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Fantasy The End of Kings

Lucius Cypher

Delicious Friend
Year 7512. In the land of Doros, a trade nation who's boats and caravans reach every corner of the world, was going through hardships. From the uninhabited Red Wastes a dark force of monsters and unholy creatures rampaged towards the north. They carved a path through Clan Vithra, and decimated Or-Fihet. This force of evil had ravaged the southern countryside of Doros before their military force was able to repel it long enough to enter a stalemate for over two months now. Lords from all over the country were rallying men to muster down to the south, while seeking aid from neighbors and organizations to deal with this sudden but powerful threat. The one who came to their rescue was the Order of Kharnor: a guild of warriors and mages in honor of Saint Kharnor, who had given his life to save the world from the Undying Emperor seventy years ago. The Kharns had tried to assist Clan Vithra and Or-Fihet before, but were too late to save the former and the latter refused their assistance until it was too late.

You are a new member of the Order. Your village was one of the many that was destroyed by the rampaging army, but whereas most were attacked by monstrous men, yours was attacked by a dragon. With scales as white as snow but with a breath that burned hotter than any fire, it left naught but bleached bones and dust in it's wake. You were one of the few warriors who were strong enough in both mind and body to cut it with your blade, though it failed to do any meaningful harm to the dragon. Regardless the dragon choose to give you a particularly cruel fate: after defeating you it stole and ate your heart. Now you have become dragonscarred: a cursed fate of those who have become bound to a dragon. In time, you sense of self will fade and you will become a thrall of the dragon who stole your heart. The only way to escape this fate is to slay the dragon before your assimilation is complete. And to do that, you must become stronger, to gather what little power you can muster so that when you face that dragon a second time, it will be you who comes out the victor.

When you awaken from your bunk, the first thing you hear is shouting and stomping. Nothing you're too unfamiliar with however, since you are in a war camp. This was Orkata: once a fortress city meant to keep an eye on the Doros, now used by them to stop the southern tide of invaders from going further north. The camp was busy making preparations for war: men were being trained, siege weapons constructed, information gathered and plans made. Soon your superior approached: Knight-Captain Hector. His men found you after you had become dragon-scarred, helping you recover and explain the situation to you. It was through him that they helped you join the Order of Kharnor as an initiate.

"Initiate Amren. I'm glad to see you up early. We have much to do today."

Rusty of Shackleford

Nine Thousand Club
"Strong of will, I see...more than even those sworn to protect you. I won't kill you like the rest of these insects. No, I like you. Allow me to give you a...gift."
Amren shot awake, eyes wide. No matter where he went, no matter how he ran, he could never escape that day. It was as if the memory had seeped into his very soul, infecting him like a disease. But eh wasn't there. He was in an unfamiliar place, but he soon recognized it.

When he heard of this horde, he knew what it was. That dragon, it's scales white as clouds, was leading it. He was on borrowed time. Every day he spent lying around as one less day he had to kill the beast before he...well, became it.

The human let out a groggy sigh, rubbing his eyes. It was then he noticed his palm felt...different. As he pulled it back, he saw that there was a small patch of pale white scales. He jumped slightly. he'd seen it before, but never on his hands. This was getting bad. He needed to move.

Amren rolled out of bed, and began the routine of getting ready. Tunic, chainmail, tabard, plates, sword, pack. The rumbling certainly wasn't good. Probably trouble.

The Order had become a family to him, of sorts. Something to attach to, define himself by. He had nothing else. no village, no family, no one besides them. More than anything else, he was fighting to protect them.

He walked out into the light of day, being met by none other than Hector, his second father, in a sense. He gave a polite nod, bowing his head.

"Of course, Hector. Not gonna solve my problems sitting around moping all day, eh? What's the situation? I'm guessing the earth shaking isn't normal in these parts."

Lucius Cypher

Delicious Friend
"That's what needs to be investigated actually. Before, shakes like this weren't unusual. Minor but consistent. But now it's bad enough that we feel it all the way here. I'm putting together a team to investigate these quakes and report back, and you will lead it. Go find one of the other initiates and take them to the east gates when you're ready to leave. I need you to report back by this afternoon at the latest."

Hector was a busy man and wasn't able to stay long to chat. Not long after he finished briefing you a young but tall woman approached. She carried herself with a noble bearing, and her armor and weapons were far more ornate than even Hector's. Yet despite that, she clearly had a warrior's build. Behind her were a few maids dressed in fine clothes, carrying trays with drinks and fine food. But not so subtle hidden in their sleeves were long slender blades, slightly shorter than their forearms. These were no mere servants.

"Sir Hector! Fancy seeing you here. Here I thought I was the only one who would be walking around the soldier's camps." Theosia said with a casual flair. While she may cut an appropriately imposing figure as royalty, she spoke in a common manner.

"My lady." Hector bowed his body to her before speaking up. "Though I am Knight-Captain, I am still a soldier. If anything, should you not be at the strategy meeting? They cannot begin without you."

"Bah, it's precisely for that reason I felt that I should take some time to walk among my soldiers. These men fight and die for my family and my nation. The least I can do is see them and share a morning meal with them. Besides, what strategy do we really need against these hordes? They have numbers and monsters true, but they're about as tactically disciplined as a tidal wave. We've held off their assault for this long, and we can do so for years if needed."
It was then that Theosia turned to you, nodding her head.

"Oh forgive my rudeness, were you talking to this young man Hector? I must apologize, sometimes I forget to mind my manners! I am Princess Theosia Lucinia Doros, daughter of the current King Aetherius Deus Doros. To whom am I speaking to?"

Rusty of Shackleford

Nine Thousand Club
Amren nodded grimly. "You know...I recall earthquakes the day.." He didn't have to finish to make his thought process known.

Amren shook himself back to reality, nodding as he placed his wrist on his sword. "Understood. I'll see who's available and come ba-"

His head shot towards the voice, surprised to see...was that...

Amren gave a subtle scowl, his body shifting to the side as he said,
"Sorry, we haven't met, I-"

Then she introduced herself. As if on instinct, he fell to one knee, cursing himself for being so...demure. He was no fan of nobles, with their parties and frivolous tendencies. But a Princess was Princess.

"Apologies, Your Highness. I'm Amren, an Initiate. A pleasure to meet you."

The hunter peaked his eyes up at the tall woman, waiting a brief moment before he stood up, dusting off his knee plate. "We don't get many royals in this part. What takes you out to the frontlines, Princess?" There was a hint of sarcasm to his voice, though no open hostility. Shew as a royal, but she seemed of the good sort. No point demeaning her. "I take it you know the Commander? Mind filling me in on the details, Sir?"

Lucius Cypher

Delicious Friend
Hector gives you a subtle but stern look. He knows that not everyone has a fond opinion of royalty, however even as an Initiate you represent the Order, and any dishonor you gain reflects onto them. However it doesn't seem like Theosia was bothered. "Ha ha! Why, I'm here to fight, sir Amren. I am not some soft princess to sit in a tower for her hero to rescue. My brothers are also here, but they're overseeing other operations. If they had their way I would only appear during the strategy meetings and to give speeches, but I am not the Lady of Victory because I look good in plate armor."

Hector cleared his throat, filling you in on the exact details. "Princess Theosia is a warrior of good renown. Known as the Lady of Victory for facing insurmountable odds and coming out victorious. In particular, ten years ago she led an army meant to distract a fleet of orcish raiders off the coast of Doros. When her brothers were unable to provide reinforcements due to a storm, she lead her ships into the heart of the fleet and pushed back the raiders until they themselves were caught and destroyed in the same storm that had cut off her brothers and routed the orcish raiders. I served on her flagship during that battle, when I was still a knight. Since then she has always been present in any campaign with the King's army, especially when the odds seem against us."

Theosia nods before one of her maids whispers something into her ear. "I wish I could stay to talk longer, but alas, it seems my absence as been noticed. I have to go to that meeting now. Twas nice to meet you, sir Amren. Perhaps we can share a drink before the battle, or maybe even train together! And Hector, I do not know if we'll be fighting alongside each other, so I pray for your victory. I know the Order of Kharnor shoulder a heavy burden here, and so with the power vested in me, allow me to help you however I can."

Hector bows his head deeply, and doesn't raise it until he finishes speaking. "You are too kind, my lady. The Order of Kharnor will do everything in our power to defeat this enemy and save your country. Please keep yourself safe, and I promise you that victory will be assured." With these words, the princess leaves and Hector stands up. Once she's out of earshot Hector turns to you and speaks.

"While Theosia brings hope to most soldiers for her prowess in battle, some see her as an ill-omen. The battles she participates will no doubt result in some sort of victory, but at a heavy cost. We already knew well in advance that our position here in Orkata is fragile: we don't have enough manpower to face the sheer might of the invading horde, and we don't have enough information to know their tactics or command structure. All we know is that they are lead by a Dragon Lord, but we have not seen nor heard of them. Before, the enemy simply charged against our fortifications, slowly but surely chipping away at our defenses. Try as we might, we could slay thousands a day yet a thousand more would appear the next. And recently... The attacks have stopped. There are still sightings of their forces in the ruins and forests to the south. We fear that our enemy are mustering a massive invasion force that will completely overrun our position." Hector says grimly. He lets out a sigh before putting a hand on your shoulder.

"That is why I must head to that meeting myself, to help construct a plan that will ensure our victory. Because there is one piece of news I think- No, I know we can use. The Dragon Lord has been sighted. If we can lure him out into battle, the Order of Kharnor can focus our might against him, cutting off the head of the serpent. Without the Dragon Lord his army will fall into chaos. But such a plan is easier said than done. Hence, why I need you to find another initiate and scout into the southern forest and gather any information you can find. Investigate the source of this quake, and report back as soon as you can." Another soldier arrived with summons for Hector. It seems like he really needs to go now. He gives you one final salute before leaving to the strategy meeting.

After meeting with Hector, you'll need to find another initiate. There were three last time you remembered, as they were with Hector when they found you. The first you remembered was Domic, a human ranger. He knows much about dragons and he was the one who was able to find you after he had your heart torn out. He trains a beast to fight alongside and seems to think of you as some sort of beast to tame. Next was Rokkit, an orc from Clan Vithra. Like you his village had been destroyed by the Dragon Lord's army and he seeks revenge against them. A surprisingly smart orc despite his size and bulk, he's able to create powerful weapons and uses spells to fight. Finally there was Jiiral, a dragonborn. She serves the royal family and oversaw your healing. Despite being a dragonborn she bares no love for the Dragon Lord, and in fact joined the order to slay him and bring honor to her people, who have been mistaken as his servants.

You'll likely only have time to find one of them, since other soldiers and intiates are needed elsewhere. Domic was likely near the stables where his drake would be kept. Rokkit would be at the armory, lending aid in maintaining weapons. Jiiral is likely assisting the healers with any injuries. There were also other points of interest around the camp if you care to look into them, but time was of the essence.
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