House Paupers/saved posts
Last weekend the ghost of Leso Shaw appeared during Haunted House to share the forgotten tale of the Knights of Paupers. With the revelation that a great evil was coming again and the Knights must be reborn, Leso performed a ritual and blessed the Rose Garden. For Paladins who use the spell Aid the Fallen, they can now, through ritual, attune themselves to the Paupers' Rose Garden ( which is open to all ) and can be anchored to that spot when returning to the city with fallen adventurers.
Warden of Paupers
Knights of Paupers
THE HISTORY OF THE KNIGHTS OF PAUPERS
Even after the death of Leviticus Shaw at the spectral hands of the dark spirits he had once summoned and controlled, not all was immediately right within the House of Paupers.
Over the next few weeks after Leviticus' demise, ghosts and undead creatures continued to pour out of the sub-basement of the once Shaw Manor. The only defense against such horror was the noble clerics and paladins of the fair city of Wehnimer's Landing. Holy men who rose up time and time again to defend the innocent and beat back the undead minions. The creatures of death were finally driven into the deepest levels of the Shaw Manor where they were then cut off and blockaded by a huge steel door that many holy elders had drawn runes upon and blessed its construction.
The city officials had the property cleaned up and tried to sell it for many months with no luck. They even renamed the property from Shaw Manor to House of Paupers, hoping a new name would attract more buyers. But rumors and horror stories still circled around the House and the horrible tragedy and dark legacy that was the Shaw family.
It was nearly a year later that a wealthy fur trader from out of town arrived and purchased the House of Paupers and immediately set about on renovations and completely built over the sub-basement of Paupers entirely. Unbeknownst to many at the time, the fur trader was in actuality, a relative of Leviticus Shaw.
Leviticus' younger brother, Leso Shaw, had heard of the ghastly end of his only brother and with the blessing of his father set off for Wehnimer's Landing under the guise of a rich fur trader to discover what had happened. Throughout the life of Leviticus and his wife Ciara Shaw, Leso had often visited when traveling through the western side of Elanith. He had gained a strong friendship with Ciara and often visited for the sole purpose to check in on his older brother who over the years began to grow distant and cold, especially after the death of their only son, Ryker.
Leso had not visited his brother in over a year before he heard of his tragic death and the rumors spreading around his grisly demise. So it came with a great heartache that Leso discovered the dark truth of his brother and the horrendous end of his sister-in-law. Not wishing the goodness in his brother's life to slip away in vain, Leso decided to purchase the House of Paupers, as it was called now and remodel it, hoping a new look would erase the sins of the past.
Leso had hoped that with the cursed sub-level of Paupers now buried and locked away, that change for the better would be inevitable.
But like his brother, Leso too had underestimated the dark spirits that had been anchored to the House.
It was the week before the Eve of the Reunion when Leso was torn from his dreams at the sound of dozens of spirits wailing through the halls of the House of Paupers. It took a moment for Leso's eyes to adjust to the light of his lantern and he soon realized the entire house had been transformed!
The once crisp fresh water of the swimming pool had been turned into fresh blood and the relaxing waters of the hot tub were now infested with bloated limbs, bobbing along the surface. Ghosts lingered from room to room, some so lost in their past lives that they paid no mind to Leso or the visiting members. But some spirits had only chaos and malice on their mind as they set about terrorizing members and guests, breaking furniture and causing mayhem.
The undead infestation lasted for days before Leso could send a call to arms to the city and neighboring allies and rallied a force of men and women who despite their differences, all pursued the release of the foul unlife.
With the added help, Leso once again saw the undead creatures banished from the halls of the House of Paupers and everything returned to normal. No ghosts lingered to threaten the innocent and the waters of their pool looked welcoming once again.
For the time being the House seemed unthreatened by the evil below, but Leso refused to take another chance. He would not allow the sins of his brother to further corrupt the building or its members.
So it was that Leso once again gathered the men and women who had aided him in banishing the undead before and called upon them to join him as Knights of Paupers. Due to prior obligations or family affairs, many had to graciously turn down Leso's offer. Of over a dozen people, only three stepped forward to join Leso and become the first Knights of Paupers.
Baldorav was a devote follower of Voln, a noble man who had spent the last half of his life dedicated to the eradication of the undead. It was an easy thing for him to swear alliance to Leso Shaw and become one of the founders of the Knights of Paupers.
Celinor was fond of the immortal spirit Aeia, Patroness of the Earth and Gardens. He was a kind and gentle man in every aspect of his life, with but one exception. Celinor saw the unlife as a blight on the world, a festering wound or an evil overgrowth. He had a near unmatchable passion for extinguishing undead minions any chance he could get. So it was that Celinor honorably accepted the mantle of one of the first Knights of Paupers.
Lecan paid worship to the God of Night, Ronan. In theory he believed that since the enemies of his patron controlled minions of undead, that he too must dedicate his life to their annihilation. Lecan was an overly shy and silent individual. He offered words only when extremely necessary, but was devoted wholeheartedly to his vow when he joined as the last founding Knight. So it was that the three founding Knights gained membership and residency within House of Paupers and stood watch over the halls, fully prepared to defend against any supernatural evil should it rise again.
Weeks turned to months and nothing seemed out of place within Paupers. The knights began to grow complacent, as if their presence alone warded the evil that lurked beneath their feet. But Leso feared such confidence would be their undoing and was not satisfied that three alone could hold back another tide of evil. So Leso set the Knights about to recruit others to apprentice under them and train them up to be valiant warriors and then Knights as well.
Baldorav and Celinor took quickly to Leso's instructions and began to train up others to defend alongside them. Lecan was extremely hesitant at first for it was hardly in his nature to oversee others and be held responsible for them. So it was that while Baldorav and Celinor apprenticed nearly a dozen knights each, Lecan only claimed to have recruited and spent time with two total.
The week before the Eve of Reunion came again and whatever complacency the Knights once had was washed away. Dark spirits by the drove overwhelmed the House once more, transforming the building into a morbid visage of its former glory. Again the spirits that came varied in purpose. Some entities simply re-acted the last moments of their lives over and over again, frozen in a macabre theatre play of their demise. Other spirits were curious and greeted the residents with questions or games. But most of the released undead thirsted for the blood and flesh of the innocent. Baldorav, Celinor and Lecan led the charge against the undead, supported by their over two dozen Knights.
Three days the battle had lasted and once again the House was returned to normal and the spirits defeated again.
For three years this pattern repeated itself, each year the undead would rise up around the Eve of Reunion, threaten the House and its members and then be pushed back by the Knights of Paupers. Over the years the Knights' ranks swelled and dwindled, always fluctuating, but never growing more than fifty holy warriors.
It was within the fourth year that tragedy once again gripped the House of Paupers. Whether it was the dark seduction of the angry spirit of Leviticus Shaw, or the silent brooding nature of Lecan that bore curiosity, but it is said that one night Lecan lay dreaming, hoping to find comfort and shelter in the worship of his deity, the dreamer.
Instead of relief, Lecan found the sinister whispers of Leviticus Shaw, calling to him, beckoning him to listen. Lecan ignored the whispers at first, but soon each night began to repeat itself, the same evil murmurings, the same wicked nightmares seeping into his subconscious. Soon Lecan avoided sleep as much as he could just to escape the nightmares.
But it was too late at that point. Even as Lecan moved about in a daze, his mind hindered by lack of sleep and his body just going with the motions, he soon fell victim to Leviticus' manipulations. It was the week before the Eve of Reunion again when Leviticus' dark control called out to Lecan to end the life of Leso Shaw. So while Baldorav rallied the Knights of Paupers to once more prepare for the traditional invasion of the undead, Lecan lured Leso out to the pond to the side of the house and in a vile act of betrayel, turned on Leso and overwhelmed him. Not having expected his trusted ally to commit such an act, Leso was not prepared and had no defense against Lecan's attack.
Lecan, who as a knight was far more powerful than Leso, stunned his master with a blow of a rock to his head and then pushed him into the pond where by his own two hands held him below the surface, watching in morbid fascination as he drowned.
The spirit of Leviticus Shaw relished in the murder of his brother and unleashed his undead minions once more on the House of Paupers. The battle raged on again and with two dozen knights strong, Baldorav defeated the undead horde and stopped the evil tide once more.
Witnesses of those days claim that Lecan was found at the pond dead, his corpse entombed in thorny vines and Celinor, his face a mask of anger, towering over it like a crazed hunter. Upon investigation it was learned that Celinor came upon Lecan as he had just murdered Leso and the two had battled, which ended in Lecan dying for his crime. Others claimed that over the weeks they had overheard Lecan talking to himself or waking in the middle of the night, suffering from restlessness. So it was concluded that Lecan had most likely fallen prey to the malicious spirits that haunted the House each year and had claimed the life of their most courageous opponent.
A small memorial, only amongst the Knights, was held for Leso Shaw and candles were lit and set upon the waters of the pond in remembrance of their founder.
Baldorav picked up the mantle of leadership among the Knights and vowed to continue the defense of the House and the city each year that the undead threatened to rise again. But soon many among the Knights lost faith as sightings and encounters of evil spirits began to grow and occur all year long as opposed to just before the Reunion. Many felt the House had become cursed beyond anything they could do, as a result of Leso's foul murder.
Celinor was the first Knight to leave and in doing so, many followed suit. Celinor was cited as leaving the Knights because he felt he could no longer trust those around him, that he could no longer trust the madness of the House to not corrupt anyone else. He could no longer fight an endless war, year after year. It was rumored that Celinor escaped into seclusion as he was never heard from again.
Even though he had a noble heart, Baldorav held a great deal of arrogance. He had just recently assumed leadership and already stood helplessly by while his Knights broke rank around him, the organization crumbling within months. After the death of Leso Shaw, the group had become shallow and vulnerable and in all respects, had failed. A concept Baldorav could not easily accept, or even allow.
Thus began the purge of the Knights of Paupers. All records, all lore, all artifacts, everything was destroyed and Baldorav saw too it. He knew he could not erase the existence or memory of the Knights from everyone, but with the destruction of their history and lore, he knew that in time they would be forgotten, that his failure would be a thing of the past.
But while Baldorav was an arrogant man, he was not cruel or heartless. He knew he could not defend the House against the undead hordes any longer, he hadn't the man power. But he knew he could not just turn his back and run forever, even if the Knights had failed.
Unbeknownst to the world of the living, Baldorav waited until again the Eve of the Reunion came about and instead of meeting the undead on the battlefield of his very own home, he instead offered them a proposition. Leviticus Shaw himself, his dark and tortured spirit came before Baldorav to listen and ultimately accept whatever dark pact had been made. So it would seem that in the compromise, Baldorav spared the city from the undead horde which would be forbidden from spreading beyond the building, but in turn condemned the House to be haunted each year around the Eve of the Reunion, without any opposition as there had been up until then.
No one knows the details of the sacrifice and pact that was made by Baldorav that night, for he as well became a fading memory of the past and never heard from again.
The dark tradition of an unholy pact continued to be upheld each and every year. Days, sometimes weeks before the Eve of the Reunion, the House of Paupers would again transform into a hideous, gruesome version of itself and spirits of all kinds would haunt the premises, some entities friendly in nature while others pursued the blood of the living.
For over a decade this ritual lasted until most recently when the ghost of Ciara Shaw, the wife of Leviticus began to haunt the House and beg members to help her find her son. In all of the madness, Leviticus' spirit once more appeared and unleashed malevolent ghosts upon the House in an attempt to silence Ciara from revealing the truth of the House. In the end, Leso's spirit returned and insured Ciara's story was heard and that Leviticus' evil and the origins of the House of Paupers were exposed. In doing so, Ciara's spirit was able to pass beyond the Ebon Gate and she could finally be at rest. But in his sacrifice for the truth to be heard, Leso's ghost was captured by Leviticus and his dark minions and no sign of either has been reported since.
But only recently has their been murmurings of fear rising among members and even residents of the city. What if the evil below the House of Paupers were ever to grow in strength as it had in the past? What if the wicked spirits no longer were content with the halls of Paupers? Who would rise up in the name of Paupers and defend against the evil that lays in wait?
Perhaps the Knights will ride again.