May as well keep this thread alive, some story excerpts from my character biography.
A Touch of Chaos
Upon his entrance to Lvennkhal he was taken in by one Lord Anden Dragonfell, whom according to Lucius showed great interest in him, even buying him arms and equipment for use outside of his normal duties. He ran messages and guarded the estate during this time until Lord Anden disappeared and the Chaos Rebellion came forth.
Lucius never took to Ser Sebastian the same way he did his previous liege lord but served him faithfully during the rebellion if not directly. He exposed and terminated 3 bandit rings from inside their ranks but failed upon a fourth which chased him into one Lady Semiramis' estate. At the border, a Rhodok emissary going by the name and title of Ser Ray, with a couple bodyguards, chased a Chaos priest into Dragonfell lands. Lucius allowed Ser Ray into Swadian lands in mutual interest to take down the priest. This failed however and Lucius was wounded by the priest's spear.
Ser Ray gave Lucius some compensation for his efforts but for the most part left him to his own devices as he bled on the ground. It was all he could do to make it across the border into Semiramis' estate where the lady took him into her care despite the opposition of her guards in the matter. She tended his wounds and seemed disgusted at a grown man crying at the pain her healing was causing him but continued and sent Lucius on his way, though there was no way for her to know that the wound was festering with a poison that the priest had laced upon his spear.
It took a month for the wound to recover. Infection after infection plagued the wound as it festered and Lucius was forced to bed, having to be leeched almost daily to survive. By the time he was ready to walk again the entire dynamic of the province had changed with new lords, ladies and positions taken up for governance of the region and the Rhodoks being driven out in detail.
Family, Duty, Kinslaying
Lucius started his climb back up the ladder again by officially signing his name out of the Dragonfell lists, still unknown to him that his liege had returned and visited the new White Charger Inn and the Swadian City to fin anyone he might have known before the Swadian attack. Instead he made new people of interest. Catherine Luvaine, servant of Lady Cherise whom Lucius has possible interest in courting, Orchid, a courtesan of unknown origin, Antony of the city guard and Eric Liefson of House Bernadette. He eventually reunited with old friends such as Ser Ray, Ser Sebastian and Lady Semiramis whom awarded Lucius a position in court and a position as squire soon.
Then things got all the more complicated. Upon his arrival to Tremelay lands Lucius witnessed a family feud in which Lady Shanela, Semiramis' daughter attempted to frame her mother of attempted murder and kinslaying. Lucius feels that Semiramis may have offered him a position in court to buy him off but it had no effect on the truth and honesty he brought to bear at the trial that followed. A man named Servius Balthazar, posing as one named Robert, attempted to discredit his arguments as well as Lady Shanela who claimed he was not there in the first place. It was to no avail however, as the sheer amount of detail brought forth in his description of what happened possibly cast more doubt than the accusations of the Lady Shanela and Balthazar and led to Lady Semiramis' release alive if possibly without land in the near future.
Lucius learned of Ser Ray's death from one Eric Liefson a few days after the trial, from which he was conveniently absent, leading to more than just suspicion on his part as it confirmed previous hypotheses. He then went about attempting to find his Lady and press upon her once more his need to finish his training as squire but she left to her estate in Praven without telling him, Lucius having had to find it out through talk at the White Charger.
Lucius decided his squire-hood was elsewhere and began to play at court in the city, getting to know the guards and practice swordplay with a ranger named Squirrel. In between those times he escorted a few peasants through the mines and cleared out a few of the bandits while he was there. This allowed him to practice his skills against other men in real combat and decrease crime in the county. There were a few moments of interest that occurred during this time. An incident involving a slaver was one in which Lucius was personally involved.
Lucius bought a slave girl from the man and freed her soon afterword, having used much of his money to do so. He then found her a few hours later with the aforementioned slaver about to push her off the cliffs near Dragonfell Bridge. He distracted the slaver with idle threats until an off-duty guard arrived and helped resolve the situation, with the main threat being that if he did push the woman, he would be going to a Sirmen jail instead of the count's. Lucius found the man so detestable that he attempted to put him in the Swadian prison regardless but there was no guards to let him in. When he reached the Swadian jail he assaulted a guard and only minutes later lost his head in front of an audience.
The Lions' Bane
Lucius, after some playing at court, sewed new clothes fitting for it and learning of many lords and some of their quirks and minor secrets, is now pursuing his position as squire yet again, this time through the Grand Steward, Richard, whom Lucius believes he can trust. While he waited, he decided to pass the time speaking to various people at the White Charger as they came and left. He saw many good people and some bad and many wounded come and go. It was here that he became reacquainted with Xyst and feels safe enough to call him friend as well as meeting a woman named Haifa, whom at the time he didn't realize was Haifa Siddiqui Al Amari, the new Military Governor and soon-to-be wife of Lord James Holden. He believes he has befriended her through a good first impression and served as herald for the wedding. The reception was interrupted by bandits however and Lucius joined with Holden's hunting party under the new Lord Degenar and found a few of the rebels. He served as medic for Xyst and Haifa when they were wounded. For his services he was promised a bit of gold but he turned it down, instead asking a favor for the future and the friendship of her husband. Whether the latter ever came to fruition is unknown.
With the peace treaty with the Rhodoks, Lucius formally retired from the lists at Tremelay and began seeking citizenship within the Swadian government. This came along in a few steps as Lucius stalked Holden's court for their different decisions, mannerisms and fashions in which they hold court and deal the king's justice. Few interesting things happened for a time until Lydia Silveria arrived on her horse with Lady Shanela, demanding indemnities for Lord Holden's actions in her inn. These actions, according to Lydia, included beating one of her guards and ransacking the tavern. Viktor Balk, the only man of enough rank available to deal with such a claim, refused, stating that it was business to be dealt with Lord Holden himself but he was busy. The two ladies did not take kindly to the refusal and left a cold feeling in their wake, a portent of future events. Lucius finally met with Lord Holden about his citizenship the day afterword and he put forth his family history amongst other things. The Count told him to come back the following day to be subjected to tests of the mind and loyalty.
Fate or some cruel gods had a different idea of what tests of loyalty were required and a different sense of time as well. The next day Lady Shanela openly rebelled against her liege lord which led to Haifa, Lady Holden, taking a bolt wound to the head which rendered her comatose. It was only the actions of Lucius, a warrior-veteran of Vaegir garb and a surgeon from what Lucius believed to be the Guerisseurs which led her to be comatose rather than a corpse. A temporary truce came out of the fighting but it did not last long. The following day a massive fight erupted in the streets of the city, Lucius found the battle at its end with Lady Shanela fleeing on her swift Sarranid Horse. Holden drafted Lucius into the militia to search for Shanela. This led to a thorough search of the maze of tunnels and through a chance of fortune or misfortune, they ended up on the wrong side of the border. Holden was furious but in a moment of clarity he sent Lucius into the Rhodok city with the ivory Horn of Swadia in hand to find a man who had run into the city and to blow it would there be a woman as well.
Lucius saw a man speaking with a woman of lithe build, both of them cloaked and fled, blowing the horn as hard as he could as he ran outside of the gates. It was then that Lucius returned the horn and the might of the Count's forces descended upon the city and took the woman and the man she spoke with captive. Lucius was nigh disgusted with himself upon finding that it was Evelyn, one of Shanela's soldiers whom he had actually trusted and now betrayed through negligence. He pleaded to Holden to treat her wounds and confess to her Shanela's crimes before exacting any punishment upon which he agreed. To Holden, Lucius had apparently proven his loyalty and for his loyalty he was granted his citizenship, for his actions a squire-hood under the Count, something that many of Lucius' previous liege lords promised and never gave.
This wasn't to be however as Lord Holden was recalled to Praven to be demoted and made vassal of Lord Harold Berga as his minister. Through no small influence of pride Holden refused the position outright and retired to his estates, leaving his wife and current military governor, Haifa, to represent his house interests in the region. Naturally, it was to her that Lucius turned to continue ever so fervently toward his goal. This also came to pass after yet another series of unfortunate events involving a group of forest bandits. These bandits killed the captain of the guard, a man by the name of Antony and wounded the recently knighted Sir Adrian Darnholm, whom Lucius helped to heal. Thus it came to pass that Lucius re-instated his friendships with Lionberg Theofanis, a man he previously had acquaintance with in order to lend support to his lady Haifa and press her claims on a small estate outside the city. This was also the first time which Lucius met the new Count.
Lucius found him a harsh but fair enough man and a difficult man to please even with the tact Lucius believed he set into his arguments. However, Lucius believed the main reason for the failure in pressing the claim was the fault of Haifa herself, who, rather than requesting the lands she sought, demanded them from the Count with stubborn pride and made threats of resignation on the parts of herself and the Grand Steward Richard. Through this pride, a trait that Lucius quickly came to resent, she damned herself and Richard to practical exile through resignation with herself heading to the court of House Knust. Lucius stayed the night in the keep to show that he held no ill will toward the new count and offered to bring him breakfast before the Count slammed a door into his face and had him, for all intents and purposes, thrown from the keep as a 'beggar' by a common ranger. This led to somewhat of an estrangement of himself from the city as Lucius turned outward towards the minor nobility for some sort of stability. Lucius entered the White Charger afterward and found Haifa engaging in a series of reciprocal insults with the general of Swadia. Lucius, enraged by Haifa's pride and lack of tact in what Lucius came to see as the final chance at friendly relations with Swadian troops through one Gregory Simmons, general of the Swadian forces, left the inn in which the conversation took place, furious and wordless, and left to Sir Adrian's estate to check on his condition and possibly salvage something from the failures.
This led to offers of recommendation for a spot in the guards as to gain knighthood by merit rather than training. This was interrupted when a group of forest bandits entered the county and held Kaius Macarius, the military governor, hostage in order to find an idol. Macarius was wounded during these events when the bandits were cornered and besieged. Many movements and flanking maneuvers ensued but it was the Nords lack of discipline that led to Macarius' shoulder being smashed by a Vaegir mace. Half and more of the Swadian-Nordic forces were wounded and many of those wounds would prove fatal. Lucius once again had to choose a new path and the captain of Sirmen's guards gave him an offer. This, he almost accepted before Lady Haifa spoke with him yet again with another proposition and with this new house, Lucius felt that he may yet get what he was searching for.
A Tale of Two Feasts
It was a few days after they spoke that Lucius was granted squire-hood under one Reynold Warsmouth, a knight with oaths to Swadia and sworn to House Amari as a sergeant. He taught Lucius a few lessons in practical sword-fighting the first day, some of which Lucius was slow to grasp but willing and stubborn enough to eventually succeed in imitating. It was a useful set of skills for the bloody days that were to come and change his life, demeanor and outlook upon the realm he was planning to serve.
As day to day life went on with minor thefts and Lucius' philanthropy imposing their will upon his selection of armor and goods, a feast was announced in which the lords of bother realms were to be invited. Lucius was too late to attend the feast but learned from second and sometimes third-hand sources that Lord Balron Sirmen was killed in a duel of honor against Lord Cleitus Galenos. Strangely enough, Lord Galenos then proceeded to hold his own feast, one in which all of Swadia's nobility was to attend.
Lucius attended the feast like any other though house Amari was fairly late. A woman, Fatinah, whom Lucius recognized from Holden's persecutions was at the head of the table in Sarranid garb whom he had only reacquainted himself with in the Amari estate just a day or so before. Apparently she had been beaten and Galenos made comments about 'hundreds if not thousands of murders' committed by her. Lucius was insulted by such a quick and, conspicuously made, lie. Lance Fonder proceeded to strike her head off in front of the nobles present with Evelyn holding her in place, later removing the body from court, the first time he had seen the woman since Holden took her. Lady Haifa, outraged by the 'barbarous' actions taken by Lord Galenos, called for a new feast at the White Charger in which only the 'civilized' were invited.
This however...proved to be yet another provocation. Lord Galenos decided he would attend the Swadian feast as well and, after many heated words, Lady Haifa challenged Lord Galenos to a duel of honor similar to that which had taken the life of Lord Sirmen. Lady Haifa lost the duel and nearly her life when the lady asked a crowd member for a shield and in a moment of dishonor, Lord Galenos struck her from behind, leading to a minor melee between the sworn guards on either side as Amari guards struggled to protect the lady from further harm. Those that interfered were punished and Lady Haifa returned to her estate.
It was after the feast and before the following events that Lucius learned that his friend, Lionberg Theofanis, was murdered by the Rhodok captain, Lance Fonder, who hired Fatinah to assassinate at least four Swadian subjects including a court clerk before killing her at the feast in an attempt to remove evidence. What followed the next day was equivalent to a declaration of war.
At least half the levy of Lvennkhal was called out to fight the next day. Apparently, Lord Galenos threatened to burn down the White Charger Inn for a reason unknown to Lucius though guessed that it was a stain on his honor from the duel and both sides organized their soldiers and peasants for battle. The Swadian force, a motley arrangement of peasants, mercenaries and cravens held together by a few Nords, soldiers and knights took up positions around the Inn and its entrance. Lord Galenos moved his forces up with a subtle grace and smoothness bordering on lethargic as he measured the pace of the maneuvers to appear less threatening but equally hostile and inevitable.
Rhodok crossbowmen danced around the Inn, outflanking the Swadian force time and time again in a battle of maneuver in attempt to gain advantage before the impending clash, at one point completely surrounding the Swadian forces out of position outside of the inn before being forced to retire behind the hill to the South. Galenos asked for terms many times before resigning himself back to his men, Lady Haifa standing stubbornly between him and his prize. It was in these moments that a bolt flew and hell was unleashed upon the Rhodok forces.
It is unknown whether Galenos ordered a retreat or it happened by instinct but order soon turned to rabble and retreat to rout as the Swadians swept over the hill after the cream of the Rhodok forces, overtaking many soldiers and nobles including Galenos himself and the objective of the whole affair, Lance Fonder. After much debate between Sir Adrian Darnholm and Lady Haifa Lance Fonder was released to House Amari for punishment and execution which was carried out almost immediately relative to normal standards and undertaken by Lucius. Needles, salt and rope were used in fashions meant to mutilate flesh before Lance was shoved off of a pier and hanged.
Shadow on the Sand
Several days later Lucius entered the city, not a moment too soon as it would come to pass. The decision to ransom the Rhodoks seemed a great mistake. A Sarranid army, led by Emir Mahmud Al-Bahraad, had arrived to crush the small Swadian army levied to protect the county. Lord Galenos, as Lucius would come to learn during the battle, was fully supporting their presence. Sir Reynold Warsmouth and Sir Adrian Darnholm let Lucius in through the back gate as they were discussing how to defend it, with Lady Haifa Siddiqui Al Amari defending the main gate facing the direction of Balendar. It came to pass that the foot of the Sarranid army put their full resources into burning the main gate to the ground as the planning for the defense of the secondary gate came to naught as the defenders rushed to link back up with Lady Haifa's defenders.
What followed was intense, street-to-street fighting as the undisciplined levies broke ranks and fled. It did not last however, to the Sarranid foot's dismay as the levies, with no where to escape, were forced to turn and fight. Lucius and Sir Reynold held an area near the arena during this part of the battle with the former receiving minor wounds from a supposed Sarranid traitor, leaving Lucius with a bruised shield-arm. Many Sarranids broke through to the arena but were repulsed with relative ease as they entered the grounds and those that did not break through were cut off and down by the frenzied defenders, it may be noted that Nords played a crucial part in this endeavor. Lucius found many of the ladies of the realm were being held in the training and smithing area of the arena for protection as some wounded were being brought in for treatment.
The lull in the fighting did not last long however. The knights of the realm and Lucius were sent back to the ruined main gate to prepare for another assault but none had expected what was coming. The ground shook as the heavy mamelukes rushed towards the main gate. Lucius and Sir Reynold set the men in a concave wedge in an attempt to absorb some of the shock but it was for naught, the horse was too heavy and the defenders were split with Lady Haifa, Sir Reynold and Lucius with a few scattered remnants on one side and Sir Adrian and his more cohesive force on another as they attempted to flee on the walls to negate the shock of the enemy horse, giving the defenders valuable time to escape as the enemy dismounted.
This grace did not last for much longer than the last as the mamelukes, even devoid of their horses were still better armed and armored than most of the levy as they pursued the fleeing Swadians. However, as the levy reached the central tower, they turned. The mamelukes by this time were spread across the walls in desperate pursuit and the organized and solid defense that formed took them by surprise as many fell, with even more as archers took their places between the crenels. The heroism present during this action was not without its cost however as the mamelukes regrouped and caused major casualties amongst the defenders including Sir Adrian and Sir Reynold with some causing up to seven casualties single-handedly. It must also be noted that it was during this time that Galenos was noticed to be actively taking part in the fighting as he was repulsed from the central keep in the confusion and forced to take the main keep instead.
Once the defenders in the central tower found a lull in the fighting, they fled even further, with Lucius supporting Sir Reynold by his arm as they used the back gatehouse to descend back to ground-level, watching as the mamelukes attacked the arena again with a new fervor and with greater success, possibly taking the ladies of the realm hostage. Sir Adrian ordered the levy into the main keep and the wounded were brought in but it was then that they learned that the keep was already occupied by Lord Galenos, who had already taken Lady Semiramis d'Tremelay hostage. Adrian ordered what little of his force that could move up the stairs to retake her from the Rhodok troops at a great cost. Maybe only one in nine came out unscathed during the ascent and the levy was forced, albeit with Lady Semiramis in tow, to fall back to the hospital under great assault by mounted mamelukes where the cream of Swadian chivalry was forced to capitulate.
Beyond the Nightmare Gate
Overall, much had changed since the invasion. Lucius still found Lord Galenos a contemptible man but he had indeed brought some order to the city that was absent under the late and recently executed Lord Harold Berga. The Rhodoks began making great strides to settle the city and return its inhabitants to normal life after dealing to them a universal pardon for their actions in the defense of their previous liege lord. The Sarranids also went quickly to work, fighting bandits and rebels still present in the hills and tunnels surrounding the landscape. It must be said however, that mercenaries and bandits were still attacking many houses such as House Amari when a group attacked when the only inhabitants were Lucius and Lady Haifa. Rebels resistant to the new rulers were defiling flags and writing over important posters as well as firing arrows at various locations to spread fear.
It was during the start of the rebellion that Sir Reynold Warsmouth knighted Lucius, a belated battlefield knighthood for previous and current action. A few minutes after the dubbing, Lucius and Sir Reynold stumbled upon Lord Degenar's duel with one Jorgen Castillion, afterward committing suicide as a diversion to allow the rebels time to escape from the city prison. Lucius would not take part in the pursuit, having known a few of the men escaping and the entire affair of the suicide left Sir Reynold in a furious state. Many of the rebels ended up recaptured within a few days of their escape, including, according to rumor, Sir Adrian, who was also involved in the rebellion but released later.
Lucius left the land for a few days to pick up some more herbs from the nearby hills outside Lvennkhal and when he returned he found the land slightly different. Sir Reynold Warsmouth was named Warden of the village of Balendar and promised Lucius a proper ceremony for his knighthood sans dubbing, where he would be given his spurs and his arms would be blessed. Lucius took the three days that followed to stand vigil to the Maker in preparation for the ceremony and pray to be successful in battle. When he emerged a few days later, more bandits had attacked the county, apparently more Vaegir knights seeking a relic as before and the days afterword saw the return of the Blackstrides. Lucius, having taken particular interest in criminal organizations under Lord Anden Dragonfell, attempted to help look for them. It was over this period that Lucius played a crucial role as a provisional healer, having to heal the wounds of Xyst, Chief Malcolm MacCleod and Evelyn and others such as squire-aspirant Emer Trent and a previous acquaintance, Valentina Gerius, whom he chanced upon on the road both allowed to stay in his house in Balendar until they made a recovery.
From then, Lucius played a little at court and without it, eventually getting involved in an incident involving a band of mercenaries once again with possible connection to the Blackstrides. One man, Gandalfr, was arrested by Lucius and Sir Adrian Darnholm with Lady Haifa also present. The three of them brought the man to the keep, cooperative though unwilling to give up his sword where he confessed fully to his crimes. Upon the second attempt to take his sword away he attempted to run when he was struck down, though not mortally, by Lady Haifa. Lucius took his sword and held on to it, intending to give it back to the man upon his release but he was shot by Adrian when he attempted to wrestle it from Lucius' hands. It is unknown whether he survived the night. This event had changed Lucius' outlook on Sir Adrian in many ways. To Lucius he had changed much since the rebellion and such a thing was evident when he had spoken to him briefly the day before but the way he had treated the prisoner arose a feeling of disgust in him. Lucius made it his prerogative to tend to the knight's virtue in an attempt to save him from a self-destructive fall out of regret, using a candle as the first lesson he means to teach.
The following day involved more comings and goings with Lucius attending patrols with Adrian at the village above the Knust estate after a false alarm involving men attempting to break into Stanton's keep. A miss, a guardsman for Lady Haifa named Cheri was in a state of catatonia and Lucius escorted her back to the Amari estate where both the woman and her sergeant, her apparent fiancee were dressed down with rigorous discipline. Upon leaving the estate, Lucius left back to the city where he chanced upon Captain Evelyn on the road showing a new friend the lands. He joined the column and over the rest of the day, attempted to kindle a friendly relationship with her and her friend. Once they reached the inn however, they found Lady Caroline Highstone in a drunken and later unconscious stupor, eventually awaking only to insult everyone tending to her.
The highlight of the day however, was Lucius' meeting with a man after being robbed by a few Khergit bandits that threatened to violate the ladies present. They had a very interesting conversation in which Lucius recounted all the events he knew of since the time of Lord Harold Berga to the present with small back-stories of what happened before that led to the events. The conversation was very political and involved some small debates on philosophy and ethics. Lucius was able to piece together a general outline of his identity by the end of the conversation; he hopes he kindled friendly terms with the man he would hopefully enjoy calling friend.