The Great Library of Palanthas

An Aesthetic shows you to a small reading room.

Stories of Ansalon from the view of Brennis.

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 massive tome bound in dragonskin on the table in front of you.
You note the spine bears the word 'Brennis' scribed in unearthly blue ink.



Author:  Brennis
Date    Thu May 12 23:15:39 2005
Stamp   1115957739
Subject   A Journey Begun


The afternoon sun blazed in the deep azure sky overhead of the weary traveller
as he tilted his head back to drink deeply from his canteen. Replacing the
stopper and stowing the container in his panier he looked ahead at the scene
before him.

Battlemented walls surrounded a sea of spires and towers which shimmered in
the heat like a mirrage. He had never seen such a large city and with growing
anticipation he urged his steed onward towards the Lord City of Palanthas.

The road wound on, over and around low grassy hills, and shortly Brennis found
himself approaching a gate in the massive walls guarded by four men in shining
armour bearing the device of Palanthas.

They eyed him casually but his steed brought more interest. It was unusual for
one so young to be alone and riding a Solamnic steed and they looked at him
with renewed curiosity.

Upon arriving at their position before the gate they hailed him and enquired
as to his business in the city. When he replied that he was heading to the
Solamnic Keep they nodded and one gave him directions to the hold of the
Knights.

Dismounting he led his steed through the massive portal and finally, after
more than a month of travel, he entered the city his whence his grandfather
had sent him. Here it was he would find his future and his place in the world.

He walked slowly and looked upon the people and buidlings with eyes full of
wonder at the magic of such a huge place. He had thought Blackgaard Hold was
big but it was as nothing compared to Palanthas.

He soon found himself in the center of the city at a large ornate fountain in
which children frolicked. Risking being splashed by the urchins he refilled
his canteens and allowed his steed to drink it's fill.

Casting his gaze to the south he saw a huge fortress and knew that he had at
last come to the end of his journey. The Solamnic Keep of Palanthas. There his
grandfather had been Knighted, and his father before him.

Clenching the Silver Spurs of his forefathers tightly in his hand he made his
way to the great ironwood gate of the Keep and stopped before the burly Knight
stationed there. The Knight nodded to him and asked if he had business within.

'I am Brennis uth Indryyl, grandson of Braxxis, once Lord of Shields and
Commander of Blackgaard Hold. I have come to swear the Oath and continue to
the traditions of my ancestors.'

The tall Knight nodded and replied, 'Enter then and be welcome Brennis of the
line of Indryyl. Honour to you and your forebearers.'. With a sharp salute the
Knight opened a door and ushered the young man inside.

Once inside a young lad of maybe 12 approached him and offered to lead his
steed to the stables. Brennis nodded and thanking the boy turned the reins
over to him. He led the fine beast through an archway and Brennis walked
forward.

Entering a large open air courtyard he found many people gathered about. Some
sat by a large fountain reading books of tactics while others sparred with
various practice weapons. None paid any attention to the new arrival.

Seeing a man nearby tending what looked like a small herb garden Brennis
approached him and asked for directions to the chambers of the Grand Master.
The old man raised an eyebrow and smiled warmly.

'Turn around. See that big stone archway off to the east ? Walk through it and
it's the third door on your left. He's not there though.'

'Where might I find him then ? I am unfamilliar with this Keep and have never
met the Grand Master so I know not what he looks like.'

'Turn around again. Look at me. There, now you know what the Grand Master
looks like.' he said and chuckled.

Brennis gasped and fell to one knee. 'My Lord, please forgive me for not
addressing you properly, I knew not to whom I spoke.'.

'Don't worry about it boy, no harm done. And don't kneel before me, please.
I'm just a soldier son, not a King. Now what can I do for you on this fine day
?'




Author:  Brennis
Date    Thu May 12 23:55:17 2005
Stamp   1115960117
Subject   A Journey Begun, Part II


Brennis had envisioned this moment a hundred times and had carefully thought
about what he should say but now that the moment was upon him he found his
tongue refused to utter the words he had so carefully chosen.

He looked upon the Grand Master for a moment then simply held forth his hand
and opened it revealing the archaic silver spurs of his ancestors. The old
Knight's eyebrow arched when he saw them.

He picked them up from the boy's grasp and looked carefully at the device
engraved into them. He looked deep into Brennis' eyes and the old man's gaze
seemed to reach into the young man's very soul.

Brennis held the Grand Master's gaze, unflinching. He allowed the old Knight
to take his full measure and guage him. He had a heritage he was proud of and
in a moment the Knight nodded.

'You are Brennis then, grandson of Sir Braxxis uth Indryyl ? I remember him
well. We Squired together you know. It's been many a year since we met though.
How does he fare ?'

'Well my Lord. He's retired now but still keeps himself busy training the
Squires of Blackgaard Hold. He has a few steeds he raises and trains too but
training soldiers is what he loves to do.'

The Grand Master nodded. 'Yes, Sir Braxxis was always an excellent teacher. He
could make even the thickest skulled Squire understand the subleties of
tactics and weaponry. Good to hear he's still at it.'

'So, one Indryyl retires and another comes to take up the family mantle ? It
is Just that it be so. Come young Brennis, let me introduce you to your new
family.'. He then led Brennis over to where some other young men practiced.

After introducing him he led Brennis into the Keep itself and down twisting
torchlit corridors to a large chamber filled with many cots, each with a
footlocker at it's foot.

'This is where most of our Squires sleep. They keep a busy schedule though so
they don't spend much time here, as you will soon find out. Find an empty
footlocker and stowe your things.'

Brennis did so and was then led down more corridors. Eventually they entered a
large chamber  with many trestle tables where Knights and Squires ate and
spoke quietly amongst themselves.

"This is our messhall. It also serves as a place where we come to relax and
socialise.'. He called over a tall Knight and introduced Brennis.

'This is Brennis. Test his knowledge of the Oath and the Measure. Then take
him to the tilting yard to test his martial skills. He is to be Squired so we
need to see how much work he needs and in which areas.'

The tall Knight saluted the Grand Master. 'Aye my Lord, it shall be done. Come
Brennis, let us be away. There is much to do.'

Brennis thanked the old Grand Master and hurried after the Knight and back to
the yard where he had met the Master of the Knighthood. They sat near the
fountain and the Kknight quizzed him on the Oath and the Measure.

They continued this line for many hours, Brennis being tested on the rules of
the Knighthood and the Knight explaining some of the unwritten rules that
never made it into the Measure but which also formed part of a Knight's
ideology.

By the time the Knight was satisfied the sun had set and Solinari could be
seen high in the sky overhead. Retiring back to the messhall they ate and the
Knight outlined the next day's agenda.

Brennis would be taken to the Shrines to the Triumvirate in the morning to
begin studies with the priests there and in the afternoon he would commence
his martial training. In the evening the Oath and the Measure would be studied
again.

Inside Brennis sighed, How long would this take. He had thought he knew all he
needed to become a Squire but apparently it required more. He nodded and
departed for the Squire's chambers to sleep.

After he had left the Knight stood and made his way to the Grand Master's
chamber to report. Stepping into the office he saluted the old Knight.

'How does the boy stack up Sir ? Does he strike you as one who might someday
make a good Knight ?' the Grand Master asked the Knight of the Crown.




Author:  Brennis
Date    Fri May 13 00:13:43 2005
Stamp   1115961223
Subject   A Journey Begun, Part III


'Aye, Lord, he does. His knowledge of the Oath and the Measure is impressive,
better I'd say than most Squires and some Knights. He made me think hard on
some things. He has a sharp mind.'

'If his weapon skills and tactics are as well developed already he will make a
formidable Knight some day. Whoever trained him did their job well. Pending
his martial abilities I'd saay he's ready to be Squired now.'

The old Grand Master nodded. The younger Knight saluted and left, leaving the
old Knight alone with his thoughts.

So, the line of Indryyl returns, he mused. Braxxis had been a magnificent
Knight but had failed to inspire his son with the same sense of duty and
devotion which had been the hallmarks of the Indryyl line for centuriies.

When he had heard of the death of Drassis he had thought the line of Indryyl
had ended. On a visit to Blackgaard Hold many years ago he had spoken to
Braxxis and found out that Drassis had left his son with his father before he
went to war.

Brennis had been but a wailing babe then, maybe a year old. Drassis hadn't
spoken of the babe's mother and took her name to his grave. He couldn't
believe that 16 years had passed already.

Apparently the wailing babe had turned into a fine young man with a keen
intellect, a robust physique and a strong sense of honour and duty. Where
Braxxis had failed with his son he had more than made up it with his grandson.

He stood up and grroaned slightly. He was getting too old for this job he
thought. Maybe he would take a lesson from Braxxis and retire soon, maybe go
join him in training the next generation of Squires at Blackgaard.

he smiled to himself as he walked to his chambers. It was good that Brennis
had come forward to assume his family's ancient place amongst the Knighths of
Solamnia. He looked down at the Silver Spurs in his hand.

He always enjoyed Knighting Squires. It was a joyous occasion. This would be
special though. Brennis' great grandfather had Knighted him. Now he would soon
repay the favour.



Author:  Brennis
Date    Fri May 13 14:11:26 2005
Stamp   1116011486
Subject   The Measure of a Squire


Brennis awoke and groaned slightly as his overworked muscles resisted his
attempt to sit up in bed. With an effort he overcame his need for more rest
and sitting up he looked about the darkened chamber.

As usual the others were still asleep and would be for a while. Even though he
was getting to bed late for some reason Brennis could only sleep for a few
hours before waking up well ahead of the Squires.

Sitting on the edge of his cot for a minute he offered his morning prayers to
Kiri. His studies with the clerics had made him realise that the Triumvirate
played an active role in the affairs of the Knighthood.

Brennis had begun to appreciate their subtle influence and was slowly becoming
more devout in his prayers to Kiri-Jolith, the patron deity of his ancestors.
His last act at night and his first in the morning were prayers to the God of
War.

Donning his tunic and trousers he made his way to the tilting yard to stretch
and practice his katas. He liked this time for practice the best. He could
concentrate fully without the distraction of others.

After a few minutes he sank into a trance and became aware of every movement
of every muscle. While still aware of his surroundings he tuned them out and
turning his attention inward his movements became more fluid and gracefull.

From the shadows of a stone archway the Grand Master watched the young man
practice. He had been keeping an eye on this one, following his progress over
the last week since his arrival. He had told his instructors to push him hard
and they had.

He wanted to see how much punishment the Brennis could take, find his breaking
point. Yet here he was, again, up before anyone else and pushing himself to do
more, become more today than he had been yesterday.

The old Knight watched and noticed Brennis close his eyes as he practiced. He
noted how the movements became easier, more controlled. Already Brennis had
bested the Squires in melee combat and each day he grew more adept.

He was more than ready to be Squired himself. Having taken the young man's
measure and found him worthy the old Knight decided that in another day or two
he would invest Brennis with a Squirehood.

Nodding to himself he made his way to the messhall where a few Knights had
already gathered. Finding Brennis' trainer he whispered instructions to the
Knight who raised his eyebrow but nodded.

When Brennis entered the mess to have something to eat his instructor motioned
for him to sit at his side. He told the young man that today his training
would be different.




Author:  Brennis
Date    Fri May 13 14:31:48 2005
Stamp   1116012708
Subject   The Measure of a Squire, Part II


OOC'ly : had to post part 1 early due to copyover, hence it's abreviated
length. Just thought I'd mention that :)

Today he would accompany a patrol of Knights and Squires into the Miden'nir
east of Palanthas. There had been some reports of trolls and goblins harrasing
travellers and a patrol was needed to ascertain the situation.

Brennis was surprised. He hadn't even been Squired yet and he was to go on a
patrol ? He thanked his instructor and jumped up, breakfast forgotten, and
quickly went to his footlocker to don what little gear he had.

Quickly he made his way to the stables and began to saddle his steed. A few
Squires entered and began to saddle their own steeds and those of their patron
Knights and looked at Brennis quizzicly, unaware that he would travel with
them.

Brennis led his steed to where the Knights had begun to gather and they nodded
to him, already having been informed of his orders. When the Squires emerged
leading their horses they found Brennis already mounted and ready to set out
with them.

From the look on their faces they were surprised that one not yet Squired
would be a part of the patrol but they wisely said nothing and brought their
patrons their steeds. When everyone was mounted the patrol set out for the
Miden'nir.

A short ride east of the city they came upon a well worn path which led into
the forest and dismounting they tethered their steeds and entered the forest
afoot. Quickly the glare of the sun faded beneath the heavy canopy.

Making their way south they passed deep into the forest. Trying to move as
silently as their armour would permit the small group made good progress along
the trail and passed many side trails branching off to the east and west.




Author:  Brennis
Date    Fri May 13 15:16:58 2005
Stamp   1116015418
Subject   The Measure of a Squire, Part III


OOC'ly : Barring more copyovers hopefully I can finish this in fewer than 100
parts :)

After an hour with no sign of anything unsualy the Knight at point raised his
hand and clenched his fist, commanding the patrol to stop and stay silent.
Listening carefully he decided all was clear and motioned for the patrol to
resume.

Almost immediately all hell broke loose. From the dark foliage a swarm of
arrows flew into their midst and three Squires and two Knights fell to the
ground with arrows burried deeply in their bodies.

The remaining three Knights barked orders. The patrol formed a shield circle
around their fallen comrades and they braced themselves as goblins came
screaming at them from every direction.

Brennis had no idea how many goblins came at them. The small group was
outnumbered, that much was obvious. Seeing the red eyes of screaming goblins
coming at him absorbed his attention and all he knew from that point on was
chaos.

He hacked and thrusted, parried and blocked blows with his shield. A spear
thrust grazed his side and drew a large gash across his torso. Then from
somewhere he heard his grandfather's voice admonishing him and telling him to
pay attention.

He felt himself sink into his trance and at first he was nervous but then he
realised he was gaining more control. With a silent prayer to Kiri he let his
battle trance take him. He stopped thinking and simply fought.

He felled the goblin who had wounded him, then another. He heard a groan from
his right and without thought turned to face a goblin who had just impaled a
Squire beside him. With an effortless thrust he returned the blow, felling the
vile thing.

Feeling a sudden pain in his left shoulder he staggered and felt his shield
drop from his hand. He remained in his trance however and when another spear
thrust came at him he sidestepped it and slashed his sword down the spear's
length.

It bit into the golbin's neck aand wedged there. His sword ripped from his
grasp as the creature dropped Brennis grabbed the spear from it's lifeless
hands and began to spin it around, slashing at goblins with the tip.

Suddenly the goblins began to flee, racing back into the forest. Brennis
staggered but kept his feet under him. Slowly he came back to his senses and
turned around to look upon what was left of their patrol.

Of the five Knights and five Squires only two Knights and two Squires still
stood and they were all injured as well. They immediately began to tend those
who had fallen.

One Knight, the least injured of their group, left them and ran to retrieve
their steeds to help carry the wounded. Without their mounts they would not
make it back to Palanthas in time.

They waited anxiously, adrenaline keeping them alert and ready to repel
another attack. Thankfully none came before the Knight returned with their
horses.

Carefully but quickly they strapped the wounded to their mounts and began to
make their way from the forest. Only when he had tried to grasp his steed's
reins did Brennis realise he had a goblin arrow burried in his shoulder.

The tattered patrol emerged from the forest and made all the haste they could
manage back to Palanthas while one Knight rode ahead to report and bring
healers back.

Just when the gate was coming into view he returned with the clerics of
Paladine behind him. Immediately the healers began to weave their magics and
provided enough succor that the patrol was able to return to the Keep more
quickly.

At the Solamnic Keep they were met by more healers and led into the infirmiry
where arrows were withdrawn and their wounds were tended.

Brennis rested with the others although he was less wounded. He looked upon
their unconscious forms and thanked Kiri for protecting him from injuries
worse than those he had sustained.

He was in pain and would be bed ridden for a few days but he had been lucky.
His first real fight and he had escaped without anything more permanent than a
few scars.




Author:  Brennis
Date    Fri May 13 15:57:04 2005
Stamp   1116017824
Subject   The Measure of a Squire, Part IV


After a while a cleric came over to him and uttered a short incantation.
Brennis felt himself grow weary, very weary, very quickly and by the time he
realised what was happeing he was already asleep.

He awoke feeling refreshed but still sore. Sitting up in bed he looked around
and saw others from the patrol still sleeping nearby. Brennis was heartened
that they all lived still. The healers of the Triumvirate were skilled indeed.

Footsteps in the doorway caused him to look in that direction and he saw his
instructor enter followed by the Grand Master. They looked upon their
unconscious comrades and when they notiiced Brennis awake they made their way
to him.

'Salutations Brennis' said the old Knight. 'I'm sorry for sending you on that
patrol. Our information indicated the goblins were not that strong or brazen.
Attacking unarmed travelers is one thing but armoured Knights is another.'

'No need to apologise my Lord, the patrol was neccessary and you honoured me
by allowing me to be a part of it. I am in your debt.' Brennis replied.

'Thank you for understanding Brennis. Do you think you are able to walk ? Your
presence is required elsewhere.'

At this the healer who had been hovering nearby cleared his throat and shook
his head. The Grand Master sighed and nodded.

'Well, I guess it will have to wait until the clerics feel you are
sufficiently recovered ... ' Brennis pulled aside the blanket and stood before
the Grand Master. He wavered for a second then stood firm. He bowed slightly
and said ' I determine when I am ready, and I am.'

The old Knight smiled and nodded. 'Excellent. Then follow us. This won't take
long, then you can return and rest until you are fully healed.' he said and
led Brennis from the room.

He led the young man down the corridors and into the Shrines of the
Triumvirate. Entering the Shrine to Kiri-Jolith he stopped before the small
altar and turned to face Brennis.

'Kneel, Brennis uth Indryyl' spoke the Grand Master, his voice full of power
and authority.

Brennis had never heard him speak in that tone and, startled, he did as the
Knight bade him.

The old man turned and grasped something laying upon the altar. Turning again
Brennis saw that he wielded a huge sword. Seeing the device etched onto it's
length he recognised it as the Greatsword of Solamnia.

Brennis suddenly knew what was happening and dropped his gaze in humility as
the Grand Master rested the tip of the Greatsword upon his left shoulder.

'Brennis of the line of Indryyl, son of Drassis, grandson of Braxxis. You have
proven your knowledge of the Measure and your valour upon the field of war and
have been found worthy.'

'It is my distinct honour to welcome you into our ranks as a Squire of the
Knights of Solamnia. By the power vested in me by the Triumvirate I hereby
grant you your Squirehood with all the rights and duties of that rank.'

'May the Triumvirate guide your path and protect you while you follow in the
honourable footsteps of your ancestors. What say you ?'

'Est Solarus oth Mithas' Brennis replied and added, 'Mortus eth Esmith', his
family's motto, 'Death before Dishonour'.

The Grand Master nodded. 'It is done then. Rise Squire Brennis uth Indryyl.
Rise and take your place amongst your brothers.'

Feeling the same and yet somehow different, invigorated, Brennis stood and
turned to look at the small group who had gathered to witness the event. They
were his family now, his brothers in arms.

As one they cheered and he went to them and was made welcome at last.



Author:  Brennis
Date    Fri May 20 00:06:06 2005
Stamp   1116565566
Subject   The Lost Knight


All was quiet in the labarynthine Solamnic Keep as the moons rode high
overhead in the night sky casting their pale glow upon the battlements
patroled by Knights as their brethren slept inside.

In the Squire's Chambers the young men all slept soundly except for one who
tossed and turned fitfully in his sleep as beads of perspiration glistened
upon his furrowed brow.

His dreams had started out pleasant enough with him riding his steed across
the Solamnic Plains at a gallope, wind in his hair and sun on his face but
then the dreamscape darkened and Brennis found himself standing in an eerie
forest.

Casting about he looked for anything familliar and although he couldn't be
certain he felt that he was in the Miden'nir, the same forest his patrol had
so narrowly escaped from only a short while ago.

Nocturnal animals could be heard all around and while he was sure they were
harmless creatures their calls seemed more ominous at night. Even the trees
seemed sinister in the pale glow of the moons.

Brennis began to walk along a barely visible trail, unsure of where he was
going but certain he needed to get there wherever 'there' was. Hours seemed to
pass and still the path continued.

Suddenly he heard a noise behind him and he spun about, weapon in hand.
Nothing was there and after a second he turned again and made to take another
step but stopped when he almost walked into a man on the path.

Brennis backed up a step quickly and raised his sword defensively while he
looked at him. He was physicly a very large human male with long black hair
and eyes which seemed to hold a wild quality.

He was clad completely in forest leathers except for a white and blue sash
around his waist which shimmered slightly in the moonlight. He was apparently
unarmed and Brennis lowered his weapon slightly.

The man nodded to the young Squire and with a movement of his head indicated
that he should follow. Without a word the man set of into the trees and
vanished. Brennis hesitated a second then followed, the low branches whipping
against his face.

After a few steps he broke through the underbrush and onto another small trail
where the mysterious figure stood, waiting. He moved along the trail and
Brennis followed, neither making any noise or speaking.

After a few minutes they came upon a large cave opening and stopped before it.
From within Brennis could here the sounds of a fight. The man motioned to
Brennis, nodded and then faded from view.

Looking around quickly Brennis was unable to see him. Hearing the sounds of
battle again from within the cave Brennis felt that he had been brought here
for a reason which lay within the cave.

Stealing himself he stepped into the darkness. His dream illuminated the scene
and he found himself standing amidst a pile of broken bones, rubbish and
folliage. The sounds of conflict emanated from deeper within the cave.

He walked deeper into the cave and around a corner. Standing before him he
found a huge troll, covered in hideous boils and blisters, fighting an
armoured Knight. Both were wounded but the troll was massive and dwarfed the
man.

As he watched the Knight swung his weapon in a vicious arc. Although the man
was obviously very weak and injured his blow struck true and the beast howled
in rage and pain.

The weapon lodged and the troll twisted it's body, using it to wrest the sword
from the Knight's weakened grip. Then with a massive swing it smashed it's
forearm into the Knight's helm.

The man was lifted off the ground and blood sprayed from under the helm.
Brennis winced as the armoured form hit the ground hard and lay unmoving in a
heap. The troll screamed and another troll, somewhat smaller, came forth from
somewhere.

It yanked the sword free from the larger troll who then stepped over to the
supine form of the Knight. It jumped high in the air and landed, heels first,
upon the Knight's breastplate.




Author:  Brennis
Date    Fri May 20 00:43:11 2005
Stamp   1116567791
Subject   The Lost Knight, Part II


The metal gave and Brennis heard the unmistakable sound of bones breaking.
Many bones. The unconscious man breathed no more. Three more times the troll
jumped upn him. Brennis fought to tear his eyes away but couldn't.

When it's anger had been satiated the beast looked down upon the ruined Knight
and snorted. It kicked the corpse one final time and sent it flying into the
darkness deep in the cave. Brennis heard squeals of delight.

A minute later he heard bones snapping and knew that something feasted on the
Knight's remains. Brennis' heart and stomach both dropped. He could take no
more. With an effort he tore himself from his dream and awoke.

Sitting up in bed he sat there panting and sweating. Looking about he found
the other Squires still sleeping. With a sigh he crawled from bed. Donning his
clothing he went to the courtyard to douse himself with water at the fountain.

The water refreshed him and helped to wake him up but he was still rattled by
his dream. In an effort to exorcise his dream from his mind he began to
practice his weapon katas but he found himself unable to concentrate.

He stood for a minute wondering what he should do when someone walked out of
the Keep and into the moonlit courtyard. Brennis bowed as the Grand Master
approached him.

'Good morning my Lord. How dost thou fare this day ?' asked the young Squire.

'Well, quite well. And you Squire Brennis ? I see you are at your morning
practice a bit earlier than usual. Your eyes seem troubled. What ails you lad
?'

Brennis spoke to the elder Knight then of his dream and the old Grand Master
listened attentively. When he had finished relating his tale Brennis sat down
at the fountain and sighed.

'I know it was only a dream and it shouldn't really affect me but I just can't
get it from my mind. For some reason it's left me shaken somehow.' he said.

'The man who guided you in your dream, you said he wore a white and blue sash
?' the elder Knight asked. Brennis nodded.

'Go to the Shrines and speak to a priest of Habbakuk. I think they might be
able to help you with this. The Knight, did you see any device upon his armour
?'

Brennis thought for a second then nodded. 'Yes, I think his breastplate bore
an image of a rampant dragon with a sword and rose, one on either side. And he
wore a swordbelt with a similar device.'

The Grand Master sighed and nodded. 'Speak to the priest then return to me and
we shall talk again. I think that was no mere dream, lad. Try not to let it
bear on you too heavily though.'

Brennis nodded and watched the old man depart. The sun was just begining to
rise and Brennis made his was into the Keep and the Shrines to the
Triumvirate. Walking into the Shrine to Habbakuk he found a lone Priest
lighting the votive candles.

After exchanging pleasantries Brennis related his conversation and dream to
the priest who listened carefully and nodded occasionaly. When the Squire
finished the priest sat and thought for a minute.

'That was no dream young man,' he began. 'You were granted a vision by our
Lord Habbakuk. He was the figure who guided you through to the cave, of that I
am certain. As to the nature of the man who fought the vile troll I haven't a
clue.'

'Thank you good priest. I think our Grand Master might know the man's
identity. He asked to speak to me again after I spoke with you. He seemed to
know more than he let on before.'

The priest nodded. 'He's incredibly prescient. Very likely he knows the
identity of the Knight in your vision, especially if you were able to describe
the Knight's herladric device to him. Seek him out.'

Brennis nodded and with a bow departed the Shrine. Making his was along the
corridors he eventually came upon the Grand Master's chambers and knocked upon
the vallenwood door.

A voice beckoned him to enter and he walked in to find the old Knight at his
desk burried behind an enormous pile of papers. Brennis saluted and took a
seat before the desk.

'What did the priest have to say ?'




Author:  Brennis
Date    Fri May 20 01:24:50 2005
Stamp   1116570290
Subject   The Lost Knight, Part III


'He's pretty certain it was a vision and that the man who guided was Habbakuk.
He didn't know anything about the Knight although he thought that maybe you
would.'

The old Knight nodded. 'Indeed I do. Tell me, is this the device you saw upon
the Knight ?' he asked and handed a piece of yellowed parchment to Brennis.

He looked at it and winced as the image caused him to flash back to his dream.
Brennis nodded. 'Aye my Lord, that's it.' he said and handed the sheet back.

The Grand Master sighed. 'Lord Havrim of the Rose. That was his device. He
vanished 23 years ago while out on patrol in the Miden'nir. We never found out
what happened to him.'

'Now I understand. We've known for many years that a small group of trolls
live in those woods somewhere but never have we been able to capture or kill
them. They are cunning and have eluded all our attempts to stop them.'

'Why would the Lord Habbakuk send such a vision to me Lord ? I'm just a
Squire. I would think someone like you would be a better recipient for
something like this.'

'The gods know more than we do lad. If Lord Habbakuk gave you this vision then
he had a reason to do so. All I can do is try to help you with advice but it
seems he wants you to find this cave and the mortal remains of Sir Havrim.'

Brennis looked startled. 'What ? Me ? Go into a cave of trolls to recover the
corpse of a man who died more than 20 years ago ? I saw that fight, Sir. That
troll was huge.'

The Grand Master chuckled. 'I know. Seems like it would be crazy for a Squire
to try to vanquish a foe the felled a Rose Knight but as I said, the gods know
more than we. You must simply have faith.'

Brennis gulped nervously. Sure, Habbakuk was a god, but taking on a troll ?
That was a tall order. Then Brennis remembered his grandfather's words.
Obedience and loyalty. This is what made a Knight of the Crown more than
anything else.

To know the words was one thing, to live by them was another. Now Brennis
understood. He wanted to be a Knight ? Then he had to begin acting like one.
It took more than swordsmanship. Brennis stood and saluted his Grand Master.
'Lord Habbakuk commands, and I obey. I will trust in his wisdom to see me
safely through this. Thank you my Lord for your advice.'

The Grand Master returned the salute and nodded. 'Your welcome Squire, and
good luck. May the Triumvirate guard and guide you.'

Brennis walked to the mess and ate a quick meal, somehow managing to keep it
down despite a stomach that roiled with anxiety. This was crazy, it was
suicide. But a god had commanded he do this, so he must - and he would.

He stopped at the Squire's chambers and gathered his things. Then he left for
the stables and after saddling his steed he mounted and set out.

The Miden'nir was only a short distance from Palanthas and quickly he found
the trail his patrol had used before. He dismounted and commanded the steed to
wait. Silently he entered the shadowy forest.

He walked along a trail for a bit then on instinct he stepped into the
underbrush. Pushing aside the bushes he emerged a minute later on a smaller
trail which he recognised instantly.

His dream came back to him full force and his heart began to race. Looking
down upon the ground he saw a piece of fabric. He reached down and picked it
up. It was aa blue and white sash.

He tied it around his own waist for good luck. Drawing his sword and holding
his shield before him Brennis stalked down the trail as quickly and quietly as
he could in the direction he had in his dream.

He noticed that no birds called out in this area, no small creatures could be
seen or heard scurrying about the forest. All was quiet, ominously quiet.
Except for the pounding within his own breast nothing stirred.

After maybe thirty minutes he caught a glimpse of the cave. It was just as he
had dreamed. A large jagged opening in a small cliff face. The ground in front
of it was littered with broken bones from creatures both great and small.




Author:  Brennis
Date    Fri May 20 02:00:38 2005
Stamp   1116572438
Subject   The Lost Knight, Part IV


Nothing stirred and he approached warily. Pausing at the entrance he could
discern no sounds from within. He opened his pack and brought forth a magical
stick of light his grandfather had given him and held it in his teeth.

Bracing himself he entered the dark cave. A musty, stale smell of excerement
and rotted flesh greeted him and small bones crunched slightly under his feet.
Although not loud it seemed to his ears like a shout in the silence of the
cavern.

From somewhere in the darkness of the cavern a sound answered. Just a rustle,
as if something large stirred in it's sleep. Brennis hoped fervently that it
would remain asleep and that he could find the remains of the Knight and get
quickly.

Another step, and another. Then a large bone snapped under his foot and
Brennis winced. From deep within the cave the rustling noise came again, this
time followed by something which sounded like bones cracking.

Brennis muttered to himself and looked about, trying to locate the Knight's
remains. There, a little further in, he thought he could see a breasplate
glinting slightly.

He moved quickly. When he was only a few feet away he could see that it was
indeed the armour of the Knight Lord Havrim. Before he could reach it though
Brennis heard a scream of rage and spun about to see a huge form coming at
him.

He raised his shield to block the incoming fist and the troll's mighty blow
smahed into the small steel shield causing a knuckle to break. The beast
bellowed in pain as Brennis was knocked backwards and off his feet.

The beast shook it's hand and Brennis got his feet under him again. He assumed
a crouched position, trying to make himself as small a target as possible and
as the massive troll rushed upon him again he jumped lightly to the side.

Slashing at the beast's torso Brennis found to his dismay that his sword only
glanced of it's hide as though he had struck a stone statue. Not even a
scratch marred the creature's side.

The troll turned and looked upon the Squire and smiled. It's teeth were broken
and rotted and drool dripped down from it's gaping maw. Sniffing the air it
threw back it's head and howled in delight.

Looking again upon the hapless Squire it again rushed, this time faster than
Brennis could evade. It smashed itself into the shield and Brennis was flung
back to land hard against the wall.

Winded and slightly dazed Brennis' grip slackened and his sword slipped from
his hand. The troll began to stalk toward him, slower this time, enjoying it's
game with a foe who could not hurt it.

Realising he had let go his blade he grasped depserately for it. Finding the
hilt he picked it up. It felt odd in his hand now though. Lighter maybe. He
chalked it up to feeling light headed and concentrated on the lumbering form
in front of him.

He remembered the fight from hsi dream and realised that if he could land a
blow where the Knight had then he might be able to cripple the thing. Lord
Havrim had nearly sliced off the thing's arm.

As it came at him again Brennis remembered a move his grandfather had taught
him. He had never fought anything large enough to actually use it against but
he tried it now.

Throwing himself forward and down he tucked himself into a ball and rolled
between the things tall legs. Regaining his feet he stood and spun around to
find hinself behind the troll.

For a second the troll didn't know what had happened. It looked about but was
unable to see the little human. Brennis fought down the impulse to strike from
behind. No foe deserved such deceipt. Instead he called out to it.

'Face me fell beast that I may strike you down honourably and deliver the
Justice of the Triumvirate which you have so rightfully earned !'

Whipping about faster than it's bulk would have seemed to allow it spied the
Squire and bellowed in rage. Without hesitation Brennis lept at it and swung
his blade down in a viscious arc.




Author:  Brennis
Date    Fri May 20 02:37:35 2005
Stamp   1116574655
Subject   The Lost Knight, Part V


This time his blow didn't glance off it's hide. His aim was true and the blade
bit deep into the thing's shoulder and continued through as Brennis descended.
It clove completely through the shoulder and the troll's arm flopped to the
ground.

The troll staggerd back and screamed in pain. Brennis was almost deafened as
the sound echoed off the walls and assaulted his ears. He dropped his shield
and gathered the blade in both hands.

He spun around, allowing centrifigal force to speed his blade, and swung with
all his might and prayers at the belly of the beast. Again his aim held true
and the sword bit hard into troll flesh.

Black blood gushed forth  and the innards of the beast spewed out from their
home to scatter over the Squire and the ground. The troll grasped futiely at
them and tried to stuff them back inside but to no avail.

It fell to it's knees and whimpered as it realised it had been slain. It
looked at Brennis pleadingly but he shook his head.

'You must die this day, creature of darkness. For the Triumvirate, for
Solamnia, for Lord Havrim you must pay for your wicked ways.'. Raising his
sword high over his head he brought it down one final time.

More black blood gushed from the stump of the beast's neck as it's head
toppled and smacked wetly to the gore soaked ground. Then the body pitched
forward and lay lifeless, finally.

Brennis moved quickly, not wishing to spend another moment in the rank cavern.
Slinging his shield onto his back he tried to sheath his weapon but it didn't
seem to fit his scabbard. Probably has some troll guts stuck to it he thought.

Not bothering to clean it he stuffed it into the scabbard as far as it would
go and quickly gathered what was left of Sir Harvim. He managed to find most
of the armour including the badly mauled helm and put them in a large bag.

Quickly he made his way to the exit and retraced his path along the small
trail. Struggling under the weight of the lost Knight's armour the trip took
longer this time but eventually he managed to find his way back to his steed.

As he came into view of the gates of Palanthas his heart again began to race
but this time from exhileration, not anxiety. He had done it ! Habbakuk had
been right. Somehow he had managed to find a way to triumph.

He urged his steed to a faster canter and very soon found himself knocking on
the vallenwood door of the Grand Master's chamber. The old Knight's voice bade
him to enter.

Brennis stepped in and saluted. The Grand Master looked up with a surprised
look on his face. 'Good Lord Brennis ! You look a mess ! Are you well ? Do you
need a healer ?'

Brennis stopped, startled. He had forgotten he was probably still covered in
troll blood. He mentally checked himself. 'No, my Lord. I think I am
uninjured. A few bruises maaybe but that's it I think.'

He walked around to the side of the Grand Master's desk and gently lowered the
bag to the ground. Reaching into it he drew forth the battered breastplate or
Sir Havrim and gave it to the old Knight.

Receiving it with reverance the old Grand Master looked upon the old
breastplate with it's device of a rampant dragon flanked by a sword and a rose
still visible on it's abused surface.

He looked up at Brennis and a tear rolled down his cheek. 'I sent Lord Havrim
on that patrol. His loss has weighed heavily on me for many years. From the
Knighthood and the bottom of my heart, I thank you for this Squire Brennis.'

Not quite sure how to respond Brennis just nodded. He stook a step back and
drew his sword to give the old Grand Master a traditional Knight's Salute then
noticed that it was not his sword in his sheath.

Confused for a moment he looked upon the blade and realised with a shock it
was the blade Lord Havrim had wielded against the troll. The old Grand Master
saw the confusion on Brennis' face and he too looked upon the sword.




Author:  Brennis
Date    Fri May 20 02:58:22 2005
Stamp   1116575902
Subject   The Lost Knight, Conclusion


'This isn't my blade, it's Sir Havrim's.' Brennis said. 'In the heat of the
battle I dropped mine. When I tried to retrieve it I must have picked up this
one. Mine must still back in the troll's den'.

Brennis made to place it upon the Grand Master's desk but the old Knight
raised his hand. 'Nay Squire, keep the blade of our brother Lord Havrim. It
found it's way into your hand and with it you brought Justice to his killer.'

'It is right that you keep it and wield it. Never forget from whence it came.
Honour it and those who have wileded it before you.' said the old Knight.

Brennis nodded. He raised it and saluted his Grand Master who rose from his
chair, drew his own blade and returned the salute. Brennis bowed and departed
from the chamber.

Brennis made his way to the armoury and gave the blade to the weaponsmith to
have him clean it and make a sheath befitting such a fine weapon. He then went
to the Keep's bathouse to cleanse himself of the now crusted and coagulated
troll blood.

Afterward he returned to the Shrine of Habbakuk and thanked the priest who was
happy to see him returned safe and sound. After a short conversation he knelt
at the small altar and prayed his thanks to Lord Habbakuk.

Obedience and loyalty. Now more than mere words to be recited. Brennis now
understood what they truly meant and was humbled that he was allowed to serve
the Triumvirate and Solamnia.

Making his way from the Shrine back to the messhall he allowed himself the
luxury of eating a full meal instead of his usual quick snack. For the first
time since his arrival he felt he had earned at least that much.

As he ate he remembered Sir Havrim and how he had died valliantly and with
honour. Every time he drew Havrim's blade he would remember and honour the
noble dead while he strove to continue to serve an honour greater than his own.



Author:  Brennis
Date    Thu May 26 23:56:59 2005
Stamp   1117169819
Subject   Blood Runs True, Part I


Another dawn washed over the Keep's battlements and Brennis paused during his
morning jog atop the walls to watch as the warm glow began to illuminate the
spires and rooftops of the Lord City spread out all around him.

This was his favourite time of day. The hustle of the city had yet to commence
in earnest and for the most part all was quiet. The grand spectacle of the
Great Dome shimmering in the early dawn was itself enough to justify being up
this early.

From his vantage point atop the walls of the Solamnic Keep the Squire watched
as the new day washed over the city and listened as it awoke, birds begining
their morning songs and dogs barking at cats now revealed by the new day.

Resuming his jog he nodded to a tower guard as he passed and when he came to a
stair leading down from the wall he descended back to ground level and into
the tilting yard where a few Squires and Knights had gathered to begin their
training.

Finding a partner with whom to spar Brennis began practicing his swordsmanship
but was interrupted by the arrival of the Grand Master. All present saluted
him and he returned the gesture, then made his way over to Brennis and his
fellow Squire.

He asked Brennis to walk with him for a minute and dutifully he followed the
Knight. They spoke for a few minute of small things, the Knight enquiring
about the progression of his training and occasionally testing his knowledge
of the Measure.

'You seem too be progressing very well Squire Brennis. Indeed, you have a
better grasp of our ways than many even though you have been with us but a
brief time. I am curious about something however.'

'You know the ways of the Knighthood, but how well do you know your own ways,
your own traditions ?'

Brennis looked a bit confused. 'Excuse me Sir ?' he asked. 'I'm not sure I
understand what you mean.'

'The line of Indryyl is old, as I'm sure you are aware. But how well do you
know your own past I wonder ? Do you know ought of Indryyl, the man whose name
you bear ?'

'He was a Knight, a very long time ago. I've never really thought much about
him, now that you mention it. Why do you ask Sir ?' Brennis asked, perplexed.

'People often pay little heed to the past. It's over, done with and of no
consequence. Or so they believe. But to understand the present and to plan the
future you must understand the past young Squire.'

'Only knowledge of the past can allow you to understand who you truly are,
from whence you came. Armed with that knowledge you can make lucid plans for
your future, plot a path which compliments your past.'

'I'm not a historian but I do know the value of knowledge. It's as important
as a strong sword arm and it will serve you as well as the greatest steed. You
have worked hard and done well to hone your skills and I applaud your
efforts.'

'I think maybe it's time for you to explore your own past. Like I said, I'm
not a historian but I do find the subject fascinating. I want you to research
your family, starting with Indryyl.'

'I know very little about him myself and unfortunately my duties don't allow
me enough time for research. I want you to write a document detailing the
story of Indryyl and submit it to me.'

'You can do both of us a favour in this. I can read about your family's past,
and you can discover it for yourself in the process. I'm sure you will find it
not only interesting but relevant as well..'

Brennis was still somewhat confused but aquiessed. 'Aye Lord, I will do as you
ask. I will begin immediately.' he replied.

'Good, good. Go to the Hall of Records here in the Keep and tell the Curator
of your task. He will guide you to the appropriate tomes. I look forward to
reading your report.'

With that the Grand Master took his leave of the young Squire and left him in
the corridor. Brennis pondered his task for a minute then shrugged and made
his way to the Curator's haunts.



Author:  Brennis
Date    Fri May 27 01:08:12 2005
Stamp   1117174092
Subject   Blood Runs True, Part II


Arriving at the Hall of Records Brennis found the Curator sitting at his desk
immersed in an exceptionally ancient tome. So engrossed was he that for a
moment he didn't notice the Squire standing before him until Brennis spoke.

'Excuse me Master Curator, may I have a moment of your time ?'

Startled the man quickly looked up, his surprise evident on his face. 'What ?
oh, uhm, yes of course young man. What can I do for you ?'

Brennis outilned his task to him and the Curator nodded. Pursing his lips he
thought for a minute then rose and asked Brennis to follow him.

They walked down aisles which saw little use aand were flanked by tomes, both
massive and minute, which were covered with the dust of the ages. Even the
floor in some areas looked undisturbed for years.

'The Grand Master is a very astute man young Squire. His words regarding the
usefullness of history and knowledge are very perceptive. He could have made a
fine historian. It's unfortunate he didn't complete his studies.'

'He studied to be a historian before he became a Knight ?' Brennis asked.

'Yes, but that was long ago. He still comes by once in a while, like the other
day, but I rarely see him these days. Unfortunate really for I do so enjoy
speaking with him. A mind as sharp as his sword.'

'Anyway, I think this section will hold the books you require. The language
might be a bit archaic but it's still Solamnic and you should be able to make
sense of it. If you have any problems you know where my desk is. Good luck.'

Brennis thanked him and turned his attention to the spines of the books,
looking for a title that might be applicable to his search. He found nothing
which seemed persuant to his quest but noticed that many book lined the top of
the shelf.

Finding a short stepladder nearby he hauled it into the ladder and using it
managed to just reach the books. Pulling one down he found that it was older
than the others he had so far seen.

After a quick peek he decided it too didn't hold the information he sought so
he replaced it and pulled down another. Finding the cover and spine blank he
opened it and gasped at what he found.

The first page bore the device and motto of the line of Indryyl. A Lion,
argent and rampant, on an azure field flanked by a sword and a lance and
wearing Silver Spurs. Above the device the words 'Mortus eth Esmith', 'Death
before Dishonour'.

Brennis stepped down from the ladder and moved to a small desk at the end of
the aisle. Placing the ancient tome upon it reverantly he sat and opened the
book again. With his hand he traced the lines of the device.

He felt a tingling in his fingertips. It coursed along his arm and ran down
his spine and he intuitively felt that within this tome lay the foundations of
his family and of himself. Here lay the story of his bloodline.

With hands quaking slightly from nervous anticipation he turned another page
and was confronted by an incredibly beautiful script. It flowed gracefully
across the page and Brennis struggled with the archaic Solamnic text.

After a few minutes he mannaged to figure out the title of the tome. 'The Lay
of Indryyl, Lord of Roses, Master of the Aerie, Servant of Kiri-Jolith and the
Knights of Solamnia scribed here by his faithful Squire Nerrus uth Obrenix'.

Brennis looked at the words in wonder. Lord of Roses ? Indryyl had been a Lord
Knight of the Rose ? And what was the Aerie ? Silently he thanked the Grand
Master for assigning him this task.

Feeling his stomach rumble Brennis closed the book and stood. With the tome
under his arm he went to the Curator and checked to make sure it was alright
to take the book with him. The man was a bit hesitant but nodded.

Brennis thanked him for his help and made his way to the messhall. Sitting
down to eat he opened the massive tome and began to read while he ate. Very
quickly he forgot about his food as he became immersed in the saga of his
ancient ancestor.




Author:  Brennis
Date    Fri May 27 16:18:46 2005
Stamp   1117228726
Subject   Blood Runs True, Part III


Brennis sighed and rubbed his eyes wearily as he sat back. A great yawn
escaped his mouth and he reached his hands high over his head to stretch his
tired muscles.

It had taken a long time but finally his report was finished. He had
discovered, to his dismay and delight, that the large tome he had first found
in the Hall of Record had been but the first part.

Two more, both equally massive, had been in the Hall. It took him almost a
month simply to read them. Summarising and condensing all that information
into a report had been difficult but after another month he had finally
managed to do it.

The original author of the Lay of Indryyl, Nerrus uth Obrenix, had gone into
great detail about his ancestor's life. Brennis had of neccessity left out
much but the essence of the story had been captured he felt.

Standing up he picked up the small stack of papers from his desk and made his
way from the Hall of Records. Passing the Curator he thanked the thin man for
his assistance and made his way down to the Keep's main corridor.

After a few minutes he sat down in the messhall to eat and decided to give his
report one more proof reading before he handed it over to the Grand Master.
Setting it on the table before him he began to read it over once again.

The Saga of Indryyl, Lord of Roses : A Summary by Squire Brennis uth Indryyl,
Based On The Lay of Indryyl by Squire Nerrus uth Obrenix, For The Grand Master
Of The Knights Of Solamnia.

He felt the title was a bit long but the Curator had assured him that was the
proper style for such a work so he had kept it.

After reading it through and finding it acceptable he left the messhall for
the Grand Master's chambers. Knocking on the heavy vallenwood door he heard
the Knight beckon him to enter and he did to stand before the paper laden
desk.

'Ah, Brennis. Good to see you again. You've been pretty scarce lately. I take
it you've been immersed in that research assignment I gave you ? How does it
go anyway ?' the Grand Master asked.

'Very well Lord. In fact, I've just finished it.' Brennis said and handed the
report into the old Knight's hands.

The old Knight raised an eyebrow. 'Excellent. I had thought it would take you
longer. The old Solamnic texts can be troublesome to work with but I guess you
managed.'

'The language isn't entirely dissimilar to ours. Different but essentially the
same. Where I had a problem the Curator helped translate it for me. I'd like
to thank you for setting me that task, Sir.'

The Grand Master nodded. 'History can be fascinating, can't it ? Especially
when it is directly linked to your own past. Tell me, was there any one part
of Insryyl's story that appealed to you ?'

Brennis didn't hesitate. 'He was a Dragonrider. I'd never heard of the
fortress called the Aerie and at first had no idea what it was, but now it
makes sense. He was a Lord Knight of the Rose and a Dragonrider, hence the
Aerie.'

The Knight nodded. 'Aye, the Aerie was his fortress where he resided and
trained other Dragonriders. It was in the possesion of his descendants until
the Cataclysm but it was laid waste in that upheaval.'

'If I could be anything, that is what I'd love to be. A Dragonrider, like
Indryyl. To fly on the back of a massive silver dragon like Brightwing,
Indryyl's mount. That would be incredible.'

The Grand Master pursed his lips and thought for a moment. 'You know Squire
Brennis, the ruins of the Aerie are still accessible. Legends have it that a
few dragons still live there, protecting the ruins of Indryyl from treasure
seekers.'

A look of resolve crossed over the old Knight's face and he looked at the
young Squire, guaging him carfelly. He nodded to himself.

'Thank you for conducting this research for me, I look forward to reading it.
For now though I have another assignment for you. Seek out the Aerie. Find the
halls of your ancestors.'




Author:  Brennis
Date    Fri May 27 16:42:48 2005
Stamp   1117230168
Subject   Blood Runs True, Part IV


'This mission has two reasons. One, for your own benefit. I believe dragons
still reside there and that there you can realise your dream to become a
Dragonrider. This is the hallmark of your bloodline.'

'Of old, before the Cataclysm, many of your line rode dragons and fought for
the Triumvirate and the Knihgthood. I would see that legacy restored. Second,
we need allies and a flight of dragons, led by a Dragonrider, would be
invaluable.'

Brennis' eyes widened in disbelief. The Grand Master nodded. 'Aye, lad. I'm
commanding you to pick up the reins and to restore both your family's
traditions and the Knighthood's. It is no small thing I ask, I know.'

'Dangerous it will be. The Aerie lies in Southern Ergoth, in the Last Gaard
Mountains and overlooking the Vale of the Dragon.'

Brennis gulped. 'Who shall I take with me Sir ?' he asked.

'None. You shall travel alone. If the legends are true the dragons who guard
the Aerie will slay all who approach who are unworthy. I believe only a
descendant of Indryyl will be allowed to set foot there.'

'Travel to Caergoth and there find a man called Trynn. He is the finest
mariner of our age, more adept at sea than even the minotaurs. He's a Captain
without a vessel now though and drinks away his sorrows at a dockside tavern.'

'Before you leave I will give you a requisition form enabling you to set him
at the command of a Solamnic Frigate in Port Caer. The waters you must cross
are treacherous and though our naval captains and brave none can match his
skill.'

'Seek out Trynn, and with him cross the treacherous waters to Southern Ergoth.
Instruct Trynn that if you are successful he shall again have a ship to
command, permanently as long as he agrees to fly the flag of Solamnia.'

'Go now young Squire, prepare yourself. Waste no time. You leave in the morn
for Caergoth.'

Brennis hesitated for a second while he took all this in, then saluted
briskly. 'Aye, Lord. I will do as you command. For the Triumvirate and
Solamnia. Est Solarus oth Mithas.'

Turning about on his heel Brennis departed the Grand Master's chamber. Once in
the hallway he drew a deep breath and exhaled slowly. He had walked in
thinking he would just hand over the report and then go back to practicing.

Now he found himself charged with a task that would see him travel far across
Krynn to the ancient holdings of his ancestors to try and recruit a myth into
the service of the Knighthood. He shook his head in bewilderment.

Well, at least he would be able to stop in to see his grandfather on the way
to Caergoth. Brennis wondered what the old retired Knight would make of all
this.

Smiling nervously to himself he quickly made his way to the Squire's chambers
and began to prepare for his journey to the Aerie, a journey into his past and
into his future.



Author:  Brennis
Date    Fri May 27 18:38:09 2005
Stamp   1117237089
Subject   Blood Runs True, Part V


Brennis was awake, packed and had his steed saddled just as the dawn began to
creep across the Palanthas skyline. The sky was clear and cloudless and a
light breeze tossed the penants atop the battlements.

An auspicious morning to begin his journey. Leading his steed out of the
stables and though the Keep's massive ironwood gates he stopped for a moment
and took in the scene of Palanthas in the morn. He would miss it.

After taking in his fill he mounted and made his way through the vast city and
out the southeastern gate and onto the Knight's High Road.

Finding a small group of merchants also heading south into the Solamnic Plains
he joined with them and together they traveled until for a fortnight until
they had passed beyond the High Clerist's Tower.

Brennis took his leave of their company a day east of the Tower and struck
south across the vast Plains, the verdant green heartland of Solamnia. Days
went by as he rode, stopping periodicly to refresh his supplies in small
farming villages.

Eventually he hit upon the southern leg of the High Road and it stretched to
the east and west before him. Turning to the west he made his way along the
road towards Thelgaard, passing within sight of the great University along the
way.

After another week he entered Thelgaard and found refuge at a small inn there.
Although it was unusual to see a Squire riding alone across the plains as a
Solamnic stronghold Thelgaard and it's inhabitants welcomed him with open
arms.

The next morning, waking after sleeping in a bed for the first time in over a
month, he felt fully restored and after his morning littany of prayer and
thanks to the Triumvirate he again set off.

He made good time and soon had passed south beyond the towns of Lytburg and
Rening and entered the Soutlund, his own old stomping grounds. This area he
knew instinctively and soon he came upon a small pond at the side of the road.

Pulling on the reins he rode off the road and onto a small trail which headed
east along a small stream toward the mountains. By the end of the day he could
see a familliar cottage in the distance.

Arriving at the small thatched roof structure as night fell Brennis unsaddled
his steed and watered it, then stepped onto the veranda and knocked upon the
door.

An old gruff voice called out for him to enter and he stepped into the humble
abode of his grandfather to find him sitting in front of the hearth reading by
candlelight. The old man looked up and a smile washed over his weathered
countenance.

Old Braxxis lept from his chair and ran over to his grandson, throwing his
arms about the boy and nearly crushing him with a huge bearhug which Brennis
returned. The old Knight stood back and looked upon the boy he had sent to
Palanthas.

'Your looking fine lad, fine indeed. I see by your tabbard your a Squire now.
Well done. Soon I imagine you'll be a Knight. Come, sit by the fire. Tell me
about the Lord City and the Knighthood.'

With a smile Brennis did and the two sat there talking for hours about the
last year, the longest time they had ever spent apart. When Brennis told his
grandfather where he was going the old Knight gave a low whistle.

'The Aerie, eh ? Well, that's a surprise. And you're not even a Knight yet ?
The Grand Master must have more up his sleeve than he's letting on. We Squired
together, he and I. I know him well, and he's always thinking ten steps
ahead.'

Braxxis looked down at his hand and played with a small ring he wore. Looking
up at Brennis he said, 'You might as well have this. Not like I need it
anymore, and it might help you.'. He pulled off the ring and gave it to
Brennis.

Brennis looked at it curiously. It looked to be silver, or maybe steel. He
wasn't sure. He didn't think he had ever seen a metal like it before. He
looked up at his grandfather, the question plain on his face.




Author:  Brennis
Date    Fri May 27 19:15:46 2005
Stamp   1117239346
Subject   Blood Runs True, Part VI


'It's a family heirloom, passed from father to son. Your father died before I
could give it to him, so now I give it to you. The story is that it once
belonged to Indryyl and that it's made from dragonmetal.'

Brennis looked at the ring again. 'Dragonmetal, grandfather ? Isn't that what
... '

'the Dragonlances were made from ?' Braxxis finished. 'Aye lad, the same
material. I don't think it has any special powers, least nothing I've ever
noticed. Regardless, it's your birthright.'

'If the legends about the Aerie are true, and I agree with the Grand Master
that they likely are, then maybe that bauble will help convince the dragons
there of your right to enter.'

Brennis thanked his grandfather and slipped the ring onto his finger. He
didn't feel anything unsual when he put it on. Just an ordinary ring like
Braxxis had said probably.

Braxxis stood and went to a cupboard. Reaching deep inside it he pulled forth
a dusty old bottle and walked back over to Brennis. Sitting down he looked at
it.

'This is a rare vintage now, lad. From the vinyards of Castle Dire, some of
the best vines in Solamnia. I was saving it to drink with your father when he
was Knighted, but that never happened.'

Cracking the seal he pulled the stopper and poured a glass for himself and his
grandson. 'I have another. When you're Knighted we'll drink that one. For now
though let's enjoy this little beauty.'

They smiled at each other and toasted the past and the future. Then they
proceeded to get quite drunk for the vintage was very potent indeed. They
stayed up until the early morning talking until the bottle was done.

Brennis awoke the next morning to his grandfather nudging him awake. 'Rise and
shine Brennis. Time to get a leg up and complete your quest.'. Brennis groaned
and Braxxis chuckled.

'Not used to alcohol yet eh ? Don't worry, it's like swordsmanship. Just takes
practice is all.' the old Knight said and chuckled while holding his own
throbbing temples.

The old Knight walked outside and Brennis caught a whiff of breakfast on the
grill. Slowly hauling himself from the chair he had passed out in he stood and
wobbled unsteadily. After making sure he could walk without falling he stepped
outside.

Brennis wondered if his grandfather had even gone to sleep. The sun was just
rising and already Braxxis had a large breakfast almost ready. Brennis sighed,
wondering if he would ever be able to match his grandfather's stamina.

They sat down and as they ate Brennis' hangover evapourated. He was far more
hungry than he would have thought possible. Maybe it was just eating his
grandfather's cooking again or maybe the liquor had something to do with it.

Bacon and eggs, tender steak fillets and bicuits with milk gravy and fresh
orange juice. Brennis ate like a king for the first time in well over a year.
When all the food was gone the two sat back for a few minutes and relaxed,
speechless.

'Of all the things I've missed since going away grandfather, your company and
cooking are at the top of that list.' said the young man. Braxxis chuckled and
thanked him.

'You can thank your grandmother, Kiri bless her soul. She taught me to cook.
If it wasn't for her I would have starved to death when I was a Squire. I miss
her something fierce, still. Soon though we'll be together again.'

'But that day's still a long ways off I'm thinking. I have to stick around to
see my grandson Knighted. I'd like to be around long enough to see my great
grandson too, if you know what I mean.' he said and winked at Brennis.

Brennis blushed. 'I hardly have time to sleep grandfather, let alone find a
wife. I'll work on it though. It isn't like I haven't met any ladies, I just
don't have the time right now.'

The old Knight nodded. 'I remember being a Squire. Don't worry Brennis, you've
your entire life ahead of you. Plenty of time to find your soulmate. Just
hurry up about it though eh ?' he said laughing.



Author:  Brennis
Date    Fri May 27 20:02:21 2005
Stamp   1117242141
Subject   Blood Runs True, Part VII


Brennis nodded and smiled. He didn't like to think about his grandfather
passing away but knew it would happen eventualy. He knew he would miss Braxxis
fiercely when it happened.

He stood up and stretched. 'Time to get moving. I wish I could stay here with
you grandfather but duty calls. I better go saddle up the old beast and get
moving.'

Braxxis smiled. 'Already did that for you. He's out back, waiting. You sleep
too much.' he said and rose. Embracing Brennis one last time he walked his
grandson over to his steed.

Brennis mounted and waved goodbye. Without looking back he rode west, back
along the trail until he hit the old road again. Following it southwest he
rested the night in the small town of Harrying.

In the morning he set out along the Caergoth Road and after two days found
himself in the city of Caergoth, the Solamnic port city and gateway to the
west.

Not wanting to waste any time he went immediately to the waterfront where the
Solamnic Frigate was docked. Getting permission to board he found the Captain
in his cabin and presented him with the Grand Master's requisition.

The Captain read it and frowned. 'He's giving command of my ship to Trynn ?
Are you serious ? Do you have any idea why Trynn is a drunkard now without a
ship ?'

Brennis shook his head. 'He set out one day with the fastest ship ever made in
Solamnia, "The Winged Victory". She was crewed by the finest sailors on
Ansalon. Two months later he was found floating in the Straits of Algoni.'

' Just him and a few pieces of the ship. No others survived. He came up with
some ridiculous story about "the Dauntless" but that's a load of dung. Once he
was a fine sailor but now he's a danger to all at sea.'

The Captain sighed. 'It doesn't matter what my thoughts are though. The Grand
Master knows the story too. If he wants Trynn, then he'll have him. If you can
drag him away from his bottle and sober him up enough that is.'

Given directions to the shanty pub where Trynn was known to frequent Brennis
left in search of the old salty. He was disturbed by the Cpatain's remarks but
had every confidence in the Grand Master's choice.

Soon he found himself standing before the unsavoury shack and was about to
enter when the door burst open and a decrepid figure flew out, thrown out
apparently by someone within.

A huge man walked into the doorway and spat at the semi conscious figure who
lay on the ground before Brennis. 'And don't come back until you can pay your
damned tab Trynn !' the giant shouted.

The burly man was about to close the door when he noticed the Squire looking
at him. 'What are you looking at, Knightling ?' he growled.

'I am here for Trynn. Tell me, how much does he owe you ?'. The man muttered
and told Brennis who raised an eyebrow at the figure. 'And that's just from
last night !'

Brennis reached into his beltpouch and counted out the sum. He stepped forward
and handed it to the burly man. 'Now you and Trynn are squared up and even. He
owes you no more.'

The big man looked down at Brennis. 'Mighty kind of you to pick up his tab,
boy. I appreciate it. You're welcome here anytime you want. Keep an eye on
that one though or he'll drink your stock dry.' he said and stepped back into
the bar.

Brennis turned and looked down at Trynn. He looked to be about 60 years old
and Ergothian by his complexion and the colour of his eyes, though he was so
weathered from a life at sea and so drunk it was hard to be certain.

Brennis knelt and grabbed onto him. Pulling him to his feet he said, 'C'mon
Master Trynn, we have work to do. A vessel waits for you and the sea beckons.
Solamnia needs your services.'

Drunk as he was Trynn seemed to understand. He pulled away in terror. 'The sea
? No ! That's where she is ! I can't go back ! The Dauntless will get me if I
go out there again ! Noooo !' he wailed.




Author:  Brennis
Date    Fri May 27 20:43:42 2005
Stamp   1117244622
Subject   Blood Runs True, Part VIII


He slipped from Brennis' grasp and stumbled backwards, only to fall over his
own feet. He landed hard and smacked his head on the ground. He lay still and
for a second Brennis feared he had slain himself.

Brennis quickly knelt at his side and checked for a pulse. Remarkably he still
lived and his pulse was strong. Far stronger than an abused old drunkard
should have. Brennis sighed in relief. Strong old bugger.

Picking up the unconscious old seaman Brennis carried him across his shoulders
back to the frigate. A couple of sailors helped him carry the old man into the
infirmiry and they laid him on a cot to sleep off the alcohol.

While they waited for Trynn to wake Brennis spoke to the Captain. 'He's
terrified of this "Dauntless". What is it ?'

The Captain sighed. Centuries, millenia even, before the Cataclysm the
Ergothian Empire had the strongest fleet to ever sail the open sea. Nothing
today comes close to the Ergothian Armada.'

'Aside from sheer numbers they had a group of vessels called the Dreadnaught
class. They were huge. Made from ironwood and dragonmetal, so the legends say.
They reigned supreme, even after the rest of the armada rotted away.'

'They didn't rot, being made of ironwood. A Dreadnaught could run aground on
coral and not have a hull breach. They were virtually indestructable. The
Dauntless was the flagship of the Dreadnaught class and the Armada.'

'Only with the Cataclysm were they finaly destroyed. Even they couldn't
withstand that sort of power. All the Dreadnaughts were destroyed, all except
the Dauntless according to the legends.'

'The legends say she drifts the Straits of Algoni now and destroys any ships
unlucky enough to stumble across her. They say she's crewed and captained by
the damned of Ergoth. Total fiction in my opinion though.'

'That the Dreadnaughts once existed is a matter of certainty. There's no way
on Krynn though that one of them, even the Dauntless, is still afloat today.
Whatever Trynn saw or did it had nothing to do with that vessel of myth.'

Brennis nodded and thanked the Captain for the information. He didn't tell him
that he was himself questing to bring back a myth. He went back to the
infirmiry and waited for Trynn to wake up.

It took a few hours but finally the old seaman opened his bleary, bloodshot
eyes and peered about, squinting against the pale lantern light. When he
realised he was on board a ship he got a crazy look in his eyes.

'No, please, no. Get me off this ship before I bring the wrath of the
Dauntless on her ! Please, get me out of here.' he begged.

'I'm sorry Captain, I can't allow that. The Knighthood, Solamnia, and I need
your services.}x' Brennis replied.

'Don't call me Captain, I have no ship, nor will I ever have one again. The
joy of the sea is mine no more. She took it from me, she did. That butcher of
a ship the Dauntless stole the only thing I love'

'I call you Captain because that is what you are. The Grand Master of the
Knights of Solamnia says you are the finest mariner of our age, and that's
good enough for me. He has given you command of this vessel, to aid me in my
quest.'

Trynn looked at Brennis carefully. 'What ?' he asked, incredulous.

Brennis nodded. 'And if I am successfull the command is yours, permanently as
long as she flies the flag of Solamnia. I don't know what happened to you that
day when you say you found the Dauntless and frankly I don't care.'

'All that matters is that you get back on the horse you love and ride again.
It's what you were born to do. The Grand Master has every confidence in you as
do I. Do you ?'

Trynn sat back in his cot and sighed. 'By Kiri's left nut ! That damned old
Grand Master calling again is he ? He's the one who put me at the helm of the
Victory. Damned the day I took that command.' he muttered and sighed.




Author:  Brennis
Date    Sat May 28 00:04:47 2005
Stamp   1117256687
Subject   Blood Runs True, Part IX


Brennis sat back and looked at him. 'Can you do this thing we ask of you ? Can
you overcome your fear and the bottle to sail again in a quest for a myth ? My
blood calls to me from across the sea. Does the sea call to yours still ?'

Trynn looked sharply at Brennis. A look of confusion could be seen in his deep
grey eyes and pain was etched on his face. He looked away and was quiet.
Brennis sighed, stood up and walked back onto the deck.

He was standing at the rail looking across the harbour, west towards Southern
Ergoth and his past when the Captain found him.

'What's the word ? Does it look like Trynn will be of any use ?' he asked.

'It's hard to say Captain. Whatever happened to him out there scared the
daylights out of him. The sea is in his blood still, I can see that much. But
the prospect of going back out there horrifies him.' Brennis replied.

'They say he was once the finest mariner of our age. That's an understatement.
He was my first Captain. I served with him for almost 15 years. He can steer a
ship while blind. He navigated clear across the Blood Sea once.'

'With no stars to guide him he took us through the Maelstrom itself and
brought us out the other side without losing a crewman. The ship was battered
and torn but he got us home safe. He can feel the wind and sea. Or he could.'

'Some say he even found the isle of the Irda, hidden though it is. There is no
place he hasn't been, no sea he cannot cross. I'd like to believe he still
can, but after all those years on land, drunk...'. His voice trailed off.

They stood there and watched the gulls circle high overhead as the sun waned
and the first moon became visible. Just as the sun began to sink below the
horizon they heard footsteps approaching.

'Do we have all the stores aboard that we'll need ?' came Trynn's voice.
Brennis and the Captain turned, surprised, to find Trynn standing on deck,
weaving a bit as the ship swayed gently.

'Aye Master Tryyn. The holds are full, the crew is aboard. All is in
readiness. We can depart anytime.' replied the Captain.

'That's Captain Trynn, boy. Or would you prefer I call you First Mate ? Your
choice. We sail on the morning tide for Southern Ergoth. The feint hearted
better disembark now or I'll throw their lilly asses overboard before we port
again.'

'Make sure all is ready. We sail before first light. It will be an early tide
tomorrow. I'm goind to get some sleep. Damn, I haven't been sober for this
long in years.' said the new Captain.

Making his way across the deck to the Captain's cabin Trynn entered and
slammed the door shut behind him. Brennis looked to the former Captain with
some anxiety.

To his astonishment he found the man smiling broadly. He noticed Brennis' look
and nodded. 'Aye, I've lost my command. But I've just seen a legend come back
to life and am about to sail Captain Trynn again. It's a good day Squire.' he
said.

Laughing with delight as he went the new First Mate began shouting orders at
the crew and men scrambled up ropes to check the rigging and sails, making
sure all was prepared for tomorrow.

Brennis wasn't a sailor but he helped out where he could. He went about
belaying lines as he was shown and did some other menial tasks, freeing up the
real sailors for more important tasks. Around midnight they all went to their
bunks to sleep.

Brennis was awakened before the dawn and noticing everyone else was already on
deck he hurried to lend a hand.The sails had already been furled however and
the ship was free of the wharf and underway. Brennis looked to the helm.

Captain Trynn stood there, not looking at all like the decrepid vagabond he
had seen thrown from the seedy waterfront bar the day before. Being at the
helm and setting out to see had transformed him.

Now he stood, legs spread apart as he rolled comfortably with the movements of
the ship. He looked to the sky as he guided the vessel out of the harbour and
onto the open sea. As they broke free of the breakers a smile crossed his face.




Author:  Brennis
Date    Sat May 28 01:14:20 2005
Stamp   1117260860
Subject   Blood Runs True, Part X


He was at home again. It was his destiny to ride the waves. It was all he
knew, all he wanted or needed. A stout ship and a good crew and he was lord
and master of his own fate.

The First Mate stood at his side, the same smile on his face. Brennis smiled
too. One myth made flesh again, one more to go.

Captain Trynn sniffed the air and quickly spun the wheel. The large vessel
churned in the water as it came about and out of nowhere the sails billowed,
catching a strong wind. They picked up speed and soon the prow was slicing
across the sea.

Looking back Brennis saw the shoreline and Caergoth quickly receding and in
front of them lay nothing but pristine, open ocean. They sped across the azure
fathoms and at the end of their first day Brennis spoke to Trynn.

'We seem to be making good time Captain. How long before you think we'll land
in Ergoth ?'

'Aye we are making good time for now Squire. If our luck holds we'll be able
to run the Straits of Algoni in a few days, round the tip and get to Welmet in
under a week. Don't count on it tho. Those Straits are mercurial.'

'One day your doing great, the next you're becalmed for a week or more. Then
there's the Dauntless, lingering about somewhere, waiting...'. Brennis looked
at him sharply.

Captain Trynn laughed and slapped Brennis on the back. 'Don't worry lad, I'm
past the fear. I'm just cautious now. I doubt we'll see her but if we do I
have an idea about how to deal with her this time. Don't worry laddy, we'll be
fine.'

Brennis nodded and smiled, relieved to hear the note of confidence in Trynn's
voice. The change in him over only one day was stunning.

Returning below deck to his cot Brennis climbed and lay there thinking for a
bit. A few days and they would make landfall. A few more hopefully after that
and he would see the Aerie, the first of his family since the Cataclysm to do
so.

He drifted off to sleep and when he awoke the next day they repeated their
progress. Another day passed and still the wind held, speeding them along the
Strait and closer to their destination.

It was after three days at sea, when they were deep into the Straits of
Algoni, that their luck broke and they were becalmed. Trynn was nonplussed
however and kept the crew busy doing repairs and making sure everything was in
order.

They languished on the open sea for two more days before a slight breeze
finally started to fill the sails. Not much but it did alot to lift the
spirits of the superstitious sailors.

That night, just as Brennis was drifting off to sleep, the ship lurched and
shuddered and the crew was tossed from their bunks. Water sluiced into their
quarters from the upper deck and everyone struggled to climb out.

As Brennis made it topside he saw pitch black clouds roiling overhead as huge
waves smashed into the ship sending men scrambling for something to hang on
to.

Captain Trynn stood at the helm and fought the sea for control of his vessel.
The wheel tried to lurch free of his graps but he overpowered it and sent the
ship prow first into the monster waves wheich threatened to engulf them.

His voice raged over the storm. 'Hang on lads ! This be it ! She's heading for
us ! This is how the Dauntless greets her prey ! Hang on, we'll soon be clear
! Then the real fun begins !' Everyone's eyes widened. The Dauntless ?



Author:  Brennis
Date    Thu Jun  2 12:26:52 2005
Stamp   1117733212
Subject   Blood Runs True, Part XI


Brennis looked forward to the prow of the frigate and saw only inky black
roiling clouds churning ahead of them. Then the ship crested the wave and the
ship pitched forward as it dove down into another trough.

Everyone held onto anything they could find which was stout and secure as they
raced down the backside of the enormous wave and plowed into the sea and dark
seawater cascaded across the deck threating to send them all over the rail.

The young Squire glanced to the helm fearing Captain Trynn would be gone but
there he was, his face a mask of anger and determination as he guided the ship
prow first into the next big wave.

Again the prow lifted and the ship, near vertical, crested another wave and
dove into another trough. Somehow they survived this assault and Brennis began
to feel a growing sense of fear building within himself as the ship was tossed
about

Not fear of the sea or this raging maelstrom they had found themselves in.
Fear of something else. A sense that something evil and unwholesome approached
and would send them to the bottom.

Brennis looked to the prow again and saw a new wave coming at them, this one
larger than any before. It dwarfed the frigate and the young Squire felt this
was it. There was no way they would make it over this one.

He looked to Trynn again and his jaw dropped. The Captain had let go the wheel
and stood, legs firmly plannted, and looked upon the monster wave as if daring
it to strike his vessel. He looked down and sae Brennis staring at him.

'It's not real lad !' he shouted, his voice barely audible over the ragin sea.
'She's almost upon us. This is her last gasp to do us in. It's not real
though. It's just an illusion.'

Brennis looked at the wave again. Looked real enough to him. As the wave began
to hit them though the ship didn't rise as normal. Instead it continued onward
and to the crew's amazement the wave rolled right over them.

'That's how every Captain who has been here lost. The only way to live through
a wave like that is to go broadsaide and let it hopefully flip you completely
around. But turning broadside is exactly the wrong thing to  do.' he shouted.

He pointed forward and yelled, 'Thar she comes ! Move you dogs ! Man the
grapples ! We have one chance here and one only ! Move ! Move !'

Everyone looked to where he pointed and at first didn't see anything. But then
a black shape loomed out of the darkness and they gasped as they cought side
of the Dauntless.

It was massive. Larger than any ship any had ever seen or heard of. Five
masts, fully rigged, lined it's top deck which rode at least 60' above the
sea. It dwarfed the frigate.

Made of ironwood blackened by millenia on the sea she was longer and taller
than any other ship ever made. Catapults lined her deck and openings in her
sides revealed the snouts of ballistae.

She was bearing down on them and had they been turned broadside they would
have been wrecked on the Dauntless' massive battering ram which glided just
beneath the surface.

Trynn yelled at them again and they began to move, their awe and fear
overpowered by their Captain's rage. Quickly they picked up the grappling
irons and lined up along the side rail.

'That's it lads ! The only power this bitch holds is fear ! Beat it and you've
won ! Concentrate on your duty, put everything else out of your mind ! On my
mark, let loose the grapples and we'll make it though this !'

Like the rest Brennis looked up at the Dauntless as it closed on them. They
weren't broadside to it but it looked like they'd still be struck. Then the
frigate lurched as Trynn spun the wheel hard.

He used the water the Dauntless pushed aside to help  the frigate come around
and before the crew knew what was happening they were alongside the legendary
man o war. Trynn screamed at them. 'NOW !!'.

As one they let loose the grapples. The flew into the air, lines snaking
behind, and over the top rail of the Dauntless. Snagging on the ironwood rail
they quickly drew the ropes taught.




Author:  Brennis
Date    Thu Jun  2 15:02:42 2005
Stamp   1117742562
Subject   Blood Runs True, Part XII


'Now climb !' Trynn thundered. 'We can't evade her forever ! Our only chance
is to board her ! Go ! Go ! Go !'

Brennis looked from Trynn and up to the rail of the Dauntless where their
grapples had snagged. It would be a 40' climb in rough seas. Gulping Brennis
grabbed a hold of a rope and began to pull himself up.

'Move !' the Captain roared from the deck. 'The ropes won't hold ! We'll soon
break free and she'll outmaneuver us and send us to the bottom ! If you want
to see another day grab a rope and climb for your lives !'

With that the crew surged toward the lines and began to climb for all they
were worth. After all were climbing the First Mate, and lastly the Captain,
grabbed a line and began their own ascent.

The sea dropped aways below then and swelled up again, straining the ropes to
he point where a few broke. The sailors on them swung in and thumped into the
ironwood hull but hung on anyway.

Seeing a few ropes break gave extra incentive and everyone redoubled their
effort, moving hand over hand up toward the main deck railing. Then the sea
dropped again and the rest of the ropes broke.

They all swung inwards and hit the side of the Dauntless. Brennis was still
about 10' below the rail and began to feverishly claw his way up the last bit
of rope as the frigate began to drift away.

Grabbing hold of the rail Brennis heaved himself over it to lay prone on the
deck for a moment, breathing hard from his exertion. Beside him he heard
others doing the same. He looked about in awe. They all stood and gazed upon
the deck of the Dauntless. Not a soul could be seen. Catapults made from the
same ironwood lined either side of the deck amidships, their glyph carved
dragonmetal bowls huge and empty.

The five masts were unbelievably tall and soared above their heads bearing
sails which billowed fittfully from a feint breeze.

Faster than any would have thought possible for such a huge vessel the
Dauntless swung about and looking over the railing they could see it bearing
down on the now unmanned frigate. In a moment the ram struck it and crushed
it's hull.

The Dauntless didn't even pause. It continued through the ruined frigate,
cutting it completely in half. They watched in horror as their old ship sank
quickly, leaving nothing but a few pieces of debris to mark it's passing.

Trynn roared in rage as he watched. He turned and ran to a stair leading up to
where the wheel would be. Reaching the top he disappeared from view. Brennis
and the others raced after him.

Reaching the top of the stair they beheld the wheel. Holding onto it,
oblivious to Captain Trynn standing beside him, was a man wearing an ancient
Ergothian Naval uniform. His eyes were fixed and glazed as he stared
unseeingly ahead.

Trynn reached toward him for a large necklace he wore. As he touched it the
medallion flared a bright blue and Trynn pulled back his hand in pain and
cursed. Again he reached for it, faster this time.

It flared again and Trynn screamed in pain but held on. He lifted it over the
man's head and with a heave tossed it over the rail and into the ocean.

A moment later the man's eyes regained their focus and he began to age before
their eyes. Time cought up with him and as it did he turned to Trynn and
whispered, 'Thank you.'

In a heartbeat he went from 40 years old to utterly ancient. His skin sagged,
hair greyed and his back became stooped. He bowed under the pressure of time
and fell to his knees, then onto his side and lay still.

Flesh churned and decayed, putrified and then turned to dust. In a minute all
that remained of the last Ergothian Captain of the Dauntless was a skeleton.
As he died the weather around the vessel changed.

The clouds broke and the seas calmed. The crew looked aroun in amazement.
Another minute and the sun fell upon the ancient vessel for the first time
since the Cataclysm. Ancient ironwood glistened like black marble in the new
light.





Author:  Brennis
Date    Thu Jun  2 16:01:48 2005
Stamp   1117746108
Subject   Blood Runs True, Part XIII


'Well done lads ! We've done it ! We've survived one of the great mysteries of
the seas and to top it off taken control of the most powerfull ship ever built
! Well done indeed my friends !'

'Now get to work ! We have a small crew for such a large vessel. Make sure all
is secure and seaworthy. Check the stores for supplies. We're a few days from
land and if we can manage it I want to hold off landfall until Welmet, as
planned.'

The crew srambled and Trynn cackled with delight from the wheel. The First
Mate ran, smiling, with his men to check the ship. As he passed Brennis he
said, 'This is the finest hour of Krynns greatest mariner. Ne'er forget it
Squire.'

Men clambered up into the rigging to check the sails and ropes and others
disappeared below deck and into the holds. Brennis went below into a hold and
found the First Mate checking casks, apparently made from ironnwood like the
ship itself.

'The legends said the Dauntless had enchannted stores. Turns out the stories
were more than mere tales. These casks and crates are all runed with wards of
protection.' he said, amazed.

'I wager this ship could stay at sea for well over a year with a full crew
before she'd need to port for provisions. Go, tell the Captain the provisions
are sound and plentifull.'

Brennis nodded and went back to the wheel. Once informed Trynn nodded. 'I knew
the stories would be true. I knew it. And I wager even with a crew this small
we could sail this vessel anywhere. Very well then. Setting course for Welmet
!'

He spun the wheel a bit and instantly wind filled the sails. The Dauntless
lurched forward and, for the first time in centuries, she began to ply the sea
as she was meant to. She sliced through the water effortlessly and raced to
the horizon.

Over the next few days the winds held true and with a speed the even the
Captain was amazed by they soon came within sight of land. He steered toward a
small river mouth and by noon they were approaching the docks of Welmet.

By the time they were close enough to make out the docks they saw a huge crowd
gathered on them, watching with awe as the massive vessel glided in. The
sailors furled the sails and the Dauntless landed in Southern Ergoth.

Captain Trynn had the sailors carefully, and with due respect, wrap the
skeleton of the old Captain in an Ergothian flag they had found aboard. With
honour and dignity they carried his remains down the gangplank.

As they stepped onto the dock the village council stepped forward. Captain
Trynn bowed and handed over the skeletal remains so that they could be
properly interred according to Ergothian customs. The Councilors bowed and
thanked him. After speaking with them for a bit and confirming that this
vessel was indeed the Dauntless of myth he formally laid claim to, according
to Ergothian Naval tradition.

The maritime traditions of Ergoth dictated that any vessel found adrift and
unmanned could be claimed by the finder. Even though she had been the flagship
of the Armada the Dauntless was still subject to this code like any other ship
would be.

She had been without a crew for centuries and although the Captain had been at
the wheel it had been but a shell, kept at the wheel by foul magic long after
he had earned his final peacefull rest.

The Emperor in Gwynned would not be pleased that the Dauntless had been found
and claimed but he could not argue with the millenia old traditions of his
ancestors. So it was that a legendary Captain gained command a legendary ship.

After he had given instruction to his men to gather some supplies and maybe
recruit a few new crewmen Trynn returned to the ship and approached Brennis.
'Well Squire, this is where we part company for a while.' he said and put
forth his hand.

Brennis accepted and, shaking the old salt's hand replied, 'Thank you Captain
Trynn. It has been an adventure and a singular honour to sail with you on a
voyage neither I nor the world I suspect will ever forget.'




Author:  Brennis
Date    Thu Jun  2 17:18:27 2005
Stamp   1117750707
Subject   Blood Runs True, Part XIV


Trynn smiled. 'It was a rather grand ride wasn't it ?' he said and laughed. 'I
owe you much young man. If it weren't for you I'd likely still be a drunken
sod laying unconscious in a dirt alley somewhere.'

'We'll meet again, and sooner rather than later I think. We sail tomorrow for
Palanthas. You're quest takes you overland from here. You find your wyrms and
head to Palanthas. I'll race you !' he said with a grin.

With a grin in return Brennis walked down the gangplank and set foot on shore.
It felt odd after being at sea for what had felt like years. It took a while
to regain his landlegs.

The only inn was a small place called the Gilded Shield. He paid for a room
for the night, had a small dinner and went to his room where he lay thinking
about the next leg of his journey.

He was close now. He had seen the Last Gaard Mountains in the distand when
they had docked. Majestic and tall they signaled the final stage in his quest.

He awoke in the morning and almost had to look out the window to make sure he
wasn't still at sea so used was he to being onboard a ship. He chuckled at
himself. Getting dressed he went downstairs to the common room.

After a small breakfast he went to the town's square and found a small group
of merchants gathered to take produce and livestock to the Knight's Keep.

They were glad to let him ride with them and he helped them load up their
wagons. Climbing into one he settled in for a slow ride.

They traveled along the river for most of the day and by mid afternoon they
had arrived at a large fountain just outside the Ergothian keep of the Knights
of Solamnia. Built at a bend in the river it was an imposing granite
structure.

Brennis approached the gateguard and saluted him. The guard saluted back and
when Brennis request admittance the guard, noting his Solamnic tabbard, opened
a small door in the gate.

Brennis walked in and continued through a courtyard to the central Keep. At
the door he asked a Knight where the Commander was and followed his
instructions. He knocked on an oaken door and when a voice from within hailed
him he entered.

He produced a document the Grand Master had given him for the Commander and
handed it to the Knight. The man nodded and thanked him. Reading the document
he confirmed that he would provide Brennis with a mount, guide and supplies as
requested.

Brennis went about collecting supplies and a mount and within the hour was in
the tilting yard where he found the Commander and another Knight waiting.

He returned their salutes and mounted his Solamnic steed. The other Knight,
his guide, did the same and with a word of blessing from the Commander the two
set off to the south.

Midway through the next day, after riding across open plains and through small
clumps of forest, they arrived at the Lat Gaard's foothills.

They camped in the shadow of the mountains and early the next morning they
rose and mounted their steeds. Heading into the hills they slowly begand to
wend their way through.

Soon they were high in the mountains and crossed alpine tracts of pine and
fields full of late summer wildflowers. Only wild animals marked their
crossing and they made haste over the passes.

Brennis' guide told him of his time growing up in this area. Originally from
Welmet he had traveled to Solamnia, become a Knight and returned to serve the
Knighthood and his people. As a child he had wandered these mountains with his
father.

On one of those outings they had stumbled on the Vale of the Dragon and had
seen the Aerie in the distance. They hadn't dared approach it though and had
seen large shapes high in the sky over it, circling as though lazily riding
the wind.

He wasn't certain as they had been a long way off and the old fortress blended
well with it's surroundings but it didn't seem to be the ruin of legend he
said. He thought that maybe part of it at least was still intact.





Author:  Brennis
Date    Thu Jun  2 18:00:59 2005
Stamp   1117753259
Subject   Blood Runs True, Part XV


Brennis' heart lifted. Partly intact maybe ? And those figures flying around
it ? Dragons ? His heart raced and he urged his steed forward. On into the
evening they rode before making camp.

Day followed day and they didn't see another living soul. Nothing except wild
mountain sheep, a few mountain lions and the typical sundry assortment of
smaller fauna. After three days they came upon a shadowed ravine.

Entering it they were engulfed in shadows as the ravine walls rose shear on
either side of them. Barely wide enuf to permit a horse at points the ravine
trail snaked through the mountains for over three miles before it began to
widen.

Emerging from the shadow they found themselves standing on a large sunlit
shelf looking down into an arid valley. A barren, dry land, the Vale of the
Dragon was a hard land.

The guide pointed and off in the distance, high in the mountains, what looked
like a fortress could be seen. Slowly shapes over it became evident and it
seemed they were slowly circling.

Descending quickly down to the plain they checked their water supplies one
last time, mounted and headed for the fortress. They rode for that day and
most of the next before they hit upon a small arm of the mountains which
extended into the Vale.

Now that they were closer they could tell the shapes in the sky high overhead
were indeed dragons. The great wyrms glided gracefully on the wind and circled
an ancient structure nestled in the mountains below them.

It took the took a few hours to find the path up to the keep but eventually
they began to climb the narrow trail. When they figured they were about
halfway up the guide Knight stopped. 'This is where we must part for now.'

Brennis nodded. 'If all the stories be true then it isn't safe for you to
continue. Thank you Sir for your courage and guidance. Return you to the
Knight's Keep and inform your Commander of our success.'

Brennis dismounted and handed his reins to the Knight. The mand nodded and
turned, returning to the Vale and out of sight. After watching him go Brennis
turned and looked up along the trail.

He began walking the final stretch. He rounded a few corners and suddenly
before him rose the fron gates of the Aerie. They were closed and still looked
to be intact and stout.

He looked up at the empty towers and hailed the keep of his ancestors. No
response came. He waited and soon a shape descended from the sky to land
gracefully on the battlements atop the gate.

A huge dragon, it's mercurial silver scales shimmering in the sun's glow,
looked down upon him. Brennis heard a voice in his mind call to him.

'Leave now, mortal. The Aerie is no longer a place for mortals. We rule here
in the absence of the Master of the Aerie. Leave our home or die.'

Brennis stood his ground and called out to the dragon, 'I am Brennis, son of
Drassis, grandson of Braxxis of the line of Indryyl. I seek admittance to the
halls of my forefathers.'

At first there was no response, then another great wyrm landed upon the
battlements above. And another. They looked down upon the tiny human in front
of them and after a moment the largest of them descended to land before him.

It looked at him quizzicly. Again the voice spoke to his mind. 'Can you prove
your claim mortal ?' Brennis raised his hand, his grandfather's ring upon his
finger. 'This is all I have. The only heirloom I bear. Given me by my
grandfather it has graced the hand of my family since the time of Indryyl.'

The dragon moved it's head closer for a better looked. As it's snout reached
Brennis' hand it sniffed a few time. Then it slowly pulled back to peer at
Brennis.

'Indeed, that is the ring I gave Indryyl so many centuries ago. And your blood
is of him as well, that I can smell. Welcome then, Brennis. Welcome home uth
Indryyl.'

The dragon turned around and with a tap from an enormous wing the great gate
swung open silently. Brennis looked up at the dragon then slowly walked into
the tilting yard and looked about at his family's ancient fortress.




Author:  Brennis
Date    Thu Jun  2 20:38:17 2005
Stamp   1117762697
Subject   Blood Runs True, Part XVI


It seemd the Aerie was largely intact and not the sprawling ruin the stories
had indicated. Although obviously old and showing signs of it's age the place
had been well built by dwarven masons and it would take more than time to
crumble it.

Brennis turned around and gazed in wonder upon the aged silver dragon. 'You
said you gave this ring to Indryyl. What is your name ?'

After a moment the voice inside his head answered. 'In the tongue of mortals I
am Brightwing. I once bore Indryyl into the sky and into war, as well as many
of his descendants. Why have you returned here, child of my ancient friend ?'

'To learn the ways of my forebearers. To learn the way of dragons, and to
become a Dragonrider as so many of my line have been before me. I come to
honour their memory.'

Brightwing seemed to consider this, then nodded slightly. 'It is good and Just
you do so,' he spoke into Brennis' mind. 'It has been to long since your
family has come here. Me and my kin bid you welcome home.'

'You wish to ride the wind do you, young Squire of the Knights of Solamnia ?
Your blood calls for the sky. Rest this night. Tomorrow morning you claim your
birthright and learn to fly.'

Brennis bowed, humbled by the great creature. 'Thank you Brightwing. I don't
think I will be able to sleep this night but I will try to relax at any rate.'
he said and smiled.

Turning he headed for the Keep and upon entering it found that while the
masonry had survived the centuries the furniture had not. A huge layer of dust
lay over all and when Brennis touched a chair it promptly disintegrated before
his eyes.

He looked about and sighed. Intact and yet so much needed to be done to
restore it to it's former glory. He promised himself that some day he would
see the Aerie restored, but that would take many years.

For now he simply searched for a place to relax and rest for the night.
Finding nothing at all softer than stone to rest on he resigned himself to it
and camped out in the Great Hall. There he sat and pondered his journey thus
far.

He had been incredibly fortunate to arrive here unscathed. Just the sea voyage
would have been the end of him had any Captain of lesser skill and experience
been at the helm. The Grand Master's confidence in Trynn had been well placed.

He awoke in the morning with a start and sat up. He had fallen asleep without
even realising he'd been tired. Gathering his things he quickly made his way
into the tilting yard.

Brightwing sat there, waiting patiently. When Brennis emerged he bowed his
head. 'Greetings Master of the Aerie. Are you ready to commence your training
?' he said. 'Aye Brightwing, I am.' Brennis replied.

'Excellent. Gather the equipment on the ground before you. I will talk you
through the process of affixing it to me. It's rather like saddling a steed,
but on a larger scale.'

Brennis did as the great wyrm instructed and in a short time had Brightwing
saddled and had mounted the ancient Silver just ahead of it's wings.

Brightwing's voice rang inside his head. 'At first you will feel apprehensive.
Do not worry. I will not allow anything to happen to you. We will simply fly
at first to get you used to the feeling.' Before Brennis could respond
Brightwing flapped his huge wings and in one beat they were aloft. Brennis'
stomach rose as the ground shot away below them. He held onto the saddlestraps
tightly.

Higher Brightwing flew, circling and ascending until the Aeirie was a mere
speck below. Then a shadow blotted out the sun and Brennis looked up to see
another Silver dragon.

'My mate, Silvercrest. She will fly with us and watch. Later she will help
teach you also. She's a remarkable aerial combatant, even for a dragon.'
Brightwing said.

The three of them flew for what must have been hours and gradually Brennis
found himself adapting to the sensation and sights. It was incredible, far
more exhilerating than he had ever imagined. 




Author:  Brennis
Date    Thu Jun  2 21:12:32 2005
Stamp   1117764752
Subject   Blood Runs True, Part XVII


When they had landed Silvercrest offered her critique of Brennis and,
surprisingly, of Brightwing. She said it had been many centuries since he had
born a rider and he had gotten a bit sloppy.

Brennis smiled and he could have sworn Brightwing muttered under his breath.
But the ancient Silver took her critique in the manner it was intended and
nodded to her. Brennis spent that night in the tilting yard with Brightwing.

At first they spoke of aerial tactics and maneuver, some of which they would
begin to practice tomorrow. Eventually their conversation moved into the realm
of history and Brightwing regalled Brennis with stories of his ancestors.

In the morning the took to the skies again and good to his word Brightwing and
Silvercrest began to teach him the basics of aerial combat. At first he
thought his heart would stop when Brightwing began to execute high speed turns
at altitude.

He adapted quickly though and soon found himself grinning broadly as the
dragon swooped and soared, turning sharply and diving and then climbing with
incredible speed.

For another five days they trained and a week after arriving at the Aerie both
dragon and rider had improved themselves considerably. Even Silvercrest was
finding it hard to point out faults.

At the end of the week Brennis told Brightwing it was time for him to return
to Palanthas. It was important to both himself and the Knighthood that word be
sent to the Grand Master regarding his quest to the Aerie.

Brightwing agreed and after bidding Sivercrest and his children goodbye the
dragon lifted Brennis into the sky once more. This time they climbed higher
than ever before.

Into the clouds they went and Brennis was dampened by their moisture. In a
heartbeat they broke free and Brennis gasped in awe.

Above him all was star studded blackness while below him floated an ocean of
cloud. He was stunned by the sight. To be above the clouds !

'We'll fly faster now than we have before. Just wanted to warn you. This is
how dragons travel.' said the dragon.

With a few beats of his mighty wings Brightwing accelerated and in a flash
they were flying faster than Brennis had thought possible. At first the wind
whipped his face but then he leaned into Brightwing's back and the wind about
him vanished. They raced across the sky as Krynn turned below them and in a
few hours Brennis saw the sun rising ahead of them. Still they flew on, speed
unchanging, until all was dark again.

As the sun began to dawn again they slowed and begand to descend into the
clouds. Breaking free of them and into a sunlit sky again Brennis looked down
and saw the coastline of Solamnia stretched out below them.

Quickly they descended and Brennis recognised the Pillars of Paladine and
after another minute the spires of the Lord City. In the Bay of Branchala a
massive black ship with five masts was approaching the docks. The Dauntless.

With a quick word Brennis pointed out the ship. Brightwing looked down and saw
it. He rolled over and dove for it and soared past at deck level. The crew
almost fell overboard while Captain Trynn laughed heartily from his post at
the wheel.

Brightwing shot over the tall walls of Palanthas and in a moment gracefully
landed atop the walls of the Solamnic Keep. The guards there scattered to make
room for the wyrm. Brennis dismounted and went over to them.

'Greetings, Brothers. This is Brightwing, the dragon who of old bore my
ancestors. I must leave him here while I speak with the Grand Master. Fear him
not. Engage him in conversation. He likes to talk.'

Quickly he descended the stairs and ran into the Keep's corridors. It felt
good to be back again. Finding the Grand Master's chamber he knocked on the
door. The old Knight's voice called for him to enter.

Brennis enntered and found the Knight speaking to another who looked
familliar. The other person turned around and Brennis cried out with delight.




Author:  Brennis
Date    Thu Jun  2 21:45:59 2005
Stamp   1117766759
Subject   Blood Runs True, Part XVIII


'Grandfather ! I don't believe it ! What brings you here ?' he asked and
rushed forward to give the old man a bearhug. Remembering whose office he was
in however he stood to attention and saluted the Grand Master.

The old Kight returned the salute and smiled. 'I asked your grandfather to
come Squire Brennis. I can't get away and I wanted to see him again. It's been
too long and neither of us is getting any younger.'

'Aye Brennis, he's right there. It has been too many decades since we saw each
other. Tell me, how goes your quest ? Have you found the Aerie ?' Braxxis
asked.

' I recruited Trynn, as you suggested Grand Master. With him we set sail for
Welmet but while in the Straights of Algoni we ran afoul of the Dauntless,
Sir.' Brennis said and both the old Knights gasped.

'Due to the skills of Captain Trynn not only did we survive the encounter, we
boarded the Dauntless and took command of that ancient vessel. The last
Dreadnaught now flies the flag of Solamnia and docks in the Palanthas Harbour
as we speak.'

The Grand Master looked from Brennis to Braxxis and back again, jaw agape.
'And I found the Aerie my Lord. In it lives Brightwing, his mate Silvercrest
and their offspring. All have renewed their oathes to the Knighthood.'

'At this moment Brightwing siits atop the Solamnic Keep, directly over this
office. He would like to meet you my Lord. I would think he would also like to
meet you too grandfather.'

The old men looked to one another and back to Brennis. As one they jumped at
and ran like excited children through the Keep and up the stairs onto the
battlements. They stopped when they saw the ancient Silver and looked up at
him in awe.

Brightwing nodded his head to them both and Brennis knew he spoke to them as
he spoke to him, directly into their minds. After a moment the Grand Master
bowed deeply and moved to the battlements to look across the city to the
harbour.

From the vantage point atop the Keeps walls the tops of the Dauntless' masts
were visible and Solamnic penants flew from each. He turned to Brennis.

From the vantage point atop the Keeps walls the tops of the Dauntless' masts
were visible and Solamnic penants flew from each. He turned to Brennis and
said, 'This day you do us much honour Squire.'

Brennis bowed deeply to him. 'Est Solarus oth Mithas, my Lord.' he replied.
The Grand Master saluted him then left and returned to the Keep.

Brennis and Braxxis stayed to speak with Brightwing. After 30 minutes they
heard footsteps climbing the stairs and turned to see Captain Trynn. He walked
up to Brennis and shook his hand, then his grandfather's. 'I thought I had you
beat lad, but then here you come soaring in on the back of a dragon ! I've
never been so glad to lose a race !' he said and laughed. He looked at
Brightwing and bowed deeply.

They spoke for a while, then Trynn returned to his ship to settle in for the
night. Braxxis returned inside the Keep but Brennis stayed atop the walls all
night with Brightwing. In the morn he awoke and went to the messhall.

When he walked in the Knights and Squires gathered gave him a single,
incredibly loud cheer. He blushed and thanked them. They insisted he tell them
the tale and as he ate he relayed it as best he could.

When he was done the Seneschal of the Knights of Solamnia entered and spoke to
the room. 'The Grand Master requires the everyone gather in the Great Hall in
one hour's time. '

Everyone looked to each other, wondering what was afoot. The Grand Master
rarely called everyone to a meeting. It must be important they thought.



Author:  Brennis
Date    Fri Jun  3 10:47:04 2005
Stamp   1117813624
Subject   Blood Runs True, Conclusion


Slowly the Great Hall began to fill with Knights and Squires. When Brennis
arrived he saw his grandfather with the Grand Master and would have sat with
him but there was no room at that table so he sat with his fellow Squires near
the back.

When everyone had assembled the Grand Master rose and stood before a table
which had been positioned at the front of the Hall. A silk sheet bearing the
device of the Knighthood lay on it, lightly covering something.

The old Knight looked around the chamber at everyone. With a voice strong and
clear he addressed them.

'As you are all aware this day has seen some unusual visitors arrive in the
Lord City. Out of time and myth the Dauntless, the ancient Dreadnaught
flagship of the Ergothian Armada, has sailed to our docks.'

'Now piloted by Captain Trynn she flies the flag of Solamnia is at the service
of the Knighthood. After a thorough check and sea trail, which I do not doubt
she will pass easily, the Dauntless will be the new flagship of the Solamnic
fleet.'

'Also we have seen the arrival of Brightwing, the ancient Silver dragon and a
child of Paladine, who has served the Knighthood many times since the founding
of our order. He again bears a Dragonrider and serves our cause.'

'With Brightwing comes the renewd pledge to serve of his mate Silvercrest and
their offspring, a full wing of Silver dragons to aid us in our struggle.
Truly, today has been an auspicious one for Solamnia and the Knighthood.'

'We owe these boons to one man, a Squire whom I sent on a Quest find out about
his past so that he could maybe realise a future he had hoped for. In
regaining his heritage he won for us allies which we had not dared hope for.'

'Of old his ancestors were Dragonrider Knights and with their steeds served
the Knighthood honourably. He has proven to be their equal. Only one
difficulty lays now in his path. Only a ranked Knight may become a
Dragonrider.'

Brennis' ears perked up. Only a ranked Knight ? He was but a Squire. What did
this mean then ? Would he be forbidden to fly until he was Knighted ? A low
murmuring of surprise  spread through the Hall.

'I understand how you feel,' the Grand Master continued. 'He has more than
earned the right. That is why I have summoned you all here. To bear witness.'
As he said this he pulled the sheet from the table.

Laying upon the table was the Greatsword of Solamnia, the blade carried by
Vinus Solamnus and now only brought forth for ceremonial purposes. A silence
fell over those gathered as they viewed the relic.

'Brennis uth Indryyl, rise and step forward.'. Brennis gulped and, eyes wide,
rose and walked to stand before the Grand Master. The old Knight nodded and
said, 'Kneel.'

Brennis dropped to one knee and closing his eyes he lowered his head in
humility. The Grand Master lifted the Greatsword and raising it high spoke  to
all in a voice which belied his aged and boomed across the chamber.

'Brennis uth Indryyl, you have proven yourself to be an outstanding Squire.
You have been steadfast and devout in your studies and service and this day
you have won for Solamnia three great boons.'

'It is my singular pleasure to recognise and return the great honour you have
bestowed upon Solamnia.'. He lowered the tip of the Greatsword and touched
Brennis' left shoulder with it.

'By the power vested in me by the Triumvirate,' he began and raising the sword
tip he rested it upon the Squire's other shoulder. 'And by the authority
granted me by the Knighthood I dub thee Sir Brennis uth Indryyl'.

'Rise now Sir Brennis. Rise and stand amongst your peers and know that the
blood of your ancestors runs true in your veins and that you are their equal,
and ours.'

Brennis rose and turned to face those assembled. He looked at Braxxis and
tears of pride streamed down his grandfather's cheeks. Finally, the line of
Indryyl had found it's future.

The Storytellers of Ansalon, The DragonLance MUD

Astinus points to the massive wall of books behind him and bids you to make a selection.


Authors: All|A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M|N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

Astinus sighs as he recants 'We saved 803 books from Ansalon from before the great Cataclysm through today.'
\n