Jump to content

Sir Nathaniel

Members
  • Content Count

    939
  • Joined

  • Last visited

 Content Type 

Profiles

Forums

Articles

Lagrimosa Lore

SidenavTest

Posts posted by Sir Nathaniel


  1. Max's swords erupted into flames as he drew them, but the magic enhancing his physique seemed to somehow amplify with Iseult's prayers; he felt stronger, faster than he ever had before. Under normal circumstances, his abilities were indeed increased by prayer, but this? This was so very different. He stood taller, more erect, ready, even as he considered  the situation before him. 

    Three times before, in Iselyr, Nathan and Antares had clashed. All three bouts had ended indecisively, with neither man able to best the other. Despite being Nathan's apprentice for the last decade, Max had never once been able to defeat his mentor in any of their sparring matches, even though he was stronger. Nathan's skill with a blade far surpassed any of the Watchers by a wide margin, and he had an enhanced physicality of his own. 

    Not great odds, but Max ignored the gnawing feeling in his gut and lunged at his opponent, attacking with a left to right stroke. Antares had drawn his own sword, a long and wickedly curved blade and parried. He then countered with a riposte in a motion so smoothly and elegantly that even Max was impressed. Necromancer or not, he couldn't help but admire the discipline and pinpoint skill in his swordsmanship. Truly, Antares was a foe to be feared.

    The Angel Knight ducked under the counterattack and brought his right blade up at the Necromancer's wrist in a rising disabling slash. Max's own style was rough, but his own skill and strength were undeniable, yet he could tell the villain was only toying with him. With consummate and casual ease he stepped back outside the reach of Max's short sword and wove into a second counterattack. His blade sang as he brought it around in a side slash, just narrowly missing Max's neck as he leaned back in a clumsy way. 

    The fight fell into a pattern: Each man attacked and dodged and countered each other with speed and strength beyond human limits, but neither could successfully land a hit.

    That changed however when Gale leaped into the battle from somewhere else with a pirouette, turning it into a left to right slash. The Fairy Knight landed a hit below the villain's shoulder plate. The blade sparked as it grazed his steel but did not bite into flesh; Antares had moved to counter too quickly.

    Together, the brothers drove their opponent back with their combined strength. Whenever one attacked, the other covered him. Anytime the necromancer attempted to strike, one, (usually Max) held him off with a furious charge.

    There was cold anger on Antares's face as he ducked, dodged and wove around his two opponents, unable to finish them, but his armor deflected every strike.

    The battle had ground into a deadly stalemate.


  2. Just then, the air around the cult's fleet began to shift and crackle; wind blowing much more fiercely than before as the telltale signs of a gruelling lightning storm formed in the clouds around their outer ships. Black and grey storm clouds formed around them, obscuring their vision and making their escape that much more difficult. 

    Onboard the Stormbreaker, Nathan's eyes were shut in deep meditation, focused on maintaining the storm. An idea he had, in addition to acting as the hammer of the allied forces was to divide and disorient the enemy using his weather manipulation powers. Since merging with Max, his abilities had further enhanced. Before, all he could do was project and control lightning. Now, he could master the weather itself. He could create confusion and havoc among the air by disrupting the wind currents and the clouds. 

     

    The one downside to this was the fact he could not maintain it and direct his ship at the same time. It required all his concentration. The task of keeping it airborne and firing fell to Arthur, his second in command. 

    Once the order came for open fire ovrr the open comms, Arthur nodded to the crew. 

    "Man the gun turrets. Every one of them." He ordered. "Concentrate all your fire on the nearest warship."

    Throughout the ship's cavernous interior, the engineers went to work supplying each of the cannons with fresh cartridges. The first of the forward gunners immediately adjusted their guns and waited. 

    "All guns, open fire!" Arthur barked. 

    Outside, the first volley was unleashed. The Stormbreaker's guns quickly tore into the nearest enemy vessel, doing visible damage. All around the Watchers' ship, allied forces did the same. A crossfire between the two sides began to unfold: Amidst the whirling missiles, explosions that filled the air and raining fire, the storm Jameson had conjured kept up, just outside the allied fleet. 

    The battle had begun in earnest.


  3. It took a half a second for Nathan to break into a run. The fact he was almost behind Igni as she thrashed and bucked about made his target a little easier. He ran like a man possessed, faster than any normal man could move. Even to Max's enhanced eyes, it was difficult to keep up with his movement. 

    Better to focus on the present problem.

    Turning to Antares, Max drew up his swords and charged.

    Nathan paused just long enough to bend his legs, then jumped, carried upward by his powerful legs. He landed on Igni's back, just below her neck. 

    "Hold still, please." He muttered. "I've got to get that thing off you."

    It took him a moment, not made any easier by Igni's thrashing, but he hurried up her back and seized the collar with both hands. For several seconds he tried to unbind it, but the cursed thing did not budge. 

    "Get off her, damn you!" He growled, prying away at it with difficulty. "Come off!" 

    It took another few moments, but finally, the iron began to give way under his strength. A final grunt of exertion and he pulled it loose, the chains ripping and shattering. 

    With a disgusted face, Nathan hurled the collar aside, making a mental note to melt it into scrap metal later. For now it was a matter of ensuring Igni was alright.

    "Igni, talk to me, are you still you?" He asked, touching the skin on the back of her neck with one hand. "Are you alright my friend?"


  4. "Stand aside, Igni." Nathan growled. From the glow in his eyes and the way he marched forward, undaunted by the flames, it was obvious he was made blind and deaf by grief and rage.

    Suddenly, Max appeared before them in a blur; his movement faster than any human eye could keep up with. His white hair and silver steel armor had been smudged with gore, but the glow in his eyes was just as fierce as Nathan's. With one hand, he seized Nathan by the shoulder and held him in place. The pauldron began to buckle under the Angel Knight's considerable strength.

    "She is right, Master." He said sternly. "You are acting like a fool."

    "Let go of my arm, Max." Nathan snarled. For one long, terrible moment, it seemed like they would come to blows.

    "Come to your senses!" The Angel Knight roared. "You taught me that revenge blackens the soul. Is your code so easily cast aside?"

    Nathan exhaled sharply, took several deep breaths and eased his hard stance.

    "You know as well as I do what that sorcerer is capable of, Max." He said, his rage receding somewhat. "I have to kill him and smash that amulet into pieces."

    "And we will, but not for revenge." Max replied. "Your selfish act has nearly placed yourself in danger. Worse still, you brought Igni down here. Is she not exactly what he wants?"

    "Indeed she is!" Said another voice. "You are mine, beast!"

    Suddenly, Antares appeared in a flash in midair - landing straight on Igni's back, just above her neck, in his right hand was a metal collar, spiked and with heavy chains attached. It took an instant for Nathan to recognize the magical symbols carved into it: Spells of subjugation and mental control. He had counted on this very moment. With a sudden jerk, he slapped it around her neck - then attempted to lock it. However, before he could secure it fully, another lightning blast hit him straight in the chest - knocking him off. He hit the ground, hard, several feet away.

    "Igni!" Nathan said, concerned. His rage was forgotten for the moment as he ran to her side. "Are you alright?"


  5. "To all Force Majure aircraft in Nu Martyr space," another voice added to the ever growing chorus of cadences in the vox communication network. "This is Sir Nathaniel Jameson, leader of the Watchers team commanding the Stormbreaker. Our ship is ready to do its part."

    To all familiar with the Watchers of Genesaris, it was obvious they had decided that now was the time to announce their grand return and finish what was started in the last war.

    Since the end of that conflict, both the cavernous ship they had absconded with and its commander had undergone a serious transformation. Previously it was a freighter, the air equivalent of a draft horse, meant for ferrying passengers and cargo. Now it could rightly be called a warship. The engineers and scientists they had evacuated to their new homes in Genesaris had worked tirelessly to reconstruct the ship into another powerful weapon to use against their enemies. The broadside had been fitted and bristled with cannons and anti fighter guns, each powerful enough to shoot down an individual fighter with a single, direct shot.

    Armored plates and some additional wind shielding were fitted on both the bow and the upper deck to protect its crew and to allow it the capability of ramming straight through enemy vessels. 

    The downside to all its upgrades was that it came at the expense of speed and maneuverability. Unlike others of its kind, the Stormbreaker was rebuilt for staying power and sheer strength above all. It would need to be so if it were to accomplish its mission. Per Nathan's plan, the Stormbreaker would act as the hammer that would smash through the enemy fleet and provide the allies with an opening. If it succeeded in breaking all the way through to Lilith's flagship, all would be well and good. If it failed, he hoped to still influence the fight in whatever way he could.

    Nathan himself had changed for this battle as well. Since he had defeated his old adversary, Antares, a near death experience had made him undergo a major transformation. By merging with his ally, Max, he had acquired a far greater power than he had ever thought possible. Quite literally, their two souls and bodies had become one. Now one being, his strength had increased exponentially, possibly even enough to challenge Lilith herself. 

    Onboard the Stormbreaker's command seat, he sat, overlooking the unfolding situation with new eyes. Blue eyes scanned the sky, which the crew could not help but notice were glowing. Electricity crackled across Nathan's armor and body in short bursts, as did ethereal blue flames, a telltale sign of just how enraged he was under the surface.

    "I come for you, sorceress." He muttered; the glow in his eyes intensifying. "This time, you will not evade me."


  6. "Arthur, you have the wall." Nathan said softly. From the tone in his voice and the glow in his eye, his rage had not subsided, but it was now focused - much like the guardsman had seen before during the battle with the Cult. Unlike before though, Arthur knew that this time, it was very personal. His ex-wife's murderer had just taken a direct hit against him and now it was Nathan on the warpath. Although Arthur wondered for a minute if his friend was not thinking clearly, he decided Nathan knew best. There were few who knew battle as well as he - and he was by far the very best swordsman of all of them. That and his experience at war was exactly why he was the one in charge. Arthur himself was no stranger to command, and so he was prepared to take command until Nathan spoke his next words.

    "We need to destroy the amulet. If all else fails, I will deliver the finishing blow to it with my own sword."

    Now, Arthur was aghast. "That's suicide! The amulet contains raw power, it will destroy you both."

    "A necessary sacrifice to protect these people and our dragon friend." Nathan replied coolly. "I've come prepared: I will die to exterminate great evil. That is why the Watchers were created." He put a hand on Arthur's shoulder. "It's been an honor serving with you, brother."

    Before Arthur could say another word, Nathan took off and leaped from the wall.

    He landed, hard, on his feet on the ground below, unharmed. Standing to his full height, sword in hand, Nathan charged forward.

    "Stubborn, self-righteous asshole." Arthur muttered under his breath.
     

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________


    Nathan strode about the battlefield in a familiar pattern - sword strikes followed by lightning bolts fired from the sky, incinerating every war machine or cluster of corpses he came across. He fought like a man possessed; his anger having been harnessed, focused into a whirlwind of controlled violence. He made the most of every swing, every backhand, every counterstroke and riposte. Although it helped that his foes were unwieldy and clumsy with their weapons, Nathan's skills were like nothing any of the men had ever seen. Even fighting the cult, he had held back out of fear of harming his comrades. This was Nathan letting loose with everything he had. Every stroke downed a foe or rent heads from shoulders. Some he even sliced cleanly in half before finishing them off with a flash of white hot electricity. His sword was a blur; even his return movement to a relaxed stance was so fast that none of the onlookers could see it happen.

    Throughout it all, though, Nathan's expression was serene; not the slightest hint of emotion betrayed the inner inferno. His face was a picture of control, even as he ripped through the living dead like wheat before a scythe. In only a few minutes, he fleetingly realized he had cut down an entire platoon's worth of them. Scattered body parts and burnt, blackened corpses were all that remained to mark their passing.

    "Where are you, Antares?" He murmured, his eyes scanned the surroundings. Louder, he called, "Come out and face me!"


  7. The boulder never had a chance to connect - as a bolt of lightning, brighter than any of the defenders had ever seen flashed down from the heavens and destroyed it in mid flight- and whatever was left fell harmlessly down to earth. Above the wall, Nathan glared, having barely moved a muscle as he commanded the storm through his will. His gaze met with his enemy far below, and to anyone watching it was impossible for them to tell which set of eyes were filled with more hatred.

    "Nathan!" Called Antares, raising his arm in a token of parley. The dead surrounding him immediately stopped what they were doing. "I have to admit, I was not expecting to find people here, much less you. I thought you had died in Iselyr, but you are as annoyingly stubborn as ever, I see. This battle is folly; you must understand. My forces are without number and yours will dwindle. I give you this one option: Surrender the dragon and I will leave you in peace."

    "You've no claim to her, Antares!" Nathan roared back. "Take yourself from here before I take your head!"

    "So be it." Antares said with a cruel smile. "But let me ask you something before you die." He looked directly in Nathan's eyes and just then, the amulet shimmered. "Have you ever wondered whatever happened to your wife? I slew her - not one day after she annulled your union. And her soul is now within this amulet. It empowers me, along with all the others I have slain."

    "I am going to gut you." Nathan said softly. His grip on his sword tightened - and his jaw clenched and the telltale flash of electricity started to crackle from his eyes. 

    "You have lost your temper." Antares' smile widened. "The great paladin - Nathaniel Jameson has finally succumbed to his rage."

    "Antares..." Nathan murmured, his tone was icily calm. "Stop talking."

    Just then, a massive bolt of lightning shot down from the clouds - brighter and more intense than the previous one - striking the area where Antares' horse stood - forking out in every direction and obliterated every cadaver it touched. Only fading screams remained of those that were hit as they were wiped out - and black ash began to fall like rain over the field. Moments later, thunder clapped, loud enough to make every human's ears ache with just how loud it boomed over the field. Only Nathan did not cover his ears from the sound.

    Just as quickly as it appeared, the bolt dissipated, leaving behind a scorched crater in the earth where it had hit. Only when the clouds of smoke parted did it reveal Antares, standing there unharmed. His horse however had been reduced to ash - not a trace of it remained. Slowly, the sorcerer clapped his hands.

    "Fantastic light show." He said sarcastically. "But that was rather wasteful. That was my favorite horse you just destroyed. I think though a better mount would be your draconic friend."

    "Open fire." Nathan raised his arm again. "Destroy him!"

    "Warriors, forward!" Antares replied, snapping his fingers. A moment later, he vanished in a puff of smoke. As he faded from sight, the horde renewed its attack - more forcefully than before. Some of them began to attempt to scale the wall, only to have the defenders rain arrows upon them. When a few did reach the walls the defenders dumped barrels of holy water. Directed by Gale's magic, the water began to take shape and solidified into ice - impaling dozens of them.

    "Find that sorcerer." Nathan growled, though no one was sure who he was talking to. "Find him and bring him to me so I can kill him myself!"


  8. I have only one request: When the actual topic in which Lilith is taken down, that someone shoot me a PM and a link. That is all. As it stands, I am with Ataraxy in trying my absolute hardest to stay on Valucre with the limited amount of time I have. Things are going to be a little less hectic soon, I can tell, but there's going to be a time period where I might be AFV for a long while. At the very least, know that I am still very much interested in having the Watchers team play a role.


  9. Per Nathan's plan, the younger Morn twin was running his assault along the enemy's left flank - destroying whatever creatures they could before withdrawing a safe distance away to regroup. Because there were no horses, they instead relied on pre-prepared hiding spots in the plain or in the woods; dugouts and small trenches where his troops could rearm or rest under cover. They had already slain dozens of corpses in the forest and with their traps, but more would be coming.

    Even so, he was glad for the Isolde's intervention. The men's morale seemed to be boosted as Isolde prepared herself for the fight - doubly so when he watched from his spot as Max joined her, spouting sermons and prayers of righteous wrath. The excited mood was almost palpable as he watched the two of them lay into their first attackers with sword and shield. They could well handle the direct approach to the battle.

    Elias' speciality lay in stealth and speed and ranged combat. For his task he forewent his spear and instead had picked a pair of twin hand crossbows. They were loaded with smaller bolts than normal and were easy to reload and could fire several shots a minute. Each shot fired found its mark - one or two corpses here or there, yes, but mostly he targeted any living enemy troops. Without them, the horde would lose cohesion and the enemy leader would find it harder to maintain control of his forces. Little details like this added up and could gradually turn the tide of battle.

    Elias loaded another shot, took aim and fired - and yet another necromancer went down; a bolt in his neck, the fourth one he had killed so far. Beat that Arthur, he thought with a smirk.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    Max was by far the happiest of the brothers to be back in the heat of war. To a man like him, there was no greater pleasure than to serve the Heavens on the battlefield and it was obvious from the great, joyful grin he had on his face that he was already having the time of his life, even before the first corpse shambled towards him. Before the fight had begun, he had knelt in prayer - beseeching the Heavens to grant him strength. When the enemy made contact on the plain outside, where Nathan had entrusted him to hold off their attackers from breaching the gate.

    "Ask of me and I shall give thee heathen for inheritance - and for thine possession, the end of the Earth." He quoted as he drew his twin short swords. "I shall break them with a rod of iron. I shall dash them into pieces like a potter's vessel. Be wise therefore ye Kings. Be admonished ye judges of Valucre. Serve the Heavens with fear and rejoice with trembling - though Their wrath be kindled but little."

    The first attacker was a sickly looking thing; a pale skinned wight - once a human male. It was bloated from its time in the earth - and all of its hair had fallen out, as had its teeth; in their place were rocks and dirt - both telltale signs of being recently raised from the dead.

    Max grinned savagely as he put his swords into a cross shape - just as the corpse reached out for him with rotting hands, then sheared them off with one swing each. No blood came from the severed stumps as the heat from his blades cauterized the wounds. A second swing from the left and he severed the creature's jugular - and a moment later the head fell from its shoulders.

    "Amen." He intoned as he watched the body fall to the ground with a wet thump. One down, many more to go.

    He went about the battlefield before the gate - cutting apart any enemy troops that came at him with single blows and he went about his task with a song in his heart and a prayer on his lips. 

    "Through the victories you give, the glory is great; you will bestow on us splendor and greatness. Surely you grant us eternal blessings and made us glad with joy. For we mortals trusts in the Heavens; through the unfailing love of the Most High we will not be shaken. Your hands will lay hold on all our enemies; your right hands will seize our foes. At this time we will make them burn like in a fiery furnace. In wrath, the fire will swallow them up, and the holy will consume them."

    At his words, his body began to glow and radiate heat. Flames appeared on his blades and every corpse caught within its range was set ablaze. Each swing and backhand and strike was followed by a blast of fire so bright and intense that it reduced any cadavers he killed to ash.
     

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    Atop the wall, just as Igni was about to take off and take flight - Nathan watched as his brothers went about their task with an impassive expression. His face was a mask - but to any who might look closer, there was cold fury in his eyes.

    "Wait for my signal, then unleash hell." He instructed his dragon friend. He slowly raised his arm, then signaled the archers to ready themselves.

    Arthur mentally noted Nathan's voice had changed. Unlike the soft, almost musically smooth voice he had before, his tone and cadence had become as cold and hard as steel. The look in his eyes was that of a man who stood to lose everything and was absolutely determined to not let that happen. From what little Arthur knew of Nathan's past, he had been married once before - but was divorced, yet still loved his ex. That was where Arthur's knowledge ended. He had only known Nathan for four short years, yet he was still among his closest, dearest friends. Even so, whenever he broached the subject as to what had happened to his ex wife after their separation, Nathan turned uncharacteristically stern and warned him never to ask again.

    Arthur did not need to be psychic to know that his friend was masking a deeper pain - and if this man before them were to cause such a reaction, then obviously he was somehow connected. Other than that incident, Arthur had only seen Nathan's anger flare once before - during the war with the Cult of Power in Nu Martyr - and his fury was a frightening sight to behold. 

    "Archers!" Arthur announced. "Nock! Draw! LOOSE!"

    At his command, the archers and crossbowmen readied themselves, aimed and let loose a rain of arrows. The first volley dropped dozens of creatures as shafts embedded themselves in heads and bodies. Every marskman's aim was excellent - and Arthur couldn't help but admire the discipline and focus in every man and woman as they repeated this action. Because of the blessings from Max and Isolde, each shot also caused the corpses to burst into flame and drop after a few seconds of burning.

    Just as they readied a second volley, a line of enemy war machines rolled up and started a bombardment of their own. A few ballistae shots were fired - but they stopped just short of hitting the infantry on the walls. Instead, they struck the walls themselves and either embedded themselves into the stone or bounced harmlessly off.

    "Now." Nathan said, lowering his arm. "Destroy those weapons before they reload. Let the enemy know the wrath of a dragon."


  10. "The other half of our number are noncombatants. They have no combat training or means to defend themselves." Nathan explained. "They do however have artisans, builders and engineers. People who will rebuild this town once the battle is concluded."

    Arthur nodded. "I'm sure it will shine brighter than it has ever before. And it'll be a fortress. Any attacker will find it too tough a nut to crack."

    "Indeed. But before then, I have a plan." Nathan smacked his fist into his palm. "Because the horde doesn't know we're here, and they are after our dragon friend here - we have the advantage of surprise. Gather up everyone who can work, we'll set up some additional defenses."

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
     

    Per Nathan's plan, a number of citizens, (most of them stonemasons) gathered outside the walls and began to fortify them wherever possible. Because there was only one major entrance to the city in the front, they buttressed the door and shored up any cracks that might have appeared. It was a task that was made easier by just how sturdy it was built. While the bulk of the enemy force was engaged with the defenders atop the wall, small groups would hit the enemy from the woods along the flank and from behind, most of them woodsman and archers led by Elias - as he had the most skill in forest fighting.

    Because there were so few, it was decided they would be volunteers who knew the risk. Twenty or so did volunteer for this task.

    Next, Gale and Isolde worked together to create pits filled with holy water - a virtual minefield of them outside the walls to act as traps for any advancing units. Each of them would be deep and wide enough to destroy or weaken about half a dozen foes at least. Since his expertise was in fluid movement, he figured that he would do best in open ground. Once the enemy force was driven back or weakened enough, he believed his best spot would be to lead a battalion outside to meet the enemy in open ground and possibly try to kill the enemy's commander. Max would aid him in this endeavor - as he would light the plain outside with his fire powers - giving them breathing room and cover to retreat if necessary.

    Arthur, given his expertise was in commanding troops was to hold the wall. He chose archers, crossbowmen and other missile troops to sustain their defense. Any advancing forces would find the defenders well protected by high walls or by murder holes. 

    Finally, Igni would swoop in and devastate the enemy with her fiery breath, destroying as many of their war machines as possible, along with however many undead she could. Because she was the enemy's greatest priority, she was to be protected at all cost.

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    Three days and nights of uneasy peace passed, during which time, Nathan and his men hunted for deer or fished in the river - bringing back large quantities of game and fish for sustenance. Given their host's appetite and the size of the number of their people, they made sure to stock up on their rations whenever possible; a task which was much easier given how little of it had spoiled. Many larders and well stocked basements and cellars were to be found in the town; most of it either frozen or preserved with salt. The river allowed them an abundance in the way of clean, drinkable water. 

    Finally, on the third day, just after midday, the first scouts began to return with news that the horde was inbound. No doubt, Nathan said, the enemy would be assaulting the town in force and try to overwhelm its defenders with numbers, but the defenses they had prepared would beat them back. Above all, he explained to his men, the priority was to kill the enemy necromancer in charge - if he were to die, the horde would crumble.

    With that, they took up positions, everyone following their assigned duty and waited.

     

    It was not a long wait, but it was difficult all the same: A calm before the storm. Off in the distance, visible even from the top of the wall, there were the telltale signs of an approaching army; the pounding march of withered feet and the stench of carrion carried by the wind. To those in high places, they could make out individual shapes here or there - towering flesh giants and creatures stitched together from multiple body parts. Ghastly war machines were indeed in the vanguard, constructed from wood and bone and loaded with flaming boulders.

    In the town, the people huddled together under the roof of the church. Women, children, the elderly and sick; all of their faces alight with worry. The one or two priests among them were preaching and praying; urging them to have faith.


    All along the wall stood lines of archers; Arthur and Nathan standing above the ramparts of the gate.

    Before the battle could begin, Nathan decided a little spying mission would be in order. 

    "Arthur, open a line of telepathy." He rumbled. "I want to get a closer look at our enemy and let our allies know who we are facing."

    Arthur nodded, then closed his eyes in concentration. A split second later, his mind's eye opened and his brain was flooded with images of possible futures, but he ignored the visions, focusing instead on the enemy's leader. A tall figure appeared in his vision - at least equal to Nathan in height and in build. Long black hair hung over his shoulders and icy blue eyes looked up at him. They narrowed. The sorcerer in charge was clearly aware someone had attempted to scry his mind. A split second later, the vision was blurred and cut out - and Arthur nearly fell from the sudden feedback - but the last thing he glimpsed was... a talisman, emanating great power.

     

    Nathan put his hand on his comrade's shoulder to steady him. 

    "What did you see?" 

    Arthur shook his head. "I'm not sure, but the enemy knows we're here now. He's a sorcerer alright. More powerful than anyone I've ever seen."

    The thought came, along with a memory to Nathan's mind. Could it be?

    "Did you get a glimpse?" 

    Arthur nodded. "A man wearing red armor with an amulet around his neck."

    There was no doubt.

    "Arthur, let all of our brothers know it's an old enemy, one I thought we destroyed long ago."

    Nathan's eyes turned white as his pupils vanished as he willed a storm into existence. After a moment, a bolt of lightning shot down from the heavens and engulfed him entirely - nearly blinding all who looked with dazzling illumination. Moments later, he emerged - unharmed and transformed: His entire body now wrapped in gilded, steel plate armor - and his sword in hand. Eyes narrowed in resolve, just as a surge of hatred filled every portion of Nathan's being.

    "Let's kill him properly this time."

    ___________________________________________________________________________________________

     

    At the head of the horde of living death, the sorcerer in charge was surprised at the sudden interference. More, he was annoyed. There were not supposed to be people here; much less an entire force of the living. The psychic that attempted to probe his mind was a mere amateur, but he was only half of a pair - together they might pose a threat to him, especially with what else was waiting. They had company - and a major irritant he thought had died with Iselyr, five years ago.

    "So, Nathan, still alive are you? And once again, you try to spoil my plans." He muttered to himself. "Very well."

    With that, he mentally signaled his troops to advance.

    Almost immediately, just before they could reach the treeline, dozens of them were ensnared in traps - spike pits and bear traps and falling rocks from the trees assailed his force. More emerged from the forest, only to be destroyed by gas deposits in the plain. Within minutes, dozens - almost a half a hundred of his warriors had fallen in explosions; their frail bodies ripped apart or pulverized by shrapnel.

    "A surprise welcome is it?" Antares murmured with a smirk. "I love surprises."

    Further along, his army advanced - approaching the town - only the left wing had failed to appear. Mentally, he reached out - only to find that several dozen more had already fallen. Probably an unwelcome hunting party in the woods - cutting down his troops in the flank. Sure enough, moments later there came a living party of humans emerging from the foliage and into the open plain and heading for the town.

    With a scowl, he followed their destination and looked at the city walls - sure enough, there was a familiar bolt of lightning appearing in the sky, which then shot down onto a single spot. 

    "There you are."

    Telepathically, he commanded his warriors to move forward - the entire force as one. Like ants from a hill, they emerged from the forest - thousands of them, all approaching the city in unison.

    "Kill them all, my warriors!" Antares Draugur roared, drawing his sword and urging his skeletal horse forward. "Leave none alive! To WAR!!"


  11. Mentally, Nathan slapped himself. He had annoyed her. Such hadn't been his intention, but at least she was receptive to his offer. That was his window of opportunity and he was not one to let such a chance slip away. She seemed to have a selfish streak, he noted, but at the very least she had a system of morality. That was something he could work with. With time, he believed he could reach her. It was almost a manipulative thing, not at all unlike how he guided his men - teaching and encouraging them to allow that inner goodness to emerge. In her service, he very much hoped for a similar outcome. Such a thing would go a long way to building a lasting peace between the people and her.

    "I am human, yes." He responded then ran a hand through his hair after she sniffed him. "But because of my Magic, I believe I will live far longer than normal human. My powers are to command all electricity and lightning. Such powers can also enhance my physical attributes. That includes my lifespan. Compared to you, I am still a mayfly, but at the very least, I think I shall live two or even three centuries."

    He stood to his full height. "With the Gods as my witnesses, I accept your terms." He said after only a moment. "I am at your beck and call. Now, if you will excuse me, there is an... unwelcome presence approaching. I had best help my men prepare. But rest assured, you'll have a contract in writing later, at the victory feast."

    Before he turned to leave, he flashed her a winning grin. "And from the bottom of my heart - I thank you, friend."

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    It took a moment, as if he were processing her words, but Gale nodded with a smile and a short laugh. 

    "You have passed my test, good lady." He said after a moment. "Forgive me, but I was only seeing what manner of woman you are. Rare indeed are any that respond so eloquently and so firmly to my rudeness. I see that you are spirited, too; a good trait to have. I rarely ever change my opinion, but you have convinced me of your trustworthiness. Rest assured, now we have no further issue."

    "Indeed." Said Max cheerfully. "The Gods smiled upon our Master when he found you. A figure of holiness you say?" He leaned forward, his white hair hung over his blue eyes. They practically glowed with eagerness. To any close observer, they could tell indeed he also had a touch of the divine within him. "I too am a servant of the Heavens. But my abilities are rather more destructive. My gift is to wield purifying flames. The enemy truly has much to fear from us: The Watchers and their new sister!" He pumped his fist in the air. "Come, let us prepare."

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    Out in the fields, just outside the city walls, the Morn brothers went about their tasks with zeal. Under Arthur's tutelage, every man at arms who was trained for straight combat was organized into infantry units, each designated a number. Because of the lacking of uniform armor and armaments, whatever could be used as protection or weapon was pressed into service. Hopefully there was an armory or a blacksmith's shop somewhere in the city and they could get some proper equipment where it was needed. The living dead would be a similarly unruly mob, so to take the advantage, he needed both hardware and discipline.

    In that, at least, the task for organizing them into formation was made easy as the majority of his forces were long serving professional, knightly troops. The few that were green were still battle-hardened by the fighting in Nu Martyr, so he could count on that in lieu of actual combat training, at least until they could set up headquarters and formally instruct them at a later date.

    His task was similarly made easier by the fact these men were volunteers - and because of his own experience as a city guardsman. These men were fighting for their families and a potential new place to call home; both powerful motivators.

    "Commander, I have the count." Said the Sergeant in the front company, nearest to his right; a short, bald man with a neat black beard. "Our total strength reaches 422 men at arms and 78 volunteer militia. That is a total of 500 combat-ready troops."

    "501, Sergeant." Said Arthur, folding his arms behind his back. "That includes myself."

    "Yes, sir." Said the Sergeant. "If we can get some proper swords and spears, we will make the enemy pay."

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
     

    Elsewhere, just inside the town, near the inner part of the wall below the central keep where Igni resided, the younger Morn twin, Elias, found what he was looking for: A church dedicated to the faith of the Dragon God, Valjer. It was an old one; long since abandoned, but it was still beautiful. As was true to the Dragon God's faith, it was a simple wooden building with a shrine in the center, depicting the deity by a gold statue with rubies for eyes. Simple, yes, but large enough to safely keep the other half of the people they had brought: Those who were too old, too young or too ill to fight.

    "This will be the sanctuary to keep the nonmilitary personnel." He said, almost to himself. To his lieutenant, the swordsman that first spoke to Igni, he instructed. "Tell the citizens this will be their place when the battle is joined. Tell them to remain here until the fighting has subsided." His lieutenant nodded. To the depiction of the God, Elias grinned teasingly. "Great Dragon, my brother believes in you. If you truly are real, then we will need your aid."

    Ah, but then, they did have an actual Dragon, here, in this very town. Maybe He had given them His aid after all.



     

    ((The next post is when the battle begins))


  12. "Well, not exactly. It is as you say; a well defended place. But the fact that you were here to begin with was indeed an unknown factor. I'm afraid I don't even know its name." Nathan replied coolly. His tone was still conversational and he did not flinch, nor stir when Igni's tail nearly struck him. He merely sat there, waiting and listening intently while she spoke. When he was certain she was finished, he folded his hands in his lap. He seemed to be perfectly at ease, despite the obvious displeasure of his host. "I suspect were there other, less scrupulous humans - they would not have thought twice about trying to end your life. I can assure, however that neither my brothers nor do any of these people have any interest in harming you or causing any more trouble."

    A pause. Then he continued. "And per your other question, I'm afraid all we have to offer at the moment is the gratitude of these people. Mine own as well. Though, perhaps the future may hold more." He regarded her curiously, not a trace of fear on his face. "If you truly wish it so, then we'll leave once this business with the dead is concluded. But, if you allow it, we'd rebuild this town - repair the damage done - and set up a new, better life for everyone here. For you as well. We would give any offerings of food you desire. But the truest victory, as I see it, is what we have to offer most - that would be the living proof that my kind and yours can coexist peacefully. Proof that dragons are capable of generosity... and kindness."

    He stood up, slowly walked over to the window where she had stuck her head through and put his hand on the wall. For a minute, there was a wistful look on his face, as if he were remembering something terribly sad.

    "Men have treated dragons so poorly in the past. I would see that end. I would see these people become peaceful and just. As I know all people can be... peaceful and just."

    With that, he withdrew his hand and stood at ease. His dark eyes looked into hers; they were filled with silent pleading. He was hoping she would understand he was being completely, absolutely sincere. A whim struck him and he obeyed it - and then he knelt once more.

    "On my honor - on my life, I swear - I speak nothing but the truth. And if you need more, I offer my life - in exchange for theirs. You say my name needs more preface - and so I would have men know me as Nathan the Dragon-Friend. If you would have me, I would gladly serve with you as your ally. And if my words ever ring false or bring me dishonor, I am your servant, for ever." He offered his hand. "What say you, Igini?"

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    "Well, that answers a great deal of what I would want to know." Said Max. "And if Nathan trusts her, so do I. Welcome to this... well, so far nameless city." Unlike his comrade, Maz had every intention of simply believing this woman was just that - an ordinary woman. She obviously had no ill intention to them or any of the people, so he held little, if any reservations about her.

    "I have only two questions of you, then." Gale responded with a raised eyebrow. The penetrating gaze had softened. He was still suspicious of her, but there was something about her - the fact that Nathan trusted her, that put him at ease. "The first being what exactly is a Soulspeaker? I'm afraid I have never heard of such a thing. And the second, if you would - is just what are your intentions towards our leader?"

    "Peace, Gale." Said Max firmly, putting his hand on his friend's shoulder. He looked at Isolde. "Do not take this question personally. My friend here is wary of all women." He explained. "Nathan was married... long ago, but sadly that union was divorced some seven years ago. It still causes him heartache every now and then."

    Gale snorted again. "Go and tell her our entire life story why don't you?" He said sarcastically. An annoyed glare from Max silenced him.

    "As you wish." He said mockingly. "We are a group of demon hunters who wish to eradicate the creatures of Hell. Gale, Nathan and I are from the now vanished land of Iselyr. And in Arthur's case... well, his twin and he only wish to help our friends and these people. That is all. So unless you are secretly a demon, or Gods forbid, a Succubi after our leader, you have nothing to fear from us, good lady."

     

    ((Post was much later than I wanted. I actually lost the first version, which was longer))


  13. "You can provide blessings? Your coming is a sign from Heaven itself, good lady." Max said cheerfully. "The Gods are with us today."

    "Right, well. Let's get down to business." Said Arthur, drawing his spear. "Seeing as how some of us have less favor with the Gods than others, we'll leave you three to discuss the matter. Come Elias." With that, he turned aside and headed back into the crowd to fulfill his plan. 

    "See you soon at the victory feast!" Elias said in parting with a merry wink and a grin.

    When Gale, Max and Isolde were alone, the two exchanged a glance. The two men were silently at odds, as could be seen in their eyes, despite their bond - and the fact they were as brothers. Max seemed utterly, palpably content. Gale for his part seemed to be glum and glaring at any who locked eyes with him. 

    "So, we're not going to question how she knows these things?" Gale said after a long pause and with a contemptuous frown. "We're putting a lot of trust in a stranger."

    "Gale, be nice." Max said. "I trust her. Like us, she's clearly a follower of Heaven."

    "Fair enough, I suppose." Gale replied after another pause. "But I'm not satisfied just yet. If we're ready, let's go find some barrels and fill them with water. Then we'll put them on the ramparts and await Isolde's blessings."

    "After you, brother." Said Max.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    "I appreciate the compliment, but I forgo any form of title, beyond 'Sir', so you may simply call me Nathan if you wish." Nathan replied. When she drew attention to the slab of rock, he walked slowly over to it and set himself down upon it. "And you are correct. There is a horde of the living dead heading this way. I am glad you are aware of how they pose a threat, but I believe they are coming for you. The fact they are not in greater haste shows they are not aware we are here. Else-wise, they would be making for this place with all speed. More recruits for their army. This gives us time to prepare."

    Nathan paused for a moment to let his words sink in, then resumed. 

    "Another thing I am aware of the agreement you have made with my brothers, but I am having a thought. Before we get to that, though, I have questions."

    He tilted his head, his dark eyes meeting hers.

    "Foremost among them is, how long have you been here? I suspect it may get very lonely."

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    ~Many miles away~


    An army of the living dead was on the march. It made steady progress over the rolling hills and fields; trampling over any living plants in their path - the touch of their withered feet causing the land itself to rot and decay. The path they trod marked and burned the soil black with corruption - a taint that would remain for long after the horrid army had passed on. There was a full five thousand of them - under the direct command of a single, living man. 

    He had been an ordinary man once - and then a mage of some repute and power, but he had dabbled too deeply into the black arts and succumbed to the temptation for greater knowledge; greater power - and he had strayed too far from the path of the scholar for any society to welcome him. Such matters no longer concerned him, however. He learned long ago that such things as morality and law were limitations. Once he was freed, he found he much preferred the company of the creatures surrounding him. The living dead never questioned him, never talked back or refused to follow his orders, nor did they ever complain or stop to rest.

    In many ways, they made perfect soldiers. All they really demanded was the small price of a bit of Mana to keep them animated - and they would unhesitatingly slay any foe he directed them at - and then they would add any they killed into his ever expanding army and further add to his power. On and on the cycle went, until his knowledge of the dark arts reached unimagined heights. Among them was the ability to "see" the aura of living things and "feel" the energies they gave off. This particular power was especially useful in rooting out those who tried to hide from him. One particular day, out here in the wilderness - he found her.

    Dragons were rarely seen on Valucre - and they were among the mightiest predators in the world. He could scarcely wait to add her to his collection. Such a creature would make a magnificent prize; the energy she breathed would be a powerful asset - as would her claws and teeth, but better still was the fact that if he could subjugate her corpse, she would be a mount fit for a lord. 

    Of course, to challenge such a beast without proper preparation would be... unwise. So he had bided his time, gathering recruits from local graveyards and collecting any that might be wandering the land without direction until his host was strong enough. Now he was certain of it. The dragon could kill hundreds, even thousands of his warriors but their numbers would eventually overwhelm her, especially when he unleashed his secret weapon - the ballistae; war machines crafted from bone and loaded with iron tipped harpoons. A single shot from one of them could pierce a castle wall - surely that would be enough to weaken her, if not bring her down. Even if that failed, his army had other war machines; catapults mostly, meant to launch spiked iron balls and rubble. Then there was the fact the necromancer himself was a formidable sorcerer - well versed in the dark arts.

    "Make yourself ready, dragon." He murmured to himself as he rode along his skeletal horse. There was a grin and a flash of fangs beneath his parted lips. His dark eyes were alight with excitement. "Death is coming for you."


  14. "Oh?" Said Gale, crossing his arms and raising one eyebrow skeptically. "And what, pray tell are these skills of yours?"

    "Peace, Gale." Said Elias. "Jameson said he thinks her trustworthy, so let us allow her a chance to speak."

    "Agreed, brother. Though, I think that when the time comes for the battle to be joined, she should join the rest of the civilians in hiding." Arthur interjected. Time for a strategy, he decided. "Likely, the necromancer in charge is going to be confident - thinking he'll just storm right into the fortress and kill Igni. We'll need to blunt the attack before they can get a foothold in here."

    "I can do that." Elias said, raising a hand. "I will organize those who are experienced in the wild into hunter cadres. We'll be the first line of defense out there. We'll set traps, dig some pits and trenches - and we'll hunt down individual units whenever possible."

    "Good idea, little brother." Said Arthur. "Next, we'll need to man the walls. The horde will probably try to force their way over the walls through sheer numbers and through the main gate. With that, I think I'll organize the militia and set our soldiers into infantry lines, both atop the curtain wall and behind the gate, in case they breach it."

    "And I can provide magical support from the ramparts." Gale said, drawing his sword. "My water-based magics can deal serious damage to the undead if the waters are blessed by a priest."

    "Then we'll find one who was ordained properly in a church." Said Arthur. "Any other details we may have overlooked?"

    "There is the matter of where to put the noncombatants as you pointed out before." Elias said again, then he gestured to Isolde. "This includes Nathan's lady-friend here."

    "Right..." Said Arthur, biting his lower lip. His eyes scanned the rooftops. "We'll need to find a safe place. Look for a church or temple. Any holy ground will do. That'll be our last line of defense, or if we need a rallying point, that'll be it."

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

     

    Nathan ascended the grand staircase leading to the central keep, impressed at the craftsmanship and the sturdiness of the stones beneath his feet. Whoever had constructed this town clearly had done so with intent for it to last. The stones showed no signs of decay, not even cracks. 

    As he reached the top, he turned and looked down for a minute at the town below.

    At its peak, he mused, the town must have been beautiful - a jewel of military might and architectural wonder. Whoever built it designed it not just to be a fortress but also a work of art in itself. It was quite large; approximately a mile wide across, fortified with high walls and carved right from the rock and stone that made up the hill it rested upon. Just a bit further along, a mile maybe from the town he could make out the sight of the river - glistening in the late afternoon sun, stretching as far as the eye could see. Turning his gaze down, he scanned the buildings and structures. 

    The settlement was large enough to fit the entirety of the people they had collected - possibly even more if the wreckage were cleared from the streets and the buildings refurbished. Grain silos and smoke filters from the forges were visible here or there, as were the gardens of individual houses - many overrun with fruits and flowered plants - likely to add to the town's beauty and provide its citizens with additional vegetation. Further, just outside his vision he knew there was the gate he had entered - a motte-and-bailey with strong double door made of solid iron. 

    The staircase he was standing upon was at the pinnacle of the hill - leading into a cozy villa that, he guessed, in times of emergency also be used as a central keep. This then, he figured was where Igni made her home. In all likelihood, the citizens that previously occupied it had left after hearing of the approaching dead - or they had become the living dead themselves after Whispernight, allowing the dragon free rein to move in. 

    With that, Nathan turned about. He got no more than three steps when a whim struck him and he obeyed it. Figuring there was no way the dragon would welcome him if he came armed, he drew his sword, Godsend - sheath and all from his back and laid it to rest, at the top of the staircase. Doubtful he would need it in any case.

    "May the eternal heavens watch over this meeting." He intoned quietly. "Gods, give me wisdom and clarity for what is to come."

    With that, he inhaled a deep breath and walked forward.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    To any outward observer, Nathan might have seem a flea compared to her, even though he stood at full six foot three inches tall; with broad shoulders and limbs that were thick with muscle underneath his simple brown habit. Long, dark brown hair hung about his shoulders over brown eyes and a rugged, bearded face. His lips had the ghost of a smile as he looked upon the dragon before him. The creature in question was quite large - almost as big as Mladris, he mused, but unlike the Red Wyrm she was not scaled and spiked. Rather, she appeared to be a subrace of the species he had only read of in books. He was quite fond of dragons - and the fact that she was kind enough to spare his brothers when they spoke showed she was civilized. She seemed to regard him as he approached.

    He stopped a considerable distance before her, then swiftly dropped into a kneel. He hoped this would make him as nonthreatening as possible. If she had any lingering doubts as to the group's intention, he hoped to put them to rest with this.

    "Greetings, Igni. I am Nathaniel Jameson, the leader of the Watchers team. May I speak to you on a matter most urgent?"

     

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    ((OOC: Meant for this to be sooner, but life got in the way))


  15. The ride to Kethlerin was uneventful at first glance, but Nathan's senses were sharper than any normal man's. He could feel the change in the wind - hear the sound of rotting footsteps - and when they drew close enough, he could definitely smell the stink of carrion. There was no mistaking it. The undead were on the march. These were not like the mindless rabble he had fought before. These were different somehow. Organized maybe. Likely a necromancer or a Death Knight was behind this. The closer they drew to their destination, the more numerous and more thickly they became. 

    Turning Spero aside off the main road, Nathan directed his horse to where he could get a better glimpse. As they approached the top of a nearby hill, his eyes caught what he was looking for. Definitely an organized band of the living dead. Hundreds of them, probably more were heading north.

    With a grimace, he turned his horse yet again, being careful not to unbalance his traveling companion. She clung to his back with her arms just narrowly reaching around the length of his chest - though she'd find wrapping around his waist much more easy.

    He urged his horse a little faster, praying silently that the horde was heading somewhere else because if not, the odds would very much be against them.


    __________________________________________________________________________________________________


    "The dragon has permitted us to stay until Nathan arrives." Arthur said to the crowd. After the meeting with Igni, he had called for a meeting with the entirety of the populace. Unlike Nathan though, public speaking was foreign to him. As he looked into their faces, he felt his nervousness increase. Men, women, children - all frightened, desperate and eager to find shelter. "She has promised to leave us alone until such time."

    "Where else shall we go?" Said someone, a man from the crowd. "This town was built and cared for by men. The dragon has let it fall to ruin!"

    Several among the crowd began to murmur in agreement.

    "Yes, but it was men that abandoned it." Arthur pointed out. "When Whispernight came, this dragon Igni found this place and made it her own. We are guests here, not hosts."

    "By who's authority?" Someone else yelled. "Where is this leader of yours?"

    "He is approaching now." Arthur raised a placating hand. "I have it on his authority that he will be arriving within the hour."

    "And do what?" The first man shouted. "Rule over us? Guide us like sheep? Is he to be a King then? Are we to lick his boots?"

    Several more were beginning to murmur - many of them angry. Arthur knew the moment that tempers flared, this would turn into a disaster. He was about to speak again when suddenly, his prayer was answered, and he fell silent with a smile.

    "What's he that asks so?" A powerful voice came, echoing off the town square's walls. Everyone turned, astonished as a brown robe clad figure on horseback emerged from between two buildings. "A citizen, discontent? A King, you say?"

    Arthur could not help but notice that Nathan was not alone. On his horse, clinging to his back was a woman he did not know. Regardless, he turned back to the Watcher's leader, listening carefully as he raised both his arms, as if to try and take in the whole crowd.

    "No, my fair people." He continued. "I would never presume to rule over you and yours, least of all like a King. Not unless every one of you wish it so. Even then, I would not do so gladly. Rather, proclaim it among your kin that every man and woman here is free to leave as they please. Their passport shall be made and compensation for their departure. You are not chattel. I would no sooner see chains on you, good people, than I would myself."

    No one spoke. Nathan continued.

    "I would only ever consider myself nothing more or less than a friend and guide to you. I give you now what no tyrant would ever give to those they oppress: A choice. You may leave and run and follow your own way - or you may stay and join me in this new endeavor. One I have been thinking of since the war's end. We rescued you people from Nu Martyr to save you from the living death. Now, we have here in our hands space to rebuild, clean fields to till and food aplenty for everyone in game and in fishing from the river."

    "How shall it be so?" The man from before said. "The dragon in charge here has said she will only let us stay a while."

    "I will go before her myself and negotiate." Nathan replied. "Surely if she is sentient to speak and civilized enough to allow us safety, then she will be reasonable. I have spoken to and secured aid from the dragon, Mladris. I guarantee she will be even moreso when she learns of what I have seen."

    Now came the hard part. Everyone fell silent. No one spoke. No one even dared breath. The Paladin might have been addressing a crowd of statues.

    "There is a force of undead - not unlike the horde we escaped from, heading this way. From what I can tell, they will arrive in no less than three days time." Nathan paused again, from the terrified faces of the people, they realized exactly what that meant. "I will not lie. The odds are not great. But we do have two advantages in our favor: The element of surprise and unity."

    "What do you mean?" Someone else said. 

    "The horde does not know we are here. If they did, they would be approaching much faster: It would mean more lives to add to their ranks. Likely, the sorcerer in charge is after this dragon. I for one do not intend to let them have her or any of you. As I said before, you may run and hide or you can stay and fight." Nathan paused for just a moment more - this time to step off his horse. With one hand, he reached up and helped Isolde off as well. With that, he stepped up a few steps on the grand staircase that led up to the central keep and turned to face the crowd.

    "For our second advantage, we have our unity. The horde may be numerous but they are also mindless. Cut off the head and they will crumble. Our force is not so easily broken. When first we united, we understood that there is nothing we could not do when we worked together."

    This time, Arthur chose to have his voice heard. "And all the foes we faced, even when hope seemed lost we never gave up or gave in. Together, we triumphed!"

    Elias spoke up next. "We're all so different and unique. But now, here we all are standing together like this. We're a team - and we always will be."

    "And no matter how far apart we are-" Gale continued. "-Our paths will always bring us back together. We're family."

    "And all of our friends along the way helped us in our fight." Arthur spoke up again. "We need your help now. We've helped you to safety and now we ask only for the same thing in return."

    Nathan picked up, deciding now was the time for the grand finale. "And surely, when we win the day, we will have a future. A better future. Free of fear. Free of the undead - and maybe even more than that. A chance for a new beginning." He clenched his fist and raised it up. "So I say let them come! We will show what unity can do. People, are you with me?"

    "We are with you, Nathan!" The entire crowd roared back, erupting into thunderous applause. 

    To his comrades, Nathan turned aside with a grin. "Hello everyone. Did I miss anything?"

    Now it was time for the Watchers to have their reunion. Max was the first to step up and embrace his mentor in a great bear hug. Nathan's legs dangled an inch or two off the ground, despite the fact that he was a full six inches taller than Max. "It's great to have you back, Master."

    When he let him down, Arthur put his hand on Nathan's shoulder, allowing him a rare smile. "Good to see you're safe, Jameson."

    "And you brought a newcomer." Elias said with a merry wink and a grin, nudging the Paladin with his elbow. "Who is your lady-friend?"

    "This is Isolde." Nathan replied, gesturing to his newfound companion. "I met this young lady on the roads near the Cold Mountains, on my way back from meeting Mladris."

    "Indeed? Tell us how you came upon her." Gale said with a frown, crossing his arms. His dark blue eyes were dark and narrow with suspicion. "A young woman, alone, unarmed in the countryside?"

    "Yes." Nathan replied levelly. "You know as well as I that it would be ac rime against chivalry to allow her to go unattended. I trust her."

    Gale's fierce glare softened somewhat. "Well, if our leader trusts you, then I will as well. He has always gotten us through thick and thin."

    With that, Nathan turned back to the woman. "These are my compatriots. My brothers. Max, Gale, Arthur and his twin, Elias. My dearest and closest friends." Each man stood up and saluted as his name was called. "And I do believe now, I shall go and make yet another new friend." He turned to the staircase and began to ascend. "This should not take long. Please excuse me, good lady."


  16. I quite enjoyed Japanese history and the Sengoku period in particular. I absolutely adored playing the game Kessen 3, which details an alternate, very heroic version of the life of Oda Nobunaga. 

    My other favorite historical characters from that era are Tokugawa Ieyasu (founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate), his subordinate, Honda Tadakatsu, (wielder of the spear, the Tongogiri) Takeda Shingen (Tiger of Kai, a Daimiyo warlord), his nemesis - Uesugi Kenshin (Dragon of Echigo, another warlord), and many others.

    I would gladly participate, but my input would be a bit limited until May.


  17. Name: Elias Morn.
    Alias(es): El. My idiot brother (By Arthur).
    Race: Human.
    Profession: Monster Hunter. Animal Breeder. Watcher. Vigilante.

    Age: 30.
    Gender: Male.
    Marital Status: Single.

    Height: 6'0.
    Weight: 170 lbs.

    Hair Color: Fair.
    Eye Color: Brown.
    Skin Color: Fair.

    Build: Lean but very well toned muscle. Sculpted physique, powerful limbs.

    Appearance:

     d5trugr-624d451e-4d39-466e-81cf-bff4d2c0

     

    Elias is a tall lean man with long blond hair, brown eyes and a handsome, youthful face. He resembles his older twin brother very much, but the difference between them lies in their body types. While Arthur is heavily built, Elias is lean. That is to say that his musculature is very well developed, but it is not quite as close to his brother's in size. He has broad shoulders, a v-shaped torso and thick, extremely strong but thin arms and legs.


    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    Relatives:

    *Jack Morn. (Father, deceased)
    *Laura Morn. (Mother, deceased)

    *Isaac Grant Crane. (Adopted father)

    *Arthur Morn. (Older twin brother)
    *Miya Cosette Morn. (Adopted niece)

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    History: Elias was born in Shrine City, the Cold South, the younger of fraternal twin brothers. His father was a professional boxer - his mother a stay at home woman. Elias remembers little of his parents before their deaths, but he does recall he was always closer to his mother than his father. When he was five, though, she fell victim to aortic tear, suffered heart failure and died before she could be treated. For the next three years, the boys were brought up by Jack, who took to drinking heavily after the death of his wife. Elias would recall later that his brother was more of a father-figure than Jack, leading to his admiration of his older sibling. 

    Shortly after the boys turned eight, Jack drank too much one evening and succumbed to alcohol poisoning. The city's child services got involved and put the boys in an orphanage. Unlike his brother, who was both student and athlete, Elias cared little for books and learning and instead focused purely on sports. 


  18. "In truth, good lady, I was born an only child. My parents, Gods rest them, were only able to conceive myself." He replied as he remounted his horse directly in front of her. He had held her hand doing so, but only as a courtesy. He barely needed any assistance anyway. And going by his size and weight, her arm would be strained just by attempting to lift him. 

    "My brothers, as I say, are actually bound to me not in blood but by oath, loyalty and friendship. We are as close as any family." He grinned widely as he spoke, clearly savoring the thought of reuniting with them. "They are four in number." 

    He deliberately omitted the use of their title. The Watchers were somewhat famous, or infamous depending on the person in question. Their efforts to eliminate demons had made them many enemies, as did their recent exploits against the Cult of Power. Then there was the fact a slight part of him still distrusted her. That said, she bore no blemishes; no stigmata of demonic corruption.

    Then the fact he could sense no taint from her meant the knot in him began to slowly but surely unwind. 

    "Forward, Spero." He murmured to the great animal and taking his reins. "Show the meaning of speed. Hold on tightly to me, Isolde. We depart."

    And with that, the horse was off in a swift gallop.


  19. "If so, then it seems we were destined to meet." Said Nathan, almost to himself. "Our paths coincide because fate wills it so."

    A partial untruth, he knew. Not an outright lie, but Nathan was not truly a great believer in fate and destiny. There were others who did, certainly, but Nathan believed far more in free will and in choice. This meeting could not have been more than mere coincidence, the logical side of him argued but somewhere inside he could not shake the feeling that this was the act of powers far beyond even his understanding.

    With that, in one swift, smooth motion he leaped down from his horse's back, standing to his full height when his boots hit the dirt and reached out his hand. He stood a full head taller than her, being much wider and bulkier as well, he noted.

    "Well then, Isolde. As I am both a knight and gentleman, it would seem quite impolite to let a lady walk unattended. If you are heading that way as well, I offer a ride. Spero is strong and capable of carrying two."

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    I was merely joking, dragon." Said Elias. "But rest assured that we would play the part of good guests and gladly provide you with sustenance if we were to come upon some wildlife." His tone remained chipper, but for the tiniest instant, there was the ghost of fear on his face. He knew very well what a dragon was capable of. Arthur could tell it instinctively.

    "We are only here temporarily." Arthur explained. "We were looking for an uninhabited area to let these people with us find a new home. They lost their homeland by an invasion of the living dead."

    "We currently are awaiting the arrival of our leader, Sir Nathaniel Jameson. He is a good man; a just man. He was away asking for help from another of your kind, Mladris the Red. In his absence we are attempting to find a place to make a home for these people with us. They were driven out from their original land by an evil cult. Our mission is to oppose them - and the spread of their ilk throughout the world - and to destroy the creatures of Hell; particularly demons and the undead."


  20. "Oh, I don't know about that, ma'am." Nathan replied. "You would be surprised the kind of company I keep. The things I have done... and seen..." His eyes turned downcast for a brief moment. But only for a moment. In a flash, the good natured glint in his eyes returned. "But let's not dwell on such things. The past is passed as they say. Bygones be bygones." 

    Isolde she said her name was. Curious. Oddly familiar, but he wasn't sure from where he had heard it before. Like a dream he couldn't quite recall after waking. This would bother him for some time, but he decided he didn't care. Best not to pry. 

    "Home is where the heart is, as they also say." He said in response to her next question. "But I ride to meet with my brothers. They are waiting for me, near the city of Kethlerin."

    A diplomatic answer. Both truthful and incomplete at the same time. He was deliberately avoiding the fact that he was a demon slayer and that his brothers were not his blood relatives. Even so, they were a family. 

    When she pat his mount, he grinned.

    "This handsome creature..." he said, patting his horse's head with a broad smile. "Is Spero. A dear friend since he was a foal. Now, he's as sweet as can be... provided he has plenty of apples that is."

    The stallion slowly brought his head around at the woman. Slowly and gently, he looked down at the woman and seemed to regard her, making a low whickering sound as he did so.

    He seemed to like her. The horse was a good judge of character, Nathan knew, and thought of himself.

    Yet he couldn't help but wonder, why was she here? Just what was it that brought her to the middle of nowhere?

    _____________________________________________

    Both the Morn brothers complied with their 'host' and dropped their spears, shaft first on the ground behind them. It was meant as a show of good faith, but unknown to the others, even to his twin but Elias was far from disarmed. Under his leather jerkin and in each of his boots he wore about a dozen knives. Not that they would do much against her, however, as they were meant for demons or men, being made from silver and steel rather than dragonsbane.

    "Thank you, Igni, for your hospitality." Arthur said politely.

    "And for not making our men into a snack." Said Elias with a laugh. "Though I'm sure my brother here would be a far better entree. He is all meat and bone. But I suppose he could use a good tenderizing first!"

    Arthur glowered at his twin at the joke. "Shut up, you idiot." He muttered under his breath. "My apologies." He said, louder, to the dragon. "Normally he's not so flippant. It's not every day we meet such an imposing creature. I will be sure to beat him until sense returns to him later. Or possibly sooner if he acts the fool again." 

    This time it was Elias' turn to glare; giving his brother a withering gaze. Arthur for his part utterly ignored it. 

     

    ((Nathan looks like this BTW))

    samuel___digital_sketch_commission_by_cl

     

    ((*OOC is here*))


  21. "I could very well ask you the same thing, ma'am." Nathan replied. "No disrespect meant, but I don't believe you are a warrior. You carry not even a dagger." At a guess, the woman before him was a mage or a spell-caster of some sort, given her choice of garb. Most mages disdained armor, but most mages lacked appreciation for the protection of heavy steel. A fact which he made note of with an internal, appreciative smirk. A gesture and a thought and his suit would appear on him in a flash - quite literally too.

    Nathan's dark brown eyes scanned the area around them, carefully looking for even the slightest sign of any lurking danger. There was none. His eyes went back to the woman, searching for even a sign of magic being prepared. Again, there was none. No traps lay in wait, to his knowledge. No one attempting to surround him. No hidden foes. To all eyes it appeared as if it really was just a lone, strange woman wandering the woods.

    "But ah, where are my manners?" He mentally slapped himself at the discourtesy. Such paranoia was terribly improper. "I am but a humble knight trying to make his way home. Sir Nathaniel Jameson, at your service. But please, feel free to call me Nathan, if you wish."

    Not the way he had intended to spend his afternoon, but not unwelcome.

×
×
  • Create New...