All is still at the stroke of midnight, but as soon as the last chime dies, a dark shadow steals across an ivory and ebony landscape. When the shadow stops two steps later its cloak of impenetrable darkness dissipates and its true form, a man in black armor, holding a short sword, is revealed.
On the horizon a glowing white shape approaches; it is a man in white armor on a white horse — so bright they are like looking at the true embodiment of good.
Now another man in black armor comes to stand next to the first. As soon as he stops moving, another man in white religious robes, holding a strand of beads, slides diagonally to the same square as one of the men in black and, before a second passes, the white-robed man pulls a rondel dagger from beneath his robes and slips it through the man’s black chainmail.
This battle between good and evil continues for hours until at the first stroke of three o’clock, a man in black robes, wearing a crown, is cornered with his back to a rock wall. He is surrounded by a man in white robes and a crown, a man in white armor on horseback, and a woman in white robes with a crown. On the second stroke the man on horseback glides silently forward, pulls out a sword, and swipes off the head of the man in black with one smooth swoop.
As the last single chime fades all of the chess pieces are back in their starting places. The battle a memory to be forgotten by all but the silent, vigilant cat who slinks away as dawn’s first light appears.