Eberron - Return of the Lich Queen
Origins - Kohl
House Ikao, one of the major ruling families of Shilund, located in the city of Kyrmar, was filled with movement. The House itself was a fortified palace, much like the other nine major houses. Four tall towers reached skyward almost 3 times the height of the five story palace, each tower was named after one of the four gods of the Torval pantheon. Torval, Ashianka, Sulanok, and Vadjna., the house cathedral was almost entirely built from stained glass, featuring a mosaic of the House founder, Ikao and his deeds as he battled Dha’Ark and brought Toval’s light to a land layed siege by darkness.
In the courtyard, dozens of servants helped members of the family prepare for the Knight’s Procession that was about to take place, House Ikao and its two sub Freeman Houses Ikaonn and Ikarynn lined up, banners and flags with the house symbol, a Sun, with the silhouette of a Condor holding a Sword in one talon and a tablet in another, flying proudly on the Holy Day of Torval.
Four members of House Ikao were to be knighted this day. Kohl Ikao, son of Kor and Taluune, Kymnar Ikao a second cousin of Kohl, and Orukk Ikaonn and Kohl’s best friend, Seluukk Ikaonn, Oruuk’s brother. The four had trained under Kohl’s father for the past two years, squiring to other members of the House’s Knighthood, but today was special, Kohl’s parents were the ruling family within the house, and their son was to be knighted.
Today, 22 new knights would be given their house coat of arms, sword and shield. Knighting took place on one of the 4 major holy days dedicated to the Kael Gods. This day was Tak mar Torval.
The two Ikao’s and Ikaonn’s fell into the parade line, led by Kohl’s parents, 10 honor guards marched with each house. The House Ikao procession marched, through the designated parade line to the Temple of Kael in Paln Kaimar. There, the four soon-to-be Knights were shown to the Knights Procession line-up, while the rest of the family and guards entered the Temple.
“We have made it Kohl! WE take our vows and then we are Knights!” Seluuk says, punching Kohl in the arm.
Kohl smiled at his friends, and turned to face Seluukk, and his other 2 companions.
“We must always remember that the foundation of justice…”
“…is strong faith!” The three finished the common Torvalish mantra and the four laughed.
The Knight’s Procession began to move into the Cathedral, as they entered through the main doors of the cathedral and into the front entrance way, they noticed a massive drape hung from the ceiling, blocking their view of what lay before them. A line of priests stood off to the side, each holding a sword, shield, and folded up tabard of the individual’s house. As each inductee moved forward, a priest stepped in behind, carrying the Knights armaments.
As Kohl approached the drape, he noted the priest that would accompany him, Sarkuun Ikaonn, a Cemeth Hune priest of Torval; he was the highest ranking Ikaonn in the church within House of Ikao, and Kohl’s half uncle.
The two smiled at each other before Sarkuun stepped in line and Kohl entered the Cathedral.
Torval is with you Kohl, but I sense the echoes of Kaimar watching as well. You are blessed! His uncle sent telepathically.
Before him, the cathedral opened up into a massive room, stained glass covered most of the ceiling and upper walls, allowing prisms of light to find it’s way into every corner of the structure.
The Knights and their escorts marched to the front, each Knight kneeling before the Alter of Kael, their escorts moved to place their wards shield before them, tabard on top of the shield and the sword to the right of the shield, each priest then placed a blessing upon the sword, dabbing the blade with holy water and then the knight’s forehead. Once completed, they took positions on the sides of the cathedral, as they exited, they rang a bell, one placed on each side of the raised dais of the cathedral. Once the final bell rang, it’s echo died to a distant memory, a small group entered from behind the alter.
Magnok-Kael Tarik Malar, the head of the Church of Kael, Magna-Koak Froduur Ikao, Kohl’s Grandfather and Archmaster of the Church of Kael, as well as Magnan-Kael Akirnol Torkil, the head of the Knights of Kael and Magnan-Kael Kurniz Skarn, Akirnol’s second in command.
The entire assembly took a knee as the church leadership entered the room.
“Rise!” Magnok-Kael Tarik Malar’s voice boomed and the assembly, save for the Knights, rose as one.
“Today, new soldiers in the battle against our enemies, Dha’Ark, shall be anointed in divine radiance. Each shall take The Vow, where Torval himself will pass judgment. His Judgment will instruct the young Knights before us of their triumphs and failings, past, present and future.”
Magnok-Kael Tarik Malar moved forward on the dais, his arms spread wide; he looked the sky and opened the ceremony with a short prayer to Torval.
“Take succor in His strength
Steel thy soul with His word
Armor thy personage in faith to He
Arm thy self with His will”
One by one, the small group moved in front of a kneeling knight and placed a crown, seemingly fashioned from pure light, on his or her head. One by one, each performed the sacred vow, and as each completed the Vow, the leader of the Knights order knighted them. Kohl uttered a final silent prayer, he told Torval that he pledged his eternal soul to him. As he finished, Magnok-Kael Tarik Malar stood before him, the crown placed on his head, he began to recite his vow.
I shalt not suffer followers of Dha’Ark to live.
Kohl is in a cave, a small spider-like parasite is running deeper into the tunnel, Kohl loses sight of the creature and stops his chase.
I shall root out and destroy evils such as Dha’Arkeshi, the servants of Dha’Ark, and those who wield corrupt magic, wherever they may hide.
As the Eye Tyrant comes to bare down on a fallen companion, Kohl, already gravely wounded, throws himself in front of the assault, with the last reserves of his strength, he cleaves the beast in half, killing it.
I shall not suffer Torval’s Justice to go unheard.
Kohl watches as a foreign tribunal passes judgment on a man he should have defended, the man is burned at the stake.
I shall preserve thy judgment from fear or favor.
Kohl’s sword swings down over a figure on an executioner’s chopping block.
I shall bear true allegiance to Law.
“I was tricked by foul magics! I never would betray my faith!” the blind man pleaded. “I am sorry my friend, you must be judged.”
I shall observe all the rites and rituals of Torval.
Kohl stands in a grand Cathedral, at the head of the dais, commencing the ritual of Knighthood on a group of Knights.
I shall always comport thyself with honor and dignity.
Kohl moves stealthfully up behind an unsuspecting figure, he raises a war axe and brings it down, cleaving the individual through the skull.
I shall show no mercy to the enemies of Law.
Kohl wades through a warcamp filled with soldiers of Dha’Ark, rounding a burning tent he runs into a fleeing human woman, holding a baby. Kohl grants passage. He turns to see the woman brandashing a whicked dagger from the folds of the baby’s blanket and buries it in the back of one of Kohl’s men.
I shall honor the greatest gifts of Torval; Wisdom and Might.
Kohl sits in meditation between two warring camps. The two leaders look to Kohl to side with their ideals and beliefs, but both are foreign, if united, they would come together to best a common, greater enemy.
I shall pass judgment on matters when required or asked and be the soul performer of dispensing said justice.
Kohl stands before a group of adventurers, their grievance; a horned humanoid has taken something. Kohl hears both parties and declares the accused “thief” innocent.
I shall not fear to wield the sword of justice when necessary.
An angry mob pelts a woman condemned for being a heretic, the priest shouting that the woman is a creature of darkness, a blasphemous witch endangering the lives of his faithful flock. Kohl steps forward and defends the woman, knowing the condemnation is purely racial bias and fear mongering.
I shall not allow thyself to become a tool of injustice or heresy.
A shadowy figure hands Kohl a sack of coin from across the table.
“There is twice that when the job is done and she is dead.” He says.
Kohl plants a dagger through the shadowy figure’s hand, pinning him to the table.
“I am not a murderer for hire!” Kohl says.
I shall safeguard the knowledge of the Kael rites of Ascendancy.
Kohl is chained on a rack, arms and legs outstretched; he shows wounds from being badly beaten and tortured.
“Where do I find this ritual!?” a females voice purrs from behind.
Kohl remains silent, even as a dagger, molten hot, is sunk into the meat of his thigh. The woman moves in front of Kohl and pulls the dagger out.
She is a thing of beauty; soft, pale, elvish features mask the cold evil interior of the creature standing before him.
“I wish to become a god, show me the ritual and you will live…”
Kohl doesn’t even make eye contact.
“If you kill me, my God will take me into his fold, I will die with the knowledge that I did not betray his trust.”
The dagger flashes up and through Kohl’s chest.
“That is fine, go to your God; I have others of your kind that I am sure will break with far less effort.”
Kohl looks down at the dagger buried in his chest, the handle moving slightly with each remaining beat of his heart.
Kohl falls into oblivion and is met by a familiar radiant warmth he has been apart from for too long.
“Welcome home Son.” A booming deific voice echoes.
Kohl opens his eyes, and looks to Magnok-Kael Tarik Malar, who is now placing the tabard over Kohl’s shoulders, Magna-Koak Froduur Ikao hands his grandson the shield, and Magnan-Kael Akirnol Torkil taps the point of the sword to Kohl’s chest. Kohl jerks slightly, having just experienced his own death.
“I knight you Kohl Ikao, may Torval’s Justice be carried out where ever you are.” Magnan-Kael Akirnol Torkil moves the sword out enough for Kohl to take the blade in his hands and raises it to his lips to kiss.