Nostrum: Tales of Valor

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Nostrum: Tales of Valor

By: ZephyrDarkMoon OngoingFantasy

Language: English

Chapters: 70 views: 564

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In the heart of an Old World that has been filled to the brim with unimaginable horrors, one of humanity's final forces has founded itself. Yet, the glory days are long gone. With only the guidance of those who have come before them, the Purebloods- as they have chosen to call themselves- seek only the destruction of the creatures that have wreaked havoc on their world. It is in these times of unending disease and battle, that the hardest of choices must be made. The fate of this parallel realm rests in the palms of those from beyond its walls. Those, with nowhere else to call home.

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Latest Chapter
70 chapters
And So It Begins...
Liquid fire speckles the stone underfoot as freshly drenched torches illuminate jagged, damp cave walls. The sound of hard soles softly clopping against earth, and distant humming of winds seeking an escape from deep within the tomb fill an otherwise still atmosphere. The warm glow of each improvised tool offers only direction, as the destination ahead has already succumbed to a chill, not even the forgotten sunlight could have conquered. Four silhouettes cautiously slog further into the depths, remaining as close to each other as they can without risking restricting or startling one another. Keeping their lips sealed and their breaths muffled beneath fabric, they listen.With a sudden pause and one finger raised in the air, the leading silhouette brings all others to a halt. Lifting his torch to just above shoulder level, he watches the darkness ahead of them shift about. With only his eyes and the tissue around each exposed, he maintains his composure. Trails of luminescent smoke ch
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Keen Eyes
Forest trees with mangled branches loom overhead as a small fire crackles and pops, giving off a warm glow and offering a place to rest. Belial, Briar, and Cronn huddle up near the flames, planting themselves against firm soil as a thin layer of fog rolls onto the improvised campgrounds. Their aching feet thank them for doing so but still throb against the restraints of footwear as if nothing has truly changed."Tell me, Briar; What brings a man such as yourself to join The Purebloods?" Cronn loosens the straps of his leathery boots before stretching his legs out in front of himself. "What charm is there in it for you, I should say?"Briar thinks on the question for a moment, taking in all that he has been through since his first encounter with The Purebloods covenant no more than a year prior to this very day. Deciding on what is best to say he nods, lets out a sigh, and looks towards the moonlit clouds above."Knowing there is an end.""Surely you've more reasoning than that.""Is t
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Dim streetlamps illuminate damp, cobblestone pathways and the decrepit outlines of stone huts with shingled, a-frame roofs. Each individual building becomes more clear as the trio moves further into the otherwise barren village. Aside from these constructs, the only other life that makes itself known is a murder of crows atop the roof of a tavern at the far end of the main street. Rising fogs condensate on the glass of each window, soaking into the wooden frames and warping them in the slightest of ways. The three continue their approach, hearing the strings of a piano being plucked and the jolly hoots, cheers, and laughter of a crowd within. Being cautious of their surroundings and on the lookout for anything suspicious, they step onto the porch. Briar- taking the lead- reaches out with his crossbow extended and pushes it against the front door. As the hinges creak and reveal what lies within, the music stops. Noticing this, the occupants also begin to silence themselves one by one.
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Ersatz Village
Feeling woozy, temperamental, and with the hilt of his cleaver clutched tight in hand, but still strapped to his back, Belial awaits Arbor's explanation. At his side, Cronn and Briar focus their interests on a greater threat; The crowd of village-dwelling patrons. All of whom seem to be awaiting some sort of command before they engage in what is- most certainly- an ambush. One which has long been thought out... and already at play. With little choice being offered, Briar removes his crossbow from a pocket holster and swiftly flicks a latch open just below the sight bridge. As he does so, both limbs at the front snap forward and the crossbow splits entirely down the middle, creating two identical short swords, with one still having the string attached. Cronn, following suit, draws his ax at the right, and a pistol at the left."I bring the likes of you into my business... my home, and this is how you repay my hospitality? Accusative statements portrayed as questions? You knew the truth
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Frigid Flowers
With uniforms stained by the ascendancy of their hunts, the trio venture through forests and bogs lining the foot of a great mountain. A mountain into which The Council's accommodations have been carved. Along with a pass that serves no other purpose but to give direction towards the board members themselves. Scaling the rocky surface and reaching the crest with aching calves and wintry pink skin, they peer through gusts of wind-swept snow, spotting icy grey bricks and worn, arched cedar double doors; Home of the Pureblood Covenant. As the grand doors creak loudly against their hinges, raging winds assist in pushing them apart. Halls within cool as a draft rushes through them, causing candle flames to flicker and those residing inside to close themselves off from the open corridors. Nearing the center of a great hall, their shivers start to subside, and warmth from several fireplaces turns the frost on their weapons into droplets that speckle the marble floors. As the aroma of roasted
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Convener's Brood
With some consultation and a more than fair filling of mixed meats and porridge on his side, Belial joins in on Briar and Cronn's bull sessions, boosting his spirits and the trio's morale overall. As Devough and an assisting servant bring out a gracious helping of broth-drenched turkey and a pot full of boiled, seasoned greens, the three give their thanks and begin picking at the feast bestowed before them. As they do so, Briar catches a glimpse of Belial filling his wine-stained chalice with a foreign beverage that had been tucked away in a metallic flask at his side."What antics might you not be sharing with us?" Briar asks with amusement in his voice, pointing down at the container."Ah, it's nothing." Belial explains. "Just some of the brew Arbor introduced to us.""And you think that a wise choice of drink, given the circumstances?" Cronn cocks a brow as he strips a sliver of dark meat off the bone, keeping his eyes locked on Belial as he does so."Well, it may be pungent, but i
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Eldritch Chimes
With dusk approaching, numerous Nostrum awaken speaking in whispers, before rushing out of the quarters. As his mattress shifts from the weight of a bunk-mate hurrying off, Briar groggily pulls himself up and rubs his eyes. Once they're open again, he looks in the direction of the man that woke him, catching only a glimpse of his feet as he rounds a corner and darts down the hall. Curious as to what has alerted the others, and seeing that neither Belial nor Cronn are in their bunks any longer, he lifts himself up and follows the man's trail. With only the sound of bare skin slapping stone to guide him, he keeps as close as he can to the other but inevitably loses them among the corridors. Stopping at a point where the hall splits in opposite directions, he pauses and looks towards both ends before hearing a large door knock against its frame. Turning to the left, he picks up speed once again. Then, pushes through the same door the bank-mate did prior. As the light of a burning brazier
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Callous Mires
Drooping vines and clover-colored leaves of mossy, twisted branches canopy mucky lands. Clusters of cattails and whiskery ferns litter the boggy soil, giving way only where they must, but never where they should. As still, damp air brings about a layer of sluggish fog, the chirps of frogs and other pestilent critters fill the void. With nothing to fear in their own domain, they stop not when in the presence of what they find to be familiar, yet curiosity brings their chatter to a halt. A trail of silence is crafted, slithering through the marsh much like a serpent, whilst lacking the actual form. In the midst of it all, three orbs of light flicker about. Each being in possession of a predator unknown to the local wildlife; Mankind.Keeping their feet as dry as they can, the Nostrum tread through deep puddles and tall foliage. Being aware of their surroundings, they avoid the largest of the pools. For what lies beneath them may be worse than what has already been discovered above them.
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"Do you find it strange, Briar? That The Council would permit us to leave in place of others, even when we were at the heart of a present threat?""Perhaps that's why they would rather us be away." Briar raises the Kneller's bell in his hand and turns it about as he speaks. "If the Great Beast has picked up Belial's scent, it would be best to remove him from the current situation.""How might that be?""Well," he begins, clutching the bell's clapper in his hand and twisting it back and forth, "that depends on what remains unspoken. Perhaps, they wish to preserve his safety. Sending him off with beliefs that the beast hasn't taken hold of his scent would give him a chance at recovering. Or...," he pauses, snaps the thick metal apart, and tosses the clapper aside, "they have hopes that the beast will trail the scent." Slinging a rope over his shoulder, he ties both ends together. Then, loops a portion around the handle, pulls it tight, and lets the bell fall securely to his side. "Who a
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Eidolon Advent
Sitting upright on a mossy log, Belial sips at a wooden mug, letting steam roll up his face as it abandons the warm, scented concoction within. Surrounding marshlands offer only the faint chirps of insects to him as he awaits the return of Briar and Cronn. Having been informed of Briar's findings, he remains patient as the moon begins to fall. Allowing himself to appreciate the moment of peace he has been given. A brief period lacking in responsibility, purpose, and all other ties humanity has forced upon him. He sighs with relief and tranquility, allowing his eyes to fall shut for a moment, only to open them again as images of his torment throw themselves across the backs of his eyelids. He stares ahead blankly as they fade back into the abysmal parts of his mind. Then, sips at the mug once more.A sudden shift in wildlife activity causes his ears to perk up. Listening intently, he manages to distinguish the sound of approaching footsteps with slight wetness about them; Roughly an ei
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