The Nameless Knight awoke with a start. His head pounding with pain, his hands tied, and his eyes blinded with cloth. A sudden lurch upward sent pain through him again. “Where am I?”
A kick to the chest nearly had him retching. “MY LORD! The… prisoner is awake.” This voice was new. “Oh good. I didn’t want to execute him before he woke up.” That voice was the prince. “So… I am to be killed, my prince? I must warn you, that may be difficult.” A heavy thud landed just to the knights side. “Shut your mouth, corpse. You brought home a fake journal just so you could mock us in our home… Well I intend to see you burn and then beheaded if their is anything left.”
After what felt like an hour, the knight felt the cart stop. The air was cold. The sounds of wind through trees hung over him. “Traitors Edge?” The knight mumbled. The new voice laughed and replied “You even know some history… how quaint.” The knight shook his head no. “Its not the first time I was here. The king had brought his son here as a boy. I was charged with the princes protection.” The blindfold was pulled forcefully from him. The form of Rohan IV stood before him with an angry scowl. “Enough. Start marching.” When the knight stood, he then noticed. His armor and sword were gone. All that remained was his rotting form and a bit of cloth to retain a minimal amount of dignity. The three made their way off the road north. The trees formed a sort of path up to a sheer cliff over a hundred feet down. The bottom was blanketed in darkness as the sun sank down.
“Secure his bindings. Though I loathe the idea, tradition dictates he gets his last words and water.” The prince drew from his back an old crossbow. Its paint was chipped and rubbed from the hand placements and had seen considerable use. “Speak your last words now, corpse. I wish to save some time.” The knight nodded. “As you wish. I’ve always done what my code demanded. I fought to protect those who could not protect themselves, never turned my back when evil appeared, and fulfilled my duty as best as I could. I regret most that I could not fulfill my final mission, and that you turned out to be so bitter.” The prince stopped cranking his crossbow at the mention of him. “And what would you know? Are you suggesting that I believe you to be the real Sir Leon?!” The knight nodded yes. “Then tell me, ‘sir’ what did I say to you at that spot?” The prince then pointed at a stone pedestal. It was worn from the elements and had no outer mark. The knight stood and stared without a motion.
In his memory, the day was bright. Sir Leon stood to the right hand side of Rohan IV. “Father wanted me to see this horrid place. Its where his father dueled a traitor in his youth, and now its where we execute traitors to the kingdom.” Leon looked on at the king standing by the cliff edge. He looked somber as he gazed down into the black pit. Drawing the blade at his side, King Rohan III then took a knee and began to pray. “And their he goes again! What good does it do?! Its not like anyone hears him!” the prince wined. Leon patted the young prince on his back and hushed him. “I do not pray young prince, but it is what many others do.” The prince looked up at him confused. “Praying is what someone does to try and make peace with the dead, or ask for guidance from the gods. I have lost my family already, and I have no love for the gods.” The princes’ face scrunched. “I want to push him off.” The knight then grabbed the boy by the shoulder and turned him forcefully to face him. “Then I would pray.” The prince looked shocked. “Why?!” Leon knelt down and looked him in the eye. “Because I would execute you as a traitor, and then go home to meet my own end at the hand of your mother.”
When the knight snapped out of his delirium, he turned back to the prince. “You wanted to push your father from this spot. You were bitter then because of your namesake, and you are bitter now as a man still in the shadow of his father. I pray that your crossbow does what my own blade could not. That it strike true and I can leave this cursed existence.” The prince looked infuriated. “You pray?!” The guard then finished binding the knight to the spot and stepped aside giving the prince a clear line of fire. “I would have then, and I will when you draw that crossbow.” With a final crank, the bolt was placed. The Nameless Knight sighed and began to mutter to himself. The prince leveled the heavy weapon with unending fury in his eyes. “On this day, I remove another filthy traitor from this world. Good riddance, scum.”
The trigger pulled.