Knights of X #1

Issue Date: 
June 2022
Story Title: 
Hated and Feared

Tini Howard (writer), Bob Quinn (artist), Erick Arciniega (color artist), Virtual Calligraphy's Ariana Maher (letterer), Tom Muller (designer), Yanick Panquette & Alejandro Sanchez (cover artists), Meghan Hetrick; David Lopez; Tom Muller; Rod Reis; Stephen Segovia & Rain Beredo; Skottie Young (variant cover artist), Jay Bowen & Nick Russell (production), Anita Okoye (assistant editor), Sarah Brunstad (editor), Jordan D White (senior editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

The village of Jackdaw's Nest in Avalon, under attack from Merlyn's forces, who rule Otherworld with an iron fist, and are set out to eradicate witchbreed – mutants. One young mutant who has been hiding out in Otherworld for some weeks is the Jersey Devil, who cowers in a barn as several Furies search Jackdaw's Next. They find him, but thankfully Captain Britain arrives to save him. However, there is no gate to send him back to Krakoa, and the Starlight Citadel is now the Lunatic Citadel. Captain Britain takes the Jersey Devil back to Roma's Floating Kingdom, currently a the stronghold of the Captain Britain Corps, who continue to protect Saturnyne from Merlyn and his forces. Captain Britain and Saturnyne argue for some time, with Captain Britain annoyed that the Corps must remain at the Floating Kingdom to serve Saturnyne, leaving Captain Britain without an army. Saturnyne suggests Captain Britain focus her efforts on defeating Merlyn, but Captain Britain's priority is to rescue mutants. They exchange jibes before Captain Britain departs and meets with Roma, who takes her behind a waterfall to a secret, hidden space, where Roma provides Captain Britain with a book that contains fairy magic. A quest is included in the book, a quest for ten. Captain Britain can choose the ten, but warns her that they will all face terrible trials. Captain Britain opens the book, and on Krakoa, several of Captain Britain's friends and associates begin to stir – Rictor and Shatterstar, Bei the Blood Moon, Gambit, and Rachel Summers all wake, and along with Meggan, Jubilee and her son Shogo, they gather in a forest, where Captain Britain appears, returned to Krakoa. Captain Britain explains to everyone that she needs them, for quest to save Otherworld. Some of the mutants are slightly uncertain about this, and they discuss the situation in Otherworld, before Shatterstar points out that there isn't ten of them yet. Captain Britain, Meggan and Rictor go to Arbor-Magna, where the waters of Otherworld are poured into an egg in the hope of resurrecting Mordred. Although when the Five use their abilities to restore Mordred to life, the egg appears to be empty. Captain Britain finds Jubilee in the forest, and Jubilee hands Captain Britain her son, explaining that he is asleep all the time. Captain Britain telepathically connects with Shogo and discovers that he is dreaming of Otherworld. Jubilee realizes that Shogo needs to go back to Otherworld, that Roma might be able to help him. Captain Britain, Rictor and Shatterstar, Meggan, Rachel Summers, Gambit, Bei the Blood Moon, Jubilee and Shogo regroup and Betsy casts the spell, while at the same time, Merlyn and his forces gather at the Lunatic Citadel. Captain Britain and her group – her Knights – are transported back to Otherworld, although Jubilee is not with them. Shogo has reverted to his dragon form, and Rachel finds herself in a new costume with her power manifesting as flaming energies. Captain Britain is worried that they don't have a complete group of ten Knights, so Meggan has an idea about someone they contact here on Otherworld. Within a dark forest, Merlyn's forces are led by Arthur. Representatives from most of the realms of Otherworld are with Arthur, as are several powerful Furies. They are hunting Meggan and Rachel's former Excalibur teammate, Kylun, who puts up a good fight against the army, before Captain Britain and her Knights arrive to help him. Kylun is happy to see his friends again, and agrees to join Captain Britain on her quest. Arthur and his army have the numbers though and overwhelm the Knights, until a mysterious figure in black armor appears. He helps the Knights, while Arthur watches in awe – and the enemy forces begin to retreat. Captain Britain and Meggan suspect that the mysterious soldier is Mordred, and when he gets off his horse and walks towards the Knights, their suspicion is confirmed as Mordred has indeed been reborn, and asks for asylum. Captain Britain wants to question Mordred, but before she can, a mysterious image appears above the ten Knights now that they have all been gathered – an image of the Siege Perilous, and Captain Britain realizes this must be what Roma has gathered them for to find the Siege Perilous. At the same time, Merlyn appears before Arthur, disgusted that his witchbreed son has returned, he informs Arthur that the Siege Perilous is the only thing that can change his son, and while he will not find the gem, he can take it.

Full Summary: 

Avalon, at the Village of Jackdaw's Nest. Otherworld currently burns under the iron rule of Merlyn, the Omniversal Majestor, and his loyal knights, led by King Arthur. His Furies raze even his own lands to the ground – in search of witchbreed. They are known as mutants back on Earth, but back home, death is less of a problem. The local elves of Jackdaw's Nest run through their own village, fleeing the dangers that pursue them. Several of them search for safety in a barn, where Joshua Englehard a.k.a. the Jersey Devil is hiding. He is not from Otherworld, but he likes it here. He is Krakoan, and right now, he is praying that he is not alone. 'This way, dear' a telepathic voice calls out, eyes manifesting before him. He is confused, but he knows that if a mutant dies in Otherworld, they will not be reborn the same again.

Several massive Furies loom over the barn, and lock onto their prey – new witchbreed detected. The Jersey Devil runs from the barn, following the psychic manifestation that appears before him, he jumps over a wall and begins to fall down the side of a bank, dodging the Fury's attack. He lands hard, as the Furies reach the bank and loom over it. They lock into another known witchbreed – 'Captain Britain' one of the furies decalres as Captain Britain arrives on a large white horse, and blocks the energy which the Fury releases at her with a telekinetic shield. 'I sure hoped that psychic butterfly was you' the Jersey Devil remarks as he climbs onto the horse. 'Joshua, yes? Get on. We have to move fast if we're going to get back to the Lavender Keep safely' Captain Britain announces.

Captain Britain dodges more deadly blasts fired by the Furies, while Joshua clings to her and asks her if he can get to Krakoa from the Lavender Keep. He tells her that he thinks he is ready to go home, and while he was having fun, he thinks that things went from chill to bad really fast. 'I hate to be the one to tell you this... but there is no way to get home to Krakoa' Captain Britain reveals, before her mind makes contact with Joshua's to show him what happened.

(in flashback image)
The gate was destroyed, and now, the Starlight Citadel is the Lunatic Citadel, and Merlyn rules Otherworld far more cruelly than Saturnyne once did – his most loyal knight is King Arthur. At his side, are Roma, Mad Jim Jaspers, the Furies, Colony Queen Vesperidae, Countex Oublia and Countex Oscura and the captive Ryl serves as his attendant.

Joshua looks shocked: 'You're not kidding. Like, from the legends?' he asks. 'The same' Captain Britain tells him, adding that just like in the legends, Arthur fears his defeat will come at the hands of Mordred, his own son, who is currently dead, but apparently carried the X-gene. 'That would explain why Arthur doesn't like us!' Joshua realizes. 'Yes. In his simple mind, mutants stole his son and his kingdom.

The large white horse suddenly flies towards the Floating Kingdom of Roma, while Joshua tells Captain Britain 'That explains the Sentinel! I was super confused'. Captain Britain explains to Joshua that those aren't Sentinels, but he can be forgiven for thinking that. She informs him that those mutant-hunting machines the size of towers are called Furies, and they hunt down the super-powered. They have their own nation, and have sworn fealty to Merlyn, of course. Captain Britain notes that they are not typically so large though.

Captain Britain welcomes Joshua to Roma's Floating Kingdom, and explains that Roma is Merlyn's daughter, but that she has been a friend to mutants before. 'You will be safe here. For now...' Captain Britain adds, as the horse lands on the Floating Kingdom, where members of the Captain Britain Corps are gathered. 'So... we're all stuck here' Joshua remarks, telling Captain Britain that she must miss Krakoa, too. 'Oh, I don't, but please don't misunderstand. My name is Captain Bretland, and I've never been to Krakoa' the purple-haired counterpart of Betsy Braddock announces, informing Joshua that the Betsy Braddock he knows is their leader.

They enter the stable, where other members of the Captain Britain Corps are tending to their horses within the Lavender Keep. 'Hail! She's returned!' one of the Corps calls out. It is here that the Captain Britain Corps defends their Majestrix-in-exile, Saturnyne, and rescue those unfortnate mutants who find themselves alone in an Otherworld that hates and fears them. 'And she's got a new arrival. Hello, young man' one of the Corps greets Joshua.

Inside another room, Elspeth Braddock of Earth-13059 is the Corps' most powerful seer, and her focussed totality reaches out in an attempt to contact Earth-616, the home of the Corps' leader. In a scrying pool, she sees the Krakoans waiting for Betsy Braddock – but they cannot reach her, they simply wait – because Betsy Braddock is busy.

'I have had it with you!' an enraged Saturnyne screams as she hurls a goblet of wine towards Betsy Braddock a.k.a. Captain Britain, who blocks the wine with a psi-shield. She tells Saturnyne that she is sorry her stolen throne has not been returned to her rapidly enough. 'Acting as your general without a true army leaves me with something of a permanent migraine' Betsy adds. Betsy Braddock of Earth-616 raised the Starlight Sword and restored the Captain Britain Corps in her name – she is the sworn knight of Lady Saturnyne. 'I don't care if my general is missing three of her four limbs! I want my bloody throne!' the hysterical Saturnyne shrieks. Betsy snaps back at Saturnyne, telling her that she is not her personal conquistador, she is here to protect and defend those who are hunted, like herself. She then adds 'May I remind you, Saturnyne, you do not have that “infernal X in your blood”!'

Betsy asks Saturnyne where her great powers are, her great magic. 'We are exhausted. You exhaust me!' Betsy exclaims. 'You exhaust yourselves sending out a rescue team for every last mutant who gets chased by the Furies' Saturnyne mutters. 'If you think I'm going to stop rescuing mutants in this place because you want your chair back faster, you are sorely mistaken' Betsy snaps at Saturnyne, who looks taken aback by Betsy's forcefulness. Saturnyne then asks Betsy what her plan is, then – to keep hiding? 'What would you have me do? I have begged you...find a way to contact Krakoa and bring through reinforcements. You did it for the tournament -' Betsy starts to say, to which Saturnyne reminds her that she was Omniversal Majestrix back then, and asks how she is supposed to do that now. 'I don't know. You got yourself that job before, didn't you? Ambitious little Courtney? So – do it again' Betsy suggests, pulling her cloak over her head and leaving the room they are in, while Saturnyne just frowns and folds her arms.

Outside: 'You needn't sneak around, Betsy Braddock. I know about the Keep. Have known, dear. And don't worry – mutants are still welcome in my realm' Roma Regina calls out. 'I hoped' Betsy replies as she approaches Roma and takes her hand, telling her that she is sorry they didn't ask permission. Roma reclines on some cushions, and tells Betsy that it was convenient at the time, for if her father asked, she wanted to be able to say that she hadn't heard from her. 'Your kindness towards mutants precedes you, Lady Roma. And I confess that I come asking for even more' Betsy adds. Roma tells her that she is so formal, and remarks that the Betsy she recalls appreciates the finer things. 'Champagne?' she asks, motioning to two glasses and a platter of fruit. Roma adds that she imagines Betsy's fortress is somewhat without comforts. 'Oh my' Betsy utters, before she starts drinking the champagne. Roma tells  her that if she has come this far, then she deserves the liquid courage. Betsy wipes her lip, 'Dear God, that's good. I've been drinking rainwater for months' she reveals.

'Now that you're relaxed, what brings you to me?' Roma asks, leading Besty down to a clear blue stream nearby. Betsy informs Roma that she needs an army, but Roma tells her that she hasn't one to give. Roma adds that those in her Floating Kingdom hate her father more than most. They walk along some large stones in the middle of the stream, and Roma tells Betsy that Merlyn and his people are, like hers, fae, which means they are creatures of story, wild by nature and loving – not unlike the mutants. Roma declares that Merlyn rules his people with an iron fist, and the fae hate iron. She reveals that many of the citizens of the Floating Kingdom were the first to die. 'I have no soldiers for you' Roma states as she snaps a finger, causing a waterfall ahead of them to part. They pass under the waterfall and Betsy asks 'But what if I don't want fairy soldiers. What if I want my own? From Krakoa?' Betsy enquires.

Betsy looks around at this hidden part of Roma's realm, where a larger waterfall flows nearby, and trees and flowers line the stream. 'Now that's an interesting prospect' Roma remarks. Betsy tells her that she would only need a way to plant a gate, and then there are hundreds who would come through, she's certain of it. 'We could defeat Merlyn in an afternoon with Krakoan force – at least we could protect anyone within Otherworld with an X-gene -' Betsy explains. Roma parts the waterfall ahead of her and a book emerges from a bookcase. Roma tells Betsy that fairy magic is not like that, as it is part of stories. 'Great journeys and the brave and foolish heroes who take them' Roma utters, adding that she does love the story of the mutants. 'While I can't merely wave my hand and grant your wish I can give you all... a quest' Roma announces, handing Betsy the book from the waterall.

Meanwhile, on Krakoa, the mutant nation on Earth. It's the dead of night, and suddenly, Julio Estaban Richter a.k.a. Rictor sits up in bed, and wakes his boyfriend, Shatterstar. The two shirtless men look around their room, as Rictor tells Shatterstar that something is happening. 'Magic stuff. Pants on' Rictor declares.

At the same time, Doug Ramsey a.k.a. Cypher snores obliviously as his strange wife, the Arakkii mutant Bei the Blood Moon leaves their quarters.

Remy LeBeau a.k.a. Gambit sits up in bed and looks at a note his wife, Rogue, has left him, telling him not to wait up late, as she is working late.

Running through a forest, Rachel Summers a.k.a. Prestige is followed by her warwolf pup, Amazing Baby, and exclaims 'Betsy – it's Betsy!'

Back on Otherworld, Roma informs Captain Britain that a quest is not for everyone, however, and that a quest can't bring her an army. She instructs Betsy to choose those she wants to come along with her, but that she must choose carefully, as each of them, including herself, will face terrible trials. 'But heroes you will have, Captain...' Roma adds, while Betsy looks shocked as she looks into the book.

At that moment on Krakoa, Rictor and Shatterstar, Gambit, Prestige and Bei the Blood Moon are gathered in a clearing within a forest, magic symbols glow on the ground beneath them. They are joined by Meggan, and Jubilee, who holds her son, Shogo, in her arms. Suddenly, Captain Britain mateializes before the heroes. 'Betsy, you're back!' Gambit exclaims. ''re alive!' he adds. 'Did you...kick every single ass in Otherworld?' Rictor asks. '...not remotely' Betsy responds, before reporting that she is here because she needs help. She reminds them that once they all fought with her as Excalibur, but that now, her Corps is overwhelmed, and she needs numbers – but she can only take ten. 'Not another tournament -' Gambit begins, but Betsy tells him that it is nothing like that, rather, it is more of a quest. 'A quest? To save Otherworld? Yes, I'd love to. Brian can watch Maggie' Meggan exclaims, referring to her husband and their daughter.

Gambit asks Betsy what the quest is for, but Betsy tells him that she doesn't know, as Roma wouldn't tell her. 'But I need help...and accepting her quest is the only way I can get it' Betsy explains. With one hand on Shatterstar's shoulder, Rictor tells Betsy that they are in. He adds that they tried to reach her so many times, and that he can't believe she is here. Bei the Blood Moon declares that she does not want to leave her Douglas behind merely to fight the White Witch's war. Betsy tells Bei that she won't be, as this isn't about Saturnyne's throne. 'I'm there for those – like Meggan – who are both magical and mutant, right? Turns out, there are plenty more inside Otherworld. They're in danger' Betsy explains, adding that the quest will be deeply personal and test each of their souls. 'Like...the quest for the Holy Grail?' Rictor asks. Betsy pauses and shrugs, to which Rictor tells her that he is serious, and reveals that he has been readingthis whole time. 'Well, you might be onto something there, Rictor' Betsy tells Rictor. Shatterstar holds up his hands, and admits that he doesn't count often, but that there are not ten of them yet. Betsy announces that she has a plan for that. 'Let's hope they're feeling cooperative at Arbor Magna' Betsy adds.

Shortly, at the Arbor Magna, where the Five – Hope, Egg, Elixir, Tempus and Proteus – are gathered around one of the pods within the resurrection chamber. Captain Britain, Meggan and Rictor stand nearby, as Rictor reports that the young Black Knight, Jacks, confirmed that Mordred is dead – they killed him. Betsy suggests that it should be a perfectly standard resurrection on the Five's end. She adds that it is certainly not going to be as flawless as taking someone's information from Cerebro, but that they are here to help them understand the magical bits. 'He's got an X-gene. We've seen proof of that' Betsy points out. 'This is where we'd usually call in Xavier, but...I'm curious to see if this works' Hope announces as she wears a Cerebro helmet. Meggan approaches the pod between the Five and pours a liquid from a vial onto the pod. 'The waters of the Otherworld' Meggan utters, adding that it is a precious gift from a terrible man, not to mention, the only surviving record of Mordred's mutant spirit. 'If anything will bring a version of him back to's this'..

Suddenly, energy glows around the pod, and rises upwards. The Five concentrate their abilities on the pod as Elixir declares that there is someone alive. The energy subsides, 'If you're using something from Otherworld as his backup -' Hope begins, to which Betsy remarks '- we might get a different version entirely?' and assures Hope that she thoujght about that, before telling her to open the pod up. As Hope begins to open the pod, Tempus looks nervously and remarks ' was an experiment, so it was possible it wouldn't work...but I didn't expect him to disappear' Tempus adds as the Five discover that the pod is empty. 'There was someone in there' Proteus points out, and Rictor notes that he saw him, too. Betsy tells Meggan and Rictor that they can't wait any longer – they need to say their goodbyes and I-love-yous and tell others to do the same. 'We meet back at the circle' she calls out.

Shortly, Betsy arrives back at the circle, and finds Jubilee sitting with Shogo. 'You're volunteering? I wasn't going to ask, but -' Betsy begins, to which Jubilee remarks that she would be lying if she said she thought it was a good idea to take Shogo back to Otherworld, but that she doesn't know what else to do, as he is asleep all the time. Jubilee holds her son up and informs Betsy that she had everyone on the island look at him, the doctors checked him, but he's just asleep. Betsy psionically connects with Shogo and discovers that he is dreaming of Otherworld. 'And he won't wake up. I think I have to take him back. At the very least...maybe Roma can help us' Jubilee suggests. Rictor and Shatterstar, Gambit, Meggan, Rachel and Bei arrive, and Betsy assures Jubilee thatb they won't let Shogo get hurt. Betsy then turns to her allies and tells them that if they are all here, they'll leave before she gives in to the urge to stay for creature comforts. 'Shall we begin?' she asks, opening the book Roma gave her.

Everyone looks into the book. Mordred's seat was for him alone, and for him alone it would wait. For how else to defeat a man who had turned on his own blood...but to leave a seat at the table forever open to welcome the son who had been cast aside. And as Betsy stands with allies, so to does King Arthur with his.

Otherworld, where Captain Britain, Rictor and Shatterstar, Gambit, Meggan, Rachel, Bei and Shogo, transformed into his dragon form, have arrived. 'Jubes?' Gambit calls out, looking for Jubilee. 'What happened to Jubes?' Gambit asks. 'She didn't come through with the rest of us – why not?' Shattestar asks. Bei remarks that not every quest is for everyone, this one not for Jubilee, but for her son. 'But she would not have let him come along without her. Fairy magic is clever and often cruel' Bei declares. Flames suddenly appear on Rachel's head, as if they were her hair, and fire glows around her hands. 'Whoa! Check out the armor! Otherworld brought the power' Rachel exclaims as she appears in a new Otherworldly costume. Betsy tells Rachel that the armor is lovely, and that she will be glad she has it, before pointing out that they are down two knights, and she doesn't think Roma's magic will send her back to Krakoa twice. Meggan, wearing her classic green costume, informs Betsy that she and Rachel has a friend who has been living in Otherworld for some time. 'That... is a great idea!' Rachel grins.

At that moment: 'Spread out. Our intelligence has tracked this latest rogue mutant offender to this area. But be careful...he's a beast!' King Arthur tells his army of Furies, elves, vampires and other Otherworld natives. 'I smell something. Witchbreed blood?' one of the Sevalithi vampires utters. 'In the trees' and elf with long hair exclaims. Indeed, in the trees, a figure peers out through the dark forest, and screeches as Sir Vescora, of the strange Vescora species states 'Identify. Cleanse. Dissect'. 'I'll run from you no more, you bastards!' Colin McKay a.k.a. Kylun the lion-esque mutant exclaims as he leaps from the trees and slices the back of Sir Vescora's neck as he lands on him. 'Men! He's slain Sir Vescora!' Arthur calls out when he sees the attack. Kylun runs through a clearing, remarking to himself that if he can return to the shadows he can strike again, vowing to kill them one by one for what they say about his kind.

Suddenly, Kylun cries out in pain as he is struck by magical energies courtesy of a haunting figure who floats above wearing a blue cloak. 'We have been following you, Kylun. Witchbreed... wizard slayer...' the haunting figure utters, waving a hand and encasing Kylun in ice, trapping him. 'You are a witchbreed who toys with sound. Let us hear the sound of me cutting your throat -' one of the Sevalithi vampires snarls as he puts a knife to Kylun's throat – but before he can harm Kylun, dragonfire rains down, knocking the vampire backwards and melting the ice trapping Kylun. Kylun looks up in shock: 'Impossible! Captain Britain – I had hoped and prayed that one day you may come to my aid, but the rest of you – Rachel, Meggan, I've not seen you in years!' Kylun exclaims. 'Could it be Excalibur?' he asks. 'Not anymore, Kylun. But we do need your help' Rachel tells her former teammate as she hovers nearby, fiery energy radiating from her fist. Shatterstar, Gambit and Bei gather near Kylun, while Captain Britain stands nearby, Rictor is raised up on some earth and Meggan flies above them, elemental energy glowing around her hands. Shogo stands behind everyone.

'We're down a mutant for an important quest... and you know Otherworld betterthan anyone' Rachel declares. 'You have me friends' Kylun answers, before stating that he doesn't want to take command, but that he thinks with their numbers, they may be able to thwart the enemy. 'I like this Kylun' Shatterstar smiles. Betsy points out that they also have the Furies to worry about, but acknowledges that they do havea dragon, and she has an idea. 'Betsy, be careful! As a mother, I have to insist!' Meggan exclaims as Betsy climbs onto Shogo's back, she swears on her life that Shogo won't be in danger. Betsy tells her allies that she needs them to handle Arthur's new little crew of aspirants, before she telepathically reaches out to Shogo, telling him that to do this work, he needs to listen to her very carefully so that he stays safe. 'Do you want to take Aunt Betsy pon a little ride?' Betsy asks. Shogo's thoughts project a cartoon response of him smiling as he flies through the air with his Aunt Betsy. 'Just don't tell mummy' Betsy adds as Shogo flies up into the air.

'Witchbreed proximity alert' one of the Furies states as Shogo and Betsy fly past them. 'Changing course to intercept' another Fury adds. As she casts her flaming energy about, striking down Arthur's allies, Rachel telepathically warns Betsy that there is another incoming. 'What have you got, Rachel?' Betsy responds, asking her if it could be related to her sudden fire-priestess regalia. 'No, I think it's for all of us' Rachel replies, urging Betsy to get back here. Suddenly, Athur looks back and sees a dark figure on a large black horse appear. 'Who...' he wonders. Rachel flies up above the battlefield and tosses some flaming energy at the enemy. Kylun and Shatterstar fight back to back against two of Arthur's new allies, while Rachel telepathically tells Betsy 'I mean it'.

'Okay, darling, fast as you can, and at the last moment, we're going to turn -' Betsy telepathically instructs Shogo, who does as asked, and moves at the last moment, causing two Furies to crash into each other and explode in the sky. 'Attaboy! See that? Two for thev price of one. I'm sure we can find you an ice cream for that' Betsy tells Shogo, while down below, one of the Arthur's soldiers reports that the Furies have collided – that it was the damned Captain Britain. The battel rages on, with Bei and Shatterstar striking down Arthur's army with their swords, Rictor blasting them with seismic energy and Gambit hurling his kinetically-charged playing cards into the army. Shogo drops back down to the ground and Betsy asks Rachel what she can tell her about their visitor. 'Are they friendly?' she enquires. 'He's powerful. Very powerful' Rachel responds, while Arthur looks on, shocked. 'No...' he utters, wide-eyed. '…and a madman' Rachel adds, as the mysterious man on the black horse rides into the midst of a large gathering of soldiers, and cuts his way through them with his sword.

'Men of Avalon! Retreat! Fall back!' someone calls out. 'No!' Arthur declares. One of the soldiers asks Arthur to let them merely reorganize, while the elf with long hair lunges towards the mysterious soldier on the black horse. 'He just rode through their line! What is he?' Meggan asks, pointing at the mysterious man. 'A distraction. One we can use' Shatterstar smiles. Another of Arthur's soldiers informs him that the Furies are falling, as another is destroyed, dropping to the ground with a fiery display. Captain Britain and her allies look on, and Gambit alerts everyone to Arthur and his army beginning to retreat. 'Too late! I'm coming for you!' Gambit warns the enemy. 'We can't overextend. We got out alive. And that's no random knight' Captain Britain remarks 'If that look on Arthur's face is right...' Captain Britain begins. '...Mordred?' Meggan asks, warning Betsy to stay on guard, as he is a villain. Bei turns to Gambit and tells him that, like herself, he left his beloved in the other realm. 'I think on mine with every moment. They think of us the same' she adds. Gambit frowns and tells Bei that Rogue is real busy right now. 'Maybe Gambit got stuff to do' he adds

The heroes begin to surround the mystery figure on the horse. They stand with swords or powers at the ready, and Captain Britain points her sword towards the soldier, instructing him to speak his name – or be cut down. 'If you're lucky' Rachel adds. The soldier climbs down from his horse and walks towards the heroes, stopping to stop to his knees and remove his helmet. He holds his sword flat across his hands and introduces himself as Mordred. He claims that he knows very little about how he came to be here as he is now, but that the men who follow his father have treated him like an enemy. 'And I hear you can grant me asylum' he adds. 'That's not the Mordred I recognize. He's so young' Meggan utters. Betsy points her sword at Mordred and tells him that it seems only fair that she explains to him how he came to be here, and he answers some personal questions for she and her friends. 'But understand that my questioning can be quite firm' Captain Britain warns Mordred, who looks up at her.

Suddenly, from the dark sky above, a powerful bolt of lightning surges down to Otherworld, and strikes the ground around where the heroes are gathered. Meggan screams in fright, before a red glow appears above everyone. Ten knights have gathered. Ten fated warriors of the sacred X, together as one for the first time. Will you keep the promise? Will you take the quest? The heroes look up at the glow above them, and Gambit exclaims 'Now I'm a man who recognizes a big old expensive hen anywhere... but my eyes gotta be fooling me!' 'It can't be!' Rachel exclaims. 'Of course it is' Meggan tells her, before asking 'Betsy?' as if waiting for instructions on what to do. 'This must be it. With us all assembled, this is what Roma has sent us questing for!' Captain Britain exclaims as she looks up at the Siege Perilous! The lightning scorched a large X into the ground where the Knights of X are gathered, looking up at what awaits them.

But not far away, another, more sinister gathering has pledged their own quest. Merlyn and his allies sit around a table, as mystical energies rise up, Merlyn is speaking to them, showing them what has happened with Captain Britain and her Knights. 'There you have it, King Arthur of Avalon. Your son is reborn again, a disgusting witchbreed through and through'. Merlyn informs Arthur that the stone, the Siege Perilous, is the only thing that can change Mordred forever. 'The quest belongs only to the pure, so you will not find the gem – but you can take it!' Arthur exclaims.

Characters Involved: 

Bei the Blood Moon, Captain Britain II, Gambit, Kylun, Meggan, Mordred, Prestige, Rictor, Shatterstar, Shogo (all Knights of X)
Amazing Baby
Egg, Elixir, Hope, Proteus, Tempo (all the Five)
The Jersey Devil


Captain Bertland, Elspeth Braddock, and other Captain Britain Corps
Elves of Otherworld

King Arthur
Sir Vescora

Unnamed Furies
Unnamed Colony
Unnamed Sevalithi
Arthur's army

(in flashback image)
King Arthur
Colony Queen Vesperidae
Countex Oublia & Countex Oscura
Mad Jim Jaspers
Unnamed Fury


Story Notes: 

This series follows Excalibur (4th series) #26 and is pronounced “Knights of Ten”.

Joshua Enlgehard the Jersey Devil previously appeared in New Mutants (4th series) #16-17.

Betsy refers to Saturnyne as “Ambitious little Courtney”, referencing her Earth-616 counterpart, Courtney Ross.

This issue includes an email from Rictor to Cypher and Bei, thanking them for having he and Shatterstar over for dinner, and sending them an electronic copy of Apocalypse's Grimoire in the hope Cypher can help Rictor with the ancient language it is written in.

Mordred was killed in Mighty Avengers (1st series) #23, confirmed by Jacks, the young Black Knight in Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade.

Kylun first appeared in his child form of Colin McKay in Excalibur (1st series) #2. He vanished, transported to Otherworld, and returned many years later in Excalibur (1st series) #40, as an adult and in his lion-esque form. He joined Excalibur shortly after, serving with the team until the book was restructured with #70 and most of the cast was replaced with characters who had closer ties to the main X-Men team. He then returned in Excalibur (1st series) #125 for Captain Britain and Meggan's wedding. He made a surprise return as an ally of the X-Men in Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #9-10 and was caught up in X-Man's reality warping wave. He appeared in the “Age of X” series The Amazing Nightcrawler #1-5.

This issue includes an updated map of Otherworld, indicating that nearly all of the realms of Otherworld are now occupied by Merlyn and Arthur.

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