Category Archives: Knights of Mondain

[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.

[EVENT] The Fate of the Wayward Knight

11/16/2017 – After the strange disappointment of failing to imprison the demon, the royal guards could only wait for the grim moment when Xaerhaonohr would come calling, and come he did. While gathered at Castle Blackthorn he appeared to them in a vision, challenging them to find the Wayward Knight and make good on their deal by killing him. Though the guards did not wish to do so, they were enticed by the possibility of meeting the mastermind behind the entire plot.

Led by Commander Forthwin, the royal guards traveled north to the Serpent Spine mountains, where they found the ruins of an ancient temple recently exposed by a rock fall. After vanquishing the ancient elemental stones found rising from the ruins, they encountered the Wayward Knight waiting by the sealed doors of the ancient temple. He explained that he knew why they were there, and that the ruins before them was once the temple of the Mysterium Fidei. His desire was to see the place one last time before he was to perish. Breaking open the seal released a horde of undead, restless spirits pent up inside for several centuries. After vanquishing the angry spirits the royal guard, led by the Wayward Knight and Commander Forthwin, entered the inner sanctum.

It was here that after some quiet reflection on what once was, the foul demon Xaerhaonohr appeared before them, and with a delight most twisted and inhuman it demanded its payment. Accepting the fate that now lay before him, the Wayward Knight gave himself up to the royal guard who, unable to delay this wretched conclusion any further, vanquished the knight..

Only, he had not been truly slain, for no sooner had the final blade fell, did the Wayward Knight reappear before them. Through jagged, grinning teeth the demon calmly suggested giving it another chance. Again the Wayward Knight fell upon the swords and spells of the royal guard but once again finding himself immune to death itself. Confused, and angry, Commander Forthwin demanded answers. The demon revealed that his evil pact only provided a means to kill the SIX knights of Mondain, not seven, and that they would be unable to vanquish the Wayward Knight. Taking delight in the total confusion of Forthwin and the royal guards, the demon suggested hearing the truth of the matter from his answer, and with that, it vanished.

Before long, a moongate appeared before the guards, and through it walked none other than the Collector himself. The Collector, who seemed in earlier days willing to assist the royal guards, explained that he was after the ultimate rare, a genuine suit of armor forged by the dark wizard Mondain. However, legends of the armor claimed that only certain individuals were capable of donning the platemail; those with unsurpassed conviction and spiritual fortitude could effectively arm themselves with Mondain’s wretched legacy without fatal consequence. The Collector, of course, did not have the ability to wear the armor until in his journeys he happened upon the true enchanted mace which bound the demon Xaerhaonohr. It was then that he made a pact with the deceptive demon – the demon would get to have his fun and arrange the death of the Wayward Knight, and the Collector would be granted an infernal boon that would permit him to wear the armor and the opportunity to take it. From the first sealed tomb being discovered in Deceit, to the assistance provided in finding the vault, among other seemingly unconnected moments, everything had been arranged from start to finish by the demon and the Collector all to arrive at this final, singular moment. Knowing that it was not possible for a demonic pact to be incomplete, the Collector knew that the only way for the Wayward Knight to die was if the armor was released to him, giving him what he wanted: the ultimate rare, peerless strength and immortality. There was, however, one detail of which the Collector was not aware.

The Wayward Knight revealed that there was, in fact, another person present in the temple that was able to wear his infernal armor, and that person was Arthur Forthwin. The Commander was at first astonished, then reluctant, but ultimately accepted the baleful boon of Mondain’s immortal armor that it may not fall into the hands of the amoral Collector. Enraged, the Collector called his hirelings and escaped during the chaos.

When the dust settled, all that remained was to finish what had been started. After bestowing the power of the armor to Commander Forthwin, the Wayward Knight said his final farewells, and gave himself up to the blades and spells of the royal guard now free from his centuries long torment.

[EVENT] The Fall of the Demon

11/13/2017 – The guards met with Magister Rainard at Castle Blackthorn to address the urgent matter of the demon Xaerhaonohr who, having struck a demonic pact with the royal guard, would eventually come to demand his price which was to slay the Wayward Knight. Fortunately, Rainard had in his possession a mace recovered from the vault of the Mysterium Fidei by Ricardo the thief that was said to be able to bind and imprison the demon. Rainard informed the guards that he had prepared a special area to summon and bind Xaerhaonohr.

When the royal guard entered Rainard’s moongate they found themselves on a platform suspended in the void. Without delay, the magister began to summon the demon. Xaerhaonohr rose from a pillar of flame demanding to know why he was summoned, and then expressed rage at the guards for attempting to bind him and get out of their pact. The demon immediately disappeared, however Rainard assured them that it was unable to escape the wards that had been placed. Being unable to escape, the demon had slipped into a separate dimensional plane within Rainard’s magical prison and it was there they would have to pursue him. Slipping through a rift created by the clever mage, the royal guards found themselves in a dark, cavernous tunnel filled with the strange demonic apparitions of Xaerhaonohr battling them all along the way until, at the very end of the plane they moved through another one, engaging themselves in one final, epic struggle against Xaerhaonohr’s wrath.

However, when Xaerhaonohr’s form was at last brought down, and Magister Rainard struck the beast with the enchanted war mace, the demon laughed cruelly for some unknown reason. Xaerhaonohr then revealed a chilling truth: the mace that they possessed was a false one, and held no power over them. He had, the entire time, carried on a ruse for his own amusement only to reveal that they had been played. But who had deceived them? Ricardo? Or some other mastermind….

[EVENT] Night of the Dead

10/31/2017 – A mysterious moongate appeared near the Counselor’s Hall in Britain, where many adventurers passing through encountered a recently prepared druid circle, and shortly thereafter, Faolan the Druid himself. Faolan’s intention was, as it was the year prior, to perform the Ritual of Passage, where the druid started a great fire which was sanctified as a sacred fire through which troubled souls could enter to complete their existence and return to the circle of nature, but only if their conscience could be alleviated of whatever burden they carried after death.

The adventurers first heard the tale of a cartographer’s ghost who in life conspired out of bitterness and greed to defraud an explorer by stealing his treasure map and switching it with a false map that would lead to nothing. His action however doomed the explorer, for none had realized the false location was the home of brutal savages that killed the explorer. The cartographer only went looking for the explorer when the explorer’s wife had come looking for her missing husband. Along their journey together the two fell in love and eventually started a family, having a happy life thereafter. Yet despite it all the cartographer could not forgive himself for the lie upon which his happy life had been built. He wished for atonement but could find none from the adventurers, and he determined that he should wander forever with the guilt on his shoulders.

Another spirit appeared soon after, the ghost of a necromancer. The necromancer claimed he had become addicted to dark magic over the course of his life and lived in a tug of war between his addiction to evil ways and his conscience which caused him to desire a better path. The adventurers were able to convince the necromancer to enter the flame, but when he did the fires turned black and the necromancer revealed his true, living form. He stated his intention to learn the secrets of the druids and that soon others like him would reform Britannia entirely. After a perilous fight the druid was brought down, and Faolan warned them all that malevolent necromancers dwelled in the Deep Woods. Despite the interruption, Faolan was determined to help one more spirit.

The final spirit appeared before the flame. When he spoke many of the adventurers realized the spirit told a familiar story, and that he was the very same spirit that appeared before the flame the year prior, telling a tale they now realized was of the Mysterium Fidei, the Knights of Mondain, and the demonic pact that would lead to the doom of all involved. Though the knight was at first inconsolable and refused to think that ever compromising his principle was right, he began to see a new perspective that they had done the only thing their conscience would allow them to do, regardless of their principles. Though he was unable to say his own name, he asked the adventurers to remember him, and to find his ruined family’s home to the south of Trinsic.

A few ventured forth to see what they could find, and encountered an old, faded grave of Sir Jonathan Westley, the very ghostly paladin that had shown them the way before to the Wayward Knight.

[EVENT] The Final Ride of the Knights of Mondain

10/25/2017 – Expecting to meet with Commander Forthwin, the guards gathered in Castle Blackthorn but were instead greeted by none other than the Wayward Knight himself, who had awaken from his trance-like nightmare to issue a warning. The Knights of Mondain, according to the Wayward Knight, were on the march and on the very verge of invading Britain, the heart of the kingdom. No sooner had the Wayward Knight issued his dire warning did the agents of evil themselves announce themselves in Britain’s northwest quarter. Marching through a red moongate, the Legion of the Dead poured into Britain’s streets just as the Royal Guards arrived to meet them. A fierce battle ensued as the Wayward Knight lent his own sword for the carnage, fighting back the undead until the six sinister servants of villiany themselves appeared with a fresh surge of shambling soldiers preparing to overwhelm Britain’s defenses. However, the noxious knights did not realize the newly acquired blessing, or curse, depending on one’s perspective, with which the royal guards had been bestowed by the demon’s bargain which allowed them to permanently vanquish the seemingly immortal knights. When the Eldritch Knight fell in battle, the Pallid Knight issued a call to retreat and all of his companions and horrible minions broke through Britain’s defense into Castle British, where they sealed the entrance to ponder their next move. Weary from the grueling battle, the guards reluctantly refrained from further action to rest.

10/27/2017 – Two days later, the guards gathered once again, now under the command of Commander Arthur Forthwin, to invade the castle and route the Knights of Mondain for good. However before they could act the knights blew the second wall erected by the Royal Guard and unleashed a horde of undead upon the startled protectors. Undeterred, the royal guard faced the dire threat and pushed the undead back into the courtyard of Castle British, compelling the five remaining knights to ride out of Castle British and meet them on the field. One by one, the knights fell in battle, until only the Pallid Knight remained. Retreating to the throne room of his ancient nemesis, Lord British, the Pallid Knight swore he would fight until the very end. Unleashing a terrible fury, he proved to be the most vicious foe of them all but was ultimately ended. Though victory belonged to Britannia, very few could find it in them to celebrate such a grisly and somber end of these ancient knights of Mondain.

[FICTON] Memories Once Lost IV

The battle had been brutal. Perhaps one of the most brutal to occur in a chain of defeats beginning with what the armies of British believed would be their heaviest blow yet against the Dark Lord, until six infernal knights rose amidst the madness of war and began their unholy campaign; slashing through every knight that would challenge them, and every tactic or magic their enemies could conceive, and pushing Lord British’s armies back across a warpath once made wet with the Legion’s blood – now being drenched with the blood of Sosarian Knights. The Knights of Mondain, they had been dubbed. Six armored monsters of immeasurable strength, that even if struck down would rise to fight again. They violently reversed the tides of war and now it was the Sosarians who were forced into retreat in battle after battle until only a fraction of their once glorious army remained in a final, desperate fight.

There had been no finer force in the history of Sosaria that so effectively battled against the kind of unnatural abominations that filled Mondain’s Legions, yet all their skill and wisdom could not match the incomprehensible power of the arcane mysteries Mondain unlocked in the course of the war with the help of his extraordinary gem. The battle had not been long; the Sosarians were permitted to wreak a momentary havoc upon the Legion until the wretched Knights determined to step in. After so much loss and devastation, what remained of Sir Nathaniel’s army stood together as silence fell over the field and the Legion and the Knights surrounding them stepped back from fighting. The two armies rested.

It did not take long before one of the Six Knights approached the wary Sosarians. In his unholy armor he stood towering above most of the soldiers on the field, marching with heavy steps as his once-white platemail, paled from faded stains of blood, clanked and rustled noisily and stopped midway between the two armies. Seeing now that the mysterious warrior wished to speak, Sir Nathaniel approached alone.

The Sosarian commander spoke grimly. “If thou wishest to speaketh of the terms of our surrender, then permit me to say this: we will not submit ourselves to the tyranny of Mondain. Not now. Not ever.”

The pale knight spoke, his voice lightly echoing behind his helm. “Thou wouldst fight to the death. I would expect no less.”

“Then what dost thou want?” Nathaniel remarked calmly, but bitterly.

“A second duel to compliment our previous spar,” uttered the pale knight.

Nathaniel was silent for a moment, attempting to understand what was meant. He gestured dismissively. “Speaketh plainly, fiend, or kill me! I will not guess at thy riddles.”

“No riddles,” spoke the pale knight. “A battle between two champions. I shall represent my legion. Thou shalt represent thine. Whosoever wins shall be declared the victor of this battle. If thou art victorious, thy knights shall be permitted to leave.”

Nathaniel sneered. “How can I be victorious… thou hast proven impervious to death and in possession of an unholy power. Thine only desire is to make of me a mockery.”

“It is true, I cannot die. But overcoming me in battle shall be sufficient for victory. My strength may be unstoppable. However the choice now is to commit thyself and thy peers to a certain death, or to fight in single-handed combat for a chance at life. If thou art defeated the result will be the same. What sayest thou?”

“Thou leavest me no choice, thou cruel terror. I will consent to these terms.”

The pale knight lifted his sword. “A wise choice, ‘old friend’. It is better this way.”

Nathaniel stood stunned for a few seconds, before quietly stammering, “..Alastair?”

He only barely managed to regain his senses in time to evade the pale knight’s greatsword crashing downward towards his head. Striking the ground, the force of the sword caused an explosion of dirt into the air and sent Nathaniel tumbling. He quickly gathered to his feet and met the pallid knight’s second blow with equal ferocity, blocking the strike with one of his own. The force of the two strikes sent both swords reeling backwards and from there the two warriors of legend went to work.

Nathaniel could hardly believe that his old friend, whom he had witnessed dying on the battlefield by his sword, was now alive and the worst foe he had ever faced in his life wielding strength that took everything within him to withstand. Yet, as the two warriors crossed swords and scored hits against each other, there was no doubting the familiar style of Alastair’s fighting technique which Nathaniel had come to recognize after years of sparring. Alastair had always been a competent warrior, but not one of particular note.

But now… with the unreal power of Mondain behind him, he was an unstoppable force. Nathaniel landed strike after strike, but no matter how grievous the blow the Pallid Knight would push forward, never losing strength while fighting a slow battle of attrition against the accomplished knight, Sir Nathaniel. Weary from a seemingly endless duel, Nathaniel’s guard went down just long enough to earn a mind-shattering blow from his former friend. He attempted to stand at first, but then rested on his knees.

Through heavy breaths, Nathaniel spoke, “Thou traitor… fiend… art thou going to finish me? Thou hadst ample opportunity…”

The Pallid Knight looked down to his defeated foe. “Thou art experiencing first hand the fate of this kingdom. The unavoidable fate of a slow, painful defeat. For even if the Knights of British vanquish every soldier in my lord’s legion, we shall take every strike and every blow and we shall march into the court of British himself, and rid Sosaria of this usurper for all time. Thou wilt be known in the stories as the traitor, the villian, the enemy of justice and order and the children of future ages shall hate thee for generations to come. Call me not traitor, brother, for I bring the light of our lord’s justice down upon the lies and the crimes of the usurper, the false king, thy king, Lord British.”

Sir Nathaniel only shook his head, disoriented and in despair. “Thou art a monster, and thou shalt be sto-“

“We shall not be stopped!” the Pallid Knight interrupted. “I have seen every trick and strategy and magical concoction thou hast devised, and nothing thou hast attempted found success. If one of the most accomplished knights of Sosaria could not defeat the servants of Mondain, then who dost thou suppose shall?”

In a fit of rage Nathaniel screamed, thrusting himself to his feat and attempting a strike against his odious foe but this swing was parried with little effort and the enraged knight was sent hurdling to the ground.

The voice of the Pallid Knight was now low, and ominous. “There is only one way to defeat us, Sir Nathaniel.”

From where Mondain’s Legions were gathered, the soldiers parted way as a cart pulled by an ogre crawling across the ground lumbered towards the Pallid Knight. Upon it stood an armor stand bearing a set of gleaming, golden platemail armor similar in dimension to the armor of the other cursed knights. Nathaniel looked back from where he lay and then slowly stood.

“Sully mine own soul with the unholy magic of Mondain? Never.”

“Sir Nathaniel,” the Pallid Knight began, “Thou art the most gallant and noblest knight I have ever known. Yet is thy conviction a match for the will of Mondain? Perhaps not, and thou art right to be afraid.”

Nathaniel spit out some blood. “Deceiver. For what cause wouldst thou deliver unto me the weapon of thy bane, except to deceive me, and maketh me thine unwitting slave?”

The Pallid Knight stood silent for a moment, and then spoke. “It is true that I have betrayed thee. But in all of our time together, I have never deceived thee. We endure equal risk alike in this matter. Yet my purpose is not to beguile thee. It is to see, for once and for all, if thou art truly willing to do what it takes to defend thy liege, thy kingdom, and thy people. Show me of what honor thou art truly capable.”

A suspenseful silence fell upon the whole of the battlefield as Sir Nathaniel stood scowling at the Pallid Knight. Defeated and broken, he faced certain death in every conceivable scenario, save one. Die a glorious but empty death, or roll the dice for a chance to save his kingdom. He turned now to gaze upon the enchanted armor.

Hatred and angst alike burned brightly in Nathaniel’s eyes.

[EVENT] An Ancient Weapon

9/14/2017 – Gathering at Castle Blackthorn, the guards met with Magister Rainard who informed them that he may have had a solid lead on finding the legendary vault of the Mysterium Fidei. Many of the relics from their time had become lost, while others were passed down through generations or sold among collectors. Rainard was able to find that a number of relics had been inherited by of an old Magincian noble by the name of Lord Silas many years ago, many of which he had sold. The old noble was a difficult man to locate, but Rainard was able to find out that he had sold several books pertaining to the Mysterium Fidei to a mage in Moonglow by the name of Herman. Thus, he ordered the guards to find Herman in Moonglow and learn what he knew. The information they needed revolved around a key which was said to both reveal and unlock a doorway into the vault, which would indicate the vault occupied some kind of shadowy dimension not unlike the tombs which they had sealed the Knights of Mondain away before.

Upon finding Herman he indicated that he did purchase books from Lord Silas. When asked about the key, he said he did not have it but was aware of a mage who may have acquired it from the elusive Magincian noble named Antonios, an evil magician that dwelled in the depths of Dungeon Shame along with other unsavory mages that had been banished from the realm. He offered to help them in exchange for being permitted to tag along with the guards.

At Shame, they encountered the foul mage and after a daring battle they were able to vanquish him inside the western mage tower deep in the heart of the dungeon. Herman was able to find the key but before he revealed the doorway to the guards, he removed his robe and wizard hat and revealed himself to be none other than the legendary thief, Ricardo.

The famous thief explained he had been searching for the great vault all along himself, and had intended to assist the guards. Though Magister Rainard had originally ordered the guards to return with the key, the mischievious Ricardo couldn’t wait to enter the vault, and opened up the hidden doorway for all to enter.

Inside they encountered frenzied demons roaming the dark, ancient hallways and very soon found two crystals, one which was still in tact and contained the bound souls of many demons and the other, shattered. It seemed that if the guards were going to uncover the treasures of this place, they were going to have to contend with the escaped monsters roaming the halls. Many of the guards ran off on their own search of the ancient vault, but some followed Ricardo as he made his way through the twisting corridors until at last coming upon a room wherein they found a mace that was unmistakably the fabled mace of Xaerhaonohr the demon. Along with the mace, Ricardo noticed a tome that was concerning the magical knowledge of binding powerful spirits. Though Ricardo did not see any present need for such a book, he felt at the time it may be wise to take it. Once found, he helped the guards escape the chaotic halls of the vault and later, it was heard, Ricardo had honorably turned over the mace and the mysterious tomb to Magister Rainard.

[EVENT] A Weapon Forged In Flame

8/31/2017 – Gathering at Castle Blackthorn, the guards were expecting to meet with Commander Forthwin but were greeted instead by the frowning visage of Magister Rainard. Having found a crucial lead in his search for the vault of the Mysterium Fidei, Rainard took command to pursue it, leaving Forthwin with the dull business of organizing Britannia’s defenses against the threat of the titans. However, as Magister Rainard began briefing the guards, he suddenly vanished before their very eyes as each guard present was suddenly subjected to a nightmarish vision of a demonic statue standing in Rainard’s place, through which Xaerhaonohr’s vile voice resonated, instructing them to seek out his hidden lair in the mountains north of Britain so they could retrieve the weapon that was promised to permanently destroy the six Knights of Mondain. When the vision dissipated, the guards relayed to the confused Magister what they beheld. Irritated by the news, Rainard begrudgingly fetched Commander Forthwin, who was determined to lead the guards on such a quest. When Commander Forthwin arrived, they set out through the forests north of Britain.

Along the way they were ambushed by fiery demons, whose presence seemed to have been heralded by the mysterious fires that had recently burned the farm houses outside of Britain. Fighting through these hordes, they arrived at a cave where a mysterious door awaited them. Upon stepping through they entered into a fiery chasm where none other than Xaerhaonohr awaited them. The crafty devil explained that his weapon was near completion, but he could only finish the infernal weapon while being entertained. From the piles of bones littered about the cavern, the remains of undead paladins emerged to fight the guards while the demon went to work banging his hammer on a strange material.

However, as Xaehaonohr was nearly finished, a strange presence made itself known. From out of the lava a powerful, elemental being emerged – perfectly unrecognizable beneath the molten rock but its overwhelming powers undeniable. Attracted no doubt by the awesome powers of the weapon being forged, several magical elementals manifested in the flowing lava to attack the guards. Though the threat was great, the guards only barely managed to ward off the threat, and the being sunk beneath the lava once again, but the demon’s weapon was ruined.

Thinking quickly, Xaehaonohr conceived of another idea, and immediately went to work. Once finished, he announced that the guards would not even need a physical weapon to thwart the Knights of Mondain, for the power to defeat them had been imbued upon their very souls. Indeed, the guards now were the weapon. The demon swore that the next time the guards encountered the Knights of Mondain, they would possess the ability to strike them down forever.

Note: Credit and gratitude goes to EM Dramnar who built the lava-fall decorations, for which I am very grateful!

[EVENT] A Cruel Plan Indeed

8/7/2017 – The guards met with Magister Rainard who informed them of his other research project stemming from the invasion of the Lycaeum by the Knights of Mondain and the theft of a particular book. Rainard explained in his usual eloquent way that he was able to determine that the title of the stolen book was Perveniens Reliquias Vetustatis and after pouring through various scholarly tomes, was able to find cross-references to the purloined primer indicating what kind of information had been written in it. He said he was able to determine a number of different relics described in the book, but one stood out to him as pertaining to Mondain. The item was called the Eye of Twilight, a black lens which the dark lord Mondain was speculated to have used in his work to bind Sosaria to his gem. Rainard was skeptical, as no real evidence exists for how Mondain was able to achieve such a profound magical feat.

Through covert action, Magister Rainard had employed royal scouts to track down the last known owner or location of this dark relic, finding that it was said to be in the possession of a Priest of Mondain known as Decimus. His last known location, as it happened, was the Ice Dungeon in Felucca. The guards followed Rainard to the chilling depths and found a ritual area recently used. A magical projection appeared before them, presumably of Decimus, as a kind of recorded message meant for his followers in which he claimed that the Knights of Mondain were no longer aligned with the plans of the Priests of Mondain, and indeed were on a separate path altogether. He warned against trusting the Knights as he claimed they had stolen his relic, the Eye of Twilight and took it to the Yew Crypt in Trammel to conduct a dark ritual. Decimus also seemed to hint at some other plot of his, implying he worked against the kingdom, disturbing many present who observed the message. The guards immediately rushed to the Yew Crypt to attempt to stop the Knights of Mondain.

At the Yew Crypt, they found the Knights past their gathered legions in the middle of a ritual with the Eye of Twilight. The guards fought valiantly against  the Knights’ fiendish followers and even took on the all-powerful knights themselves, finding that they were weakened from the ritual. However, before they could attack the Pallid Knight, he claimed that the ritual was done, and the guards’ efforts were now in vain.

The Pallid Knight revealed in a strange explanation the nature of the ritual which they had conducted. He claimed that Mondain the Wizard was in fact still alive and calling forth to him from beyond the stars, where he and his army await to reclaim Sosaria once again. According to the Pallid Knight, when the Gem of Immortality was shattered, not only was Sosaria separated into duplicate worlds but so it was its people – but only its people. Those that dwell outside of Sosaria endured not the same fate, existing only as one rather than as many spread across duplicate worlds. The ritual’s purpose, boasted the Pallid Knight, would bind those entering into the Shattered Worlds to the whole gem retroactively – causing them to exist on every shard, rather than just on one. The effect would hasten Mondain’s conquering of Sosaria and the fall of Britannia. The Pallid Knight said that the fate of the Britannians had been sealed, and that he and his knights would take pleasure in watching everything that the Britannians had built crushed into dust. He then disappeared.

As the dust settled, Magister Rainard found his way to the relic, which he promptly destroyed.