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Council of Knights

The knightly orders of the Compact are hosting a public gathering to discuss the path of chivalry. All knights are invited to share their experiences, the history of their order, or what the chivalric code has meant to them. The public is most welcome, and those who might have an interest in joining a knightly order are encouraged to attend. A considerable amount of libations and good food will be on hand.

Date

May 24, 2020, 4 p.m.

Hosted By

Rysen Alexis Bree Corban Sorrel

Participants

Cyril Asha Rowenova Ouida Norwood Preston Cerys Alessia Zara Svana

Organizations

Gold Order King's Own Order of East Light Solace Templars

Location

Arx - Ward of the Compact - Shrine of Gloria

Largesse Level

Extravagant

Comments and Log


Lady Teonia Redreef, Aryka Wyrmfang, 3 Thrax Guards, Marquessa Pudding, a doughy dog, 2 Thrax Elite Guards arrive, following Sorrel.

Haurchefant, an unassuming assistant arrives, following Tatienne.

Rysen stands near the shrine of Gloria. Over his shoulders is draped a while mantle, clasped with a brooch in the shape of a dragon breathing fire, the sigil of the Gold Order. A number of bandages are visible under his clothing, and he holds in his hand a mug of ale. In his grey eyes a light glimmers, as the squire and knights of various chivalric orders come to the shrine, along with many of the other folk of the Compact.

Niall RedTree, adorably awkward squire arrives, following Ouida.

3 Melaeris Justicar arrives, following Cyril.

If all the knights do as Bree does, this might be one noisy gathering - the sound of her armor rings as she bounds into the temple, a clear strength to her steps, but also a cheerful lightness. She smiles brightly as her eyes scan the room for familiar faces, both of her order and others. When she spots Rysen, her gaze drops to his cup of ale almost enviously, but she lifts a gauntlet-covered hand to wave.

(OOC)The scene set/room mood is now set to: The night sky of spring is filled with a thousand points of light shining from the stars above the Shrine of Gloria. Torches illuminate the grounds, while squires and pages of various orders offer food and drinks to those who are present.

The Seekers, knights of the sea, enter the shrine, dropping back the hoods of their uniformed rain-coats as they situate themselves together. Lord Cyril Melaeris stands among them, leaning on his cane.

Definitely in the 'other folk of the Compact' category, Asha ambles up to the shrine with a casual slope to her shoulders, bowing absently to Rysen as she comes level with him. Then she double-takes as she spots the bandages under his clothing. "You look like you came out the wrong end of something, My Lord," she comments with a half smile.

With Sir Floppington in her leathers-clad arms, Scout Rowenova shows up, doing so with the good boy whose soulful eyes look out to the surrounding knights, gently swishing his long tail. It looks like he has been in a big fight, a couple stitches on one cheek, fur-matting linament oiling up his fur coat, and then an expert myriad of sticky bandages here and there. He is a big dog, but Scout Rowenova does not slow down or tire out, effortlessly carrying him.

Alexis, meanwhile, is not too far from Rysen, the Paragon of the Gold Order wearing her white silks and her massive blade, displaying her affiliation by means of her ring and potentially the dragon-symbolism on her clothing. That might just be your average Valardin slash Wyrmguard thematics, though.

The short knight is also cradling a mug of ale, and she sips it gently, but for now she seems content to give nods and small bows of greeting, and leave the talking to other people.

Ouida arrives with her squire with little fanfare, eschewing her plate for leathers tonight, it would seem...though Wayfinder is at her side, pease bound. She waves off the offer of refreshments politely, a smile ghostly upon her lips briefly as she does so. For now she seems content to quietly take in as various orders and others arrive, occasionally smiling again to see her squire's wonder at it.

What is even the point of being a knight if one can't wander about fully encased in metal? Like, seriously. So Norwood is doing the nice typical Knight thing on this night of Knights, and settles himself at the shrine with his typical stiffness.

Corban is here, as well, or course, towards the front with the other hosts. Resplendant in his rubicund armor and with his ironwool tabard, Corban watches the knights and those interested in them file in.

Preston returns to the Shrine of Gloria, very much his stomping ground and he slaps the arm of one of the Templars on guard before Balian is dispatched to tend to the firepit. Pulling his helm off, and pushing his arming cap into it, before he hands them and his gauntlets off to his guard. This helpfully frees his hands so he can ruffle his own hair and work some of the 'helmet hair' before he looks around "Mmph. Nice to see the Shrine with people in it again."

Rysen raises his mug to Bree. "Welcome, Dame Bree, and thanks for coming. Have you met Dame Alexis?" he asks the knight of Solace. When Asha greets him, Rysen chuckles, and bows in return. "You could say that, Champion Asha. It's good to see you again. It's been a very long time."

"I have not!" Bree exclaims, turning to Alexis with a wide smile. Her fist comes to her chest with a thunk, and she bows to the other knight. "Dame Bree Harthall, Knight Lieutenant of the Knights of Solace." A beat to let that mouthful of an introduction settle in. "But do call me Bree." She looks back to Rysen, waiting for him to be free before venturing, "It was good of you to organize such an event. Seeing so many who devote their lives to service is a joy."

"Too long," Asha agrees with a lazy smile for Rysen. "I aim to change that, though." She adds a small nod to him before stepping back to bow to the other noble hosts and then get out of their way. Her wandering back through the crowd takes her by Ouida, to whom she smiles broadly and raises a hand in greeting, finding a place to stand and watch the proceedings.

Sorrel has not bothered with metal armor today, but she is tall and knightly as she arrives, leading her sea-faring knights, the Order of East Light. Perhaps it's more appropriate for knights on ships to be clad in leather, at any rate. She glances around and smiles contentedly at the gathering.

Cerys arrives wearing no armor at all, just simple tunc and trousers and boots. No heraldry, no order, just a pair of guards and a servant wearing a long-suffering expression and Velenosa colors. SHe waves off the guards and motions for Seton to seat himself before she approaches the altar herself wearing a smile. She offers a nod to Norwood, to Alexis, and gets herself seated.

Though she's not one to often discuss her own knighthood, the prospect of discussion is clearly intriguing to Alessia. She drifts into the shrine, removing her cloak before glancing around in search for somewhere to settle.

On this night of knights Norwood responds to the nod by Cerys by doing the only proper thing one does for a person of higher social rank. He rises, he bows the proper amount, and then knights his arse right back down again.

The red-clad champion's raised hand and smile brings out a stronger smile from Ouida herself, who bows her head in sincere respect, warmed with a wink and a raised hand as well to Asha before she too settles in to listen.

Stepping up before the fire pit, still carrying Sir Floppington, Scout Rowenova slowly scans the whole place. She then tells Preston, "Looks better than the last time I was here. Good work." After saying so, she lowers down upon the floor below, gently placing Sir Floppington on her crossed legs.

There's a suggestion of armor in the shaping of Zara's clothing, but it's still very definitely silk. She's not carrying any weaponry, either. Her retinue more than makes up for her lack, Valardin knights in shining plate. She seats herself slightly apart from them, letting them escape princess duty and attend to the event just as she does. Just from over -- there.

Cyril keeps his posture straight, as if his mother was going to appear any minute now and call him out on it. The guards stand more relaxed as they share a flask between them and Cyril who nurses small sips before passing it to the justiciars.

Rysen smiles to hear Preston's words concerning the public and the shine, and raises his mug. "I feel the say way," Rysen replies to Bree. "Spending time around other knights like Lady Tescelina and Dame Alexis has always inspired me, as have the tales of those who founded or excelled in the paths of chivalry." When Rysen notices Ouida, he smiles and bows a little stiffly perhaps on account of the injuries, but manages not to spill much ale. "Always a pleasure, My Lady," says Rysen. "It seems like an age since we met in the Grand Melee. It's always an honor to see you."

Turning to address those present, Rysen says, "Welcome everyone, and thank you for joining us - and thank you to the Carnifex, Grand Master Preston for allowing us to speak here at the Shrine. It is my hope that any who wish to share a little of their order's history, or of their experiences with knighthood, might do so."

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Norwood before departing.

Alexis gives a small bow, and raises her own fist to her chest in greeting to Bree. "Well met, Dame Bree. Dame Alexis Wyrmfang, Sword of Blancbier and Paragon of the Gold Order of the Dragon." Because Alexis can get mouthfull-y with the best of them. "And just Dame Alexis, or Alexis is fine." She assures, with a small smile. Giving a nod of agreement with her praise for Rysen. Casting a glance over at Asha and offering her, too, a nod of greeting.

Cerys gets a small smile, and Alessia too. A smile that only widens when she sees Sorrel. But once more, she's drawn a bit back, to let Rysen speak, though when her name is brought up, she raises her mug in recognition.

When Rysen turns away to greet the crowd at large, Bree finally notices another familiar face in the crowd. "Cousin," she smiles brightly as she spies Ouida, taking the few steps to join her. "It has been too long," she adds in the way of family who hardly has time to see one another. "You look well." All the pleasantries taken care of, she nods toward Rysen and his words, "Have you come to share some tale with us all?"

Catching Sorrel's eye, Asha bows, rising with a smile again just before Rysen starts to speak. She glances over the Princess's companions with interest, but her words are for the nearby Ouida. "I do hope so," she piggybacks on Bree's question with a little grin. "If so, it'll be worth the sleep we all lost coming out this late." She nods to Bree.

"The shrine is not really mine but the Archlectors to give, but, as we find ourselves temporarily without one...so I have freedom with it." Preston says, bowing his head to Rysen before he settles down on one of the benches and waits to listen to the stories "We are certainly not short of secular orders in the city anymore it seems."

Corban has joined the line.

"Indeed, and you as well, my lord," Ouida says gently to Rysen. "Thanks to you and othe others for ensuring that hopefully all will have an opportunity to learn more about our fellow knights, and the orders they represent. I know I am certainly looking forward to it." When Bree comes over, she offera warm clasp of arms, sisters at arms and family as well. "It's good to see you, Dame Bree, and to hear the tales of the good you're doing for the Compact." There's a note of warm pride in her voice. Though as the meeting begins proper, her voice quiets. "Perhaps," she admits. "I think that it would be interesting to hear from all present."

Bree has joined the line.

Alexis has joined the line.

Rysen has joined the line.

One doesn't cross one's legs when in armor, so this knight of the night simply sits upright. He's paying attention to the speakers like a good boy who can go all knight.

Speaking of Good Boys, Sir Floppington is paying attention, too! He looks up with those soulful eyes as Scout Rowenova gently tends his floppy dog ears!

Bree returns the warm gesture, a firm clasp of arm, but then at the 'interesting to hear from...' she decides, "Then I will go first, to encourage you to share out as well." A quick grin, and then she strides to take a place of some authority. Well, not authority, but enough that people might hear her. "The importance of chivalry in all we do cannot be forgotten," she begins, not really a storyteller at heart, but certainly with enough cheerful charm to fudge her way through. "And so I wish to tell you about the time the Knights of Solace, my order, were facing dire circumstances, and Grandmaster Donovan Valardin spurred on the troops with a tale of the first Knight of Solace, Lilah Shay..." And so she begins to spin the tale, perhaps not as smoothly as she'd like, but there is certainly pride to her tone. "As guardians of pilgrims, travelers, and the weak, they had to take a stand, but they were cut off, the Sylv'alfar threat dire. Grandmaster Donovan could see what his knights needed..." She continues, filling in all the small details (as best she can remember) "...and so 'As Arx endures, we will remember.'" She concludes, a fisted hand to chest, a bow of her head.

Cyril has joined the line.

Preston has joined the line.

Rowenova curiously regards Bree, doing so with intent attention, especially after having heard about Lilah Shay. "Thank you." says she. Sir Floppington apparently agrees because his wagging tail speeds up a few swings.

When Rysen notices Rowenova and the goodest of good boys, Sir Floppington, he waves, and then turns to to listen to Bree. He listens with rapt attention to the account of Grandmaster Donovan, and of Lilah. When Bree states 'as long as Arx endures, we will remember,' Rysen's eyes shift for a moment to Alexis.

As Bree bows, Rysen rises from his seat, to return it. "The memory of such deeds and resolve seems more relevant than ever. Thank you, Dame Bree," he says softly. Turning then to his cousin, Rysen says, "Sir Corban, thank you for joining us and representing the King's Own. Would you be willing to speak next?"

Norwood nods once as Bree finishes, an indication of... something. It's fine. He then glances at the Knightly hound, just out for a knight on the town.

Turn in line: Corban

When he is asked to start, Corban smiles slightly, stepping forward.

"Many know the basic history of the Sovereign's Own. We were first the Silver Guard during the Reckoning, who then became the Silver Swords after her passing. Then, with the passage of time, the Silver Swords divided further, into the Sovereign's Own Royal Guard and the Knights of Solace, reflecting Silver's two aspects: The protection of humanity, as represented by the Crown of Arvum, and the protection of the innocent, as represents by the protection of travelers. So I thought I'd perhaps tell a story of knighthood itself.

"The First Knight was, in fact, a particular person. He was a lictor of Caer'alfar, a powerful soldier called to enforce its leader's will. As the lictor, he fought greatly, including slaying a dragon in single combat. But it was his simple declaration -- 'I am a knight' -- that led the King of Caer'alfar to free him. In time, he became a teacher of others, taking on the First Squire. He was later Valar's First General, during the Reckoning, which is why the vows of knighthood are so closely associated with the Valardin. And the First Knight would later give his life on the walls of what we now know as the Telmarch, defending the Northern March, as it was called then, he and his men protecting those that were fleeing from the oncoming Abyss."

Asha frowns thoughtfully as first Bree, then Corban tell their stories, as if looking for a hidden message in them both. But she nods in thanks as each of them finishes and Rysen gives his own thanks and thoughts.

As Bree finishes, she moves back to the side to join those anxious to hear, listening intently to the next tale. "Ooh, another first knight..." she muses to herself, a smile at her lips. She snags a drink from wherever the refreshments are held, idly taking sips as she gives her attention to Corban.

Norwood has joined the line.

After Rysen's wave, Rowenova up nods her wolf-framed visage then raptly listens to the story told by Sir Corban. She certainly learns something new, doing so with a head tilt before randomly asking, "What is a lictor?"
Meanwhile, the Knightly Hound on her leg-crossed lap looks up, looking upon that Knightly Norwood in his metal armor on this night of knights. A big wag!

It's the mention of King Valar that seems to move Ouida, perhaps strangely so, her expression moving into something distant and dreamlike for the briefest of moments, though sad as well.

Turn in line: Bree

Turn in line: Alexis

Rysen listens to Corban's account with fascination. When Rowenova asks her question, Rysen turns to Corban with a similarly curious expression on his face. "I had heard the stories of the First Knight fighting for the Northern March from Dame Judyth - but I had always believed it a myth," he says softly.

Norwood drops a hand down to the floor and twitches his hand towards Sir Floppington, encouraging him to spend the rest of the night over here with a knight.

"A lictor was a right hand of the leader, carrying out his will. In Caer'alfar, they were powerful warriors, bound by writ," explains Corban with a pleasant but wistful smile. "Oh? And had you?" he asks of Rysen.

Scout Rowenova helpfully hauls Sir Floppington right over to Knightly Norwood, ultimately easing the transition, as it were, to that Knight of Nights who really wants to knight it up. Looking up from his proximal placement, the floppy-eared hound happily regards Norwood, doing so with plenty wags and the slightest of nosings which are probably going to leave prints on the armor. "Thank you, Sir Corban." says the wolf scout with a brief dip of her head.

It's fine, Norwood's beehive armor is absolutely okay with nose-prints. He lets a hand drop down and applies some expert scratches to the head of the dog. He could go all knight long.

Alexis rises, and offers a little smile. "I'm a Knight of Blancbier," She offers. "And my liege is sworn to the Telmarch. And her liege is sworn to Valardin," There's a nod to that, to Corban, as he mentions Valar.

"I am a knight of the Oathlands, and I can trace my line to the founder of the House Wyrmguard. She, too, was a knight. Dame Katriane Wyrmguard. As Dame Sugan was to Valar, so she was to the Sky Lord Torvorarian. She was the leader of the knights of Blancbier, and I'm proud to wield the same blade she did."

Alexis gestures to the huge rubicund weapon she carries along. "the Knights of Blancbier were sworn to the white dragon, and Katriane was a companion-of-arms to Sugan. She fought in Caer'alfar against the evil that rose there." Alexis explains.

She pauses. "I'm... I know little of her - other than her supposed kinship with Dame Sugan, or her heritage of possibly being an illegitimate child of the last king of Sanctum. But I know that she wielded Wyrmstooth in the Reckoning, and I know that she was part of a noble sacrifice that helped save the world."

She pauses and clears her throat. "So for me, her enduring and selflessness has always stood as a goal. Of course, The Gold Order of the Dragon... Well. That was given into my care by another knight. And founded by a third. And inspired by Goldenpyre." She pauses. "I'll be glad to share stories of those, but I imagine there are those who knew Dame Esoka better than I. And Lady Niamh better than I. And if people have stories of Goldenpyre, well, I invite them to share them too. But my point is..."

Alexis reaches up, ruefully, to scritch at her short blonde hair.

"My point is, to be a knight is to be more than an individual. It is about devotion. To our fellow knights. To our lieges and oaths. And to the people we serve."

"Hear! hear!" Bree calls out after listening to Alexis unfold her own tale, those last words ringing true with her (as they must with all knights, she determines).

Norwood can't applaud, his is scratching a dog's ears. It's not knightly to stop petting a dog.

Asha applauds though, whether for the sentiment or Alexis's strong, punchy ending, is anybody's guess. She is joined by a smattering of other knights and commonfolk as well.

Sir Floppington could go all knight long, too. Especially with expert scritches being so kindly applied to his fuzzy nog, and he certainly agrees that it is most honorable to keep petting him. He even leans into the lovely scritches!

Preston claps for Alexis' story, and then there is a heavy sigh "Dame Esoka is one of the best of us, as is my Little Sister, Dame Thena. I hope they can return from honour's duty soon."

Turn in line: Rysen

Ouida seems to fall into even more quiet as more tales of Caer'alfar emerge, that dreamlike quality to her gaze that's hard to pinpoint whether she's so engrossed in the story, or perhaps it spurs more thoughts of her own, or maybe she really IS one of those knights that needs a long time for the brain cells to collect and rub together for a while during gatherings that do not involve beating people beating each other senseless in a training ring.

Frosty, a friendly English sheepdog, Bryn, a flustered lovelorn Prodigal assistant, Misty, a sweet-hearted, but bossy Mistward Labrador arrive, following Svana.

When squires can't show up, they send their new wives instead. Svana glances around the room for friendly faces and spots Rowenova immediately, noting Norwood beside her and giving a slight bow. She moves to sit down on the floor with them and join in with the petting of Sir Floppington.

When Svana joins them, Rowenova reaches out and gives her a quick snug with a single arm and a bright smile to her despite the muzzle shadow cast down by her wolfy headdress. Sir Floppington is certainly pleased that 3 people are simultaneously petting him. So knightly of them to do!

Rysen listens to Alexis' story with a great deal of interest. When it is his turn to speak, he rises from his seat, saying, "I first took oaths of chivalry at a young age. My mother obligated me to become the squire of Sir Roland, a trusted retainer of The Telmarch that came over with her when she went to Stormwall. There is a great warrior tradition in my homeland, but the oaths and rituals of knighthood - especially those practiced by Sir Roland - are less esteemed, and sometimes treated with suspicion by those who practice the Old Ways." Rysen fastidiously avoids eye contact Preston. "But it was important to my mother, and so it was important to me."

"I was eventually knighted by Rowland in service to Asger and Crovane, and spent a good deal of time among the Abandoned - often in military camps, or on diplomatic missions that, more often than not, went sideways." Rysen breathes out, blushing a little to speak personally. "I was deeply inspired by the resolve of the Knights of Solace and the Templars when the Gyre invaded Stormwall, but I still found myself disheartened. I did not feel like I was a knight so much as a soldier," he says sadly. "But I soon found myself in Arx, and heard the Metallic Cycle of songs from Princess Sorrel. She and Princess Reese, the Knight of Ribbons, trained me, and I eventually found my way to the Gold Order, where I met Paragon Alexis," he says glancing in the direction of the Gold Order leader. "She and Marguessa Llewella had gathered a great deal of stories of Goldenpyre, and one in particular inspired me: a tale of his encounter with a disheartened knight."

Rysen proceeds to tell the tale, and concludes by saying, "It, and the oaths of the Gold Order reminded me of all that one can achieve by pursing the path of chivalry, and I am very grateful for it." He bows his head, and then resumes his seat.

Preston dutifully provides the obliging roll of Orthodox eyes at the mention of the northern shamanism, stroking the wood of the pews. But otherwise listens, and smiles, if a little sadly, at the memory of Stormwall.

Turn in line: Cyril

Cyril steps forwards, using his cane with one hand and holding an old book with the other. He places the book down on the podium, flipping a few of its delicate pages, "I will speak about my house and their knights. House Melaeris had always been in conflict with our liege and our liege's liege, defending liberty and fighting thralldom and slavery. Conflict is a very expensive thing. It cost silver, but above all, it costs your culture, a part of your soul. Today, we are but a reflection of what House Melaeris was, prior to the War of Stolen Names, as vassals of Marian."

He looks down to the book, growing silent before adding, "This is a copy of the popular almanac, From Houses of the Mourning Sea. The author writes in the chapter of my house, Melaeris, the knights of the sea, the seekers; Before Astarrea was a city, this house, was a fleet. The fleet was special, it was a floating archive and my people were known to collect texts from small island villages, securing them in watertight chests, before taking them away to larger and secret archives. It was a way of giving voice to all from the mightest knight to the lowliest peasant, your dreams, your words, your culture would never be forgotten but instead saved and protected from even the worst of the darkest foes. The people's trust was so much that it was this service that led to the establishment of Asterrea."

Cyril passes a page, reading a small paragraph, "Senshen, the main source the author cites, says, 'Since there's been a Mourning Sea, codgers have lived on the coasts of every island, small and large. Codgers have kids that grow into codgers. Tales pass down. And I keep hearing that the city of Asterrea was originally something else. That the Melaeris kept a bounty of books. All those codgers' yarns of chests taken off ships and concealed in the hills before there was a city... The Melaeris was once a fleet, and Astarrea was once a library.'"

Cyril finalizes the reading and adds his own thought, finishing his presentation, "Like the Knights of Solace, who protected the roads from harm, the Knights of the Sea, Melaeris, safeguarded the legacy of captains and villages all throughout the Mourning Sea. Their floating libraries open to all, creating plenary almanacs. As the voice of Melaeris, I have publically and personally taken on the responsibility of uncovering more about our house, our lands, and our people's past. It is our dream to reassert ourselves trusted collectors of information." The old man clears his throat and steps from the podium, bowing politely to those present before joining his Justiciars who offer him a drink. He takes the drink, parching his dried lips.


Alexis is overheard praising Sorrel: Tells the story better than I do.

When Cyril speaks of knights of libraries, Rowenova can get behind that and perks about such. "I wish you the best luck!"

Rysen smiles to see Svana arrive, offering a wave to the poor squire's wife sent to listen to the knights' tales. When Cyril speaks, Rysen listens with solemn attention, and at the mention of Melaeris resuming its traditional role as trusted keepers of knowledge, the Gold Order knight raises his mug in salute.

Turn in line: Preston

"I had pondered what story to tell. And I might even ask who I am to tell any of them. I am not a great scion of a noble house, I am an orphan, Preston of no where, Preston from no one. But I suppose in many ways that makes me perfect to tell the tale - for I am my order alone, it is the only life I have known, the only path I have. Indeed, a path the former Dominus said I was blessed by the Gods to pursue, if you wish to believe him." Preston offers as he stands "There are many. I could speak of the time when all the Gods had orders. How Gloria's was Order of the Sword, the process by which it came to be the Templars." Preston muses "I did ponder if I should tell the tale of Tristan Valardin, the first we know who wielded the blade at my side, Crusader. Of the blade's long journey, through betrayal twice over to be here, of its time between always finding its way into the hand of those in need of it to protect the innocent."

Preston shakes his head "I thought though, that the best story to share, the best lesson of honour is the saddest part of my order. The saddest of my Faith, and part of the story of Alor Valardin, then Carnifex of the Faith. Alor Valardin had helped cast down the wicked Apostate Marach, the former Dominus. Negotiating with that beyond the mirror was too far, and it seemed clear Marach was more influenced by what he had undertaken to do. His writings were ordered destroyed, purged." Preston pauses "The Templars are sworn to protect the Faith, our prayer in battle is not for victory but for honour, if need be to the last. Some of my Brothers and Sisters swear additional oaths to serve specific purposes. Some, the Knights of the Library, swear to Vellichor. When the Carnifex ordered - doing his duty, fulfilling his honourable vow to defend the Faith - that the writings were to be destroyed, the Templars demanded it of the Scholars. The Scholars said their vow to Vellichor triumphed over other concerns. They could not honourable break that. They would not allow entry to destroy."

"The Brothers and Sisters of the Knights of the Library were trapped in a quandry. It was obvious they could not win against the force beyond the Archive. The Templars are not an idle threat nor parade knights, but a force beyond even the Great Houses. One archive, even the Great One, would never stand. They were sworn to two causes, but they could not in the end abandon those they had sworn to protect, the Scholars, to face death alone. They stood and guarded the Archive, and obeyed their commands, as the Templars took the Archive, for that was the duty their vows, their honour, placed upon them. Two sides, each with honour and vows, in conflict. And the Faith wept. For there was no way to allow the afront. Many Scholars and the Knights of the Library died. Alor Valardin created the Silent Reflections, to remind all of the terrible price paid when the path is strayed from, when evil men might misuse our oaths as Marach did and the only honourable path remaining is tragedy."

Bree nods as her own Order makes an appearance at the end of Cyril's tale, clearly pleased to be aligned with other Orders who provide safe passage. She lifts her own cup of ale in salute, taking a quick sip before turning to Preston.

Svana winks at Rysen, but she does seem engrossed in the stories. Her own two dogs get very jealous of Sir Floppington and butt in for pets as well, her hands stroking over all the dogs in no particular order while she focuses on the knights who step up to speak.

As multiple doggos come up, Rowenova tries to get pets in to them all, too. Though, she certainly looks a touch grim about the sad story before then glancing down at Sir Floppington, who she gently pets, too.

Rysen listens to Preston, a grim look on his face as the Carnifex speaks of conflicting loyalties and the loss inflicted by a willingness to die for honor. When Preston reaches the end of his account, Rysen nods sadly, taking a very long drink of ale, and promptly signaling to Lygeia for more.

Turn in line: Norwood

Features clouding a little at something the carnifex says, Alessia excuses herself to those around her, before slipping out.

Nallah, a buff-looking tortie cat with green eyes, Sirra, a very quiet maid, an indeterminate number of cats, 3 House Mazetti Guardians leave, following Alessia.

Norwood has to give up talking to the hound when it comes his time to speak, but he'll give one last scratch to Sir Floppington before standing up, nodding to both Svana and Rowenova as he moves past them. He doesn't talk very long like others, but keeps his story short and sweet. "If one must talk about chivary, it must include stories of self-sacrifice, and loss, and how one must push though them for the benefit of others. As such I wish to tell you the story of Sir Jonathan Baseborn." Which he does, briefly, listing each of the sorrows in order like it's a particularly sad bed-time story.

Cyril nods back with respect towards those that cheer in honor of his oath, slightly smiling. He listens to Preston, his face growing solemnly with the progression of the story. He takes a deep breath, thinking on what the man said.

Svana takes into consideration the story of Sir Jonathan Baseborn, looking down at her quite rounded stomach, and then turning to whisper something to Rowenova.

Svana mutters, "Babies are a ... lot of damned trouble, I ..."

As Norwood recounts the sorrows of Jonathan Baseborn, mentioning the Sylv'alfar, and the dread reflection of Skald, Rysen's features darken with sadness. And yet in the account of the founding of House Laurent, and Jonathans battles, a gleam of hope shines in Rysen's eyes. "Thank you for sharing the tale, Baron Norwood. It is new to me, and most appreciated," he says solemnly, bowing to the renowned Oathland knight.

Ouida has joined the line.

Turn in line: Ouida

As the sorrows continue to add on, Bree turns more and more pensive. Such quiet reflection is not her normal reaction to the world, but there's something in the growing list that strikes her. Her hand beats against the armor at her thigh, and she nods at some thought sprung to her mind. Then a blink when the tale ends, and a faint smiler for Norwood's tale.

It is a good thing that there are so many dogs here, because pet therapy. Rowenova pets them all, looking grim. Especially when Knights of the Swarm come up. She looks up to momentarily catch Norwood's gaze then whispers back to Svana nearby.

Ouida steps forward, her voice calm and carrying, though there's something apologetic there as well. "I am afraid I do not have a legend to share, but only my own observations, and thinking on the stories shared both here, and around many a fire out in the field. Knighthood is a sister and brotherhood that unites so many people of the Compact together, even if they are as different as night and day. We come to the path for very different reasons--some never wanted it, some apsired to it from their childhood dreams, others because they felt that it was the path chosen for them by their family. Highborn sons and daughters of Kings and Queens, or those of potters and farmers and once-heretics. We face each other in battle, perhaps at our last, and at each other's sides as well, and back to back. We hold the line, and must pray that it is the correct one. Some are rewarded with lands and title, to forge a house of their own, as my ancestor did. Others die in obscurity, with no one to mourn them but their families that may have suffered their absence for many years as they upheld their sworn duty. Others are awareded boons, a toast with their men and women, a shared crust of bread with the villagers, a crown of grass."

She clears her throat. "Whatever our faults, failures, triumphs, or dreams, I hope that we will remember to edify each other to greater service, while we still draw breath to do so. When I hear the stories of knights of old, it is inspirational. But I find it also in those who taught me, shaped me as a squire and younger knight, and those I serve alongside as well, including all those represented here. May we walk in honor--and hold the line, even in the darkest hour."

Alexis raises her mug to Ouida, and takes a drink. "Here, here."

Rysen gets a small bow, before Norwood sits himself down again, done for the night, but not out of Knightness. He nods in agreement with Ouida's words.

"Yes," Bree agrees emphatically to Ouida's words, more than once. It almost turns chant before she lifts her cup of ale high. "May we walk in honor," she chooses a phrase to repeat as she smiles to her cousin. The darkening of her mood seems to have lifted with those words, and she takes a big gulp of ale.

Rysen checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 6 lower.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Norwood before departing.

After so many grim stories, Rowenova cannot help but softly smile about the encouraged edification. She gently pets Sir Floppington.

"Walk in honor and hold the line!" says Rysen raising his mug of ale. The knight's stormy eyes are glassy, and perhaps - it is difficult to tell in the dim lighting - a tear runs down his cheek at the eloquence of Ouida. He takes a long drink. The spring brings bugs, and Rysen wipes from his cheek what is no doubt some pesky insect, before rising and clearing his throat. "Thank you, Lady Ouida." Turning to those gathered, he asks, "Are there any others who wish to share anything of their order or their experience?"

ysen then rises and makes his way to Preston's side. "May I look upon Crusader, Grandmaster?" he asks in a quiet voice, refering to the Carnifex's storied blade.

"Crusader? It seems like a suitable place as any." Preston takes the blade, sliding it free from its scabbard. It is rather plain and ordinary - even quite dull. Still, Preston shifts it and balances it across his hand, showing the perfect balance and weight to the blade. There is even an inscription on it "The writing is, I am told, Nox'Alfar. I suspect predating our ownership of the blade."

Preston wields Crusader, Blade of the Templars.

Norwood can't help it but looks at the blade, because there's just something special about named swords.

Also drawn to look, Rowenova curiously asks, "Did you ever get it translated?"

Bree watches as Preston removes the storied blade from its sheath, not alone in the admiration of the piece - although she remains back from the show. In a moment where she's certain she might be heard, she calls out, "Thank you, Lord Rysen, for bringing us all together." A small wave is cast toward Ouida, and then she begins to make her way toward the door. Back to duty, no doubt!

Rysen smiles as Preston holds Crusader. "Plain and ordinary, perhaps," says the Crovane knight. "But it seems the very manifestation of Templar resolve." When Rowenova asks her question, Rysen's eyes shift curiously to Preston.

When Bree departs, Rysen waves. "Thank you for coming and speaking, Dame Bree."

"We tried for a long time to translate it. We tried every language we could think, but we never thought of Nox'Alfar. Lady Zoey Kennex saw it and translated it." Preston gently turns the blade over, showing its polish and edge. Well, even a Templar gets to feel pride sometimes in his duties "The blade is said to have been forged by Gloria, or forged at her direction by one of her aspects. Or a few other stories. And it's return to us involved many knightly orders. Solace. The East Light. King's Own. Perhaps it is a fitting blade." Tracing the inscription, Preston's eyes half close - well, they certainly aren't needed, he clearly can't read the thing "'With the grace of the gods stand your ground, and channel Their light until no darkness stands against righteous intent.'" he recites

When Preston recites the inscription, Rysen's eyes rise from the blade to the man. Something in his expression speaks to revelation - that look that one gets when they recall something they'd forgotten, or learn something which lets them look on something in a new light.

Svana nods as Preston talks about the blade, looking it over with curiosity. She takes in a breath when Preston recites what it all means, smiling softly.

2 House Riven Soldiers arrives, following Liam.

Cyril gathers himself and his men, and leave the shrine to decompress what they've learned back at home.

Preston slides the blade back into its scabbard, murmering a quiet prayer as he does so "It was a fine event, Lord Rysen. I'm glad you are joining us in the East."

Rowenova curiously asks Svana something something then looks up and nods forth toward what Preston just spake. "Aye, very fine. More than fine."

Sir Floppington rolls onto his least-bandaged side and happily wags under all the gifted pets, doing so with a few whacks to the floor with that tail.

Svana slowly offers her arms to Rowenova - a surefire signal that she needs help standing up. Getting onto the floor was much, much easier. She looks in Rysen's direction, a blush heating her cheeks for one reason or another while she waits for assistance.

Without further ado, as soon as she sees the signal, Rowenova gets up from the floor below then helps up Svana, doing so with a hug involved, of course.

With the squires excitedly maneuvering to get a look at Crusader before Preston returns it to his scabbard, Rysen smiles. "It is my pleasure, Carnifex," he says, bowing. "And thank you for all you've shared with us." He steps towards the shrine, and bows his head a moment, offering a quiet prayer to Gloria. "O holy guardian, please watch over these knights, squires, and people of the Compact, and guide them on their paths." He then turns to those assembled. "Thank you all for coming. Please remain as long as you like." When he notices Svana, he moves quickly to her side, setting down his ale mug, and offering his left hand to help her to her feet.

Alexis makes the sign of the Faith, the interlocking circles, and murmurs a thanks to Gloria, as Rysen leads them in prayer. "Thank you for having us, Sir Lord Rysen", She offers - and moves along, offering a small polite nod to Svana - careful not to hover TOO much, but there if the woman needs a hand.

Rysen laughs softly at Alexis' words. "Thank you for having me, Paragon Alexis," he says, smiling warmly. When he notices the color of Svana's cheeks, a flush rises to his own. "Congratulations," he says with quiet sincerity.

Svana is helped by Rowenova, Rysen, and Alexis in tandem, which she seems to need. She huffs a bit by the time she's stood up, shaking her head. "I'm sorry, once they're out in the world this should be much easier," she explains sheepishly to Alexis. But quickly enough she's hugging Rysen tightly - but not too tightly. "How are you? ...And thank you. I love him so, Rysen."



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