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An Arthurian Knight

Hi, I am Sayem Lincoln. I mostly write about graphic novel narratives; this piece of mine details the travelling of a simple man who becomes an Arthurian Knight. Hope you like it.

My name is Lionel Branor, I was raised by my parents in a very modest way of life. I was told by my father that I was born into a family of merchants and that my ancestors used travel all around the world selling carpets, till they decided to come and settle in Zariya.

But I had always wondered whether there was more to my family linage then that which was told to me, because our family neither had any visits from my relatives, nor do I remember a close uncle coming to visit us. In school, I used to see kids talking about how they visited their relatives in a distant place out of Zariya, but when it came to me, I had nothing to share – I always felt that there was more to me and family then what I was told.

I always used to see some people come to our home at night, people who looked like they belonged to some royal army not to Zariya’s, but whenever I asked my father about it, he kept telling me that they were here to acquire more carpets, which was believable at first – but at times passed I saw a pattern in their visit, as they always seemed to visit late at night but at our home rather then the shop; my suspicion grew and I kept asking about it, but my father kept telling me the same thing. Alas, I just stopped asking and decided to pay no more attention to it.

My life continued to stay and progress as it was; I went to school every day, did my work, helped my father in the shop and progressed along. The teachers at school told me I had a good perception and intuition, and they told me that these two skills will be very beneficial to me with whatever I decided to do with my life. I was also good at Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Craftmanship -so my teachers suggested that with enough hard work from my side I could end up being a scientist and craftsman; but destiny had planned otherwise.

When I was about eighteen and during that time one day, I went down to the labyrinth, the one beneath the city to gather up some supplies for the upcoming Fall Tournament in Camelot. Suddenly I heard someone calling out my name, at first, I thought I was just hearing things, but then I heard my name called out again, then I look around and saw an elderly woman tugging my jacket. After that she kept telling me that I am this young hero, and that my family’s legacy is at a peril, she even knew my name. She said that I am from Castle Xargon and evil forces were against me. Then she went on saying that there are knights of these forces that have taken Xargon by surprise, killing servants and my family members, and that my remaining family members who survived escaped to Maggi Metropolis.

After hearing all this, I was shell-shocked and when I asked her how she knew these things, she told me that she was my “banished” great aunt Ludmila; banished because she apparently did witchcraft. Then why warn me? Apparently, she’s still loyal to the family.

After all this, she disappears, and when I look around it’s just people staring at me thinking that I’m some lunatic talking to myself. Now I’ve never heard or remember about any such great aunt, and frankly I think this was all just a figment of my imagination. But if this turns out to be true then I have learned something valuable about my family’s history and about myself, where I come from and who I truly am that I had no idea about.

So, I rushed back to my home as fast as I could and confronted my father about this – he angrily replied to me that all this is nothing but my imagination, but I wondered whether this could be true or not. But my father wanted nothing of this, and just walked away, and at that point my mother walked to me and said, “There is more to you and us then we have told you, I will tell you all but at the right time.”

Hearing that I became more distraught, I didn’t know who I was and where I came from, I was just asking myself, “Who Am I?” – all these secrets and there was nothing that could show me a clear path.

That very night, jump started my whole journey to who I am right now, I saw black armored knights storm my house – taking parents away, the only reason I was not taken in by them is because my mother ran into my room and casted an invisibility spell on me that took me to another dimension; at that moment I could only see both my parents fighting off the knights, but in no way I could intervene and help them; I felt so powerless – all this time I did not know that my own mother was a witch. My father tried to fight them off, as much as he could but as he was dragged away, and the only one thing remained of him was the sword of Hazrafath.

At that point in time, all I could do was cry as I couldn’t do anything to help out my parents, the spell eventually broke and I landed back into the plane of existence, but to my surprise the lady who said that she was my great aunt Ludmila was there, she told me, “Boy, your time is now. Pick up your father’s sword – the sword of Hazrafath. You need to fight for your family now, all of them are dependent on you, but you need training – you need to get prepared before you travel to Xargon, otherwise you will also be captured.”

So, I decide to travel within the nearby kingdoms of Zariya. I pack up the sword and other supplies, and head on – I realized I have decent skills on how to handle a sword, but I need to get better at it, so every day for three hours on my travel I had decided to practice on sword skills by myself. As time went on, I learned that I had gotten pretty good at it and could also strike a blow with precision.

But as I travelled on from one city to another, I became torn between two notions of what I should do? Should I do what is needed of me? Or should I do what is asked of me? On my quest I often encountered situations where I might have been helpful in some ways but at the same times, I know I might not have the correct set of skills to help people in those situations. If I say yes to helping them out and then fail to deliver on that wouldn’t I be creating more of a hindrance, then providing any sort of help for them? But if I turn myself away from that situation where does my moral lie then? Does that make me a bad person? Because inherently I want to do good by people, and I know I am not a bad person, but at the same time I do not want to cause anyone any more troubles. What should I do?

So one night I met a fine young hero much like me, named Rain Robinson – we had a small duel, and it is suffice to say that I lost that one, but she passed on a very important advice to me, as she said, “Always do the right thing, because that is the only thing that counts.” So, that is what I decided to do, on every occasion where injustice was being done, I rushed on to help the people in need.

As I traveled on, I quickly ran out of supplies, but I was close to Zariya, so decided to visit there before my final journey to Xargon. As, I was relaxing in a tavern in Zariya. Suddenly, I hear a sound that chills my blood. It is faint, but growing louder by the second, recognizing that it was people screaming mixed with the deep booms of the city’s alarm bells. I was nearly trampled by people running down the street from a pulsing mass of lava, as tall as a castle slowly oozing toward the city walls. The lava flew over the tavern I was in and crashing down the alarm tower. I dodged the rocks and coughed dust, rubbing down my eyes to clear them seeing a sight of a troop of knights galloping toward the giant.

I saw the king and he was startled, but he regained his composure, and stated, Zariya was in peril, and that he had sent his court wizards to the walls where magically water got launched from the walls, as the only hope to survive this was to fight fire with water, and told me to go to the wall and aid them. I was teleported to the wall and found the wizard’s cannons, as well as a horde of small fiery humanoid creatures attacking them. The wizards cried out in panic, and the monster Pyros launched fireballs and was getting closer. I noticed that the fiery minions had a single flickering flame where their heart should be and used a nearby shield to defend myself from them. Running toward the rest while using the shield like a fan, sending whole packs tumbling. Soon they are all vanquished and I hardly got a scratch.

As I helped the last wizard to her feet Pyros’s left hand slams down on the wall, he’s here, it’s now or never. She and the other wizards cry “Aquamenton!” All three cannons fire streams of water as thick as tree trunks straight at Pyros. He lets fly one last fireball, destroying the left cannon, but he is too late. The water hits him, and a crust of cold magma begins to form on his skin. He is trapped, held in place.

At this point I leapt off Pyros’s arm and plunged my lance deep into his chest, right where his heart should be. After that I jumped down as Pyros groaned. His head bows forward, just within reach and drew my sword and with a few well-placed slashes, Pyros’s head cracks right off of his body. A blast of heat nearly blew my backwards, as his body disintegrated into dust. His head remained whole though, his angry, glowing eyes fading to black. The knights, crowd and wizards around me cheered on and praised me on, seems I will be famous for it. I was also told that I shall be knighted for this incredible feat.

Next day early in the morning, a messenger came and told me “Merlina Victorious has requested your presence tonight at Camelot, in the presence of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, and the knights of the Round Table. You should have received their written summons. Are you ready to go?” I packed up a few necessities and followed the messenger on a day-long journey to Camelot. The traveling was smooth and easy, as if some mage or wizard were very anxious for me to make it to Camelot in a timely way and had the power to quell the beasts of the wilderness and the strange peoples who inhabit the foreign lands. Along my journey, I do not encounter a single damsel in distress, a knight seeking battle or even an odd creature. I arrived at Camelot, just as the sun was about to go down. The Seneschal who is looking out over the gate, cries, “Who have you brought, messenger?” “I have brought that young hero whom Merlina Victorious summoned.” The Seneschal says, “Halt! No-one enters Camelot without my permission. Let me look at this so-called hero.” And, I waited a few minutes while Kay the Seneschal makes his way down.

“You don’t look like much of a hero to me!” snarled Kay. “What has this so-and-so done?” he asks the messenger. The messenger turns to you. “What have you achieved so far, young hero?” I responded by standing tall and stating my achievements proudly, even presenting the head of the giant I bested. As I begin to rattle off my achievements, culminating with the display of your giant’s head. Kay turns away in disgust at the ghastly sight and waved me inside the gates. After entering the majestic hall of Camelot, with its famous Round Table. Sitting there were all the most illustrious knights and the most beautiful ladies. Merlina Victorious greets me and brings me before the King and Queen. “This is that young hero I was telling you about, Your Majesties!” The King looked at me with pride in his eyes. “What is your name, young hero?” I replied, “Lionel Branor, my Majesty.” “Ah,” says the Queen, “I knew your parents. You are of noble blood and worthy of the honor, which will soon be bestowed on you. And now, please kneel before the King and he will cut your hair, hit your shoulders with his sword, and when you arise you will be a “Sir” and a new knight of the Table Round.”

I kneeled before the King. He cuts a small portion of hair from behind my ears and slaps my shoulders hard with the side of his sword. “You may arise, Sir Lionel Branor. You are now in my service and a member of my table round. From now on your valiant achievements will bring glory to this table and our kingdom. Please wear your title with honor. And now, let’s eat.” At that point Bedevere, Arthur’s cup-bearer, and Kay (yes, that Kay) the Seneschal, send out bevies of pages and maidens with golden goblets and trays of rich and appetizing foods. The meal is warm and delicious, and the company is charming.

After being knighted, I finally felt my first accomplishment that I was looking for so long; everyone in the kingdom knew me, praised me – like I was there knight in shining armor. But deep inside me, I always had this feeling of not being the hero that I was praised for – what if, my victory was just a fluke? Maybe I got lucky, that time? So, I patiently waited on, for my next encounter with a demon, so that I could slay that one and also my inner demons. Patiently waiting and sharpening my already acquired skills through everyday rigorous practice. And finally, one day, a demon named Eurynome, which was seen feeding on corpses in the local graveyard at night. All the villagers rushed to my house and told me about the demon. I ran out there as fast as I could with my trusted sword; as looked into the eyes of the demon I could only see darkness, but it glared back at me with all its ferocity, which made me more determined to slay and behead it; eyes locked and me and the demon both running towards each other. As I was coming close to its striking distance, I immediately threw my sword upwards creating a misdirection, took my daggers out, and slit open those ligaments on its lake – blood starts pouring out, and it cries out at its peak voice – but still manages to slash away at my arm. But due to all the adrenaline pouring through me, it didn’t even bother me – and then caught my falling sword mid-air while maneuvering it diagonally and slashing away at its neck – and then its head just falls off its neck. Finally, I knew I had been knighted for all the right reasons. I finally got my Grail – I finally had proved to myself that I deserved what was awarded to me, that It wasn’t a fluke; and that I have got what it takes to defend and protect the people of this kingdom.   

So, with my grail intact and my ability to trust myself and be confident restored, I am finally ready to fight for my family in Xargon; at that very moment my great aunt Ludmila shows up in front me, telling me, “My young hero, I have been watching you fight for the people, you have progressed well, and now you are ready to face the evil forces of Xargon. I have created a magical potion for you, that will give you the power of healing, it will increase your power by ten folds, giving you greater agility and strength.” After that, she casted another spell on me that whisked me away to Xargon.

As I was being taken to Xargon, my great aunt Ludmila, told me everything about me, “Xargon, a place that used to be peaceful now only the air of negativity flows through it, the stories are told that the Coup d’état was not done by royal army willingly, instead the army were controlled by a spell from an evil wizard named Atrocitus. It is told that your father when he was king, he banished Atrocitus from the kingdom of Xargon, for his heinous crimes against humanity, as he slaughtered innocent children in the name of the witch goddess Hecate; and that is when Atrocitus declared war against your father and my family, and that when he returns, he will do everything in his power to ruin your family’s name and kill your parents. That is why your parents had fled from the kingdom and resided in Zariya, only for your safety, and your father had me cast a spell of invisibility on your family, so that Atrocitus wouldn’t find where you were, but the spell got broken once I contacted you in the labyrinth’s of Zariya, because I had to, as your relatives were being captured by the army of Atrocitus. I know your parents being captured was due to my fault, but now only you can help your parents, your relatives and your people – the people of Xargon. I will be with you as you progress on, I will be your guardian angel. But know one thing that Atrocitus can only be killed with the blood of someone pure, because if his mortal body dies, he will not, as he will go onto process another mortal body, the only way to disconnect his magical bond with Hecate is to introduce purity in him, and then killing his mortal body will kill him – as he can be described to be your other side, your mirror; where you are pure and he is the one impure.”

As we landed in front of the place, it could be seen that the whole palace was guarded by troops, but all those troops had a dark aura surrounding them, as if they were being influenced by them. I decided to use stealth to move and progress on to where Atrocitus stayed in the castle. Aunt Ludmila guided me along, as she went into her spirit form and helped me evade all guards, as tackling all the guards head on would have been an asinine move – instead defeating the true evil was the only way for succession.  

So, as I opened the door to the room where Atrocitus was, and he immediately realized who I was, as he said, “Welcome, young one, I have been expecting you, you have invaded me for a quite a while. Your aunt surly has done a great deal, to keep you away from my magic, but now it all ends. Now you will end along with your family, as your linage will pay for what you have done to me and my name.”

Saying that, Atrocitus draws up his enchanted blazing sword and bolts towards me; I pay no attention to his words, as I am here to free my family and the people of Xargon. We both land crucial hits on one another; but his sword does more damage to me then my one does to him. I realize I am losing this critical battle, I am bleeding from my arms, and my armor is at its last strength, but I did figure out a weakness in his moves.

Atrocitus takes a while when trying to strike a blow from his right side, maybe a pre-existing ligament damage to his right side, so to win it all, I will need to sacrifice it all. I let him strike me from his right, and he does, he stabs in my right lung and laughs out loud, saying, “Young hero, you are done, and so will be your family.” Gasping for breath, I reply, “Think again.” And then immediately I take my sword and holding Atrocitus close, stab it through his back- into his heat and into my one. As my blood gets mixed with his – purity enters in him, his connection to Hecate is lost as he gets burned down to ashes.

And then I fell down on my side with two swords stuck within me, gasping for air, as my lung gets filled with blood, I see my aunt Ludmila appears in front of me, and she yells out, “Lionel what have you done my boy. Why? We could have defeated him in another way! Why?” I respond in a faint voice with blood pouring out of my mouth, “Aunt Ludmila none of this was your fault, this was the only way I could save all of you. I became the hero, that all of you wanted me to be, I saved you all.”

And then there was darkness.

As I remember falling through oblivion, and only seeing darkness surround me, I knew what I had done was right – the correct thing. But I could see a little faint light at the below end – as I fell into the light, I saw aunt Ludmila in her spirit form and another being present there – she was Goddess of Life, Gaia.

As the Goddess spoke, “Young one, I am impressed by your indefatigability, and by your stouthearted act. You belong in the land of the mortals, not here. The side of good needs you to fight for them; my side needs you – makes us proud young one.”

After that, I immediately wake up with gasping for air and coughing up blood, but seems like there wasn’t any to cough up to begin with – as my mortal body was all healed up. I look around and see aunt Ludmila wiping her tears, and she tells me, “You now know what the Goddess wants.” So, I immediately knew what had happened to me.

I quickly run down to see what happened – all the armies came back to how they were, they released all my relatives and all army personnel forfeited their weapons and surrendered; in the midst of all the people who were held captives, I see my parents, and I run towards them – and finally hugging them. My father tells me, “Welcome to your kingdom, son.” And my mother gently nods at me.

Everyone surrounding me cheers my name out loud, and states, “Long live King Lionel.”

As king I forgave all the army personnel, as they were not the ones who were committing those actions and made it a mission of mine to fight for the good side, striking down on all evil whether it resided in my kingdom Xargon or not. Xargon became a beacon for hope, a beacon for the greater good.

So, this is my story, this is for you my son, and for the next generation of kings that will fight for Xargon and for the greater good, learn from what I have been through, make yourself a better version of who you were previously, and keep on fighting for the greater good.


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