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Honouring Gloria - Deeds of Honour

With the damage to the Shrine of Gloria, it is time the people of Arx came together and reminded Gloria of their love and the fact she has a home here in our city. The Templars will be assembling a huge bonfire in the Sanctum of Genesis outside of the shrine and inviting the entire city to come along, to recite loudly accounts of honour and bravery, their own, those they have seen in others, tales they know of the past. Some time when the concepts that Gloria stands for are honoured, when against odds one person took a step forward, when innocents were saved even at great cost. People can then cast any tokens of honour they may have, bandages from wounds taken, or tokens from the shrines, into the flames. Please. No writings.

There will be food and mulled wine and spiced apple juices to keep people warm as we rededicate ourselves to crusade against the dark - both in the world outside, and within ourselves.

Date

June 9, 2019, 6 p.m.

Hosted By

Preston

Participants

Reese Esoka Ouida Ailith Corban Jeffeth Tehom Jasher

Organizations

Templars

Location

Arx - Ward of the Compact - Sanctum of Genesis

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log


Preston is stood in his full armour a little distance back from the bonfire that is beginning to crackle and pop as it takes hold. Preston closes the front of the lantern of Gloria, a splint used to light the bonfire from the lantern. He smiles as people filter in, the presence of a number of Templars circling the Sanctum.

Dame Marra, a limping fennec fox, Disciple Ismay, Disciple Fulgence, 3 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Ailith.

Reese arrives at the gathering while while wearing a pink cloak over her tunic and leggings. She has the hood drawn up to help protect from the snow. The girl has a weapon at either hip and a bow strapped to her back. She looks over to Preston, giving the man a gentle dimple-framed smile and then a polite nod. "Greetings, GrandMaster Preston." She says and draws nearer to the fire.

Esoka enters the Sanctum in a plodding clank of steel armor. The brightness of her blue eyes go briefly to the Shrine of Gloria, regarding it long, before resuming her path to the bonfire. "Grandmaster. A good day upon you. Or as much a one as any can hope for in these times." Reese gets a deep, clanky bow. "Princess."

Ouida enters in her full suit of steel, minus the helm, gleaming and freshly polished. Her gangly prodigal squire is at her side, dressed in polished and spiffed up leathers. She bows her head to Preston as she draws closer to the fire "Grandmaster," she greets him with quiet respect. And then there is a smile to both Reese and Esoka. "Princess Reese, Dame Esoka."

Reese looks over to Esoka, having a polite smile for the knight. "Dame Esoka, very nice to see you again." She says toward her. She then peeks to Ouida, smilin got her as well. "And Dame Lady Ouida." She adds.

Crunches of soft footfalls press upon the new fallen snow. The Legate of Concepts arrives with a small retinue of guards, Godsworn, and disciples. Many of them join the ranks to stand at attention. Disciples take out parchments to record by word or sketch of the ceremony. Ailith however, lowers the hood of her fur cloak and quietly finds a place to stand. Observe. She smiles fondly in greeting at Esoka, then bows toward Reese and Corban, before her attention settles on Preston.

Brother Chester arrives, following Jeffeth.

1 Templar Knight guards arrives, following Ilvin.

Reese looks in Ailith's direction, having a smile that touches her blue eyes and brings her dimples to briefly show. "Oh, Seraph, hi." She says toward her. Her tone is gentle and respectful. For now she keeps close to the fire.

Sir Corban Telmar, First Captain of the King's Own, clinks and clanks into the Sanctum of Genesis, in his rubicund armor with his silver sash over it. Upon espying Ouida, he makes his way over to join the Hearthall, beaming at her in greetings. "My lady." Oh, and there is Ailith, whom receives a deep nod of his head in respect.

The large form of Jeffeth Bayweather arrives slowly. He wears a large loose fitting shirt just draped over the massive torso of the man. The neckline of the shirt is deep and low, revealing some of his gargantuan pectorals. It also reveals just a little bit of some black and blue discoloration peeking out from behind the fabric. Very ugly colors on the big man's chest, his tree trunks of arms folded over his stomach. He stays at the perimeter of the gathering, keeping a distance at least for now.

Preston looks up at the midday sun and then he looks to the bonfire once more. Balian stands off to the side, the squire holding a shield - battered and dented, it bears the symbols of the Templars and of the city of Tor. Preston waits a couple of moments before he steps forward, and he raises his voice "Gloria asks of us to hold ourselves with honour. Gloria commands us to defend the innocent. Gloria commands that we hold ourselves, a thin line of gleaming steel between the darkness and the light. At times, we fail her. At times our mortal understandings, our mortal minds, our mortal things, they are not enough."



"But, we still strive and our history is full of the deeds of honourable men and women, of nobles and serfs, of knights and peasants. We tell these tales tonight so that Gloria can hear them and know that we honour her, that we still fight her fight, that we still will step forward to hold against the dark. We will crusade in her name against the Abyss, against evil, against wrong." Preston then gestures to Balian who brings forward the shield, throwing it first into the fire "I offer the first offering of tonight, it was the shield of Sir Garvin Godsworn. He grew up in the city of Tor. In the streets. In the gutters. He found himself in the Faith. He found a life and purpose. That life ended at Stormwall. The enemy that came were many, they were strong. But if we let them advance, they would find allies and friends, we would face a tide we could not hold back. I gave the order that killed Sir Garvin. As the enemy landed, our Templars and the forces of Crovane and our allies advanced and held them at their beachhead. Not one step back. Even as the enemy siege weapons targetted their own troops to break them out. I do not know if Sir Garvin was scared. I would have been. But he held the line. His shield was found where he fell, at the front. In the first line. His bones rest now with our brothers in the Maosoleum of the Faith." Preston pauses to close his eyes for a moment before he continues "Please, if you have your own stories, your own tokens, form a line and step forward. Give your offerings to Gloria, tell her your tales. Convince her of our love. Our devotion."

Esoka has joined the line.

Turn in line: Esoka

Primus, First of Monique's Assistants arrives, delivering a message to Preston before departing.

One would expect that when a shield is thrown in a bonfire, the surroundings would become warmer. But it's become colder, as if there was a chill breeze. But there is no breeze. There's no movement at all, really. Just stillness, contrasted with the muted crackle of the flames.

Tightening his jaw, Jeffeth shifts from one foot to the other, folding his arms a little more tightly on his stomach. His brow tightens as he looks around at the chill breeze. The coldness. His head lowers some, his eyes flitting around somewhat nervously.

Esoka offers Ailith, Jeffeth Corban a warm smile, a flash of bright teeth, and a slight bow to Ouida. "My lady." Then, she falls quiet as Preston beings. Hands folded in front of her, gaze upon the fire. Then, it is her turn to speak. She steps up, unwinding a string of prayer beads from around her fingers. "These beads were made by a priestess who I called a dear friend and I have carried them with me into battle as a sign of my faith. Including my taking of the field at Stormwall. I was saved on the field that day, not by faith alone but by valor and courage and sacrifice, ideals which these beads represent to me. This is a tale many know, so I shall tell it simply. Lady Eirlys Greenmarch placed herself between myself and the blow of a demon, saving my life. It was done without hesitation, for no better reason than that I was a fellow soldier, and she thought of her comrade's life before her own. I think of it every day and try not to forget. I hope, if I am called upon to make such a sacrifice, I would do so half as bravely." And then, with a murmured prayer, the beads are committed to the fire.

Corban has joined the line.

Ailith quietly approaches the side of the towering Solace Knight. The chill causes her head to bow solemnly, her eyes lowering before she leans toward Jeffeth, murmuring as to not disturb as devotees approach the line.

The fire hisses as the beads are tossed in, and the room grows ever-so-slightly colder, sounds become slightly more muted.

Preston having done his first part, Preston takes a step back to allow the line to move to the fire. He gives a look to Jeffeth before clenching the fist holding the ancient signet ring of his order under his armour. He reaches up, gently pulling the cheek guards of his helmet closed, knocking over the small latch. He leans over to Balian and murmers something. Shortly after Balian goes to hang around Ailith. As Esoka mentions Eirlys, Preston smiles a little and he steps forward next to his second and pats Esoka on the arm "Lady Monique Greenmarch also sent this token, to speak of Lady Eirlys. Her sacrifice was honoured that day by the Gods. It gave us an opening to strike down a great enemy of our people. When we charged at the beast, Lord Alban, myself, Dame Thena, Princess Terese, many others as well, we did so thinking we would die. That we were buying with our sacrifice a moment more for the injured and the non combattants to flee, for more of our infantry to retreat. Lady Eirlys saved more than Dame Esoka that day, she saved perhaps the whole of the Templar army, of the Solace, of our allies. She stood against the darkness." and he casts a wooden ring, marked with the tokens of Greenmarch into the fires, before he beckons Corban in. He turns to the Templars who form the perimeter "Brothers, softly now, sing the canticles of battle."

Turn in line: Corban

“I’d like to tell the story of Lord Commander Dayne Valardin,” says Corban, as he steps forward. “He is, as many know, the most-famous knight of his time, and the greatest knight that Arvum has ever seen.” The last is not said as an opinion. It is simply a fact. “Any many know that he fell in defense of the King before his Rest. Yet few know the details. And so I tell them today.”



Corban’s armor glints in the fire’s glow as he steels himself to tell the tale of his mentor and brother in arms. “The King’s retinue came upon the sacred grove where the Nox’alfar King Calithex, the group to which our Beloved Queen belongs, were conducting the tiend, the sacrifice of the willing that held back the Silence for so long. Unaware of the tradition or pacts that protected the place, the King and his guard thought they were come upon an Abyssal ritual and attacked.”



Corban’s voice drops then, a frown as the tragedy begins to be clear. “King Calithex was protected by his own Sovereign Guard, and the brave Silver Swords, though the bravest knights that the Compact had to offer, could not strike down a one, being slain each in turn. No one except Lord Commander Dayne. Yet this is not a story of heroics at arms. No. As he fought, the Lord Commander realized that the Compact had given grave offense and offered the only recompense that would save face on both sides: An honor duel to the death.”



“King Calithex opted to fight the duel himself, itself a great honor shown to our Lord Commander. It is said by those there that they fought for hours, blades clashing against one another, each unable to overcome the other. Until.” His voice cracks for just a moment until he regained his composure. “Until the Lord Commander made the smallest of mistakes, and the King struck him down. Yet in death, he preserved the Compact’s honor. We owe so much to that sacrifice. And I respect it, even though I lost the mentor I longed to have in my life. I will respect his memory by seeing his statue and plaque added to the Hall of Heroes, a task left undone for too long.”



“And yet.” Here, Corban smiles. “Few know this, but the Lord Commander was a master baker. So I commit to the fire a roll produced to his specifications, a tradition that continues in the Tower to this day.” He tosses the bread in, underhanded, and takes a step back so others might speak.

Reese seems concerned as the room grows colder and the girl wraps her cloak more tightly around herself. She listens to Corban's singing and then slips into the line.

The bread joins the fire, and burns more slowly than one would expect. The chill is more pronounced now. Despite the fire, it's cold enough to see your breath.

Ailith has joined the line.

Turn in line: Ailith

Reese has joined the line.

Ouida has joined the line.

The big man slooowly looks sidelong at Ailith. Watching her for a long moment. He blinks. Then slowly hunches over before murmuring quietly in response to her. Jeffeth then straightens back up, looking to the fire, to the people prepared to give then over to Preston.

Preston slowly tightens his hand on the simple sword at his side, the gentle slither of metal against leather as it is pulled free from its scabbard and comes to rest at Preston's side. Preston gives a nod across to Sir Jeffeth before he moves to his second and murmers to her as others continue their dedications.

Preston wields Crusader, Blade of the Templars.

There's a sudden flare from the bonfire, smoke rushing from it to Corban, surrounding him. The smoke quickly is drawn into him, inhaled into his nostrils, siphoning into his ears and eyes. And then is gone.

Esoka makes a snorting sound through her nose, shoulders stiffening within her cloak and armor, trying to deny the air a shiver even as it continues to chill. The breath expelled steams beneath her nostrils. There's a nod to Preston concerning something-or-other that passes between them, short and given with a force that makes her short curls bob around her chin. Then Corban receives that flare of smoke, and she gasps. Watching him with set jaw.

Ouida remains quiet, long years of discipline allowing her to steel herself from the dropping temperatures, but the speed of it sparks a troubled experession in her eyes. The sudden flare of smoke takes her aback however, her gloved hands reflexibly moving from her sides--though she doesn't step out of place, she watches him carefully, checking over for any signs of embers or other damage, her spine straightening in wariness.

Reese is quietly in the line. She looks over to Corban and her blue eyes widen, before she gives him a respectful node. She peeks her cloak wrapped around herself and starts to look though her stuff, possibly for items.

Reese gets pink Grayson gryphon flag from a willow woven basket lined with petal pink wool.

Reese gets Bringers of the Forest from a willow woven basket lined with petal pink wool.

Sir Corban freezes in place when the smoke, for lack of a better word, attacks him. And when it finally is gone, he coughs hard, like a chunk of something went down his windpipe rather than his esophagus. But when he finally gets hold of himself, he holds up a hand, gesturing to those there. "I am okay. I am okay. Please. Continue."

Reese is overheard praising Corban: wonder words and it is just a little smoke, probably fine!

Reese is overheard praising Preston: Yay, Gloria, a true warrior of the faith

Reese is overheard praising Esoka: Gloria Knight!

Preston steps to the side to grab one of the mugs of spiced apple juice to hand across to Corban to help him - apple juice heals all wounds, probably. He stays quiet though, not even a Grandmaster dares to upstage a Legate.

With his arms over his stomach, Jeffeth watches Corban with a dark expression. His lips twisting uncomfortably as all /that/ happens with Corban. The big man watches silently, his eyes widening but he remains silent. Looking down at the ground with an expression that looks pained, or guilt stricken. He glances down to Ailith next to him after murmuring to her. He then looks to Preston, swallowing hard.

Esoka gasps again, a cry escaping her lips, and she doubles over as if in pain. It's with some effort that she straightens herself. "There is something very wrong here." The look she gives Corban is one of concern, and skepticism.

Reese checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 10 lower.

Turn in line: Reese

Reese looks over to Esoka and now she looks frightened! Her cheeks are pale and her breathing is elevated.

Ouida now looks over at Esoka's reaction, her brow knitting a little more. She herself doesn't seem to be troubled by anything she sees outright so much by other people's reactions. When Dame Esoka doubles over though, she breaks from her habitual military-style stance. "Dame Esoka?" she asks quietly.

Reese steps up and sucks in a soft breath. She looks to the fire and she looks to Preston and even briefly to Esoka and then Ailith. Concern seems to linger "Nothing that I have with me feels right to offer or like it is enough. I am not fully sure that I understand you, Gloria. Duke Cassius told me a long long time ago when I first started to patrol with the knights of the Solace that Glory isn't what we should be fighting for. Not glory and credit and to be in poems and stories, but to protect. He followed Gloria himself. He died here in Compact protecting those here and there wasn't song about his passing or books, but he still gave his life for Compact. He took me on very first battle and I wrote this book about it. She says putting the book into the fire. It was my first battle and he believed in and carried me from it injured and Magie made this flag a long time ago and it has been on many battles with me. I am blessed to have lived through them. I miss those who have passed and gave their lives and To Gloria and I am humble before these great heroes who have given themselves and before the warriors of Gloria. I hope to serve and protect as Duke Cassius did always and I am thankful Gloria for your presence and the presence of those who follow you." She says, looking to Esoka and Preston.

Corban takes the cider with a nod of thanks and sips to clear out the smoke -- works like a charm! -- and then moves over to Jeffeth to clap him on the shoulder and whispers in his ear. Just a chat among friends.

Jeffeth looks over to Cristoph with widened eyes, starting to sidestep when his hand comes up and stops. "What? Fuck!" The man practically spits, eyes wide before looking back to the fire. Then to Preston. "Stop. Stop putting things in there."

Esoka exchanges a look with Jeffeth. A quizzical one. "Do you feel it, too?" She grunts, straightening, with some effort. "There is a wrongness in the air. A remnant of the same thing that befell the shrine, perhaps?" She directs a glare toward the Shrine of Gloria. "It shall not undo us this day...ugh..." And then she cringes, as whatever it is only intensifies.

The book barely burns at all, and the flames have taken on a distinctly blue tint. Normally blue fire is hotter, isn't it? But not here. Not today. Ice is actually visible inside the bonfire now.

Dame Rosario Nevarre of the Oathlands, Anouk Ardennes, Anais Ardennes, Triage, The white dove of Mercy, 3 Valardin Knights, 1 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Sophie.

Reese checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 10 lower.

Reese put her stuff in the fire before Jeffeth spoke out. She looks pretty guilty despite it being before. The girl also seems spooked. She takes a step back from the fire, her cheeks are pale, the girl is shivering. "Um...what is happening?"

Ailith offers a look to Jeffeth before she strides forth over to the firepit. Every pronounced step is met with a steadying breath, the chill growing visible and lightly turning her lips blue. Her eyes linger on Corban, as the smoke settles, and she moves forward with renewed purpose. Step by step until she walks lowers to her knees beside the firepit. A disciple approaches to set a lantern within reach, the light born of the Eternal Flame, its side etched in markings of Lagoma. She pulls from her cloak pockets lengths of bandages with gold embroidery. She speaks calmly as she unwinds the bandage roll, smoothing them out to reveal the embroidery showcases the tale. "There was darkness. The trials a group of us faced in the recovery of your sacred blade put our faith -- our devotions, honor, and fidelity -- to the test. Each trial pulled and twisted at our souls. I was offered should I give up to be given the memories and loving embrace of my family long returned to the Wheel. And I said no as I say now -- no. I shall not be deterred from my oaths, my pledge to honor and in service of all the Gods and their gifts. The last of the three trials, we stood in the dark, surrounded by countless and overwhelming foes. As we fought, my body though not my devotion succumbed to my wounds. I felt myself slipping away, cold, chilled to what was around me but honored to have served. What brought me back was the passionate fire of devotions from the others around me. Those willing to stand guard and fight against the dark. It reminded me of how many may be caught and bound in the dark, chilled and possibly forgotten, that help is needed. Help to remove bindings so they may heal. I offer these bandages that healed me, I prostrate myself by the flame of Lagoma, to lend that light and hope in the darkness so we may bolster others as to honor you in standing our ground, Goddess of Chivalry. So those who are caught or bound in the dark may be renewed by the passionate flame that is you -- the glory of Gloria. May the Goddess Lagoma bring forth healing and guidance through change. And may our Faithful ever be strengthen to continue their journey to free others, heal, inspire chivalry and honor in our fidelity of oaths, and bring the light and grace of our Faith and the Pantheon. I offer my service with these bandages and my deeds and words. We will remember. We shall honor and fight." And she opens the lantern to let the Eternal Flame light the bandages. "So is the season of change as spring harkens. May the light of our Faith burn bright."

Dame Rosario Nevarre of the Oathlands, Anouk Ardennes, Anais Ardennes, Triage, The white dove of Mercy, 3 Valardin Knights, 1 Templar Knight guards leave, following Sophie.

Preston tightens his grip on the blade at his side before he looks over at Jeffeth "What's wrong, Sir Jeffeth?" Preston looks to the fire, the ice forming within and he squeezes his left hand closed "Corruption." Preston lifts his sword a little. His voice lifts as well "A moment, good people. Do not fear, do not worry. Gloria is with us all."

Reese looks to Preston, nodding. She seems a take some hope from his words and looks a tiny bit less frightened! She moves her hand to her own blade, but she doesn't draw the weapon.

Jeffeth has joined the line.

Reese is overheard praising Ailith: The Legate Angel Seraph who used the forever flame!

"It's because of me." Jeffeth states, quietly. Looking around at all the steam coming off of people's breath. "It's my fault." He lets out, looking to the fire then back to Preston. "I don't know how it all works Grandmaster. But I know I'm marked to do something... I think this will all just get worse until I do it." One large hand slaps against Corban's chest. Probably a little more firmly than it ought. "And now him." The big man walks towards the fire, looking to Preston. "So.. Let's stop signing up more people to go die." Jeffeth clears his throat, looking down into the fire.

The sensation from stepping into the oncoming warmth of spring to the freezing cold of midwinter gives Jasher pause. His blue eyes sweep over the surroundings, taking in the details: the demeanour of the others, the ice encrusting the bonfire that was to be for offerings. He approaches cautiously, a hand resting upon the hilt of his cutlass.

There's a blast of cold and frost as the blue flames rise higher, now a source of terrible cold rather than heat. The flames are now the silhouette of woman, and it speaks to Preston. "Gloria is with you? No. No, she is not." It is the voice of a general, accustomed to giving commands and being obeyed, speaking in an accent unlike any on Arvum. It turns to Jeffeth and Corban, raising an imperious hand, "You have looked upon Him. His mark is upon your heart. Gloria has forsaken you, as I am forsaken. When I was slain and rose again, do you not think I prayed for release? I prayed as none of you have ever prayed. I prayed until I bled from my eyes and my throat, and there was no release. No escape. You will serve him, or you will linger." Ice has covered all the ground around the campsight, and the figure continues to speak to Jeffeth, "He has shown you more mercy than was ever shown me. You have been given a task. You are to be a knight of song, to strike at Legion. To weaken his hold. A glorious task. One I envy you. If you fail, you will be slain and linger. If you refuse, I will kill you, and you will linger." The flames begin to fade into orange, her voice becoming fainter, the figure fading away, "I will return for your answer." And then it is gone.

There is a heavy sigh as Jeffeth explains the plight that he and Corban seem to find themselves in in right now. Indeed, that does seem to be the problem, doesn't it? But he looks towards the rest here, having little to add. Until -- oh. Well. That's something that's being added.

There's a flurry of activity, as a messenger finds Ouida's squire, who then moves quickly to where she was waiting quietly. He murmurs something to her, which makes her concerned face go a little more serene, the courtly mask of duty calling. She steps back and is already starting to gather herself to leave before the voice speaks from the flames. It causes her to stall in her tracks, and pause--though when it appears that nobody is in imminent danger, she turns to go again.

Esoka sets her shoulders back at Preston's words, attempting to keep her posture straight. Hand going to the hilt of her sword. Peacebound though it is. Her lips peel back into a snarl as the thing speaks from the fire. Gaze going between Jeffeth and Corban, concern turning to alarm now.

"Then go, Sir Jeffeth, make what offering and tale you think is right. If it means your attacker returns, know that we will stand with you. Perhaps the sight of Gloria's blade will place a path of redemption before her." Preston claps the larger man on his shoulder before he takes a step back and turns to the crowd, doing his best to sound calm and commanding "Good people. Sir Jeffeth wishes to make an offering, it was he who was injured so recently in the shrine.." And then it all goes a bit wrong.



Preston turns around to look at this figure in the flames. Preston's eyes narrow "Gloria stands with us...." Preston lifts Crusader "This is her blade, forged by her hands, given to Prince Tristan Valardin, and passed to Templar hands. You can attempt to sow doubt, but you will find our hearts as stone to that seed." He almost spits at the flame, even as the figure fades.

He takes a step back for a moment at the blast, raising his arm up to shield himself. But when the voice speaks, Jeffeth does not seem surprised. More forlorn. The big man lets out a quiet sigh. "I know." Jeffeth says to the flame. He takes a few steps towards the flame, even as the figure in it fades away. "I'm going to find a way to help you. I am." Jeffeth states quietly down to the flames before turning slowly to look at Corban with a quiet sigh.



"You're going to be my squire." Jeffeth states to Corban a small quirk of his lips. "For a change. I was going to take my real squire.. Or someone. But I suppose my choice has been made for me." The big man looks to Preston. "I think the Shrine should remain closed, Sir Preston. Until we're done."

The large knight shifts a little bit to face the rest of those gathered. "I can tell the whole story but.. The important pieces is we all have work to do. We need to find the story of the Aspect of Crusade. It involves a lot of reading. A lot of researching." Jeffeth calls out to everyone. "Are there any here who would like to help find her story?"

Jasher's eyes actually widen. He also takes a step back from the wrathful visage as much as from the bone-freezing cold. He continues watching the flames even as the commanding woman's presence recedes, only breaking his gaze to regard Jeffeth as he speaks. Upon the query, he lifts his chin and squares his shoulders.

"I will find it," he says, then looks towards the others, as if expecting an answer from them as well.

Esoka holds up a steel-clad fist. "Truth be told, I would rather face this aspect with my sword here and now and have done with it upon whatever she calls a body now. But if reading is what is necessary now, Sir Jeffeth, I will read things."

"You know I will say you should talk to Dame Thena and the Legates before you make such choices, Sir Jeffeth. Much as I know you will not because you would rather spare them the choice and face whatever consequence will follow yourself." Preston says, lowering his sword and shaking his head "The Shrine shall remain closed. We will continue services at the Cathedral and the Templar Compound."



Preston turns and looks to the others "I am sorry, good people. Gloria stands alongside, but we fight dark forces in her name. Both inside ourselves, but also out in the world. You must think about what you have seen and pray to her. Know what it is you face, and choose still to stand on the side of good. On the side of right."

Ailith remains beside the lantern, focused on her task at hand of light and warmth to the dark and ice. "Every journey is fraught with challenges. If we let fear and doubt cloud our way, we'd never see through the fog. There is hope, even at the darkest times. And each of us has the capacity for change and redemption shall one preserve and keep faith." She traces the sigils of the pantheon in the snow surrounding the firepit and leaves the lantern beside it. A disciple approaches to give the Legate a hand to rise and in turning she looks to Jeffeth and Corban. "Remembering by finding what was lost was going to be my task. Or rather has been." She gently smiles. "Do not deter for what you seek shall be found. You have my service." And she half turns to murmur with one of her guards.

There's a nod over to Jasher. And then to Esoka. Jeffeth swallows again, nodding once more. "Your Highness, Dame Esoka." The big man starts to fold his arms over his chest, before going to clasp his hands behind his back. Then he releases that and puts his hands on his waist. He really seems to be having trouble knowing what to do with his hands. Or how to just stand here. Comfortably. He clears his throat. "We should talk, then." He looks over to Ailith with an arched brow, listening quietly. He slowly nods. "As you say, Legate." He then glances to Preston, offering a somewhat apologetic look. "I'm sorry, Grandmaster." Jeffeth rumbles softly, lowering his head. "I'm sorry."

"Yes," Jasher replies with a glance towards the pit of cold fire, then back at Jeffeth. He's eased his hand from the hilt of his cutlass--a mostly symbolic gesture anyway, considering the weapon's peacebound--to rest it at his side. "We should."

"You did not fail me or harm me, this was..well. It was an attempt to show Gloria our love, and invite her back. To resolve matters. It has brought resolution but not in ways I would like. But in the form of a challenge. Dame Esoka will represent the Templars and I will provide what resource she needs." Preston bows his head towards Ailith "I would suggest involving the Legate, Sir Jeffeth. She knows more than most. And I...if the worst should occur, your deeds should be recorded with authority."



Preston turns and slides Crusader away, before he turns to get a spiced apple juice, taking it to slowly walk back to the remains of the bonfire "The war comes." he murmers.

Reese looks over to Preston and Jeffeth. "I will try to help if you want or could use such. I am not sure though, but if you do, I will do my best."

Ailith squeezes the forearm of her guard upon conclusion, "Thank you." And the guard disperses on a task, leaving Ailith behind. She strides over to Esoka's side and fondly greets.

The big man gives a small nod. "I think what we need now is honestly. Reading." Jeffeth rumbles quietly, "But I'll talk more at the House of Solace." And so the big man heads off with whoever chooses to follow him.

Jasher slides his blue gaze towards Preston, then at the embers of the bonfire. He nods once, though whether it's assent for his observation, or merely a thought mulled, is uncertain. Clouds of mist warm the air before his face as he regards the ice-covered environs.

Esoka offers Ailith another smile, albeit a tired one. "I had hoped this fire might bolster the confidence of our faithful. Well. It reminds us what we must fight, at least. I shall help keep the faith until the shrine is open again." A nod to Sir Jeffeth, and some arrangements made to speak with him later.

Reese looks over to Esoka, giving her a nod. The girl seems thoughtful and troubled and well more than a little confused.

Preston checked dexterity + legerdemain at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.

Ailith returns a similar and tired smile. "We haven't lost hope. And Gloria remains within everyone who so honors her gifts. And I must agree, Dame Esoka, every challenge is yet another for us to overcome. "

Ailith says to Preston, "We will speak and soon. I imagine you have much else to handle before the day has concluded."



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