Appearing in "The Menace of Modred the Evil!"
- Black Knight (First appearance)
- King Arthur
- Knights of the Round Table (First appearance)
- Lady Rosamund (First appearance)
- Thunder (First appearance)
Races and Species:
- Excalibur (First appearance)
Synopsis for "The Menace of Modred the Evil!"
The Castle of King Arthur is put on high alert as someone begins to approach the castle. Watching intently are Mordred and Morgan le Fay, who quickly recognize the man approaching as Sir Percy, Mordred's nephew. Seen as no threat, Percy is allowed to enter the castle and seek an audience with King Arthur due to his noble blood, but none of those gathered are overly impressed by the man who appears to be a weakling. Meeting with King Arthur, Sir Percy explains that he has come to seek a boon from the King for shelter after his lands were taken over by the Baron of Emsore. The King allows for this, but all are disgusted by Percy's cowardice when he tells them that he does not seek to reclaim his land. King Arthur agrees to allow Sir Percy to stay in the castle and assigns Merlin, his court magician, to show Percy to a room.
Merlin, having summoned Sir Percy to the castle, takes the young man to his quarters and thanks him for playing the part of a foppish coward in order to act as his secret agent in stopping Mordred from taking over the castle, explaining that King Arthur does not believe Merlin's warnings. As part of his mission, Sir Percy is given a suid of armor and is christened the Black Knight. Merlin tells Percy that he must act as the realms masked champion and that none should know his true identity. Suddenly, some of Mordred's men, having overheard their discussion storm into Percy's quarters and attack, but the Black Knight easily slays them to cover his secret.
Days later, Sir Percy goes about the castle cementing his cover as a coward. When King Arthur and some men go out on a hunting party, Percy declines to join. Rushing off to change into the Black Knight he runs into Lady Rosamund, ward of King Arthur, and a woman for whom Percy is smitten by. She is uninterested in the cowardly Percy and tells him to watch where he is going. Slipping away to change into the Black Knight, Sir Percy rides off and the Black Knight is glimpsed by Rosamund who wonders who the stranger armored knight could be.
While out in the forests, King Arthur goes after a wild boar and is attacked by warriors who are loyal to Mordred. Arthur fights them off but as his strength begins to wane, the attackers are about to slay him when the Black Knight arrives and saves his life. When King Arthur asks the Black Knight who he is, the Knight refuses to divulge his identity, telling King Arthur that he is a loyal defender of Camelot. Mordred soon arrives at the scene and believes that the Black Knight is attacking the King and tries to "defend" Arthur, but the Black Knight holds his own until King Arthur orders Mordred to stand down. Despite Mordred's protests Arthur then officially knights the Black Knight and tells him that as a servant of Camelot, he will honor the Black Knight's need to keep his identity a secret.
Meanwhile, Merlin watches the entire affair through his crystal ball and is pleased that his plans are being set into motion.
Appearing in "Excalibur"
- Appearances not yet listed
Synopsis for "Excalibur"
The old king of England passes away, and Merlin names Arthur Pendragon as his successor. The nobles of the kingdom refuse to recognize the young boy as the rightful heir to the throne, so Merlin creates a challenge in order to find the next king of England. A sword will be thrust into a stone, and anyone who can draw the sword from the stone will be king.
Time passes, and no one has been able to pull the sword. Arthur has been training as a squire to a knight named Sir Kay. They travel to the tournament, and Sir Kay joins the fighting. Suddenly, his sword breaks in two, and he commands Arthur to fetch him a new one. Unable to find a sword, Arthur draws the sword Excalibur from the stone and presents it to Kay. The knight recognizes the sword and claims that he is the rightful king in front of everyone gathered at the tournament. Merlin says that Kay must withdraw the sword in front of witnesses.
Later, Sir Kay is unable to pull the sword from the stone, and, at Merlin's request, Arthur easily takes the sword and is named king of England.
Appearing in "The Crusader"
- Crusader (First appearance)
- Sir John O'Dare (Death)
- King Richard Lionheart (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "The Crusader"
A ship carrying the crew of Sir John O'Dare are en route to join King Richard in the Holy Lands to fight in the Crusades. However the ill fated crew is stricken with the plague and pull ashore in Mongolia. Their party is spotted by a group of Mongols led by a Frank warrior named El Aleman. El Aleman's second in command Tenga Khan suggests that they attack the Frankish knights who have come to shore, but El Alemain refuses to attack them.
Tenga Khan wishes to see El Alemain killed as he covets his leader's sword the Saracen, which El Alemain won during the battle of El Bakar as it is believed that it makes the wielder invincible and the amulet given to him by his mother before her death. Tenga Khan then convinces the other warriors to attack the Frankish warriors anyway. But when they learn that the warriors are suffering from the plague the Mongols are forced to pull back. El Alemain then challenges Tenga Khan for his unauthorized attack, but Tenga has planned for this, having his loyal minions ready to shoot El Alemain with an arrow during the fight.
However when the assassin fires his arrow, he strikes Tenga Khan instead during the battle. Seeing this dishonor, O'Dare and his men attack the Mongol and both parties are wiped out, all except El Alemain. Holding the dying John O'Dare in his arms, El Alemain learns from the dying warrior -- who recognizes El Alemain's necklace -- tells El Alemain that they are brothers and asks him to join King Richard in the crusades, wearing his armor into battle. El Alemain agrees to do so, and after burying his long lost brother, he puts on the deceased warriors armor, and so the Crusader is born.
Appearing in "The Abduction of King Arthur"
- King Arthur
- Guinevere (First appearance)
- Knights of the Round Table
- Lady Rosamund
Races and Species:
- Ebony Blade (First appearance)
Synopsis for "The Abduction of King Arthur"
King Arthur has been kidnapped in the night by the forces of Mordred and locked in one of the dungeons below the castle, unknown to all until morning. Unaware of Mordred's duplicity, everyone panics at the disappearance of the king. Mordred and Morgan le Fay use this opportunity to take control of the kingdom, despite the protests of Arthur's wife Queen Guinevere, but her protests are easily silenced. Unaware of Mordred's duplicity, the Knights of the Round Table sent out searching parties to try and find their missing king, and Mordred feigns a desire to find King Arthur as well.
In the castle, Mordred suggests that perhaps King Arthur deserted his people, and when Sir Percy calls him a liar, Percy is slapped across the face. Percy then goes to meet with Merlin who informs his secret agent that King Arthur is actually prisoner in the castle dungeon. Merlin then bestows upon the Percy a new weapon, the mystical Ebony Blade. Percy changes into the Black Knight, and as he exits Merlin's chambers he is spotted by Mordred's minions who attack him. The Black Knight quickly flees outside the castle walls and climbs down into the dungeon. There he battles more of Mordred's forces, taking one as a prisoner and forcing him to lead him to King Arthur.
Freeing King Arthur, both are attacked by more of Mordred's minions but the Black Knight and the King easily slay them. Using a secret passage way to get to the upper levels of the castle, King Arthur announces his return to his people and explains what happened. Mordred steps down from the throne returning it to Arthur. With no proof that Mordred was behind this attempt keeps silent about who was responsible. Changing back into his civilian guise, Sir Percy welcomes back the king and asks what he can do. When King Arthur assigns Percy to assist the ladies-in-waiting with their chores, Sir Percy gladly accepts the job, much to Lady Rosamund's chagrin.
- "The Crusader" was reprinted in black and white in Savage Tales #2.
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