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Ceulan Anth

The Stubborn Paladin

0 · 281 views · located in Amore

a character in “Dead Soul”, as played by rockerr69

Description

Name: Paladin Initiate Ceulan Anth

Age:25

Race: Man

Faction: The Covenant

Appearance: Ceulan is an imposing figure, standing at six foot two, and weighing eighteen stone made up almost completely by thick, knotted muscles. He dons a plain set of heavy steel armor that many a man would find overburdening with relative ease, over the steel drapes a white tunic and cloak, symbolic of his order. He wields a sturdy bastard sword, allowing him to decide to fight one or two handed in combat, and a wooden kite shield designed to catch blows rather than deflect them. Under his helm lies a pair of sharp emerald green eyes below a mess of ear-length black hair, and the beginnings of a beard covering a strong jawline. Ceulan has a sharp nose, and pale lips that match his also pallid complexion.

Image

History: Ceulan was born in the land of Astras to a peasant family. As a child his family was slaughtered in a bandit raid, he only survived the ordeal by hiding away in the village well while his village burned. Trapped in the well he survived four days and nights until by luck a passing cleric heard his weak cries for help. After the cleric retired him from the well, as he had no where else to turn, Ceulan accompanied him, learning the ways of the covenant along the way. At the age of fourteen the cleric left Ceulan at a monastery to recieve formal training. After showing more prowess in combat and physical pursuits than those of magic and learning, he was set on the path of a paladin. After years of training he sets out on his pilgrimage to the Temple Of Qurn to complete his initiation, and solidify his faith.

So begins...

Ceulan Anth's Story

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In the shade of a young oak tree just shy of the edge of the Dead Root Forest rested a heavily armored figure draped in white cloth, leaning against the rough bark of the small tree. Upon a glance at this imposing figure one would think to themselves, 'how does a man keep his clothing so immaculately clean while on the road?' and indeed this man's cloak and mantle were a picture of purity. The answer to this question comes from this particular man's disposition, no matter how stubborn the stain Paladin Initiate Ceulan Anth could overcome it with his own pig-headed, indomitable will. Though he rested Ceulan was not inactive, with his visor flipped up he scribbled away in a small journal he kept, accounting the details of his journey including the expenses and distances traveled for later review.

At the sound of yelling Ceulan's head snapped up and he closed his journal, tucked it away inside his cloak and placed the piece of graphite he was using to make his etchings in roll of cloth to avoid marking his cloak. He had noticed the group was assembling at the edge of the forest edge in preparation to depart. Ceulan pulled on his gauntlet, buckled his sword belt and lurched to his feet to join them. He grabbed his ready pack from a low hanging branch as he stepped away from the tree and joined the group. One of the guides, Gerard, was denying any responsibility for the loss of any goods in the forest to be clear on this rule before entering the forest, this was fine by Ceulan who had few possessions of worth to lose. With that they set off, with the guide Hamlin at the front of the procession and Gerard at the back, Ceulan fell in line behind one of the merchants' wagons impatient for this leg of his quest to be over with.

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As they walked along a narrow trail through the dense trees Ceulan studied the other travelers, trying to judge the purpose behind their venture through a forsaken place such as this. The merchants were the easiest to explain, men who wished to transport their wares to Amore by the most direct route possible as opposed to circling round for miles to take a safer path, but not all the travelers had a mule-drawn wagon rattling over the gnarly roots that breached the surface of the trail at their side. It was these other travelers whom he studied, the presence of two women in the group struck him as peculiar. One of them was a tough looking woman with brown hair tumbling down between her shoulder blades, she wore light armor with a long, slender sword hanging at her side, so he assumed she must be a warrior of some kind, but the other woman seemed under-armed in comparison to the rest of the group, wearing only simple traveling clothes when even the merchants had a few pieces of dented armor between them, along with this she only carried a dagger and a wooden staff, but the attentiveness in her gaze suggested that she wouldn't be likely to be taken off guard. The other traveler who had caught Ceulan's gaze was the tallest in the party, an imposing figure dressed in heavy, battle-scared armor that bizarrely only protected the top half of his body while his lower half was completely devoid of visible protection, a strange way to armor oneself even if they were hoping to increase their mobility. Interested, he closed the distance and called out to the man, "Greetings stranger, I'm afraid we've not had the chance to speak while preparing to set off, I am Ceulan Anth, paladin initiate hailing from Astras. Pleased to meet you."

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Character Portrait: Ceulan Anth Character Portrait: Bran Folsin
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The sun was high in the sky, signaling that midday was upon them. They had only walked for a few hours by this point, though they were making good time. Even with guides, a straight shot through the forest was near impossible, as growth and age seemed to bury a trail every few years. It was up to ones like Gerard and Hamlin to constantly survey and navigate the forest to ensure viable routes were still open. A dangerous job, for sure, but as previously stated, the gold from each group would be enough to let them retire in a few years. South of the forest lied Grazi, the third largest port in Amore. While a hub for trade and commerce with southern sailors, it was still not large enough to compete with cities like Mordran and Fryr. However, with recent tensions, trade has been struggling in the north, and as such more and more Merchants are making their way south to Grazi. While this has certainly helped Gerard and Hamlin, there is an unnerving feeling in the air that the near constant treks through the forest have caught the attention of some of its more dangerous inhabitants.

Bran yawned heavily, his helmet muffling the sound from traveling much further than his immediate area. This wasn't the first time he had entered the forest, nor will it likely be the last. Many Laochra believe that all monsters within Amore originate from this area, and that the place helps nurture and strengthen them in exchange for protection from would be invaders. While most likely a only tale told around campfires, Bran can't deny the eerie effect the place seems to have on ones such as himself. The last time he entered Dark Root was with a small group of Giry soldiers, hunting a criminal that had escaped their dungeon. Just as that time, Bran feels his breaths heavy, and his body slow. It did not seem to affect the soldiers that time, nor does it seem to affect those he travels with now.

"Greetings stranger, I'm afraid we've not had the chance to speak while preparing to set off, I am Ceulan Anth, paladin initiate hailing from Astras. Pleased to meet you."

Bran turned is head to the man, surprised to see he stood at nearly eye level with him. Bran cleared his throat, the heavy breathing having dried it out. "Likewise. I am Bran,... an adventurer from Fryr." Bran decided to hide his identity. Despite being around for a few hundred years, many still viewed the Laochra as an experiment gone wrong. Since this Ceulan fellow was a member of the Covenant, those who are often tasked with hunting down the witches that created Bran and others, he felt it was best to not be so forth coming. Luckily, his helm and armor hid any noticeable feature that would identify him as a Laochra. "Paladin Initiate? You must be on a pilgrimage then?" Bran decided a bit of conversation could help the time pass by quicker. It wouldn't be until this time tomorrow before they found their way out of Dark Root.

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Character Portrait: Ceulan Anth Character Portrait: Bran Folsin
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"Paladin Initiate? You must be on a pilgrimage then?"

Ceulan nodded his head, "Indeed, I must travel south to the Temple Of Qurn, there I will complete my trial and become a full member of the covenant. Surely there must be a catch, as so far my quest has been fairly pleasant, only a few minor complications arising from my... Ah... Inexperience with the ways of the world..."
He shifted his eyes and felt a little flush creeping up his neck at the thought of the embarrassment he had brought upon himself earlier in his quest, his mostly secluded life had not prepared him for the outside world, not at all. Ceulan walked a few more steps along the overgrown trail in awkward reminiscence of his past ordeals before he cleared his throat and returned his attention to the man beside him, "Irregardless, that is all behind me now, and I am well on my way to understanding... people, but I wish to ask you if I may, what is the purpose behind your peculiar armor arrangement? I do not mean to offend, but in my experience a man in top-heavy armor is just a strong push away from an unpleasant time."

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Character Portrait: Tira Tanae Character Portrait: Ceulan Anth Character Portrait: Bran Folsin Character Portrait: Lucia Eskerva
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"I do not mean to offend, but in my experience a man in top-heavy armor is just a strong push away from an unpleasant time."

Bran looked down, gazing at his scuffed black trousers and leather boots while the green tail of his surcoat fluttered behind him. "I spend quite a lot of time on my feet, never been one for horses or wagons. Boots and greaves wouuld just end up slowing me down. Truthfully, my boots and greaves were... stole some time ago. This armor has been with me through everything. To replace it wouldn't feel natural. I suppose that doesn't make much sense, but my armor was stolen nearly a decade ago, so I've learned to adapt." Bran chuckled to himself, realizing that he had given up the chase for his lost items some time ago. "It doesn't weigh me down as much as one would think it would." Bran looked back up, staring off into the great forest with tired eyes. "So, Paladin Initiate? Hows the Covenant holding up nowadays? I heard there was some trouble in Jastor..." Bran continued idly chatting with Ceulan.

(The sun has fallen over Amore)

Despite the sun just disappearing over the horizon to most, the forest had been blocking most of the light for nearly an hour already. The Dark Moon was high in the sky, signaling there would be little light tonight, only the stars to keep travelers company. Hamlin had stopped the company at a small, open area within the wood, likely the same one the two use with nearly every guide. Camp was made, though there was little to it, just a fire in the direct center with what little wagons there were shaped into a circle around the camp. The Merchants all had rolls to sleep on, chatting amongst themselves about what awaited them in Grazi, and sharing food between each other. Gerard and Hamlin made the fire for the travelers to cook any provisions, but would not supply any of their own to others, leaving the rest to fend for themselves. Bran had expected as much, but decided to save what little rations he had. In a profession such as his, one must learn to survive and fight for days with anything to eat. While he would prefer not to starve, he weighed it against the long trek that awaited him once he left the forest. Hamlin clapped his hands together, getting the attention of the group. "Alright everyone, get what rest you can. We leave at the Suns first light tomorrow." Bran sat on a nearby rock, using his sword to prop him up as he tilted his down to rest. He could feel the eyes of the forests creatures watching them. Truth be told, they were completely surrounded. However, acknowledging this fact would probably only scare the weaker travelers and cause the monsters to strike. For now he decided to go over his plan in his head one more time until he dozed off. With any luck, he would be alive tomorrow to carry on.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Dredd, Demon of The Dead Root Character Portrait: Tira Tanae Character Portrait: Ceulan Anth Character Portrait: Bran Folsin Character Portrait: Lucia Eskerva
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#, as written by Shaodow
" finally! A break "
the exhausted traveling merchant exclaimed as he shrugged off the loaded backpack and led it drop to the ground. He was fairly young, around 17 with short, tousled brown hair and dark eye; a lean build and adequately toned arms, legs and abs made it much easier to tote heavy loads such long distances, but with the size of the back bag almost mirroring his 6 foot even frame, it was easy to see why even a built young man like him was exhausted. He was not original meant to tag along with them but his mother insisted it was far too dangerous for him to travel alone through the Dead Wood and he just so happen to come across a Caravan with experienced swordsmen who just so happened to be setting out on a path through the Dark Wood to Grazi. He'd recently acquired some goods and trinkets that would fetch him a rewarding bit of coin there.

The young merchant laughed uncontrollably at a joke an older, more experienced merchant blessed them with; It involved a friend of his's mother and mating horses. Quite the laugh. " stop- enough-no more! I yield! " he begged between gasping breaths, his gut ached from the excess laughter and his bladder was teetering on the edges of explosive release. It was time for some privacy.

He stood up among the seated merchants " excuse me gents, I've gotta go drain the old dragon before I am made to wet myself " he said as he sauntered off through the clearing and into the thick of the forest, clutching his abdomen all the way as if to hold his bladder with the strength of his arms until he found a place secluded enough for sweet relief. After walking for roughly seven minutes after reaching the trees he checked behind himself to see if he was far enough away to be invisible to the group. Urinating in the company of others was his greatest weakness as it would stop all urine flow cold as if it were a tap, dried up useless. Oddly enough he couldn't see through the trees at all, even though the sun had set, with the lantern he'd brought with him he expected to be at least able to see them off in the distance. It had only been seven minutes into the forest after all. With a shrug he came to stop in front of the nearest tree, pulled down his trousers and let the liquid gold flow; He'd deduced that the trees were simply much to thick with leaves to see threw even at this distance. After that he gave no other thought to the anomaly because to him the ghost stories told about the Dead Wood was just to keep younglings from wondering out alone, and nothing more.

No more than forty-five seconds in he heard a rustling noise behind him that he assumed was one of his fellow merchants come to play a prank of sorts, still it stopped his steady stream cold and he jumped around to face the menace, trousers at his ankles and genitals in full view shouting " I'm armed, don't come any closer or you'll feel my wrath! " but there was no one in sight. He lifted his lantern outward for a better look and sure enough he was alone in the forest, however he could of sworn he could see a face on the trunk of one of the trees. "hmm...odd " he muttered as he turned again to continue the liberation of his full bladder, but just as he could feel the flood gates preparing to burst open and agonizing pain accompanied by a warm fluid struck his stomach. His head fell down to discover the culprit and he found himself impaled through the abdomen with the rusted remains of a broken longsword. He hadn't even the strength to turn and face his assailant before the world went dark and he dropped to his knees.

The young merchant jolted to consciousnesses with a sharp intake of breath before he began waling. He was subdued by the group of merchants formerly chattering about just a few feet from his bed roll; they told him he was only experiencing nightmares probably because of the evils of the forest, but it was much too vivid and even though there was no wound to prove they were wrong, every cell in his body told him what he saw was no mere dream.

" Don't let anyone piss alone out there, it's not safe " he demanded of the surrounding merchants, but they were no longer paying him any attention, they were focused on something behind him and he could tell by their horrified expressions that it was too late. He turned to see one of the larger man carrying the lifeless body of a white bearded man.

" H-he's dead " one of the merchants stammered. But he already knew that. At that moment the young merchant became aware of two things: He'd been cursed with a vision of the jolly old merchants death, probably moments before it happened. And that whatever the horrible face he thought he hallucinated out there was responsible.

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Character Portrait: Tira Tanae Character Portrait: Ceulan Anth
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Tira had continued to keep to herself as the caravan progressed. The idle chatter of the merchants was of no interest to her, so she focused on the weaving path the guides led them on through the forest. When she returned north with all the magical treasure she could carry, Tira had no intention of letting some human forest dweller spy upon her newfound secrets. Fortunately, the day's journey was uneventful.

As they made camp, Tira made her perch by one of the wagons, curling up with her tome once again. She glanced around the camp's surroundings, the murky darkness of the forest giving her the slightest bit of concern. But Tira shrugged it off, confident that the two burly men in armor would handle any hungry wolves.

And then the scream happened a short while after that thought. Tira looked up, quickly stuffing her tome back in her pack and grabbing her staff. She weaved through the small crowd that was forming around the corpse until she was behind the bulky paladin and peering around him at the corpse. "Well, oh dear." She murmured. "I do believe he's dead." Tira stated dryly as she peered out into the thicket of trees. Unfortunately whatever was out there was not a wolf. "I would suggest more fires and a watch for the night. Obviously there is something quite dangerous lurking in the night"

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Character Portrait: Tira Tanae Character Portrait: Ceulan Anth Character Portrait: Bran Folsin
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#, as written by Shaodow
The young merchant had been staring down at his own lap through all the commotion, he barely took notice of the paladin initiate's attempts to take the reigns and seize control of the situation. It was not until the Laorcha, Bran, addressed him "You, boy. You said no one should leave the camp to piss. Why?" menacing in his size made even more imposing by the plated armor and fur cape, he felt obligated to finally speak up about what he saw, as if there would be hell to pay if he didn't.

" I-I seen it all happen " he said through clenched teeth as he watched his hands tremor uncontrollably. The young merchant clenched his fist, took a deep breath to gather himself before looking up into the eyes of the warrior " No, that aint quite right...I didn't just see it happen, it was like " the words caught in his throat, as if speaking of it would bring the images back to his mind. " I was there, I was him! I can almost still feel the blade in my gut "

The young merchant stood up on shaky legs and peered out into dark forest just as Bran had done " I...HE saw..something out there, a face in threes. You know when you the knots in a tree look a lot like faces? Well that's what he thought he saw before he was..." He couldn't say the words. " Look, I don't know what but something is out there and it 'aint human and it aint an animal neither. You know better than anyone that wound doesn't come from an animal. No man alive could survive out there long enough to do this, and there aint too many monsters with a knight's weapon. " He clutched the goddess charm that hung from his neck all the while he spoke. As a was a merchant that dealt more weapons than anything else he could tell it was a broadsword just by the look of the broken blade as it pierced his abdomen.

With that in mind he he knelt down and retrieved one of the short swords, as well as a sheath from his inventory. He placed the sheath properly around his waste so that he could draw and sheath from the left side of his body as he was right handed, he at least knew that much. However any experienced swordsmen could tell just by the way he held the blade that he hadn't the knowledge to defend himself properly with it.

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Character Portrait: Tira Tanae Character Portrait: Ceulan Anth Character Portrait: Bran Folsin
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Tira shook her head as she listened to the merchant babble with fear. The poor fools never saw the dangers of the road until it was far too late. I wonder if he's foolish enough to think that sword has as much chance of saving him as a god's trinket. She then looked to the armored stranger as he spoke, raising an eyebrow at his callous offer. "I am a mage, yes. And as much as I would prefer not to have these fools draw the attention of whatever manner of creatures dwells within the woods, perhaps you should consider why we are a part of this group in the first place."

She gestured to the guides. "I would not have parted with my coin if I thought myself capable of navigating the woods." Tira then looked to the paladin, waiting for his moral stance of saving every fool in sight. "Among other objections, I would presume."