The sun had set beyond the horizon, leaving the darkened sky dotted with shimmering stars. A lone figure in shining armor made his way towards the abandoned castle on the outskirts of the village of Greyhaven. His name was Sir Cedric, the last surviving member of the Paladins, a once-great order of knights that had long since faded into obscurity.
Sir Cedric had heard rumors of a dark presence that had taken root within the abandoned castle, and his duty as a Paladin was to vanquish any and all evil that threatened the people of Greyhaven. He approached the castle gates with caution, his hand resting on the hilt of his sword.
As he pushed the heavy gate open, the sound of rusted metal creaking filled the night air. The castle was empty, but the echoes of the past still lingered in its ancient halls. Sir Cedric followed the sound of a faint whispering until he came to a massive chamber, its walls lined with tattered banners and broken weapons.
In the center of the room, a hooded figure stood before an altar, chanting in a language Sir Cedric did not understand. The figure turned to face Sir Cedric, revealing its face, twisted and dark with malice.
"You are too late, Paladin," the figure hissed. "The ritual is already underway, and soon, my master will rise."
Sir Cedric drew his sword, ready to fight the dark sorcerer. The two clashed in a flurry of steel and magic, but Sir Cedric was no match for the sorcerer's power. He was struck down, his armor shattered and his spirit broken.
As he lay dying on the cold stone floor, the sorcerer cackled with triumph. But as his laughter echoed through the empty halls, Sir Cedric felt a sudden surge of energy, a spark of life that refused to be extinguished.
To be continued...
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