A Knight's Quest

RP taking place in the center of the continent of Chalcedonia. This consists of the lands of the Empire of Chaladonia, some of which are trying for independence since the death of King Ian Mercleis.
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Mason Smith
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A Knight's Quest

Post by Mason Smith »

Kyporus 24th, Year 12 of the Third Era
The Imperial Castle, Bellitose
Empire of Chaladonia


Mason stood before the tall and intimidating doors leading to his liege's bedroom. Only the glowing light from the flames that danced upon wall scones gave hint to the intricacies of the door before him, or to the pale, almost hopeless look etched in the knight's face. He shuddered for a moment, the cold chill of impending doom crawling down his spine. The darkness of the hall was appropriate, Mason thought. Normally, colorful light shining through the magnificent stained glass windows that graced this hall would shine through. But that was then, before the Great Collapse... before the tragedy. Twelve years have passed since the world seemed to come unglued, and still the windows are nothing more than boarded archways, sad ghostly reminders of what was. At first it was easy to say that anyone was too busy with other critical matters to repair or replace these great windows. But now, it was surely out of depression. No one wanted to be in this hall. No one wanted to acknowledge the reality hidden behind the great door.  Not even other knights stood here, only Mason.

Taking a deep breath, the lone knight slowly opened the great portal before him. Faint light from a singularly lit torch painted the room before him. It was a grand room, with a majestic post-style bed, a great bookcase, an unlit marble and stone fire place, a stand of armor and a weapon rack of swords and whips. The room was once grand, impressive even. But now, it was grim. Laid on the bed was the king, Ian Mercleis. Thirty years ago, Ian was the sleeping prince who was in the grip of the terrible Dark Paralysis - a sleep that none woke from. But suddenly everyone did, including Ian. The confusion and panic threw the entire country into war as the jealous and paranoid King Cadimus Mercleis III fought to keep a throne that wasn't rightfully his from one who woke up not knowing if he even wanted it. But Ian won, and his rule for the thirty years that followed was a peaceful, prosperous rule. It was a rule that lasted most of Mason's life, and it was during his reign that Mason became a knight and then a member of the king's personal body guard. Ian was always a strong figure to behold, youthful in appearance due to his race but still a certain strength seemed to flow from him.

Now to look on the figure of the once great king would bring even the strongest to the point of tears. There lied the once great king, gaunt and unnaturally aged. The stench of death flowed from a terrible wound in his side, a wound that would not heal. Mason remembers terrible when this wound occured. It was during the Great Collapse. Ian, ever being the honorable man that he was, was out there with his men trying to help, trying to get others to safety. Often the King would say, "Save them before you would save me, for without them I am no longer needed." Ian saw the storm before anyone else did, and without giving a moment to reconsider, the king dived to move a boy from the path of danger. Instead, while he saved the boy, Ian took the poisonous frozen spear to his side. It was a magic storm that wounded him, and no healer has been able to since remove the poison or heal the wound. A strange poison, one that aged and decayed the king before them, one that slowly worked to kill him over the past twelve years. Ian's heroic actions that day would soon be the cause of his death, and no one could save him from it.

Mason had been summoned here this day. The knight was sure it was to be his last summons from his king. What would become of the empire, of Chaladonia? The council that remains worked hard to serve the people, but some of them have already left - ready to take their lands as kingdoms of their own once the king drew his last breath. Traitors! Mason knew once those lands left, it was only a matter of time before the empire as a whole fell apart. Chaladonia would die with her king.

Mason reluctantly kneeled to get closer to his king. Ian's voice was all but lost, a hard whisper filled with unimaginable pain. "Serve me... one last time. One... last mission. Serve the empire.... to save it." Mason gulps, "Of course, sire. I am here to serve." Ian coughs, "You... know I was... of the dream. You know .... I am xodian...." Mason nods. Ian continues, "My.... time is done...... Chal....adonia will... fall apart. But...." Ian gasps, his time coming, "...... there's.... another. Another.... Mercleis..... He.... he can save ....... us."

Mason's eyes open wide, "Another of the royal family?" As far as Mason knew, anyone knew, After Cadimus died Ian was the last, and Cadimus wasn't even a true Mercleis. If Ian knew this, why would he wait till now, at the hour of his death? "Promise... me!" Ian breaks Mason's thought. Mason nods, "I swear to you, I, Mason Smith, last member of the Shadow Guard, will search the lands high and low. I shall not return without the heir or the way to save the empire."

Ian lays back. His eyes open wide, "Do... do you see her?" Mason looks but see's nothing. Tears swell as he understood that what Ian now saw was not of the world, but of the beyond. Ian, his king, was dying. "She's beautiful my king. Go to her." Ian, for the first time in so long, smiles faintly, "It... its her. My... Chi...." He reached forward weakly, "I... I'm coming..." Ian's hand falls flat and the light leaves his eyes. Mason bows one last time, "I'll never forget you, sire. I will not fail you." With a hard salute, Mason proclaims at the top of his voice, "LONG LIVE THE KING!"

Sadly and slowly he drops his salute, and grimly walks out as the healers rush in. 'I will find... the last Mercleis.' He swore to himself.
 
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Re: A Knight's Quest

Post by Emerald »

Kyporus 24th, Year 12 of the Third Era
The Imperial Castle, Bellitose
Empire of Chaladonia

Emerald sat on the stool at her work bench in her study. An old tome open before her, she wasn't actually reading at the moment. No, instead she prayed. Her king, Ian Mercleis was on death's very door about to knock and still she had yet to find a way to heal him more than just a little here and there, but the healing she had tried, it just would not take. The only thing left to her was serious prayer to the one true god, Mogen David. She prayed daily for many things, for inspiration, revelation, knowledge, you name it and she had probably prayed extensively for it. Yet never had she prayed so hard for an answer to save someone than she did now.

As she sat there deep in prayer a knock sounded on the door to her study. It was loud enough and demanding enough that it pulled her concentration from her prayer and back to reality. With a heavy sigh, she rubbed at tired green eyes and stood calling for whomever it was to come in. Turning as the door opened, she saw one of the guard standing there, back straight and sad look in his eyes. "You and the other healers have been summoned to the king's room immediately," he said in a gruff voice. Emerald nodded in understanding and quickly threw a few necessities into her medical kit. Knowing that time was of the essence she closed it and followed the guard, even though she knew the way by heart now.

Just as she reached the other healers who were standing in the hall she heard a male's voice call out from within the room, "Long live the king!" It was at that moment that Emerald knew her praying, her research, all of it had been in vain. She didn't need to see the king to know what this meant. It was her heart that told her the king had finally passed into the afterlife. As the man stepped out of the room, Emerald rushed in with the other healers and she took little note of the guard that exited. The other healers spoke quietly and quickly started pulling out instruments to check the king's vital signs. Emerald had only to look at the soulless eyes of the king to know for certain that his spirit had ascended to finally rest in peace at Mogen David's side.

Emerald walked steadily forward and knelt at the head of the bed. The other healers who generally respected her and her knowledge stepped back to allow her access. But when she bowed her head and reached out to close the king's eyes one of them grabbed her hand and held it back. "So you give up? Just like that? This is our king. Our savior. We must fight to bring him back."

She sighed and removed the man's hand from her own. "Our king has ascended to be with Mogen David. His time here is done. Let him rest in peace," she said solemnly. She reached out again to close Ian's eyes only to have her hand slapped away this time. Emerald narrowed her eyes at the healer that had slapped her hand away, the closest she ever got to outright anger.

"You don't know that! How could you?! You haven't even tried. Not trying to save him is the same as killing him," another healer spoke up.

Emerald stood, "So you would name me a killer then," she asked in an even tone, eyes still narrow and the only sign of the anger she felt. "A killer, when I have done nothing but fight to keep him alive. Through research, through trials…I….no we, have fought to keep our king alive. Every fight, every life must end at some point and the king's life is done. You have but to look at his eyes. There is no soul left to save. He is with Mogen David now. We must accept that."

"We will not accept it," another healer said.

"I will see that the church bells toll a heavenly song for our king," Emerald said. She turned to leave and was startled to say the least when a sharp pain shot through her upper right arm. The warmth of her own blood trickled down from where a knife stuck out at an angle in her arm, the other end of it connected to the hand of one of her fellow healers. Seeing the look that Emerald gave him he quickly let go of it, even as she calmly reached up and with a hiss of pain, pulled the knife from her arm, dropping it to the floor. As she did, blood oozed out faster but she ignored it even as it stained her clothing.

"Fools! All of you. Let the dead rest," Emerald declared. She strode from the room without a backward glance, blood still oozing down her arm. She slammed the door behind her and same as stalked down the hall. It was clear as it was daylight out, that her time at the palace was complete. It was time to move on, but first she had to set a few things in order.
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Re: A Knight's Quest

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Mason had finally reached the opposite end of the royal hall. It was the longest the hall's ever been, its length magnified by the heavy weight of grief laden upon the knight's shoulders. 'Focus,' he told himself, 'you have one last mission to complete.' Slowly, he reached forward to open the door when the door opened for him. On the other side was Baron Tyrus Nielson, of Aurum Barrony. Tyrus was always the scheiving rat, looking for that morsel of power and prestige to fall to the floor. Mason had suspected that Tyrus was scheming with some of the other barrons, forming a plan to gain the power to rule for themselves once the king had finally died. With no heir apparent, it wouldn't be hard for them to do just that. 

"Ah, Sir Mason Smith. King Ian's personal favorite little guard." Tyrus smiles a crooked smile, his thin stash seeming even longer and more pointed as he did so. "How is our dear king?" Mason glares at Tyrus, trying hard to not show anything on his face, but failing to do so as his eyes droop with grief. "Oh that's so sad," Tyrus said, still smiling. "But, at least he suffers no more Sir Mason.

Tyrus closes the distance between them, "You have ever been the stalwart protector of the king, and of the people of Chaladonia. I've no doubt that his demise wasn't at you hand, sir." "What? But of cou..." Mason tried to rebute, shocked by the baron's strange statement, but Tyrus cuts him off, "No no, of course not. But you know, Sir Mason, with the king dead and no heir, the rule of the empire will fall on the council of Barons, until a suitable replacement can be found, of course. And with no blood heir left," Tyrus smiles. Mason had the sinking feeling that the baron would try for the crown himself. He'd need only the vote of two thirds of all barons in his favor, and with some barronys likely to make their shot at independence, Tyrus would have less to convince. 

Tyrus continues, "So, are you ready to make your vow to the Council now, Sir Mason?" Mason thought for a moment. He knew he had to choose just the right words here. To not make the vow to serve the barons as the king, he would be implemented somehow in the king's death and declared a traitor. Tyrus said as much in his passive aggressive implementation. But if Mason were to do so, he could not complete his king's last quest for him. He could not find, nor serve, another king. His oath of a knight wouldn't allow it. 

"Of course, Lord Baron," Mason said courtly, "but first I must ask that the Council allow me the protocol of mourning. By knight oath, I can not pledge so quickly to someone else. I must observe three weeks of mourning. Surely by then the Council will be ready to accept my oath?" Tyrus's face turned, Mason knew he had him. Sighing, Tyrus nods, "Fine fine, but only two weeks." Holding his hand up to stop Mason from protesting, the baron continues, "We are under an extraordanary situation here, knight. Still, the mana storms of the Collapse threaten us, as do all kinds of new threats. One of which is the instability and insurection of imperial lands. The laws that govern us all, the very ones you swear to, allow for your time of mourning, but also allow for it to be shortened if our nation is in peril." Mason sighs, "Two weeks then. Two weeks and I'll return to Bellitose to give my vow, or be marked hereafter as a traitor to the Crown and the People."

Tyrus smiles smuggly, "Perfect, Sir Mason. Now, if you will excuse me... I'm off to arrest the imcompetent healers." He chuckles sickly, "The people, they will want someone to blame after all." The baron pushes past the astonished and shocked knight. 

Mason stands there for a moment more, how could that fiend go after the healers? Surely such was not right, surely, he must do something. It was then that he noticed the angerian healer, a fresh wound upon her arm. Snapping out of his shock, Mason rushed to her, "Mad'dam, are you injured?" He motions to the door before him, knowing that he must get this healer out. "Come, lets go this way, quickly."
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Re: A Knight's Quest

Post by Emerald »

Emerald had not been so intent on her own thoughts and inner turmoil as to not notice the guard and the baron. And though she did notice them talking, she paid them no mind knowing that their business was not her own. She would have to leave the palace and quickly, for surely the barons would blame the healers for the death of the king and for not being able to save him. Though she had loved her life here taking care of the king and researching to try and get him better, with his death it meant moving on. She just prayed that wherever she went she'd be able to find work and not have the stigma of the king's death following her in her footsteps.

Ignoring the pain in her arm and wisely steering clear of the baron that was headed towards the king's chambers, she was relieved when they passed each other with him not even noticing her. She didn't get far though when the knight noticed her and came to what he likely believed to be her aid. When he asked if she were injured she looked at her bleeding arm and then at him, one brow raised as if to question if he were not of his right mind. Yet then she realized that this had been the same knight that had come out of the king's chambers before she and the other healers had gone in. Of course he was not of his right mind, his king, her king was dead and it was almost a wonder to her why she was of sound mind when she knew her very life could be on the line.

Instead of protesting or making some sarcastic remark she simply nodded and decided that this knight could be trusted, at least for a little while. So she went with him where he indicated a door they should hurry through. Once on the other side she finally spoke, "I have to get back to my quarters to get my things. I cannot stay here. Mogen David has other things in mind for me now."
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Re: A Knight's Quest

Post by mythus »

Mason sighs a sigh of relief, the healer at least seemed to have the prescense of mind to know that she was in danger and needed to get out. While the knight himself was no follower of Mogen David, he understood that many healers were. Most would think their diety would protect them here and not leave. This one at least seemed to think her diety wanted her to leave. 

"Yes, we must hurry," Mason acknowledged. "Let us hope you haven't much you need to claim from your quarters, healer, I fear time will be no ally of ours. And let us take caution in our words as well." He opens the door to the main area of the castle, halls and doors darted left and right, leading to various areas. One would lead to the Grand Hall, where the throne resided. Another would lead to the Council Chambers. Then there was the banquet halls, the court yards, halls dealing with various functions of the government, the library, the kitchens, and of course halls leading to resident quarters. The castle in itself was like a city, albeit rooms replacing buildings and grand halls replacing wide streets.

Mason motions forward, "Please, lead the way mad'dam healer. And worry not, by order of His Majesty, I shall protect you with my life."
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Re: A Knight's Quest

Post by Emerald »

She wasn't accustomed to someone saying they would protect her with their life, but if this knight wished to do so, she'd not deter him. Her own defensive abilities were miniscule to say the least for she was a healer, more adept at saving lives than ending them. Though she did know enough about anatomy to be an accomplished killer if she so chose, it wasn't who Emerald was. She was put here to preserve life, not destroy it.

"This way," she said brisquely as she realized where they were and took the lead. Still ignoring the sting in her arm she could feel the blood begining to clot for it was pulling on the fabric of her clothes which in turn pulled at her skin.  She'd have to bandage it before too much longer and definitely clean the wound, but that could wait. Time was of the essence and her first priority was to get what she could and then get out of Bellitose quickly.

She said not a word as she led the way to her quarters. A woman on a mission and not to be trifled with said her gait and her facial expression. As soon as they reached them, which at her long strided pace didn't take long at all, she opened the door and stepped inside. Emerald went straight to her secret hiding spot. With what had happened today and the fact that she was leaving, it made no mind if this knight or anyone knew about the secret spot in the room. Prying open the floorboard she moved it aside and reached in pulling out a medium sized box that contained her earnings and various other treasures she wished to keep safe. She tucked it inside her medical bag and replaced the floorboard and the rug over it.

Next she grabbed two changes of clothes and whatever medical supplies she thought she might need. Expertly she packed them tightly into her bag and last she picked up her journal with her notes dedicated to her research in trying to cure the king. It was too late to save him, but she could not let go of the journal for fear that perhaps she had missed something, something vital to be sure. Wishing she could but knowing it was impossible, she left the rest of her things, knowing they were worldly possessions and that Mogen David would provide for her whenever she got to where she was going. She had faith in her god and she would keep her faith through the bitter end, whenever that ended up being.

Turning to the knight, her bag in one hand and journal in the other she said simply, "Let us hurry. I fear ill tidings will befall us if we do not."
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Re: A Knight's Quest

Post by Mason Smith »

Mason nodded, "Yes, lets leave at once! If we hurry, we should be able to make it out the front gates before the alarm is sounded."

The duo quickly make their way through the hall back to the main hall and towards the main gate. Just as they cross past the threshold leading out of the castle into the city beyond, a guard shouts, "Hey! Those wings! That's the healer assassian!" Mason knew this was trouble. He could hear the muskets and crossbows notching, at least he swore that he could. Quickly, he told the healer, "Hold your breath!

Within an instant, the knight pushed the healer into the moat and dived onto her. The sound of bolts plinging off the back of his armor resounded as the two sank into the dark waters of the moat. They drifted a bit before Mason began the swim back up, pulling her along if need be. He quickly pulls her up and pulls her into a dark alleyway before the guards could find their location. 

Taking a deep breath, Mason feels the warmth of blood on his neck. One of the shots had grazed it. "And I thought they missed..." he sighed. He turned back to the healer, "Sorry about that." He smiles, "I'm Mason Smith, of the shadowguard. It is... was my sword duty to protect the king." He sighs, "When it is night fall, we will escape the city. Afterwhich, I suppose we will see..."
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Re: A Knight's Quest

Post by Emerald »

Emerald kept pace with the knight easily enough and thankfully wasn't hindered by holding her bag in one hand and her journal in the other. They made good time, or so it seemed, until that was they crossed the threshold and someone shouted about her wings and her being and assassin. She turned to look but even as she did, the knight told her to hold her breath. About to make a retort he pushed her into the murky water of the moat and she just barely held onto her things and took a breath.

It didn't work though, taking a breath, she ended up instead inhaling a bunch of the murky water and choking on it. Clinging to her bag and her journal she kicked with her legs trying to break the surface. It was no good though and the knight was forced to drag her ashore in a dark alleyway somewhere supposedly far from the palace. As she was pulled onto the dry ground she coughed and tossed up the water she had taken in along with the contents of her stomach. Trembling, cold and with a throat that was raw she collapsed to the ground and tried to regain her breath.

After a few moments, during which he told her his name and apologized, she pulled herself to a seated position and leaned against the wall of some building. Her bag and her now soaked journal were a few feet from her and she raised green eyes to his. She wanted to berate him, to call him the fool that he was but she knew deep down he had saved her. Just one of those crossbow bolts in a wing or her back and she could have easily been wounded further and even dead. So Emerald refrained from doing such and said a short prayer of thanks to Mogen David for looking out for her once again.

"Emerald," she said simply before coughing up a bit more water that she hadn't gotten out at first. "That was very brave what you just did. Not many would have done something like that for someone like me." Pushing away from the wall she reached for her journal and took it in hand. Shaking the excess water from it she opened it and sighed. It was ruined. All of her notes, her trials and errors and even her successes in treating the king were now allocated to her memory alone and not just the journal. Tossing the ruined journal aside she grabbed her bag which was thankfully water proof to some extent and upon closer examination revealed that it still held everything and it was all relatively dry. Reaching into the bag she pulled out a small jar of ointment and opened it.

"Well Sir Mason Smith, I thank you for saving my life. Come, I'll put some salve on that wound so it will heal properly." She beckoned him over and if he came she'd reach out and rub some of the salve onto his neck. Emerald had not once thought about treating her own wound. Her main concern was always for others.
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Re: A Knight's Quest

Post by Mason Smith »

Mason watched as the healer discarded the water-logged journal, "Ah... I am sorry. Hopefully, it wasn't so important..."

When she motioned for him to come close, Mason did so. He knew better to argue with a healer when healing was needed. Sure, he could have toughed it out, but it could have taken infection. It would be very hard to complete his king's quest if he were dead. The knight winched a little from the sting of the ointment then smiled, "Ok, you have healed me. Now it is your turn."

Leaning back against the wall of a nearby building, he watched the healer for a moment. "Emerald huh..." he smiles. "If only they were black.... your wings. How fitting it would be then eh?" He stairs up at the darkening sky, "I wonder if Mara and her knight ever had such trouble." Mason looked back at Emerald, "You know of that story yes? Are you from Angeria, originally?" He chuckles, "If so, I'm betting you know the story better than me."
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Re: A Knight's Quest

Post by Emerald »

"It was important or else I wouldn't have taken it with us. Yet what is done is done and there is no fixing it. I'll just have to rely on my memory of what was in it, until I can get another to write my notes in," Emerald said with a shrug of her shoulders. A shrug that left her wincing a little because it strained the tissue around the wound in her upper arm.

After putting some of the salve on the knight's wound, he indicated it was her turn next as he moved to sit against the building as she had done. Ripping at the tear in the sleeve of her top to expose the wound further, she inspected it as she listened to him. Shaking her head Emerald paused in her inspection and looked at him. "You probably know the story better than I," she commented. "Though I am from Angeria, my parents and myself were wholly dedicated to my becoming a healer. It was all I focused on growing up. My parents always said that I had no time for such fantasy stories and that they'd not serve me well in life. I do recall some of it though. You don't grow up there not knowing about it to some extent."

The small jar of ointment in her right hand, she dipped into it with the fingers of her left and gently spread it on the wound. It elicited a hiss of pain from her as it stung, but she knew that meant it would clean anything out of the wound that could cause infection. Thankfully the knife the other healer had used had not penetrated too deeply and so she'd not need to stitch it up. She'd have to wrap it, but if the knight helped her it would go more smoothly. Closing the jar and putting it back in her bag, Emerald then pulled out a long strip of cloth she used when bandaging wounds. She held it out to the knight, "Would you be so kind as to bind it for me? The salve can only keep so much out, this will keep out more and allow it a better chance to heal."
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