True gratitude I offer to the people who have aided me in many ways in many things with affection and patience over the last dozen years. In particular, I thank with love and joy my squires and grand-squires: Sir Gryphon de Forte Epee whose example I have never quite lived up to; Lord Galleron de la Chenille who taught me to seek "La Gloire" was to earn it; Duke Baudoin McKenzie who taught me the meaning of patience; Duke Richard FitzGilbert who never accepts a half-baked answer; Graf Klaus von Trollenberg who reminds me what this stuff is supposed to be like in every sense; and to Earl Dafydd ap Gwystl who radiates unquenchable enthusiasm. My thanks go to a host of others, mostly in Clan Oldcastle but also without, who have put up with my peculiarities and difficulties out of (I'm sure) a sense of profound compassion and pity.
I attach a special thanks to Sir Anton Tremayne who convinced me it would not be overweening hubris to write down my thoughts about sword and shield.
My deepest thanks go to Her Grace, Dochesa Caterina Leonora de Forza d'Agro, sweet flower of Italy, who knew what steps to take to illustrate this manual. Her skill and industry grace this work and her grace and good works illuminate the corner of the Knowne World in which I live.
My gratitude goes also to my brother Starulf who often said, "It won't be too stupid."
And to my son (and heir to a half-vast duchy) Michael who said to me on many occasions, "Da, stop that and play with me please?"