Black Saint: Chapter 1 – Galahad


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By Taran Mehta, Staff Writer

10:00 AM | Outskirts of Castle Efran | Kingdom of Tarsingston

The roars of the crowd echoed off the walls. The sun radiated through the cracked windows. Eager townsfolk stood out in the road. The breeze chilled the air in the inn.

“Mornin’ to you beautiful fellers! Welcome to Efran Inn, the home of the best ale in the kingdom! Haha!” announced Buvrik, the keeper of the inn.

He was an old man but kept on his feet. His beard fell to his chest; gold rings glistened on his fingers. He had an eye severed in battle and chose the route of his father, Talion Nordsman, also known as the most famous innkeeper in all the kingdoms. Buvrik always wanted to continue this legacy, but his passion for war had stopped him till now. 

“The inn’ll be officially open for ma lads today! Come on in!” Buvrik yelled.

The villagers rushed in, each taking spots and fighting over drinks. One special young fellow by the name of Galahad sat by the corner. His blue eyes looked down at his hands, as he sat silently amongst the others. 

“What can I get for you today, good sir?” asked Foyer, a waiter at the inn.

“One blue ale, please,” whispered Galahad.

“You are not a talkative one, are you? Ah, it’s ok, we will get you to loosen up in no time.” 

As Foyer headed off to the back of the inn to fetch Galahad’s ale, two large barbarians barged in through the inn door.

“What do you say, Nickle. Care to fetch me a nice blue ale?” asked the larger barbarian.

“Of course, Sire! Grab yourself a seat and I will be right back!”

Nickle was tall and strong, with his muscles bulging through his chainmail. He served his master, one of the greatest barbarians of the west.

“You! Your name?” the barbarian asked, pointing at Galahad.

“G-Galahad, it is Galahad. And you are?”

“Ha! I am Aaron The Barbarian! The greatest and most well-known barb of the west! Some call me The Slayer, but I do not mind either name! Say, you mind if me and my companion rest here?” asked Aaron.

“O-of course! Matter of fact, take my seat! There are only two here, and I will not be needing this anymore,” replied Galahad.

“No, stay! We do not mind, we will just pull up a chair! What brings you to Efran Inn on this fine morning?”

“I am not sure. I do not work too far from here and decided to visit,” explained Galahad.

Eventually, Nickle made it back and they exchanged conversations for a while. When Foyer arrived, a fight started to arise between two drunk adventurers.

“Get your ugly face outta my face before I kill you,” one muttered.

“Oh, yeah? Try it, I can’t wait to see you pleading for mercy,” the other insisted.

They leaped towards each other with daggers high until a large, damascus battle ax stood between them. They both stopped in their tracks and looked over to the side.

“You better not be playin’ wit dem toys, fellers. I do not play around when it comes to ma inn. Get outta here before I have to sweep both of yer heads and blood off the floor, understood?”

“Y-yes…” they answered in synchronization, as they sheathed their daggers and ran out the door. Time passed, and the barbarians eventually had to leave. They said their goodbyes and continued on their journey. Galahad finished his ale and packed his things. He thanked Foyer and Burvik for the amazing service and headed off to the stables.

12:00 PM | Outskirts of Castle Efran | Kingdom of Tarsingston

“Burn him!” the crowd screamed.

Galahad was just passing by when he heard a mob surrounding the stake.

“This man has committed treason, and must pay for his sins! Any last words?” asked the priest.

Galahad was interested in what was going on, so he entered the mob.

“Yes, your majesty,” the man mocked as he spat blood onto the priest’s face, “I will one day watch you die, slowly.”

“Burn him at once!” commanded the priest.

The torch ignited the wood, and the stake lit up in flame. Smoke was everywhere and not much could be seen. The mob screamed as the smoke started to fade. However, the man was not there. The smoke had hidden all the action.

So much smoke, I don’t think that was normal. Something or someone had to have twiddled with the fire, Galahad thought.

“Where has he gone?” asked a man.

“Where is the traitor?” asked another.

“Find him! Now!” the priest commanded. “Oh so help me God…”

Galahad looked around, bewildered at the situation at hand. He searched around and was able to see a small figure veer around a corner. He started heading in that direction when a guard snatched him by the collar.

“Where do you think you are going?” asked the guard.

“Just… heading home?” he replied.

“Well, I will come with you then. Carry on. The best thing I can do is make sure you are safe. With this traitor on the loose, everyone might be in danger. Come, let me escort you.”

Galahad hoped that the guard was going to leave, but at the look of it, he was staying put. Galahad carried along on his way, following any tracks he could find of the figure.

“What’s your name, boy?” grunted the guard.

“Galahad, sir,” he replied.

“Galahad huh? Sounds like a knight’s name. Wish I had a name like that. Wo-”

His sentence was cut off by a strike to the head. A figure plunged from the village rooftop and onto the guard. It drew its knife and slit the guard’s throat. Blood gushed down his neck and his body dropped into Galahad’s lap. It happened so fast that no words had escaped Galahad or the figure’s mouth.

“Argh!” screamed the figure.

As it then plunged its knife towards Galahad.


The front end of the blade stopped a margin away from Galahad’s face. Galahad was panting so much it was painful to breathe.

“Step away, or else you die,” someone whispered.

“Hmph, I doubt you could shoot faster than I can swing,” the figure replied, getting closer to Galahad’s face.

“I would not test it, Wallace.”

Wallace turned to his right, only to see a woman wearing black clothes holding up a crossbow.

“And you are?” Wallace asked, gently pulling the knife away from Galahad.

“Call me a fellow Spearow if you must. But my name is Tania.”

A surprised face came upon Wallace.

“A Spearow? How do you know about the Spearow?” asked Wallace.

“I will tell you later. First, come, I know a safe place we can hide. Oh, and bring your “friend” with you. No witnesses can be let loose.”

 3:30 PM | Spearow Hidden Village | Kingdom of Tarsingston

Galahad awakened to his head and body aching. He glanced around, trying to perceive where he had been taken. He heard a strange voice in his head, shrugged it away, and slowly got up.

“You are awake, I am surprised. Normally people that we perform the ritual on while they are still alive tend to die. You are a special one, I will give you that,” muttered Wallace.

“What treason did you commit?” asked Galahad, turning to the sound of the voice.

“What?” replied Wallace.

“I asked what tre-”

“I heard what you asked, what care do you have?”

“I do not want to be seen with someone who has done wrong. I am no harm to anyone, maybe just a curious man,” Galahad responded.

“Well, I guess there is no reason that I should not tell you, considering you will never escape nor be seen in this location. I attempted to steal the king’s most prized possession,” said Wallace.

“You mean the Crystal Of Chaos?” Galahad added, flustered.

“Correct, the strongest crystal in all of the kingdoms. Whoever wields the stone is granted infinite power, and is said to have never lost a war. Tarsingston had only gained this magnificent crystal through the sacrifice of our greatest warrior, Uthgar. We gave him to Rhinestone, our enemy kingdom, in return for the stone. Even if he could single-handedly take on half of our army, as long as we had this stone, we could not lose,” Wallace explained.

Galahad started to worry as he grasped who the people surrounding him were. He had heard of the Spearow in stories, but they only came across as a myth. They were supposedly a sacred assassin group that never left a single piece of evidence behind. Some called them The Black Saints, the priests who revolted against God. They were said to be demons, very powerful ones too. However, according to the stories, they vanished after Uthgar slew their leader.

Galahad started to regain most of his senses and suddenly felt a sharp pain across his entire back. He managed to stand up and limped to a nearby moss-encrusted mirror that hung off the stone wall. 

“You see it, do you not?” whispered a figure hiding in the dark.

Galahad turned around only to notice, in his reflection, a giant marking of a vulture on his back.

“What is that?!” Galahad shrieked.

The figure walked out from the dark, appearing to be a familiar person.

“It is our marking, printed after our ritual. It has a special magic that attracts the vultures to come and feast on their prey, which is how we never leave a single trace of evidence after all of our kills, but you were lucky enough to survive,” the figure explained.

“Does this mean that I will be eaten alive?” Galahad worried.

“No, it now means that you can now control the vultures.”

What? Control the vulture? The animal? What is a bird going to do? I feel like nothing has changed, I feel no magic. I am ordinary, a common village man. I am not built for this, Galahad panicked.

“Thinking is just the same as talking, Galahad. You will learn to control your powers here. One of them being mind-reading, for the gifted at least.” the figure explained.

They can read minds? What have I gotten myself into?

“If I am not to ever leave this place, what is your name?” asked Galahad.

“I am Flako the Bloodborn, but you know me as Foyer.”

“Foyer? The one who works at the inn?”

“Indeed it is, I am the leader of the Spearow,” said Flako.

“And Bloodborn, that is the sacred name for the ancient, is it not?” asked Galahad.

“Correct, I might just hold the greatest magic in all of the kingdoms. I also hold the highest rank in the Spearow which gives me the most power. You see, I sent Wallace and his friend Brenna to go fetch me the Crystal Of Chaos. They failed, but Wallace somehow survived. However, we are still unsure about Brenna’s outcome,” explained Flako. 

“We do not SPEAK of Brenna here. Understood? A story for another time,” Wallace cut in.

Galahad nodded, taking in all of the knowledge he was given. 

Brenna? No, that must be a coincidence. Did they say never going to escape? Will I be stuck here for life? No, I am escaping. Soon. Tomorrow even. Yes, tomorrow I will escape. Somewhere, there has to be a place, Galahad thought.

Flako stood there, overhearing Galahad’s thoughts. 

“It seems that he has already forgotten that we can read minds. Fear not, we shall give him an easy escape, I want to test his power.” Flako whispered to Wallace, as he drifted back into the dark. 

Wallace peered at Galahad, seemingly gazing into his soul. 

“You are built like a twig, Galahad. Skinny and weak, an average man. How could you survive this ritual?” wondered Wallace.

“I am not sure, I always say it to myself as well. I am a weakling, just a normal man who works at the stables. I earn a couple of silver a week.”

“You live here?”

“No, I live in Castle Efran. I take care of the horses for the royal king,” Galahad replied.

“You work for the royal king? Do you mean King Aldrich? You earn such low income, how come?” asked Wallace. But before Galahad could reply, he collapsed, a sharp pain ripping through his neck.

“Strange, well I better get to work, I cannot make the escape too obvious,” Wallace murmured to himself.

The next morning, Galahad woke up nice and early – or so he thought. Flako and the rest of Spearow were already much ahead of his plan and had set up an easy escape. He stood up and felt around to make sure he was not dreaming, oblivious to the fact that he was being watched through the shadows. Then, he proceeded to search around. He found nothing but paste and food, so he grabbed some mushrooms and headed through the darkened room towards a clearing that looked like it led up towards the village.

“Hey, who are you?” someone muttered in the dimness.

Galahad looked up, only to see a woman in all black, just like Flako. Galahad thought he was caught, however, she proceeded to help him up.

“I am Galahad,” he whispered.

“You are that boy from before, the one who was almost killed by Wallace. You should thank me for saving your life back there. Anyways, come with me, I can bring you back to your home.” explained Tania.

When Galahad emerged from the dark, it took a while for his eyes to adjust to the blinding sunlight. As he opened his eyes slowly, the scenery around him seemed to be a village, but not one that he knew of. “Where am I?” wondered Galahad as they continued on their way.

 5:40 AM | Twilight Forest | Kingdom of Tarsingston

“So Galahad, what made you choose to become a Spearow?” asked Tania.

“I did not choose to become one, I was forced. I was taken in, and the ritual was done without my knowledge. I am lucky I survived, and now I am trying to escape.”

“That’s not how this works, Galahad. Your body chooses if you are prepared and worthy enough to become a Spearow through the ritual. If you die from it, you are given to the birds to get feasted upon. If you survive, something has been found in you,” explained Tania.

They had set up camp in the Twilight Forest, a place where many unearthly beings lie. They had to be careful, the place was very well protected from outsiders who dared to traverse through the forest. 

“So Tania, who are you?”

“Well, I suppose we will stay here for a while. My story is quite confusing, so pay close attention if you care to know. I am Tania…”