Sunday, March 6, 2011


Life in the Sullivan household has been quite hectic of late. Cathy, Ava, Reach, and Tony, all under my roof, apparently with an old friend on the way.

That being said, not all is sunshine. I've been helping a lot of runners out far more than I used to. That's a double-edged sword, especially with the current upheaval in the Black Knights' power structure. If I help one side, I have to help the other.

So far I've been able to keep the impact to a minimum, because the direct aid I've offered has been kept to a minimum. I won't be able to play my hand that close for some time.

I say what I'm about to say fully knowing the impact it will have on your trust in me, presumed reader. Due to offering several runners and fighters shelter in a house free of the Black King's presence, Eulogy--a Black Knight mentioned in the White Rook's blog, during our transcribed discussion--paid a visit and demanded information on Jeff and Cheska's whereabouts. A deal is a deal, and that meant being balanced in all things.

I'm sorry, Cheska. Unlike the last Knight-Commander, I can't doubletalk my way past Eulogy's inquiries. That's how they found you.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Long has Roanoke been a mystery. Theories abound, from alien abduction to outbreaks of the undead.

Roanoke was once, according to the memoirs of one James Raleigh III, Labyrinthed and the site of a war between the Black King and the colonists.

According to his memoirs, it began when one Rudolph Winston Church was tried and convicted for the brutal abuse and murder of the Carlston twins, Rebecca and Dorothy. Half-Mad, he was led to the gallows screaming about "the faceless man, I swear on the Lord's name it was him!" He continued to rant and scream until the rope stretched taut.

However, the next night, one Ester Church, the late Rudolph's wife, reported their seven-year-old son Johnathan missing, and he wasn't found for several more days. Mr. Raleigh described the sight in his memoirs as "absolutely horrendous, the work of a man possessed by Satan or worse. The boy had been opened from chest to stomach, his entrails spread about the ground, and his body impaled upon a tree. Ester fell to her knees with a wail," and funeral arrangements were made, slowly.

A courier was sent to the nearest garrison to seek aid from the King's Men, only, two days later, the courier came riding up to the colony from the opposite side, seeming confused. There were no redcoats with him.

More will come as I read through his memoirs, to be sure.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Not intentional at all, simply a matter of having had quite a bit to do recently.

The Spectator ran into the Fallen Queen at a supermarket. The Queen showed no hint of recognition, the Spectator felt it best not to see how thorough the Black Bishop's shoddy work is. There was no trace of the Black King, which leads the Spectator to believe that at least for now dear Shayde hasn't been brought back onto the board.

The Spectator has a new guest. Cathy, the mother of the young Pawn causing so much uproar of late. We've cuddled a fair bit while studying up on the Black King. I've begun researching various plays written by those haunted by the Black King to see if I can be of any help to the Knight of a Dead Tongue. And just to indulge myself some, she is extremely comfortable to hug for long periods of time.

Monday, February 7, 2011


A crimson light in the dark approaches the Fallen Queen. An offer accepted, the Fallen Queen follows the Black Bishop off the board.

The Grey Rook has gone silent, the Librarian's grief fuels her resolve.

The Spectator has seen the Black King, in town on other business. Sometimes, she would catch a hint of mist pouring from one side of his face.

The clock ticks, mist rolls in. Square by square, the board becomes harder to see.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


In light of recent events (fret not, the bargain is still in effect, so far. The Spectator has simply had quite a bit on her plate to deal with, not least among them a 1920s hard-boiled detective novel), the Spectator thought it best to record the events leading up to, and the details of, her bargain with the Black King.

The Spectator and (as followers of the Grey Rook's chronicle have noticed) the Grey Rook himself had met after a... long period where the Spectator was the last piece on the board, a White King battered from all sides. Before checkmate, the Grey Rook approached her with a bargain--cease all direct opposition (that is, actively fighting the Black King) and she would be allowed to live. Obviously, the Spectator has been pushing this wording as far as she can--an oversight several of the Knights have found useful, I'd wager. However, events earlier this week had placed the bargain in jeopardy, at least until one of the Black Rooks approached the Spectator yesterday and informed her they would continue honoring her bargain. The Spectator is looking into why, though she's not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Forgive the Spectator's radio silence these past few days. After Jean left, there was an... incident, involving a Revenant who had misinterpreted the Spectator's deal with the Black King. You see, the word of the agreement was that the Black King would leave the Spectator be, so long as she did not directly oppose him.

Nowhere did that agreement's wording include indirect opposal, or aiding the White Army. This Revenant, in that regard, was rather mistaken, and broke into the Spectator's home to inform her that the deal was off, so to speak.

The Spectator's temper boiled over. A canister of mace held just far away enough to cover both eyes, emptied. Earplugs removed while he clutched his eyes. Foghorn held down at point blank until it went dry. The intruder broke the Spectator's nose and kissed her goodbye under the eye with a pen knife (the Spectator was in the hospital getting the cut treated and stitched together earlier today). The Spectator had been boiling water for spaghetti. It ended up being a small pool for the Spectator to hold the dazed intruder's face in until he stopped thrashing.

The police, corrupt and inefficient as they are, opted not to press charges. Another loner from out of town causing trouble, they said.

Hopefully this won't require the Spectator to find a new domicile lest the Black King seek to have a pleasant chat about the ramifications of killing a Revenant in self-defense, regardless of the fact that the Spectator had spent the rest of the day curled up in a corner with a baseball bat.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


The land of the shifting sands is the earliest mention of the Black King's neverending game. The Lower Kingdom venerated the Black King as a god. The Scriptures of the Cross and Star have attributed the results of the war to a plague. Such is their right and it is not an entirely inaccurate description.

The details of his reign in the Lower Kingdom are sketchy, at best, as the man that chronicled his finds was often in his cups. Suffice to say, the Black King was... sometimes... sated with a sacrifice. Other times, however... there were many plagues back then that have not since resurfaced.

The Black King fed well during those times.

Later, he returned to the land of the shifting sands. A man named Moses had advised those of true hearts to paint an X on their doors in sheep's blood. What the Scriptures of the Cross and Star do not reveal is that his brother Aaron then went around and added a circle to those markings. Those doors were safe.

The Black King took the children from all other houses, including that of the Pharoah's.

Since then, little has been heard of any activity in the lad of Pharoahs. Perhaps they found a means to fend him off. Perhaps he simply tired of a hunting ground that was so superstitious as to venerate him.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


The Wayward Knight, supplies drained and resolve tempered, draws her Crusade to a close. A sword shines in the otherworldly night, re-opening the Black King's wound suffered at the White King's hand. The Wayward Knight's piece rolls off the table.

Godspeed, dear Knight. It seems your friends have begun organizing under your name. I suppose it's true--people shall always band together under times of adversity, even if it's from shared grief.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


The board's been silent lately. Well, perhaps not completely silent--the Cartographer yet continues his work, the Songbird's faith in herself is wavering, and the Fallen Queen has issued a warning to the Lost Knight and his Damsel. That last has the Spectator concerned, in all honesty.

The Spectator will dispose of too much jargon and crypticisms this post. The game's rules are odd, but the Spectator isn't bound by them during the intermission. Call it filler, if you'd like, but the Spectator would like to indulge herself and talk of something to take her mind off the game. Constant vigil has the unfortunate side effect of leaving one deeply depressed.

The Spectator has spoken with the Lost Knight, our conversation can be found on his blog. It may be of help, it may not--much was said and little revealed, unfortunately. Perhaps she'll get in touch with the Knight of a dead tongue, and enjoy a coffee with the one who held the Wayward Knight's heart--and yet may. The Spectator, if nothing else, would like to get to know the pieces this game, rather than file them as yet more statistics, lost to the Black King's war machine.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


A warning issued, the Spectator's thoughts turned to the past, and memories bitter and sweet. What If became the question of the day, and the Spectator took advantage of the pause in the game to consider this question.

The Fallen Queen leaves comments, shocking the Spectator, temporarily, out of her role. A game of chess governed by a game of cards, or a game of cards alongside a game of chess? Her goals as indecipherable as the Black King's, the Fallen Queen makes an offer the Spectator cannot afford to accept.

Perhaps you, dear reader, deserve a little more backstory. An explanation to illuminate a little more of this dark building. Careful you not delve too deep, however, lest you outpace the light.

Once, the Fallen Queen and the Spectator had shared a home and a heart. When the Black King had finished his last game, he began anew. The Spectator was on the phone with family, and overheard a conversation she will never forget.
"Honey?" it was her mother's voice. "Honey, I need to hang up. There's a child outside. He's been looking in our windows." Her voice was flat and distant. Already, the Black King had sunk his claws into her mind. "I'm going to let him out of the cold. Daddy can't talk, he's having trouble breathing." Police would later find him, dead in bed with a knife in his heart.

That's the last the Spectator heard from her family until two police officers questioned her about any motives anyone would have to kill. The Spectator was reminded of an old folk tale from Germany, Der Ritter, but kept her thoughts to herself. Why would the police believe her? But... she told the Fallen Queen. That night, the Black King visited. One of this Pawns broke into the house and trashed it, leaving a warning.

The Spectator found a... relatively unknown forum, dedicated to those who had seen this creature. Before the Board that Birthed Zalgo unleashed it on the public, well... the Spectator is getting off track. Suffice to say, there were others. The Fallen Queen suggested banding together and fighting the Black King, and thus the game began. The idea spread like wildfire. Perhaps, on some level, we all knew it would fail, but believed dying in battle was better than being hunted down like so many frightened rabbits.

The Spectator and the Fallen Queen, when we were the last, ran. We never stayed at one place for more than a week, until that last month. We became complacent. They took her while I went out to procure canned and dried goods for the next leg of the journey. When I returned, all I saw was a slip of paper reading "checkmate."

The next the Spectator saw of the Fallen Queen, she was His. There was no doubt. An ultimatum was delivered, one last twist of the knife--observe, and cease all direct involvement in the game, and the Black King's hunt would cease. Ignore the ultimatum and, well, let's just say the Spectator's been abiding by the ultimatum for want of a better way.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


The Damsel of a land across the ocean has updated, assuaging worries. This is good. The Spectator hopes she notices the clear squares rather than seeks those occupied by either army.

The Spectator has plans to discuss more of the Fallen Queen and who she is. The phrase would probably be "in the works." For the moment, however, there are a number of things the Spectator needs to sort through before any venture into the past can truly begin.

As the pieces plot their next moves, the Spectator is left with much time to occupy herself with fantasies of what might have been and memories, sweet and bitter, of what once was.

Friday, January 14, 2011


One by one, the pieces become aware of the Spectator. A Cataloger seeks to decipher the twists and turns of the game. The Wayward Knight yet remains silent, carrying on her Crusade in the Black King's lair. Her piece is missing from the game floor.

The Wayward Knight's Damsel yet fights, seeking the answer to a question that should never have been asked.

The Knight once of the law advances, though the Spectator cannot discern whether it be for revenge or rescue.

A former Knight, once holding the flame of hope high before her fall, who tempered the Wayward Knight's resolve, finally leaves the board with the Bishop's gift.

Outside the stadium, the rain and fog herald the Otherworldly's arrival. The Spectator would cry out, but her thoughts turn to a Queen in black and lost possibilities. Beside her, a sword long unused rests in its sheath, a reminder of the game before the board birthing Zalgo aroused public awareness of the Black King's unending game.

Her search for a new King and Queen continues, lest the White Army be swallowed by the tide and the Black King claim victory with finality.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


A Stranger, once so familiar to the Spectator, yet now so alien, approaches the stands. The Stranger halts at the end of the game floor. For a time, the Spectator manages to ignore her presence, continue watching the unending dance between the Black King and his victims who refuse to be victims. Finally, though, the Spectator's gaze drifts upon the Stranger, once so close to her heart.

Once, the Spectator was the Player, the White King. Rather than present a mystic solution, as the Bishop's named few, the Spectator and the Fallen Queen once spearheaded the battle against the Black King, and others rallied behind them. One by one, the Rooks, the Knights, the Pawns fell to the Black King's machinations and servants. The Black King's elite captured the Queen and broke her will. All this, yet the King managed to escape, her heart torn asunder as surely as the Fifth Pawn's body.

Once, the Stranger-Yet-Not was close to the Spectator's heart. Once, both King and Queen battled the Black King's influence, both the terror and the madness that swallowed the board. The Otherwordly and his elite instead twisted her, corrupted her to the Black Army's will.

Now, the Fallen Queen stands before the Spectator, both a warning and a twist of a knife still fresh in her heart. The Spectator has been told, under no uncertain circumstances, to remain an observer, lest her amnesty be null and the Black King resume his hunt.

As the Spectator watches, wishing she could reach the Stranger-Yet-Not, heart torn anew as she knows she cannot, the Fallen Queen fades into a sea of those ignorant of the game being played around them.

The Fallen Queen, once clad in white, now wears the Black King's livery.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


The White Army is in disarray. The Black King continues to hunt the Pawns. The Black Rook remains unresponsive, naught is known of his fate after Solstice past. The White Rook targets the pawns of the same color. The Bishop clatters on the table, off the board, claimed by neither yet mistrusted by all but the most desparate.

The White Army is in dire need of a King and Queen. Shall it be the Wayward Knight, lost in the endless twists of the Black King's castle, and her Damsel, of a land across the ocean and a language long dead? Shall the Knight and Damsel who tasted of the Black King's nectar and denied his rule ascend? Shall the Knight, once of the law and now one with the chaos inherent on the board, find a Queen to lead the attack?

The game yet continues, a macabre dance with but one player. None hold the fate of the White Army in their hands, all unwilling or unable. His prey Leaderless, the Empty One moves with ruthless intent.

The clock has been punched. Wounded, the Otherwordly lashes out.

The Unending Game.

Since the age of steel and shield, the Black King has reigned. Constantly, he has played an elaborate game with the army of those he hunts. Always, the White King and the White Queen proved to lack the resolve and tools. Solstice past, the White King struck a blow against the Black King.

The Damsel and the White Knight strode into the darkness to confront the Black King. The annals of history only know if he shall be placed in check, or if he will set two more pieces to his side of the board. White has no player, only pieces in disarray.

The Black Rook's color lightens to grey, aiding yet not aiding. Hunting down the Black King's elite.

The White Rook has gone rogue, tracking the White Pawns.

The Bishop is on both sides, yet not. He removes Pawns of both armies, allowing them to escape the unending game without being claimed. His is the truest shade of grey.

And I sit in the stands, offering the White Army encouragement but not aid, for I have little to give and less to offer.