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Kalis of Aressa

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a character in “The Lost Lands”, as played by VitaminHeart

Description

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Full Name: Kalis of Aressa

Nicknames/Aliases: Bladeless Kalis

Age: 24

Gender: Female

Occupation/Class: Wolf Knight

Kingdom of Origin: Aressa


Description: A glance at Kalis reveals very little about her appearance, aside from general build. A slender, somewhat gangly figure of middling height. Ever inch of skin on the knight's body however is covered by clothing or armour, allowing very few features to be visible to those around her. She never removes her helmet.

Equipment: Kalis' wolf knight armour is one of her most notable possessions. Made of light but durable metal and leather binding, it is segmented to allow for unrestricted movement in battle. Neither bulky nor slowing, this does impact its protection in some ways. Whilst it is adept as blocking sword strikes it will do little to distribute the forces of a blunt strike, and an adept swordsman might find a gap between the segments to stab a blade into the users' body.

Kalis' armour has clearly seen better days, bearing the signs of tarnish and rust, as well as the carbonized scorching indicating fire damage.

Also notable is the knightess' sword.
Or, rather, what was once her sword.

Her commonly known nickname 'Bladeless Kalis' stems from what clearly had once been a two-handed sword, but which is now a blunt and mangled chunk of metal that the Aressan carries with her. This ruined weapon still serves its function of fighting, however now in a far more grisly fashion. The blunt sword crushes and cleaves poorly, using its weight and force to devastating and often messy end.

Personality: Stubborn may be the main word that comes to mind with Kalis. Only a stubborn person would be dragging useless weapons around somewhere so dangerous.

Kalis is quiet, generally quite soft-spoken and fairly polite to people. She's not one to boast of her abilities. However, when in battle the woman is utterly brutal and ruthless, to the point that it has passed what should have been in keeping with her order.


Skills: Kalis, even with the evident handicap of a ruined weapon, is very adept in battle. She's quick and very aggressive in her strikes and shows little fear in the face of terrifying opponents. Kalis alos appears to have a good knowledge of tactics, and basic first aid, the sort of skills one would need to organize troops on the field of battle.

Weaknesses: Kalis can be something of a glass cannon, quite easily throw by a strong attack. Additionally she is very averse to magic, even working in her favour, and won't accept and sort of aid from such forces. This often sets Kalis at a disadvantage.


Fatal Flaw: Wrath, violence.


Brief History:


Kalis of Aressa was born into some level of status, as the only child of Knight Voryn, on of the famed Wolf Knights. As such, she was in a comparatively comfortable position throughout much of her childhood. Before the encroachment of other nations upon Aressan soil, the Wolf Knights had served the purposes of dealing with threats to the greater population. Bandit Gangs, barbarous folk, and, more crucially... things that clambered over the wall. From time to time something monstrous would drop from the heights of the Elidian Wall, and begin stalking or slithering towards one of the villages or farms.

The Knights were charged with dealing with these horrific things, and as such the job was fraught with danger.

In that matter, it was not unexpected when, at age twelve, the young Kalis received grim news, along with her father's sword, and his helmet, charred with fire and smelling of burned hair, along with an order that, as Voryn's sole heir, she was to be delivered to the Wolf's Keep in three day's time to begin her education
in the art of armed combat.

For a number of years, Kalis trained to take up the title, as well as acting as a squire to her uncle, Kerr of Aressa. It was there that she learned how to wield a sword, how to keep on a galloping horse, how to wear the armour of the order, and the fundamentals of military tactics. It was also in that time that she saw an Elidian monster for the first time. The first time, it terrified her. For weeks she suffered nightmares about the foul, unnatural thing.

As time went by however, Kalis learned how to face things that were frightening. In time, she also learned how to beat them. By the time of her promotion to a full knight, the young Aressan was well known for feats of bravery in combat. She had earned the respect of her fellows.

However, bravery could only take you so far when faced with the might of other nations, especially Yulia.

Aressa held out for two long years against the invasion, and the Knights played key roles in the defence. They were fast and mobile, and would outflank Yulian shieldwalls on horseback to descend upon the weaponless mages behind with swords. Kalis was not exactly overjoyed at such...unseemly tactics, and the losses were quite terrible but it spared their men from the death those accursed magic types rained down on them.

Whatever the Knights did however, it was not enough to hold back the tide after the death of the King. The armies began to collapse into disorder and split apart, and Kalis, still young and relatively inexperienced, found herself cut off from here fellows, holed up in some small defensive tower with a small band of soldiers. With no contact and no way out they had no idea that ost had long surrendered as they attempted to wait out a siege by Yulian forces in vain hope of rescue. Soon they were left starving. Anyone so much as peeping their heads over the parapets would be set aflame by Yulian magefire.

It was at this time that the young knight earned her name, and the infamy that came near it.

Knowing that the game was up, and knowing they all faced imprisonment or death at the hands of the invading army, Kalis sent out one request.

They would hand themselves in willingly.

If she was permitted to duel the Yulian Brigade's leader in single combat.

The leader of the Brigade, the imposing General Garech, a well-known and respected Yulian Knight, was highly amused by the outlandish request. He was, after all, known throughout his lands for his skills with a sword, and saw no reason why some young whelp was going to defeat him. Especially not a woman of all people.

However, as he awaited the duel at first light, Sir Garech became...concerned, and decided that perhaps it was important that such a duel was held in accordance with the Yulian Code. Would not do after all for a man of his station to face a woman shamelessly swinging a blade. So, he awoke the brigade's smith and asked for a favour.

As such, when Kalis arrived for her battle, she discovered her beloved sword had been ruined, the blade ground nearly flat, the tip broken off and hot iron poured over it to leave some irreparable mess that could never be called a sword.

General Garech stepped forward and explained that, of course, it would be unseemly for a woman to take part n a battle with swords, and that he had done her the service of avoiding inquisitional inquiry into her breaking of the Yulian Codes. Of course, if in these circumstances, she would like to cancel the duel then he would, in his benevolence, gracefully allow her to do so.

The Yulians were laughing at their lord's ruse, and were laughing even harder when Kalis politely refused to withdraw her challenge.

They were not laughing, however, when as soon as Garech drew his sabre Kalis smashed him across the face with the ruined sword, flinging off his helmet and knocking out two of his teeth, before knocking him to the floor with another heavy sweep to the neck. From there the Wolf Knight, living up forever to her animalistic title, sprang onto his chest and smashed the hideous piece of iron again and again into the Knight's head, until there was little left of Sir Garech's head than a pool of blood and jagged chunks of skull.

So begins...

Kalis of Aressa's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kalis of Aressa Character Portrait: Maeve Byrne Character Portrait: Kormrok Character Portrait: Sairen Varimor Character Portrait: Ren of Yulia Character Portrait: Mojohra Jojohrum Character Portrait: Gallard of Yulia Character Portrait: Ima Creslade Character Portrait: Varin Zeracuse Character Portrait: Ludral Character Portrait: Garrim the Greater Character Portrait: Callias Dimitriou Character Portrait: Adella of Yulia

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Midgate - Aressan Wall Border


Rain fell hard over the Midgate Fort, leeching into the gold-hued Aressan stone and making the sentries on the outer walls shiver in their uniforms.

The blue and silver griffon flag had become limp and listless in the driving storm, but it had in no way dampened the activity of the...somewhat unwelcome foreigners within the fort.

Soldiers jogged about beneath the roof overhangs of the large courtyard, and from time to time a dark-cloaked Inquisition officer might be glimpsed flitting about between the buildings. Across the yard from the gate stood the enormous structure of the Elidian Wall, and, most prominently, the Mid Gate, a vast expanse of iron whose arch would have been large enough to sail a ship through. What the once-citizens of that old kingdom had thought they would be accommodating with such an enormous entryway it was hard to say, but now it belonged to Yulia...and it was guarded jealously.

The fort was a relatively recent addition, it only being completed a couple of years previously; as the most practical and efficient means of enacting Yulia's proposed plan to handle the problem of the Lost Lands...and in the process handle the problems of the number of prisoners within their dungeons. Midgate Fort had been used by the Inquisition as a prison since its inception, so eliminating the problem of having to personally escort the rather unwilling 'explorers' under guard to the gates. It also meant that for those that remained as inmates for more petty reasons, the looming iron jaws forever in their field of view presented a permanent threat as to what might be waiting for them if they caused problems.

It was within this stronghold, up within the thick defensive structure in the walls, that Inquisition Officer Vesgha, dressed in the black, silver-lined garb typical of the order, strolled calmly through the damp, torchlit corridors of the prison, reading off a set of names from a list in one hand, and indicating to individual cells with the other, pointing to the heavy-set troops behind her whom they needed to escort out. Every so often the figure would pause, point inside the gloom of one of the cells, and in would march a couple of soldiers to drag some unfortunate out into the light.

Some would go willingly, some less gracefully, but eventually, all would go.
It was not just prisoners participating however. Standing at the end of the hallway, near the exit to the main stairway, someone else was standing, awaiting acknowledgement.


The frosty blue eyes under the mask of the hood looked the mage up and down. Small, plain-looking, coat and mantle indicating a second-class magus. The kind trained for combat. She stood up to her full (somewhat unimpressive) height and carried herself in a manner that implied she felt above waiting round in this grim place.

Mage Adella adjusted her mantle, the silver feathers glittering in the guttering torchlight. The dungeons were inevitably disgusting and she was never exactly keen on venturing down there unless expressly ordered, however needs must. You had to sometimes demean yourself a little in order to reach new heights. As Officer Vesgha approached the young mage bowed her head in respect.

"Officer. Second class magus Adella Darr. Order of Crows. I'm here for the operation."

Looking the woman over once more the Inquisitor gave a brief nod.
"A pleasure to meet you Mage Darr. Commander Sullivan already spoke to me about the arrangement. The preparations are in place, and we will provide you with everything you need to complete the mission. It's great work that you are doing here soldier, not many would have it in them to put themselves shoulder to shoulder with..." the blue eyes flickered up to those being led out of the rows of cells.

"...animals."

The Yulian caster, paying little attention to the shuffled a little, trying to maintain her decorum in spite of the compliment.
"Be assured I can handle myself Officer. None of them would be able to get past me."

"I do not doubt it Mage Darr." The Inquisitor responded, gaze turning back from the prisoners.
"Proceed to the courtyard and the rest of this rabble will be joining you shortly. Remember to watch yourself, and best of luck, lot of hope is resting on your shoulders."

A couple of sharp nods from the mage sent her down the steps, out through the guarded archway and into the rainy yard. Beside it sat pack, bedroll and a few sets of writing supplies, things she might need beyond. As representative of the Order of Crows and the Yulian School, she would be better equipped than the sacks they were doling out to the scum. In some sense she was rather pleased of it, but had a degree of concern about theft, surrounded by the lowest of the low.

Yulia didn't get to where it was by being easily intimidated though. Surely such people would learn to respect her power, if not her authority. She was, after all, a sorceress. Yulia had conquered all the continent. Only Old Elidia stood before them now...and she might be instrumental in delivering that into their hands. How glorious that would be. In spite of herself, Adella could not help but don a smile as she stood waiting in the pouring rain.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kalis of Aressa Character Portrait: Maeve Byrne Character Portrait: Ayame The Eastern Swordsman Character Portrait: Kormrok Character Portrait: Sairen Varimor Character Portrait: Ren of Yulia Character Portrait: Mojohra Jojohrum Character Portrait: Gallard of Yulia Character Portrait: Ima Creslade Character Portrait: Varin Zeracuse Character Portrait: Ludral Character Portrait: Garrim the Greater Character Portrait: Callias Dimitriou Character Portrait: Adella of Yulia Character Portrait: Anai Calagrian

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Two of the soldiers of the Midgate Fort, plate clanking in the dank hallway, followed at Vesgha's heels as the Inquisitor walked, no longer alone. Her progress had caused her to be met by the tall, imposing figure of Commander Taron, head of the soldiers stationed at the garrison.

There had been a few exchanges of pleasantries. How his wife was doing, whether his youngest was recovering well from falling from a horse the week previous. Then things turned to rather more formal matters. Most pressingly, that of one of the prisoners.

"Are you certain this is the best course of action, Vesgha?" the man asked, his heavy beard bristling in the cold.
"After all of the back and forth from the Court about the applicable law.. it seems rather abrupt.. we've not even been able to prove a crime took place."

The Inquisitor did not look round, nor alter pace.
"The problem of the Aressan is not just one of justice, it's a political matter." she explained, in a very matter of fact fashion.
"The wolf thought she'd played a rather clever little game by surrendering to Yulian law and then calling a duel. We could have arrested her on violation of the codes, had that pompous fool not destroyed her sword. Killing Garech cemented her place in the consciousness of the Aressans."

The woman traced a gloved hand along the damp stone brickwork.
"Every day that story circulates around taverns and market stalls, growing more exaggerated and ridiculous with each telling. The Aressans regard that animal as some sort of folk hero. Some symbol of resistance to Yulian rule.
The people in this land are riotous and resentful. There are talks of militant groups that hope to reclaim their rightful monarch from Yulia. It is a powder keg... and either freeing or executing the knight could be the spark to light it. Allowing her to walk free makes us look weak, executing her would make us look tyrannical, unjust. This is the best possible solution. We can tell them the Knight went of her own accord, please the plebs with some story of heroics, and get this problem off our hands
."

After a few moments of walking they came to the end of the hall, where a cell sat in gloom and dark water.

For a brief moment, thunder flashed through the barred windows, lighting up off the battered steel scaling and the jagged edges of a distinctly lupine helmet.

It had not taken the knight long to reclaim their former presence.

"Kalis of Aressa, the Inquisition is here to take you up on your generous offer to venture beyond the wall." Vesgha stated, keeping an entirely straight face. Both the speaker and the recipient were well aware of the lie, but protocol was protocol.

As the guard stepped forwards to seize the arms of the prisoner, the lightly armoured for rose seamlessly to its feet.

"There's no need for that." came a level voice from beneath the visor, bouncing off the inside to give a sort of metallic quality.
"I'm ready."

The knight walked silently between the two soldiers, who walked whilst eyeing the prisoner with suspicion, each exchanging a glance with the other in an attempt to anticipate any form of trickery on the Aressan's part. It was not as if they'd not heard the stories. Heard the lurid descriptions of the mad wolf-woman hunched over the red mess of Sir Garech's skull, uniform splattered and sticky with gore and bone.

For her own part, Kalis gave no indication of any of this savagery on the walk down from the tower cell, and passed into the rainy courtyard without a word.

It was shortly after her boots had stepped out onto the sodden cobbles that a heavy metallic crash sounded out behind her.

The knight looked back to see it lying in a puddle, flung out of one of the windows where some soldier up a floor higher suppressed a giggle and pulled back in.

The bladeless sword, a hideous, heavy chunk of twisted metal that looked no worse for its fall, and no worse for years lying in the bottom of some store room. Admittedly, it would be hard to make its condition a lot worse than it already was. No sane man would ever call that thing a sword anymore.

Though clearly if she was able to murder one of their generals with it, Yulia saw it as more than adequate equipment to take on the dangers of Elidia with.

That suited Kalis fine.

The knight swept the broken sword up and rested it on her shoulder, surveying the others present through the visor of the helmet. They seemed to have gathered quite a collection. People from numerous different nations....well, now supposedly all united under the Yulian crest.

Adella had been taking stock of these assembled people too. And not too kindly. She had noted some of the looks that she was getting. Criminals. Traitors. Deviants.
And something even worse than that. Her gaze lingered on the shabby-looking figure of Renevari.
"Abominations." she muttered under her breath.
Abominations. Disgusting corruptions of her noble cause.

Caught up in giving that freak a poisonous stare, Adella had not noticed the arrival of Kalis, or indeed the arrival of the authority...well not until it spoke.

"Mage Darr, would you do the honours?" Vesgha asked, rain beading up on the Inquisitor's black hood.

Adella was pulled out of her reverie and gave a sudden, eager nod, before beginning a very brisk walk across the courtyard to the dark steely expanse of the Mid Gate.

In the centre of the gate, set about chest height for most (and a little further for the rather diminutive Adella) was a seal, some old glyph forged into a round plate that sat over the centre of the divide between each side.

The mage stood before it, taking a deep breath before extending a hand and pressing it against the sign on the the plate.
The sunken metal began to flare a strange, electric blue, and this glow began to spread out from where the woman stood, expanding in geometric lines and shapes across the dark grey surface. As it reached the edge, a low, rumbling grind let loose from the dark guts of the gate. The ground beneath the feet of those in the courtyard shook. Horses in the stables started to toss their heads and whinny in fear. The troops on the edge of the courtyard reached for their weapons in tense anticipation.

The jaws of the Mid Gate slowly, heavily, spread wide open.

Adella was left stood alone at the edge of Aressa, and opened her eyes to find herself gazing ahead into the Lost Lands.

There was no rain.

Before her, the rain simply stopped. In front was a grassy ledge, stretching some distance away, with overgrown shards of paving dotting the organic surface.

And not a hint of rain.

Sunlight peaked through the clouds in the Elidian sky.

A shiver crept up Adella's spine. Then, a sudden shout caused her to whirl around, in time to see another, an intruder of all things, dashing towards the gate.

"What on earth are you doing?!"