The Final Strike
PK of Marie Vyronov
An eerie silence stood out in the fields past the Kortrevich keep, grass swaying quietly in the darkness that was rapidly closing in on the patrol led by Ser Cedric Barclay and Ellisar Aevaris at the prompting of Flemius. Hushed whispers were exchanged among the rally, the unease sinking in as the patrol neared the hay shack, barricaded from entrance. The patrol split into two, one to look out for potential attack in a perimeter, another to search the interior. Dame Marie Vyronov, once Barclay, was assigned to the search party, following at the front of the group in order to assist as Jork’Iron’heartz strode forwards, kicking in the crude barricade which splintered easily. Soon the party swept through, searching the interior thoroughly.
The building had been intruded with vines and mushroom growth, though the sense of dread only deepened further in the party as the search began. There were papers and torn books strewn about, though this was normal. The real concern was with the nooses from which dead bodies hung within the building. As the party split to search the rubble, Marie set up an old ladder which was held on by bare threads to a loft above. Once she reached the top, the Dame shuffled around until she found a paper, one that caught particular interest. This paper spoke of a cult, likely once inhabiting this now abandoned building. As Marie descended she had offered this paper to the officers present of the BSK, to which none had taken the offer and such the paper was put into a pocket within her Crow Knight armour. Soon the party rejoined those outside to start to return to Karosgrad, the soft murmur growing near a chatter as the soldiers stared at the tree line, knowing that the demons that plagued the area would not be far behind as they moved along.
Not half way through this near parade home, a shrill scream broke out through the fields, drawing the attention of Ser Cedric and Ellisar. The party veered West to investigate the commotion only to be met with a horrific sight. A large gathering of Nachezer had gathered in an encampment of a family. As the patrol approached they tried to keep to the element of surprise as the demons terrorized the local inhabitants, soon killing the father of the family that were under attack. However this advantage was soon stripped of the patrol as the orc within the party was reminded of wars of past… charging past the throng in a blood rage towards the demons. His cry was soon echoed by the remaining BSK soldiers, who soon joined their brother in arms at the charge.
Blades soon clashed in a thunderous roar, arrows soaring overhead and cries ringing out as the soldiers were outnumbered by the demons. No matter how many were felled, two more filled in their place. Soon a retreat was called as the demons started to encircle the patrol, the Dame finding herself in the depths of the battle. At first she did not even sustain a scratch, however her luck soon ran out. A sword slashed her shoulder, biting into the metal plate as though it were not even there. Time was running out. As the patrol retreated, Marie found herself and Lynette remaining, too many demons to fend off even with the power of the full patrol. It is at this point the knight’s demeanor changed, not from one of rescue but one of survival. She let out a cry as she swung her poleaxe in an arc to try to create space. It was successful but not for long. As the demons closed in, Marie’s grip tightened. A cry came out as Lynette was skewered with a javelin. This cry only steeled the Dame’s resolve as she soon turned quickly, giving Lynette a shove as the demon circle enclosed on her, rather than trap both of the female warriors. “GO!” Marie shouted at the top of her lungs in an attempt to get her word out to the remaining soldiers over the roar of shrill screams from the demons. Marie continued to fight, though the light at the end of the tunnel started to dim as escape became more of a fantasy rather than a real possibility. Shouts and clamour were heard as the others noticed her disappearance, however their protests met deaf ears as commands rang out. None of this reached Marie. Soon her injuries multiplied as she continued to fight the growing numbers. Swords to the abdomen landed with a sickening screech against her metal plate. Her vision narrowed as blood loss began to set in rapidly. The stench of death only grew as the demons began to circle closer as the BSK knights tried to make their retreat in a burst of smoke.
Memories flashed in these final moments for Marie, playing swords with her father as a child. Early years spent learning to cook as she began her squireship. Many… many moments of adoration with Stefan and Mariya. Oh Mariya… The poor friend of her’s that met an even earlier demise than her. Nearly an angel… that pants wearing girl that refused to accept her fate. The days out in the harbour the three of them spent in contemplation accompanied with laughter. The horror at finding out Mariya had passed could have killed her but she took it as a resolve, to protect Mariya’s children. Soon Marie had succeeded in becoming a squire, hopeful to follow her father’s path in being knighted, fueled by her desire to protect Mariya’s children and admiration for her grandfather, Ser Ivan. Soon though these memories were overwhelmed with her own family. The marriage where she sealed her fate to Stefan’s, the promise to always return… Soon the day of welcoming their children into the world. The love she felt for them and her husband causing tears to well up and fall as she fought for her life… It was a loosing fight. She would not make it back, no matter how hard she tried, breaking her promise with Stefan. However, Marie could not just lie over and accept her fate.
Marie soon clenched her hand, willing her mana to collect and pool in the palm of her hand before thrusting it upwards. A large series of blue and white sparks shot outwards, creating a distraction for her brothers and sisters at arms to escape, however this turned the attention of all demons on her. Soon, many blades joined in ending the Dame’s life, though not before a final prayer could make it out of her lips.
“Godan, please… protect my family… Mutter und vater… Stefan… our children. Help them to know the love Ich would have given them and then some.... Stefan, Ich am sorry… I promised. I always promised I would return, but perhaps, that was not Godan’s will… It seems it was his for me to follow mein grossmutter into battle and die for the lives of others. Don’t let it all end…. Our kinder need du more than me. Ich liebe dich…” A sob came out as she took a ragged breath. She raised her head to the sky in these final moments. “Krusae Zwy Kongzem!” Marie cried her final words only to be cut off by a final sword through her chest, her vision fading completely as she fell to the ground, soon her thoughts drowned out by the shrill cries of the demons that now pounced on the fallen Dame, fighting their claim over her body and personal effects. The one thing that remained by the time they were done was her wedding ring, her hand clenched around it where her killers would not notice in their frenzy. By the time they cleared enough for her body to be retrieved, the letter was gone, as were her belongings… All but the ring the Dame held close.
Soon after her death, a series of letters would be delivered to the following people by Marie’s Eldritch Guardian, Mr. Squiggles. Her cat elder than her by 10 years and a mangy thing she had found in the basement as a child. Seems this cat outlived her just for the purpose of delivering these letters.
Mother and Father,
If you receive this, it is likely I have died before you. I am sorry to leave you with such grief. It is probably your one fear, my departure before my own. I love you both so much more than I could possibly convey in these simple words. I will miss you both dearly, but I will await you in the skies to greet you. Take your time, look after my siblings, enjoy your time with my children. Look out for them please, I could not ask for better parents than you two, so I must thank you for that. I love you both.
Edmund, Adele, and Wilheim,
I am sorry… in pursuit of what I thought to be the right thing to do in this world, I have left you three far too soon. I love you all so much, please do not bicker and fight with each-other. Hold each-other tightly and never let go. There is no greater bond than that which we had, and it will remain even after my passing. Stay strong and enjoy life as much as you can.
I never thought I would depart this realm before you… but here we are. I’m sorry I didn’t get to say goodbye, cousin. I know we weren’t blood, but you made a huge difference in my life and I wish I could have done more with you. Take time off from work. Take a deep breath and keep your head high. I know you can do it. I believe you just as much now as I ever have. Don’t be afraid to grieve, but keep an eye out for your children. I love you.
Cedric and Friedrich,
Thank you both for being the closest friends and cousins I could have asked for. I would not have made it this far without you two to tell me when I’m being dumb. I can only imagine how I would have passed, what it would do for you two, but I am who I am because of you two guiding me. I admit, I am a hot headed idiot but you two tolerated me none-the-less… I love you both. Please don’t forget me, tell my children stories, treat them as your own. I wish I had more time to say goodbye, but it seems that this is it. Keep your heads up.
Reinhardt and Klaus,
Please keep each-other close, now more than ever. I can’t intervene in your fighting now. I will watch over you two, but protect one another. There is no stronger bond than the one you two hold, even if you bicker now. Keep an eye on your father, he will need you two. You are strong, don’t forget where you come from. Stride ahead. Do great things and make a path for yourself in life. You can do anything you put yourself to. I love you both, stay strong.
Ser Aleks Heiromar,
You were right. I was not cut out to be a Dame, but I made it anyway. Your teachings made it possible even though you didn’t wish to see me become a knight, for better or worse. I am grateful for every moment of it and I wish we could have had one last conversation to exchange words, even if by paper. The few you said though? They ring true and are held dear to my heart. Please, never give up, Ser. Haense needs more people like you, no matter how the world may seem to beat you down. Thank you, for everything. I am glad we shared what moments we could, I will miss you.
You are bound to do great things, Karl. Keep your head up and eye on the prize. I know you can do it, that is for sure, and good luck with your squireship. I am sorry I could not stay in order to watch you grow up and be knighted, however I did see great potential in you. As such, I wish to leave you my grandfather, Ser Ivan Kortrevich’s sword, Vanquisher. The terms of this, however, is that you hold onto this sword until you find a squire worthy of the blade under yourself. When he or she is knighted, they are to receive the blade to pass onto a worthy successor of their own. While it is early to pass it to you, I have not had a squire of my own be knighted and as such I believe you have the greatest potential. I know when the time comes you will make the best choice. Stay safe and do what you believe is best.
Dame Marie Vyronov
My dearest children,
I am sorry to have passed so early in your lives. I wish I could have held you all one last time, place a kiss upon the top of your head and read you another story. However, my time has come. I will always be with you all no matter what. Figure out your paths in life and no matter what I will always love you and be proud in everything that you do. Stay safe, and look after your vater. Ich liebe euch alle.
I am so sorry I went back on my promise, Stefan. I told you I would always come back but it seems I finally met my match. I’m sorry…. I am so… so sorry. I wish I could just hold you one last time. Hear your laugh. See your smile. Watch you play with the kinder… But it seems I have been taken early. I will miss you, oh so very much. I hope one day you can forgive me. All those years of training, all the troubles we faced… yet it was still not enough to make it back to you. You deserve so much better than to be left with our children on your own, but I really am sorry. Please, take care of them but also yourself. I love you, I always have and always will. Please, do not give up hope, I will be with you always, no matter what.
Ich liebe dich,
Along with these letters, items of Marie’s will are distributed to the respective recipients.
It has been absolutely wonderful being able to play Marie, and I wish things weren’t to be cut short as they are, however… here we are! This is certainly not my ideal ending but this is it. Thank you all for making Marie an absolutely wonderful character to play and hopefully I will see you all as I take up Marie’s daughter, Mariya. Information in this post is just retelling, parts likely able to be told by those present but not thoughts expressed. Please see me with any questions!