THE MIDNIGHT KING
The sands of time put every story to the test, even those that seem to defy the barriers imposed by people with the power to subdue them. Yet some survive. Mutated, changed, altered, yes, but they continue to struggle against all adversity to be remembered. Especially by those who have something to gain by the wisdom they preach...
Dark as that wisdom may be.
It is said that a long time ago -- before the Aegis was erected -- a man was born who could wield the powers granted to him by the Shadow with such skill and fierceness that even the Church feared him. He recruited others with powers into his own personal army and titled himself the Midnight King. Members of the Church sought to defeat him as he brought carnage across the land, yet his guile and abilities turned the tide to his favor every single time.
One man, zealous amongst even the most pious, went forth to wage battle against the Midnight King. It is not remembered where he came from. Some whisper that the Light brought him into existence in order to balance the scale; others, men of self-proclaimed reason, assure he might’ve been sent from beyond the known realms. Regardless of his origin, this valiant Knight of Dawn made it his mission to engage the forces of Shadow and once and for all drive them off.
This is where the story varies depending on the teller: some will say the Knight of Dawn could wield the Light itself into powers that would consume the Shadows; others attest that he had in his possession a weapon he called Morning Glow that could ward off any magical attacks; others, of course, explain that the Church aided him while he cut his way through the Midnight King’s army and drove a blade through his heart.
Regardless of the version, all stories speak of a grand battle that took place on a field of white flowers. Such was the tide of blood that by the time the fighting had ended, the flowers had been marred crimson.
In the end, the Knight of Dawn did indeed drive the Midnight King and his forces away and then disappeared himself.
Other stories will speak of the Knight of Dawn as well, for such is his memory in the minds of those faithful to the Light that he has become a legendary folk hero. The Midnight King himself is used by some mothers to scare their children into obedience.
Yet there is one part of the story that few mention. They say the Church has gone through a great deal of trouble to quell it in the past, to label it fake. Yet the memory lingers on in the minds of those who know this tidbit:
It is said that the Midnight King’s magnificent power was the result of dark rituals that could summon the very source of the Shadow to his command. It is said he passed this knowledge on to his followers who in turn continued to leave it as a legacy for those who would seek it. It is for this reason that many (‘uncultured’, those of higher learning might say) believe it was this knowledge that Bernan Woodsong put into words, the crime for which he was persecuted and executed by the Church.
Yet that is the nature of stories: they change, they grow, they dwindle, they propagate, and they inspire more stories... the truth of which can never be assessed.
Return to Fastheld_Literature