Knights of Anathaeum the Fantastical and Feral

Threads open to all members of the Knights of Anathaeum group

Saskia Kerraelas

what night terrors?
Character Biography
"Can you recall when you saw this creature?"

Saskia waited behind the other Knight that took the lead on the questioning. A young boy was sat at the dining table, wrapped in the thickest blanket she had every seen, but even then he still shivered with fear. Only four of them could fit in the otherwise small room, the rest of their group heading to the inn to organise their lodgings. She knew that fear well, the kind that scared so frightfully that you cannot think to sleep.

It was nearing the witching hour, but still the boy resisted sleep.

"Go on, Barry, tell the Syr what you saw that night." The father spoke. When nothing more came from him other than wobbly lips threatening to blubber and cry, Saskia inched closer until she was kneeling beside the seat the young boy sat in.

"Was it a scary monster, Barry? Did it move only at night?" Her tone was unlike her usual, instead adopting one reserved for speaking to children. Barry turned to stare at her, big sunny gold eyes staring up at him. Finally, he nodded. Saskia managed to keep her smile small. "And was it responsible for killing your goat? You can tell me and my friends here. This is what we do. We listen and we make sure the monsters do not return."

It felt like a lie on her tongue, but Saskia knew her monsters were different. What she could shape withing the shadows were deranged depictions of her very own fears, she grew to conquer and learn to change their shapes until the shadows were at her call. She was a menace once she mastered this at the age of eleven, terrorising Alaric with horrific figures looming over his bed.

But it also made Saskia unafraid of the dark.

"He had antlers." Barry offered, fighting past his shivering. "A-and he had claws and the biggest teeth!"

But Saskia could see the fear wining over the small child and found herself wrapping her arms around him, like she used to the younger children she grew up with. "Shh... that is all you need to say. I know you do not wish to sleep, but I have a big faovur to ask of you. Will you keep watch? And you tell your mama and your papa if you see the monster again, and my friends here will come rushing back to defend you." When she felt the young boy nod and hold back his blubbering tears, she released him with a warm smile.

"This is one of my wolves. He is a shadow, but he can fight too. If you do sleep, Bread will keep watch on your farm for you."

"We should meet with the others, Syr Saskia." The Knight tapped her shoulders as the rest filtered out from the farmhouse. She listened, standing and saying her goodbyes before sparing a glance at the corporeal shadow that was of one of her two wolf familiars. Bread and Butter, one was always nearby to the other. As the four Knights gathered outside, Saskia hailed the second wolf to keep watch on the outside of the home. Syr... drats, she forgotten his name. She had seen his eyes follow the shadow familiar before turning to address them all. "I want the two of you to search the perimiter of their farmland. That includes the property stretching into the woods there. If we can do this before the storm hits us tomorrow, the chances are better for us. Otherwise we are stuck here until the storm passes before we can resume the search for this beast." He then glanced up at the sky, the waning crescent moon casting a ghostly light upon them all. "I will instruct the rest of the group to spread out over town. Multiple reports of a heretical creature? Hmph. If you feel that you are outmatched, then retreat. Do we understand our orders?"

This is a thread intended for me to flesh out more of Saskia, so some good ol' fashioned hunting at night sounds perfect!
Feel free to pop in and any ideas or such, feel free to get in touch :)
Byanka liked the night time the best. It was when dreams were abundant, and even if she never interfered with anyone's dreams without their permission, it was still a sort of fun to see them. But in this house, there were no dreams, only tears ready to spill. Byanka did not like tears.

She stood in the back of their little group of knights in the house as Saskia spoke to the child in an almost motherly way. She managed to get a vague description of the monster out of him, and just as Byanka was going to suggest she encourage him a little more with some Loch magick, they were being ushered out of the house. Oh, well. They could work with what they had.

The leader of their mission directed Saskia and Byanka to search the perimeter of the farm, while the others were told to spread out across the town to look for a monster with antlers, claws, and big teeth. Kind of broad, but they had to start somewhere. She rested her hand on the hilt of her sword and turned to Saskia, giving her fellow knight a soft smile. "Let's get to it, shall we?" She was not one for small talk and had been trained in the ways of the sword and Loch, not social cordiality.

Saskia Kerraelas
The long summer had passed, and now the autumn cold chilled the air. Dark as the night was, the sister moons shone their light down upon those knights gathered for the hunt.

Corruption seemed more and more frequent these days. Hector's hand gripped about the handle of his sword. Small comfort there in the grip of his steel. Though that too worried him.

Orders came quick, and soon they were split into teams of two, set to patrol the village and find what they could. Hector nod to his patrol partner, and moved off toward the edge of the fields. Another little house off in the distance, its fire lamp still on.

"Might be, they have more information?" He said, as he watched shadows move across the walls of the small farmhand's shack at the edge of the woods.

Byanka Valkas Saskia Kerraelas
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Saskia was not afraid of the dark.

She was not scared of this beast the child had described, which matched the descriptions of other witnesses they had interviewed.

It was the idea of being sent of in a small number of pairs to cover as much ground as they could. That, and Saskia was no small talk extraordinaire.

So she smiled, perhaps too widely, at Byanka Valkas.

"Should we start on the property or head out to the forest first?" She inquired, looking around the farm. It was dark, but moonlight gave them enough visibility that would not strain their eyes to adjust. Saskia turned to watch Hector and his paired partner make off towards the neighbouring property. "Surely the property wouldn't give too many hiding spots for such a creature?"
“ More information. “ He repeated in way of nigh question, one that doubted rather than actually inquired. And what would they do with all that — another tale about a monster which they were are already searching, its features and presence in the village no mystery. If I have to listen to one more—

Swallowing his criticism, he looked upon the dawn knight with pointed neutrality.

“ Why don’t you question the residents, then. I’ll search the yard and round the building in the meanwhile. “ Lest we are here until first snow. From his company, he bounced his attention to the building, stare narrowing. Right next to the treeline the property was bordered by a row of old lilacs, their bloomless and leafless forms casting a great hulking shadow. In the autumn wind they swayed, like something alive and breathing.

A flicker. Tricks of the mind and eye better adjusted to daylight. But better safe than sorry—

“ You’ll manage, hmh? “ He asked, beginning to break off to his own route as they neared the front door.

"It depends on what sort of creature it is," Byanka replied as she walked away from the house with Saskia. "It could be a shifter, or adept at hiding in the shadows. We really don't know enough about it." They barely had anything to go off of and so far, Byanka could sense nothing out of the ordinary around them.

She scanned the fence line around the house, as if she would find a hulking monster with antlers of some sort hiding behind a bush or a bale of hay.

"We can start with the property, hopefully it shouldn't take too long," she continued. She really did wish they knew more starting off but she supposed it couldn't be helped. Nevertheless, she kept her senses on alert.

Saska Kerraelas
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They were short a body.

Glancing around, her raincape fluttering in the wind, Squire Gruki was almost certain of it. Before she could think to share her concerns with the others, however, the group had already started to separate. In pairs, for the most part, they ventured off into the growing darkness in search of a monster- and an elusive one at that.

Some went to check the perimeter, whilst others stuck to the numerous properties scattered about the village. Torn, Gruki dithered, unsure of where to go or who to follow. It wasn't until one of Saskia's shadow-wolves -Bread or Butter, she could never tell- appeared at her side that she finally made a decision.

'Right! Of course!'

Hurrying after Syrs Valkas and Kerraelas, the big half-orc fell into step behind the two knights. Half a shadow herself, she listened as they talked strategy. Or the lack thereof. Both women seemed to have issues with how the search was being conducted, though neither spoke openly about it. Figuring it wasn't her place to ask, Gruki nodded at the dusker's words.

'Between the three of us, it shouldn't take long at all,' she said, surprised by her own certainty. 'Though, if I may be so bold, perhaps it would be wisest if we were to check the woodland first? It'll be true dark soon, y'see, and, well...' Her voice fell to a whisper as she trailed off. Stupid Gruki, she cursed herself, leave the thinking to those who are good at it!

'Just a-... just a thought.'

Saskia Kerraelas Byanka Valkas
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Hector gave a look to Syr Leinas, a man he had always known to be pointed and sharp. There was no judgement behind his eyes, but there was also no hint of doubt.

He'd learned, time and time again, that it was oft the smallest of details that could make the difference.

"A sound plan," Hector admitted to the senior Sworn, and nod as he pressed on to the shack's door and Kaarle made his own way. A rap of knuckles at the door. A twitch of his ears beneath the warm layer of his padded coif. Glad he had taken the time to change out the lining earlier in the summer. Steps from behind the door. A pair of voices. The door cracked open.

"Who's this, then?" a narrowed eye peered through the slit. Rings that marked sleepless nights sagged under puffy lids. "You're with them knights?"

Hector gave a nod. "Syr Rookheart, of Anatheaum,"

"Hmm, bout bloody time somebody showed up,"
the door eased open some, his nerves eased. "Farm's lost more than just a goat, you know, most of the mushroom harvest in the woods has turned foul, covered in some," he covered his mouth in the crook of his elbow. Phlegmy, and thick. He breathed hard a moment, as if he needed to recover. Wiped his mouth away, something dark and oily smeared at the corner of his lip. "Blight,"

Hector watched on. Mindful of the space between them.

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Saskia turned around to see Gruki, who upon recognising the squire, greeted her with a wide grin. "That is not a half bad suggestion."

Sas turned to Byanka, still grinning. "Let us start in the woods. I left Butter to keep watch of the farm, and if anything odd happens, I will know." The shade of night was when she was at her strongest with her shadow magic, able to tear into the deepest depths of shadows to create familiars that did not need her concentration to keep their shape. In theory, Saskia should have infinite control over the shadows once night truly fell, but prolonged exposure to such magic took it's toll on her.

The work of running patrol would be done and dusted if she did not begin to succumb to the darkness.

Saskia ushered Gruki to walk alongside herself and Byanka, lifting her torch to help light their path.

"None of you are afraid of the dark, hm?" She pondered aloud, regarding those that accompanied her as they neared the fence, the dark woods beyond that.

Byanka Valkas
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