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Lucius Ironwill

A battle hardened cleric whose virtues do not include temperance

0 · 64 views · located in The Infinite Void

a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by Shidoshi

Description

Age: 32
Race: Human
Gender: Male

Lucius is a huge bear of a man, almost 7 ft. tall, of Nordic appearance. He has a thickset build developed from years of heavy armor and heavy weaponry use on the battlefield. Not to mention the years of heavy food platters off of it. Iridescent blue eyes look out from under a slightly ridged brow, a squared jaw line belying his ability to display a broad grin. His white blonde hair is short cropped. He bears markings of his own request - scriptures and symbols of faith, strength and benevolence that have been burned into him and then colored a crimson hue. These are located on his inner forearms, around the shoulders and across to the base of the neck, the hips and his outer calves.

Personality

Lucius delights in battle, to smite those he finds deserving and to uplift his brethren so they may do the same. Yet neither can compare to his devotion to food. He has yet to find a morsel he did not consider a food of the gods. His outlet for this is cooking, even if it is mostly to sustain his own gluttony. His brothers in arms have been known to wrestle some of his treats for themselves, but Lucius does not let on that he lets them do so. He finds working hard for your supper makes it taste all the better. His appetite is well deserved. Traipsing around in heavy armour, battle and the toll healing takes demand it of him. He has found the right balance between the two, keeping a bulging girth at bay - for the time being.

Equipment

Lucius dons chainmail: a haubergeon, chausses and a coif. Over this he is adorned with thick plated cuirass and faulds, a flared gorget covering the base and sides of his neck, pauldrons, a vambrace fused into a large buckler on his left arm, with poleyns, greaves and sabatons protecting his legs and feet. Upon his breastplate and pauldrons he bears markings: a pair of wings, one black and one white on either side of a hand holding a spiked hammer, a blood red teardrop at its base.

In his right hand he bears an oversized square shield with slightly inward curved sides that taper to a point in each corner. This he has named "Redemption". Arcane sigils line its edges granting the shield its aura. This aura is a ward to repulse evil - the closer a creature of evil comes to it, the harder it is for them to continue forward. Further, their connection to the evil they so covet is weakened, diminishing their capacity to employ it against the shields bearer.

In his left he wields a thick handled, bulky square headed battle hammer, spiked at the top, held in a short grip to accommodate a second metal spike at the handles base. A short, thick iron chain runs from the base just above the handle spike to the inside of his buckler where it has been forged into place. It was christened "Crucible" and has lived up to its name many a time, providing too severe a trial for most that have been tested by it.

The handle spike counterbalances the hammers head weight nicely, is ideal as a secondary attack, and serves yet another purpose. You see, even though Lucius can employ his power on his own, he is more adept at channeling his faith through his hammer. When he heals for example, he prefers to do so through the hammer, laying the inner face upon the patient. To this end, when he has driven the handle spike through the heart of a fallen foe that still lives, Lucius is able to siphon their life-force. This harnessing of spirit can only be used to heal, a balance between life taken and life restored. His other holy magicks of defence, warding and banishment of the undead must come from his own will, his own desire to live and help others to do the same.

History

Lucius had a blessed upbringing compared to most. His father, Reinhold Ironwill, inducted him into the clergy when he was barely out of his swaddling bandages. His mother he never knew. Her life was the steep price for his to begin. Reinhold is a devout priest and often saw to some of his son's teachings at the seminary. His father saw in him the makings of a fine preacher, indulging in pride just a little as he imagined Lucius as a cardinal or even archbishop. Whispered words of praise from others indicated they saw the same potential in him. Reinhold to this end did not restrict his son from any part of church life, knowing that intimate knowledge of all religious aspects would be of great benefit should he reach the upper echelons of their faith. Lucius' broad exposure to this life led him to find in the church a surrogate for his mothers’ absence. He experienced a singularly happy life there, untroubled by thoughts of or deeds from the outside world.

All that changed on the day he learned of the world outside. On his first foray outside the church walls alone to run an errand, he came across a man doubled over near the mouth of an alleyway. He ran over to help the man, bending down to see what could be done. The man had been eviscerated, an abdominal wound that would kill slowly. Lucius had no healing knowledge sufficient to help the man, the first time he had ever felt inadequate. He called out for help and heard the cry go out, muffled voices and steel shod stomps striking the cobblestones just as his world went black.

Later he came to in the church infirmary. He had been knocked out cold, the coin to use for his task taken.
"He's lucky, this one." Lucius distantly heard the voice of the guard captain while still coming around. "They killed one of their own for that one trap to rob someone. We got there just as they cut his purse string loose and ran off. They'd surely have killed him were we a moment too late."
Lucius recovered and talked long and hard with his father over the next few months about what had happened to him. He felt the illusion of his sheltered life was being stripped away, for although Reinhold would counsel and support Lucius in all ways, he would not seclude the outside world from him either. Then Lucius would have had learnt nothing and perhaps even fear or hate the world around him. Neither would serve Lucius well regardless of the path he chose to take in life.

Eventually Lucius regained his joy in life, but parallel to this he had found a new purpose. He had felt inadequate twice from his ordeal: once in not being able to save another, then twice in not being able to save himself. He was wandering the church grounds, musing over these thoughts, when the coalescing of these thoughts became his clearly defined purpose: directly outside the entrance to the church barracks. It was there that, lost in his thoughts, he almost ran into a paladin on his way out. The sight of him, a soldier of faith, a man able to do the two things he had been shown he could not, made for the dawning of his resolve. He strode directly into those doors and, on bended knee and bowed brow before the barracks captain, declared his life to the cause of the church through their doctrine.

At first his father, among a few other elder members of the congregation, was surprised at this turn of events. Lucius had the look of being physically capable. His devotion to the faith was unquestionable, particularly in light of his spiritual revival after the trauma he suffered in town. But he had shown promise in other areas of the church which led them to believe he already walked a different path.

Over time he would show them his true way.

He excelled at most of his trials: but most was not enough. His physical transformation through hard training was the likes of which had never been seen there before. He proved to be the greatest exponent of physical capability the church has ever seen. As a natural extension of this, his ability with a shield surpassed all expectations as well. He even came to employ a custom made shield, larger and heavier, that suited his particular strength for shield defence. His ability to heal was stronger than any other paladin, stronger in fact than a lot of the clerics - a testament to his steadfast resolve and unwavering faith.

No, his downfall would come from his use of weaponry. For no logical explanation that he could fathom, his mind simply would not grasp the concept behind using any of the weapons, be it sword, mace or even a spear. He drilled himself night and day, mastering in his own mind all the skills and techniques needed to succeed. Yet when it came to the practice yard he simply could not bring them to bear.
His superiors were holding such hope for him, touting him as a shining light within their confines, one to inspire many and bolster support for their faith. With his failure to achieve all that he must, they had to consider sending him onto another calling. For a time Lucius used his time of dejection while awaiting his fate to devote himself to chores around the barracks. He was not fussy, doing whatever was needed to be done, but it did little to alleviate his woe.

He soon found himself at the blacksmiths forge, a place always bustling with activity. With weapons, armour, shields and tack among other items to make or repair, there was no lull here to speak of. The blacksmith took one look at his enormous frame and straight away put a hammer in his hand. Lucius worked its handle into his palm, turning the head this way and that, and for the first time in weeks, he felt the burden of his failure lift from his soul. Countless hours went by as he worked the anvil during the day. At night he got little sleep, his thoughts on working at the anvil - no, not the anvil, but working with the hammer, feeling the hammer, attacking with the hammer.

That last thought startled him awake. He sat up as he thought upon what his mind was trying to tell him. It was nearly dawn, so Lucius rose and prepared early for the day ahead. When he finished his days work, he took the hammer with him to his quarters. He had no trouble taking it with him: he had been closing down the forge at the end of the day for a while now, him being always the last to leave.
Back at his room he looked at the hammer in his hand. He paced, idly swinging it around, losing himself in his thoughts from the previous night. After an hour or two of this, he stopped short. What was he just doing then? He was swinging the hammer like, that. He swung again, that. Lucius felt something stir inside.

Three weeks later, the barracks captain, Reinhold and Inrael, elder cleric of the church, walked out from his office onto the practice yard on their way out. They were off to convince Lucius of his new calling, when the captain halted, pulling them up short. There standing before them was Lucius, a wooden practice shield in his right hand and a large mallet, the handle shortened by half, in his left.

"Captain, am I not still a squire to these barracks?"

The captain looked him over before answering "Up until this morning, when we were coming to find you, yes. What do you wish to make of it squire?"

"Combat trials my captain, full set."

"Do you feel you are ready squire?" The captain squared a doubtful, reproving look at him, awaiting an answer. Lucius said nothing, returning a flat stare of resolve.
The captain glanced over at the other two. Inrael showed he had no qualm with this. Then again, he felt that he had little say in this matter. Reinhold did not notice him at first, locked in a long intense stare with Lucius. Not one of malice, but one of questioned intent, trying to gauge the way Lucius had changed. Without meeting the captains’ gaze, he gave a small curt nod towards his son.

The captain strode forward. "Very well squire, full set combat trial it is. No respite. Sound attention!" Squires ran over to ring the bell in the centre of the barracks courtyard. By then most of the other squires and paladins on site had gathered round anyway, the last few heeding the bells chime in short order.
The captain quickly paced around the assembled throng, pointing out particular challengers for this test as another group of squires came rushing in with bundles of practice weapons and shields, neatly lining them up against a nearby wall.

The chosen combatants walked that line and armed themselves accordingly, then took their places in front of the crowd, creating a squared off arena. Lucius looked each one over as they placed themselves ready to fight. Before they had all lined up, the captain had already pointed out a squire who immediately launched himself at Lucius. He very nearly got him too; Lucius was expecting the captain to announce the start of the test and was not looking for an attack so soon. The thing that saved him was the squire hitting him at full charge. This meant when Lucius deflected him at the last second, he was only clipped when the squire rushed past: had the squire been more in control he could have successfully struck with a second attack. Lucius was fighting himself inside, angry he almost failed and so soon to such a basic error. His recovery was slowed by this, giving his attacker time to launch an overhead stroke. He barely got his shield up in time, yet made for a solid block despite being off balance. He threw the attack off directly in front, using his height advantage whilst springing upwards to directly reverse his opponents’ blade back over his head. This opened him up for a body blow with Lucius' hammer that lifted the man a foot off the ground before flooring him. He'd have a hard time of it for the next week or so, but nothing was broken.

The captain knew the result of that fight before the young man hit the ground and had already signalled two more opponents forward. Lucius was waiting this time, and shoved one to the side with his shield, using the momentum to whirl and face the other. This brought both of them in front of him now.
The Captain thought well of Lucius' offensive skills with this weapon. He was at first troubled to see Lucius with his improvised hammer because he was restricting his attack range, the head so close it was nearly resting upon his fist. Before he could not defeat even one of his peers, yet now he had just bested three at once and was now shaping up against another four. He began to notice something about his skills too, how the techniques looked familiar.

The first thing that tweaked at him was Lucius footwork and shield skills. They looked different, worked different from before. His defences were already superior to most of his brethren, only now Lucius was able to use them in such a way as to lure his foe in, negating the need for range beyond that which was in his complete control. It was the way he finished off the last of this group of four, thrusting the hammer forward like a sword that made the captain understand. Lucius had not created new techniques as such. He had altered the techniques of all the other arms to suit this one weapon. His abundant strength bolstered his hammers efficiency, even more so than were it used with a longer reach. It bypassed the need for high accuracy or dexterous positioning of the weapon to achieve maximum effect. There was little room for his weapon to be parried or deflected. At that range and with that sturdy a grip so close to the point of striking, he would hit and hit hard.

Lucius was down to his last three opponents. He moved and blocked, thrusting his shield to single out one man first. When he had him he knocked him down with a resounding blow to the head. He turned right away to prepare for the other two, but noticed no sound from the fallen man, no groan or sound of him dragging himself away. He risked a glance to reveal the man was prone, a patch of blood under his head. He leaped over the man, putting his remaining attackers on the other side. With shield still raised, he knelt down and placed it over the other side of the downed man, then looked to see what was wrong.

"No respite!" the Captain roared. The other two men had stopped their attack, but now ordered to resume, closed in once more. Lucius paid them little mind, and started to heal his comrade right in front of them! He might be able to raise his shield and heal, but it would be hard, and with two attacks to block, almost impossible. His attackers made sure of it by directing one attack low, the other high. He looked up, then never took his eyes off of them and as their weapons came down.

He did not move, leaving his shield in place to protect his charge.

Only when he had no chance of escape did he close his eyes and summon his faith to protect and guide him. The low attack ran into the shield doing nothing, but with a few inches to spare, the high attack coming over the shield jarred to a halt. Those witnessing the trial would later recall seeing a translucent image, a ghost double of Lucius' shield and shield arm, rise up and block the attack.
The shock of this event was immediate and palpable in the few seconds of silence that followed.

The Captain recovered first and boomed into the silent void "Squires, parade ground, NOW!!" It was enough to break all the squires into a dead run for the parade grounds on the other side of the compound. The Captain gave an order in a muted voice to a paladin next to him, instructing him to provide marching drills for them. As the paladin ran off, the Captain approached Lucius who had still not broken eye contact with his attacker, the spirit shield still in place. As he knelt down next to him and laid a hand on his shoulder, Lucius broke his gaze and the shield dissipated. He slumped back, the Captain catching him as he fell.

Lucius was conscious but weak. A groan diverted everyone’s attention towards his shield. The two sparring partners lifted it to reveal the downed man, slowly moving his arms up to press himself up off the ground. They flung the shield aside, reaching out to grab an arm and help him to his feet. He no longer had a head wound: Lucius had healed him. Not only that, but he had done so whilst using his power in a different way, simultaneously! Paladin left and right were audible in both their disbelief and their approval as both dazed and groggy men were taken away to the infirmary.

It was two weeks later when Lucius was summoned to the Captains quarters. With a knock and a muffled "Enter", he walked in to find the Captain at his desk and a paladin Lucius had not seen before. Standing before the desk, Lucius did not know what to make of this.

"Lucius, please greet Commander Grahel." Lucius planted fist over heart as the middle aged man nodded to him. "He has heard of your exploits during your testing. I know - I'm the one who told him."

Lucius returned his gaze to the Captain. "Commander Grahel is the master at arms from the holy city itself, and he has come for you." Lucius could not help but stare slack jawed at the man anew. This brought about a brief chuckle from both the other men before Commander Grahel spoke up.

"Relax Lucius, all is well for you. Indeed, one could say you are most fortunate. You have proven yourself to possess certain gifts. Gifts which require more than most paladins and any other squire before you could hope to possess. More than commanding the regiments of the holy city, I am also in charge of training specific candidates throughout our ranks across the lands. That summoning of your spirit, while also committing yourself to another act as taxing as healing, is something only the strongest among us can perform. In one so young, it is unprecedented. I am here to offer you the chance to train this gift, to be one of the few who take on the mantle of a true warrior priest, to be hence called upon as an exemplar."

Lucius barely heard any of the remaining conversation. He was to be an exemplar? He had heard so little about them, whispered tales held in such high regard amongst holy warriors as to be nearly legend. He heartily agreed, but floated above all that came after until later that night when he realised what it meant. He would leave this church, his home town, his father behind, for how long he could not say. This weighed upon him somewhat, leading him to seek counsel from his father that very hour.

Yet in the end, he would see there was nothing to worry over. His father was delightfully surprised at this turn of events. It was enough for him that his son had proven himself, that he overcame the trying ordeals of his time here. His son had reached the higher calling he had dreamed of for him; if not quite the path he imagined it would be. He was sad his son would go, but assured him they would meet again. The holy city was never too far away for that.

And so it was that Commander Grahel and his honour guard took Lucius onto his new life, barely into his 18th year. He would study all there was of an exemplars' ways for the next ten years, before the call came for him to serve his brethren, his order and his own faith.

So begins...

Lucius Ironwill's Story