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I originally got into forum roleplaying on the official Bethesda Game Studios Forums in 2007 or 2008. When the forums were replaced with Bethesda.net, I was one of several close-knit Fallout RPers who came here.

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Aerarius

I can't say I'm surprised. Sylphie was never one for subtlety, Aerarius thought as he silently assessed the situation. There didn't seem to be any traps ahead, and the bandits were already alerted, so he saw no point in trying to preserve the element of surprise. Lastly and most importantly, he knew he wouldn't learn much by sitting back here while Sylphie and Izel did all the work.

"If you don't mind, Byron, I'm going to assist them," he spoke to the beastman. Immediately after voicing his intentions, he dashed up the hill after the others. A small, metallic dome shaped shield unfolded around his left arm. His right arm gripped the sword resting in a rigid sheath on his waist, drawing it from its resting place.

His seeming enthusiasm to join the fray wasn't to shed blood or amuse himself. No, Aerarius' goal was to gather information and knowledge. The fighting style employed by the bandits, the architecture of their camp, the armor and weaponry they used, all of these were things he wished to know and understand. It wasn't an option to stay behind, because if Aerarius did so, Sylphie would kill all of the bandits and Izel might turn the camp into a smoldering crater before he had a chance to observe, study, and perhaps capture someone to interrogate.

The two of them had already dispatched the bandits in their way, so he would need to head further up. The automaton rushed past Sylphie and Izel, bashing a bandit with his shield along the way, and slowed to a stop at the breach where Izel's fireball struck. Shrouded by the smoke and dust of the explosion, but also unable to see what lay beyond, he slowly walked forward out of the smoke, no longer afraid of anything the bandits could possibly throw at him (or, for that matter, whatever his more reckless allies might throw from behind him) and ready to reintroduce the might of the Brass Legion to the world.

Fleuri Jodeau


Fleuri kept his distance from the prisoners during the return trip, instead riding closely to the rescued captives. His armor was He didn't like looking at the broken expressions and defeated postures of soon to be executed brigands. The knight instead preferred to focus his attention on the people that had been rescued, a deed that not only felt more spiritually fulfilling, but also helped lend meaning and justification to their grim task of ferrying the bandits to their eventual executions. Just as Reon and Mayon were inseparably connected, the Reonite duty of bringing justice to the guilty was interwoven with the Mayonite duty of protecting and aiding the innocent.

Even in our darkest duties, it is comforting to look upon the real reasons we fight, to know that we make a difference to the people of Thaln...

From beneath his helmet, Fleuri glanced at the child that he and Dame Verenna had rescued, still wrapped in the Reonite knight's white cape. He had no intention of asking for it back, letting the boy keep it was the least he could do. Perhaps it might even inspire the child to aspire join the Iron Roses someday, he thought.

There was one other matter on his mind- the death of Sir Rickart. While the death of one knight may seem minor especially compared to the number of brigands they had slain in turn, the loss of any Iron Rose was always a tragic affair to the Order. This was a dangerous line of work and it was expected that knights would perish from time to time, but such assurances provided little comfort. Fleuri wondered how Fanilly would handle it. To his knowledge, was the first death under Fanilly's command, and no matter how adept a commander she may prove herself to be, it would not likely be her last. He didn't envy the burden that her station as Commander carried.

The knights made their way through the capital city of Aimlenn like a grim parade consisting of blood-stained knights, wounded and rescued men and women, and carts of doomed criminals. While Fleuri was no longer the glory hound he once was, the awe and approval of the common folk was a welcome relief to him. It was an even greater relief when the prisoners were handed over, their fates now out of the Iron Roses' hands.

When the knights returned to Candaeln, there were a number of things Fleuri needed to do. He would need to remove his armor and get the bloodstains washed out. He also needed to thoroughly inspect his arms and armor for damage sustained during the battle. Lastly, he needed to get some rest. The first thing Fleuri did, however, was walk along the hall looking upon the weapons and portraits of past knights. I wonder if Sir Rickart will be honored here, he wondered. His gaze eventually came to a specific portrait, a painting of his ancestor Armand Jodeau, the first of the family to dedicate himself to Reon, and supposedly one of the first Reonites to join the Iron Roses. There was no display case for his armaments, for they had not been seen since the day he ventured out on by himself on a quest that he never returned from. The Jodeau family had at times sought to find out what happened to Armand and even constructed a place of honor in the family crypt in hopes of someday properly interring his mortal remains, but they lacked the wealth to fund a thorough search, and to this day no Jodeau knight had managed to pick up his trail.

I know I've made some bad mistakes, but wherever you are, I hope I have managed to live up to your example.

Down the hallway, Dame Radistirin, the First and Youngest, was standing in front of Elionne's legendary sword, speaking to it as if she was conversing with the Starlight Saint herself. Fleuri could not discern what she was saying, but he had no desire to butt in. Even further down the hallway, he could see two of the other knights speaking to a visitor. Unwilling to approach the new arrival in his blood-stained armor, he headed to his quarters to clean himself up.
Aerarius

As the rest of the group hurried off, Aerarius knew little of what was going on except the rest of the group had elected to deal with a banditry problem. Most likely Sylphie had gotten a whiff of evil and needed to break her 300 year dry spell. Aerarius tagged along wordlessly. Despite her seeming bloodlust and the concerns of other members of the party, the demigoddess' moral compass had always seemed properly calibrated. Aerarius himself had not been given any context to these bandits' ill deeds, but he trusted Sylphie enough to go along with it.

He followed the group through the woods until they came upon a guarded and fortified trail, clearly the approach to the aforementioned bandits' hideout. Byron asked whether they should just rush in, or try the subtle approach.

"I'd be wary about this path," Aerarius chimed in. It's clearly guarded, and it's the perfect place to rig up a manually activated rockslide trap. If you'd allow me to take point through the woods, I'm fairly certain I can withstand any traps they may have set up in there." He wasn't invulnerable, as the tragic fates of the rest of the Brass Legion had shown, but his metal body should be able to withstand any swinging log or pit traps that the bandits could conceivably have set up in the woods.
Fleuri Jodeau


The battle was over. The sight of the captain presenting Jeremiah's severed head broke the morale of the remaining bandits, and their will to fight evaporated. Fleuri removed his helmet and wiped the sweat from his face, relieved that the battle was over. There was no time to waste, however, for there was still much to do, from preparing the prisoners for transport, to rescuing the captives, to tending to their wounded. Fortunately, while the battle was littered with dead bandits, Fleuri was not seeing any knights among the fallen.

For the first few minutes, Fleuri helped to bind the bandits still in the camp. He didn't like looking at their faces, knowing what fate awaited them. No doubt they were murderers and plunderers who killed and kidnapped innocents, and it was Reon's will that justice be meted out to these evildoers, but he took no pleasure in looking upon the faces of doomed, broken men and women. It never was a problem when fighting necromancers and their mindless undead thralls. Zombies and skeletons didn't surrender, they didn't show fear or pain, and killing them was objectively an act of mercy. As for the necromancers pulling the strings, it was never an option to take them alive- they were simply too dangerous, and their crimes too heinous in Reon's eyes. Perhaps it was for the best that he remain a little compassion for the undeserving, rather than risk becoming too callous to summon compassion for those that do deserve it. And perhaps it was a blessing in disguise that he had not been directly involved in the War of the Red Banner, killing nobles and soldiers for choosing the wrong side in a civil war.

While tying the hands of one of the bandits, Fleuri overheard a commotion coming from one of the tents. While he finished binding the raider, another knights- specifically, Dame Verenna (as a Naga, there was no mistaking her for anyone else)- slithered inside to handle it. From the sound of it, they were having some trouble with one of the captives. After Mari sent the two other knights away to bring provisions, Fleuri made his way to the tent in hopes of helping out.

"You said you need a blanket, Dame Verenna?" Fleuri asked as he put down his sword and helmet, then unclasped and removed his white cape, which had remarkably remained unstained throughout the battle. "Here, will this do?"

@FlappyTheSpybot

High Inquisitor Tektus- The Vessel

Tektus sat in his throne in the control room of the Vessel, meditating on Atom as the submarine sailed north. The interior of the submarine was a strange mixture of the somber atmosphere of a holy site of Atom and a functioning nuclear-powered naval vessel. Skulls and bottles filled with radioluminescent substances sat on instrument and control panels, their soft, constant glow a strong contrast to the constantly shifting colors emanating from the buttons, screens, and lights on the panels. The red glow of the submarine's own lights were drowned out by the yellow radioluminescence of the dangling flasks that served to illuminate much of the room. Robed Children of Atom sat at the stations, operating the Vessel with a surprising level of precision and care. Getting the submarine operational had been one of Tektus' pet projects, although until they had retaken the Capital Wasteland from the Cult, they lacked the technical knowledge to utilize it to its full potential beyond its role as a bringer of Division via ballistic missiles. It was only through a thorough scavenging of the nearby Air Force and Navy installations and cooperation with the scientifically-minded folks in Rivet City that they had gained the understanding of the Vessel necessary to make use of most of its systems.

There was much to ponder on. The Brotherhood of Steel had returned to the Capital Wasteland. A campaign had been hatched to jointly invade Point Lookout with the Free Commonwealth. It would be a costly battle, but it was essential that they cleanse the region of the Cult's foul influence. The matter of the Brotherhood of Steel was another story. They were entrenched in the Enclave's old bunker, built specifically to withstand the power of Atom. It was unclear how much of a threat they posed to the faith in the Capital wasteland, but they would need to be watched closely.

Tektus looked forward to reaching the Island. While it was his duties that took him in that direction, it was also a much-needed pilgrimage for the spiritually taxed High Inquisitor. The last report stated that things were quiet on the Island, with no further tensions with Arcadia and Far Harbor. The most prominent issue was the ever-present danger for pilgrims sailing to and from the island, a matter that may keep Tektus in the region for a while.

"High Inquisitor, we have a bit of a situation," spoke one of the crewmen, interrupting Tektus' meditation. "Our sonar is picking up something in the north."

"What do you mean by "something"?" Tektus asked, rising from his chair and walking over to the sonar screen. "What are we looking at?"

"This is indicating a great deal of noise in the water to the north, a lot more than a single boat," the crewmember explained, gesturing to the screen. Tektus nodded, not completely sure what he was looking at but satisfied with the operator's explanation. "Should we adjust course?"

"Not yet, child," Tektus commanded. "Helmsman, bring us to periscope depth. Our duty is to make this route safe for pilgrims, and if these ships are a threat to our flock, we must find out." There were several factions that could conceivably put together a fleet of ships, and Tektus needed to find out who and what they were dealing with.

For the next few tense minutes, the submarine drew closer to the surface, as the sonar signatures drew closer. The control room was silent except for the sounds of the submarine. The normally patient High Inquisitor grew anxious. Atom, grant me clarity, so that I may see the threats to your faith, he silently uttered in prayer. Finally, the Helmsman broke the silence.

"High Inquisitor, we are at periscope depth, and the periscope has been extended." Finally, Tektus thought, as he approached the periscope and peered into it, eager to see what they were dealing with.

Any relief that he felt quickly faded as he began to discern the approaching ships. A veritable fleet of boats was heading south. These were not simple fishing vessels, but ramshackle warships. No, they were more than that. The ships looked more like derelicts and wrecks than seaworthy vessels, yet sailed in seeming defiance of their ruined state. Yet Tektus could only discern a few at the front- more lay behind, but a radiation fog blanketed much of the fleet, concealing them from the periscope's view.

Not a lot of things fazed Tektus- he had seen many terrible things in the faith's war to drive the Cult from the Capital Wasteland, and even more horrors in his duties to root out its lingering, hidden presence- but this brought pause to him. These weren't simple pirates or sea raiders, these looked to be something out of old mariners' tales- a fleet of ghost ships, following the fog wherever it blew. Or was it the fog that was following them?

"Retract the periscope, and dive and continue our course," Tektus ordered as the ships sailed closer. "Our brothers and sisters at the Island must be informed of this threat. If the Island has already been threatened, then we must hear them."

"What did you see, High Inquisitor?" one of the crewmembers asked. "What is this threat?"

"Superficially, a pirate fleet," Tektus answered. At its core, something that should not exist in this world."
Aerarius

Aerarius listened carefully to what Byron had to say. His concerns had been confirmed, they had awakened far later than they had been intended to. It wasn't exactly a surprise, as the magic wasn't exactly well-tested, and there was no way this forest could have grown in just thirty years. Nevertheless, it was still a lot to process, and it would take him some time to fully grasp the implications of it.

"So we have been gone for three hundred years," he spoke somberly. "The world we once knew probably no longer exists." This news wasn't too painful for Aerarius- his home and family had already been long gone when he climbed into the coffin. What did pain him was the lack of knowledge. He was a fish out of water, completely in the dark regarding the state of the world. His priorities were clear- he needed to learn all he could about the world they now found themselves in.

"If you can get us into the town, I would be grateful," he continued, glancing at the path. "There is much I wish to find out, about the town itself and about the state of the world. It should not be difficult to convince the guards that I am a mere magical construct. If need be, I'll even pose as a wind up toy." It was unlikely that any of these townspeople would be able to fully grasp what he was, and it was to his advantage to be underestimated in such a manner.

@PKMNB0Y
Fleuri Jodeau

Fleuri advanced upon the remaining bandits ahead of the other encircling knights, sword in hand. Most of the flank leaders had gone to confront Jeremiah, but the remaining knights didn't seem to need any special instructions. It was fairly simple at this point- kill the bandits, don't let any of them escape, and rescue any prisoners in the camp.

He was unsure of how the battle with Jeremiah was playing out, but the continued lack of his presence on the rest of the battlefield did not bod well for the Three Hundred Man-Slayer. The brigand had probably expected, or at least hoped, for him to slaughter his way through the encircling knights and from there lead them to another victory. Unfortunately for them, no such help arrived, and with the Iron Roses assailing them from all directions, there was little hope of survival, let alone victory.

He did not let down his guard, however. While some were surrendering in hopes of bargaining for a few more days of life, others would likely fight for their lives like cornered beasts. Such was the consequence of completely encircling them, but Fleuri saw the reasoning in the captain's choice to do so. The Iron Roses were warriors without peer, not trackers, and their ability to defeat a band of cornered bandits was far greater than their ability to track down and catch those that would otherwise flee.

By Mayon, by Reon, and by the crown of Thaln, it is our duty to ensure that none of these murderous marauders escape justice for their crimes, he silently told himself, as he steeled himself for the fighting to come.
Aerarius


"Your clothes appear to be the correct size, " Aerarius assessed. "Although I suppose the best way to know is to simply wear them for a while." Clothing wasn't really an issue for him anymore. The closest thing the automaton had to such a thing nowadays was his exterior plating. He didn't usually think to hard about it because when he did, he'd come to weird conclusions. "However, depending on whether or not your new body will grow, you may eventually need to resize them regardless."

"As for the forest, yes, both Byron and myself seemed to pick up on that worrying detail," he answered her second question. "It's possible to accelerate the growth of a forest using magic, but this place...it's too natural looking, too sparse of civilization. If need be we could approximate the time elapsed by felling one of the trees and counting the rings in its trunk," he suggested, his Natural Philosophy courses finally paying off, "but Byron and the others have probably found more precise information about what the date is." Aerarius' face was incapable of showing worry, but his movements and tone of his voice betrayed a concerned uncertainty.

"But from what we've seen already," he continued, "I think it's safe to say that we woke up far later than expected. It'd also explain the degree of your transformation, if we were in there for centuries rather than merely years or decades." There wasn't much else he could tell the sage, because there wasn't much else he knew.f When the others returned from the town, they would be able to give a more comprehensive account of the group's- and the world's- situation.

@Raineh Daze
Aerarius

Aerarius watched from afar as the others approached the gate. He did not see them enter the town, but the lack of sounds of battle reassured him that everything had gone smoothly. He himself had chosen to remain outside the town, out of view. His mechanical body stood out too much- at best it'd unsettle the locals, at worst it could draw unwanted attention to the group. He was, to his knowledge, the last of his kind, and if the Volstanians still remembered Aerarius (assuming they themselves still existed), it wouldn't be hard for them to figure out that he'd returned once rumors of a brass mechanical man reached their ears.

It wasn't like he'd gain anything from entering the town. He trusted most of his companions with his life, and was confident in their ability to gather information, exercise discretion, and not draw too much attention to themselves. Besides, someone needed to stay behind to greet and update the sage when he, or she, made it here. And sure enough, he heard the patter of the footprints of someone diminutive approaching from behind.

"Ho, so you have been left out here to greet me?" asked Efander, in her new voice. Aerarius turned around. In theory, he could have simply rotated his head, but it wasn't like he had anything else to be pretending to be paying attention to.

"That, and because I sort of stick out." he answered, looking over her makeshift clothing. "How's the new body feeling?"

Aerarius knew how difficult it could be to adjust to a new body, even one that was arguably a vast improvement in most respects. Of course, Efander's teething troubles (possibly literally, considering her apparent age) would be far different from his own. Efander's new body was still human, but of a different biological sex and apparent age from the previous one. There were still several unanswered questions, though. Will the new body grow up or is it frozen at this apparent age? And will the new body affect the sage's mind in any way? Would Efander end up going through puberty a second time? Only time would tell.

@Raineh Daze
Fleuri Jodeau

Fleuri drove the two bandits further back, swinging his sword and dagger with seemingly wild abandon. He was determined to ensure they would neither escape nor come to their leader's aid. The brigands had the sense to stay out of the reach of his greatsword, and continued to back away from the aggressive knight. One of them seemed to be looking for an opening, several times stepping forward in hopes of striking Fleuri while his greatsword was being swung back around. Every time she did, however, Fleuri stepped forward as he swung his dagger, threatening to strike her if she drew any closer, causing the bandit to shrink back rather than take the risk.

"Perhaps it would be a good time to surrender?" the other, more wary bandit asked as Fleuri's swings slowed and his aggressive assault subsided.

"Why? So you can have another week of life before you're hanged from the gallows?" the other berated him. "Or even worse, whatever Jeremiah will do to you after he's finished with their captain? Look, our foe is already tiring. Work with me and we'll take him down."

Indeed, Fleuri's movements were slowing. He was momentarily fatigued, for sure, and assumed a more defensive stance. The more aggressive bandit moved around to Fleuri's right, seemingly intent on giving her companion an opportunity to flank him.

"Are you paying attention?" the other bandit shouted, "Even Jeremiah can't kill all of them! And even if he kills their captain and calls that a win, it won't save us!" Fleuri breathed a sigh of relief beneath his helmet upon realizing the man's panicked hesitation.

This might not be as hard as I anticipated, No, not nearly as hard, he noted as he noticed a knight approaching the female bandit, unnoticed.

"Then if you're going to die, die with a weapon in your hand, not with shackles on them," she indignantly shouted, her rage with her companion's cowardice and wariness of Fleuri blinding her to the approach of the fourth combatant. "And maybe take down a few of our killers with...aaahh!"

The approaching Iron Rose knight skewered the bandit woman on her sword, and tossed her expiring body to the side. "Do you need any help, Sir Jodeau?"

"Affirmative, knight-sister," Fleuri nodded, turning to who looked like he was ready to soil himself.

"I surrender!" the brigand cried, dropping to his knees and throwing his axe to the ground. "I don't care if I'll hang, I just don't want to cut in half!"

The second Iron Rose Knight tied up the capitulating foe while Fleuri watched their backs. "It looks like some of them aren't giving up," Fleuri observed. "Let's leave him and take care of the rest."

As he rushed to join the battle to contain the bandits, Fleuri wondered how Fanilly and the other knights were faring against Jeremiah. Depending on how fanatical he was in his hatred of Thaln, a man like Jeremiah might consider it a victory simply to kill the captain, even if most of the knights survived and he and his entire gang were wiped out. Or perhaps he was a megalomaniac with dreams of ruling his own kingdom.
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