|Osmond Cordae Locke|
Osmond Cordae Locke is a paladin who wants to promote the cause of Good. He's currently traveling in Libaterra. He is the husband of Aegle Locke and father of Lucius Locke, and the son of Oscar Locke and Melana Locke. He is the heir of Fotiacles Firemaster, an Andain blacksmith. He was entrusted by the Mad Clergies to protect the revenant they believed to be Gaea. They wished to return her to godhood with Osmond's help, but it later turned out that the undead was not Gaea, but Inari Okami, the former High Cleric of Gaea.
Osmond Cordae Locke was born in Aison, in the city of Myridia specifically. He lived a fairly normal childhood, though his father left during the last stages of the Great War. He was instilled with the values of fairness and do unto others what you would have them do to you as he grew up. His father, Oscar Locke, practiced that to the best of his ability, and was well-loved by the populace. His superiors were more keen to put him on a leash than sing his praises. After Oscar left, he was never seen nor heard from again.
Then, one day, something enormous was seen flying their way on the horizon. Osmond's mother Melana Locke panicked (and was vindicated for it later) and left, taking her son, some spare weapons, packed clothes, and a wrapped bundle, and caught a ride with a departing caravan. They had had mere moments to spare.
Slowly, Osmond accepted his father's death, becoming something of a guard for the caravan and honoring his father's memory through his use of fairness and the Golden Rule. It won him many friends among the other travelers, and some enemies among the greedier of them. The caravan reached a small port, and though Osmond and Melana left the caravan to travel by sea to Remon, the ship got lost at sea and somehow found its way to Libaterra.
The fishing village was not their last stop, however. Osmond's mother took him further inland, closer to the City of Mages.
At last, they stopped in a trader's town called Ridgefort about a day or two away from Reign. The fifteen-year-old needed a place to grow up and call home, and they'd been on the move for two years. It was time to stop again. So they took up residence in the town, slowly building one there.
Finding a Purpose
Four years later, as a young adult, it was time for Osmond to grasp his inheritance. Melana drew him aside and pulled out the mysterious wrapped bundle she'd carried for years. He looked confused, but she told him, "This was your father's, and it is your last inheritance from him. He had a foreboding feeling that he wouldn't come back from the War, and so he left it with us, to pass on to you when the time came. I think you're ready to receive this now."
It was long, and by the heft, Osmond could tell it was a sword. He took the cloth away from it, and immediately was left in moderate disappointment.
It looked like any other hand-and-a-half. The sheath was pretty worn down, and the finishing was dull and scratched on it. The hilt looked nice and sturdy enough, but he began to wonder about the blade. Any notches? Still, it was his father's. That, more than anything, urged him to grip the hilt and remove it from the sheath.
It almost glowed, and he noticed old and unknown runes running up and down the blade on both sides. The blade itself was nearly perfect. Honed to a good edge and smooth as silk, it was far, far better than he expected of such an old sword. "Your father called it 'the Oath of Order.'
He had attended the Church of the Memory of Cardia that had been converted from the old Clergy of Cardia ever since he'd moved in, and had been interested in being a paladin for the church for a while. The small group of paladins gladly accepted him and gave him the armor of the rank, while he provided his own sword. He worked alongside the other six of them to protect the town from all threats.
More recently, Osmond and a woman named Aegle fell in love. He presented her with his mother's wedding ring, and they were soon married and living in a house of their own. Osmond worked all the harder at his job as a paladin because of his radiant wife. Her belly swelled with child, and quickly enough, the paladin became a father. His strong connection to the church and his wife's own name inspired him to name the child Lucius.
Osmond was drawn into the study of the recorded prophecies in the little libraries of the church. He looked through the oldest ones until the day he found a scrap of parchment that had recorded an old, old prophecy. He mounted his trusty stallion Chadwick and left to find someone who could help him interpret it after no one in the town could, bidding his wife and infant son goodbye. He was bade in turn to not stay away for too long.
Heart of Darkness
While on his way to Trinity Gask where he hoped he could decipher the prophecy, Osmond happened upon a scarred woman. The two introduced themselves, and he learned the woman's name, Ax. After a brief discussion, Osmond proposed that since they were both headed for the same direction, they could travel together. Ax seemed hesitant but eventually agreed, and she asked if Osmond could help locate a stream so that some skins could be filled with water. After Osmond had located a good spot to fill the skins with water, he returned to Ax to give the skins back to her.
Asking for the sake of the donkey, Osmond told Ax where he'd found the stream. Before she left, though, he asked the others in the camp for any help in deciphering a prophetic set of words he had found in a book:
When the Fruit of Earth and Tree
passes into Darkness's Doorstep
to meet the Seven Spawn of Hell
When the Redeemed stand beside He Who Shines
to summon the Spirit of the Mother
and the Last Memories of Order
The Red Lion will make peace
Seven Darknesses will betray their comrades
A City of Mages stands content
Darkness breathes free of Death.
Arcturius heard them, and tried to decipher it, up until the last stanza, at which point his suspicion was aroused. Ax helped as well before leaving with the donkey. Os tried to get Arc to be less suspicious, but whatever had happened to the boy kept him distrustful, and he left with Ax.
Osmond later followed them to ask about Corwin's book, but was distracted when he heard Corwin's odd shout about Magic Mushrooms and not taking them for at least a week. When he got back he saw three nymphs. When asked, Corwin said that 'no funny business went on under that tree,' out from under which the nymphs were approaching. Then he started ranting about murderous mountain goats.
Osmond had no idea how he got into this situation (three nymphs wanting him, Corwin, and Arc, the unlikely but possible threat of murderous mountain goats, and whether or not to move camp to the town of Lawfin) and no idea how to get out of it. Soon after he began his pondering, however, the nymphs pounced on him and held him down.
Thankfully, Ax kept him from being raped, and soon after Corwin gassed all three with an alchemical compound. However, at just that moment, the minions of the absent Goatse decided to attack. Osmond set the unconscious nymphs in the wagon and readied himself and his stallion Chadwick for the onslaught, but soon after, Arcturius used some bardic magic to conjure up a nightmarish image of the Reaper. This held the intelligent goats at bay while Ax hitched her ass to the wagon. Once done, Osmond held off the goats while the wagon got out of the wood.
He caught up to the wagon as it reached the gates of Lawfin and entered the elven town with the rest of the party. After stabling his horse and securing a room for the night, Osmond tried to order Paladin's Balm but was mistakenly written down for a Paladin's Breath. He failed to correct the waitress in time and the drink was delivered as ordered.
Tipsy after less than half a glass of the strong drink, Osmond retired to his room, where he challenged the glass to a duel. Last one standing once he'd drained it would be the winner.
It was the glass.
After rising to throw up out his window, he had a strange dream in the night. He couldn't recall it when he awoke, but he realized that he'd lost to the cup in his self-declared contest. It was then that Arcturius knocked on the wall, asking for his help. Osmond tried to get rid of the hangover feeling in a percussive manner, but it didn't seem to do much.
Osmond accepted Arcturius's request to train him to use a sword and purified his own blood of alcohol before putting his armor back on and beginning the training. He taught Arc a defensive stance, how and when to block, and when to dodge or parry instead. At last, however, he decided he was too tired to continue teaching the lessons for now.
He put the sword back up, and fell asleep.
- "It's been my experience that discomfort shows us where we need to grow. I've seen these clerics' determination. They missed you personally, and though I normally wouldn't agree with this ritual, this cause of theirs, they have a point. Hope needs to be restored to this world. With Cardia's death and the Cataclysm, many have given in to despair. Despair's wake is wide and far-reaching, but hope can counteract it, if the light it brings is not snuffed out before it catches."
- —Osmond to Gaea and Heath
Osmond got dressed, put the two nymphs that shared his room in the wagon and then offered to buy breakfast for everybody. After eating and leaving Lawfin, the group dropped off the nymphs near the forest outside Trinity Gask, with Corwin almost vehemently shooing them away while Os looked on perplexed.
At last, they arrived in Trinity Gask, dropping Corwin and his elven friend off at the Witch Elves inn. Osmond promised to meet Arcturius for more swordfighting lessons in front of the inn, stabled Chadwick and wandered through the city for hours.
He finally found himself in the midst of an abandoned slum and chased by a mob of poor after him for his fine-looking armor and sword. Just as he was about to get found, he fell through a hole that opened up in the ground of the alley. For a time, Osmond passed out.
When he awakened, he found he was in a large chamber underground, barely lit by the hole he'd fallen through. He began to explore his surroundings, and from a dated, dusty old letter deduced that he was in an area that had been relatively untouched since the Second Age, more than a thousand years.
Continuing his exploration, he came across a glowing sword set in front of a skeleton. The skeleton had a broken-off piece of a blade through its ribcage, likely having died to someone or something. The sword was glowing orange, as if heated in a nonexistant fire. The paladin grabbed the hilt, curious. However, the blade began to burn him until Osmond accidentally struck it with his own sword.
The fire sword stopped burning him, and instead greeted Osmond inside his mind. When he spoke his name, the blade named him the heir of 'Fotiacles Firemaster,' and gave up the power it had held within it to Osmond. Most of that power was placed into the Oath of Order, which began glowing golden. When he sheathed both swords, he noticed that his skin was glowing.
The paladin was then surprised by an old man holding a lantern, who called him 'He Who Shines.' His mind flashed briefly to the prophecy he'd found, and when beckoned, decided to follow along. The man had welcomed him to the sanctuaries of the clergies of Gaea and Heath.
The man, whose name was Raphael, explained their purpose and some of their history. Times had come during which they could have resurrected Gaea, but considering that they intended to sacrifice themselves down to their very souls, they needed a guardian, one who could guide their lady back to her status as a deity. So they had pleaded with what gods would listen to them, excepting Death, who they intended to cheat. Heath reluctantly sent a vision to the 'High Cleric' at the time of a shining man holding a sword glowing golden.
Until that time, that is, now, the Clergy of Gaea would have to wait for the promised champion. For millennia they waited, their hearts growing dimmer, and their numbers dwindling away, as a rock pounded on by the waves. A few members of the Clergy of Heath, at the death of their own goddess, found their way to the sanctuary, or were scouted out. And still they waited.
At last, however, He Who Shines was here, and his coming was the signal they'd waited for. Osmond was ushered into a room and bade to don a green cloak with sigils stitched into it, to keep his life from becoming a part of the sacrifice.
The ritual began in earnest, the clerics eager to bring their goddesses freedom from the evil of Death. However, unbeknownst to the vast majority of the clerics, there was a traitor in their midst. A man called Breivik, one of the Totenkopfs, corrupted the body of Heath before it was finished and before the clerics had time to stop him. It was thanks to Osmond burning the creature that the body that would be bound to Gaea remained uncorrupted.
Near the end of the ritual, Osmond was transported to a plane that was occupied by only two others: the goddesses who had been summoned. Gaea was in severe discomfort, while Heath was lamenting the fact that she could not join her friends. Osmond spoke then saying that Gaea's discomfort would be worth it if the world could have more hope. Hope that she would bring to the people.
Heath told Gaea to tell Tiamat that she was sorry she couldn't see her again as her construct collapsed, and the plane shunted him back out to the real world.
Gaea's constructed body was finished, and her spirit summoned into the flesh. Osmond caught her naked body as she fell, and was instructed by the last cleric to protect her before the man turned to dust. Guided by blue flame lanterns as the labyrinth was collapsing, Osmond finally got back to the surface again, Gaea in his arms. She did not like her mortal form, saying, "I can feel this body dying around me!"
The first thing he did was find a tailor's shop and buy the poor woman some clothes. Once that was done, he had planned to take her to eat, but was interrupted by hounds coming to chase them. Gaea was panicking, and so Osmond picked her up and ran, running to try and find Chadwick and make himself scarce.
He found a very confusing fight between himself and the stables, and Arcturius on the other end of it, trying to kill one of the nymphs they'd found earlier. The paladin's previous dance through the fight became a straight on charge through it. On the other end, however, the hounds began to close in, so he whistled for his horse, which broke out of its own stable. He set Gaea on the saddle and then mounted up himself. He tried to take Arc as well, but the bard refused.
Osmond rode after the fleeing nymph Arc had been trying to fight. With luck, he could negotiate a peace between the two, and find out why Arc had been mad enough to try and kill her. He ended up meeting a man named Erikur Spald in the Survivor's Woods, but not long after lost the nymph's trail.
Soon afterwards, they encountered Ghaddar Wekufe and Arcturius under attack by S.O.U.S.s, that is, Spiders of Unusual Size. Erikur, Arc, and Osmond set about destroying the spiders, but the paladin kept getting distracted by Gaea wandering off to a Will o' the Wisp.
The spider was soon vanquished, and while the party was recovering, the Wisp got hold of Gaea's mind, Ghaddar incited her wrath, Osmond slapped her, and was nearly choked to death for it. Arcturius tried calming her with a song, and that saved his mentor's life.
Garden of Fear
Osmond successfully distracted the Wisp, allowing the party to flee its reach. Gaea was introduce first to pie, then to eating properly. She still had few manners, though, and kept speaking openly, referring to other people as the children of this or that god, which made many party members raise their eyebrows in puzzlement and made Osmond ask Gaea to keep a low profile before everyone would know of her true nature and put the party in jeopardy.
The party continued deeper into the forest, being joined first by a treant and then by a mob, led by Jason O'Harris and Jacob O'Harris. A battle ensued when the enraged treant, which the party learned had been sent by a mysterious witch who the mob was after, attacked everything in sight.
The battle turned even more hectic when the wisp from before returned and joined the fray as well. Osmond used his magic to hurl the wisp at the treant, hoping to neutralize both threats at once. This plan turned out to be a success as Arc and Jacob joined forces from Jason's suggestion and helped bring the treant down with their respective skills while the treant was distracted by the wisp. After the treant had been defeated, the wisp absorbed its lingering magic into itself, after which Jason took the wisp for himself for safekeeping.
Osmond began suspecting that one of the O'Harris brothers, who had led the mob, were actually manipulating people to face the treant and the witch for some reason. Based on how Jason had acted and spoken, he eventually came to believe that Jason was the true manipulator of the two although he couldn't guess at the boy's motives for doing all of this.
Osmond and Gaea followed the path the treant had made in its rampage through the woods, leaving the mob behind. They discovered the half-elven adventurer Erai Dalfar along the way, and Erai began following the party on Osmond's suggestion.
When they reached the clearing, Erikur, Osmond, Gaea, Erai, and Ghaddar were confronted by the Faerfolc Befana, the witch of the woods whom the mob had been seeking and who appeared to be behind the threats the party had faced in Trinity Gask and in the forest lately. While her form appeared aged and elven, Osmond was able to figure out her identity as a Faery. He was honored to have seen her, but he was rebutted when he tried to bargain for knowledge on how to ascend from one existence to a higher one.
The mob had, by now, reached Befana's barrier, and Osmond explained the situation to them, but most of them were blinded by fear. Arcturius was, however, willing to listen. He went into the clearing and spoke with Befana.
Meanwhile, 'Jason' set the wisp free and shattered the barrier Befana had erected around the clearing. Osmond, recognizing the danger the imposter posed, set him on fire with a holy flame. The mob charged and attacked Osmond as Gaea began to have a splitting headache. After fending off his attackers, the paladin galloped part-way back down the trail, unsure whether to fight the mob or flee. Erikur, Arc, and Erai all fled, and Osmond untied Virgil from his saddle as they all followed the trail.
Something happened in the forest at that moment, however, and the trees re-arranged themselves into a path for them to follow, deeper into the woods.
This path ended up leading to the grove of the nymphs, Elysium. The queen of nymphs, Huldra, was in the middle of a ceremony that resembled a wedding. During their sojourn in the grove, Osmond met Huldra, several other nymphs, and what appeared to be the elven court musician of Huldra's realm, Aibell.
Things in the grove got hectic as Osmond, for reasons of marriage, resisted the charms of the nymphs, though for some reason, Erikur was paranoid about it as well. Erikur had no reason to be resisting them, as Osmond pointed out. Things escalated as the nymphs grew more aggressive and Arc began singing for reasons unknown. Aibell summoned Gaea to herself, and chaos broke loose soon after.
Betrayed and wounded to the heart at the loss of his ultimate hope, Osmond would have wept had not Fear Dearg, Befana, and the rest of the mob from before suddenly appeared in the grove. Arc had descended into gibbering madness, Ax and Corwin didn't know what the hell was happening, Erikur was a rage machine, and Erai seemed distracted at the moment. The paladin did not have time for sorrow. Wiping his tears and expressing some last sorrowful sentiments to Inari, he picked up Arc, and walked to Ax and Corwin. Erai, Erikur, Ghaddar, and Shitale were heading towards them as well.
The paladin took charge of the situation, and organized a plan to rescue the injured Befana and defeat Fear Dearg. He could only hope it would work.
He set Krauss's hair on fire so that Aibell and Fear could not use his passion with the nymph he was with for their rite. Osmond was then set upon by the mob under Fear's control. After Arc incapacitated a few with his song, he incapacitated a few more with his sword, before setting Fear's method of controlling them, his flowers, aflame. Erai got the mob into the healing water, and then to Corwin, before rejoining the group. Fear was ranting, not focusing on his opponents. Osmond took the opening and slipped Befana off his claws.
She had lost a lot of blood, and Osmond began healing her as he retreated from Fear. Befana connected to him through his magic, seeing that he had the necessary ingredient to complete the 'Rite of Hivena' as she put it. She threw off her disguise as an elderly elven woman, transforming into a beautiful Faerfolc. She asked him, for the good of the world, to break his oath to his wife, and kiss her with all the love in his heart. Fear begged him not to, and antagonized Jacob O'Harris by holding his brother hostage. The monster charged Jacob with seperating the two.
After hesitating for a bit, Osmond complied, kissing Befana for a long while and turning it somewhat erotic. He ended the kiss before he took it too far, and then stopped the charging Jacob. With the gathered power, the Fae woman summoned three treants to their aid to attack Fear, while Ax saved Jason from the monster's clutches. Osmond finished up his fight with the older O'Harris by shoving him towards his freed brother.
He tried to light Fear on fire, but that backfired when he manifested the power of the Wisp yet again. The paladin cut the magic, but the tentacles of light had already found him. Befana deflected it, however, and the paladin thanked her and went back to healing the still-injured woman.
He saw the portal that Corwin had opened, to the Void paths. He saw also the portal that Aibell and Inari had opened. He had a long, circular argument with the kitsune, but eventually realized it, and went for the weakened Aibell instead. He was almost able to sympathize with her desire to be with her beloved, but tossed her into the portal rather than wait for another powerful Faerfolc to intrude. The argument he'd had with Inari had paused the dance she had been doing long enough that the interstices of the spell-weaving were undone, and the portal closed behind Aibell.
The paladin passed out soon after, and awoke outside of the woods, where he decided he needed to do some explaining regarding the surprisingly-still-present Inari. The group that stayed behind heard his tale, and then Ax told hers.
A Gathering Storm
Osmond fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.
Osmond awoke refreshed yet sore due to Arcturius singing the Song of Awakening. As he was walking and gathering a rope and grappling-hook, he overheard one soldier say to another something about 'the Keiran woman' leaving a tailor's shop and to report to a Countess immediately. Coincidentally, the tailor's shop that they were referring to was the one Osmond and Inari had visited beforehand. He'd needed to go there anyway.
Asking which way he'd come from before entering, the apprentice tailor told him, and then Osmond asked after Axikasha, who was undoubtedly 'the Keiran woman' those two had mentioned before. Their response pointed him to a tavern not far away, and the paladin hid himself under his cloak before warning her and her companions that they were followed.
Aliases and Nicknames
- What he is called.
- A common nickname. Anyone that says he has or is a wizard gets punched.
- He Who Shines
- What he was called by the Mad Clergies and Befana. The same text appeared in the prophecy he was trying to have interpreted, and Osmond suspects a link between the clergies and the prophecy, but can't be sure of one. Befana's use of it puzzles him.
- A title he feels he has not earned yet, if called as such, he will counter that he is not a hero, merely a brave man doing what he thinks is right. He despises when people call him that merely because he has a sword and armor.
Tall, strong, and handsome, with striking scars from recent battles he's had with bandits. His hair shines like polished wooden banisters, crowning a strong brow, under which is a straight nose, green eyes, and very dull-colored lips. He stands at 6'2".
As a knight, he wears white armor that he prefers to keep immaculately clean, though it has been roughed up, and a cream colored cloak. His sword is worn on his right hip. His shield is worn on his right arm in combat, but on his back when not.
His sword, the Oath of Order, is a hand-and-a-half sword, cruciform and double-edged, with runes in a language he doesn't understand running down the fuller on either side of the blade. The blade has taken on a divinely golden glow since it absorbed the power of the Sword of Fotiacles.
Personality and Traits
Osmond sees the world in a less than pure light. He feels that it needs to be cleansed of the gods of darkness's influence, let the darkness and its chaos out and let the light make things flourish. Yet, he finds children, chaos in human form, to be the symbols of purity. His own child, Lucius, reminds him of that every day.
His wife Aegle is precious to him, the light of his day. The reason for his being aside from his infant son. Her name means 'radiance,' and though her dark hair contrasts, he never fails to see it.
Osmond is cheery and dutiful on the job, willing to do things for others. He never judges, and though he might keep an open mind, he often subconciously gets a mental image of the aspects of others, which can often be proven wrong.
Powers and Abilities
He's skilled in the use of a sword and shield, and has a rudimentary grasp on white magic spells regarding shields, illusions, and healing. Biggest thing he's ever fully healed was a small knife cut, his illusions are translucent, and his shields are gone in one hit, so he has a ways to go. He's recently deduced that he's healed a bigger wound than the knife cut previous and made one of his shields last for multiple hits. Progress. However, both spells of such were immensely more draining than his normal ones.
Due to finding a magic sword from a thousand or more years ago, his innate talent with fire has awakened, and his magic comes to him easier now.
His Innate Ability never manifested before the Cataclysm.
His beloved wife of five years. Osmond wishes to return to his wife quickly, believing his quest for an interpretation to be a short matter. When he thinks on her, however, he feels an uneasy foreboding feeling.
Arc is suspicious of Os, which perplexes him greatly. After all, he's, what, fourteen? It has something to do with prophecies, it seems like. And trust. Osmond was thus surprised when Arc admitted that he was glad the paladin was alright. Osmond is starting to see him more as a good-hearted teenager, though it is just a start.
Now that the bard is Osmond's student in swordsmanship, he is trying to be a good mentor to him, teaching him what he knows.
Osmond made her somewhat flustered with his show of chivalry at their introduction, and since then, when they've encountered each other, they have been able to work well together, as well as hold a decent conversation. There is an easy trust between them, or so it seems.
The two seem to get along well enough, although Osmond's lack of experience when dealing with strange monsters is apparent when they come up. The shaman seems not to trust Osmond, leaving the paladin confused.
His four year old son. The light of Osmond's world. He's proved to be a young rascal, though not in a bad way. Just the way that involves mud-spattered clothes after a hard day's play. Osmond wishes to see him again soon, but when he thinks that, an anxiousness plays upon his heart.
While suffering from amnesia and partly believing herself to be Gaea, Inari saw Osmond as an arrogant, errant child of Nergal who overstepped his bounds regarding her. Likewise, Osmond saw her as a childish woman undeserving of the power of a deity. Despite this occasional banter and Inari reacting violently whenever Osmond touched her without permission, there was some respect between them as Inari, while under the alias of Gaea and Rose, came to see Osmond as her guardian. The revelation of Inari's true identity during the events in Survivor's Woods has left her and Osmond's future relationship uncertain.