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Fantasticoe 1991

Winter's Knight

Chris Anderson

     Darkness spread across the land. The air was cold and dry, like a good ale, and the snow blanketed the land like a thick white billowy cloud. A lone figure on horseback rode under the moonlight. People knew who he was. Oh yes, they knew him well in these parts. He was the Winter Knight, an enchanted protector of good, a pale faced knight with hair as white as the snow he rode in, and a horse as black as the night. The Winter Knight only rode in the winter, when the nights were long, the mystical forces of evil were at their strongest, and evil was also the most vulnerable.

     Horned Peak was a quiet town, named after the nearby mountain with two horns protruding at its crest. The citizens of Horned peak had enjoyed over 150 years of peace and tranquility, at least until recently. Several months ago, their newly elected mayor was infected with a rare ailment, a disease of darkness, a magical disease that affects the mind. A disease most likely caused by a god of evil, in effort to spread evil and darkness across the land. His name was Lord Graham. Graham was a short man, and did not look to be much of a warrior, and indeed wasn't. He did however, have a powerful look to himself. He had flaming red hair, a red mustache, and eyes as black as the night. Graham's grip was iron, his fist lead. He taxed all and starved the poor. The cripple who stole bread for his child daily felt the steel slice his neck. He was hated by all, but because of his guards and Emikrol, his spell caster, the people could not stage a revolution. The future of Horned Peak looked bleak.

     A lone traveler neared the village of Horned Peak. It was daylight now, and signs of evil doings were becoming more and more evident. The stranger was an old man, dressed in dark robes, and riding atop a large black horse. As the stranger approached town, the guards of Graham demanded his name and a customary tax to pass through town. With the wave of a hand the guards fell to the ground, fast asleep. The stranger proceeded to the nearest house, and acquired a room to live in for a short time.

     When nightfall came, the Winter Knight left the house and made his way through the pitiful town to the magnificent castle gate. He sent his horse on a wild stampede, kicking the gate, overturning tables, and ruining the tax scale. While the guards at the gate were distracted by the horse, the Winter Knight snuck by them. Once inside the castle, it was time to find Graham. He made his way through the castle quietly, as to not be discovered by the guards. As he rounded a corner, he was spotted by a guard, but the Knight was to fast. His moves were like poetry in motion, and in seconds the guard was bloody and unconscious, a victim of a powerful kick to the head. The Knight came upon a door that stood slightly ajar. When he peered inside, he saw Graham talking to an old, rickety man.

     With the words, "I am the bringer of good, the destructor of

the evil way, my name is the Winter Knight, and you are my prey," The Knight burst into the room. The Knight drew his sword, a beautiful blade made of magical ice, and approached Graham. Graham drew his sword and took a swing at the knight. The ice sword moved quickly and sliced Graham's sword in half. The knight approached Graham, who was shivering with the fear of good, and pleading for forgiveness and mercy. Just as the Knight drew back, he froze in his tracks, a victim of a powerful magical spell. Emikrol appeared in front of the Knight, and looked at him and smiled. Emikrol was old, almost sick looking. When he smiled you could almost hear the skin crack. The guards then through the knight in a cell and left him.

     At daybreak, the old man looked around the cell, and sat down in the middle with his legs crossed. He placed his hands directly in front of him, and at a moments notice, was back in the room he was renting.

     As Graham sat looking at the magical sword, it disappeared without warning. Graham jumped up and ran to the dungeon, only to find that the Knight was gone.

     The old man sat in the room all day, trying to figure way of disposing of the lord and his spell caster, for unless he could get rid of the spell caster, he could not get rid of the lord, and unless he could get rid of the lord, he could never dispose the spell caster. For they fought side by side, and a fighter such as the Winter Knight could not defeat another fighter who had the aid of spell caster, and a spell caster such as the old man, could never defeat another spell caster who was aided by a fighter. There was no way possible.

     For weeks the old man was out during the day trying to find a way to defeat Graham, and at night, the Winter Knight stayed inside to avoid being caught. One day, while walking around, he came upon a mystic, someone who predicts the future. She addressed the old man as a White Knight, and took the old man completely off guard.

     "How did you know who I am?", asked the old man.

     "It is my job to know everything", she replied. "I have some vital information for you", the mystic said. "In a weeks time, there will come a day without a night, a night without a day, and it is then and only then that you can defeat Graham and his spell caster, for one half of an hour, your powers will compound, you will become one with yourself, your Knight will meet your spell caster for the first time, and in this stage, you can win". Before the old man could ask a question, the mystic disappeared into thin air.

     In one week, the old man sat in a audience watching Graham and his spell caster address the public about their new heavier taxes, and then it happened. The moon moved in front of the sun, the sun behind the moon, and an amazing event took place. The old man was engulfed in white light and approached Graham and Emikrol. The light began to separate, and another figure began to materialize next to the old man. The old man stared, looking at the Winter Knight, and The Knight stared at the old man. In another time and place they would be friends, but for now they were allies, two powerful sides of one.

     As the Knight approached Graham, Graham drew his new sword, as did the Knight. Emikrol cast a spell of freezing, the same one he used last time. The old man waved his hand and reflected the spell back to the spell caster, and he froze in his place. The Winter Knight approached the Lord, and quickly disposed of Graham's weapon. Graham fell to his knees. The Knight drew his sword, placed it on the Lord's shoulder, and the old man put his hand on the other,and they spoke aloud.

     "We draw upon the powers of good to heal this man of his disease, and never again let him fall to the powers of evil!" There was a blinding flash of white light, and the Lord fell to the

ground unconscious. The old man then banished the spell caster, for he was purely evil.

     When the once again good Lord Graham arose, he wanted to thank the legendary Winter Knight. He had his guards search the town, but nothing was found except a small white gem. There was a note attached that said, "Whenever I am needed, and winter has come, just hold this crystal in your hand and whisper my name three times, and I shall come.

     Once again, a lone white figure rode across the land on a dark horse, with the moon light reflecting off his armor like a crystal in the sunlight. The days were getting longer and the nights shorter. The temperature was rising, and the snow was melting as the Winter Knight rode off toward the horizon, not to return until the nights were long once again.

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Fantasticoe 1991