Elias was huddled in some dank corner of Fort Stag's tavern. His arm rested lazily on the table sat against a window that gave him view of the barracks and training area. A sizeable crowd had already taken form around a small pit there. Word traveled fast, it seemed. His thick digits pressed into the hood of his eyelids as he took one last swig from his canteen before getting to his feet. The clanking and rattling of armor and leather filled the nearly empty tavern. Reaching into his pocket he pulled out two silver livre before pushing them along the bar to the barkeep. Despite the barkeep's thanks Elias never even paid him a glance. Let's see this over with.
By now the daytime clouds had all but evaporated into a haze of deep blues and greys. Only a few stars had managed to worm their way through the ever present overcast. Tucked away towards the western skies was a pocket of waning orange. From within the walls of the fortress though, alight with torches, the orange had never left. There was a heavy chatter stirring throughout the fortress as a good number of the fort's occupants had gathered around the expanse. They were eager, restless. As Warden Black made his way towards the barracks he could see the Knight Captain escorting one of the new recruits towards the crowd. He made haste for the pair.
Driskell soon noticed the older man make his way towards them, and signaled for him to approach. I-I don't think I can do this,
Arlo whimpered as he slowed his step. Ignoring his plea the Knight Captain turned his attention towards Black.Cristo, are you drunk?
Before the Ward could respond, Driskell brushed off any response with a simple flick of his hand before continuing forward, using the other hand to guide Arlo closer to the circle. I see you've told him.
Driskell was always shy to the traditions of the Order. Not that Elias could blame him. Still, they served a function. Please m'lord, th-they'll have my head!He's not a Lord, and you aren't one of us. Not yet,
Elias took control of the situation by position himself between Driskell and Arlo. Elias' hand was much less gentle in shoving Arlo forward. The recruit stumbled forward, barreling into a few spectators as they neared the center. Make way!
Elias managed to continue to shove Arlo through the throngs of bodies as he himself pushed passed a number of onlookers. Most of them were so caught up in drinking and banter that they hardly noticed the three push their way through the crowd. They and Captain Driskell neared the edge of the small makeshift pit. A large circle had been carved into the dirt. We are here tonight,
Driskell tried to bring the crowd to a hush, but his voice went unheard. To wash away the sins of our new brother,
Still the crowd proved too loud for the Captain. Enough of this.Quiet!
Elias had managed to cut through some of the noise, but still some of the crowd remained unswayed. Before Elias could yell again the sound of a rifle being fired rippled through the air. The crowd quickly quieted save for a few murmurs among them trying to find the source of the shot. I said quiet, ye damn fools!
Smoke billowed out from a nearby wall of the barracks. From the smoke stood a towering mass of man, his face obscured by a large witch's hat. Elias could see the figure from his vantage point, and could feel the corners of his mouth perk up in a smile. Old man Lurch
Realizing the crowd had fallen silent, Elias gathered himself quickly. Without so much as a word Elias shoved the recruit face first into the mud of the pit. The crowd erupted in a brief cheer.
Elias lazily lifted a hand in the air to quiet them again.I know I don't need to tell you crazy bastards why we're here,
Elias' breath turned to mist from his mouth against the crisp night air. He quickly rubbed his hands together for some warmth.When you take the Oath of Blood you are born new men.
A number of people gathered in the crowd voiced agreement with the sentiment. But there are those whose blood- it don't wash off that easy. Are we not slayers to monsters?! Protectors of kin?!
The warden's rallying cry stirred another cheer amongst the crowd.
Arlo was already covered from head-to-toe in mud. His typical blonde hair dirtied and messy. He picked himself up as Elias spoke before reaching out for the Ward's hand. Please, by the Ten! Show mercy! Whatever price there is to be paid, I will pay it. Please m'lord. You can't let them kill me.
Before Arlo could continue his begging he could make out something flying towards his eye. His hand quickly moved to meet whatever had hit his face only to feel the slime of spit and snot dripping from his brow. He wiped away at it in disgust. Much of the crowd began laughing, one soldier in particular was suggestively shoving another of his comrades as he let out a belly laugh. F*cking coward c*nt.
The soldier managed to yell out towards Arlo through gritted teeth before laughing again.
Elias' gaze shifted to the soldier. Do it again, and I'll carve you a fresh new c*nt for prickin'.
The soldier's smile quickly soured as his brow furrowed and he looked away from the ward. He knew Elias Black could make good on that threat. The ward knelt down to meet Arlo's gaze. They already know what ye done Arlo, better this than a shiv in your sleep. Ye won't have their respect without atonement. Oh gods, please.
Arlo was crying by now as he collapsed back into the mud with a whimper. A bit of rain had begun to pick up. The smell of sulfur returned as raindrops pelted down from the night sky. Arlo, son to Astoria, ye have committed crimes unforgivable to the Order. For those crimes there is no reprieve. So, let the man that committed them die here, in the muck and dirt.
Before Elias could say anything more the soldier from before jumped down into the pit. Arlo rose to meet the challenge only for a hard right fist to send the recruit back down to the dirt. Arlo sat there on his hands and knees for a moment. His hair was completely wet now, and he was bleeding from the eye. He wiped what blood he could away before standing up again. This time when his opponent went to swing Arlo blocked it before pivoting backwards and landing a blow himself. The soldier quickly shook off the blow and smirked back to Arlo before delivering another bunch towards the forehead. As the recruit fell back towards one of the walls of the pit another soldier from the ledge kicked into the back of his head.
Soon after another soldier jumped down into the pit, and lifted Arlo back to his feet. He held him in place as the first soldier delivered a number of blows into his gut. At this point Arlo had begun to cough up a bit of blood onto his shirt. The soldier holding him in place shoved him towards another edge of the pit. The albino brith that was in the courtyard when Elias arrived, Fiske, reached out and bore his claws into the roof and cheek of Arlo's mouth. It was only when Arlo propelled himself forward did Fiske let go. The brith was satisfied enough with the rip he heard as his claws released the human. As Arlo lay on the ground another of the Order began kicking him in the gut, and pushing mud into his face with his boot. Another soldier spit on him from atop the edge of the pit.
Arlo had quickly been reduced to a bloody mess, whimpering as he laid in the mud and accepted death. The rain had turned to a downpour. It was clear that some in the crowd were displeased. A few clergyman and healers dispersed, and a few still stayed to express that it was enough. Still neither Elias or Driskell stepped forward.
Arlo's jaw was swollen, and he could hardly speak. An eye was swollen shut. His blood mixed with mud and rain in a puddle around his head. Through a raspy whimper he could only manage a prayer.
Holy Father, I pray you tear from me the burden of men. Make me anew, so that I may live in your light unhindered. Blessed be thy will, and the name of the Ten above and below. Hollowed is thy ground, and present is your name. I follow you Lord of Light, into forever and into nothing. For yours is the path...
This is madness. Will no one stop them?
Sacha pushed his way passed a swarm of bodies all looking towards the center of the circle. The rain and the constant thudding of boot against flesh hit against Sacha's consciousness as he tried to snake his way through the crowd. Stop this! You're going to kill him,
He shouted as he desperately continued forward. A few in the crowd stared back at the noble though none tried to stand in his way. Finally cutting through the crowd, Sacha jumped down into the pit.
Still, Arlo was limp on the ground muttering to himself as a few men still eagerly pummeled him. Sacha quickly pulled at the ornate wheellock pistol fastened to his belt before aiming it at the soldiers. So distracted in their delights were they that nary any of the men even noticed Sacha aiming at them. That's enough,
Sacha commanded. What the fuck are you doing?
The first soldier to strike at Arlo turned his attention to Sacha. There was a sort of animalistic bewilderment on his face. As if Sacha were the brute of the two. You've all made your point,
Sacha tried his best to keep his hand from shaking. His brows were furrowed as his stared with intent towards the soldiers. Apparently not,
he said inching closer. Must be as sick as this one to wave that thing at me in his name. This is the way of the Order.Then your way is wrong,
Sacha stood firm against the rain and building wind. His wet hair collected on his forehead, and his clothes were nearly soaked. I won't tell you to step away from him again.Stop,
Black called out from atop the pit. The boy's nearly at the plunge. Get yourselves cleaned up. You smell like dog.
The Ward's eyes met with Sacha's for a moment. Elias remedied that fact by walking off back towards the tavern without so much as another word. Let's get him up,
Captain Driskell said through a groan as he pulled Arlo's body from the fighting pit. The recruit cried in pain as he did so. Arlo laid motionless in the Captain's arms. Compared to Driskell, Arlo was quite small. Driskell looked to the men in the pit.You have killed what was. See to it that this,
he continued as his eyes moved from Sacha to the soldiers. Died with it.
Sacha stood in disbelief. He shook with a quiet fury. His pistol rested loosely in his right hand, and his eyes met the dirt and mud beneath him. His hair now completely obscured his eyes. The soldiers pushed passed him, and Sacha made no attempts to resist. He simply stood. Even as the crowd began to disperse. M**rde