First female Knight
Skilled fighter and mage
Strong desire to prove herself
Knight of the Realm and King's Champion
Unsure of herself, especially romantically
Tends to solve problems by punching things
Has the power of Confession - can make people her slaves just by touching them
Skilled with knives
Can go into the Con Dar, a battle rage
Doesn't like killing or using Confession
Takes two hours to recover after using her power
The trees were silent, the late afternoon light making brilliant their mid-autumn wreaths. But Kahlan Amnell was certain she had heard the rustle of leaves ahead, a misplaced footfall. Now the forest betrayed no sign of the culprit. Instinct made the Mother Confessor reach for the knife she always kept tucked away in the cuff of her boot. Her fingers curled around the hilt and she lifted the weapon before her warily.
It cannot be Richard. The Seeker would never hide from her, would never put her on edge on purpose this way. Besides, she had left him far behind. The messenger had instructed her that this was a task she had to face alone.
Kahlan took a cautious step forward, avoiding the leaf litter on the forest floor. She wanted the quiet protection of the soft earth, not the telltale crunch of leaves. That would give whoever waited for her up ahead the advantage. The folds of her long white gown moved fluidly about her legs as she stalked forward, weaving between the trees at a slow pace. Her green eyes took in her surroundings, darting from tree to tree, from potential hiding place to potential hiding place.
The Mother Confessor’s boots slipped as she mounted a fallen tree that blocked her path, coated in moss. She tried to recover but she was already losing her balance so she leapt from the log. Dead leaves crackled as she landed with grace.
Something wasn’t right. Kahlan glanced down at her feet. She had landed on a clear patch of soil. No leaves.
Her long dark hair fanned out as Kahlan spun on one heel and lifted her knife reflexively. She was just in time. A sword sliced through the air and crashed against her smaller blade, the impact jarring her shoulder.
The sword belonged to a young lad with hair that rivaled the rich reds of the autumn. Kahlan towered over him. He was dressed as a soldier and brandished a shield that bore the gold blazon of a lion.
“You would attack like a coward?” Kahlan said coolly. “You would not look me in the eyes to kill me?”
“Don’t underestimate me,” said the lad in a higher voice than she had expected. “And I’ll do you the same courtesy.” He shifted his weight forward, bearing down on Kahlan so heavily that the Mother Confessor had to leap backward.
They circled each other as hunters circle prey and Kahlan sized up the young man who would challenge her. Short, stocky, but with facial features too delicate for his gender.
“You’re a woman,” Kahlan said in realization. She glanced down at the shield again and realized it was not a lion at all, but a lioness rampant.
“And you’re a genius,” said her attacker, her sword swinging towards the Mother Confessor’s neck, exposed by the square cut of her dress. Kahlan ducked and threw herself towards the red-headed swordswoman. She barreled headfirst into her stomach and the pair of them went tumbling to the ground.
Kahlan disentangled herself from her adversary and made it to her feet first. She stomped on the woman’s sword hand, causing her fingers to surrender the crystal hilt. As Kahlan reached down to grab the blade herself, the fiery woman slammed her shield into her face. The Mother Confessor stumbled backward, nearly falling again, but she retained her hold on both her knife and her newly-acquired sword. The world wheeled. A trail of warm blood trickled from her nose. She backed up a few paces as her enemy scrambled to standing.
“No one wields Lightning but me!” cried the woman.
“Is this your Lightning?” said Kahlan, hefting the blade in her hand, getting a feel for its weight.
Confusion flickered on the other’s face. “You don’t know who I am?”
Kahlan arched a brow. “We have never crossed paths before.”
“I’m Sir Alanna!”
“The first female knight in more than a hundred years!” said Alanna, clearly frustrated by Kahlan’s ignorance of her fame. “Sir Alanna of Pirate’s Swoop and Olau! And no one uses my sword but me!”
“There’s a first time for everything,” Kahlan said wryly. Alanna let out a yell and charged, raising her shield. Kahlan lifted her weapons and rooted the soles of her feet into the ground. Bracing herself like this she managed to stay upright when Alanna collided with her, but the lady knight struck at her again and again, relentless with the shield. Kahlan tried to land a blow of her own, but Alanna allowed no opening.
Finally, tiring of their little game, Kahlan blocked Alanna’s next attack with Lightning and her own knife lashed out toward the woman’s legs. Alanna sensed the strike as it neared her and had to sidestep to dodge it, ending her torrent of thrusts with the shield.
“Stop!” said Kahlan, holding up her knife before Alanna could regroup and come at her again in full force. The red-haired knight paused, conflicted. “I do not wish to fight you.” Their eyes met, and Kahlan felt a thrill of surprise when she saw that Alanna’s were a violent purple. “I can tell you are a good woman. And I have no desire to bring you harm, much less kill you.”
“I don’t much like you, but I don’t really know why we’re fighting, either. But we are, and we can’t both be victorious,” Alanna pointed out. “One of us has to win. And it’s going to be me!” With that she ran at Kahlan again, catching the Mother Confessor off guard this time. Kahlan toppled as Alanna smashed her shield against her shoulder. Both her knife and Lightning slipped from her hands.
Alanna abandoned her shield in favor of claiming the weapons for herself. She pinned Kahlan to the ground, sitting on her stomach and laying the flat of the sword against her neck. She pressed the point of the knife against Kahlan’s side, where she could easily slip the blade between her ribs.
“That’s why you shouldn’t have underestimated me,” Alanna hissed. Triumph burned in her violet eyes.
Kahlan smiled sadly. She hadn’t wanted it to come to this, but the knight was ferocious and would obviously do whatever it took to win. Even if it meant killing her. And Kahlan could simply not allow that to happen. She had too many important duties, too many people depending on her survival. She studied Alanna for a moment, the woman’s red hair glowing in the declining sun. Then the Mother Confessor’s hand snaked out and landed at the base of Alanna’s throat. One touch was all it took.
Alanna’s face changed from an expression of fury to one of contrition and adoration. She cast her blades far into the trees and knelt at Kahlan’s side.
“Command me, Confessor.”
Predicted winner: Kahlan Amnell
Written by Quill