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Author Topic: Lyndis Seraphim, the Devout of Paladine  (Read 1123 times)

Shadowfal1

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Lyndis Seraphim, the Devout of Paladine
« on: February 28, 2009, 10:57:53 AM »
Lynn knelt in quiet prayer in the lavishly deocrated Temple of Paladine in the holy city of Istar. Were she to open her eyes, she would see the floor decorated by expensive rugs, the statues of Paladine forged from the purest of silver, and the priestly robes of the upper echelons of priests deocrated with gold and jewels. Were she to take a walk among the poorer sections of town with the same clarity of sight, she would see the urchins in rags making their meager living by thieving from other such urchins. She would see lawlessness and poverty running rampant in the Holiest of Cities, Istar. The wealth of Palanthas could not rival it, and the splendor of the port city of Tarsis could not hold a candle to it. Lynn could not open her eyes, for the lids were heavy, as if some sandman had sprinkled ignorance and its counterpart bliss on them. Through closed lids she saw herself at the center of a paradise. Her god was paramount in importance, and her minor role in serving him was greater wealth in and of itself than any well-established family of Solamnics could hope for. This was the Age of Might, and by a title only claimed by the retrospective in the near future, the Age of Hypocrisy.
A loud crash caused Lynn's eyelids to flutter open and her to realize how sore her knees were from kneeling on the cold stoen floor in front of a magnificent statue of E'li, The Platinum Dragon, Skyblade, Paladine. With a bit of regret once the feeling of vertigo overtook her, she stood up from her position quickly and took a glance around the temple. It was only midday, but the room was dark, but for a few candles. The incessant storm outside confused night and day in the eyes of Istar's citizens. They no longer knew when to open their eyes, or when to close them. Lynn brushed a stray lock of her hair out of her face and bid it join the others to form one long mass of fiirey red silk that cascaded down her back and ended just below her behind. With a quickened step she made her way into the hall. A fellow priest, only older than her by a year, rounded the corner at breakneck speed, nearly running her over.
"Brother Martin! There's a rule against running in these halls for a reason!" Although the statement might have seemed harsh and authoritarian, she said it with an easy, teasing smile, letting him know her words were only in jest.
"Sister Lyndis...the..the tower of Kiri-Jolith, it has been destroyed by a whirlwind! I..we think there were casualties...but we don't know much." Only now did Lynn realize how disshiveled Martin looked. It appeared as if he ran all the way here from the tower, a journey of nearly a mile. The fact that even at this distance, amidst the raging storm, Lynn heard the resounding crash of rubble as the tower's upper decks crumbled to the ground hundreds of feet below, was surprising. Perhaps, Paladine meant them all to hear it. A warning, an omen of things yet to come.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2009, 11:21:27 AM by Shadowfal1 »

Lyndis Seraphim- Faith is the rope to keep one from drowning in the darkness.

Shadowfal1

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Re: Lyndis Seraphim, the Devout of Paladine
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2009, 12:55:18 PM »
//(Some details changed to fit the story a bit better. Most significant is that the Night of Doom’s place in the Thirteen Warnings is changed)

A group of Paladine’s devout sat around a well-fed fire, almost two weeks since the destruction of the Durro Jolithas, Kiri-Jolith’s tower. It was too obvious to say, but the God of Just War would not be pleased. If Kiri-Jolith needed a comforting thought, and it is well known misery loves company, then he would have to only look down from the heavens at the inhabitants of Ansalon, at the Holiest of Cities, Istar, in particular. Lynn sat with her back against the side of a plush high chair, her knees curled up to her chest, her chin in between them. Her eyes never left the fire, not even to rise up to the priest that sat in the same chair she was leaning on.
“The tides of darkness seek to quench our light, my children. The victories of the Kingpriest in recent times has the gods of evil backed into a corner, and this is but their last and final attempt to fight!” The man in the chair was Solideus, a left hand man of the Kingpriest, and by far the eldest in the room, which in and of itself was hardly an achievement, for Lynn, at eighteen, was the second eldest.
“They have nowhere to run, and from the Kingpriest’s Light they cannot hide. The scheming mages are holed up in their Tower of Wayreth, their foul presence no longer taints our city. Istar is, and always shall be, pure!” Solideus exclaimed the last syllables with a fiery zeal and fervor of belief that it was difficult to believe nothing that came out of his mouth was true. Too difficult for the young and sheltered children gathered around him, who their entire lives have regarded words such as his as infallible. After his passionate outburst, the room fell into a contemplative silence, pierced only by the crackling of the logs in the fire as they were consumed, slowly, deliberately. Lynn’s thoughts were nothing short of a mess. If everything they have been told was true, then how could the gods of evil even gain –this- much strength? Surely, it was impossible for her religious superiors to be wrong about the condition of the powers above them. But, how?
The Kender realms of Balifor and Hylo sent reports of a dark fog invading their land and settling. The bountiful spirit of the Kender is told to be subdued, a feat no Palanthian prison could ever hope to accomplish. The two moons Lunitari and Solinari disappeared behind an orb of complete darkness in the sky, from which no light shone. The sole remaining mage in the city, a black robe named Fistandantilus, made it know that the dark moon Nuitari eclipsed the other two. Surely a desperate attempt by one sibling against the others, but one that made the gloomy nights even darker.
Reports from Istar’s trading partner, the dwarven stronghold of Thorbardin, told of an untold horror stalking their halls, a beast of darkness no dwarf, not even the fearless Hylar, could stand up to. The news sent shivers down the spines of those who heard. It was well known the Hylar dwarves feared nothing. But even they were hunted like rats in their caves. What foul being had the gods of darkness summoned among the rich veins of ore? Rumors said it was even False Metal herself, haunting the home where she had no faithful.
The land of Solamina, home of knights, the Code and the Measure, and the late Huma Dragonbane had never been darker. In Solamnia, no fires would burn. In Abanasinia, among the famous Valenwoods of Solace, fires raged, destroying everything and everyone in their path with reckless abandon. A bit of news that made a tear trickle down Lynn’s cheek in particular was the news from Dargaard Keep. The Knight of the Rose, Loren Soth, raised his armies against those of Solamnia. Lynn had met him only a few months back and with a unique temperament borne of being both a steadfastedly calm priestess, and a fiery girl with crimson locks, felt the slightest twinge of envy for Loren’s wife. The man was genteel, handsome, wealthy, and every sensible girl’s dream. Even now, she did not believe the rumors that someone as noble as he could go against his own country. Even if he did, he must have had a good reason.
To add to the oppression of Palanthas, a few days after the fires left the hearths, a thick mist rolled into town, and the nearby seas stood as still and placid as a frozen lake. The heat became so heavy, the mists so blinding and oppressive, that even the diligent scribes in the Library of Palanthas stopped working. Rumors said that even Astinus paused in his writing to mop up his brow, to not let sweat drip onto his manuscripts. The elven kingdom of Silvanesti experienced perhaps some of the worst horror of all. Their land, a beauty unrivaled in Krynn, turned into a horror nightmares lacked the imagination to produce. The spirits of fallen elven warriors returned to hunt their living comrades, day never graced the land, and the night that reigned was far from the ideal that the Speaker of the Moon held so dear. The trees of Silvanesti wept blood. Qualinesti, the sister land of Silvanesti, had its trusted animals and nature turn against them. A household feline struck against its master and fled, a magnificent stallion shook off its rider and galloped away, heeding no calls of its former caretakers.
Even the northern lands did not go unpunished. Towns like Pesaro and Luca had the waters of their rivers turned red, as if dyed with blood. No fish lived in them any longer. Volcanoes centuries dormant in the Khalkist mountains suddenly flared to life with the fury of a hibernating bear awoken from its sleep and reigned destruction on the surrounding lands.
These horrors steeled the will of their beloved Kingpriest. No longer did he deign to sit in his lavish temple and simply pray to Paladine for his aid. He wanted to stand beside Paladine and wipe the black from the land, leaving only a blinding, blinding white. Tomorrow, the Kingpriest announced, his ascension to godhood will take place. Tomorrow.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2009, 12:59:18 PM by Shadowfal1 »

Lyndis Seraphim- Faith is the rope to keep one from drowning in the darkness.

Shadowfal1

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Re: Lyndis Seraphim, the Devout of Paladine
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2009, 11:06:28 AM »
Lyndis stood up and left the room, claiming she was going to bed. She turned right where she should have turned left, and ended up pushing the large double doors that formed the nearest entrance into the temple open just a crack, enough for her to slip through. A blast of humidity washed over her as she made her way outside. The fog was thick, although Istar was not a seaport city. Her hair became matted to her head and back with sweat, and her white robes, were they any thinner, would have revealed what was beneath them to the rest of the world. Not that the rest of the world would be complaining. Lynn had blossomed into full womanhood only recently, complimenting her athletic frame with sensuous womanly curves in just the right places. Despite the priestly vows and bond of fraternity many of her fellow “Brothers” shared with her, few could resist the occasional, furtive glance at her as she walked away, or the subtle drooping of the eyes down to her chest instead of her face while speaking to her. Not that her face was any less attractive than the rest of her. Lynn’s full lips, long lashes, pale blue eyes, and cheeks prone to blush turned heads and kept them fixed on her about the temple and streets, whenever she would deign to walk them.
Tonight was one of the nights she so deigned. Her thoughts in turmoil, she made her way through the misty streets. The stars in the sky shone like beacons to her, seeming so much brighter with Lunitari and Solinari hidden behind the dark moon Nuitari. She knew, beneath the layers of lies piled upon her since childhood, that nothing was right with Istar, nor the rest of the world. Her entire life ruled by white, she had seen black and was appalled that the two could exist together. What scared her even more was that she knew they should, in balance. But the Kingpriest was infallible. Her sinful thoughts would be proven wrong, tomorrow. That is, if no one knew them by then. Mind readers in the employ of the church walked the streets, searching for sin in the minds of the citizens. Many an innocent man with a stray thought has been thrown into a large, collective prison, not to be seen again by his family.
The mists grew even thicker, until she could no longer see more than a few feet. After she nearly tripped over a rough patch of cobble, she stopped to look around, and realized she had not the faintest clue as to her whereabouts. Figuring it best to retrace her steps, instead of wandering quite blindly in an unfamiliar and apparently rough section of the city, she turned around. A shadow moves through the thick white mists in front of her. Lynn closed her eyes and grabbed the amulet at her neck, bowing her head and praying to Paladine to protect her from harm. Instead, she saw only blackness, then felt the wind rush by her ears as she fell. When she awoke, instead of finding the cobblestones beneath her she expected, she found grass.

Lyndis Seraphim- Faith is the rope to keep one from drowning in the darkness.

Shadowfal1

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Re: Lyndis Seraphim, the Devout of Paladine
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2009, 10:57:07 PM »
Barovia. Ruled by Count Strahd von Zarovich. No one had ever heard of Istar, not even of Paladine. Even the connection to her god, so prominent less than a day ago, was now tenuous. Never had Lynn felt as alone. The darkness the Kingpriest vowed to eliminate, the evil she never saw, but read about, easily outweighed the good here, and she was drowning in it. If you keep a person in darkness for their entire lives, and let them out into the sun, only pain will ensue. Just as she felt she would be suffocated by the oppressive gloom, by everything so dark here, her hand acaught a rope, Paladine. Faith pulled her out of the abyss, and Paladine became her only companion.

Lynn's bright idealism and amiable and compassionate nature quickly made her a few close friends and many acquaintances. The pervasive evil, once an uncrossable mountain whose shadow engulfed her as it loomed before her, now became just another challenge. With her faith as her weapon, Lynn began to follow in the footsteps of so many adventurers before her, oblivious to where those adventurers tend to end up. Even now, she refused to open her eyes. She questioned, but didn't await anwsers, until she learned the truth. The Mists of Death, as her friends Deneve and Nell called them, take people form different worlds and times. From a citizen of Krynn many years since Lynn's time, she learned the terrible truth of her homeland.

The kingpriest's holy quest caused an uproar in the heavens. The kingpriest himself was being corrupted by Takhisis. Every single thing that befell Krynn was a portent, an escalaiton of dire circumstance leading to the climax that Lynn had only just escaped, the Cataclysm. In his arrogance, the kingpriest demanded to become a god. A fiery mountain fell on Istar, leaving none alive, and sending istar to the bottom of a new sea, the Blood Sea of Istar, so called for the red waters that swirled down to the ruins of the Holiest of Cities. The Catclysm altered Krynn and began the Age of Despair. Withdrawn from everyone else and silently questioning her god, Lynn cried. Why did so many innocents have to suffer? What of the ones in the city who had to die for the sins of few? Why was she saved, and not left to die among her Brothers and Sisters? Why, why, why.....Why was she the only one here? A church of one, with no hierarchy, no defined rules, no leadership, but herself. Nothing but faith in a god who graced her only with a peripheral glance as he dealt with his broken world, subtly weaving the details together. But that glance was all for her, she felt, and it was enough to kept her going. Her faith would not falter.

Lyndis Seraphim- Faith is the rope to keep one from drowning in the darkness.

Shadowfal1

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Re: Lyndis Seraphim, the Devout of Paladine
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2009, 04:17:30 PM »
That first winter in Barovia was the first time Lyndis had ever seen snow. With a small group of friends, she made her way up to the tower in the north, wondering if it would look like the Mages’ Towers back in Krynn. She had seen the one in Palanthas after the curse befell it, so dark, foreboding, a single black mark on the sterling reputation of Palanthas. It was a magnet to any eyes that deigned to scan the horizon; their gaze would always drift to the tower, wondering what horrors perpetuated by the malevolent wizards lay inside. The city chose simply to ignore it, as a family would ignore an eccentric aunt. The tower in the north looked nothing like it. It was tall, but exuded a sense of safety, a haven for the magical community far removed from the jurisdiction of Vallaki. The mages fashioned it to their desires, putting in a lavish bath room, to the delight of many visiting Outlanders. She bathed with her friend Tarinyar, truly the closest being to her, possibly ever. The nearness of her friend and the fact that as a priestess Lynn had bathed only among other women reduced any feelings of shyness to a minimum. Tarina was a confidant, almost as stalwart in character and reliable as Paladine himself. Lynn had never trusted anyone this much. Religion was her only solace, prayer the only way the young priestess found a sense of truth. She believed as long as her courage and faith held, Paladine would not fail her. Regrettably, mortals are weak.
Covered in blessings and protective spells, Lyndis jumped down into the first room of the Baratak crypts. Tarinyar made a slightly less graceful landing right behind her, also covered in spells and protections. To the both of them this was practice, nothing more. Lynn came here often alone, to put the minions of Chemosh, amiably termed by the locals as “imortji” or by the Outlanders as “undead,” to their rest, and to disprove their own illusion of immortality. Lynn eyed the coffins, the only light in the room the flame from her mace. The daylight above just faded, the sun sank down below distant mountains, not wishing to witness the misfortune. The worst always happens when the sun turns a blind eye towards the world, whether one event is caused by the other or causes the other is debatable. The coffin lids slid open. Lynn had not expected to be the one attacked, but nevertheless, with Tarinyar at her side, found herself surrounded, fighting wildly for her friend’s and her own survival. There was no escape, the only way up was through vines. Slowly the stoneskin chipped away, and through the combat and shrieks of the hungry vampiresses, Lynn did not know whether her friend was even still alive. The door at the back of the chamber opened, and a black armored figure stepped through. The armor of the vampire merged with the encroaching darkness of her own vision and blurred to become indistinct from its surroundings as Lynn’s body fell towards the floor of the crypt.
Her peace was broken by the pain of drawing breath through bruised ribs, the pain especially acute due to the sharp first intake, as the soul returned to it’s mortal coil. A boot rested on her chest, and as Lynn directed her gaze upwards towards the face, she realized she was no safer now than earlier. The vampire sneered, seeing himself in total control, the absolute master of his dominion and the hunter rewarded with prey in his trap. Lynn’s hand clamped around the vampire’s leg as her lips breathed out a nearly silent prayer to Paladine. The vampire hopped back and removed he boot from her chest at the pain as her healing prayer seared his flesh. Lynn scrambled to her feet, fighting the sense of vertigo urging her to fall back down. It was Lynn’s turn to grin, if only to hide her fear and feeling of total insecurity. She knew she wasn’t in control, she could only pretend to be and make the monster before her regret raising her. But where was Tarinyar? Did she make it out alive, or was she somewhere deeper in the crypt, simply another meal for the undead? The vampire waited until the damage to his leg healed, prepared to continue the hunt. It seems the prey still kicked in the trap. Not giving him a second chance, Lynn turned and ran for the door. Barely past the frame, a concussion struck her from behind, sending her sprawling with hardly a left breath in her body a few feet further down the hall. It felt as if a hammer struck her everywhere at once, spots dancing in her vision.
Slowly, the metal boots of the vampire clanked up beside her. He reached down and easily flipped her onto her back to face him, her long raid hair spilling out behind her to form a red halo about her head.
“You’re a quick one, wench…but you -are- so beautiful” The vampire sneered, reaching down towards her armor. Lynn understood nothing of what was going on, but as his hand began to unbuckle her armor, a sense of horror flooded through her. She fought feebly, but her body could take little more. The vampire easily held her down with one hand as his other discarded any of her accoutrements, leaving only the symbol of Paladine about her neck, an anathema to his skin. His fangs pierced first her neck, then other parts of her body, working their way down. The young priestess of Paladine, barely eighteen, lay naked on the cold crypt floor, permeated with the scent of death, rot, decay, and fear. There, the monster took the purity of body which she so prized and protected, valued and saved for someone special down the line. Lynn hardly had the energy to scream; instead she closed her eyes to block out the pain inflicted on body and soul. Where was Paladine now? Why didn’t he save her, help her send this abomination to ashes long overdue? Tears coursed down her cheeks as she lost what no one could ever regain, a gift intended for another but stolen by a monster.
   Hours later, she awoke in agony, the sensations still fresh in her mind and loins. The only light was cast by a pair of sinister flickering torches, throwing shadows to taunt her upon the walls. Her skin was pale, barely containing the blood she needed just to live. Many bites from which dried rivulets of blood hung, covered her bare form. One bite in particular would scar, she knew. Her armor lay unceremoniously to the side, the image of Paladine upon the breastplate gazing back at her, as if her god faulted her for the misfortune. Weakly, she stood in the silence, her thin breathing and weak tempo of the heart the only sounds, the only life, in the halls of death. Shoveling anything of hers that remained behind into a bag, she stumbled out, almost hoping to take a wrong step and plunge into a darkness not graced by memory or past faults. As fate would have it, her feet and the instinct of survival led her to familiar ground, and to the newly unveiled dawn breaking above.

Lyndis Seraphim- Faith is the rope to keep one from drowning in the darkness.

Shadowfal1

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Re: Lyndis Seraphim, the Devout of Paladine
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2009, 04:31:17 PM »
Even though she left the crypt behind, a certain entity within followed. As did fear. The touch of males scared her because in their touch, in their voice, she heard his. She knew well it was illogical, some of them were her friends, but she could not help but cringe from a caring touch. In her dreams he followed her, bending the reality present in the dream to his own. He tried to win her over, have her be his as long as unlife would last, but Lynn's faith and friends prevailed. Eventually, he gave up.
        As that darkness departed, a light entered. Alyntha, a girl held enslaved by the ogres in Krynn, centuries before even Lynn's time. Lyndis devoted her time and care to making Alyntha adapt to the harsh environment, to what most would consider normal. She saw the young girl blossom and grow in confidence and spirit under her tutelage, and become more vibrant than ever when she found love of her own.
        Never did Lynn imagine she would find that kind of happiness for herself, not here, especially. But the gods work in strange ways, bringing together two people who connected at first glance with the initial ties of love. With a kiss in the forest, as snow fell about Lyndis and Erik, her future was assured.

Lyndis Seraphim- Faith is the rope to keep one from drowning in the darkness.