Quest Old Stories, New Beginnings[Templar]

Discussion in 'The Chronicles' started by Saul Talith, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. Saul Talith

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    Aberresai Savannah - Templar Fortress Herath

    Saul stood quietly on the very beginning of the massive stone bridge that spanned the gap between the mountains. Before him lay Herath, one of the three great Fortresses that had been built by the Templar of old. It's stone wallsstay lay mostly in tact, though parts of it had crumbled.

    Behind him lay nearly half of the Broken Sword Templar, and with them were dozens of engineers, workers, and their families.

    Saul had emptied nearly the entirety of the Broken Sword's Vault's to pay them all, but it would be well worth it. This Fortress was to be their new home, it was to mark the return of the Templar Order proper. He had invited all those whom he'd made his pact with and more.

    They could attend if they wished, they could join his garrison if only they asked.

    Herath would be rebuilt, it would be reoccupied to it's former glory.

    "Saul?"
    A hand landed on his shoulder and he turned back, spotting Edwin with a worried look on his face. The New Lord Captain of Broken Sword only nodded, gesturing towards the Fortress. "Let's go."

    They crossed the bridge within a few minutes, the gates already opened by the party that Saul had sent on ahead.
     
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  2. Skuld Zajac

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    Skuld had indeed attended, though she was only in part of her armor. Working alongside everyone in her own chapter that had wished to stay, she had seen off those that wanted to continue their work. Working alongside the man to take over for her had been a trip.

    He was very much different than she was, but she doubted it would change that much about how they worked. He too was eager to return to their work in the chapter and wouldn't stay any longer than she did.

    They had the engineers and artisans now to make the fortress at least livable, and the funds for such work had come from the commander. It had staggered her how much they had cost, but it was needed to make sure the fortress was not going to fall in on them.

    She moved with them, anxious to get started on all of this business.
     
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  3. Draedamyr

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    The bridge was impressive. The humans had such short lives. No individual human could ever achieve the heights of a master dwarf engineer. But with each generation they stood on the shoulder of the last. They through their brief lives into the labour to build great things quickly. He could respect that, in a way.

    Draedamyr perched on the lip of the wall, hands tucked under his armpits. The gentle breeze didn't seem to affect his balance. The drop just one step away was very long. Sometimes he liked to stand on the edge and imagine what it would be like to fall.

    Reverie and Twighlight were on his belt. All the tools of the trade were with him. There was work to be done. Stepping back he lightly dropped down to the bridge. This pile of stone placed by human hands. He turned towards the castle and walked towards the Fort.
     
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  4. Saul Talith

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    Saul was greeted warmly by those within the fortress, a dozen smiles and greetings being called out as they welcomed him and the other Templar.

    The gates were held open, guarded by three men in full plate mail. Beyond them stood a small encampment in the courtyard, a large pile of rubble that had been pulled from the buildings sitting in the center. It seemed that the scouts had been eager to get to their work.

    One of the more senior scouts wandered up to him. He was a man from the Broken Sword, well educated and trusted by the previous Lord Captain. He offered Saul a quick salute followed by a greeting, a bright smile settling on his face as he waited for Saul to speak. "How's our Fortress?"

    "Well enough, Sir. We haven't made it past the first bridge yet. Though I suspect with everyone you've brought we'll need to change that."

    Saul smiled.

    "Indeed, Major." He glanced back to the pack of engineers and artisans. "Put together a party, we'll be exploring.
     
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  5. Draedamyr

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    This wasn't the usual work he carried out for the Templars. Normally there was a particular mage wreaking havoc to be hunted down. Hunted and put down. He had no clue what would be on the other side of that bridge.

    Trolls were known to live in these parts and inhabit caves during the worst of the dry season. An abandoned fort was very much like a cave to an animal mind. No matter how sharp his swords and quick his hand, he wasn't well suited to fighting such monsters. Spears to keep them at bay, axes to finish them off.

    Bandits would have seen them by now. Probably would have hastened in their departure and been away already. Draedamyr hoped it wasn't the undead. The foul things had been seen several times west of the Spine. Better to have a mace or hammer to crack bones than a slender sword fit for duelling.

    There was still a good possibility that it would be completely empty. If that was the case then he would gladly take coin for the short journey.

    "I'll come forward," he said, raising his hand as one of the Templars walked to camp to put together a party to cross to the next part of the fortress.
     
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  6. Skuld Zajac

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    Skuld had slowly crossed the bridge, taking in the sights of the people and small camp that had formed there. It seemed like such a faraway dream to have all of the chapters working together. Commander Talith was leading the charge though, and for that she was grateful. It was likely no one else could pull it off, as she knew with certainty she would never have been able to come this far. She caught wind of them needing an exploring party for the next bridge. She waved off her former apprentice with a sigh and called for another of their chapter, as it was time for him to be taking the rosters and assigning duties, not her.

    "Smithson, with me. We'll join!" Skuld waved to the man that was asking for help.
     
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  7. Saul Talith

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    Skuld Zajac | Draedamyr

    Before long a crew of twelve men had assembled themselves, all of them Templar save for the With Hunter. Saul eyed the elf for a brief moment, then simply shrugged his shoulders and motioned for all of them to follow along.

    The others would stay behind in the first section of the fortress.

    There was quite a bit of work to do, ensuring the gates functioned properly, finding everyone a place to sleep, and that wasn't even to mention everything else that had to be checked over. This process would be long, but that was why Saul had brought all of the engineers.

    Slowly the party headed towards the back of the Keep, finding their way eventually to a large locked gate.

    "I'm not sure what we'll find in the rest of the Fortress." Saul told them as he made his way into the gatehouse. The thing was sealed with a special lock, one that he'd thankfully found the key to several months ago during a journey to Vel Anir. "Herath was abandoned Five centuries ago."

    Slipping the key into the mechanism a loud click rang through the gatehouse, then a puff of dust sprang up as the gear began to wind. There was a loud mechanical clatter, the sound of chains dragging, and slowly the gates to the second Keep of Herath began to slide open. "No telling what's moved in since then."
     
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  8. Draedamyr

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    There were no subtle emanations that would have heralded a magical trap. Draedamyr kept his hands close to his belt. He stood in silence, eyes studying the outline of the door as it opened before them.

    A distant howl rang out.

    His sword was in his hand almost before it had finished. Draedamyr canted his head to one side, but it was too late to determine the source. It could have been something out in the savanna disturbed by the noise. It could have been a troll inside the ruins waking up.

    "Jumpy?" someone asked.

    Draedamyr didn't deign to reply. He hadn't lived through seven centuries by becoming complacent. Nothing emerged when the way was clear. The elf took two low breaths before stepping forward. He didn't bother to sheath Reverie.
     
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  9. Skuld Zajac

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    Skuld did not equip her full gear, even leaving behind her helm. Shield and hammer she held confidently though as Smithson out on his helm. The younger man had his mace and shield along with a sword at his hip, always ready to switch. He gave her a brief look of question as she shook her head and they continued. He was worried she was being overconfident, but she wasn't going to make them wait for her.

    The gatehouse opened the way, and with the howl, but Skuld and Smithson tried to listen intently. Neither could figure out the source, but both tightened their grips on their shields.

    "Hopefully nothing outlandish has made this their home. I don't imagine you have the engineers hazard pay." Skuld chimed as they followed behind the group. They kept toward the rear, beginning their usual patrol manner.

    Their eyes would always be moving up and down the area, scanning and watching from floor to ceiling as they walked.
     
  10. Saul Talith

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    "Seal the gate behind us." Saul called out to one of the Templar behind them.

    The man looked at him strangely for a moment, though he nodded his head and gave a quick salute.

    There was no telling what lurked beyond within the rest of Herath, and Saul wasn't going to risk anyone dying because of a stupid mistake. Skuld might have been joking, but he didn't want to put the engineers in danger. They had been paid to work, and he'd assured all of them they were safe.

    He would keep that promise.

    Without another word the Templar Commander stepped forward, moving along the great stone bridge towards the second fortress. The gate thankfully lay open, though the inside was as barren and black as the nights sky.

    "Torches." He told the others, his command quickly being followed as six fires sprang into light soon after.
     
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  11. Draedamyr

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    The elf turned to watch the keep sealed behind them. He supposed if there were some beasts that had made homes within the stone walls it wouldn't be safe to drive them out towards the men working to repair the bridge. Hopefully he didn't end up trying to scale the inside of the gate, pursued by monsters. At least he was probably lighter on his feet than the Templars. The slowest would probably be the first meal.

    Before the torches were lit he caught sight of starlight. There were repairs to be made. More importantly, there were holes that could have been used by one of the numerous winged beasts of Arethil to come and go.

    In hindsight he realised how poorly suited to this task. His curiosity had got the better of him, keen to set on eyes on a place no one had looked inside for centuries.
     
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  12. Skuld Zajac

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    Skuld offered nothing more after they closed the gate, content to know that the workers would be safe. Smithson looked a little concerned, but he was only three years into his service so far and had yet to truly be broken in just yet. They lit two torches and kept with the group, occasionally bantering with others on interesting sights or breaks in the structure.

    Neither stopped their scanning, but both eased up a little on their unease now that they were inside. It was neat seeing something that no one had seen for some time. The engineers were likely to be busy for generations.
     
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  13. Saul Talith

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    Saul slowly stalked forward, his gaze never quite lingering for too long.

    The grandeur of the halls around them did not escape them. They were intricately designed, perfectly balanced between beauty and pragmatism. There was something to all of it, the contour, the way it looked and came together. Saul couldn't have said what it was, couldn't have even begun.

    Yet he tried not to let it distract him.

    There was no telling what was now wandering these halls. Herath had lay abandoned for entire generations, kept apart and stilled away from...well everything resembling civilization.

    "What was that?"
    A voice called out from behind, one of the other Templar. Saul turned. "What?"

    "A...a figure, I'm not sure..."
    Saul frowned, glancing at the others inquisitively.
     
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  14. Draedamyr

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    "Did it look like a man?" Draedamyr asked. He didn't turned to face the templar he asked. Typically when someone said 'a figure' they meant when of their own kind.

    "Maybe."

    Maybe sounded an awful lot like a troll. Perhaps even as delightful as a nest of harpies. Draedamyr was an urban elf, but even he knew that you could avoid monsters in the wilds. Except if you have willfully decided to evict them from their home.

    Now he did cast his eyes around the group. Would they look enough for a threat for a monster to back down? They had torches lit and weapons drawn.

    He turned sharply at a sound, torch held high. He only caught sight of movement in the shadows, but then it was gone. The sound of steps on wood followed.

    "Something moved up some stairs?" he suggested. There was definitely something here.
     
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  15. Skuld Zajac

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    Smithson kept his eyes peeled as Skuld looked to the elf and back to the man that had spotted the figure. Seen something? The man is jumping at shadows. She dismissed it quickly until a sound came of steps on wood. All of the small hairs on her body stood on end at the sound.

    Smithson stepped closer to his senior, trying to protect her as the elf spoke. She regretted instantly dismissing the caution as she tried to see around them

    "Do we want to find where it went or ignore it?" Skuld asked Saul, the hammer getting a quick twirl in her hand as she made herself ready and giving the younger templar a look before he took a step away from her.
     
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  16. Saul Talith

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    For a moment the Commander considered, then slowly shook his head. "We find it."

    Ignoring something in the fortress could lead to someone's death later. They had no idea what had made it's home where over the last few years, and Saul didn't want any problems creeping up that could have been prevented with just a passing look.

    "Seems it came from up there." He motioned to the staircase tightly cropped up against the wall. "Follow me, you two, stay here."

    Saul pointed to two of the Templar at the edge of the party. Both nodded quickly.

    Then without another word the Commander set up off the stairs. As he moved a chill began to run down his spine, the air seeming to drop in temperature almost instantly.
     
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  17. Draedamyr

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    A distinctly animal smell assailed his senses as they followed the curve of the staircase. He wrinkled his nose. Draedamyr kept his torch close to the centre of the winding stairs and his sword on the outside.

    Fortubately nothing assaulted them on the stairs. There would have been no room at all to swing weapons around each other. Teeth were, after all, far more direct.

    He felt that chill up his own spine as they stepped onto the next level. He held up the torch but would have needed the eyes of a dwarf to see beyond the small circle of light it cast.

    One step and even if he couldn't see form he could see movement. His left foot slid out and he took up a defensive stance. More movement in different directions. Draedamyr saw something draw itself up to a height well above his own. Antler or horns and eyes were all he saw. If these were leshie then they were all already dead. But they didn't tend to leave their forests. Nothing moved. His hand didn't tremble, the tip of his sword unnaturally still between himself and whatever was beyond the light.
     
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  18. Skuld Zajac

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    Skuld wasn't entirely surprised by the response. Giving a small sigh as the two followed behind the group, keeping an eye out for anything that was coming from behind them as they ascended the stairs. Her hammer was best suited for close quarters, but the stairs pushed the limits her weapon could operate.

    Her face scrunched at the smell that began to fill the air while they went up. Both felt the chill, but neither commented. A small noise of disgust coming from her compatriot as they all came to the landing.

    The elf took a defensive stance, and the two Black Rose's raised their shields. She had seen something move, maybe. Was hard to tell from the back, but the each stepped to the outside.
     
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  19. Saul Talith

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    As soon as Saul saw the figure he lashed out.

    Not with his sword, no, he knew that wouldn't help much of anything yet. Instead he reeled back his left arm and tossed forward his torch. The small ball of flight flew through the air, extending past the range of the other torches. Through the abyss it burned, and then suddenly it struck something.

    Rather, it fell through something.

    The figure was barely visible before the light from the torch was banished, his skin a translucent blue. His form was massive, nearly two heads taller than Saul himself. He wore thick armor, a great helm with the horns of a ram. Yet there was something familiar about it, something...

    "Templar?" Saul said, somewhat shocked as the torch he had thrown winked out of life.
     
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  20. Draedamyr

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    He didn't even lower his sword at the question from Saul. Draedamyr was starting to think that the world was coming undone. There had been several stories of undead recently. Was this because magic was changing, as it was said to have done many times by elven lore?

    The tip of his blade stayed up. He had never met a spirit in the form of a ghost before. If there was anything that would interact with such a form it was a magical blade. He wasn't about to lower the only thing that might be able to keep a vengeful spitit at bay.
     
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  21. Skuld Zajac

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    She didn't rightly know exactly how to react to the sight that was before her. The torch had been extinguished, but had caught nothing ablaze or harmed anything. Saul spoke as if knowing exactly what the thing was, and she wasn't entirely sure that she had heard him right.

    "Templar!?" Smithson hissed quietly, his confidence wavering a bit at the sight. Neither he nor Skuld wielded magic, either in an item or by their own hand.
     
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  22. Saul Talith

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    "A ghost." Saul said as he gently moved forward, his blade at the ready.

    The weapon seemed to hum quietly, the runes etched upon it's steel singing as it drew closer to something so unnatural. He wasn't sure if any of the others would hear it, but to him the song was as clear as day.

    "Wraiths?" The question was posed to all of them, perhaps even to the ghostly creature that they had seen. "Revenants?"

    They were both a possibility, both different in their own way. "Or simply memories of the past?"

    In truth he hoped it was the latter. Ghosts were difficult at the best of times, dangerous, but some...some had simply forgotten that they had died in the first place.

    Slowly the Lord Captain moved forward. "Extinguish the torches."

    It was the only way to make them come out.
     
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  23. Draedamyr

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    "I have seen a wraith before, it was not like that." Draedamyr was clear not to make any assumptions. He was no expert on the supernatural and wraiths might have been able to take different forms.

    Whilst he was quite adept at fighting blind he doubted that it would be the same against a ghost. If it made no sound and did not disturb the air then he would be truly helpless with the torches out.

    He let the others wink out, one by one. Draedamyr kept his lit just a little longer, shielding himself from its light. His eyes slowly adjusted to the moonlight that broke through the windows and damage to the wooden rooves. Finally he stamped his out. No one seemed to be breathing.
     
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  24. Skuld Zajac

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    Skuld snuffed out the torch she held, unsure of the move. She had faith in Saul though, even if she and Smithson were ill equipped to deal with anything spectral. Undead was the specialty of their chapter, not so much ghosts or something of the less tangible nature.

    Smithson gave her a worried look that she could see even in the minimal light. Her eyes adjusted slowly, unsure of consuming a draught in case of sudden light.

    "Um...do, do they make a lot of light if they attack?" Skuld quietly asked. The answer would decide the two's action from that point on. Even if they took the concotion now, it would still be a while before it took hold. A worry that she kept to herself if they needed to run in the dark unknown of this place.
     
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  25. Saul Talith

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    One by one the lights began to fade. The torches flashed from existence and only the moon illuminated the inside of the hall.

    For a moment nothing happened.

    The Templar stood there quietly, no one made a single noise, not a sound. Echoes of clinking armor rang throughout the hall. Once, a man coughed. Still nothing happened. It was an eerie almost dreadful silence that haunted one's ears.

    Then finally, the silence broke.

    A gust of wind pressed through the hall, coming from seemingly nowhere and rushing through the ranks of the Templar.

    A second later they began to appear.

    First the massive rammed horned man, then another, then another. One by one their forms seemed to shape into existence. All of them wore armor, all of them bore the insignia of times past. Dozens of ghosts, each of them a Templar in their own right appeared all around the group of Explorers. Some held their swords, others spears, but most simply stood and stared, their faces obscured by helmets.

    Saul felt the breath drain from his body.
     
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