The picture fades in to the branches of the trees in the back of Ravenhearst Manor bending under the onslaught of a merciless gale, stripping them off the last of their leaves while whipping sheets rain across the terrain and sending the dark, broiling clouds across the firmament. As the camera glides through the empty corridors and staircases of the manor, bathed in the twilight of the autumn storm, not a soul in sight, the howling of the wind creates an eerie backdrop to the gloomy atmosphere within. The camera slides through the door to The Shadow’s study, but it is just as empty as the rest of the house, the files on the tables looking as if they had not been touched in ages, thin wisps of spiderwebs dangling in some air finding its way through the edges of the windows, pushed through by the force of the wind.
The Shadow: I have walked through the shadows of the valley of death and I fear no evil…
The camera exits the study and moves through a short corridor and down a staircase, when the howl of the wind suddenly becomes louder, mingling with the sound of heavy rain falling. Following the noise, the camera finally arrives at a room, a fire roaring in its fireplace, two french doors open towards the onslaught of nature, The Shadow standing right at the edge, the gusts whipping his hair around. Slowly turning around the Weaver of Dreams, the camera moves out into the rain and shows The Shadow, his eyes closed, his face raised into the storm. Without opening his eyes he begins to speak and while perfectly calm, his voice still manages to carry over the autumn gale while the camera continues to slowly turn around him.
The Shadow: The fear of the unknown is one of the biggest factors why people fail and lose their focus, but if you manage to pierce the unknown and find what lays beyond it, then knowledge will be your strongest ally.
As the camera comes full turn again, a smile is visible on his face and as he brings his hand up, it has a jester’s hat in its palm. As he stretches it forward, he opens his eyes, his gaze fixed upon the hat, his voice lowered to a whisper, barely audible over the noise...
The Shadow: Loki, oh Loki, puppet on a string, no matter how tight you have woven the web around you, all it takes is one loose thread to unravel it all. I have found your thread and I am holding it in my hand, just waiting to pull it in the right moment…
He closes his eyes again as his hand slowly closes around the jester hat, crushing it in the process.
The picture fades in to a wide, hilly expanse of brown grass, some copses of mostly leafless trees and low-hanging, dark grey clouds sweeping across the skies as if trying to reach the horizon in a hurry. Turning around a city comes into view, its glittering lights stretching as far as the eye can see before settling on the skyline of a fairly small downtown area, the vast expanse of the city going beyond. Moving slightly down, a lone figure in a long, black trenchcoat is standing at the edge of a small plateau overlooking the scene, long hair billowing in the wind.
The Shadow: Jarvis King, the pride of Halifax, East Coast Excellence - you are not in your maritimes anymore, you have left your kingdom, now you are on my turf, welcome to the Shadow Realm… Now I know that you can and probably will argue that you have won and retained your titles anywhere in the world, but let’s be honest, it makes a difference, somewhere deep in the dark recesses of your mind, maybe unbeknownst do you even.
The camera slowly turns around him.
The Shadow: It is interesting to see that this indeed will be the first time we ever meet inside a ring, Jarvis, isn’t it? And now we will meet twice in a row on top of it! So what are we going to do for our first date? I’d say you choose the restaurant, I’ll pay your hospital bill, sounds fair? No? But let’s be serious here, a shot to represent CWF in the first ever WCWA When World’s Collide Interfed PPV World Heavyweight Title Match.
He takes a deep breath.
The Shadow: Man, that was a mouthful. Anyways, it is fitting that we don’t just battle over a petty squabble, but to get CWF’s name out there and prove that we do not just claim to be the best, but ARE the best! But if you look closer, this isn’t just about going on to that match, is it? There is a lot more and you, my friend, are at the centre of one of the biggest thorns in my side right now.
See, there are times right now, where I feel as if I’ve fallen right into the biggest rosebush the world has on offer right now, with thorns tearing at me from all sides. We have the Glass Ceiling, three, formerly four, of the biggest pains in the rear CWF has to offer right now, the Smokin’ Asses that not only have managed to snag the tag titles from Mia and me, but also played a central role in the disappearance of Mia, something that is a stain that will stay with them for a long time. And that ties things in with the other big thorn, Loki and the Hostility Takeover team, who for some inexplicable reason seem to have it out for the Forsaken and there especially myself. Silas has been a thorn, too, but I think that he will spend some more time in the greenhouse for now.
He spreads both hands in a gesture of inclusivity.
The Shadow: But now here you are, the mighty king of CWF, one of the most decorated names of this federation and underneath all this haughty facade of arrogance and elitism stands a man that is afraid. Yes, afraid. Not unlike your noble counterparts in the Middle Ages, you are afraid of losing your status as the Excellence, fearing to no longer be revered in the way you feel you deserve to be, as a legend. You’re scared that you will become the anachronism that Harley is in your eyes. You see your potential fate right in front of you and it scares the shit out of you.
So now you will step into the ring with me, an upstart that hasn’t been able to hold on to a belt for longer than a week and now all of a sudden wants to take away your shiny belt, your precious. Well, I’ve stood tall against the likes of Elisha and his oreo club and I have not shied away from the challenge. I’m not afraid of you, Jarvis, and neither of your cronies, who have haunted me and the Forsaken for way too long already.
The camera zooms in on The Shadow’s face, which has taken on a harder look.
The Shadow: Jarvis, I will personally take apart the pedestal you have built for yourself, if need be one stone at a time. Just like I will be the blade severing Loki’s puppet strings, I will be the chisel that will be breaking you down bit by bit by bit. It will start by beating you to represent CWF, carving out the first gemstones from your crown and no doubt a big blow to your inflated ego. And then it will continue when you I will finally take your crown at Northern Crown.
Oh, and before you get any funny ideas, Jarvis, please be so kind and let your-- associate? Manager? Vassal? Jester? Wait, the role of jester is already taken… Well, whatever Elizabeth is, please let her know that she can take any shenanigans she might be thinking of in order to tip the scales in your favour, because I will not be coming alone…
Suddenly Myfanwy comes into view from behind the cameraman, who gives a start at her appearance as the redhead takes up a spot to the left of The Shadow.
Myfanwy: Elizabeth, I believe you are a reasonable woman, even though siding with Jarvis here might be viewed as somewhat questionable, but let’s not let that fact distract from the matter at hand. I am not a violent person, but should you as much as raise a finger to interfere in the match, prepare to face a fury you are not ready to meet.
With a smile on his face The Shadow makes a sweeping motion encompassing the city of Calgary at the foot of the hill.
The Shadow: Welcome to Calgary, Jarvis, welcome to part 1 of CWF’s brand new series “King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime…”
He puts his arm around Myfanwy’s waist and they walk off camera.