Darkness comes and the light is drowned
But in that darkness your power is found
Sit in the shadows and make not a sound
Wait for the sound of metal boots on the ground
Two elderly men walked through the sacred halls of the inner temple chanting this rhyme taught to all initiates and travelers alike, it was a blessing carved at the very heart of this holy place.
The walls were smooth and lovingly crafted by the ones who made the massive temple centuries ago, carved from and in to the very mountain. Marvelous paintings and portraits of former Templar, heroes, demons, poets and battles were on the walls as far as the eye could see. Exotic artifacts found from the ruins of demon touched or abandoned kingdoms sat for all to see, Knights bearing the standard of the temple emblazoned on their shields stood watch at every corner throughout the massive ancient structure.
Behind the two elderly men was a group of young initiates and children from the ages of 5 to 18, by whatever reasoning they had found it here to the holy place and soon to learn of the roles played by the trained fighters in the temple's army.
A young boy about the age of 7 pulled on the darker elders robes, interrupting the low chant. With a warm and kind smile the elders turned to the child and the others.
The young boy fumbled for words for a brief moment before asking, "Mister, how do we know what we can do? What if we become tainted by the scary monsters outside this place!" Trembling at the thought of such creatures, others shared the same worried face.
The darker elder reached out with his hand, whisps of black smoke seemed to roll off his cloak like steam from boiling water, and pat the boy gently on the head.
His voice was raspy and dry but held a powerful edge to it. "Children, put your fears to rest. Inside this temple you are protected by the grace of the very people who live in and around it. United in a common goal for peace."
Sweeping his hand slowly to the side, the dark robed elderly man pointed his finger to a portrait of a hunched figure wearing a similar cloak and concealing their face with a scarf. It's eyes showed malice but restraint that was too vivid to be a mere painting.
The elder spoke again, "A tainted one is brought by a weakness in ones heart and a demon tries to fill that weakness by changing your body and mind to serve its grim purposes, but a strong will and a determination forces the demon out before it can change you into one of its kind. You will not become one if you remain steady in the face of despair."
Walking a few paces down towards another painting he gestured for all to see.
The painting was of a single woman atop the corpse of a fallen Draugr, vicious zombie-like creatures that retain a portion of it's intelligence. Clad in silver armor with a fine chailmail below, thick armored boots with plated gauntlets. In her hand raised to the sky was a bloodied broadsword.
"The Knights of our order are gifted with powerful holy weapons and trained how to utilize attack and defense against even a horde of demons. Through the weapon these brave soldiers can channel holy energy from exorcists to unleash devastation amongst the hordes."
The children were in awe, the woman wore a somber look of resolution and courage.
Another portrait across the way showed a young man with a finely crafted silver bow, the string was aflame with beautiful white and gold fire that circled up the fingertips and arm to spread into golden angelic wings behind him. Fine leather armor and light clothing adorned his body, atop his head was a strange sight for everyone who saw. A creature resembling a fox sat atop his head with the same golden flame's yet it was faded, an angelic beast imbuing it's owner with sacred flame.
"Masters are one with spirits, the very things we draw energy from when our own has been sealed or exhausted. These brave soldiers can imbue themselves with aspects of the chosen spirit, causing great harm or leaping long distances with ease. The rarest spirit is the fox, it's powers are numerous and it's energy nearly inexhaustible. 3 men in all of history wielded the foxes cunning and speed. in times of great need."
The golden robed elder motioned all the children to a marble statue of a crouching figure, mask and hood concealing the face and chainmail beneath it's tunic. The figure held two blades, a shortsword and a dagger.
The gold robed figures voice was soft and youthful, almost lyrical as he spoke of the statues history.
"Crusaders are not uncommon in this world, great loss and sacrifice bring eve the strongest people to desperation. In these cases there are born agile and vicious attackers known for peculiar skill and precision with a blade, capable of no wasted energy in the heat of combat. Never slowing down until the battle is won. Many demons have been slain by a crusaders dagger in the dark of night, this man here was immortalized as a statue for killing 15 Draugr's and an eldar lich without ever coming to harm."
A warm smile crossed the elders face at the thought of one soldier wielding such skill in such conditions.
A young girl at the age of 15 had separated from the group to stare at another statue at the end of the hall. The man wore a special type of armored robe, steel hip plates and a thick leather iron belt on his waste, graves poked out the bottom of his robes. Beneath his sleeves were wristplates that reached to his knuckles, two thick shoulderpads stitched into the robes finished it off.
The dark robed elder saw the young girl and stood beside her, startling the young one for a moment.
"Paladins... Extremely rare men and women who wield the combined power of spirit essence and spirit beast energy, capable of curing any illness and banishing even the strongest of demons from existence. These brave souls give up their very bodies to the energies, unfortunately this causes them to be very frail and weak. It is the duty of all exorcists to herald these souls ass saviors, for the time a Paladin can walk this earth is short. The very power it wields harms them slowly.."
The young girl hugged the elders leg with tears in her eyes, all ages recognized such a noble sacrifice.
The elders began to shuffle slowly out of the hall, the children following them slowly and steadily yet there was an unease in the air. Behind the paladin was a picture of two young men in strange robes carrying a rock tablet between them. It hadn't been touched in years, one of the children spoke up loudly. "Mister, you forgot about that one! Who are they?"
Both elders stopped and turned to look over their shoulder, smiling at the same time calmly. In unison they answered the child. "The shrouded and Illuminated Templars, beings who know all the secrets of this temple." Off they went, ignoring the questions of the children until the group arrived at two massive sealed doors. Each elder took the opposite side of the door and pushed, with a creak and a groan of ancient wood it opened to a balcony.
Extending as far as the eye could see was an enormous kingdom, houses littered the horizon with busy bustling streets of busy citizens doing whatever they could to help. The two Elders took a moment to absorb the view and seemed to be revitalized by the sight. "Templars overlook everything in this country. Beings who have ascended above mortality by the grace of their craft. An illuminated Templar is a former Paladin," The gold robed man stood tall on the balcony next to the dark robed elder who spoke up a second later in a strong tone. "The Shrouded Templar is a Tainted one who achieved control over the darkness. Together they form the balance of good and evil."
Our story begins now, wherever you are in the town is up to you. Everything you could possibly want is somewhere in this vast city, be specific in where you are and what you are doing.
"But when one of it's baby chicks is in trouble, Momma comes a run'nin' and a squawkin and a run'nin''." -General Treistar
Last edited by Zelosse on Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.