In a small room on one side of the castle, a man stood by a window looking at what was happening in the fields below. Hearing a metallic shriek, he turned around to see his cell door open.  A man walked up beside him in an elaborate gown.

Herald-   Well I knew I would win this.

Aric-       So you must be pleased with the results then.

Herald-   This has been going for long enough. How about one last match, for old time’s sake.

Aric-       You can’t help yourself.

Herald-   Bring in some wine.

A maid dressed in rags walked in carrying a silver dish with two goblets of fine red wine on them. The woman had long red hair that draped down on her shoulders. She placed the dish on a small wooden table beside a chessboard.

Aric-       I see you keep your servants in the same condition as everything else you have.

Herald-   Black or white? You’re my guest. So, you choose, I’ll give you that much at least. Herald said smiling.

Aric-       I’ll be black; you like to be ahead of everyone.

Herald-   I’ll start by intruding your territory with a pawn.

Herald moved a pawn into the middle of the board by a couple of squares.

Aric-       You like that move don’t you. I’ll have my pawn block yours.

Herald-   Always the passive man. You never did have any guts.

Aric-       I’m just curious.

Herald-   And look where it got you. Any way I’ll send out my knight.

Aric-       On the attack. Ok I’ll just move one.

Aric Moved one of his pawns on the side of the board a couple of squares forward.

Herald-   It’s time for a full attack; your army will fall just like before.

Aric-       Pawns are not to be wasted and thrown away like they have no value to your stature.

Now half of his pawns were along the board and their armies were now locked in battle.

Herald-   Pity, half your army gone in an instant, I was hoping for more of a challenge from you.

Herald Moving another knight along the board.

Aric-       You have no faith in the power of an army.

Aric moved one of his bishops into play taking out one of Heralds pawns. Herald countered by moving his other knight into play.

Aric-       I’ve trained my queen to fight, bye knight.

Aric removed Heralds knight from the board.

Herald-   Foolish move. Your queen is dead, pity she was a nice woman. I knew her when we were children but that doesn’t matter. All that matters to me is the power, (laughing mischievously)

Herald removed Aric’s queen from the board with his other knight. Half the board was now empty.

Both Herald and Aric had lost most of their main troops. On the far side Aric’s pawn was still there moving slowly across board. Now it was three quarters across the board.

Aric-       It’s sad, you would even kill an old friend just for an advantage.

Removing both Herald’s knights and bishops with his pawns. There weren’t that many left now. Aric had two pawns, two castles and his king. While Herald on the other hand had his king, queen, two castles, and a couple of pawns on either side of the board.

Herald    You know it’s over Aric, (Smiling) I’m clearly the better man.

Herald said sitting back in his chair having a huge gulp of his wine. Herald sent his queen for a large strike taking out one of Aric’s Castles. Removing it from the board, Aric moved his castle in to take out his queen.

Aric-       Now we’re even, you take my queen, I’ll take yours. I’m sure you don’t care for her.

Herald-   Actually I don’t. She’s just a pawn, she has no value to me. Pity you couldn’t kill my queen in real. For she will carry my seed. (Coughing)

Aric-       Your walls have fallen. (Grinning) You just don’t know it yet.

Removing Herald’s castle with one of his own. Blocking his king, Aric moved his other pawn another square.

Herald-   The master strategist, that’s all you’ve got.  Moving a insignificant pawn. I’ll take it out in a minute but first.

Herald removed Aric’s last castle with his own castle. Aric was now surrounded by castles on both sides. Ironically the same as he was in Herald’s capture now.

Aric-       Well what can I say, but before you claim your victory, I’ll make another move. Moving his pawn to Herald’s side of the board, sacrificing it to summon his queen back.

Aric-       Check.  (Laughing)

Herald-   I’m not done yet Aric.

Moving his king out of the way of Aric’s queen.  Aric countered by moving his queen right behind Herald’s king.

Herald-   I’m still alive, this is not over! (Growling in anger, before coughing again)

Aric-       Is something wrong?

Moving one of his last remaining pawns into position.

Aric-       Check mate Herald (smiling)

Herald-   You might have won the game but not the war Aric. I still have your kingdom and your queen is dead. You still lose. (Sipping more wine)

Aric-       Actually that’s not true, remember the maid, well if you bothered to look at her. You would have recognized she’s my queen. You see I knew you would try to kill her, so I allowed you to think that. Later I had her sneak into your kingdom and pretend to be servant. I knew you would not look at one of your servants so. (Aric was cut off as Herald coughed up some blood) I had her serve some poison. So, I was saying I’ll take your kingdom as well. I told you that you are predictable. Come in Mary.”

The maid entered the cell with the guards laying dead outside. Herald collapsed on the ground. His mouth foaming up as the poison reached his brain. Then he died.

Aric-        Checkmate.

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