Depheant Makepeace - Tales of a young man

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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 11:26 am

*** Selchis ***

Deph entered their home near the docks, and there she was... waiting for him... with a warm smile and a blush on her face.
His heart skipped a beat as he studied her dress, she was not only one of the nicest girls he ever had met, she was also stunningly beautiful, both on the inside and out.
He gaped at her openly, at the smooth lines of her neck and shoulders, at her untied braids and the slightly curled hair resting just below her bare shoulders, at her stunning curves he adored so much. He blushed... until a few months ago he didn’t even dare to stare at a lady like that. But she was his lady, and a part of his shyness had slowly faded with time.
She was also one of the few people with who he had shared parts of his past.

Just before entering their home he had decided to tell her about his best friend, the one he had lost in the past, but also about the one living here, in the city.

For a brief moment, the memory of what happened just after Zachary’s death, struck him again and made him realise how much his life has changed, and how it was still changing. The lady in front of him was one of the few who knew, if only a part.


Under a bright blue sky, not far from the Cuhannan shore the battered ship dropped its anchor. Only one boy was at work high above the deck in the topgallant mast, reefing its top sails.
The pirates had to flee in the end as the crew of the Mary Gold proved more than a match for them. However, aside from a few other good crew members, Depheant had lost his best friend yesterday.

Good thing of sitting up here was that he was able to give way to his tears without being looked at or comforted by others.
He didn’t needed anybody right now.

“Depheant Makepeace, line up at the middle deck!”, the booming voice of the captain sounded.

With goosebumps all over his body and no idea what to expect, the boy climbed down and noticed the entire crew was present on the main deck.
This would be his first conversation with anyone of the crew or even with his father, since the attack.

He took place between a few of his friends who nodded at him but further remained silent.

“I said, line up!”

Depheant quickly stepped forward, his clothes nothing more than rags as he didn’t had the chance yet to wash up or change. The top sails had been part of the plan of leaving the pirate ships behind as quickly as possible, before they changed their minds and made a second attempt. Ever since had he been up there, taking care of these sails... almost it felt as if he was taking care of his friend... high and away from everything... alone...

Depheant quickly stepped forward... the crew making way for him.

The captain looked down at his son who stopped in front of him.


“Against the mast!”


The captain’s eyes looked as if they were on fire, so Depheant quickly moved towards the main mast and turned around to face the approaching captain, his father. He glanced at a few of his friends, and had absolutely no idea what was going on.

“Turn around, sailor!”

Depheant blinked,” T-tu...” He quickly turned around.

Behind his back the captain nodded to a bearded sailor standing just next to the mast.

“Stretch your arms, hold them forward.”

Depheant now fully realised what was about to happen and turned to his father, his eyes filled with disbelief.



A low murmur rose among the crew, some of the sailors openly looking between the captain and his son, others avoiding either the captain’s eyes or Depheant’s.

The boy finally turned around, still not fully believing what was about to happen. He stretched his arms and the bearded sailor took his hands, making him embrace the mast before locking them in chains.

“I’m sorry, kiddo...,” the sailor softly mumbled.

Behind him, Depheant could hear the captain addressing the crew.

“For ignoring an order from a direct superior, three lashes!”

The captain turned around to look at the back of his son before continuing with an angry voice.

”And one more for resisting punishment. No one will we spared from this.”


He sighed, it had been only the first... the last ones had been partially healed by his lady. The marks were still there, under his skin, but at least they didn’t hurt anymore.

After giving her a good look, he decided to let the story rest, at least for now... and enjoy a wonderful evening with his amazing lady.


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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 11:27 am

*** Curse ***

If Deph would ever curse, now would have been a good time for it. His heartbeat stopped and the muscles in his legs felt like frozen. He was shocked. The letter he was holding in his left hand, fell on the floor just before he sank next to it, his hands going nervously through his hair, messing it all up.

As if that mattered, he stared at the letter. He had already searched their home and almost everything was there. Selchis had only taken few things with her... to Dars. He glanced at her plate armour, freshly cleaned and arranged neatly on its usual back table, and also the place where he had found the letter.

He turned his head and glanced at it once more… reading the text he had already read like fifty bloody times…


Dearest Depheant,

I have been asked to accompany a small group in a secretive voyage into the heart of my own home. I am in good company, and safe with few knowing where we are headed. I am truly sorry I could not speak to you in person concerning this, but I had little time to prepare myself for this. I felt this was something that I needed to do, both to help my home and to help my friends and family here.

I will be careful for I love you with all my heart and I will do everything I can to return back to you as swiftly as is possible.

If you want to learn more of where we have gone, as I’m sure you do. Seek out Sam, Captain of the Vanguard.

Love always,



He blinked, reading the last full sentence once more.

“Sammil…” and almost he cursed again.

Though he was afraid there wasn’t much he could do as he himself had signed up to go with Fyvre and her team. He had one hope, their mission would also take place in Dars… perhaps…
All he could do now was to head out for Lendose.


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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 11:27 am

*** Leaving ***

The young man looked around in his room in the Knightshome, as if he wanted to be sure the experience of having been here was deeply engraved into his memory.
He leaned over and his right hand locked around a shoulder strap of a huge backpack, just before swinging it over his shoulder while his left hand absently searched for the handle of the blade on his belt.

“Right…,” he murmured as he left his place.

Down the stairs he glanced in the direction of the meeting room and a memory struck him, and with it, a pain in his heart.

Not so long ago they were sitting just right there, just... before she disappeared on this mysterious mission. They had talked about their marriage and about Deph’s last visit at the temple of Rhauth.

He had went back after the conversation with his lady and promised the little girl to come and get her after they were both back. At some point in the past he had been close to adopting her, but he was too young to be her father... and besides, he felt more like a brother to her, and he sensed Emma felt the same.

Selchis’s suggestion became a proposal which he talked over with both sister Alina and Emma herself.
Deph sighed, Emma would be transfered to the temple of Peralia where she would learn about this god and with times assist Selchis in her work. She was only seven, but already had seen things that made her a bit older in mental age.
And next to Selchis, Emma would also see him more, at least either during his visits at the temple, or when she visited the Knightshome with Selchis.
A weak smile crossed over his face, … he could imagine a whole new world was about to open to Emma.

Deph lowered his head, but it all would have to wait. Selchis was … out ‘there’... while he…
The young man adjusted the position of his backpack and started to walk in the direction of the door leading towards the keep.
With his hand on the door handle, Deph stopped and glanced one more time over his shoulder as another name crossed through his mind.

He felt sorry for her after what happened with Sam, actually… it made his heart bleed for her. He wondered how she was doing, but after hearing Reina’s reassuring words that Amy was mending… well… good. He actually didn’t pray much to any god, but in silence he made one to Ishtar for Amy finding her luck.

When he opened the door of the Knightshome, a gust of cold air rushed in and struck him in the face, and for a moment as if it were a banner, a Vigilo cloak fluttered in the wind.

Deph shook his head… it was time to carve out his path...


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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 11:28 am

*** Depheant Makepeace - part 1 : Who am I - ***

As if the wind loved harassing the young man slogging through the mud, its speed was increased to almost storm-like. And as if the young man just grew stubborn, he increased his efforts to reach his destination.
Soon a palisade came in sight, and not much later he came by the gate where he was stopped by two black-clad guards, tugging on their hoods to protect themselves against the wind and the rain. Perhaps the reason why they didn't notice the Vigilo cloak fluttering in the wind.

"Name and business?"

Depheant made a light bow," Squire Depheant Makepeace of the Argentum Vigilo, I am here to see any of the Vanguard commanders."

The two guards glanced at each other, before the other one responded," No commanders currently present, si... mister Makepeace. Is it about an urgent matter?"

"I like to speak to someone in charge," Depheant said, avoiding a direct answer to the question. He shrugged to himself as he didn't feel obliged to do so in front of these two guards. Let them decide either to deny him acces to the Bastion, or lead him to someone of importance.

The two men glanced at each other, and as if they had read his thoughts, one of them motioned him to follow," I'll bring you to the quartermaster."

Minutes later the squire was lead into a small building and they stopped in front of a wooden door. The guard knocked and the door was opened by what seemed another guard. Depheant was introduced and allowed into the room.
There was round table in the middle with no chairs around it. On the right a small burning fireplace offered all the warmth needed, two comfortable chairs in front of it. On the left side of the room maps were hung up against the wall with some notes next to them, and right next to the door stood a small weapon rack.

The guard behind him said," The quartermaster is out for an inspection, but I expect him soon to be back. You can wait by the fire,... sir.”

Depheant nodded and walked over to the fireplace while unclipping his soaked cloak. He swirled him over one of the chairs in the hope it would be less heavy when he left this place again. The bag he was holding in his left hand, was dropped right next to it. He walked over to the flames and glanced at the guard near the door watching every move he made.
Almost instantly he could feel the warmth of the flames penetrating his armour. The weather outside was bad, true, but it was nothing compared to a storm at sea... which he had witnessed more than enough times. When winds are strong enough the create waves big enough to lift a ship three times its height, well...

And so while he was waiting there with his eyes fixated on the flames, he fell back in thought.

… carving my own path to knighthood. I have no idea how to do that, or at least I have no idea what other things I should do than the things I am doing now. Several times I wondered though... if it was enough, if one day I could meet with the standard that is set for becoming knight.
When I am honest with myself, I started doubting as I have on one hand an idea how a knight should be, but on the other hand am groping in the dark of what the knights are expecting to hear from me on the day they put me to the test.

Perhaps I need to put what I did and do next to the Oath and see what I recognise, and be not just honest, but very honest with myself.

Also, who am I and why am I here?
Easy enough to answer, though difficult enough too.

Right now I am a squire of the Argentum Vigilo, the faction - in service of the Princeps -, which I have picked over the Daybreak Alliance in order to fulfill not only my personal dream of becoming a knight, but also to do the things knights do. And that consists of more than just fighting to protect the innocent.
I don’t really care of having the title, although it would be an honor as it would be recognition for whatever I achieved in doing things I believe in.
Also, I arrived in the Knightshome with my own values, being honor, chivalry and courtesy, and they seemed to match the most with the Vigilo.
Further, I came here to look for the tales behind the tale.

And what did I discover?

Well, that there is even more to it in becoming a knight… as you have to find the path yourself. I realise now behind each knight is a tale, ...has to be, as each of them seemed to have found their path somehow. So, why wouldn’t I be able to do that?
It’s not easy though, after been most of my life at sea, only learning things about how to run a ship.
Yes, sure, I’m used to serve, my father even, Captain and owner of a merchant ship, who besides commanding me, raised me with a hard hand and rather no love.
It is my tale…

Tales, let them be one of the reasons why am I here, charmed by the things I read about knights and their doings. Yes, I was inspired in the first place but does it make my application real enough?
Appearantly, since I’m a squire now.
Not so long ago I was wondering again and asked Selchis why she thought I would make a good knight one day.
The answer given was fair and given from her point of view. Good thing I recognised it all and it was close to my idea of acting like a knight. It was enough, and to avoid giving her the feeling I had doubts again, I ended that conversation.

No, no doubts at all, just lacking to find very good reasons why I want to become a knight. Why I want to do what I am doing…
That brings me back to my first conversations with Amy, and later on with sir Phelan. I remember how I talked about the values I carried and how I was prepared to clarify, defend and convey them. Values that can make everyone a knight without having the necessity for a title.
For the few who know my background it must be a mystery how and where someone like me picked up those values… its even a mystery to me.
Perhaps they are written in the soul or in the heart when you get born, or maybe it is destiny driving you.

So, here I am now, ready to carve my path, I know what I want and am about do, but I still wonder...


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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 11:29 am

*** Depheant Makepeace - part 2 : Pledged to help - ***

Three hours later, a figure seated on a horse left the Bastion, almost bravely opposing all advice concerning the weather. He took a left only to behold an hour later a flooded road in front of him.
Well, no one had told him it would be easy, but he hoped to reach his destination within two days. The forest on the left was tempting as an alternative for the trecharous mirror-like path in front of him. A surface that could easily cover up holes and other hidden obstacles.

Deph surveyed the terrain and looked back at the road, which more looked like a river when he noticed a subtle stream. The water was moving in his direction, in the direction of Lendose, extending, engulfing and conquering more and more land.

Depheant Makepeace - Tales of a young man - Page 2 5

The young man narrowed his eyes, as if this sight disturbed him. In fact, a line from the Oath of the Vigilo crossed his mind.

I give my oath, as a Knight of the Argentum Vigilo, to pledge assistance to those less fortunate; to protect the innocent and the weak; to relieve the burdens of the oppressed, and to offer salvation to the imperiled.

Deph glanced over his shoulder and bit his lip.

A few hours later he found himself digging at the side of a company black-clad warriors, soon all covered with mud, as they attempted to stop or at least deflect the upcoming water of the newly formed river by raising a provisional dam.

With his cloak almost as black as the people working next to him, the young man stopped for a moment and nodded to the others just before looking in the direction of the farms.

At least one place where the tide was turned...


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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 11:34 am

*** Depheant Makepeace - part 3 : Overcoming - ***

The Squire glanced over his shoulder, only to witness how the distance between the ship and the city increased.
Cear… where he yesterday held his own in the arena and had passed for the Trial of Prowess under the scrutiny of two knights and in front of the people present. And it turned out very special.
Right after the duels he had a short conversation with the knights and a bit later with Celestia and Ardaion, raised from the dead.
After that, he had to find an inn to catch some sleep first as he simply was dead tired.
Only hours before he had consented doing his first Trial and was teleported to Cear, he found himself near Lendose standing on a quickly improvised dam made of rocks, branches and earth, making sure the job there was finished.

Now, he looked in front of him at the open sea and was on his way to Lendose again, where he would attempt once more to carve his own path. He was behind on schedule, but he couldn’t have reached his destination anyways with the flood.
Perhaps… perhaps it was a sign from the gods.. perhaps it hadn’t been time yet. Depheant shook his head… the gods had no impact on these matters, nor did they interfere, that was just… superstition.
Though he would try and see if he could talk to Phelan about yesterday… about what the last duel, the one with Celestia had meant to him.
The young man rubbed his hair. On the other hand, this ‘fight’ had been more important to him than to any other, and he was happy with how things went.
So… why bother?

Well, also because Celestia was his friend perhaps and already had done several things for him.
He closed his eyes and recalled the moment she adressed him in the arena, her eyes bright on him, her voice crystal clear… talking about his dream, which reminded him of the earlier conversations between them.
She saw it… she knew him, and now … after last night, he had no idea how he could repay her, not yet at least. He took place at the bow of the ship and pensively stared in the distance…

Two days later Depheant arrived at the Knightshome. None of the knights seemed present, so he went up his room and prepared his bag once more. Tomorrow he would leave again…

The next morning the Squire found himself on a white stallion riding in the direction of Fort Kratos.
Another daytime later, and almost immediately after changing horses there, he set course towards his final destination, the place where he would start to carve out his path.
These three Trials may be a way to see if someone qualifies in the various areas of Knighthood, but without experience he would be just worth nothing.

Just after they crossed the bridge, Depheant spurred his horse again… hooves glittered in the sunlight as rider and horse started to cross another ocean of green.
He was late, and so focussed on his journey that he didn’t see an arrow point aiming at his chest, nor did he hear the bow releasing it…

The sharp object raced towards the white clad man who heard the sickening sound only an eye blink before it pierced his shoulder. The impact of the thick arrow and the pain knocked the young man back off his saddle, and he landed rolling over in the mud and marshy ground which broke his fall.

Depheant Makepeace - Tales of a young man - Page 2 Ecud_02_47

Still conscious, lying flat on his tummy and with his face in dirt, he heard cheering and voices in the distance.

“We’ve got ourselves a Knight, boyzzzz!!”

The arm, half under the Squire’s body moved slowly in the direction of his belt, two seconds later his fingertips felt the cold metal of the sword’s pommel...


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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 11:35 am

*** Depheant Makepeace - part 4 : Ghost from the past - ***

From what he overheard, it was not hard to discern that the voices approaching him belonged to three or four men, and they were laughing and making jokes about how they ‘nailed’ a ‘Knight’.
He was smart enough to stay down, since he assumed one or more of them still carried their bow, and against that he would be unable to defend himself. But with the blade…
The hood, still covering head and face, and his Vigilo cloak, partially draped over his back and arm, hid his next move...

To his enemies Depheant was lying facedown in a large puddle and when he heard pairs of boots entering it, he suddenly rolled to his side and launched a klot of mud in the surprised face of a man, hitting him in the eyes and making him temporarily blind.
The unexpected move the Squire made had surprised the others, who clearly presumed their victim to be unconscious, … which was a mistake…

Assuming the four men made part of a bigger hostile force in the area, and were out to capture or even kill him, Depheant decided that an attack would be his best defense.
A memory about his duel with Captain Firin, in which he was teached about picking and switching between going defensive and offensive flashed through his mind. He would have paid a lot of gold for having that man at his side now… but he didn’t… he was on his own...

Without hesitation he kicked at another man's leg, knocking him off his feet and ending his life with the blade that simultanously had swooped through the air during the man's fall. In less than five seconds he had almost halved the enemy number. But he was also wounded, and the arrow which had pierced the shoulder on the side of his sword arm reminded him of that, as it was still in his flesh...

Lying on his back while he struggled to get up, he was only given two seconds more to raise his sword against an incoming blow. The shock of the impact from metal meeting metal made the muscles in his arm tremble, and he had to grit his teeth in an attempt to suppress a cry. Blood oozed slowly but heavily from the wound, creating an unbearable stabbing pain.
Though instead of crying, Depheant aggressively pushed his sword up, making it slide over the blade of his foe and cutting him in the belly. It made the man trip and fall backwards.
The drawback of standing instead of sitting on slippery terrain...

This time he wasn’t granted the room to finish him off though as the fourth, and what appeared to be the leader of this squad had jumped forward and lashed out to protect his companion. On the moment Depheant raised his blade, once again, metal met metal.
The fight froze for a moment and Depheant turned his head a little, looking from under his hood at his new opponent who was hooded as well.
He noticed the man was giving a nod and then realised there was one more opponent… too late. Almost sitting on one knee while his blade was blocked by the ‘leader’, Depheant could hear behind him the sound of a sword splitting air...

The Squire rolled in the direction of the ‘leader’ next to him, slammed against his legs but couldn’t prevent a nasty cut in his upper arm from the other guy’s blade.
He turned on his knees and his blade, now free again, swooshed around and hit that man in his legs, crippling him significantly. Blood splattered in the Squire’s face.
That left him with the ‘leader’, but when he turned around, while sending his sword towards the other side again, metal met metal.
And once more both men looked at each other from under their hoods…

They got up slowly, almost simultanously, metal scraping over metal as their blades were still kissing.
Then, suddenly, once on their feet, the leader lashed out, several times. During these first blows, Depheant concentrated on his defense and let his muscles settle into the rhythm of the swordplay which looked… strangely familiar...

After several minutes of attempting to get past the Squire’s defenses, the leader seemed to lose his temper and began to batter at him as if he had expected a quick defeat instead of an equal opponent.
The swampy soil pulled on their boots, making sucking sounds at each step they made. And as the fight continued they slowly moved out of the giant puddle. The leader seemed to increase his attempts to murder the Squire by every next blow and soon Depheant discovered what fighting for your life really meant…

At some points their weapons caught each other high in the air, and for a moment the fight stopped… this was… so familiar.
Both men circled around each other, looking from under their hoods… those eyes...
A moment later they started wacking at each other again, and several times Depheant’s blade caught the leader’s. Thus far they hadn’t wounded each other yet.
The leader seemed particulary strong in the offensive part, while the Squire proved to have a high endurance, especially when considering the arrow still in his shoulder, ... his clothes slowly turning red. In the arena this would have been a fantastic duel, as a good assault between two well-matched fighters is a nice and fast display of strength, inventiveness and skill.
But this wasn’t the arena...

The leader threw several powerful strikes and thrusts as he tried to dominate his opponent and control the fight.
But Depheant guarded his head and body only too well, making it impossible for the other to wound him. Although he had no idea how much longer he would be able to continue. In a flash he noticed they had moved at least fifty paces in the direction of the treeline and for a moment he blinked.
How long was this fight going on now?

He waited and waited while fending off the incoming blows one by one, and although he saw several openings, his opponent didn’t gave him the chance to use them as he was simply too fast for that.
Magic, flashed through Depheant’s mind… but he was too exhausted and again barely had the chance to focus on that. This wasn’t an undead he was fighting, this was a trained sword fighter.
So familiar…

Time to take a risk.
As the leader stepped in for another blow, Depheant kicked in the direction of man’s knee, surprisingly enough hitting the spot. But due his speed and the force of his blow, the man fell over in his direction and both lost control over their weapon.
With the arrow still in his shoulder, the Squire found himself rolling over in the dirt with man’s bare hands around his throat, attempting to strangle him.
Luckily for Depheant, the rolling ended with him on top and the arms lending strength to the hands around his throat, lost a bit of their power.
Depheant didn’t notice yet that his and the man’s hood had fallen off as he had been looking for his dagger which he was now about to be send to the head of his opponent.

With his eyes wide open, a cry escaped the Squire's lips, finally giving way to all pain and frustrations,“AAAARRRRHHHH!!!!!”

But just before the hand escorting the dagger was about to lash out like an eagle swooping down on its prey, their eyes met.


If someone at a distance, would have observed these two fighters on the soil, it would have looked as if they just got petrified and made part of one big statue.

“D... Depheant …?”

The young man blinked,“ Za... Zachary?”


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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 11:36 am

*** Depheant Makepeace - part 5 : The Vigilo and the Canite - ***

Depheant look bewildered at the face below him, not a boy’s anymore but a man’s… and more importantly and unbelievable at the same time… alive.

Zachary Ams looked as stunned as Depheant, the ice cold look in his eyes disappearing immediately after he had recognised the man on top of him.

Depheant saw how the look of this dark haired friend who he had presumed dead, changed, he saw how hate in man’s face made way for a smile. A smile of which he had never forgotten how it looked like, slightly triumphantly with a hint of warmth and friendship.

Zachary grinned as he saw Depheant’s face and said,” I guess the surprise for you must be even bigger than it is for me.”

“What the…,” the rest of his words simply stuck in his throat. He dropped the dagger, moved from his friend’s body, and took place next to him, a look of perplexity on his face

Slowly Zachary sat up and looked at his blond friend, noticing the arrow,” Let us first take care of that, then we talk, okay?”

Depheant was simultanously shaking and nodding his head and still looked as if a ghost was talking to him.

In silence Zachary opened his backpack and took out some supplies just before he broke the body of the arrow and threw the blooded arrowhead away.
He doused the wound with a clean rag and looked at the Squire,” Now, this may hurt a little.”

Zachary placed one hand around the feathered end and placed another on Depheant’s chest. Then he pulled it out, … the logical consequence was a cry of pain elicited by the shaft drawn out of the flesh. Quickly he covered both entry and exit wound with a clean cloath soaked in some liquor.

Then he looked at Depheant a bit seriously,” We may have to cauterize this later on.”

As if he just found his tongue back, the Squire replied,” How… how did you survive?!?”

His friend chuckled softly, clearly happy with the reunion and slapped his hands together,” Magic, my little brother…” he quit laughing, looked Depheant over and softly chuckled again,”... well, maybe not little anymore.” He winked,” I told you so to have faith! You never were really good with the gods.”

Suddenly Zachary found himself in an embrace with Depheant and heard his blond friend laughing softly and crying.

“You have no idea how hard I missed you, Zach.”

Zachary chuckled soft,” Careful with that wound though…” but he kept Depheant close.

They sat there like that for many more minutes, ...then Zachary held Depheant at arm’s length,” My best friend… look at you. You have achieved your dream… a Knight.” He sounded impressed.

Depheant offered him a weak smile,” Merely a Squire, not a Knight yet. And you…”

A short silence descended upon them, only to be followed by a soft sigh escaping from Zachary’s lips, “Say it…”

Depheant took a deep breath,” Canite…”

Zachary, who continued pressing on the wounds looked in Depheant’s eyes and nodded,” As good as any, not so devoted but yes… I’m working for them,” he said carelessly.

Depheant exhaled slowly,” Tell me… everything…”

Zachary, who was looking up at the trees a moment, smiled his smile again and nodded.
“The short version. As soon as we are out of here, I’ll tell you everything.”

Depheant frowned as he wondered for a moment where they would go. Then he simply nodded.

“When you look Death in the eye, strange things can happen. Under water I discovered I had magic in me and was able to survive for a bit longer than any normal person could have. I was able to free myself and once I came up, our ship was already heading out of the fight. I had no choice but to join the pirates by saying I was one of them… the ‘new guy’. And hey! Clearly they bought it!”

Depheant grinned a bit.

“Sooo… I spend a few years among them as they weren’t that bad, I even made some friends among them and that way I survived. At some point I decided to continue my ‘career’ as a freelancer, and was hired by people of all kinds. I made name for myself in that ‘little world’ and soon was asked for more… military stuff. The fact I’m working for the Canites is actually pure coincidence. It pays well and the missions led to more potential contracts for the future. And that is how you found me here.”

Depheant shook his head a bit, a faint smile but clearly happy seeing his friend back,” And that is how Zachary Ams explains the past… seven years.”

Zachary grinned a bit,“ Eight… almost eight, my dear brother.”

“Have you never thought about returning?”

Zachary gave Depheant a serious look,” Not a day went by or I thought about you, but those pirates decided to take a trip to Cuhanna and I didn’t see a chance to return. Besides I had no idea where you were, or where to look for you. I can tell you this though… every day I prayed to Rhauth that my ship would never cross yours.”
Zachary gave Depheant a brief description of his whereabouts in the years after, and how he had seen a big part of Cuhanna.
Then he placed his hand on the Squire’s good shoulder,” I missed you, my friend.”

Depheant smiled,” And I missed you…”

“So? What’s your tale? How did you got in the clothes of a Knight?”

“Squire…” Depheant corrected him,” Just Squire…”

Zachary chuckled softly,” Whatever! Sheesss, Depheant… you are a member of the Vigilo. Have you any idea how much you are worth??”

That made Depheant blink a moment, just before he smiled,” I am kinda proud on that… about being Vigilo…”

“So? Out with it!”

Depheant sighed, gathered his memories and started to tell Zachary about the years after, all keeping it very brief.
He didn’t tell him about the corporal punishments, but he told him how his father died during the plague, and how he came to Cear after a difficult discussion with his mother about the ship and the company.
He told Zachary how he made friends and how he pretty early came into contact with the knights. He mentioned a bit about his feelings for Amelia Almaran, and then told him how he had fallen in love with the sweetest girl in the world. His friend insisted on having more details about Selchis the moment he overheard Depheant’s wedding plans.
He noticed how his friend’s eyes turned liquid when he told him about what happened with his mother, who was right now locked up in prison for giving the order to murder her son. As he was telling that his friend embraced him again.

“Life hasn’t been easy on you either it seems…”

Depheant offered Zachary a weak smile,” I am rather happy with my present life though. Selchis, the family I have found with the Argentum Vigilo, my current friends… it… adds and makes up for a lot of those things. There hasn’t been a single day that the thought of going back to that ship crossed my mind.”

Zachary looked at his friend,” You have a nice future ahead of yourself… marriage, kids, knighthood. I bet you already even have a place of your own.”

Depheant nodded and looked curiously,“ What about you, Zach?”

His dark haired friend ran his hand through his long dark hair,” Me? I dunno… I never know actually. Right now the mercenary work suits me well. I once had the luck of having a girl in my unit and even fell in love with her. But she was killed during a clash with some Kor, now several years ago.”

“You mean you have fought them too?”

Zachary nodded,” It never mattered to me, Depheant, pay was pay and I was attracted to this line of work.”

Depheant glanced in the direction of the dead Canites and noticed his friend didn’t gave them any attention. “I killed your friends…”

Zachary looked up and followed Depheant’s look,” Hm… not friends…” then he looked at his friend’s injury,” … besides, you were more important…,” he winked and slapped his friend on the good shoulder.

The Squire of the Argentum Vigilo took a deep breath, and exhaled softly while saying,” I… I have to take you into custody…”

Zachary blinked.

Depheant held up his hand,” Look, I promise you no one will harm you, and … I’m certain I can come to a sort of agreement with the Knights… or… anyone. And we can make plans perh...”

Zachary chuckled,” I believe you will, and that you are able to pull something off like that. Back on the ship you were even able to set up a reconciliation process between local rat population and the Captain’s cat!”

Depheant laughed about that joke… yet there was a certain truth in it. Back on board of the Marie Gold he had had nothing but friends, well… except for the Capt…..

Suddenly they felt the ground tremble a little, horses!

The Squire and the Canite got up quickly and turned around, but it was too late. What appeared to be a cavalry squadron galloped from between the trees towards them.

Someone shouted,“ THERE THEY ARE, CORPORAL !!”


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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 11:37 am

*** Depheant Makepeace - part 6 : String of decisions, misjudgements and fallacies - ***

Within seconds Depheant and Zachary found themselves surrounded by a small cavalry unit, six men strong. The Squire immediately recognised the riders as friendly troops, and their gear and equipment made them look like scouts of some kind.

Their tall slender horses seemed bred for speed, and their black armour with golden accents was light. Black cloaks, first fluttering in the wind, came to rest, partially draping over the backs of their horses..
Vanguards, … and the blades that were drawn looked undeniably sharp. Grim faces looked down on them.

Depheant held up his hands, making a peaceful gesture,” Greetings…” he looked around in the circle of men as if to look for an officer or spokesman.

One of the riders closed further in on them, narrowing his eyes and studying Zachary for a brief moment, before grumbling,” Its them alright!”
The Vanguard glanced at the others as he jumped from his horse,” That’s the one who killed my brother!”

Depheant winced a bit and looked at Zachary,... who tilted his head while giving a shrug, before replying...

“Everyone out here knows there is a risk...,” his friend simply said.

“Zach…” Depheant shook his head and stepped forward,” Apologies sir,... my name is Depheant Ma…”

But before he could continue, he was interrupted by the soldier who was pointing at Zachary,“ Finally I have you...,” the soldier said, already moving into Zachary’s direction a long dagger drawn.

Depheant, still unarmed stepped between his friend and the incoming Vanguard, his hands reaching for the man’s hands.
“This man is under my jurisdiction, I’m with the Vigilo!”

The man, who also appeared to be the Corporal, raised a brow as if he didn’t believe Depheant.

And frankly, there was reason to doubt the muddy person in front of him… since Depheant’s cloak was somewhere behind them on the soil, unrecognizable due even more mud and dirt...

“My men saw you talking with him, you are probably a Canite too, imposter!” the man said while giving Depheant a push, but the Squire resisted, … which resulted in another push. Then the scout noticed his hands were grabbed by Depheant as the Squire tripped over a small root. At first it looked like he would manage to balance, but then Depheant fell backwards.

Depheant fell on his bum with the scout on top of him. He blushed a bit,” Apo… eh…” he started, but he noticed how the scout’s eyes widened, surprise in them, and saw how man’s lips parted before producing a gurgling sound. A second later the man collapsed to the side and the Squire noticed a sharp metal object sticking out of his back,... the point of the dagger...
It all had happened in less than five seconds.

For a second everything turned silent, then, as if they realised what actually had happened...

“Did… did he just killed him!?” one of the Vanguards said, disbelief in his voice.

Zachary had already ducked to grab his blade.

“To arms! Traitors!” another Vanguard yelled,” he raised his blade.

“NO!” Depheant recovered quickly and jumped up, his hand reaching for his friend’s arm,” Don’t!”

The short hesitation of the rest of the Vanguard, who perhaps tried to figure out what just happened or what had to be done , offered Depheant a moment to make a choice.

He whistled low, spreading a mysterious sounding melody, and in front of all the Vanguards the Vigilo and the Canite disappeared.

“What the ...!! They are getting away!!” one shouted.

This time the rest of the Vanguards responded, and one of them started to yell orders,” Guard the area. Jarret, get the others. Nelson, catch that traitor’s bloody horse,” the man was pointing at Depheant’s white stallion.

While the two scouts spurred away, Depheant was pulling on his friend’s arm, whispering,” This won’t last long, come.” Slowly they started to move in the direction of the forest, unseen and unnoticed by the remaining Vanguard. On his way Depheant picked up his blade and Vigilo cloak from the ground.
When they reached the green cover, Depheant motioned his friend to stop. “I have to get back, Zachary, you just wait here.”

He felt how Zachary’s hand searched for him,” No, are you crazy man? Did you see their faces? They’ll kill you on the spot, and then what…”

“But that man, I k…”

“Forget about him, I’m not letting you go back.”

Using low sounds Zachary motioned them further in the forest as he saw one of the Vanguards coming in their direction, the man’s eyes roaming the tree line and with his weapon ready searching for them.


About ten minutes later they were surrounded by a cover of green. The outskirt of the forest was surrounded by shrubs and many different plants and greenery. As they walked further into the forest the smell of composting leaves and other earthly things reached their nose. The trees moved in the wind and a few unseen animals scooted off between the rustling leaves..

Gasping for air, Depheant stopped a moment at an open spot on a small hill and looked around. In one direction trees as far as the eye can see, rolling hills a bit further in another direction and mountain peaks behind them.
He pricked up his ears and the sound of a stream was perceptible. No pursuers however.
The pain caused by his shoulder wound was stabbing, and he could feel the blood there pulsating through his veins, and finding a slow escape through the wound openings.


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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 11:38 am

*** Depheant Makepeace - part 7 : Real friendship is always a good omen - ***

“I… I need to rest a moment… but it will lift our cover…”

“I’ll stand guard,” a soft voice left from him sounded.

Depheant sank on the soil between a few rocks, out of sight for any scouting eyes, and a moment later, just as he expected, the magical layer that had been ‘covering’ them disappeared.

He looked at his friend, kneeling not far from him, whose eyes roamed the perimeter.
It was still hard to believe. Zachary… the one who had presumed lost, was back in his life. But under what circumstances.
Depheant studied his friend a moment longer. Zachary had become a reasonable tall man and his shoulders were rather broad. He was dressed in some black cloth that left his arms free. Black leather bracers covered his wrists and besides the longsword in his hand, Zachary also carried a huge falchion on his back, just like himself. The wide pants he was wearing was designed to move fast and flexible and the black boots almost didn’t make any sound as he walked.
Right now the side of Zach’s face was hidden from view to him by dark strands of hair.

As if he sensed his friend was looking at him, Zachary turned his head.

A somewhat pale but rather beautiful and heart shaped face offered Depheant a serious look, with an almost slightly scowling expression, but a second later that expression made way for something else. Zachary produced a smile that reached his blue eyes when he saw how his friend was looking at him.

“You okay there, little bro? I know how it feels.”

Depheant blinked a moment, but quickly recovered, assessing the situation,” We have to make it back to Lendose, Zachary, explain everything to the Knights. That man…”

Zachary shrugged,”... had it coming. Listen, Depheant, these things just happen. But sure, I’ll try to get you back.”

“Any idea where w… wait! Wh.. what about you?”

“Depheant, I’m a Canite. What do you think will happen to me when I appear before your Knights?”


“Exactly my point. Now, I just need to figure a way how to pass the blame on me.”


“Yea… hey man, you’re about to become a knight, so I’ll take the responsibility of the death of that man on me...,” he shrugged before continuing,” … one more or less…”

Depheant forcefully shook his head,” No, Zachary, that is NOT what being a Knight is about. We are responsible for our actions and have to face the consequences, whatever they are, and live with them.”

Zachary moved over and smiled,” Spoken like a true Knight.” He rubbed Depheant’s hair, messing it all up...

Depheant smiled a bit as he recalled in the days back on the ship Zachary doing this to him until it had become a habbit, mostly when he wanted to reassure him over something, or to comfort him.

“Now, I propose a small detour, there is a passage close near those mountains. From there we go in a circle and cross the river swimming. We sneak past the marches and before you know it you’re back with your friends in Fort Cratos.”

Depheant nodded,” Alright then, and from there I can take things up with the Vanguard.”

Zachary shook his head,” Just don’t be silly man, don’t ruin your future over some stupid accident.”

“My hands were around his, Zachary.”

“Alright my noble friend, let us just get moving, we’ll see later on about it.”

Both men got up and started to make their way over the hills in the direction of the mountains, with each step taken increasing the distance between them and the earlier scene with the Vanguard.

Hours later, and almost completely exhausted by the loss of blood, Depheant sank down on the soil not far from the first mountain ridge. The sun was shining for a moment and it’s warmth was welcoming after the rain as their clothes started to dry up.

“Good, we are far enough, we’ll take a rest here while I look at that wound again.”

Depheant just sat there, allowing his friend to remove the bandages.

“Right, we’re cauterizing this before you bleed to death.”

Depheant drank a bit while his friend started a small fire, avoiding too much smoke by using strange materials. He raised a brow but was too tired to ask.

Zachary took one of his daggers and held the tip above the flames until the metal was glowing orange.

“This will do…” he turned to Depheant,” You may wanna hold this between your teeth, buddy.”

Depheant was offered a thin branch and frowned.

Zachary grinned,” So that you don’t make too much noise. These hills tend to reproduce every scream.”

Depheant nodded in understanding and as soon as the branch was within place, he felt an unbearable heat on his shoulder, the pain almost causing him to pass out. It was certain the branch would come out with bite marks on them.
But Zachary kept him steady and while he bit on his own lip he repeated the procedure on the other side. A stench of burned human flesh spread over the place.

Somehow Depheant managed not to scream, but the pain after was still unbearable and he was glad Zachary used a bit of water and calming bandages on the wounds. It still hurt, but everything was better than blood constantly guttering out of his body.

“You okay now, little bro? Here, drink and eat a bit,” Zachary said as he opened his backpack and offered him some bread and dried meat.

They took about an hour rest, talking about their past, bringing some stories up that reminded both men how well connected they always have been.

Zachary felt like brother in blood, and even though he wasn’t, Depheant looked at him like that.
And the feeling was mutual. Despite everything that has happened, Depheant felt a moment of happiness…

The promised passage was there and between the cover of smaller ridges and a few occasional trees, the Vigilo and the Canite found their way up, at some point a bit craggy but soon the path was grading again.
Meanwhile above their heads the sky started to darken a bit by what looked like one big black cloud, unmistakably a harbinger of bad weather, again.
Soon the light of the sun was blocked and a chilling wind arose due the sudden difference in temperature.

Depheant looked up, that cloud sure looked deep and solid, an indication the rain that was about to fall would last for a long while. He sighed.
And indeed, the moment they reached an open tableland Depheant could feel the first drops hitting his face.

Suddenly multiple silhouettes rose up from behind the rocks, and as both men looked around they noticed they were surrounded.

A tall sturdy looking figure approached them,” Welcome back, Captain Ams...,” he glanced at Depheant and grinned,”... and congratulations with the catch.”



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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 11:39 am

*** Depheant Makepeace - part 8 : Finem Ludum - ***

“Hmm..., thanks, Nerdor… good to be ‘home’.” Zachary looked around at the men surrounding them, before glancing at a slightly surprised Depheant,” Proceed with your patrolling, there might be a few Vanguards tailing us. Make sure they are… disposed, though they probably won’t give you a hard time as they really mean nothing.”

“Understood Captain, but heumm, where are the rest of your men? And why isn’t your prisoner unarmed and chained?”

Nerdor couldn’t see the longsword under Depheant’s cloak, but he did had a clear view on the hilt of the falchion sticking out above the brown Vigilo cloak.

“Well… I eh…” Zachary looked from Nerdor to Depheant, and gave his friend an odd look while saying,” I got only one answer to that : … Two blades…”

Depheant blinked but didn’t hesitate a second, and as both men simultanously reached for the hilts of their falchions, the Squire replied,” … ONE WEAPON!!”

This time they didn’t bother bringing their blades in front of their noses to kiss the cold metal, ‘blessing’ it. No, not since a second later Nerdor found his head with a nauseating crack landing on the rocky ground, just before the beheaded body dropped on its knees and fell over, a fountain of blood spraying across the area.

Just like earlier with the Vanguard, the Canites were too surprised and perhaps shocked something like this would happen… one of their own…

Lightning struck from an ominous sky and dark grey, leaden clouds started racing across the heavens. Undoubtedly threatening, they proved a premonition of the furious storm that was about to be unleashed to the surface below.
Flickering blades were lifted and slaughtering began, even before the distant sound of thundering echoes came in howling like a pack of hounds.

Depheant and Zachary were at a too short distance for the Canites to grab their bows in time. Their swords and small shields forming their only protection, looked rather poor against the long falchions of the duo they were facing.

As if it hadn’t been eight years, the two jumped forward and fought like a unit. Without metal even had kissed metal, they quickly dispatched the nearest of black clad scouts before finding themselves assaulted from all sides.
But the Canites stood no chance as they faced a magical duo, the Squire whistling a soft melody that seemed to support their strikes while Zachary’s blade started to glow in the darkness of the storm.

Dying in a sword fight is always a bloody and messy thing, and this wasn’t an exception to that since the Canites were rather devouted in attemping to kill these two. It took multiple cuts and wounds before they finally stayed down on the ground. Together Zachary and Depheant seemed rather invincible, parrying or dancing away from each incoming attack and leaping forward when their blades once more needed to sprinkle the ground with blood.

Just like in the days when they fought pirates, side by side….
Depheant noticed he almost smiled to that very thought, but the pain in his wound made him quickly think otherwise. His energy and therefore endurance was waning, the earlier loss of blood making him weaker by the minute.

Using a two-handed weapon obviously permits and encourages more powerful blows, with a big chance being lethal on the first hit. Though it required the whole body and both full arms become involved to wield the weapon with proper strength. He felt the grip of one of his hands weakening, but he gritted his teeth and kept chopping at their assailants.

His friend next to him was fast and powerful. Zachary had always been the offensive one while he was rather defensive… but again, also here it all worked perfectly out.
The fight ended with a few more Canites falling before their blades, while the remaining two ran off.

“Dammit!” Zachary ran to one of the bodies, grabbed a shortbow and tried to shoot them down. He missed though and looked at his friend who sank down on the ground, totally exhausted.

“Little bro, now is not the time to rest! If those two reach reinforcements, we might as hell better start searching for wings to fly us of this damn mountain.” He quickly moved back to Deph and immediately saw that the situation was serious. “Hey man…?”

Depheant’s face was pale and it was clear he needed at least a break.

Zachary looked up and around. Then he motioned Depheant to get up, helping him by putting his arm around his neck. “Okay… let me take care of you first…”

They took the path back downwards, though not far. Behind a few rocks Zachary lowered themselves on the ground, making sure Depheant was resting with his back against the stone. He patted his cheek and smiled warmly,“ You did great, little bro. Now, you just wait here. I’m going to catch those two before they send a whole bloody army after us.”

“Zach…. no…,” Depheant lifted his arm, reaching for his friend.

“Heh, don worry now little knight, I’ll be back soon,” Zachary said rubbing Deph’s hair just before he rose up and winked,” Have faith…”

Depheant witnessed how his friend turned his back on him and dashed, just before his sight became blurry… and he passed out…

Zachary ran like he had never ran before, on the way he called strange arcane words to his mind speeding him up even further. Faster and faster, the path blurring below him... and as he felt a surge of adrenaline he reached for his blade knowing he would have to use it soon.
He was like the wind, he became the wind as he pictured a few more arcane words, while his body ignited in a soft glow. Almost all his magical defences were up, just before he leaped over the next obstacle.
Air was rushing in and out his lungs in a mild burn and he could feel warmth seeping into his muscles. At some point the run felt like becoming automatic as he jumped over more rocks that came on his path, his feet barely kissing the stone when jumping over them.

And suddenly his run ended on an open spot, not that far from where he left Depheant.

A familiar voice sounded,“ Captain Zachary Ams! You are arrested and are urged to come with us, preferably without resisting!”

With his falchion resting over his shoulder, Zachary looked around with a calm expression on his face.
Silent acquiescence?

He had just run into the hands of at least forty, maybe fifty men. Black clad archers on the left, and a unit of scouts and swordfighters not far in front of him.

A soft sigh escaped his lips,“ Narim, is that you?”

A dark man stepped forward,“ Aye, Zachary, and you messed up big time.”

Zachary turned towards the man standing in front of his black clad troopers, their blades ready,” Noo… -you- messed up!”

The tall man tilted his head and scratched his long black beard,” How so?”

Zachary produced his typical triumphant smile,” You disappoint and insult me, Narim...” the young dark haired man spread his arms as if to address all the men waiting for him,” I mean…come on, man! Is -this- the best you can do!?”

The warrior Narim glanced from his left to his right before locking his dark eyes on his former Captain,” Lightning must have struck your brains, Zachary. Men! Take this man!”

Zachary’s smile widened,” That’s more like it! Now, prepare to defend yourself,” he said as he brought the glowing steel of his falchion before his nose, … now holding the blade with his two hands.

Arrows were released, only to hit the very rock on which Zachary stood an eyeblink earlier.
Right above the scene all hell broke lose, lighting struck the sky and lit up cold metal, red splattered faces and chopped off limbs below. And even at a great distance the sounds of an epic fight were to be heard.

A few minutes after passing out, Depheant woke up again… his heart bouncing heavily after the few faces he had seen in his mind, and for a minute he thought he would never see them again.
Selchis… Emma… Amy… Phelan… Sonja… Celestia… Erica... Ardaion… Reina...

He managed to push himself up, using the rock behind him, only to notice his knees felt weak.
One more face came up… Zachary…

He stumbled over the path, using the rock wall for support and slowly moved into the direction in which Zachary had departed.

Not more than ten minutes later he reached the open spot… and what he witnessed, took away his breath. It looked like a small battlefield under the now rayless sky.
The effluvium of death would soon be around as the battlefield had been baptised in blood with bodies stripped from their souls all over the place… pure… butchery...

A cold nordic wind keened and mewled through both the small valley and Deph’s own soul.
Zach, where was he?

Still staggering the Squire moved on, dropping on his knees when his legs were no longer able to hold him,... just to crawl further… until… he saw him, lying on his back.

“Zach… Zach…?!”

Depheant noticed the slight turning of his friend’s head.

“Vigilo… come here…”

Hearing the dry voice, Depheant crawled closer until he was leaning over his friend’s battered body and looking down at his face.

“Zach… let me h…”

Zachary lifted his arm and brought his hand on Depheant’s head… rubbing his hair slowly and messing it up a bit.
Then his hand moved down towards Depheant’s cheek, which he gently patted, leaving a few blooded handprints on the Squire’s tanned skin.

“I’m… so proud of you… make your dreams... come true,... little bro… you… have the heart for it…”

“Zach, … please…” he took Zachary’s hand between his own.

Zachary smiled faintly, a light shake of his head,” Have faith… just…”

Tears pooled up in Depheant’s eyes as it dawned on him that he was witnessing his friend’s last words.

“Pl.. please…… tell me….. that… this….. is not.. the end.. of our.. friendship…….”

“No, of course not…!” tears dropped on Deph’s cheeks.

Zach coughed, and Depheant could see his friend needed to gather all the energy that was left in his body in order to continue.

“You.. you have.. nothing.. but.. friends, … my best friend….. Cause you…”

He lifted his head a little towards the Squire,” … ARE… Depheant… Make..peace……….” the final word escaped from his lips like a long soft sigh as Zachary laid his head down.

Depheant had to watch helplessly how the light faded out of his friend’s eyes, the hand growing cold and stone like in his grasp. Every moment he shared with Zachary passed across his mind and tears along with raindrops fell unstoppably on his friend’s body. He couldn’t comprehend he was gone now, once again, and this time… permanently.

Deph burried his face in his friend’s chest, his own body shaking as he cried, his words muffled sounding,” Noooo… Zach… nooooo….”
Never again would Zachary rub his hair, never again would he see that smile filled with brotherly love, never again would they fight side by side.

With nothing but the wind whispering over the scene, lifeless Canite bodies and a Squire as his only witnesses, Zachary died a heroic death... with that slightly triumphant smile on his face… like he wanted to say : “I took them all…” and that hint of brotherly love,” … for you…”


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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 11:40 am

*** Arrested ***

"There he is, sir!!"

Depheant opened his eyes and looked up from his friend's body. Had... he fallen asleep?

Vanguard, and they had arrived in less than an hour after Zachary died. Sitting on his knees, the Squire looked at the approaching soldiers who were looking around at the battlefield, rather with big eyes.

Two soldiers approached him, one clearly some officer.

"Ple... please, help h...." but before he could finish his sentence he got smacked on the back of his head by another soldier and passed out right away.

Depheant woke up in a small dark room... which seemed to be rocking. No, this wasn't a room... it was moving. The sound of a snorting horse and a whiplash... he was locked up in a wagon. He rubbed the back of his head and didn't even wonder where they were taking him as that was clear enough.

Zachary... did they burry him? Would he ever see his friend's resting place? Or would he be executed on the spot...


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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 9:08 pm

*** Under arrest ***

In the twilight of a single candle the Squire found himself with his back against wall in the corner of the room, his knees pulled up and his arms crossed leaning on the kneecaps. All pride he ever had, had vanished like snow before the sun.
Deph opened his liquid eyes, now large and deep like pools of water.

Water, a puddle… a memory flashed through his mind, and a tear found its escape. So many broken dreams he had caused now…

The room in which he was locked up was rather clean and comfortable, and they had treated him with respect here. It could have been worse.
Depheant shook his head looked around, no… it wasn’t worse enough. A dark cell, somewhere deep underground would have been more appropriate. He felt so…. dirty.

His eye caught a measly pile of clothes on the other side of the room, and on top of it... his Vigilo cloak, now more than ever brown and covered under mud and dirt. It was merely a symbol for how he felt.

Firin had come to see him, but they didn’t talk much as he simply couldn’t find the words to explain to himself how he felt, let alone to tell the Vanguard Captain what had happened out there.
His heart felt like it was sagging down into an empty pit of darkness and slowly that darkness was creeping in on him… perhaps like it was with... dying, but still able to feel.

Death, it was something that couldn’t be reversed once it was permanent… or meant to be. Was this his path… all these people he had met on it… and the death of some of the last ones on it? Was this all meant to be?
He shook his head. If the gods really had had any interest for him, now and in the past, … this would have almost looked like a ‘funny’ way to discover they did.

As feelings of guilt once more started to erupt from within his chest, his heart started to beat a little faster,... as there was fear too.
Fear to look the ones he loved so much in the eyes, not fear for how they would see him… but the fear he would lose them, and the fear they would be forced to move on without him.

And again he felt guilty as he felt responsible for them, also because there had been a future with some of them…
Selchis… Emma… Amy… the knights, and all his friends…
He shook his head… there wouldn’t be any more dinners, let alone a wedding, kids, an adoption or even a promotion to Knight-Companion.

Not everything of what happened had been his choice… still… guilt, fear, failing… and these feelings formed merely the surface as below it, there was also loss...

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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 9:09 pm

*** Investigation ***

(by Triangles, Jae and Admin)

Amelia Almeran cracked her knuckles and opened the door. Anne Annethema and the Knight entered the room at the secret Vanguard location in Ravenswatch. Anne’s expression was neutral, while Amy frowned as she saw the figure in the corner of the room.

In the current twilight it was hard to determine whether he was asleep or just sitting there, broken, facing the wall and not looking up as the door closes again.

Amy cleared her throat and started,” First I'm going to assume that you've allowed this... house arrest?” her voice is a little harsh in the first words, but gentler towards the end.

Both women could hear a sigh escaping from man’s lips before the saw how he turned around and slowly pushed himself from the floor.

“Yes... milady,” his voice is barely audible.

Amy tilted her head,” Speak up. And tell us exactly what happened…”

Then, as if it just dawned on him there was another person, Depheant looked at Anne. “Milady… “ His face became a bit pale.

“I doubt from your expression you simply beat up Sam Card... which was my original thought,” Amy said.

“Squire…” Anne said evenly before glancing at Amy, deferring her.

Depheant looks back at Amy whom’s temperment looked fairly calm. He swallowed and started,” It’s like they said, I have... blood... on my hands.” The Squire turned his hands and glanced at the palms.

Amy frowned,” Deph... they didn't tell us anything.”


“They said ‘untoward action towards a Vanguard’, “ she glanced from Anne to him. “They told us nothing.”

“But I ki….”

“Firin wrote a letter…” Amy frowned,” You killed who?”

Depheant blinked,” A man…”

“Continue,” Amy said.

“A…” the Squire looked at Anne,” ... Vanguard.”

Anne’s expression still seemed neutral,” … I see …”

Amy tilted her head,”... alright, circumstances… what were they?”

“I was, I mean…” then Depheant takes a deep breath and starts to talk.

He explains to them he was on his way to Dasar to find one of the Vanguard captains in order to assist the Vanguard once more and getting experience on the field. He glanced at Anne and adds he was looking for her as his second objective. Amy may guess that had something to do with his trials.

Then he told them how he was attacked, just over the bridge and killed three of the four Canites… only to discover the survivor was someone he knew. He told them about his friend, a brief description how he knew him from the past.

Meanwhile both women listened with a neutral expression.

“He was there... alive... I couldn't believe it, my best friend... “ tears appear in the Squire’s eyes.

“And working for the Enemy…” Anne stated.

Keeping his tears within his eyes, Depheant nodded.

“A mercenary... ,” Amy considered.

“A Canite, hired though,” Depheant nodded again.


“He helped me with my wound and as we were talking... a scout unit arrived, light cavalry, six men strong, their blades were drawn. I think they were part of a hunting group, looking for Zachary's unit. One of them, the corporal, immediately recognized Zachary and jumped from his horse. He said... that Zach had killed his brother, not so long ago.”

Amy frowned.

“And he came with his weapon towards Zach... who was unarmed, just like me. I thought he... he.... I stepped in between... And I finally got the chance to say who I was.” Depheant shook his head,” My cloak was somewhere in the dirt out there, the man didn't believe me. I said I was taking Zach into custody… But he... I…”

The Squire closed his eyes as if trying to play the scene in front of his mind's eye again.

“You self-defensed him to death?” Amy asked.

Depheant shook his head slowly,” I…”

Anne offered an odd side-long glance at Amy who frowned.

“He... my hands, I thought he... he pushed me aside, but I resisted. Then ... he pushed again and i... my hands and ... I ... tripped and... I fell. Next thing I recall, my hands... the blade... on the ground. He was dead, ... I think.” Depheant sank to the floor again, his hands in his hair.

Anne asked,” I do not follow, you tripped and this man died?”

Amy pinched the bridge of her nose,” From my understanding of the law, if indeed you did killed this man, there is a good case for self-defense. As he did attack you.”

“I... my hands... I thought he wanted to kill Zach... and…” Depheant murmured before looking up at them.

The Knight frowned a bit,” From what it looks like, you don't really know what happened to this Vanguard.”

“I reached for his hands, and when I fell... the dagger…,” then he shook his head.

“Use your words,” Anne said.

Amy nodded,” Whether you killed him, Zach killed him, or he fell on his blade…”

“I fell, and the man fell too, because I grabbed for his hands I think. Then ... the others... They... Zach reached for his blade as one of the others said they were under attack... or something. I thought…” he looks at both of them,”... they wanted to kill us both.”

Amy glanced,” So Zach is now dead. Or?”

Depheant took a deep breath and continued,” I stopped Zach from attacking them, and made us invisible. We escaped, but the Vanguards were hunting us.” Depheant looked at Amelia,” Amy... I wanted to come home... I swear…”

“Guilt. You are wracked by guilt.”

“Mm…,” Anne nodded as if to confirm Amy’s statement.

“I was hunted. I followed Zachary in the end, towards the mountains. I asked him to come with me, show me away out, he ... he said we were taking a detour to avoid the Vanguards. Then we ... bumped into a unit of his… Canites... and they wanted me... and and…” tears started to pool in his eyes.

“Ok?” Amy asked.

“Zach, he... I was wounded, we fought and…”

“So he turned on you?”

“... I passed out and… turned on me? No!!”

“No?” Amy wondered.

“Zach and me fought them. He defended me and… he brought me to a safer place and faced them... alone.”

“And fell?” Amy wondered again.

The Squire’s face turned a bit pale,“ When I regained conscious…” tears started to fall as he looked for his voice again,”... I found Zach dying on the cliff. He... had killed them all.”

Amy looked the Depheant,” So your friend turned on his former employers and died saving you.” Then she turned to Anne,” What are your thoughts?”

No more words came from the Squire and its obvious he got caught by the Vanguard afterwards.

Anne glanced at Amy, and then back to Depheant,” This is a case of gross point stupidity, not malice. A Vanguard is dead. Some form of justice must be exacted.”

“True,” Amy said.

“The dead Vanguard is guilty of practicing this foolishness. So is Zachary. Both are dead.”

“Although Depheant should have been recognized for who he is without the cloak... and his word that he was taking the Canite mercenary in should've been taken…”

“Clearly,” Anne nodded in agreement,” They have paid.... perhaps over-paid, even.”

“Do the Vanguards working with that man still live? If so we perhaps could question them. Though I'm not entirely certain if an exact truth can be procured.”

“Aye, they do… and this whole story… something doesn’t fit. That... hm. Would explain an unusual report I read. Knight,” Anne glanced to Amy,” A word in private?”

“With me? Or Deph?”

“With you.” Anne said

Depheant didn’t even seem to notice both women leaving the room.


“I am mistaken. I did not realize this to be the same scout group…” Anne started.

Amelia tilted her head curiously.

“The aggrieved party lives. Your squire over-estimates his transgression.”

“Hm. Interesting.”

“It does not clear him, of course. But it lessens the charges. It also implicates the scout. He will face charges as well.”

“Yes,” Amy nodded.

“I would offer that as soldiers, we have the authority to try and punish each within their own regiment. To do so through public courts would be... distracting,” Anne continued.

“Agreed,” Amy said while looking back to the room with a frown,” This may put off his trials to move forward for a time... which is a pity…”

Anne nodded slowly,” Unfortunate.... but I suspect necessary,” she glanced over her shoulder to the room as well,” It is quite the burden of guilt he shoulders. Punishment will alleviate that.”

“Thoughts? Or shall we deliver the bad news? I admit, my own experience with justice and punishment is mostly me slaughtering the bad guys… So if you have suggestions on how to go forward with those things, I will listen and consider.”

“Hm. On a general basis.... If it is too lenient, he will never overcome the shame. If it is too heavy, it will cripple him. Of a more specific punishment I cannot offer. The knights know their own best and I would say there is no rush in coming up with something.”

Amy nodded,” I will consider this and put it forward with Phelan and the others. But more than delaying his ascension in rank may be required.”

Anne nodded,” As you deem it necessary. I will see that the wounded Vanguard receives similar treatment”

The Knight and the Vanguard stepped in the room again…

“Deph, come out from your corner,” Amy’s voice was soft,” We have further news.” And then she nodded to Anne.

With his shoulders hanging a bit, the Squire rose up to face the verdict, or whatever…

“There is good news and bad news,” Anne started,” there is no dead Vanguard scout…”

Depheant blinked, and frowned,” He…”

“He lives… and will be punished. As will you.”

Depheant looked between them,” He lives...? He li...”

“Aye. I will be questioning him about the foolishness that you have inflicted on one another.”

The Squire e straightens himself, and looked from Anne to Amy,” And I will not be executed?” he sounded serious.

Amy shook her head,” No. As you did not kill a man.”

Depheant asked,” Permission to speak freely.”

“Granted on my part,” Amy said, glancing at Anne.

“As you wish,” the Vanguard simply said.

“Whether I am locked away or not…” he took another breath,” I am not worthy of becoming a Knight, I do not wish to taint the good name of the Argentum Vigilo... and therefore…”

“Shut!” Amy said,” Your attempt to resign is denied!”

“I … You must understand... “ the Squire silenced.

“The Argentum Vigilo have invested in you, Depheant. You will not get away that easily.”

The way he looked it may be clear though Depheant didn’t want to affect the good name of the AV Knights.

Amy sighed,” Then nevermind. If you wish to leave the Vigilo. Then fine. But you have not tainted the good name.”

Anne frowned slightly but didn’t contradict her.

“All these things you think you're doing. You're not doing. I would not have invested all I have to try to make you a Knight Companion, if I didn't believe you were worthy. And I have not changed my opinion. But I cannot tell you to not leave… As much as I want to.”

Depheant said softly,” Not even after this?”

“After a moment of humanity? We are all weak. We all make mistakes. It's what we do afterwards that makes us who we are.”

Depheant became silent a moment and had been clearly listening to Amy. “Then... how will I ever be able to repay... my punishment…”

“Your punishment will be dealt with privately. This is not a public matter. And it is never going to become public. We will postpone the other two Trials for a time. Further punishment needs to be deliberated.”

“I... understand... I didn't even expected to... be allowed to ...continue that path…”

“It is available still. If it is what you want. If it is not. Then I cannot stop you.”

But it was clear in Amy’s eyes and voices what she silently wished for.

Depheant glanced at his dirty cloak in the corner of the room.

Anne said,” Walking away would be easy.”

Amy nodded to that.

Anne continued,” I wrote Phelan a very positive letter after your mission with the platoon.”

Depheant looked back at Anne now.

“Do not dare prove me wrong.”

As if these words formed a possible punishment, both ladies could practically see the Squire was considering their words.

“I'm half tempted to ask Depheant to work with Ariadne and Calken... and tell both of them to not pull any punches... but I'm not sure if that's punishment or it would be too cruel,” Amy said.

Depheant took a deep breath, looking at Anne before saying,” I like to ... serve under the Vanguard... once more.”

“We will see what the Argentum Vigilo decide,” the Vanguard replied.

Amy looked from Anne to Deph,“ I will discuss with Phelan.”

“Is there... an option to see that man?” Deph asked Anne.

“No. I suggest you not worry about his fate.”

“Just... can you let him know I... I hold nothing against him and did not wish to harm him.”

Anne nodded,” I will relay that.”

He nodded and glanced at the dirty cloak again.

Amy looked at Anne,” I do not feel his... being held here is necessary any longer? I trust he will meet with his punishment and be able to be found when needed.”


Depheant said soft,” I will not run… I will even stay here if I must.”

Amy turned to the Squire,” Have you determined whether you will continue among us or depart us?”

He glanced at his cloak again, silently.

“I was suggesting you go home. Get a long bath. See Selchis if at all possible. And we will summon you when we have finished deliberating.”

“... Selchis…” he murmured,” I haven't seen her in weeks…” but then he walked towards his cloak.

“The comfort of one you love could work…” Amy said watching him with slight blush that quickly disappeared again.

Depheant kneeled near the cloak, reached for it and held it up. After a brief moment he rose and slammed the cloak once in the air as if to get the grass and the dirt off.

Then he turned around and swirled the very dirty Vigilo cloak over his shoulders.

Amelia nodded in approval, but then said,” And get that cleaned perhaps.”

Anne nodded in agreement.

Depheant turned fully to them, and just nodded to them before stepping in his boots and picking up his armour… which looked very battered. They may assume he fought heavily.

Amy said,” Definitely a full bath for both person and clothing.”

“Mi… lady..” Depheant nodded, taking the armour under his arm and reaching for the giant blade standing against the wall which he sheathed over his shoulders with click.

Amy rumbled in her backpack and handed over some vials,” Soap and bathing oils…”

Depheant frowned but then accepted them and tucked them safely away.

Then Amy hugged him and said,” You will always be brother, Deph... no matter what.”

That made him teary and his free hand reached for Amy’s back,” I'm so sorry…”

“Shh... “ Amy petted his hair like a mother would,” We all must have trials. We all must sometimes fight our way through dark paths.”

Anne glanced a bit to the side as if this somehow offered them privacy.

“Just never let the darkness over take you,” she said while letting him go.

Depheant looked up at her, and with a heart clearly pure and free from any darkness he replied,” Never…”

“Good,” she wrinkled her nose,” You really should bath... “

The Squire blushed...


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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 9:16 pm

*** As a mark of honor… ***

The carrack’s six sails caught the changing wind now coming from the front, and slowly its speed decreased. Standing on the aftercastle of the high rounded stern, the captain nodded to the young man.

Initially, when this young man came aboard, the captain had shaken his head to himself while hearing the Squire’s request.
But right now he had to admit he was admiring that same young blond lad who was currently quickly climbing the rigging towards main mast of his ship the Dolphin.
“A fellow sailor...,” he mumbled to himself,”... becoming a Knight, and having such a high and keen sense of honor…”

Depheant Makepeace - Tales of a young man - Page 2 X_5b91c760

With his Vigilo cloak fluttering and dancing like a flag in the wind, Depheant went higher and higher. His destination? The crow’s nest at the topmast.
As if it hadn’t been more than a year, the young man reached the lookout point easily, his hand grasping the edge of the open basket, just before climbing over it.

According to a popular legend, the term ‘crow’s nest’ derives from the practice of pirates in the past, who carried crows in a cage secured to the top of the mast. In cases of poor visibility, like for example during a landing in the fog, a crow was released and the steersman plotted a course in the direction in which the bird had taken off… knowing the animal invariably would be heading towards the nearest land.

He smirked a bit, it was also the place where even accustomed sailors became seasick. Therefore, working at the topmasts or being redirected to the crow’s nest was considered to be a punishment. For him, it was also the place with a deeper meaning than that...

Depheant reached for a little bag safely tucked away under his clothes. Holding it in the palm of his hand and looking at it, the Squire whispered,” So Zach, here we are again… together.”

A moment of silence. “Do you... remember how this place was actually my haven, and how you each time looked me up when things got rough with dad?”

He smiled out at the sea, his eyes turning liquid,” I remember how you became my big brother up here, how you comforted me and how you eversince looked after me. I remember how you challenged me every time you had the chance, and now I realize you tried to lead my thoughts away during the difficult periods, cheering me up, showing me the fun of a life on board of that ship. I’m so sorry that I back in the days when I thought you had drown, couldn’t find words for you, but now… I do. ”

“Gods…. I miss you, Zach, I…” his voice faltered with emotion and suddenly he had to laugh while tears pooled up in his eyes,”... just listen to me now. Soon you will start to think I take the gods more seriously after all…”
Depheant couldn’t stop the tears now,”... unfortunately it is time now… time to say goodbye from each other. It’s so damn hard…. just after I finally had you, my dearest friend, back in my life… you had to go again. It's just so unfair.”

He opened the little bag carefully, his eyes a moment on the content, just before he raised his hand and letting the wind taking away the ashes. “Then go, my friend, … just like the crows did, go find your destination, go find your way home, but also know you always will have one in my heart. And I promise you I will have faith. Farewell, Zachary Ams… my brother...”

As the young man stood there on the wooden platform high above the water, witnessing how his friend’s remains got scattered by the wind, he touched Zach’s amulet around his neck and tried not to think in what condition he had found his friend back during the repatriation mission.
A quest he had undertaken with Amy, Caric and Calken. Maybe a story for later… maybe, but not now.

While descending the mast, he found his mind lingered at this last name. Who was this man? And what was his relation to Amy? It almost looked like she… liked him? Deph frowned a bit before nodding to the wizard and telling he was ready to depart.

Back to the Knightshome…


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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 9:19 pm

*** Back ***

Sitting on his bed with his back against the backrest Deph sighed when he glanced at his bag near the wall, his two blades and shield next to it, ready to take.

Tempting yes, but no thank you.

His eyes roamed the walls of his place at Knightshome. Knightshome… home of the Knights, home of the people in the service of the Princeps, a home for those part of the circle of individuals sworn to a righteous cause for the welfare of the region.
And he was here, admidst of all that because he had been found worthy at some point in the past.

Well, it seemed he would have to carve out his path right here. The squire shook his head, not out there on the field, not out there West of Dasar, not among the “Black-cloaks” like his intention was… at least not now.

He had chosen to remain at the disposal of the Argentum Vigilo, and he would face the consequences for whatever has happened. Right now, there wasn’t much he could do. For a moment he listened to the sounds of Knightshome.

Nothing… everything quiet, not much to do indeed.

His eyes shifted to his desk.


Deph moved off his bed and walked over to the chair. A moment later the quill pen was to be found in his hand and he started to write. And as he did a weak smile appeared on his face.

Dear Emma,

How would you feel about making a trip to Lendose and a stay at Knightshome?


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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 9:19 pm

*** Knightshome : Present day ***

Deph learned something today. When a cheering child runs full of laughter between castle-like walls which reproduce every single tone and note, then it is difficult to suppress a smile and a laugh yourself.
And there she was again…

Emma ran through the corridor connecting the meeting room with the entrance room, her face displaying nothing but bravery, a white blanket tied around her neck, streaming behind her as if it were a knight’s cloak.
In her hand she carried a short wooden sword and she was waving triumphantly at the squire sitting on top of the stairs, and obviously watching her, valuating and praising her noble deeds.

Deph grinned and shook his head, Emma could have easily been a boy, or at least a performer. This wasn’t the first time she pulled something off like this. Quietly he continued to watch the scene, an affectionate smile decorating his face.

Emma grinned and with the ‘blade’ vertically held up in front of her nose she turned to Deph’s direction and said,” The great mean monster that came back alive, is now dead for good. His head hangs on my wall and our homes are safe and everyone can be happy once more.”
Her little face, wearing a curious ceremonial expression of solemn intensity, looked up at the young man sitting on the stairs, and this time she was clearly awaiting his response.

Depheant’s earlier smile weakened a bit when the performance and the phrase made him recalling Emma’s background. Nevertheless the child stood there bravely with all her memories, and that in itself was enough to deeply admire the seven year old waiting so proudly down these stairs. He got up, slowly descended the stairs and stopped right in front of her.
To avoid she had to look up, the squire kneeled before her.

He let out a theatrical sigh and said,” Verily it is so. Never shalt thy name be forgotten, oh great Savior of My Kingdom.”
Depheant clipped his cloak off and then removed the blanket around Emma’s neck before he with a solemn gesture swirled his Vigilo cloak over her shoulders. His hands then rested on them while his eyes locked on her little face,” A deed not so quickly forgotten, yet a fight not truly ended yet… My Lady.”

Emma tilted her head curiously, her intelligent eyes on him...


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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 9:20 pm

*** A curious meeting ***

Late at night, Deph left the inn of Two Bridges, closing the door gently behind him with a feeling of… what… relief? Satisfaction?
He has just said goodbye to a lady who wished to stay anonymous, … and mysterious. Nevertheless he had shared a table with her, … a glass of wine, … a conversation, … and even a play ending in a dance. Fun she called it.
All of that last thing had been show of course, but it had touched him and reminded him of his well filled social life right after he left his mother’s business.

His eyes shifted to the other side of the river, perceiving the temple of Peralia. Perhaps he could try again… after all, the mysterious woman had told him she had seen Selchis with Celestia down there, not long before he had checked the place.
Maybe… with a bit of luck they had gone out and returned.

He started to make his way to the temple. And if she wasn’t there… well, then he had to hurry back to Knightshome as he had promised Amy to remain at their disposal.
But while he walked towards the temple, he couldn’t help himself but to think back about the meeting with the mysterious woman, a meeting that reminded him of the days he had been out with friends… dinners and conversations…
Right now he couldn’t do that, with all that had been going on, inviting people over at his place at Knightshome. It just seemed such a bad idea, perhaps later…

Suddenly he stopped. Heck… what was he thinking right now? It’s not that he would hurt anyone? And he still could decide what he did during these days?
He grinned slightly as he recalled the conversation with the mysterious woman… he could even make things up… ‘just for fun’ as she stated it.

Who knows… perhaps he was a better performer than a knight.


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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 9:20 pm

*** On a summer’s day ***

After another trip to Two Bridges, Depheant found himself back in his room at Knightshome. Also this time his trip took a bit longer and the reason for that was that he had met a friend while sojourning in the area.
His thoughts went back in time a moment.

Anything connected with animals or plants coexisted especially here in this peaceful environment. The Grove was tranquil,... there was just the chattering of birds finding nesting places to raise their next generation and some grass hoppers clicking in the dry air.
He saw a dusty trail leading through green junipers towards the most inner parts of the sacred place. At the beginning of it the Squire found an old but not yet decayed log spotted with a bit of moss in the deep shadow of a maple tree. There he took a seat and as daylight began to drain away he inhaled deeply. The air was rich with summer, the mixed scent of several flowers lingered persistently in the surrounding atmosphere.
Such a beautiful day and yet it had been a bit out of sync with his mood.

Selchis… once again when he visited the temple of Peralia, he had missed out on her. She was somewhere out there, performing the duties of her faith.
Little Emma had been in though, but he could only have a few words with her since she was in training.

Deph’s eyes shifted between the creek and some small roundish pebbles in front of him.
Here under the maple tree, a cool and restful shady world with light filtering lazily through its top that was so high and broad that it shut out any direct sunlight, the Squire got up again and picked up some of the smooth pebbles.

Causing rippling effects each time they kissed the reflective surface, one by one the flat stones left the Squire’s hand and found themselves bouncing over the water before being subjected to the laws of nature. Stones simply don’t float and there wasn’t a god in the world that would make them act otherwise. The past weeks since the incident and his return to Knightshome had been quiet, and he had grown a bit restless. The Knights hadn’t reached a verdict yet, and thus Deph remained at their disposal. Thus far it also has witheld him from making any social appointments since he had no idea when and where he’d be send next.

“Hey!” a female voice sounded from behind him.

The Squire who had been so plunged in thoughts, hadn’t even noticed the soft footsteps behind him, and shook up as he turned around.

Within this setting her sudden appearance was almost magical, as was her name.
“Milady Celestia…”

His slight bow was answered with cursty from her side,“ Hi Deph…”

And after that short introduction, just like the last time he was in Two Bridges, Deph found himself in a conversation. And even though it had been partially about what happened during his recent past, he enjoyed this moment. It was pleasant to have a… sounding board.
He also learned from Celestia she had seen Selchis twice in the past weeks and that she was doing alright…, and that they had been gossiping about him… probably… since a later meeting was suggested.
It made him blush a little but he was also glad to receive some news about his lady.

After Celestia led him deeper into the Grove and up the hill they already had visited in the past, Deph spend a short, yet rather relaxing evening with Celestia. They talked about the past, about proof for the existence of the gods, about her heritage, and about… dancing.

Deph smiled a bit while sitting on his bed.

And thats how that summer’s day ended, with another lesson...


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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 9:21 pm

*** Verdict ***

Depheant walked away from the gathering and disappeared within the walls of the temple of Peralia. There he found himself leaning against a dark pillar, not far from the entrance. His heartbeat slowly fell back into a normal rhythm.

Minutes ago, while once more on his way to seek out Selchis, he had run unexpectedly into a group of people of which he knew some well.
The face of his earlier ‘performance’ fell off, his expressions moving back to a more natural condition as he shivered over his body and slowly slid down to the floor, the falchion with a clang dropping next to him.

He had just -demanded- answer from Sir Phelan and Lady Amelia, -demanded- what his future within the Argentum would be, if any. And now, after a period, he had received it.
His earlier Trials would be expunged from the record, his Trial of Prowess erased. And so he was back to where he started, now almost a year ago.

A year… what possibly could have gone more wrong in the past year? Not everything was of course of his fault, but he started to wonder about this amount of… ‘bad luck’.
Frustration coursed through his body, an almost unknown emotion to him, yet it was there and not in the least.
Was it because he didn’t show faith in the gods, or didn’t pay any attention at all to them? Who was that goddess of luck again? Celestia had once shown him the temple in Morell. Ah yes, Teshalia.

But then he quickly shook his head. If any gods existed, only IF… a man should be able to have faith in himself and not rely on to some religious symbol or statue in front of him, and then after some prayers assuming things would be done for him, or at least half the work would be.
True, he was not blind… he had seen some people their powers, but to him it was all magic, and one was just more gifted than the other.
He -did- believe some exceptional creatures existed… like the story Celestia had told him about her own heritage. She descended from such an exceptional creature.

Depheant closed his eyes, he did not. And he tried not to recall from who he descended. Only a few knew about it, Selchis the most and Celestia and Shayde a bit.
Right now he really started to believe he descended from some failure, an error that has been made in the past when his parents ‘produced’ him.
Then he quickly put a stop on his thoughts. Were his parents responsible for it? For everything that had happened and still was happening? No… that wasn’t fair at all… since they were -dead- to him, both of them.

But perhaps his ‘education’ had contributed then to everything he did and had done? The choices he had made, would they have been different? Saving Zachary for instance? The way how he had tried to carve out his own path to knighthood?
Now that he had been completely downgraded within the Vigilo… what possibly more could they expect from him?
Yes, Sir Phelan had invited him over at Lendose to discuss matters around this new threat, this Mistress lady.
Was that it? A new beginning? A fresh start?

Like they just had expunded his Trials, could he expunge all the ‘bad’ things that happened after ‘learning’ from them… as it was supposed?
Deph brought his arms up, his fingers disappearing under his hair as he held his head between his hands. The Verdict had been revealed, and now it was his move…

Then he… rubbed his hair.


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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 9:22 pm

*** Purpose ***

Deph sat at the desk in his room at the Buck inn, writting additions in his diary.

… and lady Cynthia seems so wise. She made me realise what it was that I missed and what I needed.
I recall the first time I talked with her well. After that I wrote a letter to Amy, asking her for a break from the Vigilo, well, that among other things. She came over to look for me, which surprised me at first, but then I realised I meant to Amy what she meant to me. We’re like brother and sister, even though she seems more and more to embody the qualities of a female parent. Which she lately is of course since Arina. Our conversation wasn’t easy at first and it was a… journey in an ocean filled with feelings and emotions. Then I learned she is the one who kinda pushed my application at the time. I had no idea…

Deph lifted the quill pen a moment and rubbed his hair as he gathered his thoughts.

It turns out I didn’t had to ask for time off. But at least now she knows a bit how I feel. It was Cynthia who once more gave direction at the conversation and pressed on the wound or whatever one can call it. We both failed in a way, me and Amy….

The Vigilo Squire reread what he just wrote… failed. Yes he did. Then he continued his writing.

… I failed on my path to ‘success’, and now I realise where I went wrong. I stepped into the same trap like all the others who ‘forgot’, did before me. I was out on success, unaware. I started to focus on it. I wanted to become a Knight while I always said the title wasn’t that important to me, but the things one did all the more.
I forgot, I didn’t ask… the moment those Trials were placed on my path, I simply forgot. I thought I had to start performing, to prove myself and yes, partially that is true. During a trial one does have to prove himself. But he shouldn’t forget who he is, where he’s coming from and he needs to know one thing.

What is your purpose, Deph? He could almost hear her pleasant voice. And -that- is what he needed. He also recalled a few other things.

… I need to start asking things, and I need guidance on my path. But before I even think about a path, I need to think about my purpose since there is always a chance I’ll never become a Knight. I need to drop that as goal in itself. Trials or not, my purpose is -not- to become a Knight. My purpose is…

Is what Deph? Is what? The Squire rubbed his hair, messing it all up.

Amy had asked him to come over to Knightshome when the case about this Mistress would be discussed. And what had his answer been? That he never said that he also would stop with doing good things. Maybe that was a lead?

Never change Deph…

He knew all to well who once said that, and now he was afraid.

She can’t see me like this, I don’t want to lose her. Perhaps this was the reason why he hadn’t found her yet. Perhaps ‘someone’ was keeping Selchis away from him so that he first could find himself again. And find that purpose.

“Tsk, someone, who knows, maybe there are gods after all, plotting stuff,” he shrugged to himself, not very convinced sounding.

Today however he had told Cynthia that he would come to the temple, to talk to the Mother. He was willing to give it a shot.

And after that we will see…

A double knock on his door sounded...

Deph got up from his chair and walked to the door which he slowly opened, perhaps it was…

“Hi Deph…” a smiling young face illuminated by the light of a candle said.

Deph blinked, before him stood that barmaid again, the one who he let in his room almost a year ago and who…

“Eh, oh, hello milady Lucy… eh…”

She giggled and peeked over in his room,” Still writing?”

Two blue eyes looked up in his,” So… you’re back and eh, I heard and I thought to check upon you.”

“Eh… thank you, I am fine, but… eh, I was about to sleep.” And that was a lie. So much for doing good things…

Deph blushed and shook his head,” But I first need to go to a temple…” That was more like it since it was true, yet not sufficient. It was all too clear what Lucy’s intentions were.

Deph could still picture how a year ago she started to open her dress and how he … turned her down, more or less.

“Oh, alright! I guess I’ll see you in the morning then! I’ll be serving breakfast. Welcome back, Deph!” She giggled and took off.

The Squire groaned softly as he closed the door. He could move to another inn… but wouldn’t that be running away from his problems .........?


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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 9:23 pm

*** Protector ***

Deph looked around. Well, at least he didn’t ran to another inn, but instead he had found peace somewhere else. Several times now he had been here, and each time he had found either Cynthia to talk to or a peaceful spot near the altar of the temple.
Nuarari’s temple was dark on the inside, yet not depressing and perhaps even uplifting to him. When he was here, most of the time he spent here was at its public meeting place, but since yesterday he even had his own bed here. Right now he was contemplating over how long he would stay here, and for what reasons.
Well, he could think of a few.

Lucy for instance. That girl didn’t know how to quit chasing after him. She knew he was engaged… unfortunately she also knew he didn’t saw Selchis that much, as in… not.
Thus far there hadn’t been a reply on the letter he sent to the temple in Two Bridges and he started to worry a bit.
Nonetheless, Lucy kept on going and Deph simply failed to get angry on her for doing so. It’s not that she tried to jump on him either… just… she just tried to be around all the time whenever he was in the taproom eating, or even up in his room.
Deph sighed, Lucy was pretty and about his age. And he couldn’t be angry just because she had an eye on him? Feelings were feelings and they were hard to remove, just like his for Selchis... and...
Deph shook his head.

The Vigilo Squire looked at the painting which was an artistic impression of Her, the Mother. A few times now he had found himself here, standing in front of it. And a few times he caught himself talking to it. About his concerns, his worries, his life, his past and his dreams.

There was another reason why he was here, next to the peace he seemed to find here. About a week ago one of the priestesses had to travel to a dangerous area. He overheard and when it appeared no one was around, he had offered himself to escort the lady. Two days they spent together and faced several dangers indeed, but nothing they couldn’t handle with the two of them.
And when they came back the lady must have told the others as a day later he was actually asked if he had time to escort another. They offered him pay, a wage even, but he simply refused.
He was no mercenary for hire and since Cynthia had been helping him without asking a single coin or favor in return, he decided it was time to do something back. Maybe this wasn’t directly for her, it was for her temple… a place he himself more and more started to appreciate.

Though when they offered him a place to stay, he accepted. Like the very bed he slept in last night. Never in his life he had slept so deep and so long… eleven hours straight!

“Sir?” a female voice behind him sounded.

Deph turned around and bowed to the priestess,” Milady, please just call me Deph. How may I be of assistance?”

The priestess giggled and curtsied,” They said I could talk to you, I’m looking for a protector.”

Deph blinked and couldn't help but to think of Sonja a moment. Then smiled softly,” You give me a purpose, milady. Where do you wish to go?” He reached for the falchion standing next to the wall and sheathed it over his shoulder on his back.


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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 9:23 pm

*** Forgiveness ***

Depheant found himself sitting behind his rather empty desk after a good night’s sleep. Last night the Squire had arrived at Knightshome after an almost three-month absence. A period of time which he had used to think.
The quill pen he was holding in his right hand hovered over a piece of parchment which was still blank, … empty. He sighed and dropped it back in the flask as he had no idea where to start, no idea what to write down as his first words. And its not that his mind was chaotic, not at all. He knew exactly what he wished to achieve, what his goal was. The peace he had found in Nuarari’s arms had seen to that.

A while after he had started to visit her temple, images of his past life presented themselves during his sleep. And when he began to spend nights there, the dreams seemed to intensify.
Mostly they were about his past, memories, mainly about the period before he came to Cear, before he really had started to chase the dream of becoming a knight.
Selchis also showed up a few times, almost as if to prevent she would fade permanently from his world of experiences. She… would be his last step, even though she probably should have been the first.
For a moment he wondered how disappointed she was… it was so hard to tell after not having seen each other for so long. But then Deph quickly shook his head and moved that thought to an imaginary vault somewhere in a remote corner of his mind. He would handle this later.

Probably the strangest experience was a dream about his mother who asked him forgiveness for what she had done to him… since almost a week later, a letter which first ended here in Knightshome and was forwarded to the Buck inn, contained an almost surreal message.
His mother asked him if he wanted to visit her at the gaol.

At first he hadn’t felt like going, as to him she was dead. The murder attempt had left a scar that would never heal. Nonetheless after some consideration, and more because of the earlier dream, he went down there to see her.
And just like in his dream she had asked for... forgiveness. Obviously she must have had a clear moment as he knew his mother was mentally very very ill. While he listened to her he couldn’t bring up any love for the woman he once called mom, but he felt something else. The gaol was not the right place for people like her. But the problem was, a crime had been comitted and sentenced…

It had kept him busy right after, and later that day he found himself standing before the painting of the ‘Mother’ once more. But this time not to talk, but to ask for forgiveness… forgiveness for not having believed in her, or in any other of the gods. He knew this thing with his mom and the dream earlier must have been some sort of a sign.
He recalled how he had tried not to cry because of this revelation. One of the priestesses saw it and took pity on him, offering an ear and her undivided attention. He recalled how he calmed down quickly and despite of everything decided to do something for his mom. There was no cure for whatever was going on with her, but perhaps Nuarari could bring her some peace at least.
The priestess who had listened to his story agreed on visiting her in the gaol to see what could be done.

Depheant snapped out of it and looked back at the empty parchment. Instead of trying again, he pushed his chair back and got up.
A few moments later he stood before Amy’s door, holding up his hand and ready to knock, before… lowering it again without doing so.
No, not Amy, not her, not yet...

Depheant turned on his heels and made his way in the direction of sir Phelan’s quarters, only to notice the announcement on the message board. He read it and smiled faintly.
“Good job, Caric…” he whispered before he walked on.


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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 9:25 pm

*** Mission ***

And that was that...

Depheant stood on the poop deck, a high exposed deck at the stern of the cog. The castle like structure of this large sailing ship was meant to defend the vessel better against enemies by placing archers on elevated positions, just like the one he was standing on.
The hull was made from clinker contruction, providing the ship with more strength and robustness, enabling it to cross the largest of oceans and making it more durable. Simultanously the vessel featured a pretty large hull, capable of carrying a huge amount of cargo. Most cogs had a single long mast, carrying a massive square sail. Their ship however was fitted with two large masts, each with a slightly smaller sail than a single masted version has, but nonetheless making it go faster and more easy to handle. It required a larger nautical crew though, which made transports with it a bit more expensive.

But he gladly paid extra, knowing that their journey may be accompanied with trouble, especially with the north coast of Cuhanna as their destination. From there they would travel through the land, visiting the human settlements dotted along the coastline before heading towards the main city of the land, Maslam.
Absently his hand brushed over the polished wood of the railing, unaware of the decent and professionally applied layer of varnish. At first he hadn’t even noticed how the beautiful Nuarari Moonsinger had joined him, and how she together with him watched how Cear slowly got minimized to a single dot of light.
Their quest to retrieve an artifact, important to the Temple of Nuarari in Cear, had begun. So far he still had no clue what they exactly would be looking for, but he assumed he would be told on their way there.

While looking for a suitable transport, he had said goodbye to a few people, some friends and people he loved. And he was glad his conversation with Sir Phelan had gone rather well. For now he was still a member of the Argentum Vigilo, and if he wished, when needed, he could still refer to that during his quest. They had also changed the title of his rank...
He glanced to his left and bowed lightly at the one he would be protecting, the one with who he would be together twenty four seven, the one who during their free time would be educating him in the lore of her religion and the lands of Cuhanna.


She offered him a gentle smile,” Sentinel…” she tilted her head and studied his features before saying,” You have a soreness around your heart, I can tell from your eyes.”

And she was right. He shouldn’t be standing on this side of the ship, but on the other side… looking forward to…
Suddenly he could feel her hand gentle slipping under his arm.

“Come… lets go inside,” she said softly while looking up at the dark clouds presaging rain or even a storm.

Depheant led her inside with a nod, his eyes fixated on the floor.

“Perhaps you can tell me about your dreams, and what you see.”

The Sentinel’s lips parted and closed before any answer was given.
Not now…

While their ship plowed through the waves of a somewhat restless sea, clouds ominously huddled together, starting to make the sky look angry as they rolled and giving the crew and passengers on the vessel below the feeling they were in one of the darkest places on earth, cut off from the rest of the world… isolated...

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Post by Admin on Wed May 17, 2017 9:25 pm

*** Arriving in Cuhanna ***

At first there was the sound of waves splashing against rocks. As I was standing on the prow of the ship and witnessed how the grey bone-chilling mist that had been clinging to every surface finally started to clear up, a rather vivid scenery unfolded before us.
This part of the Cuhannan coast was lined with a mix of small rocks and pristine white sand beaches fringing an inviting turquoise sea. Along the length of the coast colorful tents and mud-brick houses of a small fishing village, an ancient tower raised from desert sand colored stone and a deserted ruin of an outpost bear witness to a probably fascinating history.

On the beach right in front of our ship, I could perceive brown-skinned children running and playing and I could see others gathering pebbles, shells and seaweeds, or hunting for crabs. The village inhabitants on their way to their daily businesses and probably living their lives in their own relaxed rhythm, were dressed in clothing made of various colored fabrics.
Behind all of this I could see rolling overgrown dunes protecting small but vital plantations where crops and vegetation was grown as main life support contributors to provide these regions with vegetable food, animal nutritions and raw materials to produce the much needed fishnets, sails, clothes and other equipment.
Back in the days when I traveled with my father’s ship, I saw several coasts and lands from a distance, but only once I had seen a small piece of the Cuhannan coastline. Unfortunately that moment was connected with another less enjoyable experience. It were the days right after losing my best friend Zachary during a pirate attack, and my father punishing me with my first whip lashes ever because I had abandoned my post. Funny how easily it had seemed after renouncing a life at sea, to be on a ship again and actually enjoying my time among the crew and its superiors. I recalled many good memories, many faces, and many friends...

An hour later our ship was secured to a mooring in the small port and while surrounded by the activities of a maritime culture, passengers and goods, mostly ore and timber were disembarked. I looked around and wondered how many people from Varana and Dasaria ever had heard about this place, let alone seen it, as it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Yet I knew that behind these shores and these regions a less inviting landscape awaited and at the time we could only speculate if our mission would lead us there.
Milady Rya and myself soon found ourselves exploring the few narrow streets this village counted. It had been a rather turbulent experience as various merchants harassed us with their wares, while a few very young children tried to pick our pockets. I was there to protect her, and I barely managed to make a drunken, audacious captain change his mind about bedding what he called a ‘blissful once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”. Yet I succeeded…
Turned out the person we were looking for was not present at the moment and we were either forced to camp here for a week, or move on.

Depheant closed his diary and looked up at the priestess who offered him a smile. The young man nodded to her to indicate that he would take the first watch. Grateful for his gesture she laid herself down and closed her eyes.
He looked up at the night sky, a black velvet sprinkled with white twinkling gems. In a few days they would meet up with the man the priestess had been looking for and after that they would have to visit at least one more village before moving on towards the state’s capital Maslam where they would meet a Moonblade agent. Right now he knew they were looking for an object that could help exorcise certain sources of bad dreams. Something the church of Nuarari had been looking for quite some time now, and something that would be a valuable asset to the temple in Cear.


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