After the final battle, the few surviving members of the Knights Templar, bloodied from the ultimate betrayal by the heretics, gathered together in the cover of a hill just on the outskirts of the battlefield. This small band of warriors were prepared to rush back into battle, to avenge our fallen comrades, and just as we were ready to charge the field of battle, Apollyon appeared before us and simply said, "No!"
Shocked and awed by the appearance of the fallen Angel himself, the Knights held and took a knee in front of him. Speaking to the minds of the Knights, instead of aloud, "Not this day, my children. This battle is lost and I will NOT allow you to waste your lives!" Not nearly as awed as the other Knights, three Knights, two women and a male and stood and approached him. With anger in her voice, despite the exhaustion of her body the first female knight stated, "But my Lord, we were betrayed, we must be allowed to seek the vengeance that is ours by right. As the highest ranking officer left alive on the field this day, I demand the right for vengeance!" The other knight next to her, in a much calmer tone, asked, "How will we be able to exact the revenge against the ones that betrayed us, my Lord?" The lone male stood muttering to himself. The only words that are remotely intelligible are "blood, death and vengeance"
"Calmness, my children. Vengeance will be ours, but we must gather our strength for that fight. Listen to what I have to say, I speak from experience and I do not want you to make the same mistakes that I have. Many, many years ago, God entrusted to me the punishment of sinners. I was to punish them for 6 months and only in certain ways. Alas, I was too zealous in my job and overstepped my bounds and fell from grace. If you make the same mistakes that I did, you will die and never been able to redeem yourselves. Until that time, I order you to depart, rest, and gather your strength. Hide out in other orders or in the great masses of the world. Learn anything and everything you can"
Stepping forward, the knight known as Zendalonii says "My Lord, please forgive my anger. At times, I can..." Interrupting her, Apollyon spoke, "My child, your anger is understandable and forgivable. The passion in your words and body speak volumes about your character. You are the exact type of person that I need to lead the troops here in this mortal realm. I appoint you, the calm one Lolly and the other one that came forward, Meka as the leaders. When the time is right, I will come to each of you and let you know to reform the Order."
"Depart and Good Luck, my children." With that, Apollyon faded into the shadows. Turning to the troops, Zendalonii, Lolly, and Meka looked at us and sent us out among the heathens and heretics. We destroyed all and any markings that would denote us as Templar. Swords, armor, rings, tabards, tunics, all burnt on the battlefield, the ashes scattered to the winds just like us when we finished the day. As I was walking away, I heard Meka mumbling to himself. I could have sworn, I heard him say, "Yeah, I will agree to follow your way but I know my way to blood and glory will reign."
Many years passed by aimlessly, the other Knights and myself had carefully and safely blended into the other clans like we were instructed and kept our secret past unknown to the masses. Each of us stayed loyal to both causes, the one of the clan that we were in and the true path of enlightenment. Each Knight prayed that one day we would be able to walk that path again.
Then in the spring of the year of our Lord, 2003, an edict came across the world. This edict stated that new orders would be formed. A total of four orders were to be formed, two of them would be fighting orders and the other two purely monastic and peaceful. Hoping and praying, the scattered members looked to the battlefield to see if our prayers would be answered this time or not. Sensing something different, our leaders, Zendalonii, Lolly, and Meka, braved the world, the chance of discovery, and went to the site of the last battle.
When the leaders reached the field of battle, they were disgusted beyond belief. The corpses of our fallen comrades were left on the field, left to be torn apart by vultures and carrion. Their skeletons littered the ground in the same spots where they fell, no burial performed, not even a pyre to guide their spirits to the afterworld. The three of them decided to bury our fallen brothers and sisters. So Zendalonii and Lolly set themselves to the task of bringing in all of the bodies while Meka dug a mass grave. Nearly six hours later, the horrid task of burying the dead knights was completed. The three leaders decided to take a small break before performing Last Rites. When they returned to the burial mound, they were shocked to find a man already there performing the rites. Angered, the three leaders rushed forward to find out what the hell was going on and who the hell this person was. Just as one of them was about to speak, the robed figure held up a hand and said, "Hold!"
Frozen in their tracks by a simple word, the leaders gazed in amazement as the robed figure pulled back his hood and Apollyon stood before them. "Hello, my children, we meet again. I knew that you would come to this field today. It was foretold that you three would come to me again and that when you did it would be time to reform the order. I want you to start small and stay small. Start with seven of the most trusted people. Pick these seven wisely as they will be the foundation of what will come and will help to draw the other members out of hiding. Be forewarned. You will have some people that will attempt to join you that are false, others that will rejoin that are true, but not ready to walk the path to enlightenment. Do not accept the former and let the latter leave when they ask. It will take some people longer to be able to walk the path and even some others will never be ready. It will make the Order stronger in the long run.
Apollyon continues to speak, "Lastly, my children. Remember my words from the first time we met. Learn from my mistakes. Hold your honor close at heart. Be true to each other, yourselves and those that need it. Walk softly, strike fast and hard. Show mercy only to those that need it. Do what it takes as long as you remain true to the path, you will be in the right. Curb your bloodlust. The path to the enemy has enough obstacles in it to allow yourself to think about such petty things. Kneel before me and receive my blessing." Each of the leaders knelt, bowed their heads to the Fallen Angel. Apollyon recited the words of the blessing, wishing each of the leaders the wisdom to be able to learn and lead the troops in the battles that would come.
Over the next two months, the three leaders silently contacted the first seven members that would rejoin the order. On July 18th, it was announced that the order called the Knights of Perdition would be formed along with five others instead of the pre-announced four. Our leaders sent trusted couriers with messages to Erobinia, Ludovic, Ziggyny, Lebkc, Blunt, Mohan and Dellis. These messages were sealed with Templar Crest and the seven of us knew that it was time to return home.
Riding in, carrying our meager possessions with us, we met at an old abandoned church and the leaders led us from there to the underground training facility on the grounds. Both the church and the underground hall were in advanced states of disrepair. Some of the damage came from the passage of time, but most of it from the heretics that had to destroy our way of life.
The leaders called us together. The ten of us formed up in the derelict hall, some of us took seats on the floor, others remained standing. Zendalonii stood up, cleared her throat softly demanding our attention, and spoke softly, 'Troops, today is our first day rejoined as a clan. Each of us must work harder than we ever have before in order to rebuild this hall, to rebuild everything that we have lost. Each of you will have extra tasks to go along with normal daily matters." With this, Zendalonii and Lolly set us each to task, instructing us on the extra projects that we would have. Sitting there patiently, which is not normal of me, I had to wait until everyone else was done. They looked at me and a smirk crossed Zendalonii's face, "Dellis, your time in exile was spent hiding with scholars, correct?" I replied in the affirmative. 'Well, Dellis, I believe it will be most beneficial if you begin writing the chronicle our rebirth. I want you to keep a journal of our lives so all who follow the path of Apollyonwill know the trials and tribulations that we all have gone through to get to the point were we are at today and will be in the future."
So with those words, I was appointed Clan Historian. An honor I will try to prove that I am worthy of. Our history starts with the above recounting of the days prior to the reformation and will continue with each new year. Our first year ironically was the year of the Templar Moons.
Blood Moon Phase
Keeping true to our vow, we did overcome the loss and continued to recruit members building up to over twenty active Knights. Zendalonii and Lolly felt that it was time to appoint two new leaders to assist in the everyday running of the clan and training of the troops. Each member was given their chance to explain why they felt they would make a good leader, or to recommend someone else for the post. After three weeks, it was announced that Blunt and Erobinia would be promoted to Exalted. The party held in their honor lasted three days. Even Knights need to let loose and have some fun once in awhile.
A couple months passed, daily life in the hall started to fall into a nice routine. At times, a bit boring, but thankfully, we have Sweettooth. He always find a way to keep the spirits up of the troops with his comedy. It was an everyday occurrence after we installed the moat. Lolly would get pissed because he was constantly trekking mud into the hall so finally she put a draw bridge across the moat. He was always in the water in search of his alleged moat monster, wading in the mud with his sword drawn yelling "Come out dammit, I know you are in here!"
His antics helped keep spirits high when Morrigu left us. Morrigu wanted to rejoin nature in its purest form. Respecting his wishes, the leaders allowed him to leave, but requested one last act from him. Please try and find Guillotine for us, he went on an expedition and was separated from the group, alone and not used to exploring alone he got lost in the dense forest and to the best of our knowledge he is still trying to find his way home. Morrigu readily agreed to help.
Watching the clan grow has been so enjoyable. Watching myself grow with it has been rewarding. After so many years being stuck in libraries, with nothing to do but gather knowledge, I grew impulsive over the years, where I tend to rush into situations without opening my eyes first. Like the time when I tried to be the 'Knight in shining armour'. I rushed into a fight to aid what I thought to be a damsel in distress, a very beautiful woman, getting attacked by a much stronger foe. What I failed to realize was that the foe was an ally and the damsel, while needing help, didn't need mine. She bore a striking resemblance to a lover I once knew, and may even have been her, but had joined a group of heretics.
I'm not called the Troublemaker for nothing. When I make a mistake, I do it with such flair. Still angered and full of adrenaline, the leaders approached me to talk about what I had done. I told Zendalonii to demote me, that I did not care. Well, she demoted me. Open mouth, insert foot.
Lolly pulled me aside once I had calmed down. Helped me to see reason and to point out in a very nice way how much my actions, after the fact, not the helping the 'damsel' reminded her of Meka. Remembering the words that I heard Meka say so many years ago, I knew that Meka would have let the damsel die, and then killed the ally as well. I took her words to heart and she knew that I meant well, she redirected my energies into more constructive things. Like finding out why Bebop, Spliff and Raijon were always in the greenhouse. She was quite intrigued about those strange plants growing between the tomatoes that bore no fruit.
So, I set off to find out about these plants. Entering the greenhouse, I heard a lot of laughter coming from the tool shed. I wandered back there to find Bebop, Spliff and Raijon smoking 'tabac' from a strange contraption made of steel with four pipes coming of it. They asked me to join them, and seeing how much of a good time they were having and my recent troubles, I joined them. What a night! The four of us went on our own raid that night after we finished all of that 'tabac'. A raid of the pantry! I don't remember being that hungry even after a ten day fast.
I had to modify the report to Lolly a little bit the next day, but thankfully she was distracted thanks to Mohan. Mohan had just returned from the jungle and was having severe problems with his armour due to the weather. Mohan would mutter something in Spanish and then Lolly would ask him to translate into English. Zen, who was also helping, would just laugh when certain curse words didn't get translated. The leaders noticed a few inconsistencies in my story and after I gave the report, Blunt had me take him to the greenhouse. Blunt saw the plants and the 'pipe' and started laughing. He looked at us with a huge grin on his face. 'Guys, we all have to have some fun and blow of some steam sometimes. Next time, Invite ME!!!!'
Shield Moon Phase
Winter hit us Knights hard, travel was limited, so very few applicants came our way. People were getting cranky, spring fever was biting everyone. Zendalonii came up with a great idea of a Spring Fair. She spoke with the leaders of Druid, Watchmen, Twinlobe and the 4 great clans put on a week long fling. Other clans joined in to fill gaps when we didn't have events planned. Lolly then created + A Knight's Favour + as a prize for winners and runner-ups to redeem for services from clan members. Even the immortals of the world decided to take a small part in the festivities. I can hardly wait until the next Fair.
Things continued normal for the next few months until the month of May rolled around. Gren, who had been studying with the elementalists, had returned to the fold. Sweettooth was asked to give him some directions to help navigate. Well, Sweet's directions were just a tad off, landing Gren into the maze defending our hall. I went into the maze with a tether line tied to me to help Gren back out. After correcting the directions for Gren and giving him a proper tour, I went straight to the greenhouse to make sure there was no 'tabac' missing. There wasn't, but the entire event was so funny, I guess it was just Sweet being Sweet. The clan comic relief.
Three days later, DeLoth rejoined the Knights after his travels in the Great Northern Wilds. Claiming to have never seen so much snow in his life, he was glad to return to a nice climate and have shelter again. A couple of days later, I had to recheck the greenhouse as DeLoth managed to take a wrong turn and ended up in the maze as well. I think that we shall have to replace all of the locks in the hall. Someone keeps unlocking them. I think that I will speak with Lolly to ask her to do some investigating about the clan hall into this matter.
These last four weeks leading up to the solstice have been intriguing to say the least. They started out shortly after Gren and DeLoth rejoining us with the loss of another Knight. Belmont left the order taking a vow of silence and joined a monastery. Mere days later, Erobinia came to us after speaking with the other leaders to inform us that she would be stepping down as leader but remaining in the clan. Her studies were taking too much time away from her other duties.
After this dose of bad news, we needed something to perk us back up and got it without asking. Robbie was the first good news. He led a group of three Knights that returned to us nearly at the same time. Robbie's process of rejoining us was remarkable. He was able to locate each Knight on the Chamber of Vision induction committee in the same day and was recruited into the order the same day he returned. Upon rejoining us, Robbie changed his name Kakashi, taking his true name back after so many years of hiding.
The next day, Isildur came up to us bouncing around asking all kinds of questions super excited like "What if...." But, but, yeah what if" and what would you think if?' All of his questions centered around returning Knights. We stood there dumb-founded, trying to make sense of what Isildur was trying to say when Migash stepped from the shadows and said, 'I wasn't sure if I would still be welcome after all this time, I feared my brothers and sisters had forgotten me' Zendalonii walked up to Migash, embraced him in a big hug and simply said, 'Welcome home.'
The next day, Koala returned to us. He spent his time studying with the sages with Sweettooth and I. We were quite happy when he decided to take his place amongst the Knights again. Sweet and I will just have to plant some more of those trees that Koala likes to climb in and eat the leaves of. After all of these years knowing Koala, I will never understand why he likes them so much.
Sword Moon Phase
A few days, Blurp, our new weapons master, started his newest training class concerning siege engines. Isildur, being his normal curious self, stole the show in this class. During the middle of the class, some laborers brought in a trebuchet. Isi immediately started asking "What's this?" "What do you use this for?" "What is that?" Blurp looked at Isi and said, 'Patience, just watch.' Blurp did a few things and fired the trebuchet. 'Why?' was the next thing to be said. The rest of us started laughing, Isildur just looked a little confused. After the class was over, Blurp had us each fire the trebuchet. Isildur was the closest to the target, actually, he was closer than Blurp and the only person to pass the class. I guess the rest of us should have paid as much attention as Isi did.
Blurp was very patient with us in the next class as he is in every class that he gives us. Each of us passed this class with flying colors. Literally, our ammo was large barrels of paint. We decided that the walls needed a new paint job. The entire time, Blurp was just smiling, not saying much, which is normal. A man of few words, letting his actions speak for themselves. Each of us wishing that we had his patience to continue training each and everyone of his skills instead of sitting for any period of time focusing on just one aspect of being a Knight. He works on them all. Giving his time and energy to making himself better and the clan better for it. There are certain rewards to sitting and focusing on defense, or raiding, but in the end, Blurp will be truly rewarded for his dedication.
The clan had a major reason to celebrate shortly after the trebuchet class. Destini and Koliryn, soul mates, came to Zendalonii, Lolly and Erobinia requesting a minor favor. They noticed that the shelves in the shop were a bit empty and that we needed to place an order for the caravan master. Being diligent, they already had an order written up and at the bottom of it were three very odd items. A bonnet, a rattle and booties. Destini and Koliryn were bringing a new Knight into the clan. So it would take 9 months. It might take 9 months to recover from that celebration!
There were a few sobering moments during the celebration when we toasted our 'missing' members. Euphonix, who has been on a tour of schools of higher learning, Tical, who has gone on a sabbatical to work on his writing. Young Anakin, who disappeared into the mountains with a woman. We all know how that can be. Lupercus who has been on a pilgrimage to find to find himself. But no more than five minutes after the toast, with all us sitting there solemnly, contemplating life, we were wrenched from that. Amerasu, who had just returned from helping some lost travelers, started scolding our resident troll, Belmont, for leaving dirty socks in her satchel that she uses to help the travelers. Knowing how bad those socks must have smelled from being in a small container from how bad the smell from being left in corners around the hall, it served to spice up the rest of the night.
Late into the celebration, we decided to have 'story time' where each member told their favorite or a memorable tale from their time since rejoining us. DarkLogan stole that show when he told the tale of his hunting expedition, his quest to test his skills, and he was attacked by a large Ninja with no morals, the clan went into a frenzy wanting vengeance. Exile told his tale about being lost outback somewhere, and being glad that he was able to find his true home again. The gypsy women almost trapped down under. Ricochet decided to it was time to do his best imitation of Chaucer, telling us all how we could be nobles, and he could create patents of nobility for us. After a few moments of deep thought and brief reflection, he realized that we were already all nobles and so he went back to philophizing.
A few days after the celebration, once we all had recovered. Sokic, who traveled from far away lands to learn our way of life with quite a bit of gold, came up with the idea of a contest that combines joust with martial arts. He had Vexthorne, who is our resident research expert, help him with the contest. Needless to say, the 13th Knight won again.
White Moon Phase
We set to the task of rebuilding our hallowed halls, clearing debris, repairing/replacing damaged timbers, cleaning cobwebs, burying the dead left in the hall, excavating caved in passageways, restoring the once pristine structure to some semblance of its former self. In doing so, applicants started to come in. Remembering the words of Apollyon, we were careful with those first applicants. Most of them were true Knights, just not ready to rejoin us. Others were false Knights or even heretics wanting to spy on us to only betray us. They were turned away.
New Knights swore the oaths of honor and within a few weeks we were up to thirteen knights on our roster. The thirteenth Knight was Blurp. Happenings around the hall continued to flow nicely for the next couple of months. Defenses got repaired, rooms rebuilt, slowly but surely, the hall was looking great and morale was high, but from some reason, our leaders weren't happy and were not saying why.
It did not take the rest of us long to find out why though. A couple days later, during a training session, Meka was conducting an exercise with some of the trainees using real swords instead of the normal wood practice swords. The trainee sparring with Meka pulled an unexpected maneuver and nicked Meka's upper arm. Meka smacked the young boy in the face with the pommel of the sword he held and then raised his sword to strike the boy dead. As he was coming down with the sword, it was stopped in mid-swing by Zendalonii. Lolly reached down and grabbed the boy, putting him behind her and out of harms way. Yelling, Zendalonii demanded to know what Meka was thinking. Meka, in a blood curdling voice, rasped out, 'I was going to kill it, that thing had no right to touch me with a blade, it must die, just like our enemies and you, if you continue to stand in my way, wench. You are not worthy to hold a leadership position, you do nothing but hold us back. The time to strike our enemies is now, we should not wait, can not wait, and I will not wait.'
Zendalonii stepped back, a calm look came across her face, and said, 'Meka, I'm sorry that you feel this way. I am following the instructions of Apollyon. I will not, can not, deter from this path. If you feel that the path has a different fork, take it, I will not stop you and I will allow you to take any member with you that feels the same way, but you can not remain here.'
Meka, still seething with anger, even more so now, looked around to the members of the clan and other support personal, and said, 'My fellow Knights, my path is true, join me, and join me in vengeance and victory, we will smite our enemies quickly, with great force, they will know the pain they inflicted upon us.'
An uneasy silence came across the training hall as nobody spoke and moved to join Meka in his bloodthirst. A panic came over Meka, he started moving about, asking, almost begging people to join him, nobody spoke to him. At last, Lolly stepped forward, and softly said, 'Meka, my friend, it is time. Leave quietly with the last remaining vestige of your honor. Realize your mistakes, where you broke from Apollyon's words and failed to follow his advice. Come back to us when you have learned, and we shall accept you back with open arms. Until then, do not cross our path, or I might have to just kill you myself and greave you.'
Meka turned from our sight and started to leave the hall. At the doorway, he turned back to us and yelled out, 'I will rule you all one day, I shall have the respect that I rightly deserve, and when I do, you will all bow before me and beg forgiveness.' He then ran from our sight, cackling like a madman. We all sighed a breath of relief, saddened by the loss of a brother in arms.
The sadness would continue shortly after Meka's leaving though. Three of our founding members approached Zendalonii and Lolly in a private meeting. Ludovic, Ziggyny and Lebkc asked the leaders for permission to leave. Ludovic, speaking for all three of them, stated that they felt that they were not ready. Our path was the true, but they needed more time to be able to better commit to the path and going back into the masses would help them learn the way of the true path.
We were saddened by their leaving. They had done so much to help us rebuild in their short time with us. We vowed to overcome this loss. We wished them well in their travels and our leader let them know that the door would always be open for them to return when they felt ready.
Blue Moon Phase
Time moves swiftly as seasons change. It has been many moons since our history has last been recorded but rest assured that we have been actively seeking to serve Apollyon and strengthen our holdings. One such way this was accomplished was the addition of new Knights. During the spring we found some amazing Knights who could help us carry on with our mission. Zephyros joined us in April and soon became an asset we are very happy to have on our side. May found us welcoming Kyroda into the keep. It was a festive time. Spring also brought us a lady Knight known as Elysse. She joined us for a short while and then surprising left us to join with others. She soon discovered that being a Knight was what she wanted but was not allowed to rejoin us, as we could no longer trust that her heart was true. Another Knight was tested as well. Wraithe had a minor skirmish with the leaders and left us for a short pilgrimage and when he returned he was able to show that he had learned from his mistakes and was welcomed back into the fold.
Summer months were slow for gathering new Knights. The weather was warm and many Knights were out scouring the countryside. One Knight had showed his courage endlessly and put all the other Knights before himself and was rewarded by being chosen to join those who lead us. We all cheered when it was announced that Gren would be our new leader. We lost only one Knight that summer. Blurp decided that it was time for him to move out of the keep. He could no longer live by our restrictions.
As summer began to mold itself into fall, the activity around the keep began to rise. Eidolon joined us but quickly was lost to us again. We began the training of Rathik and Alhena who were brought in as recruits from Knights who returned from the summer solace. Deekan decided that a ninja did not make a good Knight and left us to join his own kind. Perdition did take part in the Fall Festival and had a wonderful time celebrating with all our friends. Cirion came to us during this time. There were many debates among the Knights regarding his request to join with us. Many were shocked that one who captained such a large ship and survived by living the life of a pirate would come to us. Cirion was able to show that his ways had changed and he was indeed a true Knight. More celebration followed as we welcomed him home. Unfortunately all good times must come to an end and it was time to say goodbye to those Knights who did not return from their summer travels. It was with saddened hearts that Bolt, Erobinia, Darklogan, Guillotine, Lupercus and Amerasu were cast out of the order. We can only hope that Apollyon continues to watch over them and can help guide them home someday. Fall does not end on a bad note however as we are soon celebrating the arrival of Flanagan and Zhalt.
Winter is cold and makes a Knight's life difficult. We lost Rathik to these difficulties. He could no longer stand to struggle against the elements. As we all were preparing for the holiday festivities around the keep, there was a commotion heard outside. When we looked, the sight of Mojo dancing to get our attention warmed us. He was so amusing we had to lower the gates and let him in. Before the gates were raised again a swift Sariel came bounding across dragging a sweet pregnant Atleen behind him. That night, as we gathered around the fire and the exhausted Atleen rested her weary head on a pallet, Mojo and Sariel told us of their struggles. Mojo had once lead the others who call themselves Emerald. He told us of the continued decline of that order and how he could no longer stand by and lead such a group. He went to our leaders and bowed upon a knee and swore his fealty to them, begged forgiveness from us all for our past suffering at the hands of those he once commanded. Sariel was also one who led others. He told us that while he was praying and meditating in his chambers seeking guidance, a vision of Apollyon came to him and he knew that it was time for him to turn the leadership over to another and start down another path. So he packed up what little he had and set out to find us. He told us how he came upon Atleen during his travels and convinced her to join him on his quest to find us. We Knights felt blessed that the past year had brought more of our family home. As we prepared for the upcoming year some changes were taking place within the clan structure. One Knight disagreed with these changes and decided to take matters into his own hands. Unfortunately Isildur refused to back down when confronted by our leaders and instead decided to pack up his belongings and leave us. We hope that he can find his way home again one day.