Four hooded figures stood in the pale moonlight. The cold winter air brushed between the trees and through the mountains. A tense silence wafted about, as three men stood against one. They moved in sync, matching footwork, staying observant. It was a dance to survive. Three men walked in a circle around the other.
The man in the middle reached for his hood and showed his face. He revealed a handsome knight. He had a light brown complexion. His hair laid down his back, black as night, with eyes to match. His nose had a slight hook. His fingers twitched back and forth across the handle of his sword, waiting for his chance to strike. His barreling chest moved with every breath. His eyes flitted back and forth between his adversaries. In one brisk motion he slid backwards through the two of his enemies and drew his sword. All three turned to face him and did the same. With a smirk he spoke.
â€œI guess you caught me.â€ he said.
A deep gristly voice came out from the darkness. The man who spoke was great and burly. He stood tall and proud. He had russet hair and a darker, well kempt beard. The look he gave was one of determination. His hunt was coming to a close.
â€œIt seems we have.â€ He said.
The stirring of the trees provided the chorus for their dance, and the crunching of their boots the verse. One man, older than the rest, changed the tune by sheathing his sword.
â€œPlease, there is no need to fight us. Just return with us and stand trial. You will not be harmed and your sentence will be much less harsh.â€ what the old man spoke was sincere. At the remark the Brown Knight lost his grin. Warmth radiated from his deep red cheeks. His breath seemed to glow with anger.
â€œLess harsh?â€ he asked rhetorically. â€œIf what you say is true, then remind me what happened to Sir Modred?â€
The burly man spoke up, quickly and decisively. â€œModred the abductor was captured and sentenced to burn.â€
â€œAnd you say less harsh. It seems to me that by less harsh you mean that I am to be branded a traitor and condemned to fire without so much as a say from the people. I was named Pendragon. I am rightful king in these lands, and still you chase me down like I am your game. There was no betrayal. I stood for freedom instead of oppression. Since that, I have been cheated by those I called brother. And chased by those I called son.â€
They turned their attention to the last man who had yet to speak. His olive skin was chapped by the harsh weather. A single braid of black hair laid down his back. A hooked nose hung over pursed lips. Every feature was nearly the same as his father. From his sharp jawline, to the dimple on his chin. He sat emotionless, refusing to acknowledge any relationship.
â€œHow is your mother Marcus? Has she managed to stay vigilant in these harsh times?â€, asked the Brown Knight.
With that comment the young man's face broke. His lip quivered and tears welled from his heart. As he stared at his father in hatred, the snow began to melt around his feet. The ground beneath him shook and cracked. Steam rose off of his face as the tears ran down his cheeks.
â€œShe's deadâ€, he said, stumbling over his words, â€œShe was killed by one of your men. On your orders to wipe out the town.â€
â€œI'm sorry to hear that.â€ said the father, who felt true sadness to hear of her death. â€œIf I had known, I...â€
â€œSave your words, it's too late now. Regardless of what has been said here, I am going to bring you to your knees. I am going to put you in chains. You will stand trial and you will be convicted. Convicted for treason. Convicted for the murder of a Pendragon, for the murder of our own. And you will be convicted for the death of my mother who loved you, even as she was raped by your soldiers. I will see to it that you are put in a cell until you are old and withered, and then you will be cast into the fire like the devil you are.â€
A hot glow began to emit from his hands and his sword was set ablaze.
â€œVery wellâ€ said the Father, lamenting the loss of his son, â€œYou will do what you must.â€
A loud crack rang out, as Marcus jolted forward to attack his father. Their beat was intensified by blocked blades and rebounded blows. Fire spewed from the lips of the son, only to be extinguished by the breath of the father. The powerful swings of their weapons were enough to bring down the trees around them, but still fast enough to leave a sharp ringing in the ears of the young man's companion's. The Brown Knight dug his hand into the earth and lifted a tremendous boulder. He threw it in the air and brought it down upon his son, who managed to break the rock with his fists.
The battle lasted well into dawn. Every charge had a counter and every curse a retort. The forest was burnt to bare earth around them. The sun begged for an end to their chaos. The onlookers would ask to help, but Marcus was proud. This grudge-match was his and for that he could not win. The first words of the day were the father's.
â€œFace it, If you do not accept their help I will not fall, not while I have this sword.â€
â€œIt is sad to think, even with the immense strength in that blade, you are so easily challenged by a knight as green as `amâ€, Marcus said. The insult was ignored, but it was meant to be. While ignoring his son's words, the Brown Knight also ignored a slight movement of Marcus's arm. A limb from a scorched tree slid from behind him sweeping his feet out from underneath. The young warrior took this opportunity to grab the sword by the blade and rip it from the Brown Knight's hands, throwing it to the ground. He was stunned by the speed of his son, who was quickly behind him. Marcus grabbed his enemy's hands holding them tight, and motioned for his friend to bring him the aforementioned chains.
At the realization of his loss, the father let out a breath of laughter. As link after link was wrapped around his body, the devil grew more and more spiteful.
â€œSo this is my ironic ending, I suppose. To raise a child from a boy, up to a powerful and strong warrior. Only to have him betray me. You are a bastard in my eyes.â€ he said