As his crippling agony and eyes shedding crimson contrasted with his goals on why he came, he somehow found a way to will himself to stand, but this wasn't for long as he buckled down again. Wiping his face clean, he didn't realise that a man, an unfamiliar figure was watching him some distance away. He couldn't tell the man's expression from underneath his helmet but he could probably guess it was pity. The steel-clad figure aproached Simbarda, walking casually yet his footsteps were strong.
The man knelt down beside Simbarda and asked "What ails you paladin?"
He felt the reassurance of his grip on his shoulder and this just acted as an urge of truth, but Simbarda knew better than to trouble strangers with personal problems, so he gave a fake excuse:
"My body is just exhausted from the journey here, some blood got caught in my eye as I hacked away at a wretched undead. It's body lay upon the edge of the well."
The knight laughed and tapped Simbarda's helmet grill back down so it covered his eyes.
"That's what these are for Paladin."
Still chuckling, he stood and offered a hand down to him and Simbarda gladly accepted his offer. Know that when this man hoisted Sim up, he took in his strong grip... But the man also had control over his strength. He was warm in spirit and this gave Sim a feeling of warmth too. What peaked his interest was his seemingly friendly nature, considering Simbarda was a stranger to him... But was he? He knew Simbarda as a paladin, but he never seen him before and most people outside of Thorolund hardly knew of what a paladin looked like.
"You know I'm a paladin and one of Thorolund?"
The knight points up and down his armour :
"The armour gives it away, as I spend a lot of time with Paladins of my own these days, planning for the Gravesworn and all." He Pauses...
"Forgive me, I haven't introduced myself. Oscar II of the Noble Knights."
In politeness, he raised his right fist across his chest and bowed in Oscar's direction. He knew of Oscar's father, the legendary knight who came to Lordran to light the first flame at the kiln. He did not know that he had a son and this was interesting. Simbarda did not know of what Oscar spoke of, but he made sure to offer courtesy in return first. Gravesworn? He thought to himself.
"I'm Simbarda, once Knight of Thorolund, I am now just a lone warrior." A sigh escaped Sim's lips. He was curious though from the mention of the Gravesworn and the Noble Knights. Noble knights? In Lordran? The curiosity would show on his face, but the grill hid his expression. Having taken a glance at the sky, the sun come just above his head, assuming that it's midday. No clouds were in sight and the sun's rays were warm, but that didn't disguise the stench of ash and death. Yet this whole place was calming and the greens from the stone's moss appeared brighter and more colourful. Rain was not to fall for quite a long time now.
"I'm sorry, but I have just traveled to here recently and I do not know this 'Gravesworn' you mention, n'or anything of the 'Noble Knights' so I do apoligize Oscar."
Oscar pointed to a hill a small walk away.
"The stench of our victory is quite strong. I would happily tell you of my knights but I would rather do it in a more pleasant area."
With that he walked towards the hill he had selected, Simbarda in tow. There he sat on the grass, waiting for SImbarda to catch up before he told him the tale of the Noble Knights. Of their wars, victories and losses. He told him of their foes and their allies in this new land. By the time he had finished quite a time had passed, and storm clouds gathered on the horizon.
Indeed, the ground was charred along the way, indicating the signs of a battle, but the ground was starting its restoration process. The ground was indeed soft as he rested with Oscar and heard the exciting tales of the Noble Knights and their struggles. He was enthralled not just with the Knights' acts of bravery and good will, but with how Oscar told the story as his solid tone kept it exciting and he did not enjoy such a tale for quite some years now. By the time he was finished, he realised that the Noble Knights could indeed have the strength and the answers he looked for, but what would the knights want with an impure wretch as myself? The storm clouds appeared almost as a reflection that Simbarda thought of himself.
"I had never known of such strength and good will in this place of Lordran. I merely thought it was for the wicked and corrupt... Or the impure. Yes..."
This was a first that he lost focus and just trailed off in his thought.
"With my knights, we plan to erase the corruption from this land. Humans will once again walk among its fields and cities, free from danger."
He regained focus as Oscar began to speak. A man of his friendly attitude and supposed authority demanded respect.
"And I find that it must be quite difficult for you, as this land would be crawling with a great many enemy. Surely you're outnumbered given the scale of the land in comparission with your following of Knights. Indeed I would help, but... I am not so sure."
"We are always happen to accept new recruits into our ranks, especially knights and paladins at this time. But why are you unsure? Apart from a bit of forgetfulness you appear a capable warrior."
I raise my head to look at him and I take off my helmet. I cannot lie to this man anymore, I may aswell just come out with it, considering anything out of the ordinary is ordinary here.
"I am not as I once was. I have done terrible... horrid... wretched things. This was before I made this pilgrimage of my own accord. I'm not as Noble as I once cherished."
On cue, his eyes leaked crimson once more as he felt the burden in his mind and the pains in his chest. Each heartbeat only ushered another bloodied tear and he almost felt ashamed in such company.
"The blood of the innocent stain me, Sir Oscar... I am impure. What would noble knights, who strive for good, want with someone who is so wretched?"
He was hoping Oscar would understand what he did from the way he spoke. Oscar looked at the man's bleeding eyes. The sight did not trouble him, Lordran had worn out any disgust he had before he arrived.
"You can try Sim. You say you have sinned, and here you are in Lordran to punish yourself. But you can earn your redemption. Join me. Fight at the front of my lines, redeem yourself in the cleansing of corruption. Do not let this mistake destroy you."
Redeem himself? Two words that he found hard to believe he heard. He would happily jump at the chance to redeem his impure blood. Such a man as Oscar, who showed him kindness without fearing I would have just turned and attacked... So relaxed and yet so authoratitive. His words strung truely like a finely crafted bowstring and he would accept his offer, but he had to ask something:
"I would gladly accept your hand, but not to say I'm ungrateful or to be rude, I just wanted you to be sure. I may be worth more trouble than you can afford... Would you still chance that? If so, I will gladly join you."
Oscar stood and walked a fair distance away, drawing his sword and shield as he did. He turned back to Simbarda and dropped into a fighting pose. "Show me you are worth it." he grinned.
Confused at first, but realising that to Oscar, a good swordarm is one of the things he needs, he unsheaths Andreia and brandishes her like his own shining beacon. In one of his signature stances, he swiped his gauntlet across the flat of the blade to resonate a harmonious tone that echoed across the area.
"Then I shall show you my strength and drive to fight."
With that, Simbarda began aproaching Oscar, ready to swing. With that, they fight as Simbarda swings Andreia in an overhead arc that was designed to break oscars shield guard and leave him open. Indeed it did land on his shield, but the most it did was just stick Oscar further in the ground as his position was strong. Realising he left his chest open and Oscar was prepared to strike, he decided to let go with one hand and use his gauntlet to swipe away at Oscar's thrust. The clang of steel excited both of them as they met blade with blade and both showed skill, flaring some of their best techniques. The rain chattered upon steel, but the storm did not stop these two dedicated warriors from finishing their duel early. Both were determined to outmatch the other and the fight went on for what seemed an hour . After that, all was a blur as a flurry of blows from Simbarda were met by the clash and clunk of Oscar's sword and shield. He did land a hit on his pauldren and his left leg and severely dented his armour and drew a slight amount of blood. But in the exchanges, Oscar's blows were just as fierce and he even had the trick to swing both his shield and sword, the shield aimed to bash my head and the sword aimed to slash at my gut.
Judging the risks, it was paramount to block the blade, but the shield would connect with his jaw. Understanding the best technique to block this, his used his sturdy gauntlet to punch the shield upward with the intention to knock him off balance and use Andreia to block the sword swing. Indeed it did play out as he intended, but he did not expect Oscar's strong kick which hit him straight in the ribs and knocked him over.
When he regained his breath and found Andreia raised infront of him, it was a tad too late, as Oscar had his sword aimed right for Simbarda's chest. Oscar sheathed his sword and clipped his shield to his back, offering Simbarda his hand for a second time.
"You fight well Paladin. I'm sure you'll be worth more than any trouble you could make."
"I yield to your strength and I am pleased to have found my place in Lordran. Rest assured, my swordarm is yours m'sir."
With that, Simbarda gladly accepted his hand and sheathed Andreia myself, as he led me to the Knights base of operations, the Duke's Archives, where he was to become a Noble Knight.
Last edited by Seth Winternight on Sat Aug 18, 2012 11:06 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Added part 2 of the story. Thanks to Dough for his Input.)