Templars lined the hall on both sides of the room as Balarash mounted the central dais. The Order of the Chalice symbol shone brightly, emblazoned on shields, breastplates, flags, and more as the room filled. Gleaming helms and radiant swords carried by the Templars and Paladins reflected the light that beamed down from the ceiling, with the Knights kneeling down in their dull, worn equipment, overshadowed by their brethren. Balarash stood alone without armor, cloth robes billowing around his form. A silver dragonborn, he had eight small horns that swept back from his face, connected by thin frills, while a large central frill raised from the center of his head and traveled back to his neck. An approximation of a beard draped from his chin, spikes and more connective tissue strung together. His eyes resembled frosted metal as they glanced across the room. He felt exposed.

Balarash held a mailed gauntlet upright to stop the advancing force. The woods rose on either side of the knights, and the forest’s shadows could have hidden an army amongst the trees. Balarash had received orders to command a detachment of knights and lead them through this forest and relieve a Chalice held fortress in the hills beyond. A rival order, that of the Arrow, had laid siege to the fortress. Politics between nations led to the orders battling one another for strategic locations and the Chalice needed to safeguard their positions with this fortress. Balarash gave the signal to advance and broke into a run. Whatever the leaves hid, they would find and fight through.

Balarash bristled, his frills and scales shaking beneath his robe. The main doors slammed open and the Bearer and Drinker began to walk down the hall. The Chant rose from the Paladins, then the Templars, then the lowly Knights.

“Though the Chalice overfloweth, 
Its liquid must remain pure.  
The Chalice flows. 
No sullied lips may grace it, 
A gift from Bahamut himself,
The Chalice flows. 
The Order doth protect and purify for this, 
This is thy duty and thy honour, 
The Chalice flows. 
To drink from the radiance, drink in the radiance.  
To cleanse thyself and be worthy. 
The Chalice flows.”

Arrows raced through the trees and knights fell, grasping the fletchings protruding from their bodies. Blood fed the roots of the forest, but the knights cut down any before them. Blades claimed as many dead as Balarash’s force lost and pressed forward. Each step paid for in lives as the knights broke free from the trees. The Order of the Arrow stood arrayed before them. The siege occupied the force and the knights had broken through the lines in the woods, emerging at the far left flank of the army of the Arrow. Balarash ripped two arrows from his side and charged forward. He bellowed as he ran and his knights followed. The Arrow closed ranks and began to fight against the assaulting forces.

The Bearer and Drinker approached Balarash and the dragonborn knelt before them. The Chalice held aloft by the Bearer as they began the ceremony.

“For your valour on the field of battle, Balarash, you have been chosen for promotion to the rank of Templar of the Chalice! Henceforth, your armor will not grow dull. Your blade will not lose its sheen. You will drink from the gift of Bahamut and accept the blessing given to you.”

The Bearer motioned the Drinker forward and the robed figure leaned down, drinking heavily from the Chalice. None but the Bearer could hold the Chalice, and none but the Drinker could drink from the Chalice. At each promotion, though, a member of the Order of the Chalice received a drink from the Chalice from the Drinker. Balarash stood and opened his mouth as the Drinker approached. The Drinker raised Balarash’s head and cool liquid exchanged between the Drinker and Balarash.

Several shafts protruded from Balarash’s chest. Breathing grew harder, slower with each passing moment. His eyes closed.

“Bahamut, do not let me die here. This is not my fate. I must be meant for more than this. Grant me your favour and send me forth from here. I will bring your might down upon your enemies.”

“The payment may be steep. It may cost you everything, young one. Do you accept this?” A voice echoed within himself.

“Yes, I will pay any cost, but not today! Not today, please!”

Balarash kneeled before the Bearer as the ceremony continued. The Chant rose and then the Bearer spoke out again.

“Rise, Templar! Rise and step forward! For your deeds you have been raised, and shall be known as Balarash the Silvered!”

Author Sielic
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Comments (3)

  • October 22, 2017 at 9:35 pm
    Just a little origin story for my latest D&D character, thought some of you'd enjoy it.
  • Ari
    October 22, 2017 at 11:47 pm
    I did enjoy, it reminded me partly of the Stormlight Archive. B is obsessed with it and by proxy, I've come to know the series since he listens to the audiobook while in the shower or cooking.
  • mosur
    October 23, 2017 at 8:27 am
    I don't even know this guy, but I want to, but I want to read more Sielic!

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