KNIGHTWATCH

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Astaroth, Mar 15, 2016.

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    KNIGHTWATCH

    After the death of King Barrick, a shadow has fallen on the kingdom of Lywengarth. An usurping regent and a wicked sorcerer have conspired to steal the throne from the rightful heir. Strange creatures walk the woods at night. The soldiers of Lywengarth's armies offer no sanctuary; they take what they wish and give nothing in return. The people's only recourse lies with a group of renegade men and women who have painted themselves outlaws, who have pledged loyalty to the true crown, and who are possessed of extraordinary talents and abilities. They alone help the helpless, patrol the streets, and slay the monsters- human and otherwise- which menace the land.

    They are the Knightwatch.



    CLICK HERE FOR THE OOC

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    • Welcome to the Info Hub for Knightwatch. You are currently viewing the IC (In Character) thread. Please click each tab and read carefully for info on the roleplay.


    • GENRES: Dark Fantasy, Swords and Sorcery, Superhero

      What is Dark Fantasy?

      A sub-genre that melds themes and common elements of Horror Fiction with Fantasy fiction. It is a fairly broad definition, also encompassing fantasy stories that take on a far more grim, gloomier tone than High or even Low Fantasy. Examples of this sub-genre in fiction include Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower' series and Clive Barker's 'Weaveworld'. Examples in RPGs and video games include 'Dragon Age: Origins' and Dungeons & Dragon's 'Ravenloft' setting.

      -Grumpy


      What is Swords and Sorcery?

      Swords and Sorcery is an action-oriented fantasy subgenre that combines elements of swashbuckling adventure stories with heavy magical themes and usually a bit of romance.

      Examples: Conan the Barbarian, Highlander, The Legend of Zelda, Arthurian legends/adaptations thereof


      What is the Superhero genre?

      With its roots in comic books, this genre focuses on vigilante heroes who usually 1. don recognizable costumes to disguise their identities and 2. possess superhuman abilities. Many stories also involve sidekicks, crime-fighting teams, and particular recurring villains.

      Examples: Most Marvel/DC Universe comics/related media, Heroes, The Incredibles, Sailor Moon


      How do these combine in Knightwatch?

      Lywengarth is a fantasy kingdom currently facing many grim challenges: tyrants in power, monstrous creatures roaming the land, and corrupt men. This RP will involve unpleasant and violent scenarios. However, there will also be plenty of time spent dealing with the lighter elements of adventure and romance. The Knightwatch, obviously, are the superheroes of this tale; due to the setting, any superhuman powers are derived from a magical source.


      Rating: 13+

      What this means:

      This RP is open to all ages. As such, keep in mind that younger players are around and obey the forum-wide policy regarding sexual scenes. In other words, don't do those here. You can always start your own private behind-the-scenes thread in Libertine/Liberteen. (Make sure to be aware of your partners' age group before you get too far.)

      However, be advised that there will be some graphic violence and some non-explicit sexual content. If you can't handle that, scram.


      Posting Expectation Level: ELEMENTARY+

      What this means:

      Elementary-level roleplays are ideal for those who are still learning but are comfortable with roleplay fundamentals and etiquette. An understanding of simple character roles and loose adherence to a basic plot line is expected.


      Basically, newer players are welcome and I won't be hitting anyone with a stick over their posts unless they breach common courtesy (ignoring other players' posts, trying to kill someone without consent, etc.) However, I don't want to see your medieval-fantasy-era character talking into a cell phone and I won't tolerate huge plot derailments. I would like for everyone to put in their best effort.


    • Game Master: @Astaroth
      Assistant GM: @Grumpy

      This game will be in MIXED MEDIA RP format. What this means is that we will have an In Character forum thread for downtime/character interaction/intrigue/slow plot development interspersed with fast-paced, action-oriented Chat RP events.

      Depending on how much interest this receives, I may cap the game at 8 players OR break the players up into two or more smaller groups. In the event of the latter, I will appoint a co-GM to help run the Chat RP instances.

      We have received more interest than I anticipated, so we WILL be breaking into two groups (mostly for the charp portions, but it will apply to the forum as well; don't worry, there will be crossover and trading of group members later). I will cap accepted characters at 12.


      The chat portions will take place in our very own private chatroom, courtesy of our new chat system. This chat will be password-locked. In order to prevent random passersby to the thread from logging in, the password will be sent to accepted players via Inbox Conversation. We may have an additional OOC chatroom, also password-protected, if it looks like the public OOC box is going to be busy.

      Some chat events may be for a select group of players only, as plot reasons/scheduling conflicts require.

      Chat RP is fast-paced, and that is especially important in groups of four or more so that no one is waiting forever on their turn to post. Chat posts shouldn't take more than 10 minutes to type.

      Forum RP, meanwhile, should NOT be fast. It is okay to take up to a week or so to post a forum reply, though ideally you should post every 2-5 days. Multiple posts per day are okay now and then or for one-on-one interactions, but make sure not to steamroll anyone out of a group scene. Anyone doing this will be beaten with a stick... as will anyone who takes two weeks to post. Please do not nag other players about posting; leave that to me.

      It is not compulsory to participate in both mediums; you may choose to only post in the forum thread or only participate in the chat events. However, this may limit your ability to develop your character or participate in the plot.

      All players may, if they wish, create a sidekick or "Squire". Squires must be attached to a Knight character, whether it be your own or that of another player. Please get consent from the Knight's player before creating a Squire.

      Not every Knight has a Squire, but every Squire has a Knight.

      There is no limit on characters at this time, but please keep in mind that Chat RP is not conducive to playing multiple characters at once. You will only have one login for the chatroom.


      Warning: My GM style focuses on in-game consequences.


      What does this mean?

      Your In Character conduct will affect your roleplay experience. If your character is a dick, their actions will catch up to them. If you decide to run off and pickpocket poor children instead of stick to the plot and save people, you will likely end up in the stocks or even the gallows. If you want to have super awesome special powers, I very well might let you... but you will get some kind of awful drawback or comeuppance to even it out.

      Your Out of Character conduct may also affect your roleplay experience. If you go too long without posting, your characters will be written out of scenes or NPCed as needed. If you are disruptive to the RP, you will not be given as many opportunities to take the spotlight. If you are enough of a dick to be booted from the game altogether, your character may be killed off, ret-conned, or written into obscurity.


      Warning #2: Your characters may die.


      What does this mean?

      I almost never guarantee character safety in any of my games. I don't anticipate killing off the whole cast, but if even the possibility that your character will die upsets you... you might want to leave now.

      If your character dies (except in cases where you've been banned from the game), you will be allowed to submit a new character. That new character will still need to be approved before you can play again.

    • Please fill out the relevant form to apply. Accepted characters will be posted below.


      Name: Please give your birth name and (if applicable) highest peerage title.
      Knightwatch Byname: This is your alter-ego as a member of the Knightwatch, used to hide your identity from the agents of the Prince Regent.
      Other Titles: Please include any courtesy titles or other nicknames you may hold.
      Appearance: Give a brief description of your appearance and/or include a picture.
      Coat of Arms: Describe your character's signature costume and any symbols/insignias they use to identify as their Byname.
      Heritage: As a Knight, you are likely of noble birth (and possibly a legitimate knight). Give a brief description of your family background. If you are playing a peasant, you will need a good reason for your character to be involved with the Knightwatch.
      Talents/Powers: List any special abilities your character has, magical or mundane. Use common sense and try to stick to a theme. I may tell you that your character needs to be dialed down OR I might just give you terrible in-game consequences.
      Weapons: List any weapons your character routinely carries and all weapons they are proficient with. Don't get greedy.
      Loyalty: Why is your character supporting the Crown? Why are they part of the Knightwatch?


      CHARACTER SHEET: SQUIRE

      Name: Please give your birth name and (if applicable) highest peerage title.
      Knightwatch Byname: This is your alter-ego as a member of the Knightwatch, used to hide your identity from the agents of the Prince Regent.
      Appearance: Give a brief description of your appearance and/or include a picture.
      Coat of Arms: Describe your character's signature costume and any symbols/insignias they use to identify as their Byname.
      Heritage: Give a brief description of your family background. As a Squire, you are not necessarily of noble birth (though it's likely). You are also probably young (13-20) and NOT titled nobility or a proper knight. If your character does not fit this pattern, you will need a good reason for them to be a Squire rather than a Knight.
      Talents/Powers: List any special abilities your character has, magical or mundane. Use common sense and try to stick to a theme. I may tell you that your character needs to be dialed down OR I might just give you terrible in-game consequences.
      Weapons: List any weapons your character routinely carries and all weapons they are proficient with. Don't get greedy.
      Squired To: Which Knight do you aid in protecting Lywengarth?

    • CHOOSING POWERS FOR YOUR HERO

      You are creating a superhero. You have full creative freedom to make the character you want, but generally superheroes follow a few basic templates:


      Thematic

      Thematic powersets are built around a central idea or element. A thematic hero can do just about anything that falls within their sphere of influence. E.g., a fire-themed hero could manipulate fire in whatever way imaginable.

      Examples of Thematic Heroes: The Human Torch, Storm, The Silver Surfer, Sailor Moon, The Beastmaster


      Specialized

      Specialized powersets make characters masters of a particular field, with skillsets that apply only to that field. For example, a super archer would have incredible skill with a bow.

      Examples of Specialized Heroes: Hawkeye, Nightcrawler, The Flash, Rogue, Aquaman


      Borrowed

      Borrowed powers revolve around the source of the power, generally supernatural or mystical in origin. All abilities the character gains are linked to the abilities or inclinations of that source. A character whose power source is demonic, for instance, might have demon-like abilities.

      Examples of Borrowed Heroes: Thor, Ghost Rider, Doctor Strange, Zatanna, The Crow


      Enhanced

      An enhanced hero is simply a regular person amped up to 11. All of their powers are exaggerated physical or mental abilities, like super speed or incredible dexterity of thought.

      Examples of Enhanced Heroes: Daredevil, Captain America, Black Widow, The Hulk, Deadpool


      Anti-Super

      Some heroes earn their superhero status without having any actual superpowers. What makes them super might be their special training, an unusual amount of resources, or an arsenal of gadgets and unique equipment.

      Examples of Anti-Superheroes: Batman, Iron Man, Punisher, Catwoman, Star-Lord


      You may choose any of these templates when creating your hero, or you may ignore them and go with your gut. Keep it consistent and within reason. Remember, overly ambitious powers might get you serious in-game repercussions.
    • The following are various cultural notes to consider when creating your character or interacting with others.


      Gender in Lywengarth

      Women in Lywengarth have legal rights to inherit titles, own land, conduct businesses, attend the Schola, and join the military.

      This is a relatively recent bit of social progress, having been made official during King Barrick's reign. However, Lywengarth has a long history of female mercenary groups, women who one way or another snuck their way into the royal guard, and wives who "helped" run their husband's trades.

      There is some lingering social stigma, particularly in the Schola and among rural commoners, as regards female magic users. Female magicians and sorcerers are subject to prejudice from their male fellows, and "witch" is a thriving epithet.

      Stereotypes as regards gender suggest that women are better with money and matters of the home, while men are better with social graces and physically demanding tasks. Fathers are expected to take an active role in raising children, especially their heirs. Mothers are expected not to work or engage in combat while their children are nursing.

      Deviation from traditional gender roles or sexual orientations are not heavily stigmatized, largely due to widespread ignorance that such things even exist. Female/female mercenary or soldier couples are not uncommon sights, however, and are mainly accepted as a Thing That Military Women Do. Male magicians are sometimes associated with a somewhat flamboyant, gender-fluid stereotype.


      Races of Lywengarth

      Lywengarth is a human nation, inhabited mainly by human folk. There are odd travelers and a few immigrants of other fantasy races such as elves, dwarves, and gnomes, but they are few and generally regarded as outsiders.


      Noble Titles and Precedence

      Although the Lexicon covers these terms in more detail, noble titles are ranked in the following precedence from highest to lowest:

      The Monarch (King/Queen)

      Royals (Princes/Princesses)

      Dukes/Duchesses

      Margraves/Margravines

      Earls/Countesses

      Viscounts/Viscountesses

      Barons/Baronesses

      Knights​

      Commoners include any individuals who hold no noble title, from landowning gentlemen of means all the way down to beggars. Spouses and children of the noble peerage are also factored into precedence despite not having titles in their own right, but that usually only factors into social matters of the royal court.


      Magic in Lywengarth

      Magic in Lywengarth comes from all varieties of sources. There are curses, crude ritual workings, traditional spells from a book, magic native to creatures and magical beings such as fairies and dragons, magic granted by the gods, and some magic which simply can't be explained.

      Magic is fairly common in Lywengarth these days. While centuries ago it was viewed with superstition, these days many noble and wealthy families are happy to send their kids to the Schola. The Schola is a royally-funded magic school that teaches apprentices all the way up to post-graduate students, under the jurisdiction of the Archmage (a magician appointed by his peers to the position, which he holds for life until the next Archmage is chosen). Being a teacher at the Schola is considered a prestigious position. Scholarships are available to magically-talented people of small means. Some lesser nobles who don't qualify for scholarship will nonetheless break their vaults to send their kids off for a magical education at the Schola's exorbitant academic fees.

      Anyone who studies or has studied magic is called a magician. They learn spells, potions, magical theory, etching diagrams on things, artificery, etc.

      There are people who are born with innate talent who don't have to go to school to learn how to summon a fireball or what-have-you; they just can. The term for someone with in-born magical ability is "sorcerer".

      Some branches of magic, such as necromancy, are officially condemned by the Schola and excluded from the curriculum. Anyone who practices this sort of banned magic is branded a "warlock".

      There's a social stigma about female magic users, regardless of what sort of magic they use. Until King Barrick's reign, they were not accepted into the Schola. It is considered unladylike- and frankly, kind of slutty- for women to dabble in magic. The term "witch" is used derogatorily to describe female magicians and sorcerers (usually behind their backs) and is extremely inflammatory.

      Since they were so long excluded from standard education, some organizations of female magicians did form over the years and devise their own standards of acceptable magical practices. A few have embraced the term witch, while others still find it offensive. Some of these groups have also rejected invitation into the Schola and carry on their own traditions. There are a lot of rumors and stereotypes about these groups, some so wild as to claim they kidnap children and brainwash or eat them.

      Other nontraditional magical traditions exist, but none are as organized or prominent as the stuff taught by the Schola.
    • This glossary includes setting-specific terms and proper nouns as well as more obscure loanwords from the medieval era. It will be updated periodically as needed.


      ADVISER - A high-ranking official who helps the monarch to make decisions about state business.

      BARON/BARONESS - The lowest noble rank, granted to any landowners of noble blood who cannot claim higher peerage.

      CHIVALRY - A code of conduct associated with knights and the peerage. This includes upholding a high moral standard; exhibiting virtuous behaviors such as dutifulness, honesty, and bravery; being a champion of the innocent and of good against evil; and respecting/being of service to all ladies.

      COAT OF ARMS - A unique design which represents an individual, particularly used in terms of identifying marks on shields or armor. Also refers to the distinctive symbols and costumes borne by members of the Knightwatch.

      COURTESY TITLE - An inherited title that falls in precedence below an individual's substantive, every-day title. For example, a Margrave may inherit a courtesy Viscount title from his mother's side of the family. These titles are not used except in legal terms.

      COURTLY LOVE - The socially acceptable phenomenon wherein lovers are permitted to woo regardless of marital status, so long as that love is not sexually consummated. Wooing, even overt proclamations of love, and becoming a lady's champion are all tolerated (to a degree) even if one or more parties are married to another person. (For example, Lancelot's love for Guinevere in Arthurian legend was well-known and socially acceptable up to and until the point where they did the dirty.)

      DEVICE - A design used in heraldry.

      DIFFERENCE - In heraldric terms, difference refers to alteration of a coat of arms or other heraldric device in order to show relationships between a person and the original bearer. A single undifferenced coat of arms is never born by more than one person at a time.

      DUKE/DUCHESS - The highest noble rank below the crown. They preside over a duchy/dukedom, either a territorial or administrative district of the kingdom respectively.

      EARL/COUNTESS - A noble rank of middling status, generally associated with more urban territories.

      FIDELITAS - Loyalty to the crown.

      FIEFDOM - Property, particularly land, granted to a vassal.

      HEIR APPARENT - The first in line to succeed a birthright. Their claim to succession can't be altered by the birth of another heir.

      HEIR PRESUMPTIVE - The first in line to succeed a birthright, pending the birth of a more eligible heir.

      HERALDRY - The study, language, regulation, and creation of badges, coats of arms, and other devices which are used to represent individuals (particularly on the field of battle).

      KING BARRICK PELINOR MAGNUS SEROTINA - The recently-deceased king of Lywengarth. King Barrick was a popular ruler, with a reputation for charity and an interest in the goings-on of the people.

      KNIGHT - A person granted with a title by the Crown in exchange for distinguished deeds. Also used to refer to a member of the Knightwatch.

      THE KNIGHTWATCH - A group of outlaws who have sworn loyalty to the true crown and oppose the Prince Regent. They have taken it upon themselves to enforce peace in Lewyngarth and protect its people.

      LYWENGARTH - The kingdom which serves as the setting for Knightwatch. All characters should live within the boundaries of Lywengarth.

      MAGICIAN - A person who has learned to use magic through rigorous study and training.

      MARGRAVE/MARGRAVINE - A noble rank associated with military authority, granted to peers who preside over the border provinces.

      THE PEERAGE - Nobles with hereditary titles attached to their family land, such as dukes/counts/etc, and the inheritance thereof.

      PRECEDENCE - The hierarchy of social status attached to peers of the realm. In simplest terms: Royals > Dukes > Margraves > Earls > Viscounts > Barons > Commoners.

      PRINCE REGENT ERRAMUN DILANDAU ARGENTUS SEROTINA - King Barrick's cousin who usurped the throne after Barrick's death. He has begun to insist that he be called "King Erramun" rather than Prince Regent.

      REGENT - An interim ruler, appointed to run a country when monarch and/or heir are unable due to infirmity, age, or absence. This rule is temporary until such time as the true monarch or heir is able to retake the crown.

      THE SCHOLA - The royally-funded magic school of Lywengarth, under the supervision of the Archmage. Admission is expensive, but scholarships are available to special talents.

      SIR - The proper honorific for addressing a knight, male or female. Members of the Knightwatch are given the same courtesy.

      SQUIRE - A knight's attendant, generally in training to become a knight in their own right. Also used to refer to trainees who have attached themselves to a member of the Knightwatch.

      SORCERER - A magic user who channels magic through raw talent.

      TITLE - A hierarchical rank, granted by the crown and typically passed down to descendants. It is used to denote social status and/or to ascribe ownership of land.

      VASSAL - Someone who was sworn their loyalty and service to another in exchange for protection, land, or other privileges.

      VISCOUNT/VISCOUNTESS - A noble rank granted to lower peers who administrate small provinces of the kingdom.

      WARLOCK - A magician, particularly one who deals in necromancy and dark magic.

      WITCH - A slur for a female magic user. The connotations are extremely offensive.

    • A Short Treatise on Designing Heraldric Devices

      The following is a highly simplified introduction to heraldric design and interpretation. It is not meant to be a complete guide and may be selectively cut or altered from historical heraldry to fit the purposes of this roleplay and setting.

      This is optional reading and is simply intended as a resource for those players who want to use real heraldry when devising their character's Coat of Arms or actual heraldric devices.


      Anatomy of a Device

      The background of a device is the FIELD, usually composed of a single color or pattern of alternating colors. Alternating colors on a field are called VARIATION. A device may also have DIVISION which splits the field into contrasting colors.

      The left and right sides of the device are referred to as SINISTER and DEXTER respectively.

      Objects on the field may include CHARGES, ORDINARIES, or SUB-ORDINARIES.


      Simple Shapes (ORDINARIES)

      Ordinaries are simple objects common to devices, including various geometric shapes. Three main ordinaries are used for the shape of the field:

      CARTOUCHE - An oblong, rounded shape; an oval. Associated with priests.

      ESCUTCHEON - A shield. This is particularly popular in coats of arms.

      LOZENGE - A diamond shape. Often used by non-combative bearers of arms.

      Ordinaries can also be used as decorations within the field.


      Background Shapes (SUB-ORDINARIES)

      Sub-ordinaries are simple shapes which act as a background layer behind any in-field ordinaries or charges. Two of the most common include:

      CHIEF - A horizontal bar across the top of the field.

      QUARTER - A square taking up one-fourth of the field.


      Foreground Shapes (CHARGES)

      A charge is a (usually more complex) shape or symbol decorating the foreground of the field. These may include animals (real or mythical), flowers, and everyday objects or particular symbols. Humanoid figures are rarely used.


      Colors (TINCTURES)

      Colors that do not follow under the five standard tinctures (azure, gules, purpure, sable, and vert) or the two metals (silver and gold) are called STAINS.

      White is considered synonymous with silver in terms of heraldry.

      PROPER means that the color is applied in a way that is true to life (e.g. a "raven in sable proper" could also be called a "raven proper" and would be understood to be black).

      Some common heraldric color terms include:

      ARGENT = silver/white
      AZURE = blue
      CELESTE = sky-blue
      GULES = red
      MURREY = maroon
      OR = gold
      PURPURE = purple
      SABLE = black
      SANGUINE = blood-red
      TAWNY = orange/orange-brown
      VERT = green


      Patterns (FURS)

      Furs are patterns that cover the entire field.

      A variegated pattern with two alternating colors is called VAIR.

      A white and black pattern is called ERMINE.

      These are the two most common furs in heraldry.


      Crests

      CRESTS are decorations at the peak of a device, resting atop the field. These are used to denote rank and commonly include a helmet, crown, or coronet.


      Mottoes

      Some devices and coats of arms bear a MOTTO, a proverb or phrase which is used to describe the motivation or key ideals of a person, family, or group. These words are most often displayed on a scroll to the top or bottom of the field.


      Supporters

      SUPPORTERS frame the field to either side and are typically human or animal figures which appear to hold up the field. Only peers of the realm are permitted to use supporters in devices.


      Cadence and Difference

      Cadence and difference are used in the context of borrowing a relative's device- or elements of their device- in one's own heraldric design.

      CADENCY is the system used to implement pieces of the original design.

      DIFFERENCE is the system used to protect individual undifferenced arms. For more on difference, see the Lexicon entry.


      If you would like to do further research into heraldric design, this site is a good place to start.

      You can also use this generator to create simple heraldric designs.
    • THE ARMSMASTER


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      The master of arms and armory for the Knightwatch. If you need a weapon or supplies, you go to the Armsmaster. He also helps to train Squires in basic martial techniques and proper care of steel.


      THE GENTLEMAN


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      "The Gentleman" is the Knightwatch Byname of none other than Sir Guy Fedoric de Bontemps. He is notorious for his overly chivalrous attitude towards the ladies of the realm and his love of gaudy hats. More than once, he's come perilously close to having his identity discovered by an agent of the Prince Regent. His power, supposedly, lies in his superhuman charisma... and his magic sword.

    • Do I have to put "Lord" or "Lady" in my Knightwatch Byname?


      Nope. That's just a part of the name of certain Knights, kind of like Captain America or Captain Marvel.

      Do I have to make official heraldry for my character, like the shield you have in Lord Lionheart's bio?


      No. Everything under the Heraldry tab is optional. "Coat of Arms" in the character application is a play on words referring to your character's costume disguise. A description of your costume is what's required.

      Also, keep in mind that using your character's REAL coat of arms in their "Coat of Arms" is a dead-giveaway to their identity and could alert agents of the Prince Regent.

      What ranks are available?


      Anything, but keep in mind that the higher you go, the fewer people there should be holding that rank. Dukes or Margraves are going to number less than ten in the entire country, for example.

      Margraves/Margravines are actually a special case where there are even less of them than Dukes/Duchesses, because it's a specially-awarded title only earned through military heroics (unlike other titles, which can be won that way OR in other ways) and restricted to the country's border regions only. (Countries only have so many borders.) There are probably 4-6 households which claim this title MAX in all of Lywengarth.

      Is my character too powerful/not balanced enough?


      I'll accept anything that makes sense and fits the setting. But bear this in mind:

      With great power comes great amounts of fresh hell from the GM via in-character consequences. I will make you earn it, basically.
    • 03/11

      So we're actually going to have our numbers be a little off, because Red Velvet's character is going to frequently swap groups (I planned on an odd number, dammit!). But here's how we're starting off:

      Group A
      Lord Lionheart (Othaniel Lavarene) - @Astaroth
      Little Cat (Catzia) - @Diana
      Lord Arcana (Lady Jocelyn Fullbright) - @Seiji
      Tidemaster (Aaron Reignhold) - @QuakeUPSB
      Sir Tempest (Sir Eirichal Naesin the Fourth) - @Moonlit Blade
      Arken Gold (Jericho Swain) - @Tyrannosaurus Rekt

      Group B
      The Prince of Smoke and Mirrors (Justinian de Lanier) - @Grumpy
      Lotus (Ayshira Siangh) - @Red Velvet
      The Royal Analyst (Connor Jon Isra) - @Jakers
      Archangel (Antain Osterwick) - @Dullahan
      Spoken (Nivrant Pniac) - @Cerulean
      Deathwatch (Kachimaj Vath Rheanrad) - @Rain of the Night

      Remember, we're not going to be confined JUST to these groups. There will be times when everyone is involved in a scene/event and times when characters switch places or tag along with the other team or when we do something with just Squires or just Knights, etc.


      03/10

      You guys have until midnight US Central to get your sheets done. At that point, no dice. I need to be able to write IC intro with an idea of who is playing and be able to divvy up the groups.

      IC itself (forum thread) will be up by Monday.


      03/08

      We are now at 11/12 (I'm not counting myself) but I'm giving preference to @Crow or @Auntie Phaz for the 12th spot. Get it in by Thursday.

      Signups are closed to anyone else unless those two back out.


      03/06

      @Grumpy will be my lovely assistant, which should surprise approximately no one.

      He'll help with coordinating our chat events and keeping everyone wrangled in the forum thread.

      ---

      Some housekeeping notes:

      My answer to @Kooriryu about magic has been added to Cultural Notes (actually did this yesterday).

      The Cast List has been updated with all accepted characters.

      I have added a few FAQs.

      I would like all character applications to be finished by Thursday the 10th at the latest.

      We have received more interest than I anticipated, so we WILL be breaking into two groups (mostly for the charp portions, but it will apply to the forum as well; don't worry, there will be crossover and trading of group members later). I will cap accepted characters at 12 (we currently have 7).
     
  2. Markwood Forest
    The borders of Markwood, in the Duchy of Druine


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    A great tree stood in the depths of the forest, so massive and twisted and knotted that it could only have grown that way through some fairy spell. It nestled in its branches a quaint but curious cottage, the home of Morwynna the Green (a well-known local herbalist). Few people dared approach unless they were desperately ill; the peasants in these parts were mistrustful of any woman who even seemed to work magic, and the woods were not as safe now as once they were.

    It was for this reason that the cottage made a perfect haven where members of the Knightwatch could meet.

    "Blessed be that you lads- and the young missy- could come along today," said Morwynna as she crouched by the hearth and ladled an amber-hued broth into a tray's-full of wooden bowls. "You got my letter then, your lordship."

    The man sitting at the head of Morwynna's long kitchen table gave a short nod. The lion helm which obscured his face... and the identity of the man beneath... nonetheless proclaimed him to be none other than Lord Lionheart, a founding Knight of the Watch. His giant greatsword lay to rest against the wall behind him. At his right hand sat his young sister and Squire, known to most as the Little Cat; strictly speaking she ought to have been standing beyond the bounds of this gathering, but it seemed she'd used her silver tongue to charm her way into Knightly affairs once more.

    "The Sheriff of Markwood has made accusations of treason against the Prince Regent," Lord Lionheart summarized for his fellow Knights (and his dear sister). "Agents of the Regent are holding him hostage in his home. Yes, I got your letter."

    "The Sheriff's a godly sort." Morwynna stood, tucking a stray lock of hair behind her ear as she hefted the tray and began setting bowls around at each table placing. "I don't have much use for godliness myself, but he's always done right by me. Kept those brigands away from my home. It's not proper, what that upstart prince is doing now he's snatched his cousin's crown away. You lads have to put a stop to this. Your lot owes me."

    "Owes you?!" A man in an over-sized blue hat and a gaudy domino mask surged to his feet at the other end of the table, sending his bowl of broth spinning and sloshing onto the table's wooden surface. This man was known to his fellow Knights under the byname of "The Gentleman", though his identity as Sir Guy Fedoric de Bontemps was perhaps the worst-kept secret in Lywengarth. "My dear lady... as sympathetic to your plight as I may be- and as lovely as you are- I must protest. You cannot simply make demands of us, for we are your betters, as much as we are very keen to come to your aid with all due chivalry. Which may I add is always a pleasure..."

    Lord Lionheart raised a leather-gloved hand.

    "Peace, sir." Shaking his head, he turned back to the flame-haired herbalist. "Morwynna, please. You don't have to speak of favors. We are champions of the people and the Crown, as is Sheriff Rhyderric. Of course we'll help. Won't we?"

    From behind his mask, Lionheart leveled a stare at the other Knights- some men he knew, others he didn't. But he hoped he could trust that he already knew their answer.





    The Hall of Arms
    Somewhere in the County of Middelgarth


    [​IMG]

    The Hall of Arms, as it was called, was a clandestine outpost of the Knightwatch.

    It was where Squires came to train, and where Knights came to procure provisions or to request the aid of their brothers-in-arms. Even errant Knights would, at times, stop by simply to rest and enjoy good company for a few days before returning to their travels. A small militia stayed on at all times to uphold the protective measures necessary for shielding the Hall from the Prince Regent's sorcerous spies. Once, it had been some sort of keep- and so it still was.

    And one man was its keeper.

    [​IMG]

    The Armsmaster heaved a sigh, rubbing his careworn face with one hand as he pulled the dark velvet drape back over the surface of the quicksilver mirror.

    "Watchdog," he called over his shoulder, and a man dressed head-to-toe in wolf pelts rose from a seat by the fire. The Armsmaster turned to give the younger Knight a grim smile. "Find my Squire, and bring her to me- along with the senior Knight in residence."

    "But sir, that would be-"

    "The Prince. Yes."

    "But he's..." Watchdog shifted his weight from one foot to the other, hesitating.

    "He's the best Knight in the Hall right now," the Armsmaster reminded him sternly, "and has been one of us for twice as long as you have."

    The boy (they were all boys to the Armsmaster) ducked his head.

    "Yes, sir."

    "And bring any other visitors you find who are able-bodied and errant," added the Armsmaster, a bit sharper. "Tell them to meet me at the Great Shield. Tell them that there's a new monster in Lywengarth, something darker than we've yet seen... and the people need the Watch."

    The Great Shield- the escutcheon-shaped stone table in the Hall's central courtyard- was where the Armsmaster would meet those Knights ready to rise to his challenge...


    @Diana @Grumpy @Red Velvet @Seiji @QuakeUPSB @Jakers @Moonlit Blade @Dullahan @Cerulean @Rain of the Night @Tyrannosaurus Rekt
     
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  3. Markwood Forest
    The borders of Markwood, in the Duchy of Druine


    "I will help."


    [​IMG]


    A young man in a navy blue cloak stood up from the table, adjusting his face mask as he did so. The white ocean seal on his attire made him easily recognizable to everyone in the room as The Fury of the Sea, Tidemaster. Turning towards Morwynna, he spoke. "I will help your Sheriff," he repeated."I will return him to you." The silver anchor he wore around his neck sparkled slightly, as if seeming to voice some sort of silent agreement. "I have never turned my back on a cry for help, and I'm not about to start." He turned towards Lord Lionheart and nodded, a sign he understood what he was signing up for.

    With that, Tidemaster returned to his seat, glancing over at "The Gentleman" with a slight look of annoyance that was shrouded behind his mask but still clearly visible in his eyes. He wasn't particularly fond of the man's opinions, but he figured now was not the best time to bring up such a topic. So he returned to silence, waiting to see if anyone else would volunteer for the mission.
     
    #3 QuakeUPSB, Mar 15, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016
  4. Markwood Forest
    The borders of Markwood, in the Duchy of Druine


    The Little Cat sat silently by, but not unnoticed. For Cat had an uncanny ability to draw attention when she wanted it, or sit back unseen when she didn't. And right that moment she was giving The Gentleman a withering stare to back up her brother's statement. After all, his head was covered in that ridiculous helmet. He couldn't do it himself.

    Cat found helmets and masks to be suffocating things. Though she had the hood of her cloak pulled up over her hair, there was nothing covering her face. Instead she painted her eyes with coal liner which gave not only that cat eye effect, but also made her look several years older. She had tried to do the same to her brother earlier that day, but he didn't find the look nearly as interesting as she did.

    When the Tidemaster spoke, he earned a smile from her. But she still didn't speak. She simply rest her chin in her hand and turned a lashes-batting gaze towards the other knights. They wouldn't refuse, she knew. But that wasn't stopping her from making the subtle threat of a pout.
     
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  5. The Hall of Arms
    Somewhere in the County of Middelgarth

    *******************************


    There was little time Deathwatch could spend with the Knightwatch; the Schola had already been questioning his absences lately. The answer had always been the same; research. The continuous excuse that he was further develop upon both the field of Transmutation and Force. He had yet to disappoint them with proof: the field of research, being whatever task he was assigned to do for the Knightwatch, always bared fruit for him. However, there was so much he could do with this kind of rushed research; minor improvements and nothing major. It was the price to pay, unfortunately. Even now, within the Hall of Arms, he was at an open table with many spellbooks open, along with other Magicae books opened.

    It was as he read back through his current spellbook; a white leather-bound grimoire with indescribable sigils on it; that someone came to approach Deathwatch. He turned to the newcomer, his face entirely hidden under the strange white robes, which still had bloodstains here and there. It was hard to tell if it came from him or someone else, but the warning was clear; don’t mess with what he was doing. Who came to manifest wasn’t someone he knew… Personally at least. Deathwatch wasn’t a very friendly one most of the time, and sometimes equated to him having either a mean spirited reputation, or a cynical one. However, he had always served the Knightwatch as they needed him to be.

    The conversation between the two was brief; a meeting with the Armsmaster, about a beast never seen before. That’s all the information he needed to accept. He gathered his items; notably his white grimoire and another red one, about the same size. The white robed Magus moved to the meeting place, and would seat himself down at the table. While he waited, he would be reviewing his spellbooks once again.
     
  6. The Hall of Arms
    Somewhere in the County of Middelgarth

    Somehow, even with how changing things had been lately, the young man always found time to tinker. Whether it was drawing up a blade with a unique curve, or a even a miniature cannon you can hold with two hands, Nivrant Pniac probably tested whether or not it was a good idea. At the current moment, he was admiring his thunderous new invention that did not even have a name. It could light up the battlefield and the eyes and ears of its participants. When used, holes just appeared in buildings or people. All that would be left is smoke and a shout in fear of someone who has never heard combustion before. Which, unfortunately for him, was most people.

    When another new addition of the Knightwatch came to call, his first thought was that he still wasn't sure he was a knight, but then remembered that he was needed and it was time to answer. After finishing getting his things together, Nivrant made his way to the courtyard. "I wonder how big it is. I might need larger ammunition, if that is the case. Which means a bigger barrel, and more powder...." Phrases such as these were often muttered when he was walking and didn't have anyone to actually talk to. Which also means that he just spoke to himself a lot.

    But quiet had taken him over, by the time he arrived at The Great Shield. This was where the top man was going to be and he made sure to be more observant and his mouth shut. Of course, this doesn't always work for him but what can you do?

    Spotting someone else at the table, he could not see the person's face but the books suggested that they were some kind of spellcaster. From what he could tell that they were busy, so he decided to keep any sort of interaction swift.

    "Hello." He said, sitting a few seats away.
     
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  7. The Hall of Arms
    Somewhere in the County of Middelgarth
    Antain walked the dusty halls and side passages of the place, the Hall of Arms a place of exploration for him, at least until his curiosity had been sated for the moment. He would meet with the Armsmaster and procure his armaments soon, if that were to be the simple task he would be issued. But somehow, he had it in his mind that it would be different. Family matters between the church and their donations had passed through his mind, how the Osterwick family maintained their chapels and cathedrals would be up to his siblings in the days to come, as Antain was here on greater purpose.

    The Knightwatch. A group who opposed the tyranny of Lywengarth’s new commander-in-chief. Antain would help to bring down a tyrant, and restore peace and tranquillity to a land that sorely needed it. His hands grasped and caressed the cold stone of the Hall of Arms as he walked, his fingers tracing the long lost histories of past Knights, past Squires, past citizens, each sharing their own unique history. Strapped to his back was Revelation, to his thighs, Chronicle and Judge, weapons bearing religion and justice in equal measure.

    It would be time for him to make his way to the Great Shield, if he could find it.

    He walked the many passages of the Hall of Arms, until there came a courtyard splitting into multiple other places to stroll, within its core lay the Great Shield, a sturdy stone table housing a few patrons, Antain presuming they were in fact here for his own invitation.

    A messenger had approached him, after all, and filled him in on the details. There was a threat to face, a monster unseen, and he as part of the Knightwatch had been drafted as part of the association to help.
    So he sat at the table with little ceremony, greeting himself to all with, “Well met, fellows.”


    This would be an interesting and curious affair, indeed.
     
  8. Markwood Forest
    The borders of Markwood, in the Duchy of Druine


    =======

    Lady Jocelyn Gwendolyn Fullbright, Heir Presumptive of the Earldom of Scarborough, towered over one end of the table under the guise she had adopted only weeks before the official christening and beginning of the Knightwatch, Lord Arcana. She was resplendent and terrifying in her gilded and glowing suit of gold, silver and crimson, the eldritch glow of the armour's eyes only ever staring forward. The powered runes hummed in a way that could only be heard in the din of silence, and the glow all but enriched the end of the room she stood in. The tassels of the crimson coat worn over the armour--the symbol of the Knightwatch stitched onto an escutcheon along the back of it-- danced around her legs; a side effect of the enchantments of flight.

    She grimaced and ground her teeth. Lord Arcana. It still bothered her. It was a blessing she had the opportunity to use the guise, and even the foresight to use it; she was one of only so many women actively practicing magic at the level she was. It would hopefully throw tracks off to those that may try scrying her identity, something that she had only just recently thought of (much to her consternation). She'd have to figure out some advanced anti-scrying runes to etch into the crown of the helm, and...

    She minutely shook her head, still staring down on the lot in her intimidating stance. Oh, she hated this bloody suit: it was more uncomfortable than anything she had ever worn! Her mind tumbled back towards ideas, of increasing comfort and making even more modifications, and she silently chided herself for such straying thoughts, especially in the face of their latest mission.

    "Gentleman, sir, you truly are acting and speaking the whole antithesis of what your namesake claims you to be," she said, the words coming out distorted through the small break in the visor to sound like a man speaking into a tin bowl. She was quite proud of constant-running rune.

    "Demands or not, and I do believe the, erm, lovely lady Morwynna here has hardly made demands of us, we should sortie as soon as we are able. If anything, this Sheriff could be our ally, and it would embolden any potential allies to our cause. They would see they have the right to stand up, and the support of those stronger, should the Regent himself bare his eye upon them."

    Her back straightened, though it was hardly visible in how she stood in the suit. She was quite proud of herself for the strategic outlook she had on the political situation at hand. True, she had had time to think over it, but she was also the daughter and only child of the head of a barony-turned-earldom. She knew her politics.

    The Regent and his evil cronies within the military and from the Schola's wing would not prosper and win the Kingdom so easily. It would be a long battle, arduous and gruesome and undoubtedly grim, but it would be fought.
     
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  9. Ayshira


    Ayshira's Temple

    Incense filled the vibrant, elegantly decorated room with the aroma of Sandalwood and from within the depths of a tranquil meditation Ayshira sat finely adorned in a gold embodied black robe; solemn, quiet and very aware of the pacing footsteps that gradually came toward her, she was focused on something. Held between her palms streams of pale green energy flowed down through her fingertips and into the heart of an elegant quartz crystal "Watchdog, you're finally here."


    A smile adorned across her face as her eyes slowly opened, the energy fading from her palms as she set the crystal aside and addressed her approaching visitor "What do you require?"


    The burly pelt covered individual stayed in front of her altar "Lady Lotus, The Armsmaster has requested your presence," his gruff voice replied with a semblance of calm to it.


    "I could have guessed as much. It is rare you have the time to visit outside of being injured which you are clearly not," the gentle tone of her exotic voice uttered "You should come and see me more often."


    Although calmer than he would usually be the Watchdog was visibly more flustered "You know better than most the amount of time I have to myself," he grumbled, remaining stern "your knight awaits you."


    Silence fell for a moment, lingering in the gaps of Ayshira's long and insightful gaze "A good horse runs even at the shadow of a whip," she said, allowing the words to stew in the man's mind as she gathered her effects, including a small collection of crystals she had kept in storage over the past few weeks.


    "What did you mean?" the Watchdog asked on their way out, slightly perturbed by her infamous cryptic demeanour.


    "A candle alight in a dark room casts smoke. Do you trust in the light or the dark?" she replied before walking away, leaving the Watchdog even more baffled.


    The Hall of Arms

    An eerie sense of peace settled upon Lotus and Watchdog as they approached the Hall of Arms, the hide covered wolf-man silently trailing along behind the oracle, aware that further inquiry would confuse him further guarded the squire until they were finally free of one another and had reached their destination, The Great Shield.

    Arriving into the halls with feline grace Ayshira's eyes wandered among the strangers seated around the table, one by one looking into their intent with the power of her third eye. The first man had an aura coloured with a murky brown, shrouded in secrecy whoo peered into the parchment like a hawk searching for prey. The second a brighter aura vibrant mixtures colourful orange and yellow, appeared to have a more scientific mind with a love for detailed if mentally challenging work. The third with a more of an orange-red tint, portraying an air of confidence in the individual to which she hoped not too much of an air and the last was her master whom appeared to be distressed.

    After all the time Ayshira had spent with her knight, she had learned trials of a leader. Her master had spent many nights wandering, pacing and fretting over his decisions.

    Bowing her head in a quiet nod, she delicately placed the satchel beside her and settled into her own chair "It is a pleasure to meet you all."


     
    #9 Ai, Mar 18, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
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  10. Konnor Jon Isra
    The Hall of Arms
    Somewhere in the County of Middelgarth


    Konnor's light foosteps against the stone floors sent gentle echoes down the hall as he entered, a low and gentle hum coming from his lips as his eyes scanned the great hall around him. The whole posture of the small man was very laid-back, and his lightly aged face had sunken eyes - that'd likely seen some horrible things - yet his expression made it seem like he barely had a care in the world. There was somewhat of a relaxing 'bizarreness' to The Royal Analyst. The chances were that if this weren't such an important and dire situation, he would've just walked here in his nightwear.

    Ah, yes. The Hall of Arms. A place with a rather fascinating history behind it, and with a rugged yet beautiful design to the place. Areas where more muscular men grunted, sweated, and clashed steel in training sessions didn't really appeal to a man like Konnor. But still, he couldn't deny the solidity of the place. Just being here made him feel somewhat more... manly? Was that a good way to put it? He chuckled to himself lightly in his own thoughts as he chewed a dried jasmine bud in the corner of his mouth.

    As he walked deeper into the room, Konnor did a little pondering to himself about the whole situation he was in. He'd been expecting to have been asked to join something like this. His skills could prove as rather useful, after all, even if some people hated to admit it. This would be the perfect opportunity for him to get some recordings of the monster threat down - hence why he'd packed some extra parchment and ink today. If things went according to plan, he'd already have started brewing some concoctions that'd easily wipe out monsters by the end of the week. But, he was wise enough to know things would be a lot more complicated than that.

    He supposed he would be fighting more than writing now. ...A pity. But, if that was what he needed to do, then he'd step up to the plate. He long knew what threats lurked in the forests by now, and he was willing to put his life on the line to keep people safe from those things. And if he died and all his work was lost? Well... that was just the way things were. You just couldn't tamper with fate... he'd learnt that a long time ago.

    <============>

    As Konnor approached The Great Shield, where he'd meet all of his fellow volunteers for tackling this monster issue, he was pleasantly surprised by the variety of people that were seated. He was expecting a group of huge, bearded men with oversized swords to be sitting down, but that wasn't the case. He must've been early, because there were a lot less people than he was expecting.

    At the table sat a blonde man in a robe - likely a professor of some sort judging by his choice of clothes - reading a spellbook. Along with that came a black-haired young man dressed in rather fancy armour - likely a noble of some sort - sitting near an exotic-looking woman dressed in rather fancy robes, who was probably the most intriguing to Konnor.

    And sitting at a distance from the group was a seemingly secluded man who had some sort of strange weapon. It looked like a... stick with a handle... and some sort of intricately designed iron engravings on it? Hm... he couldn't see it very well from over here, but it wasn't a weapon Konnor had never seen before. Was it some sort of staff? Ah... he never really cared for weaponry anyway. That, and he was never very good with any of it.

    Slowly making his way over to a seat in that inruigingly casual posture of his, Konnor gave a welcoming and calm expression to the others on the table as he sat.

    "Ah... hello there. My fellow 'monster hunters', I presume? That... or I've walked into something else entirely?" Konnor said in a half-joking tone, his voice very deep yet quiet, and soothing on the ears.

    "...Either way, it is a pleasure. ...I would offer you all some jasmine tea, but... I forgot to bring it. Sorry about that." Konnor said with a light chuckle. "Do remind me next time."

    He would've liked to converse a little more, but it wasn't the time nor the place. And most of the people here were in too serious of a mindset for something like that, which was very understandable. Speaking of serious... Konnor supposed the Armsmaster himself would making an appearance soon.

    Holding his back a little as he settled down into his chair, Konnor waited for the scene to progress, taking in the surroundings with his relaxed, chestnut-brown eyes as he waited. He'd probably heard of some of the people that were here, though he wouldn't have known their names by mere appearances. He... really wasn't much of a social butterfly. Especially nowadays.
     
    #10 Jakers, Mar 19, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
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  11. [​IMG]
    LOCATION: MARKWOOD FOREST -> IN A CRAZY LADY TREE

    So, they were in a tree talking to a woman. There had to be an allure to residing in strange places, Jericho assumed, but she mostly viewed it as a warning sign. You know, beware the lady who lives in a tree—not all her candles are fully lit. Jericho knew the woman to be a healer, and that the denizens of this land just went ahead and made the broad assumption she was also a witch. Boo. Hiss. Women practicing magical arts. It was just the way of things. Still, Jericho was half expecting a squirrel to slide through the window and into the fiery red mane of the not-witch witch. Hm. Maybe there were squirrels already in there? Maybe Jericho should take a step back in case they could sense her thoughts and decided to go for her face. That’s silly, she internally chided. She was wearing a mask.

    Ah well, a tree was not the weirdest thing Jericho had seen someone live in. Only a few days ago, she watched a possibly naked man crawl out of a dead horse. The possibly came from the fact that Jericho couldn’t tell if he had an entire suit made of fuzzy, brown wool, or if he was so dirty it was growing on him. She remembered nudging whomever she was travelling with and making a bet on how long the man would stay in the horse. Wait. Did she ever go back and look? Who did she make that bet with? Was it one of these people? Eh. They didn’t seem the sort to make bets about crazed men in dead horses. They were all very noble—too noble, if you asked Jericho. Look at them, all standing there… quietly.
    Shit. Jericho missed something. Shit. Shit. Shit.

    The Gentleman, with his oh-so-inspired name, was his usual grandstanding self. That man loved the sound of his own voice—hah—he probably even relished his farts as masterpieces. The Tidemaster, another original name, gave his support to some task. Oh, was this the part where they pledged that they were going to do thing for the person? All Jericho needed to do was to put on her best bravado and pretend she’d been listening this entire time.

    She’d do good to reference Lord Lionheart, considering he’d led this entire conversation. Him, with his adorable cat mask, and even more adorable cat-sidekick-named-Cat. Jericho knew it meant to inspire fear, or something, in his opponents, but she was reminded of this dour cat that she’d had as a child. Its name had been Rumples. It acted nobler than everyone, cats or people, and paraded around with an air of self-acquired importance. It slayed many a mouse and used to sit it them in front of Jericho's nanny. The nanny was less than amused. Yet, in the middle of the night, it always pawed her door open and slid into the sheets next to her. She’d feed it slivers of whatever she’d stolen from the dinner table. It would allow her to pet it. And then it would leave as if that had never happened. Jericho wondered if that is how one got Lord Lionheart into bed with them. She smiled wildly, it was fortunately hidden behind her mask.

    She picked up the tinny vibrations of Lord Arcana’s voice. Right. There was a lull. Time to seem important and powerful. “Of course, I will aid Lord Rumples—Lionheart,” shit, “in this most important task,” double shit what was her name, “Milady.” Well, if any time would be a good time to make a resolution to be a better listener, it was now. Fuck me with a goat, this isn’t going to end well, she internally berated. Yet, she tried to play it off by crossing her arms and leaning lightly against a table.
     
    #11 Tyrannosaurus Rekt, Mar 21, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
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  12. Muscle memory.

    That's what I'm honing.

    The long, arduous process of drilling my body's tendons and ligaments to a routine, instilling in them a series of motions that can be triggered on instinct. Without conscious thought or mental processing: just pure reaction.

    I keep my training quarters dark as I pace about the mannequin. Flickering candles in the corner casting dancing shadows across the stone room. I fight in the gloom, and so I should train in it too. The Armsmaster keeps his training mannequins stout and simple; none of the frills and trims I practised against in my youth, none of the distractions. Pacing around the target, I keep my new weapons in perpetual motion. Swinging arcs through the air, rippling in front of me, motions to test the weight and to keep a hypothetical opponent in the dark as to where my blades are going next.

    The attack is sudden, sharp. One second I'm pacing, the next I've lunged; a series of rattling blows and strikes against the mannequin rising across its frame like a wave. Pivoting back to put distance between myself and the target, I survey the impacts the weapons left. Deep gouges in the thick wood attest to the skill of the Armsmaster's craftsmanship. With steel like this to work with, the Knightwatch is a force to be reckoned with indeed. I slide in again, pitching my strikes between high and low points. A real opponent might very well be overwhelmed by such an attack, blocking low by the time I'm moving high.

    Keep them guessing. Keep them on the backfoot.

    If I can keep hold of the initiative in a fight, I can finish it before they can ever hope to retaliate.

    The chap on the door as I embed my right blade into the mannequin's head is heavy and jarring. There's a ring of impatience to the sound as I haul free the shortsword and step further back into the room to retrieve my mask. Even amongst allies it pays to keep secrets, and in our line of work the identities we go by during the day are the closest kept of them all.
    “It's open,” I call, keeping my voice low and hoarse. The door swings open and the man standing on the other side all but fills its frame. Dressed in wolfpelts, built like the beserkers of old northern legends. He's peering into the gloom of the room as I step out of the dark to face him. “Watchdog, right?”
    “Right.” The man's sizing me up, and the expression on his face tells me I'm not being judged favourably. This Watchdog lacks subtlety. Doesn't hide his feelings well. Sloppy. “Armsmaster wants you and every able-bodied knight out in the Great Shield. Something about a new monster in Lywengarth, or some such.”
    “'Or some such'?” I repeat the words back at him, craning an eyebrow. His face darkens instantly: so he's a temper to match his physique.
    “The man was vague, alright? You want to know more, get yourself to the Great Shield.”

    Our eyes lock, all but for a moment. He holds my gaze for a second or two, but there's something in my eyes that makes him look away. Frustrated, he steps back as I nod and step back into the shadows of the room.
    “Tell the Armsmaster I'll be up shortly.”
     
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  13. Sir TempestMarkwood Forest
    The Borders of Markwood


    Sir Eirichal "Eirich" Naesin the Fourth, or, rather, Sir Tempest, sat at a table among his fairly new allies. Each man and woman here was clad in armor, or garbed in cloth, meant to hide their identity. Each sat in stoic silence, listening to Lord Lionheart and the so-called Morwynna the Green speak of the ill fate of the sheriff of these parts. Each one here truly seemed to understand the need to aid this sheriff, or so Sir Tempest thought. At least, that is what he might have been thinking, had his thoughts not been preoccupied with how he could get a sip of ale whilst still wearing his helmet.

    Perhaps I could incorporate a visor of some sort? Something I could partially raise so that I could enjoy a mug now and again? he thought. Or maybe a system to siphon ale from a small barrel, through tubes, that I could drink freely whilst armored.

    Sir Tempest blinked and shifted, his thoughts interrupted.

    "Morwynna, please. You don't have to speak of favors. We are champions of the people and the Crown, as is Sheriff Rhyderric. Of course we'll help. Won't we?" Lord Lionheart said.

    "I will help your Sheriff," The Tidemaster said, "I will return him to you. I have never turned my back on a cry for help, and I'm not about to start." Sir Tempest looked over just in time to see the Little Cat bat her eyelashes at the Knights. It was clear she wished for them all to agree, Sir Tempest thought to himself.

    "Demands or not, and I do believe the, erm, lovely lady Morwynna here has hardly made demands of us, we should sortie as soon as we are able. If anything, this Sheriff could be our ally, and it would embolden any potential allies to our cause. They would see they have the right to stand up, and the support of those stronger, should the Regent himself bare his eye upon them." Lord Arcana was a wise man, Sir Tempest believed.

    “Of course, I will aid Lord Rumples—Lionheart, in this most important task, Milady.” Lord Lionheart's true name is Lord Rumples? Huh. Perhaps a lord who resides closer to the city. I have never heard of him before. Nonetheless, it would be incredibly rude to address him by his true name. Especially since my identity is secret as well. Though... how did Arken Gold come to learn his identity? Ah well, a question for another time.

    Only now did Sir Tempest speak. "I shall offer my aid as well, Lord Lionheart. Morwynna the Green. My glaive is ever ready." Sir Tempest's loyalty lied with the Knightwatch from the moment of its inception. He firmly believed in what they tried to do, and his family had always been loyal to King Barrick and his lineage, and would be to the end of time.
     
  14. The home of Morwynna the Green
    Markwood Forest



    "Hmph. A fine lot of pretty words from your lads- and lasses," said Morwynna as she cast a plainly unimpressed glance the way of Arken Gold. She placed one pale hand palm-flat on the oak of her table, slender fingers tracing a knot just inches from Lord Lionheart's elbow. "But are their hearts as pretty, there's the rub."

    The lion-mask turned upwards briefly, tilting skyward as if the man beneath were searching the branch-woven ceiling of the herbalist's home for something unnamed. Patience, most like, in the face of so much pithiness and droll remarks from all present parties. "Lord Rumples" indeed.

    "Rhyderric will be safe," he said at last. "You have my word."

    "No offense, milord, but I'd sooner trust my own two eyes than a 'word' I can't see. I'll be joining you."

    "You will not," protested Lord Lionheart. He straightened in his chair as the ease leeched from his shoulders and his posture became more rigid, armored. "This is a rescue, not a jaunt to town- which, in your case, is unsafe even without the Regent's men to worry about."

    The redhead gave him a coy smile. Her green eyes glittered with the warmth of her fire.

    "Why your lordship," she remarked. "If I knew not better, I'd think you were showing me favor. You forget you're not the only one who knows how to hide their face. And you'll be needing a guide if you want to get anywhere in Markwood. Little Cat, what say you?"

    "Fair," he stopped her short, none too pleased that his sister's counsel was being invoked. "You've made your piece. But if we might have time to discuss a plan of action?"

    "Time is a thing the Sheriff might not have." Morwynna's tone went acid. "But suit thyself."

    The woman wiped her hands on her skirt, turning away from the table and flouncing out of sight through a curved doorway at the back of the room. In her wake, Lord Lionheart pushed up the lower half of his helmet's face-guard just far enough to show a hint of a strong jaw lined with golden scruff and to take a draft of the steaming amber broth she'd served him. It was sweet and warm against his tongue and tasted faintly of spices he couldn't name, and it fortified him as he prepared to address the room once more.

    "We should leave at dawn tomorrow," he led off, carefully lowering the bowl back onto the table. "These woods are safer than some, but daylight will serve us better. In meantime we can plan and rest ahead. Have any of you been to Markwood before?"





    The Great Shield
    The central courtyard in the Hall of Arms



    "I see you've all made it," the Armsmaster's gruff voice greeted the assembled Knights (and his own Squire) as he stepped from a shadowed archway and into the gloaming light of the courtyard.

    The Armsmaster's presence did not precisely radiate a sense of welcome. He chose not to hide his face, but many of the Knights suspected that the one he wore was an illusion- for how else could such a well-connected man be unknown to them, to anyone? If so, he'd chosen an imposing visage: a face lined from age and battle, sharp grey eyes, a stern and ever-frowning mouth. Nonetheless he had been host, mentor, and supplier of aid to all who gathered in the Hall today.

    He stepped to the head of the table, at the straight-lined north end, and surveyed them all with an inscrutable gaze. His eyes lingered for a moment on the young woman in the robes, the lady Lotus- his Squire Ayshira, as she was better known to him. Something loosened in his jaw, subtle enough that she would be the only one likely to catch the change.

    "As Watchdog will have told you," he began again, nodding to the Knight standing at attention across the courtyard, "I've seen something in the Mirror."

    The Mirror of Shadows had hung in the Hall since a time before the Knightwatch's young memory. No one was quite sure if the Armsmaster owned it, or if it had been in the building when he'd acquired it. It hung in his chambers, usually covered with a heavy drape in order to prevent curious eyes from spying too much.

    It was, of course, a magic mirror. But the things it showed were not always those one cared to see.

    "The village of Barrick's Crossing is not far from here," continued the Armsmaster. "It is likely not known to you because it is known to none but those who live in it. A small mining and farming town. But the livestock disappears at night, and a strange poisonous fog is filling the mines. There is something behind it, but I caught only a glimpse."
     
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  15. Konnor Jon Isra
    The Hall of Arms
    Somewhere in the County of Middelgarth

    Ah... the Armsmaster. Needless to say, Konnor had never met him before - a smith on normal terms would have no business with a simple researcher and librarian. But now, it seemed like he was taking anyone he could get his hands on - even Konnor. It was sort of a shame that he had to come here, as hot tea and studies were much more appealing... but the whole monster dillema? It opened up a whole new era of study. And at the end of the day, whilst he wasn't a King, Konnor still felt like he had people to protect; the hot tea would just have to go cold for now.

    The visage (if it were even real) of the Armsmaster was as gruff and tough as he was expecting. An aged, battle-worn face; a facial expression that just wanted to get to business, have no chit-chat or pleasant welcomes, chop up this monster and let that be that. Almost the opposite of Konnor in those regards - apart from the 'aged' part. Whilst the Armsmaster certainly wasn't a man of Konnor's own heart, or someone he'd look up to, he still held respect for the man, and listened carefully to what he had to say.

    ...Hmm? 'Barrick's Crossing'? Konnor had thought most locations had been documented in the library, but he certainly didn't recall that one being on the maps or books. A secret area, of sorts... how fascinating. The Royal Analyst seemed to have a dreamy look in his half-closed eyes as he chewed the jasmine bud softly at the corner of his mouth in thought. It was the sort of peculiar expression someone smoking certain 'herbs' would take on, though his allies would soon learn that this was just normal for Konnor. Especially when being informed of the even more fascinating topic that was 'monsters'. A whole new species, designed to kill... dangerous, yet so alluring to study...... ah...

    "Hmm... a carnivore that drags its prey into the mines. Which suggests it prefers dark, indoor areas to feed..." Konnor mumbled in a barely audible voice that sounded half-stoned. It was unclear if he was talking to himself, or just talking out loud. "...It must be big to be able to drag and consume the cattle, but small enough to fit in enclosed spaces such as the mines. Fast, and strong... and, it uses poisonous gas to fully claim its homeland, and prevent competition from stealing its home... perhaps... some sort of snake-like creature that wiggles through the mine's corridors, utilising its mobility? Or... hmm..." Konnor lightly drummed his fingers on the stone table for a moment, each tap conveying a slow and relaxing rhythm. He usually did this when in thought.

    There were so many possibilities to what this 'monster' could be. Though, even from information as scarce as that, Konnor seemed to have a rough idea what he was up against. Most of the points he said out loud were very basic, and were likely already known by most of the others, but inside his head, all sorts of unknown branching paths of what the monster could be were splitting up inside his head. It was needless overthought, but that was just the average mind of a researcher who drunk too much tea for his own good.

    ~ ~ ~

    "Well. This is certainly a bit of a pickle, isn't it...?" Konnor softly said, the drum of his fingers on the table stopping as he sat up. "It won't be long before the cattle runs out, and this unknown creature decides to snack on locals instead. We'll need to kill it rather swiftly... and, whilst more info would be good, I'm sure I can provide some antidotal substances to help us with that troublesome poison gas. Perhaps something light to counter its preference for the dark, too."

    Pausing, Konnor leaned back on his seat, gave a slight smile, and closed his eyes as he faced the ceiling for a moment.
    "Mmmm... what a pickle, indeed..." He murmured, before looking back down at his comrades again. With a nod, "...Ah. Did I forget to introduce myself? Well, as little as I presume some of you care, please refer to me as 'The Analyst', or 'Analyst'. And no... you cannot call me 'Anal' for short." He added. "It's happened before."

    Quickly pausing to bring out some parchments, Konnor carried on. "Hmm... anyway. What do the rest of you make of this...? I'm sure once we get to know what each other can do, we can hatch a plan to kill our little troublemaker in the mines. Something tells me it'll take more than a blast of fire in the entrance, to fully thwart it..."
     
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  16. The Hall of Arms
    Somewhere in the County of Middelgarth

    ******************

    Monster… The void of information gave him little to work on. It had been enough to get him off of his rear and to this table, but he needed more concrete knowledge to think of the possibilities of beating whatever beast was terrorizing the area. Certainly, there would be more shared once those who have been asked to gather would be present. For the time being, he could only prepare for the next excuse of an experiment gone right for the Schola not to investigate his lack of presence as a Professor. It was hard to manage being a part of this vigilante-savior group and being of the Schola, but it was well worth going against the Prince Regent. If there was one man who needed a lesson; it was him, along with his sorcerous ally.

    His eyes remained within the inscriptions labeled in his grimoire until the sounds of footsteps were heard approaching; to which he lifted his gaze to the upcoming person that presented himself to the Great Shield. This individual was… a stranger to him. If he was honest with himself, he wasn’t one to recognize people who he has been with for the tasks of the Knightwatch. Most were forgettable, or more, he cared little for who they were. The only thing that mattered was that they were allies band together under a same and just cause. As to not be impolite just yet, he gave a brief bow of the head, spending little time inspecting the individual. He was not one to judge on what they may look like, but rather upon their acts and their speech. This would be a reoccurrence as the individuals came in one by one, leaving none to be looked over… Except one. This individual he knew by name and what she appeared to be, but only because she was the Squire of the Armsmaster. He knew not her real name, but knew of her Knightwatch one; Lotus. As for her… ‘magic’ if one could call it that, he could not grasp the implications and subtleties of it. If he was able to actually cooperate with her on a task, maybe he’d finally be able to make a theory on her ‘magic’. His eyes would only linger a moment more before he returned to his books.

    One of the entrances was rather… unflattering to Deathwatch’s standard. Whoever this man who forgot his tea… Was already leaving an unsavory impression of his being. Rightly, most would think of Deathwatch as humourless… They wouldn’t be so far off the truth. Useless chatter wasn’t much for the Magus, and if this man would continue as he started; annoyance would settle in rather quickly.

    However, the last one to present himself; someone he initially thought was just another one of the members of this hunt, held gaze and a tone that spoke authority. This wasn’t one them; he’s the one that ask for their presence. The white grimoire came to a close, as to show that the man who spoke had his full attention. The mention of the Mirror let Deathwatch know this could be something this man maybe didn’t want to see, but had to. The magical item in question wasn’t something Deathwatch approached, as he did not need to view occurrences, events or anything of such that wasn’t needed in his already hectic life.

    A larger bank of information was given to them, one which they could ponder endless possibilities. It gave way for them to narrow down what they could possibly be facing. If they wanted a good plan of action; they’d have to go straight to the village and ask more question that are now unanswered. The arsenal of spells he’d have to memorize for this was rather large, though he could just bring along a few spellbooks to make sure he had what he needed.

    One of the members already put up their thoughts, the same that had the annoyance of speaking without speaking. This time, he proved to speak useful information. Though it was making assumptions, they seemed to be more plausible than what Deathwatch had in mind. This monster, whatever it was, could be anything, which is why they needed to go to this Barrick’s Crossing and actually ask around and inspect areas it might be in.

    The man continued, and again, he was speaking without any content. Yes, sharing his name was of certain use, but the clutter of empty words was from someone with certain carelessness for the situation, or one of a wandering mind. Regardless of which it was, it made his voice irritating to listen to. It was maybe best he did not speak too much. Somehow, he doubted this was going to be.

    We can’t say if the beast is capable of thoughts more complex than that of an animal,” Began Deathwatch, who looked around at his comrades for this task. “There are too many variables that need to be found before we can even start planning how to kill or capture this thing. We need to see for ourselves what we are dealing with before meddling with its routine or it’s proclaimed den, or at least speak with those whose might have possibly seen the entity in question, along with descriptions of its activities. For all we know, this entity could be attacking at night because it waits for the majority of the populace to be asleep and are less of a threat, and not because it can hunt more adequately at night.” Speculations, but it was best it be put on the table. Of course, he should maybe go the route where he presents himself too.

    You can call me Deathwatch.” The magus opened up his spellbook once again, though did not set his eyes upon it. No, they turned to the Armsmaster, a serious, stoic look upon his aged visage. “Is there anything from the glimpse that could give us a physical shape to it?” Straight to the point.
     
  17. The Hall of Arms
    Somewhere in the County of Middelgarth
    Antain gazed at the others gathered around the table, and thought to introduce himself to his new comrades. His ears absorbed the information that was spread by the men and women around him, listening to the adagio of monsters and methods that came from the mouths of those around him. But Antain, before he would speak on the matter of monstrosities, would introduce himself.

    "I am Archangel, and I would be pleased if you would address me as such." Antain spoke with high etiquette and the polite tone of a man from the ministry. "This monster sounds as if it is of great threat to our land I say we strategize and plan before heading into danger, as we have no idea what the monster could be, as Deathwatch has said." Antain declared, before falling into silence nce more to analyse his companions with critical eyes. "If this creature is the source of the fog, we will need to bring preventative measures that can counteract poison. Maybe it has even left tracks from it's kills."

    But the man analysed his associates. Deathwatch seemed the brave sort to charge in headfirst and take a blow for the team. However, to him, the Analyst lived up to their name and seemed to almost beam with intelligence. He would have to wait and see what they thought of him in return.
     
  18. Markwood Forest
    The borders of Markwood, in the Duchy of Druine


    Tidemaster shook his head in response to Lord Lionheart's question. Most of his life had been spent on the high seas traveling to distant ports of other lands for years at a time, and as such he really hadn't done much travel in his home kingdom. He didn't mind it though. Now that he'd put his seafaring days on hiatus, it would be a good chance to see what the lands he called home had to offer. As Lord Lionheart took a sip of his soup, the ocean knight thought it would be only courteous to do the same; until it occurred to him that it was impossible to do so without taking of his mask and revealing his entire face. After a brief pause, he set the soup back down before rising from his seat.

    "Tomorrow morning...yes. I suppose that would be best. I will be here."

    With that said, Tidemaster turned and began heading towards the door. With such little time to prepare and rest, he needed to see the ocean again. It was a ritual of his: Every time he'd gone out on a long voyage, the previous day had been spent fishing by himself off the coasts of Dorus at a secret spot known as Beggar's Rock. He'd fish for a couple hours, swim for a few more, and just spend time with himself; thinking and preparing himself for the days ahead. It was his own personal way of meditating; something he did whenever his he had a lot on his mind. This was definitely one of those times. He was sure this mission wouldn't be that big of an issue, considering the group he was traveling with was exceptionally skilled, but that didn't stop him from feeling a growing pit in his stomach. Maybe it was because it was one of his first jobs on land, or maybe it was the fact that he still didn't feel that he could completely trust his comrades. Either way, Tidemaster was sure a couple hours of fishing would help him sort everything out.
     
  19. The Hall of Arms
    Somewhere in the County of Middelgarth

    He wasn't saying much else, as least not until everyone else had piled in. For the most part he offered simple hellos and hand waves to acknowledge the people vocal enough to greet the others. The young man wasn't exactly up to speed with everyone's names but thankfully, it didn't seem like any of these people knew each other either. It was just a room full of eccentrics and introverts that all wanted to do good things for the land. Kind of inspiring when you think about it. Of course, it is hard to think about when you spot a man staring at your...weapon. Is it that weirdly shaped? Is it the color that throws people off? Or is it just because it is out for all to see? Deciding to get it out of sight, he leaned it up against the table.

    Soon enough, The Armsmaster had arrived and had given them a brief overlook of what he needed them to do. It didn't seem too complicated on the surface. Clear out the mist from the mines and stop whatever is causing the livestock to disappear. Simple. Of course, these things never tend to be stagnant. Nivrant would stay on his toes and keep his words soft. As such, he chose to be quiet as the others speculated in what he hoped to be educated information. So we investigate and go from there. Simple.

    Running his hand over his facial tattoos, he looked over those who would be included in his mission. Analyst. Deathwatch. Archangel. And the mysterious woman whom did not actually state her name. Nivrant wondered who they were when not here. They all carried themselves well enough for him to feel these people were mostly not from the same place as him. Perhaps nobles or at least people with well made houses. Did they even have any idea about livestock that didn't come from books? If not, then the peasant of the group would be in an odd role of teacher. He was sure he wasn't the only one. Taking in a breath, he managed to interject himself in between the thoughts of the others.


    "For what it's worth, I'm Spoken."
     
  20. Markwood Forest
    The borders of Markwood, in the Duchy of Druine


    =======

    Lord Arcana crossed their arms, the weight shifting from one foot to another as a clear, visible marker of patience being tested and worn. Beneath the veil of the mask of Arcana however, Jocelyn was chewing her lip in thought. She considered the wisdom of a daybreak assault on the Sherrif's prison. Perhaps if they came from the direction of sunrise, using the sun to their back to their advantage? But this was an assault! All assaults and prison breaks happened at night!

    Oh, what was this! She was no general! That was a thing she had read in her tutelage, finding the text 'On War and Warfare' far more interesting than 'The Protestation of Sensibilities,' and other such texts of romantic pursuits. But now it was in her mind palace, a thing in her brain to recall for the future. She thought it before something novel for a conversation at court, but now? Now it was part of her tool belt, a weapon even.

    "I suppose if we strike at dawn, we come in with the sun at our backs," she tested, looking straight at the Lion Lord. She bristled somewhat as she stared at the golden face of a man who knew the one thing about her that the rest of the Knightwatch didn't, and she turned red at the thought of how he had learned it; her own fault. Her own fault!!

    She took a breath. She began to count down the magical primes and trace runes in her mind. Fehu, uruz, thurisaz, ansuz...

    "Ah, we could take them by surprise: swift and decisive, if we manuever in such a way," she went on, realizing she had let her words linger a moment too long. "I can provide scouting, even serve as a forward assault: a distraction, if you will. Yes, I think that would be the best of ideas. You all could 'slip in' while I cause wanton destruction among the Regent's men."

    There was more than a little smug excitement emphasizing her words at the idea of assaulting the Regent in such a way.
     
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