Once I dreamed of being a princess. It didn’t work out.
My mother passed when I was 13. I remember that bed – the smell of lavender over the stench of decay. I wasn’t there when they burned her body. They hoped to spare me from seeing her stand up or flail around. I see it anyway, when I sleep.
Father tried to marry me to a noble, but I wouldn’t have it. The Church was desperate, any who could afford a horse and armor were knighted on sight. We were the first females sanctified since the Beggar’s Crusade, but certainly not the last.
The sickness that took my mother was spreading. Farms, villages, even cities were lost or sealed off and burned to keep the Hunger from spreading. Did we even slow it down? I still pray for the living, for all of the innocent souls we trapped inside.
Those were hard days, full of sweat and ash, death and steel. I take pride in that work. Even as my world crumbled, I did my best to fight the Hunger.
I fight it, still. For my mother, for my father and for the world that I once loved.
A warrior stands alone on the battlefield, her greatsword buried tip down in the ground before her. Her plate mail, though streaked with blood, shines in the glow of the nearly-set sun. She walks among the dead, counting bodies, and whispers a prayer that those who have fallen will not rise again.
An Elken warrior stands before an angry crowd, resplendent in his suit of gleaming silver scales. His eyes shine with a wisdom that belies his deer-like visage, and his horns lend him a sense of elegance, nobility. He will not be cowed by them, for this one was born to be the hunter, never the prey.
The tattoos on her neck and shoulders alight with a word; a pale-yellow glow fills the otherwise dark tomb. Her cropped hair marks her as Nethari, the race of warrior-sorcerers that hold themselves apart from normal men…. But her great sword and breastplate tell another story: this one has forsaken Mother Church to follow the path of the Templar. She is a true believer.
Originally founded as the military arm of the Church the Sun, the Templars split from their sister organization, the Confessors, to focus on the salvation of the masses rather than the persecution and condemnation of sinners.
Holy warriors who excel at both combat and divine magic, a Templar is a soldier who, in life, dedicated his or herself to the service of Arkon, the God of Light and Justice. In death, however, not all Templars hold true to their earthly vows. Some swear allegiance to other gods, while others break with faith completely and fight for the highest bidder.