Somewhere in the Middle East
The sound of battle could be heard for miles in every direction. The clashing of swords, the whistling of arrows and the screaming of men. Although the brave men standing their ground were not strangers to war and bloodshed, even they were terrified to the brink of madness today. For their enemy, which they had fought against for a full century, was neither human nor mortal. What they faced was an unstoppable horde of daemons. With claws, swords, axes and spears they hurled themselves against the rapidly dwindling human host. With inhuman speed and strength they tore the humans to bits, all the while their savage howls and sadistic laughter could be heard all across the battlefield and chilled even the hardest of veterans to the bones. For hours now the battle had raged on and the humans were being slowly torn to pieces while there seemed to be an endless supply of daemons.
Yet the humans refused to retreat. Despite the horrible truth that it was all over for them they still kept fighting. For they knew that should they fail, all of humanity would suffer. And with the thoughts of all their loved ones and all that they cherished in life they fought on, determined to end this war once and for all.
In the midst of the battle, standing like an island in a sea of violence, stood a lone figure. Standing 3 meters tall, it was dressed in a suit of black armor, a helmet and a red mantle. The armor was perfectly shaped to fit together, making it impossible to determine where one piece of the armor ended and where the other began. The front of its helmet was shaped in the form of a leering skull and a pair of horns protruded out from the helmet, but whether they originated from the helmet or from the head inside of it was hard to determine. From the helmet two red glowing eyes stared out into the raging battle. The armored knight stood as still as a statue and practically radiated with malice and corruption, and despite all its fearsome appearances what really drew one's attention was a small object embedded in its chest.
The object seemed to be no wider than a pencil and had apparently been driven right through the armor and into whatever lied entombed in it. It seemed to be a small, black crystal and despite its small size it still was the most terrifying aspects of the black knight. It was even blacker than the armor and like a small black hole it seemed to suck all brightness and light from its surroundings, creating a bleak and almost lifeless aura which was more unnerving than the metal monstrosity it pierced. Just staring at it was enough to see that it was pure evil yet at the same time there was something mesmerizing about it that compelled anyone looking at it to just keep staring at it, dreaming about what unimaginable power they could wield if they only possessed that crystal. The ground around the knight was already covered with bodies of men who had fallen to the crystal's corrupting influence and madly challenged the knight head on.
The massive knight didn't even pay any attention to his surroundings; it just kept staring into the horizon. Seeing that the battle was won, the humans were just too stubborn to see it themselves, the knight started to make plans for the future. With the last resistance shattered here he would have complete control of the Middle East and from here his armies would spread across the entire world. He would conquer all civilizations and bring his rule to every corner of the world, he would march from one end of the world to the other. With his power he would unify humanity under his iron rule and if anyone dared to stop him they would be destroyed. It would be so magnificent, the knight thought, and indulged himself with a smile.
Suddenly the knight's dreams of conquest were interrupted when he felt a presence approaching. The knight could easily feel that it wasn't one of his daemonic minions but a human, but there was something wrong with the feeling. The knight had grown accustomed to humans approaching him with fear and uncertainty, often losing their grip on sanity in his mere presence. But this human approached him confidently and fearlessly, like a lion that has finally caught up with a prey it has hunted for days. Sensing that this human could be more troublesome than the ones he had already slain, the knight finally turned to face this new contester. The human wore a pair of sandals and a kilt. He seemed to have worn some kind of light armor but it had apparently been ripped off during the battle and in his right hand he held a golden sword. He was very muscular, almost looked like he could wrestle an oxen to the ground. He had tanned skin and raven black hair, with a hint of grey to it. But his most striking feature was his deep blue eyes that almost shone with righteousness and courage. The knight was surprised that not only dared the human to face him, he also stared right into the knights eyes instead of staring at the crystal, which no one had ever done. This one is strong, was the only thing the knight could think about.
The man stood proudly in front of the accursed knight. This is it, he thought. For decades he had hunted the knight, hell bent on avenging all those lives that had been claimed by him. And now, after twenty years, the end of his quest was within sight. But as he faced his lifelong nemesis the man felt no fear, no regret, just a calmness he had not felt for over twenty years, the sort of calmness a man feels when his destiny has been fulfilled.
"Who are you?" the knight asked. His voice was deep and metallic and despite that he stood in front of the man, it was impossible for him to discern where the voice came from because when the knight spoke his voice was everywhere.
"I'm Ankhat and I'm your death, vile creature of evil!" Ankhat spat back at the knight. Although the knight wore a helmet, Ankhat could swear that the knight was smiling at him.
"My death? You think that you can actually defeat me?" The knight's voice sounded as close to amused as it could get. This only served to anger Ankhat, since it was clear that the knight was mocking him. But he controlled his emotions and fought the urge to charge the knight head on, knowing full well what outcome such an action would yield. For several minutes the two combatants just stood there, observing one another. Finally the knight, apparently grown bored of just watching Ankhat, unleashed a barrage of black fireballs from his hands. Ankhat immediately threw himself to the left, narrowly avoiding the magic missiles. He landed on his shoulder, quickly rolled so his feet were on the ground and launched himself against the knight. Ankhat raised his sword for a strike but the knight didn't make any attempt to avoid the blow, instead he just raised his hand like he would deflect the blow with it. Ankhat swung his sword, made contact with the knight's hand and severed it.
The knight was shocked to his very core. No weapon had ever managed to penetrate his armor. His armor was made of the hardest kind of iron and imbued with dark magic to make it impervious to any kind of harm, yet that sword had sliced right through it as if it was made of sand. And when the knight inspected that weapon closer he found the reason. On the outside it looked like a normal sword but when he tested its magical capabilities the massive amount of energy he detected in it was staggering, what was more disturbing however was that he could clearly sense that it had been forged specifically to kill him. Now realizing that the man in front of him was both willing and more than able to kill him, the knight felt for the first time in over a hundred years an emotion he had practically forgotten, he felt fear.
Ankhat could clearly see that the knight was shaken by his wound. Well he should be, thought Ankhat, the armored creature hadn't been wounded for over a century. Taking advantage of his opponent's distraction Ankhat lunged for him again. The knight, now realizing that he was not as invulnerable as he thought, quickly retreated and tried to put some distance between himself and Ankhat. But Ankhat was not about to let his prey get away and pushed on. Ankhat swiftly advanced against the knight who tried to stop him by summoning a hail of burning daggers out of thin air and hurl them in his path. They were however poorly aimed and Ankhat was easily able to dodge or deflect them all and then charged right up to the knight and made ready for another swing with his sword. But just as Ankhat was about to deliver the stroke he felt a burning pain in his right leg, like someone had poured boiling oil on it, and collapsed. At first he just laid there, writhing in pain, until he finally looked down and he was surprised to see that the knights severed hand had managed to grab onto his leg. It was now glowing bright red and Ankhat could smell burned meat. Ankhat tried to shake it off but it held on, all the while it kept burning Ankhat's leg. The burning feeling was now creeping up his leg and into the rest of his body, and the pain was unbearable. Ankhat just lied there and writhed in agony until he felt a shadow pass over him. Through tearful eyes he saw the knight staring down on him, and once again Ankhat could feel that the knight was smiling at him.
"Do you feel that burning pain? How it seems to engulf your entire body?" The knight asked.
"That is the feeling of your death. As we speak my magic is being poured into your body and it is burning you from the inside out, a slow and painful death" The knight then bent down and grabbed Ankhat by the throat with his remaining hand and lifted him up in the air, holding him only inches from his face.
"This world is mine, every last creature on it will bow before me, and you have lost" The knight hissed and to emphasize what he just said he tightened his grip around Ankhat's throat. Ankhat's vision started to blur and he felt that he was starting to slip into unconsciousness. So this is how it ends, he thought, my quest failed just when victory was within grasp. Seeming to have been awakened from a deep slumber by his own thoughts, Ankhat suddenly felt hate and determination flooding his entire body. No, he thought, this cannot be the end, I will not allow that. Just then he noticed that the knight held Ankhat close enough that he could reach out and grab the crystal embedded in his chest. Realizing that he only had one chance at this, he summoned what strength he had left and stared defiantly into the knight's eyes.
"As long as I breathe, you will not have this world!" Ankhat roared, and then grabbed hold of the crystal and pulled with all his might. The knight then realized what Ankhat was doing and in his panic threw Ankhat away, but he refused to let go and with the knight's added strength the crystal was torn from his body. When the crystal was torn away, the knight let out an anguished roar with the strength of a thunderstorm. When the knight ended his roar the entire battlefield fell completely silent and nobody moved, as if time itself had stopped. Then the silence was broken by a cracking sound from the knight's armor and soon holes and cracks started to appear in the armor from which dark energy started leaking out. First slowly and then as more cracks appeared in his armor the energy started flooding out at an increasing rate, until the knight stood there like a fountain of dark energy. And then the leaked out energy exploded like a black wave and engulfed the entire battlefield, subsiding into the ground and with it the daemonic host also disappeared, banished back to the dark pit that had spawned them. The knight stood completely still for a while and then with an almighty crash he collapsed to the ground, robbed of all the energy that had sustained him for all this time. Ankhat just lay where he had landed, trying desperately to catch his breath. The hand had now let go of his leg and with it the pain had disappeared, apart from the stinging feeling where it had burned his leg. Finally he forced himself into an upright position and then watched where the knight lay. Although the knight did not move, Ankhat could clearly see that his eyes were still burning with life.
"It is over now, your army has been defeated and your power is broken. I have won" Ankhat said calmly to the knight, as if he was just talking about the weather. The knight then started to make some strange rasping sounds. At first Ankhat thought that the knight was having trouble to breathe but then he realized that the knight was actually laughing.
"Won? You think this is all over with my death? You have merely prolonged the inevitable" The knight said between fits of laughs.
"My time in this world may be at an end but I promise you this, this is but the beginning of it! The crystal in your hands is more than just a trinket or a power source, it is a sentient being whose power will shape this world. One day the crystal will find its way into the hands of someone else with the will and power to wield it and for good or bad, the world as we know it will then end" And with those words, the life in the knight's eyes faded and he passed into whatever hell that was reserved for him. Ankhat just sat there for a long time, deep in thought about the knight's prophecy. For nearly an hour, the only sound being heard was the howling of the wind and the screeches of the carrion birds feasting upon Ankhat's army. Finally he stood up and started walking towards his sword. As he passed the knight's corpse he gave his reply to the dead thing.
"If that is true, then I will just have to make sure that no one ever finds it again" Then he bent down and retrieved his sword. He placed the crystal on the ground and raised his sword, ready to destroy the thing responsible for all of this. But as he was about to deliver the stroke, he hesitated. As he looked closer at the crystal he saw the power it had, and started imagining what he could do with such a power. Dreams of conquest and glory uninvitedly entered his mind and without even noticing it himself, he suddenly dropped his sword and picked up the crystal again. Looking upon it closer he started imagining about all the wonderful things he could do with it. He could rebuild all that had been destroyed, unite humanity under his rule and bring order to this world. But it is evil, was a thought that entered his mind, but he quickly dismissed it.
"It was not the crystal that was evil, it was the knight" He said to no one in particular. And with that statement, he walked away with the crystal in his hands.