I failed. The kingdom was saved and yet I still failed. The people whom I considered my closest friends were the cost for the kingdom’s safety.
I had a vision depicting the way to save the most people from the Shaydes and I never should have told them about it. You see, the only way to save everyone else was for my Knights to ride out and face them alone. An absolute suicide mission despite how powerful the Knights were. Naturally, they immediately volunteered for the senseless attack. I forbade them from going but they insisted. I then placed them under house arrest in an attempt to keep them from leaving the capital. I had no real capability to hold them but I had hoped that the gesture would be enough. It was not.
They left the capital in the middle of the night and met the Shaydes in the canyon that lay outside of the city. I could see the battle from the balcony of my quarters but I was powerless to stop it. The bright flashes of the Knight’s elements lit the night to something like midday. And then with one final explosion of blue light, everything was still.
Despite my desire to discover what exactly had transpired, I had to wait until we were sure that the threat had been removed before it was deemed safe for me to go to the battleground. What I found there will haunt me for the rest of my life. The entire canyon was covered in a field of frost. Shayde warriors were strewn about frozen solid. Some near the opposite entrance were still standing in their ordered columns. If I had not known that they were frozen and therefore dead, I might have thought that they would spring into action to attack us when we had gotten close. And at the center of all of this there were four bodies on the ground, each surrounded by mountains of fallen enemy warriors.
These were the Knights of Fire, Air, Earth, and Lightning. I could tell that they had all fallen protecting the final knight who stood at the center of their circle. At first glance he seemed almost alive, but the Knight of Frost stood unmoving with his eyes shut against Shayde warriors that had been reaching towards him. He held a sword in his grasp that he had thrust into the stone beneath him. It became clear to me exactly what he had done in order to stop the oncoming enemy. He had gathered all of the magical energy within him together and compressed it. He then released it in one massive explosion that froze the entire landscape in less than a second. At the cost of killing himself along with the enemy.
We took the bodies of the Knights to give them the burial they deserved. In order to prevent someone else from stealing their artifacts, I had them sealed and hidden away. Now the only ones who will be able to find them will be the ones who are rightfully called. I had the Knights’ armor and weapons sealed away along with the artifacts. They were crafted by the finest smiths in Decra and will surely remain pristine until they can be claimed by the rightful holders of the artifacts.
I know that nothing I do will be able to repay them for what they have given to save us all, but maybe preserving their artifacts for the next generation of Knights will be a start.
From the journal of the First Queen of Decra, written on the 21st day of the 15th year of her reign.