The knight was not faltering on his journey for a moment. All around him were signs of disaster caused by the Prince’s greed, but he would not let the horror sway him in his quest. The mangled bodies were fetid around him; despite the long age past they would not become bones, but stay as rotted reminders of the evil warlocks cursed magic. It was disheartening to see the size of some of the corpses, but to the knight it was fuel to his fire.
The stairs became steeper and far more uneven as the knight climbed and soon he was pulling himself up a treacherous wall of mangled stone and dirt. If it were not for his sure footing he would easily slide down and possibly roll off the stairs down the Shattered Kingdom. The knight was strong physically, but there were definitely problems arising within his own mind. He could hear strange voices calling out to him, but when he turned his head to face them he would only see one of the many black crows that perched themselves on twisted roots.
The crows seemed normal, but the knight knew the Warlock to be a man with many powers. The voices would always stop when the knight glared at a crow, but new ones would murmur to life behind him from another. Deciding it best to ignore them the knight climbed and the voices grew louder. Each heavy clunk of metal on stone faded as the voices grew deafeningly louder. Soon it felt as if there was an entire world echoing inside the knight’s helmet, but he would not turn his head to face a crow, knowing if he did the voices would return stronger despite the reprieve they gave him.
Where lesser men would be driven to madness, the knight pushed onwards, his mind a swirling mess of noise and blurred thoughts, but his body carried him to the top. As he climbed back onto flat ground the voices faded into nothing, the crows gone with the voices. The knight didn’t allow any hints of victory to soften him, he was not finished yet. He marched onwards towards the dark stone of the mid-section to the Shattered Kingdom. The roots were blacked, poisoned by the words of the Warlock as he cast his spells within the mountain. The stone scorched by purple and blue flames of dark magic. The tell-tale signs of evil beckoned the knight and he was all to happy to meet it with a drawn sword.
Entering through a large archway, the knight was soon surrounded by a sickeningly silent hallway to contrast the noise he had endured. His steps were the only sounds to accompany after a while as they echoed in the darkness. The chamber felt cold, but the fires that were lit in the braziers glowed a warm purple that would burn your hand to ash at the slightest touch. As the knight recalled this fact the hallway grew brighter till he could see the end, a large chamber filled with a swirling mass of light. As he entered he scanned the chamber.
To one side there were tables with various strange materials and substances, seemingly organic but also with lifeless colour. No doubt these were experiments of the Warlocks, but perhaps a darker thought was these were ingredients to create something far worse. However, the knight had no time to dwell on the dark arts as movement above him signalled an angel of death; the Warlock.
The knight jumped out of the way as a large, bone creature wrapped in a dark purple robe with woven darkness flowing from its skin descended on where he stood. A staff of iron hit the ground, white hot fire bursting with an explosive cloud of flame. The fire did not go far, but if the knight was any closer he would certainly be cooked alive as his armour would melt onto him.
The knight held his sword strong in his hands as the Warlock turned to face him. The monster stood as tall as five men, with a face shadowed by the cloak he wore, only a bone white nose and beard peaking out at the knight. The Warlock seemed to smile at the knight.
"I congratulate you on making it this far, Sebastian," the Warlock murmured. The knight held his tongue at the mention of his first name. "I would have thought the nightmares I gave you would keep you from your destiny, save your soul so it might live a little longer. Instead you were only encouraged to come here, like a lamb to the slaughter."
The cruel words hit the knight with a mental force that shook him physically. Each word flashed a painful image of the nightmares he had received. Men cruelly cut down by dark creatures, women ravaged by merciless demons and children consumed like grapes in their evil mouths. The grip on the sword loosened only for a moment, a hint of a deeper seeded weakness, but it was a seed that would not bloom. The knight would not give the Warlock the satisfaction, charging the malicious man with a fury of a suicidal army the knight swung his sword. The Warlock raised his staff to block the sword, but it was too slow, the skeletal arm weakened by what the Warlock hoped to his trump card.
The Warlock was not trained in such combat and was dismayed, but not surprised when the sword cleaved through his bony arm, causing him to drop the staff and spout putrid brown blood from the wound. It was a sickening mass of liquid, but both combatants ignored the bile. The knight prepared another swing, but was interrupted with more flashing images. A torrent of them swept his mind and eyes, blinding him.
The Warlock began to cackle, closing in on the breaking point for the knight, but immediately stopped when he saw the knight still able to swing his sword in a deathly arc. It cleaved into the Warlock's torso, first into his ribs, but with a thrust upward it entered the Warlock's thorny heart. The Warlock already began to fade with this attack, his skin flaking into ash.
The knight was freed of the Warlock's mental torture. Sebastian, the knight of White Cloth, had a heart that would carry him if his mind should fall. Luckily, the Warlock died before he could destroy any. The Warlock crumbled, his large body taking the sword from the knights hands as he fall.The knight retrieved it with a cold tug and struck down on the Warlock's skull to ensure that the cruel mind would die with the body of the twisted man. The knight succeeded, with one of the twisted beings destroyed the swamp would no longer spread, but its evil would continue to exist until the Prince met the same fate.
Be sure to follow!