by Joshua

chapter one

invitations.... again.

The infamy of the title, "Black Knight" have lasted as long as there have been knights to fit the armor... (Not that we've necessarily worn the same armor over the generations no, quiet the opposite... look basically its just a metaphor just for you too slow to understand). Anyone with the skill has become a legend which starts us on this story... my story.

In the town of Horkshire, the evening was rather eerie and grim. The rain was pouring like heaven was relieving its stress by sobbing its frustrations out onto the little town. The rickety little town wasn't much, the houses were old and patched roughly with what seemed like whatever could be used, scraps of tin, boards, bits of rugs, even bits of rawhide could be seen drapped over corners and gaping holes. Shop signs hung, swinging slowly in the wind while slowly decaying even more in the rain.

The muddy dark streets were empty except for a scrawny chewed up looking hound. The mut was watching three filthy pigs wallowing at the end of a tavern from the poorly sheltered porch of a poor serf. The light from the tavern doors and windows glowed warmly in the dark night. Bits of cheery laughter could be heard from outside by a horse tied to a hitching post. The horse pawed at the ground nervously, sensing something that he didn't quite understand, but

was certain of danger.

Two men on horse back made there way slowly down the dark murky street. They wore thick dark colored cloaks that kept them dry enough but the clothing was shabby enough to be discreet. Whatever rain made it past the thick fabric, landed with a "plink" against armored bracers and gauntlets. Two long sword sheaths hung from each of the horsemens saddles, each set decorated with different patterns in the leather. They stopped in front of a large road leading towards the center of town which just happened to be directly in front of the tavern. They stopped at the other side and slowly slid off their horses.

Flinging his cloak up around his shoulders, one of the men revealed from chest to toe blue grey armor heavily plated, crested with a black hawk entangled by a blue serpent. He removed the sword belt from the saddle and clipped it on.

The other removed his cloak entirely tossing it on to his horse giving view of his brownish armor and helm. it encased most of his head and face with a T shaped visor for his eye sight and breath, it also revealed a third sword twice as big as the others strapped to his back. Upon his chest a boar battled a savage looking wolf which tore away at the wild pig. The man grabbed his belt and flung it over his shoulder then began to walk toward the opposite side of the path. His partner tied up the horses to a post. He then turned to look up and down the street. No one appeared to be around except for himself and his accomplice, if his violent associate could keep his blood thirst down they may have had a chance.

Down the street the man with the sword at his back fingered the hilts of his blades hungrily, they had waited a long time for this and he was beginning to feel the cravings of battle, he was just about to march in to the tavern when the reason for there travel walked out the tavern door, a man stood at the door garbed like the two in the rain but with black plating glinting in the light of the tavern, with strange creases and designs his helmet was rested between his arm and hip revealing a mask black his armour and bearing the markings of two white slash's of paint like the eyes of some night creature. At his hip was a strange black sword with a wolf and dragon emblem that suited its master well, like the armor its sheath bore the same strange marks. At his back the outline of a shield could be barely seen.

With out looking at each other the two knights moved toward the third. The third noticed them quickly and moved out into the street. They met each other in the middle.

the blue knight spoke first

"You are the black knight Speratus."

It wasn't a question.

"No, I'm sir Ratherdashing just returning from battling the evil Vikings"

the brown knight snarled putting a hand to his swords.

The blue knight cut him off.

"I'm assuming you know who we are."

"Your assuming that Im assuming, you are sir Devonshire cold cunning genius of the Italian peninsula tournaments, and sir Waren terror of the germany blood games."

Waren the brown knight chuckled savagely

"And you probably know why we are here then"

he said with a growl

" well since you two are not really known as good friends your either have joined forces to rid of me as competiton and raise yourselves to the top of the rank list, or the librarian really wants her book back."

Sir Waren again snarled angrily but was once again interrupted by sir Devonshire

he shouted loud enough for any to hear

"Sir Speratus, black knight of the dark forests of

horkshire I, sir Devonshire of the house Crawft and Waren of Scot challenge you to a duel."

one of the white blotches on the black knights mask raised itself giving the impression of curiosity

"Two on one?" he asked

they nodded sir Waren scrunching his shoulders agitated

"And the rules?" Speratus asked

Devonshire answered "cripple or kill."

Speratus snorted it was obvious which one they would pick. The blue knight continued

"You are allowed the choice of weapons"

Speratus scoffed, they thought he only had the sword at his hip but he would play fair, just for the fun of it. He nodded

"I accept your challenge by choosing swords"

Sir waren snarled with glee.

"Then let us start!"

he growled unsheathing his blade, Devonshire smoothly did the same sliding into a battle stance, the black knight sighed then easily slid his helmet onto his head, standing back he pulled out his blade it was a strange blade with a serrated edge and a gold line a long the back, he also un-slung his shield showing the silver gray insignia of a wolf, on one side the shield was sharpened and serrated like his sword. In the light he resembled a dark storm cloud among the gloomy grayness of the sky, his stance came as natural breathing and as easy as slouching.

a throaty growl echoed from inside of sir Warens helm as he spun his blades testing there weight. Devonshire swung his blades with a dexterous flicks testing the air. The rain had stopped as the three knights began to circle each other eyeing each other, watching for the right time to make a quick strike.

Time passed on. Speratus tired of waiting and was about to make his move when the savage knight Waren lunged forward with a guttural snarl, swing both blades hard toward the black knight, he paired the first then had to duck the second so he could use his shield to deflect a surprise strike from the swift Devonshire who struck immediately after Waren, he spun tripping both knights, Devonshire caught himself spinning into a swift jab that was deflected by the black knight with a flick of a wrist catching his opponents blade and flinging its owners arm back sending him unbalanced and hindering his second attack which missed by a few inches.

speratus then spun catching Waren's brutal blows and thrusted him back, he swung out his foot kicking Warens legs out from under him. The black knight leaped back in time to engage the blue knight who lunged swinging a flurry of swift careful blows, then Devonshire rolled to the left of the knights legs just barely getting caught by the point of Speratus's shield who had to quickly block a barrage of savage strikes from Warren who locked his blades against the black knights shield and sword who pushed him back once again.

In a rage Waren swung again to be once more blocked then dodged as the black knight had to block Devonshire who had once again pull tried to cripple the knight with a ham stringing slash which was paired by Speratus's shield this time using the razor edge scraping down his arm with painful results. Devonshire shouted in pain clutching the bleeding limb.

Sir Waren ignoring his partner charged for a third time once again lunged locking his blades to the blade and shield of his opponent. Speratus shoved forward once again pushing the savage Waren backward staggering. Absolutely enraged by being over powered for the third time, he swung a blade into the razor sided shield, knocking it from his enemies hand, but losing grip of his sword in the process sending the blade flying. Clenching his hand in pain he snarled in disgust, he flung his other to the ground then reached back to pull the long sword from his back.

Snarling he charged hammering the knights blade over and over again driving him to his knees. Speratus could see the grin in his eyes through the gaps of his T visor, Waren raised his blade to make a final blow upon the black knight snarling in triumph when it was blocked, hard by the black knight who then began to hammer his way up off his knees, then delivered a powerful head-butt that sent the astounded battle crazed knight to the ground, lying in a heap in the mud out cold, and wet. Speratus shook his head at the knight at his feet then shot his elbow backward into the devonshire's stomach who had tried to strike him from behind with his good hand. sending him to the ground in a ball.

Speratus checked the two knights to see if they still had any fight left in them. Then he stretched stiffly cracking his back, this "scuffle" had been a little agitating and he was ready to go home. he then addressed the two men at his feet."well gentlemen not that this hasn't been any fun but I must be going home now." He said.

He then walked to his horse first kicking Sir Devonshire in the head rendering him unconscious then retrieving his shield he mounted his horse and trotted away mumbling about inconvenience

Of course I was grouchy, I mean come! I walk out from a warm fire, meal and conversation, to run into two tin heads who want to disembowel me for a rank in the "knight's list of combatants" or "the list" if your new to the jousting world