“You’re mad!” the young Paladin exclaimed.
He stared incredulously at the giant paper airplane the Warlock named Crimdaz had constructed. The building of the thing was crazy enough, but what they were about to do with it was sheer madness.
From the top of a tall marble cliff, the Paladin named Siegfried looked down at the great battle waged below.
Countless Magic practitioners were engaged in an all-out battle royale in the courtyard. Lightning flashed through the air. Fire incinerated everything, running rampant like a wild beast. Frost covered the ground as razor sharp ice shards rained from the sky. Whole marble boulders were carved out of the floor and used as cover.
In the middle of the chaos, stood a certain tower. A tower the Paladin and Warlock needed to get to.
Siegfried, again, looked apprehensively at the paper plane.
“Surely you jest, Warlock.”
“No, but I’m sure we’ll laugh about it later. Get on!”
As the Paladin prepared for the worst, he could not help but feel his heart thump rapidly. Sparing a glance at his strange ally beside him, Siegfried saw Crimdaz wore a thrill seeking smile on his face.
Involuntarily, the Paladin felt his excitement grow at the sight.
What an insufferable fellow, he thought fondly.
My name is Siegfried.
From the day I was born, I was disowned by my parents. My Mentor told me that they were a young couple who, under certain circumstances, were unable to raise me. Others said they were Mage Heretics who abandoned me because I was unwanted. I know not of my true origins, nor do I care.
Raised by the Church, I was trained in the Elite Paladin Holy Arts. I learned the scriptures and engraved them into my very soul. Some verses were burned and tattooed into my flesh. I had my bones slowly replaced with Blessed Steel so that I would one day serve as a true Paladin. The body reinforcement finished when I was eleven, but took an additional four years to allow my muscle tissue to adapt and support it. The Way of Light is painful, but strengthened my resolve and spirit.
From that point onward, I was given numerous missions by the Church. With my twin hammers and Light Arts, I traversed many battlefields. Defeated many foes as well as protected innocent lives. Given heavy responsibilities at a young age, I rose to every challenge and bore every one of them. I have no regrets, and live a fulfilling, justful, life.
Unintentionally, I became one of the more reliable up and coming Paladins in training. My peers grew jealous, but I could only feel pity for them. We are the righteous arbiters of the Way of Light. Jealousy is not something that should influence us so. I do not stray from what is Right and act strictly and unwaveringly by our teachings. All this I owe to my great Mentor, Valor.
In his prime, he was one of the Church’s Ten Holy Guardians. Elite Paladins that possessed the authority and might of top generals. Even now, he still holds a position in the upper echelons of the Church. He took me in and oversaw all of my training. He is my teacher, my idol, my father.
Now he gives me another hard lesson. Another test that tempers every fiber of my being.
-Siegfried Paladin Apprentice Rank B 1st Class
The twin hammers were swung with deadly fury. Each hammer the length of its wielder’s forearm. Sailing through the air, they gave a low hum of an unstoppable force.
Siegfried was in the middle of his daily training when he was suddenly summoned by the council.
The Apprentice quickly went to dress in his formal white robes with shining chain mail underneath, as is the style for Paladins. He walked through the great white halls and arrived at the tall wooden doors that led to the meeting chambers.
His Mentor stood in front of the doors, waiting for him.
Valor’s long robes were colored in splendid red, white, and gold. He had a great head and beard of dark grey hair. Numerous cuts and cracks from fierce battles, covered his face. Beneath his garments still lied a muscular body of a holy soldier, despite his advanced age.
“Mentor.” Siegfried greeted and bowed.
Valor bowed back in acknowledgment.
“My Apprentice, I wish to give you a word of advice.”(Valor)
“The officers in charge would have you refuse this mission, but I believe it is for the best that you do not. For your growth and for the good of the Church, you must be the one chosen.”(Valor)
“Why would they find me unsuitable?”(Siegfried)
Valor stroked his beard embarrassingly.
“I am afraid to say, it is because you have me as your Mentor. Hahaha!”(Valor)
“What?” Siegfried could only respond in confusion.
In the beginning, they assigned him numerous missions because he was Mentor Valor’s Apprentice and that his reputation carried such weight.
“Do not lose to your emotions, Siegfried. To be frank, many have faith in my battle prowess and your inheritance of it. The same cannot be said about my teachings of philosophy or method of thought. They would rather have a blunt instrument that does their bidding, instead of an intelligent and free thinking Paladin. And I must also add that I am barred from supporting you, offering advisement, and any other such, for I am a biased party.”(Valor)
“But Mentor… Are you not doing so now?” the Apprentice asked hesitantly.
Valor only gave me a wry smile.
“Siegfried. Very fixed in your ways are the teachings of the Church. This is not an error, but never let it cloud what you know to be Right. That is the true Way of Light. Trust in the morals of your heart and spirit. If I have taught you anything, I hope I have taught you that.”(Valor)
“You have, Mentor.” Siegfried quickly responded.
“Good! I cannot help but marvel at my luck to have picked up such a fine Apprentice. Hahaha!”(Valor)
He had a great voice that boomed and resounded from his muscular center.
“But, yes, know that my advisement was against the Church’s rules… but it is for the greater good that I do what I do now.”(Valor)
Siegfried’s heart was still confused, but he nodded firmly.
Mentor would never do such a thing, unless for good reason
Valor turned and entered the chambers. Siegfried waited a moment before going in himself. He stepped into the circular room with anticipation gnawing at his nerves.
What trials await me?