Knights of X #5

Issue Date: 
October 2022
Story Title: 
Fort Krakoa

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), Jay Bowen & Nick Russell (production), Anita Okoye (assistant editor), Sarah Brunstad (editor), Jordan D White (senior editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)


Brief Description: 

In Mercator, Saturnyne and Roma arrive on Shogo, pursued by Merlyn and his forces, while Captain Britain and her Knights meet with Mister M, as they discuss the Siege Perilous. Meggan is still upset about Gambit's death, but the heroes realize that Gambit must be somewhere within the Siege Perilous, and race to a large castle, where they begin their search. During the search, Mordred vanishes when he is grabbed his father, King Arthur. The others come to a hall of statues, all of Gambit from various timelines. Rachel Summers uses her chrono-skimming abilities to try link to the statues and try and find Gambit, while she and Captain Britain discuss the future – and how Captain Britain does not necessarily have to serve Merlyn, Roma or Saturnyne. Wrongslide manifests as Gambit's fear of being resurrected differently appears and battles the heroes, until they fight him off. Gambit as Death then appears and launches an assault on Captain Britain and her Knights, until Rachel uses her powers to cleanse Gambit, restoring him to his true self. It's then that the Siege Perilous opens and Rogue arrives on Otherworld, along with the rest of the X-Men, Captain Avalon, several of the Legionnaires, Kwannon, Cypher and more allies. They engage Merlyn's army of ogres and Furies in combat, until finally evil is defeated. Afterwards, Jubilee is reunited with Shogo, and Mordred and Arthur have returned, with Mordred apparently going to care for his father. Rachel and Betsy share a tender moment together, before Betsy confronts Merlyn, Roma and Saturnyne and announces that she will work for none of them, before she cuts off Merlyn's head. With Otherworld and its people now safe, Captain Britain decides to patrol the Multiverse with the Captain Britain Corps, and Rachel, now called Askani, agrees to join her.


Full Summary: 

The province of Mercator, within the realm of Otherworld. On the way to his last stand, Omniversal Majestor Merlyn has been betrayed. He rides his flying lion through across the dark red sky, chasing two women who fly on Shogo the dragon – two women that he hates. They seek to usurp him. They are Saturnyne and Roma. The former is the thorn in his side, the latter is his daughter. His most legendary ally, King Arthur of Avalon, is dead in the muck below, his loyal knights at his side. Most of all, Merlyn hates the mutant Betsy Braddock a.k.a. Captain Britian, who defends the Siege Perilous with the Knights of X by her side. So much so that he will bring the last of his ragged army to find them and take it from them.

Captain Britain stands ready for battle, with Rachel Summers a.k.a. Prestige at her side. They are joined by Meggan, Julio Richter a.k.a. Rictor, Shatterstar, Colin McKay a.k.a. Kylun, Bei the Blood Moon and Mordred the Mystic. Standing with them is the ruler of this realm, Absalon Mercator. 'We're within the Siege Perilous?' Mordred asks. 'How is that possible?' he wonders. Captain Britain points at Absalon and reveals that he is better known as the mutant called Mr M, an Omega-level matter manipulator. 'Indeed, Captain' Absalon agrees. 'Matter. As we know, it cannot be destroyed. Only changed. The Siege Perilous is in every grain of sand in this strange desert I have made. All who walk upon it are subject to its mirages of confrontation' Absalon explains, as he raises several rocks from the ground. Mordred looks horrified: 'You've pulverized the Siege Perilous? For what?' he asks.

Absalon explains that he has protected it, as requested by Apocalypse. He adds that he can remake it for them all, but it seems like the Siege Perilous is subject to Roma's spell. Mercator remarks that all of Otherworld abides by the rules  of magic annd story, and that Mercator was closed until the Knights made a sacrifice, and yet, the magic of their quest also prevents him from reforging the Siege as a doorway until all ten Knights are present. 'I count eight of you here, and your boy-dragon is on his way' Mercator declares. 'Our friend is dead!' Meggan exclaims, getting angry as she announces that she won't let anyone, not even Lady Roma, use fae magic to keep them from him. Betsy tells her sister-in-law to wait: 'Not created or destroyed... only changed' Betsy points out. She steps between Meggan and Mercator and reminds her teammates that Gambit tried to use the Death card on Merlyn but it backfired, and they know that card is not about death – it's about change.

Bei understands what Captain Britain is talking about, and notes that the Siege is where mutantkind goes to be changed. 'Gambit's body disappeared when we entered Mercator. The Captain is right – he must be here somewhere' Bei declares. 'How do we find him?' Shatterstar asks. Captain Britain and Prestige look up to where a mysterious castle has suddenly appeared, and Betsy suggests that that seems to be the best place to start. 'Are you certain?' Shatterstar asks. 'Has to be him' Prestige declares, adding that she can sense Gambit inside, but that he feels twisted. Bei suggests to the Knights that they cannot forgo caution because he is their friend – they do not know what lies within, or how Gambit has been changed. As Shogo moves closer towards the other Knights, Captain Britain telepathically tells Shogo that he was supposed to be safe in Roma's kingdom. 'I promised Jubilee!' Betsy adds. As Merlyn continues to pursue Shogo, Saturnyne and Roma, he casts two surges of energy towards them, but they dodge the attack. Betsy picks up on Shogo's thoughts: 'The bad men found us there! But please, Aunt Betsy – I've learned so much! You find Gambit and lemme help keep all three of them – Roma, Saturnyne and Merlyn – away from my precious mutant friends!'

The Knights enter the castle, and Captain Britain tells everyone that this place, here in the Siege Perilous, it's what is left of Gambit. 'Then he isn't dead!' Meggan exclaims. 'I wouldn't say that, Meg' Rictor remarks. 'Indeed. We watched him die' Bei agrees. Bei pushes aside some cobwebs as the Knights enter another part of the castle, where a large statue is surrounded by dozens of glowing candles. Bei states that a warrior knows there is a part of them that remains, like longing, but more tenacious. 'You Krakoans might call it heart' she adds, looking up at the statue, 'Because she is here. You would find my Cypher in my own heart, lit up in love like this' Bei utters. Mordred remarks that she is beautiful, and asks who she is. Captain Britain informs him that it's Rogue, Gambit's wife and best friend. Mordred touches the glowing red pool in front of Rogue and exclaims that he feels very taken by her. 'Very safe here. How fine it would be, to feel so peaceful amongst one's own family...' Mordred's voice trails off, when suddenly, a hand reaches up through the pool.

Modred is shocked – it's his father, King Arthur, who tells him that there is no more running. One of them dies here. As Betsy and Bei rush over and grab Mordred, Arthur tells him that his so-called friends help him run like a coward. 'No – let me go!' Mordred exclaims and Captain Britain vows that they will not let Arthur drag Mordred down. But suddenly, Mordred spins around and tells Captain Britain that his quest is with his father. 'Let me go!' he exclaims as he falls backwards and disappears into the red water.

The rest of the Knights continue down a corridor and pass several statues of Gambit. 'Though he pains my ass, I wonder if we shouldn't have fought harder for Mordred?' Shatterstar asks, but Betsy suggests that as they are still in the Siege, it seems that Mordred is meant to confront his father. 'Like we're all subject to this bloody spell, so we might as well just trust our guts to guide us' Betsy adds as she blows her hair out of her face. Betsy then throws her arms in the air, admitting that Mordred is vexing, as his mutation is literally to inspire ire. 'Can we all admit that now? It's a dreadful ability, but it seems to be his' Betsy adds. 'Oh, damn, I was trying so hard to be nice' Rictor utters, gritting his teeth and looking nervously at Betsy. 'It makes him very useful in battle! Soldiers love to attack him! On the digital battlefields, we would say he “draws threats”!' Shatterstar adds.

Rachel then draws Betsy's attention to the fact that the statues are all of Gambit but probably from different timelines. Betsy remarks that the Captain Britain Corps had a place like this in the Starlight Citadel, back when Saturnyne was ruler, to which Rachel suggests that if Gambit ever went there, that could be why they are seeing these statues now – he is making sense of who he will be if he has to go through resurrection. Betsy asks Rachel to use her chrono-skimming on the statues, to see whether she can see the timelines. 'That's pretty clever' Rachel tells Betsy as she offers to try. 'Not so much clever as...curious. Selfishly' Betsy responds, revealing that she has been thinking she has the Captain Britain Corps at her side, and that if Rachel – Askani – can see the timelines, the whole Multiverse opens up to them – she won't need the Citadel, or to serve Saturnyne, Merlyn or even Roma. 'You would betray the lady Saturnyne and turn against her?' Kylun asks.

'She's not betraying anyone' Rachel tells Kylun, explaining that there is nothing that says the Captain Britain Corps has to serve those three, and suggests that maybe Betsy wants to protect the actual Multiverse instead of one person who calims to be in charge of it. 'And if I can help her be free of them, I'll do everything I can to make that happen' Rachel declares, as she hovers above her teammates and uses her chrono-skimming power to connect to the statues of Gambit. It takes a lot of energy, but she concentrates hard and is able to see '… that our Gambit is that way!' she exclaims, pointing down a corridor. Rachel drops down to the ground, and Betsy takes her by her hands and looks into her eyes: ' would do that for me?' she asks. Rachel tells Betsy that Roma and Saturnyne are not so different from Merlyn – they are all hamstrung without Captain Britain at their side, and that even Roma put Betsy under her spell. Meggan puts a hand on her sister-in-law's shoulder and tells her that Captain Britain has always knelt to them, but doesn't have to.

'Look out!' Bei exclaims as she hears a loud stomping noise making its way towards the Knights – 'Wrongslide!' Rictor calls out as the large rocky mutant attempts to charge down the Knights, roaring as he runs along the corridor. 'Don't call him that!' Betsy scolds Rictor, before she addresses the mutant by his true name, Santo. 'Who is this? Friend or foe?' Kylun asks as he lunges backwards out of harm's way, while Meggan and Rachel dart upwards into the air above Santo. Rictor casts druid energy around Santo's fists to try and restrain him as he explains to Kylun that Santo is a friend, kind of, as he turned out this way after dying on Otherworld, but he's supposed to be safe back on Otherworld. 'It's not really him – it's Gambit fear – that he'll die here and come back broken' Rachel explains. Rictor realizes that is why his magic isn't working, and asks for some help. Bei responds by unleashing her “death note” a sonic boom which slams Wrongslide back down the corridor from where he came.

But as this happens, large playing cards begin to collapse around the Knights. 'Don't let this place collapse! Gambit's got to be in here, and if it flattens, there's no promising we won't lose him entirely!' Betsy tells her teammates, as they do what they can to keep the large playing cards from collapsing entirely. Meggan hovers above the others and calls out to Santo, 'Are you under there?' she asks, before several of the large cards begin to glow with kinetic energy and are hurled towards Meggan, one of them striking her across her side and she screams. 'We all a little sick 'a tarots eh, Knights? But you're right about de Death don't kill ya...just means you change...but you ain't really changed if you ain't looked in the mirror and seen the worst parts 'a yo'self!' Gambit calls out as he steps towards the Knights, only he is changed indeed, he looks like he did when he was transformed into the Horseman of Apocalypse known as Death!

'Nonsense! You're the same old bastard, Remy! And we'll bring you home to Rogue where you belong!' Betsy calls out as her psi-blade clashes against Gambit's bo staff. Rictor and Shatterstar stand back-to-back, ready for any danger, while Rictor tells the others Knights to have their weapons ready, as the cards got Meggan good. 'Seems he is aiming to kill' Shatterstar suggests. Bei battles Gambit with her own weapon, and remarks that she has not had long with the Krakoans, but that much like Arakkii, they often brawl with those they love. 'Indeed we do! And when a friend falls to the darkness, we won't turn aaway from redeeming them!' Captain Britain adds as she lashes out with her psi-blade again. But Gambit dodges the attack, and tells Betsy that there ain't no redeeming him now. 'But you can come die with me' he adds as he casts dozens of kinetically-charged cards upwards. Meggan has recovered, and uses her elemental powers to cast mist around Gambit, Betsy and Bei, while Rachel warns Betsy that Gambit is tearing this place apart.

'Gambit, I won't go easy on you! You and I have known each other for too long – and I've known you too well!' Betsy exclaims as she continues to battle Gambit, a determined look on her face, as she suddenly raises her psi-blade towards Gambit's face and shoves it into his eyes. 'I won't let you forget who you are, Remy LeBeau' Betsy utters, while Gambit screams, before uttering 'Ah, are a good friend...but it's too late...I need the cleansing purity of fire...' Gambit utters, suddenly thinking that he sees Sunfire before him. 'Merci beaucoup, my friend...once more...' Gambit calls out, but in truth, it's Rachel, who has Gambit in a psychic hold, and tells the others that the fire isn't hurting Gambit, it is just a psychic manifestation. Rachel calls out to Gambit, urging him onwards, when suddenly, a light cuts through the flames, and Gambit sees a figure step towards him: 'How my old friends coming all the way to Otherworld?' he asks. But when he realizes who is approaching him, he utters ' ain't real... neither'.

'Can't be. Too beautiful' Gambit gasps as he looks up at his wife, Rogue, who holds him in his arms. 'It's my, Sugah. Your Rogue. Ah'm real' Rogue utters, informing Gambit that when Betsy and Rachel restored him, Mr M opened the Siege, and she was waiting to be the first through to see him – dead or alive. 'The...first?' Gambit asks, blood trickling from his nose. '... yeah. First 'a many. The Siege Perilous opened up...and it's a door right from Mercator to Krakoa' Rogue reveals, announcing that the rest of Merlyn's army doesn't stand a chance, and now that the door is wide open, Krakoa won't let the mutants of Otherworld suffer ever again.

Gambit looks over Rogue's shoulder and sees  a full-scale battle has been engaged, with Rogue's X-Men teammates on hand to help, Sunfire razes several orgres with a fiery blast, as Jean Grey takes down several ogres with a psychic assault. Polaris tears the armor from several orgres and uses it as a weapon to knock the orgres from the battlefield, and Synch copies Cyclops' optic blast, fighting side-by-side the two of them take out two of the ogres. Wolverine leaps into a mass of ogres, claws at the ready, while the other Wolverine does the same. Fighting near them are Daken, whose claws draw ogre blood, and Scout, who kicks one of the ogres in the head while leaping at another. Nightcrawler and the Legionnaires join the battle, too, with Nightcrawler teleporting up above several ogres as Juggernaut slams his way through a group of them. Legion destroys several ogres in a flash of energy, while Pixie uses her soul dagger against one of the ogres.

As Exodus starts to move through the Siege Perilous onto Otherworld, Jubilee can be seen on Shogo the dragon, who breathes dragonefire at two Furies that loom over the batttlefield. Kwannon has joined the battle, too, leaping from one ogre to the next as she takes them down with ease, as Rictor and Shatterstar fight side-by-side, Shatterstar's blades strike the ogres as Rictor knocks them back by raising the earth up around them. Bei fights alongside her lover, too. Her husband, Cypher, who raises a sword against a group of ogre that approach him, while Bei stabs her opponent with her weapon. Meggan surrounds an ogre with mist while her husband, Captain Avalon fights near her. King Arthur can be seen, fallen, as his son Mordred raises a sword against the ogres that move towards him, defending his father.

The ice-cream mutant, Soft Serve, has somehow found herself on the battlefield and looks scared as she holds up an ice-cream, while Roma hovers above the battlefield, casting her Otherworld magic at the enemy. Nearby, Kylun defends Saturnyne, who clings to him as he cuts one of the ogres down with his skilled swordsmanship. And finally, Captain Britain and Rachel Summers hover in the air above the fight, together they use their formidable powers to take down the remaining Sevalithi vampires who approach the battleground on flying lions. As the fight rages, Merlyn is on his knees, while a figure watches over him.

One storybook-shaking battle later. The mutant heroes of Krakoa and Otherworld gather their strength. Shogo the dragon lays on the ground and his mother Jubilee sits at his side. Rogue and Gambit cuddle, while Kylun sits near Rictor and Shatterstar. The Legionnaires are sitting together, while Cyclops, Jean Grey, Logan and Laura the Wolverines and Polaris are gathered in front of some steps. Rachel and Betsy walk away from the group and Betsy remarks that Shogo seems happy to see his mum, adding that on his mighty quest, he seemed to learn to stop crying. 'Let's hope so for Jubilee's sake' Rachel laughs. Betsy suggests that Jubilee is just happy to have Shogo back. Betsy and Rachel then stand close and clasp hands, as they look over to where Mordred is kneeling beside his father, Arthur, who leans against a tree, clutching his wounds. 'Least they're not as messed up as Arthur and Mordred' Rachel points out. 'A version of the Arthurian legend the world has never seen...and Mordred mucks up the story entirely by caring for the old man' Betsy adds. Captain Avalon approaches Mordred and hands him a large ice cream, and Betsy remarks that in turn, people will learn to care for and teach him.

Betsy and Rachel press their foreheads together, and Rachel asks Betsy whether now that the Siege Perilous is open between Otherworld and Krakoa 24/7 whether she will exhaust herself. Betsy looks Rachel in the eyes as she replies 'No thank you' and points out that after what they did with Gambit, any psychic  could do now. 'Dying here isn't irreversible anymore, thanks to the Siege Perilous'. They kiss and Betsy telepathically assures Rachel that she doesn't feel personally responsible to to escort everyone, before reporting that she has a terrible meeting to go to.

The former Starlight Citadel, now a hollow building, with no parliament and no army. Merely an inherent spoke around which Otherworld turns. 'Oh good. You're all here!' Captain Britain remarks as she enters a room and finds Roma and Saturnyne sitting on chairs, while Merlyn is shackled to the floor. 'We're happy to dismiss Merlyn as needed -' Roma begins, but, psi-blade in hand, Betsy announces that what she has to say, she wants all of them to hear. 'Oh, Elizabeth, so dramatic -' Saturnyne begins, before Captain Britain interrupts her, stating that she remembers Saturnyne's little game of swords, and realized Roma's quest was no different – just a way to have the Captain Britain Corps under their control. 'We are no longer willing to be the prize in the little war between you three' Captain Britain declares. 'Are you threatening me?' Saturnyne asks. 'I'm reminding you. I swear fealty to whom I choose' Captain Britain responds.

Captain Britain aims her sword at Saturnyne and reminds her that she meddled in a whole Otherworld war just to get her brother Brian back. 'But you got my instead. And now the last of the Starlight Citadel's magic exists here in this blade'. Captain Britain moves the sword to point at Roma, and remarks that her gift of the Siege Perilous was merely a trinket to gain her allegiance – but now, the Siege belongs to the mutants. 'And I am not yours. So sorry, Roma. You are the kindest, but you do not win' Betsy utters. Merlyn looks crazed, wide-eyed as Captain Britain aims her sword at him and reminds him that he tried to exterminate her people just to win control over Roma and Saturnyne. 'You're tricky, but not tricky enough' Captain Britain tells him. She then suggests that Roma is right, and that she knows this will not be the end for Merlyn, as he is too crafty for that. 'But for now – Omniversal Majestor Merlyn, by the rule of the Captain Britain Corps and for the protection of the Multiverse – I sentence you to die!' Captain Britain announces. 'No -!' Merlyn utters, but Captain Britain declares that it is what's best for the story.

Rachel Summers hovers outside the old Starlight Citadel, and hears the sound of Captain Britain's blade ending the life of Merlyn the Great Hierophant.

Betsy joins Rachel on the grass beneath the citadel, and asks 'That's it, then?' to which Betsy tells her that Merlyn is gone, and their people are safe. She ads that the provinces ought to manageb themselves. 'If they have a problem with what we did in Mercator...they can come tell us themselves. The Siege stays – that province is still Mr M's' Betsy adds. Rachel asks her if she is just going to patrol the Multiverse alone, to which Betsy replies 'I hope not' as the Captain Britain Corps appear behind her, among them Violet Swan, Queen Elizabeth III and Captain Elspeth. Betsy smiles at Rachel and calls her “Askani”, pointing out that without a Majestrix, she needs a way to see the story before her, and asks her if she will join her. 'You have me, my Captain' Rachel responds as they clasp hands and walk across the land of Otherworld.


Characters Involved: 

Bei the Blood Moon, Captain Britain II, Gambit, Kylun, Meggan, Mordred, Prestige/Askani, Rictor, Shatterstar, Shogo (all Knights of X)


Captain Avalon





Cyclops, Jean Grey, Polaris, Rogue, Sunfire, Synch, Wolverine III (all X-Men)

Juggernaut, Legion, Nightcrawler, Pixie III (all Legionnaires)

Daken, Honey Badger, Wolverine

Exodus (Quiet Council)

Soft Serve


Absalon Mercator





King Arthur


Sevalithi Vampires




Britannica Rex, Elspeth Braddock, Captain Baboon, Captain Bretland, Queen Elizabeth III, Captain Plumdragon, Violet Swan (all Captain Britain Corps)


(in Gambit's hallucination)



(in Gambit's memory)


Story Notes: 

Gambit sacrificed himself in Knights of X #3. The Knights entered the Siege Perilous in Knights of X #4, and Gambit's body vanished.

Gambit visited the Starlight Citadel on occasion throughout Excalibur (4th series).

Rockslide was killed on Otherworld during the “X of Swords” event and was resurrected in a changed form, dubbed “Wrongslide” by his friends.

Gambit was the Horseman of Apocalypse known as Death between X-Men (2nd series) #185-200. It was in X-Men (2nd series) #187 that Sunfire, also a Horseman of Death, used his powers on Gambit/Death.

This issue takes place before X-Men: Hellfire Gala #1.

Soft Serve previously appeared in Way of X #2.

Kylun defending Saturnyne on the battlefield is likely due to her being a version of his deceased beloved, Sat'neen.

This issue includes a letter from Brian Braddock to Mordred, offering for him to be a knight of Avalon and to train him as he cares for his father.

This issue also includes a revised map of Otherworld, which notes that the Citadel is empty, the Avalon Gate to Krakoa remains closed, and new gateway between Otherworld and Krakoa, called Fort Krakoa, is located within Mercator.

The story will continue in the Betsy Braddock: Catpain Britain series.

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