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Homage to Gloria

The Shrine of Gloria and the Archlector Cassandra welcomes one and all to a gathering in homage of Gloria. The central firepit will be built up for the evening, and all attendees will be encouraged to bring a sacrifice to honor the goddess of War. Not a living sacrifice, it is noted, but a token taken from the battlefield, or a memory offered up to the flames.

Date

June 11, 2018, 9 p.m.

Hosted By

Cassandra

Participants

Leona Waldemai Cassandra Esoka Graham

Location

Arx - Ward of the Compact - Shrine of Gloria

Largesse Level

Refined

Comments and Log


Waldemai wields Smith's Hammer.

The firepit in the center of the shrine of Gloria has been built up high for this evening's event, the flames easily snapping as high as a grown man's shoulder. Around it, worshippers are throwing in small objects and offering up prayers to the Goddess of Honor and War. Cassandra is there, too, in her Archlector's robes, conversing low with a Templar while temple attendants circulate with red wine to help the fire ward off the winter chill.

Esoka is in her arms and armor, doing disciple duty assistance with the Templars as visitors file into the shrine. She helps those who come find places to stand or sit and tries to help things proceed orderly. Her eyes are drawn to the flames, as they crackle high, and those blues shine bright against that glow.

Waldemai will drink wine if someone hands it to him. "Thanks," he says, taking a cup.

Graham has much to be thankful for and to give tribute for, even. He enters though wearing his armor his helm is removed and attached to his hip. He looks to those gathered a moment as he steps further in though is silent for the moment as he gets his surroundings.

Cassandra looks over to each new arrival, nodding her shorn head in greeting and invitation both. Esoka's arrival wins a slight smile that tugs at Cassandra's scarred cheek. "Dame Esoka, welcome. Glad you could make it. Will you offer tribute to Gloria this evening?" She looks to Waldemai and Graham next, gesturing to the fire welcomingly.

Narses, 6 King's Own Guardsmen arrive, following Leona.

Waldemai does step toward the fire. He takes and old, battered hammer from his belt. It has a thong through the handle, making it useful for both work and play...er...fighting.

Graham looks over at the gesture and nods to the invitation. He removes from his side an old sword it's notched with use and clearly old. He will indeed move over and offer it properly for a sacrifice. "One of my first swords I took into battle." He explains before backing up once again to let others approach.

"Tell us its story?" Cassandra invites Graham as he steps up to make his offering to Gloria. "You do not have to, but it may gladden the hearts of your fellow warriors to hear it. I know I would appreciate the tale."

Esoka bows her head and shoulders to Cassandra. Both a greeting and gesture of respect. "Archlector. Aye. A small one. I've written a bit, on things I've been praying on, and figure I'll commit a copy to Gloria's fire as I've given another to Vellichor's archive." That flashing smile of hers is directed at Waldemai and Graham. "Honors be to you, master smith. My lord."

Leona enters late, but she does appear. She has a piece of cloth in her hand, a simple gray cloth, but as she moves it catches the light - embroidered in silver thread, there seems to be a picture carefully stitched into it. She joins the group around the fire, listening to those who make their offerings and she waits while others go first. Catching Ainsley's eye she gives a nod and a slight smile of greeting, but she is more focused on the fire than on anything else.

Waldemai bobs his head. "Dame Esoka." He waits for the story of the sword, because, you know, story.

Cassandra's gaze is momentarily distracted by Leona's arrival and there's a friendly nod and a curious look to the cloth, but Esoka draws her regard. "That sounds a worthy sacrifice, Dame Esoka," she concurs. "Is it a martial text or more general thoughts?"

The young Stonewood smiles nodding to the others. Graham considers a moment. "My first battle was against bandits or I guess you'd say. They had taken one of the outlaying towns from my family lands." He states pausing a moment to recall properly. "I fought at the head of the troops I lead, the sword was notched by their leader, who wielded a rather large axe. Yet still I slew him with it." He comments. "I admit.. I am not much of a story teller."

"It concerns my future as a knight, and servant of Gloria," Esoka replies, plucking a parchment out of her cloak. "My prayers are a private matter for now, but the gist of it is. I seek new paths to commit myself more fully to my service as the Champion of Gloria. To know Her better, and to spread the love and strength She's given in my life to others. There will be time in the future for us to speak of the particulars. Once I've settled some things. For now, I pray merely for the clarity and fortitude to forge my path in it." And she puts her parchment to the flames, with that. Bowing to Graham. "It is an honest story, my lord, and one of defense of your lands. It's a worthy one for this place."

Waldemai holds the old hammer toward the flames. "I made many sets of proper armor with this, and with this I fought on the walls of Setarco and the deck of Lady Calypso's flagship. But everything has its day. I have a new hammer now that will someday be as worn and tired, and when it is its time there will be another, since that's how life works."

Leona waits until those who were there before tell their stories and then she steps to the fire too. She goes to one knee then, drawing her sword and putting it point down on to the ground, touching her helmet to the pommel. She is close enough to touch the flames, and slowly she feeds the cloth to it. She tells the story as the cloth burns. "A thousand years ago there was a Guard who made the defense of Arx their priority. They succeeded, in that humanity survived the Reckoning. But they failed the one to whom they owed their allegiance."



The picture, to those who look very closely, is that of a person in a suit of armor, kneeling with his sword point-down, helmet touching the pommel as Leona too kneels now. "And so they stayed, guarding Arx for a thousand years, determined not to fail their Lady in death as they had in life. And some of them fell to Oblivion, for Tolamar Brand brought them eternal death. But they bought their freedom by fighting back, and they vouchsafed even the Wheel we hold so sacred. And many of them, fulfilling their oath at last, were released to the Wheel. And some will never find it, for they are gone forever. But though their names are forgotten, though no one marked the battlefield, let their sacrifice be given to Gloria, for they died in battle when no one else was looking, and with their final sacrifice saved us all." She bows her head then as the fire fully consumes the cloth, and there are tears on her cheeks behind the helmet.

Graham nods to the reception of his story though he will watch and listen to those who make their own tributes. He seems quite interested in learning the stories behind their own items.

Cassandra watches the items be fed to the flames, listens to the stories. "Your tributes honor Gloria," she says, finally, a stern smile in her tone. "The Goddess could ask for nothing more than what you have given, what you continue to give. You are her inspiration, as you allow her to be yours. May you enter the next world with head unbowed and honor untainted."

Esoka bows her shoulders to Waldemai, then to Leona. Listening with rapt attention through their stories. A short nod, as the Lord Commander's draws to a close. "I remember the clash against the Silent Army. And I'll remember their sacrifice, my word upon it by Gloria."


**********************************************************************
Word comes forth that from the sleepy farming community of Elmhurst in the Keaton lands that trouble has been brewing. Everything from superstitious locals attributing to the supernatural what was easily proven to be normal, to numerous hazings from a group of Shav'avari. A group of House Keaton and their allies set forth to investigate and remedy these issues, including Duke Cristoph Laurent, Lord Rohran Keaton, Lady Veronica Keaton, Lady Amari Keaton, Sir Norwood Clement, Natalia Whisper, Venturo Thayne, Paige Fieldstone, and Genevieve Fieldstone. The group was joined by Lord Jaerith Keaton, who had been down south working on a city port, only to suffer one of his men being murdered from the shav'avari. He, as well as several of the others, came across a small army of shav'avari looking to take down Elmhurst, as well as the blossoming brewery that had been constructed by Master Thayne. Through the immense teamwork of the group, rallying cries to motivate the downtrodden locals, and keen leadership a militia was formed. This as well as swift thinking and exceptional military tactics allowed the group to defend the whole town from what would have been a devastating attack. Not only this, but they carried on, defending an attack to the local brewery only to travel wounded and tired, to intercept another band that was on the way to level Westwillow. Long will the names present be sung as heroes in this area of Keaton lands.
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"This was later," Leona says, and she stands now and resheathes her sword, head high and back straight as she stands tall as she meets Esoka's eyes. "After the battlefields were covered by grass and fresh flowers, after we'd already turned our attention elsewhere, after the battles in the Gray Forest and after the Gyre met his end in Darkwater Redoubt. Still their battle raged on, and still they fought and died forever. Though they will never again see life, though they will never know it, though it has been too long now for any to even know their names, their sacrifice lives on." She nods once at Esoka's statement. "Thank you, Dame Esoka. I too will remember always. And may I be as brave if I am ever called upon in such a situation."

Cassandra looks upon Leona with interest at her words. "Though we may not see it, though most in the land may not recognize it, rest assured that Gloria honors them, Dame Thrax. And we shall know to honor them, too. Thank you." She ducks her shorn head, and then looks around. "Will anyone else offer tribute to the Goddess?"

Esoka is overheard praising Cassandra.

Alejandra, a snowy white hound, 2 Grayson Guardsmen, Planchet, an unrelenting valet, 3 Iron Guardsmen leave, following Ainsley.

Leona raises an eyebrow at Cassandra's words, but then just nods her head once in acquiescence, stepping to the side to let others head to the fire as they will.

Waldemai contemplates the fire. Smiths and their fires. Go figure.



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