by Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold
Harlekin was fair as a maiden, with a blush to match. Women can possess the kind of beauty that was his and still be taken seriously, but not men--or so it seemed to the beautiful youth. Is it any wonder that he chose to wear particolor and play the clown?
This strategy went well for him for a time--being underestimated has its advantages. But when Harlekin decided to become a Rose Knight and serve the forces of Prince Arthur de Sansal in the Kingdoms of the East to fight against the Forces of Darkness, the proctors of the Kingsguard looked at his fair skin and rosy cheeks, at his suit of creamy white and blushing red, and chuckled.
(Not all, of course. There were several who immediately began plotting how to get the lovely young man alone behind an arras or a rose hedge. You may be assured that Harlekin was used to this as well.)
"Perhaps there is some challenge or quest you would put to me, something to test my suitability to be a Rose Knight," he said, not looking at the ones with the greedy eyes.