Lisanne put heels to her mount, it had been awhile since she had ridden a horse, and longer still since she had attempted it bareback; the fact that this one seemed especially spirited wasn’t helping her cause either. Carefully she coaxed more speed from her mount as she veered over to the left nudging Samuels mount and keeping it on course. The poor cleric had all but given up on riding and was merely holding on for dear life and hoping for the best. Lisanne got low on her mount again pulling in front of Samuel and taking the lead, the were fast approaching the town, she could hear the roar of the dragons wings as it hovered about blasting its fire and screaming to whomever Erindale was about its lost eggs.
“This was not the plan” she cursed to herself as her mount jumped a ditch and brought her past the first few houses of the town; already she could hear the warning bells blazing. People began to emerge from their homes questioning the noise at the odd hour, she paid them no heed, the danger was immediately evident and there was nothing she could do to save them. Quickly she wheeled around a corner hedging Sam’s mount in with her, this brought them into a thicker cluster of buildings, carefully she reached out and slowed both mounts to a quick trot. The sky crackled with energy again and the horizon to the north lit up as undoubtedly more fine men of Equestrian lost their lives. She horse picked its way through the town as she tried to formulate a plan, tried to come to terms with what had just happened; everything had been going so well, and then… then (Dead) Gavis Duval. She shook her head, there would be time for morning later, now she had to be a knight. Again she cut Samuel off forcing his mount to turn with her, the two rounded a bend and then stopped.
It was as if someone had turned the lights on, one moment they were riding through Musteegra by only the glow of dragon fire and the next they were trotting across a field at high noon towards a great white castle. She looked to the side and realised that where she had gone, Samuel was not with her, immediately she worried for his safety. Cautiously she nudged her mount forward towards the mighty keep.
It was spring time where she was, the flowers in the field were a bloom, and many birds chirped and sang their merry tunes. Outside the main portcullis of the keep she saw perhaps a hundred men, they wore suits of shimmering chain and wielded tall spears and pikes, they appeared to be doing training exercises and paid her little heed as she rode past. As she rounded towards the small bridge that would allow her to cross the moat she caught her first glimpse of the keeps standards… whomever it was they were certainly a fellow knight, as the standards of Korhan flew high in the keep the men who stood on the walls above were garbed in the Gods colours of White, Silver and Gold. Again she was neither stopped nor challenged as she crossed the bridge and entered the courtyard. It was huge, thousands of mounted troops were gathered sparing and training, archers were assembled at the far side firing in volley’s at straw targets. More infantry practiced marching in formation as squires chased after their masters bringing lances and water. Whomever ruled this keep they were certainly preparing for war; be invasion or defense she could not be sure.
A well-trodden path brought her around the court yard and towards the keep proper, here she approached two giant doors, each capable of allowing a titan to walk easily through. Here a young boy with elfin features ran forward signaled her to stop, she did. He calmed her mount and encouraged her to dismount; again she did, asking to where she was and who commanded here. The boy gave no reply but merely pointed towards the doors. She nodded leaving the mount with him and strode forward inhaling deeply of the honey sweet air and the spring breeze before entering. The doors swung open for her as she approached granting her entrance to a busy corridor as serfs ran about carrying this and that and quickly discussing issues of food and shelter for the men and women outside. The corridor was perhaps sixty feet wide and was remarkably well lit taking advantage of many windows and a few well-placed magical lights. The hall smelt of well worked leather, of hearth with just of hint of steel polish, all smells that made her feel comfortable and at home, forward she walked beginning to guess where she might be. Instinctively she knew to take her first left and to head down the stairs. Lisanne climbed down two stories and began to weave through a series of hallways until she came to the one she knew was right. For a moment she debated knocking, but then discarded the thought knowing that Korhan would be expecting her, and thus having no reason to. She entered the room and was glad to see that it was proportioned for a human. Several tall men and women stood around a table their voices were low as the discussed the maps that lay before them.
“…if it comes to a battle sire we will be unable to hold here… here… and here, it would be better to fortify these areas here… and here and assure success in those endevors”
“Agreed, make it so” the deep voice of Korhan resounded through Lisanne as he spoke his assent to the women’s plan, she could not tell if he was speaking out loud or in her mind… or both “Now leave me with Sir Truthblade, we will continue this after the midday meal” those who surrounded the table bowed to the God and departed, Lisanne looked at each of them as they left, but try as she might, their faces would not hold in her mind and within moments she was unable to conjure any images of them aside from vague notions or armor or gender. Korhan was wearing his famed golden breast plate, but was not wearing his helm, instead in sat on the table of maps in front of him. She gazed upon the face of her god, and knew in that moment that it was perfect, that it was the embodiment of nobility, chivalry, kindness and yet stern and wise. She could see bits of all the knights she had ever known in his face, and yet if asked to draw it or describe it she knew she would end up bumbling like a witless fool. Korhan smiled and invited her to his table, humbly she approached. The mighty god reached forward and grabbed a fruit from a basket and took a deep bite. The room resonated with the deep crunch as his broke of the first bit and chewed the ripe fruit. He looked to Lisanne, and tutted “You are wounded my child; please join me, and eat” he ushered her to a chair and tossed her what appeared to be an apple from the basket. Lisanne examined the silver fruit carefully before taking a bite, she had expected it to be crunchy like the apple it resembled but instead she found it soft and juicy like a perfect peach, the flavour was indescribable but she was sure that she had never experienced a better feeling, and that as long as she lived nothing would again be a gratifying or fulfilling as the first bite of that wonderful fruit. As if realising her hunger for the first time she took another bite savagely attacking the fruit and enjoying the ecstasy of the experience; and then it was gone, as she popped the last morsel into her mouth and licked her fingers of the stray juices.
As she finished she looked up and was embarrassed seeing the assumed face Korhan beheld her with, he chuckled and her self-consciousness faded. She looked down and realised her wounds were gone, she had been healed, but more, she could feel he spells, her power everything had been replenished and more she was clean, the grim and soot from the dragon fire was gone, matter of fact she was pretty sure her hair had been trimmed and cleaned as well as it now smelled as sweetly as the spring air outside. Her armor shone as if the master smith who had forged it had just finished polishing it for the first time. The more she looked the more she noticed, she nails were perfectly trimmed, her boots had been buffed and repaired, or better, remade, her clothing felt lighter and airy as if he had been remade with finer materials and by more skilled craftsmen. She felt neither hungry nor full, neither tired nor excited, she was content in all things as if for the first time every part of her had aligned into perfect balance.
“My Lord” she said as she looked up making eye contact with him once more, one memory did hold and that was the eyes, eyes as blue as the deepest lakes of Argyle, as if someone had chosen to cut out a portion of the sky and give them to Korhan for his eyes, she would never be able to forget those eyes.
“I am glad you could come Sir Truthblade, I have work for you” she nodded hearing his words vibrate through her being “Damie has left us, to where I know not, but one thing is for sure… he is gone” Lisanne did not know how to respond to that, and so she held her tongue. “In his absence his church has suffered, as you are aware corruption and greed have run rampant through his church, and many of my loyal knights have been led astray because of this” again Lisanne merely swallowed and nodded as she heard his words “… This I can no longer allow, and so I have decided to end the corruption, the Church of Korhan will no longer be beholden to those of Damie” Lisanne worked hard trying to grasp the implications of such a thing, she could not recall something like this every happening before, what would it mean for the Knights of Damie? Or the Sword of Damie? “Before this can happen, I require a task of you young warrior, I have need of your services, I wish to quest you with the mission…
GO TO THE SEALED GATES FOUR
OPEN THAT WHICH HAS NEVER BEEN
KEEP HIDDEN THE EVILS THAT WERE LOCKED AWAY WITH REASONS GOOD
LOCATE THE LOST CROWN OF CAER GLOMETI
BRING FORTH THE CIRCUIT OF PALADINS TO DAMIES TEMPLE AND PLACE IT UPON HIS HIGHEST ALTER
AWAIT ME THERE
Can you do this my noble knight? Can we count on you now? The time has come to step forward and claim your rightful place at my side.”
Lisanne swallowed unsure of how to respond…
TO BE CONTINUED