Beneath the Ashen Sky

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Rook, Dec 16, 2014.

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  1. Beneath the Ashen Sky
    The remnants of the night’s eerie chill lingered into the pristine hours before dawn. Layers of silver frost embellished the flora. A faint glow was cast unto the colourless sky. This spark was not enough to brighten the day as the sun still rested scarcely below the horizon. The earth was dampened from the previous days’ rain. Granted, earlier storms and snows were now reduced only to the occasional droplet. Immense trees born of ancient times and strong roots were blurred in a misty fog. There was silence and stillness to the forest almost of the unnatural variety; this was broken only by the rare bird bold enough to risk the weather for its voice to be heard. Through way of this wood by means of a seldom travelled path, twelve riders with their horses trekked.

    A fire burned within the riders’ eyes accompanied with passionate determination. They journeyed not as common wayfarers without destination. Expressed ostentatiously was their devotion born on banner of crimson and gold and perfected by the King’s emblem. It was in his majesty’s exalted name, King Augustus IV, that these men made the journey toward the far outlying village of Aurorean. Together they emerged as the 2nd Division in the Inquisition against Impurities Act, a quest to retain the righteous purity threatened by the growing taint within the realm. While the 1st Division remained behind in the Capital to keep it safe from the Devil’s stain, it was the 2nd Division’s task to rid the outlying towns and villages of their impurities. This decision was made primarily for two reasons. One, of all the Divisions, the Second was the smallest, making it the most mobile. Two, the King particularly trusted the 2nd Division’s commander to get the job done even out of sight.

    Sarrion Kaeralt was the man who rode at the vanguard of the troop, and as one might expect, he was also its commander. He was a tall man of muscular and athletic build, dressed in bronze coloured armour with an unwavering and unyielding countenance on his face. The same determination in his eyes as was in all the others. It was upon a steed of grey he sat, proud of posture with natural ease. And despite his title as commander he wore little to suggest toward his position, the exception being a small crested brooch which attached to the fastening of his cloak. His eyes were fixed straight ahead; however, his ears were wide open and keen to anything which might stir, be it the tongues of his men or the beasts within the trees.

    Prior to the Inquisition against Impurities Act, Sarrion had spent most of his time within the Capital’s boundaries. If he had not been directly supporting his majesty within from the Capital, he was indirectly or directly supporting him from somewhere else. Regardless, it was always his goal to be doing something important for the King, personal time, as they might call it, he could do without. The man had little idea as what to expect of this “Aurorean” one of the several border villages which he had never set foot in. Unlike many of the kingdom’s border dwellings, Aurorean was not fringing another realm which might pose as a threat to Ilithea, therefore, Sarrion had not even passed through it while en route. If one thing were to be said about Aurorean, it would be that it was out of the way.

    The thirteenth and final member of the 2nd Division returned, having finished his scouting round. He was a young boy, not really a man yet, lanky and pale haired, devote but with a strike of clumsiness. Roderick was his name, and Sarrion had personally chosen to have the boy in his Division. Normally it was not in the commander’s taste to allow upstarts who’d only been at the blade for a couple years to attend him; however, he felt Roderick had significant potential. Perhaps if the boy had spent less of his time priming as a spoilt lordling without a talent he would have already been a more superb servant to his majesty.

    Commander,” the youth began, “Aurorean is just forward, should the company make speed it would be in reach ere the sun fully lights the sky.” The words were pleasing for Sarrion, who had felt bored for some time. Forests, especially dank ones, were not entertaining places to be.

    Excellent. We shall proceed in haste,” The commander said with a slight nod toward Roderick. This was followed by a hand gesture dismissing the boy.

    The 2nd Division’s arrival into Aurorean was heralded by the sound of hooves and embellished with flying banners. Sunlight brightened the sky, at least as much as it could illuminate the grey overcast which shrouded away the true sky. The ride had been short, shorter than Sarrion had expected. He brought his horse to a halt a few paces away from the quantity of people, signalling the rest of his riders to stop a few paces behind him. My greetings to you, fellow Ilithean’s and followers of our beloved King and God.” The man paused a moment and dismounted from his horse, sword ever-present at his side as well as a small plethora of arsenal stored out of sight. The commander chose to dismount as he felt he already appeared intimidating enough, a bit more approachability would be helpful. He aimed for balance as it was his true goal to protect. The genuine and true citizens of Ilithea must not be subject to the Devil’s will. Nevertheless, to those wicked who might have stood before him at that very moment, he and his force needed to present absolute power and strength of will.

    I am Sarrion Kaeralt, commander of the 2nd Division of King Augustus IV’s Inquisition against Impurities Act. Sarrion took a step forward after saying this and gave a minimal bow, sweeping his right arm out as he did so. “As your humble servant, I’ve come to remove this town of all the wounds festering within it.” At the time these words were said, the majority of the Inquisitors had already dismounted and were making their way slowly forward. “Now, have you any questions? And please,” it was around this point that the corners of his mouth flickered up menacingly for a brief second, “disobeying his Majesty’s Will is treason. At the last word’s end his face returned to an almost pleasant, if not peaceful, demeanour. “It would be appreciable for one of you to inform whoever claims title of Mayor in this town of our arrival.” Sarrion paused again, stroking his hand casually along his horse’s neck and running his fingers through his mane. “And a place for our beautiful beasts to take respite would be exceptional.

  2. Margery Lockheart, #78184A

    Mournful elegies were sung sweetly from houses, when heads of beloved ones are sent to their homes. In small Aurorean the smell of decay and smoke became their scent, they breathed in the smell of death and incense. It masked the sweet scent in which the roses reedited. The mournful morning was lavished with soft rains and dark skies that left a crippling chill into the houses, banging on the wooden structure that kept hold of the house. Within the heart of the town held a large house. The town hall, where they kept their meetings according to the mishaps or fortuity that comes by Aurorean. Inside the town hall held only an elder man whose body arched forward, his skinny body was hidden underneath a long dress that stopped at his ankles, which was overlapped by a white thick wool clock. His hood kept his soft facial features hidden under a shadow. Alongside the man held a much younger man who wielded a long sword fasting inside a brown scabbard. The knight bore a head like an upside down egg. His head was bare due to the lack of hair, his eyes mismatched color -- one being blue and the other being pale, his armor was silver that was tainted with brown rust; the town called him the Knight Specter. The last person within the town hall was a young lady no more than twenty-nine moons, Margery Lockheart. She seated herself in front of the elder man and the knight.

    The sound of the wind outside of the hall threatened the flames that crackled in the fireplace. The elder man was seated in a large wooden chair, which held the Aurorean town sigil behind the backing of the chair. Roses were engraved on the backing of the chair. The rose is a sign of the town Aurorean. The sigil was a group of blackened roses, surrounded by thorns that plunged out of the roses. The sigil was also engraved in the middle of the round table.

    "You called for my appearance." She spoke calmly keeping her hands resting on her lap, her right overlapped with her left hand.

    The elder man grunted softly. Before he could utter a word his fragile hands brought before her a scroll. The scroll was held onto with a red wax seal. Her violet eyes fixated on the seal, the sigil of the King. She looked up with a much more disconcerting expression. "Your mother…" The elder coughed. The knight quickly brought his hand behind his back and looked at him with a concerned expression. The elder waved off the man while his other hand covered his mouth. Margery showed no worry to the elder, she feared for the grave news ahead of her. "…she was executed due to the summoning of the devil." Her composure broke. She felt her eyes welled up with tears. Her vision began to blur due to the layer of water covering her perfect vision. The woman sobbed softly once she buried her face into her hands. Her breathing became uneven. She took in deep breaths. When she exhaled it staggered. Margery blamed King Augustus IV.

    She bolted up with tears streaming down her cheeks. Her eyes grew red from the tears and the tip of her nose was shaded a bright red. She paced the floors with mixed emotions. The elder's eyes kept a steady gaze on her. "Keep calm child. Anger shall not solve anything. You will only weaken yourself." Margery turned to the man with a glare on her face. She raised her hand high slamming it against the table. A burning pain coursed through her hand. "My mother has been murdered of practicing her own religion! We cannot sit here and do nothing! We have abilities." The town soon became a suspect of impurities once her mother has quickly soiled its innocence with her magic, cursing them to be seen as a threat to the precious King Augustus. The sound of the elder sighing solemnly brought the woman to simmer down her boiling emotions. She in inhaled loudly and exhaled softly, wiping away the remaining tears. "We shall not do no harm to the King…for now. We have more to worry. The second division is to come here once the sun has come up. They will be here early morn." The once bold face quickly turned pale and worried. Margery stood still looking at the elder's small figure. She worried about pillaging, destruction, worst of all deaths. Many stories from brother towns spoke ill about the mercenaries who have come and go. They have only brought destruction, which they call cleanse.

    The sounds of the holler boy shrieked. Margery jumped at the sudden noise from the boy. She turned her body towards a window to see the sun peering out of the horizon. The warm colors of orange and red mixed together, painting the sky. The light rains came to a stop and only a cool breeze blew over the town. The elegies are no longer sung and the smell of the decay has disappeared from the overpowering smell of the roses.

    "Can you hear it? The sound of the horses?" The elder asked. She raised her brow confused at first. She stopped and listened intently for the sounds of hoof beats. Not too far from the town she could hear the sounds of the mercenaries making their way to the town. An unsettling feeling settled into her stomach. She placed her hand on her stomach.

    On the sound of the hoof beats brought out the townspeople attentions. People slowly conjugated around the knights. Margery stood behind the crowd looking up at the banners held up high in the sky, she watched the flags blow beautifully in the blue skies. Her eyes then shifted towards the men in armor. They wore armor that shined at the touch of the sun's light. She pursed her lips when she watched the man speak. She crossed her arms and stood nearby the elder of the town. The sight of the black stallions and their knights brought back the anger that boiled her blood. Margery looked around noticing the scared faces of the mothers and children, and the stoic expressions of men of the town. She turned to see the look of their own knight, but he was nowhere to be seen. The sudden movement from the elder grappled her attention. She followed the older man as he pushed his way through the crowds. The elder became close to the knight who stepped down from his horse. The elder held his hand up weakly. The hand shook slowly when it passed his ear. Margery attempted to help the elder man, but he reacted very little to her help.

    "Aye, I am the mayor. Most people call me the Elder." The old man spoke softly, almost inaudible. Margery turned back to two men and signaled them to place the horses with the rest. Two men ran towards the knights eager for commands. She looked up at the man who spoke. "You will find no impurities Sire." She spoke curtly to the man. Her eyes shot daggers on the man.
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