Fable - Ask Torches Mandatory, Pitchforks . . . Optional?

  • Distant lands call to you, Guest. The next world event coming soon.

    A land once ruled by Dragons and Gods opens, but not every secret of Arethil's past is safe to uncover.

    Titanfall

A roleplay which may be open to join but you must ask the creator first
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The sounds of camp echoed through the clearing at the edge of the Ixchel Wilds. Horses, the clank and clatter of armor, blades, and hammers, the smell of roasting game all blended together beneath the numerous pennants that flapped atop the pavilions. Each was colored in the insignia of their respected Templar Order or coat of arms, giving the entire affair a carnival-like atmosphere. The sun stood high in the afternoon sky. Knights, soldiers, and squires were stirring, having been adjusting to a nighttime schedule for the last few days. They began to gather their belongings and make final checks of their gear. Tonight would be the night.

Amongst it all, strode the thick yet supple master of the Order of The Sundered Shield, Sir Riven Seawraithe. Already clad in armor, with his weapons expertly affixed at his side, the imposing Templar was anxious for nightfall. Not that it showed on his face. Rumor was that the man never smiled, hence the deep set lines in his face. While not entirely true, it was not a rumor the man sought to dispel. He had bigger problems, like the magics that plagued these wilds. Magics that he knew needed purged. It was the price to purge these sins that occupied the Master’s mind.

It had been two whole months since a travel-worn vagabond had stumbled upon their fortress home speaking of a tribe of men that could transform into monstrous wolves beneath the night of the full moon. It had been weeks of journeying, carting men, horses, and supplies this far from their keep. The call had been put out for any Templar, regardless of order, who sought to begin purging the wilds, to muster themselves and rendezvous in this very glade.

Riven could not have been more pleased with the turnout. In addition to a healthy muster of men from The Sundered Shield, there were many others. Some had come from different Templar Orders. Others were rogue wanderers of justice. They all had paid heed to the call to drive the sinful magicians and those accursed by their poison from this place. With them came rumors. Rumors of even more powerful magics that inhabited the wilds. They were said to birthed from the so called Elder Tree itself and to inhabit these very woods. Whatever these beasts were, they too would not be spared. They too would fall. Their sins purged from their bodies in death and fire. Riven Seawraithe was anxious to begin. All they need do was wait until sundown.

Pausing at a shout for his attention, Riven turned. Nearby a band of dwarves were guffawing heartily waiving the Master over and offering a tankard of warm mead.

Diverting his path, Riven made his way to the dwarves with a stoic countenance. “Well met brothers. Are you prepared for the night’s work?” He had time before they mustered the troops for final inspection. He was prepared. A moment with some of the men going into battle with him was time well spent before the fight commenced.
 
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Ferev laughed heartily as he was about complete his joke to the other dwarves.

"And so then she said 'that's no dwarven pickaxe. That's a halfling's spade." And so I couldn't help but say 'isn't that what you told him the other night?"

All the dwarves broke into a laughter, with the exception of one who gave Ferev a solid punch on the shoulder. While he was smiling and chuckling, his red cheeks revealed Ferev's joke did make a jab at his pride. However, all of the dwarves began to straighten up at the approach of the master.

"Ah sir..." Ferev bowed slightly. "Excuse our crudeness, we were just talking about Gilgo's meeting his wife... a little humor always helps us get ready."

With a nod, Ferev passed some mead towards his superior. "Please take a drink sir. It helps soothe the nerves. And it doesn't have any of that ground up silver dust."

It had been an open rumor that some Templars believed that a little silver dust swallowed could help prevent a werewolf infection, but Ferev had forbidden all of his men from doing that. Still, the superstitions ran deep in some of the people around, especially in the mercenaries who had tagged along. Their hearts were in the right place but their minds weren't.

"Erm, pardon my doubt captain..." Ferev started. "Some of the men and I were talking. Why are we doing this at night? If it were up to me, I say attack now, burn down what we find, and by the nine, we call it a good day."
 
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Riven took the mead with bow of his head in respectful thanks before tipping it back and taking a deep draw from the tankard. A smile twisted across the face of the Order’s leader at the question. It was a smile that did not quite stretch all the way to his eyes. It was a fair question. The wolfmen were known to morph under the light of the moon. Riven was counting on it. As brutal as their work seemed to those who did not understand the righteousness of their calling, so too were the same people to gloss over the good wrought by the Templars. Did the werewolves present a greater threat at night? Yes, they did. The Templars were no strangers to danger. Attacking at night was simple, it allowed for the preservation of innocence where it might be found. Under the light of the sun, innocent victims might be put to the sword; innocents thst might be spared and nurtured back to righteousness. These thoughts passed through Riven’s mind, but his answer was simple and succinct, “Holy work wrought in darkness, brings about a greater light brothers.” Hefting his tankard, Riven took another deep drink before adding, “whilst the dogs howl, their fellow sinners slumber.”

Riven set the tankard on a table nearby, eying the men’s exquisite armor and massive weapons. He nodded his head in agreement with their form and status. There was something about dwarves that he liked aside from their massive weapons and dislike of magics. They were practical and straightforward. No games or gimmicks. With dwarves you knew what you got and if you didn’t they would tell you.

“We are Templars. I have the utmost confidence in each of you to do your duty. Any who fall, dies knowing that he does so serving the greatest good of all Arethil. He will be rewarded in and with death and greater glory in the life to come.”

Riven clapped a closed fist against his metal-clad chest with a thud in a salute of respect for the dwarves. “Spread the word, after the evening meal, we all assemble to the north. From there, we ride.”
 

Alaric

Pariah Templar
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Alaric hadn't said much since joining the camp.

It was typical of the Pariah of course, their name alone marked them out for what they were after all. His chapter had never worked well with any of the others, but this time they had seen opportunity. That was why Alaric was here.

There were few times when one knew what sort of foe they would face.

Pariah tended not to hunt werewolves. The beasts were a problem for others, and his Chapter preferred prey like the Necromancer or the dark mages that wrought the undead. Yet this time his The Exarch had sent him to aid anyway.

There was a growing interest in the Lycans, a question that had been a curiosity for the Pariah for a long time. Did their...gifts, what made a Pariah what they were, render them immune to the plague that turned these beasts?

Alaric had been charged not with finding out himself, but bringing one of the beasts back to the Chapter.

He would do so gladly.

Riven Seawraithe | Ferev Irongutt
 
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Ferev nodded at the answer from the Master. He was right, of course. Still, Ferev didn't like the answer.

"True true sir. Though I hardly know anyone innocent enough to stick around a werewolf longer then one full moon. But maybe some fire will wake them up in time to leave."

Ferev' subtle jab didn't go unnoticed by the other dwarves, who quickly let their eyes look away. Two even made a few gruff comments about something and wandered off. It was widely known that Ferev was a dwarf who spoke his mind a lot. The fact that he was one of the youngest dwarves here was not lost on anyone.

"Very well sir. I will spread the word. By the nine, we will hunt well tonight."

Out of the corner of his eye, Ferev noticed something. A young human, striding around quietly. Something about the man made Ferev curious. Was he a Templar of one of the more werewolf hunter orders? No, something about that didn't seem correct.

"Excuse me gentlemen..." Ferev excused himself, grabbing an extra mug of mead and quickly tried to catch up with the young man.

"Hail and well met Templar!" Ferev grinned, imitating the energy that the Master had given him a moment ago. "It's good to see a fellow, young, face here! I feel like I'm a child with all of these old slayers."
 
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The Templar Master allowed the subtle jab to pass. Many hunters of of the profane and arcane saw all magics as evil and any who associated with them just as much so. It was the price of their single-minded zealotry. Riven knew it, had dealt with it almost daily. He knew though, at least it was a hope he held in the deepest recesses of his soul, that there was still good to be found amongst the dark shadows that magic cast.

As the dwarf hurried off, Riven offered a slight bow, taking his leave as well. As soon as the sun began to set, they would ride for battle.

Making his way though the camp, Riven paused for a moment to admire the muscled warhorses, their coats sleek as they stamped the ground. Even they sensed the tide to come and were anxious to undertake the night’s tasks.

Returning to his pavilion, Riven supped in silence, taking some time to sharpen his blades once again. Did they need it? Probably not. It did not matter, the weapons would be pristine for the night’s work.

____________________

As the first rays of the sun began to kiss the horizon, Riven finished donning the last of his platemail. Stalking through the camp to where the mass of men, troops, and steeds had assembled, Riven mounted a dais to look out over the sea of glimmering oranges, yellows and reds as they reflected from armor and blades. On either side, the Templar Master was flanked by two thick Templars, one a blue orc and the other a grizzled human with a missing eye; each were commanders within the order. Their exploits spoke for themselves.

Raising his hands, a hush fell over the small army. “Brothers. Sisters.” Riven Seawraithe called, his voice carrying across the clearing.Tonight. Tonight we purge this accursed wood from darkness. Tonight their sins are sanctified. Wolfmen will seek to tear your hearts out. Shades and specters will surely grasp for your soul. Who knows what other demons and temptresses will claw for your body, mind and spirit tonight. Be strong. Guard one another. Strike down the enemy where they stand. Rescue any innocents we might save. Ride for the sanctification of these lands. Ride so that your sins will be washed away in the blood of the beasts that bring despair and destruction to our world. Ride for your brother. Ride for your family. Ride for truth, life, and all that is good!” Riven hefted his sword in the air as he completed his rousing speech, his words stirring war cries across the troops as they thrust their weapons into the sky.

In minutes, torches had been lit and distributed across the horde. Grabbing one for himself, Riven left from the platform atop a charcoal warhorse. It rose up in it’s hind legs, a snort of seeming rage escaping it’s nostrils. “Forward!”

The mount surged forward from the camp, the ground trembling beneath it as the mounted troops surged into the woods against the setting sun. In the distance, a wolf howled mournfully.

-Alaric
-Ferev Irongutt
 
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As the master began to look over the rather large group of people that had gathered, Ferev had been inspecting his and his men's equipment for the fifth time in the last half hour. While his men's equipment varied from person to person depending on their role and preference, Ferev's stayed the same every campaign.

The armor always was the most prominent feature of the dwarf. While not the most handsomely made, it was certainly a work of skill and care. Steel forged and pressed tightly to provide maximum protection with as much mobility as possible. For a human, it would've been a bit limiting, but Ferev always believed that Dwarves were bred to wear metal. However, even he wasn't too dumb to realize that anti-magics were needed, and so a few runes of inscription had been carved on the insides of each piece.

On his back, Ferev strapped his crossbow, and at his right side was a bag of bolts. Normally he would've used his own, but this mission required something a bit more silver. At his left side was strapped a short sword, which complimented the buckler on his forearm.

Finally, in his hands was his prized weapon. Nicknamed the dwarven hammer, the polearm was tipped with a spearpoint, a hook just below it, and a blunt metal sledge. Some called it a Lucerne hammer. Ferev preferred it as the monster-slayer. Perfect for big and small beasts as well as witches alike. While it wasn't coated in silver, Ferev was sure it could still kill a werewolf where it stood.

Before the master talked, Ferev had turned to his own men and women. 3 dwarven men besides himself, 1 dwarven woman, 3 human men, one half orc and half man, and one elf. Each one of them were young, but had earned their place with the hag-hunters by proving themselves in battle.

"Now I shouldn't need to remind you..." Ferev began. "...but werewolves are no joke. We've faced monsters before, but these things are something else. You may have seen them as men in the day. But trust me, there is nothing human about them anymore. They bare a disease. A disease worse than the black boils, the burning scars, and Fae Fever. And that...is pure magic."

This brought some grunts and growls from the group. Their hatred for magic was a given. Possibly more so then some of the other groups in this wild hunt.

"But we are the hag-hunters. So we will kill and exterminate every single one of them. Just remember. Don't get bit, and watch your brothers and sister's backs. Gang up when you can, and never let your brothers and sisters out of sight. If you get bit, go out swinging and burning, and ring the bells for us to follow. And by the nine, we will follow"

The group nodded and smiled at their leader's small speech and encouragement for a glorious death. Each one of them believed that when they died, the victory bells of the afterlife would be rang by their comrades. If they continued to ring them, then victory would always be around the corner, and they could always reunite in the afterlife.

As the master spoke, Ferev checked his equipment again. It was no secret he was a little nervous. Werewolves, while monstrous, were a different breed from mages. This hunt would require perception, and carefulness. But if worse came to worse, each man had a torch with them to light. If they had to, then by the nine, they would burn the whole forest down to kill these monsters.

"Alright Hag-Hunters! Let's move out!" Ferev shouted, and his men gave a hoozah and double-timed behind their leader. The Hag-Hunters weren't lucky enough to get horses, but they didn't need them. If the cavalry could attack the town, then Ferev and his men would follow shortly and provide reinforcements, while killing any of the stragglers the cavalry missed.
 
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