Errant Knight

by Orcus

Chapter 1: Unto Eternity

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This forest... I presume it is called the one of Fallen Giants... was cloaked in a gloom of fog this morning, as witnessed by me when I awoke. My last memory before nodding off into dreamless sleep was the panicked visage I was given by a fool who had the audacity to strike at me with his pitiful dagger. I promptly struck him down with a swing of my sword, its durable blade cutting through him like wet paper, before walking up to and taking refuge beside this broken, dead tree, which resided in the center of a ruined courtyard.

Undead, hollowed soldiers from a millennium after the time of Heide, but long before this one, clad in moth-eaten, dirt-stained grunt armor of what I presume to be infantrymen, pass by me and the ruins that surround us, walking in constant circles. Their sagging, rotted flesh and clothing matches their absentminded moaning and shambled lurching, resembling that of a drunkard who had himself too much ale.

I bear no quarrel with these lost creatures. They have left me alone, and I do the same. We have something in common, with our hollowed selves being one such example.

My armored body, though I presume to be tall and intimidating to behold to most when I am standing, is also worn from the many centuries of abuse. Sticking from my armor's thick, near-impenetrable metal carapace, are many arrows. Three stick out from my helmet, a few point from my chest, while most line, riddled like darts, along my white-caped back. I've earned them all, in both from the ones fired at me in life, and the ones undeath has brought me, courtesy of the occasional foolhardy bandit or adventurer.

My sword, which I believe was an incredible work of craftsmanship back when I was alive, points blade-first to the ground, in between my sprawled legs, while its pommel-up side, complete with a curved crossguard, rests idly on my shoulder. Due to being made of the same, tough material as my armor, its blade has never dulled in the years I have used it, both alive or not. It is one of my last, recognizable possessions, and I cling to it with a special kind of fervor. I once remember a particular fool tried to steal it from me while I was in a position like this, thinking me dead, or too far gone in my hollowed state to know how to use it. He didn't live long enough to apologize.

I continued my pursuit of sitting there, fruitlessly attempting to remember my past as I usually did, my only discernible reason for being. My head suddenly finds itself lifting as I sense something new coming from nearby, and I'm not disappointed by what I find.

Just a few feet in front of me and my tree, was a bright, glowing, ovular shape of energy, an image of something coming from inside it, as if displayed like a window. The hollowed infantrymen didn't seem to notice it, and went on with their meaningless existences, rambling about through the fort's ruins like the empty shells they were, waiting for something to cross their paths to attack.

After a few seconds, I noticed that it felt as if something was pulling me to it. It was a supernatural feeling, compelling me to approach the light like a moth to a flame. Finally heeding the alluring call at the realization that I now had a purpose, as simple as it was, I shake to life and stand up. My ancient joints creaked like snapping wooden branches, and my armor rattling as it once more was put to use. My ragged cape, its end long and intact, but heavily tattered, blew in the passing breeze as I gripped my sword between the fingers of my gauntleted hand.

Then I approached the glow through the mist. Shambling forward, and pushing aside one of the smaller, pathetic hollows that strayed in front of me, my gait began to improve until my hunched figure was more alive. I approached the portal, and without a thought against it, I entered.

The moment I did so, I left behind my dying world, and found a new one.

As I enter, I find myself in a land of white. Endless white, as far as I can see. An entire void of white nothingness. An invisible whisper begins to rake through my mind, not mere moments after setting off into this bleak environment, repeating three words, in a voice that resembles nothing I've ever heard of before.

Equestria... Harmony... Purpose.

The whispers soon cease, but onward I travel through this void of white, the grating sound of my sword dragging on the ground behind me, never dulling. Whether I had been traveling through it for a few minutes or an eternity, I did not know nor care, for now I had a purpose. An uncomplicated purpose, but a purpose nonetheless.


And so I went forward, walking, shuffling, and ambling, until I noticed something new finally take place.

My surroundings had changed. What was once blank desolation, was now the entrance to a cave. Outside the entrance, I see a gully of stone leading to a sunlit forest, a blue, cloud-filled sky overhead. Detecting faint traces of light out of the corner of one of my helmet's visors, the one without two separate arrows sticking out of it, I turn my hunched, cloaked body to the source, and spied a glowing tree.

Even with my condition, I see that it is no ordinary tree. Its hide appears crystalline, and it bears nearly a dozen branches, each one helping to form the round pattern of what appears to be a star. At the end of five of these branches, embedded in the crystal, lie gems of various shapes and colors, their individual tints leading to a star-shaped gem, fittingly encrusted in the center. It looked fairly harmonious, but after a few seconds of staring, I lose interest in the object, and turn back around, starting for the cave's exit.

As I finished traversing the ravine, I found myself in the middle of a luscious forest, unlike where I previously rested before coming to this land. Where I once laid my body was a captured woodland, plagued by ruins from times before, but here there were only trees, bushes, and the grass below my armored feet.

It was indeed a forest, everfree of turmoil and civilization. Everfree of conflict and depression. Everfree of cursed hollows, and unnatural aberrations.


I continue onward, leaves and twigs snapping below as I step on them. Eventually, I come to a small clearing. The clearing had only a single tree, small and skinny in build with a leaf-covered top, growing from the center, while the rest of the forest circled around it. As if drawn to a beacon, I trudge up to it.

Upon reaching it, I ran my free hand across its light brown bark. Even with the armor enveloping my appendage, I can detect its age is great, yet it has not seen, or been in conflict of any sort. I turned my body around and sat it down on the dirt and grass in between and against the plant's roots, sprawling my legs out, and easing the grip on my sword. I lower my head, and let easy, but unneeded whisper-like breaths exit my mouth.

And there I rested.

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