Better Safe than Sorry
“If we’re to make it in time: we must invoke the Rite,” huffs Captain Kindr, almost completely out of breath from the increasingly arduous trek. “No! We mustn't. Not yet. Not now. We can make it to them!” protests Major Karström, spearheading the charge of the combined battalions. “Captain Waelund’s Light is strong, as is the Light of hir fellow knights,” insists the superior officer, believing the suggested sacrament too excessive in the circumstances. “We can cross the Londaj Ridge to get there sooner,” he states, refusing to acknowledge the obvious peril brought on by this plan that would seem to be far too extreme to so many others.
Traversing the wide wintry expanse is not generally painless or without danger, and to those daring to venture out a fate far worse than death is so often suffered, even for the best and most seasoned warriors, but in too many circumstances is it the only way to accomplish one's duties to the Gods. The route to Tarskholm is not effortless, and to enjoy just a small degree of safety out in the wilds requires the use of the narrow and haphazardly dug trenches. It does not take long however for travel to become more troublesome as the elements maintain their endless whirling assault on the senses. Will the risk be worth it?...
Without hesitation Tymir waves her hand in front of the afore-mentioned enigmatic seal, then snaps her deft fingers, dispersing the ancient charm at last. “What are you doing?!” shouts Vassan, his low voice reverberating to the other side of the chasm. “Keep it down,” hisses Falks, evidently unhappy by Vassan’s outburst. “What must be done,” responds Tymir; Nocten and Falks nodding in agreement. “But that was one of Ien's symbols! Do you wish to incur her wrath?!” roars out Vassan, the large knight exhibiting an exorbitant amount of devout passion. “There’s no reason that should be here, unless--” Before Tymir can finish, the group look up as a multitude more marks suddenly reveal themselves down the length of the rift, and floods of fiends surge unexpectedly towards the wayward knights from ahead.
Known as the Tideseekers, the Lunar Eclipse Pyreteam undertake some of the most critical yet threatening excursions into the deepest, darkest, long-forgotten places. Despite the lack of what traditionally links to their namesake, their main focus is on searching for the mythical Tidestones: artefacts of immense power said to have been left behind when the oceans were frozen over millennia ago. What phenomenal energies these relics of the past may contain remains a mystery, with only the Gods knowing those truths for certain. Flurries of abysmal abominations spew forth eclipsing the tight-knit crew’s vision from their salvation, and the earth trembles once more from their tremendous determination. The risk must be worth it?...
As Karström’s impetus keeps their forces moving forward, as fatal it may be, they will not falter for those in need. “Rae damn it. I can’t allow Karström’s stubbornness to be the death of hundreds. I accept the soul price.” declares the tenacious captain to himself. Kindr holds back his lieutenant to do what he believes to be right, motioning to the top of the nearby ridge. Now darting to the head of the summit, Kindr’s knights break off to assist during the sojourn. Once at its peak, Kindr immediately throws off his both of his gauntlets and pulls an ornate dagger from his waist. Etching a holy sign into his own right hand, he then motions before himself before thrusting it up into the air for no more than a few moments, blood dripping down under foot, and proceeds to clench his hand and shouts out, “Novos yar Rae dom!” In unison, all of Kindr’s soldiers slam their fists into the frigid snow alongside their captain, shaking the glacier below. Radiant sun rays come searing across the stretch to Tarskholm, sanctifying the land, and blazing a trail for the Crescents to cross.
Miraculously no longer dashing through the snow, it will not be long before Major Ryln Karström and Captain Kil Kindr’s knights reach Waelund’s to join them in glorious battle against the encroaching Kluuvachni Horde. Some so-called righteous acts are much less than accepted compared to others, and those that call upon the use of a person’s blood and soul remain in very high contention amongst the different sects of the Glacial Knights. Many worship strictly spiritually, praying and hoping for guidance from the Gods. Many make use of the boons they have been granted to aid them in a wide range of pursuits. Many others go above and beyond though, by giving their own bodies and essence to show their eternal dedication. Calling upon the Sun to purify the wastes, cleansing the taint from the earth to support the knights’ campaign is certainly no small feat, and despite the controversy surrounding that sort of magick it allows them to be on their way significantly faster and close the gap ever so quick. The risk will be worth it!..
“You forget yourself Kindr! You may not report to me, but Major Buenor will hear of your insubordination!” avows Karström, outraged by what he sees to be a vast amount of disrespect from Kindr, for both his authority and the tenets he holds. “She would’ve done the same, and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again,” counters the young captain, justifying their own actions, “Save the pride for later. We fight as we always do for the living, and we’re needed now especially!” further returns Kindr, issuing the regrouped knights to go with absolute urgency, encouraging their momentum. Anger fills Karström’s face, but he knows Kindr’s words to be true. Absorbing sunlight from around them, the major’s polearm empowers itself from the sun-soaked shard contained within, enhancing the power that will be necessary in the coming conflict. Nearly there, running together as fast as they can, the Crescents ready their arms as they prepare to enter the fray.
Diving right into the pandemonium, a handful of knights propel themselves into the action with boosted force, breaking apart a mass of the ruthless scourge, and scorching an opening for the rest to enter Tarskholm. Past the diminishing fires at last, the defenders of Kälran give knowing nods to each other as they are united in purpose, however the time for pleasantries comes later as for now they need to preserve the Light. Erupting back to life, the fiery embers outside of the gates grow ever stronger, waxing as per their sustainer's namesake. The attackers start to wane inside as they are despatched promptly by the respective knights. Pushing them back, the entrance is finally barricaded, and the now-refugees have extra time to reach Astos. The risk was worth it!..
“It’s blessed you could make it,” sighs Llin feeling gratitude and facing a small reprieve at last, sweat dripping from her brow, and her armour now more battered from bloody battle than weakened by the windy weather, “Rae’s warmth kept up our morale, I just wish that--” Llin is cut off by Karström’s questioning before she can finish. “Where’s Captain Waelund? Ze--” Interrupting in return, the lieutenant points back towards the barracks, “Ze’s dying.” she professes, looking down as a tear fills her eye, and letting out a hefty breath then continues, “When they broke through the gate one of the Isk followed soon after, and--” Yet another interjection comes, this time from Kindr. “An Isk?! Nobody has seen one for almost 25 years!” Solemn and stout, Llin simply acknowledges this, “I know.”