Order of the Light

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Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Sun May 09, 2010 10:20 am

This was a pen and paper RP that was done some years ago. I recorded it and put it into a story format. I would like the opinions of those that read this. I will put a little bit of the story at a time.

Chapter 1
My name is Brandon Eston, the Baron of Eston in Southwestern England. My tale is a strange one for those that wish to listen. For even now, I hardly believe it happened and I was there. It was a time that Christianity was spreading and the old teachings of elves and magic were fading into memory. Perhaps it was a last struggle for survival, for what we considered to be myths became real again. It was the spring of the year 1066. The Normans had invaded England and had conquered my Saxon brethren. I had fought with Baron Henry Weatherington against the Norman dogs, but our forces were overwhelmed and I barely escaped with my life.

I became a hunted man. The Normans did not like to leave any Saxon soldier alive to fight them again some other day. So it was that I made my way to York and from there stowed away on a ship heading for France. That was were I met Phillip "the mouse" Preston. He was aboard the same ship, stowing away in the same life boat.

He was running from the Normans as was I, but he had tried to steal from a Norman lord which carried the death penalty. He was a short, wiry lad of fifteen years. He had shaggy black hair and eyes and liked to dress in loose peasant clothing. He was a bit crazy it seemed to me at the time, but we got along quite well. From what I could get him to talk about, he was an orphan. His mother had died a year before, and his father he never knew nor would his mother ever tell him. He had taken up stealing to help her and himself live.

Once the ship made it to northen France and we were able to sneak off unobserved, we made our way east toward Germany. Since this is where the Norman dogs that had taken over my beloved England came from, I wanted no part of it. Phillip would steal enough money for us to live on and I would protect him from those that he stole from, if it came to that. Of our brief adventures there is not much worth the telling, so I will not bore you. It took us many weeks to walk across the country, since we could not afford to buy horses nor were we able to steal any. But finally we came to the city of Bonn in Germany. It was a large city and from here the German king ruled. As we had traveled through Germany to Bonn, both Phillip and myself had learned enough of the language to get us by, from a priest by the name of Father Friedrich who had joined us along the road.

Father Friedrich was in his early thirties with black hair and blue eyes. He was not your normal every day priest by no means. Though he preached the word of god, he wore chain mail armor, and carried a bastard sword as I did. He had expalined that he belonged to an order of priests that were dedicated to the protection of the church as well as teaching the word of god. In order to protect the church, they had to take up the use of arms. He would never use his skills or weapons to attack another person, only to defend himself, the church or another. However there was more to him then he ever let me know.

Here our funds were getting a bit short and Phillip would either have to steal some or I would have to hire out my sword. While we were walking the streets trying to figure out what to do, Father Friedrich suggested that we go to the new cathedral that was being built.

"Surly the bishop will have work for such as the two of you. These are strange times and one must do strange things." He told us.

"Don't look at me" Phillip said with a big smile, "I'll go where you do, as long as there is plenty of food and wine!"

We made our way to the site of the new cathedral. Once there we saw an enormous amount of people every where. Many were busy hauling building materials about the area. Here and there, were groups of men and women wearing various types of armor and caring weapons.

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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Sun May 09, 2010 6:26 pm

"Who are those people?" I asked the good father.

"Groups of adventures that are trying to get a charter for their group. It is one of the ways that one gets out of being conscripted to build the cathedral and other civic projects." He spoke softly and pointed to a man behind a table within the partially constructed walls of the cathedral.

"So what is so hard about getting a charter?" I asked.

"To help fund the building of the cathedral, the bishop is charging five hundred gold pieces per charter. Many can not afford this price." He replied. "There are also those here that come looking for others to fill their ranks, as it seems that the mortality rate among these adventurers is high."

"Some of these groups will hire their service out to rich merchents, nobles or the church for a period of time for pay."

Moving on into the crowded area, we moved towards the groups of adventures that seemed to be off to one side. Here we meet a couple of very strange young men that seemed to be looking for something. They wore lose fitting clothing that was not from this part of the world. Both were short, had long black hair that was worn in a "pony tail" style. Their skin was of a yellowish hue and they had almond shaped eyes. They wore no armor but carried some kind of weapons that later I learned was a katana (a sword), and a wakizashi (a short sword).

These two seemed lost, but yet looking for some thing. Why I did it, I could not say and still can not to this day. Perhaps it was fate, or more than likely, the will of god. I walked up to them and heard them talking in a strange language. From some studies that I had in England on my father's estate I figured that these two were Chinese, mostly known in our lands as slant eyes.

"Excuse me good sirs," I said in German. "You look like you could use some assistance."

The oldest of the two, that looked to be no older than myself, turned and looked up at me. In broken German the man replied, "We need no assistance for what we seek."

At that time there came a female's voice calling out in the same language that the two men had been talking in. The voice sounded frightened. Almost to our right and hidden by others was a young girl about Phillip's age and of the same features as that of the two young men. She was shackled in chains, her face was bruised from being hit, her clothing was torn and dirty.

If there was one thing that I could not stand, it was slavery. My family did not believe in it, something to do with an ancestor that had been made a slave for a short period of time. It had been ingrained in my family that slavery was evil and if the opportunity to free one in slavery arose, to do it.

I was shouldering my way towards the girl and the man that held the other end of the chains that bound her before I realized it. Beside me were the two oriental men and Phillip. The two men were slightly ahead of me as they confronted the man that held the chain. He was a big, and burly man that wore chain mail and carried a bastard sword. His chain looked like it had seen a great deal of fighting. He looked to weigh a good two hundred and fifty pounds and it looked as if had he wanted to, he could rip a man in two. His clothing was stained with wine and his hair and beard were shaggy and unkept.

The two oriental men barred his path. He stopped and looked down at the two and laughed. That is when I noticed the other four men and a younger man with the big one. All of them except the young man looked like seasoned veterans of battle. But this did not seem to deter the two Orientals. They at least had courage and myself, well yes, I had courage and I was foolish at that time also. Phillip and I stood on either side of the two oriental men.

"Release my sister barbarian." The eldest called out in a strong voice.

The big man stopped and looked down at the oriental man. "Out of my way slant eye. This slant eye woman is mine, I own her."

"Release her or die." He challenged.

The big man laughed a bellowing laugh as he drew his sword and stepped back.

"Leave now slant eyes, or it will be you who will die. Or do the two of you wish to take on the six of us." The big man spoke again.

"Try three swine." I said stepping forward my sword drawn.

"How about four." Phillip stepped forward a short sword in his hand.

"Make that five." The voice of the priest came from behind me as he stepped out to my left his sword drawn.

Again the man laughed, "you think you can best us?"

"Well, lets put it this way pig face," I countered, "You won't be alive to know."

The smile on his face slowly faded and his eyes narrowed. The four men with him began to fan out. The crowd about us gave ground fast. Soon there was a wide open space where there had been a crowd before and a strange quietness fell on the area. Suddenly there was what I took to be a battle cry and the flash of a blade. The big man's sword and the arm that held it fell to the ground as blood spurted from the stub of an arm. Before us was a mature woman of oriental blood, dressed the same as the two men I stood with. In her right hand was a strange looking sword, which looked similar to the one that the two Orientals carried. Before the man had time to scream in pain and fear with another quick slash of her weapon he fell to the ground dead.

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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Thu May 13, 2010 6:26 am

The woman looked at the rest of the men that was behind him still holding the bloodied sword in her hand. They backed off, resheathing weapons. She then went to the young girl and brought her over to the two men. She talked to them in their native tongue. She then turned and knelt by the man that she had just killed. Her hands quickly searched the man's body and came away with a bag of gold and a key to the chains.

She was a slightly built woman no taller than the eldest of the oriental men. Her hair was also black, but streaked with gray, showing her to be perhaps into her fourties. She too wore the loose fitting clothing that the oriental men did, but her long hair hung free. Even as an older woman she had a strange beauty about her.

She tossed the gold to the eldest of the oriental men and used the key to free the young woman from the chains. She then again turned and addressed the two men. This time she spoke in German.

"You are the last males of our line. Our lives in our own country are gone. Until the day that we may return, we must make our way in this land of barbarians." Her eyes flickered over me and the priest a slight smile on her lips. "Therefore you must make a life for yourselves as well as your young sister here. I must travel another road. Beware of those that seek to end the line, they are here in these lands searching.

"These three," pointing to us, "though barbarians, have shown courage and a desire to help those that are different then they. Perhaps they can help you and your sister. Farewell brothers."

With that she turned and made her way into the crowd who parted for her. The eldest of the two turned to me and spoke, "You did not have to offer help, why did you?"

I smiled and shrugged my shoulders. "I hate slavery and it seemed that it was the right thing to do at the time. In these times, strangers, especially such as yourselves, should not be taking on the likes of those bastards. Unless you want to take on the entire population of the city." I waved my hand to the crowd.

Come, you, your brother, and sister, and stay close to us. Perhaps we can work together and make something out of all of this, unless you want to help build the cathedral there." I pointed to the massive structure being built. As we began to walk off, father Friedrich paused a moment over the dead man and said a few words in prayer.

As we walked I made the introductions. "I am Brandon Eston, late of England. This is Phillip Preston, better known as the mouse and this is Father Friedrich of the church."

"I am Ishido Akira, my brother Akio, and my sister Akiko." He introduced himself and the others nodding his head slightly to me.

"I suggest that we join together and form a company and get a charter. In this way we can travel the country without fear of being pressed into service of the church to build the cathedral or any other civic work." I motioned to the table that the good father had pointed out. "If that bag of gold you were given has as much as I think, then we shall have the payment for the charter."

At the table was a scribe. Not far away was a man in black clergy robes, a silver cross on a silver chain on his chest. From his dress and a ring that he wore, I guessed that he was the bishop of Bonn. When we approached the table, the scribe looked up and held out his hand. Taking the bag of gold from Akira, I counted out the five hundred gold coins. The scribe then asked for our names and as we one at a time gave it to him, he wrote it down on the charter and had us sign our names.

As the last of us signed, the scribed asked in a loud voice, "is there any more?"

"Daland Malcresan." Came a voice from behind us. The scribe wrote the name down and a man of about twenty five walked up and signed his name. He was a handsome young man, standing six foot tall, wearing chain mail, blue and white clothing and armed with a long sword and a long bow. His longish black hair was neatly cut as was his goatee beard and mustach. His brown eyes sparkled with mischief and eagerness.

"Daland Malcresan at your service." He said making a sweeping bow. He spoke in German but with a definite accent. The name rang of French.

"Where do you come from, surely not Germany?" I asked, my right hand on my sword. If he be a Norman he was dead.

"Marseilles, France is my home." He replied with a smile.

That was not in the part of France that was known as Normandy. I eased my hand from my sword. "It seems that in any case we are stuck with you, since your name is on the charter. So welcome Daland Malcresan."

I extended my hand out to him in friendship.

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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Fri May 14, 2010 5:52 am

The young oriental girl, whose real name I could never pronounce, Aki is what we called her, and seemed to accept it, said something in her native language to her older brother.

Akira looked at her and then at us and back at her and said something back to her.

"What did she say?" Daland asked him.

"She asks if we are going to travel with you. She says that she does not like the smell of you barbarians, that you stink." He replied.

"Stink?" Phillip asked, smelling himself. "I don't smell nothing."

"From where we come from, one bathes almost every day." He began.

"Every day, that's not healthy." Phillip butted in.

Continuing after the interruption, "It is our custom to bath frequently, which I have been told is not the case in these lands. I told her that we are in a strange land and that we must tolerate such customs."

In English, Phillip turned to me and said, "she's an uppity one, ain't she?"

Aki looked at him and asked in fairly decent English, "what is uppity?"

Both Phillip and I looked at her and laughed shaking our heads. This would not be the last time that she would surprise us. Turning to her brothers, "we must now seek some type of employment."

Father Friedrich spoke up at this. "The scribe should have some information on such. I will ask him."

The priest went and talked to the scribe who turned and pointed to the bishop. The priest approached the bishop, went to one knee and kissed the bishops ring as he extended it. Rising, the priest talked to the bishop. He looked over at us with an impassionate face as Father Friedrich talked to him. We could see the bishop say something to him and he backed up a few steps and then turned and walked back to us.

"He will see us in the morning. He may have something for us." He said smiling.

"Good. Now we need horses and supplies, but I doubt that we have enough gold to get any." I looked at the others.

Daland nodded his head, "Sadly yes."

Father Friedrich shook his head sadly.

Akira looked at me and asked me to follow him a ways off amongst the construction of the cathedral. Once he was satisfied that no one could see us he said, "You are the first barb..., of these lands to treat us with any respect. You have offered help that could have gotten you killed. I feel that my brother and I have been taken advantage of from all those that we have come in contact with. With you it is different, I feel that I can trust you."

He lifted his right foot, holding it with one hand and balancing himself on his left foot, he opened the heel of his boot with his other hand and withdrew a small bag. He withdrew two diamonds and then replaced the bag and resealed the heel of his boot. Once more standing on two feet he handed me the two diamonds.

"Take these and exchange them for gold. Buy us the horses and supplies we need. I fear that my brother or myself would not get a good price."

I looked at him and then the diamonds. I was not trained in appraising gems, but their size and cut suggested that they would bring a good price, more than what we would need. I nodded and put the two diamonds in the glove on my left hand to hide them and where I could hold on to them with a partially closed hand with out suspicion. We returned to the rest of the party.

"You have been here the longest Daland. Can you take us to a fairly decent inn that is not to expensive." I asked him.

He nodded and motioned for us to follow him. He lead us from the cathedral through several streets to a fairly decent part of the city. He took us to an inn that was clean but somewhat rowdy. There was a lot of drinking going on even at an early hour as it was. He talked to the inn keeper and we were taken to the common sleeping room.

"For three gold, we can stay the night and that includes breakfast for each in the morning." Daland explained as we put what gear we had down.

"Very well Daland, this will do very nicely. Now lets pay the man and then you and I have a bit of business to conduct." I turned to the others, "Phillip, look after our friends here, see that they are not bothered, Daland and I will return shortly."

Between Daland and myself we came up with the three gold, and with that he and I left. Shortly after we departed the inn, I removed my glove and dumped out the two diamonds. Looking up, I saw the wide eyed look of Daland and smiled. "I see that you have a keen eye for gems. How are you on horse flesh?"

He looked at me and laughed. "The best in the land my friend. But first we must exchange these exquisite gems. I know of a place that will give you the best deal in the city. Come, and put those things away! Where did you get such fine gems any way?" He was looking around, a hand on his sword.

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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Sat May 15, 2010 5:59 am

"From our friend Akira. It seems that he and his brother are not as bad off as I first thought." I explained.

No one bothered us as we continued on through the city of Bonn. But we kept a sharp eye out for any that might try to rob us, our hands on our swords. To a gem merchant he took me. The man was small, fat and balding, but as I withdrew the two diamonds, his eyes widened and he licked his thick lips. He studied the two diamonds in the light of a lamp and then back at us.

"Eight hundred gold for the pair, and that is the best deal that you will get in the city." He said.

I looked over at Daland and he just nodded. "Very well, eight hundred gold it is." I told the merchant.

He went back into a back room and returned with two large bags. He counted out eight hundred gold pieces quickly and put them back into the bags. We took the bags and he took the gems. Before leaving the merchants shop we obtained several smaller pouches and divided up the gold amongst them. We hid the gold in various places upon our bodies. Eight hundred pieces of gold was heavy and bulky. Neither of us wanted to travel the streets with large bags of gold inviting every thief in town to kill us. Once we were satisfied with the distribution of the gold we departed, still keeping a weary eye out behind us and each time we neared an alleyway or side street.

It did not take us long to find a stable that sold horses. Here Daland looked over the horses, checking their legs, their teeth and giving them a good going over. He picked out seven and began to haggle over the price of the horses, saddles, saddle bags and other equipment. Satisfied after about fifteen minutes of bargaining he came back and said it would be three hundred gold for every thing to include bed rolls and a weeks feed for the horses. I agreed and told him to pay the man. From various places Daland took out gold and paid the horse merchant.

As Daland conducted the payment, I watched. Having all of this gold on my person made me nervous. I could not be quite certain if any had seen us in the gem merchants shop or if the merchant himself could be trusted. Perhaps it was just me, but I would have sworn at the time that there were eyes watching us. The horse merchant even helped us saddle the horses and tie on the equipment and before long we were on our way back to the inn.

On the way back Daland made a proposal to me, "Lets keep half of the money and say that the rest was all that is left after buying the horses."

I gave Daland a stern look, "Akira intrusted me with making an honest bargain for the diamonds and horses. No Daland, we will not cheat him. The gold belongs to him. If he wishes us to have any, he will give it to us."

When we returned to the inn we tied up the horses in front of it and went inside. Akira was there to meet us as we entered the common room. At this time of the day the room was almost empty. Those that were still in the room were still sleeping. Making a tight circle with the members of the company, we removed the gold from it hiding places and gave it to Akira. Five hundred gold lay on the floor amongst us. Some he gave to his brother some he kept and then looking up at Daland and myself, gave us three pouches each.

"You two have done well and proved that you are indeed trustworthy. Keep these for me and should we need anything use the gold to purchase it." He said with an expressionless face. I looked at Daland and his eyes caught mine and he understood.

By the weight, each bag contained about thirty gold. Again these went into various places under our armor and other places to hide them. The more we looked like poor adventures the better off we would be. Even so, that night after we had eaten, we posted watches to ensure that no one tried to slit our throats in the middle of the night.

Early the next morning we mounted up and rode to the cathedral. Father Friedrich, myself, and Daland went to see the bishop. He was there at his cathedral, inspecting the work that had been completed and checking the plans for what was to be worked on thas day. As we approached, he laid down a long roll of paper and turned.

"I understand that you seek service." Before any could answer he continued. "I understand that a piece of the shroud of Turin has been stolen from the Bishop of Munich. You are to travel to the area of Munich and find this piece of the shroud and return it to me! It is rumored that a band of bandits were involved in its theft. You shall be paid well for your services and if you are successful, perhaps there shall be other services that you may accomplish for me. Good day, gentleman."

He turned back to his papers and paid us no further attention. I looked at Daland and Father Friedrich and they at me. I motioned that we should leave and that we did. We mounted up with our companions and made our way through the city. It was still early in the morning. The people were just beginning to fill the streets. At the outskirts of the city we stopped and picked up supplies that we would need for the road to Munich. A couple of weeks were ahead of us and we needed food and other supplies. For about five gold we got all that we needed and we were ready to get on our way to Munich.

Before leaving, Aki asked her brother if he could purchase some weapons for her. "Brother, I need some sort of weapon to protect myself. Perhaps a couple of swords, not as big as his," she pointed to Daland's long sword, "something smaller that I could use."

Phillip was quick to volunteer. "I'll get 'er some. Know exactly what she needs." He was off down the street before any could say a word. From the way he had been eyeing the girl, I could tell that he was smitten with her. I had known Phillip for some time now, and during our travels he had never spent much time with one lass or showed as much interest in one as he did Aki.

We waited an hour for his return. When he came back he produced two short swords of good quality. I looked at him and he just smiled and shrugged his shoulders. Aki accepted without a word of thanks or a sign of recognition for Phillip. With quick sure movements she placed the swords within the folds of her clothing in such a way, nobody could not tell that she had them. Her brothers looked at her in a strange way but they said nothing. With out another word or looking back we departed Bonn. As we rode we talked and got to know each other a little better.

I talked to Akira since his brother only spoke his native language. From him I found out why he and his brother and two sisters were here in Germany. It seemed that the struggle for power was world wide and if you are on the loosing side your life is never your own ever again. This was their case also.

Their father had sided with the wrong side during a bid for power to control of their country, Japan, a small island nation of the coast of China. Their family had been condemned to death. However their father had foreseen the possibility of defeat and had insured that his family was safely smuggled out of the country before the battle that determined who was to be the ruler of Japan. They had been well provided for in wealth by their father, in the form of several gems that had been intrusted to their Kensai guards. In their travels, their older sister who was a Kensai warrior went ahead to secure a safe haven for them. The two brothers and sister were to follow with their servants. As the years passed and the two brothers grew older and were trained by a Kensai warrior sworn to protect the children, they lost contact with their elder sister. They traveled on crossing China, and the middle-Eastern countries until they arrived in Germany. Here in a fight with bounty hunters from their own country and some from Germany, their younger sister, Aki, had been captured and the rest of their servants and guards had been killed as had most of the bounty hunters.

Taking what they could in gems and supplies Akira and his brother had followed the ones that had captured their sister to Bonn where they hoped to find and rescue her. He hoped that some day that he could return to his own country and once again make his family name one of honor. I in turn told him of my own past which was very similar to his except that I had not been as well prepared for flight as he had been. I tried to get Daland to tell me his story, but he was reluctant to talk about it, except to say that he had been to England and knew every French woman that lived there.

Daland was a likable man, even though he was a bit mysterious about his past and he had his own ideas about sharing wealth. In the time that we traveled together we became good friends as did I and Akira. His brother was a different story as was his sister. His brother kept to himself, and did not mingle well with the others of the group. His sister was constantly complaining in German and English on how bad we smelled. That did not stop Phillip. Phillip seemed to be enthralled by the young lass and kept trying to talk to her even though she for the most part ignored him.

From Akira I found out that his sister, even though their family was considered outlaws was promised in marriage to the lord Yamao. That this agreement had been made by his parents upon her birth. Should circumstances change and they were allowed to return to their country, she was to be wed immediately. Even this did not deter Phillip, but seemed to increase his desire and ambition.

"Will you not give up your desire to obtain my affections. You know that it can never be." Aki told Phillip.

"Never." Was his reply as he just smiled at her.

He even began bathing when ever we stopped and were near a stream or river. I knew for sure then that the lad had been smitten by love and it made me smile and laugh. Ah but if had known the future then. I noticed that even Daland bathed upon reaching water and said to myself, why not. It seemed that soon we were all bathing almost every other day and it was not bad. It made me feel regenerated, refreshed and ready for the day or night.

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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Sun May 16, 2010 7:55 am

Chapter 2

We were about a week from the city of Munich and sought a safe place off the road for a camp site. Daland rode ahead to look for such a place and found one that overlooked the road and was easy to defend. It was on top of a hill. It was flat and if anyone moved upon the road below, they would not be able to see any that camped above. We assumed our watches that night as we had for the last several days. Again the night passed uneventfully, however early the next morning, the sound of horses drew Phillip's and my attention. Easing up to the lip of the hill that we camped on, we peered down to the road below. Six horsemen dressed in black had halted. Each was dressed in chain mail, carried a bastard sword and wore a surcoat that bore a red cross.

I had heard of these people. They were called Inquisitors. Mostly from Spain, but a few English, French, and Germans had joined their ranks. They were for the most part religious fanatics. Some I heard just like to torture people. They enforced a strict religious law that many said that they themselves did not abide by. It was also said that they aided various countries in hunting down wanted men. All in all men that I did not want to deal with. But one can not have what he wants all the time as was this time.

One of the men seemed to be conversing with what I assumed to be their leader. Now and then he would look up at the top of the hill and say something to the other one. The group began to move again but in our direction. It was evident that at least one of them some how knew we were up above. I told Phillip to wake up the others quietly and have some of them spread out and try to descend, to get behind the dark clad ones. I stood up where the men below could see me and slowly descended the hill. The men upon seeing me stopped and awaited me to descend. I descended to the road and stood in the middle of it facing the leader of the group.

"I am Brandon Eston. It seems that you wish to disturb my group, is there some way that I can be of service to you?" I casually asked.

The leader looked down at me with a venomous look and said something in spanish to the man he had been talking to earlier. The man said in german in an arrogant manner, "This is the bishop Marcus from Marseilles. You would do well to keep a civil tongue in your head."

He withdrew a scroll that had been sealed with wax and the imprint of a seal was evident. "You will take this to Oslo, Norway and give it to the bishop there."

About this time Phillip came walking down the hill towards the men. At his approach one of the other men looked closely at him and pulled out a large piece of paper and unfolded it. He looked at it and then at Phillip.

He pointed to Phillip and said, "You will come with us. You are under arrest for attempted murder of count Dubouis in England."

Phillip stopped dead in his tracks and looked really scared. He tried to turn and run but one of the other men urged his mount forward and was upon Phillip in no time. With the flat of his blade he laid poor Phillip out unconscious. Dismounting he lifted Phillip up on to the horse and tied Phillip's hands and feet.

"Hold there." I cried out. "That is a member of my group and a friend. We are under a charter from the bishop of Bonn...."

"Silence!" The bishop shouted himself, cutting me off. "Your charter means nothing to me nor that pompous ass that calls himself a bishop. You will do as I have commanded. As for your friend, he is a wanted man that will be taken back to face justice."

"By who's authority?" I asked.

If looks could kill, I would have been dead that instant. "By mine and the Popes." He almost shouted.

"Have you proof of this your eminence?" I continued. I hoped that by keeping the obnoxious bishop busy, that the rest of the group could get into good positions.

I must have really pissed the old boy off with that remark, for he leaned forward, eyes burning with anger and said, "You dare question my authority?"

"I do." Was my reply.

He turned to the man next to him and casually said, "Kill him."

While I was engaging the 'good' bishop in conversation, at the same time, I later learned that, Phillip had recovered consciousness and was trying to free himself. He heard a soft voice tell him not to move as he felt his bonds being cut.

Slipping silently off the horse, while the other men's attention was on what was being said up front, he was suddenly grabbed by a hand and pulled into the bushes along side of the road. There Aki motioned for him to be quiet and pointed to one of the men that had dismounted and was walking past them. Aki spit something from her mouth and it hit the man in the back of the neck. He suddenly stiffened and fell to the ground in convulsions. Phillip crawled up to the man, took his dagger and slit the man's throat. He then began moving slowly up between the horses with Aki moving silently with him.

As the man that the bishop ordered to kill me dismounted and started towards me he suddenly reached up to the back of his neck with one hand and fell to the ground in convulsions. Daland stood up from his position on the hill and began firing arrows at the other men that were quickly dismounting and running forward.

Akira and his brother Akio arose from their places of hiding and attacked another of the men in black. While Aki and Phillip concentrated their attack on yet another. The bishop dismounted and began walking towards me. "Then I will kill you myself." He said as he drew his sword.

It was pure black, with a red blood gutter. It looked to be a sword that bode ill for me. Yet I drew my weapon and faced the bishop. The ringing of steel filled the air as we fought for our lives.

Daland fired several arrows and missed each time. At each miss I could hear him curse. An archer he was not, so he threw down his bow, drew his sword and charged down the hill to attack yet another of the bishops men. He used a two sword fighting style, using his long sword as the primary attack weapon and the short sword as either a means to block his enemy's sword or attack with it. Against an apponent with a larger sword such as the Inqusitors and myself were using it could be a deadly combination if you were not quick with your feet and sword. The man he faced did not stand much of a chance. He was slow and not well trained in the use of the bastard sword. He soon lay at Daland's feet.

Akira and his brother soon had cut their opponents down with a few quick strokes of their katanas. They were both hightly skilled with their weapons. Aki and Phillip had another of the bishop's men cornered. Aki pulled something from the sleeve of her clothing and threw it at the man. Four star like things hit the man in the chest and he staggered back in surprise and pain. Phillip rushed in as the man was off balance and finished him.

The bishop was an outstanding swordsman and had gotten through my guard. I was bleeding from several minor wounds. But I was determined as he was and continued to fight. The bishop finaly made a move that almost proved fatal to me. His sword sliped in and I felt the buring pain as it's blade pierced my side. I fell to the ground severely wounded. The bishop stood over me an evil smile on his face as he raised his sword to finish me off, but I was not ready to die. With my remaining strength I brought my sword up and ran it through his dark hart. His eyes went wide with disbelief as he looked down at my sword. He fell next to me his liffe's blood spreading on the ground.

I dragged myself over to the bishop, removed the sword from his hand, the ring from his finger, the scroll, and his money pouch. "Should not have been such a bastard, your eminence. Mind if I take your sword and ring since you will no longer be needing them. No, well thank you."

Father Friedrich ran over to me. He pulled the chain mail from me and bandaged my wounds. He then placed his hands over the bandages where the wounds were. They seemed to knit together at once, even though the pain was still there. I felt better, but I was still weak. I looked up at the priest. I had no idea that they could do such a thing. This was something that was from the bible and the teachings of the church that Jesus and his apostles were able to do when they lived. But I had never known that an ordinary priest had such powers.

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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Mon May 17, 2010 6:27 am

Father Friedrich later told me. Many priests serve god in many ways. There were those like himself that prayed to god for abilities to help others. These included healing wounds, sickness of many kinds, curing blindness and deafness. But also if they proved themselves worthy and prayed hard enough, they were granted the powers that the apostles themselves had been given, even the power to bring the dead back to life. This was not general knowledge and the church tried its best to keep it from the rest of the world. Even many of the priests did not know that they had the chance to have these powers from god, for it was not broadly talked about or taught to them. Perhaps that is why it slowly faded from the minds of mankind

"I suggest that we drag the bodies into the woods and cover them up. I do not like the idea of any of his friends coming after us." My voice was almost a whisper.

Phillip, Daland, and Akira dragged the bodies into the woods and Father Friedrich administered the last rites to them. I thought that it was a waste of time on such as the bishop and his men, but Father Friedrich was a good priest and it did not matter to him who or what they had been. Once satisfied that the area was cleared of any thing that would indicate that the bishop or his men had been there, we tied their horses to our own and made our way further south, away from the area. Having rode war-horses in England I explained to Akira, his brother, Aki, Daland, and Father Friedrich that once the horses became use to us, they would begin to obey our commands and let us ride them.

Aki went to the bishops horse and turned to her brother. "I like this one brother. Can I have it?" The bishop's horse was a magnificent war horse with chain barbing. Akira looked at me and Daland and we just shrugged our shoulders. It did not matter to us which horse we took. They all seemed to be of good quality, though the bishops horse was obviously the best of the group.

"Yes you may have that one, but the barding I shall take and put on the horse I chose." He told Aki, who did not look to happy about it but agreed.

The next few days were quiet and we did not see another soul on the road. This gave me a chance to recover my strength. We came upon a sign that Father Friedrich said told that we were near a town. The thought of a good meal and some wine brought a smile not only to my lips but to Phillip's as well. As I turned to ask Daland a question, I saw him donning the clothing of one of the Inquisitors.

"Might be useful should we ask questions about the bandits. We are close to Munich and these people may have heard something." He smiled, and his eyes gleamed with mischief.

Daland had a good idea. With the clothing that we found in the saddle bags of the war horses, Daland, myself, and Phillip clothed ourselves as Inquisitors. Aki and her brothers would be new converts under the good Father's care. I also suggested that we let the towns people know that we were looking for bishop Marcus and his men. This would help keep suspicion from us if the bodies were found later on.

The war horses were now responding to us, which made our disguise more convincing. Shifting our possessions to the war horses, we tied the others together and Father Friedrich tied the rope to his saddle and brought them along at the rear of the group. Later we sold them as we had no use for extra horses and the war horses were much better anyway. Daland and myself went first followed by Akira and Akio. Aki and Father Friedrich brought up the rear with Phillip following them.

As we rode we discussed what we were going to do. Daland and myself would ask questions of the general population of the town. Father Friedrich would go to the local church and inquire therein. Aki and Phillip would seek the shadier side of the town to see if they could gather any information there. Akira and Akio would not be to useful in this endeavor, however their strangeness might encourage people to be a little more talkative.

As we rode into the town, there seemed to be something that had already gotten the peoples attention. As we progressed farther into the town the crowd parted for us and eyes went wide at the sight of 'Inquisitors' and the orientals. I kept the group going in the direction of where the center of the people's attention lay. Phillip left, riding alone skirting the crowd and making for a side street. From the height that the war horse gave me I soon spied the reason for the town's attention. Two more strangers stood in the middle of the town. Both wore chain mail and furs. Their hair was long and braided and both had large beards. Vikings from the north, a thorn in the side of the people of England in days past and to the Normans that ruled now.

As we approached the whispers of "Inquisitors" spread before us and the people turned their eyes from the Vikings towards us which brought a smile to Daland's lips. Once we reached the Vikings I reigned in my mount, as did Daland and dismounted. Standing before the two, Daland spoke in German to them. One seamed to understand, while the other looked dumbfounded and confused as he did when we had rode up.

"You are far from your homeland, Norsemen. I thought that you were a sea faring people. What brings you this far inland?" Daland asked.

The one with long blondish hair looked up at Daland and said in a broken German, "Our ship was wrecked in a storm. My brother and I were the lone survivors of the crew. We journey North to return to our home. We wish only to travel in peace through this land."

Aki, Akira and Akio dismounted and walked forward so that they stood slightly behind us. Aki looked between Daland and me and asked me a question in German.

"Who are these strange men?" Was her question.

I replied in English, "These are true barbarians from the north. It is said that they have tails."

She squirmed past Daland and I so that she stood before us looking up at them. She looked from one to the other and then said in German, "Do you really have tails?"

I almost burst out laughing but restrained myself. The one with the blond hair looked down at her with a bewildered look on his face.

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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Tue May 18, 2010 5:02 am

"What is this child mumbling about?" He asked.

"I am not a child." Aki stated quite profoundly. Then she turned to Akira and said, "Brother can I have his head as a trophy.." pointing to the dark haired one. "When you kill them, I would like to have his head."

That the Viking understood and said something to his brother as he backed up a step. The second Viking's eyes narrowed and he said something to the blond haired one.

"My brother says that if you wish to fight, he is more than willing to kill you." He said to Akira.

He looked at the Viking then at his sister. "These two have not offered us any insult sister, therefore why do you wish them harm?"

Before she could respond, I stepped in between the two and said, "There is no need for blood shed this day. The young woman is a stranger to these lands, even more so than you are. I suggest that we retire to yonder tavern and have a tankard or two to wash the dust from our throats."

At the offer of drink the eyes of the Viking lit up. He again talked to his brother in their own language and he relaxed and smiled. Turning to Akira, I motioned with my head towards Aki while my eyes swept the crowd and said, "Try to curb your sisters tongue, lest it get her into more trouble than we can handle."

Akira seemed to catch the meaning of my eyes, for he gently took his sister's arms and spoke to her in their own language. She looked at me with an angry look, but seemed to abide with what her brother said. As we walked towards the tavern, I noticed that Aki had slipped away. I could only hope that she would not get us all in to trouble. Daland stayed in the crowd and as we made our way to the tavern, he said in a loud voice, "I will hear confessions of those that need to confess their sins."

At the time I could only hope that Daland knew what he was doing. I lead the others on to the tavern. The tavern was empty except for the tavern owner and three men that sat at a table. The three men wore chain armor, with one having what appeared to be a metal arm guard of some kind. The one with the metal arm guard wore a short sword and a long sword. The other two men wore black chain mail and black clothing. One of these looked to be older then the other two, having streaks of gray in his hair. The other two men looked to be in their thirties and well seasoned men at arms.

"Drinks inn keeper, for our northern friends and my companions." I waved may hands to the vikings and orientals.

The innkeeper, a middle aged man with a wine stained leather apron, immediately drew from a huge barrel several large mugs of foaming brew. Turning to the vikings, I raised mine in a toast, "To new acquaintances."

They raised theirs and drain their mugs of the strong beer that the German people made. I motioned to the inn keeper to refill their mugs, as I slowly drank mine. Akira and Akio took their drinks and went to a table to sit their backs against the wall.

As the two again drank I asked. "In all the confusion of the time, I forgot to ask thy names good sirs."

"I am Sturmgar." The blond haired one pounded his chest with a fist. "This is my brother, Eric." He slapped the other on the back and drained his mug again. This was going to cost us, but we needed friends and not enemies, so I again had the inn keeper fill their mugs.

As I drank a little more of the potent beer, my eyes fell upon the three men at the table. They were watching me. I nodded my head to them and they intern nodded theirs to me. I did not know why, but I had an immediate dislike for the three men. Even so, I had a role to play so I walked over to their table.

"Good day gentlemen, I am Brandon Eston. Would you care to join us for a drink." I offered.

The elder of the three spoke, "No thank you sir, for my two friends are about to leave and I must shortly there after." He leaned back in his chair. "Eston, is not that an English name, Saxon if I am not mistaken."

"You are very astute. Indeed it is English and Saxon. But that was because my Father was Saxon and he and I did not quite see eye to eye on many things." I was quick to reply.

He nodded but still looked at me strangely. "What brings you here and in such strange company?" He nodded towards the orientals.

"We look for the Bishop Marcus. He was to be traveling in this part of Germany. My companions have news for him that I have been instructed that only they can deliver." I took another drink.

"Strange, but I have heard that the bishop has strange ways of doing business." The man stated. "Ah, but you must excuse my manners, I have not introduced my companions or myself."

He motioned with his hand towards the man on his right, the one with the metal arm plate. "This is the Baron Duvee." the baron only nodded. "This is Ramon," motioning to the other man, "and I am Lawrence DaCardier. Now you must excuse us, for my companions have an important job to do and I must be on my way also. Perhaps we shall meet again."

The three of them rose as one and headed for the door. I watched as they left and breathed a sigh of relief when they were gone. Normans, here in the south of Germany did not bode well with me. If there were these three, then there were others about. No matter how I hated them, I had to put that aside, until I had completed the mission that I had agreed to undertake. I returned to the bar to see our two Viking friends drinking yet another tankard of beer and not even looking the worst for it.

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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Wed May 26, 2010 2:20 pm

Turning to the barkeep I looked at him with an icy stare, as the bishop had given me. "As I mentioned a moment ago, we look for the bishop Marcus. I have heard that there is a band of bandits in this area and I worry that he may have been ambushed by them. Know ye anything of these bandits?"

The barkeep swallowed hard and licked his lips, as fear filled his eyes. "Very little your lordship. Aye, there is a band of bandits that inhabit these parts, and it is said that they have stolen something of great value. But that is all I know."

"You know the consequences should you be lying?" The tone of my voice was as harsh and cold as I could make it.

"Yes my lord, I understand completely." He was visibly shaking.

"If you should find out anything before we depart your town, you will immediately inform me!"

He nodded wiping the sweat from his face. Sturmgar and Eric were yelling for more beer and I waved my hand towards them. The barkeep quickly filled their mugs and tried to keep his eyes from my direction.

It seemed that I had reached a dead end in obtaining information. Later I was able to piece together what happened to the other members of our group while I was entertaining our two Viking friends. Daland was enjoying himself acting the confessor. Many of the towns people went to him to confess their sins. It seemed that they did not want their parish priest to know what they had been doing. The men he dealt with quickly and they departed with darting eyes at those around and frightened looks on their faces. The women he took a much more leisurely time with and even after he had heard all the confessions of those willing to confess to him, he did not return to the tavern until the next morning when we were preparing to depart. He would not saw what he had been doing. He looked tired but had a smile upon his lips and the look of complete satisfaction in his eyes.

Father Friedrich had no luck at the church. The parish priest was gone and he soon rejoined the rest of us at the tavern. Phillip though had the best luck of us all. He had made his way about the town and had found another tavern with a lone old man in it. The rest of the tavern was empty, even the barkeep was gone. It seemed that the vikings and then ourselves had brought the entire population of the town to the main square.

The old man was drinking from a bottle of wine, one of several that sat on a the table before him. As Phillip walked in, the old man looked up and smiled. He did not even blink an eye at Phillip's Inquisitor's clothing. Perhaps he saw through it, or did not care. For as Phillip approached, the old man grabbed another bottle with his free hand and raised it up towards Phillip.

"Join me in a bottle lad? An excellent wine indeed." The old man raised his bottle to his lips and took a long pull on it.

Taking the bottle from the man's hand, Phillip opened it and took a long drink himself. A smile spread across his face as the warmth of the wine spread through his body. Sitting down across from him, three more bottles were pushed his way by the old man.

"Why ain't you out with the rest of them?" Phillip carefully asked.

The old man laughed, "Those fools! They run out to see everything out of the ordinary. Me, I've seen enough to last a lifetime. So let the fools gawk, I'll enjoy the spoils of their foolishness. He raised his bottle in a salute and drained it.

Opening another bottle the old man was about to take a drink when he stopped and stared at the doorway. Phillip turned his head and saw Aki standing in the doorway. "Care to join us for a drink Aki? Not the best wine I have ever tasted, but it is a good vintage!"

Turning back to the old man, Phillip continued his conversation with him. "You look to me as if you would know much about what happens about here."

"Aye lad, that I do. Nothing happens between here and Munich that old Hans doesn't know about." He drank half of the bottle and looked up again as Aki slid into a chair next to Phillip.

He looked at Aki rubbing his bearded chin. As he was watching her, Phillip asked. "Then perhaps ye have heard of a band of bandits about these parts?"

He turned his gaze back at Phillip, eyes narrowing, he took another drink before answering. "Aye! That I do lad. I know where their foul lair be."

"We wish to acquire this information. It is of the utmost importance that the church find these bandits." Phillip stared back at the old man.

The old man snorted and all most laughed. "Now why would the church be interested in a bunch of bandits, eh. Well no matter. What be it worth to ye for such information?"

Phillip sat his bottle down giving the man a hard cold look, but did not get any response from him. Shaking his head, he took out fifty gold pieces and spread them out on the table between the three of them. The old man looked at the money rubbing his chin.

"Double that lad and ye got a deal." He spoke in a cold sober voice.

Phillip began to pickup the gold when Aki laid a hand on his arm. She took out a bag of gold from her robes and dumped it out on the table. She looked at the old man, her eyes hard, cold, and confident. "If your information is not true, I will return to kill you.?"

The old man was about to smile when his eyes saw hers. It faded quickly and the flicker of fear crossed his eyes. He nodded slowly and spoke evenly. "Take the South road from the center of town. A half day ride South to the right of the road will be a path leading into the woods. A half kilometer in there will be a cottage. This is where the bandits are now."

He stood up picking up the gold, "They are led by two men not of Germany. Me thinks they are of Norman blood, for I heard them talk in French. One even claims to be a baron."

Without another word, the old man pocketed the gold and departed the tavern. Phillip looked over at Aki. As she stood up she said to Phillip, "Have you not yet given up on your foolish desires?"

"I never give up once I've set my mind on something." He replied.

Both departed the tavern but mere moments before the owner and the usual crowd returned. They moved quickly through the mostly deserted streets, back towards the main square of the town. With their return the group was complete, except for Daland. Phillip quickly gave us the information that he and Aki had obtained. At the mention of the two Norman leaders and one being a baron, I cursed, banging my fist on the table. I knew something was not quite right with the three that had been in the tavern that day.

As we talked I noticed Aki slip in behind a stranger that had arrived shortly after she and Phillip had. The stranger stiffened and slowly turned and looked down at Aki. The two began to talk and after a minute both departed the tavern. I could see them out side talking for several minutes and then both reentered the tavern and approached the rest of the party.

"This is Mordrid. He comes from England and desires to join our company. I have talked to him and will vouch for him." Aki spoke up.

Stepping forward to look the stranger over I asked him, "Why do you not show your face to those that you wish to join and why would you wish to join us."

The voice behind the visor had the air of youth. Perhaps even younger than my twenty years. But it was firm, steady, and calm. "I bear horrible scars that I do not wish any to see. As for why I wish to join you, it seems that we may have a common goal. I seek a certain man, the one that scared me for life. He is the Baron Duvee and perhaps the same baron that leads the bandits. It is my intention to kill him for what he has done to me."

"Are you then a Saxon, that he would do such a thing to?" I asked.

"No, I too am a Norman, but for what he did he shall die." Was Mordrid's reply.

A Norman wanting to kill another Norman. That in it self was something that at the time I took enjoyment in. If Mordrid wanted to kill Normans, then he was welcome. I would work on his being Norman later, if he survived.

I reached out and placed a hand on his shoulder. I could feel the muscles tighten, even with the chain mail. This seemed strange at the time, but I thought that it was due to nervousness. I turned to the others and gave my support to Mordrid joining our company. It was not long before the others voiced their consent. Turning to Mordrid I smiled and said, "Welcome to the fold. I hope our endeavors shall bare fruit for both our causes. But enough of this. Come, drink and relax. For on the morrow we will shall due battle."

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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:20 am

At the mention of battle, Sturmgar looked over at me and said, "You plan to fight someone?"

"It looks that way." I thought a moment and then asked. "Would you and your brother like to join us. Two good strong men such as yourselves would be useful in a fight."

He turned to his brother and spoke to him. His brother got a wide grin on his face and nodded his reply enthusiastically.

"We will join you." He said swaying a bit.

Phillip spoke up at this. "Perhaps I should go ahead and scout out the lair of the bandits. No need running into trouble when there is no need for it."

Aki stepped up beside Phillip and said, "I will go also. I may be of assistance to Phillip."

"Now wait a minute." Phillip looked surprised, "I don't need to be worrying about what your two brothers will do to me if something happens to you."

She turned to her brothers, "Nothing will happen to me. I am probably better at this than Phillip is."

From what I had learned from Phillip on what happened back with the bishop, I was beginning to see that Aki was not what she at first appeared. When Phillip turned to me, I just raised my hands as a gesture that it was out of my hands. Akira must have been coming to the same conclusion for he only nodded his approval and that settled the matter. Phillip took a deep breath and shook his head.

"You had better not go get yourself killed." He said sternly at Aki and then addressed the rest of the company. "We will leave a couple hours ahead of the rest of you. This will give us time to take a good look about and come get you and lead you in. We will leave a couple hours before dawn."

The day was beginning to wane, so we brought in our gear and placed it in the now deserted common room and settled ourselves in for the night. Once I was satisfied that all was secured I went back to the barkeep. He was still frightened and not sure of how to deal with us.

"How much for the drink and use of the common room?" I asked.

"No charge good sir, no charge at all. Anything for the church you know. Anything you need just call." He said wringing his hands.

I just nodded and made up my mind to leave a few gold pieces on the bar for him when we departed in the morning. I did not like to take advantage of people that way, at least not then I didn't.

It seemed like morning came to quickly. Phillip and Aki had already gone. I could only hope that all went well with them and that they did not get in over their heads. But, it was to late to worry about that by that time. We packed up our things and saddled our horses. Before we left, I placed ten gold on the bar for our drinks and room for the night. If it was not enough, well at least he got something out of it all.

As we rode out of the town, it was quiet. No one was on the streets and it felt strange. It was as if the entire town was deserted. Urging our horses on, we took the South road, not in hurry, giving Phillip and Aki time to do what they had been sent to do. Without any idea of what we were up against, we could not plan ahead. By noon we were at the path where we were to meet Aki and Phillip. Dismounting we moved the horses into the woods and waited for them. As we waited Daland and I removed our Inquisitor clothing and stowed it in our saddlebags. There was no sense in continuing the disguise.
Aki and Phillip had arrived a couple hours earlier and had hidden their mounts in the woods before moving on towards the cottage. Both moved quietly. Phillip had developed his ability to move quietly over the months that I had known him. At times when he moved about I could not hear him or see him. He had also learned the trick of using the shadows to hide or blend in with his surroundings. In the woods it was more difficult than in a city, yet still he managed to approach the cottage with out being seen or heard. Aki kept pace with him and to his surprise moved with a level of silence, care and grace that would take him a long time to equal. Aki seemed to know techniques similar to those of a thief, which made Phillip wonder about her.

Both crawled up close to the cottage and around it. It was in a small clearing of the woods, with thick bushes about the cottage and woods. Both had plenty of concealment as they observed the cottage and the surroundings. Both had the feeling of many eyes upon them but could not see anyone. There was only the one door and a window in the front of the cottage, and a chimney. In the open window, both could see two men standing on either side of it on the inside of the cottage. Both had crossbows laying on the window ledge.

Aki moved close to Phillip and whispered, "Stay here, I will be back."

Before he could say anything she was already moving away blending into the shadows and foliage. He watched her with a trained eye. It was difficult for him to see her at times. She moved up to the cottage, and melded into the bushes that grew before the window. He saw her reach up with a hand and gently insert something between the bolt and the crossbows of both guards. It was then that Phillip saw the third man as he moved to the window and looked out. Phillip's heart skipped a beat as the man leaned a little ways out the window. If he looked down he would have seen Aki laying there, barely breathing.

But the man looked to his left and right and then withdrew into the cottage. A few minutes latter, Phillip felt a light touch on his shoulder that made his heart jump and every muscle in his body tense.

"I have given us a slight edge in the up coming battle. I have placed small stones between the bolts and crossbows. This will cause the bolts to fire higher than aimed. It may give someone time to make it to the cottage across the clearing." Came Aki's voice close to his ear.

"We must now return to the others and let them know what we have found." She continued.

"I will stay here and keep an eye on the place. Just in case there is a change to their routine, or I see something that we have missed. You return to the others and guide them here."

She seemed to disappear into the undergrowth. Not a sound or the slightest movement of anything indicated her presence. Phillip waited and barely seemed to breath. He still felt like there were several pairs of eyes watching him. No more than a half hour after Aki departed, two men walked up to the house directly across from where Phillip lay hidden. Phillip had not seen the baron or the other man, but I had described them to him. These were indeed the same men that had been in the town.

Aki appeared before us as we waited in a small clearing. She explained what she and Phillip had found, about sabotaging the two crossbows, and about the third man. Two of the three shots would miss, but the third would be a problem. A good man with a crossbow was a deadly threat, that could kill at least one of us. We also did not know how many more were in the cottage.

It was a chance we were going to have to take, if we wanted to complete our mission. Aki lead us back through the forest to the cottage. Once there we spread out to encircle the cottage. From where I had taken up a position, I could see the door and the window. Daland was across the clearing from me and had his bow unslung and arrow notched. Even if he was not good with it, he might get lucky or come close enough to make them take cover. Akira and Akio moved to a position that was close to the cottage itself while Father Friedrich kept to the woods. He was not much for fighting. He would defend himself, but abhorred taking the life of another. He would rather use his other talents to bind the wounds of others and heal those who needed it.

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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:36 am

As we moved into our positions, I saw Phillip move towards the house and the window. Perhaps it was laying there still for so long that caused some stiffness or made him a bit unwary. For I was not the only one that saw him moving. As he got to the cottage and was approaching the window, four arrows flew from the trees a little to my left. Two hit the cottage and splintered, but the other two were true to their mark and Phillip was knocked to the ground by the force of their impact. He fell and laid still. One could not tell if he had been killed or not.

Looking across the clearing, up in the trees, I could see three men with long bows. Another I knew was in a tree on my side of the clearing and possibly more. The three men by the window became alert now, readying their cross bows. Cursing, I readied myself to make a dash for the door. Across the way I saw Sturmgar and his brother preparing to make a dash for the cottage.

That is when I saw Aki on the roof of the cottage, climbing up to the chimney and lowering herself down it. Two arrows flew to the tree in which the arrows that struck Phillip came from. There was a scream of pain and a man fell from the tree with two arrows in his chest. Two arrows answered back from a tree to my right. Both embedded themselves in the tree that Daland was standing next to. He ducked back behind it readying another two arrows.

Akira and Akio unslung their bows. They were not as long as a long bow and were shaped differently, but the results were the same. Two arrows from each of them and two more men fell from the trees about the clearing. While they were getting the attention of the archers in the trees, I made my move towards the door. Running as fast as I could, I ran straight for the door turning my shoulder into it at the last moment to smash it open.

As I ran, I saw two of the men in the window with cross bows slump over the window sill, their cross bows falling from their hands. As the door gave way and I came running into the room, I saw Aki, with a garrote about the third cross bowman's neck , a knee in his back , pulling back with all her strength. There was yet one other in the room, Ramon! Him I turned to face as Eric with his great ax charged into the room. Ramon wasted no time, he attacked.

Eric was still off balance as Ramon aimed his attack at him. Before Eric knew what had happened, he had a sword through his chest. He crumpled to the ground, his great ax falling from lifeless hands. That left me facing Ramon alone, as I saw Aki behind him open a trap door in the floor and descend it. He wielded a long sword and a short sword, the latter being used to parry my attacks. He was by no means as good as bishop Marcus had been but he was no novice either.

As I pressed my attack and backed him about the room near the trap door I heard Aki cry out and someone fall to the floor. Sturmgar and Mordrid finally made it into the room, one through the window and the other through the door.

"The trap door, Aki may be in trouble, I'll take care of this one!" I called to them as again and again my sword rang against his.

Both Ramon and myself were bleeding from several minor wounds that we had been able to inflict upon each other. Even the best made chain armor could be cut through and ours was no different. It would take time to repair the damage. But that was far from my thoughts at the time. Mine was on trying to get within his guard so my sword could find it's mark, his black heart. Sweat ran in streams down my face and body, into the wounds causing them to burn with even more pain.

Ramon continued to retreat from my attacks. I knew that he sought to back near enough the door that he could escape, but I moved again and again to block his route, forcing him to stay and fight. Finally my opening came. As he continued to back away from me towards the middle of the room, he took a quick glance down and behind him looking for the open trap door in the floor. This was all I needed. In that short moment while his attention was divided, my sword found its mark. As I withdrew my sword, his weapons dropped from his hands and he fell first to his knees, one hand clutching at his chest a wild look on his face, then forward to lay sill on the cottage floor.

Down below, Sturmgar descended the wooden stairs to a musty smelling cellar. Here he saw the Baron Duvee standing over Aki, a bloodied long sword in hand. He could see that she still breathed, even though he could see the bright stain of blood on her clothing and the earthen floor.

"Hold were you are or she dies." He held the point of his sword to Aki's neck. "

Sturmgar stopped about half way from the stairs to Duvee. Not knowing what he should do, he stood there, as Mordrid slowly descended.

"You, on the stairs. Come down and stand next to your friend or the girl dies! Duvee shouted.

Mordrid slowly descended the rest of the way and eased up to Sturmgar's left side. The Baron had a smile on his face. He was about to say something when Mordrid saw Aki's eyes open, turn her body from under the point of the sword and strike the baron in the leg with a wakizashi which seemed to come from nowhere. He howled in pain and surprise. Sturmgar was fast to take advantage of the situation. He hurled his two headed ax at the baron with all his strength. It flew straight and true, catching the baron in the chest, cutting through his chain mail, flesh and bone, forcefully easing him of his life.

The Baron looked down at the instrument of his death, eyes wide with disbelief, and crumpled to the ground. With a great battle cry, Sturmgar howled his victory.

Mordrid rushed to Aki, who was sorely wounded and in need of immediate help. Mordrid tore strips of cloth from the baron’s clothing and made improvised bandages to staunch the bleeding. Sturmgar retrieved his ax and striped the baron of his weapons, gold, a small wooden box, and the metal arm guard that he wore. Once satisfied that there was nothing else of value on the dead man's body, he ascended the stairs, followed by Mordrid who carried Aki.

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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:48 am

While we had been engaged in our fights within the cottage, Daland, Akira and Akio had finished locating and eliminating the archers that were hiding in the trees. Father Friedrich moved into the clearing as soon as it was clear that all of the archers were dead. He found Phillip still alive but he to was in need of immediate attention. Removing the arrows and stopping the loss of blood, he proceeded to use the powers granted to him to heal the wounds.

Phillip would live, but as I had been, he would be weak for a couple of days from the loss of blood.

Mordrid brought Aki out and Father Friedrich attended to her wounds as he had Phillip. Sturmgar carried out his brother, a hard look upon his face. He laid him on the ground and knelt by the side of his dead brother. I searched the body of Ramon for what we were looking for and anything of value that we could use. He did not have much besides his weapons.

By the time I had finished and left the cottage, Father Friedrich had finished with Phillip and Aki. He walked over to me and told me to sit down so he could heal my wounds.

"The piece of the shroud" he asked as he worked on my wounds, "did you find it?"

" Ramon did not have it so the Baron must have it." I told him.

At the mention of the Baron, Sturmgar took out from his clothing a bag of gold and small wooden box. "The one you call Baron only had this on him."

At the sight of the wooden box, Father Friedrich's body stiffened and he took a deep breath. Rising slowly he walked to where it lay on the ground and gently picked it up and opened it. Turing to me he smiled and nodded, as he once again closed the box.


Chapter 3

Daland, Akira, and Akio retrieved the bodies of the baron and, as well as the other bandits. They dug shallow graves and placed the bodies in them. Father Friedrich gave them all the last rights, even though we felt that such did not deserve it. Sturmgar built a funeral pyre of dry wood that he gathered and laid his brother on it. Taking a couple flasks of oil from the cottage, he pored them over his brother's body and the pyre and set it alight. If anyone was in the forest for miles around they would have seen the glow of the fire.

We made use of the cottage for the rest of the day and night after retrieving our horses. Aki and Phillip needed rest and food to bring their strength back. The cottage was as good a place as any.

The next morning as we were saddling the horses, I asked the others, "Do you think we should return the piece of the shroud to Bonn or perhaps return it to the Bishop of Munich, from whom it was stolen from?"

Akira and Akio were indifferent. The shroud of Turin meant nothing to them. Sturmgar was only interested in returning home. Mordrid said that he would abide by what ever we decided. That left Daland and Father Friedrich.

"I did not like the way the Bishop of Bonn treated us." Daland said. "Since the piece of the shroud was stolen from the bishop of Munich, I think that returning it there will bring a much richer reward."

"Ah my son, " Father Friedrich said, "how little you know of the church and it's ways. The Bishop of Bonn wants the piece of the shroud because it is a religious artifact. It would give him great prestige to have in his grasp such a thing, as well as the Bishop of Munich who probably stole it from Turin. These bishops will go to any lengths to be the most powerful, influential, and feared in the church. These men and many like them think of nothing but themselves and the best way to gain power over one another. Neither Munich nor Bonn will give you what you want or desire. I say we should travel to Turin and return it to its rightful place. I am sure that the Bishop of Turin would be more likely to favor us then the other two."

Daland rubbed his chin a moment and said, "You have a very good point good Father. I thank you for the enlightenment. On then, to Turin and what rewards await us there."

To Turin, somewhere in Italy. I had as a lad studied some of the maps of the world. Turin, I knew was somewhere in the northern part of Italy. I must have had a thoughtful look upon my face, for Father Friedrich put a hand on my shoulder.

"Worry not my son, I know the way to Turin. I have traveled far and wide in days past."

I then had to explain to Sturmgar that we traveled South and not North. I asked him to accompany us South to Turin and from there we would surely go North. Sturmgar was a man of few words. He told me now that his brother was dead, he was in no hurry to return home. He pulled out the metal plated arm guard he had taken from the baron and strapped it on his left arm. I thought that it looked a bit small for such a large muscular arm that he had, but it seemed to mold itself to his arm.

"Magic." Came Father Friedrich's voice behind me. "It seems that the baron had friends that use the arcane arts, as did the bishop Marcus."

Magic? There was no such thing, or at least so I had been told. More myths or truths?

"What kind of magic?" I asked.

"Of the arm guard, I am not sure my son. But the sword that you took from the bishop Marcus and now wield, I have an idea." Father Friedrich replied.

I removed the sword from its sheath and looked at it. It really didn't seem to have been made from metal at all.

"Have you not noticed that the blade is still sharp? Did it not perhaps cut through Ramon's chain mail a little easier? Does it not also feel lighter and more balanced then your other sword? Yes my son, it has been magically forged and the 'good bishop' knew it."

"But I thought that the church condemned such?"

"They condemn the use of magic for it is said to be empowered to individuals by Satan himself. However do not believe every thing that you hear or are taught. Where the magic comes from no one really knows, it is there and it is neither good nor evil, only how it is used.

"There are those that have sold their souls to Satan for power, but it is not the same as what is considered magic. But those things that have been created by magic, even though perhaps to be used for evil, are not in themselves evil. They can be used for the good of mankind, if they are used by those who walk the path of god.

"If you should tell any of what I have told you, I will deny it all and call you a blasphemer. "

"But how did the baron and bishop come upon such things?"

"I do not know. But the church has many such things. Most are hidden away at the Vatican, perhaps never to be seen by man again. However, there are some like the sword that the clergy have retained for their use or the use of others. But the church is not the only source of these magical items. They are out there in the world, to most they are nothing more than a sword, some armor, or something odd looking. To one of a trained eye, or one that has the arcane powers they will reveal themselves for what they truly are."

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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:20 pm

He looked at me a moment then closed his eyes and opened them again with a strange look in his eyes.

"Beware Brandon, I sense that you are destined to be surrounded by magic, and great evil. It seems that there are forces at work in the world that I do not fully understand. Evil shall try to overcome you and make you join it or try to take possession of you. Do no yield to it, for if you do there is no return."

With that he turned and finished tying down his belongings on his horse. His words troubled me. My path it seemed had been set for me. Now it was up to me to find it and keep watch.

Father Friedrich told us that it would take at least another two weeks to reach Turin. That there would be several villages and towns along the way to replenish our supplies, have a good hot meal, and a decent place to sleep.

Akira took Aki on his horse since she was still weak and Father Friedrich took Phillip with him on his horse. For the next couple of days these two traveled such and rested when we stopped. They were fit to ride when we stopped at a village on the third day.

While buying supplies, Daland picked up some disturbing news. The shop keeper from whom he was buying some dried beef had made a comment after seeing Akira and the others. Another party of orientals led by a mature oriental woman dressed like Akira, had been in the town and they had been traveling with a Norman by the name of DaCardier.

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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:20 pm

"Again DaCardier!" I almost shouted. "He was with the baron Duvee and, now here with a group of orientals. I do not have a good feeling about this. He had something to do with the piece of the shroud and I do not think it was to return it. Now with other orientals, this feels like trouble ahead."

Akira spoke up at the mention of other Orientals. "These would be more bounty hunters sent by our enemies in Japan. They will be relentless in their search for us."

"I was also told that these bounty hunters traveled northwest on another road and that DaCardier traveled South with the woman. " Daland added.

"I like it not Daland, there is something more going on here than we can see. This DaCardier is a man I do not trust." I told him.

"True enough Brandon, I feel the same way. He is up to something more than just dealing with bandits. We must therefore be cautious."

The next day we rode on towards Turin. The day past slowly as did it seem our progress. The day was warm and sunny, for it was just turning to summer. I thought about England and how I longed to return home. But that was not possible, it would take a miracle for me to return to England and be safe. Such were my thoughts as we stopped for the night. A small stream flowed nearby so everyone took turns bathing in its icy cold depths.

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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:20 pm

We settled down to our normal camp routine and it seemed to quiet. The first watch was just about to take up their positions while the rest of us tried as best we could to get comfortable enough to fall asleep, when they appeared. Daland saw them first and cried out his warning as he backed up into the camp, his swords in his hands.

I was up, my sword in hand, but had no time to put on my chain mail. I went to stand next to Daland as did Father Friedrich, Mordrid, Sturmgar, and Phillip. A band of eleven orientals, all dressed as Akira and his brother were slowly walking into our camp site. Ten of the men carried what looked to be spears of some type. The other, an older looking man carried the same weapons as did Akira.

"What do you want?" I asked in German.

The leader looked up at me and replied in good German, "We seek the three of our kind that you travel with. "

"I think not. They are friends of ours and we do not take kindly to those that wish to harm our friends." I explained to the man.

Akira's voice came from behind me saying something in his native language. He then stepped between Daland and myself and stood before us. Akira bowed slightly towards the leader of the other Orientals and their leader bowed slightly less. I learned that this was a custom of the Japanese. The lower you bowed the lower in rank you deemed yourself. Akira had said with his bow that he considered himself of relatively high station. The leader of the oriental band considered himself higher than Akira.

Their customs were strange, but I guess some of ours were strange to them. The two of them talked for a few minutes in their own language and when they were done, Akira turned to us.

"I have agreed to fight him. If I win he will depart with his men and return to Japan telling those that sent him that we are dead. If he wins I have agreed that my brother, sister, and I will return with them. I have given my word of honor on this and it must be done." He explained to us.

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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:21 pm

He turned back towards the other orientals and walked forward to meet their leader. Aki slid in between Daland and Phillip to watch, her eyes wide with fear. Both men approached each other drawing their katanas. Both men were fairly competent at their style of fighting, however it was soon evident that the other was more experienced and faster than Akira.

Though Akira had been able to wound his opponent, he himself had been wounded three times as much. He soon lay bleeding on the ground, unconscious form loss of blood and the pain of his wounds. Father Friedrich moved forward to attend his wounds. I did not like what had happened and told Daland my feelings. But Akira had swore an oath and he had to abide by it.

Aki went back to her things and brought back two small ceramic cups and bottle. She walked up to the kensai warrior and bowed low and said something to him in their language. He sat down and Aki kneeled, resting her weight back on her legs. She poured a clear liquid into the two small cups and bowing held one out to the kensai warrior. He took the cup and drank the contents. Aki picked up hers and drank the contents of hers. She again arose and bowed low and returned to her bedroll, a smile upon her face.

I helped Father Friedrich bring Akira back to his bed role and laid him down. He was weak but alive if that was of any consolation. The other orientals made camp and bedded down for the night. The kensai warrior was attended to by a couple of his men. They bandaged his wounds and he went to sleep.


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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:19 pm

When we awoke the next morning, there seemed to be something going on in the oriental’s camp. It centered around the kensai warrior who was still laying were he went to sleep the night before. It appeared that they were trying to wake him, then felt his neck as if feeling for a pulse. I saw one shake his head at the others stand up and turn towards our camp. He walked towards us an expressionless look on his face.

"I do not know what has happened. Our master did not seem to be wounded that badly last night. Something is not right. But he is dead and the one we came for is alive. Our master made a bargain and we will honor it. We shall depart and return to our own country." He told us in German. He looked over at Aki with a strange look on his face, one of hatred and suspicion, then turned and went back to the other orientals. Within an hour they had departed with their dead leader.

I looked over at Aki after they had left. She had a smug smile on her face. Later I learned of what happened that night. Aki had poisoned the drink that she had given the kensai warrior. She had also drank the poisoned drink, but she was immune to the poison. The poison worked slowly and he had died while he slept. This was part of what Aki was. Even her brother's did not know at the time what their sister was, or what kind of training had been given to her in their travels. It was after Akira had healed up enough that he confronted his sister. He was not pleased with what she had done and he let her know it. That is when he found out what his sister truly was.

Aki it seemed, was what her people called a Ninja. This was a class of people trained in the art of killing, using a special hand to hand style of fighting, various weapons, and the use of poison. They were usually hired to kill people, what we would consider an assassin. Like all the other classes of her people, she had her code of honor. Killing the kensai warrior was protecting her brothers and their family line. This was no dishonor to her and within the laws and code of her class.

Akira was not too pleased with the prospect but kept his own council. He only told me what had happened and what his sister was. This would be the last thing that he and I were ever able to talk about.

We were moving soon after the orientals left. I was thankful that they had taken a different road then us. They had traveled back West from where they had come and we continued South. Akira and his brother were riding up front a little way ahead of us talking and had asked the rest of us for some privacy as they talked.

Again perhaps it was fate, or the will of god. As they were a head of us, they must have been taken as lone travelers, for several arrows suddenly rained down upon them from the trees that lined the road. Both fell backwards off their horses to the road. As we saw them fall, brisling with arrows, Daland and I urged our horses forward at a greater speed. Daland unslung his long bow and I cocked one of the crossbows that we had taken from the baron's men. As we reached Akira and his brother, we quickly scanned the trees and both found targets and fired.

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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:20 pm

Two figures fell from the trees dead. As the others of our group came galloping up, several figures jumped from the trees and began running off into the forest. From the quick look that I was able to get of them, they all seemed to be young children between ten and 12 years of age with a couple perhaps older. Daland and the others began to chase the attackers. I reined in my horse and dismounted to check Akira and Akio. It was no good, both were dead.

"Damn bastards." I cursed under my breath as I felt for a pulse and found none on either of them.

The others had charged on after the attackers. While they were gone I took the gems from their boots, their gold, and weapons, and placed them on Akira’s horse that had stopped as soon as he fell from it. Drawing my sword I then looked around for any of those that had attacked. I was ready to kill any I could get within my reach. The others were slowly coming back from the woods. Daland had a prisoner.

Daland pushed a young woman, about fifteen years old, ahead of him. She was a comely lass, with long brown hair and flashing green eyes. She was wearing a brown tunic belted about her waist with a rope that clearly revealed a very shapely body, brown knee high boots, and a hooded cloak. Her hands were tied behind her back.

"What have you got there Daland?" I asked, my tone of voice not pleasant, my sword raised pointed at her chest.

"From what she says, her name is Gizelle and that she's the leader of the gang of children that attacked Akira and Akio." He replied.

Lowering my sword, I stepped up to the girl and looked down at her. Her head just reached my chest. She looked up with a stubborn and proud look in her eyes. My hart was filled with anger and I desired nothing more than to kill her. But looking down in to those eyes and face, I could not bring myself to hate her. I turned from her re sheathing my sword, slamming it into the sheath.

I looked at the others as they came riding up. No one had caught any of the other children bandits. Retrieving the small pouch of gems from the saddlebags, I walked up to Aki and told her that both her brothers were dead. I gave her the gems and told her that the gold and their weapons were on Akira's horse.

Her face was expressionless, but her eyes were filled with sadness, "take the gold and use it to buy what we need, I will take my brother's weapons and keep them."

We buried Aki's two brothers in the forest. She knew no words to say, so Father Friedrich said some. He did not dwell on the normal church prayers for such a time but talked about the two men themselves, what he had observed of them and thought of them. We said our farewells in our own ways and left them to rest in peace.

Daland had Gizelle’s hands tied and was leading her around by a rope. When it was time to ride on he picked her up and threw her over the back of his horse, tying her feet and then the rest of her to the saddle like a sack of grain.

I gave Daland a questioning look and he replied, "If we hold her until we get clear of their territory, they may leave us alone. Also she may have some information that may be useful to us."

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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:20 pm

Phillip walked over to Daland's horse, playing with a dagger, "Let me question her for ya, I'll make her talk." The tone of his voice was one that I had never heard from him before.

"We shall see, but first I will deal with her my way." Daland answered him.

From Gizelle came, "ha." And she was again silent.

We moved on with Daland and my self riding up front. We still had over a week of travel. Riding on the back of a horse the way Gizelle was trussed up was not comfortable, but she said nothing, until that afternoon.

"I have to go!" She stated and Daland ignored her.

"I can not hold it any longer!" She almost shouted.

"Then go in your clothing. I shall not give you the chance to escape." Daland’s voice was cold.

I looked back at her and saw her eyes flash with anger. I could almost imagine what she was thinking when she stared at Daland's back. She turned her head again and that was when I smelled it as did Daland, who turned and looked down at Gizelle. She in turn looked at him with a smug look on her face.

"I will let you two enjoy the 'fresh air' together." I laughed, getting a strange stare from her as I reigned my horse back.

When we stopped to eat and rest and relieve ourselves, Daland did not release her from her bonds on his horse. I did not like seeing her in such a condition and told him such, but Daland insisted.

"She will be more willing to talk after her experience. Let her chaff for a while longer. Leave her to me."

As I walked off I called back to him, "I hope you are right." I had a strange feeling about this girl. I did not know quite what it was but it made me feel strange.

Again that night he left Gizelle tied on the back of his horse. We assumed our usual watches and the night passed. In the morning, Gizelle was gone. The ropes that bound her were also gone. Daland looked at me and I shook my head. We looked at the others and they said they knew nothing of it. During the guard watches everyone paid her no attention and generally did not even go near the horses. It looked as if she had managed to slip her bonds.

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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:02 pm

"She's a tricky one, she is." Phillip commented. "I knew someone that could do that. Said he was a contour., Con., Ah yes a contortionist. Able to twist his body many different ways. Wasn't a rope or set of manacles that could hold him."

"Well she is free and I hope gone for good." Father Friedrich said.

"I don't know Father, I have a feeling she is still out there watching us." I turned about slowly looking into the forest.

The other's paid it no further attention. All that day I had the feeling of being watched as did Daland, by the way he kept looking about. But no one was visible to us. But for the next two nights my suspicions had proved correct. Each night we had been visited.

She had evidently visited us that night, for the next morning Daland found the inside of his saddlebags smeared with shit, as well as his saddle. We had to delay our departure so he could clean his gear.

"I told you that was no way to treat a woman." I laughed as Daland cleaned his saddle.

The next day as we awoke, Daland found his own dagger stuck in the ground close to his neck. It seemed that Gizelle had more talents than being able to worm her way free of being tied. Daland looked angry, yet nervous. I know I would be if I had found a dagger close to my throat.

Daland took from a pouch a necklace of colored beads and went over to Aki. "Have you some silk, something to wrap this necklace in."

Aki drew from her saddle bags a long silk sash that her eldest brother had worn. This she gave to Daland with a grin on her face. That night he wrapped the necklace in the silk sash and tied it to his horse. The next morning it was gone and nothing bad had happened to Daland.

On the fourth night as we made camp near a small lake. I left a note, written in German, asking for Gizelle to join us rather than follow us alone. That we could use her talents. Another note replaced the one I had written, saying:

"I thank you for your offer, but will only accept if the one you call Daland asks."

Taking the note I went to Daland who was washing up at the lakes edge. "Your friend will join us if you ask her to. I know that I will feel more comfortable having her with us then against us." I handed him the note.

While he thought about it I took off my armor and most of my clothing to bathe in the cold water of the lake keeping an eye on my things as I did. From where I was I could see Daland dressed in all but his chain mail walk towards the edge of the woods. He looked into the forest, back at me, and then into the forest again.

He called out, "Gizelle! I ask that you join our company."

A short distance down the forest line, Gizelle stepped out and slowly walked up to our camp. Behind her was a white horse of excellent quality with an expensive looking saddle. She was dressed in the same clothing that we first saw her in, except now she had a long sword and a short sword hanging from her waist, and she was clean.


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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:02 pm

As she entered the camp she gave Daland a smile of triumph. That smile faded as she turned her head in my direction and gave me a strange look. Not one of hate or anger, but one of puzzlement. I just smiled and nodded my head to her.

Once dressed and our gear secured on our horses, we again continued our journey South. As we rode, Gizelle rode next to Daland, who introduced the rest of the company to her. I noticed that she gave Phillip a few hidden hand gestures and he responded and give her a hard look. Phillip had taught me a little of what he called thieves cant, a silent language of the hands and fingers. Two or more people could talk to each other with out any one else knowing what they were saying. This helped groups of thieves in cities send signals to partners as they stalked their victims.

What they had said, I could not grasp. It had been done too quickly and of course I had just a bare knowledge of it.

To Mordrid and Aki she gave a slight nod and smile. To Father Friedrich she said "Do not try to save my soul Father, my life is free and full of life. I intend to enjoy it to the best of my abilities."

Father Friedrich just smiled and said, "When ever you decide to settle accounts with god I will be there to help you."

Again as Daland made the formal introduction of Gizelle to me she averted her eyes as soon as she nodded acknowledgment. Again there was something about her that disturbed me. I just could not understand what it was at the time.

Two more days passed. Gizelle settled in to a routine with the rest of us and stuck close to Daland. It seemed that she made it a point to show all that she had an interest in the man. All I could do was shake my head and feel sad for Daland. If he was not careful, his free and wild days would be over and I could not see him that way.

On the second day after Gizelle joined our company, again the myths came to life. Coming North on the same road that we rode South on, came two individuals. They were short, around five foot, four inches tall, of a light build and delicate looking facial features. Each had long blondish hair and gray eyes. But the remarkable feature of all was their ears. They were pointed. Their looks, resembled the descriptions that my mother had read to me when I was young about elves. Myths and legends. I looked over to Father Friedrich. Even he was wide eyed at the sight of these two.

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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:03 pm

The two figures stopped at our approach and looked at us. Father Friedrich urged his horse forward and stopped in front of the two. As we rode up he was shaking his head, his eyes still wide with disbelief. "They were supposed to be gone from this world a long time ago."

I remembered what he had told me, "Surrounded by magic and evil." He turned to look at me. "Elves are considered magical creatures, some good and some evil. Everything that we have been taught seems to be falling apart."

The two elves remained silent through our short conversation and stood their ground, not afraid of us at all. They looked at Father Friedrich and myself as we talked but made no move to get past us or to run form us.

Turning to them I said in German, "I am Brandon Eston and this is Father Friedrich of the Roman Catholic church. You must excuse our rudeness if it has seemed that way to you, but to us your kind has not existed for several hundred years. They are a myth."

One of them spoke, in perfect German, "I am Gideon and this is my brother Tersum. I can understand your behavior, for you are right, our kind have not been seen in the world of men for a very long time. However we do still exist, though not in any great numbers any more."

"Why then have the two of you now come forth?" Father Friedrich asked.

It seemed like his whole body tightened as he remembered something. "We are the last two survivors of our village. Our village was hidden by powerful illusions so that your kind could not see it, even though it existed. Two days ago as we were returning to the village from hunting, two men came. One raised his hands high and all of the people in the village stopped moving. As we got closer, we to were caught in the magic that had been cast. The second man went about the village killing everyone, men, women, and children. It did not seem to matter to him. Once he was done with his evil deed, the two of them departed and we were free from the magic that held us."

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Re: Order of the Light

Post by Guest on Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:54 pm

He turned back towards the other orientals and walked forward to meet their leader. Aki slid in between Daland and Phillip to watch, her eyes wide with fear. Both men approached each other drawing their katanas. Both men were fairly competent at their style of fighting, however it was soon evident that the other was more experienced and faster than Akira.

Though Akira had been able to wound his opponent, he himself had been wounded three times as much. He soon lay bleeding on the ground, unconscious form loss of blood and the pain of his wounds. Father Friedrich moved forward to attend his wounds. I did not like what had happened and told Daland my feelings. But Akira had swore an oath and he had to abide by it.

Aki went back to her things and brought back two small ceramic cups and bottle. She walked up to the kensai warrior and bowed low and said something to him in their language. He sat down and Aki kneeled, resting her weight back on her legs. She poured a clear liquid into the two small cups and bowing held one out to the kensai warrior. He took the cup and drank the contents. Aki picked up hers and drank the contents of hers. She again arose and bowed low and returned to her bedroll, a smile upon her face.

I helped Father Friedrich bring Akira back to his bed role and laid him down. He was weak but alive if that was of any consolation. The other orientals made camp and bedded down for the night. The kensai warrior was attended to by a couple of his men. They bandaged his wounds and he went to sleep.

When we awoke the next morning, there seemed to be something going on in the oriental’s camp. It centered around the kensai warrior who was still laying were he went to sleep the night before. It appeared that they were trying to wake him, then felt his neck as if feeling for a pulse. I saw one shake his head at the others stand up and turn towards our camp. He walked towards us an expressionless look on his face.

"I do not know what has happened. Our master did not seem to be wounded that badly last night. Something is not right. But he is dead and the one we came for is alive. Our master made a bargain and we will honor it. We shall depart and return to our own country." He told us in German. He looked over at Aki with a strange look on his face, one of hatred and suspicion, then turned and went back to the other orientals. Within an hour they had departed with their dead leader.

I looked over at Aki after they had left. She had a smug smile on her face. Later I learned of what happened that night. Aki had poisoned the drink that she had given the kensai warrior. She had also drank the poisoned drink, but she was immune to the poison. The poison worked slowly and he had died while he slept. This was part of what Aki was. Even her brother's did not know at the time what their sister was, or what kind of training had been given to her in their travels. It was after Akira had healed up enough that he confronted his sister. He was not pleased with what she had done and he let her know it. That is when he found out what his sister truly was.

Aki it seemed, was what her people called a Ninja. This was a class of people trained in the art of killing, using a special hand to hand style of fighting, various weapons, and the use of poison. They were usually hired to kill people, what we would consider an assassin. Like all the other classes of her people, she had her code of honor. Killing the kensai warrior was protecting her brothers and their family line. This was no dishonor to her and within the laws and code of her class.

Akira was not too pleased with the prospect but kept his own council. He only told me what had happened and what his sister was. This would be the last thing that he and I were ever able to talk about.

We were moving soon after the orientals left. I was thankful that they had taken a different road then us. They had traveled back West from where they had come and we continued South. Akira and his brother were riding up front a little way ahead of us talking and had asked the rest of us for some privacy as they talked.

Again perhaps it was fate, or the will of god. As they were a head of us, they must have been taken as lone travelers, for several arrows suddenly rained down upon them from the trees that lined the road. Both fell backwards off their horses to the road. As we saw them fall, brisling with arrows, Daland and I urged our horses forward at a greater speed. Daland unslung his long bow and I cocked one of the crossbows that we had taken from the baron's men. As we reached Akira and his brother, we quickly scanned the trees and both found targets and fired.

Two figures fell from the trees dead. As the others of our group came galloping up, several figures jumped from the trees and began running off into the forest. From the quick look that I was able to get of them, they all seemed to be young children between ten and 12 years of age with a couple perhaps older. Daland and the others began to chase the attackers. I reined in my horse and dismounted to check Akira and Akio. It was no good, both were dead.

"Damn bastards." I cursed under my breath as I felt for a pulse and found none on either of them.

The others had charged on after the attackers. While they were gone I took the gems from their boots, their gold, and weapons, and placed them on Akira’s horse that had stopped as soon as he fell from it. Drawing my sword I then looked around for any of those that had attacked. I was ready to kill any I could get within my reach. The others were slowly coming back from the woods. Daland had a prisoner.

Daland pushed a young woman, about fifteen years old, ahead of him. She was a comely lass, with long brown hair and flashing green eyes. She was wearing a brown tunic belted about her waist with a rope that clearly revealed a very shapely body, brown knee high boots, and a hooded cloak. Her hands were tied behind her back.

"What have you got there Daland?" I asked, my tone of voice not pleasant, my sword raised pointed at her chest.

"From what she says, her name is Gizelle and that she's the leader of the gang of children that attacked Akira and Akio." He replied.

Lowering my sword, I stepped up to the girl and looked down at her. Her head just reached my chest. She looked up with a stubborn and proud look in her eyes. My hart was filled with anger and I desired nothing more than to kill her. But looking down in to those eyes and face, I could not bring myself to hate her. I turned from her re sheathing my sword, slamming it into the sheath.

I looked at the others as they came riding up. No one had caught any of the other children bandits. Retrieving the small pouch of gems from the saddlebags, I walked up to Aki and told her that both her brothers were dead. I gave her the gems and told her that the gold and their weapons were on Akira's horse.

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Re: Order of the Light

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