Maidens of the Kaleidoscope

~Hakurei Shrine~ => Patchouli's Scarlet Library => Topic started by: Joveus Molai on September 16, 2012, 04:13:59 AM

Title: The Lion, The Wolf, The Wasp, And The Hawk [Dark Souls fanfic] [Complete]
Post by: Joveus Molai on September 16, 2012, 04:13:59 AM
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The following consists of canon knowledge mixed with generous helpings of my own headcanon. Spoilers for Dark Souls ahead.


The Old Knight

Ah, new here aren?t you, lad? Ha ha, worry not, I?m no mind-reading sorcerer, every new face around here comes from the asylum nowadays. Come, sit, warm yourself by the bonfire and rest. It?s safe here?or at least, it?s as safe here as anywhere will ever be in these dark times.

Me? Oh, I am but a humble old knight. Once I rode under the banner of the great lords of Anor Londo, but that is all in the past now. No need to bow, lad, I was never a great knight?my sword arm was strong, true, but I never had the brave heart of a true knight. Perhaps that?s why I got to be so old, ha ha!

The Bells of Awakening? Pah, a fool?s errand, that. In all the time I?ve been here I?ve seen scores of undead like you try to ring those bells. I would bet my old sword that those Bells are but rumors, made by the desperate to kindle even the spark of hope. But do not let the words of a tired old man dampen your spirits. Perhaps it will be you who is the Chosen Undead, hmm?

Your journey will no doubt take you far, lad. If you keep your wits about you, you might even see fair Anor Londo. Oh, to see the City of the Gods once more! I tell you, lad, you will see many things in your wanderings here in Lordran, but you will never see anything so glorious as Anor Londo. Great spires of ivory, shining in the light of the afternoon sun; the bridges that move up and down by artifice.

But the gods that lived in Anor Londo?no, not all the shining halls and great artifice could match their wonder. The Queen of Sunlight Gwynevere, her beauty unmatched; Lord Gwyn, the ever-wisest. And who could forget the Four Knights of Gwyn?

Did I know them, you ask? Nay, lad, I only glimpsed them from afar when I was but a young boy. But their tales?those I remember.

Stay a while and listen, lad, and have a sip of that estus. Let me tell you about Lord Gwyn?s Four Knights: the greatest heroes this land ever did see?   
Title: Re: The Lion, The Wolf, The Wasp, And The Hawk [Dark Souls fanfic]
Post by: Joveus Molai on September 16, 2012, 04:15:33 AM
The Lion

The Four Knights of Gwyn were to be equals; in the Lord?s eyes, no one knight was greater than any other. But there was one whose renown spread so far and wide that they often called him the Captain of the Four Knights.

He was Ornstein, the Dragonslayer.

His armor shone like the very sun, as though it were forged of solid gold. The red crest that adorned his helm would fan out in the wind, like a crimson mane. The terrible lion?s visage etched into his visor struck fear in his enemies and courage in his allies. His spear, which bore the very power of stone-splitting lightning, was swift, and himself swifter. And among the Four he had no equal in dragonslaying.

Every nobleman in Anor Londo envied him; every knight in the land wished to be like him; every lady in the City of the Gods favored him. He was the shining example of the perfect knight, and more so than any other he upheld the virtues of honor and loyalty. Among the Four, he was no doubt the noblest.

Once, a baron dared to spit upon Lord Gwyn?s name, and blasphemed against him. The Lion, who could not bear this insult to his liege lord, roared his challenge and demanded a duel. The heretic cried out, saying he had no shield or armor that could withstand the Lion?s terrible spear; thus, without hesitation, Ornstein set aside his famed lance. Then the heretic cried out again, saying he had no weapon that could cleave apart the Lion?s armor; thus, without hesitation, Orstein stripped himself bare.

At last the heretic took up his mightiest arms and went against the Dragonslayer. With one blow, the Lion sundered the heretic?s weapon in two; with another, he rent the heretic?s armor into pieces. Then he seized the heretic and brought him to the feet of his Lord, that the Lord?s justice may be done upon him. The King of Sunlight honored his knight with a mighty ring, and the right to put to death the blasphemer with his own hands.

Where is he now, you ask? Some say he followed Lord Gwyn?s last command to him, to keep safe Anor Londo?s halls in his absence. But these are only rumors; no doubt he passed into memory, like the other gods of that city.
Title: Re: The Lion, The Wolf, The Wasp, And The Hawk [Dark Souls fanfic]
Post by: Joveus Molai on September 17, 2012, 01:33:37 AM
The Wolf

To be sure, each of the Four Knights did their duties with honor and pride. But among them was one who had an unbendable will of steel. He was Artorias the Wolf Knight, and they called him the Abysswalker.

Now, Artorias was not so beloved by the great lords of Anor Londo; nay, though they respected him and regarded his swordsmanship as without equal in the land, behind his back they despised him, for what little he said was coarse and uncouth, and rarely did he pay any heed to manners save in front of his liege lord. His armor, though it gleamed blue and silver the day the smiths crafted it, it was often scratched and tattered from battle--rarely did he deign to clean it save for when it would all but fall apart. Few knew him outside the Four; even then the only ones he counted as friends were a young great grey wolf and a talking cat. A curious choice of companions, no?

Yet, though Anor Londo's highborn scorned him, the commonfolk loved him, for he was without doubt the bravest knight of all, and he never once turned aside the cries of the weak and the innocent.

Once, there was a great beast that savaged the land. Such was its might that even the other Four trembled before it. With its horrendous claws it crushed two-score towns and brought  whole castles crashing down; with its terrible jaws it swallowed whole a hundred of Lord Gwyn's faithful knights. But the Wolf, seeing the plight of fair Lordran, he took up his sword and without hesitation went forth to slay that beast.

They fought for seven days without rest, through drowning rains and bitter cold. On the eighth, not a palm's breath free of wounds on his body, Artorias summoned the last reserves of his strength, whereupon he split the fell beast in twain with a blow so mighty the very earth shook. In his honor, Lord Gwyn fashioned for him a new sword and a shield, and a magical ring, saying, "Look upon this knight and see how he masters his fear as he had mastered his sword; look upon him, and give him honor."

Where went this great knight? Alas, his is a tale of bitter victory. Years ago, the land of Oolacile fell prey to a horrific curse from the Abyss, their fair princess taken by a dark power.  Artorias was sent to save this princess, and rescue her he did! But as his last stroke fell on the dark creature that had ravaged Oolacile, his wounds overtook him, and he fell, his body forever lost to be Abyss.

Oh, lest I forget, lad; listen not to the vile rumors that the great Artorias made pacts with the dark beings of the Abyss. If he walked the halls of that horrid place he did so because he knew no fear, not because he prostituted himself to those foul creatures. No loyal subject of Gwyn would ever make deals with the Abyss, mark my words.
Title: Re: The Lion, The Wolf, The Wasp, And The Hawk [Dark Souls fanfic]
Post by: Joveus Molai on September 22, 2012, 02:43:40 AM
The Wasp

Alongside the knights of Gwyn, there were also the Lord?s Blades. These women were of steely nerves and guile cunning: where the knights were the sword and shield of Lordran, the Blades were the hidden knife. And first among these redoubtable women was the Wasp Knight, Ciaran.

To tell the truth, there is little I can say for certain of the Wasp; few knew much about any of the Lord?s Blades, much less Lord Gwyn?s most favored.  Some say she was as cold as the winter snows, but who can say for sure? For as little as Artorias spoke, Ciaran said even less. Others say she was as beautiful as the silver moon itself, but who could be certain? For few have seen her face beneath her porcelain mask. Rumors and whispers clung to the Wasp Knight like a shadow, and shadows were all that was seen of the Lord?s sharpest Blade.

Only one thing was truly known; among the Four Knights, the blade-work of the Wasp was the finest. Oh, I see the surprise on your face, and blame you not for it, for how could the Lion, the Wolf, and the Hawk be so outdone? But I tell you the truth. Ornstein was immaculate with his lance, and Artorias unmatched with the blade, and no marksman could surpass Gough with a bow?but Ciaran? I remember one summer day, long ago, when she demonstrated her mastery of arms for all the knights of Anor Londo. No crude hacks and chops for the Wasp Knight?nay, she was at once a painter and a dancer. With a golden brush in one hand and a silver brush in the other, with the flesh of her foes as her canvas and the blood of her enemies as her paint, she danced a sublime dance of death. They say her foes wept in rapture even as she cut them to pieces. 

But I ramble. Here is a tale I heard once, when I was but a young squire:

In the old days, soon after the beginning of the Age of Fire, when stone and fog had given way to light and fire, there were some who rejected the rightful authority of Gwyn and the other Lords of Flame and Death. As blasphemous as these rebels were, though, they had fought alongside Lord Gwyn against the Everlasting Dragons, and their might was great?so great that Lord Gwyn laid siege to them for ten years, and still their walls resisted him.

On the eve of the eleventh year of that great siege, it is said that he called his sharpest Blade to him, whispered into her ear a command, and sent her away. The next morning, when the knights of Gwyn took up their arms and charged the walls once more, they found that only corpses were manning them, each killed by poison or blade. Ten-thousand hardened warriors had held the city; ten-thousand dead filled the streets and battlements when it fell. The Lord of Sunlight honored his Blade with a ring, and granted her a boon; Ciaran immediately asked that she be granted a white mask of soft porcelain, and Lord Gwyn acquiesced.

I tell you, many vied for this knight?s hand. I thought about it once, myself, though that was when I was foolish young man, thinking more with my heart than with my head! But she spurned all suitors, no matter their stature or skill at arms. Some whispered that there was indeed one man in heart?but if such a man existed, it is for certain that he was admired from afar, for Ciaran was never once seen in the arms of a lover.

What happened to this mysterious knight? No one knows, and that is of little surprise. She disappeared completely soon after the great Artorias fell after his victory over the Abyss, but nothing else is known. Some say she went to wretched Oolacile, as Artorias and Gough did. Others say she went and hid herself, and faded into the ages. Who knows? Perhaps no one will. But take warning, my boy, and pursue not the Wasp! For they say that she had little love for humans, as she saw them as greedy, petty creatures.   
Title: Re: The Lion, The Wolf, The Wasp, And The Hawk [Dark Souls fanfic]
Post by: Joveus Molai on September 23, 2012, 02:59:39 AM
The Hawk

The last Knight I will tell you about, lad, was not a half-god like the others of the Four, but was of the race of Giants. Ha, I see the surprise on your face,  and blame you not for it! But I tell you, Hawkeye Gough was no dumb brute like others of his kind. Indeed, he was the Captain of Archers, and no other knight was as eager as the Hawk in slaying the mighty dragons.

Even you must have heard of Gough?s marksmanship, my boy. Only one other matched him in his skill, the legendary Pharis, and even the Black Archer could only match Gough with his sight intact! Always remember, lad, that the marksmanship of Gough was never diminished despite his lack of sight. Even when blind, Gough could cut the wick of a burning candle from a hundred paces, or pierce the heart of a foul drake even as it flew through the air.

But greater than his skill with a bow was his sage wisdom, and oftentimes his fellow Knights came to him for advice. He knew much, and was eager to share his knowledge, even among the least of Lord Gwyn?s subjects, for unlike his companions he liked the meek humans. They say that among the Four Knights of Gwyn, Gough was most like the commoners he so loved. He spoke readily with humans; his manner was often as a commoner?s; and he exulted in the humble art of woodcarving. Like Artorias, whom he held in high regard, the Hawk was ill-liked by the highborn of Anor Londo.

Alas, despite his wisdom, Gough held neither suspicion nor prudence in his heart, and so he was easy to fool. Once, Gough and a band of his finest archers went forth to slay a dragon. The terrible beast slew many of his men and scattered them, but the Hawk stood firm and loosed arrow after arrow, until he brought the dragon low. Lord Gwyn honored him with an enchanted ring and armor made from the dragon?s own bones, and in his joy Gough swore upon his great bow, which felled ten score and more dragons, that he would wear those vestments ?til the day of his death.

But those who dismissed him as a foolish brute put resin in the visor of his new helm, and deceived him into wearing it before he could realize their mischief. Upon realizing his blindness, he declared, ?Sooner would I cut out my own heart, and hurl myself off Anor Londo?s great towers, than be an oathbreaker and remove from my head this helm blessed by my own lord.? And so he taught himself to shoot his bow without his eyes, to see with the whispers of air and the tremblings of the earth, and went forth and slew another ten score and more dragons.

So where went this knight? He went to Oolacile when he heard that the foul Abyss was spreading in that place. But alas, he has not been heard of since?they say that some humans, driven mad when their humanity ran amok, deceived him and locked him away in a tower. How lamentable, that such a fate fell on that great knight! Perhaps if he had not fallen for the human's trap, the great Artorias might not have lost his life in that wretched land of Oolacile.     
Title: Re: The Lion, The Wolf, The Wasp, And The Hawk [Dark Souls fanfic]
Post by: Joveus Molai on September 23, 2012, 03:37:57 AM
The Executioner

Hm? You say you?ve heard of one other Knight? You must be mistaken, lad, for?

No, no no no. Not him. If, when you set out on your journey, you remember naught of my tales, then make certain to remember this: that wretch, that foul knave Smough, he was no knight. What sort of knight grinds the bones of his victims to spice his food? That is the way of an animal, not of a true knight. The name Smough is a stain on the memory of Anor Londo.

Nay, he was never one of the Four, though he lusted for that title as a drunkard would a cheap whore. They say that Ornstein berated him, once, for his disgusting behavior; surely that is why that wretch heaps abuse on the Lion when the Lion is not listening, and why his hate for the Captain of the Four burns brighter than the sun itself.

If on your journeys you come across the Executioner, make sure to flee, lad! For all the dishonor that stains him, the blood of victims blackens his great hammer more! If luck be with us, then he would have died long ago with only his sins accompanying him, but I take no stock on such things. Keep your sword ready and your wits about you, should you meet Smough the Bone-Chewer on the road.   
Title: Re: The Lion, The Wolf, The Wasp, And The Hawk [Dark Souls fanfic]
Post by: Joveus Molai on September 23, 2012, 03:50:53 AM
The Chosen Undead

And that is the end of my tales. Is that sleep I see lurking in your eyes, making your head nod and your lids droop with slumber? Ha ha, no need it to hide it, my boy! I am a knight, or what passes for one, and I admit, the art of bards is beyond me.

Ah, I see that in your hollowed eyes lie not even the tiniest speck of fear. That is good?courage will carry you far in these times. Just take care to not let that courage become recklessness, lest your soul become as hollow as your eye sockets! Be brave, but be patient; listen to you what your senses tell you, and be sure to be prepared; watch your foes for weakness, and exploit it; and beyond all else, surrender not to despair. I do not know if you are what the legends say, but?I have seen too many promising young men and women turn hollow. Make certain that you yourself avoid that fate.

Take heart, be strong,  keep your sword sharp.

And may the flames guide you.