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Author Topic: Mathis Mallister / Erpheronian / Brigand  (Read 7312 times)
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Mathis Mallister
Righteous in Wrath
Approved Character
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Gender: Male
Posts: 258

Human, Erpheronian

« on: October 05, 2007, 08:48:31 AM »

Name Master Mathis the Wrathful of House Mallister
Fourth son of the late Lord Medoc Mallister of Castle Orcenhold & O'rril in Nermeran

Age 29
Date of Birth 21st, Changing Winds, 1641 a.S.

Gender Male
Race Human
Tribe Erpheronian

Occupation Mercenary Captain

Externally an exemplary embodiment of ancient Erpheronian nobility and pride, actually the bitter hypocritical shell of a human being slowly drowning in a bloody mire of remorse and regret, Mathis can in either case be safely characterized as extreme. In his wanderings he has saved cities and slaughtered villages, bestowed and stolen great quantities of coin, dearly loved a sister and dreams of killing a brother. This path has taken him to nearly every corner of the Sarvonian continent and several islands besides, and earned the name Mallister a fierce reputation in southern Santharia. Though the three brothers now live like bandit kings in the wilds north of Klinsor, Mathis can only think of where his dark road began. The castle on the hill where he was born - and with nothing left to live for - he will see it burning before the end.

An impressive figure with sharp facial features and posture so precise his brothers often remind him to remove the arrow from his ass, Mathis is exceedingly tall, exceedingly broad, and muscled like a maiden's fantasy. As figurehead of the Three Arcs Brotherhood he must always consider making first impressions and takes great pains in the maintenance of his appearance. While it may be wild, he never allows his lusterless eophran hair to fall below his neck, and though usually smooth-chinned, he laboriously maintains side-whiskers that fall nearly to his jawline. Some Erpheronians might consider this habit inappropriate for it’s distinctiveness, but his sister Alia liked them, and for her Mathis was always willing to disregard taboo and tradition.

His other immediately apparent and arresting features are his eyes; grey-green with a swirl of gold, capable of a willbreaking stare, and ravenous even at rest. Outside of rare exceptions, the Mallister's face seems capable of only two expressions, the first of which is ostensibly the complete lack thereof, adopted when more interested in his own thoughts than his surroundings or company. The second and more often evident, a bestial snarl, only serves to accentuate his rapaciousness. Emanating forth from his faceportal, the exile's voice is roughened from vice, making even his most eloquent issuances sound offensive and his rare kindnesses acrid and insincere.

While Gundioc spends his money on mountains of food and stables of women, Mathis funnels most of his coin into making impressions on potential clients and establishing contracts - this shows. On the road, in the field, and whenever he must look his absolute best - Mathis is rarely seen without his richly engraved aurium ornamented armor, commissioned from the Mitharim dwarves at Tyr Donian, consisting of cuirass, tassets and spaulders. Beneath these plates are a thick gambeson, a shirt of double-link mail, a skirt of scale, a nor'sidian surcoat trimmed in fur and gold, depending on the climate. Sabatons, greaves, vambraces and an only occasionally worn Barbute style helm round out his protective attire.

On the rare occasion that Mathis finds it necessary to play down his presence (and his armor can be safely stored) - he will don one of several dark studded wool tunics, worn over a long sleeved white shirt in the style favored by the Erpheronian middle class. On his legs, rather than the knee pants and hosiery of the gentry, he'll simply wear the same dusty black leather leggings he wears in combat - girded with his swordbelt from which hangs the Erpheronian Broadsword of his ancestors. The belt is buckled with an ornate aurium engraving of the arms of his house: a striking hawk over four crossed swords. His longer and far more functional bastard sword and shield would hang on his back or be stored with his armor.

Despite his self-imposed exile, Mathis is every inch the proud Erpheronian aristocrat, and will take almost no notice of those he deems beneath him or without value - often giving them the impression of silence and stoicism. While he does tend to suppress displays of emotion, Mathis is anything but a mute, nor is he without a sense of humor. He loves the sound of his own voice, his words sometimes even getting away from him, as he becomes unnecessarily verbose and over-elaborate in his speech pattern. Mathis is most often the voice of the three brothers - and usually the voice of reason - meeting with clients, negotiating bounties and trying to bring some order to the heat of battle. With Alia he was even known to sing on occasion, willing to risk much mockery to do so, their few years together at the end of her life effecting him drastically.

Once a young boy who knew firsthand the helplessness felt by the weak when faced with the brutal tyranny of the strong, Mathis was numbed by a life best measured with a body count. The young man who once attacked his elder brother for choking his innocent wife died as sure as she did, for Mathis learned to push such common villainy from his mind. When the notion of killing a child - even one that got in his way - would have once been against everything he believed in, it came to be merely another day in the business of brigandry. With no outlet save violence, he found that life becomes much easier when a man turns his back on what he does not wish to see, drowns his doubts in alcohol, and presses forward through his set objectives with grim determination.

When Ruil the Knight and Alia the Seyellite found him Mathis saw that they had lived very different lives than their older brothers, and their heads were full of naive nonsense about protecting the weak and making the world better. Having himself grown up in Gundioc's massive shadow, Mathis was apt to grimace and groan when they found some moral fault with his behavior, business or pleasure, but their words took root in him over the short years they all traveled together. When the pains his excesses had caused to fester inside him threatened to overwhelm, his sister healed him with words, telling him of visions she had seen of the bright future before them, of a home where they could be safe and at peace. When the siblings seized Three Arcs Keep, Mathis was convinced that the prophecy had come true - though Alia was reluctant to call the broken citadel the home of her dreams. Regardless, Mathis was ready to settle down.

When she was murdered, Mathis forgot everything she had ever tried to teach him as scores of panicked peasants paid with their lives. He has spent every moment since in shock and disgust at what happened that day, attempting to decipher what his sister's visions could have meant, concluding that there can be no safety or peace for the likes of him. Seyella would never have deceived or misled Alia however, whose faith in her was absolute. They must have missed something. Ever the militarily minded, Mathis has begun to consider a possible strategy for salvation. When he was a boy he ran away from home, the last to do so, leaving his eldest brother Borik to do as he pleased with the destinies of the helpless people of O'rril. Defend the weak. Make the world a better place. Bring safety and peace to your home. Kill Borik. This is his future, his divine charge. He must do this, and not for himself - a murderer whose soul may never be saved - for the helpless.

His mind is not entirely compromised, and he knows what it would take to for his mad crusade to succeed – and so he will continue to sell his skills as a soldier until he can restore rule of the fates of the people from their abominable usurper to the guiding hand of the goddess.

- Soldier -
Mathis has spent much of his life training with arms or putting them to use in the heat of battle. This accumulation of experience has supplemented a natural talent for both swordplay and strategy. Further augmented with a wealth of written knowledge, Mathis has become a great warrior and an ideal mind to direct the work of his brothers-in-arms, or any faction he takes the lead of toward victory.

- Intimidation -
The same long years soaked in blood and spent in regretful reflection have left Mathis closed and hard enough to never blink in the face of any adversity: no mass of men or curtain wall enough to curtail his advance. Though by no means stupid and rarely reckless, he embraces the act of taking on dangers, both as an example to others and a personal test of character. As a foe, Mathis is grim and imposing to face.

- Charismatic -
Having been born with a way with words, when attempting to persuade others to flock to his banner Mathis shows great passion – more often than not in the form of anger. As a noble boy he was taught to read and write in the elegant but arrogant Aerpheriane dialect of his tribe, and has honed his mastery of language to even greater proficiency since his return to Santharia. Ruil has jested that Mathis could lead an angry mob to conquer an empire.

- Horseman -
Having spent the better part of five years ahorse as he rode with a free company of Remusian cavalry, and having had plenty of practice in the eight years following that, Mathis has become a master in the saddle, able to drive any animal further and faster, but none as effectively as his own stolen steed. Though he is no knight and has never tried his hand at tournament, Mathis boasts a strong grasp of how to utilise cavalry in battle to devastating effect.

- Sinister -
Mathis favors his left hand in most tasks, including combat, and is very much accustomed to fighting those who favor their right – aware that every stroke he makes to them seems contrary and counter-intuitive, all the more difficult to counter. In a castle assault, he would have an advantage over a right handed comrade in fighting up tower steps, designed to give a right handed defender superior freedom of movement.

- Crusader -
The memories of the death of his beloved sister and the massacre that followed have smoldered in Mathis's mind and left him changed. In the flames he sees a message from Seyella, Goddess of Destiny, appointing him to the task of ridding the world of his eldest brother Borik, whom he believes to be an agent of chaos corrupting the path of the dream. A powerful member of the Order of the Fallen and Commander of the Black Crystal Knights, Lord Borik Mallister will surely work against Mathis however he can.

- Steady Drinker -
Since he was a boy, Mathis has happily accepted a drink at any time, and eventually started to pursue them if not at hand. Since the events at the village of Mach, his habit has increased its hold on him to the point that at just about any time where he’s not expecting a fight or a client he will be intoxicated. This man's drinking has become a problem, and he now regularly makes a royal ass of himself.

- Driven by Rage -
Though Mathis may have gained something of a conscience in the aftermath of the massacre of Mach, he is still a dangerous killer, driven toward his new goal in life by a zealous rage. The scale and ambition of the expedition he is planning frustrates him almost to a madness, and he stalks the halls of Three Arcs seething. Fists clenched, nostrils flared, somebody would say something if anyone dared.

- Severe Abdominal Pain -
In the last year, Mathis has found himself suffering from severe, sometimes paralyzing pain in his upper abdomen radiating through to the back, as well as nausea and flux. He puts the pain down to the wound sustained in his fight with Gundioc so long ago having festered, and the rest to his drinking. The latter is more right than he knows, as all three symptoms are actually the result of developing chronic pancreatitis. Desperate for relief, Mathis has begun self-medicating with poisonous Liquor of Nightshade, dulling his pain as well as his wits.

- Sensitive Secret -
Though his reputation is hardly spotless, it does little to hinder Mathis in either his occupation or his vendettas, which are all he really gives any thought to these days. However, if this bit of privileged information were released beyond the brothers and became public knowledge any sparse dealings still to be had with the nobility would cease entirely, and perhaps it could even bring an end to their business.

Fighting Style
From the start, Mathis goes for the throat, with the intention to kill or cripple as quickly as possible. With his bastard sword in a high guarded stance he will bull charge his opponents, crowding them should they be numerous, and cut with his whole body at the head or neck. If these are defended or parried, the opponent would likely press a counterattack quickly, which Mathis would anticipate and avoid, stepping aside to slice at the arm, hands or any area open to him. Few unarmored assailants last long enough to learn any more.

Against heavy armor, Mathis is more cautious, and does not waste his energy. Still, he will never let the opposition have the initiative. In either a low or high guard, depending on the weak point that he intends to strike, he will attempt to aim a precision thrust around a plate or into a joint. Until he is able to do so, Mathis will strike out almost randomly to throw his foe off balance and keep the distance clear, constantly moving forward as long as space permits, and if it does not he has already won. It should be mentioned he uses his rage in battle, often screaming in the faces of his opponents as he relentlessly presses them.

If Mathis must use his Ephord, he would prefer to do so from horseback, where Ghelgath can soften up his foes for him. The hellhorse is as quick to kick or bite as any on the continent, terrifying short-reached enemies while Mathis cuts at their throats or shoulders in wide destructive bloody swaths. Against superior reach he does not risk his steed, though there is perhaps no sword better suited to chopping the ends off pole-arms. Dismounted, he would use a shield if possible, advancing quickly and cutting low beneath the raised shield at the legs or ankles to topple the most unforunate adversary.

If disarmed, any adjacent item immediately becomes a weapon of opportunity. No bottle has ever been safe among the Mallisters. The notches from parried blows on his hand axe were not caused by trees – and he knows that a strike from his shovel to the back of the neck would sever spine from skull. His very first kill was with a rough edged rock raised from the forest floor, though a sturdy branch would have served just as nicely. He has never killed a man with a cheese knife, but would certainly be willing to try.

If all else fails, Mathis learned how to fight with his fists in the wynds of Vardýnn and Nermeran from criminals and drunkards in a hundred bar room brawls. In these contests, there was no place for style or grace, only power and desperation. Under these circumstances, it is perhaps easiest for Mathis to become lost in his rage. If forced to fall back to his fists, he will overwhelm or expire.

Name Ghelgath, after the legendary Demon Lord of Ice

Age 13

Gender Male
Species Horse
Breed Kor’och fey Mologh
Coloring Black with a Blue sheen

Height 16 Hands
Weight 10 Pygges

Stolen from the commander of an infamous band of Remusian mercenaries, this hellhorse is of proud lineage, bred for war and intimidation. When Mathis and Gundioc abandoned the company - with their treasury – Mathis also took with him a young black stallion which has served him with distinction over the years. Never gelded, Ghelgath was merely broken over the course of a treacherous trek through the Imlith mountains. His origin, blue eyes and aggressive temperament earned him his name. The Mologh is not as large as Gundioc's Kev'lor but much faster and with a more lively personality - Mathis is forced to stable his own steed, lest some hapless stableboy find himself with a broken neck or without a face.

Mathis keeps Ghelgath largely unarmored in battle, relying on the beast's speed and endurance to keep him moving and in control of the battlefield. As such, Ghelgath wears only a champron, shaped to resemble the scaled, angular features of an Ice Dragon. Beneath the faceplate, and draped over his entirety, the hellhorse is barded in a xazure blue caparison, worn by war and the road, displaying no arms or ornament outside of its rich color. A high war saddle offers Mathis protection and the stability to swing his bastard sword with both hands ahorse, and chainmail links cover the reins to prevent them from being cut, a feature that has saved horse and rider on several occasions.

  • First and foremost in this veritable arsenal is his Bastard Sword.
Though Gundioc might argue that Mathis favors a bastard sword because he is "a bloody bastard", the middle Mallister in fact values the weapon for its versatility. When Mathis visited the Mitharim Dwarves shortly after his return from the north, he commissioned and personally oversaw the creation of a blade with authority in the cut as well as an agile and precise point control. Its dimensions permit use either afoot and ahorse, able to be paired with a shield or gripped tightly in both hands. The width of the blade at the center of percussion allows for aggressive cutting performance while the narrow and strong point results in a lively and responsive character. Darkly beautiful in its austerity and efficiency, this sword emanates refinement as well as ruthless power.

Weight 3 Ods, 5 Mut
Overall length 1 Ped, 2 Palmspans, 1 Nailsbreadth
Blade length 2 Fores, 2 Palmspans, 5 Nailsbreadths
Grip length 1 Palmspan, 7 Nailsbreadths
Guard width 2 Palmspans, 2 Nailsbreadths
Point of Balance 8 Nailsbreadths from guard
Center of Percussion 1 Fore, 2 Palmspans from guard

Said to have been the sword of the first Mallister when he was but a rank and file infantryman, fighting for his Kingdom in the Age of Awakening. The weapon is in impressive condition for its age, having been treated reverently, reforged numerous times by the Mallisters through the centuries and fixed to a hilt adorned with aurium and amethyst to invoke blessings of Armeros upon their House. Damaged in the keeping of a young Gundioc and by the hard use Mathis put it to in the north, the sword was given a final exhaustive treatment in the gilded days after the brothers' Santharian landfall, and the chipped amethysts were replaced with sparkling sapphires. Though elegant, it still delivers a brutally functional cut. Traditionally-minded as he is, Mathis is rarely moved to swing this blade in anger.

Weight 2 Ods
Overall length 2 Fores
Blade length 1 Fore, 1 Palmspan, 6 Nailsbreadths
Grip length 1 Palmspan, 7 Nailsbreadths
Point of Balance 1 Palmspan, 5 Nailsbreadths from guard
Center of Percussion 2 Palmspans, 7 Nailsbreadths from guard

  • Also of note: an Ironwood Longbow of Ashz-oc construction obtained during his travels in Northern Sarvonia.
The Longbow of the fallen Ashz-oc Warlord Kavadh, an indomitable if obdurate commander, was presented to Mathis by Seregon the Northman of the Lanrul's Lot following the Battle of Beornoth for his substantial role in the victory. Mathis was never much of a marksman, and had grown to hate Seregon, so it held little value until it became a memento of their betrayal of the Lot as well as the battle. Cursorily maintained, it is beginning to show effects of neglect. Mathis means to restore it but simply hasn't found the time (or the warg hair). Fully two peds in length, it can be found at Ghelgath's side more often than that of his master. A trophy and utility, it is only occasionally fired at deer, elk, or tightly packed groups of foes.

  • A Hand axe, for firewood rather than flesh.
  • A sturdy soldier's shovel, a fore and a half in length.
  • Short blades: A dagger on his belt, a knife in his boot - suitable for skinning, and the last for bread and cheese.

- Tall kite shield of eur'wood rimmed in blue-black iron, the arms of his house faded but discernable.
- A lantern with shuttered sides that burns on whale oil.
- A rather sophisticated Farseer device, wrapped in xazure blue leather.
- A quiver of simple arrows for hunting.
- Several flasks kept full of fresh water and harder beverages.
- Bottles of some of his favorite vintages – not so readily available in smaller inns.
- A fifty fore length of rope, another of fishing line, fishhooks.
- Quill, ink and bits of parchment.
- Kits for sharpening edges, building fires and tending wounds.
- Manacles for restraining anyone they are hired to capture.
- Field bedding.
- Several volumes on warfare and military theory both ancient and modern.
- Home brewed flask of his "medication", the potentially deadly Liquor of Nightshade.

House Mallister is a relatively unimportant noble family of old Erpheronia, founded during the Age of Awakening. Local lore tells that the bloodline began when a conscript infantryman cornered and captured a group of fleeing Caltharian nobles in a cave following their defeat at the Battle of Twinnean Peak. The crown received great ransoms from their families for their return, and as the young Lord of the town of O'rril, last of his line, had been killed in the battle, King Myrwodin granted the land to the hero for his valor – or perhaps merely his luck. Regardless, the name has endured for over two thousand years, keeping a strong military tradition and producing many men of great courage and will. Of course, there are always exceptions, like Lord Gaelethrond Mallister who fell with his castle in the Sarvonian Dawn and endowed it with the name Orcenhold. Mathis's father, Lord Medoc Mallister was another of these.

The best word to describe Lord Medoc would certainly be spineless. Had his wife not been so fertile; producing seven children, five of them sons, he may have been the end of his house. Only once did Medoc ever crack down on a slight done to him – when rumors began spreading that his firstborn son was in fact from the seed of the master of his wife's guards. So thorough was his purging of his household that those words were never spoken again – but the sudden violence from a sedate man was viewed as the work of a coward, and was the nail in the coffin of his reputation. During his long reign, taxes went unpaid, banditry blossomed in the surrounding hills, and his lordship's own wife continued to shame him, eventually not bothering to hide her various lovers.

Into this delightful situation was Mathis Mallister born, fifth of Medoc’s children, and fourth of his sons. He had been preceded by Borik, the eldest, Katya, a girl, Merrick and Gundioc. It had been eight years since Gundioc’s birth, Mathis being the first of a second litter demanded by Medoc as his wife approached her final fertile years. Lady Lara Mallister may not have been satisfied by her Lord Husband, but she did love each and every one of her children dearly. Borik was of course a bit of a favorite, his mother’s shining star – and as he grew, it became apparent he was an example of the warrior virtues his father lacked. Lord Medoc must have pushed the memory of the mutterings of his court years before out of his mind entirely, for he embraced his firstborn without doubts and had him schooled in all the arts of manhood and lordship, from numbers and history to swordsmanship and hunting.

But the proud parents only saw one side of the boy they were grooming for feudal power, as Borik’s favorite pastime was torturing his siblings, especially young Gundioc for his simple mindedness – and was joined by Merrick when he too graduated to the yard while their brother stayed indoors with Katya and the infants. It was about this time that Medoc’s second daughter, Alia was born. So close in age to Mathis, they were nearly inseparable as children, to the point that the little girl would often leave her own bed to cuddle with her brother in his chambers. Their father was concerned, but all efforts to quell the behavior failed, and soon the Lord of O’rril was made to deal with a much more serious family matter.

When Mathis was four years old, his mother Lady Lara died, not long after bringing her seventh child, a last son into the world. She named him Ruil, but the townsfolk quickly came to call him Ruin for the tragedy of his birth. Lord Medoc was crushed, but held no rancor for his youngest boy, embracing Ruil as he did all the others. Borik, now having grown for twenty years into a monster of a man, was less forgiving. In much the manner of a child, he blamed the newborn for his beloved mother’s death – and as Ruil grew, the taunting directed at Gundioc was shown to be nothing compared to the genuine danger the infant would be in should Borik ascend to master of the house.

Only a year after Lady Lara’s death, Lord Medoc and his eldest son ranged deep into the mountains on a hunting trip. It had been years since they had enjoyed the ancient tradition together, though with the increased threat posed by bandits during Medoc’s somewhat lawless reign, two guardsmen accompanied them, friends of Borik and trustworthy. When Borik and one of the guards returned, they told of how a great bear had come upon their camp and been fought off, but not before taking the life of Lord Medoc and the other sentry. That not a soul dared ask him why he had not brought back the body speaks of the apprehension they must have felt at Borik’s rise – but most of the people were optimistic that at the very least he would finally bring some security to their small corner of Santharia.

Under Lord Borik of O’rril, the roving bands of brigands who had long since crippled local commerce became a thing of the past. Several of the groups were offered official employment as peacekeepers within the town to keep the others at bay – unofficially they were cronies who enforced Borik’s new tax policies with raw muscle and very real threats. When the people complained, Merrick would reassure them that their Lord would not be held responsible for the activities of his collection agents – and the lax manner of rule his father had practiced was at an end. Compassion became a thing of the past in O’rril, and the old citadel on the hill became a symbol of oppression. If only the people knew the atrocities commited within its walls.

Anyone, from guards to servants, even the second guard who had accompanied Borik on his father’s last hunting trip – that had commited any slight to his lordship, either real or imagined was done away with, either through public shows of warped justice or simple disappearance. Katya, second of the Mallister children was sold off to the second son of the Duke of Ishmerin for a small but long disputed stretch of land and a great quantity of gold. One night, after being beaten by his elder brothers, even Gundioc vanished – as well as several family heirlooms. Borik raged on for days and sent out half the guardsmen in search parties, but the boy seemed lost to the mountains.

The next few years were the hardest on the remaining children. The only comfort they found was in each other: Mathis doing his best to protect Alia and tiny Ruil from their brother’s wrath, and taking the brunt of his anger because of it. Eventually, when Mathis was fourteen, Alia twelve, and Ruil only ten – Borik grew tired of his brother’s delusions of valor and decided to break him and make him a stooge like he had Merrick. The first step was end the boy’s unusual relationship with his sister. She was still a bit too young to be sold off like Katya had been, so he forced her into a ship bound for Nyermersys, where she would become a priestess in the Hospital of Seyella.

Mathis had suffered loss before. His mother, father, and his brother – but never seeing Alia again was more than he could stand, and nothing could stop him from following her. He hid a boat across the river on the edge of the woods and planned to steal away in the night as Gundioc had done, to paddle up the Teiphra to join Alia in the City of Death. Ruil was no longer safe in O’rril either, and who knows what Borik would be capable of without what little protection Matt had offered. The night before he was to begin his warrior training – which Borik planned to use to mold him in his own image – Mathis left the keep on the hill with his brother.

They hadn’t made it much farther than Ishmarin before they pulled the little boat ashore and made camp for the rest of the night. He was nearly asleep when he heard it, the soft shifts of pebbles under falling feet, and rose to see two men standing between his sleeping brother and the craft that was to carry them to their sister. One bore a sword and the other a short spear, perhaps originally intending to ride the fleeing boys down while mounted, but realizing subtlety would serve them better when he saw them sleeping. But Mathis wasn’t and he leapt up, kicked his little brother and they both ran off into the woods. After a few moments, the boys heard the horses bearing down on them and realized they had no chance of escape.

Mathis hadn’t escaped hell only to be run down here – and so he stopped running. He tried to think of something to do, but the trees were spread a good distance apart – nowhere to hide - the roots spreading out to great distances in the stony ground. Stones. Mathis hurriedly knelt and got his fingers under a stone about the size of both his fists, digging it out of the earth, raising it up to chest level. The horseman slowed a little, his mount reluctant to maintain its speed in the treacherous ground, but the inexperienced rider urged it forward, building momentum behind his gleaming spear point. Perhaps he should have realized that his horse knew more about horses than he did – for the beast’s hoof caught one of the many roots and tumbled, the spearman landing face down at Mathis’ feet, his left leg pinned by the bulk of the horse itself.

The boy didn’t wonder what he did to deserve this sudden good fortune, didn’t question if it would have been better spent elsewhere, or even utter a prayer in thanks to either the dreamer or the blind goddess of fate. He looked down on the back of the man’s skull, and the rock in his hand … and brought the latter down with all the force a fourteen year old can muster. One time, three, seven. Blood was everywhere, and other matter of sicklier color. A few moments passed before Mathis dropped the stone in shock, grabbed the dead man’s spear and felt it snap, undoubtedly also partly pinned under the animal. With the short tip of the weapon in hand, Mathis ran off in the direction his little brother had. He didn’t have to run long.

When he found his brother, hiding behind a tree’s low thin branches, he stumbled and fell to his knees, the spear tip falling, and what little food he had eaten that night deciding it no longer wanted to reside within a murderer. Perhaps drawn by the sounds, the second man found them. He was not the fool his companion was, taking a horse into woodland, even sparsely forested – but rather advanced in long strides toward the scared boy. Mathis didn’t have it in him for another stand, and fell against the tree still coughing up his courage. His bloody hands fumbled in the dark for the spear but found nothing so he brought them up against his face to cover his eyes. This time he did pray – why had the gods saved him a moment before to let him die now? For a few moments he felt nothing, heard nothing. Then the snap of wood – and moment later a thud and moan. Mathis opened his eyes.

Again, a man was lying at his feet, but it was no divine providence that had saved him this run around, but his little brother. The branch still shivered with tension from being released to swing back to it’s natural position, meeting with the head of the swordsman and knocking him off his feet only to land on the tip of the spear Mathis had let clutter to the ground, finding a recess where two roots held it strong enough to pierce the man’s woolen tunic … and drive itself deep into his back. Again, Mathis took up the man’s weapon, as well as searched his pockets and the two brothers ran. Before long they found the river again, and the swordsman’s horse. It took two days, and a night that seemed longer than both of them together, to reach Nyermersys.

As soon as the guardsman stationed at the River Gate saw the two boys, sharing the single horse and covered in dried blood, he called another to escort them to the Hospital of Seyella. Neither Mathis nor Ruil had any injuries other than scrapes and scratches, but they were cleaned up and given a place to stay for a few days. It was a whole day before they were allowed to see Alia, and despite the horror of nights past, the reunion made the long journey worth it. Mathis only spent a few days at the hospital, but knew he couldn’t stay. If word got back to Borik that two boys were now serving at the hospital, it would be too suspicious to not investigate. He resolved to leave Ruil there in service with the priests and Alia – while he left to find Gundioc – the only man who could help him … if he were still alive. After one last night with Alia, he set off the next morning.

For the next two years Mathis wandered throughout the lands southeast of the City of Death, staying for a time in Weyring as a stableboy, Holm as apprentice to a cooper, and finally in the Silvershire as apprentice to a smith – Among the hobbits he was welcomed, and finally felt comfortable sharing parts of his story – as well as inquiring if they had heard anything of the missing Gundioc in their lands. Without a current description they were unable to aid the boy with information, but did offer hospitality. The smith who tutored him and his wife, an herbalist and healer offered him shelter in their hole on the northernmost edge of the northern quarter of the Helmondshire.

Early one morning, a short time before dawn, Mathis strolled off into the woodlands beyond the smith’s gardens to retrieve some wood for the shrinking stack adjacent to the smokehouse. Every now and again, Mathis encountered other humans in this section of the shire, as it came so very close to the large city of Astran – but he was more than a little surprised at what he came upon that morning. Against a tree, a densely built, sparsely clad man leaned, pierced by several crossbow bolts and cradling an injured wrist. At first Mathis took him for dead and approached slowly  - only to feel sudden pressure against his back. The man with the crossbow pushed the boy to the ground, and bid him go about his merry way. Mathis asked if the man was dead, and was answered with a cough from the great figure against the tree. The murderer ignored the ignoble noise, and explained that Gundioc the Gross’ days were over.

By this time, the crossbowman had written off the boy as a curious bystander, turning his attention to winding up the weapon in his hands for a point blank shot that would end the life of his most recent nemesis. Since the night in the wood, now two years distant, Mathis had never forgotten what he had done to the fallen spearman – and often dreamed of drawing blood once again. Seizing the moment, or merely seized himself by the righteous wrath sealed deep within his subconscious mind – Mathis bull rushed this new villain and buried his wood hatchet in top of the man’s back.

At first, Mathis attempted to get a hold of the figure he now knew as Gundioc the Gross, but the man’s girth was simply too massive to budge. Knowing he would need to bring help to the wounded man if he wanted to save him – Mathis hurriedly covered up his crime, dragging the much smaller crossbowman’s corpse a short distance to a small rise and pushing the body over into the deep defile. Evidence of his sin suitably secluded, the teen ran home and fetched the herbalist hobbitess and her husband, as well as a number of guests they had invited to a hearty breakfast. Together the legion of little people managed to carefully fetch Gundioc back to their smial, and over the next month, minded his slow recovery.

As soon as Gundioc regained consciousness, Mathis asked the burning question and received the answer he thought too much to hope for. He learned of Gundioc’s escape, the horror in the kitchens, the weight of the world crashing down in Ishmarin, and the life his brother had lived as a hired hammer. When his brother’s wounds healed – and the hobbits had grown tired of the figure that made their guestroom seem a mullog bone-shack – Mathis took his leave of the Silvershire, begging apologies to the smith for not completing his apprenticeship. Since that morning in the wood, save for a prison sentence or twenty, they have not been long apart.

For another two years, the self-imposed exiles made their way about the kingdom, living by Gundioc’s skill at arms – and later Mathis’ sword as well as he learned the ways of combat from both the direct tutelage of his brother and the observation of their opponents. Eventually their wanderings brought them to Milkengrad, where they slowed down for a time. Gundioc even found a barmaid he fancied and married her, using his blood money to buy a rather lavish two-story apartment in the city, a step down from the Mallister keep of Orcenhold – but a goodly number of steps up the social ladder for Sheárana; the barmaid. This probably allowed her to ignore that her husband’s eighteen year old brother would be living with them.

But the apartment was large, and sharing their home didn’t keep them from doing their duty. Before long, Sheárana was suspicious that she was with child. She wasn’t sure how her husband would take the news, so she had a healer visit one afternoon while he was out drinking. The healer had just confirmed her worries as Gundioc stumbled into the bedroom in an impressive state of intoxication. His eyes fell upon his lovely wife, partially undressed next to another man – and gave no time for explanation. He rushed the healer, screaming obscenities and seized him. Sheárana in turned pounded on her husband, screaming the explanation of the situation, but if Gundioc did hear her, he had already decided his imagined course of events was accurate. He dropped the man to the floor, who grabbed his bag and hurriedly fled the room – leaving only the newlyweds and the cloud about Gundioc’s brow remaining.

She was still screaming, at least until he grabbed her neck, proceeding to shake the life from her body. Disturbed by the cacophony above his own chambers, Mathis ran upstairs into the scene. He had known the healer was coming – if not the exact reason behind it, and realized what his brother must have assumed. Mathis rushed the giant and his victim, prying thick fingers free of her throat, but it was too late. The limp corpse fell to the floor as Gundioc released it, only to deliver a stinging backhand to the would-be hero. Somewhat stunned but now fearing his own life might be in danger considering Gundioc’s state – Mathis drew the old longsword he had taken from the assassin in the wood, and brought up his knee into his brother’s groin, causing the drunkard to stumble back against a bedpost.

Not one to lose the advantage Gundioc seized the post in his meaty hands, resigned to bludgeon his brother into submission. Mathis parried every swing deftly, taking off a chunk of the wooden stump each time, eventually leaving Gundioc with a useless peg. He cast down the splintered end in disgust and drew his own sword – stolen so long ago from Orcenhold’s mantle – and continued his attack. Gundioc intended to end the threat posed by Mathis by any means necessary, but his intoxication impaired him – Mathis alternatively was of sound mind, but not about to kill the brother who had been more like a father for the last two years – and so the duel went on. It took them through half the apartment, no chamber free of the signs of combat. Finally Mathis’ thrust found the side of Gundioc’s neck. The wound was small, but blood gulped from it in disturbing quantity.

Mathis panicked, incredulous at what he had done, and in his panic his reflexes slowed. The sting of the sword sent Gundioc into the climax of his rage, and he flew at his brother in a flurry of slashes – the solid structure of the Erpheronian broadsword chipping away at the old blade he himself bore. Finally it faltered and snapped under the pressure, and the sword that began his family’s legacy bit deep into his side. The shear force of the blow knocked him to the floor, twisting in such away that the grip was torn from Gundioc’s hand.

Suddenly, Gundioc seemed sober as the realization of his actions crept over him. He limped towards the window as Mathis bled, calling for the services of a healer, still unaware he had chased one out mere minutes before. Satisfied his summons would be answered, the elder brother returned to the younger’s side, ignoring his wife entirely. The hands that moments before directed the steel that produced his wound now clutched it to prevent any further loss of blood. Mathis opened his eyes, his hand brushing the hilt of the blade which nearly killed him. “Your sword …” he coughed violently. Such was Gundioc’s sudden laughter that he barreled over onto his back, releasing his brother’s wound as those that responded to his call entered the apartment and dashed up the stairs. Gundioc’s laughter near choked him, but he was able to produce two words; “Keep it!”

Gundioc had told the guardsmen that a dark skinned R'unorian had invaded his home while he was out drinking, strangled his wife and tried to steal his sword, nearly killing Mathis when he tried to defend it. The guards left skeptical, warning Gundioc they would return if they had any further questions for him. However, with the healer that had seen the opening of the altercation having fled, the brothers knew they had to leave Milkengrad immediately.

Swift Endeavor, a merchant freighter out of Quentron, left Milkengrad harbor for the northman city of Naurooth early the next morning. Among the dozen or so passengers on board were a Helcrani warrior and his son who looked old for his age. If the captain saw through the pair’s lies, he also saw no trouble with their coin, and Mathis and Gundioc Mallister left the United Kingdom of Santharia, perhaps not at their most hale or healthy moment, but as free men, the latter having gotten away with murder.

The brothers spent little time in Naurooth, spending the last of their coin on a pair of horses and making their way to Worldquest by way of the southern road skirting the hostile Celeste Mountains. It was there that they came into contact with The Lanrul’s Lot, a company formed mostly of exiled Remusians skilled the ways of mounted warfare. Having lost several of their number raiding the hamlets of the Aszh-Oc orcs, they were eager for replacements to keep the company at its traditional number of four hundred men. The only requirements set before the brothers Mallister were ownership of a weapon, a horse, and the ability to follow the orders of their leader – a fearsome figure, who even in Northern Sarvonia was called Seregon the Northman.

In return for their obedience, they would be given their share of food, shelter, and whatever booty accrued in the course of a campaign. In theory, the purpose of the glorified raiding party was to augment the garrisons of local settlements in times of strife, but in times of peace they were known to resort to the life of brigands, threatening those they had at one time protected unless satisfactorily paid off. During the course of the Mallister’s service, the threatened no human settlements, but mostly raided the hamlets of the Aszh-Oc. When Mathis inquired as to why they seemed so driven towards destruction of the orcish “species”, his fellow mercenaries told him that the orcs regularly attacked the Remusians, and that Seregon was driven to avenge the death of his father by exterminating any orc settlement he heard tell of. While true, the man failed to mention that it was the Rhom-Oc of the Heath of Wilderon he spoke of, and not the Aszh-Oc whom they were slaying.  

While the Aszh-Oc were renowned for the nobility and lack of expansionist warfare – they were no sheep to be slaughtered. In the third year of Mathis and Gundioc’s service with the Lot, the Aszh-Oc gathered a raiding group of their own and struck the human town of Beornoth in the Wilshirer Heath. The people of the Beornoth fought the orcs off, sustaining heavy casualties but managing to drive them back into the Heath. When news reached Seregon he mobilized his men and set off, suspecting that the people would be grateful for protection while they tended their wounds, and hoping that the orcs made a second attempt on the settlement. Both his suspicions would prove to be correct.

The people of Beornoth paid a great deal for the services of the Lot, unaware that if it weren’t for Seregon’s genocidal vendetta they would not have been attacked in the first place. The first warg outriders were seen a week after the company arrived, inspecting the damage done to the town’s compromised wooden walls – and shortly thereafter the town’s outposts reported a force many times of the size of that which came previously. The town council and Seregon met to produce a plan to defend the city – and were surprised when Mathis spoke up with an idea of his own.

Three years of service had earned both the Mallisters experience in the Remusian style of warfare, with the idea of the heavy cavalryman at its core, as well as the trust of their new comrades. When he learned of the size and composition of the approaching orcish army, he knew that the broken walls wouldn’t serve. The greater part of the orcs were warg cavalry, and with the exception of a disciplined square of pikemen – which they lacked – the best way to counter cavalry was with more cavalry – which they had in abundance, but would have been made infective if bogged down defending the walls as the council was suggesting. Mathis decided there had to be a way to preserve the open area required by the Remusian warriors to operate optimally while simultaneously robbing the orcs of their vast numerical advantage.

The battlefield Mathis intended to struggle over involved the preparation of a long line of trenches filled with stakes from the broken walls on the southwest extremity of the city, not entirely straight, but with a bulge in the center that curved inward toward the city gate and then back out to meet the other half of the original line. Nor was the trench solid, but broken every now and again by passages across. Behind this line would be the poor men of Beornoth, defending their homes. They were lightly armed and armored, boiled leather and bucklers, fire hardened wooden spears, old axes and the occasional shortsword. What few wealthy men of the town who had horses of their own were gathered, split into two groups and put at each flank of the line under the command of experienced Remusian officers. Lastly, the bulk of the Lot themselves would wait in the town until the orcs engaged, leave through a side gate, and deliver their crushing blow.

The council approved, but Seregon was quick to point out a flaw in the plan – the orcs were nearly upon them, and there simply wasn’t enough time to complete the proposed earthworks before their arrival – but Mathis had an answer to that as well. The work began that night, and sure enough, in late afternoon the following day the orcs began to arrive. They were greeted by the sight of The Lanrul’s Lot and despite seething hatred, Kavadh, the orc warlord in command of the host decided to forestall the attack until somewhat more organized.

As planned, when the orc's battle formation was nearly complete and ready to charge, Gundioc strutted out into the center of the tall grassland between the two armies. With great show and a fair bit of bellowing, he challenged the orcs to single combat. In the following hours, Gundioc slew four of the strongest orcs in the assault force, until night finally began to fall and the noble Aszh-Oc resigned themselves to attacking the following morning. The men of Beornoth worked through the night to complete the trench network, and in the morning formed up in their places without rest. The Lanrul’s Lot took it’s place inside the east gate, obscured from the orcs view by a tall barrow mound erected for some forgotten prince.

Mathis took his place as commander of the right flank, composed of Beornoth’s mounted merchants – where the first attack came. At first the horsemen fell back, but Mathis was able to rally them and they pushed the orcs away with seven casualties. Realizing there was no way to flank the humans, the orcs resorted to a more traditional strategy for their people. Their first line charged the center – deep into the pocket formed by the trenches. They met a shield wall and bloody struggle began in earnest. The orcs sent in their second line, stronger soldiers, with arms and armor of a quality superior to that of the humans. The third line was just beginning to trudge across the battlefield with their heavy pikes when the trap closed around them.

The first and second lines composed the greater part of the orcish host, lightly armed skirmishers and all around adequate “shieldbearers” respectively. The third and fourth were specialty troops to be committed where needed. As the orcs thundered towards the rises that broke the trench system, the heavy Remusian cavalry began to round the barrow hill. The left and right merchant cavalry quickly moved to seal up the gaps that provided escape from the pocket just as the Beornoth infantrymen in the center moved forward to do the same. Suddenly the orcs found themselves trapped on three sides, but still an orc horde – and in the few places where they were actually fighting, on the passages across the trench, humans fell more often than the orcs.

Until the Remusian cavalry slammed into the rear and cut off their last route of escape. These were no militia, but the war hardened veterans who had forced them into this desperate overreach of ability. Warlord Kavadh and his elite attempted to seal up the Remusians in their own trap, but too many orcs had been killed or routed to complete the encirclement. The butchery continued until Kavadh himself died and his elites overwhelmed a wing of merchant cavalry in their desperation to escape, and the rest followed. A quarter of the force Kavadh brought to the town fell victim to the trap before routing. The battle was over, and the town saved.

In gratitude for the victory, the council supplemented the original sum of silver promised to the mercenaries with part of their own personal cache of gold. Mathis was present with Seregon when the payment was presented, and the commander granted him a single rider’s share and the same for Gundioc, along with the Kavadh's Ironwood Longbow. The great part of the company was not in the chambers that night however, and got nothing. Seregon kept the rest of the gold for himself. The next night, Mathis and Gundioc entered Seregon’s pavilion. Gundioc beat the gnarled warrior within an inch of his life, while Mathis gathered the gold. By the time their comrades realized what was going on, the brothers had picked the choicest horses and rode off east into the heath.

The Lot, who likely were told that they were to be paid the gold that was stolen, made attempts to find their former brothers in arms, but found nothing in the vast wilderness open before them. By the time the Lot ceased their search of the heath, Mathis and Gundioc were already making their way through the Imlith Mountains, bound for Barsalon. By the end of the year they found themselves in the largest city they had seen since Milkengrad – Remusiat. Nearly a fourth of their appropriated resources had been expended in the journey back to civilization (boasting of their wealth had caused the folk of Barsalon to be grudging with their prices, if not outright hostile) and the brothers decided they could dawdle a month or two to find a reasonable price on passage back to Santharia.

Not every choice can lead to good fortune, as it so often had for Mathis, and his luck had run out. During their furlough in the icy city of stone, Gundioc took it upon himself to follow a woman he had spotted in a tavern back to her home, subduing her husband and using her for his usual needs. After the incident, Gundioc returned to where he and Mathis were staying and went up to bed. It wasn’t long before a dozen guardsmen appeared with the intent of apprehending him. Mathis, aware that a dozen men were perhaps one too many to challenge at that time, excused himself quietly from the premises and let Gundioc be taken, still asleep, bed and all, off to face whatever punishment the horsemen of the north deemed necessary. An unfortunate setback, he decided, but only a temporary one.

Remusiat was a city of warriors - in his mind differing only from the other icemen in the fact that it was indeed a city, rather than a collection of hovels around a fire pit – thusly, Mathis found no lack of conspirators willing to aid him in freeing his brother for a cut of Seregon’s gold. The first ally he found was the most valuable, and knew that fact well, a somewhat disturbed Tscoiaran who referred to himself innocuously enough as Lursus Khrath. At first Mathis had been concerned that subtlety wouldn’t serve in the jailbreak, the goaler’s house a stout structure of proud stone, heavily patrolled and with no mode of clandestine entry obvious to him. Mathis however, was not Kasumarii.

Several Remusians rounded out the party, and the operation took place the next evening. Lursus was as good as his word, and opened a postern gate for Mathis and his hastily gathered gang to enter, stepping over several slain guardsmen, over whom Lursus kneeled, recovering his seastars. The crawl through the labyrinthine dungeons of the goalhouse took time, but eventually they stumbled upon Gundioc, hearty if not whole. The Remusians had taken the tips of every finger on his left hand, and would have continued joint by joint had the rescue come later. The party freed not only Gundioc, but his seven cellmates as well.

By the time the party reached surface level once more, the corpses of the slain had been found and patrols reinforced, with one securing the postern used to gain entry. Knowing the stakes, Lursus took the initiative and drew the guard’s attention, allowing the group to make their way to the harbor. With nearly a quarter of the city on alert, there was no time to hide in a tavern and wait for a ship to leave. The company, twelve in all, commandeered a small unguarded galley that had seen better days, and made their way out into the Bay of Calinth. The appearance of Lursus, climbing up out of the water onto the ship just after leaving the harbor, seemed a fine omen to start their second foray into the open ocean.

Without Lursus’ maritime experience, the ship may well have been lost, but under his command the small galley made it to the Stormcloak port on Ludor. With more than one Stormcloak vessel bound for Santharia (by way of the Kanapan lands and Quios), Mathis thanked Lursus, and left the Karii to do what he would with ship and crew. The Mallisters bought passage on one of the departing vessels, the Handsome Profit. The voyage was long but uneventful, Mathis keeping a restraining hand on Gundioc when they went ashore to avoid any further loss of limb. Finally, after what could have been a year at sea, the ship lookout announced the Gaze of Foiros on the horizon. Nearly five years after the flight from Milkengrad, the Profit had arrived in the Manthrian port of Ciosa. Five years of blood, water, salt and spray, had led Mathis and Gundioc Mallister back home to the United Kingdom of Santharia.

The brothers didn’t tarry in Ciosa long, just along enough to get used to solid ground under them again really. From Ciosa, they made the short trip to Marcogg, where Mathis finally upgraded his aging arsenal. During all his time in the north, he had been using the two-thousand year old ancestral sword of House Mallister, and despite the great care taken in it’s preservation over the centuries, it was simply not suitable for the near constant use Mathis asked of it. He had the blade strengthened and the hilt restored, but also decided to commission a new sword with greater functionality and variation in style. As Gundioc whored, Mathis journeyed into the Mithral mountains to the dwarven settlement of Tyr Donian. It was the Mitharim dwarves who produced both Mathis’s bastard sword and his armor, plate as well as mail, richly etched and strong as any in the kingdom.

These new armaments were put to good use. Mathis had only an eighth of his gold remaining, and wasn’t about to let it run out before he found employment. He and Gundioc immediately got work far more illustrious than anything expected in the olden days, no longer watching wagons or wells. For five years they managed to prolong their standard of living, but money was beginning to run dry. In Manthria, the brothers gained recognition, not just among criminals, but with the population at large. Suddenly thrust into the limelight, the brothers even competed for their share of fame, Gundioc with his lasciviousness, and Mathis with his growing skill as a speaker, telling tales of their adventures in the northlands. Despite an increasingly public life, they apparently troubled no one enough to take them out of the picture, and what few attempts were made failed utterly.

But renown can wear on one and another, and on Mathis’ twenty seventh birthday the brothers decided to spend the evening at a favored spot in the Banditwoods to celebrate. They were on their last few pieces of gold, and had decided to spend them in grand style, with a cart of intoxicants and no less than four of Marcogg’s highest quality courtesans. Just as things were getting interesting, they got … much more interesting. An unknown man and woman stumbled out of the brush into the clearing. The next few moments proved revealing for all, for the man was Ruil, and the woman Alia.

They had been searching for their long lost siblings for two years, finally reaching Marcogg and hearing of the party in the eastern woods. Ruil had apparently turned into a respectable if irritating lad, constantly blabbering about knight this, and sir that, and Alia was stunning, charging to embrace Mathis as soon as all identities were confirmed. Even Gundioc was cheered, and rose nude from the pile of human flesh to hug his siblings, who politely declined. Mathis and Alia then excused themselves for a walk, during which Mathis attempted to explain why he had never returned to Nyermersys, but Alia stopped him when he mentioned that they were ‘safer there’, reminding him they were no longer children. It was dawn before they returned to the camp proper.

From then on, the younger siblings supplemented the older, Alia with skills learned as a member of the Santhran's Order of Seyella, and Ruil with his ability to play by other’s rules without letting pride get in the way. This trait more than any other led to an increase in employment and income, most often from tournaments, of which Ruil was a great enthusiast. Gundioc took to the melees as well from time to time, when he would be admitted, nearly always being the last standing and earning a large champion’s purse. But not all of the coin was earned without bloodshed, most notably the Mallister’s greatest victory of this period – the capture of Three Arcs Keep.

The job was more ambitious than most they had attempted. The Baron of Greywold had grown tired of a rebellious blight occupying the ruined citadel of Three Arcs Keep – an impressive brigand band led by a renegade knight named Sir Talos Fargarin, who called himself The Rose, and his band the Thousand Thorns, though there were only around two hundred of them in all. The Baron could not provide any troops for the mission, but directed the Mallisters to where they could find twenty five deserters from Talos's company, eager to bring about his end. When it was discovered that one of their number was a novice magician Mathis and Ruil decided their meager numbers would be quite adequate.

The assault opened just before dawn, with the upper half of the nothern tower crumbling to topple into the yard full of sleeping men below. The Mallisters and their comrades charged through the gap, pruning the Thorns who had escaped the cruelty of falling rock as they poked their heads from tents or rooms in the walls. The Rose himself emerged from one such crack in the curtain, resplendent in full plate and bearing a poleaxe, but after a fierce duel Ruil slew him. With the fall of their leader, the remaining Thorns threw down their arms or fled. Ten of the Baron’s men were killed, and several more wounded, while the Thousand Thorns had been all but eliminated. Fargarin's second-in-command, his steward and his chief scout even offered their services in exchange for their lives. This was the greatest payoff received since Beornoth, for in addition to the reward, the siblings kept the keep.

Not officially as yet of course, but after the bodies had been disposed of properly, it was a fine stronghold from which to set forth. Three Arcs Keep sat on elevated ground at the foot of Mount Maccom, equidistant from Klinsor and Greywold, but technically part of the Duchy of Tolonia, based out of Lorehaven. The castle had seen no true military function in almost a thousand years, renovated from time to time at first – but even that was later ruled a waste of funding, and the small fortress was allowed to be taken back by the local flora. The old curtain wall was breached in not one, but three locations, and the tallest tower toppled in the Mallister’s attack. Thusly were the siblings somewhat limited in their choice of quarters. However, since the Mallisters were so often on the road – the Keep’s true use was not so much as an actual home, but a stash for their fortune, again on the rise.

The year following the capture of Three Arcs the siblings were summoned to Lorehaven for a private meeting with the Duchess of Tolonia herself. The meeting established the Mallisters as official castellans and guardians of Three Arcs Keep, until such a time that it was bestowed upon a person of more worthy deed or title. It did not go unnoticed by Mathis how loathe the Duchess was to grant this nominal favor, but in addition to the trouble of evicting them from Three Arcs now that they had established themselves, she would seem shamed by her subject the Baron's impertinence if she did not. Newly legitimized as landholders, the Mallisters saddled up and set off for their lonely mountain.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 09:37:26 AM by Mathis Mallister » Logged

take an eye for an eye, turn your heart into stone
this is all I have lived for, this is all I have known
Gundioc Mallister
The Bear
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Human, Erpheronian

« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2007, 11:43:49 AM »

History continued...
The four riders passed through the village of Mach early in the afternoon, Mathis and Gundioc dismounting immediately and entering the inn whilst Ruil stabled the horses. Alia remained just outside the door, bow on her back but a pair of daggers within reach. Gundioc was not at all out of character, sending up a cacophony for a mug of ale. When the barkeep requested coin in return (a customary practice this chronicler is told) the brute refused, instead telling the man he could deduct the order from the sum he owed his liege lord. Gundioc received his ale, but at the cost of a dark mood settling over the common room. The villagers were expecting a fight now, and were of course correct, for Gundioc seized the bartender by his tunic and lifted him clear up to the low ceiling before bringing his form down with great clamor unto his own counter.

Mathis looked over to Alia then, just as she was grabbed by a villager. The man bellowed and roared about how the brothers had to leave or their woman would die. Mathis edged forward, and the man backed up into the doorway. He must have heard the footsteps approaching from behind – because he panicked – and opened Alia’s throat with his shortsword. He had just enough time to send a broken-tooth grin at Mathis before Ruil’s lance exploded through his skull, Alia’s limp form falling to the packed earth floor. The tavern erupted, knives leaping into the hands of the villagers and cold steel in the hands of the Mallisters. A goodly number of townsfolk began to push toward Mathis, but he cut through wool tunics and downed them with trivial time or effort on his way to his sister. There were to be no last words, her eyes closed and lips loosely parted – made redundant by the ruinous red smile that was her throat.

Mathis stood, catatonic but for his sword arm which still parried and ended each threat without thought, given over wholly to second nature. After a few moments, he found himself alone but for corpses in the tavern and stepped out into the light, where his brothers were defending themselves from the mob that had massed. A high pitched yelp erupted from Mathis's left, and he turned to see a child charging him with a set of iron blacksmith’s tongs. Mathis watched the boy run in a sort of altered perception, much slower than he commonly saw the world around him. He had enough time to guess the boy’s age – around fourteen, the age he had been when he killed his first grown man.

Mathis studied the boy’s features as well, strikingly similar to the barkeep Gundioc had put an end to inside. But eventually even the slowed tongs were arcing towards Mathis’ face. He moved aside with a sort of indifference, and then brought his bastard sword back and around. The boy’s head fell to the floor in much the manner Alia had, and with much the same sound. For some reason, more than anything else, that disgusted him. Mathis took destiny into his own hands that day, for half of Mach’s men, women and children would die.

The slaughter lasted until midnight, Gundioc keeping a few men alive long enough to learn where they kept what little coin they possessed. Every pocket and shelf looted and a small wooden box retrieved, four horses left the square of Mach, with three riders, and one a greater burden than it had borne before. They buried her in the outer courtyard of their keep, under a Fragran’s tree that may have once stood behind a healer’s hut. Mathis found himself in great need of the tea the tree yielded, but didn’t know how to produce it. He stood at his window and admired the stars most of the night, and for the first time in his life, Mathis prayed. When he finally slept, the prayer was answered: he was granted a pleasant dream.

Now, four months having passed since the massacre, the sibling's enterprise lays shattered. Ruil left them for the tourney circuit immediately, has been away since, and Mathis fears he has abandoned them entirely. Gundioc seems to have entered a state of hibernation, his lust for blood perhaps momentarily sated. Mathis has attempted to focus his attention on the restoration of Three Arcs Keep, without any success. His thoughts claw their way back to visions his sister her told him of, visions of a home and the peaceful future Seyella promised they would have together. With her faith alive inside of him, the understanding he has reached regarding that future will take his journey full circle, and perhaps to his death.

Re: Mathis Mallister / Erpheronian / Brigand

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Four of 'em, because to quoth a prophet, "I find your lack of flux capacitor disturbing..."

You diamond, you... Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 05:18:41 PM by Gundioc Mallister » Logged

He who makes a beast of himself
gets rid of the pain of being a man.
Vesk Lyricahl
Woeful Rover
Approved Character
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1454

Human, Eyelian

« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2007, 01:36:46 AM »

A well written CD, so first approval given. Thumb up

Twén Aråerwén
Death's Mistress
Approved Character
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 4928

Elf, Ifer’hém

« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2007, 02:42:01 AM »

I must agree with Vesk, a well written CD. ~Second Approval~

•º•The spell fell upon the crowd like a dragon, •º•
•º•ancient and full of death.•º•
_.·´¯) Twén Aråerwén's CD(¯`·._
Vesk Lyricahl
Woeful Rover
Approved Character
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1454

Human, Eyelian

« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2007, 02:49:00 AM »

And titled! grin

Pikel Thunderstone
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2008, 04:03:30 PM »

Resurrected, as per your request. Pencil icon is up, change it to exclamation when you are done, and color changes and mention anything you take out :)

Thank you
Malexia Vendu
Tainted Flame
CD Mod
Offline Offline

Posts: 426

Human, Centoraurian

« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2010, 05:56:05 AM »

Brought up as requested  Pet

Alexandre Scriabin
Music Adept
Approved Character
Offline Offline

Posts: 1376

Human, Erpheronian/ Rhulran

« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2011, 07:49:25 AM »

You've got my approval. So, if no one else within the next 10-15 minutes takes issue with that, I'll put this back in the approved CD's.

The statement below this is false.
The statement above this is true.

Alexandre Scriabin CD
Kalína Dalá'isyrás
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 12803

High Elf, Kaýrrhem

« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2011, 02:45:17 AM »

And back up!

Insanity is only a perception made by those who have yet to attain its greatness. While those of us who have already stepped inside its bounds find bliss in our utter madness.
Nai'r en'Lina ar'Kaimel
Mathis Mallister
Righteous in Wrath
Approved Character
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Gender: Male
Posts: 258

Human, Erpheronian

« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2011, 09:55:06 AM »


  • Fighting style section added.
  • Weapons section greatly expounded upon. No new weapons added.
  • Familiar section expounded upon with a second paragraph about horse armor.
  • Added a new strength: Horseman
  • Added a new weakness: Driven by Rage
  • Most thorough typo search yet. Fixed dozens.
  • Gundi's reply commandeered to compensate for exceeding the first post's word limit.

I don't think I'll need to edit this again for quite some time. Ready for evaluation/rearchiving.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 09:58:56 AM by Mathis Mallister » Logged

take an eye for an eye, turn your heart into stone
this is all I have lived for, this is all I have known
Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 7033

Human, Remusian

« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2011, 03:50:24 PM »

Sent back to the archives.  Another impressive Mallister CD. :)

Favorite Cartoon Quotes
"It was a dark and stormy night."  - Snoopy
"Ack!" - Bill the Cat
"I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinski." - President Bill Clinton

My Character can be viewed @Angelina Jolie's house.  But knock first, in case I'm in my underwear.
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