A Death Knight's Tale

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Abandoned

A bard finds himself spending the night in the castle of a death knight and hearing the man's story.

This is the original version of this story. People advised me it was extremely dark and I should find a way to make it less so. In the revised version I changed the POV and it helped to make the story a little lighter.

I am just a lowly storyteller, a bard if you will. I travel the realms collecting stories and legends of old then telling them anew.

 

Normally I just tell the story as it was told to me, but this one needs an introduction of sorts.? ? I was passing through this forsaken realm ruled by foul darkness that many legends have been told of, let me assure you that I will not be telling any tales of that.? ? It was getting late as I came upon a lonely castle out in the middle of this desolate land.? ? I didn’t wish to stop but with night quickly approaching and with it the creatures that haunted this land, I was forced to.? ? I was met at the gate by a cloaked servant that I tried not to look too hard at.? ? He informed me that the Master of the castle will allow me to spend the night.? ? I thank the servant as he shows me into a large and well-furnished dining hall.? ? The meal was excellent, but I ate alone.? ? I had finished my meal and was preparing to relax with my pipe when I noticed the shadowy figure standing in the darkness.

 

I hope you enjoyed your meal, Sir Bard.”? ? The voice was a low whisper and made me think of death.

 

It was excellent, kind Sir, and may I offer to tell you a story or sing you a song as payment?”? ? I tried to shake the feeling that I should risk the dark wilderness.

 

No Sir Bard let me tell you a story so that you may carry to the other realms and possibly beyond.”? ? He stepped into the light as he said this and I relieved that I should not have stopped at this lonely castle.

 

He was a Death Knight, one of the foulest and most dangerous creatures magic ever produced, and he wanted to tell me a story.

 

What could I do?? ? If I tried to leave he would kill me so I gave him a smile as I bowed and stated, “The floor is yours, Sir.”

 

Understand I’m no bard and I never had much use for the ability to turn a phrase, so you must excuse the crudeness of what I am about to convey...

? ?

Love… Hate… Two sides of the same coin.? ? It is so easy to change love into hate but it is nearly impossible to change hate into love.? ? Before you start asking what does a death knight knows of love, being a creature solely of hate, let me explain that I was once human and knew a great love that is what made me what I am today.

 

Let me start at the beginning, I was left on the doorstep of the Church and the priest took me in.? ? My earliest and happiest memories are of worshiping in the temple.? ? As I grow I was given other duties and soon my duties took me around the holy knights, the warriors of the Church.? ? When I saw them, I knew they were what I wanted to be when I grow up.? ? I worked hard and did become a knight and in time I was considered one of the greatest.

 

I was a knight of some renown when I was ordered to escort the Lady Cinnia to the capital from her estates.? ? Normally a knight of even my modest standing wouldn’t be giving this assignment, but she was married to the King’s nephew and said to be a favorite of the King himself.? ? My eyes first fell on her as I rode into the courtyard.? ? The greatest artist could never hope to match her beauty and I was in love with that first look.

 

Now I was not only a knight but a holy knight which meant I shouldn’t be lusting for another man’s wife.? ? Besides that, I was a lowly orphan and she was royalty married to royalty I could never court her even if she wasn’t married.? ? I prayed for a way to remove these lustful thoughts from my mind and this unholy desire from my soul.

 

I got no relief and as we traveled to the capital I came to know Lady Cinnia and love her even more.? ? She was like nobody I ever knew before, she wanted to know about me also which was something I hadn’t expected.? ? When we reached the capital, she tried to invite me to her house for dinner, but I told her I couldn’t.? ? She actually had her husband contact my commander who ordered me to attend that dinner.? ? ? I meet her husband at dinner and I liked him, but I couldn’t get his wife out of my head or heart.

 

We three became good friends and even though I didn’t look for it their friendship propelled me up through the ranks of the knights.? ? We would spend hours together talking about anything that took our fancy from politics to religion to the last plays being put on around the capital.? ? A few of her comments were heresy and when her husband called her on it she just laughed and said I would never turn her in which is the truth.? ?

 

It was me that she turned to for comfort when her husband died, but my lustful heart wouldn’t allow me to feel regret for the loss of a good friend.? ? She was widowed which meant that she need not concern herself with rank and station in her next marriage, I could win her heart and make her my wife.? ? I spent all my free time with her slowly trying to get her to see me as more than a friend.

 

I was in the capital just for one day and I decided to drop by to see her.? ? I climb the garden wall like I had done in the past and dropped into the garden hoping to find her reading, but instead, I found her in an embrace with her handmaiden that was completely unnatural.? ? I was shocked and stunned, my love, the one woman that I was completely devoted to was a...? ? I couldn’t even think it as I quickly and quietly made my escape before they noticed me.

 

I fought a terrible battle over what I should do until finally, I confronted her with my knowledge.? ? She didn’t deny it or even attempt to plead she just asked as if she already knew the answer will you be reporting me.? ? I fled with my heart aching for her; I left the capital for the border and throw myself into the battles and wars that came our way.

 

Time passed, and the wars were fought, and enemies were vanquished.? ? We were on the eve of ridding this realm of the Demon Queen herself when I received what I was praying for and dreading all those years, a message from Lady Cinnia begging for my help.? ? She had been found out and even though she had helped her lover escape she was taking.? ? She had hoped that her station, family, and standing with the King would protect her, but they were used against her.? ? She was to stand trial for witchcraft, and she knew that she would be found guilty.? ? She begged me to save her any way I could.

 

I knew my army didn’t stand a chance without me in charge, but I rode from the camp that night with only one thought in my head.? ? She would be my wife after I saved her.? ? My rank and my gold got me to the deepest part of the dungeon where she was being held.? ? When I drew my sword, the guard tried to stop me, and I slew him.? ? I shattered her chains and lead her from that dark dank place.? ? I killed many a good man that night, but I didn’t care right then.? ? She would be my wife soon was all I could think.? ? We reached the gate and her handmaiden and lover awaited her with a carriage.? ? I begged to go with them, but she laughed and leaped aboard the carriage as the maiden whipped the horse into a gallop.? ? I could have ridden them down and killed her, but my heart was broken and all I wanted to do was die.

 

I rode back towards my army hoping to reach the battle before it was over and to die with a little honor.? ? That even was stolen from me, my army was beaten soundly, and I met my men as they fled towards the capital.? ? Instead of turning and running, I continued on hoping to slay the Demon Queen and regain what I had lost.? ? My body was pierced by a dozen arrows before I even got within sight of her and it was only after my death that I met her.

 

She had heard of me and wished for me to lead her armies.? ? I was dead and damned, but my loyalty wasn’t completely gone yet and I refused.? ? She laughed and had two women brought forth that were captured fleeing the capital and offered to give them to me as my pets if I would serve her.? ? That is how in the end I came to possess Lady Cinnia and her handmaiden.

 

It was at this point that I heard a scream.? ? The Death Knight arose with a wicked chuckle.? ? “My pets are awake, so it is time to play again.? ? I hope you enjoyed the story and have a good night, I know I will.”

 

I spent the night listening to two women being tortured and at first light, I was on my horse and away from that place.? ? Now before you get all righteous on me asking why I didn’t rescue them, let me remind you that I’m just a lowly storyteller and he was a Death Knight. Plus I’m a devout coward and what would they have given me for the rescue.


Submitted: July 03, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Alex S. Foley. All rights reserved.

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Comments

niah

Yes, it was dark. However, I enjoyed it anyway.

Sun, July 4th, 2021 1:15am

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Reply

A good story is a good story no matter if it is dark or not.

Sun, July 4th, 2021 9:33am

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