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    Postfest XIV(Richfest 2010): Sir Xaris
    Posted on Wed, September 15, 2010 by LordCeb
    SirXaris writes "Sir Xaris, the Unabashed, Proclaimer of Truth, Defender of Right, Bane of the Wicked, is an accomplished Paladin originally hailing from Furyondy, who has travelled the length and breadth of the Flanness with his adventuring companions, known commonly as the Old Characters.

    Ever the first with word or blade, he was the natural leader of the group and, thus, was able to moderate the actons of some of the less forthright members of the company and maintain a heroes reputation for the group as a whole.

    Xaris ab Yustin was born the 3rd son of a minor Nobleman in southern Furyondy near to Dyvers.  Having the luxury (in his mind) of not inheriting any noble responsibilities due to his low birth order, he accepted the calling of the church of Heironeous to use his fighting skills in service to the god as one of his Paladins.  His father, Yustin ab Nalman, was quite pleased with his youngest son's promotion to Paladin status, but nearly withheld his blessing upon learning of Xaris' intention to join a band of his commoner friends to begin his adventuring career.

    Immediately determining that Iuz posed the greatest threat to those of weal in the Flaness, Xaris and his companions crossed Furyondy to Highfolk, travelled north through the valley and headed east along the north bank of the Deepstil River.  Intending to assault the land of Iuz through its geographic backdoor, the band encountered the domain of a goodly lord loosely allied with Perenland.  This Lord, Sir Dread Locks was off to the east with most of the forces of his keep and the land was suffering the depredations of monsters and bandits which the local garrison was too undermanned to deal with.  They lent their arms and spells to the Castelan and discovered that some of Iuz's Priests had infiltrated behind Lord Locks' lines and had established themselves in caves thought to have been cleared of evil.  Having rid Lord Locks' domain of the taint of Iuz, they earned their first taste of fame and public accolades.

    Their travels took them from the Vesve Forest to the Sea of Dust to the Bandit Kingdoms to lands of Greyhawk to the Wildcoast to the Yatil Mountains to the Jotens/Crystalmists/Hellfurnaces and beyond the the Prime Material Plane.  Having suffered a disaster at the hands of an evil goddess, whose plane in the Abyss they has assaulted, they returned to Greyhawk.  Some of the group had been humbled by their travails. Some had become hardened.  Some had become insular.  Some driven by selfish ambitions.  Never-the-less, all had survived and bore each other member of their company an unflinching personal loyalty.  Political and ethical differences abounded by that point in their lives, but nothing could break the devotion the members had to one another.

    His adventuring companions, the Old Characters, consisted of the following (all about 16th level):
      Sir Didymous Tek - fellow Paladin of Heironeous, though a commoner, he was knighted by Xaris' father himself for deeds which won the freedom of Xaris and his companions from the clutches of the demonic goddess.
      Aaron House - Ranger (now Fighter) who acquired a powerful Trident and gave up his previous calling to go to sea against the forces of the Scarlet Brotherhood.  This he does in service of Xerbo.
      Brother Etibonec - Monk of the Serene Brotherhood, master of unarmed combat, was instrumental in many escapes the group managed after being overcome by their enemies and bereft of their equipment.
      Dor - Priest of Heironeous, ever quick to smite evil with spell or mace and quicker to bless and heal his companions.
      Karnak - The Nearly Peerless, Mage who acquired a powerful magical artifact in the form of a lanthorn, lost it, and eventually recovered it after many years of diligent effort.  He has mostly withdrawn from the world into his tower in the City of Greyhawk (but see below).
      Brian, Who is Called Brian - Illusionist Extraordinaire.  Brian, Who is Called Brian was a frequent irritant to the esteemed Karnak as his (mostly) unspoken motto was, "Anything Karnak can do, Brian, Who is Called Brian, can do better!"
      Tiny - This Elven Fighter/Mage was cut in half when he tripped running past a pendulum trap in the Sea of Dust, but was Reincarnated by a friendly Druid as a Dwarven Fighter/Thief. Strangely, he retained is Elven accent.  He has engaged in two separate individual battles against the Dwarf Obmi, neither of which were conclusive.  The two of them bare each other undying animosity.  His good reference was largely responsible for Xaris' friendly reception by the Prince of Ulek.

    As the members of the Old Characters went their separate ways to establish their personal domains, Xaris looked for a place his abilities would be most helpful.  Though the Furyondian king was welcoming and supportive of Xaris' desire to confront the forces of the Old One, he had no available land to bequeath him.  Thus, Xaris looked south and found a willing lord in the Dwarven Prince of Ulek.  The Prince Knighted Xaris and granted him a smallish fief at the easternmost point of his realm.  In return, Xaris swore to build fortifications to protect the land from raids by the humaniods of the Pomarj, maintain the rule of law, etc., etc.  He elected to build a castle near the ford which marked the northernmost extent to which large trade vessels were abe to travel up the river.  His rule was benevolent and taxes were light as he continued to adventure (mostly in the Pomarj) and used the funds garnered from those endeavors to support the local economy.  He, his new wife, Lady Christine (LG Cleric/Ranger lvl 7/7), his Henchmen, and his military forces made frequent forays against the Orcs and their kin across the river in order to prevent the buildup of any significant force.  Retaliatory raids were dealt with as they came and no such evil was able to threaten the peace of the western counties of the Principality beyond Sir Xaris' domain.

    (End 2nd Ed. History.  What follows applies to the events of the Greyhawk Wars and From the Ashes.)

    That is, until the rise of Turrosh Mack.  Though Sir Xaris was intimately familiar with the forces in the Pomarj near to his own domain, he was as surprised as anyone else by the magnitude of the assault upon the Principality by the forces of Turrosh Mak when they came.  Never-the-less, his scouts provided enough warning of the impending invasion for most of the people of the fiefdom to begin their evacuation west or to arrive at the castle before the Orcish tide was upon them.  When it hit, it broke as waves against the castle walls time and again without success.  Xaris had previously called upon the magics of his former adventuring companions to strengthen the walls and other defenses of the castle.  Xaris and his defenders found themselves on an island in a storm amidst a sea of destructive force.  The castle and its defenders were able to hold out for two days before the Orcish commanders wisely decided to push on past the holdout.  Never-te-less, mighty forces were maintained around the castle to lay it siege.

    The siege saw a continuation of the dayly (nightly) assaults upon the goodly defenders.  Knowing the situation would not last, Xaris initiated contingency plans and began the evacuation of the non-combatants first.  His spell-casting companions (Karnak, Brian, Who is Called Brian, and Dor) and some other friends he had made along the way, arrived at his summons and began the magical evacuation.  Once all the non-combatants were safely gone from the castle, its defenders were replaced with illusions, summoned monsters, and all manner of magical devices with as much speed as possible.  Despite the efficient manner in which the evacuation was enacted, the Orchish tide overran the perimeter and Xaris, his wife, and their fellow defenders had to engage in a fighting retreat to the donjon and, through the force of their arms and the power of their friends' magic, hold the enemy at bay for another three days until enough travelling spells could be enacted to see them all to safety.

    Sir Xaris lost his castle, lands, and many of his faithful friends and servants, but was thanked personally by the Prince of Ulek for his stubborn defense and credited with giving the Ulek forces the time they needed to establish a line of defense in the central hills which successfully stopped the Orcish advance.

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    Re: Postfest XIV(Richfest 2010): Sir Xaris (Score: 1)
    by Argon on Fri, September 17, 2010
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    Not bad first submission right, keep them coming.

    Re: Postfest XIV(Richfest 2010): Sir Xaris (Score: 1)
    by Mystic-Scholar on Sat, September 25, 2010
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    Nicely done and an interesting p.o.v. (Point of View)

    Still, I think it would have been better if you had written it in the first person. Since your using Sir Xaris as your Avatar name here on Canonfire!, why not write it as though you were telling your own story? I think that would have been an excellent touch. Think like that when writing your next piece.

    And you should do another story. You show promise.

    Re: Postfest XIV(Richfest 2010): Sir Xaris (Score: 1)
    by JellyMin on Fri, December 17, 2021
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    Nice story! I don't mind the time reading this, what i know is I appreciate the message of this story. lehigh valley roofers

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