Dan was raised by his two loving parent in Los Angeles, California in the United States...until the day the Soltan Star Empire invaded Earth and decimated a majority of schools, especially Dan's school; a secretive school that was actually a mystical School of Charm.
Dan had been a student in the Charm school of magic since he was five years old and was one of the best students his teachers had seen in years. In his spare time, Dan began dabbling in the latest cool school of magic - Technomagic. Although not an official student of technomagic, the teaching at that time were so loose that Dan quickly became a novice in Technomagic just as he became proficient in Charm. As Dan was about to read in a costumed reading of a new TV series called "The American Knight", the Soltan Star Empire invaded Earth.
In 2000 AD, the Soltan Star Empire invaded Earth to steal its bounty of resources, especially its enormous reserve of magical energy that permeated the whole of the planet. As such, the Soltans, who'd been spying and gathering intelligence on Earth and its capabilities for decades, knew exactly which magical schools to strike first in the secretive, millennia-old magical order known as the Conglomerate*.
One was the Technomagic school, based out of Detroit, Michigan in the United States; the other was the Charm school; the main campus was in Paris, France, however, Dan's school was the one located in Los Angeles, California. Each of those schools were destroyed in the first hour of the invasion.
Thousands of Charm school students were instantly incinerated from an anti-magic Thermite bombs dropped on the Charm school. The Technomagic school was destroyed with nearly 90% of its fleeting ranks decimated in the unstoppable bombings and raids at the Technomagic school and other associated magical school locations throughout the world.
Dan, still in his costume from the TV series cast call, contacted his parents who warned him not to engage the Soltans and instead escape from Los Angeles and meet with them in their magical sect's secretive underground capital, the Citadel, located beneath Greenwich, England.
As badly as Dan wanted to be with his parents, he simply couldn't stand by as his friends and humanity were being wiped out before him .
Using a self-built technomagically-powered 'surfboard' he'd been tinkering with, Dan took to the skies and, using his illusory and psionic magical abilities as best he could, helped save several Charm school leaders and students, including as a few visiting Technomagic mages.
By the end of the initial battle, Dan was seriously wounded, but saved dozens of magic users and normal people. After being transported back to the Citadel (where he was healed up), the few surviving Technomages cobbled together a magical energy sword, armor and magical energy shield that Dan could use should he chose to save other magical brethren (such as some of their fellow few remaining Technomages in Detroit). Against his parents wishes and one of the council of elder's authorization, Dan took the freshly made, cobbled together Technomagic armor, weapon and shield and exited through a portal to Detroit just as the Citadel went into lockdown.
When Dan arrived in Detroit, he saw hundreds of military troops engaging the Soltan army, American fighter jets dog-fighting with Soltan bombers and just outside of the secretive entrance to the Technomagic school, Dan also saw dozens of other brave and freshly recruited magical warriors battling the Soltans en force. They were the newest formation of Knights Arncaus.
Dan immediately jumped into the battle alongside the Knights Arcanus with the fervor of a man possessed. Although untrained in combat, Dan received "On The Job Training" from the Knights Arcanus' leader, Samhain Knight. Dan quickly took to his newly learned skills and became a valuable warrior for the rest of the battle of Detroit.
By battle's end, not a single Knights Arcanus knight was lost. Samhain Knight offered Dan a position with the knights, but only as a knight errant until he was able to 'clean up' his battle skills (and a couple of 'unknightly' morality issues). Thanks to his red, white and blue suit he wore through the battle, and the fact that he was trying out for the lead in a new TV show series, called "The American Knight", Dan quickly became associated with that name. Dan decided to continue wearing the costume, however, he also seriously upgraded its look and combat applications.
Several months after the start of the Soltan Invasion of Earth, the Soltans were driven back into space, with the Knights Arcanus as one of the most pivotal teams in the saving of Earth. Days before the knights engaged the Soltans in a massive final battle in China to destroy the last magical Ley Line siphoning tower, several knight errants were granted the official title of "Knight"; one of those knight was Dan.
The final battle was deadly, glorious and epic. If not for the Knights Arcanus and combined forces of Earth's nations and superheroes (and even some super-villains), Earth would have been drained of all its magical energies and the Soltans were have successfully enslaved humanity. Dan was severely wounded in the final battle and required months of convalescing in a non-magical hospital to recover.
After the Soltans retreated from Earth, every city, nation and populace started rebuilding. Due to Dan's and the Knights Arcanus' actions, Dan was not allowed to return to any properties or schools of the Conglomerate, including the Charm schools, the Technomagic schools and especially the Citadel. Should he ever step foot in any Conglomerate-controlled property, he would be captured and sentenced to death. This meant that he'd never be allowed to go to the Citadel and visit his parents, both of which survived the entire Soltan Invasion.
Dan remained with the Knights Arcanus after the invasion, however, he also integrated himself more into modern man's world, especially in his new trade as an actor and celebrity in Hollywood. Using his Charm school's teachings, Dan enticed several TV executives to restart the "American Knight" series he'd once attempted to read for as the series' lead actor.
Not only did the American Knight TV series get restarted, but Dan got the lead role as the "American Knight".
For the last five years, the American Knight TV show has remained #1 in its time slot and is still considered one of the best action/adventure shows on TV. Dan is a now a huge celebrity, who has to creatively explain reasons and events his activities and disappearances while he is working with the the Knights Arcanus on mission. Thusfar, Dan has been successful (using his charm magics) to not raise suspicion that the 'actor' is the same person as the 'hero' in the actual Knights Arcanus supergroup.
When Dan isn't training and fighting with the Knights Arcanus, he is acting, doing interviews or partying.
Dan has several rotating girlfriends at any given time. There are rumors that a couple of his 'girlfriends' became pregnant and are raising little Dan Rogers somewhere in the world, however, there has been no request for child support or legal actions regarding children...yet.
POWERS/CAPABILITIESCHARM SCHOOL MAGICS
TECHNOMAGE SCHOOL MAGICS/EQUIPMENT
Born in a secretive magical sect's* underground capital known as 'The Citadel', Cheryl Carpenter 'knew' early in her life that she was bound for a difficult road rather than a privileged one. She knew this because she saw herself and a handful of other brave warriors save the world...not once, but several dozen times from visions she had - of the future.
By the time Cheryl was five years old, she'd learned the extent of her gift. She told her parents who in turn told one of the elders in the order. The elder, rather than delve into Cheryl's gifts personally told Cheryl to never mention her visions, no matter how disturbing or deadly, to no one else...now even the elder himself. The elder himself said he foresaw Cheryl's coming and that his role in her life was to ensure her powerful visions and abilities were never know by anyone in the order until after an event only scryed as 'the Coming Storm'; a storm that would shake the foundation of their secretive magical sect's millennia-old operations.
The elder worked with Cheryl twice a week every week in private to train her in the use of her nascent abilities. As such, her remarkable powers actually surpasses some of the senior elders in the order who'd worked for decades to master the same skills; for Cheryl, it didn't take but a decade before she was on par with those same elders.
In January of 2000 A.D., months after Cheryl's 16th birthday and what was deemed by her secretive mentor to be the time of Cheryl's final trial in the use of her powers, an interstellar warrior race known as the Soltan Star Empire invaded Earth. The invasion was the actual 'Coming Storm' Cheryl had been warned about. It his own foreseen future, the elder who'd mentored and trained Cheryl in secrecy the previous years told her that her trial would now begin, but without her parents, her siblings, the order...or without himself, Cheryl's mentor. He told her she would be one of the greatest warriors of the order...but not the order's warrior. In a kind, thoughtful smile, Cheryl's mentor stood up, hugged her, kissed her on the forehead and then "desummoned' her to outside her magical school's campus miles outside of London. Seconds later, what was once the ultra-secret school building for teaching magical divination was nothing but a fiery crater, as the Soltans bombed the school and several other strategic facilities with Thermite bombs.
Cheryl watched in horror as the invasion continued to bomb and destroyed building around her and the killing innocent people on the streets. Looking down, she saw on the ground a sword of folklore that her mentor had told about several times in the past - Claíomh Solais; the "Shining Sword".
In Cheryl's mentor's discussions with her about the Claíomh Solais sword, her mentor told her that many stories rose and fell regarding the truth of the sword, one, namely that the sword belonged to a woman, not a man, and that it took a lifetime to forge and enchant. It's permanantly shiny golden-hued blade made it seem that the sword 'shone with the fire of the sun' when actually it was just highly reflective.
Cheryl picked up the sword and, thanks to her mentor's training of how to use her 'vision' skills to see a few seconds into the future when fighting in combat, she commenced charging and fighting through hundreds of Soltan troops, killing them (what seems effortlessly to any onlooker) one right after another. When performing this action, Cheryl's eyes glazed over to an orange hue, which her mentor on several occasions called Cheryl's look "Autumn's Stare". She fought for hours saving hundreds of lives of normal people and even helped a few survivors of the divination school bombing. Bloodied, battered, armor shredded and weak for continuous battle, she truly thought her trial would end in her death, that is...until THEY showed up...
Over three dozen young men and women (of which the women would never be authorized for such things in their magical order)ascended on the scene on their magically-enhanced horses, plowing into the remaining several dozen Soltan troops remaining in the area. Minutes later, the local battle was done with Cheryl and the Knights Arcanus standing wounded and battered, but victorious nonetheless. That's when Cheryl, already weakened by blood loss and battle, saw the leader of the Knights Arcanus; Samhain Knight. The man that she knew, even as a child, that she'd fall in love with and marry one day.
Cheryl never got a chance to say anything to him other than lock eyes with the Samhain Knight...and then pass out.
When Cheryl awoke, she was in a makeshift hospital bed at a vast Hacienda outside of Madrid, Spain. There, the woman tending to her was another person from Cheryl's visions - Samhain Knight's mother. Within minutes, Cheryl and Samhain Knight's mother got to talking as if they'd known each other their whole lives. Eventually, Samuel Shane (Samhain Knight's real name) arrived to check on Cheryl's condition. He was truly pleased to see Cheryl awake and alert. He sat down beside her, looking at her, sometimes longingly at times, and mentioned to her that she was every bit as lovely as she was the day he last saw her when he was seven (after that, Sam went on to train and was separated from his parents and their world for over a decade's time). Sam also noted that after Cheryl had collapsed from exhaustion did locals from the nearby building come out to take care of her and his fellow knights. The locals spoke of watching Cheryl fight for hours on end against the Soltans, saving hundreds of lives, almost like an avenging angel. Sam then returned Cheryl her sword with great reverence, noting that if he was correct, it was the Claíomh Solais, for which Cheryl nodded in confirmation. Although Sam wanted to hear her story and that of how she came by the sword, Sam was called upon to ride again to another city's aid against the Soltans. With a parting look that to both of them seemed like an eternity, Sam mounted his horse and went off to battle with his knights.
Weeks later, recovered from her wounds, Cheryl was practicing with her sword at the Hacienda when, of all people, Samhain Knight's father appeared with a gift for Cheryl; it was enchanted armor that he himself had made just for her. Samhain Knight's father was a blacksmith by trade, and although he wasn't specialized in enchanted armor, according to Sam's father, he took his time to ensure the armor was not only done right, but that it was done better than all others he'd even seen made. After donning the armor, Cheryl noted the various colors of the armor; browns, oranges, golds, yellows...and asked Sam's father if he was trying to imply a theme or message with the colors. Sam's father only said, 'it's your colors; the colors that best match the gold of her sword and the red of her hair; the beautiful colors of autumn'. With that, Cheryl decided that when the time came, she would take the title of the "Autumn Knight".
Days later, Cheryl was dubbed by Sam to be a 'knight errant' or a knight in training. As such, she received no different treatment than any other man, woman or knight. It was the school of tough love and hard knocks...even from the man she adored, Samuel Shane AKA the Samhain Knight. She trained hard and within a few months, passed her knight's trial, earning her the title of 'knight' and her self-chosen knightly name of "Autumn Knight". Shortly after her (and a few additional new knights') ceremony, the Knights Arcanus went back into dozens of new, heavy battles; battles that thinned the ranks of the knights by nearly 80%. Cheryl remained one of the remaining 20%, but didn't come out of the previous battles unscathed. Her right leg was wrapped and healing from multiple stabbings, she'd broken three bones in her hand and two in her feet and had suffered from the effects of several concussions. Nonethless, Cheryl didn't complain nor did she show weakness; instead she stood firm with her fellow knights for one of the biggest battles ever; a battle that could make the difference of a Soltan planetary victory or their utter defeat.
After days of planning, the knights stormed the last magical energy siphoning tower left on Earth; towers created by the Soltans to drain all of Earth's magical energy, storing it in equivocal 'magical' battery cells aboard the Soltan Starships, and leave Earth bereft of any magical energy at all, thus causing Earth to eventually become a lifeless planet within months...should the Soltans get their way. Sam and Cheryl rode side-by-side into battle together against the overwhelming Soltan defensive positions and soldiers. As the knights began to fall one after the other, Cheryl saw the vision she'd once had as a child - a vision showing the one-after-the-other death of knights against a faceless enemy, a vision she'd interpretted to be the total death of the Knights Arcanus and most likely, Solta's victory over them.
As Sam and Cheryl fought back to back with three other knights atop the Soltan siphon tower, compeltely surrounded and looking as if it was their last stand, the unthinkable happened - the rest of the world showed up to fight alongside the Knights Arcanus.
Thousands of troops from nations all over the world, superheroes, supervillains, fighter jets, sea-launched missiles and even some masked magic users that weren't supposed to be there at all, fought the Soltans with a vengeance, allowing Samhain Knight to provide the killing blow to the siphon tower, thus causing the tower to not only reverse its siphoning, but to instead RECHARGE Earth's magical energies from all source locations on the Soltan Starships...and then some. Within minutes, Earth's magical energies overflowed the planet to over 400% of its highest capacity ever recorded, thus making Earth one of the largest storehouses of magical energy in the universe.
Hours later, the battle was won and the remaining Soltan invaders retreated from Earth to the darkside of the planet Mars, where they've remained since then. Many knights died in that final battle, as did many of those that came to the knights' aid that day, however, Cheryl and Sam, both battered, bloodied and worn, survived.
Days later, Sam and Cheryl, through several meetings and a formal parlay, were told that none of the knights, living or dead, would ever be allowed to return to their magical orders under penalty of death. It was said that the magical order's council of elders did NOT approve of the formation of the Knights Arcanus, and that Samhain Knight's "theft" of hundreds or arcane weapons, armor and devices from the order's vaults and armory were tantamount to treason, thus placing a penalty to any and all 'knights' - of death. Should they ever attempt to return home again, they and their families would be captured, imprisoned and sentenced; the knight(s) to death and the family, prison for up to 10 years. As such, the Knights Arcanus, a group that in centuries past would dissolve its brotherhood once a major threat was vanquished, decided NOT to dissolve itself. Instead, the Knights Arcanus decided to stay together and not only continue their duties in protecting the magical order from evil, but also to aid the rest of the world from all threats, great and small.
Today, Cheryl is still a knight of the Knights Arcanus. She is also a 'seeker', or, in other words, a recruiter of new knights that she journeys out in to find. She is also the lead Scryer of the group and as such is a critical planner in all strategic battle planning and field combat. Although she is starting to feel her age, she and Samuel Shane AKA Samhain Knight are very much in love, but not married...yet (a potential point of contention between them since neither of them are getting any younger...). She has still no word of the fate of her parents or siblings, since communications with her magical order has been cut off from Cheryl and her fellow knights. Although she wasn't the first of the new knights in the Knights Arcanus, she is the one who has been in the most battles as a knight, and with that, the first woman to ever perform her trial right the first time (the other women tasked with their trials during the Soltan INvasion required at least three trials to be performed until they passed). As such, Cheryl continues her role as a knight in the Knights Arcanus, living out of the Hacienda outside of Madrid, Spain, and continuing her romance with her one true love, Samuel Shane, the Samhain Knight.
SWORD - CLA'IOMH SOLAIS:
BATTLE PRECOGNITION AND FIGHTING SKILLS:
Real Name Unknown
Alignment :Death magic
The Deathknight's history is relatively unconfirmed for its existence prior to the Soltan Star Empire's Invasion of Earth in 2000, however, obscure documents, reports and ancient lore provide some insight into the being that is the Deathknight.
Word-of-mouth stories and lore state that the Deathknight was once a knight of the Knights Arcanus over 1000 years ago. Back then, the magical sect that controlled the Knights Arcanus, a 'conglomerate' of various schools of magic back in those days (and even so today!*), had a representative from their Death magic school as part of one of the knights. Sadly, after a decade in the Knights Arcanus, it is believed that when the Death magic school was expelled from the conglomerate's order, the knight went back with his original Death school group. If was rumored that the knight fought with the Death school's grandmaster of magic constantly, requesting his return to the Knights Arcanus. Instead, it is believed the Death school grandmaster used necromancer magics on the knight, as well as several other dark magic spells, making the ex-Knights Arcanus knight into what was later dubbed "The Deathknight"; a being controlled by the Death school of magic's grandmaster as a bodyguard and enforcer of the grandmaster's will. Eventually, the grandmaster died, but before he did, it is believed that in order to prevent anyone else from taking control of 'his' creation, he tied its existence to a spiritual, wraith-like state; a state that could only form when called on for no more than an hour at a time. Nonetheless, having the Deathknight under one's control was a massive advantage in any situation. Its wraith-like state, powerful pole axe weapon and its 'battle rage' ability made it a weapon of unequal caliber.
Over the centuries, the Deathknight was used and abused by nearly every follow-on Death school grandmaster. As such, it became a standard for the grandmaster to be the only one who had access to controlling the Deathknight, even if that time was only for an hour. When it was called upon, whatever tasking the grandmaster gave to the Deathknight, it was forced to obey. It became a traditional process to turn over the ring that the Deathknight's spirit was imbued into as part of formal ceremonies for incoming new grandmasters. Usually within the first week of a grandmaster's reign, the Deathknight would be summoned to perform at least one task for the new grandmaster; the task usually resulted in getting rid of old enemies or killing non-magical people who were hounding or threatening their Death school populace or bases of operation. As such, the Deathknight was seen as the legendary "Grim Reaper" of mythical lore since it always showed up before prominent or powerful people were found dead. This series of traditions continued on until the 1990s when the last great grandmaster of the Death school, Damien Damalos, broke with tradition and instead asked the Deathknight what IT wanted. The Deathknight was rumored to have said that it either wanted a true warrior's final death or in lieu thereof, its return to the Knights Arcanus. The grandmaster was said to have agreed that upon his, the grandmaster's, death that the Deathknight would be released to either perform in its warrior's death or be released to the Knights Arcanus - or both. all pending on whether the Deathknight would work 'past' its agitated and cursed control and instead become a true champion for the Death school covens; a role that the Deathknight was believed to have always wanted since it was a living knight over 1000 years before. In a rare display of uncommanded complicity, the Deathknight began to act as a guardian for the predominant Death school located in Mexico City, the location where Damien Damalos operated from. There, the Deathknight independently saved several of its Mexico City order from marauding anti-Death school religious zealots and even saved Damien's life from an internal coupe. Ever since their initial conversation in 1991 the grandmaster never asked the Deathknight for anything else - except for one particular last request; the grandmaster's request for the Deathknight to save their Death magic school from the invading Soltan Star Empire during the Soltan Invasion of 2000.
In January of 2000, the Soltan Star Empire invaded Earth. As part of its initial 'blitzkrieg'-style attack on Earth, the Soltan targets attacked magical school locations all across Earth; the Death magic school was no exception. Mexico City, the largest Death School location, with over 2500 followers, was immediately attacked an nearly decimated within hours of the start of Earth's invasion. Damien Damalos, Death school's grandmaster, fought for nearly 1/2 hour before his wounds and fatigue began to take him. That is when he called upon the Deathknight. When the Deathknight was awakened, it saw the carnage before it and, unlike any time over the last four centuries, it immediately went into its battle rage. It plowed through Soltan troops like a Tasmanian Devil; Soltan troop bodies sliced into pieces; body parts flying into the air...Soltan blood everywhere. Thousands of Soltan troops were sent in to fight the Deathknight; all that were sent...failed. Sadly, nearly 90% of the world's practitioners of Death school magics were already dead by the hands of the Soltans. Mexico City was a major battleground by the Soltans. Tens of thousands of Soltan troops poured down into the city destroying everything and anything in their path. The only super-powered defenders of the city that day were Damien Damalos and the Deathknight. The grandmaster eventually collapsed from exhaustion during the Mexico City invasion. In an unprecedented display of loyalty, the Deathknight raced to the grandmaster's unconscious body and fought off the Soltan hordes from killing Damien. Although the Deathknight had never been seen fighting for more than an hour ever over the last several centuries, it continued to fight for hours...and days...later. The Deathknight fought protecting the grandmaster's wounded body, all the while the grandmaster's state of health continued to deteriorate. That's when an unlikely providence befell the Deathknight - the Knights Arcanus arrived to save the day.
As a result of the Soltan Invasion and its targeted decimation of magic users and their base of operations, the Knights Arcanus reformed for the first time in nearly 100 years...but not as a sanctioned, official order. The conglomerate of elders that, to that point, controlled when and if the the Knights Arcanus was to ever reform again, was usurped by a strong-willed Conglomerate Master at Arms who took it upon himself to reform the knights in lieu of the elders authorization. Agitated over the unauthorized forming, the elders instead demanded the knights stay and protect their secretive underground conglomerate magical city, thus leaving tens of thousands of other unprotected magic users to the fate of the Soltans. The Conglomerate Master at Arms and the Knights' new self-appointed leader, now calling himself the Samhain Knight, ignored the conglomerate's orders and instead raced off to other prominent magical school locations to do what could be done to fight the Soltans in the rest of the world. After the first two days of the Knights' battles, the unsanctioned knights of the new Knights Arcanus arrived in Mexico City to fight the enormous invasion force that had taken the city. Although the school of Death Magic was considered banned from the conglomerate for the last 1000 years, Samhain Knight still rode to their rescue regardless of the chagrin of the Conglomerate's elders. Upon arriving, the Knights Arcanus fought the few couple hundred remaining Soltan soldiers left (for which the Deathknight had been fighting) until the next wave of Soltan reinforcements was to arrive. The Knights Arcanus dove into the battle alongside the Deathknight as if they'd fought together for years past. In mere minutes, the remaining Soltan troops were decimated. Samhain Knight and his fellow knights took Damien Damalos and several surviving Death school mages from Mexico City's invasion and took them to a safe location outside of Madrid, Spain at a location called "The Hacienda"; a location that would eventually become the Knights Arcanus base of operations.
Sadly, the Death school grandmaster, Damien Damalos, died of his injuries hours after his rescue. Before he died, he awoke long enough to thank Samhain Knight for his bold and valorous actions, asking him to continue the 'true' duty of the Knights Arcanus and protect 'all' magic users...including those of the exiled Death school of magic. Samhain Knight swore to the grandmaster it would be so. With his last words, the Grandmaster uttered to the Deathknight that its release would be to the Knights Arcanus...where it would eventually find its warrior's death...free of a grandmaster's control and free to live in its current state, or die a warrior's death amidst the Knights Arcanus. It was said that tears of blood fell from the Deathknight onto the grandmaster's body once Damien Damalos breathed his final breath.
Since there was no place to properly bury Damien Damalos, Samhain Knight has the Death school grandmaster interred upon the Hacienda's estate. Although a few ardent supporters and staff of the knights were not happy with this, all of the remaining living Death school practitioners considered Samhain Knight's act as one of the most noble acts in magical history in centuries. As such, Samhain Knight's actions allowed the remnants of the Death school covens to reform and take their battle to the Soltans. At Damien's burial site, the Deathknight stood watch over Damien's grave, day and night, for over a month...unmoving; unresponsive. Eventually, Samhain Knight began to converse plainly with the Deathknight, stating that the Knights Arcanus could use its help...IF it acted as a knight...and not like a dishonorable ghoul. The Deathknight reacted with anger, shrieks and displays of property damage, to which Samhain Knight stood firm and told it that it would 'never' gain a proper warrior's death unless it first started acting like a true knight of the Knights Arcanus. The Deathknight streaked away into the night in a torrent of howling anger and rage, disappearing into the fog, leaving Samhain Knight alone at the grandmaster's grave. For the first time since the grandmaster had been buried, the Deathknight would not be there to watch over Damien's grave.
Days later, the Knights Arcanus were in a extraordinary battle with the Soltans, taking down Siphoning Towers erected by the Soltans to drain Earth of all of its magical energies. As the knights fought bravely, their numbers began to dwindle. Finally, Samhain Knight was the only knight left standing; fighting with the fury of a wolverine, he continued fighting even though he had nothing left in him. As a Soltan Commander was about to deliver Samhain Knight's deathblow, the Deathknight arrived. It saved Samhain Knight and slaughtered hundreds of Soltan soldiers in its wake. After the battle, the Deathknigt transported each knight to safety and then went to the Siphoning Tower and destroyed the entire structure in a rage of blind fury. As the tower fell, the Deathknight emerged from the dust and debris, advancing unto Samhain Knight's location. There, the Deathknight asked Samhain Knight if what was just witnessed 'valiant' enough for he and his knights, to which Samhain Knight simply stated, 'it's a start, my friend'. From thereon, the Deathknight fought alongside the Knights Arcanus, free of the ring that once controlled it (the ring was buried with the grandmaster), and free of its one-hour only conjurations. It was also, for the first time in centuries, allowed to think and respond for itself. Sadly, after centuries of its exposure to the dark magics that created and controlled it, the Deathknight could not remember much of who or what it was before it became a Deathknight. As such, the Deathknight began to make its own unique 'quirky' if not 'creepy' new personality.
After the Soltan Star Empire retreated from their invasion of Earth several months after the initial invasion, the Knights Arcanus were forced to account for their 'wartime' actions and insolence to the magical conglomerate's elders. The Deathknight's existence with the Knights Arcanus was considered not only deplorable but a heinous misuse of positional power. As such, when told to banish the Deathknight from the Knights Arcanus, Samhain Knight refused (as well as refusing several other 'demands' of the elders). As such, the Knights Arcanus formation was considered illegal, and as such, prompted a death penalty to any knight who dared to return to any lands or properties help by the conglomerate.. Luckily, The Hacienda was NOT conglomerate property. Sadly, though, the knights were disavowed and disgraced. Samhain Knight instead vowed to continue his duties in not only protecting the magic users of the world, but also the non-magical users of the world in a hope that one day, the secretive society of the magical conglomerate order would finally start integrating with humanity for the first time ever.
Today, Deathknight continues its self-made choice of remaining and fighting beside his fellow knights in the Knights Arcanus. It still, at times, watches over the grave of Damien Damalos, but over the last several months, it has also been seen watching over Samhain Knight as he sleeps...
Axe - "Bloodmark"
Santiago is the son of a Paraguayan gaucho (rancher/cowboy) and a Argentinian woman who was secretly an ostracized refugee from the Natural magic school and a secretive magical society only known as "The Conglomerate" (for more info on The Conglomerate, if you dare, click on the classified folder to the right!).
Santiago grew up on the hacienda working hard, caring for the horses, learning to ride and take care of the property. At age 13, a strangely robed trio of men and women arrived to 'take Santiago to school'. This is when it was revealed that Santiago's mother was a refugee from a magical society. Santiago's father refused to allow this 'abduction', as he called it, and swore to kill anyone who'd ever attempt to take his son away, no matter what his legacy or destiny was. The trio left, but before they did, they stated that Santiago was 'fated' to be trained to one day become their 'greatest' hero and that nothing they've scryed have proven any different.
Over the next couple years, Santiago's parents decided it was okay for the mother to teach him some 'basics' in natural magic, but nothing beyond basics. As with all natural magics, the child receives the mother's innate abilities towards one particular part of nature in terms of control. For Santiago, it was fire. His mother taught him several spells how to use his fire powers, predominantly so as not to burn or hurt anyone or anything with them. Interestingly enough, Santiago was very adept at his magics, and was soon able to perform his own natural fire magics without training or aid. He was not only adept with the magics but his understanding of natural fire magics seemed near symbiotic. At one point he created his own flaming sword, much to the surprise of his mother who'd never been able to create one herself. That day's elation was followed by one of the worst disasters in Earth's history - the Soltan Star Empire's alien invasion of Earth in 2000.
In 2000, Santiago was 15 years of age when the Soltans attacked Earth. For the first month of the invasion, Santiago and his family were not affected at all by the global invasion due to the remoteness from Buenos Aires (over 100 miles away), however, the troops eventually came and when they did, they brought with them abductions and death.
When a troop of over 20 Soltans arrived at the Estio Hacienda, they had a strange device that tracked magical energies; magical energies that emanated from Santiago and his mother. The Soltans gathered the two of them up and killed Santiago's father when he attempted to stop them. Santiago and his mother were to be either brought to the slave pens or experimented on to discover their biological ties to Earth's magics, at least, that's what their captor said. Placed in anti-magic shackles, Santiago and his mother were forced to walk behind the troops for miles through the Argentine countryside where the Soltan troops continued their search for more slaves and/or 'interesting' humans to study. After several days, Santiago's mother grew weak and unable to walk. Instead, the Soltans dragged her behind them, telling her in she died, they'd roast her dead body over a fire and eat her in front of her child.
That's when Santiago cut loose.
Santiago's magical powers over fire erupted like a tsunami against his captors. Waves of a massive firestorm erupted for thousands of yards around them, engulfing the Soltan troops and burning them all to a crisp. Sadly, because of his explosive use of his powers, he also killed several of his fellow human captives....and his mother. Santiago laid in shock aside the burnt body of his mother and fellow captives, mumbling "Lo siento" repeatedly again and again ("Lo siento" is Spanish for "I'm sorry"). A band of rebel human fighters found Santiago days after Santiago's fiery tsunami and took the emaciated traumatized boy along with them. Within a week's time, Santiago came out of his trauma, fed and healthy, but riddled with tons of guilt for killing his mother and the other innocent captives.
A counselor worked with Santiago over the next month to get him past his trauma. On the last day of the therapy session, the counselor told Santiago to gather up his stuff; they were going to leave. When asked where they were going, the counselor simply replied, 'To get revenge, of course!". The counselor was a master of a natural magic school that had been destroyed in Santiago, Chile. He'd lost all of his students and had been on the run from the Soltans when he overheard about Santiago and his powers from one of the survivors of the fire tsunami. Together, the magic school master and Santiago agreed it was time to take the fight to the Soltans and teach them whose planet it was.
Over the next few weeks, Santiago and the Nature school master, Master Arial, teamed together like kindred spirits fighting and killing the Soltans. Together, the two of them killed over 200 Soltan troops. Master Arial taught Santiago more about how to control and focus his magical powers, as well as how to fight. Master Aerial even stated at one point that it was a 'shame that the Conglomerate didn't activate the Knights Arcanus before the invasion', otherwise Santiago, in Master Arial's opinion, would have made a perfect knight. Santiago was told of the tales of the Conglomerate, its capital, the Citadel, and all of the incredible stories of their realm of magic, including details about the Nature school of magic he ran...and how the Soltans murdered all his students and their families. As such, Santiago and Master Arial became a force to be reckoned with...enough to garner a greater interest by the Soltans.
After the 15th week of the invasion, the Soltans decided to hunt down Master Ariel and the boy only known to them as the 'Firechild' at that time. The manhunt was enormous, involving aerial assault craft and a legion of Soltan troops scouring all of the southern half of South America. No one was unaffected from the searcher's brutality or disregard for human life. Thousands of dead humans were left in their wake. Entire towns were decimated in the hunt for Master Arial and Santiago. Instead, the South American communities raised banners and posted flyers about their super-powered 'heroes', Master Arial and his "Firechild". Eventually, Master Aerial and Santiago were discovered in a cave in a ravine. There was no escape. For the two of them, it was either be captured or go out in a blaze of glory; blaze of glory it was. Master Arial used his natural wind powers to create a funnel of high velocity air to fuel Santiago's fiery tsunami all about the ravine, killing nearly a hundred more Soltans in the process. Just as Master Arial was struck down before Santiago, the Knights Arcanus arrived on the scene, led by their leader, Samhain Knight.
It was a slaughter.
Nearly half the Soltan legion died fighting the Knights Arcanus before they eventually retreated back to their South American HQ in Santiago, Chile. Sadly, Master Arial eventually died hours later of his wounds, but not before he was able to spend his last period of time with Santiago. Santiago was nearly catatonic over Master Arial's dying, however, thanks to the knights and encouraging words from Master Arial before he died, Santiago was able to not shutdown as he did when his mother died. The knights performed a formal burial ceremony for a magic master on the Knights Arcanus' property in Spain, which they also called "The Hacienda". There, to this day, Master Arial's grave stands, a testament to the Nature school of magic and one of their greatest teachers and warriors.
For the rest of the invasion, Santiago rode with the Knights Arcanus as a knight errant, learning how to be a knight. By July of 2000, Santiago had became a full fledged knight of the Knights Arcanus, as well as his hew title, Fyreknight. His exploits and ferocity in battle eventually became legend. Although hurt several times in combat with the Soltans, he always went back with the knights to continue the fight...all except for the last battle with the Soltans in China in August of 2000.
Just prior to the Knights Arcanus' legendary assault on the last magical siphoning tower in China that the Soltans were using to drain Earth's magical energies, Santiago was severely wounded in battle. He nearly lost his arm in the fight. Luckily, the doctors were able to reattach it, however, the post-surgery recovery would require weeks of hospitalization and months of additional therapy. Although Santiago pleaded to simply 'cut off the arm' so he could go fight, the Knights Arcanus leader, Samhain Knight, ordered Santiago to stay and recover. With gritted teeth, he agreed to what Samhain KNight asked and as a result, fully recovered from his near death experience.
After the Soltans retreated from Earth in August of 2000, the Knights Arcanus were expected to be dissolved (if not imprisoned by their elders for their actions (see the HISTORY section of the Knights Arcanus for more info on this!)), however, the knights did not dissolve, instead, they stayed together, this time, to continue protecting the Earth and not just the magic users on the planet as had been the Knights Arcanus' original charge to perform as ordained from centuries of knightly tradition. Santiago eventually rejoined the knights and continued his boisterous duties as one of the most powerful knights on the team.
On a side note, Santiago donated his parents' Hacienda to those surviving family members that had been abducted or were related to those Santiago had burnt and/or killed in his first fiery tsunami he performed that one sad day. As such, the Hacienda is now a care and therapy center where traumatized, injured, burnt or maladjusted young children and adults can go to learn to cope with their issues, ride horses, take care of the horses and start a new life. At any given time, there are at least 25 patients there and a dozen gauchos and staff for the patients.
Today, Fyreknight is considered one of South America's greatest heroes to date. All countries in South America, except Venezuela and Columbia, hold a Fyreknight Day event on 20 June of every year; a date that both he and Master Arial saved over four hundred human slaves from their Soltan captors. To this day, Fyreknight returns that same day of the event to the Knights Arcanus' Hacienda in Spain to pay his respects to Master Arial by sitting down and having dinner at his grave with him.
NATURE MAGIC POWERS
Rose-Marie was born in 1702 outside of Paris, France to a mother who had left a magical 'order' located back in Great Britain. Rose-Marie had been raised in how to use and manipulate Natural magic. She was 'home schooled' by her mother in such arts. Sadly, Rose-Marie's working class father died when she was 10 years old.
Prior to her 16th birthday, Rose-Marie and her mother were home when they were attacked by a band of malevolent Arcane wizards, demanding a specific artifact Rose-Marie's mother had 'stolen' from her previous magical 'order'. Instead of giving up the artifact, Rose-Marie's mother fought the wizards. In the ensuring battle, the wizards grabbed up Rose-Marie and threatened Rose-Marie's life for the artifact. Rose-Marie's mother, already badly wounded during her fighting with the wizards, said a few tearful words in French to her daughter (which, since the wizards were from England, didn't know the French language) and rather than turn over the artifact, used an extremely powerful and rare spell that transferred Rose-Marie's soul and essence into that of a plant's seed located in a jar on a table next to them. After Rose-Marie's soul was transferred, her body went limp and lifeless. The wizards believed that Rose-Marie's mother killed her daughter rather than give them the artifact. Angered, they killed Rose-Marie's mother mercilessly and rather brutally. In the rambunctiousness of killing the mother, they knocked over several items in the home, including the base with the seed that housed Rose-Marie's soul. The vase rolled down into the cellar of the home and into an old fireplace flue that took it down into a deeper, older location; a location bereft of sunlight, magic or moisture. Sadly, the vase remained there, untouched for hundreds of years. Their home had been burned to the ground and a new building was built over the old home's lands. There, Rose-Marie stayed, lifeless and alone for those centuries; unable to think, act or feel.
It wasn't until 2002 that, as a result of the Soltan Invasion of Earth nearly a year earlier, that the building that once stood over Rose-Marie's vase three stories above ground was finally torn down, due to the damage the building received during the invasion. A land developer got enough funds together to take over the property to start building apartments and condominiums on it. In their excavation of the site, they found the untouched lower levels of the building's foundation...and Rose-Marie's vase.
One worker who found the vase amidst the ruins of the old chimney flue decided it would be a great gift for his ill mother who'd always liked old pottery and vases. After the man gave his mother the vase, the mother, not in control of all her faculties, decided to plant some flowers in the vase. Placing soil, other seeds and water in the vase and setting it on the window, the seeds began to grow...as did Rose-Marie's seed. Within weeks, a bountiful bloom of flowers erupted from the vase, including a unique flower; a flower that was slowly becoming self aware again after hundreds of years - Rose Marie.
During a lightning storm one night, Rose Marie's flower of a body began to grow, change and expand. The vase holding her fell on the floor, unable to carry the enlarged pod's weight. The old woman at the home didn't hear the vase fall amidst the thunder and lightning of the storm. The next morning, both Rose Marie and the old woman who lived there were in for a huge surprise.
Rose-Marie erupted from a plant-like pod and was 'born again' on the floor of Ms. Anna Rousseau's home at 7:02 A.M. on the 22nd of July in 2002. The difference between Rose-Marie's birth in 1702 and 2002 was that her body was now that of a young woman...a woman no longer of flesh and blood, but of vines, leaves roots and sap. When she saw what she was, she screamed. That's when Ms. Rousseau came to the kitchen.
Unsure that to think of each other at first site, Rose-Marie and Ms. Rousseau held a quiet look-over of one another. Ms. Rousseau finally stated in French, 'my dear, you look like you've been through hell. Come sit here while I get you some water; you look parched'. And parched Rose-Marie was. She drank 20 glasses of water in quick succession. During this time, Rose-Marie attempted to tell Ms. Rousseau what had happened to her, and asked where she was, surrounded by such strange items (microwave, refrigerators, TV, etc.). After a few hours of explanation, Rose-Marie drifted off to sleep, but not before she shimmied up to the only window in Ms. Rousseau's home that caught the morning light the fullest.
When Rose-Marie awoke the next day, her green color (pallor, as she called it) was a deep green, rather than yellowish-brown as was when she was found on the kitchen floor the previous morning. She looked healthy and vibrant. Several other plants and flowers in the house were blooming like never before; almost exploding with life and vibrance. As such, Rose-Marie noticed that Ms. Rousseau was still asleep in her bed and decided it was time to go out of the house and see the world. What started as a wondrous adventure for her turned into an evening of chaos and fear.
Rose-Marie was a child of innocence walking around 21st century Paris. Wearing nothing but her plant-like leafy green skin, most thought she was a street performer or 'body painting' artist, most of which would complement her on her costume and hand her a Euro or some change. With wide-eyes and an overwhelmed state, she walked about Paris until she no longer knew where she was...or how to get back to where she once was. As such, Rose-Marie 'thought' about wishing she'd left a trail to follow to get back home; a trick she used to do when she played in the woods back in the 1700s. Almost as if on demand, large amounts of grass, flowers and plants came up from under sidewalks, streets and ground, all in exactly the same path she'd walked throughout Paris...which was several miles of meandered walking. As she followed the path of the expanding plants, she realized the plants, flowers and bushes were stopping traffic on the roads, turning over the concrete sidewalks and even damaging some of the buildings she'd been in. When she tried to 'put the plants back in the ground', she couldn't; instead, more plants grew to unnatural sizes and purposes. When people started saying Rose-Marie was responsible for the out-of-control plants, people started yelling at her, calling her a freak and an alien. Emotional and confused, she yelled back at them, stating she didn't know what she was doing. As she got more emotional, the plants started entwining around people's legs, holding them in place, much to the people's screams and terror. Again, Rose-Marie attempted to control the vines and plants, only to make it worse, causing trees to burst from the ground, cars to get crushed by large creeper vines and thorny briar from an alley to entangle innocent people. She was beside herself with fear and anguish.
It wasn't until a Latino man known as Fyreknight arrived on the scene. Using his fiery powers, he started singeing Rose-Marie's body. The two fought for a few minutes until Fyreknight decided to 'turn up the heat'. In so doing, Rose-Marie's plant-like body began to char and sear, causing her to unconsciously form a protective cocoon about herself; a cocoon that was nearly impermeable. Fyreknight took the cocoon back with him to his team's base, "The Hacienda" in Spain for further study.
Weeks later, Rose-Marie emerged from her cocoon, healthy, well watered and back to her normal green self. She was introduced to The Hacienda's owner and the team lead of the magical super-group known as the Knights Arcanus - Samhain Knight. After several hours of discussion, Samhain Knight realized what and who she was. He also realized that his ability to teach her to control her magics was poor and that she needed to learn how to control her powers before she could go out in public anytime soon. As such, Autumn Knight was able to contact a 'friend' of an old Natural magic school who promised to help train her in the use of her new body and powers, which Rose-Marie liked and appreciated. She swore that one day, she'd pay the Knights Arcanus back for what they did for her.
During her time learning her new abilities and powers, Rose-Marie stayed with Ms. Rousseau, who was happy to have someone to be there for her. Rose-Marie was quickly taught how to use her powers to change her looks to be 'very' close to looking human, aside from her soft, leafy skin texture. She was able to change her skin color to resemble that of any human race, however, being in Paris, she predominantly chose Caucasian.
Ms. Rousseau's son had died due to an 'explosion' at the site where he'd been working (not long after he found Rose-Marie's vase), and as such, Ms. Rousseau had no one left as family in her life. To that end, she decided to 'adopt' Rose-Marie as a daughter and through the help of the Paris Natural School of Magic lead, Rose-Marie was able to get full French identification and become Rose-Marie Rousseau legally in France. To that end, Rose-Marie entered college and and earned a degree in European history with easily achieved grades. Rose-Marie even learned to drive a car, however, she instead liked bicycling and skating instead.
In 2015, the apartment buildings that were built over what was once Rose-Marie's home from the early 1700s were being attacked. Several people and and police officers died as a band of 'wizards' were ripping through the basements of the apartments. Rose-Marie felt compelled to find out what was happening there and traveled by bicycle to the scene. There, behind the police line, in her human disguise, Rose-Marie saw through a robbed man holding a hostage yelling out a basement window that if any more police arrived they'd kill hostages and to leave them alone until they found 'what they were looking for'.
The men in the robes were from a malicious magical cult know as "Arkaenus".
Rose-Marie quickly identified the robes they were wearing; they were the same type of robes worn centuries before by the band of wizards that killed her mother. Once realizing what they were, without hesitation, Rose-Marie shifted into her plant-like form and advanced on the scene. The French police told her to move back but instead she said she was a going to 'stop them' from hurting any others, just as Rose-Marie's body walked 'down' into the green grass, her body disappearing into the ground.
Rose-Marie entered the basement through a water pipe to a laundry room sink, reforming into her plant like state from that of a long vine pouring out through the now broken water pipe. She plugged the pipe from spraying water and then advanced on the Arkaenus wizards. Using her powers, she made quick work of them subduing and immobilizing them with her vines and plants. She then ensured the hostages were okay, and had them exit the building to safety. A minute before the police arrived, Rose-Marie asked the wizards what they were looking for; their reply - the Master Seed; a seed that when grown properly and attuned to a grandmaster of natural magic, could control all plants on Earth with but a thought. The wizard said his order has been looking for it for centuries and only recent revelations led them back to this location. As the wizards looked at her, they screamed "IT'S YOU!! YOU ARE THE MASTER SEED!!". Unsure what to think of this, the police arrived and thanked Rose-Marie for her help, which the hostages told the police about. As the wizards were hauled away, still screaming that Rose-Marie was the 'Master Seed', Rose-Marie realized that her mother WAS hiding something powerful. Was the seed she'd been infused with an actual Master Seed, or was it just another magical seed her mother had just simply enchanted? This left Rose-Marie with a burning question - was she actually the Master Seed, and if not, where was it?
It didn't take but two days before more bedlam erupted on the Parisian streets. More Arkaenus wizards and witches started appearing, attempting to draw out Rose-Marie to combat her and take "the Master Seed" for themselves. After several battles with them, Rose-Marie realized she needed help. She contacted the Knights Arcanus.
After briefing Samhain Knight and his Knights Arcanus about the "Master Seed" situation and Arkaenus, it was agreed that they'd help Rose-Marie in her fight. Taking the fight to Arkaenus' base of operations, the knights fought hard, tearing though areas of their base no other person outside of Arkaenus had ever seen in centuries. At one point a big battle occurred between the cult's leader, Arkaenus Maximus and the Knights Arcanus. The fight went on for nearly 20 minutes, with neither side gaining ground, but the Arkaenus base receiving extreme damage. In a quick parlay, Samhain Knight and Arkeanus Maximus stopped fighting and brokered a deal; they leave Rose-Marie alone and the knights wouldn't destroy their cult. Arkaenus Maximus were furious over the deal, but at the bequest of his advisors, they compromised, stating they promised on the abdication of their own leader, Arkaenus Maximus, that she would not be 'sought' after by Arkaenus...until 2020, when all bets would be off. Agreeing to the unique truce, Arkaenus Maximus stated, 'the deal doesn't include attacking any other knight of the Knights Arcanus should they attempt to combat Arkaenus between now and 2020. Samhain Knight agreed and had the team withdraw from the Arkaenus base.
As it was, the experience in the Arkaenus base was a treasure trove of information...and foreboding portent. Symbols, imagery and artifacts seen in the base identified that by 2020, Arkaenus would be up to something 'big'. These findings 'mysteriously' found their way to the Knights Arcanus' old order, "The Conglomerate" (which was also the same order Rose-Marie's mother had escaped from). As such, Rose-Marie asked if she could be trained by the Knights Arcanus to become a knight and one day 'be of use' in stopping Arkaenus from their schemes, as well as use her abilities with the knights to thank them for all they'd done for her up to this point.
Sadly weeks later, Ms. Rousseau, the woman who adopted Rose-Marie, died at the age of 97 simply from old age. In the will, Rose-Marie was left everything in the Rousseau estate, including over 700,000 Euros worth of stocks and bonds, the Paris house...and a chateau in Devonshire, England that Rose-Marie never knew about.
Today, Rose-Marie, now know as the "Green Knight", has taken on the role of Knight Errant in the Knights Arcanus. She lives out of her Parisian home, but travels routinely to Spain and the Knights Arcanus' base, "The Hacienda". She had started to learn more about fashion, and, in her Rousseau-guise, has begun a fashion business, using 'natural' fabrics and styles, all of which are gaining popularity across Europe.
Most Knight Errants usually earn the title of knight within two years of their start in their training with the Knights Arcanus, however, due to the pacifistic nature and the strangeness of Rose-Marie's powers, she had had a difficult time adapting to a knight's world. Hopefully, in time, the knights themselves will learn to adapt, rather that have her change her 'nature' of being.
At age 6, young Censa Camilleri of the island nation of Malta attended, with her family, the formal knighting ceremony of her father as a Knight of Malta; an honorary title earned through numerous years of her father's selfless dedication to helping the poor and disenfranchised with medical care, surgeries and medicine. During the ceremony, that cold January day in 2000 the Soltan Star Empire invaded Earth...and the Order of Malta at Fort St. Angelo in Malta.
Only a year before, Fort St. Angelo had been allowed to once again house the Order of Malta as it once did hundreds of years before. The accommodations were sparse at that time with a large amount of construction equipment, scaffolding and 'in progress' construction operations.
At the time of the Soltan attack, three large squadrons of Soltan troops descended upon the fort after blasting it from aerial fighters and bombers. The Soltan troops were later discovered to be looking for any powerful energy items and/or magical items or relics. As it was, the Grandmaster of the Order of Malta was officiating the knighting ceremony for Censa's father, Verne Camilleri, when the Soltans burst into the room demanding the staff held by the Grandmaster. Four security guards of the Grandmaster shot at the troops, where three of the guards quickly died at the Soltan's hands. As a result of the fight, a temporary construction beam holding up the floor beneath the ceremony's room gave way, causing the aged fort's floor to collapse down through two levels below. The Camilleri family, the Grandmaster and one surviving guard, along with several Soltans, fell through the floor as well. The Grandmaster caught hold of a protruding support beam only one level below, and was hanging precariously onto it over the vast hole below him. A Soltan trooper, translating in English, told the Grandmaster to 'Give staff at me. Now or die.'. The Grandmaster looked as if to hand it to the trooper, but instead let go of the beam and fell to be floor below, causing both of his legs to break upon landing.
At the bottom of the debris-littered hole that everyone had fallen through, young Censa was able to crawl out from her father's lifeless arms. He died protecting her from the fall. Her mother was buried under a pile of wood and debris and her brother was nowhere to be seen. That's when the other Soltans stood up just as the Grandmaster fell from his momentary encounter on the floor above. Once the Grandmaster landed in pain, he looked about wildly and saw Censa, yelling at her to take the staff and run and to never give it to the Soltans. Surprisingly, the staff was light and easy for her to lift. She took the staff and ran under pews in the fort's church that they'd all fallen into. As Censa scampered under the pews with the staff, the Soltans ripped up the pews, tossing them into the air, chasing Censa and the staff. The one remaining security guard found Censa at the front of the church's pews, grabbed her up and said "I've got you" in Maltese. He then pulled her into a room with a large, heavy metal door and closed and locked the door from the inside. They were safe for the moment, but they were also trapped.
As the Soltan troops started blasting at the heavy metal door, the security guard looked at Censa and asked her if she was brave enough to climb atop the room's tall shelves and out through a window over 14 feet above in the room. She nervously nodded. He held the staff as she started her climb with the agility of a gymnast, for which she'd only taken gymnastics months earlier for the first time. When she reached the top he tossed the staff up to her and told he to keep the staff safe and to only give it to a Knight of Malta and no other, EVER. He told her that God himself needed her to complete her task and not get taken captive by the Soltans, no matter the cost. When she yelled down to him to follow her up, her looked up at her smiled, and said, "I'm about to do God's work here but destroying these evil creatures chasing us. If God wills that I survive, I will see you again, until then, go; go now...and go with God my brave Lady of Malta". Censa crawled through the window and out onto a rampart where she was able to eventually escape the Soltan invaders and hide in a sewer pipe for the better part of the next day.
She never saw the security guard, the Grandmaster or her family ever again.
Censa walked through the sewers of Malta for the next few days, foraging for food, dodging Soltan patrols and attempting to find anyone who looked like a traditional 'knight'. Sadly, no one came to her rescue nor was she able to trust anyone who wasn't a knight, ergo, she was on her own. Finally after a week's time, a massive majority of the Soltan troops left, leaving only one squadron to maintain security, using Fort St. Angelo as their base. That's when she saw a team of Italian special forces troops quietly come from the Meditteranean waters and up onto the beach in front of Censa in her storm drain hiding place. That's when she saw that one of the troops was wearing the emblem of a Knight of Malta on his shoulder. She used a flashlight she'd appropriated in her travels to signal the troops, who almost unloaded their weapons on her as a result. Luckily, the troops held back their shooting and scattered to the storm drain. There, the special forces troops were stunned to see the girl and one of their ten objectives for their mission - the Staff of Life, there with the girl.
The man who wore the emblem of a Knight of Malta asked her how she came by the staff. She told him the whole story. The man looked at Censa with admiration, stating that 'no other person he knows would be so brave in such conditions'. As part of her conversation with him, she told him that the security guard called her the "Lady of Malta" and if that was a title she was supposed to bear while holding the staff; the man's reply, "it is now. Come Lady Malta, let's get you and that staff to safety. With the delicacy of a father's love, the man explained about the scuba tank they were about to use and that he'd help her swim to a submarine off the coast where she, him and the staff would be able to get away from the evil aliens safely. With the bravery of a seasoned veteran, Censa swan with the Knight of Malta, sharing the Scuba mouthpiece and swam to the submerged submarine off the Maltan coast. Together, they entered the sub and were rescued. Hours later, the rest of the Knight of Malta's team returned, again with several other people and artifacts. Their mission completed, the submarine took them to a remote island off the Italian coast known as La Madelana.
The base at La Madelena had already been destroyed by the Soltans, however, no Soltan troops were left to guard the island, believing it to be of no value. Occasionally, a Soltan aerial patrol would fly-over, but the troops secretly hiding there knew well in advance of any potential attacks or patrols.
For the rest of the Soltan invasion, Censa remained in La Madelena, where she quickly became quite the talk of the base. The stories of her bravery, and sacrifice, were told again and again to others to bolster their spirits and resolve to fight against the Soltans. Rather than do nothing, Censa began to learn how to fight; Krav Maga, knife-fighting and staff fighting. In a few short months, she'd become a dynamo of a fighter for such a young girl.
The Staff of Life they'd liberated from Malta was put to good use. It was a magical staff that was quickly discovered to heal others. The staff was used by the man Censa only knew as the "Knight of Malta", where he took the staff out on missions to help save others and, at times, fight the Soltans. Censa and the Knight grew close, but he never told her his name, nor did he tell anyone else, ergo why others simply started calling him the "Knight of Malta". He, on the other hand, never called Censa by her name, but always called her "Lady Malta", and, usually in jest rather than actual civility, would bow to her each time he saw her. Others seeing this truly thought Censa was some form of nobility and as such, began treating her with a greater respect and politeness.
In August of 2000, the final battles with the Soltans raged across the globe. The "Knight of Malta" told his "Lady Malta" goodbye before he left, however, he never returned. He died in battle in China fighting beside the magical super-powered team known as the Knights Arcanus and thousands of other troops from all over the world in one of the most epic and climactic battles of the invasion. After the Soltans left Earth and escaped back to space, a liberated Earth began to finally take stock in all that had been lost. The troops that operated out of La Madelena all left, leaving several dozen civilians to care for the facility. Censa was told to pack what she had and that all the remaining folks on La Madelena would go back to the mainland in Italy and each find a way to get back home. For Censa, that meant finding her way back to Malta.
It took four months of perilous dealings to finally get a boat ride back to Malta. When she arrived back in Malta, she saw that most of the island was in decent shape; only Fort St Angelo and the Capital city of Valletta had been damaged by the Soltans. Censa went back to her home where she saw that someone had been living there; it was her mother and brother. They'd both survived the Soltan invasion. After a tearful reunion and stories told, they all settled in back to a normal life as best they could under the impoverished conditions that the island was now under.
A day after Censa's return, Censa's mother in one of her dozens of stories of the invasion, mentioned that a strange man in a black and orange cloak appeared at their home weeks after the end of the invasion asking for a "Lady Malta" and that they sent him away not knowing who he was talking about. Censa leapt up upon hearing this demanding more information. In describing the cloaked man, Censa quickly realized it was not her "Knight of Malta" she knew. At that point the mother said the strange man gave her a smooth rock and told Censa's mother that if Lady Malta was ever found to give her the rock, break it, and wait for him to return to her, also mentioning it was vitally important. After explaining to her mother that she herself was the actual "Lady Malta", Censa asked where the rock was. The mother said she thought the man was crazy and dropped the rock on the ground outside the house.
After searching for a half hour around the outside of their house, they found the smooth stone. Censa quickly broke the stone in two and patiently waited.
After several hours, Censa finally went off to bed, saddened and frustrated over this whole situation, truly believing the cloaked man to be nothing more that an acutal crazy man that just happened to hear the name "Lady Malta" in story one day. Censa went to sleep, but with a tear on her cheek.
At midnight, Censa awoke to a dark figure standing over the foot of her bed. As she was about to scream, the dark figure placed a finger to his lips, smiled, and bowed, stating "My quest is over. I have finally found you, Lady Malta". The imposing man was a figure she'd seen on the TV and in the news; he was the leader of the Knights Arcanus himself, the Samhain Knight.
Censa leapt out of bed quickly demanding to know where her "Knight of Malta" was. Samhain Knight knelt down to the girl and said, "I have much to tell you, but first, let's wake your mother and brother, because they too will want to hear the tale of what I know so that others, such as yourself, will one day, be able to tell others about a man with a lion's savagery, a warrior's heart all contained with the gentleness of a dove".
After awaking the rest of the family and hot tea made, Samhain Knight told the family of his encounter with the man only known as the "Knight of Malta". They'd fought in several battles prior to the last great battle in China and, using the staff of life, he'd saved several of his knights from certain death. Sadly, in the final battle in China, he died early in the fight. There was nothing that could be done, and no body to recover. All that was left was part of his cloak and the staff of life. Prior to us charging into battle, this great man made me promise that should he die in battle that day that I'd do everything possible to get the staff back to the only person deserving to bear it again; the Lady Malta from the island of Malta. After describing the Lady Malta's age and features, he'd hoped that one day, she would take up the staff and once again use it as he did to save lives in the name of God and for the sake of humanity. Samhain Knight shed a tear as he told the story, stating several more time that he was a 'good man'. Censa hugged the crying knight and both cried together over their loss. Not a dry eye existed in that house by story's end.
All had fallen asleep amidst their final hour together, awaking some eight o'clock that morning. Samhain Knight had left already, leaving behind the Staff of Life, wrapped in a wool blanket, along with the remnants of the tunic that her brave Knight of Malta once wore...and another smooth stone. After admiring the staff's beauty once again, she grew sad, remembering the good that her Knight of Malta had done with the staff.
That's when Censa got a look of determination on her face.
She took the staff and went to the local hospital where over three dozen people resided due to their injuries during the Soltan Invasion and/or dysentery. She went from patient to patient, gently applying the top of the staff onto the body of each hospitalized person, attempting to heal them in some way. Some had lost limbs, which, even with the staff, sadly, were not able to grow back. The best part of her actions though, was that all the patients all felt 'better' than they'd felt in a long time. Those near death with dysentery were soon up and out of bed as if nothing was wrong with them. Those with internal injuries from the war were repaired and back on their feet as if nothing was ever wrong with them. The doctors and nurses called it a 'miracle', however, the local pastor, visiting the hospital at that time, had other words to say.
He knew what the staff was and yelled at Censa that it belonged to the Grandmaster of the Order of Malta before the invasion and that the staff was not hers. As he attempted to take it away from her, Censa used her Crav Maga training and fought the pastor, knocking him to the ground. The pastor, displeased and angry, ran off into the streets. The encounter with the pastor would create a situation that would take decades later to resolve.
After running home again, two hours later, police and a group of men dressed in the Order of Malta arrived at Censa's home. In a tense discussion, the story was told of what had happened to the staff and that she was 'charged' by the previous Grandmaster to care for it, as was the Knight of Malta and Samhain Knight himself. To that, Malta's premiere master of Malta told Censa that only those of the first class of the Order of Malta were allowed to bear if not touch the staff and that she was in violation of dozens of Papal orders of the Catholic church for what had been done with the staff. She yelled, screamed and demanded that the staff was her responsibility and that 'if the "Order" had done their job, that their Grandmaster and her father would be alive today. She stated that the current "Order" wasn't worthy to touch the staff because they weren't using it for what it was made for; to help people; instead they used it as a relic to parade around with'.
At this point, the police demanded Censa to turn over the staff to the Order, stating that it would be considered stolen property otherwise. Instead, Censa ran across the room, grabbed the smooth rock left by Samhain Knight and smashed the rock on the table, breaking it in two. Censa stood before the police with a look of disdain, blocking them from the staff, stating, if you want the staff, 'you'll have to talk to him'. After inquiring for a minute's time 'who' 'him' was, a cloaked figure appeared in the the Camilleri's front doorway - it was the Samhain Knight.
The police drew their weapons only to be disarmed before they knew what was happening. Samhain Knight field stripped the weapons, letting the gun parts fall to the floor before them without ever looking away from the entourage. Angry, the representatives from the Order demanded Samhain knight leave and that he had no part of this. Samhain Knight smirked, stating that he had 'everything' to do with this, since THIS staff was stolen property, thanks to Merlin about 1500 years ago. He stated that Merlin stole this from 'the owners' of the staff and left it out amongst normal man, whom the staff was never meant for. The staff is an item that was created by the Holy school of magic and that his "Order", which he was still sworn to protect and serve, would want it back.
Even Censa was a bit upset hearing this, yet Samhain Knight continued on...
"As it is, my "order" and your "order" are at odds over the 'finders-keepers' situation that this staff represents, acting on behalf of those who once owned the staff, I recommend a compromise". The Order of Malta men told him to state the compromise, but they were sure they wouldn't agree to it with Samhain Knight being a 'pagan', non-Christian killer. Samhain Knight mentioned he took offense to that, and as such stated that the compromise would now be harsher for their uncaring words.
Samhain Knight then proposed that the Order of Malta would retain the staff, for now, and use it however they see fit, however, upon such time as Censa...Lady Malta, here....is ready to do so, she will claim responsibility of it and use it as it was entrusted for her to be used for by YOUR last Grandmaster, YOUR last security guard who abdicated the staff's safety to the young lady, the last true Knight or YOUR order worthy to even touch the staff, and of course, the young lady herself, whose bravery and dedication to the staff has proven her worthiness of the staff FAR MORE than anyone in this room or elsewhere deserves."
Samhain Knight whispered to Censa, "I saw what you did at the hospital; good girl!".
Samhain Knight then focused back on the entourage and sternly stated, "When she is done with the staff or she dies, the staff goes back to MY order, unless of course, YOUR order is deemed more worthy to continue its safe keeping. The arbiter of such decision will be Censa herself, who will identify in her last will & testament who shall receive the staff. I think THAT is fair, and as such dare you to come up with a more viable compromise before I depart in the next few minutes for breakfast. What say you?"
Stuttering and mumbling the men of the Order of Malta finally stated that their orders about this situation can only come from the Pope himself, since the staff was entrusted to the order by the Pope hundreds of years before. Samhain Knight then said, "AH! Of course; his Eminence! Good thinking!" With that, Samhain Knight pulled out a large satellite phone from his belt and started dialing. A minute later, Samhain Knight handed the Satphone to the Order of Malta's leaders so they could talk directly to the Pope himself about the situation.
The Pope agreed with Samhain Knight, much to the surprise of all involved.
The men of the Order of Malta agreed to the compromise, but explained that they were deeply concerned over giving over the staff to a 'girl'. Samhain Knight responded, "You need to get with the times, gentlemen; women are beyond burning at stakes and drowning in the name of God; they are far more worthy to carry a source of saving lives than even I or any of my knights deem to dare ourselves. I believe you need to expand your thinking, sir, before you become more archaic than this armor I wear". With a bow to Censa, he dropped a smooth rock on the floor before her, and gave a stern look to the Order of Malta and the police. He then turned back onto the street and simply disappeared into thin air.
The Order of Malta took the staff back to Rome, where it was said to have been 'studied' by scientists and clerics who'd never known the full extent of the staff's powers. It was eventually entrusted to the next Grandmaster of the Order of Malta, with the proviso that once Censa was ready to accept the staff, the Grandmaster would be repsonsible for its safety. Aside from several attempts at stealing it, the Order and Knights of Malta protected the staff until the day Censa finally arrived to claim it.
From the time the "Compromise of the Staff of Life" was performed in the foyer of the Camilleri's Maltan home, Censa took her new tasking to heart. She trained her mind to be disciplined; her body to be a weapon, and her skills to follow in the name of God. As a good Catholic girl, she followed the faith as a devout Christian. She also spent 10 hours a week practicing judo, Crav Maga, Savate, Tao-Bo and staff/stick fighting. She also trained to become a doctor of medicine, majoring in trauma and emergency medicines. She'd also joined the Order of Malta and began her efforts towards becoming a Knight of Malta, going through the rituals and eventually becoming a 2nd class knight in the order. As such, she earned the title of "Knight of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and Malta".
Pleased with Censa's efforts to earn the staff through working with the Order of Malta rather than against it, on her 23rd birthday, at Sensa's bequest, she was awarded the Staff of Light. With the staff, she also received instructions on what the staff was capable of, now that the Papacy had instructed their scientists to test and write procedures regarding all of what the staff was capable of. In a formal ceremony, she was also made a first class knight of the Order and Knights of Malta. After the ceremony, Censa was placed on a videochat with the Pope himself, telling her that he would pray for her everyday and to let her know that the faith believes in her and her actions.
Censa had followed the exploits of Samhain Knight and his Knights Arcansu over the previous decade and a half. She realized that in order to use the staff to its best capacity, she would honor the previous Knight of Malta and take his place amongst the Knights Arcanus' ranks, of course, after earning her spot amongst them as a true knight of their order. With that, Censa broke the smooth stone that Samhain Knight had left her years before. Within hours, Samhain knight appeared before her; older, more battle-worn, but still with the same air of leadership he'd shown more than a decade before. He gave Censa a slight bow, for which she returned as well. After asking Samhain Knight for the honor to be allowed to be tested to be worthy of being a knight of the Knights Arcanus, Samhain Knight noted that their life was rife with conflict, combat and at times harsh conditions; situation not normally befitting a lady. Censa replied, unless you intend to burn me at a stake or drown me in the name of God, I believe I can perform as a proper knight, should you accept me, that is. WIth that, Censa was entitled as a Knight Errant, and her training began.
After several grueling months of hardship, training, and two trials, she was awarded knighthood with the Knights Arcanus.
The Order of Malta was incensed.
NEVER had a Knight of Malta also been a knight in any 'pagan' religion at the same time; it was unheard of; scandalous. The Grandmaster of the Order of Malta recalled Censa to Rome to discuss the situation. In the end, Censa stated that it was the order's choice whether to denounce her or not, but she was only acting the best way for the safety and most practical utilization of the staff; amidst the Knights Arcanus, where they would protect her and die for her as she would die for them, all to ensure no one else unworthy of the staff was ever to take it from her. The Grandmaster expressed his disdain over the situation and said he 'will pray' for her swift death so that the staff would find its way back to the church...one way or another.
As a side note, the current Grandmaster of the Order of Malta is said to had been ill days after the staff left the Order of Malta and through some miracle, beat death, looking more lively than ever before and with a whole new view of how the order was to operate. It almost seemed like he was a completely different man...
Today, "Lady Malta" is a member of both the Knights Arcanus and the Knights of Malta; she divides her time between humanitarian work, saving lives with her skills and/or the staff, and fighting alongside her fellow Knights Arcanus. Since her arrival with the Knights Arcanus, several attempts had been made on her life, all unsuccessfully, causing her to take up residency at the Knights Arcanus' base of operations, The Hacienda. She is still unmarried, living a life of celibacy and poverty. She attends church as a devout Catholic Christian and spends all her spare time helping others, especially children. When she fights, she is a whole different person; focused, combative and offensive in her actions as equally as defensive.
She had yet to take a life, but she has already stated that if it is 'God's will' that she take a life, then that is how she will accept it as. She visits her family on occasion, and even keeps in contact with her college and med school friends from the University of Malta, drinking nothing stronger than Horlicks malted milk (her favorite drink). The only emotion she shows to any man is her leader, Samhain Knight, for whom she admires and trusts with her life not only as a leader, but a mentor.