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"Of all the days the local weather crews could have picked, it had to be this one..." Virtue gritted his teeth, clamped his wings shut, and forced his way through the howling tempest, with each step silently thanking the last shop owner he had visited for the storm-proof gear. The driving rain stung his flanks and streamed through his mane and blaze, blurring his vision and clouding the breath in his nostrils with fine mist. In the periphery of his vision, Virtue spotted something in the gloom. A short distance away, an old barn rose out of the mists. Though it was in disrepair, it appeared intact enough to weather the storm. Virtue grunted as he slogged through the muck that, in dry weather, would have passed for a trail. The decrepit barn loomed in front of him, its shutters flapping in the baying wind and front door clearly falling off its hinges. Still, it was better than being out in the open and a sight more respectable than the cover of an old oak in Everfree. "Abandoned, but serviceable. This will have to do." The Pegasus breathed a sigh of relief as he stepped into the barn, immediately enjoying the feeling of no longer being bombarded by stinging droplets falling from the sky like a million arrows. Virtue shook himself off, starting with his cropped-short mane and working his way down his body, flapping his wings and flicking his tail to work the worst of the rain out. Though his coat was still damp, it was far more comfortable than being soaked. KA-THUNK. Virtue's saddlebags and scabbard clattered unceremoniously to the concrete floor of the barn. He was far too exhausted from fighting the storm to care about proper procedure at this point. Nudging his gear into a dry corner, Virtue curled up on the floor and was soon fast asleep.
Sir Virtue Librum and Council be damned. I have pledged my allegiance to Celestia Invictus and that pledge still stands whether I fight alone or with my Brother Cavaliers! Name: Sir Virtue, former knight of the Holy Order of the Destriers Sex: Male Age: Stallion Species: Pegasus Coat Color: Bone white (#F6EDC6) coat with rust-colored (#AC2B0C) fetlocks. Rust-colored blaze. Rust-colored stripes occur in tight triplet bands just below his shoulders on his upper front legs. Pinion feathers are also rust. Mane/Tail Color & Style: Rust-colored mane with alternating stripes of bone white. Mane is kept trimmed very short. Tail is solid rust color and allowed to grow longer. Eye Color: Green. Cutie Mark: The scales of justice balanced on the point of a sword-- a reminder that even in a world of peace and balance, a knight must remain ready to defend his values with sharpness of wit, strength of resolve, and if necessary, force of arms. Physique: Tall and lean, the product of martial training with the Destriers as a knight of the order. Origin: Grew up in Solstice Heights. Was assigned to various locations across Greater Equestria. Currently traveling. Occupation: Former Knight of the Holy Order of the Destriers. Traveling swordsman on a journey of self-rediscovery. Works odd jobs here and there for personal upkeep. Motivation: Continue to serve the Princess and the Destriers, bringing positive change to the order. Reclaim his honor in the eyes of his Brother Cavaliers. Virtue is not naturally petty, though he does hold some degree of resentment to the Council for ousting him as they did. Thus revenge is always in the back of his mind, though he does his best to purge it from his thoughts. Likes: Hoofington Pale Ale, mead, proper swordplay, ponies with heart, good flying weather, ice cream, tea, fireflies, pineapple Dislikes: Dogmatic ponies, bullies, injustice, sloppy work, being made a fool of, defeatism and quitters, excessive debauchery, cockroaches Character History Virtue is the latest in a long line of nobles to have served in the Holy Order of the Destriers. His family is well known for being devout followers of the Librum Dextrarius, with several elders serving on the High Council. The younger members of the family were expected to take up the mantle of Knight of the Order, becoming Brother Cavaliers in service to the order and the Princess. Like his biological brothers, Virtue had little idle time, training with the other colts in the art of sword when he was not religiously studying the text of the Librum Dextrarius. Virtue was soon found to be dexterous of hoof and strong of heart. His martial skills and his determination to succeed catapulted him to the top of his class in both martial and academic studies. Eventually, he earned the right to call himself Brother Cavalier and joined the ranks of the Knights of the Order. At first, Virtue could not have been happier. His entire life had been preparation for his promotion. However, as he continued to observe and learn, he found the Council and his superiors to be dogmatic, prudish, and unwilling to change in the face of overwhelming societal forces. The Order was stagnating. Virtue's pleas for reform were met with vehement opposition and dogged immobilism. The Order realized that Virtue was falling out of line and issued reprimands for his perceived insubordination, deploying him and his unit on long deployments in out of the way locations. On one of these deployments, an accident during a routine training drill resulted in the death of one of his subordinates, which was enough to allow the council to strip him of his Cavalier title. Disillusioned with his former dream job, Virtue packed his saddlebags and left, leaving behind his family and the Order he once loved. He refused to relinquish his sword Aequitas, much to the chagrin of the Council. The only place where Virtue's particular skill set would be useful would be the military, but as they blacklist members of the Destriers, Virtue was immediately rejected as an officer candidate. Frustrated with his inability to integrate with both his former fraternity and society proper, Virtue wanders Equestria, living off the land and doing odd jobs for bits while searching for his place in a world that seems to have left him behind. Character Summary Virtue is a pony in flux. As he has not been out of the service of the Destriers for long, he still retains his knowledge of the Librum Dextrarius, its four pillars, and a dogged determination to see justice be done to those who would do evil. At the same time, he is disillusioned with the highly dogmatic teachings and rigid training regimens that Destrier recruits undergo. Thus, he is torn between the purity of the values taught by the Librum and the desire for revenge against the Council's perceived betrayal. A large part of Virtue's personal conflict is attempting to reconcile his own ingrained training and sense of justice with his belief that progress is to be embraced and not resisted. Virtue is not a pony who shows kindness openly. Partly because of his natural countenance and partly because of his falling out with the Destriers, Virtue comes off as a very grim and uncompromising pony. However, he will never hesitate to step in when somepony's life is in danger. Virtue realizes that he comes off as intimidating at times and does his best to improve both his own attitude and circumstances. While he is not naturally bubbly, he is highly determined and very stubborn, though he is reluctant to commit to most things unless he has a solid reason to do so. Gear Aequitas (Destrier Long Sword): Just as much a work of art as it is a weapon, Virtue's sword is crafted and balanced specifically for him. Capable of being used either braced against his hoof as a puncturing weapon or wielded in the mouth as a slashing weapon, Aequitas is both versatile and deadly. Magical runes scribed along the flat of the blade keep Aequitas' edge sharp even in the most challenging of conditions and proudly proclaim the sword's purpose of bringing justice to those who would do evil. Bracers: Layered canvas bracers with steel reinforcements and latches, Virtue's bracers allow him to quickly fix Aequitas to a hoof or transfer it back to his mouth to rapidly change his fighting style and direction of attack or defense. Saddlebags: Containing little more than basic trail rations, a copy of the Librum Dextrarius, a journal and pen, and a utility knife, Virtue's saddlebags hold all he was able salvage from his former life before his unceremonious expulsion from the Destriers. Skill Set Swordsmanship: Destriers are well-known for their artful use of swords and Virtue is no exception. Command: As a former chapter leader and Brother Captain, Virtue has a firm grasp of tactics and how to motivate his charges. Wilderness Survival: His assignments to faraway lands and his journey on the road has taught Virtue hard lessons about living off the land and improvising solutions to problems that occur where help is not easy to come by. Many thanks to ChelseaGold for the picture!