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"The Grail Knight Reolus blazed with the intensity of the sun, the power of his faith almost blinding, and the enemy fell back from him, for even in their mortal, blind states they could sense his power."
The arrival of Reolus.

Reolus of Quenelles, also known as Reolus the Wise and Reolus the Valiant, was a mighty Grail Knight of Bretonnia and Paladin of Quenelles.[1]

History

"You are blessed, sons of Bretonnia! You are blessed for you shall bear testament to the coming of Lord Reolus of Quenelles, favoured of the Lady, as he answers the Duke of Bordeleaux's call to war! Enemies will wither beneath his shining gaze, and friends will become emboldened by his presence. See the ruin that comes to those who face his holy wrath!"
The arrival of Reolus.[1]

Reolus was a legendary Grail Knight and a veteran of countless battles. His skill with a sword was sublime, and he was considered virtually invincible by his comrades. He was idolised throughout Bretonnia, with young Knights Errant such as Calard and Bertelis of Garamont being brought up on tales of his exploits, hoping that they too could one day achieve such renown. Indeed, the Grail Knight had once fought alongside their father at the Battle of Drowning Moor. That was over forty years prior, yet Reolus looked just as ageless as he had then.[1]

Having taken on the power of the Grail, Reolus could dispatch the mightiest of foes with contemptuous ease. He was renowned as the slayer of the monstrous Dragon Grelmalarch, a beast that had terrorised the land for centuries. He had famously defeated the Devil Troll of Carcassone, cleaving its massive head from its shoulders with a single blow. He had ridden through an army of Undead at Bodkin Moor, before cutting down the cursed Necromancer Merogant of Mousillon. The dreaded Cockatrice of Yorvale and the River Trolls of the Bridge of Tears had also fallen to the Grail Knight. Even the feared Blood-Beast of Orcals could not stand before his holy wrath. These great victories, along with his status as a living saint, soon resulted in men and women flocking to the Grail Knight's banner, serving him as zealous Battle Pilgrims.[1]

Relous was viewed by other knights in awe. He was a giant of a man whose eyes blazed with fey light, bedecked in shining armour that was a work of inspired artistry, every inch covered in intricate detailing, engravings and inlaid with finely worked silver. A shimmering cloak of blue, lined with soft fur, fluttered behind him, held in place by a heavy golden brooch in the shape of the Lady's Grail. He was adorned with countless devotional tokens and sacred icons, from holy beads to miniature pendants carved from finger bones of saints into the likeness of the Lady. His helmet was topped by a majestic unicorn of silver, surrounded by a host of candles that cast a halo of light around his person. His eyes glinted from within the darkness of his helm, and those who looked upon him felt a surge of primal terror beneath his gaze, as if their soul were being stripped bare. Every drop of blood that fell upon him in battle, slid off his person as though were oil, leaving the sacred warrior pristine and unsullied.[1]

Beasts of Chaos

When a massive warherd of Beastmen carved a swathe of destruction through Bordeleaux, Reolus, accompanied by his Grail Damsel lover, lent his holy might in the effort to repel them. In battle, he charged through their savage ranks, smiting the enemy like the avenging Paladin of the Lady he was. His blessed weapons, the lance Arandyal and the sword, Durandyal, shone in the dimness of the forests in which he and his allies fought, striking with the speed and potency of enraged serpents. Reolus tore through rank upon rank of Beastmen, impaling them on Arandyal's length while cutting heads from shoulders with each swing of Durendyal. He lifted enemies struggling into the air, watching dispassionately as they slid down his lance, before hurling them away from him with a flick of his wrist. Fey light shone in his eyes as he killed, none of the unholy warherd could stand before his fury.[1]

When leading the charge against a regiment of hulking Minotaurs, Reolus slew every one that crossed his path. His lance burst through their thick throats, and his sword sheared into their skulls. Gore sprayed across his gleaming armour and tabard, but it ran off him like oil, leaving him untainted by their foul heart-blood. Though they too fought bravely, the small retinue of knights around him were slowly whittled down. Men were smashed from their saddles and arms were cleaved from shoulders. Clubs the size of men crushed heads, and horses screamed as heavy blows cleaved into their flesh. Still, no weapon came close to touching Reolus. To his allies he was like a god of war, cutting down everything in his path. With his comrades all slain and his steed dead, pierced by a dozen blades, Reolus stood alone in the breach of the Bretonnian lines, surrounded by the corpses of slain Minotaurs. Lesser Beastmen began to surge past him, though any who attempted to face the living saint fell to his deadly blade. A full lance of knights eventually managed to fight their way to where Reolus fought, ending the breach and causing the Beastmen to rout.[1]

It was during the final, bloodiest battle that Reolus came against a pair of Chaos Giants, creatures both ancient and grown impossibly huge. The very appearance of these twin monstrosities caused a wave of fear and panic to spread amongst the peasant lines. Reolus however, had killed such beasts before, and he would do so again...[1]

Siege of Lyonesse

Reolus fought at the forefront of the Bretonnian lines during a massive Chaos invasion on Lyonesse. It was here that he encountered the leader of the Norscan hordes, a mighty Chaos Lord of Khorne. Fighting his way towards the enemy leader, Reolus was blocked by scores of barbaric warriors. The Grail Knight fought with a burning intensity that was terrifying to behold, killing with every strike of his holy blade. Norscans fell before him as he rampaged along the castle wall, his momentum slowing only when he came across their greatest heroes. These were the Huskarls, the enemy warlord's elite bodyguards, each of them a mighty Champion in their own right, massive warriors clad in black plate festooned with unholy fetishes and icons. They were unlike anything that the Bretonnians had yet encountered, men whose lives had been extended by the Dark Gods. They were faster, stronger and more deadly than any mortal man. But even so, they could not match the Grail Knight's sublime skill and grace.[1]

Glittering silver-steel clashed with tainted black-steel, as the Grail Knight battled the Champions of the Dark Gods. His blessed sword carved through Chaos Armour, sundering ribs and piercing flesh, sending god-touched warriors to the ground with a clatter. When the last of the Huskarls fell, Reolus, having received only a few scratches himself, approached their warlord. Alas, as he prepared to face the unholy Chaos Lord, the horn was sounded to retreat further into the city...[1]

As the brutal siege raged on, it was discovered that the Northmen were aided by a colossal Daemon Engine of Zharr-Naggrund. In response, Reolus rode out to destroy the infernal machine before it could wreak havoc on the walls of Lyonesse. Even as the engine belched forth an inferno of volcanic, red fire, it failed to pierce the holy aura surrounding the Grail Knight. The Daemon Engine was eventually destroyed when Reolus drove his blessed sword into the machine's Hellcannon, the metal hide of the beast parting like flesh beneath his blade.[1]

Fate

"It is foolish to think that the enemy will depart after you kill the Norscan. They have no honour," said Anara."
"But I do," said Reolus. "It would have been beneath me to refuse the challenge just because I believe they will not honour their promise."
"The Damsel sighed, her cold mask slipping. She embraced him, pulling his head to her bosom. "You are a fool, Reolus," she said."
"I cannot go back on my word, Anara," said the Grail Knight."
"I know," she said, and a single tear ran down her cheek...
"
Reolus prepares for his duel.[1]

Eventually, as the men of Lyonesse retreated further into the castle, the Norscan Chaos Lord stepped forward from the endless ranks of his bloodthirsty countrymen. Half way before the keep he bellowed his challenge, his voice reverberating with unholy power. To oppose him stepped forth the holy knight Reolus, legendary Grail Knight of Bretonnia, whose very eyes burned with fay-light. In his hand the anointed warrior held the mighty blade Durendyal, which sang with holy might. The two gods of war faced each other, but separated by a mere twenty paces. What happened next was a glorious battle, one that would live long in the songs and legends of Bretonnia regardless of the outcome...[1u]

The revered Grail Knight seemed calm and relaxed as he marched forward to meet Styrbjorn. His weapon was sheathed and he carried no shield. When Reolus was forty paces from his enemy, the Norscan unhooked one of the handaxes strapped to his thighs. The Grail Knight's holy blade, Durendyal, was instantly in his hands, the movement so fast that the gathered onlookers had not even seen it drawn, and Reolus broke into a run towards the Norscan. The black-armoured warlord hurled the axe at his closing attacker, eliciting an angry murmur from the Bretonnians. Duels were meant to be fought hand to hand, face to face; it was dishonourable and cowardly to utilise missile weapons on the field of battle, let alone in a formal challenge.[1]

The axe was hurled with incredible power, and it spun through the air, end over end, towards Reolus's head. He swayed to the side as he increased the speed of his run, and the throwing axe hissed by him, missing him by scant inches. Less than twenty paces separated the two paragons of war, and the Norscan had his other throwing axe in his hand. He waited for the Grail Knight to draw closer, then hurled the missile at Reolus with even more power than the first. The Grail Knight swatted the axe aside with his sword and sprinted towards the Norscan, his blade clenched in both hands. Then, the enemy warlord drew his twin daemon-axes and stalked forward to meet Reolus head on.[1]

The two heroes clashed, Styrbjorn's unmatched, brutal strength pitted against Reolus's sublime swordsmanship. The Bretonnian's blade was a blur of silver that weaved a deadly pattern through the air as he ducked and spun, in constant motion, as he avoided the Norscan's brutal attacks. Though the Grail Knight soon succeeded in drawing first blood, this elicited no cheers from the Lyonessans, who merely watched the battle impassively. The spectacle of the two champions doing battle, both displaying skill and strength far beyond normal men, was breathtaking. With the most delicate of touches, Reolus ensured that blows that would have shorn his head clear of his shoulders and severed limbs were deflected, just missing their mark and leaving him unscathed. He deftly turned aside axe blows that, had they connected, would have hacked him in half, and his blindingly fast ripostes sliced through the Norscan's armour, scoring several wounds within the first minute of the duel, splattering the snow underfoot with the Jarl's blood.[1]

The battle took a sudden and dramatic turn when Reolus finally bypassed Styrbjorn's defences and impaled him with the length of his holy longsword, before wrenching it into a disemboweling cut. Enraged, Styrbjorn gave Reolus a back-hand blow that sent the Grail Knight sailing backwards in the air, sending him to crash upon the hard-packed ground. Arising from the terrible blow, Reolus turned his gaze upon his Northern adversary and silently willed him to die. The Norscan was crouched on the ground in agony, blood flowing from his grisly wound, and his twin axes had dropped from limp fingers onto the ground. What happened next stole the breath of all who saw it.[1]

In defiance of Morr's rightful claim upon his soul, in defiance of his own mortality, in defiance of all sane and logical reason, the Chaos Lord dragged the great blade Durendyal out of himself. The gifts of Khorne had served him well, for whatever gruesome wound the blade had dealt quickly healed, leaving Styrbjorn no worse for wear. Yet out of respect for the fighting prowess he had shown, Styrbjorn kicked the discarded blade Durendyal back to its master, and allowed Reolus to prepare himself for the next phase of their battle.[1]

The two warriors clashed once again in a furious contest of arms. Reolus stepped around his larger opponent, every movement in perfect balance, his glowing blade flashing back and forth to turn aside the Norscan's furious attacks. For long minutes the two battled, each straining to land a killing blow, yet they were so closely matched that few hits found their mark at all, and none of those were fatal. Soon, the Chaos Lord and Grail Knight were spent. Styrbjorn was struck with over a dozen wounds that wept blood, and parts of his Chaos Armour were hanging loosely. Reolus bled from a cut to his head where he had suffered a glancing blow, and his armour was rent in two places.[1]

Still, neither warrior relented, and after no more than a few heartbeats rest, they closed the distance separating them, grunting with effort as their blades came together. The Norscan snarled and brought one axe crashing down in a powerful blow, intending to cut Reolus from crown to sternum. The Grail Knight whipped his sword around in a circular double-handed parry, and the axe blade slid down his sword to slam into the ice-hard ground. The Norscan's second axe wailed as it hammered around in a vicious arc, slicing towards Reolus's hip. Rolling his wrists deftly, Reolus continued the movement of his circular parry and his blade flashed up, slicing cleanly through the Norscan's wrist even as the axe screamed towards him. The Chaos warlord's hand was completely severed, and it fell to the ground, axe still clutched in its grasp. The move had been so perfectly executed, so perfectly timed, that it took onlookers a moment to register what had just occurred. The barbarian bellowed in agony, blood pumping from the stump of his mutilated arm, but he still managed to clutch his other axe blade.[1]

With a roar, Egil Styrbjorn launched himself again at his foe, kneeing the knight in his sternum with sickening force, driving his breastplate inward and wrenching the once-immaculate armour out of shape. In response, the Grail Knight swung at the Skaeling, his blade slashing a bloody gash across his enemy's weathered face. Ducking beneath a hate filled strike, Reolus then slashed his blade across the barbarian's thigh, slicing through armour, flesh and iron-hard muscle before striking bone. Continuing his assault, the holy Paladin tore his sword free and lashed out once more, impaling the bleeding stump of Egil's arm. Reolus's gleaming blade slid clear through to the other side, becoming lodged...[1]

With a twist of his arm, Styrbjorn disarmed the great knight. Using his body's momentum, he brought his screaming daemon-axe wailing in a murderous arc that hacked the Grail Knight's head from his shoulders, sending it flying through the air in a shower of blood. The men of Lyonesse let out a cry of utter shock and horror as their holy champion was felled. They had always regarded Reolus as an eternal saint of the Lady, ageless, immortal. They had never considered that he was still a man of flesh and blood, a man that could be killed.[1]

Taking the Paladin's head as a trophy, Styrbjorn announced that he had defeated a worthy foe, the equal of any that he had ever battled. With this, he honoured the fallen knight by withdrawing his army from the shores of Lyonesse, but warned that he would one day return...[1]

After his death, Reolus was given a grand funeral at the centre of Castle Lyonesse. Laying atop a stone altar, surrounded by flowers and candles, the Grail Knight's body was guarded night and day, as many had flocked to mourn the fallen hero.[1]

Heraldry

Reolus bore the white Heraldry of a majestic, rearing Unicorn. This symbol was imposed upon a field of blue, above an image of the Holy Grail. Like all Grail Knights, Reolus' heraldry was instantly recognisable to knights and commoners alike. This allowed his arrival at towns and villages to be known long before he had set foot within them.[1]

Wargear and Abilities

Reolus was one of the greatest Grail Knights of his time, a master swordsman with the added power of the Grail flowing through his veins.

  • "Durendyal" - A mighty sword that shone with the Lady's favour, blood bubbled and boiled from Durendyal's blade, leaving it pristine after every strike.
  • "Arandyal" - One of Quenelles' most sacred relics, Arandyal was a blessed lance famously used by Reolus to slay the Dragon Grelmalarch. It shone with an unearthly light and its silver vamplate was crafted to resemble the very snarling dragon it killed.
  • The "Shattered Shield of Reolus" - Wielded by Reolus during his fight against the Devil Troll of Carcassonne, the "Shattered Shield" was cloven in two by the mighty beast before its inevitable death. Despite the damage done to it, the magnificent heraldry upon its face remained clear. The shield was recovered by Reolus's loyal Battle Pilgrims, to be carried into battle as the most holy of their artifacts.
  • "Token of the Damsel" - During the Siege of Lyonesse, Reolus wore a mauve, silk ribbon around his upper left arm - a token of affection from the Grail Damsel, Anara of Garamont.

Sources

  • 1Knights of Bretonnia (Series)
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