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Instaurare Omnia in Lux -- Restore All Things to the Light

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Corlupi
11:53:38 am GMT 02/12/18
Corlupi Awooo
Registered Member #2942 Joined: 4:48:33 pm GMT 11/27/12
Posts: 2886
Instaurare Omnia in Lux -- Restore All Things to the Light

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[This thread is intended for the current and coming players involved with the Celestial Knights of Thain and the restoration of that order. We will primarily be enforcing our visions and RP IG, but this thread will serve as a good place to catch up and summarise.]
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Corlupi
8:24:25 am GMT 02/23/18
Corlupi Awooo
Registered Member #2942 Joined: 4:48:33 pm GMT 11/27/12
Posts: 2886
Eight Rays, Eight Tenets, Eight Knights

Many believed that with the restoration of the Celestial Temple, a new light would be rekindled; that everywhere on Thain hope and courage would seep back into the hearts of men, elves, dwarves, halflings and gnomes, a hope that was snuffed out when the mortal vessel of Andarus was undone. But brick and stone are just that, brick and stone. In many ways, in all ways, the Celestial Temple was never about splendor or immaculacy. Ruin or no, the Celestial Temple was an idea; an idea that there is a place on Thain where any pilgrim is welcome to unburden their pains and sorrows. A place where the light never fades. A place where hope is never a fugitive, and where the common good always matters more than discord and division. But all idea wane and die if they are forgotten because there is no-one willing to take up the torch and enforce them. That torch was once upon a time carried by the Celestial Knights, men and women chosen by Andarus to uphold his tenets. Against the foulest of evils, the Celestial Knights were Thain’s last line of defense.

The echo of distant thunder breaks the silence that has settled between the two women. It is dark this night, the only source of illumination being the interlacing forks of lightning that arc across a midnight sky. Even so, defying rain, wind and darkness, the two women stand radiant and unwavering. One woman lays a determined hand on the other's shoulder.

"It is time, Vigilant Cassia, to reassemble that which was broken up. It is time to reform the Celestial Knights."

"Assentior, Domina Aeryth. Octo radios sunt. Octo dogmata. Octo milites. Eight rays, eight tenets, eight knights of Andarus. Perhaps one Celestial Knight to embody each virtue?"


The two women exchange a smile, then they part ways.
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Izral
6:23:27 am GMT 02/24/18
Izral Registered Member #408 Joined: 2:50:36 am GMT 01/20/05
Posts: 1445
A Blessing of Faiths

A Deva's life begins and ends with the divine power who brought her to life. She serves with unwavering loyalty to her Lord, for all eternity. Her purpose came from Torm, himself.

Upon Thain, she discovered the ruins of war. The result of two divine essences being extinguished from their physical forms. Those ruins were a place perseverance, the temple itself still intact maintained hope in the hearts and minds of the mortals on the island. It was an idea that was truly worth fighting for.

With the temple restored, his light shines brighter then the Deva had ever seen it. Andarus lives in the hearts of men, his faith pierced the soul of many... even, though he is gone. Hope remains.

Chaska, now a tenet of the Celestial Knights, found herself seeking wisdom to her Loyal Fury. She kneels before the Obelisk, it's power washes over her as she prays to Torm.

My Loyal Fury, I ask of you your blessing.
I am to be a Knight among the mortals, together we will restore this islands faith in the Celestial Knights.
My induction comes at a time of great peril and I ask of you to share with me your strength for the coming battle.


The warmth of the Obelisk consumes her.

The Deva found herself standing in a bog on a brisk morning standing in the mists. She was barely able to make out shapes in the shroud. One particular one moved closer upon her position.
As he approached, his figure standing over Chaska. Covered in a golden robe, she could not see his face.

Chaska, your prayers have been heard.
The Hand of Righteousness will be extended to aid in the revival of Order.
Serve the Lord of Light as you have the Loyal Fury, this is his final request of you.


A silver gauntlet extended out from the robed figure to touch Chaska on the cheek. She was back laying before the Obelisk once again.

For once she found herself without that link to a higher power. It was time to pledge her faith to another.

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Vaedryan
3:52:25 pm GMT 03/02/18
Vaedryan Registered Member #345 Joined: 2:28:49 am GMT 11/25/04
Posts: 1920
Eight Points of Light

It was shortly after dawn as Aeryth strolled the grounds near the Tower of Radiance. The sun had crested the foothills of the Hammersong Mountains to the east and reflected brilliantly off the polished marble of the reconstructed temple, lending it a lustrous glow as though the stone radiated its own luminescence.

Aeryth took a moment to appreciate the image: a shining beacon of Light reborn on the hilltop to buttress the hearts of many against whatever storms may come. At long last, after the efforts of many, the symbol was intact again.

But the Temple’s reconstruction was only part of the renewal long-overdue. Missing still had been those who had championed the Light, carrying it in their hearts like torchbearers to all crevices of the island, inspiring hope, and embodying the tenets of the Lord Andarus. Missing still were those who had comprised the Order of the Celesital Knights.

It was that task, restoring the Order, that had consumed Aeryth’s time these past moons. Scouring the histories, she had collected any scrap of parchment or completed tome she came acrosss that conveyed the deeds or writings of the Order’s members. She had curated these into the beginnings of a library within the Tower. For without the knowledge of those who had served and sacrificed before them, Aeryth feared that a restored Order would be like a proud tree without its roots: far too easily toppled.

Mordacht, AdyNathor, Motoko, Thar, Brand, Lia, Elith, Nijel, Keira and Kalin, Aeryth recalled the names of each of the previous Celestial Knights. They are the roots from which we will grow.

A small smile played over Aeryth’s lips as she continued to pace the circumference of the Tenet Stones. Mother would be proud, she realized, to see how her teachings of Labelas Enoreth, Lord of the Continuum, color my thinking even today.

History is vital. It gives us a beginning before the quill has touched the well to write our own stories. It provides us with lessons on which to build. But, Aeryth knew, History is nothing without those to carry it through the moment to the tomorrows that may come.

The new council of the Celestial Order. Aeryth glanced down and read the Celestial rune engraved upon the stone that her pacing had brought her to: “Temperance.” Albrecht Steiner.

She glanced to other stones within the circle: “Vigilence” - Cassia Aurelia; “Justice” - Dace Sontan; “Truth” – Chaska Bellator. With each that has joined its ranks, the Order has gained a champion for one of Lord Andarus’s eight tenets.

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Three stones remained. “Honour” stood watch in the North, across the Wastes. “Valour,” Aeryth surmised, might be found on the eve of the “Fight Party” that Aeryth had seen promoted across the isle. It had been too long since she had seen Urgath-Rab, but there would be no more likely place for her to be. And “Hope”… where, and in who, would they find a champion for Hope?

The irony of the question in this time of restoration and rebirth was not lost to Aeryth. In time, she thought. Hope will present itself.

She did not linger any longer. There was little time to rest; the council was not yet whole.

Prepared for a long journey, she gave each of the Tenet Stones a last, brief look. Drawing strength in the knowledge of those who stood behind each, she set off for the Wastes to see if she might find Honour within its sands.
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Vaedryan
3:39:17 pm GMT 04/09/18
Vaedryan Registered Member #345 Joined: 2:28:49 am GMT 11/25/04
Posts: 1920
A Quill of Light

The conversation with Chaska weighed on Aeryth’s thoughts as she scanned the spines of tomes collected in the growing library of the Radiant Tower. Lord Draxus, the Deva has said, had been wounded, but his sense of duty drove him to remain in the Abyss yet. Plans to extricate him had been made, and were now in the process of playing themselves out…

But the waiting…

Each second now seemed to tick by at the glacial pace of an epoch. What she needed, Aeryth knew, was something to take her mind off each passing moment, to pour herself into until preparations for the journey ahead were complete. But what?

She hardly had time to ponder the question before her eye caught on tomes written by the hand of Elithrulder Leonalley, and others by that of Lia Kross, and others still written by the hand of Lord Draxus himself.

Of course…

There were ways other than the sword and spell by which the Light could be served as her predecessors in the Order and exarch had shown throughout time. History contained lessons with the power to preserve the memory of icons to be admired and emulated, to illuminate the path by which future conflict might be resolved, and offer parables to exemplify valued qualities. And, in truth, Aeryth knew, the quill was a tool to which she was far better-suited than the blade she carried now on her belt.

In that moment of epiphany, it was as if a dam, stressed by rising waters, had burgeoned. Tales, so many she had observed herself or heard told by those who had witnessed them firsthand, rushed like flooding waters into her thoughts. Not all histories belonged to times long past, she knew. Some were far more recent, so recent, in fact, that the ink set by the nib of time may not have fully dried.

Aeryth smiled as she crossed from the library to settle into the chair before Brother Henry. The chatty parrot, for once, allowed her the peace of an extended silence. She picked up the quill from where it lay, dipping it into the inkpot resting atop the table. She spoke a prayer, barely more than a whisper… far loud enough for its intended audience to hear clearly.

“Lord Andarus,” she said, “May these words and rhymes serve you, the Light, and the Island.” She then set herself to the task, putting words on paper.

Duke Nihilus and the Mundus Krah, I

Book 1: The threat from Baator

There was a time when Duke Nihilus, a fallen Celestial turned overlord of Baator, sought for the second time to conquer Thain. That threat began with the reemergence of the dark relic, The Arm of the Tyrant, known as Mundus Krah in High Infernal--the language of the ruling caste of devils and pitfiends responsible for imbuing the weapon with its potent magics.

Following Duke Nihilus’ first failed attempt at conquest, Celestials led by the exarch Lord Draxus cast their former brother Nihilus back into the depths of Baator and entombed the Mundus Krah in the bedrock beneath Lord Andarus’ temple. There, it was thought, the temple’s power could prevent the weapon’s return. Following the temple’s ruin in the Shadow War, and prior to its recent rebuilding, the Mundus Krah festered like a splinter in the earth until the dark god Bane learned of its existence and sent his champion to claim it. While those guided by the Light and Andarus prevented the Harold of Terror from achieving this end, the Mundus Krah was freed from the rock and unleashed upon the world.

Drawn by the promise of its power and thoughts of conquest, many sought to claim the dark relic as their own. The Iron City and the Banites marshalled their forces, as did Duke Nihilus under his general Ixian. Terror and destruction followed the weapon wherever those of the Light tried to shelter it. Such was the case when the knights of the Nine Hells and their monstrous allies set upon Greenvale in hopes of reclaiming Mundus Krah from where it was stored within the School of Wizardry.

It was clear; the island would know no peace until the Mundus Krah was destroyed. The dark relic though, forged as it was by extraordinary powers, resisted all attempts to unmake it. The weapon’s destruction, and therefore the end of the threat it posed to the island, seemed beyond the power of any of the Light. Many feared that, in time, one of the dark factions seeking to possess the Mundus Krah would eventually succeed and thereby possess the power to exert their will on all those of Thain.

If not for the wisdom, temperance, and courage of two elves of the Feywood, the presence of the dark relic upon our shores may have forever cast the course of our island’s history into darkness. But then, such crises are often the crucible in which heroes of the Light are forged. Such is the case here. But that, dear reader, is a tale left for the book that follows.

Aeryth Elowyn,
Celestial Knight of Andarus


~@~ ~@~ ~@~ ~@~ ~@~

OOC Notes: The plot and in-game events related to this story were created and DM’d by MadSkillsMike.
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Vaedryan
11:57:35 am GMT 04/11/18
Vaedryan Registered Member #345 Joined: 2:28:49 am GMT 11/25/04
Posts: 1920
Aeryth continued to put quill to parchment to complete the tale of the unlikely alliance that brought an end to the threat posed by Nihilus, Duke of Baator.

Duke Nihilus and the Mundus Krah, II

Book 2: The unlikely alliance

The turning point in the tale of Duke Nihilus and the Mundus Krah came in the forging of an alliance orchestrated by two young elves--- Daedamai, skin changer and champion of the wood; and Gaylon, Shaalth of the Feywood.

While alliances prove the keystone of many victories, this alliance was extraordinary in that it bound together those who generally view one another as bitter enemies. Not only did Daedamai and Gaylon call upon Galberk Hagero, Steward of Hammersong, and Renneleth, Taur’otharie of the Feywood, but they sought aid also from the Thayans Sertorius and Colonel Dwent Chambers, and from the Flamelord Etrich Zern, high priest of Kossuth. Where most others were blinded by past conflicts, Daedamai and Gaylon sought common purpose. In this, the elves not only possessed the wisdom to recognize that a Thain ruled over by a Duke of Baator served no one’s interest. They possessed also the uncommon temperance to quell underlying animosities while looking a known enemy in the eye.

It was raining the morning that Daedamai and Gaylon travelled to meet Sertorius and the rest of those who had resolved to see the destruction of the Mundus Krah to its end. To aid them in their task, Sertorius had marshalled a cadre of his apprentices and two full cohorts of Thayan knights. The Red Wizards wove their magics to transport the group to a dimension beyond the material, a dimensional pocket created for the sole purpose of isolating the Mundus Krah. But the dark god Bane detected their presence and crushed the pocket, wrenching all gathered there back to the material upon Thain.

Many, including most of the knights and wizards Sertorius had gathered, perished as the pocket dimension collapsed. The rest, exposed now to all the forces they had sought to shelter themselves from, attempted to fight their way through the Drakamyre to a defensible position. Waves of Banites and Baatorian devils beset the group. The risen dead of the Drakamyre, drawn to the dark power of the Mundus Krah like faeri flies to nectar, added to the swarm falling upon the group. Their number and powers were too great. One by one, Daedamai, Renneleth, Etrich, and Gaylon fell, while Galberk was drawn away.

Sertorius and Colonel Chambers remained. The Red Wizard, with his command of the weave, managed in a desperate attempt to transport the group to a series of caves nestled between Hammersong, city of the Dwarves, and the sea. There they bound their wounds and, by chance, were met by Llallee Cyrrareenna, Warden of Yondalla who had been patrolling the lands near Sandburrow Bay.

As Sertorius continued efforts to unmake the weapon, Daedamai, Gaylon and the others warred with the Baatorians who had found them and sought still to reclaim the Mundus Krah. At long last, Sertorius’ magic cracked the relic, and with that, Duke Nihilus himself appeared in the midst of the fray. It was then that those present realized the bond between Nihilus and the weapon: the Mundus Krah could not be destroyed so long as the Duke remained on its same plane.

After bloody effort, the group struck blows to Duke Nihilus that cast him back to Baator. In that instant, Sertious’s magic succeeded at long last in bringing the dark relic Mundus Krah to ruin.

While it is unclear as of this writing whether Duke Nihilus will one day again cast his shadow over the island, it is clear that the threat posed by the Mundus Krah was forever ended, destroyed through the most unlikely of alliances; an alliance commemorated now through a simple engraving upon a tree West of the Feywood.

Reader, if you take nothing else from this tale, take this: Often, when moments are at their most dire, such unlikely alliances can prove to be the bulwark that sees us through. Take care that prejudice does not rip down bridges which, in times of turmoil, you may need to cross. Rather, with the wisdom of Daedamai and Gaylon, sooth division through common purpose, even if that is possible only temporarily. For, in our unified strength, the path to salvation can be won.

Aeryth Elowyn,
Celestial Knight of Andarus

~@~ ~@~ ~@~ ~@~ ~@~

OOC Notes: The plot and in-game events related to this story were created and DM’d by MadSkillsMike (including the NPC Sertorius). The characters above were played by Tucker99 (Daedamai), Barakka (Gaylon), Ogreman (Dwent), Corlupi (Renneleth), Glognar (Etrich), ajken (Galberk), and Xerah (Llallee).

// EDIT to add: Huge thank you to Barakka and Tucker99 for meeting in-game to share the details of this plot’s ending.
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Izral
8:58:43 pm GMT 05/19/18
Izral Registered Member #408 Joined: 2:50:36 am GMT 01/20/05
Posts: 1445
Dark Descent

Time is of the essence. A friend returned from depths with dire news. It was now time to act. The Deva quickly took to ink in the confines of the Radiant Tower to send word to allies.

After compiling a stack of letters, the Deva set to the skies across the settlements of the island.

Friends,
The descent to the heart of the Abyss is upon us! It is time for us to rally to the Celestial Temple immediately. Lord Ashtaga, has returned to us with terrible news. The bonds that hold the Destroyer of Worlds are now broken. Lord Draxus, Lord Ashtaga, Sol'edrial, planars, and devas moved in force to the Abyss to aid in defending Gorrath's prison. Unfortunately, the defense was broken and Lord Draxus needs our aid.

Our primary objective is the rescue of Lord Draxus and other celestial kin who still clinch to life.

Muster all you can to aid us in this descent. Though remember this venture is not for the feint of heart. The Abyss may drive the weakest minds into madness! However, with faith as our shield we shall prevail, together.

Make your preparations quickly and make haste.

[signed]
Chaska Bellator, Champion of the Celestial Order

((Events has been postponed till next Saturday))
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Warlord Kro
3:51:32 am GMT 05/20/18
Warlord Kro Registered Member #1272 Joined: 10:59:54 am GMT 03/18/08
Posts: 604
Shackles and Chains

Meanwhile...

Seth takes his time to seek and read every bit of lore on this demon, he can find in the Celestial Temple Library, no matter how obscure. He was grateful to Lady Aeryth for allowing him access. Once his mind has absorbed all it can, he departs and heads back to the smithy, with the lore, and the materials provided.

First, he takes out the Chain of Azuul. How fortunate to have had a number of the island's adventurers present so it could be obtained. Forged in the hells it was imbued with infernal power to strengthen its former devilish owner. And now - Seth believed - that power would become an anathema to one of a demonic nature, were such to be shackled in it, weakening rather than strengthening, due to the natural animosity between the two devils and demons. The chain would form the basis for the shackles anew.

Next he got to work refining the adamantine ore. There was enough to make one bar, then added to the existing bar he had two. He then used the adamantine to reinforce the Chain - one of the hardest materials known - it would require supreme strength to break, if possible at all.
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Once that was completed, he took out the nine Celestial Crystals. Eight of them he imbibed each with a different aspect of the Eight Tenets of the Celestial Knights themselves, as he understood them. Then the ninth to draw them all together as one. These crystals would help, as Lady Aeryth advised, to focus the eyes of Celestia on the one shackled therein. He socketed them all along the chain.
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And to that, he took the Riftscale of Gorrath itself, and socketed this within the chain, drawing the very essence of Gorrath from it and binding it to the chain, as he would be bound by it, granting, in a way, the chain the power over the demon with the knowledge of his very nature within.
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Finally, the smith took out the black rock. It was not the first time he had used this strange material. He crushed it down to a powder and then a fine paste, to seal completely the chain and protect it from arcane assault.
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The chain then was now a thing new. Drawn and strengthened for the sole purpose to re-shackle a demon for eternity. Lady Aeryth and Lady Chaska had faith in Seth's ability. Would it prove enough?

He prayed that it would, and sent word to the Temple, it was ready.

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Vaedryan
6:32:41 am GMT 05/27/18
Vaedryan Registered Member #345 Joined: 2:28:49 am GMT 11/25/04
Posts: 1920
Having arrived to the Encampment to brief Colonel Darienne on the current state of matters relating to Lord Draxus and threats from the Abyss, Aeryth learned the Commander had traveled to inspect troops elsewhere. As directed by Captain Joran, Aeryth instead left word in the Colonel's quarters.

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Izral
1:50:24 am GMT 05/28/18
Izral Registered Member #408 Joined: 2:50:36 am GMT 01/20/05
Posts: 1445
Cosmic Gateway


The Empyrean Aurora, for far too long they have searched for the answers to receive the aid in their desolate outpost among the sands. Those who are stationed there lack the necessary food and water to sustain themselves for a prolonged period of time and when they return home to Hamley, if they return home to Hamley, they are famished.

For centuries the outpost has stood as a lone bastion against the terrors that walk the dunes. The Shadow’s End still desperate for supplies to reach its completion. A place which may ease the weary minds of those who hold it’s keeper.

Across the island, the Celestials have created gateways to move about the island, expanding vast distances in a matter of a few short steps. These gateways were one the Deva Knight sought to recreate. A gateway to aid the Empyrean Aurora in their expanse across the island. From Hamley to the Wasteland outpost, which to move supplies. A gateway from the holy temple of Andarus to Hamley, bring faith closer to home for many of those who pay their respects to the Lord of Light.

Some gateways of her kin remain intact, others have ceased operation over the years. New foundations for them would have to be constructed, in others recycled. The true test would be recreating that which her kin had put in place before her as well as the means to keep unwanted intruders from exploiting them.

Most deva carry with them a precious parchment. Some say it holds prophecies of times yet to come and tales of what has passed. Among other things. It the very least, it tells of the basic blueprints of how her people may enact their divine interventions to those mortals who are deemed worthy of such. The Empyrean Aurora have long stood as bastions of the Light. Perhaps it was the time their faith was to be rewarded.

Through tumultuous hardship the very ingredients to make such a gateway again would require the help of the mortals. In recent age, her blessed kin have been scarce, far less then there was in a time before the War.

As she rolled through the endless parchment, the words she sought appeared before her golden eyes.
The keys were among the cosmic elements that sustain Prime Material, all of which could be found upon this vast island expanse. Three of each, one for each waypoint. All of which would needed to harvested in it’s purest form. Perhaps even from the Primordials that represent each aspect.

This is was not a task she could undertake alone.
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