As the last of your weapons clatter to the floor, the door swings open to reveal a large chamber containing five statues and a banner in the center of a the room.
The banner is of a single black rose growing from a rock. Next to the rock is a hand, face up, with a broken sword in its open hand.
The statues on the sides are all warriors.
-One is a human woman in full-plate armor hefting a shield and a longsword, whose inscription reads: “Gwynad, The faithful defender”.
-One is a human man in Faskian uniform bearing an arquebus, whose inscription reads: “Stauben, The valiant betreyer”.
-One is a halfling woman in servant’s attire, ripped back to reveal a leather chestguard and a shortsword tucked in her waistband. Her inscription reads: “Marianne, the righteous thief.”
-One is an male elf in a field scholar’s outfit, stretching his hand to let fly a fireball. A gleaming amulet hangs around his neckHis inscription reads: “Athelan, the defiant scholar”.
To the very rear is a statue of an elven woman, kneeling and wounded, clutching a bow. Her hand is loosely formed around an antique arrow sticking out of her chest. The inscription reads:
“Laerta, the Martyr, who with one last arrow took her own life to repel the Faskian assault.”
There are further inscriptions on the pedestals of the statues and a story written on the wall.
“Gwynad was raised in a house divided. A Weslythan father and Faskian mother birthed her shortly after the end of the War of Blood and Ash. She was raised as a knight, but grew to be a rebel. While her parents fought on opposing sides of a conflict, hoping to never see each-other, Gwynad ran south to join the Army of no Nation. As a childhood friend of Laerta the martyr, she was the first to join the Army of no Nation and an honored member of the Valiant Five.”
“Stauben was a soldier who talked little of his past. All that is known is that he learned of a planned attack on the camp of the Army of no Nation and deserted his post to warn his former enemies. Laerta convinced her comrades to spare his life. During the preparations for evacuation, Stauben volunteered to stay behind and buy time for the escape. Though little is known of his motives, we can only hope that history will remember his example.”
“Marianne grew up in the slums of Caer Fathis and was employed as a servant from the age of eleven. When the Army of no Nation seized territory along the new border with Fask, Marianne left to join them. She never retired her servant’s uniform, instead wearing it as a reminder of where she came from and of those who still wore it by mandate. She stole funds and supplies for the army and for herself. By the time of the assault came, the Army was all the family she had and she volunteered for the rear guard.”
“Athelan often said they proud to be two things that were forbidden to exist in Fask. An elf and a Wizard. To willingly pursue magical talent as an elf is a death sentence. A sentence that time and again was put off until Athelan decided that it was time to stop running. It is said that their final words were: ‘Finally, I learn of what comes after’. Their wards and suppressing evocations made the last stand possible.”
“Laerta never revealed from whence she came. Perhaps it was to create a sense of awe, or to protect her loved ones. Laerta’s ability to inspire others not to follow, but to lead, was what made the revolt so initially successful. People came to her, not as individuals looking for a savior or a leader, but as participants in their own salvation. The truce of 21 ATS allowed Fask to focus their efforts on the rebels. Laerta took her own life with one last arrow and with her sacrifice brought down the wrath of the sun and sky on the armies of Fask. That final arrow now rests in the breast of her likeness.
Story on the Wall
“It was the third day of the 22nd year After the Scourge. The Settlement Wars were winding down and the Army of no Nation was at its peak. The armies of Fask were preparing to attack and crush the revolt. Faskian forces caught up with the retreating rebels in camp at Bulwark Bridge on the river Gerrian. A Faskian soldier named Stauben had deserted his unit the previous day to warn the Army of no Nation. The Valiant five; Laerta, Gwynad, Athelan, Stauben and Marianne; volunteered to stay at the bridge and hold off the Faskian army as long as they could. A gathering of Nationless soldiers watched the battle from a distance. Stauben was the first to fall, having sowed some measure of chaos by slaying officers from far off. Marianne’s traps and sabotage of equipment overnight had delayed progress and taken casualties of their own, but she fell to a bayonet in the first charge. Gwynad broke up five bayonet charges, felling untold scores. She fell in the 6th charge, weakened by exhaustion and shot in the throat at point blank range. Athelan made the defense possible with magic wards that held back projectiles and evocations which thinned the numbers of attacking troops. They were cut down at swordpoint on the seventh charge after expending the remainder of their evocations. Laerta was the last to fall. On the 8th charge, she emptied her quiver. She took her own life with the last arrow. As she fell, a great flash of light engulfed the bridge and the surrounding area, as though the sun itself had crashed down from the sky. The bridge had been scorched and the attacking forces incinerated. The scouts went down to retrieve their fallen comrades for burial, but their remains were nowhere to be found. All that remained was the forest, the weapons of the valiant five, and the last arrow of Laerta, undamaged by the burning light. The valiant five gave their life for a revolt doomed to fail, that the spark of desire for a free world might one day flare to life. The instruments of the great last stand have been interred here in the hopes that a new generation of heroes might take up the banner of the Army of No Nation.”
(Laerta’s last arrow, Laerta’s Bow, Stauben’s Arquebus, Gwynad’s sword, Athelan’s amulet, the banner of the Army of No Nation and Marianne’s knife can all be retrieved)
Players leave Temple
As you reach the top of the stairs, you can see sunlight coming in. A voice bellows down from outside:
“This is High Marshal Jerrath Falan! We have you surrounded by a full company of dragoons and and a squadron of Snipers. My Sappers have planted enough explosives to obliterate the temple. Come out one by one with your hands above your head and place your weapons on the ground! If you fail to comply, we will bury you alive! Surrender as my prisoners and you have my word and honor as an officer of the Faskian Army that your lives will be spared! Do you understand?”