The Knights of the Crux Ansata had gathered in the throne room of Castle Britannia and awaited our leader, the Lady Danica. Upon her arrival, she got straight to business, telling us that we were going to attempt to remove the final three locks imprisoning her sister Charlotte. The worry and emotion was evident on her face as she told us that she didn’t know what would happen, but she was not going to allow her sister to be in pain any longer. Bound and determind to free Charlotte, we headed for Trinsic.
We soon arrived at Trinsic’s jail and without delay squeezed into that same tiny cell that we had been in on two previous occasions, and entered the mind of Charlotte for what would be the final time. At first all was quiet, with the exception of Charlotte, who, encased in her skin of marble, stood alone quietly repeating her broken thoughts out loud: “The child is to blame… I opened the door. I let him in… The slithering snake, the wound at my back…” If she was aware of our presence I do not know, but soon the Memory of Danica joined us and our attentions turned to her.
“So you have come once more.”
The memory glanced over the crowd for a moment before asking us why we had returned. Shouts of freeing Charlotte arose all around and wih a small nod, the Memory told us that if we were seeking to finish what we had begun, we had best get started.
“You know the key.”
The crowd fell silent. The key. What was the key? The Knights looked around at eachother in confusion. After a minute the Memory asked in surprise “Is there no one that possesses the key?” My heart sank. In all our eagerness to get here and finish our task, we had forgotten the key! “No one knows the key? You had it when last you came.” A few more minutes passed, and still no one could remember the key. Amid the murmurs of the other Knights, I could hear Charlotte still speaking her thoughts: “The dark man, the bloody face… The pearl turned to coal… I am coal. I am nothing now… Nothing. I am nothing now. There is only void.” Suddenly a single voice spoke out above the rest:
“moobbnnaae eeeaen booll oom nnebat”
The key! Turning my attention quickly to the speaker, I realized it was Solus; the same knight who had spoken the key during our last visit. However, any sense of relief and gratitude was quickly overshadowed by the subsequent arrival of the Keeper of Keys and the ensuing chaos of battle. Each battle went like clockwork: First the Keeper of Keys went down, then the Star of Adhara followed soon after. At long last the final lock was activated and a Figment of Bellatrix appeared before us.
We fought long and hard, and we had finally won. Or had we? The Memory of Danica faded, for the real Danica was pushing her way past the Knights, towards her sister.
Slowly looking up, a look of surprise seemed to cross Charlotte’s face. “Sister you’ve…..Grown up.” With a small tremble in her voice, she added “They will never forgive me for letting him in… Me… I am to blame…” We watched quietly as Danica tried to comfort her sister, “We were children, you didn’t know what you were doing.”
Hearing those words, Charlotte collapsed and began to cry. Kneeling next to her distraught sister, Danica tried to convince her to return with us, to leave this nightmare. Between sobs, we could hear Charlotte refuse. “Sister… No… I can’t… You have grown up, I have not… My body is his… It is too broken. I am broken and I have never grown up.” Despite Danica’s continual attempts to convince her sister to come with us, Charlotte’s guilt and despair seemed to run so deep that she could not convince herself that she was not to blame.
“Leave me sister… Let me die… Please…”
“CHARLOTTE I WILL NOT LEAVE HERE WITHOUT YOU!”
Danica was crying now, desperate and determined to save her sister. “Thank you for coming… Thank you for trying…” Charlotte looked sadly at her sister before speaking again. “Some things are Order, some are Chaos… This is Order… It was written in the stars.” Danica, looking long and hard at her sister, replied “Then you leave me no choice Charlotte. There is a way…” She seemed to almost smile. “I will take your spirit into my own. We will be one.”
The Knights of the Crux Ansata watched in stunned silence as Charlotte disappeared into the body of their leader. We did not have time to fully understand what had happened, as we heard Danica, this time speaking to us. “We must leave this place… Quickly before it crumbles around us. Back to Trinsic, Quickly.” Bolting for the exit, the Knights flooded out of the jail into the streets of Trinsic.
Danica turned to speak to us again, though she seemed suddenly exhausted. “I am very tired, taking the soul of Charlotte into my own has exausted me. But I must warn you. Before, the change… My sister forced the daemon out of her body. He is here, in trinsic somewhere. Find him, and kill him in my sisters name. Destroy him and take revenge for my family.”
Many of the Knights quckly ran off in search of Sapkbreu, but I remained behind for a moment. While hurriedly tending to my dragon, I overheard a short exchange between Danica and Queen Arya that started to cause me worry.
“Will you be alright?”
“I… I don’t know.”
Shortly after Danica’s departure, Sapkbreu finally showed himself. Looking down upon the Knights gathering around him, he began to speak. “Miserable Fools! You took my little princess away from me!”
“YOU WILL PAY DEMON!” cried Anora Knowles. Sapkbreu turned his attention to her and laughed arrogantly. “Pay? I have spilled more of your blood over the years than you could ever exact upon me. Do you not see that I have already won?”
“My only fault was being too visible. Next time I will work in the shadows. I will not go back into bondage and slavery.” I heard Anora call out again “There is no next time for you Sapkbreu! It ends here. It ends now!” The daemon laughed again. “You will not destroy me. Your death comes quickly.” I could see Solus step forward and speak the key “moobbnnaae eeeaen booll oom nnebat.” With a scream of pain and rage, Sapkbreu came at us with the intentions of destroying us all.
Unfortunately, in all his arrogance, Sapkbreu had underestimated our abilities. We perservered and with a final push, destroyed him once and for all. Yet I still worry. How will Danica be affected by the merging of her soul and her sister’s? How will this development affect the Knights of the Crux Ansata? Is this the end of the Knights, or a new beginning?
Faeryl Tyr’athem Atlantic News Reporter
Knight Captain of the Crux Ansata