The Black Rose

In the highest chamber of the Fran de Benard Abbey, Brother Paul came running huffing and puffing. "Grand Master Rupert, sir, the scouts have found an army is coming," Brother Paul with a grim look, "It's the Black Rose, he is coming here… for the sword." Grand Master was flushed, sitting in before his wide desk. Falling back into his chair, he stared at the many parchments and scroll lay unfinished and some he not yet glanced at. And worst of all, the Abbey's greatest blunder has come to put it out of its misery.

Father Montcalm shall never know, Grand Master thought. It would break his already fragile heart. Since bad news shall never be placed upon a very frail old man. That it was why there was a Grand Master. A much younger man that could with stands such stress with military and membership as well as religious matters. And the Black Rose is the mistake of Father Montcalm, when he was Grand Master.

Grand Master looked up, seeing a now calm and relaxed Brother Paul, waiting for an order. "… Alert the Castle Guard, but don't frighten the young students," Grand Master not taking his words so lightly for such a matter, "it was Father Montcalm's mistake was to send the young students, we can't let the same thing happen." Brother Paul understood completely, as he knew the history behind the man that is the Black Rose.

Grand Master Rupert waved Brother Paul away. Upon Brother Paul's exit, he knew how to go back fortification, and have every man that was able to bare arms and was right of age. He would have them wear their full-plate armour and scabbard stripped on. And only tell the students that they are just beginning to ride away to defend the borders. An everyday thing the students see, nothing different. They must not think anything is wrong.

He returned to his students that were learning their staff skills behind the Abbey where there was a great big field. The setting sun pierced his eyes with a great beam of light. Grass stomped on, red woods surrounding the great opening. There were his students, his precious eight-year students of the Holy Order. And his eyes quickly stop the smallest and clumsiest one of all, Brother Wade. He was sixteen while the others were merely thirteen, but he looked like as a smaller child in an older crowd. If you didn't know how Brother Wade was, you'd wonder why such a small boy is doing with the big boys.

Just a glimpse of that poor excuse of a student would make anyone's blood boil. To numb that urge, Brother Paul allowed full contact with the staves. He knew all the other children would try their best to hurt the small Brother Wade. Somewhere, you enjoyed hearing whimpers here and there when he was stroke with a solid hit. Brother Wade will have many red bruises, some even as bad as purple.

"Reminds you of someone?" Brother Paul turned to find Brother Albert sneaking behind him. He quickly resumed monitoring his precious eight-year students. Hearing the sound of dozens of hard wood strike on hard wood, music to his ears. Now, he quickly formulated an answer for the Brother's question. Gazing deeply at Brother Wade. Everything about the child resembled a nightmare when he was merely a student, under Grand Master Rupert when he was the teacher of warrior training.

"We mustn't speak of it here, I'm afraid," Brother Paul simply replied, trying to keep his attention on his duty. Observing progress and any pheromones in skills within the students, but the only one that stood out was Brother Wade. The whimpers begin to lessen and starts to take charge. Suddenly, his opponent could not strike him anymore. He learnt to parry strikes and thrusts perfectly out of harms way. But strange, he hadn't formulated any counter measures to strike his opponent, only parry.

"The older one comes tonight, Grand Master has already taken necessary measures," Brother Albert reported, took Brother Paul's breath away. He assumed as much, but so soon! "He cannot recover the two precious things of the Abbey, Brother Paul, you are obligated to protect the treasures, by any means." And Brother Albert leaves the way he arrived.

He closed his eyes softly and sighed. "Brother Wade! What do you think you are doing?" Brother Paul's shouting made all the action come to an abrupt halt. And Brother Wade was baffled by most of all, exchanging confused looks with the others. Soon the big instructor stood before Brother Wade as he stared up to meet Brother Paul's eyes. He swiped the staff from Brother Wade.

Brother Wade quickly knelt down on one and bowed his head low. "Does the teacher wish to stroke me with thee stave?" It has happened before, so he thought if he asked he would not be stroke. Moments pass and all Brother Wade can hear is the wind blowing on his thick brown hair and the folds of his big robes. A cool silence.

"What do you think you are doing with a cracked staff?" Brother Paul asked with such fury. Brother Wade looked confused. He wanted to say it was in perfect condition when I was using it. But that would honor him a strike to the face, questioning a teacher, especially the teacher that is a great commander in terms of war.

Brother Paul examined the staff more closely, trying to find the weakest point in the staff. But the staff itself was made as the best as any. Still, the smallest tear in the lumber, on top of Brother Paul's strength. Brother Paul ripped the staff right down the middle in a perfect line. He was a good actor. He made it seem that he hadn't tried as hard. But on contrary, it took a significant amount of strength. To everyone, the hard staff was like a rotten twig. All the other students gasp and laughter followed. Brother Wade didn't know what to think. He only bowed his head lower shame.

"Now come with me, and everyone else proceed inside for a quick prayer, Dis-missed," Everyone was angry, they still had some time left to train, the sun hasn't even disappeared completely. Brother Wade what punishment he would have when they are sent to bed. Which is where they'll show him how much training means to them and what happens to those that stricken their training time.

I'll return to take what's rightfully mine. Words. Words by the nightmare himself. The most reverend Templar there ever was, but now an enemy of both the Desert People and the Holy Order. Twisted by the two factions into an entity that threatens both of them for their wrong deeds. And that single entity will not stop until he sees the Desert People and the Holy Order burnt ash. That one entity is the Black Rose.

Brother Paul shuddered at the very notation of the Black Rose. He glanced down at the small Brother Wade. He does have his eyes. Now he led Brother Wade to a safe place, somewhere he'll be safe in the siege until Brother Paul was ready to come and lead him away. When Brother Wade is safe, I may proceed to the walls and uphold them as long as I may.

Brother Wade tried his best to keep up to his the tall instructor, but his short legs couldn't match Brother Paul's long strides that gave him such speed. Brother Wade had to run to keep up at some points. Where is he taking me now? Is this what happens to everyone that use a faulty staff? We're not going to the Old Abbey; he would have asked me to wear my hood and eyes down at all time. Brother Wade gazed up at Brother Paul dumbly.

They stopped before a locked door. It must be the only locked door in the entire Abbey. Is he going to show me another relic of the Abbey? Brother Paul found a key inside his robes. He slipped in the door, and it opened up. As Brother Wade glimpsed inside, it was the prisoner chamber! The small boy began backing slowly away, as if waiting the order to dash off, dash far away to somewhere.

But Brother Paul took a firm hold on Brother Wade's arm, and pulled him inside the prisoner chamber. We walked by prison cells, all beside one another one each side of the wall. Inside the prison bars was blood, sweat, and rotten bones. It smelled terrible, is this my punishment! Brother Wade thought in horror. There were many big heavy guards, with great long swords that Brother Wade has ever seen. And they all wear the white surcoats with the red cross embalmed on the chest. They were indeed Templars of the highest caliber.

Brother Wade was pushed in the last cell of the chamber, which luckily was the smelliest one of all. The prison door was slammed shut behind me. "You'll be safe here Brother Wade," Brother Paul gripping the bars, such passion in his words, "This is the second best guarded chamber in the Abbey. All these soldiers have bled and killed their fair share. They will protect you with their lives. I will come for you, wait for me. And try not to annoy the guards." And Brother Paul leaves the prison chamber.

As Brother Wade watched Brother Paul walk down to the long hallway, minutes later finally reaching the door, the only exit. Easier said than done, Brother Wade thought. It would get severely boring inside a smelly cage that is filled with who knows whose blood and sweat is on the floor. There is even blood on the ceiling! Now how the heck did they manage that?

Brother Paul quickly rushed to his chambers. Through all the hallways, corridors, stairways. Finally, pushing his door up, he untied his belt and sled off his robes. For a moment he stood naked, searching for his chain mail, gauntlets, helm, and heavy plated boots.

The chain mail was worn like a short. Stripping on his plates onto his thighs. As soon as his heavy plated boots were on, he quickly retrieved his full-plate armour, that fit over his chain mail. It covered his chest, back, sides, and shoulders. One great spike was on the shoulder blade of the full-plate armour. Everything was already equipped but one, his great helm.

His great grandfather modeled it. It was made of the finest steel, crafted by the best blacksmith of his time. A fin of some sea monster traveled down the helm, as did a Mohawk. It had the face of a wolf-like beast bursting out of the steel. But where the ears, there was great long wings of the flying eagle. It was a sight that would take your breath away. It was so nicely crafted, such a thing of beauty.

He quickly found his great long double-edged sword and heavy mace. And he was off to the walls, where Grand Master Rupert would be defending. The metal was heavy, but after weeks and weeks off wearing, you learn to give it no thought. It clicked and clanked together with each passing step; metal scratching together. But it was polished nicely, shining a clear white. It would blind you if it fully reflected the sun. The sunrays would be strengthened.

But a look of horror slapped Brother Paul hard. Great flaming rocks flew through the skies. Smashing into the wall, but the wall won't stand if this continued. Inside the courtyard, these great flaming rocks that were slung by the enemy's catapults crashed the archers. Following the great flaming rocks, arrows aflame fell from the skies. More archers were killed by a stray arrow or were set aflame their selves. Brother Paul shut his eyes tightly as he heard the cries of those aflame.

The Black Rose came hard and came fast, no mercy; he never found any before he became the Black Rose. Brother Paul ran to see the mass of the Black Rose, over the edge. He was shocked at what he saw. Legions upon Legions of Champion Swordsmen, Longbow Archers, Great Pikemen, and most dreadful of all, the Heavy Cavalry. They all held the great banners of the Black Rose. The mockery of a black rose ruined the rose of the Templar. It mocked the rose, as a Satanist would worship the Cross up side down. And behind this monstrous army was the Black Rose himself.

Atop his black stallion from hell, and his black armour. It was a sight from a child's worst nightmare. And his great helm, two thick devilish horns. In his hand, he held a mighty lance. In the other, his steel spiked shield. Brother Paul was glad to be spared to look upon his true face. But in his mind, he knew what hid under that great helm. A hideous scar, diagonal across his face. A pale, color face, people claim he is the devil himself, in the flesh.

From the corner of his right eye, an arrow came swirling at him. Brother Paul fell, slumping low against the stone wall for protection. The burning of the arrow was painful! Afraid to look where the arrow got him, he looked down anyway. No. The arrow was plunged into his very heart. The Abbey is lost. It echoed in his head as the great flaming rocks broke down the stone walls and all the Champion Swordsmen of the Black Rose came rushing in. Longbow Archers launched millions to aid their fellow comrades.

"… I—I have to get to Bro—ther W—Wa—de," Brother Paul said as he begins to drag himself to the prisoner chamber. But he knew he'd never make it this way, it was hopeless. He rolled on his back, stared at the orange sky. He slowly sat up and took hold of a retreating soldier, pulling him down face to face. It was a boy, a newly made Templar, only of eighteen years old of age.

The new Templar was truly scared and frightened. "L—isten, this is an order from Brother Paul," Brother Paul started, "In the p—risoner's chamber, there is an eight-year s—s—tudent. As a Templar, it is your duty, t—o protect him. The en—emy shall never take him. Tell him to t—ake the sword be—fore you leave, now go! Before its too late!" With that, Brother Paul pushed the Templar to get going. Throwing at him the key to the prisoner's chamber. The great Paul the II died a few minutes later after the new Templar left to his new mission.

He ran to prisoner chamber, holding his scabbard securely, afraid it might slip from his waist. Through the many corridors he found the door to the prisoner chamber's door. He struggled to steady his hand and find the key. The door fell ajar; he rushed in shouting the name "Brother Wade" loudly. Brother Wade heard his name being called, so he rushed to bars yelling "Here! Here!" The Templar followed the voice to the last prisoner cell, running at full speed down the halls.

"Brother Wade?" The Templar quickly asked, trying to steady his words from all the excitement.

"Yes, I am him," Brother Wade answer.

"I'm charged by the Holy Order to protect you," the Templar started, "now, we must leave this place in a hurry!" What? Why? Brother Wade had no idea what was happening. It was already all strange. No one told him anything. He was left in the dark. But still he followed his guides out of the cave.