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 Post subject: The Deeds and Battles of Arkaine HalfOrken
Unread postPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 9:27 am 
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Location: The most isolated city in the world.
~Original Concept Art~


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~In-Game Character Description~


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~Appearance in Neverwinter Nights 2: Baldur's Gate The Sword Coast Chronicles~

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~Early Life+Original Background~


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Arkaine HalfOrken (Self-titled), was born on the southern Sword Coast, in the Kingdom of Tethyr.

There is no exact record of the time and date, nor exact holding to which he was born. It can only be surmised that he was the product of rape and violence.

His first memories as a youth are of indentured servitude within a jail, before he was eventually removed and placed in an orphanage.

He spent the next twelve years inside an orphanage, where he was treated like an unwelcome guest. From his early years he would bear a life-long dissent of orphanages.

His Orc blood made him dour and temperamental, and he was always far too serious for his age, taking childrens games of 'War' and sports far too seriously.

It would result in him hurting the other children despite his best intentions and wanting otherwise. Eventually they stopped forgiving him.

It was due to his pensive nature then that they would eventually shun him, and he would spend his days sitting against his bedside, staring at the wall in front of him with empty eyes.

The one saving grace of the stewards of the orphanage, was that they did teach him to read and write.

The task proved difficult, however through sheer persistence he became competently educated.

Eventually the years wore on, and the other children were taken from the orphanage, one by one, by prospective foster parents, until only Arkaine remained.

No amount of persuasion by the stewards could make any prospective foster parents adopt him, and eventually he grew too old, turning fourteen, and the orphanage was closed down.

The stewards of the orphanage departed, and he was left alone in an abandoned building.

It was during this time that the youth received the ‘Divine Calling’, a vision from Helm, the God of Guardians.

He then became a Postulant, devoted to the God of Guardians and Protectors.

The worship of Helm was the predominant religion in the southern kingdom of Tethyr, and the temple and the Clergy of Helm, and more importantly ‘The Watchers’ were Militant Clerics sworn to protect Humanity, and watch over sites of great malice and evil.

At the age of sixteen, the young Half Orc was an acolyte of the temple of Helm, and it was now that he witnessed an attempted rape of a local scullery maid by one of his Holy Order. This wayward and corrupt Watcher was also a noble born son of Tethyr.

The youth brained the nobleman's son with his bare hands, and killed him and his hound dog.

Then realizing what he had done and panicking, the young Half Orc stole a horse and attempted to flee, before he was captured by the Men at Arms and retainers of Lord Geramont of Castle Geramont.

The youth was imprisoned and awaited execution, he would be drawn and quartered as an example to the peasantry of Tethyr.

This was not to be however, and through closed circumstances his physical brawn and strength was noticed, and the promise of him becoming a powerful Knight led to his sponsoring by an unknown noble source, to begin martial training and spiritual fortification as a Paladin of The Temple of Helm, and a Squire of The Vigilant Eyes of the Deity.

The Temple of Helm absolved him of his sin on the condition that he would serve them once more and ever after.

The young HalfOrken swore his vows to uphold the Paladin's Ethos and Code of Chivalry, and was ordained a Paladin of the Temple of Helm, at the age of sixteen. A time when due to his jaded blood, he was already as big and strong as most of the men of Castle Geramont.




~Identity:~


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First Name: Arkaine.

Last Name: HalfOrken (Self titled).

[At some point early on in his life, HalfOrken decided to name himself, and chose the name 'Arkaine' from an old classical romance he once read.

For a surname he also chose 'HalfOrken', (Half-Orc-Ken, of Half Orcish Blood). Of any of this he has never told anyone.]


Birthplace: Castle Geramont. The Kingdom of [Tethyr]. Directly--far north of The City of Lords [Darromar], overlooking the southern border of The Forest of Tethir [The Wealdath].

Deity: Helm [The Vigilant One, The Great Guard, The Watcher].

Initial Alignment: Lawful Good [LG].

Current Alignment: Lawful Good [LG] [92/98].

Profession: Paladin and Watchknight of the Temple of Helm, and Master of The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary. He was once a Knight of [The Vigilant Eyes of the Deity], in Tethyr.


Current Base Class & Proposed Development:

-Paladin-

[The rest to be ironed out when all of the updates and such are finished]



Languages: Common, Chondathon, Orc and Goblinoid.



~Heraldic Shield:~


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~Specific Appearance Details:~

Race: Half Orc.

Age: 33? (Given the round about date to which he was born it is surmised that he is less than thirty five years old).

Height: 6’6 inches.

Weight: 265 lbs.

Eyes: Watery blue.

Hair: Medieval mullet (dark brown).

Facial Hair: Shaves his facial hair every few days.


General Health: Vital and burly. He is possessed of the strength of an Ox, and the endurance of a Horse.

HalfOrken is also immune to panic and the effects of fear, and shielded from sickness and disease, magical or otherwise. He is highly resistant to negative energy and poison of all forms.


Very high [Strength] score, and high [Constitution] score. Good [Charisma] and [Wisdom] scores. Fair [Intelligence] and [Dexterity] scores.



~Weapons, armour and other holy vestments:~



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--The Warplate of Saint Solor

[Ornate Heavy armour cast from adamantine] (Half-plate, chainmail hauberk, and leather gambeson), worn over the armour is a ragged scarlet surcoat and other holy vestments.


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--Giant Holy Temple Mace

A massive twenty pound two handed temple mace. This weapon was cast from a single slab of holy meteoric iron, and it's large striking mace head is shaped into four cross triangular flangs that resemble the great arches of a holy temple.



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--Large Iron Bound Paladin's Holy Tome

A large iron bound holy tome complete with an iron lock on its cover. More valuable to Arkaine than anything else in his possession, beneath its cover and sprawled across its pages is the complete and unabridged Paladins Ethos and Code of Martial Chivalry and Honour.


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--Golden Chalice of the High Hall

A ceremonial chalice hued from solid gold. It has 'Sir Arkaine the HalfOrken' engraved around its base. It is the symbol the Half Orc Paladin's initiation into The Order of the Radiant Heart in The High Hall of the Radiant Heart in Athkatla, and is the physical representation of his honour as a Knight of the Order.


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--Prayer Guardian (Symbol) of Helm

A small symbol of the upright gauntlet of the God of Guardians, that easily fits into the palm of the Paladin's gauntleted hand when he has need to pray or supplicate. A Prayer Guardian is needed by all Paladins of Helm in order to conduit Helm's divine power. It is attached to the Paladin's heavy chain mail mantle by a series of iron links, and rests over his breastplate and surcoat.




~Abilities:~



(*) He is a powerful [Paladin] and medieval Battlelord. A champion of medieval [weapons] and [armour], and the field battle.

(*) Ordained in a Helmish Monastery and blessed and empowered by [Helm], the God of Guardians - he can channel his noble god's divine power for healing, defence and to destroy servants of evil.

(*) Blessed by The Temple of Helm, he exudes an [Aura of courage] as a Paladin of Helm, that steels the courage of those around him.

(*) HalfOrken is a rabble-rouser, known for his fiery oratory and speeches, as he demagogues the cause of righteousness and honour to those around him.

(*) Like all of Helm's champions, he is given to The Watcher's Divine Prognostications and warnings of peril.

(*) Arkaine the HalfOrken has championed both Helm and Torm's holy war against the forces of evil in The Forgotten Realms of Toril for nearly two decades, and has a wealth of experience across all manner of battlefield and peril.

(*) Arkaine of Helm was undefeated in single combat for more than fifteen years, and is a champion of the test of arms and medieval duels, and in laying low great champions of evil. His winning streak finally came to an end when he was beheaded in single combat by Baphomet, the Demon Prince of Beasts, who cajoled a great Horde of Giants and Giant Kin to invade Nashkel in 1350 Dale Reckoning.




~Habits:~


Arkaine adheres strictly to the teachings and dogma of the Vigilant One and lives a strictly ascetic and solitary existence.

When he must take shelter it is always within the confines of a holy temple of honour and good.

He will not sleep in inns unless they are of the finest repute, and will not eat in taverns, even if he is left stranded in the cold biting rain outside, on a dreary day.

Due to his sacred vow to Helm, he practices a strict abhorrence of sexuality and will have no base contact with women.

Being of Half Orcish blood, he believes himself to be impure by design, and that his birth was unclean. He feels compelled to go to extra lengths to avoid worldly wants and desires, and remain clean of impure thought, action and sin.

For all of his trying he can never by his own harsh standards fully cleanse himself of his own perceived impurity of blood and heritage.



Arkaine is afflicted with a deep sense of his own self loathing for his Half Orc heritage, and can only purge his mind of such thoughts, and find self worth through performing mighty deeds, and great acts of righteousness, honour and religion, and martial valor, on the field of battle.

Acts of basic kindness and charity are second nature to the Half Orc due to the vows he has lived by all of his life, however any form of personal relationship, or friendships with others seem impossible to him, but not through lack of trying. He seems to care most for the truly helpless and the downtrodden.

When the Half Orc Paladin is not crusading or engaged in a sacred charge or holy mission, he is industrious in better studying texts and manuals related to castle and fortress construction, siege warfare, and battle on the open field.

He remains enamored of Paladin and Clerical holy rituals and ceremonies, those performed by the Temple of Helm, those of The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary, and The Most Noble Order of the Radiant Heart.

When housed within the sacred walls of his Order's chapter house, in the farmlands outside of Baldur's Gate, HalfOrken is prone to dictating and scribing holy Paladin litanies and Helmish prayers and litanies, and carries them forth attached to his great mace and armour, and into battle.

He speaks through holy litany, recital and prayer, denoting the Paladins Ethos and his temple and faith; his every word a bellowing stream of holy recital from the words of saints and martyrs, who have come before him, and were dedicated to temples of honour and good.





~Compunctions:~


[!] He is zealous and fanatical in his adherence to the teachings of Helm and upholding the Paladin’s Ethos and Code of Chivalry.

[!] He will fight to the death and the deaths of those under his command to uphold a charge or protect someone or something.

[!] Due to his Half Orc nature, and isolated, harsh and unfulfilled upbringing, he holds some mean grudges, and in a very ironic sense he does not forget those who wrong him.

[!] The fact that this is a very Dwarvish state of mind for anyone to adopt, suggests that the gods might have a sense of humour after all. Or perhaps he is just every bit as mean and inconsolable as he appears, after a life time of being abused by those around him.

[!] He is not overly intelligent in the fashion of a Wizard or another class where intelligence is the primary attribute, and while by no means is he stupid, he can be tricked, much to his anger if the ruse is lifted.

[!] During his many years of isolation, Arkaine has perhaps read too many classical romances, and fables of old. His manner of speech seems both classical and noble to most peasants and adventurers. His hoarse strained voice mars this noble knightly veneer of his.

[!] He is easily irritated and angered by quips about his heritage, and is quick to state that he was not born in a cave.

[!] He will not stand for racial intolerance and ignorant bigotry, be it from those he is sworn to protect or otherwise.




~Holy Vows~


[!] As a boy he received a great, but now faded and lamented vision from his god. When he was ordained a Paladin of the Temple of Helm in The Kingdom of Tethyr, he did swear all of the holy vows of Paladinhood, as well as several additional ones:

[!] [Core] The Vow of Obedience - He is sworn to obey the edics, doctrines and holy scripture and dogma of the Vigilant One and his Temple.

[!] [Additional] The Vow of Poverty – He is sworn to tithe one third of the wealth gained throughout his life, to the Temple of Helm, or if not possible, then the nearest impoverished innocent.

[!] [Additional] The Vow of the Quest – To never sleep in the same place for more than the span of two moons passing, lest his god find him wanting as a Paladin of Helm and force him to seek atonement (minor punishment).


[!] [He must also forego the traditional longsword and wield a two handed weapon as a symbol of his willingness to quite literally put himself in harms way before letting an innocent suffer.]

[!] [Additional] [A Vow to his Temple] - He is sworn to represent the righteousness and authority of The Temple of Helm by wielding only maces and their variants in battle, as they are the traditional weapon symbolizing any Clergyhood.

[!] [Sacred Vow] [The Vow of Chastity] – Sworn at the age of sixteen; He has never so much as held or been regarded by a woman in his life, and has sworn to forego all contact with the opposite gender, having turned his heart to stone long ago.





~Goals and quest objectives~



To restore the land from evil, Arkaine the HalfOrken must take great care that he does not become corrupted and terrible in the fashion of the very champions of evil he would defy and lay low . . .


[!] Live an ascetic life of piousness and devotion to his duty to Helm and Paladinhood. [In Progress . . .]

[!] Protect the weak, sick, innocent and young, and all who cannot protect themselves. [In Progress . . .]

[!] Do battle and purge the world of evil, in all of its forms, or die in service to this cause. [In Progress . . .]

[!] Live to the grand old age of forty and be ordained a Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Radiant Heart in the High Hall of the Radiant Heart in Athkatla. [In Progress . . .]




--




Wrought and powerful are the greatest champions of evil in the realms. . . Arkaine HalfOrken will need all of his strength of arms and purity of faith to defy their malice and slay them on the field of battle . . .


--In chronological order across the years . . .



[!] Destroy the Avatar of Bhaal [Complete!] -- Arkaine struck the fell-handed death blow on the Avatar of Bhaal, thus ensuring he cannot take form and act directly for one hundred years!

[!] Defeat the Unholy Ramsets of Netheril [Complete!] -- The Ramsets were destroyed in 1344 Dale Reckoning . . .

[!] Hunt down across the years the Half Fiend Daughter of the Eighth Duke of Hell . . .

[!] Hunt down Rai Kuu Kyntalia across the years for the grievous murders she did commit along the Sword Coast . . .

[!] Slay the Necromancer of Ulcaster and his Infernal Lieutenants [Complete!] -- The Necromancer of Ulcaster, Alabashen the Lord of the Blood Pit, and Harabadar the Pit Fiend of Asmodeus, were slain by HalfOrken and his Holy Crusade . . .

[!] Slay Blackspear the Batiri Chieftain in single combat, in the verdant glades of Cloak Wood . . . [Complete!]

[!] Serve the Grand Duchy of Baldur's Gate by slaying 'The Black Widow' (An enormous monstrous arachnid) that did stalk and prey on travellers passing through Cloak Wood . . . [Complete!]

[!] Fulfil his solemn oath to bring Lady Katherine Vernosa to Justice . . . [Complete!] -- Lady Katherine Vernosa was slain on the end of the flanged headed mace of HalfOrken, and the evil seditionist movement The Virtuous Soil have been defeated!




--




The servants of darkness are legion within the realms of Toril. . . and organized into insidious cults and depraved brotherhoods and religions devoted to suffering and evil. . .


--In chronological order across the years . . .




[!] Save Grushk the Outcast from his former evil tribe of Hobgoblins . . . [Complete!]

[!] Destroy the evil spirits haunting the Witch of the Caves demesne . . . [Complete!]

[!] Defeat the large Goblin army amassing north of Beregost [Complete!]

[!] Save Beregost from The Iron Throne [Complete!] -- The Iron Throne were driven out of Beregost in a great battle in 1344 Dale Reckoning.

[!] Cast down and purge the Sword Coast of the Temple of Murder [Complete!] -- May the people rejoice! For due to the efforts of The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary, and many others, the Temple of Murder along the Sword Coast will plague the innocent no more. . . !

[!] Win the Amn-Gate War -- [Incomplete!] Alas the great war did end in a stalemate and Amn claimed Beregost as its own.. . .

[!] Purge The Grand Duchy of Baldur's Gate of The Thieves Guild, and redeem the souls of its people for the insidious influence wrought on them by this guild of assassins and murderers. Bring justice for the innocent sacrificed to instigate the Amn-War War of The Year of the Bright Blade, 1347 Dale Reckoning.

[!] Defeat Lotrik, a murderous servant of Garagos in single combat under the test of arms; for murdering two Warriors of Tempus within the Temple of Tempus in Baldur's Gate, and bring him to justice . . . [Complete!]

[!] Slay Lyran the Hermit Lich within his evil forest. . . [Incomplete!]

[!] Destroy the 'Den Mother' (Giant Queen Aracnid) and its brood (Giant Spiders), in their den . . . [Complete!]

[!] Vanquish the Vampires that have taken over the Lord's Alliance Tower in Baldur's Gate . . . [Complete!]

[!] Slay Tho'Daah-Nugh the Horned Devil, on the open field of battle, far north of the city of Baldur's Gate . . . [Complete!]

[!] Destroy the hordes of Undead amassing in the Fields of the Dead, and purge 'The Restless Crypt' of its befoulment . . . [Complete!]

[!] Save the Village of Triel -- [Incomplete!] Alas for Triel was destroyed . . .

--[!] Defeat the great host of Mountain Orcs known as the Black Horde in the first 'Battle of Triel'! [Complete!]

--[!] Successfully defend the Village of Triel during 'the Siege of Triel! [Incomplete!]

--[!] Retake the Village of Triel from the The Black Horde! [Complete!]

--[!] Defeat the Zhentarim mercenaries and brigands pretending to be 'The Saviours of Triel'! [Incomplete!] --The battle ended in a stalemate . . .

--[!] Save Triel from being destroyed by the plague worshipping Orc Shamans of Yutrus and slay the vile Zhentarim encroaching from the north . . . [Incomplete!] --Undermined at every turn by corrupt allies and their craven plan to forge an alliance with the Zhentarim . . .

[!] Escape The Shadow Realm of Baldur's Gate, in between the plane of reality . . . [Complete!]

[!] Destroy the Demon responsible for the murders in the Palace District of Baldur's Gate . . . [Complete!] --Within the Temple of Helm in Baldur's Gate, Arkaine did slay the Demon by shattering its guise as a finely wrought sword, with a single great blow from his giant mace . . .

[!]Thwart the evil schemes of The Thayan Enclave within the Duchy of Baldur's Gate and drive them from the Sword Coast . . .

[!] Burn Roaringshore to the ground and end the reign of the Pirate Lords.

[!]Bring The Helstorm Crew to justice for their numerous crimes and atrocities committed against the Duchy of Baldur's Gate and the Sword Coast . . .

--[!] Defend yourself! Fight back and slay Kalma Helstorm at the Thunderhammer Smithy in Beregost! [Complete!]

--[!] Slay two dozen Pirates during the annual raid on Roaringshore![/i] [Complete!]

[!] [i]Slay the host of Werewolves amassing in the Wood of Sharp Teeth and win the Battle of the Fell Glade. Save the young Selunite Priestess from the forces of evil . . .
[Complete!]

[!]Marshal a great host and crusade of the righteous, to lay siege to Dark Hold, and bring the sword and flame to all black handed servants of Bane. Destroy their great monument and fortress dedicated to evil known as Dark Hold . . .

[!] Bring the murderers and brigands known as 'The Hunters of Vengeance' to justice for their betrayal and murder of members of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary . . .

[!] Liberate the village of Northhaven, and St Petulia's Refuge from The Descendants of Bhaal . . . [Complete!]




--




The realms must be purged of the influence of gods of evil and the terrible artefacts wrought to their service and worship that threaten to topple the scales of balance and undo the world into evil and darkness . . .


--In chronological order across the years . . .




[!] Save Beregost from a great horde of Wyverns and 'The Sprouts of Sorrow' . . . [Complete!]

[!] Destroy the Infernal Cauldron and slay the Summoner who summoned evil minions into the realms . . . [Complete!]

[!] Destroy the unholy portal summoning hordes of Demons into The Sword Coast just south of Baldur's Gate . . . [Complete!]

[!] Destroy the Ramset Phylacteries -- [Incomplete!] Alas, through treachery and blood sacrifice they were stolen and offered to Mephistopheles, The Eighth Duke of Hell . . .

[!] Hunt down and destroy the Ramset Phylacteries across the years, that were spirited away to be used weapons by the Eighth Duke of Hell in the Blood War . . .

[!] Recover the 'Staff of Light' for the Lizard Men of Cloak Wood, after it was stolen by Blackspear and his Batiri . . . [Complete!]

[!] Destroy the Plague Artefact of Bhaal [Complete!] -- Arkaine did shatter the unholy sphere and survive its foul miasma of negative energy . . .

[!] Purge the Village of Lenore of evil . . . [Complete!] --Arkaine of Helm did slay the monstrous 'White Wolf of Lenore' in single combat, and with the help of others purged the great cathedral of the Vampire Queen and her hordes of Undead. With a great blow from his temple mace, the Half Orc Paladin did destroy the phylarctery of a Lich that was cast within a magical black spear . . .

[!] Arkaine swore a solemn vow to Helm to never rest throughout the years until he has recovered the holy relic known as the 'Gauntlet of Torm', from the Zhentarim, and Dark Hold. [Incomplete!] - Cannot be completed as the Gauntlet of Torm was destroyed . . .

[!]Destroy the unholy artefacts sought after by the Cult of Bhaal known as 'The Descendants of Bhaal' . . . [Complete!]




--




To defeat the forces of evil, Arkaine of Helm will need to draw upon on not only his own strength of arms and purity of faith, but wield great and powerful holy weapons, and redeem holy relics of great spiritual power . . .




[!] Redeem Thyrlagord's great holy blade as a Holy Avenger and true weapon of one pure of heart and deed -- [Incomplete!] Alas for Thyrlagord was destroyed in a great battle with a fell host of Unholy Undead . . .


[!] Restore the ancient and holy War Plate of Saint Solor to its former righteous power and lustre . . .

[Half-plate +4], [Bonus Hit Points +30], [Spell Resistance +30], [Bludgeoning-Slashing-Piercing Resistance: 6], [Material: Adamantine], [Cast Spell: Greater Restoration 1/Day]


[!] Empower his giant temple mace with the ability to make great skirling attacks when surrounded by enemies [Bonus Feat: Whirlwind Attack], [Bonus Feat: Critical Threat Multiplier] and quench its metal in Holy Silverine [Material: Cold Iron], and ignite the arched flanges with wreathed holy flame and virtue [Cast Spell: Holy Avenger 3/Day]

[!] Draw water from the holy land of Torm the True's mortal birth and sup from it with his Golden Chalice of the High Hall to be imbued and blessed with Torm's strength and virtue . . .

[Iron Bound Paladins Holy Tome] [Cast Spell: Heal 3/Day], [Cast Spell: Righteous Fury 3/Day], [Cast Spell: Righteous Glory 3/Day]




--




To protect the realms, great fortresses and monasteries dedicated to protecting and upholding the innocent and the weak must be constructed as bastions of hope to watch over and protect all against the evils of the world . . .



[!] Fulfil his sworn holy oath and see a thriving Chapter of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary in The Grand Duchy of Baldur's Gate, and a proper Chapter House Keep constructed in which they may base themselves out of in the Farmlands surrounding the city of Baldur's Gate . . .






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~Possible Plot-Hook Ideas + Misc Facts~



~The Crusade against the Sultan of Zullabar [Before arriving on the Sword Coast]~



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--The City of Zullabar in Northern Calimshan



[Before making the journey to the Northern Sword Coast, Arkaine fought in the crusade against The Sultan of Zullabar, which is recounted in the writings labelled ‘Beregost Burns’.

Of the host of forty Paladins who held a breach in the great wall around the city of Zullabar in Calimshan, all were slain, save for Arkaine of Helm, who was grievously wounded and left dying of his wounds through the machinations of The God of Murder, when an assassin from The Temple of Murder along the Trade Way did pierce Arkaine's heart with a poison crossbow bolt, which did shatter in his breast.

Of those Paladins of the host, only Saint Mograine of Torm, and Arkaine of Helm were chaste and celibate and driven.

Many sons and daughters of the other Crusading Paladins, were of the aristocracy of kingdoms, such as Amn and Tethyr, and in the wake of their fathers deaths, and lack of moral guidance, have turned their hearts to vengeance against Arkaine of Helm, who led their fathers to victory or death under suicidal circumstances.

Of the desert people of Zullabar, the crusade to liberate them from the tyranny of the evil Sultan known as Mamon of Zullabar, has left their city of clay and mud housing and huts, a smoking ruin, and their lives would be that of disparate poverty, if not for the palace of solid gold they were forced to erect for their despotic now slain ruler.

Of the nomadic horse men, marauders and desert barbarians who roam the deserts around Zullabar, the name 'Arkaine HalfOrken' is never spoken, but only whispered, as a by-word for a malevolent spirit of misfortune and danger, or a curse, inflicted on the desert people by their gods.]




-The Kingdom of Zullabar Persons of Interest-



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--The Sultans Royal Guard



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--Mamon, the Tyrant of Zullabar



-The Crusader Host Persons of Interest-



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--The Mighty Men of Mograine
[A Host of Forty Crusading Paladins from Tethyr and Amn]



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--Saint Mograine 'The Mighty' of Torm


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--Sir Thierulf 'The Lionscarred' of Tyr


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--Sir Arkaine the HalfOrken, the 'Butcher' of Zullabar. . .

_________________
[Arkaine HalfOrken] [Half Orc Paladin of Helm] and [Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary]

[The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary Holy Charter]


Last edited by Atlas on Mon May 30, 2016 12:28 am, edited 42 times in total.

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 Post subject: The Deeds and Battles of Arkaine HalfOrken
Unread postPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 9:29 am 
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Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 1:00 pm
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Location: The most isolated city in the world.
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Major Baldur's Gate: The Sword Coast Chronicles Event Progression-Onward:



The Rolls of Deeds of Arkaine HalfOrken; Paladin and Watchknight of Helm

Ordained Knight of The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary
Ordained Senior Knight of The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary
Canonized Master of The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary


-The Years of Our Gods 1344 Dale Reckoning Onwards-


_
;



The Year of the Moonfall, 1344 Dale Reckoning


[+]In the City of Baldur's Gate, the Arch Wizard Ragefast exiles his evil disgruntled apprentice, who then joins forces with a great host of Mind Flayers. He starts a planar invasion of The Grand Duchy of Baldur's Gate, and summons portals that unleash an army of Devils from the Nine Hells to assault the city.

Justin Crownsilver, Arkaine HalfOrken, Lucien Huss and others, fight back the invasion and rally the High Clerics of all of the temples in Baldur's Gate, to close the portals. Ragefast's evil apprentice escapes through a planar portal at the last minute at the closing of the battle, and is never seen again.
[Event by WhenWizardsWar.]

[+] The Iron Throne merchant organization occupies Beregost for ten days with a great host of hired brigands and mercenaries. Arkaine of Helm, Justin Crownsilver, and many other adventurers, liberate Beregost, alongside of a company of Flaming Fist Mercenaries led by Commander Aegis Feld. [Event by WhenWizardsWar.]

[+] The Red Wizards of Thay are permitted in The Grand Duchy of Baldur's Gate for the first time and allowed to begin constructing an Enclave north of Beregost.

In time they begin to feud with The Iron Throne, and open conflict and bloodshed between the two insidious factions breaks out.

An Ancient Red Dragon claims the Sword Coast as its territory, and the Red Wizards of Thay send a great host of Red Wizards to slay the beast, after it ravages the countryside for a week.

The Ancient Red Dragon is slain in the end, and scorches the land around The Ruins of Ulcaster. The Red Wizards secret the body of the Dragon away to a secret lair, and through unholy magic turn the dead Dragon into a Dracolich, and bind its soul to the Master of the Enclave and his servitude.

Eventually the Red Wizards have a final dispute with the Dukes of Baldur's Gate on the tax placed on their licence in having an Enclave in the region. They then lay siege to Baldur's Gate, led by their master, a powerful Wizard, leading the assault borne aloft on the back of the Dracolich bound to his will.

The Red Wizards are defeated by the combined efforts of the Flaming Fist Mercenary Brigade, and many adventurers on the coast, including the Weave Masters. Justin Crownsilver slays the Dracolich with a silver arrow.
[Event by Whenwizardswar.]



~Thyrlagord, The Year of the Moonfall, 1344 Dale Reckoning~

Dragons are said to swallow their most valuable treasures. Holy Thyrlagord was swallowed up by an Ancient Red Dragon that Arkaine HalfOrken and his fellows did slay in a frought battle. Upon carving open the great wyrm’s stomach, was its greatest treasures revealed.

Among its other treasures swallowed up in its great maw was a knightly great sword called Thyrlagord.

A weapon of power, Thyrlagord is said to have been crafted by Helm himself, its purpose now to one day regain its true power as a Holy Avenger, a Paladin’s ultimate weapon against the forces of evil.

Before it was stolen by the Ancient Red Dragon, Thyrlagord has had a long and bloody history of being wielded by a long line of ill fated Paladins who all met their ends battling great forces of evil that threatened the goodly folk of the Realms.

Thyrlagords last wielder was the famous Paladin, Sir Aldorn Gramguard, of the band of Paladins known as 'The Company of Twelve’, who slew the corporial form of the Lich, Sammaster, after storming his stronghold in The Year of the Black Snake, 1285 Dale Reckoning.

Sir Aldorn, along with nine other Paladins of The Company of Twelve did not survive the battle, and the blade was thought to be lost in the ruins of Sammaster’s stronghold.

Thyrlagord burned with a latent amount of holy fire and could dispel any enchantment with a single strike of its blade.

Thyrlagord’s blade had inscriptions and the scriptures of Helm, god of guardians and protectors, running up and down its great blade.

It was said that should a Paladin worthy enough to match the deeds of a true hero, ever have wielded this sword, its blade would have burned as brightly as a solar fire and it would truly be a weapon that not even the denizens of the lower planes would dare face.

Unfortunately no virtuous wielder of this holy great sword ever lived long enough to accomplish its divine mission, and alas Thyrlagord was eventually shattered in The Fields of the Dead when Arkaine was set upon by hordes of Shambling Undead Warriors and with the last stroke that cut down the host, did the great blade finally break.



~The Infernal Auction, The Year of the Moonfall, 1344 Dale Reckoning~

As a Paladin questing along The Sword Coast, Arkaine of Helm swore an oath to never return to his homeland unless the prominent Temple of Bhaal in the region was destroyed.

In his early attempts to destroy the Temple of Bhaal, Arkaine earned the ire of the Lord of Murder himself, who thought the cruelest way to deal with the Paladin would be to torture him until he abandoned his ideals and joined The Lord of Murder in depravity.

Bhaal cursed the Paladin with the ability to see the spirits of those he had slain in battle in his short life, as well as those who had died as a result of his actions.

Being driven to the brink of insanity by his cursed vision, Arkaine was aided by The Weave Masters, and other adventurers alike in challenging The Avatar of Bhaal to combat, to end his curse.

Bhaal however tricked the Paladin and his brave companions, and their souls were whisked away through different dimensions and became auction house items for Bhaal, Myrkul – The Lord of the Dead, and Dispater – The Second Duke of Hell, to bid on.

After numerous attempts by HalfOrken to kill himself and his companions, so that their souls would not be eternally damned, the auction was stopped by Mystra – The Goddess of Magic, who offered to save those members of the group who were her worshipers or neutral aligned.

Arkaine however she would not save due to his lawful good alignment polarizing him to her and her belief in neutrality, and for this his companions instead elected to stay with him and fight The Avatar of Bhaal.

During the battle on a segregated pocket plane, the Half Orc Paladin and his fellows – Nahum Ithilduin, Sion Spellfire, Markon Ascaron, Vidar Glenna, Rowina Millows and Hinas Hustlefoot, managed to slay The Avatar of Bhaal, and end the curse on Arkaine of Helm. Two of their number were irreversibly slain during the battle.



~The Solar Heart, tie-in to The Infernal Auction~

After The Infernal Auction, the Half Orc's body was too badly damaged to be revived by conventional healing spells, and so did Helm, God of Guardians and Protectors, infuse him with the heart of the dead Solar - Solor, Guardian of the Citadel of Everwatch, who was most foully slain by Bhaal, The Lord of Murder.

The Solar's heart regenerated Arkaine’s badly damaged body and hummed with life beneath his chest. Due to its enormous size, the Half Orc was required to wear his breastplate over his chest during the time it was fused to his body, and it’s immense size distorted and disfigured his torso as it also pumped life giving energies into the other parts of his body.

Its true purpose for being was not revealed until the events known as ‘The Crusade’, several weeks after the Amn-Gate War, and several years after The Infernal Auction.



~The Warplate of Saint Solor, tie-in to Infernal Auction~

The Warplate of Saint Solor was the personal armour of the Warrior Angel Solor, who served Helm as one of his Honour Guard atop the Citadel of Everwatch, until he was slain by Bhaal, the Lord of Murder.

During the battle known as the Infernal Auction, Arkaine of Helm was grievously injured and encased in this armour by Helm himself to preserve his life.

Inside Arkaine's chest beat the heart of Solor, and it gave the Paladin renewed vigour, even if it could only prolong his life for several more years.

The heart of Solor would meet its destiny during The Ulcaster Crusade of 1347 Dale Reckoning.



~The Ramset War, The Year of the Moonfall, 1344 Dale Reckoning~

During The Year of the Moonfall, the ancient unholy family of Liches known as The Ramsets plagued The Sword Coast, and the dead rose to menace the living.

Arkaine of Helm distinguished himself in two great battles, by destroying the son and daughter both of Lord Ramset of Netheril. The patriarch of The Ramsets.

Arkaine was then chosen by The Weave Master Exarch – Nahum Ithilduin, to accompany him and several other champions to the pocket plane where The Ramset phylacteries were hidden in secret for millennia.

The Weave Masters had not gained this information without great cost however, and were tricked into slaying the Bronze Dragon Platonix, by a Half-Fiend Daughter of the Ninth Duke of Hell.

The small band entered a hidden portal near The Ruins of Ulcaster, that lead to the plane where the phylacteries lay hidden, and fought and defeated the Ramsets most terrible Undead creations, before the Half-Fiend daughter stole the phylacteries and offered them in unholy ceremony to her Arch Duke father.

The Arch Duke had great plans to use them as his weapons in The Blood War between The Abyss and The Nine Hells.

The small band were unable to stop the Half Fiend from making off with the phylacteries, and the unholy ceremony conducted to sacrament the evil objects as weapons for The Ninth Duke of Hell.

Anger and resentment over their failure drove them apart, and they all swore to go their separate ways.

Arkaine of Helm was summoned south to The High Hall of the Radiant Heart in Athkatla, and departed at once.



~Establishing The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary in Baldur’s Gate, The Year of the Saddle, 1345 Dale Reckoning~

The Half Orc Paladin was summoned to The High Hall of the Radiant Heart, where he was ordained a Knight of the Order for his efforts.

He was further charged with founding a chapter of The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary, in The Grand Duchy of Baldur’s Gate, to route the rise of evil along the Sword Coast.

Arkaine HalfOrken was the founder of the Order, but a Paladin of Torm named Jonas Rokranon took over his steed several months afterwards, and ennobled himself to the hearts of others in his time.

When Justin Crownsilver was sent with other expeditionary forces of The Flaming Fist Mercenary Brigade to The New World (Maztica), a Battle Mage of The Flaming Fist Mercenary Brigade named Myhun Kren, delivered to HalfOrken an ivory roll of parchment, fixed with the personal wax seal of Duke Eltan, which offered the Half Orc Paladin the rank of Captain within The Flaming Fist Mercenary Brigade.

The Half Orc Paladin was forced to decline the gracious offer made by Duke Eltan, however. For he could not break his vows as a Paladin, and oaths and allegiance to The Radiant Heart Auxiliary in good faith, or with honour and righteous intent.



~The Siege of the Temple of Bhaal, The Year of the Saddle, 1345 Dale Reckoning~

During the siege of The Temple of Bhaal, The Half Orc Paladin was charged with defending the besieger’s encampment and fortifications, and fought furiously to the last man, to ensure the forces of evil and murder, did not harm the innocents that were rescued from the temple during the siege.

Arkaine of Helm is credited with slaying a score of Shadow Reavers and a host of Shambling Undead during the siege.

He was further drawn upon the honour roll in the now established Friendly Arm Inn, after Bently Mirrorshade refurbished the besieged Temple of Bhaal, and the Half Orc was one of those given permission to carry his weapon on his person while inside the walls of the inn and stronghold.



~The Plague Artefact of Bhaal, The Year of the Bloodbird, 1346 Dale Reckoning~

During the year that the unholy plague struck The Sword Coast, Arkaine and The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary, and many others, sought out the cause of the blight and found it to be an underground cult of Bhaal, who sought revenge on The Sword Coast.

The plague was spawned by an unholy sphere, that eminated death and decay like radiation.

Arkaine of Helm shattered the artifact into six fragments by stomping on it with his iron greave, and he and six other heroes swore to take the fragments far away from The Sword Coast, and thus end the plague.

Those sworn to this duty all succumbed and died to the evil and plague emanating from the fragment, except for Arkaine of Helm. The Half Orc took his fragment far into The Fields of the Dead, where the land was already twisted and evil, and it could do no further harm.

Over time the negative energy of the fragment made the Paladin deathly sick and weakened him greatly.

The evil of the negative energy stunted him permanently by two inches.

It failed to kill off the Half Orc however, and eventually it died and dissipated into nothing.



~The Shrine of the Honoured Dead, The Year of the Bright Blade, 1347 Dale Reckoning~

In The Year of the Bright Blade, HalfOrken took it upon himself to protect The Shrine of the Honoured Dead, which was erected in memory and to house those who died in the siege of The Temple of Bhaal.

It was situated half a days journey north of the established Friendly Arm Inn. It was here that he remained in defence of the shrine and his soul, through solitude and supplication.

Few tried to deface the sacred shrine while the Half Orc Paladin guarded it so fervently, and none can doubt the righteous power of Ilmater that emanated from its crypts and mausoleums.

The shrine gave life to the land around it and healed the suffering and those who sought solitude there.



~The Amn-Gate War, The Year of the Bright Blade, 1347 Dale Reckoning~

The deeds of Arkaine of Helm during The Amn-Gate War, can better be recounted in the writings labelled ‘Beregost Burns’.

With the onset of The Amn-Gate War, by command of Sir Lance Renslin of Lathander, The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary declared neutrality between the warring of The Duchy of Baldur's Gate and the Amnish legions.

After the sacking of Gullykin, and other atrocities committed by the great hosts of conscripted soldiers and monsters that comprised of the Amnish military might, and the disappearance of Sir Lance Renslin, The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary recanted under the command of Thiago the Elder, and pledged it's Knights, and it's faith, to The Duchy of Baldur's Gate.

In the final great battle of the war, Arkaine of Helm, was charged by Duke Eltan to lead the Duchal forces against The Golden Legion, the monstrous auxiliary forces, and The Cowled Wizard regiments in play that were protecting the southern nation's artillery weapons.

A Dwarf Warrior named Revenark Stonehold was charged with leading Duchal forces against the main host of soldier conscripts in the destroyed ruins of Beregost.

Between Arkaine of Helm, and Revenark Stonehold, the Duchal Forces won a mighty victory, and succeeded in routing and repelling the Amnish forces to reduce the war of attrition to a stalemate.

In the wake of this the great host of The Lord's Alliance finally marched on Beregost, and the Sword Coast, and forced General Gilberto Guerro, and the Dukes of Baldur's Gate to conform to a peace treaty.



~The Crusade, The Year of the Bright Blade, 1347 Dale Reckoning~

The events of The Crusade happened several weeks after The Amn-Gate War, and was a DM Quest run by former Dm Xzar, it’s recounting is still being written by me in this thread.

The Crusade was where Arkaine of Helm led a great host of desperate pilgrims, peasants, and with Paladins, Fighters, Clerics, Dwarves, adventurers, and Thalantyr of High Hedge, traversed the length of the Sword Coast in a quest to destroy The Necromancer of Ulcaster, who threatened to invade Amn with his unholy host of Undead.

The Crusade's pivotal moments were its four great battles, which were: The Siege of the Friendly Arm Inn Stronghold, The Battle of the Blood Fen, The Scourging of the Wastes, and The Battle of Ulcaster.



**~The Fate of Triel I, The Year of the Spur, 1348 Dale Reckoning~

In The Year of the Spur, The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary was commanded to clear the northern trade routes of villainy and recover a lost company of Flaming Fist Soldiers who had disappeared along the northern routes.

Arkaine of Helm led The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary, and was aided by Revenark Stonehold and Pate the Ranger, in doing battle with the Brigands and Marauders who blockaded the northern trade routes between Baldur's Gate, Elturel, Triel, and further east along The Western Heartlands.

HalfOrken and his men routed many of the Brigands, but were ambushed and captured. They escaped during the winter months, with evidence that the Brigands' weapons and armour were being supplied by The Red Wizards of Thay, and their roaming bands bolstered by Orcs of a tribe native to Thay, known as The Black Horde.

Upon finally reaching Triel, they deposed of the villainous Grain Lord known as Elvar, and learned that the one hundred Flaming Fist Mercenaries who disappeared in the region were last seen marching on the evil forest lair haunted by an evil Hermit Lich called Lyran.

They further battled their way through the hosts of Undead inside the evil forest, until they finally were set upon by the Hermit Lich Lyran. Only HalfOrken, Ferragus Manus, Revenark Stonehold, and Pate the Ranger, survived.**



The Year of the Bridle, 1349 Dale Reckoning


[+] **The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary was led by Arkaine HalfOrken to aid the beleaguered Elven Village of Doron Amar in the Wood of Sharp Teeth, against the Thayan Mountain Orcs known as The Black Horde.

Arkaine of Helm, Ferragus Manus of Helm, and Juez Calvo of Ilmater, did battle with the Mountain Orcs, and were met with hostility from the ruling council of Elves within Doron Amar. They were forced to depart before the campaign was over.**



~The Fate of Triel II, The Year of the Bridle, 1349 Dale Reckoning


The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary and The Order of the Silver Rose, were charged by the Dukes of Baldur's Gate, to marshal a host and meet The Black Horde in battle.

The Thayan Orcs were encroaching on The Northern Trade Way and marching on the rural grain village of Triel.

A great host is marshalled, and they meet the hordes of Orcs in battle, south of Triel. The combined host of both Orders, and those of other factions, and adventurers fighting alongside them, route half the number of Orcs marching on Triel.

In the end they are given to withdraw from the field by command of Sir Uriel Honourblade, a Paladin of The Order of the Silver Rose, who was elected to lead the conjoined host.

Arkaine of Helm leads the Host of the Auxiliary, to the Village of Triel, where they prepare for a siege, and further battle with The Black Horde once more.**



~The Fate of Triel III, The Year of the Bridle, 1349 Dale Reckoning


The conjoined hosts of The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary, The Order of the Silver Rose, and also a war band of Northern Elves, and Northern Barbarians from The High Moor, and others who flock to the banner of the defence of the village of Triel, did repel the hordes of Mountain Orcs for a time, before villainous mercenaries and brigands, standing behind the defenders lines, betrayed the defenders, and overran them from behind.

The villainous mercenaries and brigands were in the employ of The Zhentarim, and many men and women are slain in the brutal carnage.

Ferragus of Helm and Ameris of Ilmater, found themselves stranded on the outskirts of the village, and were forced to watch the Mountain Orcs descend upon the fortifications and begin to set the village to the torch.

Borbag Zirkus of Torm fought valiantly beside Arkaine of Helm, but was pierced by many blade and arrow wounds, and dumped into The Chionthar River.

His loyal mule was also brutally cut by many sword wounds and pierced by arrows, but nonetheless courageously carried the gravely wounded Borbag of Torm to safety downstream, before the poor and noble creature died of its grievous wounds.

Arkaine of Helm was set upon from behind by a score of Brigands, and his armour is beaten upon relentlessly by the pommels of rusty swords, before he eventually collapses in defence of innocent villagers.

His foot is tied by rope to the saddle of a draft horse, and he is dragged from the field of battle and into the wilderness for many miles. The villainous Brigands victory is short lived, as they themselves are butchered by the hordes of Mountain Orcs, who sack the village of Triel and burn everything, and kill everyone.



~The Battle of the Three Pennants, The Year of the Bridle, 1349 Dale Reckoning~



One month to the day of the fall of the village of Triel, the survivors of those who defended the village rallied, intent on liberating Triel from the horde of Mountain Orcs.

The former defenders of Triel battled their way through Thundar's Ride, from the south, all the way to the outskirts of Triel, slaying many Mountain Orcs.

Upon marshalling before the village centre, they were met with a host of mercenaries and brigands in the employ of The Zhentarim. Nothing but battle did suffice for Arkaine HalfOrken, and he challenged their boldest warrior to single combat.

Uriel Honourblade of Torm also threw down his own gauntlet as well, and The Host of the Auxiliary stood by the Half Orc Paladin.

The Elves of En Dharasha Evarae, and the remaining host of The Order of the Silver Rose withdraw from the field however, and battle is finally met, when a Bard named Thedran engaged The Zhentarim.

The battle ends in a stalemate, and the villainous host of The Zhentarim withdrew from Triel.

During the battle, Arkaine of Helm is hurled from a cliff by an evil Green Dragon, and hurtles into the raging Chionthar River. He is saved from drowning in his own armour by Juez Calvo of Ilmater, and Ferragus Manus of Helm.



~The Fate of Triel Finale, The Year of the Bridle, 1349 Dale Reckoning~


Late in the year, a strange, magical and seemingly incurable plague affects the northern towns of Soubar and Triel. Hundreds of people die to the plague.

Attempts at curing it are ultimately futile as a small Orcish band lead by a plaguebearer of the Orcish god Yurtrus, attacks Triel and Soubar. Many powers along The Sword Coast combine in an effort to save Triel.

Under the command of Eliphas the Traitor, and also Borbag Zirkus of Torm, The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary swears to follow the orders of the scribes of Candlekeep, and the Half Elf sea captain, Mealir Ostirel.

The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary is restrained from meeting The Zhentarim in battle at crucial stages, and undermined by the treacherous manipulations of Eliphas the Deceiver.

Soubar barely survives due to the actions of The Order of the Silver Rose, some scholars of Candlekeep, and emissaries of The Greyfox Tribe.

Triel is almost completely levelled by a surprise attack, and most of its population slaughtered by plague zombies, earthquakes and fire storms.

Triel is literally erased from the maps as a town inhabited by the living, its ruined and smouldering buildings now host to the restless dead.

Only the grain silo, that The Host of the Auxiliary, swore an oath to defend, and almost died to the last man defending, would remain of the village of Triel.



~The Annual Raid on Roaring Shore, The Year of the Bridle, 1349 Dale Reckoning~


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~The Defeat of Kalma Helmstorm~


Twas in Beregost ne’er high noon that Arkaine HalfOrken would set aside words and parley with Thunderhammer of the famous smithy, to be accosted by the villainous Kalma Hellstorm and his heretical faith of an evil sea goddess and ply claims of rank within the Amnish Military.

Lo, Captain Kalma Hellstorm, late of the plunder and burning of Ulgoth’s Beard and many o’er atrocities against the Grand Duchy of Baldur’s Gate and its people. Twas Kalma and the Hellstorm crew who sunk three Flaming Fist Galleons with their devilish hell powder under the banner of thy southern nation of Amn, and wrought closer the instigation of the most heinous Amn-Gate War.

And lo he denounced Arkaine of Helm as villainous and his forked tongue worked its insane garble of the righteous raid on Roaring Shore, to which one of villainy such as he claimed that no Pirates were slain or captured and that all who brought the light of righteousness to that foul pit were guilty of murdering children and fishermen.

Twas his arrogance, his evil and his delusions of grandeur that spited Arkaine of Helm so, and heated words were banded back and forward; always would the Half Orc Paladin denounce the villain as a murderer and a brigand worthy of nothing short of the gallows to give sufferance to those he hath so wronged over the many years of his villainous actions against The Grand Duchy of Baldur’s Gate.

Twas then that Kalma challenged thee Half Orc Paladin to battle him with a rapier and dagger in some foreign custom that by all rights holds no purchase on noble Chondathon born warriors who fashion with sword and mace and let have it in honourable combat on a field of chosen choice with weapons of choice.

And lo, did Arkaine of Helm offer thy villain such honour, though it be unworthy of him, and the Pirate did spit and frothe and denounce the Paladin some more. With words of fury and commanded by spite he would announce to all that he would slay the honourable Half Orc Paladin if he did not bend creed to Kalma’s design, and such is the righteousness of a Paladin of Helm that he would not take back well deserved words of a vile murderer and brigand.

Thus it came to be that Kalma in his rage withdrew his barbed and curved blades of evil and let forth with a flurry of blows to reign upon noble HalfOrken. But lo HalfOrken’s armour is not said to be the finest on the Sword Coast for naught and his blows to vital areas fell short.

Twas in knocking the villainous Kalma aside with a mighty clenched fist, that the Paladin took up his own sacred great mace of faith and ordination and smote thee villain with hewing blows from his powerful arms that would tear through the bowels of a Wild Boar.

Thy villain lay broken and defeated on thee cobblestones and dust before the smithy of Thunderhammer, his limbs all shattered and his spine broken in twain.

And lo did Thunderhammer judge Arkaine of Helm to be just and other of courage and good intent come forth to aid the Half Orc Paladin in the long journey north, to bring finality to the reign of evil of thee villainous Kalma Hellstorm.

It was then that thee journey was long and frought with peril, but endure did Arkaine of Helm and noble Ferragus and an Elf Maiden of Silvanus, another foreign woman and Paladin of Torm, and noble Ameris of my Order.

Kalma’s prone broken form has thus been delivered to the justice of the Grand Duchy and by Tyr’s wisdom and fervent tenets may it be swift and the innocent to be butchered and suffer under Kalma’s evil know peace at last.


~So scribed by Artois Guillame; Page of Arkaine HalfOrken.


During The Year of the Bridle, Arkaine of Helm lead a great host of The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary, The Order of the Silver Rose, and a war band of Elves from the Village of Doron Amar, and sacked the villainous port of Roaringshore.

Scores of brigands and land locked pirates are routed and slain, and over two dozen are captured, before The Flaming Fist Mercenary Brigade blockaded the dock with their War-Galleons, and transported the captured Brigands and Pirates away to Baldur's Gate to face execution for their crimes.

The High Captains of Roaringshore are believed to have known of the impending raid, and fled out to sea on their own galleons, the night before, with everything they could take with them.

Dring the following year, Kalma Hellstorm and his Pirates swear vengeance, and a Squire of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary is slain, and hung from a tree.

Kalma Hellstorm is defeated not long after this by Arkaine of Helm, at The Thunder Hammer Smithy, in the then lawless and suffering Beregost.

The Half Orc Paladin was attacked by the pirate captain, who launched himself at Arkaine of Helm with his two scimitars in hand. In the insuring battle, the Paladin breaks both of the Pirate's arms and legs, as well as his back.

With the help of Ferragus Manus of Helm, Ameris Santraeger, and an Elven Ranger, he makes the long journey north to Baldur's Gate, and brings the pirate captain before The Flaming Fist Soldiers, at the gates of The City of Baldur's Gate, to face justice.



--
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A Squire of the Order named Cecilia Lafayette, and Sir Ameris Santraeger of Ilmater, are caught in a frought battle against overwhelming odds in the pitted ruins of the former village of Triel.

Another Cleric of Ilmater, Sister Brenda Duvale, takes her own life during the battle, and both former Squire and Knight of The Radiant Heart Auxiliary are captured and held for ransom by The Zhentarim enforcers of Dark Hold.

Ransom demands are made for Ameris, and it is eventually revealed that he was hanged within twenty four hours, and that he was a Harper Agent as well as a Cleric of Ilmater.

An attempt by The Zhentarim to ransom Cecilia back to The Radiant Heart Auxiliary is made, however she is hung also, within a ten day, after the demands are not met.

Eliphas the false Master at the time, commands The Host of the Auxiliary to remain complacent.

Both Ameris and Cecilia are brought back to life at a later date (see other peoples threads).



~Shattering the Sword, The Year of the Morning Star, 1350 Dale Reckoning~


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~Battle of the Fell Glade, The Year of the Morning Star, 1350 Dale Reckoning~


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[center]-The Battle of the Fell Glade, The Year of the Morning Star, 1350 Dale Reckoning-


*A new roll of deeds hangs from the Chapter House of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary. To those who stop by on the road in the Farmlands and gaze upon it from afar, it reads...*

*Despair in thine heart of HalfOrken he did not. For resolute was he in his faith in thine Vigilant Lord and mace and mettle. Outnumbered thine company of ramshackle hedge wizards, Elves and Gnomes stood, twelve to forty. Forty Werewolves; Werebeasts that stood a head taller than HalfOrken when upright, with claws as fell as iron sickles, and slavering jowls with row upon row of dagger like teeth.

With a raucous bellow to Helm and deliverance on his lips to Torm, did HalfOrken bade his followers to stand their ground and not flee, although outnumbered nearly four to one. With rousing oratory did HalfOrken steel thine hearts of those who stood with him, and they waded in thine fray of battle and a mass of fleshy madness and claws.

Thine battle was fraught and fell, and a bloody contest of strength and valor to behold. Men and Elves fell to beasts with limbs shredded and throats torn out. Arkaine of Helm did not waver or give his ground, as he bestride through thickets of thine unholy beasts and smote them in twain with Helm on his lips and bellows for their absolution in death.

Arkaine's only true comrade of thine torn was a Gnome Monk, and with acrobatic flair did he dance and cartwheel around the lumbering Werewolves, and with monastic art and temperance strike fell blows with his adamantium fists and legs. A fell backhanded swipe from a vicious Wolfwere did splay thine Gnome of his innards and he did lie prone and gushing of vital fluids upon thine forest floor.

Crying out with a vengeance, did HalfOrken bound to his comrade's side and taking the small one's head in his large gloved gauntlet hands did invoke the will and faith of Helm and restore thine Gnome from a bloody and brutal death, unto the fullness of life and vigor once more.

As they did fight on and scour thine field it remained that only three of thine original company of twelve did still live, but thine tide of the battle had changed and in a prolonged surge of brute mettle, did Arkaine and his remains slay thine remaining Werewolves and claim a mighty victory in thine fell glade.*

*With a holy scepter of resurection did HalfOrken bring back to life those who had stood with him, and lo' the inequities of evil wizards did cast its sway upon one greedy soul, for amid thine brutality and blood and death that soaked the forest floor, a young maiden of Selunite worship was recovered; but stolen by a greedy hedge wizard was her precious medallion.

With a cry of outrage at this betrayal did HalfOrken clout the Wizard over thine skull and knock him out, and thine medallion was recovered. In his arms did HalfOrken carry thine limp and unconscious maiden to thine temple of Garl Glittergold at thine Friendly Arm Inn Stronghold.*
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~The Grievous Battle with Baphomet, The Year of the Morningstar, 1350 Dale Reckoning~


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The Grievous Battle with Baphomet


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~The Enemy Within, The Year of the Morning Star, 1350 Dale Reckoning~


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The Master's Betrayal


*A new roll of deeds hangs from the outside wall of The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary Chapterhouse, facing in the direction of north. From the bottom of the parchment hang elaborate tresses, and the face of the parchment is quartered in red, white and gold, and framed with elaborate holy Paladin script and commandments and doctrines from the Ethos and Code of Chivalry itself laid down by Holy Torm, thousands of years prior.*

*The parchment reads. . .

An lo' in thine year of Year of the Morningstar, 1350 Dale Reckoning; so it was that a great shadow of doubt an inequity had wrought itself over thine Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary; evil having wormed its way into thine stringent command of the Order's Paladins, and lying dormant for two whole years, before light was finally shed over thine villainous seeping orifice, that festered and lay like a living wound in the shining and radiant armour of those who serve thine purpose of honour and right within the Order.

By thoth, what was to be a shining new canonization of thine Order's charter and sacred oaths sworn dearly, became a crime most foully wrought on thine most honoured Chancellor of The Most Noble Order of the Radiant Heart.

Twas Arkaine of Helm, who did first express his doubt to his brethren, on the validity of the Order's Master, as Paladins stood unbowed in thine sacred chapel, and did so prepare to swear their most sacred oaths to thine Order.

But lo' thine extent of thine Master's treachery yet eluded dogmatic Arkaine of Helm, until such fears of a grown evil with thine very own Order and inadequacy of leadership did prove truthful; when finally at behest of her brethren; Squire Cecilia, sworn to secrecy, did break her silence and wrought on those within thine sacred halls the extent of thine evil and treachery it was fraught with.

Master Eliphas Valkarian twas he named, and now shamed as servant of evil, and thine own Black Lord of thine Dark Hold Keep itself. Twas he who had slithered in secret within thine craggy morasses of thine Order's most holy benedictions of service to righteousness and good, and lo' was he revealed once found unworthy of Torm's blessing from thine mighty artefact known as The Gauntlet of Torm.

With his Bane Blade of malice, wrought by evil servants in unholy pacts and furnaces, did Fallen Brother Eliphas draw his unholy weapon, and before those present, splay thine chest of the unarmed and most honoured Chancellor Omased Nobleheart, of the Most Noble Order of the Radiant Heart.

With righteous fury welling inside of thine righteous Paladins present, did Brother Ferragus Manus and Arkaine of Helm make charge at the evil Servitor of Bane, ornate and blessed weapons held at thine ready and willed to strike thine coward down for his most abased betrayal and wounding of thine Chancellor.

But lo' ever is thine inequity and avarice in thine hearts of those who would serve the Lord of Tyranny, and Squire Cecilia dideth suffer a grievous fate, with weapon far from hand and being close at hand to thine traitor, an' hold his wrought unholy blade under her chin and try bargain her life for his safety, did thine traitor.

By Torm, and thine mailed fist that Helm strikes at thine servants of evil with, did Brother Arkaine and Ferragus bellow, death to thine villainous forces, and death to traitors! And lo' did Sister Cecilia have heart that thine villain would be laid low and thine justice within the Order restored, and did ask of her brothers, to suffer not as a bartered pawn in thine play of the Dread Lord, an' a great resolve did overcome her, as her faith in thine Just God stood resolute.

Reaching thine villainous traitor first, lo' did Brother Arkaine see thine resolve and piety in her eyes and dishonour her not, but wouldst honour her ultimate sacrifice, and did charge on in thine fray, great mace wrought of iron and justice swung in a mighty arc meant to cloft thine Dread Lord's head from his shoulders.

But lo', as friends and allies of thine Order did fill into thine Chamber and denounce thine traitor in his villainy, did Eiliphas use Sister Cecilia as a human shield, and thine righteous temple mace of Arkaine did splay off her head and sink her to thine marble floor, her face carved in on one side, an' shallow of breath.

With wickedness in his heart did Eliphas next hold of his blade at thine dying throat of the honoured Chancellor, and proclaim this his fate would be death also, but lo' was Ferragus' mighty swing of his baroque sword arcing towards Eliphas' neck his deft skill.

With surety in his purpose did Brother Gaervin reach thine laid low Squire Cecilia, and invoke his holy Paladin power of faith and might, to restore to health thine ruined Sister Paladin.

Thine traitor could only belay thine attack from Brother Manus, before thine holy smiting blow of Arkaine's great mace did rain down upon him, and strike truly did thine Half Orc Paladin, with thine purity of his faith in Helm wrought into thine blow, and his strength of arms ever his dutiful ally.

Thine great mace of wrought iron carved deep into thine traitors armour, and sparks and unholy foulness did spew forth in a fell miasma, as thine blow was infused with thine very strength and righteousness of thine Half Orc Paladin's faith and deeds, and worth in thine eyes of the Vigilant God; Helm; and cry out to Bane in pain and fear did thine traitor, as hith own life blood gushed out of his wound and unholy armour.

But alas, did fate wrought treachery on thine Order, as thine holy Gauntlet of Torm had fallen from thine hands of the Chancellor, and rolled to rest at the feet of the vile traitor himself. And with hate and avarice in his heart, did Fallen Brother Eliphas take up thine gauntlet and with thine evil god's name on his lips, he did flee from Arkaine of Helm, and not take to thine field of honourable combat and chivalry, like a true Paladin son would.

As thine traitor did flee, did Arkaine cast his mace aside and invoke thine faith and name of his own righteous liege; Helm, and with a leather gauntleted hand, a golden light did shine forth from thine Half Orc and spread through the dying Chancellor and bring him back to life, where once his fate could have only been death.

And so with a cry of righteous fury, did Arkaine so swear to recover thine Gauntlet of Torm, whatever it may take, or how many years he would have to quest in order to liberate thine holy artefact. . .

With stoic determination did Brother Ferragus Manus swear that thine stain of Eliphas the Deceiver would be unwrought, no matter how many years of questing it would take. . .

And with stalwart resolution, did Brother Gaervin so swear that thine Order would rebuild itself stronger and greater than it had been so before. . .

Thine last of the mighty oaths to be sworn that day would come from Sister Cecilia, as she would so swear that thine evil wrought by thine traitor would not go unpunished, and Eliphas the Deceiver would be brought to heel and justice in thine name of the Just God, no matter the personal cost to herself.*

~So scribed by Artois Guillame, thine humble Page of Arkaine of Helm and honoured servant of thine Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary.


The Chancellor of The Most Noble Order of the Radiant Heart, and bearer of the Gauntlet of Torm, and his entourage, arrives at the chapterhouse of The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary, in order to canonize the Auxiliaries' holy charter.

During the reformation ceremony, Arkaine of Helm expresses doubt in their elected Master, Eliphas Valkarian, who had been in office for seven months prior.

Unease began to show during the solemn ceremony, until Eliphas' Squire Cecilia Lafayette of Tyr brings forth and reveals documented evidence of Eliphas' evil, before the holy procession.

With his ruse lifted, Eliphas runs Chancellor Omased Nobleheart through with his sword of evil, and declared his worship of The Lord of Tyranny. He then held his evil blade to Squire Cecillia and proclaimed that he meant to use his former Squire as a hostage and means to escape the Chapterhouse.

Events become misconstrued as Arkaine of Helm and the Order believe Cecilia intended to make the supreme sacrifice for the cause of the Order and to thwart Eliphas. However the former Squire was known to recant this and state that she was struck down and slain by Arkaine of Helm.

Eliphas used her as a body shield to avoid the crushing impact of Arkaine's giant temple mace.

As Cecilia was struck down by the Half Orc Paladin's giant temple mace, Eliphas is harried by the resounding blows of Ferragus Manus' large baroque sword, before Arkaine strikes Eliphas with a smiting blow from the flanged head of his mace, that shears off chunks of armour, and imbeds itself in the traitors' neck.

The wounded Eliphas manages to snatch The Gauntlet of Torm from the stone floor of the chamber, and flee through the power of Bane, The God of Tyranny, who teleports him away in a haze and black miasma of mist and foulness.

With the enemy now fled, HalfOrken uses his divine power to heal the Chancellor back from the brink of death, and Gaervin Goldenshield, and Ferragus Manus both, heal Squire Cecilia Lafayette back to health and vitality.

Arkaine of Helm swears a mighty oath to lay siege to Dark Hold, and never rest until he has recovered The Gauntlet of Torm from the clutches of Eliphas.

Gaervin Goldenshield and Ferragus Manus are ordained Knights of the Senior Council within the Auxiliary, and Cecilia Lafayette is ordained a Knight of the Order.

A tenday later, Arkaine HalfOrken, is canonized The Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary, by Prelate Wessalen, of The High Hall of the Radiant Heart.

_________________
[Arkaine HalfOrken] [Half Orc Paladin of Helm] and [Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary]

[The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary Holy Charter]


Last edited by Atlas on Mon May 23, 2016 9:08 am, edited 19 times in total.

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 Post subject: The Deeds and Battles of Arkaine HalfOrken
Unread postPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 9:31 am 
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~Major Event Progression Continued On. . .~


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~The Gauntlet of Torm, Finale, The Year of the Crown, 1351 Dale Reckoning~


In The Year of the Crown, Eliphas Valkarian was finally slain by his former 'Squire' Cecilia Lafayette, and The Gauntlet of Torm did explode and the rampant energies of the holy artifact ripped his body into pieces which were cast into the magical vortex known as The Weave, that surrounds the sundered world of Toril.

Arkaine of Helm and few others who were wronged by the Dreadlord, and those who aided and served the servant of Bane, were witness to his end.



~The DragonWing Brought Low, The Year of the Crown, 1351 Dale Reckoning~


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***This roll of deeds depicts the frought battle between Arkaine of Helm, and Squire Erza of Sune; against the villainous Pirates of the DragonWing Crew of Roaringshore on Hammer 4.

Although outnumbered two to one; the Paladins of the Auxiliary did win the day; and of Squire Erza it is written that she should be commended for her stout-hearted gallantry fighting alongside the Master of the Auxiliary.***


****No sooner had the Paladins made their devotions to faith and divinity for the victory wrought; were they accosted by another servant of evil; a black-hearted witch named Mary Myers, who doth clad in a pitted and scorched suit of full plate armour, and bearing a massive reapers scythe. The witch did exude arrogance and wrought unholy magics to transcend herself to the ethereal reality; while taunting the two Paladins and cladding herself in unholy devotions borne of divine evil. A nuanced blunder on her part however saw herself ripped from the Ethereal Plane and wrought back into the material world, to which justice was delivered at point of sword and mace to her black heart in a deft fashion.****



~The Four Duels of Hammer 5&6, The Year of the Crown, 1351 Dale Reckoning~


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*Year of the Crown 1351 Dale Reckoning—On Hammer 6, a great roll of parchment is wrought within the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary Chapterhouse, and hung from the great stone walls of the stronghold for all to bear witness.

It is sacrosanct with the coat of arms of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary, and the red and white quartered shield heraldry, and device of a stylized but plain face; the left half recognizably Human and the right half - Orcish; with a giant triangular flanged temple mace running horizontally beneath it.*

**The script, written in long flowing deed, is the prosaic dialogue of the Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary, and at the bottom of the parchment it denotes that it was dictated by Arkaine of Helm and scribed by his Page; Artois Guillame.**

***The roll of deeds depicts four wrought duels fought by the Half Orc Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary, on the field of valour, along the lawless Trade Way, south of the Duchy of Baldur’s Gate over the course of two days spanning.***



*The first duel was wrought on Hammer 5; where a small and slight man later confirmed to be a lithe Elf named Sywyn; borne of a sky blue cloak and hooded cowl, did insist on battling Arkaine of Helm. The Half Orc did pray and supplicate to Helm for strength, and then engage with him on the field; to which Sywyn did break the conditions of honourable battle and let loose volleys of arrows at HalfOrken from afar, far away in the distance he had secreted himself to. The Half Orc Paladin did bellow in outrage and proclaim his faith in Helm, as he charged the Elf while harrying the volleys of arrows as they pelted his heavily armoured form.

Once Arkaine had closed the gap between them, he did drag his giant temple mace through the gavel bodily, behind him, and bring it up and around in a great arc, and drove it into the abdomen of the Elf. He then wrenched the great mace out of the Elf’s flesh, and brought it down on his hooded and cowled head; the sharp flangs splitting it like a melon, and ending the archer.*


**No sooner was Sywyn the Elf brought low, that Arkaine of Helm did contend his mettle with the Devil Spawn known as Koga of the Blade. Koga did fight with sword and shield and harry and fend in appliance of warrior skills. But in vain; as HalfOrken’s temple mace did split through Koga’s shield and tear it from his grasp; and the sanctified judgement of Helm did course through its giant triangular wrought iron head, as tore a great gash through the Devil Spawn’s armour and flesh and organs from shoulder to hip; and Koga of the Blade was seared in agony and did convulse and die.**


***On Hammer 6; Arkaine of Helm did do battle with an unholy practitioner of evil magics, named Kenton Lane. The servant of evil did profess to serving an self-stylised cult of Infernal worship and brigandry, known as the Coven of Darkness. Lane concealed much of his head and self in a large hood and cloak; but wore a garish Chessentian styled breastplate with lurid male torso musculature engraved over it. In his hands he bore a large glaive that crackled with evil magics.

As Arkaine steeled himself with his strength of arms and purity of beliefs and devotion; Kenton Lane clad himself in all manner of unholy and deceptive magics; and became a blurred phantasm of several different images of himself. As HalfOrken struck down each phantasm with wrought iron and smiting blows of his mace; they would shimmer and disappear to reveal themselves as illusions. Kenton in turn did gouge and rent great wounds on the Paladin; before the villains illusions were finally all but spent; and Arkaine of Helm’s endurance and stamina did see him through to bow Kenton off of his feet; and bring his great mace down on Kenton’s Chessentian breastplate with strength born of Orcish blood and righteous and zealous fury; and shatter the unholy villian’s armour and crush his ribcage and heart. As the Brigand did die; Arkaine did rise and stand tall for a moment, as Valiant the Mad did approach him from behind; with flames of fire licking off of the giant sword out to one side in one hand.***


****The final duel of the four was met with the evil traitor, Valiant the Mad; who did use unholy magics to conceal himself, and dishonourable tricks, to hide from Helm’s judgement; and harried the Paladin with furious slashes of his great flaming sword. The Half Orc already spent from his duel with another fell denizen of evil moments earlier; did suffer rends and damage to his armour, and grievous thrusts and slashes; and his own life blood did pool around him; before he did finally meet purchase with a crushing blow from his giant temple mace, that did crush bone and rend the flesh and sinew of the villain; and then bring the triangular flanged head down on Valiant’s skull; shattering bone and rending his face.

As the servant of evil collapsed to the gavel and died; Arkaine of Helm did pry the shattered remains of the terrible flaming sword from the villain’s death grip, and with a final prayer to Helm, fold the disgraced Squire of the Order’s arms over his ruined chest; before the villain’s Sorcerous accomplice, a woman named Diedre, did rush forward and wrap herself around the prone form of the now dead Valiant; as they both disappeared in a stream of magic and arcane miasma that did disorient onlookers for the briefest of moments.****



~The Affair of the Treacherous Hoarites, The Year of the Crown, 1351 Dale Reckoning~


During the Year of the Crown, Arkaine of Helm was approached by a stranger, a Cleric of Hoar named Tegeus Cromis, who asked for an alliance between his band of then vigilantes and brigands, and The Radiant Heart Auxiliary. Arkaine of Helm did refuse, to which the Cleric of Hoar did criticize the Paladin for being 'unable' to slay Valiant the Mad permanently, despite the numerous times the villain had been slain by the Order, beheaded, and burned to ashes.

A month would pass before the Half Orc Paladin would be approached by the Cleric of Hoar again, this time Tegeus Cromis did send a distraught telepathic message to the Paladin, in that he was in dire need of aid against evil forces, out to the east along The River Chionthar.

Arkaine of Helm mustered five Squires of the Order, and did find the Cleric of Hoar at an ambush site along The River Chionthar. Tegeus Cromis had set a trap for the Half Orc Paladin, and surrounded him with his band of brigands and assassins, as well as Pirates from Roaringshore, and villains from Dark Hold and the Zhentarim. Arkaine and his Squires were outnumbered five to one. The Cleric of Hoar intended to murder the Half Orc Paladin to avenge the death of the former evil spy mistress of Thieves Guild turned villainous Pirate, known as Desrah Asher. HalfOrken had slain her, just as he had slain her evil sorcerous brother, Merek Asher, some years before.

The Cleric of Hoar also held HalfOrken responsible for his Squire burning the dead Pirate's body with a vial of acid, an act in which the Squire Paladin of Sune had in actuality acted out of her own accord, and against the Half Orc Paladin's wishes.

The Cleric of Hoar held a mock trial in the name of his lord of revenge, to which Arkaine denounced the Cleric and his lackeys as villains, before Tegeus Cromis, and his allies who were hiding around the Paladin and his Squires, attacked and brutally murdered them as they were flanked on all sides. Nonetheless the Paladins stood their ground and fought to the last.

Only HalfOrken was recovered in the Temple of Helm in Baldur's Gate, and The Master of the Auxiliary spent a month petitioning the Dukes of Baldur's Gate to brand Cromis and his lackeys as brigands and murderers.

With no apparent response, Arkaine HalfOrken engaged the Cleric of Hoar at a tournament in The Northern Farmlands a month later, and denounced him for murder, and brigandry. He challenged the Cleric of Hoar, and all who sided with him, to battle, with no quarter asked for in return, and instead the Cleric of Hoar denied any wrong doing and refused to face HalfOrken in the test of arms.

Ameris Santraeger of Ilmater tried to mediate the matter, and force The Master of the Auxiliary to compromise his want for Tegeus to be held to full account for his crimes.

HalfOrken would not compromise the foul murder of his Paladins, even as Tegeus and his band of villains known as The Hunters of Vengeance were acquitted of their crimes by Ameris, and the crowd surrounding them, on the condition that the Cleric of Hoar attempted to resurrect the now dead Squires of the Auxiliary.

The crowd showed nothing but apathy, and was comprised of those little better than Tegeus and his brigands themselves. Arkaine of Helm would not accept this verdict as Helm's true vision, and Ameris eventually challenged the Half Orc to the test of arms himself, over the quarrel. To the mind of HalfOrken, Ameris could do no other but fall to him in battle. As surely he must to an ordained Paladin of Helm and noble Knight. He felt he was forced to compromise the grave injustice done to him and the Order, when the only victory apparent to him in his actions that day would be the death of Ameris, and The Hunters of Vengeance going free once more.

Within the crypts below the Temple of Helm in Baldur's Gate, the bodies of the fallen Squires were expedited, to be resurrected. Tegeus Cromis used his own blood and other witch craft like practises in his ritual resurrections, and was in danger of collapsing from blood loss, after two Squires were brought back to life. It was then that Arkaine of Helm did invoke his own divine powers, and heal the Cleric of Hoar back to health and mindfulness.

The servant of Hoar was able to resurrect four of the five dead Squires, before collapsing and passing out. Arkaine now had Tegeus Cromis at his mercy, just as the Half Orc had been at Cromis and his lackeys' mercy along the river Chionthar, and were brutally murdered for it.

HalfOrken chose instead the righteous path, and was chivalrous in carrying in his arms the limp and unconscious form of Tegeus to the healing chamber of the temple, and beseeching The Watchers of Helm to heal the Hoarite back to health and vitality.

Arkaine then left the temple that day, but the evil done to he and the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary would not be forgiven, or forgotten.



~Descendants of the Lord of Murder, The Year of the Crown, 1351 Dale Reckoning~


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DM Golem wrote:
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Rumours tell of a dark shadow and spate of murders falling over the port village of Longhaven, just south of the Cloudpeaks. Numerous residents went missing and a pall of fear fell over the town, connected to rumours of a dark artefact in the hills above.

Even the arrival of Sir Mevil, a paladin of Torm from the Radiant Heart Auxiliary in Athkatla, and his squire Layla, did little to alleviate the darkness. Sir Mevil received dire premonitions of danger. Unwilling to abandon his investigation but realising matters might be too much for him and Layla alone, he sent his squire to find aid. Sir Mevil soon went missing.

The first to answer the call were the paladins of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary in Baldur's Gate, namely Master Arkaine Halforken and the squire Erza. What occurred when they arrived is unclear, but it appears there was a battle against a cult of Bhaalists which had taken over the headquarters of the Longhaven Militia, during which Sir Mevil was rescued. Together, the three knights went up into the hills. They returned some hours later, telling of the defeat of a foul priest of Bhaal whose followers were responsible for dark sacrifices and missing villagers.

The three knights left soon afterwards, bearing a wicked object to the High Hall of the Radiant Heart in Athkatla.



The Cult of Bhaal were later tracked by Arkaine of Helm, and Knights of The Order of the Silver Rose to an old missionary dedicated to Ilmater called 'St Petunia's Refuge'.

Within St Petunia's Refuge, Arkaine and his band of fellows fought and overcame many evils, including the murderous servants and bloody priesthood of the Cult of Bhaal, the Unholy Undead and the evil Denizens of the Lower Planes, and a Dragon.

They eventually slew the Pit Fiend in the highest tower of the great bastion of evil, and suffered through the evil wards that protected the unholy artefacts that the Cult of Bhaal, before the Half Orc Paladin did stomp on the Bhaalist relics with great fervour, and destroyed them.



~On the Virtuous Trail (Meta-Plot Act II Campaign), The Year of the Crown, 1351 Dale Reckoning~


In The Year of the Crown, Arkaine of Helm was charged by Duke Eltan of Baldur's Gate to investigate Lady Katherine Vernosa, a noblewoman and fierce golden haired warrior maiden of Baldur's Gate, known for her worship of Chauntea, and the bountiful harvest on her lands each year.

After investigating the wayward noblewoman at her estate north of the city, she was revealed to be a traitor and seditionist to The Grand Duchy of Baldur's Gate.

During a frought battle between her retainers, and a regiment of Flaming Fist Soldiers, she escaped on horseback into the north. The Half Orc Paladin took a horse from her stable, and furiously galloped after her, following her trail for two days, before the trail of the verdant noblewoman had gone cold. HalfOrken did swear to Helm that he would bring Lady Katherine Vernosa to justice.

Later on in the year, Arkaine of Helm, and an Elven Ranger of Doron Amar known as Alsarias, found Lady Vernosa's trail once more leading into The Grey Peak Mountains, and between pitched battles with the Fire Giants who dwelled there, they were caught between an inter tribal feud between two rival tribes. For their efforts they found the trail had once again grown stale.

Weeks later, it was discovered that Lady Vernosa had hatched a long prepared plan to assassinate the Dukes of Baldur's Gate as they attended the anointing ceremony of a new Flaming Fist War Galleon.

The Vernosans would send a flaming ark filled with black powder explosives careening into the port of Baldur's Gate and explode in the ship yard, slaying the Dukes, and all attending the ceremony.

Aboard The Whistling Wandress, and alongside it's crew for the first time, Arkaine of Helm did pursue Lady Vernosa for the final time, and in the frought battle fought out at sea, he and others managed to sink the exploding ark before it reached the shipyard.

During the sea collision with Lady Vernosa's own war galleon, the battle between the heroes aboard The Whistling Wandress, and the Vernosan Separatists ensued.

While the battle raged, and when most of his allies had been slain or incapacitated, Arkaine of Helm finally struck down and slew Lady Katherine Vernosa, with the help of Vendor Xon, a heroic Half Elven Ranger.

With the death of Lady Katherine Vernosa, the bell tolled for the separatists, and the back of their rebellion was broken.



~Stronghold, The Year of the Crown, 1351 Dale Reckoning~


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*Year of the Crown 1351 Dale Reckoning—On Mirtul 16, several great manuscripts of ivory coloured scrolled parchment is wrought and expedited to the Grand Dukes of Baldur's Gate. Four of them contain full accord and details and are sent to be received by the Grand Dukes of Baldur's Gate. Several others containing oaths of loyalty and proof of monetary grants are lobbied to the Temples and Nobles who sponsor the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary; they are without petition to the Grand Dukes, but still contain all of the details and records of the required stone, iron, lumber and other materials needed for the task of re-construction and fortification of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary Chapterhouse.*




**The manuscripts of parchment are sacrosanct with the coat of arms of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary, and the red and white quartered shield heraldry, and device of a stylized but plain face; the left half recognizably Human and the right half - Orcish; with a giant triangular flanged temple mace running horizontally beneath it.**

***The script, written in long flowing deed, is the prosaic dialogue of the Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary, and at the bottom of the parchment it denotes that it was dictated by Arkaine of Helm and scribed by his Page; Artois Guillame.***



****In the name of the Auxiliaries solemn oath of fealty to the Grand Duchy of Baldur's Gate in the Year of our Gods, 1345 Dale Reckoning; the manuscript continues to swear to uphold the afforded number of Ordained and Pious Paladins (No more than fifty) (fx. Includes all of those of rank and status ordained as Knights of the Auxiliary and above), and no more than twice this number of those serving the Chapterhouse and Grounds as its levy (fx. No more than twenty two Peasants employed by the Order may be elevated to Men at Arms; and bear arms; and no more than one honoured Peasant of Baldurian heritage may be elevated to the Warden at Arms.)****



*****In the name of the Vigilant Lord and Holy Torm; the most venerated Gods of the Order and of Honour and Goodness, and by solemn oath of Arkaine HalfOrken; Paladins and Watchknight of Helm, and Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary; the Order will continue without desist to labour for the cause of honour and righteousness and the good of the Grand Duchy of Baldur's Gate, forevermore unless released from this bind by the sovereign and rightful rulers by lineage and or of the four Grand Dukes presiding as the solemn and rightful rulers of the Grand Duchy of Baldur's Gate; arbitrators of rightful and Duchal justice, and sovereign protectors of the realm.*****



******In the name of the Vigilant Lord and Holy Torm; the most venerated Gods of the Order and of Honour and Goodness, and by solemn oath of Arkaine HalfOrken; Paladins and Watchknight of Helm, and Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary; the Order will continue without desist and to the death, to protect the Duchy of Baldur's Gate from the vile menaces threatening without, and the Unholy Undead roaming south from the Fields of the Dead to the north of the Duchy of Baldur's Gate; to forever be scoured each morn******




~~*Below are the calculated drafts and estimates under study of castle and stronghold construction; and in confidence of employed and skilled craftsmen and artisans of metallurgy and stone masonry; given such wondrous gifts by the grace of their gods . The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary will also accept skilled labourers lawfully licenced and directed by the Grand Duchy of Baldur's Gate; and the Grand Dukes themselves, who are not contracted or sworn Temple artisans, for this task. (Zoryl Miyar; descendant of Sir Uther Miyar; Paladin of Torm and former Lord of Castle Miyar, south of Baldur's Gate is mentioned and recommended to this endeavour)*~~



*The Year of the Crown 1351 Dale Reckoning—On Mirtul 16, several great manuscripts of ivory coloured scrolled parchment is wrought and expedited to the Grand Dukes of Baldur's Gate. Four of them contain full accord and details and are sent to be received by the Grand Dukes of Baldur's Gate. Several others containing oaths of loyalty and proof of monetary grants are lobbied to the Temples and Nobles who sponsor the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary; they are without petition to the Grand Dukes, but still contain all of the details and records of the required stone, iron, lumber and other materials needed for the task of re-construction and fortification of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary Chapterhouse.*



**The manuscripts of parchment are sacrosanct with the coat of arms of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary, and the red and white quartered shield heraldry, and device of a stylized but plain face; the left half recognizably Human and the right half - Orcish; with a giant triangular flanged temple mace running horizontally beneath it.**

***The script, written in long flowing deed, is the prosaic dialogue of the Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary, and at the bottom of the parchment it denotes that it was dictated by Arkaine of Helm and scribed by his Page; Artois Guillame.***


****In the name of the Auxiliaries solemn oath of fealty to the Grand Duchy of Baldur's Gate in the Year of our Gods, 1345 Dale Reckoning; the manuscript continues to swear to uphold the afforded number of Ordained and Pious Paladins (No more than fifty) (fx. Includes all of those of rank and status ordained as Knights of the Auxiliary and above), and no more than twice this number of those serving the Chapterhouse and Grounds as its levy (fx. No more than twenty two Peasants employed by the Order may be elevated to Men at Arms; and bear arms; and no more than one honoured Peasant of Baldurian heritage may be elevated to the Warden at Arms.)****


*****In the name of the Vigilant Lord and Holy Torm; the most venerated Gods of the Order and of Honour and Goodness, and by solemn oath of Arkaine HalfOrken; Paladins and Watchknight of Helm, and Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary; the Order will continue without desist to labour for the cause of honour and righteousness and the good of the Grand Duchy of Baldur's Gate, forevermore unless released from this bind by the sovereign and rightful rulers by lineage and or of the four Grand Dukes presiding as the solemn and rightful rulers of the Grand Duchy of Baldur's Gate; arbitrators of rightful and Duchal justice, and sovereign protectors of the realm.*****


******In the name of the Vigilant Lord and Holy Torm; the most venerated Gods of the Order and of Honour and Goodness, and by solemn oath of Arkaine HalfOrken; Paladins and Watchknight of Helm, and Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary; the Order will continue without desist and to the death, to protect the Duchy of Baldur's Gate from the vile menaces threatening without, and the Unholy Undead roaming south from the Fields of the Dead to the north of the Duchy of Baldur's Gate; to forever be scoured each morn******



~~*Below are the calculated drafts and estimates and study of castle and stronghold construction; to be examined in confidence of employed and skilled craftsmen and artisans of metallurgy and stone masonry; given such wondrous gifts by the grace of their gods. The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary will also accept skilled labourers lawfully licenced and directed by the Grand Duchy of Baldur's Gate; and the Grand Dukes themselves, who are not contracted or sworn temple artisans, for this task. (Zoryl Miyar; descendant of Sir Uther Miyar; Paladin of Torm and former Lord of Castle Miyar, south of Baldur's Gate is mentioned and recommended to this endeavour)*~~



~Victory at the Trollclaw, (Meta-Plot Act III Campaign), The Year of the Crown, 1351 Dale Reckoning~


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DM Dialectic wrote:
Victory at the Trollclaw Fords

Cheers of an apparent victory at the Trollclaw Fords against the undead armies of the General echo throughout Baldur's Gate and Lords' Alliance cities in the north. It is said that through a successful show of force and some sort of truce of mutual non-disturbance, the General agreed to withdraw his undead forces back to the Warlock's Crypt to the north. Rumors mention specifically the commanders Revenark, Seth, Arkaine, Erza, and Reine that lead the War Council forces to victory and the efforts of Greil and his Ebon Blades Mercenary Company, as well as a Lathanderite named Eldarian who allegedly was able to setup an opportunity of truce with the General by using a relic of the Lathanderite faith upon him in a flanking attack by the War Council. It is spoken further that this flanking maneuver would probably never have succeeded without the tenacious and careful defense of the Trollclaw Fords by the main War Council and Ebon Blades battle groups.

Unfortunately, many lament that much of the forces defending and flanking did take significant losses in these efforts, but that they would have fared far worse without the capable battle plan and tactical tenacity of the War Council and Ebon Blade defenders involved at the muddy Winding Water crossing at the Trollclaw Fords. One major foe averted, it is gossiped in Baldur's Gate that now perhaps the full might of the War Council and its co-belligerents such as the Ebon Blades may be turned against the mighty undead foes of the Blight and Magmire in the eastern Fields of the Dead that still threaten the city of Baldur's Gate.



-Aftermath for the Radiant Heart Auxiliary-


The entire host of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary, once mustered at the Trollclaw Fords for the battle against the legion of Unholy Undead--returns to the stone chapter house in the Baldur's Gate Farmlands-- with three devout and noble Paladins of the Order having been slain in righteous battle.

Last rites are held for-- Sir Belington the Benevolent, Sir Morglud the Mighty, and Sir Borvain the Bold--under solemn ceremony, before they are interred into the sacrosanct crypt beneath the Radiant Heart Auxiliary Chapter House.

Within the keep and upon its ramparts, a night of feasting and ale, in funeral and remembrance of their noble deeds, is held as is tradition by the Men at Arms, and others of the Peasant Levy who serve the Order-- even in the shadow of the terrible siege to come. . .

_________________
[Arkaine HalfOrken] [Half Orc Paladin of Helm] and [Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary]

[The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary Holy Charter]


Last edited by Atlas on Thu May 12, 2016 4:33 pm, edited 13 times in total.

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 Post subject: The Deeds and Battles of Arkaine HalfOrken
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:17 pm 
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~Prologue to the Amn-Gate War~



It is a dark age, a bloody age, an age of Demons and Sorcery. It is an age of battle and death, and of cataclysmic events that threaten the very safety of the Realms. Amidst all the fire, the flame and the fury it is a time, too, of mighty heroes, of bold deeds and great courage.

Along the western edge of Faerun, and amidst the harsh and lawless wilds of the Sea of Swords stretches the City State of Baldur’s Gate, a city that prospers under the banner of the Lord’s Alliance and great leaders of good and decency. Baldur’s Gate is known for its traders, its sailors, its mercenary soldiers that police the state under law of one of the four dukes, and above all else its adventurers.

But these are far from civilised times. Across the length and breadth of the Sword Coast, from the palaces of Baldur’s Gate to the ice bound mountains of the Cloud Peaks far to the south come the rumblings of war. Tensions between the Gate and Amn, the nation of gold and corruption have been pushed to the breaking point as the Flaming Fist Mercenary Company mobilises to defend its dukedom from the southerly village of Beregost.

The war machine that the much larger and wealthier nation of Amn amasses on the border of Nashkel, two hundred thousand soldier conscripts and monstrous slaves march north to appease the greed of the Merchant Lords of Amn.

But within Baldur’s Gate, the land of the free people rots from corruption within, even as it prepares to fight a bitter war without. Rumours bequeath across the land that war has been issued not for the personal gain of the Merchant Lords or even to appease the offended Dukes of the Gate, a third party is playing both sides in game where there can be no winner, only more death than can ever fill the gaping maw of the Abyss, and the certainty that when good men do nothing, only evil can prevail.

The Sword Coast needs heroes like never before.




~Dramatis Persona~



~Lawful Good Persona~


Arkaine HalfOrken – Half Orc Paladin of Helm; Senior Knight of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary.

Gaervin Goldenshield – Gnome Paladin of Gaerdal Ironhand; Squire of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary.

Thiago II 'The Monster Slayer' – Paladin of Tyr; Senior Knight of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary.

Thomas Marshal – Paladin of Torm; Knight of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary.

Dannic Shireborne – Paladin of Tyr; Knight of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary.


~Evil Persona~


Throkk – Hobgoblin Champion of The Chill.

Slartibarft – Goblin Shaman of The Chill.







~Guardian of the Shrine~




~1347 DR – Year of the Bright Blade~




The Paladin rose from his dreamless slumber as the sun rose over the Fortress Stronghold of the Friendly Arm Inn far off in the distance.

The roads along The Trade Way were dark and muddy this day, and the grassy fields that stretched into dark and foreboding forests on either side of the fortress were moist and verdant.

A light drizzle of rain thumped against the ornate plate armour and silver steel chainmail of his armour, as he hefted his great temple mace over one shoulder and began his daily routine.

Mist, indeed, waist high fog, had gathered in the night and would not abate with the rising of the sun that morning.

No one had charged the Paladin with the duty he upheld, and indeed he had taken it upon himself.

In the days and nights of solitude as a guardian protecting The Holy Sanctum, he had pondered over theology and religion and the which to whys of how he came to be where he was.

The truth was he was not guarding a living soul, but instead the great tombs of the honoured dead, and the heroes of The Siege of the Temple of Murder.

He felt something akin to the dead of this shrine now, after his own near subsequent death and rebirth, encased in holy armour that warded off blows of foemen as it did preserve his life.

There was no written and tallied account of how many had died, and who had stayed dead and been buried with holy sacrament, and those who had risen from the grave by the powers of the divine, to serve in life once more, replenished.

Rumours persisted that the Saint Merielle of Ilmater had met her fate that day, as well as the Lord Paladin Greatsword Jonas Rokranon of Amn. While others insisted that they still walked among the living.

Many had died in the brutal struggle, and few had returned, The great armoured Paladin had charged himself with maintaining the sanctity of the tomb from any and all interlopers.

And so the Paladin spent most days patrolling the boundaries of the tomb and shrine, and late in the day martial practices with his giant great mace followed, and finally by evening, prayer and silent thoughts throughout the night.

The only time he saw another soul these days was when youths would make the half day trip from the Friendly Arm Inn to the shrine once a week to provide him with food and supplies.

Arkaine did not know how Bently Mirrorshade, or even the Gnome's wife, knew of his sacred charge, but on the first day of each week, food and provisions were provided without falter.

Those who provided the provisions would never stay long enough to catch more than a glimpse of his imposing figure standing on the hill surrounded in mist.

It was a kindness that the Paladin appreciated. He too had fought in The Siege of the Temple of Bhaal.

The shrine had met with few interlopers since he had begun his service guarding the tombs.

He had slain a score or more Hobgoblin Brigands, Goblins, and on one occasion an Orc, who presented himself as the champion of his band of brigands.

The day had ended with the Paladin caving in the Orc’s skull with his great temple mace, and the other Goblinoids had fled in terror.

Other interlopers that the shrine had suffered, had been the occasional pair of drunk Flaming Fist Mercenaries. Dared by their fellows perhaps, to deface or pee on one of the tombs. They had been dissuaded by the forboding Paladin watching over the shrine.

His armour clanked and his metal shod greaves thudded against the moist ground beneath him as he withdrew into his routine in contention and though.

The mist that day was thick, and high up in the air, that it was hard for him to see.

Nevertheless, the Paladin felt something was not right that day. . . It was an ache he felt in his heart...

Interlopers... The Paladin thought.


--


Gaervin Goldenshield was late, and he knew it.

He was four months late precisely. And yet to meet his master to which he would be esquired to.

In The Grand Duchy of Baldur’s Gate, The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary had fallen on hard times over the years, as it struggled to replenish the lives lost from wars fought against the evils that rotted the land.

Indeed Gaervin may not have even been initiated into such a prestigious Order of Paladins and diplomats in easier times.

Many a nobleman in Baldur's Gate had often scoffed that such harsh spiritual and martial training regimes and recruitment selection only exacerbated the problems that The Order faced.

They were hard pressed to keep the hordes of Unholy Undead within the dead lands north of the city. Theirs was a sacred charge and solemn oath of service to The Grand Duchy of Baldur's Gate, that they would fight to the death to defend the city.

Gaervin was a young Gnome, less than seventy five years old. He had been born to a noble name among his kind.

Among the Gnomes of the Forgotten Realms of Toril, the Goldenshields were renowned as protectors and guardians of the Gnomish way of life, and the elite echelon of proper and decent manners and behaviour.

Gaervin had felt honoured to be initiated into the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary, and was eager to be ordained in solemn ceremony.

The Gnome Paladin wore a bronze cuirass over a chainmail shirt, and chainmail gauntlets and greaves protected his hands and feet.

His cloak was coloured a royal scarlet, with gold trimmings along the edges.

Slung over his shoulder was a large wooden shield, with metal studs rimming the surface.

Gaervin had much to prove as a Paladin of Gaerdal Ironhand, the Gnomish god of protection and war.

He was very serious in mind and nature, something uncommon to most Gnomes, but well suited to his quest to become a Noble Squire of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary.

Now he had finally arrived at the gates of the Order’s chapterhouse.

He gasped at the sight of the Paladins of the Order, who were leaving for the day to scour the fields clear of the Unholy Undead to the north.

it was something out of a classical tale of old to see the host of the Paladins of the Order riding out to do battle.

They sat astride their mighty barded warhorses, and attired in gleaming armour of the finest make, with the Order’s pageantry on the cloth of their long skirling surcoats, and draped over their horses.

They carried many weapons, one and all, hammers and flails and maces, and great swords for cutting great swathes through enemies.

Lances for piercing the breasts of armoured brigands and monsters alike, and gleaming golden scabbards with long swords attached to their hips.

Being so caught up in watching the procession, Gaervin failed to notice he was standing in the road of the Noble Knights, and the leader of the muster reared his horse up high at the sight of the armoured Gnome - who in turn looked up at the Paladin in confusion.

The crown of the Knight's head was adorned with locks of golden hair, and his face was picturesque in a knightly and noble fashion. Thiago II looked down at the Gnome, somewhat perplexed. His eyes shone with luminescent light.

“You! Gnome! Why do you bar our way to the fields of death and evil over yonder?”

Gaervin was startled but sharp in his wits and recovered quickly. He steeled himself to reply in his boldest voice;

“Howl sir! I am Gaervin Goldenshield. Paladin of Gaerdal Ironhand! I am on a quest to be esquired to your noble Order so that I may serve with due righteousness!”

Gaervin quivered as he stood under the hoofs of the mighty warhorse, the muscles in his arms taut and straining from holding his large shield up high over his head to protect himself.

With a wave of his golden gauntlet; Thiago II motioned for Dannic Shireborne and Thomas Marshall, two other Paladins of the Order, and both of picturesque Knightly imposition, to steer their horses around the Gnome and lead the other Paladins of the Order into the fields beyond the Duchy of Baldur's Gate.

“Pray, I know not who you swear faith to small one! You would do well to speak to my father, the Knight of the Legacy... ! I can spare no more words for battle awaits! May the Even Handed guide you to be true and just!”

The host of Paladins on their warhorses then steered around the Gnome and galloped away into the Fields of the Dead.

Gaervin was left alone for a time as he regained his composure, before the Men at Arms of the Order showed him into the Chapterhouse.

Thiago the Legacy was a Senior Knight of the Order in the Grand Duchy of Baldur’s Gate, and also served as an ambassador of the Order.

He had been ordained as both Paladin and Cleric in his time within the Holy Temple of Helm, and was renowned as both benevolent and wise.

His son was not a blood relation of his, and did not share his disposition, being both brash and impatient.

As the Elder Thiago walked with Gaervin through the Chapter Keep, they made their way through The Hall of Deeds, and stopped to look upon a great roll of ivory scroll and parchment on the wall.

The great roll of deeds shown to Gaervin was a particular one, as it chronicled the events of the life of a Half Orc Paladin.

It was filled with battles and horror and little apparent prestige and reward.


--


The poison arrows of the Chill Hobgoblins assailed the Paladin to no avail, as their iron heads splintered against the great holy armour known as the Warplate of Saint Solor.

The Paladin moved with a slow trudging determination about the brigands who surrounded him.

One after another, he smote them with powerful blows of the great flanged triangular head of his giant mace.

The mist was his greatest enemy in this battle, as it made it hard to see clearly.

He brought ruin to Hobgoblin after Hobgoblin, and their lines broke and their archers picked up their quivers and fled.

The few skirmishers drew their curved scimitars, and dull short swords, and made to surrounded the Paladin in the mist.

They held back for a time however, and their champion came forth and broke ranks, to speak with the Paladin in the common tongue.

His voice was a horrible and guttural sound that would make a full grown horse bray at its tether.

“By right of conquest we claim the treasures that gild the dead of this place! You are surrounded! Why throw your life away! Leave the field to us and you shall live!”

Rain washed the blood out of Paladin’s eyes, and his expression was the that of one who was suffocating.

“By Helm's flangs I shalt see all of you slain in the field, and left to rot for the carrion, before giving up the field! I will accept only victory or death!”

His words were a hoarse bellow, and it sounded strangled in the rain.

They brought great anger to the brigands, and they charged at him in fury once more.

The Champion of the Chill Hobgoblins was one called Throkk.

And he held back as his fellows rushed the Paladin. He only cared enough that he and his kind got what they came for.

In truth part of him hoped this fell handed Paladin would slay any potential rivals of his within the pack of murderers, before a Hobgoblin blade found the gullet of this righteous fighting man.

The more of his own who died also meant more plunder for himself. He could always find more like minded brigands to refill the ranks.

He looked on in astonishment as his brothers dull weapons clashed and shattered against the Paladin’s armour.

In great swathes the righteous Warrior Monk cut them down with terrible blows from his giant temple mace.

When finally the half a dozen Hobgoblins lay dead before him, the Paladin knelt for a moment to catch his breath.

There was something more to this one, Throkk thought. Even at the distance he stood away from the Paladin, he could hear the Half Man’s heart beat.

No man had a heart beat that thudded with such a loud persistent noise!

Throkk slowly approached the Paladin, and he held his scimitar before him and lowered himself into a fighting stance. He stood side on in his thick padded armour and iron plated kneecaps as he postured towards the Paladin.

He was a brute of a Hobgoblin, standing over six feet tall, and wont to bully his unfortunate lesser Goblin brethren around, and sometimes he would even kill a few if he was in a particularly foul mood.

However the Paladin stood a head taller than Throkk, and the size of his great mace was menacing to behold.

The two warriors regarded each other in silence for a time . . . as the rain washed over them, and the mud beneath them was slicked in the blood of the dead.

Suddenly they both heard the shouting a small voice.

Neither of them could see who it was because of the mist that surrounded them.

Taking advantage of this sudden distraction, Throkk threw himself bodily at the Paladin. And the force of his movement and weight wrested his great armoured foe to his knees.

Throkk would use his cruelly bladed sword to gouge out his enemies eyes if his could not pierce that armour.

The Paladin's great mace flew from his grip, and slid across the mud as he was assailed.

Throkk in turn tried to hold his enemies' head down and gouge out his eyes. But the Paladin slammed his elbow into the upper portion of Throkk’s knee with such force that he bent the Hobgoblin’s leg in half.

Suddenly they both found themselves staggered on their knees.

Throkk howled in pain and the Paladin smashed his fist into the Hobgoblin's face repeatedly, bowing the monstrous brigand backwards and over onto the ground. The Paladin threw his bulk onto Throkk and continued to smash his gauntleted fist into the Hobgoblin Champion until he stopped moving.

Blood pooled around the side of the head of the now dead Throkk like a sickening ooze. And it's smell was rancour to the Paladin's nostrils and acute sense of smell.

With a grimace, the Paladin stood up, and lifted his great mace once more from the muddy soil.

Holding the massive triagular flanged head of the weapon to his forehead, he saluted and recited Helmish prayers of honour to his dead foes.

That they may find absolution and honour in death.

After a moment he heard the small voice again.


--


Gaervin Goldenshield smashed his wooden shield over the head of a Goblin Shaman.

He resolved to lecture the monster on good manners and decency. And so far had learned that his foes name was Slartibarft.

In his quest to serve The Order he had travelled to this secluded location. After swearing on his honour he was bound to follow his lieges, and he trusted in their good judgement.

It was only by instinct that he managed to raise his shield up high, as the thunderous swing of mighty arms swinging a mighty great mace, collided with it.

Gaervin’s wooden shield shattered into pieces by the force of the blow, and he was thrown several feet through the air before landing on his behind, and failing to rise once more as he sat in shock.

The Paladin from the mist held a giant mace at the head of the whimpering Goblin Shaman.

He was in the process of swinging it back around to take the Goblin's head off, when Gaervin shouted in protest;

“Sir, I beg of you, on my honour, he has yielded!”

The Paladin then turned to Gaervin, and as the mist cleared, the Gnome finally got a good look at the great armoured figure before him.

The Paladin stood six feet six inches tall, and wore the most magnificent set of half plate and chain armour that the Gnome had ever seen.

The metal was divine in its make, and over his armour he wore a long ankle length scarlet surcoat that billowed out before him in the harsh wintry wind.

His head was wrapped in a chainmail coif, but of what Gaervin could see, the Paladin's features were wolfish. A mix of Human and Orc parentage.

His skin was pale and Human coloured and almost ashen grey in the dreariness of the day.

He looked as though all colour had been drained from his face.

He was powerfully built, and tuffs of matted dark brown hair blew out and around in the wind beneath his chainmail coif.

The Paladin lowered his great mace now and both the Half Orc and Gnome regarded one another, before he finally spoke. Through the rain he bellowed at the Gnome. . .

“Prithee I pray you are true little one! On your honour now swear that the evil in this foe has been abated! And by Torm's holy code of chivalry my wrath shalt be sated!"

At this, Gaervin summoned up all of his courage and replied with all the boldness he could muster;

“I am Gaervin Goldenshield! In the name of The Radiant Heart Auxiliary I have sworn faith to Arkaine of Helm! I give you my word I am true!”

At this the tension in the Paladin's grip on the handle of his great mace visibly relaxed.

He slowly turned away from the Goblin then, as Gaervin gave the creature a fierce stare, and the monster fled into the mist of the morning, without looking back at the holy sanctum.

it was composed of a large sarcophagus with a statue of an Angel of Illmater standing over it.

Etched along the sides of the stone were the names of all who had died to free the land from The Lord of Murder.

The Half Orc Paladin trudged back up the hill towards the main enclosed monument of the shrine and tomb, and Gaervin now realized that this was Arkaine the HalfOrken. The Paladin he had sworn faith to serve as his Noble Squire.

Gaervin looked at the broken shards of his shield in dismay, before discarding them and following Arkaine up the hill.

Once Gaervin had caught up with the more senior Paladin, Arkaine of Helm unceremoniously dumped a large ornate shield at Gaervins’ feet. it was as big as the Gnome was.

“You shalt need it, Squire of mine. . . !” The Half Orc said, his voice was hoarse and tired.

Gaervin fiddled around with the straps before he managed to sling the massive shield over his back like a tortoise shell.

He looked up at the Half Orc Paladin and beamed.

At last he was ready to begin his sworn sacred duty to The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary.

“What would you have me do, Master Arkaine of Helm?” Gaervin asked the larger Paladin.

Arkaine was still walking away from him, and as the mist began to surround and encompass them once more, he spoke one last time;

“Be without fear and follow me little one! You will need strength and courage to survive the war and the winter to come!”

_________________
[Arkaine HalfOrken] [Half Orc Paladin of Helm] and [Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary]

[The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary Holy Charter]


Last edited by Atlas on Wed May 04, 2016 2:15 pm, edited 18 times in total.

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 Post subject: The Deeds and Battles of Arkaine HalfOrken
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:21 pm 
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~Dramatis Persona~




Lawful Good Persona


Arkaine of Helm – Half Orc Paladin of Helm. Senior Knight of the Order of the Radiant Heart.
Auxiliary.

Gaervin Goldenshield – Gnome Paladin of Gaerdal Ironhand, Squire of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary.

Thiago – Aasimar Paladin of Helm, Senior Knight of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary.

Thiago II – Aasimar Paladin of Tyr, Senior Knight of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary.

Juez Calvo – Human Cleric/Divine Champion of Ilmater and Chaplain of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary.

Ferragus Manus – Earth Genasi Paladin of Helm, Uninitiated.


Lawful Neutral Persona:


Eltan – Human Fighter, Duke of Baldur’s Gate.


Evil Persona:


Gilberto Gerrero - Human Fighter, General of the Amnish Legions and Military Conscripts and Auxiliary Forces.






~Beregost Burns~



~Act I~


~1343 Dale Reckoning – Year of the Boot~



Image


“Who will lead us?” Sir Joma of Siomorphe asked the others in a weary voice; as the Host of forty Paladins stood before the dead form of Saint Mograin of Torm.

He had died heroically against the heathen hordes of the Sultan of Zullabar and his Royal Guard, who had finally hewed his iron breastplate in twain with their savage tulwars and heavy falchions.

To Arkaine of Helm, the heroic sacrifice of Mograine the Mighty, The Bulwark of Torm, was a devastating loss. He had truly been the greatest among them. And to the Half Orc, he was greatest Paladin and noble Knight he had ever known.

Wrought of all the finest qualities a hero could be, Saint Mograin had not succumbed to the rending of his internal organs, before slaying a score or more Royal Guard, and breaking their tulwars in disgust.

His final moments had been to wander about the dead bodies of the heathen enemy, as the adrenalin finally ran out through his terrible wounds, as if in a dream.

Spying a great throne on the stone wall around the village of Zullabar, he had kicked a heathen enemy off of the seat and sat down upon it himself.

He stared sightlessly out at the battlefield, as his eyes glazed over for the final time and he breathed his last breath within his shattered breast.

It was as if he had been called home by Holy Torm himself.

The heathen Calish-i-tes were known to wield jagged and cruel weapons in battle.

Wounds from their curved blades often left a man unable to be healed. Or left him with an offending limb amputated, in an effort to save his life.

Zullabar had been a great city of stone and clay on the northern fringes of Calimshan.

It was was protected by a large and thick stone wall that circled the circumference of the desert city, and the innermost district housed an out of place palace made from pure gold.

The Sultan of Zullabar was a tyrant known only as Mamon.

He had oppressed his people and forced them into slave labour, and the levies of his own marauding army, which he had put to work raiding neighboring provinces for their riches, in which to fund the construction of his palace of gold.

Holy Orders of Paladins had heard word of this from merchants and those fleeing north, and had been drawn to the plight of Zullabar and the noble cause of freeing its people.

A great council of Holy Orders had convened, and they had launched a crusade against the Sultan.

To put an end to him and the misery he had wrought on the backs and blood of his own people.


“In Helm's name I shalt lead us on!” A hoarse voice bellowed.

Sir Arkaine the HalfOrken came forth and placed his greatsword in the ground as he addressed the other Paladins.

Some groaned in despair, and others scowled as he spoke, but speak he did anyway; “Saint Mograine died facing our foe! In his name we must fight on! Make the heathens bleed while we can. . . Make them pay through the nose! Make them pay with all that we command! We must take the head of Mamon! We must fight on, until his people are free!"

Arkaine the HalfOrken had seen more than twenty, but less than thirty years of life.

His Half Orc heritage made him a brute of a warrior. Every Paladin of the Host could attest to his great strength in battle.

Only the great Saint Mograine could have bested him in within their host.

He had served Mograine as his most trusted Knight and most Senior Paladin.

Throughout the crusade he had fought wherever the fighting was the bloodiest, and had made for himself a fearsome tally of slain heathen enemies.

He had slain in single combat some of the Sultan's greatest champions and warriors, and had garnered a fearsome reputation amongst the heathens of northern Calimshan.

Arkaine curled his lip over his fanged upper jaw at the other Paladins. His brothers of the holy crusade.

To him most of them were but part time Paladins.

They cared more for their wives and children living in noble castles and manors across Amn and Tethyr.

They cared more for abandoning their cause and going home, when the crusade was not yet over.

No woman had ever so much as looked at HalfOrken twice. He had no family, and nothing to go back to.

The crusade was all the disgruntled Paladin had in this world.

He knew they would not abide by his decision. And some may even challenge him to the test of arms in eyes of their noble gods.

Sir Theirulf of Tyr was the one among them whom they trusted to come forth and champion their insurrection.

He placed his own ornate longsword in the ground and addressed Arkaine as he spoke; “HalfOrken of Helm! Now is not the time for this show of belligerence! These craven Cal-i-s-h-i-t-e heathens will bequeath the field to us in time! There is no chance for us to survive! Why should we throw our lives away?”

HalfOrken snarled at Theirulf. His response was raucous in his anger, “You know nothing of chivalry! I was ordained to fight the evils of the world! I shalt fight on for Saint Mograine, and by Helm's hand you shalt follow me and see this through!”

His words silenced Theirulf and the other Paladin shook his head, and lifted his sword out of the gavel and pointed it at Arkaine., “I am warning you HalfOrken! By your hand we shall not perish this way!"


Arkaine drew his own giant sword out of the dirt, and gave the other Paladin a salute before replying in kind, “Slay me if that is the will of Helm! I am the stronger Knight by far!”

The other Paladins of the host stood in a large circle around them as Arkaine and Theirulf measured each other.

They both wore heavy coat of plates over leather gambesons, and were robed in Knightly surcoats bearing family or personal heraldry with shield and device.

Arkaine’s own ragged surcoat was bereft of any device and was a faded scarlet colour.

It was stained with blood and dirt.

Brother Arkaine held a large great sword over his head. The blade was large and heavy, and its hilt was a simply designed iron cross guard. The handle and grip was larger than normal and made to suit his grip on the weapon well.

Theirulf held a glistening and ornate long sword in one hand. It was fashioned with an expensive and garish bejeweled sword hilt.

With his other hand he carried an expensive reinforced shield shaped in the fashion of a kite.

The two Paladins each knelt in the gavel and prayed in supplication to their noble gods. Asking for the strength to prevail over the other, and vowing that such a victory in battle would belong to their gods alone.

The large circle of Paladins surrounding them each held the hilts of their swords to their chins and saluted the two combatants when this was done.

Then both stood and circled and measured the other for a time, and then threw themselves into the battle against one another.


Theirulf knew the burly Half Orc would try and catch the more fleet of foot Paladin in a bull rush early. So he anticipated Arkaine and instead charged at him himself, with his body braced against his kite shield to absorb blow from Arkaine sword.

The manoeuvre caused the Half Orc to coast to the side and sweep his sword arm outwards in a horizontal slash.

The strike had enough force behind it to cleave a man in half at the waist.

Theirulf deflected the blow with his kite shield with little effort, and thrust his own blade forward, only to be met with a parry and sword thrust from HalfOrken.

As the burly Half Orc closed in, Theirulf drove his kite shield down on Arkaine’s blade, catching it and driving it down into the dirt.

With the Half Orc off balance, he came in with a sure horizontal slash that would have spilled Arkaine’s innards all over the gavel.

Instead the Half Orc stepped back and pulled his blade free with all of the force in his arms. The force of his reaction wrenched the kite shield up, and with a terrible blow it struck Theirulf in the nose with a loud crack.

The more cultured and picturesque Paladins nose and cheekbone shattered.

HalfOrken held his heavy two handed sword above his head and stepped forward and thrust it out at Theirulf.

His giant blade pierced the iron and gold inlaid wooden kite shield, and sunk into the Tyrran's solar plexus.

He then pushed his blade further with all of his strength, and spitted Theirulf on his greatsword with one great thrust.

HalfOrken was not a cruel man. And as quickly as he had dealt the killing blow, did he pull his sword free and withdraw.

Theirulf collapsed to his knees in a great show of shock and agony. Surprise was etched across his face. It was clear he had not expected to be the one kneeling in the gavel that day.

The other Paladins rushed forward to hold him up and blood streamed and frothed from his mouth as his eyes remained on HalfOrken.

Arkaine flourished his sword in salute, and then rammed it back into the gavel, before crying out, “In Helm's name you cannot win! I served The Watcher for all my time. And I serve him again! ”

He then pointed a leather gauntleted hand at the other Paladins around him and bellowed, “In the name of Helm! The great wound in your breast can be healed! But I can do nothing for your swollen pride!”

Out of spite, Theirulf shoved the other Paladins away from him and glared at the Half Orc.

One he had always viewed with disdain had been proven the victor, and just in the eyes of the gods.

He spat his last words at Arkaine in contempt, “I renounce help from one of your kind! May all your efforts and sacrifices be futile!”

Theirulf of Tyr died on his knees, coughing and retching.

The other Paladins looked on in dismay at what had happened, but soon took to their weapons.

Arkaine of Helm would lead them from here. The matter of who was just in the eyes of the gods had been settled between them at last.

_________________
[Arkaine HalfOrken] [Half Orc Paladin of Helm] and [Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary]

[The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary Holy Charter]


Last edited by Atlas on Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:52 am, edited 55 times in total.

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 Post subject: The Deeds and Battles of Arkaine HalfOrken
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:10 pm 
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Continued On...



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~1347 Dale Reckoning – Year of the Bright Blade, winter...~




“Oh ye rat arsed heathen wretch of old, ye Beshaba! Take my sacrifice as an offering to appease the elements and the misfortune you so bestow on this world!”

The drunken Cleric of Beshaba prostrated himself before the winter sky, as his acolytes looked on, some chanted in unison and others stood guard over the site they had chosen for their sacrifice.

They were wild eyed demented Clerics and Acolytes of the Goddess of Misfortune.

Every one of them had had more than their fill of ale and spirits, and believed that sacrificing an Earth Genasi to The Goddess of Misfortune, would appease at least some of their poverty and woes.

Perhaps the cruel goddess would raise one of their number up above others of his kind.

Ferragus Manus had struggled. He had fought when the crazed worshipers of foul Beshaba had tricked him, and imprisoned his hands and arms within a great Druid Stone Obelisk, along The Trade Way on the road south to Beregost.

He had been naïve, and too easily had tricked him, he now realized. He had been too ponderous and slow to see the ruse for what it was.

He had thought procuring rare gems from a stone of the earth, for the charity of starving pilgrims would be a noble act.

Instead they were mad followers of Beshaba. And through his misplaced charity they had wrought their own evil divine powers to trap him within the rock.

He might have been strong enough to pull his arms free if he had not been beaten and subdued by the mad following.

They had struck his rocky form with mace and club, until he sank to his knees and was left only to his own sullen anger and prayers.

He would not cower in his weary submission. He would not give these mad dogs satisfaction in act of depravity and evil.

The drunken Beshabans would never complete their ritual sacrifice however.

In the distance, a silvery light shone through the dim cloud cover and snow, and their attention was drawn to its luminescence.

They spotted a figure charging down a large hill on horseback towards them in a thunderous gallop, and the Beshabans were momentarily paralysed in fear.

Arkaine HalfOrken stood high in the stirrups, swinging his great temple mace from left to right in wide sweeping arcs.

The silvery light, and the ringing noise emitted from his fearsome weapon of wrought iron drew awe to his presence at first.

And then terror, as the mad Beshabans ran over each other in a rushed flurry, and charged about to organise themselve in their fervour.

Arkaine charged on, like a vision of Helm himself, and he met with the mad Clerics leaving a trail of splintered limbs and shattered bones in his wake.

“Helm absolves you!” He cried repeatedly, slamming his mace into heads and shields with such force that his broad shoulders jolted back with the impact of each blow.

Hastily fired missile weapons whirred towards him and clanged against his magnificent breastplate, and stuck in his ragged surcoat.

He rode on oblivious, dealing out Helm’s justice with twenty pounds of bloody, tempered iron.

Behind the Half Orc Paladin was Gaervin Goldenshield, who made along the rear on his donkey.

Trying as he might to make the dull beast at least move as fast as possible.

He could not match the speed and power of the Half Orc’s magnificent warhorse.

Gaervin held onto the reins of his donkey with one hand, and with his other arm he held Arkaine’s ornate shield gripped tightly in his clenched fist in an effort to protect himself from the projectiles.

The Gnome stopped his donkey a short distance away from the stone cairn, and desperate pilgrims following the Paladin wherever he journeyed, rushed forward in a wave of desperation.

They were clad in disheveled broken armour pieces over patchy robes, and peasant garments. And they wielded dull and broken swords, and anything else that could be useful in a battle.

These homeless wretches had followed the Paladin in a fervour and effort to partake in some small part of the glory, and whatever plunder they might take for their own.

The pilgrims fell upon the Beshabans, and proceeded to hack, gouge, claw and maim them.

Arkaine of Helm maneuvered his warhorse over to the large earthly stone where the Stone Prince had sunk to his knees in exhaustion.

As the Genasi looked up, Arkaine swung his great mace around in a mighty arc, and hewed the obelisk in half.

They regarded each other in silence for a time, and realized it was the will of Helm that had brought them together.

In this Son of the Earth was a kindred spirit, a Paladin true.

Ferragus Manus was both man and Earth Dao. A son of the rock and the mountains.

Descended from The Plane of Elemental Earth.

He was shaped like a boulder. With a large barrel body sitting on squat stout legs, and massive stony arms that reached down to his knees.

The features of his face were few are far between, and mostly planes and angles of stone, and crowned by a rocky substance-like hair that was short cropped and curly.

His armour was a heavy coat of plates and chainmail hauberk, with a worn plain surcoat that wrapped around his shins.

His weapons were a massive baroque sword, and a heavy tower shield.

His equipment lay in a pile on the other side of the stone circle, after being stripped of it by the Beshabans when they had captured him.

As as he made for his weapons and armour now, one of the last Beshaban Clerics stood in his path, weaving an athane dagger around him in a frenzy. The others were now dead or had fled the field.

Ferragus Manus loomed over the Beshaban. He was wrought of the very stone of the mountains, and stood seven feet tall, and half as wide.

The Beshaban Cleric tried to thrust his dagger in Ferragus, but a heavy handed swing of his large stone fist knocked the senses from the mad Cleric, as well as shattering the bones in his face and sending teeth flying everywhere.

Ferragus stood over the mad Cleric. He was calm and still, his placid gaze fixed on the wretch that had earlier tried to murder him.

He slowly placed his large stone hand on the Beshaban’s head... and then with a grimace marring his stony features, tore the head from the shoulders of the evil Cleric, and dropped it, letting it sink into the mud and snowy field around them.

Gaervin had finally reached the stone circle, and he averted his eyes, and turned his donkey away from this very brutal and sudden death.

In doing this he felt Arkaine’s gaze upon him, and a stern look of disapproval from the Half Orc. His eyes told the Gnome all he needed to know. That this was Helm's justice.

Ferragus Manus' voice boomed over the din and haze of snow and the and resounded over the chiming noise emitted from Arkaine's great mace, “I am Sir Ferragus of Helm. . . ! I shall serve you my liege. . .”

Arkaine bowed his head to Ferragus astride his mighty warhorse, and Gaervin felt he had to ask, “W-where to now?”

In the days since he had rejoined with Arkaine HalfOrken along the river Chionthar, and they had rode south along with the other Paladins of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary, The Order of the Silver Rose, and many other adventurers, they had gained hundreds, if not thousands of pilgrims and the homeless joining the march to battle.

The Year of the Bright Blade was a desperate time. The Sword Coast was burning in the fires of destruction and death.

Arkaine HalfOrken bowed his head for a moment, and then pointed with his giant mace south and his voice resounded over the din, “Beregost burns! And so we must go there. . . !”

_________________
[Arkaine HalfOrken] [Half Orc Paladin of Helm] and [Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary]

[The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary Holy Charter]


Last edited by Atlas on Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:50 am, edited 22 times in total.

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 Post subject: The Deeds and Battles of Arkaine HalfOrken
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:13 pm 
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~Act II~



~Two Days Later...~




“It’s over, Eltan! Beregost is mine!” General Gerrero of Amn sneered at Duke Eltan, the Commander of the Flaming Fist Mercenary Brigade and Grand Duke of Baldur’s Gate.

“Never!” Roared Duke Eltan as he slammed his gauntleted fist on the negotiation table they all sat around.

“No!” He roared again, “No! Not like this!”

He finished with a snarl and sent maps and markers of the region flying into the snow.

Servants hastily scuttled about after the missing ornaments as they went everywhere.

The negotiations between Baldur’s Gate and Amn had been in vain, and General Gerrero had not come to negotiate, but only to gloat over his rival's losses.

Proud Duke Eltan would never submit Beregost to Amnish control and territory, while there was fight left in him.

The southern nation of Amn had a reputation far and wide as the nation of wealth and corruption.

The Duke, and the General, had sat down in a an elaborate open tent with banners fluttering in the wintry wind, to discuss the terms of the others surrender.

Baldur's Gate and Amn would not come to terms, and the battle would start anew very soon.

General Gerrero and a delegation Amnish Lords and officers sat opposed to Duke Eltan and his high command.

Lady Mourene was not present and rumours persisted that she was gravely injured or even slain.

They sat amidst the Flaming Fist encampment, where Duke Eltan's men had been driven from their fortified palisades by the Amnish in the last great battle.

Surrounding the negotiations table stood Flaming Fist Mercenaries, the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary, the Order of the Silver Rose and adventurers of all walks of life, including Ferragus Manus, Gaervin Goldenshield and Arkaine HalfOrken.

General Gerrero rose from the table and waved off the fuming Duke Eltan, and with another sneer gestured to those around them and spoke once more.

“You have nothing left Eltan! Or have you. . .?”

He gazed at the worn faces of those all around him and his eyes fixated on a large figure.

“Sir Arkaine of Helm! The butcher of Zullabar himself! Is this what you are going to throw at me Eltan? I am not impressed!”

Arkaine did not move and did not speak, and his eyes were downcast. He wore a dour look of studious contemplation.

He was clad in ornate heavy armour and a long ragged scarlet surcoat that fluttered and skirled out to the side of him in the harsh wind.

He held his great temple mace pointed down, with its large triangular flanged head buried in the snow.

His face and skin were withdrawn and a pale human colour, as if no blood would seep into his cheeks.

His dark brown hair was the cut of a medieval bowl that had overgrown around the sides and down the back of his scalp. The sharp edge of his angular jaw gave him a wolfish appearance in the dreary winter light.

“You have until dawn to surrender Eltan!” General Gerrero said finally, as he dusted off his large feathered hat, and began to leave with his delegates.

Duke Eltan sat in his ornate throne for a moment with no tirade of commands forthcoming. For a time he looked lost, and then his gaze met the Half Orc Paladin, and he spoke in an angry bark.

“I will need leaders for the final assault!”



-Later...-



Duke Eltan and Arkaine HalfOrken walked the perimeter of the encampment under the loose guarded formation of several Flaming Fist Soldiers.

The Duke would give his commands to Arkaine of Helm, and the Paladin would carry them out.

“You have been with us across the years, HalfOrken!” Eltan spoke.

“My liege . . .” Arkaine replied in a subdued grunt.

“You have served the Grand Duchy of Baldur's Gate well and true, and without accolade . . .” Duke Eltan continued.

“My liege . . .” Arkaine replied.

“Will you serve me now again?”

“My liege . . . !” Arkaine said again, and nodded his head at the Dukes words.

“Then listen now. . . at what must be done!” Eltan exclaimed, momentarily raising his voice as he stopped in the snow with his hands clasped behind his back.

The day gave way to night, and now the sky was clear and full of the stars and cosmos, and the uneasy silence of fell deeds to follow.



-Elsewhere...-



Gaervin stood at length with the reins of his donkey in his hand and watched Ferragus Manus and the Cleric Juez Calvo of Ilmater, as they both prepared for battle.

Their armour was polished, and blades sharpened by servants of the Flaming Fist, and Squires of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary.

Tents and encampments had been erected for as far as two miles back the way they had came.

Hundreds of adventurers, and several thousand men, had heeded the burning of Beregost and the final battle to be fought to decide the fate of The Sword Coast.

Suddenly, without warning, Gaervin's donkey brayed up on its hind legs, and ran off into the darkness.

The beast of burden half pulled and half carried Gaervin along with it.

As the beast lumbered off, no one noticed the Gnome and his derelict Donkey charging off into the forest and the night.

Eventually, with a mighty effort, Gaervin managed to clamp his legs around the Donkey, and pull up sharply on its reins.

The beast reared up, and then collapsed, sending Gaervin flying from his perch on its back.

Then it stood up and went still, as if the Donkey were called to attention by a higher authority.

Gaervin had spent hours trying to train his donkey, and although it was not a mighty warhorse, the Gnome Paladin felt a sense of affection and responsibility for it.

Gaervin could not bring himself to curse his donkey, and he stood up and shook his head.

He realized that he was in a wintry forest glade, and his surroundings had grown eerily silent. Not a bird or beast in the brush did make a sound.

He was moved by the natural beauty of his surroundings, he realized.

He withdrew Arkaine’s massive shield, and held it out before him like a weapon, as he moved forward through the verdant glade.

A sphere of pure luminescent light appeared before Gaervin, and he instinctively raised his shield over his eyes to deflect its rays.

The luminescent light grew and engulfed everything, and when he dared to lower his shield and open his eyes, he saw large nine feet spanning Eagle wings of the purest white spread out before him.

They folded behind the back of a giant of luminescent colour and radiance.

The Spirit of Lord Solor, the Solar and Warrior Angel of Helm, had appeared to Gaervin, and even in death the Angel radiated pure and absolute incorruptible righteous power.

His aura of good and power engulfed the glade and further enhanced its natural beauty, causing dead flora to regrow anew.

“Lord Solor!” Gaervin gasped, and the dead spirit regarded the Gnome with eyes that bequeathed immortal knowledge and wisdom.

“My liege has told me of you, my lord! We need your help!” Gaervin gasped.

Solor said nothing for a time, as he curiously studied the Gnome with eyes of shimmering light. And then he replied in a deep voice, “Your liege has never met me . . .”

Gaervin gasped, and spoke once more, “But how can that be? If not for you he would have died- . . .”

Solor stopped the Gnome with a raised hand, and replied once more, “Lies, deception, ruses . . . The Lord of Murder is full of such things, and your liege is easily duped . . .”

Gaervin gasped, and the dead Solar continued his tale.

The Spirit of Solor told Gaervin then that it was Bhaal, The Lord of Murder, who had saved only Arkaine the HalfOrken at the siege of Zullabar.

He showed him how the body of Mamon, The Sultan of Zullabar, had eventually been found lifeless in a ditch.

How his own people had rose up against him in the end, after the crusaders had left Zullabar a smoking husk of clay and rubble, and molten gold.

Solor showed Gaervin how it was through Bhaal’s manipulations that an Assassin had shot Arkaine through the breast and pierced his heart.

This had caused the Half Orc Paladin to make a dying pilgrimage to the northern Sword Coast, and attempt to destroy The Temple of Bhaal several years ago.

This would end in a way no one could have anticipated. It had been the unlikeliest outcome of all.

The destruction of The Avatar of Bhaal, and Helm himself encasing Arkaine’s ruined body in The Warplate of Saint Solor, in order to preserve the Half Orc Paladin's life.

“Your master leads not just forty Paladins now, but thousands of men to the slaughterhouse in this war between nations. Only you can stop him, Gaervin Goldenshield, or many more will die. . .”

_________________
[Arkaine HalfOrken] [Half Orc Paladin of Helm] and [Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary]

[The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary Holy Charter]


Last edited by Atlas on Wed May 04, 2016 12:58 pm, edited 18 times in total.

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 Post subject: The Deeds and Battles of Arkaine HalfOrken
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:51 pm 
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Continued On...


~Dawn...~


The sun was rising over the charred blackened spires of Beregost, and the wooden watchtowers of the Flaming Fist palisade.

They were now rotted by the snowfall and damp weather, and it promised to be another bloody winters day.

In the distance, thousands of heavy regiments of Amnish infantry could be seen moving into formation around the palisade.

Halberdiers, spearmen and swordsmen ranked up shoulder to shoulder, to the beating drums and ornate Amnish battle standards and the barking shouts and commands of the noblemen and military officers that lead them.

The privileged nobles of Amn themselves rode on Amnish destriers clad in scaled metal barding, and their wide plumed hats bore feathers of all kinds of fanciful colours.

Among the peasant conscripts, the regiments would be complimented by the illustrious Golden Legionnaires.

Battle hardened men in magnificent suits of heavy gold plate armour who wielded great swords, halberds, and large iron pikes and lances.

The Amnish did not wage war with only men, and monstrous slaves made up their auxiliary regiments.

Orcs from dark forests in the south, Hobgoblin Brigands, and Giants the size of large dwellings, lumbered into loose formations also.

The dozen or so Giants at their command would be used to devastating effect.

Capable of not only decimating a regiment of soldiers with the swing of a meaty fist, but sturdy wooden pallets of heavy stones and boulders were chained to their backs.

They would also be used as deadly artillery regiments.

A lone rider bearing a flag of red and gold rode out to the Flaming Fist Palisade to offer one last chance at surrender for the Duchal forces.

No words were even bandied about, and the rider galloped back the way he came at the sight of the build up arrayed against his nation.

Duke Eltan had divided the remainder of The Flaming Fist Mercenary Brigade into two separate and distinct brigades.

The infantry soldiers would be boosted by legions of adventurers from all walks of life.

They would be led by a Dwarven Warrior named Revenark Stonehold, who was said to be the last of his clan.

The Knights of the Silver Rose would ride along the flank of the infantry and adventurers.

Their ranks included Clerics and many other divine spell casters.

Adventurers were regimented into the Flaming Fist ranks, such as exotic Weapon Masters and doughty Dwarven Warriors.

Those who were versed Wizards, and also Rogues and Archers, formed loose regiments behind the main bodies of soldiers that marched ahead of them.

The remaining cavalry of The Flaming Fist Mercenary Brigade were given over to the Paladins of The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary.

They were charged by Eltan to pierce the west flank of the great palisade.

Arkaine of Helm would lead them, and Thiago the Elder had asked the Half Orc to lead the cavalry charge, reasoning that the founding member of their Chapter of The Radiant Heart Auxiliary should have the honours in its most decisive, and possibly its last battle.

The Paladins of the Order formed up astride their mighty steeds.

Their warhorses were clad in full silvery mailed barding, and cloth caparisons adorned with many different blazons were draped over their bodies.

Those without heraldry simply wore the red, white, and gold colours of the Order on their horses, and blazons without noble devices.

The Paladins horses were a head taller than any other beast on the field. They were far stronger and faster than the mercantile Flaming Fist Warhorses adorned in scaled metal barding.

The Paladins on their steeds were magnificent to look upon in their splendid armour and glorious weapons.

They carried many weapons, but would gallop into battle wielding large silvery lances that blinded their foes in their luminescence.

Arkaine of Helm sat astride his mighty steed, beside Juez Calvo and Thiago II.

After a while his gaze wandered off into the snowy fields and forests beyond. A feeling of unease had settled in his stomach, and his soul.

In the distance, far from the battlefield, he spied a dark willowy form standing out in the snow.

She had the slender shape of a woman. Clad from neck to bottom in black robes. He felt she was staring directly at him.

There was a sinister and malevolent aura about this woman. She pervaded evil, corruption, and perversity, even at such a distance.


There are insidious and shadowy figures manipulating this war . . .


“Brother Arkaine . . . Brother Arkaine!” Ferragus Manus bellowed up at the Half Orc.

HalfOrken’s attention snapped back to reality, and after a quick glance back at where his gaze had been, the sinister form of the woman was gone . . .

“My liege, no warhorse will carry a Stone Prince into battle, I shall run alongside your flank!” The giant Stone Prince shouted over the haze and din of the winter morning.

HalfOrken bowed his head to Ferragus and solemnly and gave him Helm’s blessing.


Revenark Stonehold, the last of his clan, was marching his forces forward now.

Trumpets were bleating, and banners were being raised, and drums beaten.

Arkaine moved his steed to the front of the vanguard of cavalry, and signalled Thiago II to lead a formation of Paladins and Flaming Fist Cavaliers against the Giants, and the monstrous auxiliary forces of the Amnish.

If those Giants and their pallets of huge stone masonry were not dealt with, they would hurl deadly missiles at Revenark’s infantry regiments, and the Grand Duchy would loose half of their forces before they met in battle with the Amniish.

Arkaine was about to signal to his musician that they were to begin, when Gaervin Goldenshield came bolting across the ranks out of nowhere on his Donkey.

With arms flailing he cried out to all around him, “Stop! You cannot do this, you all go to your deaths, and you must stop!”

Arkaine looked at Gaervin in bewilderment as the Gnome continued, “You cannot follow my liege, you cannot! It is folly, it is to be your doom!”

Arkaine swung his lance and knocked the raving Gnome off of his Donkey and bellowed in a hoarse voice, “You must think me mad!”

Poor Gaervin landed on his face in the snow, and when he rose to his knees there were tears in his eyes as he cried out at Arkaine, “You are not the liege I thought you to be! I know what happened at Zullabar, you must stop or everyone is going to die- eelllp!”

Gaervin was cut off from speaking as the Half Orc dropped his lance and dismounted his massive warhorse with a thud of his heavy armour, and in two deft strides closed in on Gaervin. He lifted him bodily off the ground with one clenched gauntleted fist, and bellowed in fury again.

“There is a history there you know nothing about!”

Gaervin squirmed in Arkaine’s iron grip and tears rolled down his eyes as he spoke, “I know the truth master, I know they all died in Zullabar, and that you wanted to die with them, you cannot do this again!”

Arkaine’s grip loosened at seeing the pain Gaervin was in, and he felt a pang in his chest, he lowered the Gnome slowly and then released him.

He had grown fond of the friendship he shared with Gaervin. He felt conflicted, for this was not the time for sentimentality. And yet a pang of guilt ate at him still.

“You ... You must face me in the test of arms!” Gaervin announced suddenly, his face reddened and filled with anguish.

Arkaine look bewildered for a moment, and then his shadow was cast fully over the brave Gnome Paladin.

Reaching down, he ripped the Gnome's sword belt from his waist, and his iron breastplate along with it.

He tore the ornate shield from Gaervin’s grasp and tossed it away in anger.

“How can you challenge me to the test of arms when your arms does not reach over my waist! I release you. You shall be gone!”

Gaervin sunk to his knees in the snow, and tears streamed down his face.

Arkaine the HalfOrken turned away now, and the light of the sun removed his shadow from his Squire, as he swung himself over and sat astride his mighty steed once more.

Another Squire handed him a silvery lance, and he signaled to the host of cavalry to begin at last.

They proceeded at first at a slow trot, before picking up speed into a steady canter, and then proceeded into a full thundering gallop.

Lances were held straight and true, and ready to kill.

_________________
[Arkaine HalfOrken] [Half Orc Paladin of Helm] and [Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary]

[The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary Holy Charter]


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 Post subject: The Deeds and Battles of Arkaine HalfOrken
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:10 am 
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~Act III~


~From the personal journal of Artois Guilamme – Page of his liege, Brother Arkaine HalfOrken...~



If this is to be my last entry then let it be known that I write of the events that have burned the Sword Coast to the ground and murdered the meek and innocent in droves.

I am sure as the records after this day will attest that the deeds and valour of the men under the Dwarf, Revenark Stonehold, are worthy of song and ballads and will be remembered forever.

Their bravery in pushing the Amnish hordes back into the ruined husk of Beregost is equally worthy in the eyes of the gods.

This is a true account of the trials and tribulations of one Arkaine HalfOrken, and more importantly Gaervin Goldenshield.

At the behest of HalfOrken did Thiago II of Tyr seek out the Giants of the Amnish auxiliary forces to lay them low and scour their ilk from the field.

Alas did brave son of Thiago I slay three of the ponderous and selfish beasts before he was separated from his regiment and lost in an avalanche of the Giant Kins malice and great stone clubs.

The Flaming Fist Cavaliers did rope and chain the beasts earthward, and thus slay them with deft blade strokes across their monstrous jowels.

The Amnish Orcs and Hobgoblins fought with savagery but were no match for hundreds of heavily armoured cavalry, and thus routed and put to the sword.

At the command of HalfOrken, did several Druids of Grumbar metamorphose into great lumbering giants of stone and protect the flanks of the press of vanguard that Paladin Arkaine rode at its head.

His silver lance, was the first to pierce the armour of a Golden Legionnaire, and loft him high, spitted on lance.

HalfOrken roared an old Paladin battle cry that soared the hearts of his Paladin brothers and the Flaming Fist Cavalry men.

Their triumph was not without its losses, and so did many fall to arrow and regimented pikes and halberds.

Such are the bane of cavalry in this dark age of warfare.

Lo did Ferragus Manus prove his worth to my esteemed Order, by running with the stamina of a horse, and cutting great swathes through the Amnish infantry and Legionnaires alike.

What would happen next, is lost to the ages. . .

_________________
[Arkaine HalfOrken] [Half Orc Paladin of Helm] and [Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary]

[The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary Holy Charter]


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 Post subject: The Deeds and Battles of Arkaine HalfOrken
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:10 pm 
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Continued On...


The battle to drive back the Amnish back from The Flaming Fist palisade had pushed the southerners back to the river.

The freezing death trap of a river that Duke Eltan had planned to drive the Amnish into all along.

Both sides had suffered grievous losses, but it was only when the fighting broke into fierce bloody skirmishes, and the lines of men broke, that the adventuring auxiliary showed their worth and Eltan’s tactics came to fruition.



Image



Arkaine HalfOrken lofted high his huge great mace, it was cross flanged and shaped after the great arches of a holy temple, silvery iron and twenty pounds of heavy.

He had dismounted from his steed.

The Amnish had been pushed back into the river, and it was either here that the Amnish, or those who fought to retake Beregost, would be broken.

The great temple mace swung in perfect arcs, cleaving open chests, bursting open skulls, crunching through thickets of armoured limbs and muscle.

Mighty arms, each the girth of a lesser man’s thigh, propelled the weapon with efficient, murderous grace.

His long scarlet robed surcoat swirled in his wake, wrapping him in a skirling halo of crimson.

Everything was in motion.

He was like a whirl-wind of silvery iron and scarlet red fabric, spinning and striking his way through the heart of the Amnish horde.

It was all balanced, every blow either found a mark and obliterated it, or wounded the enemy to a degree that they could not fight on.

He drove apart knots of screaming horrified Amnish soldiers and fractured their unity.

Wading through them and circling, they broke against him in futile fury.

HalfOrken began to tire however, his weakened condition worsened by the winter chill.

Juez Calvo noticed this first and covered his flank, alongside the lumbering Ferragus Manus, who drove thickets of Amnish soldiers astray with his massive sword.

HalfOrken was punctured by many wounds to his chest, and Chaplain Calvo was hard pressed to heal them.

He fought the Amnish himself, cleaving skulls with his spiked morningstar.

His white robe beneath his war-plate fluttered around him, as he fought with righteous fury, bludgeoning the Amnish, and crushing the skulls of his foes.

As they circled the Amnish regiments once more and made for another pass, HalfOrken was lost to his brothers in arms, amidst the lines of Amnish Soldiers.


--


Blood ran from Arkaine’s mouth as he finally collapsed down to one knee.

Even still he held his great mace aloft as if still poised to strike.

The Golden Legionnaires around him who had captured him, parted and ceased their assault.

The bodies of a half dozen of them laid strewn around the wounded Half Orc Paladin they had circled, he was like a wounded bull in a colosseum.

HalfOrken was punctured by several arrows amidst the mess of deep blade wounds and gouges in his armour and torn flesh, but still he refused to yield to death.

A Black Knight clad in scorched Amnish war plate strode through the thicket of Golden Legionnaires, and looked down on HalfOrken for a moment.

He removed his helmet and his face was livid with rage. He snarled.

“I have the butcher of Zullabar finally in my grasp ... Years ago my father died under your command! By Bane's blood you shall remember Theirulf of Tyr when I carve my families crest into your ruined chest!”

Arkaine then rose to his full height, and stood on shaky legs as he addressed the disgruntled young man with a mighty bellow from the very back of his throat.

“Theirulf coasted the crusade! He lacked spirit and faith, his sins and weakness covered by hate! He wore his title and status three score! And like a school boy his blood did stain the gavel and the galore!”

The Black Knight said nothing for a moment.

A great show of shock and umbrage revealed themselves in his features at what the grievously wounded Paladin had said.

Slowly his breeding and composure unravelled, and he was barely able to put the words of his retort together as he frothed at the mouth in his rage.

“... I’ve wanted to kill you for a long time, HalfOrken! It is a shame that it is not my sullied legacy that will recieve the honour, but these craven mercenaries at my disposal! Murderers and thieves and rapists! All that you despise in war!”

Arkaine's grip on his massive mace looked visibly painful in his hands, and with an awkwardly slow but powerful motion, he swung at the young man while roaring in defiance.

"The blood of all martyrs shalt waters the meadows and grass!"

The Black Knight easily evaded the grievously injured Paladin, and tripped him up as he sailed past in a fury, and landed on his knees.

“You can’t win...!” HalfOrken bellowed between blood trailing down his neck, “I served Helm for all my years . . . !”

The Black Knight grabbed HalfOrken by his chainmail mantle and slugged him in the face repeatedly, while screaming in a thick Amnish tang.

“There is no wrath! No will! No Watcher shall bear you aloft to victory this time-!!!.”

The Black Knight would never get the chance to finish.

Juez Calvo and Ferragus Manus barged into the Legionnaires who were jeering nearby, and and cut them down in frenzied zealous fury.

All were seemingly unaware that the battle had stilled around the confrontation between HalfOkren and the Black Knight.

Manus’ sword cleaved through armour, and Calvo’s Morningstar burst open skulls.

The Black Knight was soon to run Arkaine through with his war sword of southern steel, when finally Gaervin Goldenshield appeared out of nowhere and rammed the steel rim of his large shield into the Black Knight’s unprotected thigh.

The razor sharp rim cut deeply into the villian's flesh, and the Black Knight whipped his neck back and cried out in agony. He then turned about on Gaervin.

The Gnome Paladin stood undaunted and fearless against the villain he now faced.

He held Arkaine’s shield out before him like a weapon, and his eyes were wide open and furious, as the spited Black Knight closed in on Gaervin with murder in his eyes.

Arkaine saw the Black Knight looming over Gaervin, and his eyes opened wide with despair.

He cried out to Helm and bull-rushed the Black Knight with the last reserves of his strength.

As the Black Knight would surely strike Gaervin down, a huge piece of masonry landed almost on top of them, and caused all manner of havoc and disarray.

As the ground shook and shattered pieces of masonry went everywhere, HalfOrken and the Black Knight were sent careening into the icy river.


--


Some time later. . .


The Black Knight emerged from the icy river some time later to see to his surprise that the fighting had moved away from the palisade.

Of Arkaine HalfOrken, there was no sign.

He was most likely dead, the Black Knight thought to himself.

The thought sated his need to cause suffering for a moment, before he frowned and his mind found its clarity once more, and he returned to a state of livid rage.

He spent some time thinking through the day and its events.

Against all odds the Half Orc had survived until now.

HalfOrken had been the only survivor of the Siege of Zullabar, and the Avatar of Bhaal himself had been destroyed trying to pry free the Paladins iron grip on his mortal coil.

It was the very deed for which Arkaine the HalfOrken had been elevated to Knighthood by The High Hall of the Radiant Heart.

The fell-handed killing blow on the unholy immortal apparition had been an outcome no one could have predicted.

The Half Orc must be a game piece in a grander scheme of murder and death that very few could see both ends to, the Black Knight realized to himself.

Tiernolt was the son of Theirulf the Lionscarred. His noble ancestor was famed for slaying the last Lion native to the nation of Amn as a youth, and wearing the beasts pelt draped over his armour.

He vowed he would find a way to manipulate the scheme he saw at play to serve his need to avenge his father and make Arkaine the HalfOrken suffer.


--


Arkaine of Helm awoke some time later to the freezing chill of the winter air, and the dampness of icy cold water drying on his skin.

He had awoken from a long slumber, a dream of a silvery maiden offering him a chalice to sip from . . .

“Brother Arkaine.” Ferragus Manus rumbled in his ear . . .

HalfOrken's wounds had been tended to by a nearby Cleric, and he opened his eyes.

“Chaplain Juez Calvo fished you out of the freezing river after we had thought you lost. He saw no sign of the villain you dragged into the raging current with you.”

Noble Gaervin stood nearby. He wore a huge frown on his reddened face. After a moment he spoke.

“The Angel of Helm told me you were going to sacrifice yourself and everyone else again as it was at Zullabar! Why?”

Arkaine sat up at this, and grimaced, before speaking.

“Duke Eltan would be a fool to break his army here, with the Lords Alliance days away! And yet what he ordered was the only way to ensure their absolute loyalty . . . For sending you away I have never been so sorry, in all my life!”

Gaervin looked angry and incredulous at this, and shouted once more.

“You knew I would come after you? Didn’t you!”

Something happened then that none of them had ever seen before.

Arkaine's face split at the edges and showed the faintest signs of warmth.

Gaervin cursed the Half Orc Paladin and then strode away in a huff.

The faint glimmer of happiness to see the noble Gnome Paladin alive and well stayed with Arkaine HalfOrken longer than the winter did last.

_________________
[Arkaine HalfOrken] [Half Orc Paladin of Helm] and [Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary]

[The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary Holy Charter]


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 Post subject: The Deeds and Battles of Arkaine HalfOrken
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:14 pm 
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~The Roll of Deeds of Arkaine Halforken of Helm~


So scribed by Artois Guillame...



Joined esquire by those of high virtue and valor, did Arkaine of Helm lead Soldiers of Light into the chasm of evil, and through the mountains of raining fire, to slay the vile Cowled Wizards and their artillery machines.

The army of righteousness pushed ever forward and stuck a blow for the good of men.

The Cowled Wizards did decry and debase their innards, and die in their villainy.

Thus did the deeds of one Arkaine HalfOrken during the Amn-Gate War come to an end.

With cries of virtue, and righteousness in their hearts.

_________________
[Arkaine HalfOrken] [Half Orc Paladin of Helm] and [Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary]

[The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary Holy Charter]


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 Post subject: The Deeds and Battles of Arkaine HalfOrken
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:17 pm 
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~Epilogue~


~From the journal of Gaervin Goldenshield, 1347 Dale Reckoning, the end of winter...~



It is after the horrific war.

The Lords Alliance has forced Baldur’s Gate and Amn into a truce, and we Paladins and righteous Knights of The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary have returned to our duties in The Grand Duchy of Baldur's Gate.

Scouring the fields each day of the Undead Menace, and protecting the Farmlands.

This day I am not at the Chapter Keep however.

This day I am standing with my former sire Arkaine HalfOrken, as we both watch over the Holy Sanctum, north of the Friendly Arm Inn.

HalfOrken has returned to guarding the Holy Sactum for now.

I thought one day I would seek him out and we would relive the old days when we traveled in company and fought the good fight together.

“Are there really so many wrongs in this world to be righted that we Paladins will never see the end of it?” I ask Arkaine.

Arkaine looks down at me with solemn eyes, as if he has a sort of understanding of a deeper meaning that was his, and his alone.

He replies not in a hoarse bellow, but in a grave and solemn tone.

“Go, and you shall find out, Noble Gaervin of the Order of the Radiant Heart.”

I blink at him several times and then a feeling of strength and tranquility overcomes me. It felt as if the gods themselves at that moment had lifted me up like a righteous and gleaming sword to glimmer and shine so that the darkness may be overcome by light.

I set off into the thicket, and the forest to the south, the winter has given away to a beautiful spring, and the last of the frost is melting on the leaves.

I run at full pace and unsheathe my simple but sturdy short sword, and my ornate and finely crafted shield bearing the heraldry of The Order of the Radiant Heart, and my own heraldic shield and device.

I am no longer afraid of battle.

In the sure stride of combat I no longer hold doubts and hesitation.

I am no longer given to fear.

_________________
[Arkaine HalfOrken] [Half Orc Paladin of Helm] and [Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary]

[The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary Holy Charter]


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 Post subject: The Deeds and Battles of Arkaine HalfOrken
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:22 pm 
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[This recounting of a DM Event by former Dm Xzar from back in late 2011 is the story of what was to me perhaps the most fun I've ever had on this server.

The original event was held by former Dm Xzar roughly a few weeks after the Amn-Gate War of 1347 Dale Reckoning, and in real life time late in 2011.

It should be considered as being the next thing that happened after my story embellished recounting of the Amn-Gate War.]




The Crusade, The Year of the Bright Blade, 1347 Dale Reckoning


(Based on the DM Quest by Former Dm Xzar...)


-Dramatis Personae-


-Lawful Good-


Arkaine HalfOrken – Half Orc Paladin of Helm and Senior Knight of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary.

Ferragus Manus – Earth Genasi Paladin of Helm and Knight of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary.

Preston Truesteel – Human Paladin of Tyr and Knight of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary.

Sir Thomas – Human Paladin of Helm and Templar of the House of the Guardian.

Sir Marcus – Human Paladin of Helm and Templar of the House of the Guardian.

Grodorc – Half Orc Warden of the Men at Arms serving the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary.

Revenark Stonehold – Dwarf Kingswarden of the Stonebar Clan.

Orin Bronzeanvil – Dwarf Paladin and Hammer of Moradin.


-Neutral Good-


Riappi Blindensnaven – Gnome Rogue and mercenary.

Thalantyr – Powerful Human Hedge Wizard of High Hedge and Beregost.


-Chaotic Good-


Merrok Shadowstep – Human Ranger and mercenary of the Sword Coast.


-Lawful Evil-


Alabashen – Pitfiend and servant of The Necromancer.

Harabadar – Pitfiend and servant of The Necromancer.


-Chaotic Evil-


Tiernolt – Ghoul Necromancer and servant of Myrkul; son of Theirulf.

The Necromancer – Human Necromancer and servant of Bhaal.




-Act I-


To begin thine telling of thine deeds and quest, we must begin with the telling of the recession of thine Grand Duchy of Baldur’s Gate in the Year of the Bright Blade 1347 Dale Reckoning.

Twas a dark and haunted time, where food that was previously in abundance hath become scarce and thine farmer toiled before the plow in vain. Thine snow rolled down thine Cloud Peak Mountains and rested on barren earth which no seed would sow and both the nobleman and commoner did lament and their children want for sustenance.

But we speak now also that it was the time of heroes, both bold and irrefutable, and a crusade that would rise out of the ashes of thine war and set beneath the ancient school of magic known as Ulcaster.

Thine end of thine war between the Duchy of Baldur’s Gate and thine nation of Amn was not thine end of evil, but rather in its shadow another menace did make itself apparent in the villainy and inequity of evil servants of dark gods and unholy practices that would see the Sword Coast lament.

A Necromancer, both profane and foul, had taken upon the cause of evil within the Ruins of Ulcaster, and only the bravest sons of Paladins true, and the servants of thine righteous would seek out thine despoiled ruins of Ulcaster, to seek an end to his murder and profanity of the dead and animation of thine dead and un-living.

Twas also a perilous time for the Holy Order of thine Radiant Heart Auxiliary, with thine full Host of the Order set to thine task of pursuing evil to its rot across thine Sword Coast and beyond.

Twas a time where Brave Thiago thine Elder and his most cherished son would disappear fighting thine Giants of thine Cloud Peak Mountains; and of other heroes both desperate and true, all were scattered and in disarray.

And lo’ did Brother Ferragus Manus of Stone Prince blood, seek out thine desperate in thine shell of the Half Orc Paladin; Arkaine HalfOrken; who isolated himself within the bowels of the holy sanctum of thine honoured dead of the siege of the Temple of Bhaal years prior.

Lo’ would Ferragus be described as a giant of a figure, both sturdy and mighty in force and power; with giant stone hands that could crush thine skull of a donkey. His skin was riddled with rock and stone and his eyes like gems placed in carved out sockets that might otherwise be found in wealthy temples and heathen stone cairns of ancient deities.

He wore a heavy mail hauberk with a sanctified cloth tabard caparison draped over his armour; and he bore the largest of shields and wielded thine largest of swords in battle, and would seek out only thine worthiest of foe to hew through or cut asunder in twain.

From whence holy Manus did find Arkaine of Helm; twas a fierce battle to be had within the grounds of the sanctum itself. For the very land did cry out and agonize its lament of the Unholy Undead risen across sacred sites along thine coast during these dark days; and Arkaine of Helm did battle and fight back thine Undead with fierce devotion and piety born of the stone heart of the Vigilant One himself.

Arkaine of Helm; Arkaine of the Yore; and the scion in the image and ideal of the avenger of centuries past. In his day he did stand six feet and six inches tall; and his body was heavy set and wrapped with thick corded muscle; his face was angular and wolfish like thine head of a spade, and his dark brown hair once cut like a bowl or a Page’s cut, curled around his eyes and was lank and ragged.

Arkaine wore a hegemony of the finest armour on the Sword Coast; thine remains of thine celestial war-plate of Solor thine dead Solar. Thine armour composed of a thick padded gambeson with a heavy mail hauberk worn over the leathers with thine chainmail sleeves torn at thine elbows and thine shirt cast down around Arkaine’s knees.

Over his hauberk he wore pauldrons of thine celestial war-plate itself, and his feet and shins were covered by heavy iron greaves. Over this he wore a ragged scarlet tabard caparison which draped across his armour and skirled down around his ankles.

Thine tabard itself was said to have been drenched in a sacred lake and holy site where a Solar once tread upon its crystalline waters and enhanced all natural beauty within a sixty yard radius and empowered all Clerics, Paladins and servants of good who would drink or gain respite from that holy place. Thine colour of the tabard itself, a scarlet crimson bore thine passion, Arkaine of the Yoke, bore for the destruction of the unnatural profanities of evil; and twas said all colour and positive emotion twas drained of his face to flow into thine very red of his tabard.

In a bronze scabbard tied to his waist he wore a large and sturdy fine iron long sword of noble ilk; and wrapped up in a furled iron chain attached to thine back of his armour he carried a massive twenty pound two handed mace. Thine mace was a sanctified weapon of the temple itself and especially ornate; having being crafted from a single large block of meteoric iron by thine holiest Watchers who reside abreast thine Great Helms who take up residence and worship within thine greatest fortress monastery built in the name of the Watcher.

HalfOrken twas found knee deep in the bones and rotted flesh of thine dead; wading through thickets of unholy corpses and skeletal warriors re-animated and no less deadly than their skills as warriors in life. His every swing of his great mace burst through rotted bone and hewed through diseased flesh and tore great turrets of matter aside in a skirling frenzy of a saw or blade slicing through wheat in a harvest.

His mace was truly massive, with a flanged triangular head that ended with a massive spike reaching out of the middle of its perilous spanglars. Twas with thine sharp edges and blunt heavy wrought trauma that the Paladin did commence to war upon thine unholy aberrations; and Brother Manus did know to fall into step and join HalfOrken in the purging of the Holy Sanctum that day.

When thine fell handed warriors were all but spent, and the Undead put to thine flame and ash, twould be Ferragus Manus’ time to beseech Arkaine of Helm that they must depart for the Order’s chapter house; and a dire quest that would spend dearly the both of them was needed.

And lo, upon their arrival at the chapter house of their Order; did HalfOrken seclude himself within thine chapel and drape his hallowed weapons and pledge thine weight of his sword over a sacrosanct statue of the Watcher; and drift into a deep slumber from his weariness and of battles fought prior and thine chill in his bones.

The chapter house of thine most noble Order was a large and rectangular stronghold of stone, with a great wall built around it and a gatehouse guarded by doughty Men at Arms. The walls were girded with great liturgies and parchments of rolls of deeds draping across its surface and billowing in thine wind for all to see the valour and righteousness of thine Order, and know them to be Paladins true and servants of good.

Whilst did HalfOrken slumber for a time in solitude and sanctity, did Brother Preston Truesteel and Brother Manus heed thine concerns of two Paladins and their retinue of Helmite Templars, from thine House of the Guardian in Nashkel.

HalfOrken was truly a servant of the Vigilant One with a heart and mind cast of stone and the life ascetic; and did abandon and dismay thine company of earthly desires and forms of indulgence that to his mind spurned the most profane act of hedonism in the eyes of the Vigilant Lord.

Twas said he would not so much as gaze upon a woman, and would neither abide by their company nor enjoy the comforts of inns and taverns. Women servants of the Order were scarce to go near the dishevelled Paladin, and his evening meal was left before his slumbering state by a careful sister of the Order who would slip into the chamber and then slip out without making a sound.

Twas said that his heavy footfalls and bellowing raucous voice scared the women of the chapter house; and they were few and scarcely in between to hold prayer and vigil with a warrior monk of Helm, whose heart and mind were cast from stone and deeply regressed into the doctrines and mantra of his faith.

From whence thine time came for HalfOrken to be summoned unto the war room to hear thine plea of thine Templars; Preston Truesteel did lament in sending fourteen of their Men at Arms to thine unholy ruin known as Ulcaster; far to the south where the land was perpetually scorched and nothing would grow there; and thine snowfall did make of it a lifeless waste.

“By Helm; a great evil you hath wrought upon us!” HalfOrken would bellow and glare at Preston and his admission, and the Half Orc would promise the younger Paladin a reprimand in thine future, should HalfOrken still live to see ink and Page and ivory parchment make tell of Preston’s blunder and waste of lives.

But lo twas not thine time for such things, and Sir Thomas and Sir Marcus did bequeath unto HalfOrken their tale and quest to see Ulcaster brought out of thine rot and depredations of evil, and thine people of Nashkel brought justice for their grievous losses.

For a loathe and terrible Necromancer had taken up residence within its decrepit halls; and many hundreds of villagers and dozens of Templars did venture unwittingly or not into that place of darkness only to never return.

Preston was a tall and powerful man of his own admission and admittance into thine company of honoured warriors and sons of Paladinsons; with oval broad features and a flat blunt nose and hair cut neatly in thine shape of a bowl. He did display a gambeson of his own and a heavy mail hauberk with thine scarlet and white cloth tabard caparison draped over his form and brushing against his heels.

Of HalfOrken and Manus and Preston true it is said their counterparts from thine House of thine Guardian wore armour in the fashion of a more mercantile and industrious way. Brother Thomas and Marcus both was second cousin to each other; and thine armour of Thomas was of beautiful iron plates gilded with gold and gold filigree, with only a light mail mesh shirt worn beneath. His waist and was therefore protected by a heavy plated girdle, and his greaves were stylized with spiked beaks and spurs.

Brother Marcus wore plate armour of iron gilded with bronze; and thine hilt of his fine longsword was girded with gold and thine royalties of his noble house of Athkatla and thine southern nation of Amn.

They were big men, one with hair of jet black and thine other of jaded copper.

In such company wouldst HalfOrken also be joined by two doughty Templars of thine House of thine Guardian; both sworn to thine tenets of Helm and thine service of Brother Thomas and Marcus.

Around the solemn wood of thine great table in thine war room of thine Chapter House they would draw up and expedience a great undertaking; thine quest for Ulcaster, and thine endings of thine sufferings of the Nashkel people and the evil of the Necromancer of Bhaal.

Tall and proud was HalfOrken; perhaps too much so, and he would commit no others than himself and Brother Manus to this quest, until they were beseeched by old Sir Devon Brightscale, to gird thine quest and stock their blades with at least a handful of Men at Arms.

HalfOrken would relent only so far as to admit the stoutest Warden at Arms into thine company, and bellow with words of foreboding;

“To mine I will suffer upon us thine Warden at Arms; but suffer thine dishonour of his death I will not; twill be thine folly of thine company I am pressed with that will see thine peasant soldier slain on the field of valor!”

The Warden at Arms was a young Half Orc of twenty winters, named Grodorc. The younger Half Orc had fought briefly in thine war for the Duchy of Baldur’s Gate, before becoming the stoutest of thine Men at Arms of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary.

Grodorc in admittance would relay to others that he had been drawn to servitude to thine Order from tales of a Half Orc Paladin of thine Order who had struck thine killing blow on the Avatar of Bhaal in years past and was so written into tale for another time.

The younger Half Orc was larger than the other Men at Arms guarding the Chapterhouse, and his robust and athletic body made him a champion of the sword and halberd amongst them.

Such was his strength that every dawn and sunrise he would hew through three stout logs with a single great arcing slash of the Warden’s great sword. He wore his own tardy mail hauberk and a cheap lace tabard bearing thine device of the Order that he so dutifully served. On this quest he would carry with him a giant silver bladed halberd; the most expensive weapon the Men at Arms of the chapter house owned.

What Grodorc would find in HalfOrken was trepidations and uncertainty. Although a Paladin is boasted of divine health; a pallor of sickness hung over the almost hunched over older Half Orc; and his chest and torso cavity were erroneously enlarged and misshapen beneath his sanctified tabard and hauberk and gambeson. At times he appeared aloof and unaware of where he was, and what the task at hand may be; and in his face he looked to be suffering terrible agonized pains.

He was a hero of old who had been marked by destiny and meant to die at the appropriate hour, and yet had instead lingered on beyond the reasoning of tale and song. A hollowed out husk of a being once characterized by devotion and piety; now ready to die in thine glorious service of The Great Guard and abolish his own suffering in doing so.

And so thine quest was drawn up; and they would bestride thine coast with thine finest Paladin Chargers of their stables; only to find them empty and without purchase of a single mare or beast of burden in which to expedite their venture.

In thine manner of righteous kings of Tantras old; they would not bestride thine coast on mighty warhorses that thunder across thine plains; but still as Paladins true they would make of thine crusade a pilgrimage across field and haunted forest on foot. Across river and track; over forest and field and rock and chain of duty, they would see their lives spent dearly for the cause of righteous endeavor to prevalence.

And so it came to be upon their leavings of thine Duchy of Baldur’s Gate and as they marched south they were so joined by many desperate men. Destitute pilgrims and wanderers and adventurers herded to their banner of thine righteous and divine, and they took of their first steps towards a crusade...

_________________
[Arkaine HalfOrken] [Half Orc Paladin of Helm] and [Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary]

[The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary Holy Charter]


Last edited by Atlas on Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:31 am, edited 9 times in total.

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 Post subject: The Deeds and Battles of Arkaine HalfOrken
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:26 pm 
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-Continued On...-


-Act II-


Twas by thine mercenary fire camps and shanty hovels littering the mud and track that so winded its way through thine middle of two dark and cursed forests, that a precarious but resolute standing of a mighty fortress stronghold, so named thine Friendly Arm Inn; of Bently and Gellanna Mirrorshade; Gnomes of likeness and endeavour and famous for their deeds; that thine now procession of thine Paladins of Helm and their followers did chance upon fit and rearing regiments of mercenaries and men of thine land alike.

Sir Thomas and Brother Manus both did seek to parley with thine sell swords, and buy of them their strength of arms for thine coming battles and journey to thine cursed ruin of Ulcaster.

But lo was Arkaine of Helm refuted in this and parched of good manner and grace towards any such notion of buying others to fight their battles for them, and doth did so proclaim in a hoarse but proud standing, “By doth, art we not Paladins of thine Vigilant Lord and cut from thine twine and cloth or warriors mighty? Who here might shame thineselves with coin from pocket to arouse dull sword arms to fight in thine stead! For art we not too proud to ever hold of content thine hired sword and as thine willow wanes of thine blade!”

Cast against the refutations of Arkaine of Helm, did Sir Thomas lament to Sir Marcus that he was of shame, but would not be swayed regardless, and doth did Brother Manus seek out he who would observe and record thine entirety of the crusade from this point onward; a Human Ranger in thine likeness of Merrok Shadowstep.

As did Sir Thomas approach thine sell swords at the fire pit, did Brother Manus seek out Merrok and pay with gilded gold for his service as a scout and tracker.

Merrok Shadowstep was a willowy man clad in a leather gambeson and tunic, and did command a regiment of broad shouldered Human bowmen; men with forearms made thick and muscular from decades of stringing and firing the yew wood composite longbow so famed for its power and ability to pierce armour.

At Ferragus Manus’ insistence did Brother Arkaine harken to unfurl a large scrolled litiquay, and hold reverently before him an ornate triptych denoting thine authority of the Temple of Helm, and recite in a bellow the charter of thine Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary and thine sufferance those esquired for prosecution of campaign, quest and crusade wouldst find in thine service.

But alas for thine trepidations of thine uncouth and scrawled mercenaries of the fire pit did their leader, a wisp of an Air Genasi Woman with a scarred face, did decry that her company of mercenaries would serve no pig faces nor pig men, and did spit and curse at Arkaine of Helm in disgust and revile him so.

And so it was that Arkaine of Helm did preach that thine Air Genasi and her men would disperse and seek elsewhere, but to blows thine righteous Arkaine and those he did command would nearly come to with thine mercenaries, out of hatred for thine Half Orc would thine sell swords hurl vile venomed words and unreasonable hatred of his Half Orc blood, and lo would they nought disperse until Arkaine of Helm did bring forth his giant mace of meteoric iron and cast at them with furious swinging arcs.

And so did thine Air Genasi and her men and Elves finally disperse with venom and hate on their lips.

Thine was as such but the prelude to thine real danger as thine canny Merrok of his regiment of bowmen did give heed that theirs was to be set upon by a large host of Goblinoids.

Thine enemy did count Worg Riders amongst them and lo did Arkaine of Helm lament a battle not fought on thine open field and the loss of honour, but did so relent and give credence that with all haste they would make for thine Friendly Arm Inn Stronghold, in order to fight this battle with a quality defence.

Alas as thine Paladins and retainers and regiment of bowmen did make haste across field and between dark forests, they were to be hampered by lack of horse and speed, and thine host of Goblinoids did set upon them with vicious cries to dark and heathen gods and promises of slaughter.

As Arkaine of Helm did array his Paladins to stand shoulder to shoulder and buy precious time for thine regiment of archers to run across thine drawbridge of thine stronghold; others both craven and destitute, outcast and pauper were saved of thine lives as they rushed inside thine fortress, with thine Paladins arrayed against thine Goblinoids, shielding them in their retreat.

Arkaine did favour this day an attack and withdraw strategy, and he bounded along behind those he did protect, his iron shod spatter guards cracking thine earth and path beneath his doughty frame.

With mighty arcing swings of his great mace he did hew Goblin from Worg and shatter Worg skull in twain, and then leave behind him a trail of those enemy both broken and crushed by the mailed iron might of his resolute faith in Helm and steely martial strength and prowess.

Brother Manus did lumber at his flank and rain great scything blows on his foe with a giant blade and strength of stone. His massive ornate shield held before him like a barrier that would splinter and shatter projectile after projectile that was hurled and fired at him and Brother Arkaine.

Sir Thomas and Sir Marcus followed suit, their own baroque southern shields of wood and inlaid iron casting warding off foeman’s club, spear and projectile.

Their Templar retainers were positioned ahead of them and cut swathes through Goblin and Worg Rider alike, as they were the first to reach thine sanctuary of the fortress of those who covered thine withdrawal.

In a procession of brutal carnage they did hack and slash and hew through thine foemen, until Arkaine and his followers did sprint across thine draw bridge of the fortress, and the great wood and inlaid with iron casting bridge, was drawn up and the siege gate lowered and thine fortress was sealed and to their hopes, impervious from without.

But alas this host of Goblinoids did marshal Hobgoblins in their ranks, and the fell Bugbear, bent on conquest and slaughter.

Their leader was a massive brute of a Bugbear with one eye gouged out and his massive furred frame clad in iron mail and leathers and fur.

Held with both clawed hands was a large great axe that had felled many foes from thine High Moor to the Fields of the Dead.

And lo the host of Goblinoids did assail thine Friendly Arm Inn Stronghold, and its fifty Spearmen did take to their posts, and Arkaine of Helm did so order thine defence of thine walls around the keep and spread his men out sparsely along the ramparts to bolster thine defence.

Thine Goblinoid host did swarm upon thine keep like waves crashing on rocks and cliff face; they did hoist great wooden ladders high and batter on the siege gate but to no avail.

As HalfOrken did order each regiment to their stations, he did command Brother Manus to stay with the mercenary bowmen regiment standing in reserve beneath the ramparts and the high walls of the stronghold.

Goblin, Hobgoblin and Bugbear did scale ladders and collide with the defenders on the walls, and Arkaine was ever at the fore of the thickets of skirmishes. Bounding to and fore from one battle to another, great arms of thickly corded muscle strained and torn and weary from constant battle and sickness, did propel the mighty flanged head of his giant mace to and fro, crushing skulls and splintering splines, the spiked splanglars did hew and tear through flesh and organ of foeman and slay them in great throngs, as they did die and topple from the ramparts to thine peat and manure piles, and wooden stakes at the base of thine stronghold walls.

Wherever thine foeman looked to breach the defences of thine stronghold, Arkaine with Ferragus in tow was there, hewing through choked bodies with tireless abandon and resolute faith in their god and cause. Ever was the cry of rousing oratory and deed and battle met on the lips of HalfOrken, and his boundless resolve inspired those around him to their own feats of heroic excellence and endeavour.

Thine battle was far from won, and far from over however, and what was first thought to be projectiles sailed over thine fortress walls and clattered into the defenders.

What they found would horrify them, body parts of heads and limbs were being hurled at the defenders to break their resolve and wont for battle.

And lo did Brother Ferragus decry in base outrage at thine savagery of the Goblinoids and beg of HalfOrken, to lead a regiment out into the foray outside of thine walls to take the battle to thine heart of the foemen and rescue those who had not heeded the wise council to seek refuge within thine stronghold.

HalfOrken was adamant in his denial of Ferragus and bellowed his own refute, “Lo Ferragus, belay such thought and deed, for thine foemen wilst try and break us with this act of savagery and as Paladins true of thine Vigilant Lord we must steel thine hearts of the men we command!”

As Arkaine did bellow this retort, large wooden scaffolding did groan and break apart above them, and with a mighty shove, HalfOrken crashed into Ferragus and sent them both toppling forward, and avoided being crushed by the wood and stone debris by mere inches.

Thine weight of heads and limbs had caused the scaffolding to break apart around them, and as Brother Manus slammed his gauntleted fist into Brother Arkaine in outrage, and half draw his great blade from its ornate scabbard, the Half Orc pointed to a grotesque sight just inches from their faces.

Twas thine head of thine Air Genasi Woman who had spat and cursed at HalfOrken so, and her facial features had been warped into a twisted and sickening grin as the death mask stared lifelessly back at them.

With this putrid sight, and the realization that they were being pummelled with body parts from mercenaries and adventurers who had stayed outside of the stronghold, Brother Ferragus’ resolve in denying HalfOrken did waver and saw that the Half Orc had spoken truly, for those who he would seek to rescue were all but dead.

HalfOrken rose to his feat and bellowed at the stoic Stone Prince to defend thine walls at all costs, and as he did so a large and menacing figure did crash through the debris and bow straight into Arkaine.

Thine Bugbear Chieftain stood over seven feet tall and weighed a third more than the Half Orc, his body was a mass of thick burly iron like muscle.

He roared and raised his great axe up high with thine effort to bring it down on the bowed Half Orc, but Brother Manus’ sword did parry thine blow, and a second large iron shodded boot from the equally massive and girthy Genasi did send the Bugbear sprawling back and toppling over into debris.

As HalfOrken was on his knees before Ferragus and the Bugbear, the expression on his face screamed of agony and torment, and he did seem unawhere or blinded to the menace before him, as he grasped at the ground around him with a leather gloved hand in search of his giant mace.

Ferragus stood to the defence of his downed brother Paladin and with shield lowered and massive sword held high, he charged forward and skewered the Bugbear Chieftain through the monster’s remaining eye, and then wrenched his sword out of its head, as the Bugbear collided with the Stone Prince and they both collapsed on the muddy ground.

Somehow the Bugbear champion was not dead, and his thick clawed hands wrapped themselves around Ferragus’ throat and began to throttle him.

Time began to slow down for Ferragus, as colour and light dimmed in his wavering vision, before a sudden thud was heard, and the Bugbear Chieftain’s head exploded into brains and bone and gore with a sickening crack; as Arkaine of Helm had found his giant mace and brought it down on the monster’s head, with the full force of his arms and bullish shoulders.

By the time Ferragus regained his awareness thine battle was wrought and over, and thine defenders had won at the cost of half of the regiment of spearmen that did defend the stronghold.

Hundreds of bodies were strewn across thine courtyard and thine soil was damp with blood and gore, which ran freely across stone pavement and congealed at the base of thine great walls of the stronghold.

Ferragus learned that HalfOrken had returned to thine fray after the battle with the Bugbear Chieftain, and with the Bugbear’s death, the Goblinoids morale had been broken and the remaining defenders had overrun the foemen.

Merrock Shadowstep and his regiment of Bowmen had set aside their massive yew longbows in the close quartered fighting, and had fought with short swords, large daggers and bucklers, and Sir Thomas and Sir Marcus and their two Temple Templar retainers had survived the battle as they had fought tirelessly on the ramparts and at the fore against the foe.

As those who had survived stood at a loss within thine blood and gore strewn courtyard, Arkaine of Helm climbed the rampart once more and bellowed out at the survivors in a hoarse sounding voice;

“I go south to Ulcaster and wouldst draw unto me a great host in which to prosecute this land of evil and savagery! Join with me and we will bestride thine coast until we find our sufferance and thine mercy of Helm at Ulcaster! Let thine suffer no evil to permeate the lands in their great hosts and thine mockery of their dark gods!”

And so it was that of Arkaine of Helm and Brother Manus of Helm, Sir Thomas and Sir Marcus, and their two Templar retainers, and Merrok Shadowstep and his regiment of bowmen, did further find more pilgrims, those destitute and lost of livelihood, and those in search of plunder and glory, to join with the crusade, and they did continue on their most dire quest south, to sell their lives dearly in thine quest to slay thine Necromancer of Ulcaster. . .

_________________
[Arkaine HalfOrken] [Half Orc Paladin of Helm] and [Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary]

[The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary Holy Charter]


Last edited by Atlas on Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:34 am, edited 7 times in total.

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 Post subject: The Deeds and Battles of Arkaine HalfOrken
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:28 pm 
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-Continued On. . .-

-Act III-


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Battle of the Blood Fen Hills, Year of the Bright Blade, 1347 Dale Reckoning. . .



Alabashen, Tyrant of the Blood Pit, and butcher of a thousand Cherubs, who he did feast upon their divine essence, and devour their bodies in bloody and wrought sacrilege on behalf of the patronage of Asmodeus, Arch Duke of the Nine Hells; did finally stand-alone, on the muck and gore strewn battlefield north of the smoking ruins of Beregost.

The frost from the terrible winter had not yet evaporated from the chill air, and only the very beginnings of light, and spring and the life promised with it upon a new year and seasonal cycle, did flitter through the malaise and trauma wracked hills.

The steady downpour of rain that had lasted for days did little in service of washing away the bloodshed, and the misery of so many carrion filled corpses, both slain weeks earlier, and the freshly hacked and torn apart bodies of peasant soldiers, pilgrims, adventurers and a half-host of Lathander’s Song of the Morning Clergyhood Templars and Protectors.

The Year of the Bright Blade, had proven more terrible than any year before it for the peoples and realms of the Sword Coast, and as the unrelenting thrum of rain beat down upon the muddy soil depleted gavel, it instead caused the teeming mass of blood and bile fluids, to congeal and form disgusting sinkholes around the diseased ridden throngs of weeks old dead bodies, and the ripe newly slain dead of the carnage wrought that afternoon.

After centuries of bloodshed on behalf of the Hosts of the Hells, in service to the Immortal Blood War and his master; Alabashen, the exalted Devil and Pit Field, had been named champion, and conqueror of the Blood Pit; and for his savagery and cunning, had been chosen by Asmodeus himself, to lead a great and unholy host of his master’s boldest Devil-spawn, in a doomed assault on the immortal realm of Lunia, of the Seven Mounting Heavens; in the Arch Duke’s bicentennial effort to wrest more divine and immortal essence, and undiluted purity and goodness, from the management of the Gods of the Triad, and other deities and powers of honour and good, and those who they called upon in battle.

Alabashen, and his great host had wrought carnage and destruction across numerous citadels and palaces of white marble splendour, and immortal design and beauty. Host upon host of stalwart Trumpet Archons had fallen before their wrath and malice; before a rear guard deployment by Raziel, the very Fist of Righteousness himself, at the head of a host of the Just God’s own Warrior Hound Archons, had overrun the Devil-spawn, and the ruin they had inflicted; Alabashen and the most powerful Devil-spawn of his wracked host, would not relent however, and would not be denied, and fought on to the very immortal gates of The Citadel of Stars.

As Alabashen’s great host of evil fell to ruin around and behind him, and as the sting of defeat knifed its way through his black withered heart, he continued to batter the broken bodies of fallen Trumpet Archons, against the sublime white gates of the Citadel of Stars, that reached up into the cosmos and immemorial in their majesty, and bellow his rage and malice and spite at the victory denied him by the hosts of Archons; and the deafening voice of holy doctrines and commands from Raziel; who did bellow in fury as he issued them, and soared high above Alabashen, aloft his majestic wings of fire and steel, as he destroyed the Devil-Spawn’s planar rifts and fell sorceries with great dashing blows from his flaming sword of justice.

Alabashen’s final moments of Asmodeus’ campaign against Lunia and the Seven Mounting Heavens, was of searing agony, as Barachiel; Archon and majestic ruler of his domain in the heavens, took flight to the battle with the force of storm and hurricane, and in his wroth, cast Alabashen down, and burned off his limbs and struck out his eyes, with great forked bolts of lighting and silver fire. The Pit Fiend’s final moment, in blindness and agony, was to feel the searing holy fire and incandescent edge of a wrought champion’s great blade, as his head was dashed from the smouldering and ruined husk of his fallen body, and held up high to the deafening roar of triumph, echoed by the beleaguered Trumpet Archons, by the equine gauntleted sword hand of the Female Warrior Angel Ziamiral, the martial champion of Barachiel’s hosts.

Immortality as a thrall of evil had taught the Pit Fiend the lasting worth of patience however, as his ruined and wretched soul and body reformed itself within the bowels of the Hells over the course of three quarters of a century. In the agony of his reformation, the charred and grating voice of Asmodeus, did reach out to him and command him to again do his bidding.

The ambitious and far-reaching plots and machinations of the Dukes of the Hells did cast their reach across the very annals of the past, and even into the future itself; and the Arch Duke did sear into Alabashen’s very being, that in seventy three years, a mortal, aged of thirty winters, and Paladin of the God of Guardians, and paragon of Torm’s legacy, would cast down the death blow on the Avatar of Bhaal, and once again the powers of evil within the Abyss would descend into further discord and anarchy.

This would be required, and allowed to come to pass however, because in seventy five years, Alabashen was commanded to answer the infernal and unholy pact of servitude from the mortal known as the Necromancer, and lead a host of Bladelings and cruel Erinyes, across the Goblin Hills north of Beregost, along the Sword Coast; and engage a host of righteous and desperate mortals, at what would be called the Blood Fen.

The mortal Half Orc Paladin who did lead this host must die at the Blood Fen, and Alabashen must be the one to slay him on the infernal edge of his wrought unholy axe. This destiny and task bequeathed unto the Pit Field was demanded, to further the goals and insidious machinations of the Arch Duke of the Hells, whose subtle manipulations within the power plays across the planes remained ever an enigmatic mystery.

Bound to the searing torment of the Arch Duke’s overbearing will and control over all of his infernal slaves, Alabashen felt the searing brand of his master’s will and this insidious command, over and over again, for seventy five years. Until his master’s prognostication had lead him finally to the mortal plane, and to what mortals called the Blood Fen, and the unholy bidding of his master.

In servitude to the infernal pact made to the mortal known as The Necromancer, Alabashen’s soul and physical form had been fully reformed in seventy five years, and not the full century demanded of his kind by the infernal legislation passed by the Arch Duke of the Hells.

Alabashen stood ten feet tall when his spine was fully out-stretched, and the fiery red, infernal bulk and mass of flesh, corded muscle, and sinew, was tough enough to turn aside a straight iron blade. His massive arms jutted out from his bisontine neck and shoulders, and his trunk like wrists ended not with hands, but large vicious claws that could tear with ease through the weak sack-like bodies of flesh and fluid, that mortal creatures desperately clad in wrought suits of iron and other forged metals, to protect themselves in battle.

The Pit Fiend’s own armour was an infernal pitted breastplate, worn over his chest, back and abdomen, and vambraces covering the mass of tendons in his wrists, and his goat-like shins and cloven hoofs. His head was bisontine, and the crown of his forehead was adorned with a magnificent set of ebony coloured horns. Over his flaming bald pate he wore a pitted sallet, that warded off any unlikely blows to the vulnerable morass of veins and nerves that writhed and bulged across his forehead and temples.

Bulging out of his back and shoulder-blades, were great ruined wings of pitted embers, smoke and ash, and clutched within a massive clawed hand, was a smoking and pitted infernal battle-axe. The weapon was far too large and heavy for smaller, lesser creatures, to wield in battle.

With the vice-like clawed grip of his free hand, he held the ruined dead body of a Templar of Lathander, by the neck and skull, aloft, and out before those arrayed against him; and knowing it would incense and enrage the host of mortals that surrounded him, he let them gaze upon the dead eyes and form of the slain Divine Champion briefly, and then his grip became a closed vice, and he crushed the fallen Templar of Lathander’s head, with sickening ease, as brains and bones split like a wet melon.

The Pit Fiend then pointed his giant smoking battle-axe at the throngs of mortals assembled around him in a great circle, and the sky turned blood-red, and flames licked the thick stoked smoking air, as he let out a furious bellow and lay down his challenge.

“Mark unto me, pitiful sacks of time-rotting flesh, born to weakness and dotage! I am champion, and conqueror of the Blood Pit! Unspeakable horrors have I slain; and feasted on flesh and fear and death! The blood of ten thousand enemies stains my axe, and wets my lips! I am herald to the coming of Asmodeus! I alone have toppled and humbled the edifices and spires of the heavens! In my wrath I have stood undaunted at the very immortal gates of the Citadel of Stars, and spited the Fist of Righteousness and the Bringer of Silver Storms! In the weak crusted rock of this dying world, all shall defer and submit, all shall kneel to infernal masters and purpose, and none you shall ever know before your short, wretched lives are spent, will be wroth and terrible as I! All who defy my master’s will with courage shall die, as all who are wretched beyond my use or subject beyond my temperament, shall die! My will upon you is the only will, and my will is the will of Asmodeus! I offer you now one concession, I offer you honour! Before you are remade to my will or ground beneath my fury; bring forth your boldest champion, and pray your gods are merciful!

For seventy five years the Pit Fiend had waited and exalted over this moment, at last his master’s will would be wrought to fruition. For millennia the Pit-Fiend had existed to slay those who contradicted the will of Asmodeus; across battlefields both mortal and immortal.

For seventy five years every thought and exercise of will had been bent on the death of the Half Orc Paladin. The mortal creature who had not even been born, who had not even been a thought or a memory behind his accursed mother’s eyes, when he had been doomed to die at the Blood Fen, on the infernal axe of Alabashen, the Tyrant of the Blood Pit.

The only emptiness he felt in this act, that ebbed away at his charred being, and burned away vestiges of what was once a mortal soul, was the thought that this Paragon of Good would not be a foe he would be proud to kill, and then prostrate before the hell-fire and infernal throne and court of his master, and offer up his holy armour and vestments and adornments and artefacts as tribute.

Merrok Shadowstep and his regiment of mercenary bowmen, had earned bellowing tirade, and ire from Arkaine HalfOrken, for miles, as he marched the crusade south towards the Ruins of Ulcaster. From the very first day of the Siege of the Friendly Amn Inn Stronghold; where his less devout brotherhood had traded honour and faith for a regiment of men who eschewed martial valour and chivalry on the battlefield, for large oaken knight-slaying yew longbows; the weapon of cowards to which the Half Orc felt nothing but contempt; Arkaine had been incensed and infuriated at this decision.

Now in the wrought and bloody aftermath of a terrible battle with a great host of Bladelings and Erinyes Devils, the mercenary captain incensed his ire yet again, when he ordered his regiment to take up formation on a nearby hill, where they would bring this infernal abomination standing in their path, down, with hail upon hail of arrows. HalfOrken would die a martyr’s death, before he would let such a cowardly manoeuvre in battle take place by a host in his service and command.

At his bellowing order and his most puritan recital of the Paladin’s Ethos and Code of Chivalry; Brother Ferragus, Thomas and Marcus, did move their heavily armoured forms with great expediency over to the mercenaries and have them stand down.

Merrok himself, was dumfounded by this course of events, and protested heartily at the insanity of it, but the lithe acrobatic little man with brawny professional bowmen’s forearms, did relent and comply in the face of the immense size and intimidating bulk of the Earth Genasi Paladin, standing over him with a heavily gauntleted hand resting on the mercenary captain’s bow.

As the mercenaries were brought back under the yoke of Arkaine’s ideals of chivalry and honour; the Half Orc gripped his giant two handed temple mace along its six foot long meteoric iron shaft, and bellowed forth in a hoarse resounding voice at the monstrous Pit Fiend, that he would have it out with the abomination, on the field of valour.

HalfOrken had barely taken to the field in the battle of the Blood Fen, and he knew he was losing the confidence, loyalty, and morale, of the men in his host. Half of the pilgrims and others destitute, who had followed him without question from his speech and holy sermon atop the battlements of the Friendly Arm Inn Stronghold, had been savaged and mauled in this ambush at the Blood Fen.

A quarter of those would die of their wounds for sure, and the other half of his beleaguered crusade were not of fighting strength, since the Friendly Arm Inn Stronghold Siege; and he had them take refuge to the north and west at the Fortress Library of Candlekeep, with oaths of loyalty sworn, that they would re-join the main body of the crusade when able. Helm willing, in their wounded state they had not met their end to the savagery and brigandry of the Sword Coast.

If the Half Orc could not carry the day against this most terrible of foes, in single combat, it would mean the end of the crusade. As his heavy Everbright greaves cracked the dead soil beneath him, he made his way over to his Paladin Brothers, and clanged the giant triangular flanged head of his temple mace against their drawn and lofty swords, one at a time. And each bowed their heads in deference and chanting prayer, to what they almost certainly believed would be the last stand of HalfOrken of Helm.

Arkaine would not take a moment to reflect with his brothers, he was tired beyond measure; blood had begun to well up at the corners of his mouth over the last week, and run down from his ears and nose, and his wolfish face and features had long ago lost any vestiges of colour.

His beady water blue eyes were cast with a sickness of obsession, and his thick dark brown locks of hair had grown long and unkempt, and hung around his eyes in a lank fashion; damp and clinging to his face and scalp; to which no amount of sun could cast off the look of pervading weariness that clung to him.

His every breath had become agony, and the muscles in his thickly corded limbs had become stiff and unwieldy, and they had become torn and damaged to the point where only the divine healing prayers of a Cleric of amiable faith could hope to restore them. Every three heart beats, his eyes would water from the agony in his chest; however he had never felt anything more vivid or alive than the loud thumping beat of the heart in his chest. The thump was so audible that others who stood near him could hear it also, uncomfortably so to his Paladin Brothers, and others who had come this far with him, as the sound reverberated throughout his entire chest cavity and caused him endless ache and dull agony.

As the throngs of survivors of the crusade widened out their circle around the enormous Pit Fiend, most half cowering in fear; HalfOrken stepped forward to do battle with the monstrous Devil; and pulled his chainmail coif over his matted hair and head. His every thought was bent on saving the crusade he had wrought.

Alabashen could at last see the doomed mortal of his unholy quest. His burning visage now took stock and measure of his opponent, and he knew down to every last charred fibre of his being that this was the Half Orc Paladin that destiny had demanded he slay.

The Paladin before him was large for a mortal; a champion amongst men in this or any corner of the sundered, dying rock, and sky, and sea, which his kind inhabited. He could smell the metallic tang of the Half Orc’s thick red blood and ancestry, and his infernal senses took stock of the half breed’s mannerisms, and through such means and intuition he gleaned insight into his opponent. Every movement, whether subtle or half imagined, that the Half Orc made, radiated an immense unnatural amount of control – self-control; the kind in which every moment was a struggle to deny and abate the instincts to which half of him was born with.

There was a dark and brutal thing beneath the iron barriers and years of indoctrinated self-control, and the pious ascetic devotion to holy temple and Paladinhood. Whether through his own choice and design or not, this was a true believer, and a follower of Torm’s holy manuals and great rolled scripts, that detailed every edict and code of martial valour, honour, and chivalry, on the battlefield. A driven paragon, whose death would be remembered and exalted by the Pit Fiend, for centuries to come.

The doubt that had clung to the charred edges of the monstrous Devil’s soul gave way to what once a millennia ago, would have been elation.

Alabashen could not contain his excitement, as the sky turned blood-red once more, and his roaring voice caused the air in the Blood Fen to alight with dancing flames and smoke, and sparks, and the very earth trembled beneath him.

“The Half Orc Paladin at last. Before you die, mortal, I wish for a memory of you for my own, to stoke the burning embers within my furnace in the centuries to come. What is your name?”

Arkaine of Helm either did not register what the monstrous Devil was saying; or was too incensed by the abomination of evil before him, to banter witless words, and with his giant temple mace of meteoric iron, he hooked the holy symbol of Helm, he wore linked to the two piece mantle draped over his shoulders and neck and upper chest and tabard, and bellowed in righteous fury, and then pointed the giant mace at Alabashen without hesitation, and issued to the Pit Fiend, the Paladin’s Salute.

“Kill me now, or Helm hath marked me for later. By thine iron of my wrought holy mace, death to all Devils and traitors!”

Alabashen had but a split second to feel incensed by the Half Orc’s retort, but at the same time, the respect he held for this one doomed to die, grew alarmingly, and if he had time to give the matter further thought, he would have perhaps been content to leave the Paladin’s dead body and armaments where it was destined to fall. The story after all would be more poetic and worthy, from such actions.

HalfOrken urged his ruined limbs into a frantic bullish charge at the monstrous Devil, and brought the giant twenty pound temple mace up and around, in a resounding blow that was caught and hooked on Alabashen’s battle-axe, as metallic sparks burst from the impact of the two polar opposite weapons of good and evil.

The Half Orc’s stance was wide and measured, and his gauntleted hands gripped both ends of the handle of his giant mace; for a time he defensively held the wrath of the Pit Field at bay, as they both grunted and struggled, and Alabashen worked his giant axe around with both clawed hands, in an effort to rend the Paladin in two with his own fell handed swoop.

Arkaine held his own and his measure however, and the Pit Fiend was eventually forced to bring a scything clawed arm down, and around, at the Paladin, and the immense size and force of the infernal monster tore through metal chunks of one of Arkaine’s magnificent armoured plate pauldrons, showering the Pit Fiends infernal visage with sparks, and tearing a large gash through mantle and skirling tabard, and the adamantine chainmail hauberk beneath, and putting a large gash in the Half Orc’s shoulder and flesh.

As Arkaine staggered backwards, but managed to maintain his footing, he did not have time to recover and counter-attack, and was again immediately on the defensive, as the Pit Fiend now launched himself at the Half Orc, and rained blow upon blow down upon him with his giant infernal axe.

HalfOrken absorbed and blunted and wrangled each and every blow with slow measured skill, as he fought to keep his knees from buckling beneath him, and he harried the storm of blows for what seemed like an eternity; with each and every strike seemingly countered at the very last possible second, with death mere inches away, from the fury of every scything blow from Alabashen.

The Pit Fiend in his fury was off balance now however, and with measured skill and instinct, Arkaine furiously counter-attacked and drove the flanged head and spiked spanglars of his mace, into Alabashen’s midrift. The blow tore down and through pitted armour, and ripped through armour and infernal flesh of abdomen, and waist, before finally sinking in and rending one pitted armoured plate attached to the Pit Fiend’s thigh.

Blood and smoke and fire streamed out of the wound, as Alabashen launched himself backwards into the air, with his great wings of smoke and fire, and landing on the opposite edge of the circled clearing, regarded the rent armoured plate in fury, before ripping it free from his thigh, and tossing the now useless thing away.

Smoke billowed in great wisps from the bisontine nostrils of Alabashen, as he regarded his adversary, for the first time in disbelief. In the centuries of duels fought in the Blood Pit; Alabashen had never been blooded by a creature smaller than he, or one he deemed weaker and inferior to himself. He had blooded the Paladin, but in return blood had been met in equal measure.

The Pit Fiend used the scent of its incensed nostrils, and focused on the giant holy mace that the Half Orc wielded; and his unholy senses picked out that the weapon had been wrought from a single slab of meteoric iron; quite possibly in the immortal forges of the heavens in time immemorial; and had been passed down through sacrament of the Half Orc’s temple and Helm’s mortal worshippers, over the course of centuries. The fact that it had been single cast and not made of components, gave it such durability and strength, that the Half Orc could marshal great grounding fortitude and hold his own. It would not be enough though, the Pit Fiend reconciled.

Arkaine of Helm had fought many duels of honour, and those to the death, in the near two decades since his ordination, as a Paladin and Watchknight of the Temple of Helm. Many a foe had scoffed at the burly Half Orc and arrogantly taunted and wished to goad the Paladin into battle; many a foe-man had thought his technique unrefined, and his blows slow to make purchase; and all who had thought such things, who had underestimated HalfOrken, had found themselves bloodied and infuriated at first, then as their flesh was torn from their bodies, by the deft fell handed blows wrought by the Paladin, and as their bones were crushed and splintered, and they finally collapsed to the gavel, and their life-blood oozed out from the rent orifices in their often arrogant and gaudy armour, they would have little enough life left within their broken forms to pronounce him finally, the victor.

HalfOrken had never lost in single combat with a foe-man, in the entirety of his service and sacrament as a Paladin of the Temple of Helm.

As Arkaine of Helm and Alabashen both charged each other in rushed action to contest of arms in the centre of the circled clearing again, the Pit Fiend approached him more wearily, but with no less abandon. Arkaine struck first, sweeping out a mighty horizontal blow high at shoulder level, aimed for the monstrous Devil’s face, only to have it rip through the upper breastplate and tear flesh across the shoulder of Alabashen to little effect, the Half Orc was then quick to lock the Pit Fiend’s axe once more and come back around and drag the giant flanged head of his mace across the gavel and bring it up in a sweeping arc, intent on taking the monstrous Devil’s face off, only to miss everything entirely, and stagger backwards once more in furious repent.

Alabashen in turn kept in step with his adversary, and rained scything blows of his axe and clawed arm down upon the Half Orc; only for Arkaine to again counter each blow with adrenaline filled blunting counters and the locking down of the Pit Fiend’s axe, before inevitability ran its course, and one blow from the Pit Fiend’s axe slipped through his guard, and glancing off an armoured pauldron, sliced another gouge through his ripped tabard, and buried itself in the adamantine chainmail he wore draped down across the padded cuirass over his chest and down to his knees, beneath his scarlet tabard. The force of the infernal axe blade biting through chainmail, and burying itself in Arkaine’s thigh, would have taken his leg clean off with surety, if not for his armour protecting him and taking the brunt of the blow. Even so, the blade bit deep into his thigh and bone, and tore more muscles and ruptured veins.

Arkaine bellowed in pain, and blood oozed from this deficit, and sprayed the lips of Alabashen; before the Paladin managed to stagger around once more, and bring his giant temple mace across and around, at full length and swing, and bury its triangular flanged head into the centre of the Pit Fiend’s chest, with all of the strength left in his ruined arms, and with holy hymnal to the Vigilant One, praying for the strength to smite this unholy abomination, and bellowing it at the top of his lungs.

The flanged head of his mace shone with radiant light, and Alabashen shook and convulsed, as his pitted breastplate cracked and fell to pieces, and his insides trembled and reverberated the sound of crushed bone and sinew with sickeningly loud force.

The blow knocked Alabashen down off of his feet, and as Arkaine of Helm widened his stance, and blood streamed from his leg wound from the strain, he swung his giant mace up and brought it down upon the fallen Pit Fiend's head; intent on finishing the infernal monster; with a final bellowing hymnal to Helm spitting from his lips, and resounding strength in his blow.

Bereft of his pitted breastplate, Alabashen, was much freer to move his arms about now however, and one clawed hand shot upwards, and exploded into a mess of broken Devil flesh and sinew down to a stump at his elbow, as he had sacrificed it desperately to deflect the killing blow.

Powerful reverberations of his wings buffeted Alabashen up off of the muddy field, and he slammed himself into HalfOrken, knocking the Half Orc backwards. The deep wound in Arkaine’s thigh had finally sapped his leg of all of its remaining strength, and as he half flew, and half staggered backwards, and then sank down to one knee, he screamed in agony once more and tried to use his giant temple mace as a crutch in order to lift himself to his feet, but his ruined leg had become almost lifeless, and it was to no avail.

As the Half Orc continued to try and rise to his feet, the Pit Fiend stormed over to him in a haze of blood and fury, incensed and enraged beyond mortal ken; with his free arm pulped and shattered down to its elbow, and held up before him, with dull incensed pain and rage, and his other clutching the battle-axe of smoke and ash within his trembling claws.

As HalfOrken finally managed to stagger and hurl himself to his feet, the monstrous Devil looked on at him incredulously, his great maw agape from this turn of events that had seen the valiant and holy warrior monk, give everything and more in this battle to which he was destined to die.

More words grated from the embers and brimstone of his bisontine maw in raucous fury then, as he could not understand the iron will and resolve, and faith above all, that kept this mortal from succumbing to infernal death.

“What keeps you burning when the fire has long burned out!”

The Pit Fiend could now smell the sickness and internal damage wrought on the Half Orc from unknown means, and he could see something was killing the Paladin, and would have within a ten day, if it was not the destiny of Alabashen to slay the Half Orc Paladin here at the Blood Fen.

As he tilted his head and smoke buffeted from his nostrils, he could regard his adversary with more clarity now, and beneath the magnificent and heaviest of armour, and cloth holy vestments, and those of Knightly quartered device, he could see the grossly enlarged and deformed chest cavity. The only part of the Half Orc that was truly filled with life and vitality. It was that chest cavity, that Alabashen resolved he would finally bury his infernal battle-axe into, and end the life of the Half Orc Paladin.

As HalfOrken turned to the Pit Fiend, still alive and livid enough to muster defiance; Alabashen scythed his battle-axe across in a horizontal blow with all the strength of his one remaining arm that was whole, and yet still, again, the Half Orc managed to raise his giant mace before him, and put it in-between himself and the monstrous Devil. The axe blade clanged against the meteoric iron haft of the giant temple mace, and Arkaine strained and cried out in agony, as he struggled with all of the remaining strength left to his ruined arms and shoulders, to keep it from biting through cloth tabard and through armour and flesh.

Alabashen was unrelenting in his malice, and his smouldering bisontine visage bored into his adversary, as he continued to use his overwhelming strength to push the axe blade closer and closer to the armoured chest of Arkaine.

Rain beat down upon the two adversaries and pelted them like a shower of skewering lances, as HalfOrken’s strength began to give out, and the axe blade slid closer and closer, until it was cleaving into the armour beneath his ragged tabard, and sparks set alight and burst into the air and streamed out before him like an enraged hail of burning fire-flies.

As the remnants of the great host and crusade stood on and watched in awe and sickening sorrow and angst, at the brutal and bloody confrontation, between mortal enemies; Merrok Shadowstep and many of the Pilgrims, grew agitated beyond their waking control, and as the battle wore on into the bloodiest and most desperate struggle that most of them had seen in their entire lives, and as the Pit Fiend’s infernal battle-axe, slowly cleaved into the Half Orc, and his flagging strength began to falter; Merrok could not understand the stony, solemn and silent gazes of the Paladin brotherhood, even as it seemed beyond a doubt that Arkaine of Helm, their brother in faith and arms, was destined to die to this monstrous servant of evil.

Finally, the Mercenary Captain, could watch on and do nothing for no longer, orders or no orders; he could not stand by and do nothing, while the Half Orc Paladin died in agony. Drawing his short sword in a swift and deft motion, he started to raise it into the air to give the order for his regiment of bowmen to let loose their arrows on the Pit Fiend, when suddenly Ferragus Manus’ giant arm and gauntleted hand shot out and pulled Merrok’s own sword held hand down.

His placid stony visage, and the gem like eyes in his heavily browed sockets regarded the Mercenary Captain for a scant few seconds, and then he released Merrok, and in unison, he and the other two Paladins present nodded to one another, and from them a solemn and holy hym began to take voice and rise across the dim and despair.

At first the hym was soft, and could not possibly reach the ears of Arkaine and the Pit Fiend; then, their voices grew louder, and the frequency more urgent, until everyone watching the struggle between the Half Orc Paladin and the Pit Fiend, could hear it, and began to join in. Within a moment the hym was loud and powerful, and echoed across all of the Blood Fen.

The divine and radiant majesty, and the beauty of the holy hym, became more than a perceived eulogy to the final battle of Arkaine of Helm, as the frost in the air evaporated, and the rain became a downpour of holy water, that washed away the rot and carrion that blighted the land around them. The soil in the wracked and traumatized earth replated itself, and mud and muck evaporated, and once half eaten bodies became bones, which sank peacefully into the revived earth, and new plant life sprouted from the soil.

And then no one had need to voice the hym, as it took upon a divine and beautiful voice and majesty of its own.

Alabashen’s infernal axe blade finally began to sink past Arkaine’s long adamantine chainmail hauberk, and deep into his flesh, until he could feel it scrape against his very bones and splinter them, and his agonized voice had long since broken and given out, and as every nerve ending in his body screamed in agony, he could no longer cry out, but instead was left to mutely bear the pain of the long and drawn out finality of his death. He would never reach Ulcaster, he realised, and he would instead die here in agony.

Arkaine did not know for how long he had been staving off the inevitable finality of his violent death, when at last he heard the beauty and the majesty of the hym, and the pain ebbed away and evaporated, and new strength not of his own muscle and sinew, flowed into his arms and legs, and slowly he rose to his feet, as the divine strength and purpose of Helm radiated within and from him. His magnificent plated pauldrons burst alight with divine fire and radiance, until his entire body and armour radiated with a holy glow and radiance of majestic celestial fire.

The holy symbol of Helm attached to his mantle burst into a glow of solar fire, that blinded the Tyrant of the Blood Pit momentarily; as Arkaine drew and wrenched the flanged head of his temple mace across the clawed axe hand of Alabashen, with strength and fury and purpose born of holy providence; and the Pit Fiend lost his grip on the charred axe, and staggered backwards in pain from the holy fire that seared his claws and flesh. The infernal axe's blade remained half imbedded in the Half Orc, as light streamed out from the deficit in his chest, and he no longer felt its infernal edge.

Arkaine raised high once more the giant temple mace of his faith, with his eyes alight and burning with golden holy fire, and he struck down Alabashen, with twenty pounds of wrought meteoric iron justice; with a final blow that shattered the bisontine Devil’s pitted sallet, and caved in and tore off half of the Pit Fiend’s massive horned head.

The rain had stopped, and light was filtering in through the cloud cover cast over the sky. And Alabashen was cast down in a hunched over sitting position, and his ruined half destroyed head was lolled to the side, and the infernal fires that had burned within his eye-sockets had finally burned out.

Merrok Shadowstep had witnessed a divine miracle wrought after so much death and tragedy, but still the feeling of doubt gnawed at him, and clawed its way through his heart and lungs; with the holy brotherhood of Paladins making their bulky armoured way through the throngs of aghast pilgrims towards HalfOrken; the Mercenary Captain raised high his short sword, and brought it down, commanding his regiment of bowmen to let loose a volley of arrows, into the sunken form of the Pit Fiend.

Standing with his legs wide apart, and with his holy mace finally lowered to the gavel; Arkaine of Helm wrenched the giant battle-axe of smoke and ash out of his chest and armour with a grunt and surprisingly little pain, and let it clatter to the ground, and the unholy thing broke and shattered into several pieces, as he stood over the downed and prone form of the Pit Fiend.

His gaze was locked on the smouldering broken form of the monstrous devil, and he took in a desperate moment of serene tranquillity, and pulled his mailed coif off of his head and looked up at the sky, as the holy water washed over his pale stricken face and lank, matted, dark brown hair.

He only felt finally at peace for a mere moment, when all of a sudden he heard the wiz of arrow-flight, twice over, before he felt one arrow clank harmlessly against an armoured pauldron, and another snap on the hauberk protecting his back, and the two broken pieces of its shaft snag on his scarlet tabard and thrum against his armour.

Another arrow however managed to slip between one of his armoured vambraces and gauntlets, and bury itself in his forearm, and he bellowed in pain and outrage, and whipped around to see arrow flight from Merrok Shadowstep’s entire bowmen regiment, sail right past him in a blur of lancing motion. The arrows were finely wrought from modern fletchers and blacksmiths, and they sunk into the prone form of Alabashen, and covered and sunk into his body in a morass of deadly arrow fire.

As Arkaine staggered about in dismay, and with his attention and ire on Merrok and his bowmen once more; with sickeningly sudden movement, the prone form of the Tyrant of the Blood Pit lurched to its feet; its eye sockets smouldering once more with the infernal fires of the Hells.

His half destroyed head was broken and lolled to one side of his shoulder blade, and he gaggled and gurgled in a fit hideous bellowing laughter.

“You are not the one to bring me down!”

As HalfOrken staggered back around once more to face the Pit Fiend again, the monstrous Devil loomed over the Paladin, his ruined husk of a body standing fully extended over the Half Orc; with his destroyed arms outstretched in a hideous attempt at embracing the Paladin.

As Arkaine of Helm dragged his giant mace through the gavel once more and up, and buried its triangular head into the ruined, half destroyed head of the Pit Fiend, and pulped and shattered and destroyed it utterly in a spray of bone and gore; Alabashen’s body slammed into HalfOrken, and his arms wrapped themselves around the Half Orc, pinning the mortal’s arms to his sides, as infernal fire welled up and seethed out of the monstrous Devil’s body, and he exploded in an inferno of hell-fire and blinding light.

It took several moments for the searing flashes of light that pocked and burned at each crusader’s eyes to dissipate, and as the haze of blindness finally lifted, all took stock of the calamity wrought at the Blood Fen that day; and all they could make out and discern of what remained of the Pit Fiend, and Arkaine of Helm, was a crater and a torrent of thick billowing black smoke that issued from it, and the rancid stench of sulphur and brimstone.

As the Paladin brotherhood rushed forward in urgency, and Grodorc, the stoutest of the Men at Arms of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary Chapterhouse, sunk to his knees in dismay, shock, and sorrow. The worn and weary pilgrims and adventurers slowly dragged their armoured forms and weapons towards the smoking crater, with looks of grim defeat.

Merrok and his regiment of bowmen, wasted no time in hurrying over to the black billet of smoke, and the crater, and the Mercenary Captain cursed Tymora, and the names of every other god he could think to bring forth to his lips, as he now spewed forth all manner of uncultured obscenities.

The remnants of the crusade crowded around the edges of the large crater, that now bored into the newly vibrant and life filled soil of this now ended battlefield, and the flickering of golden gleaming light could be made out amidst the great turret of foul black smoke, and after a moment of silence, with each and every crusader’s mouth agape, the black smoke finally evaporated, to reveal an ash covered Half Orc Paladin of Helm; standing in the centre of the crater, with the worn, ripped fabric of his scarlet tabard, billowing and skirling out behind him in the breeze.

It was only Merrok Shadowstep, whose keen hawk-like archer eyes were the finest on the field, that had discerned in the seconds before the Half Orc Paladin had been revealed to be alive, that the golden light and hue that had now flickered out and perished, but had shone through the black smoke a moment earlier, had not come from the Paladin’s holy symbol of Helm, or even the massive iron bound tome and Paladin’s codex he wore in a chained link to his thick leather belt; or even the golden chalice of his Order, that was also hung from an iron linked chain to his belt, and hung down around his thighs.

The light had shone through from the breach in Arkaine’s chest cavity. . . Higher powers at work, that the Mercenary Captain could not understand, had wrought that the Half Orc would not die this day; Arkaine of Helm would live on.

As Arkaine tried his best to wipe the dirt and the ash from his pale stricken face, his gaze was suddenly forcibly drawn to the young sun-kissed features of a girl no more than eighteen winters old.

For his entire life, Arkaine had been sworn to the strictest ascetic practices and piety, and would not so much as look at a woman, if he could help it; and yet the young, soft and innocent features of this maiden, clad in what looked to be her father’s old armour, and a sword much too hefty for her to wield effectively in battle, drew his undivided attention.

In her soft almond eyes he could see there was some measure of revulsion and repressed hatred for him, but after the battle witnessed, he could see admiration and respect welling in the eyes and face of this adolescent.

As she brushed her long blonde locks of maiden length hair from out of her face with a delicate hand, he could even see the concern welling in her eyes; and then suddenly the Half Orc remembered the doctrines and lessons taught on the Fey creatures of the world, such as Nymphs and Dryads, and even evil sorcerous women who could bewitch and enchant men with their eyes, and he snapped out of his trance. He realized in that briefest of moments that he had let down his guard, and left his will open to the unholy seductions of women. He had let down the iron walls of control and indoctrination, and the holy mandates of his faith and Paladinhood.

His own face had for the first time in living memory relaxed, as the stern angry lines disappeared, and the grimace that always hung from his fanged mouth, softened into neutrality, and the desperate morose look in his watery blue eyes was instead replaced and even mirrored the child-like innocence he saw in the young maiden. Arkaine snapped his head away from her in a grimace and once again became himself, and when he looked back, the young adolescent was gone.

He did not make it three staggering steps from where the Pit Fiend had been laid low, when he began to once again bellow tirade at the crusaders to reform themselves, and bring Clerics to the fore in preparation to continue the long march to Ulcaster. They did not listen to him however, and instead he was mobbed by all of those crowded around him, and his voice was cut off, as they chanted and praised his name in adulation, and the same to Helm and the Gods of the Triad.

As he tried to move to finally leave the ash strewn crater, they shifted with him into the now green and fertile field; and he found he no longer had strength left in his body to attempt to shrug the masses away from him. He turned his head to and fro, and he saw the remaining Templars of Lathander had formed up into their regimented lines, and each bowed their heads to him in reverence, and held their large gold hilted swords up high before their armoured forms in salute.

Merrok and his regiment of bowmen clanged their short swords against their mighty yew oaken longbows, and chanted his name; and Brother Ferragus, Thomas and Marcus, stood with their heads bowed in solemn deference, and their ornate swords swept out and help up high before them in flourishing salute.

HalfOrken had saved the crusade. . . for now. And he had won back the loyalty and morale of his holy procession.

_________________
[Arkaine HalfOrken] [Half Orc Paladin of Helm] and [Master of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary]

[The Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary Holy Charter]


Last edited by Atlas on Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:35 am, edited 7 times in total.

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