0
followers
follow

Humphrey Conway

Devout follower of Vladar, even unto death.

0 · 148 views · located in The Kingdom of Ethene

a character in “The Cost Of Paradise”, as played by Captain Awesome

Description

'The Holy Nomad' Humphrey, of House Conway
Image
May Vladar's will be done. May the darkness bow before its true lord. May I stand guard to make it when it refuses. Long live The Knights of Jude. Amen.




Age
24
Gender
Male
Employer/Alingment
Paladin in The Knights of Jude Order. Formerly garrisoned with them. Assigned to missionary work until further notice.
Blessed by the sistirio at his coming of age, after years of extensive training, and has been a paladin ever since. Took the job with the main reason of serving Vladar and the minor reason of bringing honor to House Conway.
Sexuality
Straight
Race
Human
Height | Weight
5'9, 182 lbs. (237 lbs. with full armor set worn)
Equipment
  • A war hammer - A popular weapon type among the ranks of paladins and one heavier than a typical two-handed sword, despite its design for single-handed use. Forged with blessed steel and, as a result, feels much lighter to a paladin than to a normal warrior of the same size. Each paladin has a tradition of decorating their main weapon (most often war hammers but some are known to use other types of weapons) with scripture, from ancient texts, that have to do with personal life events and so Humphrey's weapon is lined with scripture as well.
  • Full plate armor - Nearly all paladins favor multirole-combat capability. They love to shoot from ranges and just as much to bash in doors. This means nearly all of them use a personal set of full plate armor, blessed by each paladin's hometown priest (this is more tradition than a rule and is occasionally overlooked) to protect against corruption from evil spirits and makes it nearly silent to the ears of anyone/anything with evil intent.
  • A heater shield - A simple heater-style shield to use with a paladin's main weapon. On the back of the shield, for Humphrey to read, is his order's creed: "May Vladar's will be done. May the darkness bow before its true lord. May I stand guard to make it when it refuses. Long live The Knights of Jude. Amen."
  • A crossbow - The biggest advantage a paladin has. While the weapon is currently banned by the sistirio for use against other followers of the Old Religion, he gives his blessing for usage by paladins due to their entire existence being centered around the banishment of Vladar's foes, and not any sort of country. The entire reason for its banishment is because of the fact that it is simple enough for a peasant to master it in two weeks-time, yet lethal enough to penetrate all but the sturdiest spots of plate armor of standard thickness.
  • A Pavise - A crossbowman's mobile cover. This shield is designed to provide the user with deployable protection against enemy fire while reloading. Paladins have been known to paint religious murals or texts across their shields for decoration (the message or picture can be seen once all pavises have been deployed in their assigned order). While Humphrey had done this in the past, he has sense repainted over it, as his bit of religious text made little sense by itself.
Image
Advantages
  • Both weapons used by Humphrey are essentially knight-killers. Any thickly-armored enemies that stand against the group must face down this hazard.
  • Humphrey's pavise shield allows him to have a sort of mobile cover. While wearing it on his back, it makes any type of attack from behind relatively difficult to pull off, unless directed toward his legs.
  • Uses full plate armor with mail protecting any weak spots. This creates a high-degree of protection against anything except for well-placed piercing strikes and blunt weaponry.
  • Humphrey is trained in various holy magic. While almost all he can do for races of light is heal and bless, any races of darkness or evil will suffer a huge disadvantage.
  • Years of living and working with his order has given him a great head for tactics with a team. How this works out with others is obviously dependent on how team-oriented they are, unless Humphrey develops a tactic based around a prediction of allied movement.
Disadvantages
  • Humphrey's crossbow has the same weakness as any crossbow. Each shot takes a particularly annoying amount of time to reload in comparison to any type of bow or sling. Thus, the reason for the pavise.
  • Even without the helmet, the pavise makes it impossible for Humphrey to see behind him without turning his entire body.
  • When not wearing the pavise, Humphrey's peripheral vision is heavily decreased by his style of helmet. As a result, he largely has to turn his head to see things beyond about 75 degrees left or right.
  • Despite the blessed material of the war hammer, the weapon still seems a bit heavier than your typical 3 or 4 lb. sword. Expect this to equate to somewhat slower swings than enemies with weapons of the like.
  • The clanking of plates and chains offer little ability to hide from normal enemies. Evil enemies, however, seem to hardly be able to hear the blessed armor at all.



Physical Description
Image
Humphrey: Has a young, kind face and is rarely seen with a negative expression on it. Yet, he seems to harbor a posture which suggests an inexplicable immovability. Right arm looks considerably more toned than his left. Originally had a full head of light brown hair but all the use of holy magic nearly every day has given him a few streaks of white in his hair. When looking a you, it almost seems as if his calm, brown eyes simply know you; as if he can see straight into you.
Armor: Holds a glistening shine to it, seemingly no matter how dirty it gets. A few scratches and chips here-and-there from Humphrey not having time to have them repaired recently. Decorations hold inspiration to the sun in praise.
Personality
Behaves very priestly. Most people that have any sort of extensive conversation with him see him the way they would see a father, a brother, or the most trustworthy friend they now have. Wise beyond his years. Modest, yet assertive, very much like his tactical combat style. Seems to harbor much more energy than he advertises but this only seems to become apparent during physical activity and especially during combat.
Brief Background
Humphrey comes from a modest background, being the son of a lumber mill owner, and knows the meaning of hard work as well as the value of it. House Conway may not be a prominent family but anyone who knows them, knows they are a respectable group of people. Religiously devoted and owners of valiant, kind hearts. These traits are embodied in the family's crest and sigil (a proud stag). At the age of 12 (the normal age at which boys are accepted), Humphrey left home, accompanied only by his father, to the capital city to join the paladins and all they stand for. There he said goodbye to his old life and was given a new one. For four years, Humphrey studied everything from religion, to holy magic, to combat and tactics. He did everything one would do to become a knight, learning to master chivalry and even squiring for an established paladin as included in the process, for four years until his coming of age, the day at which he would be born again and 'knighted' by the sistirio. After six years with his order, Humphrey was assigned for a job to help protect a group of missionaries from any evil spirits or people who may want to harm them. During the job, Humphrey began to grow attached to the duties of a missionary and grew fond of spreading 'the good news'. While he left for home, he still felt wanting. He felt it was his calling to help spread his religion with others so that they too might experience the joys of Old Religion. These feelings drove him to request for more and more of the job that most paladins found to be boring and tedious. This constant distance caused Humphrey to grow further and further away from his brothers and the sistirio saw this. Instead of making him go back for normal duty however, he had something else in mind. He would give Humphrey the special privilege of being able to come and go from his order as he pleased as long as his main focus was spreading the word of the Old Religion. The paladin happily accepted and has been a nomadic paladin-missionary ever since that day, a year-and-a-half ago.
Miscellaneous Notes
  • Humphrey, like all paladins, is a bit of a night owl due to his main enemies' stronger activity during this time. Expect him to stay up late, watching over the party almost every night.
  • His lifestyle is incredibly healthy. Often working out; often waking up after only six or seven hours of sleep; often eating a well-balanced diet when he gets the chance.
  • The bottom of the crest of House Conway reads "To dawn may we stride tall."
  • Humphrey's choice to enlist with the paladins is actually an act of incredible generosity toward his god, his family, and especially his younger brother. To give one's life to the paladins is to relinquish all family inheritance of property (they may have wives and children but they are housed within the paladin's order's housing area). This means, not only is he leaving his family to bring honor and recognition to his name, he is devoting himself to all followers of Old Religion and passing the property; the home; the mill-everything of most value to the family-to his younger brother and only sibling for when their father passes away. He does not talk about this though, and the only people who know about it are his family and anyone he told his past to that connected the dots of the fact that he relinquished his inheritance and has a younger brother...
  • Due to the fact that paladins relinquish any large family inheritance, they consequently are mainly made-up of men with older siblings.
  • Paladins may train in similar ways to knights, and are even knighted, but they are not considered official knights, due to their different terms of service and overall positions among military and cleric individuals. As a result, paladins can be walked on all over without any severe punishment. This is only exploited by true scum of the Earth though, as most knights even see paladins as their equals.
  • Each paladin is a trained exorcist and can call upon the word of Vladar to remove the likes of demons and evil spirits from those who are possessed by one.
  • Due to the use of such a large amount of holy magic, most of the eldest paladins (the ones too old to act as more than exorcists or provide guidance) have a full head of snow-white hair. Some have used enough in a short amount of time to have a few golden strands or streaks in their hair as well. This is usually the sign of how many great-even heroic-deeds they have performed.

So begins...

Humphrey Conway's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Humphrey Conway

0.00 INK

The dark has never felt so cold on this night...
The light of the moon makes no appearance tonight. Not even because of the cloudy sky, for the gaps in the clouds would surely reveal more than the stars' twinkling shine they so love to express. No, tonight could easily be foreseen by the gradual disappearing of crescent light of nights before. Tonight was a lunar eclipse, the darkest and second most dangerous of the lunar cycle. Spirits of the dark love this kind of night. The lack of light provides them with a sort of invigorating, alive feeling and that...that helps them grow bold.
Humphrey walks along, wearing all of his armor, save for his helmet, as usual. He walks a road of dirt from town, where he had spent the day speaking with others about his religion, and hoped to set up camp somewhere in the forest for the night, to wait up and pray until the likely event that he would be found. This land here was outside of the border of his home country, and known to worship a religion of paganism. The town at least seemed to dispel this information of his, with its lack of religious activities and structures, but once he entered someone's personal home, it became rather obvious that something strange went on in the area when he saw a false idol with some entirely strange offerings placed at its feet. No, after today, there will most certainly be a fight with whatever prowls the area. He can sense it too...a feeling of emptiness; despair...as if this feeling in itself is watching him, in disgust for the paladin and his allegiance to the light.
But this feeling does not just go away like it normally does. It grows, strengthening with each passing second as the sense of evil grows closer from behind...and ever closer as a cold rushes down the man's spine. Anticipating a clash much earlier than previously expected, Humphrey reaches across his body to the left side of his belt and grips the neck of his weapon, pulling it up as he turns his waist and checks behind him.
"WHOA! Why are your eyes glowing a gold-ish color? Does that happen often? Do it again!"
Humphrey's eyes shut with a sigh of relief before reverting back to their original brown, and he lets the bottom surface of his hammer drop back down the few inches to the top edge of the heater shield on his belt's left side-covering the handle of the hammer, when he finds it to just be a small boy. A familiar one from yesterday.
"Edmund, I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't sneak up on me like that. You startled me."
The boy answers back in a childish embarrassment, "Sorry, I didn't mean to do that..."
The sound of armor clanking clicks and clacks as Humphrey turns his body the rest of the way and kneels in front of the child, just a couple months shy of eight years old. "It's nothing to worry about, buddy", the paladin says as he caresses the kid's shoulder to reassure him. "Just don't do it again, y'know? Now, what's this reason for coming to get me? It's much too late for you to be out like this."
"It's my parents. After you left for the town yesterday, my father says he has been getting this horrible feeling while out in the fields. My mother thinks it's the evil spirits you talked about...from the statue we had. My father doesn't know what to do so I saw you walking by and-.."
The child seems to truly be frightened.
"..and I had to ask if you would help us. Wont you at least stay the night?"
The paladin pauses a moment, considering the possibility that he may just work to draw the spirit in to attack the family and also that he could defend the family if something were to come for them with or without his presence...
"Sure, little man. I'll stay with you and your family."
The little boy smiles in relief as the paladin stands and walks with him toward the home, where his mother and father wait in the doorway, clearly angry about the child running off in the dark.

--------------

"You certainly caused something to become angry at us. I knew-I just knew that we should not have burnt the idol. The statue of our god! Now we've just pissed them off."
It is late into the night now, nearing midnight. The family's father paces back in fourth in the family's main room, clearly under an amount of distress.
"You've stirred the evil spirits that plague this area. You showed that you will not take their wicked requirements of their religion's sacrifices," Humphrey reassures, calmly sitting in a chair by the fireplace but the father is having none of it.
"No, no! I've endangered my family by showing disloyalty-!"
"-You've endangered them by bowing before something that wishes you defeated-broken," the paladin responds as he stands and clutches the man by the shoulders. He continues in a comforting, soft voice, "Let Vladar be your beacon of hope. By his will, he will not let your family go unprotected. You are not as vulnerable with him on your side as you think you are..." Humphrey smiles a warm, brotherly smile at the man. "...Now, get some rest. I'll watch over your family tonight."
The man exhales, finally calm.
"I am forever in your dept, Sir Humphrey Conway", he says before wishing the holy knight a good night and disappearing behind the corner of the hallway, leading to his and his wife's room. From there, Humphrey takes his seat facing the doorway, and resting his unloaded crossbow against the side of the chair before pulling out and laying his hammer across his lap.
You'll be fine. My lord will protect your family...

--------------

The chill from outside slowly creeps into the home but is held somewhat at bay by what remains of the fire. It seems Jack Frost has come early this year to fog up the windows with condensation. It is only nature, being how cold it is outside, in the now early morning. Humphrey only enjoys the company of himself almost every night. Quietly mumbling whispers to himself about matters that just refuse to stay in his head or praying as he rubs down his crossbow with a few drops here-and-there of his supply of holy water and an old rag.
"So far, nothin' t'nigh'...No senses 'f evil be'n's...jus' me'n'a fam'ly 'f three..."
He goes on, getting the bow string;
"May y' give it streng'h t' pierce your foes..."
The tickler;
"May y' guide my han' t' shoo' only when i's your will..."
The groove in which the bolt is placed when loaded;
"May y' guide my aim t'-"
*WHAM!!*
Suddenly, one of the loudest bangs one might hear sounds from the other side of the home and the fire completely extinguishes. A strong chill enters the air as the incredibly strong presence of an evil entity makes itself known. Immediately, grabs his hammer and clips his bow back to the right side of his belt as he rushes over to the hallway, leaving behind his helmet and pavise with the rest of his supplies and gear. I was right to come here. It appears the family was being targeted and it wasn't me after all! Humphrey reaches down to his belt once more and grabs the handle of his shield. As he nears the source of his sense, it becomes narrowed down to the two rooms of the child and his parents.
Not Edmund's-don't be Edmund's-don't be Edmund's-don't be-
But as Humphrey approaches the two doors, the presence narrows down to the room of the little boy.
"-EDMUND!"
He immediately tries to open the door but it appears to be locked, despite the fact that the door has no lock. From inside sounds the muffled shout of the child, "Sir, I'm scared!!"
All that's left to do is a paladin's job. Brute force.
"I know you are, little man! Just keep away from the door and I'll make it stop! Get away now!"
Humphrey gets on his left side of the doorway and, while facing away from the door, kicks back with his left foot, and with one strong heave, breaks the spiritual barrier, sending the door round into the wall. Following immediately behind, Humphrey moves in, shield first and with hammer ready.
...But nothing is there...
The room appears as normal, save for the boy whom supposedly occupies it is missing.
"Edmund?"
Humphrey slowly steps further into the room.
"You here, boy?"
Suddenly, it comes to him...Edmund was the one who invited him here and said his father felt an uneasy presence around.
He was also behind him when he felt that earlier presence...
Just then, the door slams back shut behind him and just when he looks back at it and forward, Edmund appears in front of him, lunging and attempting to stab the man with a dagger. Immediately, the paladin raises his shield and lets go of the handle to briefly open his hand. Once more, Humphrey's eyes snap to a radiant golden glow as from the palm of his hand, a bright flash of holy light shines around the room. The little boy screams a shout of his own, as well as another's from the same mouth. The beast falls back and lets the weapon slip through his fingers before glaring at the paladin as he regroups his stance and raises his shield to the boy.
"Release this boy! I command it!"
Humphrey's voice, laced with a feel of pure right of authority, as if whoever he were to command like this would surely do his bidding to their fullest and more. But the entity will have nothing of it. Instead of facing the mighty opponent, he takes the boy's body and jumps back, pushing open the window's closed shutters as he moves through.
"Edmund!"
Humphrey's eyes fade back to brown. Without hesitation, he exits the room to find little Edmund's parents. His father in particular is confused as he asks, "Sir Humphrey, what the devil are you yelling about?!"
They didn't hear that bang...That was all to get me?, Humphrey thinks to himself. Of course. It would kill two birds with one stone to get me like that...
"Your son, he-!.." All it takes is for Humphrey to look at the man for him to understand that his son is in immediate danger.
"Horse! Now!"

Humphrey rides after the boy making himself noticed on the edge of the forest before he turns and runs through at an unnaturally-high speed. He may be fast, but he is no match for a horse and the paladin, with the father riding behind him, starts to gain on him. But the two men are restricted to the road in this thick forest and the entity controlling the boy is slowly distancing himself from this road.
His father pleas out ahead, "Paladin! Save my boy! I can't let him leave us like this!"
Though unsure of how well it will turn out, Humphrey has but one plan for saving the child...
The holy warrior makes a circle with his finger in the center of his chest before pressing his palm down...and then lowering his hand to his crossbow.
"P-paladin?!.."
Humphrey positions his foot in the bows stirrup and pulls back on the string.
"Trust in Vladar...", he calls back to the man.
"No! I'm not going to let you-!"
"-Do it!!"
The father is silent.
"....Okay.."
And with that, Humphrey's eyes gain their golden glow once more when he lifts the bow and, despite him never even touching a bolt from his quiver, grips his fingers upon the tickler, pulling the lever and releasing the string.
Amen.
In a bright flash, a bolt-seemingly made from pure light-streaks through the forest; barely missing tree-after-tree-after-tree as it leaves a trail of golden glow behind it, leading straight into the boy and out through the front of his chest, without any harm coming to him as a dark entity is forced out with the bolt of light embedded in it. Both the boy and the spirit collapse to the ground. A shot which would be considered borderline-impossible, done in the single chance they had. But the archer does not see it as his doing...
Thank you, my lord.
Humphrey's eyes fade back.

The two men slow and dismount their horses. Immediately, the father, followed by the paladin, runs through the bushes to his sons side, holding him in his arms.
"Oh thank you Vladar," he sobs. "Thank you for saving my son! Thank you for saving my little boy! You truly are a loving father! Oh thank you!"
Meanwhile, the paladin pulls the string back once more and walks over to the grotesque creature, before planting his boot firmly in its chest, pushing it further down on the ground, and pointing his bow at it. Before his eyes even change their color though, a bolt of light that is not his gets planted into the side of the squirming creature and immediately silences it. With no more fight left in the entity, its 'body' dissipates into the morning air beneath Humphrey's boot.
What?
He looks back to find four paladins, with one having a raised bow. The one that seemed to fire the shot keeps a color scheme of black added in to the usual holy knight's gold and white.
"S-sir?!"
Without delay, Humphrey lowers his bow with it gripped in his left hand and pounds his right fist into his shoulder in a light bow.
"Forgive me, I had no knowledge you were to come through this way!"
Humphrey's voice carries a hint of joy. It has been far too long since the last time he has returned home to his brothers.
The lead paladin replies with, "At ease, brother," before each Knight of Jude greets one another. Two of the three accompanying knights are revealed to be of the younger age warriors while the third is closer to being middle aged. Each have a few white streaks in their hair and the older one even has a couple golden with half of his hair now white. The grand master, however, looks to be in his early fifties and has an entire head of white and gold. His eyes have the appearance to be as a hawk's, yet they keep a kind feel both in one.
"Why are you all here? Especially you, sir! Some kind of special assignment?"
One of the accompanying paladins answers.
"We came to find you, brother. Grand Master-here has a special message for you."
The black-cloaked holy knight takes over as he hands over a folded piece of paper with a broken seal.
"T'was the king's seal. Couldn't let something like that come through without reading it for m'self. Curiosity got the better of me, I'm afraid!"
Humphrey looks up with a look of disappointment in his higher-up before smirking at him and shaking his head as he looked back down and began to read.
"It appears you've got quite the opportunity presented to you, Sir Conway..."

--------------

Now, as dawn starts to break, the knights all prepare their horses at the family's house (Humphrey being brought one by the others of his order) but Humphrey finishes early. With spare time to kill, he walks over to the family of three. First to speak is the mother, thanking the paladin. Then the father, pledging to stay a convert to Vladar. And finally, Humphrey to the boy.
"Lift your shirt, little man."
The boy curiously does as he is told and lifts his shirt to find a large, white-colored scar line on his chest. Before Edmund and his mother have time to ask what it is, Humphrey already explains, "It's a scar from where my bolt pierced you. You have one on your back too." He places his hand on the boy's head and leans over to get down to the proper height.
"You may not have been hurt, but you will have to carry that around with you for a while. Sorry, but that's the way it kind of works. But, whenever you think there is no hope left; when you feel there is no where to run, just touch that scar and remember: Vladar will always be with you. With him you can accomplish anything, no matter how hopeless it may seem to try. No matter how bleak it may look, he can help you through the bad times."
The boy looks up at the paladin as he stands back up straight.
"Thank you, Sir Humphrey."
The paladins each mount their horses as the grand master leads from his light draft, friasian-breed horse.
Last in line is Humphrey, waving goodbye as they move further away.
"Until we meet again!"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lion El' Johnson Character Portrait: Elisa Character Portrait: Aimi Haruki Character Portrait: Humphrey Conway

0.00 INK

A fowl stench in the air. It reeks of disease and death, and yet so close to the outside walls of the city. A mere town with a hastily built wooden wall around it to keep them from getting out without permission but it fails to capture the moans of the dying from escaping the man-made hell. Of course, it has been so long since Humphrey has been in-country that he has had the pleasure of nearly forgetting about this plague. The worst part about it is he and the other paladins can only sit back and watch as those infected suffer. No amount of Vladar's grace can cure this thickness of disease. It appears only Vladar's forgiveness upon his followers can halt what has caused so much suffering. But tell that to some of the paladins and it may get them all worked up about it again. You can only wonder...did Ethene really fall away from him that much to deserve this?
The grand master pulls back on the reins of his horse and the horse slows to a stop next to the door.
"Put your helmets on and grab some gloves. I want to visit him."
One of the younger paladins with gear like Humphrey's speaks up, "Sir, he was kind of bad last time. Do you-..." The man pauses, clearly having a hard time talking about the subject. "..You don't think he's-..."
"He's one o' the toughes' men I' ever known and the most passionate, goin' in there on 'is own will's proof o' that", the veteran paladin replies. The grand master chimes in, "He's right. The man's always been there for people and he wouldn't simply leave without doing what he set out t' do. Vladar bless him for it."
After properly covering up with gloves and every piece of armor they have for any divine protection they can muster, the guards hesitantly open the door and let the holy warriors through before shutting it immediately after, clearly fearful of the plague's wrath. Normally, paladins are greeted with happy smiles and looks of awe but all that awaits them are empty faces of broken hearts and spirits. Only but a few look their way before going back to their business and suffering. The party of five approach a shack, barely fit for a bum, let alone someone who chose to come in here.
"Give us some privacy," the grand master commands. "Conway, Riley, you're with me."
The two younger paladins take positions on both sides of the entrance way, covered by a simple ripped cloth, while the three most seasoned enter. Inside is nothing but filth and a bucket of dirty water next to a bed. On it, lays a particularly sick looking man. In the corner to the immediate right of the entrance lays a full set of a paladin's coat of plates. The veteran paladin with normal armor decorations, called Riley, leans against the wall next to the inside of the doorway while the grand master flanked by Humphrey approaches the sick man.
In a quiet voice, the bedridden initiates the traditional greeting of the holy knights.
"How goes the struggle, sir?"
"The world still troubles," the grand master smiles underneath his helmet but it slowly fades when the man in the bed does not say the final third of the greeting, 'may Vladar's will be done'. The ailed paladin was once a tall, prominent man with a handsome, colorful face. A proud lad of much virtue and valor, barely two years older than Humphrey, now a pathetic sight to see. His once long, flowing, blonde hair a darker, sickly color. The holy magic white strands in his hair a poor grey. All that seems untouched is a single, small group of golden hair strands. It is clear he has not had a shave in a while. What used to be a well-groomed mustache has turned into a patchy goatee and beard of rogue hairs, all the way down to the middle of his pale neck.
"I still manage work as a local healer but...as you can imagine, all I can do for the sick is give last rights."
"Good to hear, son", the old man assures. "I'm glad to hear your health has improved then. Any news? Have there been any cured of their plague since my last visit?"
The sick paladin goes to speak but gets thrown into a coughing fit and pulls another bucket from under his bed before hurling into it.
"Aylmer!", The grand master worriedly exclaims.
When Aylmer finishes his business, he goes for the bucket of dirty water and attempts to get a ladle-full but the paladin of black markings pulls it away and thrusts it into Humphrey's chest. "Here! Have one of the men out front get Abel some actual water to drink!"
Somewhat thrown off by the sudden order, Humphrey blinks and hurries to the entrance before handing the bucket over to one of them and ordering him to go grab some fresh water 'and hurry up about it!' When he returns to the grand master's side, Sir Abel Aylmer has already begun to answer the previous question.
"Yes, in fact a lot more than previous visits of your's-"
"Vladar be praised," Riley adds from the corner.
"N-..N-no, t'was not all Vladar's doing...T'was the Pagan Priestess that paid a visit." If any eyes were somewhere else in the room, they are on the sick man now.
"She came in without any protection to at least prevent the plague from infecting her for a little while. No blessed clothing or armor of any kind. She wasn't like us at all...yet people flocked to her and were instantly cured...I-..I don't understand, sir." But then his face seems to change to a more grim expression.
"She-...I heard she gave off a unique signature to those with the gift of sense but..I never thought it would feel so different, so foreign-so...off..she offered to heal me too but I refused. I will not turn my back on my god so easily and even if I wanted to be cured, I would only stay here where I am needed most anyway..." Then his expression becomes very serious.
"Hear me, oh Sir Eric Fay, Grand Master of The Holy Knights Jude Order, and Bringer of Light, do not-"
Suddenly, one of the young paladins come in with a bucket of somewhat less-dirty water.
"-I got the water, but it's-"
"-NOT-FUCKIN'-NOW!"
Riley practically shoves the lad back through the cloth and outside before returning to his spot by the entrance.
...Continuing on, Abel looks back up at his grand master.
"...don't ever have anyone of my brothers interact with her. She's a bad omen in herself and won't bring anything for your men but trouble."
Underneath his helmet, Fay cannot help but hold a worried expression.
"Don't worry, lad. You just get your rest now."
"Iye, sir..."
"Bring in his water, we're leaving."
Riley opens the curtain and peeks out.
"You! Aylmer wants 'is water! The freakin' hell you doin' out there?!"

As everyone makes their way toward the exit, Humphrey presses forward to Grand Master Fay's side.
"Sir, I know the king is not our master, but-"
"-Let me make something clear for you," the old man interrupts. "I know how close His Holiness is to the king. If we were to deny a request from the king about a matter like this, we would surly get an order for it from the sistirio himself within the next day. So, I won't have you stay back. But we don't want Sir Aylmer to know that, for his position is already bad enough as it is without worrying about one of his brothers."
Humphrey nods and falls back.
"Yes, sir."
At the same time, the younger paladin that did not bring the water approaches closer to Riley.
"Brother, I thought your bad eye's on your right side? What were you doing on the left side of the room?"
Riley simply responds with, "Iye, I' seen enough pain t' know what it's gonna look like. I don' need to look a' ol' Abel t' know what he's feelin'..."

------------------------

The five paladins approach the gate. As usual, one of the guards dressed in their armor and wielding a halberd approach the group of horsed men.
"Good afternoon, Sir Fay, what business have you in the capital?"
"I've business with His Majesty, King Altin himself", says the lead paladin.
"Very well, sir."
The guard looks up at the wall and calls up.
"OPEN THE GATE!"
From above, another voice shouts "Open the gate!" and further yelling, though barely audible, from the inside of the wall before the cranking of gears and rattling of chains can be heard as the gate begins to lift. It has been a while since Humphrey has walked through these walls. While they are not home to him like Tonner Castle is to the paladins of his order, there is a small chapter house here for the Knights of Jude to do business within the capital and that at least provides some familiar feelings for him. As the five men ride through town, the majority of the people they pass stop what they are doing for a couple seconds when they see who it is and then go back to their work while most of the male children continue to look up in awe at the decorated, heavy plate armor and large weapons. Once more, a statement of business and a trail of orders and the inner gate opens once again to reveal the capitol building and palace for the king, as well as His Holiness, the sistirio, all in one...as well as a foreign feeling to the gifted sense. Riley speaks up about it first.
"You all feel that?"
It is the feeling of an unusual smell or coming home and hearing an unfamiliar voice inside.
"What is that?", asks Humphrey as he squints forward. Before he can see what it is however, the grand master gives a calm answer, though his vocal signature is clearly different from usual.
"Lady Elisa, otherwise known as 'The Pagan Priestess'."
As the two groups close in on one another, the three most prominent people can be more easily identified. Two priestesses and...quite obviously, a large group of knights from the Dark Angel Order. From Humphrey's travel's he has heard of their grand master being as tall as a volcano and twice as strong but he never expected the far-fetched rumors to be...well, this close to literal. While Sir Fay and Sir Riley keep eyes front, Humphrey and the two younger paladins cannot help but glance over. One of the younger ones even cannot stop himself from staring at the giant of the man. As they pass, it seems only Humphrey notices the two women leading the group, as if it is Sir El' Johnson creating the unusual spiritual signature.
Most prominent is the woman in colors matching the paladins' own. Obviously the one giving off this, now stronger than ever, feel. Her skin far too soft to be that of anyone over 25, with eyes as blue as the Western-most oceans and hair as golden as the legendary paladins of old in the stories told to children while being rocked to sleep. Behind her walks a little flower of a girl, with-..
...dear Vladar, where are the rest of her cloths?
Her hair a beautiful, solid silver-white color and wide, very curious looking eyes of blue-or is it lavender? A very odd color to say the least. Her overall look has the appearance of a human with elvish qualities. A half-breed? Or is she simply a human with those ever-so feminine features? As for that blade on her belt...Sir Lion's blade is unique but this...
...Is it some type of saber? The hilt and handle do not match that of a typical saber and they seem to align with the shoulder of the blade instead of it curving down and then up.
WAIT-NO! I have been looking at it upside down, that's a rhomphaia!...I think..What's a weapon like a rhomphaia doing around here anyway?

As Humphrey attempts to comprehend what a katana is, the paladin grand master bids, "Good afternoon ladies. Sir El' Johnson."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lion El' Johnson Character Portrait: Elisa Character Portrait: Aimi Haruki Character Portrait: Oberon Heylin Character Portrait: Humphrey Conway

0.00 INK

#, as written by Aethus
Oberon

It was quiet at the gates of the city. The guards of the western gate had mostly been bored for the past week as most of the guests came in through the other entrances due to their positioning near the central castle. Westward there was less roads, more monsters, and definitely not a lot coming by to enter. For most of the men stationed here, they were happy to get anything coming by and thus, was the fate that they were given on this day.

Oberon had walked briskly through the night, unfazed from outside eyes, but still somewhat slow in his usual movements. The Tyralin had little patience for games, and he was hoping that these guards would let him through quickly.

Unfortunately for him, the bored guards weren't keen on letting him leave soon.

"State your business, stranger." a voice said near the right of the gate. From his thoughts, Oberon detected curiosity, nervousness, and excitement. It would make sense; his garbs were absolutely unfamiliar except to his own people. Why, the only humans he had ever let see were those that ended up a bit more . . . dead than alive.

"I require time with an individual in this city, a specific priestess if you will."

There were curious looks all around, even those that didn't show it on their faces, many still had their surface thoughts shrouded in confusion.

"You don't look like any religion I know."

"As it should be, human."

At the mention of human, they grew tense. Again, he had placed a lot more venom than he originally intended, but it was too late to take back words now.

"Oh, so you're one of those kinds of people. You think us humans aren't good enough to respect, eh?"

"Does a worm shit out dirt, or manure?" The question threw the men off guard, giving Oberon time to respond snidely, "Either way, its mouth shouldn't be where it shits . . . like yours."

"You fuckin-"

"HENSON," a voice broke the tension, bringing all their attention to a single man. He was an older guard, shrewd but wise in his ways. Oberon could instantly see the chain of command right where it needed to be and kindly quieted himself as the man continued to berate the guards.

"You idiots. That's no elf. That's a Tyralin."

From the mention of Tyralin, the men backed up from their posts. Rumors and stories that they had now viewed as a fool's story were quickly recanted in their heads, many of them recounting feats of impossible heights. While some were quite exaggerated, they still knew that stories originated from some line of truth and with this being their first encounter, the men were quick to give their leader command of the situation.

"Sir, forgive me." the officer said solemnly, "If you need entry, we will be happy to give it to you, if you give your word to not cause any harm or create chaos within our humble city."

Oberon was impressed, Intelligent and humble. Perhaps there was some hope yet for this place.

"You are fortunate to have such a leader," his words were directed to the others, "I suppose I will give my word."

With a nod, the men moved out of his way as they opened the large gates before him. Oberon could hear them talking amongst themselves as the doors closed behind him.

"God damn idiot, you could have gotten us killed!" Oberon chuckled. He could do so much more than that.

The news of the priestess' presence had been easy to find, mostly because everyone had been speaking about it. Every time he cut down the voices around him to only give up anything related with his target, the answers were always pointing him towards his destination. Any others spoke of either how saintly or demonic the woman was. From the perspective of lowly humans, she was all powerful, capable of curing even the most fatal of wounds. To his eyes, or his mind's eye, she was just another manipulator in the grand scheme of things.

Frankly, he didn't care. Whether it was the old or the new religion, the humans wouldn't know how their world was made or how anything really went. They would be stuck in their mindless, sightless lives surrounded by more of their disgusting kind. Like cockroaches, they would breed and consume everything around them with no regard for others, a fate that would most likely lead them down a path of self destruction.

"Mal-ey-Vihon," he muttered under his breath. Indeed the priestess was the bringer of strife, both to come and to be, "Let them choke on their own filth."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lion El' Johnson Character Portrait: Elisa Character Portrait: Aimi Haruki Character Portrait: Oberon Heylin Character Portrait: Humphrey Conway

0.00 INK

Lion El’ Johnson followed the priestess as they moved down the hallway. The young lady, Priestess Haru whom he had expected to walk along side her lady held herself back and stood next to him. At first he believed that it was because of her role, to walk behind were as Johnson was doing it do to the fact he knew not where he was going at it was easier to watch them.

Yet then the young lady did something surprising she spoke to him. Not that that was unusual but the manor of speech caught him a bit off guard “So…you’re coming with us then? Having someone like you along is marvelous. Not that there’s anything, you know, special about you. I mean, you’re special, but… then the girl blushed quite hard, the red of her cheeks completely shined on her white skin
The lion was a rather calm man but she was quite beautiful. He could not help it as a small curl came to his lip though you would have had to be looking at him quite closely for it was a very minor change. “You need not worry priestess, I am quite aware that my size is abnormal you need not fret over it. It is good to know that we shall be seeing much of each other.” The lion responded in a way trying to be kind to the young lady.
The girl offered him a strawberry “People know me as the White Priestess but you can call me Haru.” before he could respond to her, she scurried back to her lady head downwards but still blushing.

“As you wish lady Haru” He said under his breath. He looked down at the strawberry that lay in the palm of his gauntlet. It was such a small piece of food that he doubted it would be of any use to him. Still he had never eaten on. The food which was served by the cooks of the Order’s base and when camping was very bland. For the most part they ate meat and bread, normally with some light vegetables. The most extravagant thing they prepared was either the meat of some rare monster that had been slain or head cook Ronalds stew. The strawberry was something the lion had never eaten or had seen prepared in any of the meals he had ever had.

The lion pressed the small piece of food into his mouth. He closed his jaw and began to chew it. The lion almost lost his composure and had to keep himself from closing his eyes from the taste. It was nothing like anything he had eaten before, it was light and the flavor was strong, yet it was not bitter, it was not spicy, it was….. sweet. He knew the word but never found anything that he would use it for less describing some of the children he saw when they played or a kind young lady.

Johnson made a note to himself to get more of those latter, for they were fantastic. As they began to walk out of the castle the lion began to watch for those who would be dangerous, although he was sure nothing would happen, he knew better then to let down his guard.
AS they began to leave Johnson made a wave of his hand. Goven and Azrial, along with the rest of the dark angels moved into formation around himself and the priestess. They stayed to the sides as to not interrupt their path. The lion looked to Goven and gave him a small nod

Goven, the only one of his men who had not been given the strict order to never speak with any of the priest spoke “Greeting priestess I am Goven, Lord Lion El’ Johnson's second, were are the guards who have been handpicked to escort you on your journey on our honor and on the honor of the dark angles we will protect you.”

It was a Simple preplanned greeting. Goven was old and set in his ways and was fiercely loyal to the order and the least likely to ever be converted. He would act as there represent if he ever became unavailable.
They had only made it a short way when a group of paladins appeared before them. Johnson recognized the colors from his studies of other knightly orders. The paladins were one of the largest knightly orders and served the Sistirio. When the group got closer all but two of the group gawked at him. Only one of them seemed to pull his eyes off of him and looked over towards Haru. He seemed to be studding her as if trying to figure something out.

One so much they his eyes never seemed to leave him. Yet the men if front gave off a much better appearance. They were lead by their grand master, Sir Eric Fay he believed he was called.

Even in the Order this man had a reputation of being a skillful warrior, a cunning strategist and a insightful leader. “Sir Eric Fay, it is a pleasure to meet you.” Johnson said in the same calm voice he addressed the king with. “I have heard a great many things about you.” He spoke as he looked around.

Though the man before him was formidable something told him someone else was nearby, something dangerous but he could not quite put his finger on it. It was coming from past the wall were the gate was still open. Then he saw him. From a distance but his sharp eyes managed to pick him out. A man whom he could not make out clearly but had some odd clothing he had never seen before. Johnsons began to track the man while keeping his eyes open for anyone else who may be a threat. He was still a ways off so he would not say anything yet but if he came to close he would interfere. He looked to the others as they began to speak.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lion El' Johnson Character Portrait: Elisa Character Portrait: Aimi Haruki Character Portrait: Oberon Heylin Character Portrait: Humphrey Conway

0.00 INK

The company of the Lion was tolerable, almost enjoyable as she snuck a curious glance over her shoulder at him as they walked. She watched him pop the berry into her mouth, watching as his stonewall face melted, his composure dropping as the sweet taste flooded his mouth. She turned back, giving a small giggle as she reminded herself to make sure he got more of the berries. It was only when Elisa came to a halt that Haru noticed the group of men coming towards them. Heavily armored and unannounced, Haru found herself stepping back a few steps, her hand resting on her sword as her eyes narrowed. Elisa motioned for her to back down and she did, steadying herself as she shifted anxiously. The smell of sweat and hot steal made her anxious. Men, there were so many men around her now, staring at her body and casting curious glances at the way she hung to Elisa’s hand even as she dropped it. Her hand hovered on the handle of the sword, fingers playing with the silky threads that made the hilt beautiful. Out of the newcomer’s one was especially studying her, his face never once leaving her own. Why was he so fascinated with her? Why her and not Elisa?

Her lips parted. Drawing in a ragged breath as she slowly began to move back, hopefully to get away from anyone’s view. She let her eyes close for a moment, keeping her face forward. She heard the deep voice of the Lion, acknowledging even naming the front man. A moment later she’d bumped back against his massive form. She froze, her head slowly craning backwards. Her breasts heaved as she took a stuttering breath, her soft lips parting in a small gasp. Their eyes met and she leapt forward, muttering an apology.

“Sorry! I—I didn’t mean…” she blushed and stepped away, “I’ll meet you back at temple.”

With head bowed she stepped around the group of people, hand tightening as she brushed past the paladin that had been staring at her. She didn’t know she was heading towards the man in the metal mask until she’d nearly run into him.

“Dinhra forgive me,” she muttered, stumbling over her feet as she shook her head. Her eyes went wide as she stared into the metal face and the words faltered in her mouth.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lion El' Johnson Character Portrait: Elisa Character Portrait: Aimi Haruki Character Portrait: Humphrey Conway

0.00 INK

After a short pause, the metal mask speaks.
"Rhomphaia."
Humphrey points down at the curved weapon on the priestess's belt. He could not hold in his curiosity any longer. The young paladin on the side closest to the other group pipes up.
"What's a rhomphaia? That's definitely a saber.."
Of course someone else had noticed! They are supposed to be a bit more professional but it is kind of hard to when you are walking by a completely unique spiritual signature, a girl with a crazy curved blade, and a walking mountain in black armor. How does one temper so much armor to the heat needed to turn steel black anyway? That would have to have taken an ungodly amount of time to finish a single piece of armor-let alone a whole set for an entire order of knights. The five men are walking next to three walking miracles of three different types and their grand master expects a 24, 19, and 17 year-old to keep eyes front.
Humphrey mentally sighs.
How do you not resist opening a letter and then keep eyes front now?
Riley turns around to scold the two men.
"Aye. Don't you have an appoin'men' with the king 'r somethin'?"
Humphrey looks eyes front. The younger paladin looks over at the one still staring at Lion and lightly pounds him on the flat top of his helmet with just enough force to shift it's position. In frustration, the now awake 17 year-old fixes his helmet and looks over at the cause of it, who simply points up to Riley. Riley takes off his helmet to reveal his scarred face.
"An' take off y' bloody helme' when y' address a lady! You're probably frightening the poor girl!"
Another short pause and Humphrey places a hand on each side of the helmet before lifting it off of his head and shaking his hair out. Humphrey's light brown hair now has another white streak in it from the amount of holy magic he had to use, to compliment the other various groupings of white and a single streak of gold on the left side near the front.
"Apologies, m'lady, I had no ill-intention."
While his helmet covers his entire face and can make him appear rather non-human, Humphrey's face and eyes are a real far cry from the appearance he had just a moment ago. They are soft and give off a much less aggressive feeling. Even soothing, contrary to poor Riley.
"I am Sir Humphrey, of House Conway, Knight of Jude, though it seems now-a-days most know me as 'The Holy Nomad' instead."

"Priestess Haru. Just Haru," she answered timidly, blinking in the light that gleamed fro their armor and sent her shuddering. Thought the knights had removed their helms, they were still men. She shuddered. Haru stepped back a few steps, her eyes meeting those of the men that now appeared far less alien, their helms resting under arms and between hands. But that didn't make her any more comfortable. She was still surrounded by men. With a nervous lick of her lips she met the eyes of the man who she now knew as Humphrey. Her green eyes flashed as they locked to his warm earth tones, a nervous bitten lip following shortly after. There was a deep silence for a moment as she shifted her weight back.

"Don't worry about her," someone sighed, "She's had terrible experiences with men."

The voice came from behind them and Kline suddenly made his appearance, brushing past the paladins. He stood beside her, gently touching her arm as he blocked her from the view of the others.

"You can go home, Haru. I'll escort the Priestess and keep her safe. Go on."

He released her with a little smile and a nod, watching as she returned the smile, though timidly. Her heart fluttered like a bird caught in a cage, rapidly thumping between her breasts as she took on a fake confident stride and tried to wiggle her way past the men that now blocked her way. Though she did her best not to touch any of them she'd accidentally touched Humphrey's arm to steady herself, leaving her cheeks flushed. Once she was free, Haru began her trek down towards the temple. While she trusted that Elisa would be able to handle herself and with the help of the Lion, take them all down if need be, she found herself continually glancing over her shoulder at the group. With no eyes ahead it was inevitable that before she had made it too far she'd once again crash into the body of another human being. Only this time she didn't save herself from the fall and landed on her butt on the hard ground.

"Oh shi-" she moaned softly, hand moving to tenderly touch her rump as her eyes flickered up into the face of metal. Third time's a charm, she gulped.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lion El' Johnson Character Portrait: Elisa Character Portrait: Aimi Haruki Character Portrait: Humphrey Conway

0.00 INK

As most of the young warriors looked to the group and observed him. It was a few moments later that one of them spoke to his brother questioning the blade the priestess Haru had on her body. The lion had paid little attention to it. The blade to his knowledge was not a destine known by man. It could be quite easily a custom designed blade but it was unlikely t fine of make for it not to be an art. It could be one of the destined by the other races. Dwarves normally never left there mountains and all their forging was legendary their work was not suppose to know of much finesse.

The highest probability that the blade was of elvin make, it was suited to what little info that his order had on the elves would suggest there weapons to be as. Yet why would this girl have an elvin blade? Yet the girl was beautiful with no question about, one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen in his life. Yet elves were supposed to be much different from the girl whom he saw. They were supposed to be almost perfect as they are graceful, quick smart, masters of magic and nimble. The girl had many of these traits but still human. She was also clumsy from what he could tell. He put aside the riddle of the girl for now, he would be with her for a long time and that would be more than enough for him to figure out this riddle.

It was then that Lady Haru seemed to have a bit of a panic attack. She fled, saying she would meet up at the temple latter. As she left the guard Johnson looked over to Azrial. “Follow her and make sure she stays safe but don’t do anything foolish. If you run into anything you can’t handle come to me quickly or if it an emergency use the smoke.” The young knight simply nodded his head and he began to follow her.

It was after they had left that a priest said something about of the girl had been traumatized in the past by men. It was no wonder then, why she ran from suddenly his guard surrounding her as well as the knights of jude. He had made a blunder, and would apologies at a later date.

Lion watched as the young knights removed there helms. They had silver lining in their hair as most who used Holy magic as they called it. The lion did not have much trust for magic of any sort, or anything supernatural. Yet for all his life which he could remember he had contently found himself surrounded by it as if it were something that he could not get away from and would one day be forced to accept one day. Despite the fact that he disliked magic in general, the knights themselves were more annoying to him.

To the lion when he looked over them they seemed to just stand out to much for combat. If there armor was that shiny there was no way your opponent could lose track of you, at night you were a sore thumb for archers to pick pot shots off at and it did not blend with the terrain. On top of that most of the men seemed to lack discipline. To get one of the young knights to fall back in place he had to be hit on his helmet several times. This is why The dark angels recruited there new men from six year olds who had to go though vigorous test just to get it and then go though the hardest most stern training you could imagine.

When Johnson looked back to his men who were perfectly in line, completely organized and ready to respond to orders on a moments notice, yet all were smart and well educated enough to lead if needed. Yet it was not fair to compare his men to others. Do to the great hunts his men were extremely hard to get a reaction from. When your part of an order that lives in the open lands were war was common and all your cities had their backs to the great monster infested woods of Kalienshama, you either grew to be unmoving and strong or you never grew up at all.

Yet there was one knight among their younger members who seemed to be of proper discipline. He did not seemed to be completely of put and seemed to be quite civil. He did not seem to be that much younger then himself, or at least how old he believed himself to be. The young knight introduced himself as Sir Humphrey. He seemed to be a handsome lad with a good head on him. Shame he was not part of the dark angels. He might have done quite well.

Johnson turned his attention back to Grand master Eric. “My apologies for that unsightly display Sir Johnson, there are some of our younger men accompanying me today and you’re no doubt quite the impressive figure to them. Many rumors of you and your capabilities have spread though the land. If I may be blunt In the few years you have been leading your order your power and influence has grow quite rapidly.” The grand master spoke to Johnson quite well. In the small chat they just had he had come to like the man. “I would talk more but I do have a meeting with the king so I must be off. “ He began to walk towards the throne room. “Oh yes if I may I would like to ask a favor of you, could you speak to some of our men and give them advice, I’m sure they would love to learn something from you if you are not needed to escort the Pagan priestess.” With that he turned and walked off.

Johnson looked to the men who had been left there. After all no one was allowed to march up to the king with a group of armed men in tow. “Goven if you could be so kind, escort the priestess to her temple, I shale follow latter.

As the guard of dark angles matched off with the priestess he looked over to templar's “if you wish to know of something ask me. If I see that there is no harm in knowing it I shall give you a fulfilling and educational response”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lion El' Johnson Character Portrait: Elisa Character Portrait: Aimi Haruki Character Portrait: Oberon Heylin Character Portrait: Humphrey Conway

0.00 INK

Through out all of this Elisa had remained quiet. In silence, she took on the role of a spectater and merely permitted these things to take place. And while outwardly she appeared to he happily watching one could not help but noticed how she stared, how she wasn't just watching individuals...She was observing them thoroughly. If one looked at her as she did th is they would have gotten the chills, how could someone so sweet make you feel so...uncomfortable. This did not last long however for she made a sharp turn and continued on her path without saying a word to Sir Lion El Johnson  or worrying about her pupil, Priestess Haru. Elisa continued on, speed walking ,ever so elogently , further and further away from those who were supposed to escort her.

 Her path eventually took her from the polished and radiance of the Cloud District where the Nobles reside to where everyone else lived. The filth of the streets, the stench of disease and death and a few other things, and the misery in those that lived here were a common sight to all. Men and women made active  efforts to stay away from those who were sick and the beggars received scarce charity. Elisa walked these streets with ease for a time, thought  after half a block they swarmed her. Arms were extended out to her, some hoping to touch her or her clothing, voices were raise, begging, pleading, and other swearing, for a the Priestess to help them and she did. She permitted them to touch her, extending her arms out back at them so more could reach her, she audibly blessed every face she saw, every name she heard, and every child she could as she continued to try navigating through the mob.

 There eventually came a point when she could advance no further and  the crowd became too ravenous. She could go no further. The people tugged on her robes, some even gripped her rather than it and bruised her. Her robe did not stain nor did it succumb to the filth on their hands and it did not tear at their tugging and pulling. As always, the city Guard appear later rather than sooner and slowly disperse the crowd around Elisa. When all the bodies are cleared away, one can see Elisa kissing an old cripple on the forehead, pink lips made brown from the dirt and filth on the foreheads of others. This man who came to her with a limp, walked away without one. Elisa smiled as she watched him depart, she had received little thanks for her doing but she knew it was Dinhrara, not her, who should be thanked. After a few moments she continued on to the Temple.

 The Temple of Dinhrara, or the new religion, was considered Elisa's home and office. If she were not in the streets or up and about on the roads,  she would be here and those in need of healing or salvation would not shy from coming here so do not assume she had come to avoid her duties. There is no rest for the wicked. There were two reasons she had come to that place, to break fast and to  collect her staff.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Humphrey Conway

0.00 INK

In turn, Sir Eric takes his own leave, accompanied by Sirs Humphrey and Riley, while the two younger paladins stay. One still looks at the entrance through which the White Priestess had left and muttering under his breath his own barely audible curiosities about rhomphaias, falcatas, and sabers. The other has gone back to looking at Sir El' Johnson but he only makes as much of a glance at a time before looking away for a little bit but after given his blessing for the two to ask away, his gaze instantly shoots back to the larger-than-life knight and stays there. His speech is quick and almost breathless as the other paladin, still looking at the entrance, asks his own questions.
"Sir-your order is most famous for the hunt of beasts of mammoth proportions-are there any certain special tactics you and your men have developed to help take one down that you can explain for us?-"
"-Sir, would you happen to know what kind of weapon that was?-"
"-Sir-how did your armorer heat so much steel to make so many sets of black coats of plates?-Is there some kind of large oven chamber you use?-"
"-I could have sworn it was a saber but then again, it could be an unusual style of falcata from a more distant land than they usually are from.-"
"-Sir-does your order ever tame any of the beasts you go after or do you always slay them?-"
"-Sir Humphrey seems to think it's a rhomphaia, and he's been to much more distant places than I have-"
"-Sir-how did you get to grow so large?-Grand Master Fay makes sure we eat as healthy of a diet as we can when we're young-and that's why we're bigger than most-but YOU are so much larger!-"
"-but it could just be something we haven't seen before. I mean, Sir Jason has something he called a kukri and none in the order knew what that was until he brought it back."-

While the younger paladins spit out questions probably faster than even someone as educated as a scholar could answer fast enough, the three older paladins walk inside and head for the throne room. First to speak is the grand master.
"Sir Aylmer was right to warn us...I've never felt anything like that presence in all my years as a spiritual warrior. Sir Jason, you've been further East than even I. Have you-..?"
"Can' say I have, sir..."
Riley sounds as awe-struck as his superior.
"Sir Humphrey, I have few doubts of your capabilities but...I'd feel much more comfortable if-"
Riley interrupts the grand master, already knowing what he was going to suggest.
"-Sir, if I might be called to follow my brother unt' the breach, I will do all in my power t' offer m' guidance."
Surprised by this proclamation of Riley, Humphrey looks over at the proud, old dog.
"Brother..."

Now in the throne room, a voice announces, "Your majesty, Sir Eric, of House Fay, Grand Master of The Knights of Jude Order, and Bringer of Light." Paying little heed to the voice, Fay begins approaching, flanked by Riley and Conway, but then stops and turns toward the younger of the two.
"He called you. This is your time to shine."
With a firm nod, Humphrey walks around his grand master and approaches the king before putting his fist to his left shoulder and kneeling before the royal lord.
"My liege. I was the one you requested the presence of. I am-"
"-Sir Humphrey, of House Conway, otherwise known as 'The Holy Nomad'. His Holiness has spoken of you before," the king interrupts. Despite his younger age, the boy seems to know his position quite well. "I have not heard much of you before, to be honest. Sir Eric here, I have heard of and yet the sistirio recommends you of all people."
For a moment, it seems as though Humphrey is a disappointment...
"...But His Holiness has suggested that your grand master has a guild to run and, even though I already have a grand master leading you, I do not doubt that there must be something special about you if someone as high as the one who speaks for Vladar himself requests a...man like you."
"-Your Majesty, about that. I have a request."
It is Fay which spoke on such short notice.
"Might I send a more seasoned member of our order along to accompany Sir Humphrey?"
The king looks down at the three men.
"Perhaps if you were to bring him here. Who's he?"
"Sir Riley, my lord. I was actually going to suggest him."
Riley bows his head and thrusts his fist into his shoulder in the same way Humphrey did.
"M'lord."
The king looks the old veteran up and down.
"...And what is the matter with this one?"
He gestures back to Humphrey.
"Why would his grand master have so little faith in him if he were, in his opinion, fit for this?"
Riley raises his head.
"-M'lord, I-!"
"-We've encountered The Pagan Priestess on our way in. We've sensed her and felt nothing like it before. It is not a lack of trust in my subordinate. He's a good man with a strong head on his shoulders but I'd fear for anyone of them going in with no one to completely trust..."
It is Fay who speaks. The king falls silent for a moment...thinking...
"...Very well then. Be our spiritual eyes. Watch each other's backs. Bring your full report to me when you return-and you will return. Let that be a royal decree."
Humphrey and Jason respond almost in unison.
"Yes, my lord."
"Yes, m'lord."
Then the three turn and take their leave.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Humphrey Conway

0.00 INK

Captain William Hersh was the 2nd most respected man in the capitol and some dared say the most feared too. The women held him in high regard for his chivalrous courtesies and his good looks, the men liked him for his honesty and his determination, and as far as the Nobles, Guards, and Soldiers, they all trembled in their boots when they saw him coming by. Why? Because as Captain of the Honor Guard only King Altin could save you from his wrath, should you provoke it, and the King is normally in the Palace or at the Frontline while Captain Hersh is actively parading the streets of the city. Though it is not normal ,and nor is he fond of, drawing his rapier and killing someone for something, he has done it several times in the past. Wielding this kind of power has given many admirers in the Nobility and below who in turn support whatever it is he supports in order to gain his favor, and what Cap'n Hersh supports is the King and since the King supports the Old Religion, he supports seeing that the New Religion dies out. And that was what he was plotting for the last 2 years, the death of the new Religion.

As the Paladins exited the Palace, they would have walked onto one of the reasons why the regular Guard were fearful of Captain William Hersh.

"Were you filthy rats just sleeping on Guard Duty?!", the Two Guards he addressed were posted at gate , they jumped and looked around to see who had caught them, their minds still not fully awake. What they found was their worst nightmare, the young William Hersh in his caped and decorated uniform ,complete with helmet , cupped under his arm. He had a look of complete and utter rage on his face as he continued to talk down and yell at the those poor guards. "Please tell me you were praying. Do it!".

"M'lord we were prah-".

The one who tried to speak was interrupted by none other than yours truly, William Hersh. He threw his Helmet down, the metal denting and the white stone path he walked on crack. "M'lord?! When the hell did I become a fucking noble?! I'm the goddamn Captain of the Honor Guard, the King's damn Honor Guard! You address me as Sir, not...".

He paused and looked back at the ground, his palm on his forehead. He sighed, releasing some of his frustration out. "You know what...You two are going to go fetch the next shift and tell them they start now. Your going to sleep. Now don't think this is a damn reward, because when I get back I'm going to make sure you two never sleep during Guard duty again. Understood?".

The two men nodded repeatedly. William was just about to walk off and grab his helmet when noticed the Paladins. He gave a quick but neat salute and went on to retrieve his helmet, giving them the Honor Guard's greeting of the day. "Power to spare, gentlemen.". He did not expect them to reply properly. Not many were given the honor of receiving this greeting and so only those within the Honor Guard's ranks knew that the proper response was "but no ground to give.". Because of this he did not wait for them to respond and as such he merely continued on to the where he believed he could find a certain individual who's name had come across his desk not but two or three days ago. The Pagan Priestess.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Humphrey Conway

0.00 INK

As the three armored men cross paths with...quite obviously the commanding officer of the two guards, each makes a glance upon the man with their different thoughts. Fay, having much more experience with the capital than his two subordinates, knows exactly who he looks upon and, unwilling to piss the man off, simply raises his chin to him and continues, hoping the other paladins will notice and follow his lead. Riley may not have been around the local area enough to connect the stories of the current captain of the king's honor guard to the loud reaction of the lad in front of him, but he at least has an admiration for forces as elite as the royal guard of Ethene enough to have heard a previous variant of the official greeting, and so responds accordingly with it's second half, "With nothing else to", thinking it had never since changed.
Humphrey simply looks at the man in his eyes then down to his toes and back up. Being outside of the country for so long, he has not even heard the slightest rumor of this man. The captain's face giving off an even younger appearance than he really is does not help the situation either. Despite the previous degree of tone with the captain, Humphrey simply smiles at him. It is more of a gesture of good intent with his lack of knowledge on the proper greeting, and whom he addresses, but one which may provide a mixed message in such close proximity to the event of its target emotionally destroying two people. If it were not for his kind eyes, he would likely receive similar treatment but that depends on how it is taken by the beholder, not on how kind his eyes appear...