The Great Library of Palanthas

An Aesthetic shows you to a small reading room.

Stories of Ansalon from the view of Aldruhn.

A little gully dwarf runs by and says 'Wordwrap Off 65 80.'
The gully continues 'Eyes hurt? Turn Color OFF!! (regular story dates)

Astinus says 'Enter the main library here to view only the author list.'
Astinus gently places a heavy platinum-covered book on the table in front of you.
You note the spine bears the word 'Aldruhn' scribed in faded orange ink.


Author:    Aldruhn        
Date:      Fri Jun  7 23:05:33 2019
Subject     Origin Story

As a young boy growing up, Aldruhn was raised on a steady diet of the Oath and the Measure, coming from a long line of Solamnic Knights. His father, also a Knight of Solamnia, was long since retired, both from his formal Knighthood duties and from his esteemed rank of High Clerist, where he served the people as a warrior healer, administering justice from atop the Order of the Sword. As the young boy grew up throughout childhood, his father guided him in his communion with Paladine, and his relationship with his deity grew in such a way that allowed him the ability to channel divinity itself. With his father's guidance, he grew up learning to wield both the physical and the divine as weapons. And he grew quickly. Large and athletic for his age, he began to physically dominate his peers on the training ground, to the point where his father realized that the young boy, now grown into the body of a young man, needed to be sent elsewhere to receive a more formal education. And so, he was sent to Solanthus, bearing a letter with his father's seal. Here, his father knew, was where he would learn what it meant to be a Knight of Solamnia; where he would learn to do battle and to channel the highest powers of divinity, and where he would learn about what duty and honor truly meant. Est Solarus Oth Mithas

Author: Aldruhn Date: Tue Jun 11 22:10:27 2019 Subject Origin Story (Part II)

His arrival in Solanthus had been surprisingly understated. While not big on fanfare, he certainly expected some benefit from being the son of a recently retired High Clerist. Yet, upon presenting his documentation, impressive wax seal and all, a bedroll and dented canteen were shoved roughly into his arms, and a head nod from the Sergeant-at-Arms told him where the barracks were. That was fine by him. He preferred to make his way on his own merits. But when he was well out of ear shot, the grizzled Sergeant-at-Arms turned to the Knight beside him, who was busy preparing the roll of new members, and muttered gruffly, "That's the son of Lord Charles LeClerc. Make sure to keep an eye on him." ------------------------------- Fast forward several months, and the young man was taking vigorously to his role and his duties. Though he despised certain activities, like latrine duty, he grew to understand, deeply, what duty and responsibility truly meant. His respect for all of the Knights that he met grew immensely. The way they walked around the yard, metal shining brilliantly in the afternoon sun, weapons on their hilts, a powerful stride, a strong confidence in their commands; these were all aspirations he held as he trained to join the Knighthood. His goal, though he never breathed a word of it to anyone, was to join the Order of the Sword, just like Father. Maybe even High Clerist someday, when he let himself dream. The role was empty at the moment, and during those dark hours of latrine duty, he did, indeed, let himself dream of being a Lord Knight, commanding entire Quadrons of men! It was during one of these daydreams that the Sergeant-at-Arms approached him, and in his grizzled way, let Aldruhn know that he was being promoted to Squire. Imagine that, becoming an actual Squire to an actual Knight! He was beside himself. Never mind that they hadn't actually figured out his Patron Knight yet, that would come soon enough. In the meantime, the Sergeant-at-Arms informed him that, due to a shortage in certain regions, he (along with several other newly minted Squires) was going to be sent to a Solamnic outpost near the Throtyl Gap. They were having some trouble with the Dragonarmies in and around Jelek, and the Knighthood wanted to bolster some of the Knights at the outpost. He was told that his Patron Knight would be decided by the time he arrived and would be one of the Knights currently stationed at that outpost. As he finished packing his gear and mounted the horse he was allotted, an old mare without much speed or agility remaining (in fact, he was pretty sure she was blind), he looked at the small group of men around him, roughly two Companies (each Company has 1 Knight and 5 men-at-arms, or fellow Squires). These dozen or so men would ride out towards Jelek together, almost entirely comprised of his fellow, newly promoted, Squires. Most of these young men he had grown extremely close to in the last couple months, and he swelled with pride as he looked over them all. Jeryk, Oren, Winfrid, and the others. These would be his brothers-in-arms throughout his days in the Knighthood. He spurred his blind old mare forward, daydreaming about fighting alongside his brothers against the Dragonarmies, wielding faith and mace with deadly ferocity. Little did he know, those daydreams were going to become a reality far sooner than he, or his brothers-in-arms, would be ready for. Est Sularus oth Mithas

Author: Aldruhn Date: Fri Jun 14 20:18:10 2019 Subject Origin Story (Part III)

They weren't far from the Outpost now, just about a day's ride. The group was exhausted. They'd been riding hard for almost a fortnight after receiving word that there had been an increase in Dragonarmy raids. Now, as they setup camp, they looked around wearily. Two of the recently promoted squires, Jeryk and Winfrid, were ordered to scout the immediate area for danger while the rest of them put up tents, hunted for dinner, and built small fires. By the time Aldruhn and others had returned with a couple of hares and a squirrel, Jeryk and Winfrid were riding back into camp, reporting no obvious threats in the area. Nonetheless, two of the older squires, Orin and Daryl, were assigned to stand watch that night. Despite being close to the Outpost, the group couldn't afford to take any risks with increasing reports of Dragonarmy raiders in the area. Except for the two unlucky scouts, the rest of them tucked into their tents and bedrolls in an effort to get some sleep before the final day's push. ------------------------------- His eyes snapped open in an instant. Dreams of Paladine and Huma disappeared and were replaced by darkness. He waited but a second for his eyes to adjust to the darkness, an odd ability that his family had passed down for generations, the ability to see discernable shapes in the darkness, almost see clearly in the dark. In that second that passed, he heard a twig break and a grunt. As he raised silently from his bedroll, grabbing the mace that lay beside him, he watched as several shapes approached in the distance. He watched as they quickly overwhelmed one of the squires on watch and slit his throat callously. With a quick movement, he silently woke the two men next to him: Jeryk and Winfrid. Not more than a couple of words needed to be whispered before they were up, armed, and off to warn the others. Aldruhn moved forward stealthily; there were only four of them, and they looked to be diminutiveprobably goblins. He had size and the element of surprise on his side, and fear wasn't exactly in his vocabulary. This would be his chance to prove himself worthy to the Knighthood. He crouched low as he raced towards the enemy, taking care to move as quietly as he moved quickly, praying to Paladine for protection as he closed in on the fight at hand. For a brief moment he smiled and could've sworn he felt a warmth wash over him, giving him an aid in battle, be it mental or real. As he started to get within ten yards of them, he could definitively make out that they were goblins, and he stood to greet them, yelling out a command, "Halt. In the name of the Knights of Solamnia, I demand you name yourselves and sheath your weapons." It was a simultaneous action, performed in one fluid motion. The standing, the raising his weapon in salute, the harsh bark of command. And yet, he almost instantaneously regretted it. In the moonlight, he now caught glimpses of other shapes, shapes he hadn't seen before with his infravision. How was this possible? What trickery had they used to disguise their body heat? Where he thought there were just four opponents, there now stood two dozen, twenty of which were nearly imperceptible in the darkness. One of them rose to respond in a hissing voice that oddly resembled a snake's slither, "Good. We're looking for the Sssolamnicsssss. We'll gladly keep our weaponssssss out, but thank you for your offer." A smirk crossed Aldruhn's face as he prayed once more for divine assistance; 24-to-1 seemed like fair odds in his mind, as his mace and shield suddenly glowed with a pale, white light. The goblins seemed to cower slightly, but the other creatures hardly moved. He could almost make out what looked to be snouts in the darkness. What creatures had descended upon them? Suddenly, before he could make a move to action, he heard sounds all around him. They were there, beside him. His brothers-in-arms. Jeryk and Oren and Winfrid. Both of the Knights had arisen and were somehow in full battle armor. One of them stood beside him and said a single word, "Draconians" and it hit him. How had he not recognized them from the stories? He steadied himself, waiting for his commanding officer's orders, mentally preparing himself for each draconian's death, knowing that with them would come one of stone, explosion, or acid. The odds were still 2-to-1 against them, but the already fearless Aldruhn felt bolstered further by his surrounding brethren. He felt almost invincible. How wrong he would end up being. Est Sularus oth Mithas

Author: Aldruhn Date: Wed Jul 3 18:31:26 2019 Subject Origin Story (Conclusion)

He heard the ancient battle cries of Solamnia ring out through the night air as his comrades raised their weapons in salute. The draconians, in response, let out a strange, guttural noise as they drew their own weapons. And, before anyone could blink, the two sides clashed. The battle was a blur. At times he found himself back-to-back with his fellow squires, only to get pulled apart and separated. Using his shield and mace as both defense and attack, he found himself pulling his weapon out of the back of a goblin that was descending on a wounded Jeryk. Just as he pulled free, he whirled and brought up his shield to parry a sword blow from one draconian, while his mace countered a devastating strike from a second draconian. Words and prayers flew from his lips like deadly arrows. The first opponent shrieked in horror as his eyes glossed over with a white film, completely blinding him. And, almost simultaneously, the second draconian felt his arms shrivel and weaken, becoming almost entirely useless as his weapon dropped from frail hands. A quick swing from his right arm, and Aldruhn's mace connected with the underside of the weakened draconian's chin, lodging itself deep in the creature's skull. Quickly, he yanked back on the weapon, but it was too late. The creature turned to stone and stole the weapon from his grasp. Meanwhile, his original opponent was swinging about wildly, unable to see and hoping to kill the man who'd cursed his sight. To the young squire's dismay, he watched as the crazed draconian connected with another preoccupied squire, the sword driving deep underneath the armpit and killing the man instantaneously. Aldruhn recognized the young man. It was Winfrid, one of his good friends and a man he considered to be a brother. In a scream of rage, he charged the still-blind opponent, smashing into him using his shield as a battering ram. As the two fell to the ground, Aldruhn landed on top and bounced off to the side. Scrambling quickly to his feet, he found the draconian stunned and trying slowly to get up. A vicious, booted kick to the head ended his life, and he turned to stone helplessly. The first draconian had by now turned to dust, and the young man returned to grab his weapon. As he turned to rejoin the fray, his eyes scanned the area and took stock of the situation. Three draconians were pulling their swords from all sides of one of the Knights; Jeryk and Orin stood back-to-back battling three more; the lone remaining Knight had lost his shield and wielded two goblin swords as he battled the final foes, a draconian and a stout goblin. ------------------------------- By the end of it, the four remaining fighters: Jeryk, Orin, Aldruhn, and the Knight, stood triumphantly. Jeryk and Orin were cut to shreds, but Aldruhn had been able to heal them to the point of survival. The Knight had lost full use of his non-sword arm, and it hung limply at his side. The final few moments of the battle had been a blur to Aldruhn. He remembered none of it but faith and mace, words and strikes coming from him with equal ferocity. It was a rage that blinded him to all but death, a rage created by the deaths of his fallen brethren. As he tried to recall the end of the battle, the Knight approached him and saluted him with his remaining good arm. He spoke in between ragged breaths, exhausted, "Young Squire. I salute your bravery and aptitude on the battlefield. We were outnumbered several times over, especially there at the end. I do not know what force came over you, but three of us owe you our lives. I will make sure to put forth a recommendation that you be knighted when we reach the camp." His mind reeled as his face remained stoic. He returned the salute to the commanding Knight and stole a quick glance at his fellow squires who nodded their appreciation exhaustedly. They would later relate the story to him in vivid detail, of how he appeared like a shining warrior-cleric out of nowhere, a bright white light surrounding him on the field. Each of the remaining eight opponents fell to his mace or his prayers, as they were struck with a deadly blow from both. He was a whirlwind of death and l His mind reeled as his face remained stoic. He returned the salute to the commanding Knight and stole a quick glance at his fellow squires who nodded their appreciation exhaustedly. They would later relate the story to him in vivid detail, of how he appeared like a shining warrior-cleric out of nowhere, a bright white light surrounding him on the field. Each of the remaining eight opponents fell to his mace or his prayers, as they were struck with a deadly blow from both. He was a whirlwind of death and light, an oddly reassuring combination to his companions and a devastating sight to his Dragonarmy opponents. As they finished burying their dead and left the field to begin packing up camp, Aldruhn stopped at the dust corpse of the leader of the small Dragonarmy regiment. On the creature's sleeve, he bore the insignia of a Captain of the Red Dragonarmy, a relatively high-ranking position in the Dark Queen's army. Aldruhn recognized this was a formidable foe that they had faced and defeated. He bent down and tore off the patch, pocketing it as a remembrance of this battle and his fallen comrades. He cursed his foes and knew he would never forget this battle and would seek vengeance on all who swore fealty to the Dark Queen. What was previously a distant hatred of an unknown evil was now a very personal, and very real, hatred of an immediate enemy. His days of fighting the Dragonarmies had officially begun. Est Sularus oth Mithas

Author: Aldruhn Date: Thu Aug 1 11:39:03 2019 Subject Knighting Ceremony

It was a short stay at the outpost in between Solanthus and Jelek. Turns out that most of the marauding force that was giving the outpost trouble was the group they had come into contact with and defeated. Aldruhn and the other survivors stayed there for a couple months. The Knight, true to his word, had sent dispatch back to Solanthus, heralding Aldruhn's deeds on the battlefield and offering his recommendation of Knighthood for the young man. With no further provocation from the Dragonarmies over the course of their stay at the outpost, those in command at Solanthus had ordered the four of them to return to the great city for the Council's next meeting, in which Aldruhn and the other two Squires were to be Knighted. While sharing the final watch with Jeryk and Orin, the three of them gushed about what it would be like to be a Knight of Solamnia. Like young children excited about the Traveling Faire, they talked over each other, describing their armor, their steeds, their weaponry, and the heroic deeds they would surely do as Knights. Jeryk supposed he would join the Defenders of the Crown, dedicating himself to the Order of the Crown and pursuing justice throughout Solamnia. Likewise, Orin figured himself as an eventual member of the Order of the Rose, dispensing wisdom and diplomacy. It almost went unspoken, but the three of them knew that Aldruhn would, most assuredly, join the Order of the Sword as a Knight Clerist. And, based upon his prowess on the field, his clear connection with Paladine, and his father's former role as High Clerist, both Jeryk and Orin truly believed he would be a High Clerist someday. He didn't want to think that far ahead or even allow himself to daydream about the possibility, but the position had been vacant for some time. But no, becoming a Knight Clerist would suffice for now, and he would wait to see what the future held for himself and his two stalwart brethren. -------------------------------

Author: Aldruhn Date: Thu Aug 1 11:46:29 2019 Subject Knighting Ceremony (Part II)

The journey back had been smooth and quick. The three Squires were fully rested and healed and refreshed. Unfortunately, the Knight seemed to have permanently lost use of his non-sword arm, but Aldruhn praised Paladine that it had not been the man's lifeblood: the arm he fought with. They stood there now, in the Knightly Audience Hall of the Great Keep of Solanthus, dressed in their most polished steel armor, the sun glinting off the three of them as it's rising light peaked through the windows of the hall. A gigantic room, filled with dozens of rows of seats, it felt even larger with how sparsely populated the seats were. These were times of war, and Knighting Ceremonies had to be done efficiently, with only the bodies that could be spared to attend. It gave a somber feel to the air, lightened only by the feeling of Paladine's presence surrounding the young men, one in particular. The Council, a stand-in of Lord Knights taking the place of either vacated, or out of town, High Knights, led the procession. The Knight that had fought beside the three young Squires was called forward to deliver his petition for Knighthood to the Council. What followed was the opportunity offered to anyone who wished to speak against the Knighting. Partially because the attendance was so scant, and partially because word of their battle had reached the city, the proceedings went smoothly and without objection. With all other business concluded, the congregated moved to the Chapel, a beautiful shrine to the Triumvirate and their presence within the Knighthood. The ranking Knight Clerist began with a prayer, calling upon the Triumvirate to bless the proceedings. Then, the highest-ranking Knight, a Lord Knight representing the Order of the Rose, asked the three of them to kneel. He spoke a single command, the weight of his words heavy in the still air of the chapel: "Young Squires. Draw your swords." Head held high, each of them drew their ceremonial swords and held it in their right hand, with the hilt over their heart and the blade vertical. The Lord Knight ordered them to follow his words and repeat the Oath of Ennoblement: "I do hereby pledge to honor the strictures of this sacred heritage and promise by my faith to be loyal to the Holy Brotherhood of Solamnic Knights, maintaining my devotion to all persons without deception or forethought. Further, I vow to uphold the principles of Loyalty, Obedience, Courage, Heroism, Justice, and Honor and to solemnly and faithfully follow the edicts of the Triumvirate. I take this pledge freely, without coercion or expectation of reward, sworn in this holy place before our Lords Paladine, Kiri-Jolith, and Habbkuk, and in blessed memory of those who have given their lives to this noble cause. Est Sularus Oth Mithas, Sifat." Their words, spoken in unison, echoed throughout the Chapel, reverberating off the walls and filling the air with a sense of purpose and fulfillment. They felt themselves lifted before the Gods as they spoke the final words, "Est Sularus Oth Mithas, Sift" and heard their voices ring out into the morning air. With bowed heads, they swiftly flipped their swords, and, holding them by the blade, offered the hilt to the Lord Knight. The Rose Knight approached each of them in turn, receiving their sword and tapping each of them on the shoulder with the blade. He paused at Aldruhn, last in the line of three, the sword lingering on the young man's shoulder several moments longer than the rest. The moment stuck with Aldruhn for a long time as he would later reflect back, wondering what the Lord Knight was doing in those seconds that felt like hours. However, what must have been mere moments later, he felt the hilt being handed to him, and the Lord Knight stepped back to face the three of them and spoke four, heavy, meaningful, importand words: "Rise, Knights of Solamnia."

Author: Aldruhn Date: Fri Aug 9 21:55:00 2019 Subject Global RP: The Light of Dawn

The fog of war had long since lifted from the ravaged lands of Ansalon. The last major battle now felt like a distant memory as the two sides sat in a bitter stalemate. The Dragonarmies of the Dark Queen held most of the entire continent under their merciless grip, while the Knights of Solamnia huddled deep within their few remaining fortresses, set on consolidating and surviving. The Dragonarmies, unable to breach the final few hold outs after years of sieges, eventually receded, content to leave the remaining Knights in their heavily guarded keeps. They would wait, let the dust settle, and hope that the future winds of fate would give them an opening. But, for now, they would be satisfied with occupying what felt like most of the known world. |--------------------------------------------------------------------------|{- Over the years, the Knights of Solamnia found their ranks beginning to swell back to numbers not seen since the start of the war. Survivors feared staying in the wilderness more than the journey to freedom, and so the remaining free people of Ansalon made their way to Palanthas, Solanthus, and Thelgaard. Refugees flooded these cities to the point of overflowing, and the Solamnics found the arrivers flocking to their cause. It got to the point where expansion wasn't just warranted, it was required. And so, the Knighthood started making plans to take back Caergoth and find a way to open up a path between Palanthas in the North and Solanthus and Thelgaard in the South. Without anything more than minimal contact in years, the Knighthood hoped to catch the Dragonarmies off guard with its two-pronged attack and fling open Coastlund and the Western coast of Ansalon...the first real play, by either side, in years. As the day of battle drew near, the Solamnic armies were finalizing preparations and planning. They knew Caergoth was heavily defended, while Coastlund, full of mostly grasslands and marshes, was fairly empty outside of roaming bands of Dragonarmy patrols. Lord Commander Galadir di Fortescue III, son of former Grand Master Galadir di Fortescue II, was acting as interim Grand Master as the Knighthood had yet to appoint any Grand Master, High Clerist, or High Justice since the last wars. As he stood over a large oaken table deep in the heart of Solanthus, a map of Solamnia spread before him, a Squire came running into the room, two parchment scrolls outstretched and utterly out of breath. Taking the scrolls from the young man, Galadir read them quickly. And then read them both again. And then turned his eyes to the map on the table. It couldn't be true. And yet, from two independent sources, the words were virtually the same: "Dragonarmy forces are retreating from all known holdings and withdrawing into Taman Busuk." "Sancrist, Ergoth, Caergoth, Kalaman, Lemish, Schallsea, more. All seeing Dragonarmies pull back. Unclear why but consolidating in Taman Busuk." The impending attack was called off while the Knights validated, and confirmed, the truth to their reports. Suddenly, and without warning, the Dragonarmies of the Dark Queen were withdrawing from all of the territory they'd won and held over the years. The Knighthood, and the masses of refugees, slowly began spreading back out and reclaiming their former territories. While partially recovered, their numbers were not yet large enough to fully reclaim all of the lands, and so they consolidated wisely, allowing former glorious keeps to rot, empty, as the Knighthood occupied only the strongest cities that they could hold. |--------------------------------------------------------------------------|{- As dawn began to break over the horizon of Ansalon once more, as the darkness of night finally seemed to give way to the light of daybreak, Lord Commander Galadir and the Knights of Solamnia remained wary. What mysterious orders had called Her armies back to Taman Busuk? And worse, what were they planning to do next?

Author: Aldruhn Date: Fri Aug 16 21:41:41 2019 Subject Global RP: Moving Pieces

These were strange times. Seemingly out of nowhere, the entirety of the Dragonarmy forces uprooted and withdrew from their conquered lands. From Sancrist to Ergoth, from Kalaman to Nordmaar, even all the way down to Caergoth. Aldruhn could feel that the Solamnic leadership was caught off guard and had no idea what was going on. And to be fair, none of it made any sense to him either. For what had felt like ages, the Dragonarmies held sway over Ansalon, forcing the Knights of Solamnia to regroup and survive as best they could. While they had reached an uneasy stalemate, Takhisis's forces still dominated the land, and Aldruhn was just as stumped with their sudden about-turn. Nonetheless, he had received his marching orders. He was part of two Companies being sent out from Palanthas to forge a path between their city and the Solamnic strongholds in the South. Nearly 30 men were setting out, all Knights, with separate, but similar, missions. One mission, for the Company he was a part of, would search through Coastlund for any sign of remaining Dragonarmy hoardes or to see if a trap was being set. The second Company would push south to establish a clear path between Palanthas and Solanthus and Thelgaard. The young Knight only knew two of the Knights in his company: Wyldsheed and Jose, and he knew very little about either. Althoughhe had heard reports of Wyldsheed's clumsiness and was terrified of going into battle with her. Surely, she couldn't be as bad ast the stories. But time would tell, though. The young man thought it fitting that the Sun's brilliant rays broke through the darkness to light their path on the morning of their departure. Paladine's blessing surely shone down upon them. |--------------------------------------------------------------------------|{- Elsewhere in the world, the retreat of the Dragonarmies continued. On the isles of Sancrist and Ergoth, massive ships were being loaded and setting sail, where they would travel by way of New Sea to Sanction. It was quite a sight to behold, all of the black sails pushing off into the calm waters, with their oars cast out and gliding forward in unison. An astute observer, watching these massive black hulled and black sailed ships depart from Western Ansalon, might have noticed that one of the ships did not bear south towards the Straits of Schallsea. It launched from Ergoth and set sail directly east, headed for Coastlund. That same observer might also have assumed this wasn't a rogue ship but, instead, was following mysterious orders that would take it into what was now Solamnic territory.

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