Princess Isabella of Voltura stood on a balcony above the gates to her personal home, Haven Keep, surveying the army surrounding her home. The army had been there nearly a week with Prince Edward at its head. This army had all ready taken five or six holdings from the house of Swan. She was determined that hers would not be added to the list. She knew she only had to hold on. Her father and brothers were marching to her aid at all possible speed.
Prince Edward of the kingdom of Forks, wearing full armor, rode up to the gates of the castle his army had surrounded to issue his challenge. "Send out your champion and we will fight. If I win you will surrender the castle. If he wins, we will leave and never bother you," the prince shouted. He could see a priest, several men and a very beautiful young woman with long brown hair on the balcony above him. He could see a gold band across her forehead with a topaz between her brows. She walked over to the rail of the balcony and looked at him for a moment like she was assessing him. She couldn't really see his face since the lower half was obscured by a chin guard and it was too far away to see his eyes. She patted her hand against the rail then Edward could see her speak to the priest then the men around her began to discuss something very angrily. Edward didn't know to which member of the Volturan royal family that the castle belonged but their red Swan sigil flew from the highest tower indicating that the owner was present. He had heard that there was a large army with the king of Voltura at its head marching hard to relieve the castle from his siege. He wanted to settle this quickly and be in possession of it when they arrived.
"Give us a half hour. Our…. champion needs to prepare for combat." the priest called down. The woman and the men went back into the castle. Edward withdrew to wait. Once back among his men, he removed his helmet and ran his hair through his red hair.
In thirty minutes the portcullis began to rise and the gates opened. Edward mounted his horse in anticipation. When the gates were fully opened, a small fully armored figure on top of a large black horse was visible. Edward began to laugh. "You're kidding me! Your champion is a child?" The rider spurred the horse who reared and took off toward Edward, the rider drawing a sword.
"Oh, shit, my Liege, I do believe that the 'child' does mean to fight you," Sir Jasper gasped.
Edward dropped the face guard on his helm and began to move forward, drawing his own sword. He urged his mount to a gallop. His horse stumbled and almost went down as the big black stallion crashed into Edward's horse. Edward also received a blow to the side of his helm from the champion's sword. When the prince wasn't unhorsed, the rider launched at him, taking both of them to the ground. Edward quickly came to his feet only to face his opponent who had his sword ready. Edward was off balance when the town's champion attacked with a flurry of blows. Edward caught all of them on his sword. His shield having been lost when he fell. Edward notice that his opponent wasn't very tall, maybe coming to his shoulder and carried a much lighter sword than Edward. The Champion still carried a shield which was used to skillfully block Edward's blows. Neither seemed to have an advantage. The next thing Edward knew was that he was flat on his back with a sharp pain in his leg, looking at a sword coming at his head to deliver a death blow. The blow was blocked by a larger sword.
"NO! Highness, you can't kill him. It would only make matters worse."
Edward was beginning to black out from blood loss when he thought he heard a woman's voice say, "Make them leave, Seth. Make them leave."