Lord Noxtrael Shadowstar of the Fabled Paladin Order

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Full Name: Noxtrael Fatebreaker

Past Names: Solwein, Noxtriel (Due to limitations by Blizzard to use the same name in name changes, which was part of an RP story arch)

Meaning of Names: Solwein had meant “Sun-bearer,” Noxtrael signifies “Traveler in the Darkness”

Group/Guild affiliation: Fabled Order

Guild Rank: Highlord

Age: Early to mid twenties

Race: Human

Gender: Male

Hair: Pale blonde, the color of the fields of Westfall at dusk

Skin: Very fair

Eyes: Grey-blue as the sky on the eve of a storm

Height: Medium stature

Weight: Slim, though athletic

Other Physical Features: His features are very gaunt and seldom betray any emotion. When some aspect of his mind is revealed, it is usually when his face is arrayed in earnest benevolence, amused patience, or grim conviction.

Place of residence: Foothold Citadel, Headquarters of the Fabled Order in Theramore

Place of Birth: Westfall

Known Relatives: Kaonus, younger brother—slain, but raised again as a Death Knight

Religion/Philosophy: Dedicated to a complex code of chivalry and honor, Noxtriel has always strove to shape the world for the better. Accordingly, he has become an avid student of the Holy Light and has embraced the path of the Paladin. He believes the concept of “the Light” is more closely an abstraction of beliefs of what is right and just, moreso than a reference to a specific incorporeal deity.

Above all, he believes beings should be judged for who they are and what they do. He presumes all beings—both of the Alliance and of the Horde—are honorable until proven otherwise.

Enemies: All who fall beyond redemption by transgressing against the Light.

Likes: The tranquil sound of rainfall, starry nights, discussing philosophy, studying tomes of lore and history

Favorite Foods: All manner of steaks, preferably very rare and still slightly bloody if possible.

Favorite Drinks: Winterfall firewater, morning-glory dew, cold milk, nothing alcoholic that might befuddle the senses and diminish one’s capacity to reason

Favorite Colors: He has always preferred midnight blue, black, and silver, though as of late he has taken to wearing only the colors of the coat of arms of the Fabled Order: dark purple, black, and white.

Weapons of Choice: He has always trained only with a two-handed sword, relishing the symbolism apparent in a fighting form that uses the same instrument both to defend with precise parries and to deal swift justice upon its edge—just as he must act in the role of guardian or avenger as called upon. His sword is an extension of himself, just as he is an extension of the ideals of the Light.

Dislikes: Ignorance, petty selfishness, dishonorable folk (both among the Alliance and the Horde), all creatures of evil, beings with wicked intent, and Murlocs

Special Abilities: Noxtriel was born with no special abilities apart from his keen intelligence, natural sense of morality, and the unwavering persistence of his will. Since then he has acquired and mastered many powerful abilities—both within and outside the scope of a Paladin’s training—through his insatiable quest for knowledge.

Positive Personality Traits: His intelligence, conviction, and insight have served him well in his role as a champion of the Light as well as a leader and mentor. Despite his personal victories, his assent to becoming an influential Knight-Captain of the Alliance, and his founding of the Fabled Paladin Order at such a young age, Noxtriel maintains that the successes of the Fabled Order are owed moreso to the valiant knights that have honored Uther’s memory in following his cause than to the sole action of himself—being just one man. Even so, many have told him that he possesses greater wisdom than most men twice his age. To this, he often responds, “Wisdom, of course, is not measured by the years we walk this earth alone. And a wise man would say that he is never as wise as he can be. The path to enlightenment is one without an end.”

Negative Personality Traits: In the shadow of our greatest strengths we often find lurking our greatest weaknesses. Such is the case for Noxtrael, for in holding others to the same stringent standards as he does himself he is perceived as merciless. His pensive studies and reflection at times give him the air of being aloof and unapproachable by outsiders. Some fear that his insatiable pursuit of knowledge and power to be used in service to the Light will prove his undoing.

To this, he answers that he has learned from the lessons of the Scarlet Crusade and Arthas. He points out that every action he has taken has been justified. He agrees that he is merciless, and readily considers courses of action where the ends justifies the means. He contends that whether these traits are weaknesses or strengths depends very much on perspective. One cannot espouse mercy while upholding a system of order in which everyone is held accountable for their actions. And while it would be wrong to be too willing to make sacrifices for a just ends, it would be just as wrong to refuse to consider all of the options available for the greater good. The solemn duty of making such important judgments is one that he takes very seriously, believing that the philosophy of “the ends justifies the means” need not be feared so long as the ends do not become corrupted.

Theme Songs: … “Is It Any Wonder” by Keane

History: ((Disclaimer: ...This is REALLY long now!))

Part I--The Founding of the Fabled Order

A pupil of the sagely Paladin Lord Arkhel, an elder of Uther's Silver Hand Noxtriel trained in the ways of the Light alongside his brother, Kaonus. Under Arkhel's wise guidance, Noxtriel and Kaonus swiftly became among the most promising Paladin adepts in the eyes of many. It was often said that those three could stand against an army if that task befell them, and so often they were sent abroad to the frontier of darkness to search out budding threats and hunt down treacherous villains fleeing from justice when they were not deployed in a major battle.

Such was the case when Arthas the Betrayer swiftly moved against his country and his people, and thus the ruin of Lorderon, the death of Uther the Lightbringer, and the shattering of the Order reached the three of them only after desolation had already been wrought. Perceiving that the great toll upon the Silver Hand may very well scatter the members of the order like embers into the night, Arkhel set out with haste to seek out any surviving Paladins that had escaped Arthas's snare and unite them once more as an Order ready and able to seek out a new stronghold from which they might harry the Scourge and bring Arthas to justice for his misdeeds. In this time, he declared his apprentices Noxtriel and Kaonus to be complete in their training, and alongside him they sought to reconvene the Order.

By this time the Scourge had withdrawn, and news was beginning to arise of Paladins who had survived the strike on Lorderon or those just beginning to walk upon that path without guidance, serving the Light as they may. But before the first steps could be taken to rally them once more, Arkhel gathered word of a dread cloud gathering on the horizon, omens of greater works of evil to come. Silently he left in secret, and when the brothers returned they found only a cryptic note that their former mentor had departed with instruction to carry on in reforging the Order. After some time had passed, the brothers sought to track him down to learn of his fate, for there had been no word in some time.

Their path took them at last to Stratholme in the Plaguelands, where they were able to waylay an agent of the Scourge upon the road. Unable to withstand their resolve, the agent at last provided a recounting of the events of an evening from over a month before. As they learned, Arkhel had indeed passed through those gates and had managed to fight his way to the very heart of the sanctum, where he found the Death Knight Hadeshorn who abided in that place before Rivendare. Though his reason for crossing that dark threshold was not yet known, Arkhel engaged the Death Knight in single combat. But knowing no honor, Hadeshorn called upon his undead minions to assist in the struggle, and though Arkhel withstood them long he eventually was born down and slain.

Greived by this dire news, the brothers returned south to the lands of the Alliance and took upon them the solemn duty of reconvening the Paladin Order in Arkhel's memory, under the House of Arkhel. There they were heartened to find so many honorable allies, and made good progress towards that goal over many weeks.

But the hand of fate intervened once more, and news came to the brother's ears of the last errand of Lord Arkhel. There was rumor that the Lich King in the North was preparing his forces, like a gathering storm soon to break upon the realms of the Alliance and Horde alike as they vied against each other in an ongoing struggle. As each would not allow the other to go alone as Arkhel had, they were forced with the bitter decision of leaving the fledgling House under the stewardship of those they had selected to carry on Arkhel's legacy. And so it was that they departed into the North with a host of soldiers from Stormwind who sought to make a foothold in Northrend to watch over the Wicked One's movements.

Soon after they arrived on the northern shore, the company set about scouting the area for Scourge movements and to determine where best to construct a fortress. As they moved through the frozen woods, they were waylaid by a large host of undead soldiers, for they had been perceived and followed since their arrival while unaware. A mighty battle was met in a glade, and though the soldiers of Stormwind fought valiantly the battle was turned against them by the superior numbers of their foe. And even as their allies fell about them, soon after they rose up as part of the undead masses to vie against their brethren.

Seeing the victory was beyond reach, Noxtriel and Kaonus led a band of soldiers as they fought their way out of the battle, fading away into the woods that ran along the cliffs. Under the cover of night, they found their way to the ruins of an abandoned shrine of some race long subjugated by the Lich King and made camp there. But soon after, the agents of the Scourge found them and encircled that place, and so the brothers were forced to command the defense. Many skeletal soldiers fell at that place, their festering corpses lining the perimeter of the ruins, and though their few numbers were thinned in the waves of assault the minions of darkness could not approach the Light wielded by the Paladin brothers.

But at last there came a dark ranger to command them, and by her bleak arrows Kaonus was felled, caught in the chest three times where his buckler was rent by the oncoming hordes. But in her triumph was her defeat, as they say, for in seeing his brother slain and feeling his life fade away, Noxtriel's resolve became something active and unrelenting. The ground beneath him was consecrated, blue fire scorched the skeletal figures about him in a purging nova, and foes fell before his whirling blade. Struck with fear, the ranger fled. But the few undead remaining did not detain her pursuer long, and she felt his eyes upon her as she struggled to put distance between herself and the pursuing agent of justice.

Then she felt a raking slash of holy Light across her back, and as she whirled in pain a hammer of pure white whirled through the darkness in a flash to erupt upon her chest with a flash like the sun peaking through the clouds. Falling dazed upon the frozen ground, she looked up into the darkness for a few still moments, hoping that perhaps in her fall she had escaped the view of her pursuer. But in a moment that was siezed in her heart, a cloaked figure vaulted over the dead log that shielded her and buried his blade deeply into her chest. Having slain the fell commander and avenged his brother, Noxtriel arose in a grim mood of loss and returned to the shrine to bury his allies and brother within the shrine. Even now, the place of the consecrated shrine is feared by the minions of darkness.

Returning to the boat, Noxtriel saw it was defiled and his path home removed. There in the frozen Northlands, he remained for several months, eluding the patrols of the Scourge and undermining their efforts. The Scourge was indeed upon the move as Arkhel had once feared, and soon there were vast Ziggarauts drifting over the sea to besiege the Alliance and Horde alike. Being too late to bring warning of this assault, Noxtriel set himself to other tasks in his exile. Many battalions of undead soldiers were waylaid as they moved about the land, and several fortresses were razed to the ground. In those dark days, the lone Paladin became a terror in the forest, a Light feared by the minions of the Lich King. Though grieved that he was not at hand to aid in the defense of the Alliance against the Lich King, Noxtriel sought to hinder the Scourge as he could, as a blade pressed to its side. Cheif among these deeds came when he tracked down and slew the Death Knight Hadeshorn, in reverence to the memory of his fallen teacher.

But then the Scourge withdrew, beaten back by the valiant actions of the Alliance. When the first scouts began to cross to the north to ensure that the withdrawal was not a mere ploy, Noxtriel was able to secure passage back to Stormwind. In his time in the perpetual frozen night of Northrend, he had gained great power, learned from scrolls in the ruins of forgotten libraries, clad himself in the arms and armor of ancient crusaders of that land, and underwent great sacrifice.

Upon his return he found that the House of Arkhel remained, though in his absence they had taken allies from varying walks and had become a close clan of kin and friends. Glad to see that many of his old friends yet remained, Noxtrael set about the task of starting a Paladin Order anew, the Fabled Order. Seeking first the blessing of the ruler of Stormwind, Noxtrael was aided by an unseen ally of great sway and nobility, who would later be known as a High Count of the Draenei, Kerrahk. In his journey, he had learned of the valor of the Paladin Order of the past, and wished to see it remade. Like Noxtrael, he would not have such a vision lost unto shadow due to the betrayal from within.

With this support from the soon-to-be member of the Alliance, Stormwind issued a charter to Noxtrael to begin his task of formally reconvening a Paldin Order to serve the King as the Silver Hand once did, both as guardians of the innocent and harbringer of justice to the wicked. Those hand-selected Paladins that took to the cause of the Order would be given a carte blanche in their judgment and considered answerable to the Light and the King alone. This duty over life and death has always been one given solemn consideration to each of the Fabled Order, for careful consideration and wisdom must be employed lest they become as zealous and obsessed as the Scarlet Crusade. The darkness within, it is said, is a greater foe than the evils we vie against with sword and shield. For it is this internal struggle that corrupted Arthas and through him undid the great Kingdom of Men and the Silver Hand.

Now the call goes out to all Paladins of honor that would fight for such a cause. Already more than 170 fight under the emblem of the Fabled Paladin Order, each hand-selected for their deeds and potential for valor. And the Draenei have taken up the cause as well. In yet another bitter sleight of fate, the High Count Karrahk was slain in the effort to take control of the Draenei's new land in Kalimdor, assassinated by agents of the twisted Blood Elves. In his stead, his young son Vyraeth now embarks upon the path of the Paladin, learning as High Lord Noxtrael's apprentice and serving the Order as High Count, equal in stature to his mentor if not yet in full realization of his potential as a Paladin.

Bound by the ideals of a true paladin, bearing a conviction attainable only through wisdom and just intention, and united upon the path of a Paladin from all races, the Paladins of the Fabled Order strive to usher in a new age of Light, Order, and Honor.

Part II--Of the Rebirth of Noxtriel and the Return of Kaonus

Two years have passed since the founding of the Order, with many a campaign and turn of events transpiring ere the ships sailed once more for Northrend...

I have been reborn.

Into darkness and peril I travelled, as fearless as ever a true champion of the Light has been. The dying cries of my brother Kaonus, whom I had thought lost, had echoed in my dreams for the long weeks leading up to the first ships to sail to the cold shores of Northrend. For though I had left him buried in Northrend after our doomed expedition there during the Scourge Invasion two years ago, I had learned that he walked this earth once more as a dark champion gifted with the same powers borne by the Lich King himself, created in his image.

But the spirit of my brother remained undaunted, uncorrupted despite the efforts to bend him to Arthas's will. At the first available opportunity, he had broken free of the Lich King's command and begun immediately to wield his new runeblade and shadow magic against the one who sought to enslave him, those same powers that were first bestowed to speed the Scourge to victory. This I knew, that my brother took part in a solitary war against the Scourge, in the heart of Scourge territory. It was for this reason that when the winds first lifted the sails of Alliance ships, the purpose of my passage was not yet to join the crusade against his forces, but to pierce into the heart of Scourge lands to find my brother.

My journey was swift, for such minions of Arthas that I encountered could scarcely stand against a tried and true champion of the Light such as I. But even the strongest mountain can be eroded by many raindrops, and so as I encroached into Arthas's base of power I travelled more warily. Yet all the time, the powers that once allowed me to sense out evil-doers now guided me to the presence of my brave brother.

When I found him at last, I was gratified to see that he was not the only one to move into open rebellion. A small band of other Death Knights had each seperately taken a similar course to undermine Arthas, and in so doing had formed a small group of resistance. Former Paladins of the Silver Hand I recognized, many having fallen alongside Uther defending King Terenas's remains.

And so it was that a larger party than I had hoped for began to strike out from Scourge lands and make our bid for freedom towards the coast, where the Alliance and Horde forces were carving a foothold in the North.

Yet the escape was not meant to be as easy as the insurgence. Our numbers were harder to keep undetected than one solitary traveller, and so ere we reached safety we were confronted by a small host of undead commanded by several of those Death Knights who have betrayed their people in truth and chosen their sides willingly.

Battle was met, with Light fighting in concert along Shadow against the forces of Arthas. Many ghouls fell to piles of bone around us in that ferocious battle, and one by one we struck down each of the Death Knights that opposed us. But losses there were on our side as well, and I watched in apprehension as four death knights moved as one against Kaonus. Driven by the righteousness of my cause, I leapt across the melee as though on wings to stand alongside my brother against the onslought of foes. Blades danced about us as we fought, and all around us our comrades struck down the last of the Death Knights and the legions of ghouls. At last, our four foes were destroyed as well, and all seemed tranquil.

Yet as my long-lost brother turned with a smile on his face, I realized I could not hear the good natured congratulatiosn she spoke. It seemed as if the entire world about me was drifting away. I could no longer feel my body around me, but felt more as though I only controlled my movements as a man might move a puppet. Looking down, I saw that in the chaos of the duel I had taken several grievous wounds.

I had walked more battlefields than many a man had even heard tell of. I was well-versed in both the saving of lives and in ending them. From this morbid knowledge came the certainty that my wounds were mortal. I would not live to see the shores, nor indeed to see the next few moments.

Slowly, I slid to the ground, Kaonus and the others moving as if in slow motion to catch me. Looking up at their faces, so distant though so near, it seemed as though the sky wheeled about overhead. Feeling like my head was slowly falling beneath the soft embrace of warm waters, my eyes closed and I passed from the world of the living.

What I might have seen during that time when I walked between the worlds of Life and Death I cannot know. Like a dream of truth fades upon waking, so too did my mind fail to recall what I saw after I died. Whatever else may be true, it is certain my deeds wrought in the name of the Light would have ended that day, but it was not meant to be. For my brother and those other Death Knights gathered, having themselves undergone such a process, solemnly decided that to save me they must remake me in a transformation that many consider... unnatural.

And so it is that I was revived, remade with the same powers of shadow that they shared. I am like a man caught between two worlds, seeking to make a great crossing towards understanding. I am weaker now than when I was at the height of my powers of the Light, for the path I once trod is no longer afforded to me. But these powers I now bear, I percieve in time can be honed into just as strong an instrument of Justice as the Light had been.

Fate had dealt me a grisly hand, as it has the others, but from it I shall forge my own destiny, to hold true to my ideals and to never truly falter into shadow in my spirit, if even I employ it at my hand. I shall therefore call myself Lord Noxtreal Fatebreaker from this time hence, as a reminder that we are each what we aspire to be, and nothing less. There are some things that even death cannot take from us, my friends. Let us never forget that.

I have brought word of my discoveries to King Varian. Having heard of a great many of these Knights of the Ebon Order who siezed a moment to break free and follow Mograine in his fight against the Scourge, he has decreed that any such Death Knight who has retained his honor should not be shunned for the form in which he now walks, but should be heralded with gladness for the deeds they wrought in the past, and those to come.

It is my hope that as I take my place once more in leading the Fabled Order, that those valiant knights who have followed my vision and my guidance thusfar will continue to honor me with their conviction. I assure you, though my trials have left me hollowed and deprived me of the Light, my resolve has never been stronger.

Sometimes one must stride bravely through the shadows to reach the Light.

Part III--Seeking a Breath of Wind

The strike at Brill, at the heart of the Forsaken wellnigh to Sylvanas’s fortress of the Undercity, was a necessary step along the path to make a major attack against the Banshee Queen for her treachery at the Wrathgate. As well as gaining a strategic foothold in her own lands from which a siege could be launched, it was a test of the Fabled Order’s new strength. It had been some time since we have crusaded against the Horde, with several moons waxing and waning since we sent our forces to aid in the slaying of the Elven leaders in Silvermoon. I needed to see the progress of my knights as they progressed further down the path of the Light than they have ever been, to take the measure of those new brethren still refining their dark abilities. And to gauge my own strength, as I seek to master the shadows now at my disposal where Light had always served.

Even as I look down at my hands, still spattered with the stagnant blood of our Forsaken foes, I feel as though the confines of my new form are as limiting as any prison. I have seen great things done at the hands of several of our returned brethren, but even so I cannot help but feel I shall never be as powerful, as whole as I might have been.

I look now across the solemn figures of my knights going about the streets of Brill, securing the town we have just fought to claim for the Alliance—if only for a time. Many of the Death Knights among them return my gaze with a genteel nod and a wan smile upon their lips. It is an unspoken reaffirmation that has been written upon the face of every one of our fallen Paladin brethren who have returned to us from beyond the grave. “We are not as we were, but what power we have shall be given to the service of the Light… and that is enough.”

But even so, I felt an urge to become more than that. During the battle, there were several times when I had felt the old powers I once wielded as easily as a sword lying just beyond me reach.

“Strange sight it is, to see folk of the Light walking and fighting along with creatures of Dark, is it not true?” came a small voice at my side. I glanced down to see a small, wizened man sitting stooped upon the steps of Brill’s town hall. I was taken aback, for though the Alliance had sent a few messengers since the battle was won to stay apprised of the progress of our campaign, this man seemed too aged to serve as a scout.

“Those who profess their loyalty to the Light with every word and every action unto their dying breath are no creatures of the Dark, good sir. Regardless of what fate has befallen them after their death, they have proven themselves true to the oaths they swore in life by their actions after death. They are Paladins still, in a way, just as King Varian holds them in high regard for their heroic deeds in life,” I responded automatically. Many had questioned the honor of my new brethren, as well as my own honor, since my return from Northrend. Such doubt was understandable, but it has always been my hope that those worthy brethren among the Alliance would learn to judge us for what we do, and not for what they fear we might do.

“Stranger still to see the dead fighting the dead,” the man continued, bobbing his head.

“No stranger to see the living slaying the living,” I replied. “These Forsaken have set themselves apart from us by the paths they have chosen to pursue in this new existence.”

“Oh, yes. There are many types of dead. Forsaken and Death Knights, ghosts and ghouls. And then the kind that don’t move anymore, of course.” The man chuckled, a sound as coarse as war but as deep as time. “And then there’s you.”

“What do you mean?” I asked, turning to scrutinize him once more.

“Well, you see I’ve seen all these and more, and I know there’s something different between you and those dark ones you command. But neither are you like those light ones either, you’re something in between.”

I considered his words, strange as they might seem. For I have oft times heard my brethren speak of the sense of loss they feel, the severed connection to the Light as complete as though it has never been—more a dream that someone else has dreamt than anything they can scarcely remember. Yet even so, this is something I have not shared. For me, the Light seems more as the pain of a phantom limb, tingling at the edge of my awareness at all times, though each time I strive to call upon it the sensation fades with a whisper of unfulfilled promise. Indeed, even since my fall, I retained the ability to conjure up some manifestation of light, though it had not the power to harm my enemies or heal my allies.

I turned once more to the window. “And what might that be, precisely? What difference do you see between me and these other Death Knights, and who are you that you would know of such things?”

“They are dead, or have been. You, I think, are only mostly dead. There is a great difference between the two, the same difference between a fire that has been snuffed out entirely and one that has only burned down to embers. The first has been extinguished, the second awaits only a breath of wind to blaze brightly once more. As to who I am, for you see before you me as I am, an old man who has had enough of war and death. What you do not know is what I have been, and what I have known.”

This gave me cause to reflect. For I knew only that I had passed from the world of the living for a time, but who is to say how far I went? Did I die truly, or did I but wander in the grim twilight between here and the Abyss, ere I was recalled by Kaonus and the other rebel Death Knights to this existence? I nodded somberly. “In that we are alike, sir, for neither one of us judges upon appearance. Your words bear some wisdom.” But when I looked back to the old man, he was there no longer.

I kneeled then in the Town Hall, and in one hand I held an orb of darkness, in the other a globe of brilliance. I meditated for a time, between light and shadow. Could it be that, unlike the others, the bridge I have crossed is only barred, and not destroyed? And if so, could there be a force strong enough to shatter that barrier, and stoke the embers of my soul to restore me to what I once was?

At last the beginnings of a plan, the first flicker of hope, had stirred within me. I rose and left the Town Hall. My knights greeted me respectfully as they saw me approach. “Our work here is done. I must depart… it seems I must seek a breath of wind.”

Part IV--Reclaiming the Light

A fire is set alight in my mind, my thoughts swirling like the flames of a great smithy from which my new path will be forged. For I have taken measures to act upon the words spoken by the mysterious old man I encountered in the bleak lands of Tiris’fal, and there is hope indeed in the course I have taken. A light remains within me, refusing to be conquered, and it awaits only the right measures, the proper rituals, to awaken once more.

Such a thing has not been done, but then again, so too has it never been the case that one has been preserved as a Death Knight ere they have fully passed into the land of the dead. As I journey to Uther’s Tomb alongside my knights—the one place such an unlikely ritual might succeed—I look upon my brother, Kaonus, riding quietly alongside me. We have been Paladins together, and now Death Knights. And so it will be that we both attempt to cross back into the Light, though we know not the consequences that might result of such a daring crossing.

At last we arrive at the final resting place of the greatest Paladin who has ever lived, making short work of scattering the Scourge minions who have crept close to those holy grounds. Greeting the priest who attends to Uther’s Tomb, my knights take their places for this vigil as Kaonus and I kneel before the wisened visage of Uther. “Just as Arthas before me tossed down his holy hammer to embrace the way of the dark, so too do I now cast aside my runeblade willingly so I might become once more a weapon… of righteousness.”

Heads bowed, we spoke as one. “We two who have lived our lives for the Light, died bravely in defiance of the darkness, and rose again to continue our sacred duty now seek to take up the mantle of Paladins once more, in Uther’s likeness, so that justice may reign yet again.”

“If this be the will of the Light, then let it awaken in us once more. Set alight the embers within us so that we might burn brightly with its glory once more, to save the innocent from death and deliver the wicked unto their demise.”

We then each drank a holy elixir contrived by Archbishop Benedictus to heal us of our wounds of near-death, and unleashed the power of the hallowed ground from the Chapel of the Light—contained in orbs gifted by Lord Fordring to awaken a spark of the Light in us once more. All around us a wall of Light rose up, and we bowed our heads in meditation while our knights set about aiding our efforts through infusions of Holy Light, the room growing ever brighter with the concentration of the Light’s power. All around us, our Death Knights opened portals to the Abyss, for Fordring had told us that part of our souls would have seeped into the Abyss when we passed from the world of the living, and we would need to recall them through some gate to that world.

Again I entered into a place of timelessness, as I did that fateful day when I came so close to my own demise. My mind wandered free of my mortal coil across the span of the ages, remembering none of those mysteries I might have seen though growing stronger for having traversed them. During that time, it seemed as though the voice of my brother drifted to me over a great distance, saying, “The energy here does not seem sufficient, even so. It is clear to me now that my soul has become so fragmented that I could never rejoin the Light… I shall unleash the last essence of my humanity to create a beacon to guide my brother’s spirit back from the Abyss!”

When at last I returned to the present, I stood slowly, only to have my newly regenerated body fail me for a moment, and I collapsed back into unconsciousness. But then the Light lifted me up once more, and I stood whole and new. I turned to face my knights, and by their expressions I knew that the azure glow of rune energy had left my eyes and was replaced once more by the bright spark of Light found in the living that illuminate the windows to our souls.

Rising alongside me stood my brother, a wry smile upon his scarred face. His glowing eyes gazed back into mine, and I knew that my suspicions were true. “My knights, I stand before you once again empowered by the Light—upon the path I shall now walk until the end of my days. Yet the astonishing process that has restored me to life is not a bridge that can be crossed by all of our fallen brethren. The old mystic told me that there was a fire inside me that had only been reduced to embers, whereas it had been doused completely in my fallen brethren. While a breath of wind may reawaken the one, the other must make do with darkness. While I had hoped this may herald a possible path of return for all of our fallen brethren, it seems the will of the Light that some continue to serve as they are.”

“Indeed, and though ashes may be all that remain of my former power in the Light,” Count Kaonus Pyreborne intoned, “May the winds of change guide us and gather these ashes that I have become so that a new flame may awaken that will serve as the Siren’s Song to Arthas’ dark plans. Indeed… though it sinks my heart to remain estranged from the light as I am, It seems fitting that one of us, once known as the Brothers Paladin, should wield Light and the other Shadow, for this reflects the two kinds of brave knights that now fight under our banner.”

I then motioned to have my old shining armor brought to me, along with my new blade in place of the weapon I had wielded as a Death Knight. “Upon this day, we two have become in truth what our names have heralded. Kaonus Pyreborne, the wielder of power borne from the ashes, and Noxtriel Fatebreaker, he who refused to bend the knee to a destiny shrouded in shadow.”

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A man for whom I hold in high reguard. He and his order helped me take the first steps towards the true light.

Let's only pray that it wasn't in vain.

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*Rosalynd smirked a little as she looked back out over Theramore. long after the battle had ended. After her clash of weapons with Novacon.*

Fabled Order... mm. Yes. Most entertaining the lot of you...

Noxtrael... their Highlord... yes I've seen him ont he field. I remember vividly lashing out at him directly on a... few occations.

*Rosalynd purred a bit as she eyed the large fort through the marsh trees.*

Perhaps he will do me the honor of allowing me to see his skull cave in under the impact of my mace... one on one... just as Novacon did in witness to Skaadvik and Adalon.

Mm.. I do love a good fight. And I never turn down a challenege. Perhaps he'll do me the honor?

*Rosalynd smirked a bit before pulling the reins of her wolf and bounding off into the marsh.*

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I haven't personally met Noxtrael, yet I fought under his command in Theramore. Truly without guidance our forces would've been lost and easily dispersed. I see he has wisdom and strength. Perhaps I can be of use on another battle. Until then, my best wishes upon him.

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Just another brick in the Wall of Light or something more important? Oh, they all look alike to me, but I think I know which one this is. A pity they only seem to be in the city on Sundays, or my trips there might be more entertaining during the week.

He reminds me of someone.

All the more reason to shoot him in the back.

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This Knight Lord I have seen in the way of my forces many times. He fights valiantly yet for a doomed cause...

No cause is doomed while even one yet holds it true within his heart. The darkness of night can be kept at bay by the light of a single candle, Hand of the Grim. Indeed, your name and that of your followers is marked in my mind with ardent resolve as well as grim respect. Your forces have always been known to me as among the most notorious of the Horde, since the time I returned to this realm after being stranded to the north. In the recent months since the Order has become prominent enough to merit the attention of such powerful forces within the Horde, I have come to admire the sheer power of the forces that are yours to command, and to relish the challenge of testing the forces of the Light against such a nemesis.

It is to my knowledge that the Grim do not have an entirely barbaric drive behind their quest to obliterate every last bastion of strength within the Alliance, but rather a ruthless conviction that if such a day came to pass when the Alliance was left powerless, it would become enthralled to the Horde and thus end all war and strife. It is against such endeavors, regardless of the intention behind them, that the Fabled Order has always been deployed to defend against. If it were not for such conflicting beliefs, I do not doubt that we could have become comrades in arms against a common enemy.

For it is my belief that for peace to reign one side needn't dominate the other, but rather a mutual understanding might be fostered--the understanding that the true forces of evil are that of the Scourge and the Burning Legion. Yet for such cooperation to emerge as it has once before, each side must be willing to cease to judge the other wholistically for the misdeeds of the few. It is for that reason that I have always judged factions and individuals seperately upon the other side of the battlefield. So long as you continue to pressure the Alliance on all fronts, we shall stand against you in valiant combat. I look forward to seeing you standing as a tower of darkness amid your forces, and to the day when we meet each other upon the battlefield.

-Lord Noxtrael Shadowstar

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The Highlord is a great man indeed. I have been a member of the Order for a long time now, and I am proud to say that I have fought alongside him for many battles. Despite his young age, his knowledge of the Holy Light and its tenets as well as his prowess in battle are truly remarkable. He has done in a few years what others have taken lifetimes to accomplish, and as such he has my respect.

Ignas Mordanas

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I wonder why he and his Order insist on attacking my home in Crossroads. I also wonder if, when I am strong again, I will be able to find him in battle without his pawns barring the way.

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*You turn at the sound of a snarl, and see an elderly Troll coming at you, foaming at the mouth, lightning crackling across his mail suit and a bony finger pointed at your chest*

"Noxtrael! NOXTRAEL YOU SAY!! Let me tell you about him!"

*Calming the old one down, you sit together and listen to his tale*

"It was during an assault on Theramore. With no more then then a dozen soldiers, and only part of us fully trained, we took advantage of our speed, guile and and relative invisibility, by approaching Theramore running across the water. Taken off guard, the defenders were scattered before us, but the Hand knew we should burn what we could and leave fast. If not, the actual size of our "army" would become known, the defence would recover their courage, and we would be swarmed over by superior numbers."

"As we began out withdrawal, a sudden gust of wind cleared the smoke of the burning buildings. Standing amidst a score of knights, flames reflecting in their shining armor, was the Highlord, Noxtrael..."

*Tecun takes a sip of his mead, and frowns*

"Screaming one of the most elaborate curses I have ever heard in my long life, an elf with a particular hatred for humans broke rank, and crashed into this wall of metal. We should have left him there , an -albeit fatal- lesson to respect the Hand's commands, but the instinct to heal is so great, that even Cristok himself turned round to rescue the berserking elf. But we were being led... By the time the elf was capable of coherant thoughts once more, we had entered Jaina's tower. And when we looked up..."

*Tecun shudders*

"The walls were lined with Knights of the Order, each of them starting the incantation to consecrate the tower's perimeter. Holy fire licking at our feet, they then jumped down like one giant fist of metal. Cristok yelled at us to get out to the gate, but blinded by the light and my senses overwhelmed sensing the wounds of us all, I instead ran towards the sea.Followed by a handful of knights, led by Noxtrael himself, I jumped up on the water's surface, certain of escape despite bleeding from several gashes in my mail. And indeed, confronted with the water, wearing all that heavy plate armor, most of the knights halted."

"Not however Noxtrael... Powerful strokes pushed him through the waves, faster then I had thought possible. I quickly set course for an island to ground my totems on,and waited. As he emerged from the waves I sent a bolt of lightning at the man, but it did not hurt him as much as it should have. My loss of blood was obviously taking it's toll."

*Tecun sighs*

"This loss of blood is my only excuse for what happened next. In a better shape then I was, but clearly exhausted by the chase, the man signaled for a pause. To face each other, Man to Troll, fully restored."

*A long pause*

" I should have taken my chances...Should have slain this "Highlord" right then and there or have died in the attempt... Instead, we sat down a distance away of each other, drank, took care of wounds, and patched up armor as best as we could. When we stood again, we were both as ready as we would ever be."

"Circling each other warily, I searched the man's face for emotion, but found none. It mattered not, I was angry enough for the both of us, and with a growl I raised my mace, as the paladin tried to force his blade past my shield. Lightning faced Light , mace crumpled plate and mail was torn many times, and I cannot be sure even now, what the outcome would have been."

"But I had been played for a fool... All at once, and impenetrable barrier went up around the Highlord. And from the sea emerged a second paladin, red faced anger , blasting me with all the power she could muster. Honor indeed.... I should know by now that the word of man stands for nothing. You would think I had learned of Human honor when the Echo Isles came under attack by Proudmoore's fleet, slaughtering men, women and whelps alike."

"The only reason I live to tell the tale, is my leap onto the sea surface. I don't think I ever leapt as far as that, not even in my prime"

*Tecun chuckles at the memory, a smile softening his weary features for a few seconds*

"I don't think the Highlord saw it coming either. When I looked back, there was surprise on his face, and then he started shouting at the female, no doubt blaming her for my escape."

*Tecun empties his tankard, and rises*

"Thank you for the mead, and heed this lesson. No matter how shiny their armor; No matter how flattering their words; No matter how sincere they look, a human cannot be trusted, EVER! There can be no peace, and for every one of them that claims so, know that at least dozen are busy sharpening their swords."

*muttered* "I only hope I can remember that myself next time"

*Shoulders slumped, back bent under the weight of his shield, Tecun walks out of the doorway and into the morningsun*

((I received an ooc apology not 5 minutes after the interference, and ofcourse it was clear already by the lack of being followed and the "gnad ruff gloin" sentences that nox was telling the other not to fight. Just don't say such things to a raging old Troll. ))

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The Grim do not want your understanding.

We do not want your submission...or your explanations.

What we do want... to put you in the ground.

Preferably after I have gorged on your flesh.

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The self righteous leader of the Fabled Order... I look forward to fighting this man. Many of the alliance I come across are cowardly, pig-dogs. This one knows the meaning of honor, or so I have recently learned...

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I challenged this one after the last battle of Theramore... the results were as those were with Novacon... the battle was long but I was victorious. Mmm.

I think I will challenge Skaadvik next...

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Acherontia snorts once at the mention of Fabled Order, and says nothing more. The tiny warlock sweeps away through the streets, her felhunter snarling at her heels, and is soon lost amidst the crowd.

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"De killah a de young ones, da leadah of de Savages who call demselves followahs of de Light. I ain' impressed."

((For the record, I do NOT kill younglings.))

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((Theme song update... which means shameless /bump! Also, I am surprised that no one commented on the comment by Anakin Skywalker that he kills younglings. It amused me greatly. ;) ))

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Noxtrael, so that was his name? I can't comment much, I don't know the man outside of combat. I see a lot of 'balance' in his mannerisms and movements. Martial practices accentuated by manipulation of the divine. He's likely a better philosopher or preacher than a warrior, though he's certainly not weak.. Balance brings clarity, not raw power.

Brave enough. I hope for the sake of his Order he inspires the same in those beneath him.

In the end.. a human, one of the betrayers. I've shown him honor once, perhaps I'll show him his end next time.

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I have known only a few finer men than this... although perhaps... a bit... soft at times... too optimisitc perhaps? Bah, regardless, a great Paladin, great leader. I respect none who fly the banner of the Alliance more than Noxtrael.

*Winks* And as far as these beasts that would attempt to sully your name... I shall deal with them.

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