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 Post subject: Stories of Arcanis Heroes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:47 am
Posts: 2469
Location: Central Alberta
Putting this thread up for anyone who wants to throw some Roleplays in without starting a whole thread of them.

_________________
Cody Bergman
Legends of Arcanis Campaign Staff
Initial Author Contact/Adventure Vetting

Haakon Marcus val'Virdan, Divine Holy Judge of Nier
Ruma val'Vasik, Martial Crusader and Master of the Spear
Jorma Osterman, Arcane Coryani Battlemage


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 Post subject: Re: Stories of Arcanis Heroes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:04 pm 
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For a temple dedicated to a God of fire, it is rather cold in here right now.

Resisting a snort of laughter at the mundanity of his though, Haakon Marcus val’Virdan, Priest of Nier in the Mother Church of Coryan, Hero of the Milandesian Sixth Crusade, and Patrician of Nova Cormata stands before his fellow priests in the dead of night on this cold autumn evening.

Standing in the centre of the temple’s courtyard, wearing nothing but a basic loincloth, Haakon took in the sights and sounds of the First City as the various acolytes who accompanied Pyrman Erastus val’Virdan to the city prepared for the ritual. Huge bronze braziers emitted torrents of intoxicating incense, while torches lined the rampart-like walls of the temple. The only source of illumination within the courtyard, commonly used for martial drills among the faithful is the Everlasting Flame of Nier which acts as an alter would in a temple to any one of the other Gods of the Pantheon.

The Acolytes, all wearing the red robes of Initiate Priests of Nier, move about with military precision as they prepare the sacraments needed to bless one of their own, here within the First City, while Pyrman Erasmus waits patiently before the fire, staring dispassionately at Haakon. The scene could not be more perfect for the ritual about to proceed, and Haakon’s heart skipped a beat while he prepared himself for what was to come.

Standing in the centre of the small Temple of Nier operated by the Mother Church of Coryan in the First City of Man, Haakon could not think of a better place to die.

With the final preparations for the ritual in place, the acolytes and the local priests arranged themselves around fire. Standing before him, a pair of Holy Judges of Nier stand with blades drawn, both mere inches from his neck. However, Haakon did not move. Any sign of cowardice at this point would end his life before the ritual took place, and forever damn him to Beltine’s Cauldron. After all, Nier does not take kindly to those unwilling to die for what they believe in.

“Haakon Marcus val’Virdan,” and Erasmus spoke finally. “Son of Marcus Gaius val’Virdan, son of Gaius Tiberius val’Virdan, Priest of Nier, and child of Coryan: You stand before this conclave of Our Lord Judicar to petition us for the right to join the most holy order of His followers. Is this the truth?”

Standing even taller than before, careful not to cut his own throat on the drawn blades before him, Haakon responded. “I am Haakon Marcus val’Virdan, and I am indeed here to be inducted into the Holy Order of Nier’s Judges.”

Nodding slowly, the Pyrman gestures to the Holy Judges to drop their blades. “If this is so, then approach the Flame of Nier to meet your Judgement.”

Stepping forward, the Holy Judges part to let him into the circle surrounding the Flame at the centre of the courtyard. As he breaks the circle, the various acolytes and priests begin chanting the ancient hymns of Nier in the low, harsh way that He finds most holy. While those of a less hearty church may find the scene ominous, even terrifying, Haakon does not bat an eye. The priesthood of Nier in the Mother Church of Coryan is known for its discipline and traditions, unlike the wild berserkers of far-off Erduk.

Stopping the exact six-feet before the Pyrman, Haakon stares the man in the fine robes of a High Priest of Nier. All around, the pitch of the chanting continues, though the tempo appears to rise with every step he took towards the High Priest before him. “Haakon Marcus val’Virdan, The Order of the Holy Judges of Nier is the most sacred Holy Order dedicated in His name. With this title, your pledge before Nier Himself that you shall tirelessly pursue all those who wish to sway the True Children of the Gods away from Paradise. None shall be free of the Justice of Our Lord Judicar.

“Unlike other orders within the Mother Church, where its members simply join, the trial to become one of this Most Holy of Orders requires actual sacrifice. Do you know what is required of you?”

“Yes,”
responds Haakon. “I am aware and I am prepared.”

“Then let us begin.”

Moving towards the flame, the Pyrman draws a dagger and places it in the Holy Flame of Nier. “Lord Nier, consecrate this blade with your Holy Fire. Through this blade may you be able to test the temper of he who wishes to become a blade of your will.” Removing the dagger from the flame, the perfectly crafted blade glows red with the residual heat of the flame, but quickly fades to a dull ashen colour after such a brief time in the fire.

As the Pyrman moves away from the fire, Haakon continues to look into its depths. Moving around behind him, the Pyrman speaks. “You speak well, Haakon Marcus val’Virdan, and I see no fear in your eyes.” Grabbing his hair, the Pyrman jerks Haakon’s head back violently just as the chanting of the acolytes stops.

“However,” he says. “It is not to us that you must prove your mettle. It is to Judgment itself.”

And with that, the Pyrman draws the knife violently across Haakon’s throat.

Falling to his knees, Haakon struggles to keep his eyes focused on the flames before him while his life drains from the wound in his neck. “Focus on the flames, child. In them, you may yet see salvation.”

The vision blurs before him, and suddenly darkness falls as the last of his life pours onto the sandy ground of the courtyard.

* * *

“Who are you?”

Shaken from the trauma of his death, it takes Haakon a moment to realize that someone was speaking to him. Around him is nothing but darkness, though the feeling of eyes upon him shakes him from his confusion. It is only then that he realizes that the darkness around him is not the blackest of Cadic’s nights, but the fact his eyes are closed.

Opening them, Haakon looks around the area to find the source of the voice which just spoke, but cannot see anyone. Instead, he finds himself in a cleared circle of stone, surrounded by a thick mist which obscures all beyond. Looking upon himself, is surprised to see himself standing naked. Wasn’t I just wearing a loincloth? He thought, confused.

“I said, who are you?” repeats the voice.

Turning around, Haakon jumps back with the reflexes of years of combat training as a figure literally bursts forth before him. Not actively attacking him, the figure appears as the very fiery avatar of Nier himself. Over nine feet tall, a flaming, winged figure of unimaginable beauty stands forth. In one hand, he bears the shining radiance of a massive great sword, and the finery of exceptionally beautiful armour covers his flaming figure.

Not wanting to wait for the flaming figure to ask again, Haakon proclaims as strongly as he is able. “I am Haakon Marcus val’Virdan. I am here to petition Nier’s Own Judgment for the right to be inducted into his Most Holy of Orders!”

The figure before him stares at him just as dispassionately as the Pyrman a few moments ago—or was it years ago?—as he appears to consider his statement. After but a few seconds, the creature before him speaks again.

“I have seen into your soul, Haakon Marcus val’Virdan, and I do see potential there. However, I also see some doubt. In order for you to truly be able to be one of His Lords true agents upon your former world, you must prove to us that you are in control of yourself, and that you are willing to do what Your Lord demands of you.”

Standing up from his defensive crouch, Haakon responds saying, “I am willing to do whatever His Judgment requires of me.”

Breaking his dispassionate face, the Judgment of Nier cracks an evil smile. “Many have said the same thing, and many have been relegated to the boiling pot of Beltine’s Cauldron.” Without any additional preamble, the flaming Valinor before him disappears in a sudden burst of flame. With him, the whole world again goes dark.

_________________
Cody Bergman
Legends of Arcanis Campaign Staff
Initial Author Contact/Adventure Vetting

Haakon Marcus val'Virdan, Divine Holy Judge of Nier
Ruma val'Vasik, Martial Crusader and Master of the Spear
Jorma Osterman, Arcane Coryani Battlemage


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 Post subject: Re: Stories of Arcanis Heroes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:23 pm 
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Location: Central Alberta
And Part II!

There is nothing better than the hunt for those who blaspheme the name of the Gods.

Though dangerous to hunt heretics alone in this world where martial techniques are such an important part of almost every church and heresy, Haakon is sure that he will be able to do this mission alone. Long had he heard the stories of some form of Infernal Cult operating in this area, and he cannot allow these Heretics to profane the souls of mankind with their vile ways.

Tracking through the wilderness of the Blessed Lands is no real trouble for a man who survived the wastes of Nova Cormata for weeks as part of his Coming of Age ritual. Granted, the salted deserts that presently make up the Coryani Province aren’t quite as. . . otherworldly as what the Blessed Lands have become due to the Elorii and their death curses, but short of one of those freak supernatural storms he should be more than able to handle whatever these Holy yet bedeviled lands can throw at him.

Rounding stealthily around a large rocky outcropping, he sees his target: a small collection of huts surrounding a central building which seems to be the meetinghall. Strange. . . usually Infernal Cults contain more horrors than this place seems to. This place looks almost genial, like a normal village. . .

Shrugging off his worries, Haakon draws his massive flamberge from his back and continues into the small village. Looking around, there seems to be almost no signs of life in any of the huts, with all attention seemingly focused on the central meeting hall.

Moving closer to the door of the hall, Haakon puts an ear, hearing the words within.

“. . . and by embracing the Elements and Our Lady of Life, you too may find solace and peace within these lands which were tainted by those who were too weak in spirit to appreciate what Belisarda gave to them. All you have to do is give up the worship of the vile murderers who those of Coryan and Khitan wish to force your allegiance.” Spoke a voice in familiar Low Coryani.

Elorii? Here? I thought this was an Infernal Cult?!

Shaking himself, Haakon realized the subtext of what is happening. These Elorii—or whoever was within the hall—were speaking a Human tongue, not the lizard-like hiss of their own Ssethric-derived language. That suggested that whoever was inside was teaching their lessons to humanity.

Not needing to hear more, Haakon stands and kicks down the door. Within are probably a dozen or so humans—all with the dusky skin of the Andyar nomads of the Blessed lands—and at the centre of the hall are a group of three humanoid figures wearing hooded cloaks. The one in the centre, and Ardakene Elorii, gapes at Haakon’s sudden entrance.

“I think some explainations are in order, don’t you, Elorii?” Says Haakon, eyes focused on the Elorii.

Looking down at Haakon’s chest, the Elorii sees the Mother Church Rubrick and sneers. Spitting on the floor, he says , “Brothers! It is one of those I warn you of! He has come to bring you away from the salvation that Our Lady has offered all who follow her and the ways of her fallen Elemental brothers and sisters!”

“These souls are not of your people, Elorii. I cannot allow you to poison their minds with stories of your so-called ‘Goddess,’ not if it means that by your actions you deny these people their chance of earning a place at Illiir’s side in the Paradise of the Gods.”

The Elorii levels a weary glance at the Nierite at the door, while the Andyar nomads move to the sides of the chamber. “You wish to stop us from spreading the word of Belisarda to those who can use it? You are just like your interloping Gods. . . always butting in where you do not belong and trying to destroy those who are righteous in the eyes of a TRUE Mother Goddess!”

Raising a hand, the Elorii begins manipulating the Arcanum, muttering something in its own language under its breath. “You Gods destroyed Our Gods, and for that crime they shall be denied ANY followers!” With that exclamation, a bolt of magical energy sprouts from the Elorii’s hand. Ducking to the side, Haakon feels himself being drawn to towards the bolt as if it were a lodestone and he iron filings. At this cue, the other two robed figures snap into action, one grabbing for a bow and the other a sword. The assembled Andyar seem split in their response to what is happening, with a few reaching for daggers on their belts while still others—mostly the women and children—huddle in the corner as far away from the conflict as possible.

Quickly dropping his hand from his sword, Haakon moves his now free hand in the way he has become most accomplished over the past few years, muttering the completion of the complicated cant that was drilled into his mind years ago. Suddenly those within the chamber grab their heads in pain as the Haakon channels the fury of the Gods towards those who wish to blaspheme against them, with the Andyar falling to the ground at the Gods’ displeasure. Even the Elorii—with the exception of the preaching Ardakene—seem to be effected by the castigation he released on the chamber.

Using the moment of hesitation caused by his spell, Haakon returns his hand to his blade and focuses on his inner strength. Suddenly, what appeared to be a normal blade before suddenly erupts in flames as the Holy power of Nier’s blood flowing through him manifests.

Finally drawing near, the Elorii with a sword—now revealed to be a Marokene from the dark skin and heavier build—lunges at Haakon. Luckly, the blade is turned by the armoured breastplate of his Royal Lorica, but not before he is winded. Taking a step back, Haakon is able to block the following blow on the blade of his own sword, before regaining his focus. Pushing past the Elorii, Haakon takes a mighty swing of the six-foot blade.

Dodging out of the way, the Elorii moves beyond the reach of the mighty sword facing him. Meanwhile, his two allies have not idle. The air is broken by the passing of an arrow, missing Haakon’s face by mere inches, while the priest casts another spell at him. Unable to dodge the eldritch bolt, Haakon feels the brief sensation of weakness and fatigue common with those who try to use the God’s power to weaken someone’s bones in hopes of landing a more telling blow, but Haakon is able to fight the Priest’s feeble attempt to enchant him.

Taking the opportunity given by his alleys, the Marokene lunges in yet again with his blade, striking Haakon on the side of his crested helmet. Throught he ringing in his ears, he can hear the tang of the bowstring once again, but again the arrow misses him. Once again muttering words of power, Haakon focuses all his energies and divine fury towards the Marokene before him. Channeling a spell into his blade, the fiery sword is enveloped in the crackling energy of the Gods as it strikes the Marokene clean in the torso. With the power of the Gods augmenting his already powerful blade, the flamberge cuts deep into the torso of the Elorii before him, almost completely cleaving him in two.

Moving to remove the blade from the Marokene’s body, the third arrow finally finds purchase, striking Haakon in the right shoulder. Yelling in pain, he dives to the side, throwing his cape up to obscure his form while the Elorii priest throws a knife his direction. Luckily, the motion involved allows Haakon to remove the blade from the sundered body, and he briefly takes position behind one of the small wooden chairs which the Andyar were so attentively listening to the Elorii heresy upon.

“You shall not leave here alive, val’Virdan. You shall meet your gods in the oblivion which they are deserving!” Yells the priest, as he once again attempts to cast his vile magics upon him, shattering the chair in front of him, causing Haakon to duck away. From a half-kneeling position, Haakon mutters again in Altheran as he reaches his uninjured hand to his chest, pulling—as if from nowhere—a pair of fiery balls, throwing them at the two remaining Elorii. The archer, obviously more dexterous than the priest, deftly avoids the shot, but the priest does not. The ball of fire, though not big, is more than enough to burn through his robes and scorch his torso.

Unable to reach his blade, Haakon moves his hand to his side can invokes Nier’s name, causing a crackling stream of embers to erupt as he grunts in pain. Any time you try to channel the energies of the Gods, or any of the forces of the Arcanum, too fast, you must pay penance for the overuse of their powers. However, the pain is enough to bear, and from the embers in his hand crackle a to form a bright sword which immediately burns even brighter as his blood heritage empowers the spell even further. Seeing his chance, Haakon charges.

As the archer struggles to grab another arrow from their quiver, the priest notices Haakon coming just in time to bring a dagger up in an attempt to drive it into his chest. However, the priest is obviously not a warrior, and Haakon dodges around the clumsy thrust and drives the fiery blade straight through the Priest’s chest.

Just as another arrow strikes, lodging itself in the rib just below his already injured arm.
Wailing in pain, Haakon swings wildly at the nearby archer, causing the figure to dive away. Taking a moment to regain his balance, Haakon prepares to swing again when he sees the face of the Elorii who has been shooting at him.

“Stormy?”

The Osalikene stares at him from behind determined eyes. “Yes. It’s me, Val.” Using his hesitation, the Elorii drops her bow and unnaturally quickly draws her blade, slicing upwards in the same motion.

Catching her blade on the fiery sword, Haakon pushes her away out of reach. “What are you doing? Why are you doing this? I thought we were friends.”

“We are just as much of friends as anyone can be with a traitorous Val, Haakon.” Making another lunge towards Haakon, he parries her blow once more, though only narrowly.

“Oh,” she continues, seeing the pain and betrayal on Haakon’s face, “don’t look at me like that. I never made my dislike of your people a secret, so you shouldn’t be this surprised to see me trying to undermine them!”

“But why?! You have fought by my side for years now.”

Snorting a laugh, the Elorii circles. “Yes, I did. I even enjoyed the experience on many occasions, but now is time for my people to bring some of their own back against you and your ilk.”

Using her words to try to goad Haakon to action, she quickly moves to strike against him. Unfortunately for her, Haakon was not as distracted as she had hoped. While her blade managed to bite into his arm, his own sword clubbed her in the side, flinging her lighter frame into the nearby wall. Moving to defender herself, Stormy notices her sword has been knocked from her hand and she dives for it, coming within inches when Haakon’s sandaled foot comes down hard on her arm.

Turning upwards, Stormy looks as the wounded Haakon, holds his blade above her head, ready to plunge it in. “Please, Haakon, do not kill me. I’ve saved you enough times to have earned that much!” Stormy says, looking for a way to at least delay the fall of the blade as she feels for some escape or defence.

Waiting but a moment, Haakon’s expression hardens. “Let Nier’s Will be done.”

And he drives the blade into Stormy’s throat.

* * *

Suddenly, breath filled his lungs again.

No longer was Haakon in the Andyar hall. Once again he was back in the courtyard of the Temple of Nier in the First City of Man, laying in a pool of his own blood. Gasping once more, Haakon’s hand raises to the stinging, burning sensation on his neck where the Pyrman had drawn the anointed blade. Instead of feeling the severed arteries and tissues caused by the blade, he instead felt a fresh scar where the blade had previously slit him.

Detecting movement to his side, he opens his eyes revealing the High Priest. Examining the wound on his throat, the Pyrman stands and proclaims. “Brothers, Sisters! He lives once more!”

With a collective gasp of surprise, the crowd of acolytes and priests break out into somber applause. Helping Haakon to his feat, the Priest raises his arm above his head. “Haakon Marcus val’Virdan, son of Marcus Gaius val’Virdan, son of Gaius Tiberius val’Virdan, you have journeyed from this world to the very edge of Beltine’s Cauldron to be Judged by His Own Judgment. And here he is, healed from his mortal wound by the Judgment of Nier himself!

“From this point on you, Haakon Marcus val’Virdan, are to be counted on the rolls of the Holy Judges of Nier as one of their numbers. May none ever question your dedication to justice and the Gods after this day.

“In Nier’s Name!”
Intones the Pyrman.

“In Nier’s Name!” replies the assembled acolytes and priests.

_________________
Cody Bergman
Legends of Arcanis Campaign Staff
Initial Author Contact/Adventure Vetting

Haakon Marcus val'Virdan, Divine Holy Judge of Nier
Ruma val'Vasik, Martial Crusader and Master of the Spear
Jorma Osterman, Arcane Coryani Battlemage


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 Post subject: Re: Stories of Arcanis Heroes
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:05 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:59 am
Posts: 811
Location: Ontario, Canada
Looking at his surroundings, the dwarf scratched his beard and muttered to himself. "What is it about inns that they're all alike?". If anyone were to ask, he wouldn't even be certain what the name was of the tiny backwater village he now found himself in.

Life isn't so much about places, as it is about tasks. The things that needed to be done daily; Wake, pray, train, eat. In the middle there was usually travel, and occasionally there was something--or someone--who needed killing. At the end of the day, when he was lucky enough to have a roof over his head, there was food to eat, armour to clean, rest to be had. And rarely enough of that, as of late.

He had never planned on becoming an...adventurer. It seemed a vulgar word, one created by humans to describe people with nothing better to do than look for trouble. Mercenaries with a cause. He thought back to the years of training, deep in the mountain: The gentle heat of the magma below; long hours of studying holy texts, interspersed with military training. How do you fortify tunnels against superior numbers? When is a hammer and anvil maneuver advantageous? Simple, logical tactics. He had looked forward to an orderly life below ground.

It was almost two years past that the summons arrived. A piece of parchment calling...no, ordering him before the High Clergy. He found himself before a group of Nol Dappan priests who had been ancient long before he was born. It wasn't news to him that the traders who came to the mountain brought with them stories of corruption and excess from topside. For the dwarves who spent most of their life below, such was the subject of many stories and rumors. Yet here he was now, before the High Clergy, being advised that he--along with a group of other young priests--had only days to prepare for a journey topside. The Erdukeen church was concerned that the excesses of man had grown to be too much, and that it may be necessary for the purifying fires of Nier to cleanse the world once more. Priests would be traveling to every corner of Onara to investigate the moral status of man.

It was only weeks into his journey that he lost an eye to filthy human bandits, who valued a handful of silver more than the life of a priest. Adjusting his eyepatch, the dwarf thought back with satisfaction at how long it had taken those bandits to die.

Bringing his attention back to the grungy room he now found himself in, the dwarf pulled out a piece of parchment, an inkwell, and a quill. With great care, he began writing in the solid, rune-like style that characterizes Udor.

Highest,

As it has been some months since I wrote last, I felt the need to provide an update on my travels. I've fallen into the company of a rather unique group. A few of them give me hope that the humans still have some redeeming qualities. Perhaps not all have succumbed to corruption and excess.

I've met an Elorii. To say that he is odd would be putting it mildly. I'm concerned that if he is representative of his race, the Elorii nation may be insane, as a whole. He mocks me incessantly. This is a concern for another day, however.

Most of what I've found leaves little to hope for. Peasants live in squalor and are terrified of their own shadows, while nobles engage in hedonistic excess and give little thought to the Gods. Perhaps most unfortunate is that I suspect those few decent humans I've encountered would likely stand up against a Cleansing. Those not raised with the tenants of Nier do not see this corruption for the threat it is. I fear that many good people would fall alongside the chaff.

I will write again when further observations have been made

Glory to Nier

Rurik of Nol Dappa

_________________
Akira Currier
aka Raseri 'Crash' val'Emman - Master of the Incandescent Flame (Martial 3.6)
aka Leif of House Borghild - Skohir Human Myrmidon (Martial 2.6)
aka Rurik of Nol Dappa - Dwarven War Priest (Divine 2.3)


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 Post subject: stories from abroad
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:03 am 
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Location: Tampa, Florida (temp.)
In the tavern one evening, the gathering of travelers included a few adventurers. They took turns sharing stories, some of which were about pilgrimages to the Blessed Lands, the aftermath of the Sixth Crusade of Light, Senatorial politics in Grand Coryan, and holidays in the Western Lands.

One especially gregarious fellow told war stories from the Sixth Crusade when it was his turn. Comma, as he called himself, came across as a rather friendly val--of Coryani stock from the look of him. His bright smile and grey eyes balanced his jet-black hair, and he had a stout frame despite a short height. Comma, as he called himself, was fairly well dressed, and he seemed comfortable talking with anyone and rather at home in telling a story. In the tavern, Comma wore no armor but had a well-tailored purple tunic with a hint of gold trim in what seemed a tasteful mix of Milandisian and Coryani styles. He had white gloves and a sword-belt that had a pugio plus an empty frog with space for a larger weapon. The adorned flintlock at his side was no doubt unloaded, and anyone examining it closely might notice emblems of Sarish and depictions of infernals.

Comma offered suggestions during his story on how to tell whether someone is possessed by a demon. The val sipped some wine and kept the audience enraptured by his tone’s mix of intensity with occasional frivolity.

Occasionally, the black panther curled at his feet would look over at Comma, who stroked the cat’s fur in return.

When a new patron entered the tavern sat at a table not far away, everyone noticed the man. The newcomer’s dress and mask made him stand out: he was dressed in plain brown clerical robes--but not the robes of the Mother Church nor the Milandric Church--and he wore a painted porcelain mask that marked him as a val’Mordane--and a val’Mordane from Canceri no less. Other customers tried not to be rude, but there were glares and a few people tensed up as the man settled in at his table.

Looking back to his friends, Comma started a new conversation to break the awkward silence, “Did I ever tell you about the one and only time I went to Canceri? I needed to retrieve the body of a late relative. If you think the infernals were bad near the Wall, you should try going to Nishanpur sometime. We val’Mehan have the attitude of binding and using those infernals we can and destroying the others, but some of those Sarishans actually chose to bargain with the unbound. At least they treat all their favored vals like nobility and priests there--as long as you follow local customs and laws and can stomach the vile torture and inhumanity of the place.

A Myrantian man who had been sitting nearby, silently reading a scroll and occasionally glancing over, spoke up. “Master, we had to swear . . .

The val waved the human off and continued, “Well, some of the worst memories I could live without, like the torture chamber, but I did learn a few new tricks and managed to pick up a couple nifty souvenirs in the Trade Quarter. Did you hear that their Grand Library was . . .

Your hands!!!” The Cancerese val’Mordane had been gradually listening in on the conversation about his homeland, and now he approached in an aggressive manner.

The panther sat up and started to growl softly. The val'Mehan gestured toward the cat and spoke a few words in Infernal, and the great cat lay back down yet kept his eyes on the Cancereseman, whose head tilted and body leaned back upon watching that little exchange.

Oh, there is blood on my hands from the Crusade, my friend, but I swear to Sarish that I obeyed the local laws of Canceri by striking no priest and by striking no one except in self-defense. Those Devils of the Mark help limit bloodshed anyway.

That is not what I meant,” the Canceseman responded in a thick accent as his body tensed a bit, “and you know it. Where did you get . . . those?” His masked aimed his vision at the val’s hands.

I swear to Sarish that I also obeyed the local laws by not stealing from a priest.” Comma’s tone was shifting a tad to be a little more serious and less jovial. After a moment’s pause, he elaborated, “All items I took with me from Nishanpur either I brought there with me, or I purchased there legally, or a binding contract transferred them into my possession. I so swear by the Oathmaker.” Having had his say, his demeanor shifted back towards a serious smile.

The Cancereseman seemed dubious, “So you say, but . . .” His unfamiliarity with Low Coryani and hesitancy to make a scene in Milandir seemed to make the val’Mordane speak slowly.

Comma’s tone shifted to genuine friendliness. “Oh, I don’t think we’ve been introduced,” he said, standing up and revealing the full extent of his short stature. Someone who’d never seen a dwarf before might mistake him for a beardless dwarf. He smiled broadly and shook the stranger’s hand. “I’m Sestius Ovidius val’Mehan, though you can call me Comma. And this is my tutor, Khamat.” He gestured at the Myrantian.

As he instinctively took Comma’s hand, the Cancereseman looked down and seemed hesitant, and he almost started to pull back—but then he almost immediately perked up. “My name is Jerich. It is a true pleasure to meet you. I am certain we can be friends.” Comma gestured for Jerich to take a seat nearby, and the two new friends spoke about Nishanpur and the latest news from there.

_________________
David Thomas Chappell
Sestius Ovidius val'Mehan Comma and Khamat - psion patrician diplomatic legate and his Myrantian tutor
Quintus Ovidius val'Mehan - patrician military tribune
Amadi val'Abebi - Monk of Althares
Talathos - choleric Kelekene dabbler


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 Post subject: Re: Stories of Arcanis Heroes
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:17 pm 
"On Glory,"
an essay by Denevir of Sicaris as transcribed by Douglass of Blackwand.


"Before I was a gladiator I was a slave.

A few of you know this already; some of you might even have owned or used me.

Many wiser and more word-smart survivors have painted the pain of the slave in greater beauty and clarity then I ever could, so I'll keep my respectful distance with this quote from an Altherian gentlemen who wrote, "There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven who does not know that slavery is wrong for him."

His name is Frederick something-or-another.

I took a scrap of page, but not the book, and thus cannot remember all of the author's name.

I'm not really a book person.

That's not important, or not important to these words.

I bend my knee to the Blade of Glory, to the Lord of Battle, to eternal Nier in constant pursuit of greater foes, of more dangerous treks, of further causes to champion and peoples to liberate because while I feel the same hot outrage at the torture of the weak and the gross abuses of those who think themselves strongest that anyone not mad or Cancerese must feel in truth that is all I can do.

I cannot organize a freeman's warband. I cannot pen books brilliant in thinking to tear the foundations from my enemy's reasons. I cannot bring such music as to crack the coldest hearts of the distant mighty with all-powerful compassion.*

These would be the righteous weapons of Hurrian and Altheres and Cadic, and I thank them who wield them on behalf of those most needy.

Nier asks only that I fight and that I constantly hunt for my next challenger. He will find them, and in turn they will find me.

There is a kind of sad triumph in facing another slave in an arena. I look into their eyes as I always do and I know them as myself when I see that unique hard gratitude. We both understand that there are only two outcomes, and that they are both good.

One of us dies and thus gains the final, ultimate freedom.

And the other stands that much higher in the eyes of the roaring crowd that will gladly elevate us beyond our presumed status as tools and toys.

No mistake -we all desire to live, we all know love and comradeship of some kind.

Yet well all understand that some part of us is forever in irons and that in death we shed it forever.

My plinth, like all the others, will bear the names of the champions I bested as the price of it's consecration. They will announce me before the Judgement of Nier.

In doing so I make them part of my own legend; in doing so I pull us all towards the Paradise of the Gods.

If I fall to another I will do the same. They will prove themselves that much greater; I will have proved myself worthy of being a part of their own legend.

I was a slave, and I wish that slave to be forgotten.

That person has no place in the shadow of my myth; those who tell my story will have forgotten that shivering, lost wretch and replaced her with a towering hero who strides across the Known Lands with horns on her head, a grin on her face and a weapon notched on the skulls of the vanquished.

In true Glory I can say, "I was not property. I was a person. Now I am become history itself."

In becoming a legend I am undeniably proving that I am greater a person than any of my former masters ever could have believed.

They are rightfully forgotten stains on the bottom the cauldron; I will be announced by such a legion of fiends and horrors and champions that The Judgement of Nier himself will smile as the gates of the Paradise of the Gods swing open and we all find rest at last.

Thus is the path of Glory.

Thus is my way.

Faithfully,
Denevir.
The Gorehorn, the Red Widow, the Sicarite Seven Slayer.
Champion of the Pits, Warrior of Nier, and constant Crusader.


*the scribe I have hired, Douglass of Blackwand, asks me "what about an army? That glory of a conquering general?"
For one I am no military genius.
For another the difference between a Conquerer and a Rapist is one of spelling and nothing more.
(It is with this recorded protest at my statement that we return to the topic.)


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