The Knight Vigilant of the Knights of Winter stepped over the frozen ground, his footfalls making crunching sounds as he walked past broken armor pieces and a few discarded weapons. Signs of fighting and warfare littered the area. The Knight Vigilant called up one of the surviving knights.

“This is the battlefield?”

The knight nodded as she pulled her cloak against the wind. “Yes, milord. We were making our way north to investigate the glacier when this figure, armored in black scales, came down upon us with a contingent of Gorevok. His eyes, milord, his eyes mesmerized the knights and his very blood was poison.” The knight clenched her fist in anger. “I… returned from the Gate, as did most of the knights, but Sir Tremivar suffered his final passing.”

The Knight Vigilant, David Forlost, shielded his eyes from the sun sitting low in the sky and gazed northward. It was disconcerting that the horizon which he had gazed at for so many years had changed. It loomed closer now, the towering glacier edging further and further south.

A senior knight, a grizzled and experienced warrior named Sir Hauste, replied. “Our reports have confirmed that it was someone or thing called the Basilisk Knight. I do not know what manner of being this thing is, or why the Gorevok have come to serve it.”

Sir David frowned. “Have the Frostrime learned of this lost battle?”

Sir Hauste responded. “We do not know. It is possible that a scout witnessed the event. If so, this sign of weakness could rile them up. Embolden them.”

Sir David thought on it. “We still do not know why the Frostrime failed to appear at the feast. That was before this battle occurred. We have heard nothing but silence from them. And now this. Could they be working with this enemy?”

“Perhaps,” replied Hauste, “but it is unlike them to allow others to fight their battles. I would think, if they had declared war, that we would know it.”

“And our missives from the Snowcrown have not been answered.” David spoke out loud, more to himself than to his knights. “With the frequency of the Gorevok attacks and the increased elemental activity, if the Frostrime come forth as a battle host we could lose the Spire. Where could we call for help, Hauste?”

“Hmmm. Well, milord, certainly not Morgrave. The dead of winter is the worse time for them, outside the Harrowing of course. The dead don’t eat and don’t need warmth.”

David nodded.

“Blacktallow has its own problems. We had thought that once the new Queen secured her throne and consolidated her power that she would be a strong ally. But the Winter King knows she isn’t quite right after all of that, and the hauntings have all of those nobles on edge.

And do we really want to call on Khoros from a position of weakness?”

“This Basilisk Knight, have any others fought against him?” asked David.

“Yes, milord, tales have spread that this Nocturne… outpost has driven him off their battlefield in open warfare. There are folk from this land that fight there.”

David gazed at the looming glacier, and at the signs of battle around him.

“Send a request for aid and council to that place for any who will provide it. We will host them and feed any who come to help. If they have defeated this Basilisk Knight before then perhaps it will be reluctant to continue its attacks if they are in the northern fort. It might also serve us well to send diplomats to the Frostrime and the Snowcrown who are not our Knights, lest we antagonize our truce and agreements with them.”

As Sir Hauste set his mind to the tasks required of him, Sir David took one last look at the glacier and called his contingent back south before the night brought the storms and the dangers therein.