Ephemeral [Update: 9/16/18]

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Zeke
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Ephemeral [Update: 9/16/18]

Post by Zeke » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:51 pm

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OOC Contact

Should you wish to join or if you have any questions, you can PM me through the SL2 Discord server. My name is Zeke. Or you can PM me on the forums here with your Discord name and I will add you.

History

From a young age, the boy had always felt that he was different. His father did not permit him to leave the home and walk the streets of Chaturanga without covering his face, neck and shoulders. Nothing must be visible, but most important were the eyes - yes the Karatynn who frequented the city were capable of stealing away years from a person's life merely through eye contact. No pain would be felt, no shortness of breath, no indication at all that one had been robbed. At least, this is what the boy's father had told him. Despite his skepticism and strongly assertive personality, the boy held a deep admiration for the man, and did not challenge him on this issue.

At the age of 16, five years following the disappearance of his father, the Chataran boy had entered adulthood. The vices and opportunities of his homeland were now open to him; his name day was celebrated with copious amounts of alcohol, to which he now had legal access. With flushed and elated faces, his family and friends congratulated the young man on his success. With acrid breath and booming voices, they expressed their curiosity about what would lie in his future. Would he be a smith? A tanner? An engineer? Would he pursue the prestigious and honorable path of serving as a sworn knight to Emperor Erachial?

But to this, the young man felt only revulsion. What had he done to warrant congratulation? Was this really adulthood? Were his people content to waste their lives earning meager wages, and ruin their bodies through drink? Had they lost ambition, resigning their city to the servitude of a man whose empire occupies what was once Chataran land? No, there had to be greater meaning in life. This was a rotten existence.

At the outbreak of the Oniga-Sigrogana War only several months later, a spark ignited in the young man. The same Empire which had once conquered Chataran land was now itself the target of conquest by Oniga. Like his own people, Onigans were known for their loyalty and honor; it was destiny that Chaturanga should join forces with Oniga and reclaim their land and their greatness. But his peers were complacent, and most were happy to fight on the side of the Empire in exchange for wealth. Was Chaturanga, its people and its culture really worth less to them than payment from the Emperor? Did their dreams extend only as far as lining their pockets with blue paper, so that they might fund their intoxication and ecstasy?

Disgusted again by the apathy of his people, he set out to pursue what they would not. Joining him in this endeavor were six of his closest childhood friends, upon whom he had made a strong impression even from a young age. As he marched with his friends, the Chataran thought back to the last time he had ever seen his father, covered head to toe in plate armor and billowing black garb. Whatever the purpose for his departure, it clearly would have involved combat. Would his father have approved the support of the Onigan war effort? Was he even alive to learn about it? These questions did not matter, however; the young Chataran was off to cut his teeth in the throes of battle. He would sweat and bleed for it. He would pour his soul into his sword. He would be the strongest.. And he would kill fellow Chatarans of the Empire's employ if necessary. Their lives had become those of dogs, after all.

Following the assassination of Tennou Myoga and the eventual capitulation of his successor, the Chataran wanted answers. Returning alone from the battleground, his dream yet unfulfilled, he journeyed to Karaten to investigate the rumors of the involvement by mages in the Tennou's death. Unable to uncover any useful information, the young man realized that it did not matter. His people were not the Onigans, and his lord was neither Myoga nor Ang. His destiny was not predicated on the success or failure of Oniga, but rather on his own hard work. The path to realizing his ambitions became clear: "I must reach new heights."

Given that Karaten was famed for its technological and magical innovation, the Chataran sought anyone in the city who might somehow enhance his body, and give him the strength to bear the burden of his people's rightful destiny. After a good deal of searching, aided by his ability to provide threats and bribery, he eventually came to the home of a pair of mages, strikingly similar in appearance; their wide grins and long pink hair are the only details still clear in his mind. He shared with the mages his desire for strength, and for the cunning to utilize that strength. He expressed his dream to see Kysei once again have a foothold on Sigrogana. He passionately expressed both his love for Chaturanga and his distaste for the way its people now waste their lives.

Moved by the Chataran's speech, the smiling twins agreed to perform an augmentation on the Chataran - all it would cost was the remaining murai he had earned while fighting for Oniga. With malice behind their grinning faces, they instructed the young man to lie across a thick wood table and remove everything from his person. Heavy plate armor dropped from the table to the floor, each piece shaking the framework of the mages' modest home. Recalling his father's words about the twisted inclinations of mages who peer into one's eyes, he slowly removed the last bit of armor: his visored great helm.

For the first time in his life, the young man had revealed his face outside the home. He now looked upon the mage twins, completely bare, and watched their mischievous smiles melt simultaneously into expressions that could only be described as seriousness and curiosity. The pair took a quick glance at one another before issuing their warning in tandem.

"We do not possess the power to create; for something to be gained, something of equal value must be lost. You will receive the strength and cunning you desire to achieve your ambitions, but remember this. Great men are brought into this world, and they are taken out of it. All cities that rise are destined to crumble. All empires that grow are destined to dissolve. You, your family, your comrades and lovers, will all die. The only thing that truly lasts is the bond of your spirit with the spirits of those you cherish. But all other things in this world are just so.. Ephemeral."

This is the last that the Chataran can remember. He awoke in the dead of night, fully clad in his clothing and armor, his satchel still heavy with money. The encounter with the pair of smiling mages changed the man; he had lost something vital which exists within all people. He is unable to taste food, and has lost the small pleasure that once came with eating. He is no longer moved to tears by the disappearance of his father or the deaths of his six loyal friends on the field of battle. He cannot remember their names. He cannot remember his name. His body does not seem to tire, and his ambition exists in his head more clearly than it ever did before. The final words given by the mages are burned deeply into his mind. Strength, planning, success, and the bonds formed with cherished comrades.. These are what matter most to the man who traded part of himself for the strength to lead his people.

But all men need names, and he will never remember his. The Chataran man whose resolve does not soften, whose vision does not falter, and whose body does not tire. He has given himself a new name. He is known only as Grind Knight.
Last edited by Zeke on Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:27 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Ephemeral [Update: 9/14/18]

Post by Zeke » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:14 am

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Guild Formation

Equipped now with a new name suited to him, the Chataran marched back to his home to once again attempt to secure military commitment. Finding that he did not need to stop and rest, Grind Knight reached the city more quickly than he ever had when traveling from Karaten. Remembering the complacency of the common people, his plan was a direct appeal to the council members who held rule over Chaturanga.

Climbing the marble steps to their chamber, Grind Knight demanded to be received by the council members at once. And he was.

The old men of the council listened to the young knight with skepticism, and scoffed at the idea of challenging the Empire; such dreams were for younger men with little to lose. Part of the responsibility of the council was to ensure the safety of the city and its people, and the potential reward of such a campaign was not worth the risk, they had agreed. Below his great black cloak, Grind Knight gripped the hilt of his sword with such ferocity that the metal began to bend, and the integrity of the weapon was saved only by a single word muttered by the oldest council member.

"However..."

Grind Knight loosened his grip and, through his helm, looked intensely upon the face of the frail man. Deep within the man's face, which must have seen more than a century, the bright and unmistakably gleeful eyes were fixed right back on the knight.

"However," the old man continued, "we can leave you with the tools you need. Chaturanga will itself not be involved, you understand. But we could not call ourselves the leaders and protectors of its people if we allowed one of ours to march off to die."

From beneath his robe, the old man retrieved a small satchel and a scroll, whose wax seal had already been broken. He made his way slowly to Grind Knight, as old men are wont to do, and raised his gaze to the helm of the massive knight once he had come close enough. Unafraid, the old man offered over both the satchel and the scroll, and left him with some parting words. "Only a fool commits himself to such a campaign alone. You have sought our help, and so you are not a fool. And although we cannot help you, I believe you are capable of finding those who can. Do not frequent this place, young man, and do not return until you can repay the debt."

Taking one last look at the solemn faces of the other council members, Grind Knight looked down at the frail man and thanked him before turning and taking his leave of the council chamber.

Making his way out of the city, the knight passed by the home which had been his since infancy. But as he looked upon the home trying to recall how he had spent his play time, or how the kitchen had smelled, or what it had felt like to lie in his bed, there was nothing. No memories at all, except that it had once been his. However,it was now just like any other: Chaturan, and worth fighting for. And nothing more.

Once outside the city walls, he inspected what the old man had given him. Inside the satchel were several large metal discs whose centers were occupied by gems. Having no need of such frivolous ornaments, he nearly tossed them aside until he saw what had been engraved into the metal. This was mura - Alstalsian currency. He counted the discs, using the engravings to determine their total worth. The satchel he had been given contained precisely one million murai. He realized that this would be enough to feed and equip a small band of followers, and to establish a base of operations. He also realized that this is likely the debt to which the old man had referred.

Now recognizing the broken seal as that of the Alstalsian capital, Grind Knight opened the scroll and read its contents. It was addressed to the council of Chaturanga, and was a request for the services of some of the city's black knights. Thinking that such a massive payment was entirely unnecessary, he continued to read the request and soon understood the gravity of the request.

Having now journeyed to Alstalsia, out of the city proper and up into the frigid mountainous region, the knight thought back to what he had read, and understood why the old man had given him the scroll. It was not long into his trek before he began to hear the noises. A sorrowful wailing of something that did not sound human, a thick presence in the air, and a bloodlust more intense than he had felt from any of his foes during the war. It was enough to break the will of an average man and leave him vulnerable to assault. Grind Knight stopped, and stood so still that he could have been mistaken for one of Chaturanga's great marble statues. He waited for the predator to reveal itself.

Silently and suddenly, a figure faded into vision from behind the howling frosted winds. It was large enough to rival Grind Knight himself in size, and from the neck down seemed only to be a tattered mess of various fabrics. Upon its head was the skull of some strange creature that could only be described as both bovine and demonic. But without fear or hesitation, Grind Knight called out its name and stopped the creature's advance.

"Yark Horn."


***


This meeting marked the beginning of his organization, and the tenets upon which it operates. With his first recruit and a small loan of one million murai, Grind Knight returned to Sigrogana, landing in Dormeho and establishing a base of operations.

"To restore Chataran ownership of land on the main continent, and to allow the people of Sigrogana to govern themselves in the absence of the tyrannical Empire."

Recalling the sage words of the pink-haired mage twins of Karaten, he added to this statement of purpose.

"And, with those who are cherished, to form bonds which time itself cannot erode."

Cities will crumble, empires will dissolve, and loved ones will perish. Even his guild itself would some day cease to exist, but not before seeing his ambitions realized. Imbued with the understanding of finality, this was Grind Knight's mark on history. This was Ephemeral.
Last edited by Zeke on Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Ephemeral [Update: 9/14/18]

Post by Yark » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:14 am

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Guild Tenets


1) Reclaim part of the main continent for Chaturanga.
As the guild leader is a Chataran, it is our objective to reclaim a small slice of the main continent. The slice in question is Dormeho.

2) Dissolve the Empire's stranglehold over its people.
True heroes are not created under such suffocating rule. The people of Sigrogana are much more creative and competent than the dogs you call Guards, and we have demonstrated this. Guards are not a threat, but many citizens are quite intimidating! Govern yourselves, defend yourselves, and immortalize the names of your strongest heroes.

3) Form strong bonds with your brothers and sisters.
True strength comes from friendship! Without it, we are individual moving parts unable to operate in synchrony. When you are a member of Ephemeral, your fellow guild members are your best and most reliable friends.

4) Operate with style, and learn to pose.
All great warriors must also be fashionable. Just as important as combat proficiency is learning how to be flashy. Members will learn how to do incredibly masculine and memorable poses that will earn admiration from the common folk, and strike fear into the hearts of those who seek to challenge you.

5) Earn your name.
Grind Knight is so named because he cannot remember his birth name; however, the rest of us are different. When we have sufficiently demonstrated our worth, we are given a new name by Grind Knight, and through dedication to the guild and its purpose, we aspire to some day forget our true names as well.

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