Joshua Christian DeMaxx
The Knight of Salem
The Wind Knight
A Tale From Salem...
Joshua Christian DeMaxx was born under odd circumstances as the son of Sir Joshua and Lady Eleanor Christian, but his were normal when you consider those of his friends; that is another story.
His father was renowned throughout the world as one of the finest knights of his time: brave, pure and honorable. No Lancelot, he was only a man from the tribe of Judah, the tribe of the Lion of the Hebrews. His mother was a Levite, the tribe of Prophets, Priests and Law Givers. Both were sincere Christians, mighty in their own ways.
Sir Joshua was the Knight of the Cross, as had all of his fathers before him been since his family's conversion. He was the keeper and guardian of the Cross Hilt, a sword dripping with the Blood of Christ. On his person, he wore the Armor of the Cross, marked by the large red Cross that was etched on the front of the white suit. Lady Elaine was a healer and seer, besides being a wise magician. She wore the Cross Ward, a mysterious jewel. It was sealed to whatever she wore, until it sensed danger. At that time, it would rise from her body, its red center glowing, and absorb magical attacks, only to refire them at the caster. Her friendliness and grace were matched only by her calm resolve and gentle touch.
The couple often traveled together, even after she bore Joshua inside of her, seeking adventure and righting whatever smalls wrongs they could. After almost a year of bearing him (it gets wierder), they set off to face the Prince of all evil, Dracula, who had risen again and was terrorizing the lands. A battle at Dracula's castle ensued, ferocious and wearisome. With his Holy Avenger and his wife's magiks, Joshua Christian was a madman, defeating all of Dracula's forces, with the help of his own loyal friends, before the Dark One himself was found.
In the magnificent melee that resulted, Joshua Christian was killed after nearly defeating the dark prince; his armor and sword (a Holy Avenger), holy and pure, could not be touched by the evil there. No one knows what happened to his mother or Joshua's young body. Later on, Alucard, Dracula's only son, found the sword- the armor had, by then, disappeared. With the mighty blade, he defeated his father and was guardian of the weapon, until Shane DeMaxx relieved him of it a millennium later. Legends only hint at the mysteries surrounding Joshua Christian De Maxx and his origins along with that of his weapons. He knows that he was born in Salem's Sanctuary, a thousand years later, heir to the Throne of Salem. His mother disappeared and returned later to give birth to Joshua's brother, Thomas Christian De Maxx, who was born of the same father (it gets wierder still).
When Joshua reached the age of four, a mysterious knight began to show up, known only as Salem and sometimes referred to as the Knight of Salem,a ghostly champion who protected the Kingdom. Whatever he was, ghost or man, he wore the Armor of the Cross and the Cross Ward, although Joshua did not know then the signifigance of these items. Taking young Joshua on sabbaticals with him, he taught and trained the boy the next ten years. In the meantime, Thomas found his teachings from a wizened old wizard, called the "Mage of the Woodlands", Alution.
When he was eleven, Joshua met Derek, then a scruffy youth with nothing but potential and courage. Lady Iris, an Archangel, appeared then, too, the divine Protector of the boys; she carried with her The Angel Orb, whose powers were unkown. Between the training lessons, Joshua would venture off with Derek, although the two were young. They bonded and became true friends, exploring Salem and battling the occassional thief. Joshua taught Derek all that he had learned from Salem and they would spar for hours on end.
In addition to this training, Derek somewhere picked up skills in dagger throwing and in the use of the rapier. He found these items more appealing to his agile movements and strike-and-move tactics than the heavy swords and devices that were popular among Knights. Bored with the boundaries of the Kingdom, the pair began to wonder into Rhydin, which was near Salem, eventually canvassing the entire land within a four year period. In this land, the two would visit the Christian houses and the Red Dragon Inns, young but adventurous. Here they were introduced to a wide variety of people, commitable and serious men alike. Thomas, meanwhile, remained at the Sanctuary and at Windsong, the main castle, honing is psionic abilities and learning magic from Alution.
Soon, the first strains of Destiny's song could be heard. Joshua was in the Red Dragon Inn by himself one lonely night, for Derek had other business in the area. There, a man garbed in a cloak that made him invisible (for the cloak was made of wind) except for the large red Cross on his armor and the Cross Ward which shone through his cloak, sat down next to him.The man beckoned Joshua to follow the two ended up in a back room. There, the stranger disappeared into the wind, leaving behind the cloak, and a voice could be heard on the wind: "Take these gifts and use them well, my son. The were the weapons that served your mother and I so well. You are now the Wind Knight, the Knight of the Cross, you will protect Salem. Find my sword, the Cross Hilt- Alucard still bears it- and regain control of it. Shadanah."
On a table, he saw armor he recognized, the Armor of the Cross, and also the Cross Ward. Without hesitation, Joshua donned the armor and cloak; taking a small chain from his pocket, he placed the Cross Ward around his neck. Upon returning, things went well for a short while. The brothers and Derek trained daily and with a passion, although none of them truly had any ambitions of glory or war- they all enjoyed the physical challenge for its own sake. All ignored Iris's warnings that, should the try to escape their destinies as warriors, God would send their fate to them with a harsh sign. They could not excape the Plan, she said. Regardless, her advice went unheeded.
The life they lived was too simple and dreamlike to leave: Joshua was in love with a beautiful young lady, Elizabeth, who possessed phenomenal healing abilities. At 5'0", her quiet form and brown hair were not imposing, her very presence filled him with peace. She was his greatest love and he had no desire to risk losing her. Destiny would not be denied, as Iris predicted, and it came with vengeance and purpose in the form of a mighty dragon. Terrorizing the land, the dragon killed every living thing within the kingdom, eventually reaching the main castle: Windsong.
There, an epic battle with the dragon commenced. Soon, only six were left in all the kingdom to fight: Alution, Joshua, Derek, Thomas, Iris and Elizabeth. Derek, agile and wily, fought like a madman, terrorizing the dragon with his cat-like movements. Thomas, the psion, toyed with the beast's mind and plagued him with spells, while the others wreaked havoc upon its body. Alution, the Mage, cast spells of protection, saving their lives many a time; it was his summmoning powers that proved so useful against the armies of pillagers who followed the Dragon. Iris, the mighty Archangel, was in the midst of it all, casting fear and death like an apocalypse. Joshua hacked away at the beast with his sword and his love at his side.
Just as the battle seemed over and the Beast's mission halted, the hidden agenda of the Dragon was revealed. Two of the beast's men sprang from the woods nearby rushing at Joshua, distracting him as he turned to face them. Derek, quick in wit and action, mowed them down with a timely spray of throwing daggers before they neared him, however. They were only a diversion, sadly, as the Dragon, which Joshua had been in the process of decapitating, gave one final swing with his giant tail, capitulating WindSong Castle and burying the young Knight beneath several tons of stone and mortar.
Joshua died instantly, for the very walls fell upon him, crushing him inside of his armor. After a day of excavation, they found his body, smashed and torn. The armor was destroyed, Iris told later, because of Joshua's irreverance. As the group stood silently mourning their friend and brother, Elizabeth neared his corpse. Without a word, Elizabeth took him into her arms and, with a final smile to her friends, a glow filled their bodies.
Joshua opened his eyes and beheld her... one final time: beautiful, radiant, sacrificing her life for his. She smiled down at him and mouthed the words that had meant so much to them both throughout their life together: "I love you. Shadanah." That was all; his love, his heart, had departed. With much shock he found himself in a place he hated more than Death: life without Elizabeth.
The tragedy and pain was great for all of them- especially for the whimsical and happy-go-lucky Joshua. He wandered the lands alone, bitter and disdainful of anyone who came near him. Many a time, he tried to start fights against innumerable odds, hoping to die- but each time, a miracle prevented the men he taunted from attacking.
One night, disillusioned and still seeking to join his love, Joshua wandered into the Red Dragon Hall. There he met Shane DeMaxx and The Father, besides Janero McGee DeMaxx and Bargos De Maxx Krak. Finding him a fast friend in spite of his sour attitude, Shane took him under his wing, training him and mentoring him still further. When Shane was occupied, Janero would be teaching him some new spell, some new lesson, training him in chivalry and courtesy. He worked hard at their tests, as the distraction relieved his mind and his thoughts of the past tragedy. He spent a full six months with them both, learning what they would show him. Destiny had come. The Plan was being fulfilled.
Shane placed him in his newly formed guild, the KoT, where Joshua quickly rose in rank and prestige, proving his leadership and loyalty to his fellow soldiers. Although not as storied as the Scottish-Irish Brotherhood, or as long lived, the Kingdom of Truth did produce many fruits, some of whom Joshua himself recruited, including Aruth DeMaxx, Janus, Rycaltor DeMaxx, Magus DeMaxx and Xanith Silverwind.
Without warning, Shane mysteriously disappeared, leaving Joshua in peril. He now controlled the KoT and Shane's many rivals and friends alike looked to assassinate him, thinking he had killed Shane. However, marshalling his formidable will, he called together the KoT's members and rallied them around him, also calling his brother Thomas and Iris and Derek to his side. Moving the guild to Salem, the Kingdom of Salem was rebuilt and officially founded. The Kingdom flourished, tripling its membership within a month's time. However, Fate was not yet through with Joshua and Salem, destroying his guild and causing dissension so strong that only his "family" remained, along with Magus, Bargos, Janero, Janus, Aruth and Rycaltor. All others vanished in the "War of the Fog", which was fought against the return of evil to Salem and was conquered at a heavy price.
Shane returned suddenly, summoning the DeMaxx family to Illusia, along with any of the remaining Salemites who wished to go. All followed and many old friends were initiated into the DeMaxx Clan through the ancient blood ritual, including Rycaltor, Magus, Bargos, Derek, Thomas and several others. Illusia was a wondrous land which taught them many things, while exacting its own price. Joshua became the SiC of the family- proving his worth as a leader- but he lost the services and faith of Janus, who accused him of treason and left Illusia, never to be seen again.
Afer a brief stay there, the family returned to Rhydin, reforming the Scottish-Irish Brotherhood and facing their greatest challenge with the appearance of Shane's brother, Sarcillius, who eventually was defeated in an epic battle, along with several of his evil followers.After a three more years of adventure and war, many felt the urge to move on. Close as they were, each had knew pathways to walk and a new mission to accomplish. Many of them disappeared, some were killed, the others remain still. As best history can recount, here is a retracing of their paths:
- Joshua Christian DeMaxx (SalemKnght), the Knight of Salem, the never-tiring Paladin, journeyed to many places, sought many adventures and came across an assortment of astonishing creatures and faithful friends, though none so great as he had known. He smiles often, but his heart weeps even more, for his love is still gone and his heart is still broken. Only a man, claiming no great powers and knowing that he, like his father, is but a knight, he travels seeking to right whatever wrongs he can. Many say that, when he disseminates into the wind, a whisper is heard on the ensuing breeze, a female saying, "Shadanah."; few know what it mean.
- Thomas Christian DeMaxx (Salmite), the psion and Mage, ever studious and always the wise, returned to Salem and the Sanctuary there, where he remains, honing his skills and training ever harder for the day when he will be called again. Serious and quiet, the young psion meditates for hors on end- some say he has become as much a creature of the mind and spirit as he ever was of the body.
- Derek DeMaxx (DerekDMaxx), the agile and cunning rebel warrior, vanished. Rumors suggest that he can be found in the woods of Salem, training and living off the land. Some have seen him in Rhydin, battling evil men and occassionally starting a fight at the Red Dragon Inn. His eyes are constantly on the look out for the return of evil, for he knows it wil come again like a storm.
- Iris, Lady Heartscry, (AngelSight) the Angel who guards Salem, went back to... well, wherever Archangels go to watch people. She appears from time to time, talking and watching over the Salemites closely. Her prized item, the Angel Orb, was given to Joshua as a gift.
- Alution (Alution), the Mage of the Woodlands (and known pervert), returned to Salem with Thomas, relaxing and generally letting his skills wane. He is enjoying this break in between the wars, for his talents will be there when they are needed.
- Rycaltor DeMaxx (Rycaltor), the loyal friend and mighty mage, went on his own adventures, occassionally wandering into Derek or Joshua's path, always testing himself and learning from the people of the land; rumor says he has acquired some interesting new spells, unknown to most mages, as well as having come into possession of a Kingdom.
- Aruth DeMaxx (AruthTaraz), the wisest sage Joshua had ever known, wandered the lands, never saying whether he would return or not. Recent reports indicate that he is near Rhydin and that some friends are actively seeking his return.
- Shane DeMaxx (ShaneDMaxx) vanished again, to return, as he said, "When the winds cry for a hero and the mountains rise in challenge". Nothing more is known of the mysterious leader and that is perhaps fitting.
Though they are seperated now, they will soon stand together again, hand-in-hand, as the prophecies have predicted, joining with others to fight a great, coming evil.
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