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Johannes de Witte

"With sword in hand I shall cleanse the world of impurity. I am the White Sword, I am the Black Shield. I am the Black Cross! And in Their names, I shall smite thee!"

0 · 414 views · located in Continent of Drevair

a character in “Gods of Drevair”, as played by Binsetsu

Description

Image
Name: Johannes de Witte

Age: 31

Race: Human

Gender: Male

Relationship Preference(optional): Too chaste to consider one.

Description: Johannes is a tall man, standing at nearly 6 feet and 6 inches, broad-shouldered and clad in some of the greatest and finest armour that the smiths of the Triumvirate Faith can make. In a few words Johannes would best be described as an imposing figure. His armour makes an already large physique seem even larger and the symbolism of his faith that adorns it is often enough to strike fear in the hearts of the unbelievers. Over his armour he wears a simple frock displaying the black cross of his order and beneath he wears a simple combination of chainmail and boiled leather in order to protect himself from whatever weaponry might pass through his armour. Beneath his helmet he is known to be a fairly average looking man, with bushy eyebrows, a broad jaw and a somewhat large nose, said to betray his lowborn origins. He seems to holds some aversion to shaving his facial hair, as he keeps his beard bushy and wild, yet the hair on top of his head is always kept cleanly cut and is shorter than the hair on his face.

Abilities: Expert Swordfighter I As a member of the Black Cross order of the Triumvirate Faith, Johannes is required by scripture to be a capable fighter. Johannes adheres to these scriptures by being one of the finest swordsmen of the Faith.
Masterfully Crafted Equipment I Johannes’ armour and weaponry is crafted by the greatest armour smiths known to the Triumvirate Faith, who are known to employ ancient, mystical and religious rituals to strengthen the equipment of the Faith’s finest.
Iron Wall I Not only equipped with some of the finest armour the Triumvirate Faith’s smiths can produce, Johannes is also an expert is using it, knowing exactly which parts are thickest and can take certain blows.
Strong I As one might expect of a man of his size Johannes is strong, very strong in fact. Although short of being superhuman in strength, his strength is still a force to be reckoned with.
Favour of the Triumvirate I As a member of the Black Cross order, Johannes has access to the power only gifted to the most faithful. He uses this power to make us of a limited form "divine" magic, usually in the form of divine shields and healing. Despite this, he is not a particularly talented magic-user, especially when compared to the Fae or the Elves.

Weaknesses: Slow I Even without his heavy armour, Johannes can only be described as slow and lacking in agility. As such, he prefers to remain standing and wait for an opportunity to strike as opposed to move around a lot during combat.
Stamina I Although not necessarily possessing a poor physical condition, his heavy equipment makes every move a struggle and as such Johannes tires quickly when forced to move around a lot.
Xenophobic I Johannes is highly xenophobic. Although normal for members of the Triumvirate Faith, it can be debilitating should Johannes be forced to work with non-humans. Or humans of a different religion. Or humans of a different sect of the Triumvirate faith.
Zealous I Johannes believes with all his heart in the superiority of the Triumvirate Faith and denounces all who would follow a different religion or indeed, call themselves gods. His faith is such that Johannes is quick to underestimate those who do not follow the same faith as him.
Uncreative I Johannes has been drilled and trained according to the holy scriptures pertaining to war of the Triumvirate Faith. Although they can be applied to nearly anything known by the Triumvirate Faith, there are no sections detailing how to deal with the unknown, leaving Johannes with little to fall back on and likely to resort to tried and true tactics, which can be predictable.

Personality: Honourable, loyal, righteous, insanely zealous. Johannes is all of these things and more. As he is part of the Black Cross Order, a prestigious group of knights, he is expected to adhere to the highest standards of conduct and living. And he does so with zealous fervour. His loyalty to the faith is uncompromising and he despises everything that would even suggest it might be wrong. He is chaste as it is demanded by the scriptures and adheres to the code of honour, both in combat and in everyday life. He lives his life to defend the weak and those who cannot defend themselves, provided they follow the Faith.

History/Bio: Once a simple commoner with a big dream, Johannes lived the majority of his life on a small farm. He had a different name back then, Johannes Bergen. He was a boy that dreamed of the big city, that dreamed of defending the innocent. Following his dreams, he travelled to the city and enlisted with the Faith Militant. Although this is often where such stories end, as the constant warmongering of the faith had cost more than few young men in a similar position to Johannes their lives, Johannes’ story continues. Part of a unprecedented four wars since he enlisted, Johannes managed through survive through all of them by a combination of luck and skill. He slowly climbed the ranks, first becoming part of the Faith Militant’s White Sword order, before eventually being promoted to the Black Cross order, the highest military position of the Triumvirate Faith. He discarded his commoner last name and took on a new one, de Witte, meaning the White, a last name commonly adopted by those who believed in purity first and foremost.

Even more zealous and loyal to the Triumvirate Faith than ever before, Johannes was quick to volunteer when foul heretics claimed gods had arisen to punish all living things. Knowing these gods to be but mere imposters, foul demons send to subvert the Faith, he stalks the lands with sword in one hand and the favour of the Triumvirate in the other, religious fervour burning and eager to sink his sword in the flesh of false gods.

So begins...

Johannes de Witte's Story

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An unnatural silence hung in the grand cathedral of the Triumvirate Faith. Johannes stood next to his brothers and sisters of the Black Cross order, waiting quietly for one of the three spiritual leaders, each sitting on of a raised dais in a corner of the triangular structure, to speak up. There was something odd about all of this. Never before in the Faith’s long history had all the members of the Black Cross order been gathered in one place and it was making Johannes nervous. Had this something to do with those vicious rumours of a new cult? He had heard of them, of course. Doomsayers and corrupted souls, claiming the very world of Drevair itself had risen up against them, that Drevair was the cause for the recent plague of destruction across the land. That it was the work of gods.

Johannes had to restrain himself not to spit at such disgusting filth. Lower than filth, even. There were only three gods, the rest were but imposters. Fiendish beings like the Elves who used some foul sorcery to gain power beyond their means. Yes, filth like that and the backwards sheep that believed their lies. Such scum always preyed on the weakest of the great herd, like wolves fearful of the defender’s bulls horns. Johannes sighed silently. His mental exercise had gotten him nowhere, he was no closer to figuring out the purpose behind this gathering, nor to the motives of those who called for it. Suddenly, three loud taps on the floor brought not only Johannes, but everyone inside the grand cathedral around to face the bishop who just tapped his staff on the floor.

”Hear ye, hear ye. His holiness the grand Inquisitor would speak!” The bishop’s voice boomed through the holy hall and all other sound seemed to fall before it. Johannes could not even hear the breaths of his brothers and sisters and found that he himself was also holding his breath. This was the first time he had heard the grand inquisitor speak. As representative of Abilmel, greatest of the Triumvirate, the grand inquisitor rarely involved himself in worldly matters and rarely was there a heresy great enough for him to comment on it. The elderly woman slowly stood up from her seat on top of her dais and shuffled forward, raising her hand slightly before speaking in a soft, yet clearly audible voice.

”Brothers… Sisters… greatest warriors of our holy faith. A great tragedy has befallen the lands of men. Earlier this week, Kartolheim and Bergstadt have been burned to the ground… we found but one survivor.” The elderly woman paused as a rush of whispers suddenly filled the hall. Johannes himself remained silent, but he could hear the hushed voices. Johannes shared their concerns. Both cities were on the borders of the Faith’s great nation and both held sizeable detachments of the Faithful Many and Black Shield orders to protect the cathedral’s and churches there. Johannes attention was once more brought to the grand inquisitor when she coughed and silence swept through the room once more.

”This one survivor… claims that the attack on Bergstadt was perpetrated by but a single being. He described a man slightly above average height, with burning red hair and two wicked swords that spread the great inferno from its tips.” This time there were no hushed whispers, rather, everyone seemed to be stunned. To hear that a commoner dared suggest the great inferno, final resting place for all sinners, be utilized like some toy for a mere mortal, it stunned them all. The grand inquisitor took a deep breath before continuing. ”This survivor… he described this man with fiery red hair as a god…”

Loud protestations erupted from the room. As if all the tension suddenly need to be released, all called out for the great pyre for this heretic. Even the bishops ramming their staves on the floor and calling for order did nothing to stem the tide. The grand inquisitor held up her hands, but order would not return. It wouldn’t return until his holiness the Lord Chaplain, closest to Garganth, let his mighty voice boom through the holy hall.

”Silence you fools! The grand inquisitor has more to say!” The grand Inquisitor nodded to his gigantic colleague in thanks before continuing. ”The heretic has been burned on the great pyre, as the scriptures demand. But he has only been the first of many. All across the land we hear reports of this foul heresy spreading. And that is why we have called you here today. From you, we shall select the strongest, the most loyal and the purest, to investigate these rumours… and to slay the false god with fiery red hair.”

Suddenly, bishops and priests alike were amongst the warriors of the Black Cross order, handing out sealed notes and urging everyone to retreat to a private area to read them. Johannes did as he was bid and quickly retreated to the barracks, into his private chambers to read the note.

“To Johannes de Witte, Rejoice, for you have been chosen to hunt down and destroy the foul false gods that stalk that land, attempting to usurp the Triumvirate Faith. Report to Archbishop Sammuel, he shall present you with a gift for this journey.”

With a gleeful smile Johannes quickly packed his gear and went straight for the Archbishops quarters. He wasn’t sure what this ‘gift’ might be, but he knew the Archbishop was one of the greatest relic smiths in all the lands. They said the Archbishop had studied the foul rituals and magic of the lesser races and managed to convert them to serve the Triumvirate Faith. It was known to all that the relics he made bestowed upon their holder the ability to wield great and holy power, even if the holder had no talent for it themselves. Eagerly, Johannes knocked on the Archbishop’s door and entered.

The elderly man, slowly looked up from his scrolls. Although he was ancient, his mind was still sharp. A shake voice came from somewhere deep inside his throat, as his lips didn’t seem to move. ”Ah… yes, Johannes, correct. I have been ordered to present you with one of my greatest creations. It is in the box on that table.” Johannes gaze followed the slightly shaking finger to the table and slowly made his way over to the box. Almost tenderly, he opened it and within he saw the holy triangle of the Triumvirate Faith, with a black cross in its centre to symbolize the Black Cross order. From the relic, he could feel great power emanating and could feel it resonate with the power bestowed upon him when he was inducted into the Black Cross order.

”That relic shall help you to better utilize the holy gifts of the great three. May it serve you well in your travels, young Johannes.” The Archbishop spoke, before returning his attention back to the scroll in front of him. Johannes nodded in thanks, before rushing out the room. He took his equipment and slowly made his way out of the grand cathedral. All around him he could see his brothers and sisters preparing for their own journeys.

Upon exiting the grand cathedral, Johannes made one final check to ensure his armour was secured and jumped on the horse prepared for him. He slowly lowered his helmet over his head and looked back at the cathedral one last time. The next time he would see it he would be carrying the severed head of the false god with fiery red hair. Johannes nodded to himself, before spurring his horse into motion. His first destination, the town of Bergstadt.

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Blood stained the ground beneath Johannes’ feet. He had expected bandits this close to Bergstadt, to prey upon the local farmers and smaller villages now that the protection of the slightly larger city had fallen away, but not in such numbers, or in such a state of heretic madness. That mere bandits, no matter their numbers, thought they could defeat a holy knight of the Black Cross order, that was nothing short of madness. With disgust he kicked a severed limb out of his way as he moved away from the slaughter to observe the situation. All around him the softly groaning bodies of the bandits that were lucky enough to survive the onslaught lay where they had fallen. With a raised eyebrow Johannes noticed that most of these bandits barely had anything worthy of being called weaponry. Planks with spikes, kitchen knives, saws and pickaxes. The weaponry of peasantry at arms. Johannes gave a soft sigh as he mumbled a soft prayer to Kain, asking him to forgive these peasant fools for their disloyalty.

It seemed the situation was deteriorating faster than even the bishops had expected. If peasant mobs were already being formed, then the unrest was spreading. As Johannes walked back to his horse he softly hoped that the mad heresy was contained to the areas around Bergstadt and Kartolheim, or indeed, that this was an isolated incident. In times of strife and heresy the great flock had to come together, not drift apart. A Johannes climbed back on his horse he gave himself a reassured nod. The scriptures always provided profound wisdom for times like these. With some haste he spurred his horse into motion, hoping to arrive in Bergstadt before more unpleasantness found him on the way.

Johannes thanked Garganth for his protection as he finally approached the village of Bergstadt without any further delays or excitement. He had not come here to scour clean the lands of the filthy wolves who sought the feast upon the great flock in a moment of weakness, he had come to destroy the den from which these wolves spawned. Johannes smiled inwardly for a moment at his own profoundness at what he just said. He would have to remember that, for surely a time would come that one of the chroniclers of the Triumvirate Faith would wish to commit the death of this heresy to paper. What better way to start such a chronicle than with those words? Absent-mindedly he guided his horse into the burned out remains of the city of Bergstadt, the horse’s hoofs kicking up ash and dust with each step.

Johannes slowly looked around before dismounting. There was nothing unexpected to be seen in this burned out town, yet somehow, he felt something was wrong. He slowly guided his horse to a piece of timber that still seemed like it wouldn’t fall apart at the touch and tied the reins of his horse to it. It wouldn’t do to burden the animal unnecessarily. He could investigate better by himself anyway. Slowly but surely Johannes made his way through the town, occasionally kicking down doors to investigate the inside of buildings. The ash stained to bottom of his pure white frock, but Johannes, for once, paid no attention to such details. He could feel something, something evil, something that opposed all that Johannes stood for. His eyes narrowed at every little shadow and he felt himself drawn to every dark recess to investigate.

Without realizing it, Johannes had drawn his sword. Sweat was slowly forming in his hair beneath his helmet and he found he was licking his lips repeatedly. With a shake of his head he tried to clear himself of doubts. Suddenly, in the corner of his eye, he saw the burned remains of the church of Bergstadt. Instinctively, Johannes sped up and rushed for the church, using his shoulder to bash open the crooked doors and nearly fell through them in his haste. What he saw inside horrified him. Inside the church he could see the burned bodies of the soldiers of the Triumvirate Faith, their armours and weapons molten in the intense heat. The ones unlucky enough to wear armour that didn’t melt were cooked alive in their armours. Suddenly, Johannes realized what was wrong.

Fear expelled from his body, Johannes stood up straight and marched for the corner that pointed northward. There he knelt in prayer to Abilmel. How could he have been such a fool. For a moment, he let fear overwhelm him in the village. He let the lingering fears of the villagers that died in the flames sneak up on him. The fear of losing their families in the flame, the fear of dieing, all the other simply fears of peasant had slowly turned into the fear that one person could have done such damage, the fear of that one person, no matter how much power bestowed upon them by evil, could annihilate an entire city by themselves. His mind had played tricks on him. But now he realized there was no need for fear. He saw it in the eyes and faces of the brave soldiers that died here. They screamed, but none of them were afraid. For they had the Triumvirate behind them and were now safely at their sides, all pain and horror gone from them forever. And with such great power now aligned at Johannes’ back, even the person who delivered this destruction would surely fall to his blade. For he was the White Sword and the Black Shield. And he would cleanse the world of all impurity.

Johannes said his prayer and now prayed for guidance. He felt he would need the help of the Triumvirate to find any trace of this red headed ‘god’ in this burned out husk of a town.

The setting changes from Continent of Drevair to Bergstadt

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte
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The knight walked through the ruined husk that was once Bergstadt guided by the hand of his faith yet unbeknownst to Johannes de Witte he had not one shadow this day but two. The second shadow unlike the one the defender of the faith was born with was sentient as it stalked the armored warrior of the gods. It watched carefully the actions of the knights. It began to follow Johannes during his battle with the looters. The faceless shade witnessed as the holy man's blade cleaved flesh and bone, severed limb from heretical limb all in the name of his god. Unseen in it's vigil the being was as a wraith silently stalking the paladin as he went about his holy duty, all the while completely unaware that a killer lurked.

Athos Lorio grimaced beneath his veil of invisibilty as he watched the paladin. Massive in size and stature the man was built like an ox. Any wonder as to his strength was answered during the mans short bout with the scavengers. To say this holy warrior was skilled with a blade was an understatement, it was more accurate to say that The Triumvirate of The Faith had sent their best and this was it. A titan of a man clad in masterfully crafted armor he strode through the carnage created with his blade and the one done by this so called Red god without hesitation. It was not until he began smashing down doors that Athos noticed something off about him. His movements became more erratic and cautious. His blade was freed from it's sheath when no enemy presented itself. His head whipped about scanning for enemies that did not exist. The sight made the assassin grin for he was witnessing something he had seen many times before, fear.

Athos stalked the knight like a prowling beast until he reached the remains of what once was a church. The invisible man had to hold back a scoff at the sight, of course the knight would check on the building of hollow worship. In truth that was all he cared about, that as all any of those so called holy men cared about. They lent aid to others of their order but should someone not of his order be in need, should and elf or a dwarf or a follower of a different faith call out for a helping hand that poor individual would be lucky to be spit on by the knight before he strode by and let them die. The hypocrisy was almost too much to bear.

The killer of men, cloaked in invisibilty stood in the church as the knight knelt in a moment of silent prayer. It was then that Athos could bite his tongue no longer. He spoke from lips unseen, his words dark and scathing.

"Do you think your prayers will do you anymore good than it did these men, Sir Knight?"

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte
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Johannes tensed up slightly when a voice emerged from what seemed to be the shadows of the burned out church. He did not remember seeing anyone still alive upon entering and certainly did not hear anyone enter after him. With a slight sigh he ended his prayer and picked up the sword lying next to him, making sure to do so calmly and measuredly, no need to antagonize this figure unduly. He slowly stood up, his sword hanging loosely in his hand beside him and looked around. Nothing. Just the charred remains of his fellow faithful and burned remnants of the church. Had he imagined it? No, his mind no longer played tricks on him, the smell of death and ashes no longer clouded his mind and deceived him into a moment of weakness. There was someone, or something, here. Had this being been the cause of his nervousness then? Had this foul trickster been at his side the entire time? Johannes shuddered to think there was a being that could deceive the senses to this extent. He looked up to a hole in the roof to make sure there wasn’t someone hiding up there either. No one. With a sigh he replied to the hidden voice.

“I imagine it won’t, as I prayed for their souls to be guided to the side of the Triumvirate, as my soul will when I meet my demise. So it shall do them as much good as it did me and for that, I rejoice.”

He answered in a measured voice, his senses sharp and ready, hoping to notice any form of reaction to his reply. The voice had been sharp, like a knife seeking to cut away the life of some poor soul. But Johannes’ armour was faith and no knife formed of words could possibly penetrate its thick steel. But it did reveal a cynical soul, a soul who doubted. A pitiful soul, who found no solace in believing in a greater power. He pitied whatever being owned that voice. But still, there was power there, power unknown to Johannes. To disappear from all senses like the owner of that voice had, it boggled the mind.

“Tell me, mysterious voice, why have you come here? I doubt a being who can hide as well as you came here just to pilfer the last remaining riches.”

Johannes voiced his question, his voice firm and even. He did not expect this being to be overly hostile, as it would have attacked by now if it were. But it was not a natural being to say the least. The best course of action was to have it reveal itself and slay the foul trickster once it did. No being that hid from the glorious light of three could possibly be human and as such, deserved its fate. A slight frown appeared on his brow as he thought on this. He had prayed for guidance… was this being sent here to answer his prayers? Perhaps he should let off on slaying it until he could ascertain its objectives.
Johannes nodded to himself. He should take this one step at a time. He could always slay it after extracting all the information he could from it.

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte
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Hidden from sight Athos mused at the knights words yet no smile touched his lips. It was in his eyes that, if visible, would have shown his amusement. This knight, even now, showed a strength in his prayers and faith as if it actually did him some good. He would have respected the man if he was not so foolish. Better served he would be to accept that his prayers fell on deaf ears and trust rather in the strength of his own arm than that of some imaginary figure.

"Perhaps I am your god, knight? Perhaps now what you hear is the voice of your heavenly lords to whom you commit your life and immortal soul?"

His voice was dripping scorn as he taunted the knight.

"Or perhaps..."

Athos took a step forward, slow and steady not making a sound.

"The truth you fear to see..."

Athos moved closer still, never making a sound. The knight still unaware of his location seemed primed to strike out at the first sign of movement he saw yet no sign came.

"That there is no god here with you paladin..."

His voice was haunting as it drifted from seemingly nothing. A tense moment of silence between the warrior of the gods and the faceless voice before Athos stepped fourth to be seen. The air around him seemed to shimmer and fade allowing the dark cloaked assassin to be seen.

"Only man."

He finished darkly as he locked his golden killers gaze with that of the paladin of The Triumvirate. The assassin and the paladin held each others gaze evenly, neither giving an inch. The tense stare down last only a few moments but the air between them seemed alive with the potential for bloodshed, charged with the power of the two men. Should the choose it neither man would leave the charred remains of the church alive yet it seemed that this day restraint would be found in both men.

Satisfied the knight was not going to immediately bring sword to bear Athos spoke again, his voice still cold as the grave.

"As to why I am here I'd wager we are on twin purpose or do you not seek the deaths of these new... gods?"

The setting changes from Bergstadt to Continent of Drevair

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte
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The air seemed to come alive as the mysterious voice spoke. He had not felt too much belligerence before, but now he could almost feel the being’s gaze, like daggers stabbing where his armour was weakest. Johannes noticed he could not hear any other sound beyond the being’s voice. But that was enough, it was slowly, but surely, getting closer. Inching forward, mewling about fear and faith as so many other pathetic beings had done, right before their heads stopped being attached to their necks. But somehow, Johannes doubted this being was like them. His, and a him it was, Johannes decided, words were the same, but his power was nothing like them. Johannes focused on that voice, ignoring the words but attempting to discern a location from it. He was closer now, a few steps at least. A few more moments and his inconsequential blabbering would reveal his location. Suddenly the air shimmered and as if the man had simply been wearing a cloak of shadows, he stepped forth, cloak discarded.

Johannes brought his gaze about, slowly and steadily. His eyes locked with the golden eyes of the mysterious figure. His hand tensed up slightly. This man was a dangerous one indeed. He could see it clearly, in his body language. This was a man who knew every muscle, a man of confidence in his skill and a confidence earned. He kept his eyes focused on those golden orbs, ready for any sign of movement. If this man wanted a fight, he could have it. With the glory of the Triumvirate at his back, Johannes would cleanse the impurity of his soul if needed.

But it seemed the three had not decided these two would clash this day, as suddenly tension fell away when the man suggested the two might have a similar objective. With a grunt Johannes showed his disdain at the suggestion whatever had done this might have been a god.

“Gods? Doubtful. If whatever did this was truly a god, I highly doubt we’d find remains by this point. But you are correct in assuming I seek the destruction of this foul being.”

Johannes returned his gaze to the other man. Trying to discern a motive. He had the poise of a well-trained man, a man used to killing. Johannes had no doubt it was something he had gotten very good at over the years. If they truly sought the demise of the red-headed man, then perhaps he could prove useful. Johannes nodded at the figure, still trying to size him up, his eyes scanning for hidden weapons in the folds of the man clothing. Johannes had seen figures like this before. Brutal murderers, slayers of man. Contract killers. Most could be dismissed as little more than thugs in black cloaks. But this man, this man was the real deal. The ultimate culmination of that profession. Sinful though that profession might be, slaying a false god was more important than eliminating a mere contract killer, surely the Triumvirate agreed.

“Tell me, stranger. I see in you a soul drenched in darkness, yet you are on this same righteous path as I. For that, you have earned a small measure of respect. I would know thy name, so should you succeed, I may honour it, and should you fall on this, the most holy of quests, I might carve it in your tombstone.”

The setting changes from Continent of Drevair to Bergstadt

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte
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Athos was unable to help the dry chuckle from escaping his lips at the noble knights words. He slowly began to pace away from their stand off and circled the room, taking his eyes off the knight, seemingly unconcerned and to instead the surrounding bodies. His eyes scanned them and noticed the same horrific burning of those outside yet these poor sods had the unfortunate fate to be roasted alive in their own armor like feast ducks in a steam pot. Their flesh stuck to the sides of their armor and dripped down to the floor in a pool of human grease.

"Righteous?... If you say so."

Athos said sarcastically as he knelt down beside one of the knights and tentatively put his fore and middle finger tips to the metal before quickly withdrawing them in surprise.

"Still warm..."

He muttered more to himself than the paladin. Whatever magic did this it was inconceivably powerful. To leave behind destruction such as this and residuals that even now linger, this was no mere mage, not even an arch sorcerer could conjure such magic, at least none that he'd ever heard of.

Finally Athos stood and turned back to the paladin with his name as requested.

"I am Athos Lorio."

He said flatly with a short nod.

The setting changes from Bergstadt to Continent of Drevair

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte
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Johannes observed the cloaked man as he walked through the church, or what was left of it. He had trouble reading this individual and the experience was rather upsetting. Johannes decided he did not like this man, then and there. He also came to the realization that it was doubtful this man was send here by the will of the Triumvirate. In a way, Johannes was thankful for that, to think such a man would be sent by the will of the three bothered Johannes in more ways than one.

"I am Athos Lorio."

Johannes looked up slightly as he was awakened from his introspective exercise by the voice of the cloaked man. It was not a name he recognized, not that Johannes had expected differently. A man so capable in hiding himself would probably prefer obscurity to infamy. Johannes nodded slightly in response to the man.

“I am Johannes de Witte, holy knight of the Black Cross order.”

Upon saying that Johannes moved for the exit of the church. He wanted to leave this man here and forget all about him. But unfortunately, Johannes lacked the necessary skills to properly track the red haired man. Upon reaching the exit of the church, he turned back to Athos.

“Tell me, have you found any clues as of the location of whoever did this?” Johannes posed his question firmly, to the point it was almost forceful. He wasn’t ashamed to admit he lacked the skill to track this man, each had their own set of skills and to desire more than what the three had given was a sin. Still, he disliked having to ask this man anyway, it left a foul taste in his mouth. But for the sake of his holy quest, he would swallow it down and use whatever source of information he could.

The setting changes from Continent of Drevair to Bergstadt

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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The killers golden eyes tracked the knight as moved to leave. The introduction was short, curt even. His peace said he moved to leave, rid himself of the stain the assassins presence no doubt caused on his clean holy world. The ridiculousness of this knight and all like him sickened Athos, it always had and undoubtedly always would. This man was no different, better to fail nobly than succeed questionably for any who was not like them was a sinner and therefore not fit to breath the same air as them. A minor fantasy of Athos slitting the knights throat played in the assassin's mind before the paladin's voice snapped him from his day light dreaming.

The dark smile that had etched its way onto his face faded as Johannes did something Athos would have considered impossible for one of his ilk, he asked for help. Obviously restrained and not without some hesitation but there it was. A saint asking the aid of a sinner, in the burned out ghostly remains of a church none the less. The moment would have been beautiful if it was not so absurd. Athos tilted his head ever so slightly as he took a step toward him, as if he didn't truly believe what he was hearing.

"I may have answers, answers those bathed in holy light may be blinded to for they do not inspect the darkness close enough and risk sullying their frocks. Yet..."

Athos said stepping towards the big man quizzically. This man was not so different then all the rest. Big, brave, bold and strong yet his ignorance crafted through religion had a single chink in that shield of stupidity, this one was intelligent enough to see that even the best of men needed help at times.

"I'm surprised you would be interested in hearing them if they do not come from scripture or the words of some old crone draped in white."

Athos' words were scathing for sure, most of what spewed from his mouth was overly harsh and blunt yet there was and always has been truth in them. The overly faithful, in Lorio's experience, were hardly ever interested in the truth. Completion of their holy quest was all that mattered, regardless of the truth of what they were asked to do. Burn the village full of heretics, whether the people within were wicked or not for it is not their place to question only to serve. Past experiences aside this man may be, at least to some degree, different.

"I can tell you that of the living arch mages, dark sorcerers and high wizard masters no single one could have accomplished the feat we see here. The residual effects of their magic lingers to such a degree I'd be hard pressed to believe that it could be done by any who now walk Drevair. So unless the dead soul of one of the fallen Mage Lords now walks this earth we are dealing with an obscure magic user, one that astoundingly is self taught or otherwise schooled in the dark arts."

Athos spoke, before turning away and stepping past Johannes to stand just outside the door way, looking out onto the ruinous remains of Bergsadt.

"I can tell you that what was done did not happen at the hands of one but two. There was another, this one wielding not flame but song. A song that fills the mind with dread and panic, one that must have made it impossible for the villagers to flee or fight. A death song... a ballad of doom."

Athos' voice trailed off for a moment as he recalled Faleen's words, spoken to him only an hour earlier. Her body was no doubt still smoldering in the ash and soot. The assassin closed his eyes and forcibly willed the girls face from his mind before speaking again.

"I can also tell you that I can track them if we...."

Athos voice froze in his throat as his eagle eyes caught something in the distance, just on the exterior of the village. Two figures, one masculine in stature, the other definitely feminine. A fire lord and a musician perhaps?

"We are not alone."

Athos said darkly as his eyes locked onto the faceless figures in the distance, already his deadly brilliant mind was working out the best way to reach the figures and end their lives before they could even react. His posture, the way his eyes seemed fixed on the figures in the distance were entirely predatory. He was ready to kill, but was the paladin?

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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She had gotten the mans attention, he looked nice enough. Probably mourning someone he had lost, at the thought of this Valeria felt stupid. Now that she was closer she could see him closer, he seems like a human noble, he has the appropriate attire for it. But there was something...inhuman about him as well. But then again it might of been the scent and aura of death around them, so she decided not to bring up the subject just in case he would of been insulted. Valeria pushed back a brown wisp of hair and was about to introduce herself, when the blonde man had spoken instead,

"I'd bid you a good day, but it hardly seems like one," He had said, nodding in the direction of the razed town. He then stood up and dusted off any ash that was on his clean attire. "But still, well met. There are many shady folks roaming around. Scavengers as they are, they would gladly assault the living given the chance. This is not a good place for a delicate lady."

Valeria was somewhat annoyed at this remark, but decided to reply in a nice tone, "Yes, death has made its mark on this place. And I think I am more than capable of defending myself, for I Valeria Marietta am on a miss-..." She had stopped in her speech suddenly, as she felt like she was being watched. Like her magical aura was being penetrated by the eyes of a hawk. She didn't want to alarm the blonde man, she had to turn around and try to see where the eyes were coming from. So she gave out a forced chuckle and said, "Well, if you don't mind me. I need to get going..." She bowed awkwardly and began walking swiftly away, almost turning into a slight run. She had went behind a large crumbled wall, out of the sight of the man and almost every ruin around. There she stood, gripping to the wall like silk to wet skin. She had succeeded, the thought of being watched was gone, she was somewhat safe behind the crumbling stone ruin. She had noticed that her silk robe, and skin was almost fully covered in soot, at this she sighed and began brushing herself off with a delicate touch.

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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Johannes frowned slightly as the cloaked man’s knife of words reappeared, once more stabbing quickly and potentially lethally, for lesser men. It was a wasted effort on the man’s part, but Johannes slowly but certainly began to feel an urge rising up from deep within him, an urge to bash this man’s teeth out. He gritted his teeth as Athos’ vocal onslaught of cynicism and foulness continued, even as he slowly gripped his sword tighter. It wasn’t until the man started dealing in facts of what occurred here that he realized the knife of words had found a chink in his armour and drawn blood. With a soft sigh he sheathed his sword and turned his full attention to the man.

A slight tinge of nervousness crawled up his spine at the mention of arch-mages. Their kin was best avoided, if only for their continued refusal to aid the great faith. Nonetheless, even the Triumvirate Faith knew enough to be wary of their powers. In a way, it made the man’s theory that this could not have been perpetrated by their living kin all the more shocking. It had been Johannes’ first inclination that it was a renegade of their kind that had done all of this. He had to resist the urge to spit on the ground, especially since he was still wearing his helmet.

Yet, the shocked revelations did not end there. The Triumvirate spoke of only one man, the one with fiery red hair. Johannes had perused the transcript of the heretic who witnessed the event, but it made only one mention of that men. Perhaps there was a mention of music, but it would have been dismissed as the ravings of the mad, justly so. The demented and heretical often heard things that had no presence in reality. The man continued and a slight grin appeared on Johannes’ face as Athos mentioned he could track them. Not send by the three perhaps, but no less useful for it. After he found the red haired man and delivered the just and holy punishment that man deserved, he could always knock this man’s teeth out for suspicion of heresy afterwards.

"We are not alone."

Johannes’ smile faded as soon as it had come and in a single smooth motion Johannes’ sword left its sheath once more. With careless abandon and filled with holy fervour Johannes followed the man outside and looked around eagerly. Yet, he saw no one. What senses had his man that he could detect beings not even within sight? The mysteries of the cloaked man kept piling up, although Johannes was now certain he held more than a prodigious talent for hiding himself and murder.

“I see no one, but I shall believe you for now. Tell me, do you sense the unholy perpetrator of this tragedy? Lead me to them, so I may smite them in the name of the Triumvirate.”

Johannes spoke, making an effort not to sound too eager to murder whoever Athos had detected and mostly failing.

The setting changes from Bergstadt to Continent of Drevair

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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[ignore]

The setting changes from Continent of Drevair to Bergstadt

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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Athos' eyes had never left the figures in the distance, even as Johannes spoke the assassin's gaze tracked their movements. He watched as the female broke off, taking cover behind a wall. The killer had to suppress a chuckle at the sight. The slayer of kings and high priests, the shadow of death, the no where man, bested by a simple free standing wall. This one was none too bright and certainly not the being he and the paladin pursued. The other followed after her shortly, it was unclear from this range whether he was foolishly attempting to hide as well or if he was serving as a shield to her and merely moving in to safeguard. Finally ready to make his move Athos turned to Johannes.

"I would lead but you would not be able to follow sir knight. You cannot follow what you do not see."

Athos turned looking once more in the direction of the two figures seen only to him.

"I cannot lead you and hope to make use of the element of surprise, you will need to follow only my words..."

A ruinous smirk etched its way on his face as he turned back to Johannes.

"Have faith."

A light chuckle paused his words before he causally began to go over the route the knight would need to find what the assassin already located.

"You will walk along this line here, do not waiver. You will serve as the sword, I will be the dagger. Trap them between the two of us and there will be no escape. If they attack you head on you will strike from the front, I will come up from behind as the knife in the back. If they seek to flee I will be on them before their feet leave the charred ground of Bergstadt. If they seek to hide then they will die in the darkness."

Athos took a step away from the paladin, ready to vanish at a moments notice, but paused to inform Johannes of one final thing.

"I am not convinced these are our killers but there is only one way to be certain."

And with that he vanished, cloaked once more in an air of invisiblity, completely absent from sight to any and all, Athos teleported around the wastes, quickly circling the duo. Johannes moved swiftly and with purpose along the route Athos outlined. His magnificent blade in his hand he seemed unafraid of whatever he may encounter. It wasn't long before the assassin, watching from unseen shadows, noticed that the two individuals had caught sight of the paladin moving in on their position. One appeared to be of nobility, or at least dressed like one. An elf, male, with golden blonde hair and exquisite cloth. Athos' eyes focused on him, curious what one of his ilk would be doing out here without company. His predatory gaze flicked to the female at his side. Young, beautiful, bountiful in her assets and draped in next to nothing. The harlot could very well be his concubine, a courtesan picked up from one of the neighboring settlements for a little business but to bring her to the remains of a ghost town made no sense. So the noble and the whore now found themselves standing before the holy, indignation of the massive paladin Johannes de Witte who now spotted them, closing the distance.

Athos watched from the shadows, hands on a dagger ready to burrow it in one of their spines should they move. He would allow Johannes to address them and discern who they were and what they wanted. Not until he was certain they posed no immediate threat would he step fourth into the world of what was visible and make his presence known.

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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Valeria was eager to get the mess off of her robes, this is the only this that she had to wear, she couldn't walk around in nothing, what would people think? That she was just a harlot, frolicking from town to town looking for work? No she was a proud Arch-Sorceress of the Society of the Golden, and she is a force to be trifled with! But with all the magic in the world she couldn't seem to get rid of terrible soot that coveted her robes. Why is this happening? she had thought, sighing deeply, first it was trying to escape those brigands who wanted to take her purity, that is how she got in the forest in the first place. Now this is happening. She had closed her eyes and wished that she was back at the Castle Dawn. Where the stone halls were filled with heat provided by the fire elementals under the control of the Fire Mages. Where in the Great Hall the sun shone through the coloured glass depicting the history of the Society. Some nights, her aunt would allow all the young girls to gather in the great hall, and it was filled with plush pillows and blankets. She wish that she was home, where her friends were. But no, her Aunt had received a letter from some people from the Triumvirate faith or something. That is when Valeria began to wonder, why would worshippers of Sia take orders from the Triumvirate faith? It just didn't make sense, neither the less Valeria had got given a duty, and she will fulfil her goal by any means necessary.

She had taken a deep breath and opened her eyes to see the blonde man she had seen before, "That's not going to come out easily. In fact, I'm afraid you may have ruined your - dress? - completely," he had said, seeming sympathetic for her. The man had reached into his pocket and pulled out a white handkerchief, "But you should at least wipe your face with this," he added, handing the handkerchief to her. Valeria took the handkerchief and and started to wipe away at her face, feeling the delicate touch of the soft cloth. She had lifted the handkerchief from her now roughly clean face and gave it back to the man. "I apologize if I hurt your feelings earlier. I did not mean to question your capability." The man had said with a soft smile. "I was merely expressing concern for your safety. Bandits always attack in numbers, and, without experience facing multiple opponents, even the most capable of people may find themselves overwhelmed."

Valeria had suddenly realised how apologetic the man was and began to speak, "I should be the one to apologize, being out here is suddenly a new experience for me. As for the way I acted just a few moments ago, I must apologize, for you are the first of the...opposite gender for I have had the pleasure of speaking to." her speech became more womanly and adult other than the way she had spoken before. It was true, he was the first man she had spoke to, well he wasn't her type of male to be true. She always wanted a knight in shining armour to sweep her off her feet, like in the story books that her mother used to read.

"You are here to investigate what happened in Bergstadt, are you not? In that case, I believe we could help each other." The man had said, still keeping that smile of his. She nodded in agreement, for that was her mission. To put to justice for what monster did to these people.

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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Johannes followed the assassin in silence, his mind focused on the task ahead. He disliked the idea of ‘having faith’ in a man as devoid of faith as this one, but he did as he was bid nonetheless, while faith was reserved for the gods, he could trust this man. In this instant at least, he was not as foolish to assume he could trust this man in general. So Johannes followed vague directions and the sound of a voice. It was harder than he had expected, to follow a man he could not detect unless the man willed it and he found himself nearly getting turned around once or twice, but he marched on relentlessly nonetheless. Divine punishment needed to be eked out.

Only the consideration from Athos that this pair were not likely to be his target cooled his temper somewhat, but he still kept his sword in his hand, just in case. Wisely so, he reflected, as the two finally came within sight. He slowed his steps somewhat and pulled himself up to his full height, taking a few steadying breath before approaching the two.

What he saw both confused and disgusted him. At first sight, he could only see a nobleman with a soot covered women, an unusual sight, but not a fearfully strange one. It was only after he approached a few steps further and got a good look at them that Johannes felt there was something very off about these two. The noble was perhaps expectedly well-dressed and of a pale complexion. But the woman was dressed as a harlot, which in and of itself was perhaps not strange either, harlots existed, Johannes knew, displeasing though the knowledge was.

But to find a harlot here, in the ruins of a town, days after the attack that destroyed had taken place was very odd. By now all towns around Bergstadt should have heard the news and no harlots would attempt to travel here to ply their trades. This woman was nothing short of highly suspicious, not to mention shameful. Johannes could feel a slight burn on his cheeks just by looking at her, her shame infected him as well, it seemed. Johannes eyes narrowed on her as he slowed his steps to a standstill, a respectable distance away from the pair. No doubt he had already been noticed by this point, but he didn’t care. He would not approach this woman carelessly.

He had heard of cultists often dressing their female members in such a fashion to draw the sharp mind away from their true calling. Or perhaps she was a succubus and the nobleman an innocent who was turned into her thrall by dark powers. The scriptures were clear what a knight of the Black Cross order his calling was when faced with creatures so suspicious. Although these circumstances were unique, to say the least, he would still follow the scriptures. Drain them off all information that may lead to other heretics, then slay them. Johannes gritted his teeth as he stepped forward and pointed his sword at the pair.

“State thy business on hallowed ground, dark one. Pray that it stays my sword from cleaving your head from your shoulders.” He allowed his deep voice to boom over the open space between them and from the slits in his helmet narrowed eyes stared them down, burning with the desire to destroy the heretic and demon where they stood.

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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#, as written by Sench
Valeria spoke similarly to how she ran and hid a minute ago: rather clumsily. She explained herself a moment later, saying the elf was the first man she had ever met. That was a bit surprising. He knew that her order, whatever it was called, didn't accept men. But for her to have never seen one, she had to be born into it, or at least taken at a very young age, before she could remember her parents, and sheltered from the world outside. That made him wonder how they avoided dying out: as far as he knew, it still took a male and a female to make children. Or was she a special case?

He gave an uncertain nod to that revelation. He wasn't sure how to best handle such an unusual person, so he would behave as normal. At one point he considered offering her his coat, but she didn't seem conscious about her revealing clothes. Satisfied with her agreement to mutual aid, Kain was about to introduce himself and ask for whatever information regarding Bergstadt she possessed. Unfortunately, the people he sensed moving weren't simply passing by. In fact, they found him and the girl quickly and without a single wrong turn.

Things escalated pretty quickly, that was what Kain thought first. It was amusing, in a way, and certainly more interesting than his average day. One minute he was following a very confused and somewhat bratty girl through the ruins and offering his condolences over her ruined clothes, the next he had a huge armor-clad man point an equally large blade at him, with someone else lurking nearby. It was likely the assassin - as he assumed from the fact he remained hidden - from before.

He recognized the large man as a knight of the Triumvirate, just like anyone who hadn't been living under a rock would. For a moment, the elf thought about where the man approached from and looked around the ruins. With a frown he realized that these two were probably the ones he sensed earlier. While their intentions were questionable, they were definitely not marauders. He didn't care about their identities that much, but he hated being wrong. Besides, in front of him stood the man of Triumvirate he was hoping to find for information before, but he lost his chance to greet the knight on his own terms.

"Typical Triumvirate, really." He said under his breath before facing Johannes. Knowing his own nature, Kain assumed the man was talking to him specifically. Him being an elf was also a factor, and the angle he was going to play. Unfazed by Valeria's choice of clothes, he hadn't considered how a chaste and 'holy' man could react to it. "I have no obligation to answer a murderer of women and children." He said with as much scorn as he could muster. The Triumvirate had some very bad history with the elves and other 'lesser' races.

"Unlike your kind, elves respect all life. I came here to search for the one responsible for this tragedy and see that it never happens again." The blond explained his purpose nonetheless. It was all calculated, of course, the initial provocation and the contradictory fallback. His words weren't completely true, but allies were not made by revealing your intentions. "I assume you are here for a similar purpose." He paused. "The being that did this is not something you or I - or anyone for that matter - can handle alone." Kain glanced at Valeria as he said that.

"This is bigger than the history of our peoples..." He said through his teeth, like a true elf. "I can forget about the past for the sake of the future. Can you do the same?" He didn't extent his hand towards the armored man or anything, but the offer was clear enough: to join forces for the greater good. He made no mention of the assassin that followed Johannes. Perhaps the knight was not even aware of his presence. More importantly, the elf couldn't pinpoint his location. He felt he was close, but his position was unclear, constantly shifting. He wouldn't be able to neutralize the assassin like this, so for now, he choose to simply be vigilant.

The setting changes from Bergstadt to Continent of Drevair

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kalson Threisker Dorn Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Karvilus 'Karv' Leafgrinder Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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Karvilus and Kalson made their way through the blasted ruins of Bergstadt, searching any intact houses or particularly gruesome scenes for clues. In the end, all they'd found was more hatred for the culprit, along with a fair helping of nausea and pity for the deceased. "Still hope that red haired son of a bitch doesn't have any friends," said Karv. "Dealing with one of these things is already looking to be a nightmare, but more's just going to add further complications." "We'll find a way," said Kalson in his reliably thick accent. "There's go'a be a way. Nothin's impossible, all y'need's the proper amount o' effort and desperation." "Heh, words to live by right there," replied Karv. The two wandered around a bit more, before happening across a strange sight. It appeared a rather tense conversation was taking place between a giant of a man and two smaller individuals, a man and a woman. Seeing this as a potential clue, Kalson and Karv went to go investigate.

The setting changes from Continent of Drevair to Bergstadt

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Character Portrait: Kalson Threisker Dorn Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Karvilus 'Karv' Leafgrinder Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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The assassin watched and listened with wicked glee in his golden eyes. The elf, so full of scorn for the holy knight amused Athos immensely. The whore fell silent, no doubt frightened by the authoritative bark of Johannes. There was something about the courtesan that made Athos question her profession. While she seemed to be incapable of hiding her womanly bounty from the world she didn't carry herself like a common street walker. Instead of flaunting her assets through seduction and sass she seemed timid, frightened, even child like in her posture and the way she allowed the elf to speak on her behalf. Perhaps the whore was no whore after all.

Athos turned his attention back to the elf as he silently slipped his dagger back into it's sheath deciding that he would not take the noble's life after all. His words made logical sense, something Athos had been thinking himself. This danger was indeed bigger than one race and would require multiple gifted individuals to fell beings with such power. Though the bit about elves respecting all life did make him shake his head with a silent laugh. Athos, perched on his vantage point, just above the elf and his companion he caught sight of three approaching individuals. A dwarf judging by the stocky short size of him, what appeared to be another elf, and an armored warrior.

Athos squinted before teleporting closer and stalking the small group, examining the individuals closely. The dwarf was of average height and build for one of his race. He was encumbered with numerous trinkets, gizmos and devices the likes of which Athos had never seen. A true tinkerer yet it was the construct that truly caught the eye of the assassin. Mistaken for an armored warrior at first before closer observation revealed him to be metal automaton born of magic and science. Apparently this dwarf's ever vigilant guardian. A gifted inventor and mechanical genius to be found in a dwarf was truly a rare find indeed, should he be added to the group he would make a significant force multiplier.

The other was obviously an elf judging by his typical elven good looks, the only feature to mar his otherwise flawless skin was a cross patterned scar hidden behind a leather eye patch. This elf was tall, even by elven standards with an athletic build without being bulky. Yet it was the way he carried himself that stood out to Athos. A swagger that exhumed arrogance and skill. The bow and quiver on his back designated him as an archer and by the overly confident way he seemed to strut at the dwarf's side he was no doubt one of great skill or at the least, believed himself to be. While Athos was quite gifted with a bow a true marksman could come in handy.

Teleporting back to the knight, the noble and the harlot Athos seemed to appear as if out of nowhere, no doubt startling the young woman whom he was now standing directly behind. Free from his shroud of invisibility the assassin seemed to step fourth from the young woman's shadow itself, a killer wreathed in dark armor. Athos mused at the fear he induced in others, even when it was only short lived.

"Gentlemen, milady..."

Athos said in greeting as he slowly stepped around the young woman like a hungry panther circling a gazelle. His golden eyes seemed to track the woman as she stood amongst the others knowing full well she was the most unsettled by his presence. The noble seemed calm but defensive. Johannes looked ready to skewer them all. The woman on the other hand, her curvaceous frame even more alluring up close, just seemed out of place in such dangerous company. Athos moved to stand between the elf and the paladin, preventing one from lunging at the other directly as he spoke.

"Would either of you be expecting further company? A dwarf and another elf perhaps?"

Athos asked causally as he folded his arms across his chest and nodded in the direction the pair would appear from only moments later.

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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She had given her truthful speech, as the man answered with an uncertain nod. She was quite calm with their mutual agreement, now she wouldn't have to do this alone. The man looked as though he was about to say something before stopping again. He was obviously feeling something that he did before, that Valeria wasn't. Maybe this man was a bit...soft in the head? Almost instantly Valeria felt a presence behind her and spun around quickly. “State thy business on hallowed ground, dark one. Pray that it stays my sword from cleaving your head from your shoulders.” There was a shining sword aimed at her head, wielded by towering man, with the armour of the Black Cross Order. An Order that she had learnt about when she was 16, a group of knights or something, the memory was vague, probably because the lesson was boring. Her education did not focus on the Triumvirate Faith. But on the Mother, Sia.

"By Sia's light, stay your sword knight!" She had said out of pure quickly, raising her hands, taking a few steps backwards, now beside the blonde man. She had thought that the man directed his say at her, she now realised it may be a sight of a young woman to wear next to nothing, as an evil harlot of some sorts. She heard the blonde man say under his breath before approaching the knight, "Typical Triumvirate, really," He seems rather angry or annoyed now, losing his smile he had given her before. "I have no obligation to answer a murderer of women and children. The man had said, Valeria was confused by this. Wasn't knights supposed to be helpers of the weak and poor? Or was something deeper at hand here? "Unlike your kind, elves respect all life. I came here to search for the one responsible for this tragedy and see that it never happens again." Then it hit her, that is why she had felt some weird vibes from the man, he was an ELF! She no quarrel with elves, in fact there were a couple back at Castle Dawn, they were really connected to the earth magic actually. Then the elf had continued, "I assume you are here for a similar purpose." The man gave a brief pause, "The being that did this is not something you or I - or anyone for that matter - can handle alone." He gave her a short glance. As she nodded in agreement, putting her hands down, feeling safe behind the Elf.

She felt someone behind her, their presence was close as she could feel their body heat emanating from their bodies. She turned around to see a man standing directly behind her clad in light armour, the armour of an assassin of some sorts. His mouth was covered leaving golden eyes darting across her figure like a hungry beast, this caused her to gasp and flinch backwards, almost bumping into the elf. Now they were surrounded by a knight and an assassin, what if the knight has gone rogue and teamed up with the assassin to take the innocence of young girls?! She wanted to run, but there would be no doubt that the masked man would be able to catch up to her and TAKE HER PURITY. She had shaken her head, trying to get the scarring images out of her delicate mind and stood frozen still, squirming as the man looked her over.

"Gentlemen, milady..."

He began to circle her slowly like she was some meat ready for a tiger, she stood still trying to forget his gaze. He stopped in between of the Elf and the Knight, probably to gain their attention. She turned around slowly to look at the group, trying to avoid looking at the assassin. "Would either of you be expecting further company? A dwarf and another elf perhaps?" the man folded his arms, and nodded over at a spot behind them.

Mustering up all the courage she possesses Valeria replies, as kindly as she can, "No we aren't, and we weren't really expecting a knight shouting accusations and an assassin to appear out of thin air either." She had said, crossing her arms across her chest.

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Character Portrait: Kalson Threisker Dorn Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Karvilus 'Karv' Leafgrinder Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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The woman’s response told Johannes all he needed to know. A heretic. A foul believer in that sinful demoness known as Shia. He should’ve known really. No decent woman would ever wear such revealing frocks. Johannes took a step forward, he would first slay the woman and then the nobleman, just to be sure. But before he could begin his charge, the nobleman spoke. He spoke of Elves and duplicity on the part of the holy faith. What was it today with cutthroats and less beings criticizing that which they had no comprehension off? Were they truly so small-minded that none of them understood the glory and holiness of the Triumvirate?

Such mental exercises were left for the scholarly priests, it gained Johannes nothing considering the words of some Elf. Too powerful to handle alone? Hah! Perhaps for some wispy Elf that lacked conviction, which, Johannes realized, was likely all of them. Johannes rolled his shoulder slightly and leaned forward a little, ready to charge down and sent these heretics to their rightful place. Right as he was ready to rend both asunder, Athos appeared out of the shadows. Johannes had forgotten about him. The cloaked man spoke, although Johannes had trouble making out the exact words. But he did know the cutthroat had purposefully placed himself between Johannes and the pair, clearly he didn’t wish for Johannes to slay the pair where they stood.

For a moment Johannes entertained the thought of just cleaving through all three of them and be done with this entire aggravating affaire. Yet, the mention of a Dwarf and another Elf stayed his hand. How distasteful, it seemed that the entire world of Drevair seemed intent on annoying him today. Yet, it wasn’t until the woman spoke that Johannes could feel the irritation boiling over. Accusations?! The nerve of this succubus!

“Accusations! How dare ye! What am I supposed to think, with you dressed as a harlot gallivanting around in the ruins of a town with some wispy Elf! No decent woman would do such a thing! This is all your fault for being so suspicious!”

Johannes answered the woman, far more forcefully than he had intended. He could feel his cheeks burning and made an effort to avert his eyes from the woman. Truly, the nerve on this wench. With a grunt Johannes realized that any charge on his part at this point would most likely be useless, the element of surprise and his righteous anger lost. Johannes collected the pieces of his self-control that weren’t shattered by the succubus and turned to Athos.

“What of this Halfer and his tree-hugger friend? Truly an unholy union if ever there was one. Don’t tell me they are the pair who did this?”

Johannes spoke through gritted teeth, slowly feeling his earlier irritation return. He wondered who was the most aggravating, between the Elf with his idiotic misconceptions and poorly contrived lies, Athos, who was fairly similar but somehow more distasteful for being human, he should know better really, and the woman in her enticing garbs, so quick to tempt him away from his vows.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kalson Threisker Dorn Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Karvilus 'Karv' Leafgrinder Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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Athos looked at Johannes with a mild smile beneath his mask. The knights reaction to the young womans simple response was so flustered and full of furious indignation Athos couldn't help but chuckle. Athos began to think that this paladin had never actually spent any length of time with anyone not of his faith. While not entirely uncommon among the armored and blessed it did make for interesting conversation. Especially when the faithful were forced to endure the company of thieves, beggars, harlots and all around questionable folk.

"Ah... quaint but no, big man. No I think our late arrivals are others such as ourselves."

Athos said before his eyes drifted back to the sultry curves of the scantily clad young woman whose name was still a mystery.

"Or perhaps traveling rapists come to plunder any bountiful young maidens they may happen across. And you certainly are bountiful aren't you?..."

His words were full of implication yet cold like the voice of a night prowler. Athos' cruel jest was aimed at the young woman's already shaky composure. Athos was already thoroughly enjoying scaring her with ugly truths.

"Fortunately for you you're not alone, isn't it a knights duty to safeguard the helpless and all that? Or does that only apply to the faithful who are helpless? I can never keep it straight, such much hypocrisy in one organization it can be difficult at times."

Athos said as he put a finger to his chin, feigning thought as he joked at the paladin's expense. A dark grin on his face he lowered his hand and folded his arms over his chest once more.

"In any case, they're not far and headed this way. The dwarf has a construct companion, if it is his construction the tinkerer could be of some use. If he's skilled enough to create the semi-sentient than he should have some ideas on how to kill a god."

Casually leaning his back against the wall Athos continued in a relaxed tone as if the whole business of having this conversation was not only boring but wasting his time.

"The elf is an archer, time will show if his skill merits the title. Carrying a bow does not make you an archer anymore than... dressing in finery makes you a noble."

His eyes flicked to the supposed noble elf knowingly as if Athos implying something only known to the assassin and the elf. While Athos had spent most of his time since making his presence known letting his eyes drift over the young womans curves that went on for days he had actually been paying close attention to the elf as well. He carried himself like a man without fear. While many of the nobility acted unafraid due to their supposed power their wealth afforded them there was a difference between pretending to be unafraid and truly not knowing fear. This man knew not fear even in such company. Being this close to the paladin alone should concern the elf given their species history with the Triumvirate yet he seemed completely relaxed, almost disinterested in the knight. Something was certainly different with this man, Athos merely needed to discover what that was.

The setting changes from Bergstadt to Continent of Drevair

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kalson Threisker Dorn Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Karvilus 'Karv' Leafgrinder Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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As Karvilus and his new found dwarf and automaton companions gained ground towards the strangers, he squinted towards them at confusion before babbling to the dwarf; "Hang on a second, was that masked fella their before? My wonderful eyes never would miss something obvious as that! After all, I can shoot a fly in a forrest miles away from where I stand! And backwards! Ofcourse he must of been hiding! No man coul- Why hello!"
He cut his words short as his attention was diverted, ignoring the masked man, the Triumvirate soldier, and the nobleman to a rather scantily clad woman with an open chest robe, covered in soot, no doubt for trudging in the burned down city. This fact, why this lady was here, or who were any of the unfamiliar men around her were, was not in the slightest of interest or concern to Karv at this point, He almost immediately picked up his great-bow that was taller than Kalson from his back, and quickly grabbed one of his large arrows out of the quiver, and began drawing it.

He turned to Kalson with the obvious glint of a deadly sin glowering in his eyes as he announced; "My dwarven friend, you might be able to see my terrific abilities first hand! It seems some poor unfortunate lady is being harassed by a nobleman and Triumvirate soldier, not doubt the masked man hired to assist them in causing misfortune to poor beauty. You and your rusting toy give me some back if needs be, though with me on the front line, I doubt it would be necessary." He jogged away from the dwarf a few meters before harmlessly firing the first arrow as a warning shot, embedding itself into the charred ground next to the wall the group was standing at. The elf quickly sprinted at blazing speed diagonally to the left, keeping some distance between him, his new friend, and the unknown 'assailants' of the unlucky woman, and began once again drawing his great-bow.
"Gentlemen, you are currently in the aim of one of the greatest archers that graced the earthly plains of Dreivar! This bow I clasp in my very hands is enchanted, and therefore no mere wooden lump for a simple huntsman, and it is not the only thing that is enchanted! I recommend you all step back from the gorgeous young lady who's beauty would make the Triumvirate tosser here reconsider his religious views, before you all suddenly highly resemble a hedgehog."

The setting changes from Continent of Drevair to Bergstadt

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kalson Threisker Dorn Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Karvilus 'Karv' Leafgrinder Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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"Idiot."

The words spoken from the lips of the assassin dripped with malice and cruel intent before he vanished from sight. Leaving his compatriots seemingly alone in the cross hairs of the illusive bowman would surely result in their demise. That would be of course if the killer had fled like it appeared he had. No instead of leaving the knight and the noble and the woman alone to be riddled full of arrows Athos appeared behind the elven archer, a dagger pressed to his throat.

"Warning shots are sloppy. Talking that much does nothing but give your position away. But of course as one of the greatest archers that has graced the earthly plains of Drevair you already knew that."

Athos whispered into his ear with a calm yet deadly tone. One wrong move, a single tiwtch would result in the elf's blood pouring out onto the ashen dirt of Bergstadt, adding just one more body to countless dead of the ruined city.

"Now... lower that bow before I spill more than you can spare."

To empahasize his point Athos slolwy applied a slight bit more pressure, the razor sharp blade drew a tiny pin pricks worth of blood cauing it to trickle down the elf's throat.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Annikar Greyhelm Character Portrait: Kalson Threisker Dorn Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Karvilus 'Karv' Leafgrinder Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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Annikar's eyes opened as she heard voices in the far distance, carried along through the empty and otherwise silent town and picked up by her sharpened senses. A smattering of discussion and briefly raised words. Slowing standing up, Annikar made her way through the ruins towards the sounds. She stepped carefully, making sure to make as little noise as possible. Of course her armor and the crunching ash and wood was hardly subtle, but it was enough and she made sure she moved while the voices were speaking.

Creeping up what was left of a house, Annikar crouched behind a scorched pillar and peered at the odd gathering that had formed. Two elves, a dwarf, an automaton, three humans. Curious indeed, but unlikely to be the culprits. She continued to observe, listening to what seemed to be a petty religious quarrel. Further curious still, but ultimately irrelevant to Annikar's goals. There was still the matter of finding whatever had destroyed this town, and she had no time to banter with ignorant crusaders or whatever manner of folk the rest of these strangers were.

Remaining in her hiding spot, Annikar surveyed the rest of the town. The presence of so many strangers would make tracking difficult, but whatever had caused such havoc surely would not leave the same trail as these mere mortals did.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Annikar Greyhelm Character Portrait: Kalson Threisker Dorn Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Karvilus 'Karv' Leafgrinder Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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Kalson remained behind a pile of burnt rubble with Dyntan, readying his own Pistol should conflict arise, while Karv drew his bow and shouted some declarations of intent. Bloody fool was going to get both of them killed! Karv was demanding that they release some girl the were glaring angrily at, presumably with intent to harm. At least Karv had good intentions. Bit too haughty, though. At that moment in Kalson's thoughts, He heard a soft rustling noise and whispers from an unknown voice somewhere in Karv's general area. He wasn't sure how someone could make it over there so quickly, and without making a bit more noise, but he couldn't dwell on such thoughts for long. He used the unspoken link between Artificer and Creation to command Dyntan to slowly walk out and brandish his Scaldsword. Kalson soon followed suit with his Pistol, and spoke calmly to the stealthy assailant that had now positioned Karv between himself and Dyntan.

"'Ey now, ain't nobody wantin' a fight 'ere. We're just here to search the town, and I be assumin' tha's yer intent 'swell. Please pardon me friend 'ere, he's a bit too proud fer 'is own good, and I must be admittin', you and yer friend over there were lookin' at the wee lass a bit threataninly. But, I be assurin' you that we'll lower our weapons if EVERYONE else'll do th'same."

Now, Kalson was waiting for a response from the assassin.