It was about two days after Laurence's depature into the mists of the
Marches, that the guards at the entrance of Blandine's Towers saw the
incoming Ethereals. As per their instructions, they called forth their
comrades within the Tower, whether to protect the tower from
Nightmarish intruders or to greet Dream beings in need of Health.
They were quite surprised, when the Ethereals came within clear sight,
and were revealed to be Lord Auberon, his wife Queen Titania, and many
of their Retainers. Archangel Blandine was immediatly called forth,
as per instuctions, and came before the visiting Faerie and his wife.
She was used to meeting with them, and had many times tried to
convince them to join Heaven's side, without much sucess, to her
So she was taken aback when Auberon dismounted and walked to her, before falling to his knees and swearing fealty to her, to the Council of Seraphims and to the Laws of God, as per the Oath he made to Sir Laurence of the Eternal City. The other Faeries of Auberon's court followed suit, and asked for the right to establish their new encampments in the shadow of Blandine's towers. Quickly recovering from the shock, she immediatly gave permission, but asked why Auberon and his court were now so willing to join the battle against Hell. Auberon told the story...
The day before, a mysterious figure entered Auberon's castle, and openly challenged the lord of the 'Folk, questionning his honor and virtue. Offended, Auberon took the challenge, yet asking what would be the prize of this battle. The Stranger said that whoever lost this battle would have to swear an Oath of the Winner's choosing, which would be carried out, without question and without compromise. Auberon agreed, and drew his sword. The Stranger did the same, and the two began to battle. The Duel between the two lasted for hours, with neither side losing or gaining ground.
After a long time, both warriors began to tire, and Auberon tripped, dropping his blade. His opponent didn't take the opportunity to strike at the fallen Fey, however. He simply lowered his blade, bent over to help Auberon back up and retrieved his blade for him, offering a moment of rest before they resumed the battle. Auberon agreed, and called to his servants to tend to both he and the stranger, in return for his actions in battle. The two strangers talked for a moment, the Stranger asking questions about the Fey King about he and his people, questions Auberon was more then happy to ask, though the Stranger declined to answer such questions about himself until the battle was over. And with that, the two warriors resumed their Duel, continuing for many more hours, until finally the Stranger disarmed Auberon and delivered a minor wound, giving the Daoine Sidhe a slight scar under the eye.
Dismaid, the Fairie King simply kneeled before his foe, resigned to Defeat, simply asking the Stranger his name. This was when the Stranger removed his cloak, and revealed himself to be Laurence, which many of the Fairies remembered as being a participant in the Purity Crusade, which slew many of their numbers. In an instant, Auberon feared for himself, and even more for his people. The soft words the Celestial would speak next quickly burned away those fears.
"It is of the opinion of my fellow Celestials that many amongst you Ethereals are worthy of fighting along side us of Heaven. I have taken grave risks to come out here, into the Marches, to see if this is so. I am pleased to see that The Lady Blandine was at least right about you, Lord Auberon."
"What shall you do of us, Angel? What is this Oath you want me to make?"
"I wish to repair the great crime done unto you by my predecessor, Uriel. I offer you to join Heaven; to gain Essence for you and your court under the watchful Eye of God, in promoting dreams of chivalry and courtliness."
"You offer Amnesty to Ethereals? I thought you loathed the sight of us!"
"That was before I learned to know you, to see the Honor that lies within you. Do you still wish to take my offer?"
"What do you have to offer us that The Media and Nightmares do not already offer us? They allow us to collect Essence, only asking for a meager Teind in exchange."
"If you decide to join Heaven's side of the Marches, you shall not be forced to offer a Teind. What little Essence you and your kind collect shall not be missed by God."
"I do not understand... Surely there must be a trick..."
"No tricks. Only one condition."
"What is it?"
"You must be Baptized. By me. Only then will my Servitors know not to attack you, and neither will the rest of the Host."
"So you say. What about the Tsayadim? They certainly don't seem to care what Blandine or any other Archangels have to say."
"I give you my solemn Word of Honor that you will be unharmed. And I shall personally handle the Tsayadim issue."
"... Very well. I hold you to your promise. I agree to your conditions."
And with that, Laurence simply rubbed two of his fingers along his blade, cutting them, while looking at Auberon.
"Do you Renounce the Works of Lucifer, the Horrors of the Princess of Nightmares, and the Illusions of the Prince of Medias?"
"Do you swear loyalty to God, to Heaven, to the Holy laws of Justice and to the cause of Rightousness?"
"Then by the power invested in me by God, in the name of The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit, I hearby baptize you."
And with that, Laurence used his own blood to draw a cross upon Auberon's forehead. A cross that glowed softly before fading away, causing the Faerie King to smile and cry a bit, as if he'd just recieved the Revelation of God himself. ...And, he now realized, perhaps he had. The other Seelie faeries present, seeing that the King was well, decided to take Laurence on his offer and asked to be baptized as well. Before Laurence left them to go to Blandine's Tower, a vast majority of the Seelie host were faithful Christians (at least nominally) and were more then willing to go in Service to Heaven and Dreams. Laurence just went further into the Marches, once more cloaked.
By the time the whole of the Host heard this tale, Novalis shed a tear of joy, Michael was grinning like crazy, Gabriel was practically glowing, Yves was chuckling to himself, and Dominic was grumbling as he looked through one of his books, before finally giving up and accepting the fact that if Laurence baptized and recruited them, that officially made them all Soliders of God, Ethereal Nature not withstanding. Michael finally greeted Auberon, welcoming him as a fellow Servitor of Good, and began organizing meetings on what the Faeries could do to help out on Earth and in the Marches, as soon as Dominic finished with his bloody "Debriefings".
That would've been the end of it, if not a few days later, another caravan of Ethereals were coming in over the Horizon. This one was a trail of Human-looking knights, in medieval armor, lead by a king who, of course, introduced himself as King Arthur, who immediatly began to repeat Auberon's previous act, and swore fealty to Lady Blandine, to the Seraphim Council, etc. There was a notable difference with Arthur's story, however. They had a coffin with them. The Celestial remains of a Cherub Tsayadim were within it. Lord Laurence had apparantly saved the people of Camelot from being slaughtered by the powerful Celestial. While the two Angels fought, Laurence, nearly in tears, kept pleading the Tsayadim to surrender and return to Heaven. But the Purity-mad Angel kept calling Laurence a Traitor and pressed on, forcing the Malakite to soulkill the Tsayadim. In grief, he barely had the heart to present himself to Arthur's court, offering them the same bargain he'd given the Faerie Court. Fortunetly, the people of Camelot were already Christians in belief, and where thrilled to be offered a chance to truly serve God, even accepting Laurence's request to bring his dead brother home, to be buried with honor.
There was a short memorial service for the late Tsayadim, who's remains were buried near the Castle of Purity. But now, while Camelot is being brought towards the shadows of Blandine's tower, all of Heaven wonders what will happen next...
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