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Alfred Klios
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Race

Human

Birthplace

Klios Estate, Asgarnia

Age

60 (Appears as young as 28)

Religion

Liberal Saradominist

Former Occupations

  • White Knight of Falador
  • Gate Guardian of Gielinor Academy
  • Knight Errant to Tawariell Valengale
  • Diplomat and Grandmaster of Academy of Heroes
  • Knight Captain of Galewood
  • Lord Protector of Ashdale

Status

Alive

Current Occupations

  • Heir to House Klios
  • Priest of the St. Elspeth Citharede Abbey
  • Captain of the Silver Steel


Ahlsphietes Alfred Augustus Klios is the human Hero character played by the runescape player Ahlsphietes

Appearance

In his youth, Alfred was an ideal image of Asgarnian male beauty that swooned the ladies of Falador's courts. His posture was proud, his face a slight tan with hair and beard a blood red crimson with a proud rigid chin and nose. He could sport a smile that would melt away a young maiden's heart and cause her to faint on the spot.

After the curse of flesh set upon him by Ren the Vyrekin, his mortal body reversed to a former age of his later 20's. He maintains a short and full beard covering his jawline and lips. His body is stout and strong standing at a height of 72 inches grown in strength to a weight of 220 pounds in his years as a warrior. His shoulders are broad and firm with from his regular burden of plated armor, with a handsome amount of strength across his chest, shoulders and upper arms. He bears a long gash of a scar of some Vyrekin or Werewolf going over his right eye, which bear the "Crimson of a Klios". This is the dominant mutation that occurred several generations before that causes a child of the Klios lineage to bear blood red irises.

As a former knight and well dressed man, Klios is hardly seen without his armor in public eye, and has often been questioned for sporting such burdensome attire in even the most inappropriate of places such as deserts. For Alfred, armor is a fashion. He will not hesitate to pour mass amounts of his wealth into a customized, durable and highly decorated suit of mail with several variants. He is seldom seem without wielding about some sort of weapon, and may carry his personal engraved lyre or Illuminated Holy Book to read from.

Personality

Alfred is a man of great prose, witty speech and educated humor. One may say he holds the pompous, proud and arrogant prose of a nobleman. He is often proud of his pedigree and rearing, and takes excellent pride in his ability in combat.

He knows great mercy and is highly introspective before passing judgement on an individual he comes to meet, but his passions can often get ahead of him in judging too quickly those who are related to his past enimies.

Alfred prefers to let his tongue do the speaking in the stead of his blade, for he values life of all beings as precious, and that partnerships and teachings may arise from such understanding. His liberal ideals have led him to be criticized by the radicals of his religion of Saradomin which led to his Exocommunication of the church. A flaw in his reserved judgement comes in the company of proclaimed Zamorakians and at times, Zarosians, whom Alfred has branded as insatiable sadists of life who's only purpose is to cause agony in the world, which has often had him abandon such people he once called friend.

Existing as a man of liberal thought and generous deed, Klios is by large, anti-empire. He believes it foolish to wear one's allegiance to a monarch and believes in the freedom of the sentient creature and empowerment of the individual, though he will always hold Asgarnia, his birthplace and home with a special closeness to his heart. Klios will only offer his blade and service to those he holds dear, placing kinship and brotherhood before beliefs and delusions of grandeur.

Chronology

Early Life

Ahlsphietes Alfred Augustus Klios was birthed on the Klios Mansion of the Klios Estate in the southern countryside of Asgarnia to the proud parents of Astineus and Agatha Klios. Young Alfred was reared in the art of literature and music at an early age, learning to read not soon after he learned to walk. He marveled at the novels and epics of the Varrockian library of ancient Human heroes such as Arrav and Robert the Strong. He was tutored to all classes of poetry, and sang in the choir of the Holy Church of Saradomin.

At the young age of
Klios squire

Alfred fitting Sir Xionus for a tournament of Arms.

seven, Alfred was sent off to study and train under a reputed Knight and good friend to the Klios Family, Sir Xionus the Stalwart. For the next decade and many years, Alfred was reared on all manners of melee combat, learning to handle well all forms of swords, axes, maces, shields, spears, and lances. Sir Xionus stressed deeply that a Master of Arms and combat was to have no preferred weapon, as favoritism is a weakness of the mind and body. His training also consisted of making long, arduous laps around the walls of Falador wearing a full suit of armor, strengthening the body's ability to resist should it come time to defend his nation.
Alfred knighting

Sir Alfred being knighted by the King of Falador.

Klios came to enjoy this life of physical rigour and hardening of the soul. It was a different life that he had grown accustomed to in the comforts of his family manor. He lived and studied under Sir Xionus and his other squires, honing his ability until the eve of his 20th birthday, where he would be deemed a knight and indoctrinated into Falador's finest army.

The White Knights

Klios became an Initiate to the White Knights following his knighting ceremony on his 20th birthday. The day led into a long night where Alfred passed out from several tankards of mead, and his mentor Sir Xionus frolicked in his bedchambers with ten of Asgarnia's most beautiful.

He quickly gained a reputation for his capability in combat as he defended Falador from her many enimies. He viewed warfare far differently from most others. To him, it was a battle of wits and skill as if all warfare were a tournament. Death was unnecessary as it would only end either participant's endeavor in becoming a far greater warrior. Following only three years of service, Sir Alfred was bestowed the tier of Proselyte.

The brovado of his comrades only fueled his ego for showmanship, and so he began to compete in tournaments of strength in his off duty, earning far more than his regular White Knight pension, and earning a name for himself amongst the various human kingdoms of the West. Over time, Sir Alfred became a man of performance and audience, and it could be seen by a very wise eye that it began to interfere with his former strong, unquestioning moral upholding of Saradomin's teachings, but this was generally overlooked within the ranks as he continued to battle on in the name of Falador, its king, and Holy Saradomin.

In the next several years, Sir Alfred rose to the rank of Partisan in his Thirty-second  year of life, holding a strong bond with his beloved group he watched over. In a personal favor requested by his superior, Sir Alfred headed out of Falador alone to meet with a wealthy silk Merchant in Al-Kharid. The two were to speak of business that would allow a White Knight escort to provide protection for a silk route between the two nations. It was slight deviation in his life, that would forever alter the path he would follow in Gielinor for the rest of his days.

A Chance Meeting

In his travel to Al-Kharid, Sir Alfred was met by a land of men far different from home. These were a society of merchants and peddlers, where greed and deceit were commonplace. Sir Alfred viewed this as queer and counter culture, a shock to see what lied beyond his nation's borders.

He had entered a local general store to find out the location of the merchant he was to contact and meet for his personal mission. In chance, his eye fell upon a placard describing an academy of reclusive individuals stationed further East, atop a great mountain. This sparked Sir Alfred's sense of adventure and grandeur that was long suppressed in his chivalric knightly duty to his king and country. He inquired further into the location of the academy with the clerk, and found it was a rather long and risky journey through a high mountain of sand to a remote location not known to outsiders.

Feeling safe that his superior would not be angered to a delay for a personal favor and not a mission, Sir Alfred gathered proper gear for the long travel ahead. He passed through the eastern gates of the Al-Kharid kingdom to the long stretch of desert between him and this rumored Academy in the East. The trek proved to be a daunting task, taking several days as Sir Alfred was battered by sandstorm and dust devil alike. Whatever furies that nature conjured were made increasingly worse by the presence of Strykeworms that rose from the desert and caused him to flee for higher ground time and time again.

His spirits would be lifted after many days as he a spotted a hermit sitting before a pile of ruins. The man was friendly and helpful, and told Sir Alfred of a group of talented individuals existed further up the mountain. Sir Alfred left the man with coin and water for the favor, and continued up the mountain. He came across a large walled structure of adobe similar to a large mission. Sir Alfred hiked on through the large, gate-drawn arch into a beautiful Saradominist-themed tile square with a fountain held in the middle. Curious to meet the individuals he had heard so much of, he ventured further on at the end of the compound, up the long stairs and into the large, open column-supported chapel.
Citharede abbey

The St. Elspeth Citharede Abbey

Within the grand halls of the cathedral, Sir Alfred's gaze set upon the sanctimonious wedding of Arxium and Bea Ethurion, two leading members of the Gielinor Academy. His eyes left the pair at the ceremony with a keen appreciation for the beautiful Saradominist stained glass window and architecture. Soon after the vows and duties had been performed, Sir Alfred's presence was noticed. A stranger, he was approached by the Ethuri with their shared curiosity, and he explained to them how he endured the desert sands hearing of their academy by word of mouth. He was well met and commended by the middle aged Arxium, and was offered to stay in the Academy walls and learn more of their ways. Sir Alfred figured that his personal favor may wait, and he accepted this offer with great gratitude and stayed in a guest ward where he was able to rest after his long battle with the elements.

Upon the next day, Alfred arose to the sound and scene of students and mentors sparring and instructing in the square. There were classes for meditation, swordplay, and students performing chores. He felt a strange inner peace with this methodically simple way of life that was so contrasted to his life of honor and empire. Having noticed Arxium overseeing the morning's routines, Alfred met with him to ask questions about the Academy: its purpose, origins, history, alliances, anything and everything that sparked his curiosity. Arxium observed his earnest curiosity, and offered him the job of becoming a gate guardian for the Academy, to watch the sands for any signs of danger.

This saw a change in Sir Alfred's being. He was drawn strangely to this simple and purpose-driven life of self improvement. He obliged, all too easily forgetting the errand that his superior had requested be done. It was if he had stepped into the realm of another world. A month had passed that he existed in this simple society. He became close friends with Cralix the Werewolf, Aryl Thorkir the Blademaster, Boreas the Battlemage, and Grhok the sentient ogre. He felt closer to these individuals than he had with his own bannersman he went to war with shoulder to shoulder. Sir Alfred basked in this spiritual oasis in the desert. His soul felt a harmony he did not wish to ever end, the warmest and safest welcome in all of Gielinor where he belonged, but it seemed utopia was short lived.

Fall of Gielinor Academy

He rose one morning to find that most of the Academy's denizens had disappeared. This troubled Sir Alfred, as he thought that there was a great kidnapping or peril that occurred overnight. He followed a trail left in the dunes heading for the nearby Al Kharid, a day's march away with path the Academy had taken. Townspeople were gathered outside the royal house's courtyard, and as he approached more closely the guards blocked his path. He explained that he wished only to see the Gielinor Academy that was within, as he pointed out Arxium through the palace windows. He was permitted and let through the doors of the palace to find the Academy witnessing a treaty signing.

Aflred klios lich wars

Alfred Klios defending the Gielinor Academy against Kharidia.

Things quickly turned sour, and for some purpose or another, the doors broke open and groups of men began fighting. An injured Arxium was rushed out of the palace with his comrades, and Klios took to arms amongst the confusing great calamity. He fended off blows, but was forced away from his comrades to the outside of the palace as the number of men were far too great. He had to flee, there was no other option. His blade was shattered and he turned away to whisk up the mountain and retreat to the abbey, every step burdening his conscience that his friends may not have survived. He reached the gate walls, and resided in the chapel for the next many hours, grieving at the altar of his cowardice and inability to fight through the masses. The sound of shouting men had him return to the square, and witnessed a miracle that somehow his friends were alive. Unknown to Alfred, the Academy's members were warped away to the safety of the Academy by a powerful mage ally amidst the conflict. Klios went forward to embrace his friends, but his grief returned when he witnessed Arxium being carried in a stretcher to the medical ward.

Sir Alfred rushed to enter the medical ward to be met by a battle weary Boreas who would deny him entry. In his madness, Sir Alfred dug a lance into his dear friend's gut, and ran through the door to witness the Gielinor Academy's grandmaster Arxium unconscious on the bed. His body was weakened from the fighting and grief caused him to fall to his knees. In his mental torment, Bea and Ghrok barged in through the door, fearing that Sir Alfred was to end Arxium in his madness. Bea struck a dagger to his shoulder and Ghrok, a heavy axe blow to his chestplate, knocking Sir Alfred clean unconscious and splitting his armor.

Bea ordered Ghrok to throw his body off the falls, figuring he deserving death. In short that time, Kharidia's army would be at the Academy's doorstep. Sir Alfred's pitiful form was dragged out and hoisted to the side of the mountain, and dropped from the falls, landing to the water and washing ashore. His breathing faint and body battered and bruised, he lied there upon the sands sheltered only by a deadened tree for an entire day. Cralix was able to delve the great desert and find the river where Sir Alfred was lain after the fighting, feeling a strong bond with the man. Sir Alfred was taken to a nearby desert dweller's camp, and was brought back to wits and allowed to rest for several days.

Cralix enlightened him that the Academy's remaining were congregated in the Kandarin monastery to take shelter. Sir Alfred wished that they make journey at once to seek judgement from his friends he had abandoned. They traveled for many days to reach the monastery, and Sir Alfred saw that there were fewer of members, assuming that the others perished or fled to different parts of Gielinor. Within, Sir Alfred felt a great joy that his comrades were all safe, but also felt great guilt in that he had failed them all.. He witnessed Boreas had survived his lance wound and was bandaged up. Arxium was alive and well, save for a permanent cripple in his left leg. He was brought up to a council of Boreas, Aryl, and Cralix to determine his fate of execution for his deeds. Aryl was greatly angered and suggested instant death for Sir Alfred's cowardice at the battle and crazed assault of Academy members. His crushing words were met with contradiction of Boreas and Cralix, who offered opposite judgement, claiming that Sir Alfred was acting out of his passions for the Academy, and overall his life was spared.

Seeing his Comrades in a broken state, and that his pitiful life was still spared on, Sir Alfred turned away from the fallen Gielinor Academy. For the first time in his life, Sir Alfred hated himself and cursed his being. He was a coward, and had lost so much precious to him because of it. He would never forgive himself for what he did. After that day, he marched off from the monastery, ashamed and defeated, a broken man who felt the cold chill of disgrace crawl up his spine.

The Lonely Road

Sir Alfred had returned back to his home in Asgarnia, leaving what remained of the Gielinor Academy to rebuild themselves in his absence. He found the land in deeper conflict with the Kinshra, and Sir Xionus had retired from service at this point. He thought to himself that he may at least restore his honor within the Knight of White, but the idea was found to be folly. 

His departure for many months while staying with the GIelinor Academy had led the White Knights to believe he had deserted the order. He was commanded to appear at a summon to by the highest ranking of the White Knights. Were it not for his rank and reknown, they would have executed him where he stood. It was ordered that he be stripped of his title, rank, armor and blade, and be dishonorably discharged from the Order at once. Enraged at their decision at denying him a chance at redemption, Alfred turned his back upon the council and left the castle in a fury. He left Falador that day with his armor and steel in tact. He judged that he needed no mortal men to mandate or state how strong his convictions were, and became anti-empire from then on.

He returned home with a great hatred in his heart. Hatred of the order that cast him out, and hatred of himself for falling from grace. Travelling alone, he made his way deep into the Southern Asgarnian countryside to the Klios Estate. The word of his discharge has traveled back to his homeland quickly, and as he marched to the seat of the manor searching for his parent's affections from his return, he met an outraged father. Lord Astineus scorned the return of his son with the righteous anger of a dissapointed father and former White Knight. His mother had grieved thinking he was for dead all this time, but deemed his dishonorable discharge a fate worse than death. The beaten and defeated Alfred now faced the cold shoulder from his family. This crushed his soul with a great sorrow. He had nowhere else to turn. His friends, career, faith, reputation, and now family had now all fallen out of favor. 

No more words needed to be exchanged as hehad set out from his childhood home, a man who had nothing to lose with only his sword at his side. He had withdrawn what remained of his savings as the son of a Noble and a Proselyte, and poured the remainder of his wealth into risky business investments with the Asgarnian Dwarves. From then on, he traveled the many lands of the Western Kingdoms fighting in many tournaments and competitions. He would earn a reputation to his name outside of Asgarnia, and earn a living as a Fortune Fighter. It was five long years that Alfred lived this new life. His wealth began amassing quickly on the success of the risky business investments with the dwarves, and return coin from the competitions that filled bank accounts from Misthalin to Kandarin.

He had heard word that a particular fat wad of wealth and title was ripe for the taking in a tournament held for mercenaries in the Asgarnian wood near his home. He was conflicted on attending a contest so close to his place of disgrace, but he decided against his fears for the coin and glory. 

Return to Purpose

His journey to Falador led him to make a stay at the Rising Sun Inn. For several days, the Inn experienced violent clashes and fights over various organizations, so he came in at a late hour of the night and took a room upstairs. Expecting a violent group above, he was astonished to chance gaze upon a strange, rare, and graceful creature who had her back turned to him while observing the stark white castle.

Her beauty captivated him to approach. The half-elf maiden was non other than the noble Countess Tawariell Valengale of Galewood county. They shared a tea and conversed long into the night. He was told of the tale of the strife with her cursed land, and how she long wished to restore her county to its former glory. Alfred found her cause pure and purpose devout, so that he was more than willing to leave behind his renewed life of greed and dishonor to pledge to her cause. It was here that Alfred swore fealty to Countess Valengale as her Knight Errant to aid in her quest to restore her land to its former glory. Unbeknownst to Alfred, Countess Valengale had suffered the same curse and was dying as her land had been.

The raven princess

Tawariell Vanya Valengale, Countess of Galewood

Their explorations for the source of a cure had brought them Eastward to the kingdom of Misthalin and then south to Al Kharid. Countess Valengale's renown had her claim many loyal and widespread contacts whom aided in the pair's research and expeditions. They discovered from Varrock's apothecary that a rare, near extinct fungus existed in the swamps of the Hallowed Lands could offer a possible cure for both afflicted mortal and land. With Alfred's strength and cunning and Countess Valengale's knowledge and wit, they were able to tread into the Hallowed Lands, eluding the various predators that existed within to find samples of the fungi.

In their return expedition and stay in Al Kharid, Alfred had heard word of the ruins of his former society atop the mountain to the East had a colony of individuals devoted to arming and training heroes. With their successes in Morytania, Countess Valengale allowed Alfred to return to the ruins of his former home, and discovered within the chapel where he witnessed Arxium's wedding, a young Kandarin woman and associates. It was learned that some of the survivors of the last Gielinor Academy had worked with a valiant Icyene by name of Eshebi Kash to make an organization in the ruins of the old academy devoted to training heroes for Gielinor, renaming themselves the Academy of Heroes.

A large grief yet remained in Alfred's heart for his loss many years before, and he requested Countess Valengale to allow him to stay and help this new order rebuild and gain strength. She had allowed him to, and thus the pair departed for now once he had guided her back to Asgarnia with her new remedies and cures.

The Academy of Heroes

Alfred had offered his service to the Academy of Heroes as a diplomat and ambassador to help their relations with the kingdoms and organizations of the realm. It was here where he would make lasting relations and friendships with various heroes such as Baldor Greyfur, Elrond the Elf, and Katrina Avery the Kandarin. In the many months that transpired, he took arms and defend his kinsman against the many threats that often plagued their members or society as a whole and made journeys to the kingdoms of Asgarnia and Kandarin to help secure diplomatic relations.

Alfred's first manner of business was to assist Lord Elrond in attempting to mediate a meeting of the allied Kandarin and Rovin forces against the Fremmeniks of the North. The peace talks had gone sour and the battle ensued, whereby the two Academy members were forced to flee the area, managing to save Baldor Greyfur and his future Wife, Idunn Iron. Alfred's various travels had him meet with his old time rival Aryl Thorkir whom he battled against in the Kandarin Royal Arms Tournament, representing the Academy, in which he forfeited mid-battle to return for an emergency return to the abbey. In a brief stay in Ardougne's Poison Arrow Pub conversing with Elrond, the pair were happened upon by a pair of sorceresses whom would later become initiates to the Academy following Elrond's instruction. Amongst one of them was a powerful and young Fire Sorceress named Chloe, a woman from another time of Gielinor's age. It was she whom Alfred would first form a romantic relation with, and attempt to bring a family and posterity with his name into the world.

It was not long after the various diplomatic relations with Kandarin that a largescale and terrible crisis struck the Western half of the Kingdoms of men. An incredibly powerful and evil Lich Lord by the name of Thorvald had marched with an undead army to the gates of Ardougne, laying waste to the surrounding country side. The battle had taken place to the four corners of the city, and Alfred was only able to come as a late arrival after having been on leave to Misthalin. The Academy sent their best heroes to aid the Ardougne guardsman in the defense of the city and had suffered many casualties. He had managed to fight his way alone into the Eastern defense to retrieve the near dead bodies of Elrond and other compatriots and assist their retreat into the city to recover. It was many days before a party of noble men and women were able to find the source of Thorvald's power, his Phylactery, and slay him to put an end to the terrible war. After the many-day assault was over, Alfred assisted in helping the injured and returning the Academy members back safely to the mountain abbey.

Thorvald

Thorvald The Lich Lord, Battle of the East Gate.

For his deeds as a Diplomat and a heroics in the Lich War, Alfred was bestowed by Katrina and Elrond the title of Grandmaster of the Academy of Heroes. Alfred had accepted the title with dignity, and continued his role in protecting the Academy and its members with his added resources and authority. Months transpired as Alfred pressed on in helping expand the Academy's numbers and influence, which brought many new dark minds and threats to them all. He had caught word that Elrond and many other members had been held up in a large abandoned palace far to the North of the Hallowed lands after a failed rescue attempt of kidnapped members. He set out at once to follow their trail, and had assaulted the palace keep with the help of a recently freed Baldor Greyfur to fend off the kidnappers and attackers and make a succesful retreat back across the salve, with a very injured Elrond.

Upon his return, Alfred was met with a most grievous news. He had discovered that his love Chloe had pledged fealty to Zamorak and underwent a ritual to ascertain great demonic power, using their unborn son as a sacrifice for the ritual. She had passed when the process went awry and a fiery inferno consumed both woman and child. Upon finding this, Alfred was struck with a soul-leeching depression that consumed him entirely. In addition to his loss, Elrond his closest compatriot had left to aid his tribe's survival in a War of Elves in the far West, and the Academy began to scorn and detest his soon dwindling conscious. With great regret and grief, Alfred stepped down from the Academy in mourning, and left his long-lived home atop the mountain of the Kharid Desert, feeling once again alone and lost.

The Light in the Darkness

Alfred's descent into depression was a heinous and tortured existence. He questioned and scorned Saradomin and had cast out his long held teachings of piety and chivalry. For him in this moment, there was no goodness to be had in Gielinor. He saught long and hard what he had missed in this world, what he had done wrong to lose so much and gain so little.

Overtime, he had come to recognize that his obsession to try and revive his long dead order was a deathly selfish act, to having had left Tawariell's service to pursuit his selfish desires to return to an older glory days. It was this revelation that had brought him out of his dire down, and helped him come to terms with what had transpired as the result of his great selfishness. He realized what he had to do, and set out at once to return to the County of Galewood, to return in service to Tawariell and right the wrongs h
Galewood castle

The Marble Palace and Countryside of Galewood.

e had comitted.

In his journey westward into the Asgarnian countryside to Galewood, Alfred was astonished and suprised to what his crimson eyes fell upon. He found no cursed land as there was before, but a thriving community of men, traders, farmers, sons, daughters, mothers and elders living together in a rich and cultured society. Amongst the hilly and green pastures and farms there sat a shining white marble palace, that rose several dozen feet to the sky. He had pressed on with the guidance of some friendly farmers to find that the palace was the Seat of the County of Galewood, with Tawariell Valengale ruling as Countess under the King of Falador. Alfred had ran to kneel before her, his eyes wept strongly with remorse and grief for having left her service. The gentle and noble Countess Valengale had comforted him and offered him a chance at redemption, to become the Knight Captain of Galewood and a Knight of Gale in to serve her and her county. Alfred accepted without hesitance, and stood tall and pledged himself for her generous and life-altering offer.

It was many months that Alfred served his new home and Countess. It was not long that word extended to the far corners of Gielinor of the county's sucess and revival, that Aryl Thorkir had made his way to offer his military experience in Kandarin to train Galewood's militia. Alfred upheld his duty with a great honor, and restored his esteem and purpose, defending the County's borders against various threats and pillagers. It appeared he was finally able to settle in his near middle-age, the curses and ills of the past long forgotten, and replaced with something more finicky and soul-seeking in his mind. Tawariell's graceful appearance and honorable method she held herself and loved her land and its people struck a special void in his heart, that he had kept secret to himself those many months. When the torture of hiding his true feelings for her became to great, he came forth to her and confessed his love for her. Tawariell accepted his affections and embraced him with the same loving passion she had for Galewood.

It was a glorious following year for them both; Galewood prospered and gained more farmers, craftsman, militiamen and reknown that greatly expanded its borders and influence. Aryl had managed to develope a wholesome defensive unit and Alfred was able to gain more liesure to devote time to Tawariell and more managerial matters with the king of Falador. It was during this time that Alfred had beckoned Tawariell out for a morning ride on a coach out to the beach near the Asgarnian Sea, where he had knelt down before her under an old Oak tree to propose himself to be her husband, and join her by her side as the Count of Galewood. She had accepted gracefully, and his heart felt its long held-void filled with a sweetness he had never known in his entire life. For once, Alfred felt as if he could finally settle down with a loving wife to cherish for the rest of his days, and a county to watch over to prosper, but there was still a dark shadow looming over Tawariell that not even the Knight Captain of Gale could forsee.

The Ever Present Shadow

Countess Valengale's love for her people had kept the land prosperous, fruitful, and a glistening jewel in the otherwise war-torn Gielinor of the time. It seemed that all was well, this corner of the world in which a nobleman and his wife could oversee the growth of lands the two worked to make a reality.

Unknown to Alfred, his beloved's curse had not been lifted. An unknown power and grace within her soul had allowed the Countess to cleanse the plague of the land, but not within her own, decaying body. The same fungus of the Mort Myre swamps had been taken in vast quantities at her own expense to keep her semi-immortal body at bay fending off the infection, but the reagent proved impossible to culture and thus, it's nearly extinct stock became all but lost in the more accessible reaches of the Myre.

It was not until Alfred had approached his lover one certain day that the truth was brought to light. He had noticed Countess Valengale often weak, reclusive, hiding within her noble chambers even from her lover's caring gaze. She confided in him that the source of her strength had all but diminished, and her health was fading fast from the world. The news had brought the devout warrior to his knees at her bedside, sobbing, praying and begging the question, why was torment to never leave his lover's step in the world. Tawariell in her loving gaze could not allow Alfred to grief so heavily, asking that he look over her land and not let his grief overtake his soul.

Alfred had vouched for another alternative, the zealotry of his being burning a fire that could not be extinguished by curse nor grief. In his mind, he had lost so much in the world already. This was the first beautiful thing he could have cherished and thought done right in the world. Against the wishes of his beloved, he departed on expedition to the Hallowed Lands, charging the Holy Church of Saradomin to watch over Tawariell until his return. He swore to the light he would discover the cure to her blight so that she could live in beauty with the land she cherished and loved.

Journey Unto Hell

Alfred ventured eastward with a small band of bannersman, explorers and apothecaries. They saw refuge through the allied land of Misthalin, trekking eventually into the Hallowed Lands. Time had seen that the presence of humans were even less tolerable in the main Canid and Vyrekin settlements, and a small band of Saradominist explorers was not anything Al desired to place into common ear of the land, and thus he led on his learned lay of the land from previous expeditions with his beloved.

It was many moons that Alfred and his men stayed in the Myre. The merciless swamps were deeper and more treacharous than any one of the men could fathom, let alone their leader, Count Klios, who tirelessly pursued any trace the Apothecaries pointed out of the fungus' presence. The band was faced with unforseen nightmares of the lands. Ghastly creatures had spoiled their foodstores, several men succumbed to infection and trenchfoot. Reports of strange lights and creatures walking the swamps had taken several men in the night, reports of Vyrekin swooping overhead sensing the presence of so many humans in one place. The hellish 'infinite night' had taken its toll on Alfred's men physically and mentally. With half of their original count still alive and fewer not sickly, they judged the Count as a mad man, plotting to leave his company entirely in the dark and retreat immediately westward to return to their Lady they had sworn to protect.

Alfred had awoke one day to find the campfire smoldered out, a track retreating northward of men and cart. A stone placard left behind, pleading for him to return. Alfred's heart burned of hatred, scorning the thought of returning after nothing had been found and so much lost. He judged the men cowardly, following in his blind zealotry to rescue Tawariell. The only protection of the evils of the swamp, the Pendant of Light, Tawariell's keepsake, she had gifted in his care the day of their marriage.

It seemed an eternity that Alfred had journeyed endlessly in the Myre. The power of Tawariell's love and the Light protecting his mortal form from the decay of the swamps. The blackened skies never told day from night, but some chance of miracle, Alfred had stumbled upon a camp of Human Refugees, living in solitude far to the West of the horrific blood farms of Meiyerditch. Initial greetings were less than friendly, but the sight of humans enthralled the man. Clad in crusted black and tar amongst his former white and golden garb made him appear a saint risen from the grave. Still, he was able to converse with the elder of the settlement, who mentioned word of a potent medicine man deeper eastward, a day's march along a bog. Alfred rallied to the news, and swore that he would return with a vessel to retrieve the village of displaced men, women and children to the free Kingdoms of men in the West once he found his cure. Departing, he made haste for the shack of this unknown man.

The greeting was less than welcome at first, Alfred met with a rather vicious old creature, who seemed hardly man or any sentient creature, dark and ragged of breath. Upon meeting, the Count explained his predicament, description of the curse. The aged man admitted to having knowledge of medicine to treat such blights, a knowledge claimed hidden in this part of the world. Alfred's zealotry in saving his beloved blinded any other senses of a looming treachery. Upon bearing close to the man, Alfred's mind was wracked with an over-bearing influence. The strength of the necromancer had come to life, penetrating Alfred's conscious and driving the man mad. His pendant was seized, and the Count was commanded to journey whence he came, and goad the village's citizens to return to this shack. Mind controlled, Al had followed the command and brought several of the village to the Necromancer's shack and rituals in false promises of liberation. In a violent frenzy, Alfred was forced to put all the men, women, and some children to the sword, spreading their blood upon the ground for the Necromancer's twisted desires. Upon completion of the heinous act, Alfred was released from his captivity by burden of his guilt, and drove his white steel blade through the wicked sorcerer, ending his wicked existence on this plane.

Caked in the blood of innocents and wicked, Alfred's consciousness snapped, and he cried out to the night. There was some time he buried the few villagers he had slain, and a great fear and realization fell upon his mind. The passage of time seemed an eternity, the former zealotry of his spirit, now succumbed to guilt and return to reality. He rushed for the west. Days it took, until he reached the shore of the River Salve. A raft was fitted and makeshift oar paddling his way across the southern borderlands until he reached the Free Kingdoms of Men. Appearing something out of a nightmare, the thick bearded, calloused and weathered man appeared he had aged a decade in only months. He sold his noble garb and bought passage to travel west to Asgarnia, and prayed to Saradomin and the Light he was not too late. Beaten and defeated by his own regret, he could only hope his God and his Love would forgive him for failing to find the cure and the succumbing to his fervid zealotry.

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