The dark skies began to clear at dawn. Quietly closing his journal, the Nameless Knight made his way out. The streets were silent and not a soul in site. The voices from the night before gnawed at his mind. By the time the knight arrived at the square where he and the elder did battle with the monster, he had made his choice. His code demanded he report to the king.
The way to the castle was pitted with doubt. It had been many years since the knight had walked these steps, and each one brought a new pound of guilt. Seeing the arched gate at the end of the drawbridge, he took a deep breath and proceeded. The walls of Aysel were nearly identical to the Nameless Knights memory. Smooth white stone that ran all around the castle propper, twenty feet high and ten feet thick. The walls were named after the wife of King Rohan II. Her stubborn attitude and unyielding faith were legend by the commoners and fact by scholars. The only discrepancy now was the scaffolding on one side of the wall.
“HOLD SIR!” a voice shouted from the gate. The knight snapped to an open stance, his journal in hand, and his sword peace bonded to his belt. A young man in simple chain mail approached him, spear in hand, but not readied. “What business have you this morning? This place is not for the public.” The castle grounds were not open to the public? That was once the cornerstone of the Rohans law. Any who sought aid could be heard, regardless of birth or status. The Nameless Knight carefully chose his words. “Good morning, I return from a long journey to give my reports to the King.” Holding up his journal, he showed the silver shield on the cover. “By the command of King Rohan III, I am honor bound to deliver this tome. The guard looked confused but examined the emblem with detail. “Its the real thing… but I thought this practice ended, sir.”
As the silence grew more awkward, the boy handed back the tome and his voice wavered. “I… don’t know about this. It wasn’t on the schedule.” As the young guard drew in another breath, the thundering footsteps of another guard came across the bridge. “PRIVATE! WHY AREN’T YOU… oh… I see. You are doing your job for once.” This one was much older, at least in his fifties. He held himself up with confidence and held the air of authority as a captain should. “Private, whats the hold up?” The young guard explained the situation and the knight showed the journal. “The boy is correct, this practice did end a few years back.” The knight stared intently through his helmet, not making a sound. “However, you hold in your hands the last tome of one of our lost knights.” The guard captain opened up the journal and his eyes went wide and then he visibly was mournful. “Sir Leon… My father told me of your bravery and kindness to the people.” Taking a moment to clear his emotions the guard captain looked up and offered an handshake and the journal back to the Nameless Knight. “Traveler, you have brought back a piece of our history. We can now put Sir Leon to rest.”
The Nameless Knight and captain walked silently through the halls of the castle. The tapestry and stone pillars carried nostalgia. “Captain, you mentioned that ‘Sir Leon’ was only one of your lost knights. Who else is missing?” The captain stopped suddenly and sighed. “We have five… or now four lost knights of Aldra. They all were revered for their valor and skill. Christoph, Ramon, Steven, and William are still missing.” The knight gave pause. All of these men were the most valiant knights to ever serve. Ramon’s disappearance was most surprising of all. He was the kings Man-At-Arms all those years ago.
Later, the two found themselves in the grand hall of the castle. At the far end of the room were the three thrones of Aldra. The King sat upon the center throne, the throne at the kings left was occupied by a young man, fiery red hair and a bored demeanor. The right hand throne was dust covered and empty. Taking the knee, the captain made his statement. “My lord, this man has found the missing journal of Sir Leon. As per the code you wrote in the cover, he has brought it to you.” King Rohan III stood silently and approached the kneeling men. “Really? This is a joyous occasion! I thought it was lost to the ages. Gentlemen, rise.” The two men stood and the knight produced the journal. “For you, good king.”
The room took a sudden state of alert. Swords were drawn and faces of hostility were all around. “HOLD! He does not know!” The king shouted. Taking a moment to step back, the king sighed and motioned for the guard captain to retrieve the tome. “Years ago, someone tried to kill me with presenting a letter good sir. I hope you understand.” The knight looked around, and nodded quietly. Flipping through the journal, the king seemed to become more depressed until he finally closed the cover. “Such a pity. His final days were ramblings of the voices in his head… but, now he can find rest.” The young man hopped off his throne and walked over. Politely taking the book from the king, he flipped through the pages but stopped at a particular entry. “Where did you find this journal? Its in surprising condition! Some of this ink looks new.” The knight took a single step forward. “I have a question of my own. Up until his disappearance, what was this Leon’s fate?”
The young man quickly slammed the journal shut. “You will watch your tongue! I am Prince Rohan IV! You will show me respect!” The king then placed his hand between the two. “Hold. This is a fair question to ask. Sir Leon was injured in a confrontation while on patrol. A swelling of the brain drove him to madness and he fled the kingdom.” The knight was devastated behind his helm. “Now answer my question, where did you get this book?!” The prince shouted.
Undoing the buckles of his neck piece and helm, the knight replied. “I have always had it, sir. I also know that the story you told me was not true my king.” As the king and his son raised their voice in protest, they were suddenly halted by the stench of rot and the grisly face of the knight. “For you see my lords, I am… or was Sir Leon.”