Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Death Walks the Streets of London, 1888: Introduction to the Bone-swords

Like heartbeats, the dull, hollow knocking of old metal on stone reverberates down the winding foggy night street. Shutters hastily snap and doors are barred as death approaches.

Why have they come? There are as many answers to this as there are those who are brave enough to risk uttering a guess. In hushed voices around common room fires some talk of it this same night. Some even claim to have seen the warriors, those with the faces of bone.  But they are all wrong.  None of them know the true tale of the Knights of Death, those who were once men but are no longer: the Bone-swords.

But if you wish to know it, and can brave the telling, I will tell it to you.

It begins in an age now past, when Richard the Lionheart made Crusade in the Holy Land.  Most know of the grand orders of monastic knights: the Tutonics, Templars and Hospitalers, but there were others.  One such was few in numbers and without power or influence for their vow was one of complete self sacrifice and service.  True also is that the requirement of faith and purity was so severe that it was a rare knight who risked his soul to seek to join, for this order was the Knights Reliquar, tasked with finding, securing and protecting the holy relics of the Holy Land.  But unlike the monks who kept such relics safe, entombed within reliquaries to protect the faithful, for even they could not be unharmed by too close of exposure to such mighty artifacts, the Knights Reliquar each had within the hilt of his sword the bone of a martyred saint. Only the most devout and pure could wield such power and remained unharmed.  This precluded the majority of Knights.

The Knights Reliquar numbered just one score and six, but they were mighty.  It was said that with just a few of these knights, the most dire battle could be won.  And this was true.  It was the desire of the Knight Commander, Sir Mikkel of Jutland, to find and protect these relics, but the endless slaughter and acts of abomination he witnessed, and indeed had been asked to commit, caused him, with much regret, to remove his forces from the Crusade and return to Europe.

King Richard of England blamed the loss of Jerusalem on the betrayal of the Knights Reliquar, and the new Pope threatened excommunication upon Mikkel and his Knights.  They were not excommunicated however, though they lost much of the good name and notoriety they had before.

The Knights Reliquar continued to exist down the centuries, taking part in battles when they felt they were just, though their numbers declined until it was decided they would have no more than half at the time of their schism: thirteen.

This continued until the Knights Reliquar was disbanded in 1573 after matters in Istanbul.
How does this bring us to today, 1888 and the streets of London?
For that tale, we must wait until another night.


For now, be on your guard, for the Bone-swords walk the streets.

9 comments:

Brummie said...

Intriguing story following this with great interest

Anne said...

Nicely written Ferret and a nice figure to go with it. Is there any bloody thing you don't do well.

The Angry Lurker said...

I love skeletons, great story!

M R Lee said...

Great start on this story.. though am wondering more of what happened back in Istanbul in 1573.. but I guess we will have to settle for what occurs in London in 1888 ;)

Thomas said...

Great stuff, as always, Ferret!
:-)

Paul´s Bods said...

That´s some impressive looking mini..!!
great backstory
Cheers
paul

Colonel Scipio said...

That's really atmospheric, a great story. Is this part of a project or a one-off?

Laughing Ferret said...

Thanks folks :) Nice to have the feedback :)

Anne:Hmmm.. if there is I can't think of any;) well no, not really.. not good at sports (except fencing & swimming I was pretty good at those) and really bad at navigating bureaucracy : really bad ju-ju for that stuff, I fully expect to do something incorrect and have the DMV declare me a non-person and find I don't exist anymore, or filling out a pet store shopper card is going to enroll me into the Zambian Army.

MRLee: You'll find out soon, there will be some on that as the story continues.

Col: I was about to put up pictures of the finished faction -we're rebooting our EotD campaign, and I'll be running 4 factions, this is one of the new ones. But as I was getting ready to post them I thought 'why not drag this out, do the backstory properly with some old-timey photos before revealing the whole team'.. so yes, it's a whole project.

Michael Awdry said...

Great story, you nearly had me reaching for the reference books then! Can't wait to see these in action!

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