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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, I was one of several close-knit Fallout RPers who came here.

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I hope you're okay.
Fleuri Jodeau

Fleuri spotted the mausoleum ahead, its location revealed by dim light emanating from its interior. He had extinguished his torch as to not risk compromising the captain's plans to handle this mission stealthily, but without a light source and his eyes not adjusted to the darkness, he had not been able to navigate the cemetery as quickly as he had liked. As he got closer he could hear brief shouting coming from inside, and discerned a distinct order coming from a very distinct voice.

"Iron Roses, charge!"

In his rush to answer his captain's command and rejoin his fellows, he didn't notice the dead man lying near the entrance until he almost tripped over it. He reeled instinctively at the unanticipated sight of the corpse. It took only a moment for him to regain his bearings, slightly ashamed at being spooked by something so mundane and routine for the Iron Roses. Even in the darkness, he could tell it wasn't one of theirs- the Iron Roses would never just leave a fallen brother or sister lying on the ground like this. It must have been a sentry that the others had dispatched.

Fleuri carefully stepped over the dead man and entered the mausoleum where the others were gathered. The interior of the above-ground antechamber was decorated as expected for the burial place of a noble family of Thaln with statues and carvings depicting Mayonite and Reonite iconography, and a central altar. A light peeked from down the staircase leading into the underground sections of the tomb, and the sound of frantic footsteps made it clear that someone was coming.

"I'm back," he announced, drawing his claymore. "Have I missed anything important?"
Fleuri Jodeau

Fleuri trudged through the cemetery, alone but earshot of the other knights, torch in hand. Even with his relative proximity to his brothers and sisters of the order, the eerie calm of the cemetery and the dance of the shadows of the trees and headstones against his torch frayed his nerves, made all the worse by the knowledge that there was a necromancer in the area. It wasn't a matter of if, but when they ran into the reanimated dead. Fleuri recalled the advice of his mentor, the paladin whom he had served as a squire during the War of the Red Flag.

It is normal for even devoted servants of Reon to feel apprehension or fear when faced with the prospect of battling the undead. What truly matters is that you carry out Her will regardless. Through devotion to Reon, knowledge of our enemy, and experience in facing them, we have the strength to stand and fight when others would falter and flee.

Another important lesson his mentor had taught him was the importance of preparation when facing necromancers and undead. Failure meant not only death, but the very real possibility of one's remains being desecrated, reanimated, and used against your allies. With the situation as dire and urgent as it was, the Iron Roses didn't have time to properly prepare. Fleuri himself only had enough time to grab a claymore, cuirass, and helmet from the Crown Knights' armory. Fortunately, Fleuri knew of a way to offset their lack of preparation, because his family had already done it for them.

Fleuri arrived at one of his destination- the Jodeau mausoleum, the resting place of his ancestors. Two particular details distinguished this particular mausoleum: the Jodeau Sun symbol above the door, and the two statues of Reon flanking the door, their mismatched shade of stone compared to the rest of the structure making it clear that they were later additions. To Fleuri, it was a grandiose reminder of the power they once wielded, and of what they had become since then. It was a little somber to look upon, knowing that someday he too would be laid to rest within.

It was fortunate he didn't need to go inside, because with his nerves as rattled as they were, he would have to muster a great deal of courage to do so. He examined the door, checking to ensure that its lock had not been broken. The door did not budge, its lock holding it
tightly shut. Relieved and satisfied at the knowledge that the tomb had not been broken into, Fleuri then began examining the statues more closely.

The statues, depicting a goddess known for her small stature, were much shorter than the ones they replaced, and stood on conspicuously tall plinths in order to maintain the same profile. But Fleuri knew that there was another reason that they made the plinths so large- preparation. When his family devoted itself to Reon, there came worries that they would begin making enemies of the practitioners of the profane practice of necromancy, and that their family tomb would become a particularly tempting target for wicked mages. Thus they had prepared for this eventuality, by placing a cache of blessed anti-undead equipment inside the hollow spaces hidden in one of these plinths, so that if their duty to Reon and to family ever demanded that they place their ancestors to rest again, they would have the weaponry set aside to do so. At least that's what Fleuri was taught- he didn't actually know what the equipment was. In theory it was only supposed to be used if their own tomb was desecrated, but the circumstances now demanded otherwise.

It should be around here somewhere, Fleuri thought as he fumbled around looking for any sort of secret compartment in the plinths with his torch as his only illumination. Ah, there we go. Fleuri opened a hidden sliding door on the back of the plinths and reached inside, pulling out a small satchel. Really? Is this all we had stashed here? he thought to himself, visibly let down that the only contents were was two flasks of Reonite holy fire-water. It was useful weaponry against undead for sure, but not nearly enough of it to make much of a difference. I suppose it's better than nothing, he thought, as he hastily slung the satchel onto his shoulder and dashed back to the rest of the group, hoping he didn't miss anything.
I'm still here. I'll begin working on a post soon.
Fleuri Jodeau

So if her ramblings are true, she only did this to save her sister. I wasn't expecting this, not at all, Fleuri thought to himself as he read the words written by the assassin. Judging by the simplistic messages she scrawled, she was clearly quite distraught.

The captain seemed to be almost as upset as the assassin by this revelation. Fleuri himself was a little more conflicted. It was easy to be sympathetic and merciful when your foe looked like a cute human child with a sob story and a heart-wrenching injury upon her throat. He started to wonder- did any of the nobles who backed Phoran Cal, or the peasants who turned to banditry and joined Jeremiah have similar motivations, committing their terrible deeds for the sake of family?

Just then, Fleuri heard a most unlikely bystander speak. "What is going on?" Fleuri turned his head and immediately recognized the new arrival, accompanied by her bodyguard Haelstadt. It was Veileena Cal, the scion of the Cal family, daughter of the infamous Phoran Cal, arriving as if on cue from the mere thought of her family. Fleuri was a little surprised to see her her attending the ball. She had nothing to do with her father's rebellion, but the wounds and scars of the conflict were still fresh.

"I have heard cries of an assassin," Veileena continued, "If such grievous action against the crown has been conducted, I am certain that all those capable of combat should be made available, should they not?"

"Assuredly, Lady Cal, this heinous act will not go unpunished" Fleuri replied to her. "It may be wise, however, for you to return to whatever remains of the party. If the other nobles see you present at the aftermath of an attempted assassination, they may get the wrong idea."

Tyaethe was ordering the palace to be locked down. Normally this wouldn't be so bad- after all, it was a royal ball- but the assassination had cast a shadow over the entire affair to the point that it seemed doubtful that the lockdown would be particularly pleasant. There was one thing she spoke that caught Fleuri's attention.

"I hope everyone's ready to get moving as it is, it would take too long to go back and get everyone's armour. We'd be spotted instantly."

Hold on, I don't even have a weapon aside from this pitifully small Nem blade. Does she even remember that the rest of us can't regenerate injuries or conjure armor? He almost opened his mouth to protest, but stopped himself at the last moment. No, Fleuri, it's not worth it.

Still, he needed some equipment, and the castle should have an abundance of it. With this in mind, Fleuri approached the princess, careful as to not get too close or make any movements that'd agitate the Crown Knights.

"Your royal highness," he addressed her as he bowed, "Might you allow some of your Iron Roses to temporarily borrow from the castle's stockpile of armor and weapons? We have no time to lose to stop those who wish you dead, but many of us are currently without proper equipment."

Léon Reverdin

"I am not exactly the artistic type, but I can handle marking our path," Léon replied to Tristam. "Just let me know which direction you want us to go and I shall apply a trail mark."

He himself wasn't much use in this situation, and was able to discern very little from his observations. No obvious path, no sign of animals, just trees and more trees. There was also another matter on his mind- the circumstances of the monastary's rediscovery. To his knowledge, this ruin's location had remained lost and undiscovered for thousands of years. Was there a reason it had taken so long for someone to stumble across it? Was this region of woodland somehow unexplored, or was it avoided? Perhaps it was simply overlooked- after all, after several thousands years in this forest, Léon didn't expect to find anything more than a few crumbling remains of stone walls jutting out the ground from a foundation buried beneath millennia worth of pine forest detritus.

I wonder if there will be anything that remain of Elionne's shrine in a few thousands years. Will the works of today survive as long as the works of yesterday?

I'll try to get a post today or tomorrow.
Fleuri Jodeau

"That would explain her silence," Fleuri observed when the assassin's scarf was removed. Someone had ripped out her voice box, depriving her of the ability to speak, and had somehow done so without killing her. But why would anybody perform such a gruesome procedure, and what kind of person would choose to undergo such life-changing butchery? Despite all the gruesome things he had seen done do a human body, often by his own hand, Fleuri felt a twinge of discomfort at the sight of the scars on the Nem's throat.

Fleuri wasn't surprised that an assassin would undergo something like this- it wasn't unheard of for those attempting high-profile assassinations to resort to extremely drastic measures if they're committed to a cause beyond simply collecting payment. With that in mind, it was more surprising to him that the Nem hadn't burned up in a sudden burst of magic or begun seizing up from an unseen self-administered poison.

If she's not willing to die, perhaps it's not entirely impossible to coax some information out of her.

Tyaethe asked the assassin if she could write, to which she affirmatively nodded. Fleuri was a little apprehensive about giving the assassin a sharp writing implement, but to his relief she didn't try anything. Her message simply said, "YOU KILLED HER".

That explains her gripe with us, if we killed someone close to her. At least I think that's what she's saying. The context of her answer is rather ambiguous.

Fleuri knelt down next to the assassin. "If it is not too painful for you, my lady, could you elaborate on the meaning and context of your message? I'm afraid it is a bit unclear to us what your reply means."

The knight shifted his mantle to cover his neck and tightened his grip on the Nem's blade as he questioned her. His intention was to be as diplomatic and nonthreatening as possible, but it never hurt to be a little cautious.
High Inquisitor Tektus- The Vessel

Tektus sat upon his throne in the Vessel, pondering what he had seen. Seagoing raiders and trappers weren't unheard of, but this was something on another level, both physically and existentially. That dreadful fleet, composed of ships that shouldn't be afloat and crewed by men that shouldn't be alive, it was unlike anything he had ever beheld. There was no way that such a terrible fleet's intentions were anything but malevolent- even the grisly aesthetic favored by raiders seemed mild compared to the menacing aura that the ships projected.

"High Inquisitor, we are approaching Atom's Island," one of the crew announced on the intercom. "Where do you wish for us to dock?"

"Dock the Vessel at Southwest Harbor, but do not power down the engines," Tektus commanded. "I must first question those manning the harbor before we make our way to the Nucleus."

The submarine slowly and carefully made its way toward the island. They surfaced near Huntress Island, switching from sonar navigation to visual. Without sonar, the fog would have left them almost blind if it weren't for the placement of several radioluminescent beacons placed along the coast to safely guide pilgrims to the harbor. After carefully making its way through toward the harbor, the submarine came to a stop at the pier.

"High Inquisitor, we have docked. We shall await further instructions." Tektus rose from his seat and carefully made his made his way out of the Vessel. As he stepped out onto the docks, he looked at the fog-enshrouded town. It was very early in the morning, with most illumination coming from oil and radium lanterns within the town.

When the Children of Atom found Southwest Harbor, it was inhabited by Trappers, probably either former inhabitants turned feral by Atom's holy fog, or perhaps they were simply squatters that sought shelter. Shortly before the crusade to retake the Capital Wasteland, the Children of Atom seized the harbor, turning it into a hub for Children of Atom pilgrims and supply boats, and a hub for trade with the locals of Far Harbor. So far, this arrangement had proven mutually beneficial with their neighbors- the Children of Atom were able to avoid having to go through Far Harbor on their way to the Nucleus, and the Harbormen had a relatively safe trade route for their fishermen and traders to engage in commerce with the Atom's faithful.

The High Inquisitor was followed out of the submarine by two crewmembers, who began to tie the submarine to the pier. Tektus slowly walked up the docks, unable to get a good look at the state of the harbor through the fog. When he came close enough to get a decent look, he was relieved to see no sign of battle, no evidence of an attack. This was a fairly weak assurance though, he wouldn't be satisfied until he had spoken to someone.

"Who goes there?" shouted a zealot, partially obscured in the fog. She stepped closer, Radium Rifle raised. "Oh, High Inquistor, it is you! Forgive this humble servant, I foolishly assumed that you would head straight to Far Harbor. What do you require of us?"

"Far Harbor? Why would I head to Far Harbor?" Tektus asked curiously. Has something transpired in my absence?" It was by Tektus' decree that peace was established and maintained with the folks of Far Harbor. Tensions remained, however, as it was Tektus himself who, before his change of heart, had preached retribution against them, and it took time for the High Inquisitor to undo his previous mistakes.

"My apologies, High Inquisitor, I once again foolishly presumed you had come to answer their summons. Far Harbor was recently attacked by pirates, and Captain Parker has requested your presence. I don't have the details, but it's urgent enough that they swallowed their pride and asked us for help to summon you here," explained the zealot.

"I received no such message," the High Inquisitor answered. "We were already underway by the time it was sent. But you have my thanks for conveying the message. I shall speak with Captain Parker as soon as I can. Remain vigilant, my child, for I fear we face a new threat." Tektus immediately turned around and walked back to the Vessel, just as the crew had finished tying it to the pier.

"Prepare to cast off, we are setting a course to Far Harbor," he ordered the crewmen. Whatever those pirates did to Far Harbor must have been terrible if it compelled the normally stubborn Harbormen were asking for his help. A few days ago he'd have difficulty imagining what could frighten folks that bravely fend off Fog Crawlers and Super Mutants without flinching, but he didn't need to imagine it, not after seeing it with his own eyes. Atom willing, they would be able to provide him with further information on this mystery fleet.
Léon Reverdin

Léon trudged along, hefting his war hammer over his shoulder with one hand and leading a rented pack mule with the other. Long ago, there was probably a road leading to their destination, but today no trace of it remained, and the only way to get the monastery would be to hike through the Amalril Forest. The rough terrain ruled out bringing a wagon or cart, but the beast of burden behind him seemed surefooted enough to traverse the terrain, and strong enough to carry the shovels and other provisions on its back with little fuss.

It's a good thing we have Tristram with us, he thought to himself as he glanced at the seemingly endless trees all around them. Léon knew the basics of reading a map and compass, but it was nothing compared to the skills of a woodsman such as the the perpetually hooded longbowman. It was something he hadn't considered when putting his group together. Nor did he consider that given how long the monastery had been lost, it'd probably be difficult to find even if they had a general idea where it was.

Léon overheard Maribel chatting up Finn, asking about what they'd be in for once they reached the monastery.

"Normally, I'd assume a monastery to be pretty benign, as far as ruins go," he interjected. "They're places where monks and their ilk can live simple, pious lives away from the concerns of the world. But this isn't any ruin- it was one that was lost during the fateful war with the Dark Lord Orodrunn."

"For those who do not know the stories,"
he continued, now no longer talking directly to Maribel, but addressing everyone, "Orodrunn was a divine servant of the Dark Lord Hidroroth. When his master was slain, Orodrunn took up the mantle of Dark Lord, rallied the remnants of his forces, and began his own dark crusade sought to subjugate the world and all who lived within it. Nations stood united against him, but his power was far too great to be stopped by mere mortal armies. When all seemed lost, the twin goddesses intervened, empowering their champion, the knight known as Saint Lilianna, with the strength to shatter Orodrunn's black sword and strike him down."

"So, to answer your question, sister Maribel, it might be a mundane ruin where the only threat is injuring your back while excavating. Or, it could be that some evil vestige of that dark time is sleeping in the ruin, waiting for someone or something to wake it up."

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