Thursday, August 16, 2012

Death Walks the Streets of London, 1888: Origin of the Bone-swords continued.

Continuing from before, The Knights Reliquar were in a slow decline as time went on, and their last half century was the darkest.  In the mid sixteenth century, the thirteen brother knights were from far flung lands: from England to Lithuania, Norway to Naples.  But a storm was rising in Europe that would be felt in all lands.  Religious authority had never been as absolute and secure as the desired impression, but never had there been such chaos in Christendom as since before the council of Nicaea.  Martin Luther had launched an official challenge to Mother Church, Henry VIII separated himself and his country from the church and was excommunicated, and new sects of protestants were appearing and gaining ground in many countries.

The Knight Commander of the Knights Reliquar, William of Devon, was confident that the Religious divide which plagued Europe, even breaking out into open religious wars, would not affect the members of the Knights Reliquar, despite their various homes and personal feelings about the new issues much debated, but he had larger goals: he wished to find a way to unite Europe and possibly the world.  And he had a plan.

In March of 1573 William met with Charles IX of France, seeking funding for his expedition.  Charles IX's reign had been devastated by these religious issues, and he was willing to take a chance on William's indirect, forlorn hope.  William's plan was to mount a silent invasion of the lands of the Turks, to reclaim the most sought Holy Relic of all: The Holy Grail.  The histories of the Knights Reliquar indicated that the Grail resided in Constantinople, had survived the sack by the First Crusade, eluded the Venician pillagers and was behind the advancing power of the Ottoman Empire. With this relic he could reunite Europe, re-instill peace and regain Constantinople in one quest. Surely God must be on their side?

All that remained was for thirteen knights to enter the seat of power of arguably the strongest nation in Europe, reclaim the most holy of relics, and return with it alive.

In the garb of Pilgrims, the Reliquar Knights traveled to the city now known as Istanbul. Their full tale is long, fraught with battles, narrow escapes and daring, but none now know the full details, for the Muslims will deny any of this and the knights themselves... well, if you meet them now, perhaps you may be brave enough to ask them, but not I.

I do know that it was not without blood spilt that they made their way to the most secret of rooms, lit by a single candle, where on a marble pedestal rested the Grail.

The Knights gave thanks and took a cloth to grasp the cup when a woman's voice spoke softly from behind them,

"And by what right do you steal this vessel?"

Tavas of Polotsk spoke brashly, "We have the right as chosen by God for this quest, by right to set the world right.  What right do you have to keep and twist the power of this artifact?"

The woman, of curiously indeterminate age, dark of hair, eye and complexion, smiled wryly, "Why, because this is my chalice, given to me long ago, by one you claim to love, but do not understand. It sustains me, it is all I have left of the one I have lost."

William spoke next, growing conscious of the time and the danger they faced, "We have no quarrel with you woman, I fear you are likely mad, but for all that, I would wish you no harm."

To this, she laughed, a disquieting sound, convincing the knights of their commander's assessment.

"I tell you this knight," She began, "that your quest was doomed to failure from the start.  Nations of men will never be united, will never seek peace, for the majority will take these gifts and throw them to the ground as so much refuse to be disdained.  You would understand if you had seen what I have seen through the years. Prophets come and go, laws and beliefs break like the tides and all aspirations of man are washed away."

"Enough of this" snapped Tavas, "We have the Grail, our quest is but complete, we leave now."

"I will not stop you." She said, with a hint of sadness. "But though you have not asked for it,  I give you the gift you should have come for: wisdom.  You will see what I have seen, you will continue, you will come to understand, though you may never thank me for it."

Collecting the Grail, the Knights made to leave.

"You so love your relics, you put such faith in their power... you shall become as the relic bones themselves.  Go, and see what good comes of it."

Of what happened to the Grail, none know.  Of what happened to the Knights, we shall soon tell.


M R Lee said...

Very cool.. nice lead in of Turkey and Istanbul there. Wondering why they didn't stop for a puff or 2 at a nargila cafe..

Now wondering how they will turn to Bone Guards.. :)

Anne said...

A tale nicely told Ferret and somewhere inside you lies a novel yet to be written.

I like this figure, that highlight at the top of his skull really makes it.

The Angry Lurker said...

Excellent miniature but the story has now gained speed and has left me wanting more!

Christopher Sheets said...

Loving it! Cannot wait for more!

Spacejacker said...

Great story and a really elegant looking mini!

Brummie said...

A great tale. Cool miniature as well mate very regal looking

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