Sir Ulfbert thrust his torch into the dark cavern. His hand shook at the thought of the quest that awaited him within.
“You seek to prove your courage,” the old witch had crowed. She had grabbed Ulfbert’s hand, running a white finger across his palm.
“As a new knight, I must present to the King a trophy of my service to the kingdom. I was told you might — ”
“You have much to learn, young knight.” The witch smirked, releasing his hand. “If you wish to prove yourself to your kingdom, discover the secret that lies in the heart of Mount Watzmann.”
It was ten days’ ride to Mount Watzmann’s base; Ulfbert covered the distance in a week. He slowed only upon stepping into the dark unknown.
What evil lurked within? What threat to God or King must he dispatch?
Though young, Ulfbert was well-trained in combat, slaying two Northern warriors single-handedly while squiring. The danger here felt different — a witch’s trick? Ulfbert readied his sword, moving into the dark.
As he advanced, he saw a dim glow and heard a deep rumbling. The flickering light and quaking earth intensified until he reached the entrance to a massive chamber.
Steadying himself, Ulfbert raised his sword and burst into the chamber.
Scores of pale, Northern children pushed overfull minecarts under the lash of his countrymen. The sight of his enemies drove Ulfbert to action.
Sir Ulfbert rode home with a satchel full of slavers’ heads to deliver his trophy to the King.