The Sentinel Garrison was an armored stronghold several hundred kilometers Southwestern of the city state of Noria, typically considered an isolated traveler's outpost, it also served as a small rendezvous point for armed militias as well as soldiers of Imperial might returning from their active deployments. The Garrison's location was strategically located in between several other City states, facilitating it as a merchant route as well for caravans on their way back to the Capital. It was guarded and protected by a small military force, perhaps 25 guards in total as they were hired to maintain the peace and ensure that local criminals did not take advantage of the adventurers as they migrated through.
Unbeknownst to them all, a savage doom would be sweeping down shortly. Cast from the tainted heavens, the Knights of Estreia had arrived out of concealment of darkness. Approximately seventy warriors, death knights in their glistening plate mails and warhorses strode quickly through the Garrison and began their rampage. Arrows plunged into civilians and defenders alike, as flames of blaze were set on both sides of the entrance gates as well as through the periphery of the castle walls. Once inside, Alexandra's forces swept through the local defenses, murdering knights that stood defiant as well as locals that attempted to intervene.
The Warlord snarled as she stood atop one of the watch towers, speaking to two of her lieutenants as they had received a tally from their underlings. "Defenders are retreating eastward, the castle shall be yours shortly. As for the amulet, we have acquired the young woman who holds it along with her ward. The second artifact however...cannot be found" As he spoke, Alexandra snarled and roared towards him in anger. An armored grasp clenching around the throat of her subordinate and hoisting him into the air single-handedly. "FIND IT!" She commanded, before tossing him towards the side.
"Search every civilian for the relic, it must be here!" She said, whispers from the item echoing through her ears. It appeared as if she had grown possessed, rampage and lust evident in her crimson soaked eyes as they stared from behind the veil of her helmeted face.
"Geoff, do you hear that?" Tybalt stopped, holding up a hand. The sounds of nature and life had been ever faintly replaced with chaos. Tybalt continued a bit further, reaching for his sword within his plated armor when the forests gave way to the sacked garrison! He looked back at Geoff, "Stay here with the supplies and the palfrey." As he mounted atop his destrier, he paused for a moment, before grabbing his longsword and jousting shield. If it would be just him, he would need that which he was a true master with. His lance and poleaxe would not help him here.
He strode closer to the fort, his horse galloping down the path as he tried to get a better eye for the scene! The entire ground around the castle was barren. In better times this would be to ward against attackers and provide a clear sight if any dared assault. Now? Perhaps it was divine fate that the path was virtually clear for him to near those flaming gates. As the few escaping civilians saw this knight, they sprinted towards him, and then past him in but a moment. He was their barrier, his metal still glinting despite the dark around them. Any brigand caught between him and the garrison proper met a sudden and rather inglorious end as Courage deliberately trampled the fellow, crushing them under four heavy hooves as he neared closer.
Alexandra, this warlord from her perched position, could see almost immediately this lone warrior nearing the castle, barren of any true colors from his distance as he found himself nearing the broken castle gates, shield raised at this point in anticipation of dishonorable arrow rain. A visored armet lowered concealed his identity, but perhaps contributed to that knightly aesthetic that was growing rarer and rarer in these dark days.
"Leore!" Was his lone battlecry, and he shouted it with such great conviction it was as though it were his own home under assault, for it was a knight's life to always fight for glory, or die with honor. Not that Tybalt had any intent of death this day, he had far too much to live for. His gaze was vigilance for any other dark warriors who dared oppose him as he entered the perimeter of the castle.
Alexandra remained atop the tower, glancing over at the carnage her forces had spread over the once seemingly peaceful garrison. Whatever tranquility was present before, certainly lost now at the hands of these villainous raiders. There were defenders and guards in the fortress, that was certain, however as of now they were on a losing battle. "M'Lord, a Knight approaches..." One of the lieutenants called out, Alexandra spinning around as crimson eyes laid their gaze upon Tybalt. She couldn't recognize the man and proposed that he was likely an aspiring hero looking for something to add to his accolades. Wicked grin coming to her face, as she realized that he had likely entered himself into grave danger.
"Leave him to me...find the amulet!" She commanded, her soldiers whisking away as they joined the other fighters on the ground level while Alexandra herself slowly descended from her perched vantage point and made herself over to where Courage's galloping charge would take him. She chuckled darkly, and grabbed a spear into her right hand, armored fingers curling into an overhand grip as she hurled it from Tybalt's side. The spear whistled through the air, and landed one meter into the ground right in front of the destrier. As the weapon sank its sharpened edge into the terrain, it spew forth a column of fire that would intercept Courage's path and the suddenly explosive nature would no doubt cause the steed to reer backwards and perhaps throw Tybalt off his saddle.
Alexandra now approached from the Knight's side, unsheathing her longsword and moving into an aggressive stance. "Only a sheep embraces its own slaughter..." She taunted towards him; hopefully he was on the ground, but if not, her weapon remained ready to deflect blows should they come.
The sudden burst of magic had caught Tybalt unawares, and he found himself falling from his horse with a sudden cry of surprise! He fell to the dirt ungracefully-- yet Alexandra would not find her quarry so easy to dispatch, as she found the monstrous form of Courage between her and Tybalt. Could she have defeated the horse in battle? Of course, but there was a certain fire in its eyes that any proper warhorse had that implied that to engage now would certainly be her doom.
Tybalt staggered up with haste. As he spotted Alexandra alone, he too drew his longsword. He patted Courage, suddenly regaining himself and falling to something of a tranquility. With that massive warbeast guarding his flank, his attention turned entirely to this woman.
"Is that so? You mean to slaughter me? If I am dealing with a simple farmer, this'll be easy." He spat from behind his helmet. Yet, he lowered his sword, in a two-handed grasp, interestingly enough, down to his feet. Was he mad? He was wholly open to attack, perhaps embracing his own slaughter as she claimed, for he took a step forward. His helm tilted from left to right. If she had any experience in combat beyond butchering peasants, she might recognize immediately simply from his form that this man was no ordinary fighter; few were so perfect in both stance and guard as he in this moment. Perhaps it was all an act?
"What did you hope to gain from this? Wealth? Food? None of that is here, your lack of honor beholdens your end, harlot." He uttered again, any emotion utterly gone from behind his steel, pointed visage.
"Come on then, show me what passes for fury in that weak mind of yours! Craven! Cur!", He took another step closer, yet his sword still remained lowered.
The sudden doom and assault on the garrison had not only caught those that made their livings there, but also the wanderers just passing through. Hausser was one such traveler, purchasing supplies at the outpost for the continuation of his journey. Like the other civilians, he too had taken refuge in hiding when the attack came. This was a stationed garrison with soldiers to protect it, and he would gladly allow them to handle it. So here he sat, curled in one of the houses glancing out the window with his shortsword in hand.
Those were his initial thoughts at least. It had soon become clear that the knights and defenders were a bit out of their depth, and the battle was going poorly. The attackers were not stopping at the actual defenders either, and soon Hausser had witnessed them striking down the smallfolk as well. The sight made him frown but he held his position all the same. It was a regrettable loss of life for certain, the people didn't deserve it. But this was hardly his fight and he had nothing to gain from entering the fray, even with his magical abilities.
Or was there? Hausser watched as the enemy soldiers began to ransack a nearby building, seemingly searching for something beyond mere slaughter. What were they looking for? Is that why they'd attacked the garrison? More importantly though, it just greatly reduced the effectiveness of his own hiding spots. Already he could hear heavy footsteps nearing the door, a hand rattling he lock door. Ah well, it looked like he was going to get involved then.
An armored boot now, smashing the door off its hinges as an armored warrior strode in. Hausser caught him off guard just barely, desperately shoving his sword into the gap between helm and shoulder plating, even as the man noticed him. The man fell to the ground, his corpse wrenching the sword from Hausser's fingers. It was not silent, it as actually a rather loud clatter, one that suddenly heralded more footsteps charging near.
Hausser just grimaced and prepared for combat, yanking his sword free with a wet slurping noise. No mere knights were going to defeat him! Faded Truth