The Dark Lion of CarthMature

In a wave of thundering hooves, snapping banners and clinking chains the knights tore across the countryside. They were a long way from home, the greenery of the Carthean valleys and plains surrendering to the harsher, colder landscapes of Lok'Rath. 

On the dawn of the thirteenth day of their ride, their leader directed them off the cobbled highway and down onto a muddied traders road. They followed the road for two days further, down off the tundra and into an old forest nestled between the shoulders of two stark mountains. 

The track became harder to follow from then, and their going was slower, but still, in the afternoon of their third day riding under the towering cathedral of nature the forest began to lighten around the troop of knights, and not long after opened into a broad clearing.

There, the leader paused, and smiled. Centered in the clearing was a village, a conglomerate of dark wooden huts roofed by sticks and straw. Drawing his sword, he gave the signal.

Yheron, the chief of this small village heard the cry go up as his people spotted the knights. He'd long expected this day. Pulling himself to his feet, he made his way out of his hall and into the light afternoon drizzle. The mud was pleasantly cool on his old feet, the rain refreshing on his tired face.

He could see them between the buildings, riding out from the forest, flashing gold and red with steel in their hands. They were spread wide, all of them riding shoulder to shoulder, ready to embrace the town. One of them stood out to Yheron, he rode in front of the rest, and instead of Red, his lion was emblazoned on a background as black as deepest night.

They came into his town without a word. His men scurried behind behind him, armed with an assortment of staves, axes and pitchforks. They were simple people, not warriors. The women and children hurried to their houses, barring their doors and blocking windows.

The dying light of the sun was a brilliant lit red, and it seemed to Yheron, as the light hit the thin slivers of rain, that the entire sky was burning. As the knights entered the muddy square, Yheron began to pray.

Their leader stopped in the middle of his square, and removed his helmet. Long dark hair fell to his shoulders. He handed the helmet to a young, unarmored boy behind him, who in return handed him a leather bag.

From this leather bag, the dark knight drew two items, the first was a silver crown, crafted with patterns that resembled waves sweeping forward and cresting at the peak of his brow and the other was a scroll, decorated with intricate silverwork patterns.

From this scroll, the prince began to read. 

The first sentence detailed who he was.

The second was the accusation leveled against his people.

The men behind Yheron began to protest with raised voices.

The third sentence defined the punishment for this crime.

Men rushed past Yheron, the knights met them with ease, cutting them to the ground with singular strokes.

The forth sentence was notice that the court had found his village guilty of the crime.

The rest of the knights began their advance. Their horses stepping over the rent bodies of his villagers. More men were running at the knights now, screaming curses and insults. Yheron looked to the horizon again. 

Hoping, in vain, for the moon to rise.

The End

2 comments about this story Feed