by Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold
When the Rose Knight Myriam arrived in the farthest reaches of the magical lands of Hy Rugosa, she was already so pale she soon became known as the Gossamer Knight. She told no one from whence she hailed or why she had sought out the lands of Hy Rugosa, but rumors abounded: that she had assassinated the leader of the Inner Sea, that she had poisoned the Prince in Point-of-Sleep, that she had betrayed her fellow knights in far Chemeketa. Some thought they heard the lilt of the Moonwood in her voice, others the exotic strains of the Farmost West.
One thing all the stories agreed on--she had been banished. She was mourning. And every day, she disappeared a little bit more.
The Oldest People knew her story, but they did not tell.
Now, while disappearing a little at a time can be seen as a misfortune, it can also have its benefits, especially for a Rose Knight. The more she disappeared, the more at a disadvantage were her opponents, be it in a battle or a tourney, since they could not see all of her to aim their weapons, only her armor and the way she held her own sword and shield. But as her physical person became fainter, her rose fragrance did not, and those knights who had the best chance against her were those who had the best sense of smell.
There were others, however, who insisted that Myriam's increasing invisibility gave her an unfair advantage and called for an assembly of the Rose Knights to do something about it. There it was decided that no knight could participate in tourneys who threw no shadow when naked.