The Fortress of the Brethren

From The Final Challenge Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

You stand within a large, beautifully maintained courtyard surrounded by a wide variety of trees, shrubs and climbing ivy. A huge fountain stands at the center of the verdant green lawn, it's falling water musical in its constant movement. A tall, weathered gray stone wall surrounds the courtyard and the keep itself providing a place of safety and privacy for the Brethren.

(Blue Aura) A pristine white marble altar lies within the Fortress' Great Hall.

Short Desc: (Blue Aura) a small mithril hammer engulfed in flames Long Desc: This tiny hammer of mithril burns with a magical flame.

Short Desc: a searing bolt of lightning Long Desc: Cast forth from the clouds, a searing bolt of lightning blinds you.

Look altar white marble
This marble was quarried from the deepest mines beneath Dwarvenhold. It is a pure, radiant white that seems to glow from within. The image of a mithril hammer casting forth bolts of lightning has been inset upon its surface.

The stone archway that leads out into the temple grounds to the east is overgrown with ivy and some sort of climbing flower. Even in a place as dedicated to martial strength and discipline as the stronghold of the Brethren, there is appreciation for the beauty found in nature. A heavy iron portcullis stands ready to bar the progress of any seeking to enter or leave the Fortress via the drawbridge that lays beyond.

To the east is the stone gateway to the Grand hall, its carved granite entryway a masterpiece of dwarven craftsmanship. Upon the thick stone walls hang five exquisite tapestries, each illuminated for easy viewing by bright balls of glowing blue light.

A large iron bound door of solid oak bars entry to the barracks. Beyond it lies the training area where the Brethren hone their skill at arms. Twin racks flanking the door are laden with well-tended weapons and armor, Attesting to the acute knowledge of battle the Brethren have and teach others. Above the weapon and armor racks, there are several carvings cut deeply into the dark gray stone. (Look Carvings to view)

A large amphitheater has been created to the west, perhaps to provide an area for classes or important gatherings. Enormous white arches span the cobblestone entryway to the benches. The stage itself is gray marble, quarried from far and distant lands. It is easy to imagine the last rays of the setting sun dancing upon the dark stone, turning it to flame.

Only as the eye travels skyward does the carefully concealed spiral staircase that winds up one of the towers of the castle become visible. Where it might lead, perhaps only Athorne knows. The sky above is a beautiful bright azure, with fleecy white clouds here and there. The sun is fixed at high noon, its brilliant light pouring down into the courtyard like a blessing from the Gods themselves. A beautiful pennant flutters from atop the highest spire of the Fortress, catching the eye.

Under foot, the lawns of the courtyard are carefully kept neat and tidy. A small pathway leads towards the barracks, made of round gray flagstones of thick slate. Neat rows of flowers dance gaily in the light breeze that cools the courtyard, bringing beauty to contrast with the somber dark stone of the castle itself. Flowers also line the walkways and surround several of the trees.

Without spilling a single drop, this fountain shoots water high into the air in a rhythmic pattern you recognize as being a heartbeat. Once released, it cascades down in a musical torrent, tumbling around what appears to be a tall, twisting spire of ivory - a unicorn's horn that rises up from the central dais of white marble. The water is pure and icy, and it moves with a force that is enough to make one's ears pop as it is released to jet upwards. A large golden plaque framed in silver draws the eye to where it gleams wetly upon the dais.

This golden plaque bears words scribed in the Dwarven tongue:

. ************************************************** . * o o * . * " Family, Friend, Defender, and Judge " * . * " Together, as one, we stand ." * . * o o * . **************************************************

Here lie the rules and beliefs of the Brethren. The Brethren are bound by word and spirit to uphold these rules and beliefs.

(You can view them by using Look Carving1 through Carving5.)

Terms of Entry into the Righteous :

1) You must be a Character of good reputation, with at least 2 of the Brethren as sponsors. 2) You must be level thirteen or higher in any class. 3) You must be fully equipped, and able to take care of yourself. 4) You must be willing to learn and in many cases, teach as well. 5) You will be interviewed and must pass an evaluation. 6) Upon completing the above, you will be granted an additional quest.

After completing the quest, you may be granted membership, however Athorne reserves the right to refuse even those who have finished the quest should He deems them unworthy.

(Look Carving2 to continue)

The ten beliefs and rules of the Righteous are as follows:

1. The Following is your family and friend. HONOR, CHERISH, PROTECT and DEFEND them to the death, if need be. This also forbids any disrespect to a fellow Righteous. Wrong done to them is wrong done to Athorne Himself.

2. Because we strive to destroy evil, NO EVIL aligned character shall receive ANY HELP whatsoever from the Righteous. This means spells, trades, or anything else that could fit in the term "Help". (Violations of this belief can and will result in severe penalties up to and including rejection from the following.)

3. Strive for the betterment of yourself. Learn from every success and more importantly, learn from every mistake. Ask questions, post notes to the board, communicate: we can all learn something new every day.

(look carving3 to continue)

4. Death is a reality in this world. In the instance you come across a Good, Unaligned or Neutral corpse, check our board list to see if the individual is one of those named (AHRIMAN). Unless SPECIAL LAWS apply, the corpse must be returned intact as quickly as possible.

Special Laws are as follows: If an individual has been added to our list of (AHRIMAN), their corpse can be dealt with in two ways: It may be kept and distributed amongst the Righteous, or it must be sacrificed upon the ground. No other alternative is permitted.

5. The Righteous are expected to manage their Debt well. Athorne grants Pardons only on SPECIAL occasions. Specifically, should a member have Bounty Hunters set upon them, suicide is NOT an option.

(Look Carving4 to continue)

6. In the instance you come across an EVIL corpse, you may do with it as you like, with the sole exception of returning it or giving/selling it to anyone who will return it. Athorne will not abide having his enemies wearing equipment willingly provided to them by the Righteous.

7. In the sphere of PK'ing, EVILS are fair game, as are any named (AHRIMAN). Should you attempt the death of another, do so with a clear mind and careful preparation. Fighting when you cannot win is foolish and brings shame to us.

8. Any equipment found or looted from the corpse of prey must be offered to the following first. If no one needs it, then and only then may it can be sold, traded or offered to Athorne. Greed is not acceptable in our following. Hoarding what your fellow Righteous have need of is abhorrent.

(Look carving5 to continue)

9. Uphold HONOR and RESPECT in all aspects of the words. The Righteous DO NOT take part in trash talk sessions on any means of communication, including our private following-tell. Lead with your actions, not your words.

10. (Insert all TFC rules here). DO NOT BREAK THEM!

  • Special note*

This game is meant for your enjoyment, and those around you. Have fun while you are here, if you are not having fun you need not be here.

Many oak benches surround the white marble stage at the center of the amphitheater. It is easy to imagine overflowing ale mugs being lifted in toasts and proud tales being told around the fire pits smoldering long into the night. Many a bard has spun a tale upon this stage. Many more shall in times to come.

five large and plush tapestries ruffle in the breeze, seemingly untouched by age. They nearly blind you with their many colors and shapes.

(You can view them by using Look tapestry1 through tapestry5.)

Hand crafted gold lace decorates the edges of this small tapestry. The scene upon it is that of a beautiful forest, with deer, rabbits, squirrels and other woodland creatures observing a peaceful glade. There, a tall slender elf robed in pure white stands before a small group, a rather large Tiger at his side. The Elf's audience is quiet and intent as they listen to the man's teachings. You get the sense this wasn't the first and certainly not the last of these lessons.

The Teacher ...

A silk tapestry hangs here. Upon it is depicted two dwarves standing on a small hill overlooking a great battlefield. One dwarf is clad in rag-tag metal links and chains, and is being supported by the younger dwarf. Below them on the field, the evil hoard has been sent running.

The brothers have won the day ...

A silk tapestry hangs here. Upon it, the same two dwarves are in this scene, however, the tables are turned. They are depicted running at full speed for the woods. Lightning splinters the trees nearest them, as the hoard gives chase.

The retreat ...

A large tapestry hangs here, woven by the nimble fingers of the greatest Elven artist ... Within this tapestry is shown four would-be heroes. A rather tall elf stands to one side, blue lightning crackling from his slender fingers. It hits its mark. Standing before the four adventurers are not one but two Ancient Black Dragons. The Elf's bolt has struck the larger Dragon square in the chest. To the other side a Half-elf has drawn both his weapons and is wielding them with the precision of a tiger. His cat-like attacks strike deep into the flesh of the first foe. With weapons drawn, the two smaller figures in the middle of the fray are two Dwarves, and they appear to be laughing, despite the fact that their armor and beards are on fire.

Underneath the great portrait words are spelled out in silver thread ...

Immortality due to friendship ...

A velvet tapestry ruffles in the breeze. An old dwarf is in this picture. In his rag-tag armor, he stands to one side while others are fighting undead creatures in the corridor. He seems to be barking orders and commands. The others fight on.

The leader ...

Along the walkways and against the stone wall that encloses the castle, beautiful flowers have been carefully planted and lovingly tended. In some sections, herbs are seen: yarrow, thyme and bay leaf grow in profusion. Elsewhere, bluebells, white heather, lavender, and orange blossom sway in the breeze. White zinnias line the walkway, and clumps of fern have sprouted up in each shady spot. Monkshood can be spotted along the castle walls intermingled with violets. An odd combination, to be sure. Perhaps the selected blooms have some specific meaning in the hidden language of plants?

One of the Brethren wandering through the courtyard smiles and nods. ‘Each living thing has a purpose and a message. Even the blossoms. Monkshood for wariness and chivalry, thyme for strength and courage. Orange blossom brings wisdom, and yarrow speaks of health. White Zinnias are the flower of goodness, and violets speak of faithfulness. Bay leaves for strength, bluebells for humility and constancy, ferns for sincerity.’ He reaches down and picks a blossom of white heather. ‘This is my favorite. The pure, pale heather, which speaks of protection and wishes that may yet come true.’ He smiles again, then wanders off, checking on the growth of the eloquent garden.

This heavy slate flagstone has been carefully carved with the image of a black widow spider carefully weaving her web.

This long white silk pennant appears to be of the finest elven craftsmanship, and is embroidered with a mithril hammer.

Wrought iron bars nearly four inches thick create the vertical shafts of this portcullis. Wide bands of iron cross them at regular intervals, providing strength that would easily withstand the pounding of a hundred battering rams.