A Brief History of Sartre

By Sartre

      Though now the leader of the dark riders; the angels of darkness, it was not always so.

      The was a time, a kinder time, when Sartre was only a young man, full of hope and a burning desire to see the world. It was this young man that signed on as a simple deck hand on the Ironclad, a mighty ship which plies the crystal bay between Highport and Breakwater, eager to see the world.

      After two years at see with the crew of the Ironclad Sartre returned to Highport, now a man, fully grown and seasoned by the rough and ready life at sea. Seeking a higher purpose, Sartre traveled to Sigil to seek out the order of the paladins, the noble knights which he had heard so much about from the crew and guests of the Ironclad. In Sigil, having attended secular instruction in the values that all paladins must support, and having proven his physical mettle, Sartre was inducted into the holy order of paladins. For a strapping lad with a desire for adventure and a willingness to help others, this should have been the beginning of a wondrous career, and the end of this tale...........alas....it is not!!

      In the second year after the Advent of the Darkness (AD), a new pontiff was elected as the religious and secular head of the city state of Sigil. Sartre reveled in the election of a new leader, as did all of the paladins of Sigil, but with time that was to change. Not long after his election, the pontiff of Sigil began to demand that his knights procure for him, beautiful young women from the countryside around the city state. The pontiff claimed that the girls were to become "living saints" the embodiment of all that the pope and the church stood for. It was in this belief that Sartre presented his own sister, a mere 15 years of age to the pontiff to be accepted as a beautiful virgin and inducted into the order which the pontiff had created.

      A month passed without word of his sister and without seeing her within the city, and yet Sartre could not help but notice that the girls who did process in the city as the "Living Saints" were anything but beautiful. Knowing that many young and beautiful girls had been presented to the pope, Sartre began to question any who would listed about the status of his sister and the other beautiful maidens taken at the request of the pontiff.

      After another month, during which answers of any sort were impossible to get, Sartre broke into the new church, then just beginning construction to seek his sister Deirdre. Skulking about the fortress proper, he found nothing, however when he entered the dungeons below the fortress what he found was forever to change him..........

      Having incapacitated the guard who held the keys to the cells, Sartre began to search from door to door. After passing the common thieves and drunkards arrested by the inquisitors, Sartre found his sister, chained to 12 other young women in large cell deep below the palace. Each of the young women chained together had the same tale to tell, through the fog of deep addiction to beech nut. The women had been forced to become the sexual toys of the pontiff and his inquisitors, this being accomplished through the constant administration of Beech Nut, a common agent used to overcome minor pain, which becomes highly addictive with constant use.

      Opening the cell, Sartre immediately endeavoured to free the young women from their bonds, and it was then that a cadre of inquisitors appeared at the cell door, having been alerted by the guard, only recently roused from his enforced nap. Overpowered and stripped of all weapons, Sartre was clapped in chains and taken to a lightless cell, even deeper in the dungeons and reached only through a secret trap door.

      It was in this lightless pit that word reached Sartre through an old friend, that a recent stir in the palace had led to the execution of a series of hooded figures who could only be taken for young women. Immediately Sartre realised that the pontiff and his foul inquisitors were busily covering their tracks and erasing all evidence of the foul behaviour which he had uncovered. As the acid in his sould began to build, Sartre realised that his only chance was to escape from his cell and to make his story public, before he himself was erased.

      Calling in the last favour he had to call Sartre sent word to his friend Artiing, another paladin. Obeying the code of the paladin, requiring that a friend in need not be ignored, Artiing went to see his old friend and pledged his parole to the guard at the entrance to the cells. Taking the word of the paladin at face value, the guard allowed Artiing to enter the dungeons, but insisted on being present while Artiing spoke with his friend, the erstwhile paladin. It was during this meeting between old friends that the acid which burned deep in Sartre's belly came to a boil. Artiing told Sartre that he had been stripped of his title as paladin in a public ceremony, and his family had been exiled from the City State as part of his punishment.

      The whole time that Artiing told the story, the jailer guard sat, loaded crossbow in hand, grinning at Sartre mocking the man, and all he had been. Like a pine needle on the forest floor, the last synapse in his mind snapped. Satre grabbed his old friend around the throat and turned him to face the surprised guard who fired his bolt in surprise, hitting the paladin square in the chest and killing him instantly. Realising only dimly that he had just been responsible for the death of a close friend, Sartre lept at the stunned guard and snapped his neck with an animal strength that he had never felt before. Riding the wave of insanity that posessed him, Sartre bulled his way through two more guards on the main floor of the palace and escaped into the city. Using the night and the savage lust for blood that now posessed him, Sartre made his way out of the holy city.

      Having known life only as a sailor or a paladin, the choices available were now slim, and Sartre returned to the Ironclad, desparate to get far away from the holy city. Refusing the offers of his old shipmates to join the crew on a permanent basis, Sartre disembarked from the ship at Breakwater and travelled north, hoping to flee from his past. Anguished by constant guilt Sartre wandered north until he finally came upon the city of Caladon. Hoping only for a meal and a bed at an inn, instead Sartre met a hooded man at the tavern, one who could explain the immense power Sartre had felt while taking lives, one who could pervert the guilt and anger he felt.

      Within a week, Sartre was living within the confines of the barracks reserved for the Dark Knights of Aramon, completely had he succumbed to the teachings of the priests and the companionship of Sarnath the Hell Rider, his new friend and mentor. It was Sarnath who took the power of the rage which Sartre felt and kindled it to a flame, completely perverting the soul of the paladin and making him the enemy of all that he once was...........an anti-paladin.

      His time and transformation complete, the dark knight strode from the temple at Caladon to rejoin his mates on the ironclad, this time bent on the spilling of blood and the first to join in any and all skirmishes which the Ironclad entered into. While many on the ship were loathe to speak to their old friend and shipmate, all were witness to the wrath that overtook the dark knight with each encounter that offered him the chance to spill blood. Eventually, this bloodlust led to a parting between the crew of the Ironclad and the dark knight, and one mist filled morning he walked down the gangplank of the ironclad and back into highport to seek his vengeance upon the papists and their kind in a manner of his own making.