Hope and Fear

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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Arangoth
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Character Race: dark elf
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Hope and Fear

Post by Arangoth »

The dark rider brought his horse to a stop and removed his demonic-appearing helmet. He wanted to see the scene before him with his own eyes, feel the breeze against his own skin. It had been far too long since he last walked the solid ground of Nor'Ova, and while he may have been in Xodod only for twelve years, in Xodod that was almost a century. The way the rolling plains that swooped down from the flat Chalcedon to the banks of the Crystal River was indeed a sight to behold. "It would be an even better sight if not for the dark clouds blocking the sun," he thought. He knew well though that these dark clouds were not natural. Ammon despises the light, as do many demons of Xodod, so he creates a great stormcloud to block it from the land. If the storm cloud is approaching you, you can bet that there is a demon army on its way. What was worse was that when Ammon begins his siege, a terrible, unrelenting rain comes. A cursed rain that drains from all the feelings of hope, courage, and faith and replaces them with despair. Ammon may not be the most powerful of Zodo's demons, but he is exceptionally cruel and cunning.

The dark rider was a good ride away from Maya, the poor town that came to be the home base for Ammon and his forces. Maya was given to Ammon by the corrupt Lord Bishop who wanted nothing but promise of immortality. Ammon gladly gave that to the bishop, stripping from the man free will and making him Ammon's puppet. The Bishop would be Ammon's mouthpiece to the community, and the demons his muscle. Soon, they would begin their march to Bellitose, where Ammon planned to take the throne and hold it for his god Zodo.

The dark rider was a commander of Ammon's forces, and Ammon's slave. Born a dark elf, his mother sold him during the Great Collapse in a demonic ritual to keep their subterranean estate safe. Though a slave, the dark rider had earned some freedom. Besides, Ammon knew the dark rider could never leave him, for he had branded his soul and only Kymara could break that brand.

While scanning the horizons, taking in the view, the dark rider spotted someone passed out in the bushes. He quickly dismounted his horse and went to investigate. Rolling the unconscious body over, the dark rider gasped, "Lord Tannhauser!" Quickly he looks around and makes certain that no one was around. "My king, worry not. I am Arangoth, and I have not forgotten your kindness. I will see to your safety, to the best of my ability."

Arangoth carefully lifted the elf king and carried him to his horse. "I cannot go far beyond Maya, but worry not sire. The inn there is a safe place for you." Arangoth gently places the unconscious elf king on the horse and goes to mount it himself when he thought he heard something. Quickly drawing his sword, Arangoth looked about, "Out with you, and slowly with your hands visible if you wish to live to see tomorrow!"
Minari
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Re: Hope and Fear

Post by Minari »

Minari had come across the elf just before heading the rider. She has dragged him into the bushes, but apparently not far enough.

Listening to the dark rider address Tann with more tenderness and conviction than she had expected, she was caught off guard when he'd called to her.

Strong free of the bushes, Minari faced the man with the plate in her hand, tucked beside her body. The jewel was safely hidden in her pouch. Before he could speak, she nodded to Tann. "Where were you taking him and how do you know him? Before you ask it of me, I've been his guardian for more than one season and I am his protector."

Despite the fact the warrior could probably end her life in a single breath, she was protective of her Sprout and had promised the demon she'd die for him. And that conviction was in her eyes as she awaited an answer.
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Arangoth
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Re: Hope and Fear

Post by Arangoth »

The dark knight regarded the woman carefully, "You are the High Elf's protector?" It was more of a curious question for him, and left him with so many more questions. Sighing, he sheathed his sword and did a short bow, "Greetings then Shard. I am known as Arangoth."

Arangoth takes another look about before resting his gaze back upon the woman. "The King is in need of medical help," Arangoth finally answered. "It is also not safe here. These lands have come under the dominion of Ammon of Xodod, servant of Zodo, and for reasons I'm unaware, Ammon has a great hatred for Tannhauser." He sighs, "I am taking him to an inn. Protected by the last good magic I could find, the inn appears nothing more than a burnt husk for the agents of Ammon. It is there a small resistance group is, and among them is a healer."

Arangoth motions to his horse, "If you'll permit me, I'd ask you to accompany your charge. I am sure that when he recovers, he will feel better to have a familiar face." He risks a thin smile, "Perhaps along the way I can help you to become a better guardian, and you can tell me of how he has come here."
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Re: Hope and Fear

Post by LieAnia »

As the two measured one another, Minari felt slightly more at ease. About as much as she could given the circumstances. "I'm not Shard, I'm Minari." She corrected, thinking Shard to be someone's name. "And I am his guardian for her is like a child, despite the form of a man he wears."

She nodded when the man offered aid and motioned for him to go ahead and set Tann on the horse. "And I need no instructions on how to be a guardian, thank you. But I would not be opposed to learning more about how and why you call him King and those who seek to harm him."

She sighed looking around at the idea of more demons, and the like, coming after Tann. "For whatever reason, he has two minds within him. The dominant one being that of a child. He knows nothing of crowns and wishes only for shiny things and restful sleep."

Shaking her head at his unconscious form, she offered up, "A demon did this to him by accident. Slamming him aside with his heart tail. But to save him from shattering against the wall, he ported him here. And me along with him." She would not admit to begging for the aid from the demon. She fell silent then and into step with the knight as they began to move.
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Arangoth
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Re: Hope and Fear

Post by Arangoth »

Arangoth shakes his head, "Then as your first lesson, a guardian always needs help to be a better guardian. Especially when you are protecting such a person as the High Elf."

Arangoth stands by his horse, having already secured Tannhauser. He turns to Minari, "Minari, Shard is the title of those that guard the Eleusian Royal Family. You guard him, though it is obvious you took no oath you are in my eyes a Shard." He extends his gloved hand, "Please ma'dam, ride with your ward. I will guide Abby here." He gently rubs the horse's head which knickers in joy of it.

After helping Minari onto the horse Arangoth sighs, "It is clear to me that you are not accustomed to open plains. Your failure here was due to being unaccustomed. Not knowing where you are headed and what you are headed into is dangerous, but sometimes that choice is not yours to make." He smiles thinly, "But given your story, I doubt that I could have hidden your ward better."

The dark knight gently grabs the reigns and begins to lead the horse, "A demon who makes portals you say? Such a talent is rare, even among the ruling class of Xodod. Something tells me that your demon might have been hiding just what, or who, he was." He chuckles, "Either that, or he gained favor of a god." Arangoth's face darkens some, "The truth of the matter is, it is nearly impossible for a demon of Xodod to create portals outside of Xodod. It is why, until the doors started weakening, that demonkind is so few in Nor'Ova."

Arangoth risks a glance at the unconscious Tannhauser, "Two minds? Perhaps two spirits?" He shakes his head, "Tannhauser Na'Dir is the High Elf, king of the elven nation of Eleusia. He was always one to treat others fairly, no matter their race, gender, or belief. He is perhaps the only High Elf to have ever been respected by my kind, and oddly enough, it is perhaps us who respected him the most. Under his rule, Eleusia was peaceful, and had abundant prosperity which all elfkind shared in." He sighs, "Then, the Great Collapse happened and our King who came to Caladonia to visit with King Ian, disappeared. Queen Camphera took that moment to seize power, and.... life in Eleusia ceased to be so great." He turns his attention back to the unconscious Tannhauser, "To be honest, I can hardly believe that he lies here, beside me. Despite my circumstances, despite everything, I must see to it that he is safe."
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Re: Hope and Fear

Post by LieAnia »

Minari knew of High Elves. She has no terrible accepting that if her Sprout. "I suppose one can always learn to be better. Regardless their lot in life. You are right. Forgive me if my refusal came out rude. It was not meant to be. I just did not imagine myself in any role other than protector for him. And even in that, no more so than one would protect a child who knew no better."

She hadn't been ready to ride pinion to Tann's limp form, but once on the back of the high beast, rubbing his unconscious back have her a bit of comfort. She settled the plate before her and let her hand run absently back and forth. Like when he was sick and sleeping, it probably brought her more comfort than him. She listened to the man speak of the demon in almost a reverent tone at its ability to port them to this location. "I know nothing of the demon or its favored position. It merely said it was incapable of lieing. When I asked it to swear to me, then, that Tann would be safe without guidance, he could not give it. So I was granted passage here in the wake of his sending."

Minari nearly laughed at his explainers of who Tann was. "My Sprout, Tann howsen Nader, is a High King? Forgive me, but if he was a grand ruler, that man is no more. He finds pleasure in shiny objects and playing at leading great armies. He speaks to trees and plants and great old friends and knows nothing of danger. Forgive me, sir. But are you sure this is the one you speak of? Surely, like my kind do to many others, elves can can look similar to you?" 

She was hoping he was mistaken. If he wasn't, there were two problems already in her mind. The first being that she had been reading a High King like a wayward child. The other was that whatever wife he had left behind, was more the cause of great strife. And he was in no condition to change that situation. She didn't like the idea that King Ian had possibly had anything to do with this, either.

Sitting, she shook her head. "I don't know him, save by name, but I hope King Ian had nothing to do with his state of health." It was half murmured under her breath.
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Arangoth
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Re: Hope and Fear

Post by Arangoth »

Arangoth chuckles, "You may not have realized, but I am elven as well.  Just.... a different kind." He sighs, "I understand. It is plausible for me to be mistaken. But..." Arangoth gently grabs one of Tann's elongated ears, "I've only ever heard of one elf with ears as long as his. You could say that they are legendary. The tell-tale mark, a curse placed so that he could never hide who he was." He shakes his head, "I'm sorry Minari, but you are in the presence of the father of the elven nation, despite his current state of being."

The dark knight sighed, "I also seriously doubt that King Ian had anything to do with what happened to Tannhauser. You see, the good king is dead. It is why Ammon could move unchecked and take one of Chaladonia's regions. The empire is falling apart, the old kingdoms are rising and breaking free while the Imperial Council move to exterminate any who don't bend the knee. It is all happening as foretold, for strife and suffering must take hold to restore Zodo." He shakes his head, "No, I am convinced that Queen Camphera had arranged for Tannhauser's death, while he was away in Chaladonia. It is likely that she succeeded, and that he would indeed be dead.... except no one could have expected the Great Collapse. I've heard tales that spirits never born to this world escaped that day, and while some found bodies of their own, others met with bodies not yet vacant." He sighs, "I can't pretend to be an expert on these things. But perhaps the healer will know. She seems to know much and see even more, despite her appearance..."

Arangoth see's Maya growing before them and brings the horse to a stop, "Before we continue, I feel that I must tell you something more. About how I know of what I know." He sighs and turns to Minari, "I am Arangoth, dark elf of the Underdark of Eleusia. I was a loyal servant of House Na'Dir. However when the Great Collapse happened, Queen Camphera declared the king's death and took the crown by force. I was then offered to Xodod as were many of my kind as sacrifice. They opened the door and in Xodod I was to stay. Hours here are days there, and for twelve years of Nor'Ovan reckoning, centuries there, I suffered the burning plains of Maal'Belthazar, made instantly a slave to the demon general Ammon, servant of Prince Balthazar, servant of Zodo. I was to be his play thing, and he threw me in with a Rune Beast. To Ammon's amazement, I bested the beast. My reward was to personally serve him." He sighs, "I am Arangoth, slave of Ammon, commander of his hordes. I've no choice but to serve, his pull stronger the closer I am to him, and his lease while long isn't long enough."

Arangoth turns to the sleeping elf, "Slave to Ammon I may be, but Tannhauser comes first." He turns back to Minari, "You must get him to the inn. And when he recovers, you must see him safely from here. Ammon seems to know him differently, a foe he's faced before. A foe he wishes nothing more than to destroy completely."
Minari
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Re: Hope and Fear

Post by Minari »

Minari listened. Many things the Knight referred to and some of she barely knew in passing. But other things, like the fact he was supposed to be the enemy, stuck in her jaw like a fish bone not pulled from a river catch. 

​​​​​​"You say you work for the Dark One. Yet in the same breath you wish of loyalty to a brain scattered king. You will need to choose a side Knight. No one can serve two Masters. It may be noble and we'll to help Tann now, but what will happen when your other Master discovers what you've done? Will you betray your King and hunt us down and slay us? Or will you defy your Master and run to warn us? Or perhaps run the other direction to breakfast your orders?" She shook her head and sighed. She and tan had been safe in the glade. He was satisfied with skipping stones and chasing the small critters that eluded him in the under brush.

Now she knew he was King. A High King who has to eventually take his throne once more. She knew, deep in her soul, that she could no longer think of returning him to their home in the woods. She didn't know what oath needed to be taken to become a King's protector. But she knew she would never abandon him.

After several moments of silence, she spoke up. This time she sounded resigned and determined instead of lost. "Where shall I take him? If he needs to sit a throne to save a nation, should that not be his destination? I can't begin to know if the places out here beyond my wood. To be fair, I don't even know how far from my woods we truly are. Give me several choices so you will not know my exact path with him. That's the best I can offer you for protection against being forced to hunt us."

Shifting slightly on the horse, she strokes Tann's hair and whispered absently, "I should have cut it when I had the chance."
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Arangoth
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Re: Hope and Fear

Post by Arangoth »

Arangoth regards Minari carefully, "Ma'dam, I think you misunderstand." He sighs, "I only serve Tannhauser. I am however enslaved to Ammon. He has branded my very soul and his orders I won't be able to disobey, no matter how hard I fight not to."

The dark knight looks back at Minari, "Ammon is different than the demon you've encountered. I do not know why your demon would have saved Tannhauser or aided you, that is not the way of a demon. Are you certain it was one?" He shakes his head, "It doesn't matter... Ammon will not be bothered by you and would think nothing of me aiding you. So it is you I keep in my mind, just as it is the High Elf's death I'll keep, for Ammon loathes the High Elf."

Ammon turns back to the town before them, "I am being summoned. Take to the inn dear traveler. Seek there the healer. Keep Absolution... 'Abby'. She'll serve you in my stead."

He turns back to Minari one last time. "Only two things could redeem me from Ammon. The sword Ithlamar, and the goddess Kymara." He smiles sadly, "My leash is being tugged. I must go. Be careful Minari. And worry not, the way will come to you."

Arangoth is then yanked away, he soon turns to run with the pull, towards the center of Maya. The horse begins to trot towards the northern end of the same town. It leads its riders to an old Inn. While the rest of the town feels greatly oppressive and dark, the Inn seems to radiate a strange warmth...
 
Minari
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Re: Hope and Fear

Post by Minari »

Minari arrived with Tann at the inn and managed to dismount on her own without to much disgrace. Holding the horse's reigns, she wondered how she was going to get the elf inside. To big for her to carry, she wished the knight hadn't run off so swiftly. 

He was being called, her said. Minari guessed that some summons couldn't be ignored. With the horse at her heels, she opened the inn door and glanced around. Taking a deep breath, she called towards the one behind the bar as they looked her way. "I was told to bring my friend here. There is a healer? He needs help."

She wasn't about to cry out who her charge was, she wasn't that much of a fool. But she did need help and hope whoever came to her aid didn't make a scene.
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