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Quote1 I've lived a long time, but I can be killed. I know I can. My quest would make no sense if there weren't terrible risks. If there wasn't... pain. Quote2
Shining Knight src

The Shining Knight is an immortal warrior from Arthurian times who was a member of the Demon Knights.

Thousands of years ago, in the time of Artus, the Bear King, there lived a young squire named Ystin with two spirits - one male, one female. When Camelot fell, young Ystin was impaled on a tree with a spear, and thus might have ended their story. However, the wizard Merlin intervened. Intrigued by Ystin's dual nature, Merlin revived them with a sip from the Holy Grail, granting them a measure of immortality before departing the battlefield. When Ystin came to, they remembered nothing of their encounter with Merlin, and so vowed to find those responsible for the fall of Camelot.

Together with their trusty flying horse Vanguard, Ystin embarked on a long quest, travelling the world and righting wrongs where they found them. Some centuries later, while sleeping beneath the roots of the World Tree, Ystin inadvertently drank water that had passed through the tree, granting them a vision of Merlin, who explained to them that he had chosen them to find the Holy Grail, which Merlin had thrown into the future for safekeeping. Though Merlin warned that the quest for the Grail would be long and painful, Ystin agreed to undertake it.[2]

Sometime much later, Ystin's quest brought them to the village of Little Spring, where they were caught in the middle of a siege by the Questing Queen.[3] Together with Jason Blood, Madame Xanadu, Vandal Savage, Exoristos, Al Jabr and the Horsewoman, Shining Knight attempted to repel the invading army until help arrived from nearby Alba Sarum, but the village fell and many of the villagers died.[4] During the siege on Little Spring, Ystin received a vision from Merlin, who revealed their origins to them.

Ystin and their compatriots were then summoned to the city of Alba Saurum by the ruling princesses. The princesses tasked the group with retrieving Merlin's soul from Avalon. The heroes, after briefly altercating with pirates on the English Channel, arrived in Britain, now overrun by ravenous beasts. Ystin felled one of these beasts, and upon dying, the monstrous being turned back into a normal wolf. The heroes tracked the source of this phenomenon back to a tower, which emits a sickly green glow. This green glow transformed them all, save Xanadu, into monsters, warping their inner desires to match their physical form, with Ystin turning to an idealized, but similar, form of themselves.

The group is then encountered by an undead Arthur, who led them to a cave; the waters of which reversed their transformations. Arthur, now aided by the Demon Knights, held an attack on the tower. As they entered, it became clear that the the tower and its effects were the work of Morgaine Le Fay. Morgaine then kidnapped the Knights and Arthur, planning to use them in a ritual to abandon her own form and inhabit Merlin's body. The heroes escaped, though, and Arthur used the last of his strength to bring the tower crumbling down. While Morgaine was defeated, the group now had nowhere to go, and Etrigan sent them all to Hell in a fit of rage.

In hell, each Knight was faced with their own personal torture. Ystin found themselves at their own wedding, being forced to choose between a bride and a groom and "reveal their sex." They instead fought their way out of the venue and set about freeing their comrades. While on their way back from saving the rest of the Demon Knights, Exoristos attempted to make a pass at Ystin, at which they told her that "I am not just a man or a woman. I am both." Exoristos, taken aback, fell quiet.

The heroes made their way to Avalon, but found themselves attacked from all sides; not just by Avalon's defense, but by both Lucifer's and the Questing Queen's forces. Aided by a fallen Arthur and his knights, the heroes bought enough time for Merlin to be reborn. With Merlin's instruction, Al Jabir created a rain which drove off the enemy forces. Both forces defeated, Merlin dubbed the group the first Stormwatch, and warned them to stay together. Of course, once back on Earth, the Demon Knights go their separate ways. Ystin, emboldened by their victory, asks Exoristos if they may travel with them, to look after the evil-inspiring Black Diamond that Ex brought back from Hell. Exoristos accepts the offer.

Thirty years later, the group is reunited by an aged Al Jabir, who is attempting to recreate Camelot. Ystin and Exoristos are revealed to have broken up in those years, the Black Diamond having sewn bitterness and resentment between them, though there seems to be some love between them still, evidenced by Exoristos' reluctance to tear off Ystin's arms for her own freedom.

Once the group is properly gathered, Al Jabir informs them that a vampire named Cain is ravaging Europe, with plans to invade Themyscira and acquire a horde of undead super-soldiers. The Demon Knights, with a lot of effort, finally make peace with their qualms about one another. Notably, Ystin and Exoristos kiss and make up, with the Diamond stashed well away from them in Al Jabir's castle. This all comes too late, however, and the Knights are unable to stop Cain's forces from setting sail. The Knights form a makeshift raft and sail after him, with Ystin believing that this will be the battle which turns them into a vampire, as foretold by a vision of theirs. Cain is defeated, but Ystin is bitten.

Upon returning to Al Jabir's castle, Ystin finds themselves healed, and Horsewoman finds herself able to stand. This is revealed to be the power of the Holy Grail, which has been taken from its case. The Questing Queen and her forces attempt to steal it, but ultimately fail, as reinforcements from Alba Saurum arrive just in time to drive them away.

Exoristos decides, despite Ystin's protests, that she would rather carry the Diamond alone, and still be able to love Ystin, than carry it alongside them, and grow to hate them again. At this, Al Jabir reveals that he has locked the Holy Grail and the Black Diamond opposite each other in a room, allowing their forces to cancel each other out. With this revelation, Ystin renews their vow to protect the Grail, this time joined by all the Knights, together, officially declaring themselves the Demon Knights.

Powers

  • Immortality: Blessed by Merlin, Ystin is the last of their line of knights and gifted with the ability to live on to carry out their quest to find the Holy Grail.

Abilities

Equipment

Transportation

Weapons


  • It was initially assumed that Ystin was a girl who adjusted her name and fashion to pretend she was a boy because girls could not become knights.[3] It was later established that Ystin identified themselves as "not just a man or a woman. I'm both".[5]
  • Ystin claims to have drunk from the Holy Grail[6] multiple times and that it tastes better than you imagine.[7]

Related

Footnotes


Seven Soldiers II 01
Seven Soldiers of Victory member
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This character is or was a member of the Seven Soldiers of Victory, or the Seven Soldiers in any of its various incarnations, created during World War II and later, it returned to battle time-traveling, dimension-spanning mysteries and monsters.
This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Seven Soldiers of Victory members" category.

Stormwatch Vol 3 1 Textless
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StormWatch member
This character is or was a member of StormWatch, a United Nations-sponsored superhero team. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "StormWatch members" category.

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