As I recount this tale to you, I sit here, shaken by the grievous events that took place two nights past. What was for a moment a blissful reunion between our fair Queen Dawn and her missing husband was quickly shattered, as his hand, guided by an evil spell, plunged a cursed dagger into his beloved wife over and over. This once-joyful holiday has become, through the machinations of Virtuebane, a day of mourning. It began when Queen Dawn summoned us to the throne room of Castle British. Many of us gathered round to hear what she would announce. “Welcome. These have been dark days for our land. The war with the Bane Chosen has reached every corner of our land and yet the Britannian people have persevered. Virtuebane has roamed Britannia, a plague upon our people, but I believe the answer to our trouble has finally presented itself. The Gargoyle Queen has graciously granted an audience to me and as I explained the situation we face, she told me of a way that we might finally banish Virtuebane. The sword I carry was wrought from a plowshare. The Gargoyle Queen recognized the humble beginnings this represented. If my sword can be blessed at the Shrine of Humility, it may finally end the war against Virtuebane.” The Queen gazed around the room at us all. “But I cannot hide the truth from my people, there may be danger involved. Virtuebane has many spies, he is certain to have been informed of our plan.” Oh, Queen, if you only had known the extent of that truth.. perhaps the dire consequences might not have found perfect and sinister execution... “Citizens of Britannia, can I rely on you to help bring an end to Virtuebane at last?” Many were the cheers of the valiant, those of the Crux Ansata, as well as citizens of our land, all lending her their arms. “Very well! We must go to the Shrine of Humility. Come!” A short walk later, we were through the moongate and at the Shrine of Humility in Ilshenar. Queen Dawn knelt at the shrine with her sword, praying for its blessing. “The shrine has granted its blessing!” She held up the sword to the sounds of cheering from us all. “Virtuebane will not die easily, I assure you all. But with this... now we have hope.” Suddenly, a familiar face appeared! Dawn's missing husband, Ors! He had been missing for a long time now, and everyone knew how the Queen had been stricken with grief for some time. It seemed unbelievable that he was there, out of seemingly nowhere. He uttered a cryptic warning that although his words were his, his actions were not. He warned her not to come any closer. Then suddenly he took her into his arms. As she nearly wept with relief and love, he plunged a dagger into her, again and again. As her body fell lifeless to the cold stone tiles, Ors cursed all of Britannia in that unnatural voice. He began to deface the shrine, scratching at it with the dagger. And then that vile Virtuebane appeared, and Ors dropped respectfully to a knee. The cad! Had he been working for the demon the whole time?? Or had he been under a spell? Virtuebane congratulated him with a mad smile and took the dagger. “Ors, your usefulness has ended. Live free of my embrace, in the knowledge of what you have done. You are with your love at last. I have given you a gift that few in my service have enjoyed.” Ors blinked free of the spell and gazed at the corpse of his wife. It took several moments for him to realize her fate. He cried out in agony as he rushed to take her into his arms. “Ors, do not regret your actions! You have freed Britannia!” Virtuebane proclaimed. He asked us what happened, and some of us responded with the horrible truth. There were those, like me, who were too shocked to respond. He didn't believe, until he realized how bloody his hands were. He gazed around, crestfallen, as Virtuebane watched with glee. Suddenly fearful, Ors leapt up, and quickly made for the moongate. With one last shout of condemnation, he spat at Virtuebane, and then he was into the moongate and gone. Virtuebane began shouting demands that we bring him Dawn's blessed sword. He was met with refusals and snide comments, told where he could go back to. Eventually, he took the sword up on his own. As he vanished, we were suddenly surrounded by blackrock monstrosities. Chaos broke out as battle commenced. It was a long battle, but sometime during the fight, Lady Danica Amandine joined us. She rallied with her calls and tried to coordinate our moves. Eventually, we won out against the unnatural creatures and she summoned us to Castle British. As we gathered to hear our Lady Knight speak, I studied the commander's expression. The day had been a bleak one and I was glad not to be in her shoes with such ill news to report. Her sigh was heavy as she sheathed her sword, the sound echoing round the chamber as we stood in silence, listening. “Queen Dawn gave her life to this Kingdom. In her stead we must, each of us, stand tall and true. To defend this realm. The forces of the dread one, this... Virtuebane. Can not be tolerated. Was the sword recovered? Anyone? The Sword Queen Dawn infused with Humility. It may be our only hope against Virtuebane. We must find it. This is a sad day. I want my Crux Knights to keep the peace. In this time of change. I do not know what we are to do... But for now, Military Law. Keep the peace in this time of change. We will move on beyond this.” As Danica spoke, a meer appeared beside her. “I bring you greetings from the village of Lakeshire, milady,” It spoke. “Word of the Queen's demise has reached us already.” He told us how the Meer had begun work on a statue sculpted in Dawn's image to immortalize the late queen. Danica asked permission to view it, and we all filed into a moongate to the Meer city of Lakeshire in Ilshenar. The sculpture still had a bit of work left to do, but I found myself heartened by the thoughtfulness of such a token. I would be sure to visit periodically to check on its progress, and I hoped others would, as well. The crowd dispersed, and as I wandered home I knew that Valentine's Day would no longer continue to hold quite the same notions as it once did. In time, many would come to forget the fate of our Queen. but, I knew that Ors would forever be haunted by his black deed on this day. And I prayed that we would recover Dawn's blessed Sword of Humility and destroy for good the foul beast who dared call himself the bane of Virtue. The fate of Sosaria depended upon it.