[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.

[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] November Events

11/13 – The Fall of the Demon
On Monday, November 13th at 8:00 PM EST, meet Magister Rainard at Castle Blackthorn to capture the demon using the enchanted mace.

11/16 – The Fate of the Wayward Knight
On Thursday, November 16th at 8:00 PM EST, meet Commander Forthwin at Castle Blackthorn to uncover the explosive conclusion of the Knights of Mondain!

[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.