SOMEONE ONCE TOLD me that the true enemy of truth is time. And after what I’ve seen, I’m inclined to agree with him. 

        Time is the unstoppable force that will eventually overrun the great civilizations of man. Time can take a proud history of an entire people and turn it to nothing more than fanciful legends. Mere stories that are far from the mind’s ability to believe. Or it will leave the truth to be forgotten entirely. Some try to fight against this enemy by recording their history in books or recalling the grand tales of their heroes, but their efforts always fall to time’s relentless march. Those in the present are at the mercy of those who tell the tale. 

        No concrete evidence exists on the origins of our Knighthood or the Order of which we were bound to. We only have the stories we were told by the ones we shouldn’t have trusted. 

        It is said that long ago, before the world’s borders were drawn and cities were built to reach the sky, people with extraordinary abilities roamed the land, searching for purpose and belonging. Those gifted individuals could call lightning from the sky, move mountains with a thought, and even heal the sick or wounded with a touch. Despite their almost godlike powers, their hearts and minds were still very much human. Thus, they had the potential for great good or profound evil. Some would journey the lands, bringing miracles to those in need while others would use their powers for their own selfish gain. 

       Despite the varying intentions of these gifted people, tales of the immense power they could wield spread far and wide. Kingdoms waged horrible wars to try and gain that power for glory and conquest. This deep impact to the lands and its people followed the gifted ones wherever they laid their feet. They became the harbingers of misfortune by mere birthright.

      With their very existence poisoned by fear and their people scattered to the winds, the gifted ones needed something to bring them together and keep them safe. Their hopes and prayers were answered when a brave warrior appeared with powers that rivaled every one of the gifted. He traveled the world and gathered the gifted ones under his leadership, providing safety for the tormented and order for the ones driven wild by their greed. He gave them all the purpose and belonging they always knew they needed, and for that, the gifted ones made him their king. 

        For the good of his people and the mundane world, the king decided to hide them away from the rest of the people in the land. With the help of some trusted and influential lords and ladies, the king was able to cover the existence of the gifted ones in a shroud of secrecy. Over time, the knowledge of the gifted ones fell into obscurity and, eventually, became nothing but an unbelievable legend. 

        But the king was too wise to know they couldn’t completely cut themselves off from humanity forever. To help build a bridge between the gifted ones and the mundane humans, the king pledged some of the strongest of his people to the lords and ladies who helped hide them from the world. They served these people from the shadows as their Knights under the strict laws laid down by their king. This structure became the unquestionable Order all the gifted ones followed. 

        This Code is something I can never forget. As a Knight, these rules are engraved into our minds. This is a necessity, for the consequences of breaking the Code are severe, and all Knights are fearful of the punishment.

        The first law of the Code forbids the Masters from knowing the true names of their Knights, who must live two separatelives that can never touch to protect their families from the enemies of their Master. 

         All Knights and Masters of the Order must engage each other with the utmost respect and honor. Petty acts of dishonor and treachery would cause a rift between the members and could fracture the stability of the Order. 

         The word of the king would supersede any Master’s orders. A knight’s pledge to a Master is only at the king’s sufferance. The king is the Knights’ ruler, and his word is law. 

          Above all else, the veil of secrecy between the Order and the mundane world must never be broken. Any member of the Order, be it Knight or Master, that breaks this law was considered an enemy of our people and was punished as such. 

          Loyalty, honor, and secrecy. Those were the three pillars of the Code that kept our people safe. Upon his passing, the king entrusted a collective of three of his trusted advisors to safeguard the Order and enforce the laws of the Code. They became the ones who guided the powerful and were known as the Hand Council. 

          The Order the king created kept the peace throughout generation after generation of Knights and Masters until the present day. We foolishly thought that peace would last forever. But reality is often far from the dream and nothing lasts forever.   

Next Chapter: Chapter 1