You’ve heard the legend of how Sir Gawain chopped off the head of a green knight, and then, a year later, had to have his own head chopped off? Well, that wasn’t the only colored knight he came across. One day he and Sir Lancelot were questing and looking around for damsels in distress to rescue, when they saw a figure in the distance. They rode up to this figure and found that it was a golden girl.
“Good sirs,” said she. “I am Lady Nanette of the Gilders. I serve the Princess Mayrette.”
“Well,” said Gawain. “I have never seen a girl of pure gold before. How came you so?”
“It was the Golden Knight, good sir. He came to our castle and enchanted everyone into golden statues. And I alone did he leave the power of movement and conscious thought.”
“And how may this spell be broken?” asked Lancelot.
“By besting the Golden Knight in sword play …” said Nanette. “But if one fails, he is added to the collection of golden statues.”
“And where might we find this castle wherein we would find your mistresses?” asked Gawain.
“It is three weeks journey by foot down this road,” said Nanette.
And, of course, this was all that Sirs Lancelot and Gawain needed and they were off on this quest down the road to find the Golden night and best him in swordplay and turn all of the golden statues back into flesh.
Of course, since they were on horseback, it didn’t take them three weeks to find this golden castle, but far less time. How it glinted! It was solid gold, every bit of it, even the moat ran with golden water.
“Who goes there?” asked a voice, as they approached the gates.
“And Sir Gawain.”
“Why come ye here?” asked the voice.
“To break the spells that the Golden Knight has afflicted upon this castle,” said Lancelot.
“Are you prepared to fight?”
“We are,” said they both at once.
“Very well,” said the voice. Then the drawbridge lowered and the voice said, “Enter … if you dare.”
They rode in and found a courtyard filled with golden statues of knights - the men who had tried to rescue the inhabitants of this castle and who had failed.
“This sends shivers down my spine,” remarked Lancelot. “All these fine men converted into golden statues - what foul magic caused this?”
Suddenly, into the courtyard rode a knight in golden armour riding a golden horse. “Which of you shall I fight first?” he asked.
“I shall fight you,” said Sir Lancelot.
They both dismounted, and Lancelot drew his sword and the Golden Knight drew a solid golden sword.
The fight was long and well matched, but eventually it was Sir Lancelot who surrendered. “You fought well,” said the Golden Knight, “But you have failed.” He took the glove off his right hand and touched Lancelot’s head. In a flash, Lancelot was a statue like all the others.
The Golden Knight turned back to Gawain. “Do you still care to fight me?” he asked him.
“Yes,” said Gawain, and he drew his sword. “I fight not only for the souls of them I know not, but for Lancelot, my friend, also.”
“Very well,” said the Golden Knight. And this fight commenced. It lasted deep into the night and into the small hours of the morning when the Golden Knight finally surrendered.
“Now,” said Gawain, “restore everyone to their proper compositions.”
“But …” said the Golden Knight, looking up at Gawain. He raised his visor and Gawain saw that there was fear in the man’s eyes. “But I don’t know how to turn them back.”
“You don’t?” said Gawain. “Then why did you turn them into statues in the first place?”
“I - I,” said the man, clearly ashamed.
“Why did you turn them into statues?”
“Because, in my youth, l loved money and gold. I once did an old woman a favor and in reward she said she would give me whatever my heart desired. I asked that whatever I touch would turn to gold.
“This wish she granted, but she told me that I would regret it. I have. When I touched the girl I loved, she became a golden statue. I had no idea how to bring her back. She was the Princess Mayrette of this castle. In my despair, I turned all of the inhabitants to gold.”
“What of Nanette?”
“I do not know who Nanette is.”
“And your challenge?”
“It was news to me when my first challenger came. But as I am a swordsman of great skill, and have never been beaten until this day, I thought little of it.”
Gawain frowned. “How then will they be freed.”
“I do not know,” said the man.
Nanette appeared suddenly before them. “I am glad to hear you repent of your love of money, good Knight,” she said. “I was the old woman who you helped and who gave you your wish. I am also the golden Nanette who has noised your challenge abroad. You have a good, kind heart, and earnestly wish to return to the right, and for that I will put an end to the foul magic that has bound this place.”
And at that, all of the Golden statues returned to flesh - and all of the other things that the knight had touched returned to their proper compositions as well - including his armour, which turned back to steel.
The Princess Mayrette and the former Golden Knight were married that day, and Lancelot and Gawain rode off again to do more good in the world.
5. Except for their hair, the Hidden are immune to fire. In fact, they use it for healing.