[EVENT] March Events

3/15 – Following the Trail [RP]
On Thursday, March 15th at 8:00 PM EST, meet at the Rangers Guild Hall in Skara Brae.
Note: This event will involve heavy roleplay with minimal combat, and no reward.

3/20 – Council Meeting
On Tuesday, March 20th at 8:00 PM EST, Lord Blackthorn shall preside over a council meeting.

3/22 – Following the Trail [R]
On Thursday, March 22nd at 8:00 PM EST, meet at the Rangers Guild Hall in Skara Brae.
Note: This event will have light roleplay, heavy combat, and a reward.

[EVENT] Hedge Hell

2/24/2018 – Believing that the troubles with the Hedge Maze were not over, Shamino led the rangers back to the lumber camp in Spiritwood to further investigate the dangers brewing within the maze. Upon speaking to Reginald, who had fully recovered since his harrowing experience, they learned that the Hedge Mage had been attempting to pull a “darker, quieter” hedge maze, which Shamino believed was this so-called Underhedge. The rangers initiated an assault on the hedge mage, fending off the scores of Hedge Demons and once again encountered the mysterious Arcane Hedge Demon in the cellar of Relvinian’s former abode, who told them frankly that he desired to put a stop to the Hedge Lord, and would send them to where he needed to go in order to stop the mage from summoning it. The Arcane Hedge Demon opened a gate to the Underhedge, a huge, dark, sprawling overgrown hedge maze where lost souls wandered eternally, and strange horrors and abominations lurked in the shadows.

Despite the overwhelming madness the rangers managed to find their way through the maze into a cavern where the Hedge Mage himself proclaimed the rangers as the sacrifice he would need to summon the Hedge Lord. However, he was quickly vanquished, and before long the Hedge Lord himself appeared before the rangers, claiming that he had determined the Hedge Mage to be the sacrifice. The Hedge Lord also stated that by his guidance the hedge maze would grow over the entire world, and that Britannia would become the Hedge Kingdom, and suggested that the rangers should kneel before him should they wished to be spared the utter madness of living in such a world. The rangers, of course, would not kneel, and engaged the Hedge Lord in a harrowing battle until finally defeating their foe.

With the Hedge Lord vanquished, Shamino determined that the dangers of the hedge maze had been calmed for the time being.

[EVENT] The Initiation

2/15/2018 – At the Rangers Guild Hall, Shamino officially established the new Rangers Guild and opened up recruitment. Several adventurers volunteered to join the guild as recruits. Afterwards Shamino led their first mission to a camp of lumberjacks that he had hired to gather resources for improvements to the guild hall. According to a report Shamino had received, there had been sightings of demons in the woods and the camp may had been in danger.

Upon locating the camp in Spiritwood they found it swarming with Hedge Demons. The rangers pushed the demonic invaders back into the woods, however they soon found that Reginald, the foreman of the lumberjacks had been abducted. According to one of the lumberjacks he had been taken to the hedge maze, and the rangers quickly went in pursuit. Along the way to the hedge maze they encountered an Arcane Hedge Demon who informed them that a mage was involved in rousing the demons of the hedge maze and was behind the effort to steal Reginald, for the purpose of using him to summon something called the Hedge Lord. The Arcane Hedge Demon said they could fight the mage if they wished, however Reginald would surely be taken to the Underhedge, or they could go directly to Reginald himself and pull him from the grasp of the demons. The rangers ultimately chose to save Reginald. After rescuing him they returned to Skara Brae, where the shaken foreman was left to rest and be tended to by the healers.

[EVENT] February Events

2/15 – The Initiation [RP]
On Thursday, February 15th at 8:00 PM EST, meet at the Rangers Guild hall in Skara Brae.
Note: This is a primarily roleplay event with moderate combat, no reward. This will also be a recruiting event for the Rangers Guild of Skara Brae, come to the event to join!

2/24 – Hedge Hell [R]
On Saturday, February 24th at 3:00 PM EST, meet at the Rangers Guild hall in Skara Brae.
Note: This event will have light roleplay with heavy combat, and a reward.

[EVENT] A Missing Ranger

The would-be rangers or adventurers met with Shamino at the Shattered Skull tavern, where he promised to lead them on a quest. However the matter was dire. It was said that the Sheriff of Yew, Ranger Guischard, had gone missing and Shamino was determined to locate him. They began their search in Yew by traveling to the Court of Truth. Outside they encountered a guard who confirmed the rumor that the Sheriff of Yew was missing, and permitted the guards to search Guischard’s office for any clues. They found within his office a number of strange, occult objects found within the Deep Woods as well as Guischard’s journal which detailed his suspicions and case over the course of several months. It seemed he believed there was a conspiracy afoot in Yew, and carried on the investigation alone in total secrecy to prevent the wrong people from learning about it and putting a stop to his efforts. He mentioned meeting with a contact at the docks named Peter, who had claimed to possess critical information that would blow the case wide open. This is where the entries ended.

Armed with this knowledge, Shamino advised the would-be rangers to see if they could find Peter at the docks while he continued searching the office. They did indeed find Peter, who told them that he had helped Guischard and that he could show them what he had showed the missing Sheriff, and opened a moongate. On the other side of the moongate the would-be rangers were met with a trap, surrounded by necromancers they fought for their lives against an undead onslaught. In the heat of battle Peter seemed to escape. When the dust had settled Shamino caught up with them after hearing about the treachery, and informing them of a curious letter he had found from the Sheriff of Vesper, addressed to Ranger Guischard; a possible lead for future investigation. For the Sheriff of Yew, however, they were too late, for scattered among the bones and bodies was Guischard’s eviscerated body.

Having completed their quest, they returned to the Shattered Skull where Iolo was waiting for them, and the former-guards cast their vote for which guild would be established. The Rangers Guild won the vote, and on that day Shamino announced the newly reformed Rangers Guild of Skara Brae was officially established.

[EVENT] A New Chapter

01/18/2018 – The now-former Royal Britannian Guards, having been dismissed from duty by Commander Forthwin and without a great villian to vanquish, found themselves with little to do, yet soon they found themselves answering a call to the Shattered Skull tavern in Skara Brae by the famous ranger Shamino, who announced his plans to reform the Rangers Guild of Skara Brae in order to assume the role of the now dismissed Royal Britannian Guards and that he would be looking for members to fill the ranks. No sooner had he finished his announcement, however, did his old companion Iolo FitzOwen wander in to the tavern to happily announce his own new guild, the Adventurers Guild. The two found themselves in a disagreement as to which guild should be established, with Shamino arguing in favor of the ranger’s tradition to protect Britannia, while Iolo promoted the glory of adventure for the sake of adventure. The two eventually agreed that they would have the former guards decide after each leading them on an adventure. Iolo quickly took the opportunity to lead them on an adventure first.

They began their adventure, as Iolo had promised earlier, to earn the glory of fighting murderous pirates by visiting Jhelom, a town which has been known for years to endure a perpetual plight of pirates in the southern seas. However, Iolo had reason to believe that as of late there had been a more elaborate organization taking place among some of the pirates, and he wished to learn more. He sent his would-be adventurers across Jhelom to search for clues from the local populace. They soon learned that there was indeed a cadre of pirates that had placed a stranglehold on trade going in and out of Jhelom by running a protection racket, allowing only certain merchants to pass through who were paid up. In addition, they found that the very same pirates and a fighters guild known as the Hand of Death were involved in rigging fights in the fighting pit. The adventurers followed that clue to the Hand of Death’s guild headquarters and located a note indicating that the pirates may have been stationed on Amoeba Island:

Upon taking a boat to the island, the adventurers discovered the pirate hideout of Captain Rockwell, and fought their way into the villian’s cavernous den. After defeating the pirates they found Captain Rockwell, who pleaded with Governor Grim, who had somehow managed to maneuver himself into the governor’s seat of Yew, Vesper and Jhelom, to spare him and continue offering him protection. The pirate accused the governor of some kind of treachery before fighting for his life, but ultimately choosing to die than submit himself to any kind of interrogation. With the pirates crushed, Iolo called an end to their adventure and sent them back home.

[EVENT] January Events

Happy new year everyone!

1/18 – A New Chapter
On Thursday, January 18th at 8:00 PM EST, meet at the Shattered Skull tavern in Skara Brae.

1/23 – Council Meeting
On Tuesday, January 23rd at 8:00 PM EST, Lord Blackthorn shall preside over a meeting of the governors to discuss recent events.

1/25 – A Missing Ranger
On Thursday, January 25th at 8:00 PM EST, meet at the Shattered Skull tavern in Skara Brae.

[FICTON] Memories Once Lost V

The hardened eyes of a thousand beaten Britannians, weary from battle and ready for death, watched the tortuous and agonizing process of their commander, Sir Nathaniel Hightower, being clad with the golden armor forged by Mondain’s hand. Nathaniel’s cries of pain echoed across the silent battlefield as all the soldiers, man and beast alike looked on with some small sense of fear ringing in every heart for the horror they now witnessed. When it was done, Nathaniel rose to his feet, the smoke still rising from his smoldering body and a renewed fury against the Pallid Knight swelling into a perfect rage.

“Now, I will end thee,” said Nathaniel, through clenched teeth.

The Pallid’s Knight was cold and hollow. “We shall see.”

The two knights, infused with Mondain’s black magic clashed in an unholy and brutal duel. With each strike given and blow received, Nathaniel could feel the unmistakable satisfaction of battle, each strike feeding the armor’s bloodlust which the armor itself had created in him. Yet, with every strike and every drop of rage accumulating in his heart he could feel his strength and vigor grow. Before long, the Pallid Knight was pushed from an offensive into a defensive position, as the brutal blows of Nathaniel took on a hateful character. Combined with his unsurpassed skill and technique, Nathaniel soon struck down the Pallid Knight.

But something in him had changed. Nathaniel looked back to the Sosarian Knights when they cheered for him, but he could not see them any longer as he once did. The comradery he normally felt was missing, replaced by a hollow indifference and behind that, a hunger for violence. He knew then that he would no longer be able to lead these men. He would have to fight his internal battle alone.

“Knights!” he bellowed, “Retreat! Return to Britain at once! I have defeated this traitor!”

“No!” the Pallid Knight growled, getting back on his feet, “Kill them! Kill them all!”

What followed was what may have been the most grisly battle in recorded history, as Mondain’s Legion, anxious for war, eagerly charged against the Sosarian Knights while the Pallid Knight, backed by his five fellow fiends, descended upon Nathaniel. The Sosarians fought a desperate battle against a massive army of monsters lost in the frenzy of their bloodlust while Nathaniel fended off the Knights of Mondain, each one proving a fearsome foe even for his strength and skill. Yet, as the melee erupted and Nathaniel engaged in the most strenuous and desperate battle of his entire life, all of the fear, anxiety, hatred and rage was fed into Mondain’s cursed armor, extending its vile grip on Nathaniel’s soul inch by inch. With every furious swing he could feel the armor taking over, but he knew he could not stop lest his knights be annihilated completely.

Many men died that day, but the remnants of the Sosarian army escaped total destruction. What would remain of Nathaniel as the dust of war settled was a withered man too exhausted to fight another battle, either outside… or inside. As Mondain’s legion began marching for camp, the six knights of Mondain gathered around the kneeling form of Nathaniel.

“Sir Nathaniel,” uttered the Pallid Knight, “Thy steed.”

As the Pallid Knight spoke, the Dread Lord led by the reigns a heavily armored horse, marked with Mondain’s royal crest.

The Pallid Knight continued, “The war is not over.”

Several months later…

Nathaniel stood in a dark, torch-lit room filled with corpses of the noblest knights he had ever led. Somewhere in the darkness the form of Xaerhaonohr, the vile demon he had consented to release, shifted in the shadows and then emerged into the light. A wretched smile marked its hideous visage as it licked the blood of the Mysterium Fidei from its claws.

“Ah, my wayward knight,” the demon crooned. “What a price, what a price…”

Of all the massacres Nathaniel had seen or dealt, this one struck home. The knights of the Mysterium Fidei, after swearing their souls to the wily demon, were given the weapons needed to put down the Knights of Mondain, but when the demon returned to collect what was owed they fought him to the death; every one. Even Nathaniel lended his fearful power, but nothing could prevent the demonic pact from completing itself – not even the might of Nathaniel clad in the armor of Mondain. Every single friend, companion and comrade of the knight had been slain. Now, he was all alone. Except for the unwanted, present company, that is.

“Is it not beautiful, my wayward knight? Canst thou not appreciate this beautiful agony, this malevolent masterpiece?”

Nathaniel sneered. “No. I cannot appreciate the morbid machinations of a creature as lowly as thee.”

Xaerhaonohr tilted his head, “My machinations? But this is what is best! They’re not all MY machinations, dost thou not see? Thou givest unto me far too much credit…”

The demon tread across several corpses, picking up one in particular and ripping open the dead man’s chest. From within he took the man’s heart, and ate it, seeming to savor it. “Mmmm,” the demon said, chewing, “What is best, my wayward knight, is that this terrible tragedy was written not by me, but by the unequaled cruelty of nature herself.”

“Explain thyself,” the knight demanded curtly.

“Truly, I wish I could claim to be the ultimate mastermind. But verily, thou art living proof that goodness and virtue is little more than a convenient past-time for mortals such as thyself. All of man has striven to embrace this failed method of living – burdening themselves with these needless rules of morality which do one thing, and one thing only: weaken him against those who do not share his morals, and make him vulnerable to those not burdened by weak, emotional impulses that command him and every soft-souled mortal like him to cow themselves before a guilt that haunts, and plagues them – a disease on their soul. Forsooth, in submitting to this pathetic, internal weakness all of ye mortals deserve to die like the hollow cattle which thou art. Yet, for thee, my wayward knight,” the demon said, as a severe, crooked grin stretched across his malformed countenance, “thou art fighting a noble war indeed. Thou seest it as what good is left in thee fighting to survive against encroaching evil. Instead, behold it as so: what thou thinketh is good in thee is only attempting to infect thy soul and rob thee of thy noble savagery. Taketh mine advice: stop fighting for the sake of this unnatural morality. Stop embracing this philosophy of weakness. Nature has made it impossible for thee to achieve this foolish notion of ‘good’, dost thou not see? If thou had not taken this armor, Sosaria would have fallen to Mondain. Thou hadst to embrace the darkness if thou truly wish to earn a victory. When thou finally embraceth evil to fight evil, thou wilt finally understand: there is no evil – only a disease that thou calleth virtue, and a warped, malformed perspective of nature that comes with it. Goodness is ultimately impossible. Every man will abandon it when it is no longer convenient. This is why it will always be a hollow, and hypocritical dream.”

In a puff of black smoke, the demon vanished, and all that remained was a cruel and cold silence. Had it all been worth it? The seemingly unstoppable onslaught of the Knights of Mondain had indeed been stopped, but thanks to the demon’s trickery, only delayed for a time. Mondain himself was still fighting to control Sosaria – the war was still on. Only now, his comrades, the knights of the Mysterium Fidei, had all been vanquished and their souls owned by a demon most foul.

Was Xaerhaonohr right? Was this whole quest to uphold virtue simply a hollow theatre to quench man’s guilt and feeble conscience? Was it only a momentary distraction, an amusing sideshow adopted by man between his fateful returns to his truly ordained nature of bloody, wanton destruction? Or had the Wayward Knight succumbed to a limit predetermined in every man and woman living, a point at which virtue is no longer possible? If there is a point where virtue is no longer possible, what are we fighting for?

The Wayward Knight retired to his tomb beneath a plot of land that would one day be the city of Trinsic. It was too late for him. Redemption would no longer be possible. Nevertheless he would enter into a timeless slumber and rest, awaiting the day of the return of the Knights of Mondain. If the highest ideals of virtue were no longer within his reach he could, at the very least, uphold those not yet sullied by the cruelty of fate and pray not to be taken again by the armor’s beckoning bloodlust. With one hand, he dragged the lid of the sarcophagus over him, encompassing himself completely in the serene silence and comforting darkness of the tomb.

~The End~

[EVENT] One Somber, Christmas Night

12/22/2017 – The guards met with Lord Blackthorn at Castle Blackthorn, who told them that he wished for their assistance in creating a gift for Arthur Forthwin for all of his contributions over the past two years. The gift he wished to make was a special, enchanted pendant that would ward off the dark voice that spoke to Forthwin through the infernal armor, the burden he took on from the Wayward Knight a month prior to prevent its fall into the hands of the Collector. The pendant would help to grant him some peace. In order to complete the pendant Lord Blackthorn required three special resources.

The first resource he needed was a rare variant of valorite, which some scholars referred to as valorium. One such vein had been recently unearthed in the depths of the Stygian Abyss. Leading the guards personally, Lord Blackthorn traveled into the Abyss himself with a map marked with the location. Before long they located the exposed valorium vein perched upon a small rocky island in a lake of lava. One of the guards, Cathy Earnshaw, volunteered to cross the perilous path of rocks to reach the vein and take some of the resources. However, as Cathy attempted to break a few pieces of ore free, the entire island rumbled as valorium elementals awakened from their deep slumber, along with a valorium behemoth that seemed to comprise a large portion of the vein. Once the magical monstrosities were defeated, Lord Blackthorn was able to take what ore he needed.

Upon acquiring the valorium, Lord Blackthorn directed the guards to seek out a gemcutter in Papua, to whom he had sent a gem which would be needed to construct the pendant. All that would be needed, he said, would be to collect the gem from the gemcutter and return to him at Castle Blackthorn so that they may proceed to the next task. The errand was anything but simple. When they found Louis the Gemcutter, he said that the gem had recently been stolen by a powerful Terathan Matriarch. The guards, accompanied by Louis, traveled into the jungles of the Lost Lands, battling ambushers along the way into the depths of the Terathan Keep itself, before finally facing off with the mad matriarch herself and taking back the gem that she had stolen. With the incomplete, mucus-covered gem in hand, Louis informed the guards that he would performing the finishing touches needed and send it Lord Blackthorn immediately once it was done. In the mean time, he said, they should return to Castle Blackthorn and inform him of such.

At Castle Blackthorn, the guards met with Lord Blackthorn whole told them about the final needed resource: silverleaf. Silverleaf, Lord Blackthorn claimed, was a rare kind of magical tree. He hypothesized that silverleaf was a kind of magical condition that affected certain trees, transforming them into what was known as silverleaf and imbuing them with peculiar qualities, many of which had not yet been fully studied due to their rarity. He had, however, learned about a recent growth located somewhere in Kos Heb of the Lost Lands. Together with the guards, they searched the snowy lands of Kos Heb until they happened upon a silverleaf grove. A few of the guards began taking an axe to some of the trees when suddenly a few of them awoke. Silverleaf ents and reapers awoke from their ancient slumber and attacked the guards, but as the last monster fell Lord Blackthorn gathered the silverleaf needed to construct the pendant. With the three resources at hand, Lord Blackthorn made the pendant and gave it to Nox to give to Commander Forthwin. He then sent the guards through a gate to the Shrine of Sacrifice where he believed Forthwin to be.

At the Shrine of Sacrifice, the guards encountered Forthwin as he was returning from the shrine from a walk through the woods. Nox gave Forthwin his royal gift, and upong wearing the pendant Forthwin reported that the dark whispers of the armor had quieted. He thanked the guards for their contribution to Lord Blackthorn’s gift, and thanked them as well for their service to Britannia in all of the tribulations it experienced between the Knights of Mondain and the Titans of Pagan in the past two years. However, with Britannia at peace, Commander Forthwin announced that the Royal Britannian Guard was officially dismissed from duty. If another great evil threatens Britannia, the royal guard would be called again; until then, however, he advised the guards to go their own way and live their own lives.