and more frustrated each time.
In the late stages of the War of ’07-‘08, once again, the Baron summoned and then demoted poor Sir Bobby. Yet this time, the Baron left Sir Bobby with a piece of advice. "Until you shed a small goat’s weight in lard from your body, you will have no permanent place in the realm of Anaheim," said The Baron.
Sir Bobby heeded the decree, quickly summoning Anaheim’s greatest wizard and apothecary to transform him into a fierce physical specimen. By the beginning of the War of 2008-2009, Sir Bobby had shed a small goat’s weight of lard (approximately 20 pounds) and replaced it with muscle. He retained his pure skill but now, he was stronger and more fleet of foot. Having become The Baron’s ideal knight, Sir Bobby was sure that he earned a permanent place in Anaheim’s battalion.
Sadly, it would be The Baron’s mismanagement of gold reserves that would land a devastating blow to our hero. As a condition of the CBA treaty, each realm is required to pay all their knights only a certain amount of gold coins. If a realm paid their knights more than Emperor Bettman allowed, the realm would be cursed for all eternity. While prepping his battalion, Baron von Burke welcomed back two heralded knights, Sir Scotty the Steady and Sir Finnish the Flash, from what was thought to be a retirement from combat. These two heroic knights required more gold coins than Sir Bobby. Facing a curse for all eternity, the Baron was left with no choice. The young knight was demoted once again, this time to the new sub-realm of Iowa.
Angry and betrayed, Sir Bobby took up battle in Iowa and destroyed all those in his path. This intensity was noticed by the Baron, Sir Bobby was summoned to Anaheim. However, The Baron was still mismanaging his gold coins, and dismissed Sir Bobby only two days after he arrived. Dejected, Sir Bobby rode his horse to the desert land full of mole people, Bakersfield.
I can see your eyes are getting heavy. We'll pickup with Sir Bobby shortly...