Bartal the Dreadnought

Power: DG
Alignment: LG
Pantheons: Ronan Pantheon
Titles: The Cavalier
Portfolio: Valor, Cavaliers, Chivalry
Symbol: A white knight mounted on a white horse, charging with lance in hand, against a blue field.
Constellation: The Charger
Appearance: Bartal is a stout, solid man of war, very large and powerfully built; and is quite comfortable in the heaviest of armors. Quite a stark contrast from his leanly muscular friend Kalthanan Korianthil, Bartal is fairly rotund- though not unhealthily so. He keeps his thinning rusty hair clean and cropped short and has always favored a well-groomed beard, which is also often trimmed short. Though of Moarvik descent, his mother's Ronan blood has given him a pale skin-tone that often crimsons under a blazing sun. His eyes are blue and, when not burning forth with Celestial Reverence, seem almost ordinary in their placid coolness, given his stature. Bartal’s clothes and gear are perpetually in perfect condition and immaculately clean, despite the fact that he only tends to his gear in the mornings and evenings as any adventurer would. The only exception is when he has been through a period of prolonged inactivity, in which case dust is quick to settle in.
Bartal’s armor was famous before he ever donned it, being the mail of the Dragonslayer Lord Sean of Camus who also carried the holy sword Valorian. The cobalt-blue Full Plate Armor is quite distinctive, with intricate etchings of various great knights battling foul dragons from the broods of the demon wyrm Arithax. Bartal’s shield is of simple make, yet distinctive as well, with the seal of the ancient Thamorian Dragonslayers emblazoned proudly upon it, and glistening brightly by the blessing of Thamor himself. In the exceptionally rare occasions Bartal is seen without his signature armor, he wears simple, yet pristine vestments of an acolyte of the Ronan Church.
Bartal’s Holy Sword is Valorian, the former weapon of Lord Sean, and at his side is his prized horseman’s mace, a gift from Thamor and the former weapon of the deva Erethbert. When mounted, few weapons are as feared as Invictus, Bartal’s heavy lance of mithril and bronze.

The man that would one day become Lord Bartal Cannemorre the Dreadnought was born the first and only surviving child to Lord Cael and Lady Elisa Dradnorn.  Cael was a well-respected but lesser noble of the Ronan city of Tharthin, in the Duchy of Moar, and known as a successful merchant of heraldic lore and designs and for his avid piety in Thamor. Cael was by no means a warrior, at least in the realm of physical skill and prowess.  He himself had always been a frail man. It could be surmised that he likely only made his way in life due to his life of privilege and ease which likely added to his devotion to Thamor outside the ranks of the Knighthood, as he had the heart of a warrior but little else.
Bartal's mother, Lady Elisa, had always been a meek and quiet woman.  She was not of noble blood by any means, and first met Lord Cael when she took the position of record-keeper and accountant in his business. In this duty she often traveled as part of his entourage when he traveled to foreign cities, most often to Camus and Farindale, in pursuit of lost heraldric lore in dusty libraries. A man apt to put his research ahead of his personal well-being, she soon found herself his personal caretaker and it wasn’t long before her constant attention and unique beauty caught his own attention. With the influence of other overwhelming circumstances and an adequate degree of love developing, Cael proposed to Elisa. A woman of little means, she accepted and eventually came to feel the same for her employer and husband.  Elisa herself however was plagued for years with a dreadful melancholy stemming from a variety of factors: her inability to give her husband more than one child, her distance from the ‘true’ noblemen’s wives due to her humble beginnings, and tragedy that took several members of her family during her youth.
As a young boy, Bartal's parents brought him to the Temple of Thamor from an early age and as often as they could throughout his childhood. As time went on, Cael was relieved to see that his son was physically everything he himself was not – tall, strong, graceful in the saddle, and gifted with an imposing stalwartness that Cael had always lacked. Bartal’s childhood was fairly unusual in the circles of Tharthin with regards to his isolation. As he became a young man his father's health began to fail, and Bartal spent much time at home tending to the needs of the business. His mother cared for his father constantly, and was unable to maintain the business without him. Between caring for his parents and their matters until he was of age to be inducted into the Church, Bartal was rarely around large numbers of people socially; despite the fact that he was drawn to it and loved the taste of courtly Life.
Soon Bartal was chosen by Thamor, and was given a duty within the Order of Thamor. This was partly due to Lord Cael's friendships and influences, but mostly earned by Bartal's personal strength of character. Framed by what could only be his father’s regret-filled passion to redeem the honor of the ancient rycerz of their blood line, Bartal was instructed in the codes of chivlary and instilled with a great sense of honor. Cael's desire that his son should become the knight he never could be, in service of the church and king, turned Bartal, first and foremost, into a creature of duty. Bartal served his duties as squire in the service of Sir Valric of Pelsgate and became a perfectionist; however, he himself became became disappointed in the rather lazy knight who was far less than diligent about his own prestige and responsibilities.
Only two years after joining the Order Bartal's father, who had always struggled with his frailty, died. Bartal was a young man by then, in his early teens. Despite such a remarkably small time spent with his son Cael had a strong influence on Bartal’s beliefs and outlooks, much more so than either man ever realized. Bartal himself eventually became a Knight of Thamor, fulfilling his father's dream.
As he grew into adulthood, Bartal had exceptionally few friends, but they were as dear to him as his own blood.  One particular friend, Sir Aradin died in the service to the chruch when they were in their early twenties. Before he had left on his noble quest he had asked Bartal to watch over his sister in his absence.  Bartal there after took it upon himself to be the guardian of Lady Aliana, who would eventually lead him into many adventures and for whom he would develop deep feelings.
Bartal, having matured well early on, changed little in mindset from his early days as a knight until the event that inexorably changed him forever – the struggle to stop Zhantismal. It was after Zhantismal was imprisoned that Bartal restored the stunned Ronan Church’s faith in Thamor by restored his patron deity’s amongst the gods. For his service during the epic battle and afterward, Bartal became a Chosen of Thamor, a immortal emissary of the deity’s will and an instrument of his power upon the mortal world.
Over the next century, Bartal’s importance to the expanding Ronan Church in Old Camus grew from that of a famed hero to a living legend.  His diplomatic prowess in dealing with the neighbors of this fledgling duchy of the Ronan kingdom saved it from repeated assaults. He battled various forces of evil that sought to destroy the kingdom or undermine the power of the church. Eventually he found himself embroiled in the strategies of the gods as Memnos and Thamor battled for dominion of the land. This came to a head in the Great War, which split the realm. Unfortunately, various events followed this schizm that led to the collapse of the remaining kingdom from within. However, as Thamor's emissary he was instrumental in the foundation of a new Kingdom in Old Camus, one established and ruled entirely by the Order of Thamor. This was Sora, which soon became the dominant force in the land.
Bartal has had a huge shift in his position within his religion, but remarkably his perspective has not changed from that of the young knight bound to duty. He sees himself as no more than a servant of his god, performing the duties expected of him. His faith is indominatable, his will unbreakable, and his courage unwavering. Though he wages a constat war against evil and that he perceives as contributing towards it, he has maintained the wisdom to differentiate between those who are truly malevolent and those who are misguided. He believes in redemption before death, whenever possible, though he has no qualms in sending the unredeemable to the eternal punishment they deserve.
Bartal's greatest fault is also his greatest strength, his devotion to his duty. He has sacrificed much for his faith, but never doubts. He believes absolutely in the righteous path of Thamor and never hesitates to serve his deities will, though his deity has never given him reason to question it.
Children: none
After life: Bartal's worshipers usually spend their afterlife in the Fields of Honour in The Eternal Paradise.
Mithrus: Though not truly a servitor as much an ally, Mithrus is one of the chosen of Thamor. He began his service to Bartal as a traveling companion and eventually attained great honor and upon being granted the Mantel of Mithrus became the divine representative of all dragons who have devoted themselves to the service of good.
Worshipers: (cavaliers) Bartal is most often worshipped by mounted knights, cavalry and horse masters. He is esteemed by those who put chivalry before personal gain and many of the Knights of Thamor claim him as a personal patron.
Worshipers: When prayed to, Bartal may grant these powers.
1/Round Ability: +4 Divine Bonus on Riding Checks
1/Day Ability: +1 attack bonus while mounted for the duration of one encounter per day

Priests: Bartal is a memer of the Ronan Pantheon and as such the priests of the Ronan Church worship him and serve as his priests. Those who devote themselves in service to him have these specific differences:
Spell Domains: Law, Protection
Favored Weapons: Lance, Bastard Sword, Horseman's Mace
Cleric Alignments: LG
Clergy and Temples:


Roleplaying Hints:
Bartal himself is a simple man, but he lives a complicated existence. In his youth, Bartal was quite headstrong and gallant, every bit the consummate knight. During his adventuring days, he was a tireless defender and the epitome of an honorable knight, most at home in the midst of courtly life of Ironcrest. He was quite a social man, with many friends and allies throughout Sora and was quite content to take part in the sponsoring of festivals, tournaments, jousts, and the like.

He unknowingly classifies people into four categories. His great friends and allies he sees as equals in all respects and secretly has a strong compulsion to prove his worth to. Those who comprise his fellow knights, priests, and servitors of Thamor, royalty, etc. have always been seen as comrades in arms, and Bartal has always felt as if he must betray no appearance of weakness around them. His enemies he shows little quarter to; in his mind, he is an instrument of wrath rather than redemption. Virtually anyone else he feels a need to protect rather they need it or not, however this usually applies to issues regarding martial action. He cares little to enforce values upon people or (when younger) to mediate disputes. He is a leader, not an advisor, or an administrator.

Despite his obvious good nature, Bartal has always tended to be more aristocratic in his dealings with the common folk of the world at large. Thus, he was more comfortable amongst the well-to-do of society, but is the most comfortable over all amongst his close friends and allies away from the adoring gaze of the masses and the royalty that he associated with so well. Deep down, Bartal has a strong yearning to always feel as if he was a 20-year old knight on his first great quest. Only his lifelong adventuring companions see this Bartal, and even then only when he can in his own mind afford to lay down the public persona that he has established.

Bartal has always struggled with his perception of his own image, despite the fact that no one would ever have cause to assume so. His demeanor is better described as placid and stoic than pleasant; he seems to almost have no private persona per se, always brimming with confidence and virtue. What is most interesting about this confidence is the sheer abundance of humility and virtual absence of arrogance in his beliefs and demeanor.

In combat, Bartal’s actions suggest he sees himself as the greatest warrior on the field of battle, but this is due to the fact that he seeks to shield others from the wrath of the scions of evil, not because of any sense of his own superiority. On occasion, this bravery and sense of duty seems to border on that of having a martyr complex. Even before he was knighted, Bartal was looked up to by his fellows, and has had to carry the weight of their expectations. The reaction to dealing with these expectations, along with the beliefs ingrained into him by his father’s teachings, and the fact that the majority of his childhood was spent in service to the Temple of Thamor have been the three forces that have molded Bartal’s personality to be what it has become.

In this respect (contrary to most people) Bartal could be seen as being someone whose personality was not developed by his own life and experiences as much as it was forged into existence by the aspects and veneration of Thamor. One might wonder just how different Bartal might be if he had had more control of the decisions of his life. Strangely enough, Bartal in his contemplations has thought of this, and has come to the conclusion that freedom to choose his own path is not meant for him. This has strengthened his sense of duty and service to a greater cause.

Left to his own devices, Bartal has a great love for philosophy and self-introspection. He writes profusely, yet shares his thoughts with few. His heart is truly good, and one key difference between his mindset and the popular mindset of the Knights of Thamor is that he believes more in goodness defined by order more than law tempered with benevolence. He feels that compassion is the most valuable trait a society can possess, with the codification of law being almost secondary. Perhaps this reflects the influence of his friends Kalthanan, Khazid, and Allianna.

Of special note is Bartal’s affection for the Lady Allianna. He does indeed have a strong sense of love for her, and considers himself as much her comrade as her protector. Any other man could find the desire to embrace his love for Allianna, but Bartal is who he is – a creature of duty and self-sacrifice. His heart, however, was not meant for the cause of love, hearth, home, and family – and this represents the single greatest factor that gives him the strength to distance himself from anything that would impede his never-ending quest to promote Thamor’s virtue and righteousness.

Lastly, Bartal’s life since ascending to the divine status he has achieved has been quite the opposite of his earlier days when he basked in the glamour of Courtly Life. He has grown into the role of an immortal quite easily (especially for a human) but has grown very distant and solemn as the years progressed. Soon enough, Bartal began to shun the spotlight of leadership and began to gravitate towards the mentality of being a mentor to the entire mortal Ronan church.

He would eventually develop strange tendencies more akin to a monastic demeanor than a knightly one; sometimes staying within ancient ruins or libraries for months at a time. His few casual conversations now occasionally devolve into him speaking in strange tongues and prayers. His sheer distance has even been felt by his closest friends, and nowadays he speaks to few other than Mithras and Lonierre outside of times of crisis.

In these times, however, Bartal reverts to his youthful vigor quickly, even physically appearing younger. It is now in crises that Bartal is strongest; during peaceful times his actions in dealing with others seem limited to tending to the needs of the Thamorian Church that few others can perceive. During these times, his words and mannerisms appear to betray a strong sense of melancholy, but it is in fact simply the fact that he has been defined as a solemn bulwark against evil, and now this, strangely enough, is all that he has become. Fortunately, he would have it no other way.

Bartal has several places of sanctuary, but is most comfortable when he is questing. He savors this feeling and is deeply fearful that in his now immortal lifespan it might become tiresome, so he makes conscious effort to stay near to places of worship of Thamor.

Bartal has a castle in the Eternal Realms of Thamor, but it is quite spartan in décor. It is widely believed that he avoids the castle, preferring to save it for his ‘retirement’ in the event of his death upon the mortal realm.

Bartal’s other residences are small establishments at various small priories throughout Sora and Rona. Contrary to popular belief, he rarely visits his favorite city of Ironcrest, for reasons unknown to any but Bartal himself.

Secrets & Flaws:
Bartal has few if any secrets. His affection for the Lady Aliana he hid for quite some time, but became common knowledge long before he openly admitted it. He is a very simple man, and happily so. He could be described as ‘secretive’ in some regards, but this is most often due to the fact that he has so few absolutely true friends, such as Kalthanan Korienthal and Khazid Mubarak; friends that he keeps no secrets from unless personally commanded to do so by Thamor himself – a situation that Bartal isn’t likely to find himself in anytime soon.

Bartal’s flaws are almost cliché; for he himself is the embodiment of the Cavalier and Knight Errant. He, as a paladin and Knight of Thamor, is the highest of the rank of Cavaliers, and is venerated as the Patron of the Lance. He fights with honor even when he knows his opponent will not, and has paid for it dearly more than once. Another flaw Bartal suffers from is his certainty. He doesn’t adapt well to change, and only does so when he grudgingly is forced to. Bartal is firm and resolute in his methods and mindset, but when he is uncertain as to what course of action to take, he loses that certainty that makes him strong. The resulting confusion is exceptionally frustrating for him, and is perhaps why he has embraced the notion of intelligent and wise allies of other races and cultures to help him along the way. In any event, Bartal will always have difficulty with unconventional circumstances, and turn to (and lean on) his allies for help in dealing with such matters.

Bartal is the Patron Saint of Cavaliers and in many eyes the architect of the realm of Sora. The concept of what influence Bartal possesses within Sora is virtually boundless. He is also immensely well respected in Camus, and venerated in his homeland of Moar. Few humans are as respected amongst the Gelvani and Duervar as well, given Bartal’s many associations and alliances within those peoples. Even amongst the former Skarrel peoples, Bartal represents the aspect of the Ronan church that reached out to them in friendship and stood up for them when they were brought into the Soran fold. Even in Parthus, Bartal is respected as a man of honor.

Despite having the respect of all who have heard his name, Bartal’s powerful influence is limited to Sora and the former Ronan states, due to his close association with the Ronan church and its patron deity. Outside of the realms the Ronan church holds sway over, Bartal’s influence is quite limited.

Summarized into one Quote:

“If Good Men do Nothing, then Evil shall Thrive; if Good Men follow the Righteous Path, then Evil Shall Wither. By Thamor’s grace, it is no more or less simple than that.”

The Gods
The Ronan Church
Ronan Pantheon
The Chosen
The Dragonslayer Chronicles

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