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  • Writer's pictureCal W

The Potion Seller (with no Respect for Knights)

Earth JK-1000

As we passed through the Rift portal, we found ourselves in a place (And time), all too familiar. Gone once more were the bustling roads dominated by the motor car, not a single smartphone was in sight and rising proudly in the distance was the ivory towers of an impenetrable fortress town - Camelot.

On summery winds, birds were singing as farmhands sowed their crops all around, children playing and running through the green fields. There was a sense of nostalgia amongst the party as they remembered simpler times before the troubles and The Fall of the Æfintýr in their own universe.

“Warlock, please tell me we are going to the big white castle town?” ‘Arry excitedly urged. “I’d really like to go tot he big white castle town!” I couldn’t argue with the wangless pirate, after all, it certainly felt like home…

The scale and magnificence of Camelot was even more grandiose once we passed through the city gates. There were vendors, a dozen bards and guardsmen adorned with the finest steel plates, all with a roaring lion adorned on their cuirasses. It soon became clear, however, that there was something foul on the wind.

“They are coming. Any day now, the armies of the damned will be at our walls” One unwashed peasant murmured.

“Don’t be daft, today is the day Sir Lancelot rides out to the garrison.” another serf uttered. “After they see him, they will surely flee and never return!” It soon became clear that, in this world, the legends of Arthur and his Round Table of knights were in fact true, and we were standing right in the middle of one of these ancient fables. In the distance, cheers began to erupt as crowds gathered.

“And I suppose that mountain of steel trotting through the sea of enamoured onlookers is this Sir Lancelot?” Quinn asked. “Perhaps we should get a closer look?”

As we reached the crowd, it soon became clear that this Legendary Knight was indeed as striking as the legends foretold. He was a broad, Goliath of a man; sitting atop his gleaming pauldrons was a thick, flowing mane of black hair which made a striking contrast against his pale skin that seemed to further extenuate his sharp masculine features. At his hip hung a mighty looking blade, the kind that one would expect to cleave goblins and trolls intwine with a single stroke. The Knight, evidently accustomed to a swathe of loving fans gave a regal wave as he slowly passed by. Trailing behind the knight was frail, spotty boy carrying bags that could easily have been managed by the mighty white steed upon which the charismatic Knight sat, squiring with the intent of one day too becoming a brave, heroic knight of Arthur’s round. Nearby, on the corner of the road sat a somewhat frail looking elderly man grasping a long, ebony walking stick - before him laid out upon a table a healthy collection of tattered tomes, Draconic looking bones and several vials and flasks filled with glowing potions of all colours. As The Knight came closer to the street vendor, He pulled his stallion to a halt, clicking his fingers for the squire to take the reigns on his behalf. The boy scurried to the mount’s side, taking The Knights heel upon his shoulder as the “Hero” dismounted. The crowd began to grow quiet, reduced to whispers as the Knight boldly strolled over to the vendor, who was humming away with quiet content. We watched on, stifling laughs at the pompous attitude of The Knight as he cleared his throat before the vendor, expecting his ego to be stroked in an instant.

“Potion Seller…” The Knight exclaimed upon deaf ears “I’m going into battle, and I need your STRONGEST potions”. There was a moment of silence as the Wizard slowly glanced up from his book, examining the Knight from head to toe, before returning to his reading.

“No.” He uttered with a sigh. The crowd began to murmur. Remaining calm, The Knight spoke again.

“I said, Potion Seller…I’m going into battle…and I, Lancelot, need only your STRONGEST potions!!” He Reiterated.

“My potions would kill you, Knight. You cannot handle my strongest potions.” The crowd began to whisper - who was this mysterious man with the audacity to deny the request of such a mighty warrior? “This is going to get nasty lads…I feel it in me bones…” ‘Arry excitedly exclaimed before taking a swig of rum from his flask.

“Do we step in?” Quinn inquired.

“No” I replied, “This is supposed to happen in this world - I don’t see it being a universe ending event. Lets just see how it plays out…” Suddenly there was a gasp from the crowd of onlookers as Lancelot drew his mighty blade and pointed it at the nonplussed merchant.

“POTION SELLER. ENOUGH OF THESE GAMES.” He exclaimed. “I AM GOING INTO BATTLE AND I NEED YOUR STRONGEST POTIONS!” The Wizard smiled and looked up at The Knight with amusement in his eyes.

“You cannot handle my potions, whelp.” The Wizard snarled. “My potions would kill a DRAGON let alone a man.” Lancelot paused for a moment, realising his adoring fans were beginning to quietly mock him.

“Why won’t you trust me with your strongest potions Wizard?” Lancelot calmly asked. “I need these potions if I am to be successful in the battle?” The Wizard looked up to the Knight once more, speaking with vitriol in his words.

“You cannot handle my strongest potions FOOL. My potions aren’t fit for a BEAST let alone a man.” As he spoke, sparks began to crackle around the Wizard’s hand gripping the staff, which in turn began to hum and hiss with magical energy. “You need a seller with weaker potions now BEGONE, AWAY WITH YOU!” Suddenly with a flash of light, Lancelot was thrown back onto the ground as the crowd gasped and stifled screams. As the Knight struggled on the ground The Wizard rose from his perch gripping his ebony staff as electrical energy swirled around it. Lancelot, never backing down from a foe, scrambled once more to his feet gripping his sword tightly as his squire scurried away with the horse, urging the crowds to move back. The two titans leered at one another.

“FOR CAMELOT!” Lancelot suddenly roared, charging towards the Wizard.

The following battle was fierce - far more fierce than the party had anticipated in fact. Overhead, the once blue skies were swirling with black clouds spitting lightning and torrential rain. The Wizard hurled bolts of emerald electricity at the Knight who barely managed to deflect them using his blade. Every stroke Lancelot made with his mighty sword was parried again and again by the The Wizard who seemed to move faster than light itself. All around, windows began to burst as buildings were set ablaze by rogue blasts of magic. No matter how hard The Knight fought however, it was no use. The Wizard sustained a great beam of lightning against the Knight’s sword, his energy waning.

“POTION SELLER!” The Knight exclaimed over the deafening crackle of The Wizard’s power. “I did not come to battle you this day! I need only your strongest potions for the foes that I must slay!” The Wizard cackled in disbelief at the Knight’s audacity.

“Foolish Knight you wretched cur! I’ll say it again, incase I wasn’t heard! MY potions are reserved for the STRONGEST and you my friend…” The energy beam fizzled away as The Wizard hurled yet another bolt of magic towards the weakened Knight. “ARE CLEARLY OF THE WEAKEST!” Another beam of lightning burst forth from The Wizard’s staff and, with one final flash of burning energy, Lancelot's blade glowed briefly before shattering into a thousand pieces, throwing the goliath back down to the ground. As The Wizard hovered overhead, Lancelot raised a hand in surrender, the sky slowly returning to it’s glorious blue glow as the blackened clouds dispersed.

“Well then thats it, Potion Seller…” He wheezed. “I’ll go elsewhere for my potions”

“Thats what you’d better do!” The Wizard snarled.

“I’ll go elsewhere for my potions and i’ll NEVER come back!”

“GOOD. Your not welcome here.” The Wizard slowly drifted back down, planting his feet back on the ground, the magical energy dissipating from around the staff. “My potions are only for the strongest and you are clearly NOT of the strongest; you are clearly of the weakest!” With that The Wizard took his seat once more, quietly rearranging his goods. Lancelot, battered and defeated struggled once more to his feet, gripping his sides in agony, his wounds bleeding. The crowd, shocked and in awe of the epic battle that just took place whispered amongst themselves of the defeat of Lancelot. The squire ran to his master’s side, helping the wounded Knight to his feet.

“You’ve had your say potion seller, but I’ll have mine…” The Knight wheezed, hobbling back over to his mighty steed. “Your a rascal…your a rascal with no respect for Knights…No respect for ANYTHING…except your potions…” With that the Knight clambered back onto his saddle, still gripping the broken sword’s hilt in his shaking fist. The Wizard chuckled, glancing back up at the Knight one final time.

“Why respect Knights…when my potions can do anything that you can?” He hissed. Horace, visibly confused looked over at me as Quinn let out a laugh.

“What the hell is THAT supposed to mean?!” The elf squealed with amusement. With a final shake of his head, Lancelot turned his steed around and headed back to the citadel of Camelot, his once loyal crowd of peasants mocked and jeered him in passing. Lancelot, mighty Knight of Camelot, had been defeated.

We decided to stay on Earth JK-1000 for a little while longer, hoping that we had found our new home. That was, of course, until the armies of the damned did indeed arrive at the walls of Camelot, led by the Witch Morgan Le Fay, after annihilating the gathered forces of King Arthur without the leadership of Sir Lancelot (Who it turns out was sleeping with Arthur’s wife anyway). Hordes of Goblins, Vampires and Undead Warriors broke through the weakened defences of Camelot and soon the streets ran red with civilian blood. Before long, Morgan Le Fay sat atop the throne of Camelot as it’s Sorceress Queen, subjugating and enslaving those unfortunate enough to survive the assault. Of course, we took part in the epic battle - but it eventually became clear that we could interfere no more with the fate of JK-1000. And so, with heavy hearts we stepped through another rift portal, leaving behind yet another home for worlds unknown…

- Whiteacre the Mighty Warlock

Loosely based on "Potion Seller" by Justin Kuritzkes.


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