Armor of the Black Rose (Magical Plate & Chain Armor):

Elesbelle, a young knight probationer, was preparing for the long night. Unlike the rest of her sisters, who wanted to marry and start a family, she had always wanted to be a knight. Many of the male knights had worked hard to dissuade her but she had finally almost made it. She needed to only perform her vigil and pray. In the morning would be where she formally become a knight.

She looked at herself in the mirror, admiring what he looked like. Her dark hair hung in a single braid down to her waist and glistening. Her armor was new, finely crafted by a master Dwarven armorer, a gift from her father. The chain and plate armor gleamed in the lantern lights and she had spend hours finely polishing the armor. On her waist hung her long sword in its blue silk scabbard. Everything appeared ready.

The priest stepped into the room where she stood and asked her, "Are you ready, knight probationer?"

"Yes, I am," she responded, pleased at how her steady her voice came out.

He motioned her into the inner room of the temple and then closed the door behind her. As her eyes adjusted, she could begin to see the dimly lit. There were only a few candles lighting the room. She walked towards the altar and kneeled down. Until her vigil was complete and the sun rose, she could not partake of food or drink. This fast would prove her willpower to become a knight. She was also not to fall asleep during her vigil.

The night went by slowly. She could not tell if hours had went by or if it had only been a short time. The only indication of time going by was the candles slowly burning downwards. She found herself closing her eyes for just a moment.

She found herself in the ruins of ancient castle, walls tumbled from some long forgotten war. In front of her was an individual dressed in black plate and chain armor similar to her own. From the figure and long red hair, it appeared as if the other figure was also a female knight. The figure turned towards her and the young knight saw a much older woman with slight crows feet around her eyes. In front of the armor was the design of a rose with the outline being in silver.

The older woman said to Elesbelle, "Today you become a knight. There is much pain in your future but know that your heart is pure. In the end, I had to cast down my own family in order to do what was right. I believe you would do the same if you had to and I find you worthy to be a knight."

Suddenly, the young woman saw a vision of herself looking in a mirror like she had before starting the vigil. She appeared older and instead of being in the armor which her father had commissioned for her, she was dressed in the same black and silver armor as the older knight had worn.

Her eyes opened and the first light of the sun could be seen from the large windows around the altar. The candle around the chapel were gutting. She had failed in her vigil, having fallen asleep during the night. She would have to admit the failure. Suddenly, she a single black rose on the altar. She was sure that there was nothing on the altar when she had kneeled for her vigil. She had not fallen asleep but had received a vision.

Stories tell of a noble family, back in the early history of the Western Empire. The name of the family has long been lost, some say deliberately erased from history. What is told is that the symbol of the family was a black rose. The family was said to be one of the most wicked known, crushing their subjects under their feet. This gave the family a huge treasury which was used to build up a massive army. While careful never to antagonize those more powerful, the army was used to then crush those weaker than they were and add those lands to their own.

One of the daughters of the family showed herself to be one of the most skilled commanders ever born. As a result, she became one of their chief generals and led the army in battle after battle. Early on, she had commissioned three magic items. One was enchanted sword, another was an enchanted shield, and finally a set of enchant plate and chain armor. Each had the design of the family, a black rose, as a centerpiece. From early days, she seemed to be a very different person than others in her family. She did not live to excess and was careful to keep reigns on her troops. While others promoted the troops to pillage those they invade and not care about their troops raping the women of the lands invaded, even in some cases taking part themselves, she never allowed her troops to act so barbarically against those who they had taken over.

There is no clear reason why but she seems to have turned against her family and raise an army against them. While a few scholars have tried to make a case that she wanted to rule herself, their views are very unpopular and most think she did it for noble reasons. Some people believe that she received a vision from the gods while others believe that she fell in love. Many battles were suppose to have been fought with her finally sieging her family in their castle. Stories tell of a final battle where the castle was devastated and her family cast down. Most stories tell that she died in the same battle.

It is said that her three spectacular magic arms were scattered after her death. The sword disappeared completely and has not been seen since. The other two items have been carried by many in the times between the knights life and now. While possessors of the shield have included both men and women, the armor has only been worn by women.

Several of the possessors have attempted to gather the items back together but ill luck seems to always befall those attempts. Still, it is likely that many more attempts will be made to gather them together. This is because there is a legend that they will once again be reunited in the hands of a great female knight. One specific version of the legend states that this knight will be the daughter of a corrupt emperor of the Western Empire. There have been many corrupt emperors of that nation but it is said that this one will be worse than all of the others combined. Some even say that one of the Emperors hid the sword in a place where he thought that no one would ever be able to find it again.

The armor is a lightweight suit of plate and chain armor. It is of the finest quality and is extremely beautiful. The base color of the armor is a glossy black but is engraved in what appears to be bright silver. The centerpiece of the armor, in the middle of the chest, is the design of a rose. The lines of the armor itself as well as the lines of rose design are silver. The armor looks like it is still new even though it is at least centuries old.

The armor, while an extremely precious magic item, does not carry any enchantments which are not well known within the Western Empire. When worn, the armor adjusts itself to fit the wearer although the armor appears to only fit women who attempt to wear the armor. When worn, the armor feels virtually weightless and the wearer can move around in the armor as if it is an acrobat's suit. Whenever the armor is damaged, it will regenerate itself. This has allowed the armor to remain looking new even after being battle damaged in battle. Finally, the armor has the ability to take more damage and is harder to penetrate than a normal suit of plate and chain armor.

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2007, Kitsune. All rights reserved.