Chronicles of the Graceful Knight

Chapter One: Old Loyalties

The story begins on Delphi, in the Anschok City West Region. Two Scravers and an Ur-Obun priest have been called to meet with Duke Montgomery Hawkwood. When they arrive, they are greeted by the Duke, as well as an Imperial envoy named Sir William Hawkwood, and an Urth Orthodox Bishop named Mignasi.

The two Scravers, an inventor named Paxton and a doctor named Wulfric, introduce themselves to the Duke and his guests, as does the priest, Enhenduanna. They are soon introduced to a noblewoman named Baronet Koralia Justinian Hawkwood, a baronet of Delphi and newly appointed Questing Knight, and her Ur-Ukar bodyguard Kadan. The Scravers and the priest are told that they have been selected as Imperial Cohorts, to accompany and serve Lady Koralia as needed.

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Chapter Two: Whispered Truths, Spoken Lies

Lady Koralia and her entourage arrive in the Lemankainen system. They have heard rumors regarding facilities on the outer planets in the system, and wish to investigate. They quickly get to work finding a shuttle they can hire to take them to the planets. They find a Charioteer pilot by the name of Captain Jameson, who comes highly recommended.

Their first destination is Shylkor, the third planet from Lemankainen’s sun. This world has, until recently, been held by the Vuldrok. According to rumor, the Vuldrok occupying forces mysteriously left a few months ago. There is allegedly a Second Republic facility of some kind on the planet’s surface, but its purpose has been lost to the mists of time.

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Chapter Three: Blood and Heresy

The group travels to the lifeless planet of Mord, where an old Diaspora era facility is rumored to hide. With their expert captain behind the wheel, navigating the asteroid field and finding Mord is easy. There is only one structure on the surface of the small planet, and they figure that this must be what they are looking for. It is roughly large enough to drive a loading truck into, but not much more than that. Inside, they find a freight elevator, and they go down.

There are strange symbols on the walls in this place. They look to be made of blood. Kadan investigates them, touching them and seeing their drawing. They are indeed blood, and were painted on by a strange looking man in the robes of a priest. This entire facility is cold and humid, and something about the place makes their skin crawl. But, at least the power is on (though it’s flickering and inconsistent), and there seems to be life support.

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Chapter Four: Parties and Paranoia

The group has arrived on Byzantium Secundus, and Paxton leaves the group for a few hours, saying that he has an appointment to keep. Shortly after making planetfall from Cumulus Station, Lady Koralia is greeted by an envoy, bearing a missive from Marquessa Lakoya Skareenon Asttanyani, the governess of Byzantium Secundus. The Marquessa has invited Lady Koralia and her entourage to a masquerade ball in two days’ time. Lady Koralia knows that inviting Questing Knights to formal parties such as this is something of a fad among the nobility at the moment, and graciously accepts. The envoy gives Lady Koralia a card for an artisan that specializes in making masks.

The group commissions masquerade masks: Lady Koralia orders a mask of a golden lion with a resplendent mane. Enhenduanna orders a mask in the fashion of an Empyrean Intelligence. Kadan orders a mask of a serpentine skull in black and red. Paxton already owns a masquerade mask, fashioned similarly to a gas mask. Doctor Wulfric excuses himself from the ball, stating business elsewhere on the world with the Scravers.

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Chapter Five: Conspiracies

During their stay in Byzantium Secundus, Paxton has arranged a meeting with Consul Oliver Lords of the Scravers to arrange for the sale of his magic lantern fashions, and an auction to sell some of the technology they recovered in the Lemankainen system. Both events go swimmingly, with the group coming away a few Firebirds richer, and Paxton walking away with a contract with the Scravers regarding the production and sale of his designs.

After leaving the meeting with Consul Lords, a Gannok wearing colorful clothing approaches the group. None of them had ever met a Gannok before, but knew of their reputation. This one approaches Lady Koralia directly, and told her that he needed to speak with her, in private, regarding a matter of utmost importance. Lady Koralia realizes that this man is Stuckaneer, the Emperor’s personal court jester. She quickly agrees, and escorts him to her rooms.

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Chapter Six: Family Ties

Lady Koralia and her entourage make haste to reach Bannockburn. They manage to get lucky, and find a Muster Ship, called the Steel Nightingale, which is leaving the next day from Cumulus Station, heading on a direct path to the space station Fort Saint Elmo. The group agrees to do some work for the ship’s captain, a Muster sergeant by the name of Alfonso Goldenbach, in exchange for nicer quarters.

They are in transit for fifteen days, then spend most of another day filling out paperwork regarding the nature of their visit to Bannockburn, most of which Lady Koralia fabricates.

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Chapter Seven: Prophecy of a Lost World

After several days with Stuckaneer’s family on Bannockburn, assisting them in their recovery, Lady Koralia is approached by Dillon and Laura. They tell her that a woman named Oracle Larissa wished to see her.

Lady Koralia decides to go alone, despite the protests of Kadan. Paxton seems to only half hear that she is even leaving, he is so preoccupied with his inventions. Doctor Wulfric continues to tend to the needs of the Gannok, who, though they have remarkable recovery speeds, are still not fully healed from their ordeal.

The twins lead her through the streets of Gailoch, coming eventually to what appears to be a small bookstore in a nicer part of the city. They lead her inside, and to a door behind the counter.

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Chapter Eight: The Devil in the Mists

Lady Koralia and her entourage head back to Commander Brandon Estes to let him know that they wish to head to the Hapi Sea to the south to explore. Commander Estes, for his part, has not actually been “holding down the fort” on the shuttle: he went out carousing the previous night, and he muses aloud that Gizeh is a wonderful place, and may be better off without the influence of the Known Worlds and the Empire. Kadan and Paxton seem inclined to agree, but do not voice their opinions.

The trip to the Hapi Sea takes nearly eight hours, as the shuttle’s speed is severely reduce in atmospheric flight.

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Chapter Nine: Leaving a Forgotten World

Lady Koralia and her entourage make haste, via Commander Brandon Estes’ shuttle to the Hapi Sea, where they fear agents of the Invisible Path are already en route. While they are in transit, Commander Estes calls Lady Koralia into the cockpit of the shuttle to inform her that he has a fix on the tracking beacon from the second shuttle.

It is, in fact, in the rough vicinity of the ruins they discovered when they were in the area several days ago, but it is currently a fair number of kilometers to the north west, and seems to be parked. He tells her that the location roughly corresponds to the area of one of the Ming’s mysterious crystalline monoliths.

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Chapter Ten: Of Priests and Rivals

Lady Koralia and her entourage are in the midst of travelling to the Domaldo Cathedral in Anschok City when they are waylaid by a large, heavily armed Vorox, demanding that Lady Koralia come with him. Sir Evander steps up to protest, but is quickly felled by a few well-placed shots from the Vorox. A quick check of his body by Doctor Wulfric reveals that the ammunition used on the Baronet was merely stun rounds: he will be fine in a few hours, though he is likely to be sore.

Seeking to prevent a further scene, Lady Koralia agrees to go with the Vorox. He divests them of weapons and shield cores, and leads them to an armored van, and loads them into the back. The van begins moving, just as the group hears the sirens of local authorities.

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