My morning had not been great. Not only was there a chilly frost covering the grass outside, but I stuck my paw in the water bowl, spilling it into my kibble. This garnered a glare from my humans, and a huff of irritation from Bricky, the elder pekingese in the house. Bricky is a kind soul, wise and fiercely protective of his family; however, he is not a Knight. Knighthood is typically passed on from parent to pup, but I figure the line has to start somewhere?
The humans had left for their day of work, or shopping, or whatever it is they do. I am not sure how the whole pay for work thing actually works. But then, I live off their generosity so I won’t complain. Until the kibble bowl runs dry, then I might huff and stomp my paw. Once Bricky settled for his morning nap, I began my routine of checking for evil. After twenty minutes I had concluded there was no evil in either the cookie jar, or the large cheese storage box in the food preparing room. I roamed outside for a few moments, listening to the wind and other elements without any resulting evil. Maybe my luck was changing and the day would be a relaxing one.
I padded back to my bed, curled up beside Bricky(a low snore coming from his nose caused a grin to break out on my face) and laid down to take a nap. As I began to doze, a low rumble of magic began pulsating from the TV room. I jerked my head up, senses alert trying to feel out the disgusting ooze of magic I felt permeating every pore of my being. Something old, something evil, and something powerful was coming into this dimension. Slowly I crept over to my hidden compartment, waved a paw, breathed a word of power and unveiled my hidden compartment containing my armor and Knighting equipment. I quickly put on my armor, slung my shield over my back, and sheathed my sword under my shield, in ready reach of my teeth. Waving my paw again I hid the compartment(it wouldn’t due for a mouse to get in there) and hid myself using my illusion magic. Its not great, but I am getting better at it.
I glanced over at Bricky, and of course he was still sleeping. I swear he could sleep through the Apocalypse. Pleasant dreams buddy.
I peaked (haha) around the corner looking for the disturbance. In the center of the TV room, a swirling dark portal was forming, growing larger, and pulsing as if alive. I cocked my head to the side, and stuck out my tongue. No, I wasn’t attempting to be cute, its a traditional canine expression that the Knights utilize to taste the type of magic they encounter. Instantly I gagged, almost regurgitating the cheese, cookies, kibble, and last nights swiped meat. I had never encountered, nor heard of this type of magic. I briefly pondered my options. I could gather all my power, and strike now before it entered the world, hoping to disrupt the portal and delay it. The downside of course is I would be spent, and if this entity was as powerful as it appeared, it probably would be able to retry immediately. I could wait until it was in this dimension, and attack physically and magically at the same time, hoping to land a sucker punch. That will probably be my best bet.
I waited, hidden behind my illusion, gathering all the power I could. A shape began to appear, and my heart stopped cold in my chest. It couldn’t be, not yet, not here. A glowing red form began to appear, a fiery stead emerging, with a rider on its back. Well, stead in the form of a badger. Glowing red, with red eyes, red bridle in its mouth, red saddle, and upon its back, wielding a sword easily twice the size of mine was the creature whispered of in legends. The second horseman of the Apocalypse, War. Sheathed in red armor, steam rising off the armor as if on fire, the beaver of War looked upon me. Turning his badger stead, he faced me, calmly, seeing through my illusion as if it wasn’t there.
I quickly searched my memories for any information on War. Obviously being a beaver was a shock, as was the mount, but the old text never are really specific. Besides, it could appear as it chose, being War and all. Unbeknown to most people, beavers are quite warlike. What do you expect from creatures that flood rivers, use their teeth to make spears, and hunt all the time?
“Knight, I bid thee, thou must move from my path, and depart, or thou shalt surely die”, rasped the voice of the beaver. Lowering its sword, it muttered a word, and pure power hit me, through my shield, knocking me back over the soft seat thingie into the wall. Shuddering I rose up, looking at War. That ancient gaze looked me, emotionless, cold, empty. Raising his sword again power surged towards me and ripped through the wall, barely missing me as I darted to the right, my sword in my teeth, my magic flowing through me giving me speed. Head low, legs churning I skidded across the linoleum in a tight turn, launching myself at War’s left side, my sword gleaming blue. War casually flicked his sword at me, deflecting my attack, then sent more energy at me, destroying the front door. Man was I gonna get it. Well, at least if War kills me, I won’t have to explain to the humans what happened.
Nudging his badger into a trot, War charged me, sword held low, a blur of red as he approached. Rolling to my left, I managed to get my shield up, taking the blow and re-directing it towards the ground hoping to cause him to become hung in the floor and dismount. It almost worked. Instead of dismounting, he merely ripped a furrow through the floor. The second he was past me though, I was on my back paws, sitting, my front paws weaving the gesture to bring my magic in a pure blast of power. I woofed mightily, energy blasting from my paw, causing the floor to buckle in front of me. War merely reared on his badger, contemptuously brushing my attack to the side.
I collapsed, trying to recover any power I could. I had burned most of my energy keeping myself shielded from Wars power, and spent the rest in that blast, and he shrugged it off as if it was nothing. Gritting my teeth, I balanced my sword. I guess I had one attack left in me, and it was going to be purely physical. War grinned, showing his over developed teeth, and charged me again with inhuman speed. I prepared my attack, knowing it would be my last. Crouching low, I prepared to pounce, when a brown and white blur hit War’s badger like a freight train. The red badger crashed into the wall, nearly dismounting War. I turned, curious as to what happened, and witnessed Bricky standing there, paws angled out in a classic defense posture, lips pulled back over his teeth, and glowing with blue energy. Blue energy? But, I should have sensed it! War righted himself, adjusting his armor and sword and looked at the both of us.
“One Knight, or two Knights, it doth make no difference to me. I shall slay thee both, and thy deaths shall fuel my power”.
Bricky never batted an eye, but bounced forward twice and hit war again with pure mystical energy, dazing War slightly. Looking at me, he gave me a fierce glare, and pointedly looked at War. I understood on some level, I couldn’t explain,what I was to do. Bricky moved forward, faster then I ever saw even War move, and moved into position. War retreated a step to prepare his defense against Bricky. I channeled all my remaining energy to the tip of my sword, and lunged into War’s now unprotected back. My blow was mighty, and as War was falling forward, Bricky plowed over the badger, shattering bones. We moved side to side, staring at War, as that ancient beaver stood up.
“I hath not enjoyed my self this much in eons, ” he rasped. “But all things must come to an end, and my time here is nigh. I doth travel to the land in turmoil, where I shalt feed off war, feed off death. But mark thee well my words Knights, soon my three brothers shall break free and enter thine world Upon that time, no Knight, nor human shall stand in our way.”
Balancing on his tail, muttering, a red glow appeared, removing him and his badger from sight. They did not leave this dimension, but moved elsewhere. I stood on shaky paws, and looked over at the Peke I thought I knew but did not know at all. He merely looked at me, ancient wisdom in his eyes, turned and woofed twice. A deep resounding woof, setting my teeth on edge, and I watched as the damage from the battle repaired itself. Slowly he padded back to his bed, curling up and going to sleep, leaving me to wonder what other secrets he held. I would let him sleep for now, but there would be a questioning later.
Shaking my head, I went to disarm and re-hide my equipment. After this experience, I need to send a messenger to the Knights monastery and inform them that War has been loosed in the world.