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Legends of the Order of the Shield

Coming Darkness

This is a long dead legend that has faded from our lives and into the depths of time. It was forgotten because those that remembered it have died with it.

 

The blade swirled with a bluish aura of power as it came crashing down upon the hideous and terrifying creature’s head. The well-struck blow went deep causing it’s red life force to spurt into the air. The burning red liquid landed on the ground several feet away and began to sizzle as the blood burned through the floor. In its death-trows the demon snarled unintelligible words as it collapsed to the ground. The victor who struck the blow walked quickly past the slain beast, his metal boots clanking against the ground. His companions followed closely behind drowning out the sounds from the dying demon. At the end of a long hallway the group encountered a long flight of stairs leading upwards into darkness.

A hand grabbed the lead man’s armored shoulder causing the group to stop. “Denuate, we must hurry, the devious wizard resides up those stairs, I know this.” The voice said with a sense of urgency.

Denuate paused for a moment, choosing his words carefully before addressing the rest of the group. “Make it swift and fast. Do not let the wizard conjure more of these vile demons from beyond! Daeloth depends on us!” After, the armor-clad group rushed up the stairs. At the top, they crashed through a wooden door…

They entered a large room which appeared to be a hastily created ritual chamber. Along the perimeter were long tables stacked with books, strange flasks, and salves, making the center of the room empty for ritualistic ceremonies. A ring of blood red candles on top of a thin layer of blood lie in the direct center of the chamber. Within this circle was a robed figure, clad in tattered black robes that obscured his face. The commotion from the door’s destruction disturbed the wizard’s concentration briefly, causing him to look toward the entrance way and the group of knights crashing through. The wizard’s view shifted back to the ritual as he prepared the final rites of the summoning. As he lifted his arms while chanting an aura of red light engulfed him.

Denuate leapt forward and thrusted his glowing sword into the wizard’s back, who immediately filled the chamber with a painful screech. As the wizard slumped forward wailing in agony, the red aura spread from him to the ring of candles. He jerked forward on the blade, causing the hood of his robe to fall to the side. His face taunt and pale, stretched across the bones in his cheeks.

Using the last ounces of strength the wizard could muster he began to laughed manically, with a hint of insanity in his eyes. “You’re too late! I have done it; I have brought them to us! Fire will cleanse the world and cast us down to what we should be! Ash!” he said as the final threads of life drained and his eyes became death. The ritual room began to shudder causing items on the tables, shelves and barrels to crash onto the floor. In the center, the burning candles tipped over, their hot wax mixing with the blood creating a disgusting smell. Denuate slowly stepped backwards, his guard up, towards the rest of the group.

“What is this?!” asked one man.

“The end.” Denuate said with a sense of hopelessness in his voice.

The red aura shot out in all directions and then faded slightly into a fine smoke, wafting around the room. The smoke converged onto the fallen wizard in the center. His body started to convulse violently as some red strands of light coalesced his body. The red strands reanimated the dead body, taking control of it in a series of jerky movements.

Knowing there was nothing to be done, the knights stood silent, watching and preparing for what was to come. Black smoke began spewing out of the dead wizard’s blood covered mouth filling the room with a darkness which no light could cut through – not even the glowing swords of the Mystic Knights.

A demonic laughter broke the silence “Is’aier Jzier’ihhhhh Dur-adber-ashhh sdieh—aahherrridf’sd!” wailed the wizard throwing his arms into the air and his body became illuminated in a burning red light, shattering the darkness. The wizard’s face began to melt from the extreme heat causing flesh and bone to drip upon the wooden floor. At the apex, the wizard’s body exploded in a fury of red and black mist coating the walls in a chunky mixture of gooey flesh and bone. The energy from the explosion formed a spinning portal from the beyond to erupt right before the Mystic Knights.

“Brace yourselves!” yelled Denuate shifting into a offensive stance, lowering his shield and raising his blue-lit sword. The other Knights adopted the same postures, forming a wall of light and steel. Moments later, a horrendous demon leapt out of the raging portal: seven feet tall of spike covered leather skin on a powerfully built body. Red eyes of burning fire sat in two deep sockets above a mouth with sinister grin to it.

The men quickly shook their fear off and charged forward. The demon cried a heart-wrenching scream and swept its powerful arm forward to knock several of the charging knights down. The beast quickly turned and stuck another Knight; impaling him in the chest with a claw. The knight stumbled backwards and then onto the ground, choking on his own blood. As the knight lie dead, the blood continued to spurt out of the hole in the armor, surrounding the body.

The battle raged on but it was hopeless, soon 4 more Knights where added to the blood from the first. Denuate was the only remaining Knight and he stood at the entrance of the doorway, the best possible defensive position at the moment.

“You will not pass. I will send you back to the beyond!” Denuate said raising his glowing sword. “By the Order that I live by, give me the power I seek!” he screamed and in response a flash of bright blue light shot forth from the blade. The light filled the room, striking the demon as well as blinding the it momentarily. Denuate rushed forward and plunged his sword into the creature’s chest, where the previous blast just struck. The demon could only stand still and watch the blade enter its flesh and exited through the other side. The beast took several steps backwards, freeing itself from the blade before crumbling onto the ground.

Denuate looked down at the dying demon, its blood burning the wooden floor. The demon’s head slowly moved and looked at him, the burning eyes rapidly losing its fire. “All your…death…is now….” It snarled as its eyes turned to ash. As if the Entity was listening at that moment, the black portal began to shudder and shrieked more intensely. The Mystic Knight could only stand still as an endless wave of demons leapt through the portal at him.

“This is the end…” Denuate said and was over taken by the hideous creatures, his screams muffled from the shrieking black gate in the room.

The town of Daeloth was quiet. This would be the last peaceful day. From now and until its destruction the cries of torture and death would fill the streets, forevermore.

 

 

 

Fall from Grace

This is a long dead legend that has faded from our lives and into the depths of time. It was forgotten because those that remembered it have died with it.

 

Tall stone pillars lined two sides a large rectangular shaped hall. In-between the beautifully crafted pillars stood marble statues of figures of great stature from long ago. Some were crafted many Ages ago while others more recently. All would crumble by the end of the night. At one end of the hall was a large steel-banded wooden door. The other a large gilded throne sitting on-top a small raised dais. Unlike all the nights that came before, tonight the air was filled with a feeling of dread and death. Breaking the long silence was a loud crack against the formidable wooden doors; they shuddered from the force of the blow.

Echoes of armored footsteps clanged against the stone floors as a line of heavily armored knights formed before the door for the last stand. The Mystic Knights had their swords drawn, each blade ignited with mystical blue energy. Usually a gentle hum emitted from these ancient blades, but tonight it was drowned out by the repeated crashing against the barricaded entrance. Each knight was clad in extravagant armor – the chest plate was decorated with gold, silver, with an engraving of Zygan Eue on the breast. In each offhand was a large blue, white and gray kite shield, with an ancient depiction of the Forgotten Gate as the main focus. The armor shone with a mystical sheen from the energized weapons the knights held – each acting as a beacon for Eihydia.

Behind the formation stood two more knights: one, the captain, like the others in the formation clad in armor head to toe, and a second, a tall but well defined man wearing gray leathers and a red cloak draping down to his feet. Each stood stoically, staring at the weakening door, their weapons sheathed at each hip.

The wooden door began to buckle from the barrage of blows, the steel bands and wooden seams starting to give way. The captain behind the formation turned to his leader, looking for orders or perhaps, reassurance. The leader casually raised his hand. “This is a new beginning, Aeuren. Do not fear change.” He said in a steady tone. Aeuren gave a quick nod before returning his focus on the entrance.

An explosion of wood shot out from the door as a leathery hand burst through it. Heat and a red light from the other side filled the hall instantly. Finally, the door fully gave way as the center burst apart into thousands of pieces and a horde of demonic creatures spewed forth. These creatures had bone spikes protruding along their limbs, spine and head and muscular arms with over-sized claws capable of dealing lethal slashes.

The first wave of demons crashed into the knights and a brutal melee ensued. Mystic blades sliced into the demons and the demons viciously raked their claws, tails, and spikes at the knights. Each time a demon was felled, another replaced it. The once pristine hall became a hall of death: the walls were covered in blood from man and demon alike, the once great statues shattered, once proud banners burned from the fire, and the once solid floor was turning into ash from the slain beasts burning blood.

Eventually, the tide ended and even though the knights suffered grievously, with more dead than alive, it seemed victory was at hand. Aeuren stepped forward, never having left his leaders side, to better survey the results of the battle. And at that moment, the frame around the destroyed door blew apart and another wave of demons rushed in. The burning cauldron of death began once more.

This time the captain was forced to draw his weapon and defend their leader as more and more knights fell and the demonic sea continued to pour into the hall. His weapon struck true, more often than not, and many demons fell. At one point, Aeuren saw an old comrade become mobbed by a mass of demons, ripping him to shreds in between blood curdling shrieks of pain.

It was here, where the captain channeled his inner energy and leapt towards the demonic sea. His sword churned with mystical energy as he traveled through the air. As he landed, Aeuren plunged his weapon into a demon, causing a massive shock-wave to emit outwards, vaporizing the sea instantly.

Peace seemed to settle in the hall as the sounds of combat faded. Aeuren stood, and saw the last few remaining knights and his leader, Saint Raphieon, standing nearby. As Aeuren returned to the group, an ear piercing drone came from outside and drowned the hall, which was shortly followed be a suffocating blanket of darkness. The knights took defensive positions around Raphieon.

It must have felt like an eternity, but in reality, it was only a minute: the front wall blew open as another sea of demons flooded inside, this time led by the Eternal Demon Torr’Mezzit (Torment) himself. This 25 foot tall massive spiked covered demon lunged forward and tossed the remaining knights aside. Torment stood at his full height, towering over Aeuren and Raphieon.

Torment looked down upon the two, studying them for a moment, as the demonic sea idly waited behind it.

Aeuren shouted, “I will not let you defile the Saint!”, moving in front of Raphieon.

Torment laughed and unexpectedly reached out and grabbed Aeuren. Aeuren shrieked as his body started to be crushed. Torment snarled, “You will watch his debasement!” and tossed Aeuren against the far wall near the throne, severely dazing the captain. Aeuren laid there, his eyes blindly looking outwards.

Raphieon looked at Torment and then at his captain. A small smile came across his lips, knowing Aeuren, his son, was still alive and there would be hope still for him. The Saint turned to Torment, his frame pitiful in comparison. “My fate was decided long ago and I will not resist.” he slowly said each word while stepping closer to the Eternal Demon.

Torment roared in either delight or anger as it lurched forward and grabbed onto the Saint’s unarmored body lifting him up to eye level. “My fate!” Raphieon started to scream, “My fate! My fate! My fate!” he screamed over and over again, with each repetition angering Torment even more.

Having reached the apex of anger the Eternal Demon screamed as it took Raphieon and impaled him on the giant spine protruding from its forehead. The Saint dangled before Torment’s face, shrieking in pain as blood showered Torment and the floor underneath. In between each shriek, the Saint continued to wheeze, “My fate!”, driving Torment to lose complete control – with a loud bellow it ripped the Saint’s arms from his body and stuck those to the spikes on its arms, and then his legs and stuck them to the spikes on its legs. The dismemberment did not end there: more and more pieces were torn apart violently and impaled onto the demonic spikes until the Saint no longer spoke. By the end, 13 pieces of Raphieon were impaled on the Eternal Demon. Torment roared one final time before leaving the grand hall with the endless sea of demons.

Aeuren laid limp and silent as the hall began to catch fire and burn. His eyes staring into the dancing flames but his mind not fully comprehending the destruction and death that he had witnessed moments before.

 

The Order of the Shield fell from grace this night and became but a memory in the minds of the people who still lived…and a legend for all who came into being in the future.