8 years… 8 years I’ve been doing this. I never thought I would live this long as a Knight.
Even as I sit at my desk, on a day that should be somewhat joyous, I can’t help but look back on the last eight years. I look back at what the Knights were and what they are now, and I can’t help but feel I am a relic of the past, not fit for the current system the Knights have become. Like a gear that is long rusted, but is so far back in the system that it’s hard to replace without removing everything else.
8 years ago today I joined the Knights, under leadership of Argider de Roldan, perhaps the best knight to have existed in my opinion. Though I technically tried to join a year or two before, when Lloyd le Tarrow was Earl Marshall but personal matters got in the way. Though Argider died or did he retire first then die? I can’t remember. All I know is that it wasn’t too much later that Haidar de Abn’Zahi took over as Earl Marshall, though that was incredibly short lived as he couldn’t handle the pressure. Then came Arynon von Eclen, the deserter. He was good knight, pushed me a bit but ultimately I can now understand why he did, but at the time I hated it. Though eventually he abandoned the knights, though at the time we all assumed he was either killed or kidnapped, since no body was ever found, and it would only be much, much later that we discovered he had abandoned his position as Earl Marshall due to pressure and feeling like he couldn’t properly do his job, and came back to Lithmore with a new identity. Then came my time as Earl Marshall… 3 years I spent trying to lead the Knights, despite having no prior leadership experience. I like to think I did good for what I was able to do, though I let my anger get the best of me so many times, and allowed myself to be lead along by others. So much happened in those three years, from having to remove Kaerrick de Winter from the Knights and the position of Grand Master due to heretic behavior, to having Cambrea vanish without a trace.. it was about that time I started losing my grip on the Knights. Then came Casimir and Karrina. I was forced into making him a member of the Knights, as it was supposed to be his penance. More like they just wanted someone to babysit him. Those two lead a coup against me, and instead of dealing with the political powerplay that was soon to come I just said fuck it and stepped down, though less than gracefully and once again in a manner in which I let my anger fuel my words. Next came Karrina ab Vazien as Earl Marshall, with Casimir and Ariel there pulling the strings. And from there we all know how it goes. Vazien, Moradar, Myself, Keswick and now Rovar. 7 different Earl Marshall’s, not including my two separate terms which would bring the count up to 10, in only 8 years. That is ridiculous.
But beyond the leaders that came and went in those 8 years, there were also so many different pages, squires and Knights that it’s hard to keep track of. Afterall so many of them either get killed, leave the Knights or just become missing in action. Yet somehow, despite all odds, I’m the one who remains. Heck I’m the only Knight stationed in Lithmore that is still active from 8 years ago. Yet I don’t feel like that at times. I don’t feel like the pain, the time and the effort I have put into defending lithmore matters to anyone. They take it for granted, as if I owe my blood and sword to them. There is no respect, or even acknowledgement… it’s just blank. Even the squires and pages don’t acknowledge it, or look to me for advice. Hell maybe if they did more of them wouldn’t die.
In the 8 years I’ve been in Lithmore as a Knight, not once have I been the victim of an obvious spell outside of combat. Never have I been hexed or breathbinded. Never have I had an item mysteriously appear on my person. Does that mean I haven’t been the target of a mage? I can’t rightly say since mages have spells up their sleeves that are not easily identifiable or noticeable, but I like to think that isn’t the case. And why is it I haven’t been the target of mages? Well I can’t say I have an answer for that, but I like to think it’s because I don’t flaunt my position as a Knight. So many of these mages who are targeted and harassed by mages bring it upon themselves by taunting and proclaiming their power as Knights, calling mages worms and other such things. I on the other hand respect mages for what they are, creatures that we can’t pretend to fully comprehend, with powers at their fingertips that are incredibly deadly if used right. I respect them like I would any opponent, as a worthy adversary and not some creature whose sole purpose in life is for me to kill. They aren’t an animal to be hunted, but living beings who have given into darker temptations, and whose soul is my duty as a Knight to bring in to be saved. It is this point of view that I like to think keep the mages from harassing me with their spells… The fact I treat them like a human being even in combat. Though demons on the hand, I don’t treat them with the same respect, and often let my rage fuel my combat against them.
Though I am rambling now, not that it’s hard to do when you have this many years of experiences and stories. I hope to one day be able to tell my children and grandchildren these stories, but of course I am likely to die in combat before that can happen. Here’s to another 8 years, however unlikely it may be, to serving the Knights, and more importantly protecting the innocent and those who can not protect themselves.