For this one you must halt the protests of the knights.
MONGRELS (any gender, late twenties through late life)
Previously I have called you "Grand Knights." But I no longer see Grand Knights. I see mongrels. Your general has given me a list of your grievances.
You need stronger armor? Why is that? Are you going into this battle with the intention of falling under sword. If mercy were not my weakness, I would have each and every one of you stripped of his clothing at this moment. Then should you see what hidden strength you have to fight.
You are underfed? For three years, my father fought to win this kingdom and there were times he lived on nothing but grubs. Do none of you believe you are worthy of power? You will get it through sacrifice. There will be food a plenty when this war is over.
You think I come here to threaten you? Very well. You all may strike me down at this moment. And the enemy will come anyway. Your vanity will have you so weak, you have no chance at winning. And you will all become enslaved or... yes, I believe the enemy's leader is rather fond of crucifixion, is he not?
Am I cruel to say this? That is not your concern. I am the leader of this kingdom and I have offered what I can. Fight today. Fight with fear, fight with hunger, fight with sadness at my "cruelty." But fight, you mongrels. It matters not if you live, die or suffer. I and God will restore each of your names to "Grand Knight."
Copyright 2016 by Matt Haynes. If you would like to use this piece, please credit: "Courtesy of Matt Haynes and The Pulp Stage"