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Author Topic: Sir Ruil Mallister / Erpheronian / Brigand  (Read 5702 times)
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Sir Ruil Mallister
Valor Conquers
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Gender: Male
Posts: 337


Human, Erpheronian


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« on: November 11, 2007, 12:35:42 PM »

Formal Name:
Sir Ruil the Valorous of House Mallister

Age: 25
Birth Date:
Day of Avis, Awakening Earth, 1645 a.S.

Gender: Male
Race: Human
Tribe: Erpheronian

Occupation: Mercenary Knight


Misfortune and tragedy has marred Ruil Mallister’s life, forcing his outlook into a world of grays, devoid of black or white.  Thus, most all outsiders are worthy only of mistrust and are neither wicked enough to slay nor innocent enough to protect.  And so he turns to family and a skewed sense of chivalry for solace and purpose.


Appearance:

Unlike the rest of his kin, Ruil inherited the most noble features from his parents.  Though not as tall as Mathis or Gundioc, he is still just under a ped two fores and two palmspans in height, enabling him to equal most men.  He is also leaner than his two brothers; living a far more chaste life than his more hedonistic siblings, his weight is comprised mostly of muscle without the addition of fat, leaving him a little over one pygge and eight hebs.  Of his face, Ruil received more traits from his mother than his father, with his facial features being soft and smooth.  His fierce icy blue eyes, are defiant gifts from his grandfather.  Powerful, narrow eyes that rarely truly open but for his brothers.  And of his hair, Ruil received his father’s thick head of hair, but inherited his mother’s blonde coloring.  It has grown long over the years, and as such Ruil keeps the back in a ponytail so it won't blind him during battle.  He lets a sizeable cut fall over his sideburns, giving him a unique attribute.

Clothing: Ruil enjoys tournaments, and as nobility, he prefers to dress as such.  He has two sets of clothes, one for traveling and one for events.  His traveling attire consists of plain tunic and breeches made of cotton, simple leather gloves and folded leather riding boots.  Overtop this he generally wears a long xazure surcoat belted at the waist.  And finally, overtop that, he wears his favorite xazure blue hooded cloak with fur at the top.  His events attire consists of several noble robes over a clean cyhalloian snow tunic and eophran brown breeches.  They fall in layers, the inner robe being white and longer than the outer robe, which is a darker xazure than the tunic and falls to mid-shin.  The out-robe ties at the chest with brown string for a varied fit, and is sleeveless.  Nearing the edge of the robe, it features bronze lattice-work detailing intricately woven into the fabric.  His gloves sport the same bronze lattice detail, as does the trim on his leather boots.


Personality:

Family is very important to Ruil.  Having lost his home at an early age, the only thing he possessed was his bonds with his family.  During his younger years, he enjoyed a close bond with his brother Mathis and his sister Alia.  Now that she is dead, Mathis and Gundioc are the only family he has left.  With Mathis, he enjoys a fairly warm relationship.  Though the bond of their youth has diminished, it is not entirely vacant.  Gundioc, on the other hand, is a different story.  The largest of the brothers Mallister epitomizes most of what Ruil stands against – gluttony and cruelty in quantities vast as the man himself.  Yet despite their sometimes violent clashes Ruil remains with the brothers and does his share in providing for their mutual survival.

Compared to his brothers, Ruil is a beacon of integrity.  He follows the code of chivalry as taught to him by his knightly mentor.  Courage, diligence, valour, integrity, kindness and honesty are the central virtues taught by Sir Roland.  And, for the most part, he follows these virtues, even when it conflicts with his brothers’ interests.  And yet these virtues are mostly applied to how he lives his own life and has less to do with how he treats others.

Bitter from the tragedies of his life, Ruil views the world filled with grays between the white of good and black of evil.  It is this grayness that permeates much of Ruil’s outlook, particularly of outsiders.  He despises anyone he has not come to trust.  From the lowly peasants that murdered his sister to the pompous nobility that burned his childhood, everyone is worthy of his scorn.  And thus, he is always on guard, refusing to allow anyone the opportunity to wound him.  There are few who have gotten past his defenses, with whom Ruil actually relaxes.

When he is alone, Ruil busies himself with a few hobbies.  The first and foremost of them is his penchant for reading.  He always carries at least one tome on his person, which he reads whenever he rests.  When at home in the Three Arcs Keep, he can most often be found either in the library or the study area in his room.  Whether its history, poetry, philosophy, law, or other essays, he will read and study it.  When not reading, Ruil often practices his martial training in the inner or outer courtyard, mostly with just his spear.  Sometimes he also mounts up on Bolero and practices his jousting.  This is his other hobby: participating in tourney jousts.


Strengths:

- Knightly Training:  For six years, Ruil trained under Sir Roland in the various skills knights were expected to have.  He learned to ride and fight, and was taught the code of chivalry.  Though Ruil was unskilled with a sword, he had a natural way with the spear.  Since being knighted and accompanying his brothers on their mercenary work, Ruil has accomplished over eleven years of practice with his martial skills.

- Jousting:  Sir Roland also trained Ruil on how to joust.  Ruil has entered many tournaments and, while he certainly hasn’t won any, he’s never shamed himself, either. Thus, tournies tend to be a major source of income for Ruil throughout his life.

- Bread-Winner:  Ruil earns enough gold through tournaments to support his lifestyle comfortably.  This includes all associated costs with jousting, maintaining his field arms and armor, the many books he enjoys reading, and even a sizable chunk of the Mallisters' food costs.  What coin is left over is divided between the Mallister funds and his own personal savings.

- Literate:  Sir Roland not only trained Ruil in chivalry and combat, but he also made him learn to read and write in Tharian.  He took to reading in particular, reading whenever he had downtime.  He has retained this like for books to this day, and can often be found flipping through the pages of some tome.  Due to his studies and living with Mathis, he has come to understand the Aerpheriane dialect in both written and verbal forms, though he is unskilled and uninterested in speaking it.  He lets Mathis do the flowery speech-work.

Weaknesses:

- Strangling Disease:  Exercise-induced asthma plagues the knight.  Any violent exertion on his body, be it running or fighting at an intense pace, for more than a few moments quickly takes its toll on his body.  Ruil's breathing becomes more and more labored, and that causes his reaction speed to plummet, both mentally and physically.  Several minutes of said exertion can lead to he having to force his breath with all his might just to get air for his burning nerves.  Due to this, Ruil will almost always lose any war of attrition.

- Weak Hand:  During his first mortal combat, Ruil took a sword through the hand.  The stab wound in his left hand healed, but scarred significantly.  Thusly, this hand is stiff and clumsy compared to the other.  His hand is also sensitive to touch, which cause him much pain when jarred from impact.  Ruil can wield a spear, but only due to his constant training and exercising his left hand to do so.

- Pyrophobia:  Fire is death.  Having nearly been burned to death when his brother Borik set fire to his room, Ruil has a powerful phobia of fire.  The very sight of it unnerves him, though he knows it's a necessary tool for survival.  That is, when the fire is not surrounding him, and stays well put where it needs to be: a camp fire, for instance.  At home in Three Arcs, he rarely uses his fireplace, only resorting to lighting the logs for the coldest of nights.


Belongings:

  • A finely-crafted oak and steel spear, a little over 2 peds in length.  Its head has been reinforced to improve its structural integrity.
  • A steel flanged mace that hangs from the left side of his swordbelt.
  • A hunting knife he stores in his left boot, which he uses as a non-combat tool.
  • The field armor he has pieced together over the years: shirt of scales, steel sallet-style helmet, steel gorget and spaulders, steel bracers, a steel half-gauntlet for his scarred left hand, and steel greaves.
  • His tournament armor for the jousts: fine, steel plate armor in a typical Erpheronian style.  He dislikes wearing it outside of tournaments.
  • Shield and tabard that displays Ruil’s coat-of-arms: heraldic bronze Nightbird carrying a bronze lantern on a field of xazure blue.  He usually only dons the tabard over his tourney armor.
  • He carries a moneybag on his left side, made of soft leather.
  • Two sets of clothes: his traveling and events sets of clothing.
  • A tome of fictional tales, gifted by Sir Roland himself.
  • On Bolero he has a saddlebag for carrying his armor and traveling gear: a lantern and oil, rope, flint and tinder, a whetstone, and bedding.


Familiars:

Ruil has for a mount a magnificent Southern Draught Warhorse that he purchased soon after Sir Roland knighted him.  The stallion is a beautiful aeruillin red color.  He has a snow-white mane and tail, white stockings on all four legs, and a snowy star on the face.  Ruil, since he loves a very specific type of song, named his steed after it: Bolero.  Bolero’s reddish coloring matches his personality, being a feisty horse who refuses to let anyone but Ruil ride him.  Bolero’s loyalty to Ruil sparked a bond between the two that cannot be broken.


History:

“The Ruin of House Mallister” was born on the Day of Avis in the Santharian month of Awakening Earth in the year 1641 a.S..  His mother brought him in as the youngest child of the lord of O’rril in Nermeran at a price: Ruil’s mom died birthing the lordling.  With six other siblings, the children were, from oldest to youngest: oldest brother Borik, his eldest sister Katya, brothers Merrick, Gundioc, and Mathis, his other sister Alia, and then finally himself.

A year after Ruil was born and the death of their mother, their father took Borik up into the Warnaka Mountains to hunt game.  When Borik returned, he returned alone, the new lord of O’rril.  Ruil was too young to understand, and too young to even remember his father’s face.  As such, the boy grew up without knowing his parents, something his older brother Borik despised.  Borik never once called Ruil by his true name, instead only calling him a plague or simply “Ruin,” because the child had killed the mother Borik so dearly loved.

Shortly after Ruil’s second birthday, his older brother Gundioc disappeared with several of the family treasures.  Mathis would later tell Ruil that this event finalized Borik’s hatred for his baby brother.  Ruil couldn’t remember anything that happened before he was eight years old, but the next two years would be hell enough for his missing memories.  Any time Borik was displeased, if he didn’t have someone to readily blame, he turned his disappointment on Ruil.  The boy spent many nights hiding in his room as his eldest brother shouted and broke things outside his door.  Ruil distinctly remembers a few occasions where Borik had the guards beat him, though he loathes to think on it. On one terrible night, Borik even set fire to Ruil’s room.  Though the guards eventually broke the door and rescued Ruil, he was traumatized by the flames that snaked towards him in the corner, consuming everything in its wake.

Mathis did his best to protect Ruil from Borik’s wrath, and for this Ruil loved his brother.  During those times, the only solace Ruil would allow himself was in Mathis and Alia, the siblings closest to his age.  But the trio wouldn’t last long.  In an attempt to defeat Mathis’s defiance and turn him into a thug like Merrick, Borik sent Alia off to the Hospital of Nehtor to be a priestess there in Nyermersys.  Mathis was devastated when he was separated from his sister, and so began preparing to leave for Nyermersys himself. Ruil discovered that Mathis intended to bring him along, and was happy to know that his brother wouldn’t just abandon him to Borik’s fury.  Mathis was fourteen, and Ruil was ten years of age.

They left via boat the following week.  East they rowed up the Teiphra river until night fell.  They were not far beyond Ishmarin, but Mathis felt it would be okay to set up camp and get some rest.  Ruil fell asleep near the campfire, huddling close to it for sanctuary from the cold night air.  Suddenly he was kicked in the side, and his eyes flashed open.  He knew what that meant.  In an instant, Ruil was running beside his brother towards the woods nearby.  As they went, he glanced back to see the men pursuing them.  One had a sword and the other a spear, both vaulting onto the backs of horses, meaning to ride them down.  Ruil probably would’ve gasped in horror if his asthma wasn’t already making breathing difficult.

The boys sprinted past the initial line of trees, the sound of hooves beating the ground behind them.  Mathis waved Ruil on as he stopped and turned around, while Ruil kept running.  The ghosts of the horsemen seemed to chase him further and further into the woods until his lungs screamed.  Only when breathing required forced gasps did Ruil stop running, dropping to the dirty ground.  The inside of his chest and throat felt as if it were on fire, searing his nerves as he loudly gasped for breath.

Then he heard the scream of a horse and a sickening crunch in the background.  In the night, Ruil couldn’t see what was going on, and he didn’t care to.  Instead, he crawled behind the thickest tree trunk he could find, huddling against it in fear.  Grotesque crunches rang out into the night, and each one made Ruil shudder.  After what seemed an eternity, they stopped, and a moment later, the young boy heard the snapping of wood.  Footstops came towards him, but they were far too light to be a grown man, and certainly they weren’t the clops of a horse.

He glanced out around the tree trunk and branches, and Ruil saw Mathis running towards him.  Relieved, Ruil went to his brother, but was stopped short when the low branches of the tree scraped painfully at his face.  Mathis fell to his knees and vomited his dinner, the piece of spear he had carried nowhere to be found.  Ruil could hear the heavy footsteps of a man on foot, and glanced upward at the branch that had just clawed at his eyes.

Ruil watched as his older brother fell against the tree trunk, coughing up what little dinner remained in his stomach.  The man with the sword strode towards the frightened boy, sword in hand, cursing for what Mathis had done to his companion.  He reached for Mathis, but the groaning of tree bark and flesh caught his attention.  Ruil let go of the branch, and it snapped forward and beyond its original position, smashing into the swordsman’s face.  The branch was thick enough to knock the man right off his feet.  He landed on his back, and Ruil realized he had no more tricks up his sleeve.  Ruil waited for the man to get up, but he never did. Instead, he gurgled blood, and stopped moving.

Mathis stood up slowly, and the brothers exchanged a look.  Then Ruil’s older brother moved forward and, when the man didn’t move, quickly began to search his person.  Mathis took his sword and coin, then he grabbed Ruil’s hand and they ran back towards the camp.  The spearman’s corpse was horrible to look at, but Mathis searched his body anyway, grabbing his coin.  Then they ran back to the river, finding the swordsman’s horse.  Ruil didn’t think he’d ever be so glad to see a horse, but he was.  Horse-riding, after all, didn’t trigger his disease.  Two days later, they arrived at Nyermersys.

The guards at the gate immediately sent the two boys to the Hospital, where they were allowed to wash and were given a place to stay for a few days.  They had to wait before they got to see Alia, but the time went by fast for Ruil when he wasn’t fearing for his safety.  Ruil was ecstatic to see Alia again, and hugged her tight, though it was fairly obvious that the two were happier to see each other.  A few days later, Mathis informed them that he needed to leave.  If word reached Borik that two young boys joined Alia at the hospital, it would be suspicious.  So Mathis decided he would seek out their older brother Gundioc for help, to see what they should do next.  The next morning, Mathis set out on his journey.

In the hospital, Ruil was put to work to ‘pay’ for the roof over his head, the straw mattress under his butt, and the food in his belly.  It wasn’t a bad deal, considering Ruil remembered much worse under the care of his brother Borik.  A few months after being taken in by the clerics, Ruil met an old man who had been hurt by outlaws.  The old man was very kind to Ruil and told him all sorts of stories.  Turned out the old man was an old mage from the nearby school of Ximax.  He told Ruil all about his adventures with magic and studying it, and it delighted the boy.  Several months later, right before Ruil was shooed out of the man's room, the mage stopped him and pressed a ring into his palm.  Confused, the boy just accepted it and went to bed.  The next day, after all his chores were done, he dashed into the old man’s room to hear more of his stories... but he found only an empty bed.  The mage had died, and the clerics buried him during the night.  With naught but the small iron ring to remember the old man by, Ruil kept it close on hand at all times.  However silly the reasonings, the ring meant a lot to the lad.


And so he continued working at the hospital in the same fashions for another year.  As he turned into a “full-grown man” at 14 years old, he decided to go out and start looking for Mathis.  Afterall, it had been four years since Mathis had left.  Why hadn't he returned?  Why hadn't he written?  To answer these questions, and with a warm farewell to his sister, Ruil departed Nyermersys. 

He didn’t get far before bandits set upon the young boy.  They quickly surrounded him.  With only a dagger he had taken from the men who attacked him years ago, Ruil put on a brave face.  He was no match for the five men.  One bandit stepped forward and an instant later, Ruil was disarmed and knocked onto his back.  The ugly man licked his shortsword sadistically before pressing it to the boy's throat.  Suddenly a voice called out behind them, and all parties turned to see a strange knight dismounting from his horse.

The one bandit got off Ruil and stood up.  The five outlaws spoke amongst themselves as the knight pulled his axe and shield off his horse's saddle.  Apparently, five against one were good enough odds to try the knight's integrity.  Ruil held his throat and sat up as he watched the badits charge their foe.  The first was felled by the knight's axe, the next parried off to the side and tripped; the third charged, but the knight kicked him in the chest so hard he flew back into his two brethren.  Ruil's eyes widened as he watched the knight move back to the second bandit, who was scrambling to get to his feet.  The bandit never made it there.

By the time the knight turned to the remaining three, they had gotten to their feet and were preparing to make a move.  Thus, the knight switched his axe to his left hand, then grabbed a throwing knife off his belt.  With a flick of his wrist, it sailed forward.  The center bandit never saw it coming; the blade sank into his temple.  The last two bandits watched him drop, then looked back at the knight, who took his axe back in his right hand, brandishing it threateningly.  They ran in terror.

The knight rushed to Ruil’s side.  Moving the boy's hand from his throat, he inspected the shallow cut from the bandit's sword.  Licking his thumb, the knight wiped the small trail of blood away and introduced himself as Sir Roland.  He hailed from the far-away Empire of Korweyn on the Nybelmar.  He had come to Santharia to look for fame and fortune, particularly through tournaments.  The man was fair skinned for a Korweynite, and had long, curly hair the color of ash.  When Sir Roland heard Ruil’s story, he offered to take the boy as his squire.  Roland intended to participate in various tournaments, and a squire would be much help.  And Ruil would be able to travel the whole of Santharia, and perhaps they might hear about his brothers. The boy accepted his offer.


As his squire, the lordling learned how to care for horses, mend armor, help a knight into his armor, the art of the spear, of jousting, and all the other things young squires learn.  Sir Roland placed much emphasis on learning to read and write, and memorizing the realm's heraldry.  As well, he taught Ruil about the music from his homeland that he enjoyed.  Within a few months, their lives had settled into a comfortable structure.  During Daybreak, they would break fast (rations permitting), then train in the various martial arts.  Some time into Sunblaze, they would have lunch and make their day's travel, during which Sir Roland often quizzed his squire on heraldry and history, usually from the previous night's teachings.  As the day turned to Daywane, they would prepare camp and eat supper.  After supper, he would teach the boy to read and write.  Ruil spent almost all his teenage years with the knight in this fashion as they traveled Southern Sarvonia.

Entering tournaments was a common occasion.  They traveled through every Santharian province, usually at the hint that some local lord was holding a modest tourney.  Roland always entered both the jousts and the melees at each tourney, and Ruil would watch his matches intensely.  As the knight rode and dueled, the squire did his best to learn how his master secured victory or how he lost.  Each match was a chance to learn, Roland always preached.  And as the squire grew older, Roland's training sessions grew more intense.

The first tourney Ruil witnessed Roland winning was in the city of Elsreth, in the province of Enthronia.  Though it was a small turn-out, Roland fought hard and barely managed to snag victory.  The crowd roared with excitement when the knight had unhorsed his final opponent, a Knight of Armeros.  Upon their way back south afterwards, they stopped by a large tree to make camp for the night.  Ruil constructed a small fire after tying the horses while Sir Roland made to sleep against the tree trunk.

In the early hours of Greyshade, while Ruil stayed diligently on guard, they were set upon by large shadows.  At first, the squire was convinced it was just some animals wary of their presence.  They were, after all, on the edge of a wood.  That conviction quickly vanished when the horses whinnied, agitated by the shadow's presence.  Ruil gripped his spear tight and shouted for Sir Roland to awaken.  That was when the bandits burst from the shadows, trying to take the two before the knight awoke.  But Roland was ever the light sleeper, and sprang to his feet in no time.

Put off by the valor of the still-armored knight, the two bandits to the fore pulled out crossbows.  With a loud thrum, two bolts sailed through the air at the knight and hit squire.  Roland barely avoided the missiles, but Ruil had not the reflexes of the seasoned veteran.  He jerked and, instinctively, threw his off-hand in front of his face.  A bolt plunged through his palm, lodging itself in his hand.  With a brief scream, Ruil dropped to one knee.  Roland wasted no time, having already dashed to the bandits before they could reload their crossbows.  They didn't last.

The last two bandits circled around Ruil and came at him, thrusting your swords at his face.  The squire dropped to the ground and thrust his spear in response, catching the lead bandit in the side of the eye.  The man yelped and dropped his sword, falling onto his back in agony.  The last bandit looked at the wounded yet ferocious Ruil and the armored Sir Roland, whose blade dripped with bandit blood.  He turned and fled.  Roland, ever hateful of those who would slay a sleeping man, grabbed Ruil's spear from the boy's hands and hurled it like a javelin.  It sailed true and caught the fleeing man between the shoulder blades.  With all the bandits down, Roland went back and finished any still alive.

Once the threat had passed, Roland knelt by Ruil's side and checked on his wound.  The two returned to Elspeth and had his hand treated.  Though treated with haste, the wound became infected and never healed properly.  It would leave a great scar, and never again would Ruil's enjoy the freedom it did in the past.  Always stiff, he would have to constantly work at it to keep it usable.  A week after his hand had been treated, the two set off on their journey once more.


By the time Ruil was twenty years of age, he had lived and trained with Sir Roland for six years.  As they headed north, they heard that the Duke of Sanguia was holding a tournament.  Thus, Sir Roland and Ruil made their way to New Santhala for possibly the largest tourney they had seen together.  Lords and knights from all over Santharia were there, eager to become a champion and earn a reputation, as well as a fat purse.  Sir Roland accompanied Ruil when he went to the master of games to enter Roland in the lists.  The kind knight stopped Ruil before the table where the steward sat, and had the young man kneel.  In front of the master of games and all the witnesses nearby, Sir Roland knighted Ruil and encouraged him to enter the lists himself.  The master of games was surprised to see Ruil was alive when he mentioned he was of House Mallister (as the youngest Mallister boy had not been seen in ten years), but was not about to deny him entry to the tournament.

Sir Roland then took the newly titled Sir Ruil to the smith to get him tournament armor, and to have his shield and tabard made with his own coat-of-arms.  Ruil took the sigil of House Mallister and modified it slightly.  Instead of the usual Nightbird carrying the lantern in its beak, Ruil made the bird more heraldic, and had it carry the lantern in its claws, its wings spread up and out.  The Nightbird and lantern were both bronze on a blue field.

The next day, Sir Ruil picked up his new armor, repainted shield and tabard, and joined Sir Roland in watching the jousts.  The two parted company whenever they jousted, and for the first day, the two defeated every opponent they faced.  Midday of the next day, Ruil and Roland found themselves as opponents, and rode against each other.  They broke two lances until, on the third go around, Ruil managed to unhorse his former master, winning the match.  Ruil went on to win another two jousts until a knight from Vardynn defeated him three lances to two.  Ruil met Sir Roland afterwards.  As he lost to Ruil, the rules of the tourney meant Roland had to forfeit his arms, armor and horse to Ruil and needed ransom them back.  Sir Roland had the coin to pay, of course, but Sir Roland made a gift of all of Ruil’s armor that Roland had bought him, all his weapons, and even the horse he had lent the lad.

With Ruil set in way of money, mount, arms and armor, Sir Roland deemed the young man ready to set off on his own.  The two said their goodbyes, and Ruil headed back to the hospital in Nyermersys to see his sister.  Alia was happy to see Ruil, though the knight was surprised to see that Alia was still single.  When Ruil informed his older sister that he wished to start searching for their brothers again, Alia would have nothing else but to accompany him.  And so, the two said their goodbyes to the clerics who took care of them when nobody else would, and set out on their journey.  They went south, taking a long journey towards the southern tip of Sarvonia.  Along the way, Ruil told Alia all about his travels and the people he met, of the tournies he saw and watched his lord compete in, and finally the tourney in New Santhala.  She delighted in hearing his tales, and was ever proud of her brother for becoming a knight.

After two years of searching, Ruil caught word of a party near Marcogg.  That was very close, so Ruil and Alia went to check it out.  It was there that Gundioc, Mathis, Alia and Ruil were reunited.  Ruil was 23 at the reunion. Mathis hugged the brother he had protected, while Gundioc used it as an excuse to further ale and whore. In the festivities, even Ruil joined in the drinking.

The four Mallisters acted as mercenaries, taking what missions they could.  Three months after the reunion, the four heard of the powerful bandit gang, the Thousand Thorns.  Good gold was for anyone who could defeat the gang or their leader, Talos Fargarin the Rose, so the four looked into it.  The Thousand Thorns were staying in the Three Arcs Keep, which they called the Keep of the Rose.  Ruil demonstrated the usefulness of sapping, and with that, the four developed a strategy to take down the Thorns.  During the night, the four crept up to the Keep’s curtain wall, right underneath one of the corner towers, with a sapping crew. The sapping crew worked through the night to the next night, then, when they burned the supports to the caves under the wall, the wall cracked.  Stones crumbled under its own weight, and a sizable chunk of the wall collapsed right as the Thousand Thorns were sleeping.  The weight of the tower, without the support of the wall, collapsed in its entirety into the fortress.  Many Thousand Thorns were killed when the tower fell on them.

The Thorns were waking up, and so the Brothers Mallister rushed through with the men who had joined them.  Then the fighting began.  Mathis, Gundioc, and the other twenty-one men who joined the Mallisters streamed forward in their armor and shields and began to slaughter the stirring Thorns.  Alia moved to take out the ones in the remaining towers and on the Keep’s walls, and Ruil slew all the bandits still in bed.

Then the flicker of a torch inside a wall caught Ruil's eye.  Turning, he saw a large figure emerge from the curtain wall.  This man was armored from head to toe in plate.  In one hand, the foe wielded a large halberd, easily at least the length of Ruil's spear; in the other, a blazing torch.  Ruil took a step back as he recognized the man.  He was the leader of the Thousand Thorns, Talos Fargarin, himself!  Fear struck Ruil's belly like a thousand thorns imbedding themselves into his skin.  The Rose spoke naught a word.  Instead, he merely made great strides towards the younger knight.  He readied his spear, then lunged for the slot in the lord's helm.  The man sidestepped the thrust and moved quicker than Ruil expected.  Before he knew what hit him, Ruil's legs were suddenly swept out from under him.

The impact from falling nearly knocked the wind from him, but he knew he couldn't stop in pain.  He rolled, barely dodging the thrust from Talos's halberd.  Standing, He went to make a horizontal slash for the former lord's throat.  Before the spear moved, however, Ruil felt the back of a steel gauntlet smashing into his cheek.  Though he rolled with the blow, Ruil was staggered, and couldn't see the Rose's next move.  The torch slammed into Ruil's chest, and his cloak caught fire.  Fire!  The young man's mind swam with panic as he tried to remove his cloak, and suddenly he was kicked off his feet.  Landing in the dirt, Ruil pulled out his hunting knife, cut the cloak from him before anything else caught fire, and managed to leap out of the way of a finishing blow from that deadly halberd.  The axe blade of the halberd was stuck in the ground for a brief moment, allowing the mercenary to get to his feet and dart his spear for Talos's armpit.  The lord dodged.

It hit him then.  Ruil was slowing down, his breathing becoming horribly labored from all the acrobatics to survive.  Both the warriors knew it, too.  The lancer desperately tried another jab, but the Captain of the Thousand Thorns dodged again and smacked his hands with the shaft of his halberd, knocking the spear from his hands.  Now disarmed, the young Mallister didn't know what to do.  So he grabbed the shield from his back and slipped it onto his left arm just in time to block another crushing blow from the Rose's halberd.  The blade sank into Ruil's shield, splitting the bronze bird in two, and the impact caused him to cry out.  Releasing the shield, he stumbled backwards, holding his left arm as it throbbed in excrutiating pain.  Talos stopped to rip the shield off his weapon, then made his way for his prey once again.

Ruil Mallister wheezed and panted, trying to get the breath that his body was screaming for.  At the same time he tried to think of something to do.  Talos was destroying him, and the boy had no more options!  Gripping his halberd with both hands, the Rose brought it back behind him, then struck with a powerful horizontal blow, strong enough to sink the halberd blade deep into Ruil's side.  The lancer saw his chance, and quickly stepped forward.  The halberd's blade missed him, the haft of the weapon slamming into his side.  Quickly catching the haft of the halberd, Ruil kicked Talos hard in the belly, knocking him back and forcing him to let go of his weapon.

Quickly glancing at the halberd that was now in his possession, Ruil saw that the spear point of the halberd was in fine condition still.  He could use the weapon, as a halberd was essentially a spear with an axe fused with it.  He knew this was his only chance, so Ruil caught his foe's ankle with the blade of the halberd, and tripped him onto his back.  Then, stepping onto the man's breastplate to keep him from moving, Ruil gripped the halberd with both hands, point down, and drove the spearhead of the halberd through his gorget. Talos Fargarin, the Rose, gasped heavily and tried to move, but he was essentially pinned by his own weapon.  Ruil took a few steps back as his opponent slowly drowned in his own blood.

Ruil picked up his spear, stopped to catch his breath, then helped his siblings slaughter the rest of the bandits.  They finished off three-quarters of the entire gang of 200 men that night; the rest routed, fleeing into the countryside to never be seen again.  The Mallisters took what was left of the Three Arcs Keep as their stronghold and home, and they became vastly famous for their incredible deed.

Almost exactly a year later, the Brothers Mallister accepted a contract with a local lord to collect the taxes for the tiny town of Mach.  All of the townsfolk eyed the mercenaries suspiciously.  While Ruil and Alia stabled the horses, Mathis and Gundioc went into the tavern. Gundioc called for ale, and when the bartender asked for coin, the mercenary told him to take it off the taxes he owed their lord.  Grudgingly, the bartender saw to it that the large man got his ale.  The rest of the people in the tavern, however, were obviously growing hostile, as if expecting a fight.  Then Gundioc grabbed the bartender by the collar and hoisted him up, practically slamming him onto the countertop, ordering the man to pay the taxes he owed.  The poor man blubbered about how he didn’t have the coin, how none of the townsfolk did, but Gundioc wasn’t interested.

Alia came into the tavern then, and a man by the door drew his shortsword and took her hostage, demanding that the mercenaries leave the town.  Ruil wasn’t far behind his sister, and started glancing around the town and the sky on his way to the tavern, and the man saw Ruil coming.  The man panicked, knowing his only escape route was blocked by Ruil, and swore that if he was to die, he’d take one of the lord’s dogs with him.

All Ruil saw was the man opening Alia’s throat.

It happened so fast then.  Ruil’s spear pierced the man’s throat from behind, and instantly the town erupted into chaos.  Screams rang in the air as bells started to ring.  Mathis and Gundioc drew their weapons and cut down every man in the tavern and burst out into the town, slaying everyone who got in their way.  Ruil’s head swam as he went to his sister’s body.  He couldn’t tell if she was dead, but he knew in a moment she would be, regardless.  One of the other towns people came up to Ruil swinging a longsword, vowing revenge for his uncle’s death.  Ruil caught the swordsman in the side of the head with his mace.

Stumbling into the streets, Ruil tried to get his head to stop swimming.  Screams, dying, blood, cursing.  All of it overwhelmed him.  He tasted bile, smelled death, heard screaming, saw blood, and felt his nerves burn.  He saw a young boy, no older than Mathis was when the assassins attacked them, draw a sword on Mathis.  The boy’s death was quick.  The other townsfolk were screaming, some of them even coming after Ruil.  All Ruil could do was defend himself, and all he remembered of them was how sad he was when he killed them.

It was almost midnight before it was done.  No more villagers were in the streets.  Mathis and Gundioc began collecting all the coins off the dead.  Ruil was silent as he picked up his sister’s body, and the Brothers Mallister trudged back to the Keep.  They buried Alia at the Three Arcs Keep.

The three brothers decided to take a small break from mercenary work, and headed south with the coin from their missions.  They stopped in Saraia down in the Brendolan province for some time.  There was even a knightly tournament nearby, in which Ruil took part.  He did fairly well in the joust and received a decent prize.  Gundioc whored, and Mathis aled, while Ruil explored the tradepost.

Eventually the brothers outlasted their stay in Saraia, and took to the road once more.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2011, 01:02:21 PM by Sir Ruil Mallister » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2007, 12:38:20 PM »

Figured the revised edition deserved a new thread.  I've made the following changes that I outlined in my last reply to the old thread: Dragon gone. Weapon skills updated. Magic is right out.  This should be suitable.
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Vesk Lyricahl
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2007, 08:40:41 AM »

Quote
-Power Overwhelming: Ruil has always had no skill with the sword.  This was first noted by the traveling knight who took Ruil in, Sir Roland.  During his training, Ruil demonstrated that what he lacked in swordplay, he made up for with frightening ability to dart a spear past an opponent's defenses and under his armor before his foe could react.  Thus Sir Roland focused all of Ruil's melee training on the spear, honing that skill so that Ruil would never have to rely on the blade of a sword, for that road most led to death. I'm confused by how this is worded. By the looks of it, you really have two strengths here, his power and his skill with a spear. I want you to separate the two, as it is it sounds as though he is neigh unbeatable with a spear.

Quote
-Perception: Ruil showed signs early on of his ability to read his foes’ movements, enabling him to expertly anticipate their attacks before the foe can get them off.  This allows Ruil to dodge or counter the attack, and to finish his foe before his strangling disease kicks in, which usually almost spells the end of the fight. I caution you on this strength. It is fine as it is written, just know the potential to godmod is there, and you'll have a very fine line to walk between perceiving what a foe will do next and actually knowing.
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2007, 10:33:56 AM »

On the Power Overwhelming strength, Ruil isn't any stronger than any normal person his age.  He's just good with the spear.  I called it Power Overwhelming because I like the quote from Starcraft, and wanted to further the idea that the spear is really the only war weapon he's good with.  I've since edited the spear skill strength, so it should be clear that Ruil is just pretty handy with it.

I will keep in mind the Perception skill, and I hope the revised Talos x Ruil duel will show more of how I intended Ruil's abilities in combat. Thanks for your input, Vesk.  I think with the changes I've made, this should be a fine CD for approval.  I hope you all are pleased with it.  Pet
« Last Edit: November 14, 2007, 06:58:14 AM by Ruil Mallister » Logged

Thorgas Ironforge
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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2007, 01:16:37 PM »

Everything looks fine to me. However, there is something amiss in the strength perception. Being able to tell the moves your opponent will do next is very much the same with being omniscient. Perhaps a few more words on this will be better.

Have a nice day.
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2007, 05:19:11 AM »

I both agree and disagree to your comment, Thorgas.  While, yes, it provides a great edge to Ruil against an opponent, it is also a skill that is usually trained while a knight is still a squire.  In fact, almost everybody who enters a fight has perception (as I've described it) to a degree.  Many novice martial artists can still block a punch or two.  Most soldiers can use their shield to block.  And I think I can safely argue that most people who have combatant characters didn't put such a skill in their CD, yet they can still fight well.  Ruil simply has a heightened sense of observation when it comes to battle.

If you disagree with my logic, then I have another argument to bring to light.  I can't kill off player characters anyway, so what's it matter if I can dodge an attack better than the next yo?  In the end, the same event will occur (PC lives, NPC dies).
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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2007, 06:08:25 AM »

Ok, I'm going to trust you not to godmod that particular weakness. Here's your first approval :)
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Twén Aråerwén
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2007, 06:20:54 AM »

Hiya Ruil! Just going to make my point on the matter since it appears you are adamant about not adjusting this strength. What matters is the character is being written for a sense of realism combined with "balance". Before I give you a second approval I want an agreement from you. "If at anytime I get complaints from a story-mod or I myself see this particular strength being abused, the CD will be instantly brought back to this forum?" Simply yes or no ..... if no I will go into detailed comments of what I would like to see.
~Sincerely~
Cáo fá cár'tuulén:Twen Araerwen
P.S: Yes hun I do realize that there are some people more fine tuned to combat than others. Intuitive if you wish to call it that, but there is no one all-knowing in regards to what will happen. Please keep this in mind.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2007, 06:39:22 AM by Twén Aråerwén » Logged

•º•The spell fell upon the crowd like a dragon, •º•
•º•ancient and full of death.•º•
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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2007, 06:27:06 AM »

Works for me, Twen. Yes, I agree.  I do not intend to god-mod Ruil, which is why I tried to make it clear that he is not all-powerful through his duel with Talos.  I also purposely did everything I could to include all of Ruil's strengths and weaknesses that pertain to combat in that same duel.  Not only does it fulfill the required "epik duelz" for the CD, but I had hoped it would illustrate precisely how Ruil would fight in a "today" combat.  While Ruil is above average with a spear, he is not the best, hence why Talos "the Rose" controls the fight for the majority.

EDIT: Morcaanon, below, words what I'm trying to say in a way that is far superior to how I've worded it.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2007, 06:50:23 AM by Ruil Mallister » Logged

Morcaanan
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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2007, 06:27:57 AM »

If I can interject...this may complicate it, or may help, or may just be something interesting to read, or none of the above, but I agree with Ruil: here's why:

Ruil is, perhaps knowingly or unknowingly, referring to what students of modern warfare call the O.O.D.A. cycle (which has it origins in the oldest and most renowned studies on tactics, including The Art of War and was codified by a military officer in the last century). This cycle is the basis for every conflict on any scale:

Observe

Orient

Decide

Act

There are two forms of this cycle in every conflict: yours and your opponent's.
Not only do you need to master yourself (and hence your own cycle), you need to get inside and mess up your opponent's in order to win a battle.

Ruil's strength (in modern terms) could be simply reduced to that he has a strong understanding of the cycle and is able to see what stage his opponent is in; the danger to him is, if he relies on it too much (because that means he is still in the Observe and/or Orient stages, and his opponent will make it to the "Act" stage ahead of him) or if he Observes incorrectly (in which case, his Decisions and Actions will be wrong and the fight becomes at best, 50/50 based on luck).

If that was extra, then hey, I am sure someone reading this will find it interesting.
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2007, 07:08:56 AM »

~Second Approval~
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« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2007, 07:16:54 AM »

Titled.
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« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2008, 08:21:46 AM »

Brought up as you requested dear.
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•º•The spell fell upon the crowd like a dragon, •º•
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« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2008, 08:24:50 AM »

Thank you, darling. You're a doll.  I am all finished!
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Kalína Dalá'isyrás
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2011, 04:58:15 PM »

Going up!
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