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  1. FROM THE FIEFDOM OF GARENBRIG PENNED ON THE 12TH OF THE DEEP COLD, YEAR 181 OF THE SECOND AGE More Heralds travel from the cliffs of Garenbrig’s borders, bearing another message. “From here on, let it be known that the Levy of Garenbrig is no more. The Fiefdom of Garenbrig shall henceforth be protected and manned by the Knightly Order of the Pyre. In a land bordering the great Aran-In-Eryn, or “Kingswood”, the need of warriors of Noble Stock has been deemed increasingly necessary. Suffering adversity from Cultists, their dark gods, great beasts, poachers and undead, the safety of the Town of Garenbrig is under question. Thus, the newly dubbed “Knights of the Pyre”, or the “Order of the Pyre” shall begin building its rank to serve this purpose, to protect the peoples of Garenbrig from the threats that lurk in the dark corners of the world. Therefore, if you are interested in Knighthood, Holy Purpose, and the Slaying of Monsters, look no further.” Enclosed on the messenger’s parchment, of which he hands out, reads the following information: THE KNIGHTS OF THE ORDER An order of Guardians, Hunters, and Errantry The Knights of the Pyre, their namesake taken from the sigil of House Glennmaer, serves the Fiefdom of Garenbrig, vassal land of Numendil, bordering the Kingswood. An Order of Courageous soldiers, Knights, and aspiring squires, the Order of the Pyre prides themselves on their keen and ready ability to slay great beasts, and swathes of the servants of Iblees. The Tower-Pyre symbolizes not only the enduring nature of the order, and the house it belongs to, but also the purity of GOD’s flame, and a shining beacon that all may flock to when in need. The Order sigil consists of the same Sigil as house Glennmaer, now serving as their official order of Knights, though the sunset hues of Glennmaer banners are replaced with a dark gray, to represent the enduring Light of the Pyre regardless of its surroundings. Green is used as a primary color for Uniforms, signifying the good green land that GOD granted the Descendants. Being a Knightly Order of Numenedain origin, it follows three simple rules as part of its Dogma: I. Follow the Scrolls, and take to heart the word of GOD. II. Follow the Code of Chivalry, be you Knight or Soldier. III. Hunt the beast wherever it hides. No corner of the Realm is to be left without the Light. As alluded to within the dogma, the Duty of a Pyre soldier, Knight or not, is to make their name through the guardianship of Garenbrig, by hunting any servants of the dark within their fiefdom, and bordering lands. Whether it be sprites and pixies swapping babies in the crib, or goliaths that threaten the land with their thunderous gravity, it is the duty of the order to be rid of them, swiftly and without fear. RANKINGS AND TRAPPINGS The Knightly Order of the Pyre consists of three ranks. I. Initiates Recruits of the Order, yet to prove themselves in a conflict. Armed with lighter arms and armor to facilitate training and conditioning. This rank serves as a trial of sorts, and soldiers rarely spend much time as an Initiate. II. Man-At-Arms Infantry Soldiers of the Order, who are not knighted, but are trained and oathed to service. These soldiers receive full gear in the form of Coats-of-Plate / Brigandine, various weaponry, shields, rations, and of course, a Saint’s-Weekly pay. As these Men-At-Arms do not bear the title of “Squire”, their duties do not include the dressing and serving of Knights, for they are merely expected to follow their orders and learn from them. Being a Man-At-Arms qualifies any man or woman for Knighthood, providing they display excellence. III. Knights Soldiers who have proven themselves, and taken it upon themselves to learn the ways of the Knight, according to the recommended and widely accepted list of training that all Numenedain squires undergo. These men and women are often Knighted after a loyal, decently lengthy service, for displaying excellence. Once Knighted, they are given the appropriate Plate armor of Garenbrig, and provided with their own Heraldry, either to their specific likings or chosen by the Lord of Garenbrig, whichever is preferred. PRACTICE Whilst the Order of the Pyre isn’t a church-based Order, it still aims to serve GOD primarily, along with the Kingdom of Numendil, through acting as a protection from wayward evils. To this end, the Knights take up a Crusade-like practice of “Going Errant” on a regular basis. Banding together as a single host to scour the lands of Numendil, and perhaps further abroad, to hunt and purge the Dark, be they servants of Iblees or Otherwise. To this end, all are given training with the Lance, and Horse, so that they may more efficiently make their searches. Along with riding and lance training, they will also be instructed on how to combat various beasts and evils, according to the current Numenedain standard, and how to “test” for Darkspawn. DEEDS Members of the Order, be they Knight, Man-At-Arms, or Initiate, are all entitled to their own scroll. These scrolls record every deed that a member has enacted. The slaying of beasts, the ousting of Darkspawn, the saving of a Life. Anything noteworthy is forever recorded in their scroll, with numerous copies created, allowing their name to gain fame and glory across Aevos, and not just in the halls of Formindon. Members are also entitled to display their trophies in the sanctum of Formindon, where they can be seen by any and all members of the order, in whatever state they wish to display said trophies in. Unless they leak blood (or similar) down the walls. ENLISTING To enlist within the order, contact Lord Glyndwr of Formindon. Or, fill out an application / stop by Garenbrig.
  2. When Luck Runs Out [PK] Ser Audo Weiss ‘The Raven’ 96 SA - 174 SA, 14th of The Deep Cold “War!” Forceful was the demand made by the raven-haired boy with ice-blue eyes: the young, lean and scrawny visage of the eldest Weiss child. He opted to toss a dragon figurine at his brother and raise a terrible metal-cored training sword bestowed to him by king Karl III from the local Von Draco smith. Focusing his aim through his glasses, he set his sights on the eldest of his younger brothers. The steps began with a light thunk, then heavier ones as he crossed the modified, open space of the Weiss mansion in Karosgrad: two houses forcibly merged by the Ambition of their father as they masqueraded in faux-noble wealth. “No.” Came a simple reply as the dragon toy scraped to a stop against the brother’s foot. Raising a finger to turn a page, the brother flicked it over without raising his gaze. However, he could feel the boy’s discontent as the thunks silenced only a step or two away. Only then did his eyes break from the written pages to his older brother, “Audo, you always beat me and you’re always the soldier. It bruises and hurts.” With a sharp intake of breath, Audo considered retorting but relinquished his fixation when understanding of the plight set in. “...Okay.” His sword lowered in defeat as silence fell between the two. Unsettled by it, Audo shifted. However, his younger brother seemed comfortable as his gaze, satisfied, returned to the page. The ooze of silence continued, until Audo asked: “Whatcha reading, Viktor? We haven’t been out - where’d you even get a new book?” His steps strode over as he leaned all-too-close to Viktor in an effort to see the book. The colourful illustrations almost seemed alive, with a little monkey and his strange, magic adventure seeming little more than something amusing to pass the time for children their age. “The Great Sage,” Viktor responded, though his shoulders rose and fell in an indecisive shrug, “Someone dropped it.” Peering at his brother incredulously, Audo began to frown. “You stole it.” A sharp motion finally came from Viktor as his head snapped up. “No, I didn’t.” “Yes, you did!” “No, I didn’t!” Swivelling on his feet, Audo then yelled: “Papej!” He called, and continued – louder - at the lack of notably reply: “PAPEJ, VIKTOR STOLE A BOOK!” Silence. Then, grizzled, Felix Weiss emerged from the closest stairwell with a heavy-headed boot upon the floor. Having returned the night before, late, bloodied and battle-worn, he’d closed himself away the rest of the evening and for the better part of the day. His gaze dragged to the bickering boys, then to the shredded, strained infernal banner that adorned their wall. His gaze lingered as the bickering grew, until the noise became like an incessant itch: “Enough!” His voice seemed to rattle the house to the children, and each fell deathly quiet. One thunk, then two, then three sounded as his boots crossed the floor in a steady, persistent rhythm - observing the two. “He stole it!” Audo then piped suddenly, the first to break silence as an accusatory finger cast towards Viktor. “A strange blue man in the street dropped it.” Viktor followed, “He let me have it!” Audo became more incensed by the added details, opening his mouth to continue to prater. “Ah,” Came Felix’s drawl, “Keep it.” Audo’s gaze turned to their father, wide. “Sounds like Wright.” He moved a hand over to pat Viktor, who simply gave a hint of a smile at the decision. “A strange one; he does do strange things.” Strange it was, perhaps a guiding hand or perhaps a warning for what lay ahead. A road of magic and the incomprehensible would follow the family. And, ultimately, become part of the fall of a hero. “Tonight, there will be no civilians.” A foreboding rumble rippled across the skies as Felix Weiss made some final adjustments to his son’s – and heir’s – helmet. A boy just the age of nine. An unintentional knock led to the young boy struggling to unclasp the helmet to right the fragile glasses that sat beneath. Audo Weiss had his reservations about the oncoming siege. Everyone could feel it coming and each day, each hour, each minute that passed crept ever-closer to battle. A primal fear rotted in his gut – one of getting hurt. He’d seen many times how his father had returned home ghostly and crimson. And yet, death was foreign. However, he had confidence in his father in only a way a child could. And then there was the thought, a foolish yet persistent one, that this was his chance: his chance to help papej be free of his turmoil. Gruelling and unforgiving, the battle on the Eastern front had been slow and chaotic. One could describe the entanglement as a battle of wills. When one side was pushing, a stubborn counter-attack would push right back. Amidst this, Audo had a place even if it was, at best, sketchy. In formation he could barely keep up a shield that matched him in height. Underequipped, he had no spear to effectively contribute to the backlines. It would be of no surprise that even though he fought alongside the likes of Sebastien de Savoie and Aleksandr var Ruthern, aiming for the legs as Dame Tarvisha Markov had taught him, the boy was woefully outclassed. Despite this, he aided in felling two inferi invaders and never broke rank. Given his small stature and the much greater threats around, he had been pushed and shoved – thrown, even – but no inferi had seen fit to swing their gargantuan warhammers and greatswords upon him. Perhaps he was battered and bruised, but he had come out of the thick of the battle rather well for wear, aside from being black and blue and having lost his glasses. As Karl III danced with the Prince of Carrion behind of the hill, Audo Weiss – only able to make out the blurred world beyond his shattered glasses – sobbed in the single remaining arm of his father as he was passed a flask of Carrion Black and, later, he would cry into the arms of his only friend, Veronica de Pelear. Death was now a neighbour. “I WANT TO BE A HERO!” The deep bellow fanned out from the roof of the Knight’s Keep where Ser Vladimir ‘Hothand’ and his newly accepted page stood. Raising his hands to fiddle with the goofy white goggles that sat about his neck, Audo stared at the man – an adult – with bewilderment. Though that soon gave way to a smile then an unfamiliar giggle as the puerile notion resonated in some walled-off depths of the child. How long had it been since he had laughed? In the presence of this fearsome warrior, this knight, he could for there were no inferi to infest his thoughts under his wing. “What?” He blurted out through his chuckles. “That’s not a reason to be a knight!” “Of course it is. Heroes protect people.” The knight replied nonchalantly, pulling his gaze away from the distant walls of the Red Gem to peer down at the boy of ten. A thoughtful silence settled before he then asked: “In chess, what is the most important piece?” “The king.” Came a prompt reply, draped in a naïve innocence but also an eager energy. A dip of Ser Vladimir’s head signalled a confirmation. “And who is the king we protect?” Audo’s brows furrowed in thought as the question presented an obstacle. “The… people?” He answered tentatively. Subtly curling, the lips of the Knight portrayed a hint of amusement. “Close.” All except the wind fell silent, for the boy was stumped. In his own experience and juvenile perspective, he had no concept of how precious children like himself were. Thus far, he had been a tool to defend an abstract concept of The Future; he was blind to how he could be it. However, this blindness did not limit him forever. Gradually, in the years to come, Ser Vladimir would chip away at the blockages in Audo’s view until the answer became apparent to him much later down the line. Children were the future and Audo would see to it that they were protected and, in turn, taught to protect others and themselves. “You will be Great. I see it in you.” Felix Weiss declared off-handedly, yet with such unshakeable certainty. His eldest son sat by him at their family dining table, listening and learning. Such words passed through Felix’s lips like water, yet they were boulders. Time and time again he would repeat such grand claims with practiced ease. Greatness. What was greatness to a boy of twelve? Was he great because he was warded under his Serene Highness, future king Georg I? Was he great because, as cupbearer, his life was a shield for that of king Karl III? Was he great because he was a veteran or perhaps because he had undertaken the path of Knight? Did greatness rest in politically representing his family? Or, perhaps, the investment he’d made in helping to raise his younger siblings with an overworked father and a long-gone mother deserved the description of ‘great’? Or, maybe, greatness would lay only in his future as patriarch. Whatever the answer, the weight of expectation would remain heavy. In war, every battle became his battle. In politics, every ladder rung became a necessity. In family, every failure was his own. “Vy will refer to ea as Ve Bandit King Overlord I ve High Bandit Order!” Audo grinned with a staggering amount of overconfidence as Princess Veronica de Pelear resigned herself to the role of Bandit Minion for the next full day. Over the years, the two had shown themselves to be an inseparable pair. Yet still fresh from the days of being a commoner, the baronial heir carried himself in an abrasive yet charmingly worldly way. His tendencies had a way of endearing adults and, yet, despite his dabbles in other friendships he failed to find many close long-time friends beyond that of the princess. Iskra, ever-distant, was wary of the lawful authority Audo wielded as a member of the brotherhood. Carice von Augusten Audo certainly considered a friend, though later misplaced trust would shake his confidence even under his own future roof. Eirika gave some glimmer of friendship if it was peered at through a murky lens. Regardless, time was always thin for Audo and not enough could be given to sustain a high-born girl of such energy. Sir Milonir of Whitehall – a disgusting boy of acne and stench and debt – did indeed, later, go from admiring Audo to being his best friend. However, what true friendship they had was marred by a feeling of bitter betrayal, forever relegating the once close friendship to one of utility. Ki’el certainly shared a connection at times. The men were good to each other – looked out for each other. And yet the diverging lives of each brother-in-arms led to tragedy and yet another betrayal. Ki’el’s capture and execution was personal. Another friend would not be found for decades to come: Demitrey Novikov. Once a simple brother-in-arms met on the battlefield, the two would kindle a friendship which Audo would find profoundly similar to that of Sir Milonir. Perhaps if they had met earlier, a closer bond would have been forged, and though Audo cared for the man a certain professionalism was pervasive in their relationship. But, then, as the Ambition of each family grew, Demitrey proved never to forget their bond – an act so profound that Audo carried his gifted cane from the moment it passed hands until the moment he was felled. So, Veronica was always special. She had seen his tears and his joys. She lived through his complications and problems. She helped him build a better life. She helped him be a better man. They spat and argued, and at times drifted as life weighed unforgiving on their minds, and their suffering festered. Although time and duty dragged Audo from the likes of giving gifts and letters, on occasion grand gestures were made apparent, not the least of all in his lengthy endeavor of acquiring Pablo, the panda Veronica came to love. She was there from the beginning but did not see his end. Her loss to the Veletz League was grating on many, and the proceeding failure of the De Pelears to notify him of their intent left a resounding sourness in him. And though he doubted he could, he released the paper lantern she desired at her funeral – albeit, having climbed high and after many had departed. As it drifted away on the winds, Audo reflected on her words to take care of himself. How terrible he was at that task, but with aid from Demitrey and even his usually spiteful son, Walter, he found a path forward. One day, they would dance again. “**** duty.” Audo’s mouth fell slightly agape at the words of the king as he languidly sprawled upon the bed in his chambers, listening to the young man drivel and struggle between ideals of love and responsibility. And then, it was Audo’s turn to listen as Georg I relayed the story of his love for his first queen, Esfir. A speech and talk quite unlike that which Audo would expect where in equal parts responsibility and duty came to be but obstacles between the two. Although Audo failed to grasp the emotional resonance of the king in the moment, his encouragement proved vital in lieu of a trusted guide to courtly romance. “Take a year to travel the world – it lets the hearts entwine.” The king eventually bid, “And listen to the whispers of your heart.” With his peace said, Georg waved his ward from his chambers with a waft of his hand. And so Audo listened, learned, and promptly undertook the challenge of courting Princess Veronica which eventually blossomed into marriage, with an underlying sense of unfulfilled adventure. Though in all their years together never did they find the right year to travel the world. “Take this to remind yourself of the man tu will not be.” Maria held an outstretched piece of shattered glass to the young man, now finding his own path in life, who sat pushed back into the wall, shaking and weak. Vomit splattered down his chest-plate in runny chunks, his feet crunched on glass shards, his eyes and lungs burnt from whiskey forced into them from what should have been a guiding hand. Drunk, the alcohol in his system rendered his thoughts a muddle, yet he felt starkly sober. His snap to reality was unavoidable after such an ordeal with his father. And to be sent away? To an abbey? In Balian? His murky mind ran rampant with half-sloshed ideas. Yet, his hand stretched out shakily to take the shard from Maria. The gesture perhaps contained an element of care which sorely lacked in his once single father. Perhaps, though, it was the sheer authority the act exuded to which Audo responded: a familiar feeling. Or perhaps it was an overwhelming need in the moment to focus on anything but the responsibilities forced on his shoulders, but after years of rejecting her he finally asked: “…C-can I call you mother?” Maria peered at the shambling, beaten wreck that was Audo. “Of course, hijo.” “Vy must listen to him. His word is mea word.” Felix Weiss told a young Haus and a young Sierra. Audo stood off to the side, awkwardly shifting his feet as he averted his gaze from the conversation. His fears and worries on leading, his inability to wrangle his siblings as a leader was beginning to wear him down terribly. Perhaps he was not meant for this role – perhaps Haus would make a better heir or Sierra or Via. Despite his best attempts Sierra had grown into a public menace. He loved her dearly, truly, but the extent of her defiance was terrifying. And Haus – could he even put that into words? The little brother he tried to train, to love, to protect. The one who ran away with a word. The one that no matter their connection only seemed able to speak down to his older brother. All Audo had done had only made Haus fear his word. Was Audo so wrong in the choices he made? In wanting to protect the choice of his younger brother, he seemed to only force him further into the depths of Ambition. What was he to do with him running away to far-off lands, unwilling to listen? What could he possibly say to ease his mind on The War with The Owl where upon he acted like a madman, striking wildly at family in the square of Karosgrad? To merely look upon Haus wrenched to mind a catalogue of mistakes. Everything about him embodied heart-break and surely Sierra was headed down the same path. He had not managed to do anything to stop either of them. How was he ever supposed to lead? Despite his fears, his relationship with Sierra would mend with time. Haus, however, remained a distant creature. They maintained a strictly utilitarian connection, at least until their very later years. They almost - almost - came to be brothers again. Yet, one more betrayal sealed a hatred so strong that Haus would contort from a figure of heart-break to one of loathing. An ally of the enemy. An ally of The Owl. Haus had contributed to the twisted fate of Walter Weiss. “Vyr life is over now.” Came the words of Felix Weiss as Viscount Audo Weiss took his place upon the Ivory Throne, accompanied to his left by the Viscount-consort, Princess Veronica Weiss. Audo’s gaze turned to the hall lined with banners, busts and mounted heads. Looming, reality felt like it came crashing down and yet he took a breath and puffed himself up as his own father bowed before him: the man he loved, and hated; the man he duelled almost to death; the man who had set his path with no choice. And now in all his authoritarian humility took on a supportive role. All from then on became sacrifice; a lamb to the slaughter. Perhaps that is what Felix always understood or perhaps that was the understanding he gained during his tenure. Whatever the case, the Ambition so heavily pushed by the elder had done its work in the minds of his children, none more than Audo and Haus. As Haus tread the world, Audo remained by his blood. Under Viscount Audo Weiss, Novkursain expanded. The Five Maxims of Pride were penned. The title of Lord Marshal was one he did not accept nor strive for, yet he ensured another Weiss bore the sash of the Royal Captain. He became a crow knight: the only peer of his generation to balance his title and his duty. He excelled in a knightly capacity, becoming the first Weiss Knight Paramount after establishing a new library for the knights, establishing a hall of history and forging a positive reputation amongst the peoples. He served diligently under three kings, abiding by the First Maxim: Karl III, Georg I and Aleksandr II whom to each he bore a different relation. Though not sought, he was donned with the task of being a Crown Jovenaar and saw that duty through, too. The halls of Staalgrav became ever-more decorated with trophies of war and conflict from across the realm - undead dragons, Rozanian invasions, Mori’Quessir, Orkish incursions, Adrian and Veletzian foes, to simple banditry. The family expanded and grew stable, setting the foundation for The Age of Lions. They survived and re-settled on new lands, with a new Staalgrav. The history of the Weiss became a sentiment to revere, and the dead were honoured with a newly founded crypt. Between the weight of his hefty responsibilities and his reluctance to speak or word himself with his family for fear of hurting them, and the drain on his sanity it took he struggled his way through leadership, too. Familial ties were hurt and mended, especially those he relied on. Veronica and Audo share a bond of support, and one of ferocious arguments, whereby insecurities gnawed at their marriage and yet, they came to find unity each time – even if it took time. From Viktor he grew distant after his betrayal, but they came to an understanding and repaired. Stanislaw was busy spreading the word of GOD, but Audo always bore a special place in his heart for the man - his Golden Baby of Karosgrad. Martina rebelled against her father, but in her later years they came to grow closer when Audo’s support of her and the family never wavered. Karl became his student, yet his ever-curious mind led him elsewhere in the world. Y’vette grew to have a taste for adventure, eventually from one of which she would never return. Even his nieces in Raelle and Rosalind grew despite being hidden early in their lives: Raelle, a distant blood-kin – at first a traitor, before some semblance of reconcile and distant support was found; Rosalind, the second daughter Audo never had who grew into her own, similar show of Ambition. Walter, too, even couped his father, leaving a looming shadow in the family. And of all the pains he faced, the rift with his brother hurt most for it truly became an irreparable schism. For all his faults, he loved the family dearly and for all his woes, the spark of the future – the children – were bright. “Va ve Maan.” Audo stated – clear but quiet over the corpse of his father. A strike to the heart by the Mori’Quessir, deep in the failing Fen defense had sealed the fate of the elder Weiss. Having retreated with the carcass early and at the whim of his comrades, Audo could only reflect on how his father had been beside him. He had been right there. But there was nothing anyone could have done. Death was simply closer. A growing sense of doom had followed Felix since the apparent onset of his struggling heart, but even now battle took his life early. For all the pain and turmoil their relationship had, Audo loved his father deeply. Their newly rekindling relationship had seemed promising. Taking a deep breath as the battle faintly raged beyond the blackened retreat tunnel, Audo had to resolve to accept the loss of the battle, and the loss of his father. He took some solace in knowing Felix would have preferred to die in battle, even if it meant that the young boy who wanted to save his father from his turmoil was chasing an illusion. “Ea canniet watch vy suffer. Balyzm, trust us.” The Viscount whispered to his son, Walter Weiss, as they stood alone in the living room of their now-bare manor. For all the regrets Audo had, perhaps bestowing the blade upon his son was his worst. For he could bear to tend the suffering of his own heart – he could not bear to helplessly watch that of his son, just as he had watched that of his brother. “I can’t.” Walter replied, squeezing his father tighter. “… Not yet.” He continued, imbued with an other-worldly wisdom. Turning away, Audo hid his visage from Walter as he took a few brief moments to dry his single remaining eye and soon enough the stress of it reduced him to a man fighting on the floor, restrained by his son and his wife. Years of torment, years of battle and war eroded his soul. Eroded his mind. So desperately, Veronica had tried to keep him stable through one means or another. Even in himself, Audo had slipped from one coping mechanism to another. None fixed the curse afflicting his mind. His sister and brother – he failed them both. His wife – he failed her. His son – he was failing him, too. With time and restraint, the war-dog was brought to his senses. When all was said and done, a blade of glittering carbarum was forced into Audo’s shaking grasp. A bolstering of bubbling confidence rose in the knight’s chest. Shame was pushed aside and he rose proudly as any other Weiss. And when asked what he would do with the blade he replied: “I’m keeping it.” He rested the hefty blade across his lap, freeing his arms of its deceitful weight. “At least for a little while. Not forever. I just want you to rest your mind, Walt.” “Why are you keeping it?” Walter asked, outstretching his hand to rest upon Audo’s. Walter’s wisdom and need to understand was an ethereal parasite. Pulling his hand back, Audo retreated into his own confidence. “To keep you safe.” He gripped the blade. “I failed my brother. I failed my sister.” His gaze turned to his wife, “For years I’ve done wrong by you.” His gaze returned to Walter. “I cannot fail you too. Iblees can tear my soul apart – I will not have you suffer alone from this accursed thing!” Walter moved his hand out once more to grasp the hilt with Audo, tugging to take it away. “Trust me. This is your test.” Hesitantly - tense - Audo tightened his grip for a long moment as a silent stare passed between father and son. And then, he relinquished the blade back to its designated bearer. “And what do you say now, papej?” Walter asked as he peered across at his father. “My desire hasn’t changed; my words won’t change.” He offered his own palms out to receive but did not move to take the blade by force. “I trusted you. You need to trust me.” “Then so be it.” Walter returned the blade, gifting it back and forth in a display of what they sorely lacked. Regardless of their sour future, they had some semblance of trust to maintain. “… It is now yours to bear.” From the hand that had pulled the blade from the stone, the blade returned as a temporary measure. The weight of his son’s state remained heavy on Audo. Perhaps Walter’s differentness had been inflamed by the sword bestowed, and that thought could never be forgotten. “Ea shall niet return until ea find them.” The ex-paramount had made his decision. With the elf he had taken for one of his own missing, and Walter disappeared into the ether, he decided that he must find them or die trying. An incident with Veronica had left his wary of un-told travel, and the emptiness in his daily life after her death was salt in the wound. The blessed Stanislaw’s death remained raw each day: a twisted fate to have the younger die before the older. He most precious friend, Ram Battleborn, he entrusted to Rosalind Valkonen – although he still thought of her as a Weiss and as one after his own heart. To Viktor Weiss II, he entrusted the flask which had saved his mother’s life. To Viktoriya a bracelet, entrusting to her his bond and support no matter how far he went. To Marian he entrusted the past. To Ofeliya he entrusted the future, with some guiding words. There was little place for an elder head of Weiss to loom over the proceedings of the present. The lilacs he established were gone, he was too enthralled with other matters to cater to the horse breeds he had tended lovingly, and in his state away from the keep was little more than a lonely old man. The family that needed him most were lost, and it was to those who most needed him that he dedicated himself. On his person he took what he required or felt a connection to, and all else was left in the depths of Staalgrav. Few items of special note remained on his person beyond his combat gear: a poorly molded amulet proclaiming him the best father and knight, his wedding ring, a single letter written many years ago, a golden cane, an audio version of Song of the Black and a black cape he had permanently donned in the absence of his children. One child remained lost to the father forever. One had lost himself to a new man. Ser Audo Weiss ‘The Raven’ never returned alive. Ser Audo Weiss, 2nd Viscount of Novkursain and Knight Paramount of the kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska circa 500 ES With a splash and a gasp Audo rose backwards, splattered by dry droplets, finding himself planted firmly by a cloaked figure. Although he barely noticed, his body was no longer a tapestry of scars and burns – his lost eyes returned. He did notice, however, as his hands rose to grasp the arrow-shaft in his chest, that the revengeful mark which had pierced him was no longer there. A single strike. How fragile life was; how close death had drawn. No longer was he surrounded by the gloom of the Underdark, and the monsters which called it home. No longer was he surrounded by the kin that had accepted his lost state, and extended a hand of care. The figure stood hunched, gaunt, and shrouded in the darkest of blues. Embroidered with lions, her hood shadowed what face she might have. “Are you quite done?” Came her voice, something soft and motherly yet part of her tone seemed to scold him. “No- I-” He stumbled out, his feet moving forward as if there was a path to follow back before he could complete a sentence. Abruptly, a weight came crashing down on the back of his head. Despite the harsh thwack, it didn’t really hurt even if, instinctively, he raised his hand to rub at the site. Accusingly, his gaze snapped towards the woman, turning just barely in time to see her plant her cane upon the ground and fold both her hands upon it with a sense of finality. “Your work is done, boy. Rest.” Her voice dripped with authority despite its softness, and to reinforce her words, one crinkled hand unwrapped from the cane to extend an offer of guidance to Audo. Examining her crooked hand, his own moved to take it as his fierce Ambition finally relented. Despite her manner, and despite her apparent age the touch she offered was soft. After a few long moments of hesitation, he finally responded with a quiet: “...Okay.”
  3. A Squire’s Journal 28th of Sun's Smile: Tonight we camped in the woods around Eulersburg. I never imagined myself saying this but I miss the smell of mud. I fondly remember running through the swamps with my brothers and sisters near home and coming back caked in mud from head to toe. I miss the sweet wrath of our mother when she made us change out of our muddy clothes before dinner. I miss the bustle and clamor of family gathering around the dinner table. I know I fight so that the mud back home will still be our own and so all those faces I love can still sit and eat, but those memories grow foggy and the smell of mud mixes far too easily with the blood all around this camp. For being on the path to righteous victory this war certainly seems wicked. Wrath is not seen these days cleaning mud from happy children, but in smiting down fellow sons of Horen. Right before I fell asleep last night I thought I could hear the clamor of the dinner table, but then I realized it was the clashing of swords. Another bundle of Adrian warriors found their way in our midst. I can’t believe I miss the smell of mud. 29th of Harren's Folley: Last night I rode with my knight back to Valdev. I never thought I would miss the sound of babies crying. From the barracks when I first heard a man wounded in battle, I just assumed it was a crying baby. The days before I ever had heard a man wail in pain were better. The only thing worse than the wails of these men are the looks on the faces of their children when we ride through the gates and they don’t see their fathers among our numbers. More Adrians die each day than covenant folk, but that doesn’t make the memories of these children's faces worth it. The babies in town seem to cry less as of late. Even they realize that something is not right in the world. I honestly doubt I will live to hear children of my own crying and do I even deserve to? I cannot help but think of the Adrian children whose fathers I have made wail in pain, and in turn given them the same sad soulful stare as their own tattered battalions return to Winburgh. Both of our ranks have lost numbers, but each of these numbers had fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, children and spouses. I hope I never hear the scream of a wounded man again, that sound is not meant for anyone on this earth to hear.
  4. Recruitment for House von Augusten of the Petra - Introduction - House von Augusten, a Viscomital vassal of the Commonwealth of the Petra holds the land of the Viscounty of Azor, with its keep named Rikardsburg, being fully built and functional close by the city of Vallagne. Currently, there is one available adult male character in the mainline, born fourth to Viscount-Emeritius Konstantin von Augusten @TheosVult . All political / knightly / etc aspirations will be considered and we will try to help you achieve them if chosen. For reference, Konrad is currently 30 years old. Please DM fire1003 on discord if you’re interested in learning more about / playing the character below, and a skin can be provided: HIS LORDSHIP, Konrad Leopold von Augusten (1935) - Family Lore - House von Augusten was founded circa 1900-1903 by the Matriarch of Hohengarten, a county in the United Kingdom of Aaun. Countess Cosima Monika von Augusten (née d’Azor, Bishop) was the first High Emissary of Aaun, while her husband, Peter Leopold d’Azor resided over the maintenance of their estate in the Aurentanian mountains. After Cosima’s resignation as Countess, her eldest son, Konstantin, led the Comital House in Aaun as High Senschenel on the Privy Council until he decided to move his family to the Commonwealth of the Petra, following extended vampire allegations and other conflicts within Whitespire. After being granted the Viscounty of Azor in Petra, House von Augusten began rising in involvement in the government, and other organizations, with the current Viscount (Konrad's brother) being Vice-Chancellor of the Petra @DuhPuhWuh, and a daughter of Konstantin being a Knight of the Petrine Laurel @TaytoTot. House von Augusten owns the castle of Rikardsburg as the seat of their family, nestled near the capital city of Vallagne.
  5. “A venator's resolve is fueled by the charisma of their Chief, rather than a textbook” -A Venator’s Proverb Published; upon the 14 of Snow’s Maiden ✵ [!] This first missive is a public announcement to the Archprelate and the Celia’norian public. ⚔ A message to the Archprelate, As much of time has granted opportunities to be risen again, it has come to the attention of The High Venator to part ways with the Talyiinist Symposium, and work alongside the Royarch and Ibarellans to be one of a prestigious Knight Order. Our Hearts will bear the teaching of Talyniism true, your words and wisdom ever welcomed to guide our Knight Order. Though our service to the people of Celia’nor must come first. To the Mordu’Lar, Upon the decision to part from the Talyiinist Symposium, as we remain to hold true to our wisdom received from the opportunities received from such as a Knight Order being eternally grateful for the opportunity in mind, with best interest at heart for the people of Celia’nor, and for the Venators we seek camaraderie with you, the Mordu’Lar and your arms, the Divadri of Celia’nor. A message to His Royal Majesty, Itthrak Ibarellan, As the High Venator, holding the best interests in mind for the Venator Knight Order, I extend a viable request to work alongside yourself, The Prince of Fi'andria, and your kin, the Ibarellans, serving to be a prestigious exclusive Royal Knight Order. Allotting select individuals who have proven great worth to be enlisted upon this Royal Knight Order. “They’re watching you” _______ ✵ AY’PUERAN; Her Grace Hunter; The High Venator, enforcer and chief of the Venators, Kolvar L. Valwynn-Soulheart
  6. TO PRESERVE THE SAINTS ISSUED BY THE HOLY ORDER OF ST. JUDE IN THIS YEAR OF OUR LORD, 1946, THE ORDER REPORTS THAT… While on patrol away from Veletz, the holy brothers of Saint Jude decided to head to Petra, where peculiar subjects had already been spotted in the past. Upon arriving at the Royal Citadel of Vallagne, we instantly noticed cobwebs and spiders about the main entrance to the local Cathedral. Alerted by such pests, the ordermen continued inside the Church, where the worst of the damage had been spotted. Writings were painted on the ivory walls of the LORD’s House, using rainbow paints to desecrate and ruin. Such an act of villainy was not taken lightly by us, and therefore we began investigating. After asking around, we were unable to find any meaningful lead and therefore we inspected the Cathedral to localize the damage. It would have been a small worryment if not for the statue of Saint Emma, which had been fully painted with rainbow paint. Such a sight brought heavy stones to our hearts. To ruin the memorial of such an important figure of Canonist history is not only a low blow but a terrible one too. We will not stand for such, and as the first action instantly cleaned the sacred church. Everything has been scraped off or otherwise cleaned, be it drawings or poisonous messages. With the ivory now shines again, we are ready to continue the investigations and find the culprit - or culprits - who broke the law of Canon. Anyone who has information please reach out to Grand Master Halston Veyont whom dwells in The Castle Priory of Saint Jude in Veletz.. 【☨ꜱᴇᴀʟ ᴏꜰ ᴛʜᴇ ɢʀᴀɴᴅ ᴍᴀꜱᴛᴇʀ ᴏ' ꜱᴛ.ᴊᴜᴅᴇ☨】
  7. Report: Survey of the Capitals Penned by Ser Audo Weiss, 9th Knight of the Table Naf zwy hag i 4th i Tov ag Yermey i 486 E.S. Upon the soldier and the knight lay not only the responsibilities of fighting for one’s kingdom, but also the procurement and maintenance of intelligence. Unto this purpose and under the instruction of the Knight Paramount a four-year journey, from 481 E.S. to 485 E.S., to complete a cartographic survey of each nation’s capital has been completed. With a diligent hand and auspicious conditions, even each town-house has been carefully recorded. Where possible, inward and surrounding areas have also been mapped to better grasp the surrounding geography and accessibility of each city. Much recording has been done on-site with minor alterations within my own study. More troublesome locations have been visited on multiple occasions with mappings completed in some areas numerous times allowing for the most accurate pick. Each completed piece has been displayed within the halls of the Brotherhood of Saint Karl and it is encouraged that each soldier takes the time to understand the settlements of our kin and non-kin alike. The following details the nations and their capitals that have been mapped, and in what year their reconnaissance was completed: 481 E.S. Valdev, The Dual Monarchy of Hanseti-Ruska Velec, the Duchy of Adria Talon’s Roost, The Unified Domain of Vortice Vjardengrad, The Kingdom of Norland Kal’Kadrelaz, The Grand Kingdom of Urguan Vallagne, Commonwealth of the Petra Portoregne, The Kingdom of Balian 482 E.S. The Most Serene State of Lurin The Principality of Talar’nor San'Briu, Confederation of Clan of the Iron Horde The Ashen Realm of Nor’asath Whitespire, The United Kingdom of Aaun Númenost the Fair, The Kingdom of Númendil 483 E.S. Bywater, The Halfling Realm of Dúnfarthing Aianëar, The Princedom of Amathine The Cove of Nevaehlen 485 E.S. Elcihi’thilln, The Silver State of Haelun’or While these past few years have merited this knowledge there will come a time in the ebb and flow of changing tides when this study will become outdated. A strong recommendation is therefore called upon that those who cradle the mind for such study keep a watchful eye on the progression of each settlement and motivate themselves to ensure the up-keep of our intelligence. Krusae zwy kongzem; Va ve Maan His Honourable, Ser Audo Weiss, Viscount of Novkursain, Baron of Zvaervauld, Sergeant of the Brotherhood of Saint Karl and 9th Knight of the Table
  8. The Bogatyr Test Mikolaj Radonavic @Demavend KRUSAE ZWY KONGZEM Issued By The Knight Paramount On this 3rd of Jula and Piov of 486 E.S. Even with the loss of his mentor, Ser Vanhart the Carrot, Mikolaj has not lost faith. He has continued to work and prove himself. It is not easy being the Oracle, for some would view his gift as a curse, but Mikolaj has not let this affect his demeanor either. He is always willing to assist the Order and the Kingdom in any way he must, he has truly proven his loyalty to us, and such loyalty has not gone unnoticed. If he is anything like his father, Ser Emeric, then I have faith in his abilities. His father has become a dutiful knight, being trusted to guard King Aleksandr’s aunt, may she rest in peace. It is expected that Mikolaj will also grow to be an exemplary knight, one that may be able to inspire and lead others in the future, but that is the future. It is up to Mikolaj to write his own story, to determine how he will grow as a knight. Mikolaj Radonavic is permitted to take his Bogatyr Test. May GOD watch over the squire as he attempts his final test.
  9. The Bogatyr Test Stefan Edvard Barbanov @Nolan_ KRUSAE ZWY KONGZEM Issued By The Knight Paramount On this 3rd of Jula and Piov of 486 E.S. I have watched over the Prince since his birth. He has failed, many, many times, but through all his tribulations he has learned many lessons. I have witnessed him change from a boy to a man, and I could not be prouder of the man he is shaping himself to be, but the road is still unclear for him. While I have my own hopes and ambitions for him, it is his own choice to how he shapes up his story. He must write his own story. Stefan Edvard has shown his dedication to the Order. He has aspired to sit at the Table since he could walk, similar to me. His effort is second to none, and he has withstood my own methods of training. He is a hero-in-training, and has completed all the necessary trials. There is but one trial left for the prince, his most dangerous one yet. It is this one in which I cannot assist him in any way, I can only pray for his success. Stefan Edvard is permitted to take his Bogatyr Trial, may GOD watch over him.
  10. A ROYAL TOURNAMENT To Appoint a Marian Knight KRUSAE ZWY KONGZEM Issued by THE CROWN Naf zwy 6th hag i Tod ag Yermey i 476 E.S. VA BIRODEO HERZENAV AG EDLERVIK, In the coming Saints week, there shall be a tournament challenging the Knights within the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska. This challenge, though, will be no ordinary challenge and shall be opened further to the Squires of the Knighthood and those of the BSK. A series of competitions is to happen, with a points-based system, with events such as jousting, archery, and the like for a grand day of merriment and fun alike. The one to gain the most points above all will be announced as Her Royal Majesty, Queen Sofia Camila of Hyspias Marian Knight. GODspeed and GODbless. Damar lifsti va Edlerviki, His Royal Majesty, Georg, by the Grace of Godan, King of Hanseti and Ruska, Grand Hetman of the Army, Hochmeister of the Order of the Crow, Prince of Bihar, Dules, Lahy, Muldav, Solvesborg, Slesvik and Ulgaard, Duke of Carnatia and Vanaheim, Margrave of Korstadt, Rothswald and Vasiland, Count of Alban, Siegrad, Werdenburg, Alimar, Baranya, Graiswald, Karikhov, Karovia, Kaunas, Kavat, Kovachgrad, Kvasz, Markev, Nenzing, Torun, and Toruv, Viscount of Varna, Baron of Esenstadt, Kraken’s Watch, Kralta, Krepost, Lorentz, Rytsburg, Buck, Thurant and Astfield, Lord of the Westfolk, Protector and Lord of the Highlanders, etcetera. Her Royal Majesty, Sofia Camila of Hyspia, Queen-Consort of Hanseti and Ruska, Princess of Hyspia, Princess-Consort of Bihar, Dules, Lahy, Muldav, Solvesborg, Slesvik and Ulgaard, Duchess-Consort of Carnatia and Vanaheim, Margravine-Consort of Korstadt, Rothswald and Vasiland, Countess-Consort of Alban, Siegrad, Werdenburg, Alimar, Baranya, Graiswald, Karikhov, Karovia, Kaunas, Kavat, Kovachgrad, Kvasz, Markev, Nenzing, Torun, and Toruv, Viscountess-Consort of Varna, Baroness-Consort of Esenstadt, Kraken’s Watch, Kralta, Krepost, Lorentz, Rytsburg, Buck, Thurant and Astfield, Lady of the Westfolk, Protector and Lady of the Highlanders, etcetera. Ser Vladimir 'Hothand', Knight-Paramount and Knight of the Order of the Black Sepulchre
  11. REFORMEN DES ORDENS DES HEILIGEN TYLOS REFORMS OF THE ORDER OF SAINT TYLOS Issued by the Order of Saint Tylos in the year of our Lord 1919 SÖHNE UND TÖCHTER VON MINITZ, In recent months I have seen stagnation befall the Order of Saint Tylos, laws and rules are muddied, trials, unclear or rushed through. I have taken time to reflect upon the state of the Knight Order and so the time has come. A time for change is long overdue and as the words of Minitz decree “Wer Rastet, Der Rostet” we must not rust and fall to our vices, languishing in sloth. Thus is it proposed that the SEVENTH Trial of the TRIALS OF THE ORDER be amended; "The Kanun is the guide and creed of the law of Minitz, as Ritters of the faire people of Minitz it is our duty to uphold it and pass judgment. The current limitations have held back and made the squire dawdle, therefore it is proposed that mock trials be instated as a more effective and efficient way of teaching the squire of his most sanctified creed." Thus voted the Ritters of the Council: JA Amendment to the Trial of Justice Yvian Ritter Galken Maxwell Ritter ad Landren Robert Ritter Stroheim Ludolf Ritter Barclay Andreas Ritter Ironsword Peter Ritter Stroheim NEIN No amendments to the Trial of Justice (None) ABSTAIN (None) "Approved, the Squire will no longer dally for months or perhaps even years on end, waiting for criminals to rear their ugly rears." Thus is it proposed that the SECOND Trial of the TRIALS OF THE ORDER be amended; "The faith of Canon is of unparalleled importance as we live our lives through the graces of GOTT. It is proposed that the squire is to undergo a second part to the Trial of Faith, whereas they are to take and pass an examination under the oversight of a priest." Thus voted the Ritters of the Council: JA Amendment to the Trial of Faith Yvian Ritter Galken NEIN No amendments to the Trial of Faith Maxwell Ritter ad Landren Robert Ritter Stroheim Ludolf Ritter Barclay Andreas Ritter Ironsword Peter Ritter Stroheim ABSTAIN (None) "Rejected, the Ritters should already be instilled during his tribulations as a pilgrim." Thus is it proposed that a new, ELEVENTH Trial of the TRIALS OF THE ORDER be added; "To know strategy is of great importance, to be able to command and direct men on the field of battle is of paramount importance. It is proposed that a Trial of Tactics be added to learn." Thus voted the Ritters of the Council: JA Addition of the Trial of Tactics Yvian Ritter Galken NEIN No Adding of the Trial of Tactics Maxwell Ritter ad Landren Robert Ritter Stroheim Ludolf Ritter Barclay Andreas Ritter Ironsword Peter Ritter Stroheim ABSTAIN (None) "Rejected, the Ritters duty is to be a well honed tool not to be one of strategy but to be the one of action." Thus is it proposed that a limit of 10 Ritters be instilled with the ORDER OF SAINT TYLOS; "To be a Ritter is an utmost prestige and honour, such should be heralded throughout the realm and likewise bloat should be prevented so as to maintain the Orders prestige." Thus voted the Ritters of the Council: JA Addition of Limitations (None) NEIN No Addition of Limitations Maxwell Ritter ad Landren Robert Ritter Stroheim Ludolf Ritter Barclay Andreas Ritter Ironsword Peter Ritter Stroheim Yvian Ritter Galken ABSTAIN (None) "Rejected, to do such is to stifle growth, instead a proposal of stricter regulations has been implemented. For a son or daughter of Minitz to be a Squire such must be agreed upon in vote, and likewise for the knighting of a Squire to Ritter." Thus is it proposed that the ORDER OF SAINT TYLOS be wholly divorced from THEODERICS WARBAND; "The muddying and distrust of ranks between Ritter and Warrior of the Warband has recently proclaimed itself most loudly and such this ought to be rectified. It is proposed that the Order and Warband are completely divorced from one another, neither has sway over the other, with Herrenhaus positions being the exception." Thus voted the Ritters of the Council: JA Divorce of Order and Warband Maxwell Ritter ad Landren Robert Ritter Stroheim Ludolf Ritter Barclay Andreas Ritter Ironsword Peter Ritter Stroheim Yvian Ritter Galken NEIN No Divorce of Order and Warband (None) ABSTAIN (None) "Approved. Separation to prevent the clouding ranks." Thus is it proposed that Ritters of the ORDER OF SAINT TYLOS be given the requirement; "Remember our creed, ‘Wer Rastet, Der Rostet’, to rest is to rust and such, is to not be tolerated. It is proposed that should a Squire or Ritter become inactive for more than three weeks without notice then they are to return their Cross of Tylos and leave the Order." Thus voted the Ritters of the Council: JA Addition of Activity Requirements Maxwell Ritter ad Landren Robert Ritter Stroheim Ludolf Ritter Barclay Andreas Ritter Ironsword Peter Ritter Stroheim Yvian Ritter Galken NEIN No Addition of Activity Requirements (None) ABSTAIN (None) "Approved. We need not the inactive, we need not those who dull their blades." Thus is it proposed that Ritters of the ORDER OF SAINT TYLOS be given the restriction; "To maintain good confidence and prevent bias in the justice system, Ritters cannot judge a fellow Ritter and that a Kastellan may not hold a position in the Herrenhaus aside from Herrenmeister. It is proposed that Ritters " Thus voted the Ritters of the Council: JA Amendment to the Judging of Ritter upon Ritter and Kastelan Duties (None) NEIN No Amendment to the Judging of Ritter upon Ritter and Kastelan Duties Maxwell Ritter ad Landren Robert Ritter Stroheim Ludolf Ritter Barclay Yvian Ritter Galken ABSTAIN Peter Ritter Stroheim Andreas Ritter Ironsword "Rejected. A battle brother should be able to judge his brothers in arms as he is able to his own family and Ritters of competence should be rewarded for such and not held back by meaningless restrictions." WER RASTET, DER ROSTET, His Excellency, Yvian Ritter Galken HMSTSR Herrenmeister of the Order of Saint Tylos the Stallion of Reinmar, Kastellan of the Ostturm His Grace, Brandt Wilheim Barclay Herzog von Minitz GMSTSR Duke of Minitz, Count of Neu Brandthof, Viscount of Tucay, Baron of Boriënwald and Brandthof, Lord of Durres, Protector of the Aaunic Heartlands, Chief of the Minitzian Reinmaren
  12. What is a Knight Penned by the Knight Paramount 6th of Gronna and Droba It has always been a childhood dream of mine to one day be a knight of the Kingdom of Hanseti and Ruska. I always remember hearing stories about the deeds knights would do and the adventures these brave knights always went on. I knew this is what I wanted to be, to have my name sung from the crowds, for Vladimir var Ruthern to be a name known to everyone. I wanted to be a hero. Now I am a knight, and I live according to the ideals I have set for myself. Now I must ask myself as Knight Paramount, ‘What is a Knight?’ What ideals do I wish for my knights, squires, and pages to live by as they grow and progress? Here are some of the ideals I aspire for my knights to embody: A knight must be chivalrous, they are to defend the land and its inhabitants. They must be willing to shield the defenseless. A knight must be loyal, we are to defend the Kingdom to our last breaths. We cannot die as long as the Kingdom stands. A knight must be heroic, the people should look to us. We should be models for children and people to aspire to be like. When the Kingdom calls, We will answer. That is our duty. I will not let my knights fall to complacency, rust will not be what kills us. If by the time I have resigned or perished, and there are not multiple knights to take my place and lead the order to greater heights than I could, then I will have failed in my job. It is my wish for the knights who will rise underneath me to be better than I. I am merely just the next chapter in this tale, and I will make sure the next chapter is even better than mine. Signed, Ser Vladimir ‘Hothand’ Knight Paramount
  13. The Last Stand of Sir Arthur ‘the Lionhearted’, Knight Paramount of the Commonwealth. The first Knightly Council began with the reciting of a prayer by the church’s own, the knights and dames of the Petrine Laurel gathered as one to uphold the codes to which they swore their lives. To judge a woman who they believed unworthy of their service and anathema to all that is righteous. These men and women were led by Sir Arthur ‘the Lionhearted’, Knight Paramount of the realm and sworn sword to Archduke Constanz. But instead of an audience with the woman they called to trial, the knights of Petra were beset by raiders and creatures of nefarious origins. “Defend the assembly!” Sir Arthur ordered, his men scattering to guard the pockets of Petrans who stood fearful and unable to defend themselves. The Knight Paramount found himself cornered within a sub-surface corridor, subject to the battering of countless foes and burns of relentless dragonkin. Yet, though his armour was rent and his body torn to shreds, still he stood valiantly in the defence of those who flocked behind him for protection. Eventually, the assault proved too much for one man to handle, and so the Knight collapsed in a crash of steel plates. Terribly burnt and losing blood, his last moments were witnessed by Cardinal Viktor and his retinue, who desperately worked to save the man from his injuries. But to no avail… There, in the halls of Castle Moere, where he first took his oath in defence of the Commonwealth, the Knight Paramount died in service of his people. Yet, before his ultimate demise, he would utter but one final word of sorrow and love. “Juliana…” And then, he was gone. Sir Arthur ‘the Lionhearted’ de Lyons 1878 - 1909 Knight Paramount of the Sovereign Order of the Petrine Laurel.
  14. THE SUPREME ORDER OF EXALTED OWYN | RECRUITMENT The Coat of Arms of the Supreme Order of Exalted Owyn is the enthroned Exalted Owyn bearing a sword to enforce GOD's will and the Orb of the Canon for the authority granted by the Holy Mother Church. Exalted Owyn wears the Crown of the Kingdom of GOD. A bordure of an alternating castle, representing the Bastion of the Faith, and Owyn's Cross, representing the Pontifex Maximus that founded the Order, surrounds the enthroned Exalted. TABLE OF CONTENT I. INTRODUCTION II. MEMBERSHIP III. THE OATH A depiction of the Equestor-Imperators; Holy Sir Philip de Rosius and Holy Sir August Jazloviecki who are judging the training of the newly arrived recruits. I. INTRODUCTION The Most Supreme and Holy Order of Exalted Owyn is looking for recruits to join the ranks of the army of our Holy Mother Church. Those who are willing to join must devote themselves to the Church and serve the clergy in the years to come. We are soldiers of GOD and we will be responsible for the safety of our clergy and its flock; This is why we need you, faithful Canonists to join our ranks. And so; once you are recruited you shall be a warrior of GOD and the Church only. II. MEMBERSHIP The documents of the Supreme Order state that the new recruits must be upholding the following conditions on becoming a soldier to the Supreme Order, and should those conditions describe you then you are free to become apart of the Supreme Order: Have attained the age of 14; Have been baptized as a Canonist and practiced the faith devoutly for at least one year; Not have any public notoriety or cause for doubt of their character; Not owe oaths of service which would override their service to the Church; Be able to swear either lifetime oaths or a seven year term of service, known as a Septannum. III. THE OATH Once you have done all your training as a recruit; you are to be sent on a final-quest to prove yourself to the Supreme Order and its Commanders; His Holiness, The Apostolic-General, The Equestor-Imperators and the Armigers. The oath goes as following; “I vow to never falter, to obey and guard the laws of GOD, who is the one true Creator. I vow to be the sword and shield of the Church of the Canon and her faithful, to fight for them when they cannot protect themselves. I vow to resist the temptations of Iblees and strike down those who have fallen under his dark rule." With the response of His Holiness being; “Then rise, [Name], and join your brothers as Holy Sir/Dame [Name and Epithet]. You are a Equestor of the Supreme Order of Exalted Owyn and the Church of the Canon, sworn to protect the people of the Canonist faith. You shall be fair and just, defending the innocent no matter their rank: beggar and bishop alike.” And when this is done, your brothers and sisters in-arms shall welcome you to the Supreme Order of Exalted Owyn and you shall fight for the Church and GOD only. Should you be interested in taking this path for the years to come; Fill this parchment and send it back to Holy Sir Philip de Rosius and Holy Sir August Jazloviecki at once. "BAPTISMAL NAME: AGE: HOW LONG DO YOU PLAN TO SERVE GOD AS A WARRIOR? SEPTANUM (SEVEN YEARS) OR A LIFETIME?: DO YOU SWEAR TO UPHOLD EVERY LAW AND EVERY BELIEF THE CHURCH STANDS FOR?:" [Upon answering this reply with it under this post] FOR MORE INFORMATION MAKE SURE TO READ THIS POST
  15. ✠ FROM A SQUIRE TO A HOLY SIR ✠ [!] THE COAT OF ARMS OF HOLY SIR PHILIP HUGHES DE ROSIUS [!] This is my story on how I got from being a squire, to a Holy Sir; my struggles in my training and how I succeeded in my final quest. The story of how a eighteen year old boy became a Holy Sir in the Most Holy and Supreme Order of Exalted Owyn. ✠ THE SQUIRE DAYS ✠ I, Philip Hughes de Rosius; remember it as if it was yesterday. I sent my letter to the Holy Mother Church to become a Squire to the Most Supreme and Holy Order of Exalted Owyn. It was during the Social Season that I got to hear of me being accepted into the Order; and I was quite surprised. I went to Dobrov for my first Squire training; a duel it was - while having Holy Sir August Jazloviecki as my trainer and Knight during a duel against a fellow Squire; I was the victorious one. It took up to five years of training to get to my final-quest; I obtained four of the five rings that were necessary to do so; which were Swordsmanship, Horsemanship, Blacksmith, and Education on the Scrolls. But first I had to write a thesis as tasked by Holy Sir August Jazloviecki. The years were long; but GOD gave me my strength to hold on to the tasks that had to be done. The motivation for my final quest was GOD, my wife Elaine and my newborn daughter Genevieve de Rosius; I simply could not allow it to let them down if I had failed on my final quest. Before my final quest; I had spent a few days of training with Holy Sir August in preparation of my final quest. [!]A painting of a Harpy that was flying towards Holy Sir Philip while he was on his horse. [!] And so I arrived with Holy Sir August in the lands where a strange creature had been seen. I was riding off on my own as Holy Sir August told me to discover what this creature was; and so I did. A peasant came to me and told me that there was a monster that had killed his wife; and so I followed the peasant into the mountains and we discovered a strange creature. It was a creature with the head and wings of a bird but the claws of a beast; I charged at it and started to fight against this monstrous being; and so the harpy clawed my right arm and right leg, but I did not give up. I swung my blade at the harpy it’s body and head, until it would finally give up. And so it did; The harpy fell down and a large screech would have been heard from the mountains. The harpy was suffering from utter pain, and I decapitated it; showing it a quick mercy. I bound the head to my horse to drag it to the location where I had to show it as proof of my kill; and so I did. Then, the final quest was concluded and I had to wait for me to be knighted by His Holiness High Pontiff Everard VI. ✠ THE KNIGHTING ✠ As word got to the High Pontiff; a time and date for the knighting was made. A few of House de Rosius and my distant relatives came to attend. As I was nervously waiting for the High Pontiff to arrive; I started to do a prayer for him and me family to remain as faithful as they are now. Then His Holiness had arrived; and so he told me to kneel to knight me. His Holiness then told me to recite the oath; and so I did: “I vow to never falter, to obey and guard the laws of GOD, who is the one true Creator. I vow to be the sword and shield of the Church of the Canon and her faithful, to fight for them when they cannot protect themselves. I vow to resist the temptations of Iblees and strike down those who have fallen under his dark rule.” When I had recited it, His Holiness High Pontiff Everard VI told me; “Then rise, Philip, and join your brothers as Holy Sir Philip the Kind, and be as loving to all as our God is. Vy are an Equestor of the Supreme Order of Exalted Owyn and the Church of Canon, sworn to protect the people of the Canonist faith. Vy shall be fair and just, defending the innocent no matter their rank: Beggar and bishop alike.” And so I became a Holy Sir and Equestor of the Church, it was GOD and my faith that has inspired me to reach such. For it is GOD that we defend for and for GOD who we fight. This was my story; on my journey from a Squire to a Holy Sir and Equestor of GOD and the Church. Signed, Holy Sir Philip Hughes “The Kind” de Rosius
  16. 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. Kleiner Bar 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. Marie Igor, 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. Marie 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. Marie 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. Marie 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. With love, Marie Karl, 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. Love, Mutter Stefan, 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, Marie Along with these letters, items of Marie’s will are distributed to the respective recipients. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [OOC] 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!
  17. Order of the Knights of Saint Owyn, Defenders of the People of the Kingdom of Mardon, the Principality of Pruvia, and the Blood of Ioannes. “By the Blood of our Fathers, for the Future of our Sons” The Order of Knights of Saint Owyn, known in shorthand as the Ioannian Order are a secular Order dedicated to the preservation of Traditional Orenian values and the defense of the Horenic Kingdom of Mardon and her people, be it from both foreign and domestic threats under the guidance and leadership of the Prince of Mardon. They act as both a peacetime police force, and a wartime army as the realm needs at any given time. Ranks and Structure High Command Knight Commander Undisputed command of the Order lies within the Knight Commander, who, in turn, serve the Prince of Pruvia, and the Kingdom of Mardon faithfully and with due diligence. It is his responsibility to ensure the Order is well disciplined and equipped. Knight Captain (200 Mina/Saint's Week) Inspiring battlefield officers, the Knight Captain has the honor of bearing his own heraldry to combat. With an iron resolve he will guide the soldiers of the Order to victory or an honorable death. Low Command Knight Sergeant (150 Mina/Saint's Week) Deputy officers, they are being groomed to one day lead the Ordermen to glory and victory. Usually the sons of nobles or promising veterans, they enforce the orders of their seniors officers and ensure their charges are well kept after. Enlisted Knight Brother (100 Mina/Saint's Week) The senior most enlisted rank, these men have served for many years past their prime and have chosen to continue to serve. They have the most experience of any enlisted Orderman and often serve as advisors to senior command staff for their plethora of knowledge in the art of war. Having proven their capability, they are Oathed and granted the heavy laurels of a Knight. Half-Brother (75 Mina/Saint's Week) A grizzled Order, he has seen firsthand the brutal glory of warfare, and stares unwavering into the jaws of death, ensuring discipline is kept in the ranks. While not a Knight, he is a Half-Brother of the Order. Footman (50 Mina/Saint's Week) The backbone of the Order, each Footman is oathed and sworn to follow the orders of the Knight Commander. They are drilled to act as cohesive units and stand ready to bring victory to Mardon. Recruit (20 Mina/Saint's Week) Raw, Unblooded, untested. These words describe the future brothers of the Order. With a fierce desire to serve, these recruits will either die in service or live long enough to bring glory to themselves and the Order. Specialized Ranks Quartermaster In charge of distribution and inventory, the Quartermaster is often times a Knight-Sergeant. Disciplinarian Harsh and unsympathetic, the Disciplinarian uses both whip and voice to mold Ordermen into shape. Faults or mistakes are dealt with harshly, and swiftly to ensure it does not happen twice. Apothecary Field doctors, the Apothecaries are tasked with treating the sick and wounded of the Order. Skilled in alchemy and herbalism, they are tasked with getting brothers back into the fight swiftly. Payment and Rewards for Service A soldier ought to be able to make a decent living, and reward for services is simply the right thing to do. Salary Within each rank, the various members of the Order are paid on a Saint's Weekly ((one irl week)) basis, ensuring they have enough money to buy their own food, pay for their family to eat, and be clothed, and ensure they also have money to tithe during Mass when the collection bin is passed around. As well, it proves that each man is worth something, as money is being put into them as an investment. The pay rate of each rank is listed next to it in the Roster. Rewards When it comes to service, some men and women simply do things a step above the rest, and ought to be rewarded for such That said, members of the Order are well rewarded for their services to their brothers and sisters/ 50 Mina per kill during battles 50 Mina for bringing in a new recruit 35 Mina per kill of bandit/highwayman 100 Mina per kill of Lesser Abominations (ghosts, ghouls, etc) 300 Mina per kill of Greater Abominations (Shade, Wraith, Dreadknight, etc) 500 Mina per kill of Mordring's Lieutenants (Harbingers) 1000 Mina per kill of Enemy Commander during battle ((must be perma kill, and result of a win of the warclaim)) Equipment The Ioannian Order uses a variety of weapons, both siege equipment and small arms to ensure they are well prepared for any combat. Small Arms Vandorian Longsword Used first by the Order of the White Rose, the Kaedreni Longsword has been a staple weapon of Waldenian and Vandorian soldiers since their roots in the Order of Saint Lucien. The Vandorian variant features a hand and a half grip, and a slightly shorter blade length. Gladius A weapon with roots as far back as the White Rose, the Spatha was once used by the Salvus Shields for short and bloody work in tight city streets. Used as a stabbing weapon, it is often paired with a shield. The Gladius is considerably shorter, and more nimble, often called ‘butcher’s blades’ by veterans, for they are used in places where the fighting is bloodiest. Arbalest The Arbalest is a fearsome weapon. Used in sieges, the Arbalest can pin an armored man to a wall from a distance. Often used once then discarded due to lengthy reload times, it remains a formidable weapon. Zweihander An ancient weapon, the Zweihander is a massive two handed weapon which requires the strength of a well built soldiers to wield. The weight, however, is worth the effect. Known to be able to sever limbs easily and carve apart armored men, the Zweihander is a fearsome weapon carried most often by a Knight-Sergeant. Flanged Mace The flanged mace is a crushing weapon, used to cave in armor plates and bones alike. Those who carry the mace into battle rely on heavy handed and traumatic blows of force as opposed to the finer blade work of a Longsword or Gladius. Siege Equipment Hansetian Ballista From the great white north, the Hansetian Ballista is used. Developed by the Teutonic siege engineers, it was widely used by their Hochmeister Mirtok DeNurem and made a great presence at the original Siege of the Dreadfort. It is designed for accurate, long­range fire at personnel, fortifications, and ships. Kaedreni Onager The Force of the White Rose developed this weapon early in their reign. It is effective as a small catapult and works slowly against weaker fortifications at short distances. It is capable of flinging hot pots of oil and basic explosives at enemy positions. Waldenian Trebuchet The Waldenian Trebuchet is an example of a tradition of artillery warfare. Large, intimidating, and powerful, the Waldenian Trebuchet is capable of great damage to all fortifications and at long distances. Waldenian Catapult The Waldenian Catapult is simply a more advanced version of the Kaedreni Onager, working at longer range distances and with more power. To Join the Order To sign up, simply fill out this form below and an officer will contact you. -OOC- Minecraft Name: Skype (Preferred, not required): Nexus Professions: Will this be your main?: -IC- Name: Race: Age: Where do you live?: Combat skills of note, such as a former mercenary?:
  18. ((Before anyone asks, I was given permission by Verin to get the ball rolling while he was away to get the Dread Knights active, this is my attempt.)) (Credit to Ramhak of Deviantart LINK) The Transcended In Blood Few Dread Knights remain in this world. Even fewer roam it freely. The race as a whole, or the conglomerate, has gone near extinction multiple times. Rawraych before Verin revived his brothers and brought them back, Verin before Alexandros, and now the most bloodthirsty and unpredictable of the Knights leads his brothers and sisters to bring down the heavens and let forth the darkness. Lore and History of the Dread Knights Their creation came near to the beginning, after the first emergence of the Bloodmages. These men and women were one of the first few to make their stand, like many against the Bloodmages. Unfortunately for them... they got more than they bargained for. They were rash, some. Even going as far as to challenge Bloodmages in single combat. Going even as far as accepting the terms of combat that the mages gave... “If I was to so win this bout... Your soul will be forfeited to me until release.” So sure were these men and women of their own combat prowess that they accepted without hesitation, and the duel of fates ensued. Apon loosing the combat, the Bloodmage performed a rite of sealing apon the unfortunate near death warrior, binding his/her soul to the Bloodmage’s whim and freezing the warrior in place. A gaunt face overtakes their once proud looks as they become living statues. Doomed to watch over the Altars of the creator until needed. In all retrospect, this is a fate worse than death itself. The unfortunate Warrior is allowed to effectively “die” a slow and painful death within its’ own sealing’s. Flesh and bone allowing to decay as they stand dormant. But due to the sealings place upon them in life... they do not escape their fate in death. Their souls become bound to the armour they once wore. Even as it rusts and stains with age. Until effectively the Dread knight becomes the armour. The process is a form of “breaking” within its’ own right as well. Turning them till they are nothing more than harsh, life hating drones; “The perfect soldier “it seems. They hate and, love life with a passion. For they are not truly evil, just lost. They hate those that they once called kin out of jealously, that they should be able to live out their lives to the fullest whilst the Dread knight must live a submissive life as a slave. Bidden to do whatever his/hers masters tell it. But love it also, for they know that deep down, behind all the torment and bloodshed. They know that one day... it shall be life that sets it free from its’ shackles. It shall be life that challenges it to single combat, and it shall be life that slays it. They are relentless warriors, much like that of the fabled Paladins. Some even say that they are, or at least were paladins. Pushed into service as warriors of undeath. They will make up the main stay of militarian officer might within the Order of blood’s armed forces. Making blunt, horrific decisions that most right minded people would not. For the Bloodmages are still of our kind after all... they still feel emotion of all kinds. Granted there are some among them that have different ideas and morals, but that comes with individuality. As said before, the Dread Knight is a suit of armour. A walking suit of armour. Hollow within it walks this world as doom driven servants of the Order. So they do not take damage as how any normal person might. They will still feel the pain deep inside of them, that instinctive feeling of still being whole ever so mocks them. To the better part though, they cannot truly be killed by having their helmet taken off through decapitations or being stabbed with sword lunges etc… For if disassembled only slightly, but allowed to endure, the knight, with relentless zeal to carry out its’ master’s orders, shall rise again, rebuilding itself slowly, re-gathering the pieces of armour that make up its’ body and soul. Until it is finally again renewed. It stands to reason then that the only real effective way to “kill” a Dread Knight is to disable and separate each piece of the Knight. Until you are left with but a pile of broken armour. Allowing you time to escape, but slowly, and over time, it shall reform again anew... and ready to kill once again. Time went slowly in lythien, the plotting of the Bloodmages and the toil of their servants continued onwards, it was not until the Dread knights started to regain control of themselves that the tide changed. Rising up, they broke free of their shackles, a great battle rouse up within lythien as all things were put to the slaughter. Once the dust and fires died down, the remained but a few knights left standing, and no mages to be seen. Corpses littered the landscape around and little life was left to be seen. It was then that the knights departed back to their home land within the south of Asulon. It was not to be though, they were cast out by their kin, named "traitors" and "Heretics" and "unclean" by the new Religion of this Empire called "Oren". With a roar of rage they left the sounds of the life that was Oren. Left it far behind before coming across the forest path into Greywise. They vowed their revenge upon Oren, and swore upon themselves they would gain vengeance upon the simple beauty of life itself. The three existing Dread Knights made the trip to Anthos, and gathered slaves of mortal men to build a base of dread. Aelor, then began seeking out new Dread Knights, turning those that he found one by one. The old order then fell to pieces, decaying as they were hunted by Oren, and other assorted nations. As the generation of Dread Knights fell, only one remained. Rawraych, as his 'lord' did command, was groomed as the last of the true Dread Knights. He was given the honor, the glory, of ascension, and began his reign with the abduction of his eventual successor, Verin. More then him were kidnapped, and ten individuals were chosen from thousands. The ranks of the Knights resumed power. Rawraych, unfortunately, felt only anger and rage (as he should) as a dread knight, and showed it in his tactic. A just ruler, however, he was relentless in choosing his knights. Durn, Verin, Elbent, the pigman(who, against all reasonable odds, had a soul). Even then, this does not account for them all. Conquest upon conquest, death upon death, ashes fell upon ashes as the knights resumed their merciless slaughter of those who lived. Enemies of reality, enemies of life, enemies of them all. Beside the Dread Lord lay his knights, his cultists, and many rallied to him in this new regime he had made. The Necromancers, too, took a shining to this new dread lord as they had not to Aelor, and soon then did the two combine their mights into one. Attacks and raids beyond the imagination or horror of mortal men carried out without remorse by the Gravelord and his once mortal friend. But, as all 'good' things must end, so did this. Rawraych, like Aelor before him, and the other before him, and Bile too before that, he got tired. He began to groom Verin, one of the first knights he converted, to power. On a day forgotten, the nine knights who remained (and even then, some dormant due to inability of movement or rust), gathered or were lugged around to witness and exchange the move of power. Rawraych bound them to Verin, and Verin commanded them, for a time, to sleep. As was noted earlier, they awaken now. Verin, reigns over his knights and they begin the merciless slaughters of the past yet again. Without remorse, the Knights resume. Under a less kind, though more 'amiable'(as much as the hollow soul of a dread knight can be) leader. After a long time of leading his Knights to glory, the godlike Knights of Dread fell dormant, and their leader slowly losing his mind, and growing tired of the weight of leadership. He looked to one of his greatest, and most bloodthirsty Knights, Alexandros, to take up his mantle as Dread Lord. Alexandros graciously accepted, and transcended to godhood among his Knights. He would lead the warpath of bloodshed and ruin, returning the Knights of Dread to their feared position, making them ones that would make the mere mortals of Athera quake in terror. Alexandros, like his predecessors, eventually succumbed to the difficulties of leadership. Verin returned and seized his old throne, ruling over the Knights for a time with an iron fist. His long time as Dread Lord left him weary and damaged, and he appointed his most trusted lieutenant as his regent. But even then Verin could not find what he attained for, he sought one of the Dread Knights capable of what he wanted, and gave Scylla the control of the Damned. Leaving to brood on his thoughts and one day to return to see the Progress this one had made. Scylla was only told one thing "Do not let me down.." Dread will reign supreme, and chaos will be left in their wake. Out of Character Information What are these things? Dread Knights are creatures created from the souls of the innocent (or the guilty, for that matter) They carry a terrible burden, a curse that most mortals cannot comprehend. They live a constant life in a state of anger, and in a state of agony. They are heartless, cruel, and do not act well around others. They are bound to the service of the Dread Lord that they follow. How do I become one? All of the roleplay will be done in character. Yet, you can post here with the application format below if you wish to become one so that we may arrange a time and date for the role play event. It must be done with the consent of the player, of course. You must be using an already made character. Dread Knights do not appear out of thin air. When turning your character, you must realize that there is no going back. Turning a Dread Knight is a life long thing, realize that. We promise to be fun if you decide to make this new experience fun, though. Do note, however, that you will first be initiated as a cultist and then you will be given tasks, and rise through the ranks of the cult. You will be considered for the conversion ritual depending on how much you roleplay as well as how well you roleplay. I CANNOT stress this enough, however, that we focus heavily on activity and roleplay with others, whether they be those in the Dread lands or even other people from other nations (Though I would advise roleplaying with other people in say, the streets or somewhere out of the way. Not a major city or village). We have far too many times fallen into inactivity. This is not meant to be an alt character you only get on when you're bored. As mentioned above, think before you apply. If I become a Dread Knight, how do I play it? You have to realize that a Dread Knight is a creature that has been cursed horribly, and that they are experiencing more pain constantly than a mortal could imagine. A Dread Knight would be cold, and unloving. You would mostly rely on emotes for playing a Dread Knight, because they are creatures of metal. Stealth does not exist for a Dread Knight, and you must always be fair with the people you are roleplaying with. Cultists Cultists are the hopeful mortals who wish to become a Dread Knight, and ascend to the ranks of the demi-gods he or she serves. Cultists are expected to be active otherwise lose their holdings within the Dread Knights. New Cultists Returning Cultist/Dread Knight
  19. An introduction to Dread Knights Section I - What are Dread Knights? Section II - How do I start? Section III - What do I do when I'm not killing? Section IV - I lost a fight, now what? Section V - Providing a Setting Section VI - A high standard Section I - What are Dread Knights? This is a fairly straightforward question, that being they are artificial constructs. While some still hold their former bodies within their armor it holds no real purpose. This is only part what they are, however. Basically they're soulbound to a suit of armor and driven by their orders. A Dread Knight cannot effectively command itself, as it is made for taking orders and carrying them out. It's like putting a golem in charge of an army. Section II - How do I start? Well first off, you should know that being a Dread Knight makes you a bad guy. That's it, anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong simply and plainly. A good first task might be going with another more senior Dread Knight and to kill a few people, to give you some hands on experience. You should not by any means have your character pulling a Thing from Fantastic Four and go and try and be normal again, as your mentality is different. You are not by any means a person anymore, you're a machine that takes orders. Section III - What about when I'm not killing? Well if you're actually on the character, most of your time is spent between killing and making repairs, forging new armor and weapons and of course capturing individuals got a conversion. As well, Dread Knights can sometimes serve as an emissary for their Blood Mage master, usually the message heralded by blood and a warning. However keep in mind your Dread Knight isn't going to be picking flowers and kissing babies, something that has been a problem recently. Section IV - I lost a fight, now what? Good news! This isn't the end of your character! While you may not be revived by Monks, you aren't exactly dead. Nor are you really alive for that matter but it is irrelevant. It's hard to actually kill a Dread Knight, and it has always been a thing we pride ourselves on, that if you kill one properly we will permanently kill that character no questions, however sufficiency in the RP is required. If your Dread Knight happens to find itself taken apart and scattered or pieces broken, eventually the parts will seek themselves or the entity will choose to disconnect themselves from that part, sort of of a salamander chooses to detach a limb. Often times, Dread Knights missing limbs will simply make a new one if they cannot find the original one, or it is too hard or illogical to retrieve it. Section V - Providing a Setting As an antagonistic villain, you are held to a higher standard of Roleplay and are not only expected to, but required to uphold that standard. You are not playing this character for the loot, you're doing it to provide a villain that can be rallied against and that causes chaos. Too often did the role get abused for pixels or winning when that isn't the cause. The purpose is like the Undead were originally, to make fun. Sadly the Undead failed in this and we have before previously but all hope is not lost. A big part of this, is helping to coordinate events OOCly with faction or group leaders and maybe making a quest arc. If you do it right, you'll know because you'll be told. Section VI - A high standard I mentioned this briefly, how we are held to a high standard and expected to uphold it. In Asulon, the purpose of the Dread Knights was as a server antagonist. Unfortunately this fell through due to the heads of the group being preoccupied with other roleplay and such. Because of this, the Dread Knights went unproven. When you play a Dread Knight, you are making a statement you are there to provide fun for others even if it means you lose some pixels or you die, that is the risk you take. That is your job as a Dread Knight. Note-
  20. *A poster is put up... somewhere* ~THE ORDER OF THE GILDED FALCON~ -La Orden del Halcón de Oro- “AS I write this, the lands of Oren, and further, that of the entire realm of Anthos, is crawling with filth. Unaligned warriors that run around and pillage, bandits roving the highways of the land, sons of Malin so far estranged from their homeland that they are hunted even in Malinor. It has been far too long since the good-hearted men of the realm banded together to fight back against the cruel grip of darkness upon us all. In the absence of the world’s heroes, I have seen expecting women slashed open, their unborn children tossed to the ground in some sort of sickening mob vengeance. Come all ye with good hearts, thee that fight with chivalry and valor, we will provide you with swords to fight and companions on yer side.” -Tyrnal ‘The Expatriate’ Tovalin ~Purpose & History~ The Order of the Gilded Falcon is a guild founded by the Tovalins in 1420 seeking to find those with kind hearts and train them to help fight back the prominence of evil and strife upon the grounds of this once peaceful realm, however it was beset by many obstacles, some of them being members of the family who were dark-hearted and brought the order down. It is now being reforged by Caleb ‘Wolfy’ and Tyrnal ‘The Expatriate’ Tovalin. We seek those with brave hearts, those who will never back down in the face of evil. Should ye join, we shall train ye to a Knight’s proficiency in combat, and provide ye with armor and weapons for the job. ~THE RANKS~ Initiate / Iniciar: Those who have just entered the guild. They are at the start of their training, and will be provided with a suit of leather armor and an iron sword. They are paid 50 Minas at the end of each elven week for their services. *An illustration of the uniform is provided* {{}} Lieutenant Minor / Teniente Menor: Those who have proved themselves capable in combat however lack the leadership skill necessary to command an initiate. They will be provided with a suit of chainmail or iron armor, depending on personal preference. They wear the same uniform as an Initiate. He will be paid 75 minas a week for his services. Sergeant / Ujier: Those who have ascended above an Initiate’s training and is now sufficient in combat. They will take command of an initiate as their assistant and train the initiate as they were trained. They will be provided a suit of iron armor or chain-mail depending on preference. He will be paid 100 Minas a week for his services. *An illustration of the uniform is provided* {{}} Knight Minor / Caballero Menor Sergeants that have gone above the call of duty, the most honorable and valorous of folk, with hearts of gold and fists of iron, they are the first knightly rung of the guild ladder. They will be offered a war horse bred by our excellent farmhands, and be provided with armor of whichever kind whenever they need it. They have, however, ascended beyond the need for pay, for whatever they desire the guild will provide. *An illustration of the uniform is provided.* {{}} Knight Major / Caballero Major A knight who has proven himself even greater that the previous rank shall be honored with the title of Knight Major and given a seat in the Order Council, along with command of three lower-ranked soldiers. They don the same uniform as the Knight Minor, but are free to alter it in any way they choose. Magistrado An officer who has proven himself to be above any knightly title. He is capable, in the absence of a commander, to order the soldiers of our order to his will. He will be provided with his own ship, and a sum of money awarding his valorous conduct. ~Guild Resources~ Our guild currently holds a number of horses in which we breed to provide mounts for the knightly members. We are in possession of various valuable books -- four tomes of magical skill ((accepted self-teaching tomes)), and various works on the arts of Alchemy and Blacksmithing. Every time we are capable we mine, and we are stockpiling iron and other resources to provide. However, as we are slightly short with the mines running dry ((Warps Broke + Regen)), we cannot promise to provide high-grade armor immediately. ~Loyalties~ We seek to swear fealty to Oren, so that we can aid them in this time of war. We, however, lack any loyalties as of now, and see ourselves as neutral to all but those who seek to commit acts of vice in this realm. ~Guild Territories~ The Bog Archenn The base camp of our guild since the failure of the boat to the Wilds. It is very close to Abresi and built upon a lush beach. ~Three Unacceptable Vices~ I. Murder Seeming the most prevalent sin in Anthos, many are killed for fun or sport. We find this act unacceptable and if you are found committing it you shall be exiled from the guild. It is not murder, to us, to kill someone without malice. II. Adultery Stay true to yer wife. Those who seek to deceive their life’s mate will promptly be exiled from the guild. III. Theft Even from a dead man, thieving is unacceptable. Do not take the possessions of another man without his permission.
  21. *Within the Human Kingdoms and near the Roads by the Cloud Temple there can be found a few small posters that contain the following information.* The Brotherhood of the Red Cross The Short History of Our Order The Order began in Anthos when a young Lord by the name of William Darkstar was knighted under the Holy Order of the Red Dragon. He then proceeded to help defend the capital against insurgents and rebels. However he watched as the Knights proceeded to cause injury and death, yet would do nothing to help those who were left dying in the streets. While he would not challenge the Imperial Crown nor his own Order he still felt his duty as a Knight to help those who sorely needed his aide. During this time there were a few doctors spread about the land, many of whom were alchemists and persecuted by the Imperial Crown for 'heretical practices'. He met with them privately giving them protection for their time and knowledge. In the years to come he had obtained a balance of swordplay, alchemic, medical, and tactical knowledge. He became a battlefield medic, and just in time. During this time creatures began to invade the Empire, and sickness plagued much of the land. He and others would bring sick and wounded into the Church in order to help them through their sickness and injury and perhaps even fix and cure a few of them. He then began to take on a few apprentices. While he did this he took the Red Cross for his personal sigil and traveled around as a Medic Knight. However he was but one man, and had few followers. He became very poor, and lost much of his prestige as a lord and knight. Deciding that he needed time alone he left to lands unknown, but gave his apprentice, by name of Renart, the challenge to bring together what he could not. Brother Renart traveled the land of Anthos hoping to find other like minded men, in order to create a Brotherhood of Man that would spend time to help better their fellow man through health and service. The Three Branches There are three branches within the order led by the Magni Magistri or the Grand Master. The paths of the Vestis, Ensis, and the Tincturam. Currently there are few members, and therefore the Three Branches are suspended, currently all membership is watched over by the Magni and Brother Renart until the Order is fully alive. They are searching for men with the skills in the art of Medicine, Protection, and Alchemy in order to create a true brotherhood to serve Man. Current Socio-Politico-Religious Information While this is a Brotherhood of Holy Monks and Knights, this brotherhood takes men from all walks of life as long as they swear to uphold the ideals of serving and protecting their fellow men. They serve God and in that serve this truth, but they treat all religions with respect. They deny no race nor creed, but they mainly serve within the Human Kingdoms. For Those Who Wish to Join Those wishing to join may send a letter to the Tavern in Abresi near the fountains to contact Brother Renart and the Magni Magister. Please include your race, year of birth and current age, talents within the areas of Combat, Alchemy, Medicine, and Healing Magics, any other talents such as cooking, farming, or blacksmithing, where you live if you have a home, and any other allegiances or titles you may have. Most of this is for the future of the growth of the Brotherhood and some of it is for documentation purposes. It is my sincerest hope that any unaffiliated doctors, medics, alchemists, and even Knights please do consider the brotherhood for the sake of your fellow man. Remember Knowledge is power and power should be used to help your fellow man, not to harm it. -Brother Renart
  22. The City of VaerHaven, outwardly peaceful, and innocent, even with the recent regime change. But within lies the home of the Dread Knights and their cultists. They have been there for as long as anyone can remember, building, gathering, tormenting, and watching. With the sudden regime change, and Hold of VaerHaven is in the hands of Jarl Lachlan Mor Elendil, an Adunian. As this happens, posters are hung up around the hold, and around Anthos, and whenever one is taken down, another is pinned up by those unknown. Forces of the Iron Crown The Forces of the Iron Crown, located in the Tower of Dread and the Mountain Above it are in need of your help. Praise be to those in service, and those willing to join. It is up to you to protect VaerHaven and the Iron Crown in the Mountain Above. Those willing to serve should fill out a small form and pin it. Do so, and we will come. Purpose We exist to protect VaerHaven, and do as the Lord of the Iron Crown commands of us. Benefits ​Armor, weapons, a home and wealth can all be gained, in addition to vengeance on foes, and the protection of loved ones. Those who show true faith and loyalty may be taken on by Dread Knights to try and turn them into Dread Knights themselves Ranks Unblooded: New initiates get chain and leather armor and a weapon of iron. Acolyte: Chain and Iron plate along with an iron weapon, and replacements upon request. Disciple: They get iron armor, and access to the armory. They are to act as leaders of sorts and may assign tasks. Rules Violations of rules are punishable upon death Never question a superiors order, or a Dread Knights Never harm or steal from a brother or sister Address Dread Knights by "My Lord -name-" Address superiors by title and then name Do not harm or steal from an ally unless ordered Never forsake the Iron Crown Never join another organization Application Location: We are located in the Dwarven Hold of Urbem Terrore, formerly known as Dal'Cais. OOC Disclaimer
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