Once upon a time, in a land of sunshine and beaches, there lived a fair maiden and her powerful knight. They had met in a distant land, where the sunshine and beaches were equally as abundant. They had a child together and had moved to this new place in the West, where opportunities and wealth awaited them. It was there that their lives became grand, where other wealthy and powerful people came into their company, and they told their new acquaintances that they were richer than all of the cattle barons who lived in the southern part of the country.
Sadly, this once loving couple found that their lives were not truly happy ones, and they began to argue over the size of their castle, the robes m’lady desired and the size of the carriages they drove. She saw that other wives had bigger castles, and more rings and crowns than she, and this was heartbreaking to them both. Together, they hatched a plan which, hopefully, would satisfy all of the things that she so desired. The two decided that they would make promises of greater wealth to others, and that this promise could only be fulfilled if each and every person they had spoken with would simply contribute their fair share to this pot of gold. The knight could work magic, and the gold would grow and grow until everyone was as wealthy as they wanted to be.
Alas, those who had made contributions of their own jewels and gold soon found out that the magic promised by the knight and his lady was nothing more than a scheme to lie and steal from the others. Pressures were brought to bear against them to return the gold, but the knight said that he no longer had any left. Those who had given their castles, gold and horses were unhappy, and tried to force the knight to pay by appealing to the Royal Courts.
As their dreams and schemes unraveled, the knight and the lady fought even more. Their battles became more fierce and violent, until one day, the knight was very angry, and began a fight with another villager. He had been hiding among the bushes and overheard his lady tell the villager and a young maiden that she was afraid of the knight. This betrayal left him blind with rage, and he decided to attack the man. The knight was stealthy and quick, ambushing his unsuspecting target, and quickly dragged the now unconscious man to the moat. No one could stop him, as he possessed the strength of an army and the magic of a sorcerer. He threw the poor, beaten man into the moat and tried to drown him. As that had not satisfied his wrath, he turned his attention to his lady, and threw her into the moat.
Mighty beasts, who guarded this home, tried to help their fallen master, but they, too, were no match for the knight. They thrashed about in the moat, barely escaping drowning, themselves. The maiden, and soon to be wife of the fallen villager, was in great distress and tried to stop the horror unfolding before her. She picked up a weapon from nearby, striking her beloved’s attacker, but even this could not thwart the warrior knight. Her blows fell upon him like a Spring rain, having no effect at all.
Finally, the attack stopped and the sheriffs arrived on their horses. They were shocked by the gruesome scene, and the nearly drowned villager was taken to the home of the local doctor. The sheriffs did their best to maintain order and put things right. They, however, were unaware of how great the powers of the knight were. The ladies and the battered man were afraid of these powers, and pleaded with the sheriffs to not interfere. The sheriffs were perplexed, but now feared for their own safety, having seen the savagery of which the knight was capable. The sheriffs mounted their horses and rode away, certain that they had just witnessed the powers of a godlike soldier and wizard. They spoke of it to others, as they were afraid to document what they had seen, and the story of the all powerful knight became a legend.
Much has been written about this day, and of the battle in the moat. The stories have grown throughout the land, leaving many to wonder what really happened on that horrible evening. There have been tales about the knight magically healing the wounds he had inflicted on his unworthy opponent by simply offering him gold. This tale, however, does not have a happy ending, as the powerful knight lost all of his powers, away from his castle, his lady and his daughter. His wealth has vanished, and has never been found. Some believe that all of the treasures have been buried inside of a chest, on a tropical island, transported there by the knight’s magic.
The lady tells the story, with the help of her friends, the maiden and her former knight, to whomever will listen. She, however, is uncertain of the details and often seems confused. She tells stories about how her knight was actually wicked and evil, and often struck her and kept her captive in the castle, controlling her every action. She has said that she could only leave the castle, unaccompanied by the knight, if she were to attend a costume ball with the other ladies of the village. Throughout the land, she has told tales about their fortunes, now lost, even to her. She has told others that she has been a queen and a princess, and that her own power and wealth had been bestowed upon her by the many noble families from which she has descended.
Perhaps she is fraught with grief, perhaps she is simply caught up in the fantasy. The lady has supporters who hold her hand, listening with patience and adoration, and assuring her that she has the strength to carry on through such adversity. She is always grateful for their attention, but she, often in union with those who profess their love and loyalty to her, can become angry and hostile when others question her words. Together they shout and take up arms, desperately trying to ward off their perceived enemies. When this happens, the lady’s face crumbles in what appears to be anguish and pain, too hurt to even shed tears. She and her followers banish the nonbelievers, so their protests cannot be heard.
Many who have written about this have become confused, and make up the parts they can’t possibly know. Others have tried to offer some truths. She has written of it, herself, but even she cannot overcome the doubts that have been cast. That is what happens in fairy tales.