RP:Arkhen's Paladin and Aramoth's Faithful
Part of the Thy Kingdom Come Arc
Part of the Rise of Larket Arc
Summary: With Kasyr sent on his way, Hildegarde attempts to find some rest and respite for the evening only for Kelovath to stumble onto her camp. The paladin had been present at the disastrous caravan and had seen first hand what had happened there. Kelovath and Hildegarde speak of faith and find common ground there.
Hildegarde, having sent Kasyr off on his way, sighs heavily as she gazes around the makeshift military camp. It was a small camp: consisting mostly of giants which made it seem large, but the numbers were still relatively small. Not large enough to be an army, more likely to be considered a warband. The Silver’s fingers flex around the shaft of her halberd before she lifts the weapon up slightly and moves off towards a small and isolated campfire: it’s smaller than what a giant would use, so it is either in place for elves and humanoids or it serves some other purpose within the camp. The knight has no use for fires – in fact, the heat is dangerous for one of her kind – but staring into the flickering fire helps her to pass the time. It makes her thoughtful. Hildegarde sits down near the fire – not close enough to be too warm, yet not so distant as to be excluded from its warmth – and sets her halberd across her lap. “Aramoth give me strength,” she murmured.
Kelovath rode on the back of his loyal steed, Cobalt. From a distance, the beast probably didn't appear to be a suitable mount, but in a fight, the weasel could be much more flexible than a normal horse. The paladin truly enjoy his new friend, although he wished the ride was smoother. Riding a large weasel wasn't exactly the easiest thing to do, especially in armor. He made due, of course, thanks to the saddle and reins moving somewhat gracefully from the picnic area. The same area that the paladin had just recently killed a giant. Making his way toward the camp and seeing the giants put the armored man into a more tense position. Readying himself for a possible fight. Brown eyes just happen to take notice of one familiar shape. The Halberd. Not Hilde, but her weapon. Never before had Kelovath seen someone so effortlessly wield such a weapon, other than Hilde. He watched Silver approach the fire and sit. Dismounting from Cobalt, and not being quiet about it, the paladin made his way to Hildegarde. "I believe Aramoth will answer your request." He spoke with a smile.
Hildegarde had seen stranger mounts in her time amongst The Eyrie, but never had she seen a weasel of this size. The approach of the beast and rider, however, doesn’t appear to overly bother her. She sits upright and eyes the man, but her stare is not hostile nor aggressive. It’s more curious than anything else. He’s familiar, not terribly so, but familiar enough that she believes him not to be a threatening presence. As he dismounts from the weasel and approaches the fire, the knight offers him a smile in turn. “You sound certain of that,” she replied, before gesturing to one of the logs that served as a little bench, “come join me, stranger,” she invites politely; warmth in her voice like fire. “You know much of the gods?”
Kelovath bowed at the waist just enough to be polite and accepted the invitation presented. Before being seated, the paladin removed the sword and sheath attached to his side and replied. "I know enough, yes." Once seated, the weapon was placed off to the side and on the same side, did Cobalt find a comfy enough place to curl up. Kelovath watched his mount the entire time before chuckling softly and speaking to the weasel. "You can sleep anywhere, huh? Silly beast." Getting back to Hildegarde now, "The Gods are funny. They help when you need it most, from my experience. But it's the small things...The simple things that you must conquer on your own. Those are also what seem to take up more time. Delaying you from your ultimate goal." The man laughs a bit and gives a few shakes of his head before allowing his gaze to focus on Hildegarde. "But if you seek help, they will always be there. Without us, there is no them."
Hildegarde waved her hand at the little bow, “Oh, you need not bow to me,” she assured the polite paladin, “I’m not quite so important for that.” She had never been terribly comfortable with such symbols of respect or such posturing. It had its uses here and there, but the majority of the time it wasn’t something she enjoyed. As the beast curled up comfortably, the knight smiled at it. She had a soft spot for beasts such as him, but for now she wouldn’t comment on it. “I never did have much faith, until I needed the Gods the most,” she replied with a tight smile. A challenging situation then, when she needed the Gods to give her strength. “And since that day, I have had faith. I pray almost daily,” she was no strict worshipper nor paladin, but she was faithful enough. Rumours abound Frostmaw that Hildegarde was, indeed, the daughter of Aramoth. Of course, there was nothing to substantiate it, but rumours fluttered around the realm like mad.
Kelovath couldn't help but to smile at now knowing that Hildegarde prayed. It warmed his heart. Or maybe that was the campfire. No. It wasn't the campfire. "I am happy to hear that. Faith is a powerful thing. I would be dead at least twenty times over were it not for my faith." Thinking back, he knew his fate would be so much worse than only death. "Aramoth is a strong, spirited god. You have surely done him proud, whether through your battles or words." A soft smile remained on his features as the armored man spoke. He truly did feel more than content in his moment. His most recent travels were spent mostly alone and the last couple of conversations since returning to Hollow reminded him of why he called this place home. "Just the other day, during the so-called 'party' near by, my faith kept me alive. It will do the same for you."
Hildegarde grinned a little at his comment about being dead if it were not for his faith. “I would be dead too, if not for faith,” quite literally! If it had not been for the faith of Leone, Hildegarde would still remain a stone cold corpse. “I have fought in many battles. While I have no love for needless war or conflict, I believe in the words of Aramoth. Though, I suppose, I interpret them in my own way. Strength through courage, honour in deed and word, justice through hardship,” she said it all quite thoughtfully. “You know I worship Aramoth. Who do you worship, stranger?”
Kelovath spoke certainly, "I follow Arkhen. God of Light and Order. God of Sacrifice." The next part, he spoke with a bigger smile. "I am a paladin of Arkhen. My life is his. And it's the only way I would want it. Before arriving in Hollow, I was a slave. The last time I was sold, my owner brought me to Hollow. Arkhen presented me with a path. I accepted without looking back." During all this, the paladin had closed his eyes, almost like he was enjoying the memory. In truth, he was. Being saved from that life is exactly what gave him life. Once he stopped speaking aloud, the paladin lowered his head and whispered to himself. "Thank you." His thanks was for Arkhen. Moments after those two words, Cobalt yawned. Somewhat loudly, which caused Kelovath to laugh. "He can be so rude sometimes."
Hildegarde listened carefully to every word the paladin had to offer. His brief tale of being a slave, his whispered thanks: it all had Hildegarde leaning forward with interest. But before the knight can say a word, she is distracted by Cobalt’s loud yawn, which makes the knight chortle goofily at the sight. “Hardly rude,” she excused the dire weasel. After a moment of silence, she speaks again, “I am sorry that you endured such, but I am pleased that through it you found your calling in life and your faith,” she said gently. “Such a life could not have been easy. Your God has chosen the right man, clearly!” she smiled, glad to know the man who had helped had been a man of faith and justice. “I prayed to Arkhen once. Him, Lore and Aramoth all at once when I needed all the strength I could get,” she explained. “Do you have a name, sir? Or I must I address you as Arkhen’s faithful?” her question is light, evidently not to be taken too seriously.
Kelovath said to you, "Kelovath Khamsin. Arkhen's faithful is much too formal. And kind of uppity, don't ya think?" He laughed at the thought, unknowning as to how to respond to such a thing while out and about. Cobalt lifted his head this time and casually looked around before settling back into his sleeping position. And then yawned again. The paladin ignored him his time around, since he wasn't speaking, and didn't find it quite as rude. "I would ask your name, but I heard you during the gathering. You are Hildegarde. Queen, if you hear it from some. Traitor, should it come from the other Giants, eh? Maybe not traitor...Regardless of what they think, I am more curious as to what you think. Of yourself."
Hildegarde dipped her head at the name and laughed all the same, “Much too formal, yes,” she agreed with a smile. “Kelovath Khamsin,” she repeated the name as if to commit to memory, “an honour to meet you.” As he says her name and dubs her a Traitor-Queen, she offered a little shrug of her shoulder. “What I think of myself? I am but a knight, who serves her people as best she can. I died. I live again. Someone usurped the throne of my long absent Queen and I must reclaim it. I must defend the people who Balgruuf would harm,” she explains. “I am just Hildegarde. A mere woman who wishes to uphold the law. Nothing special.”
Kelovath didn't offer a smile or much emotion at all as she spoke. He focused deeply on her words, like they were a puzzle. Kelo did so enjoy puzzles. He took a moment or two before deciding to respond. The entire time, his eyes did not leave Hildegarde. "You are much more than a mere woman. I was at the gathering. I may have been slightly preoccupied, but nobody could miss how the others flocked to you. How they gathered around you was much more than what a mere woman could do. You inspire people, Hildegarde. They lifted their weapons for you." He quickly shrugged. "And yes, for Frostmaw, no doubt. But because of you, they do that for Frostmaw." Lifting an armored hand and gesturing toward the night sky, he continued. "Aramoth sees that. As does Arkhen, as a blessing was given to me, which saved my life during the riot. Arkhen supports your cause. As do I." The paladin's smile grows a bit, but his eyes never shift from Hilde. "You -are- special. Never doubt that."
Hildegarde did not find the continuous stare disquieting. She was used to staring down opponents or long assessing looks when people desired to find a weakness in her. While Hildegarde may have rallied loyalty and ferocious courage in people, she was an ugly woman to look at. Perhaps she had a beautiful heart, but a beautiful face she did not. Missing an eye, her jawline and cheek mottled and burned, her nose crooked and always looking an angry red from a vicious break: she is by no means pretty or special in terms of looks. “I would lay my life down for them,” she answered after a brief silence. “I stand shoulder to shoulder with any who would willingly fight with me or for my cause. I am above no man and I think… I think people respect that equality,” she reasoned, though she did not seem entirely certain. As he tells her to never doubt being special, she chortled slightly, “Ah, but not so special as to miss an evening prayer! You’re welcome to join, if you so wish, Kelovath Khamsin,” she invites, “but I understand if your holy duties call you elsewhere.” She rises from her little perch by the fire, halberd in hand as she stands tall and prepares to depart for prayers.
Kelovath said to Hildegarde, "I'd love to join you."