THE FALLEN KNIGHTHOOD
Nobody mourns the collapse of chivalry as they should. The regression of knights from their historical roles as mounted heroes, nobles, and stewards of the king’s justice to common gutter trash riding in wrinkled, red uniforms is a symptom of a greater disease. When we lost our knights in shining armor, we lost that which shines within ourselves.
It was not always thus, although few now are old enough to remember. But I can still close my eyes and feel the warm breeze on my back, hear the pennons snapping in the wind, smell the scent of oiled leather, and see the sun shining off that brilliant, burnished armor as the knights paraded down the street, waving to the crowd. I must have been a lad of five or six, but the memory lingers.
The sun set that day and never rose again. The knights rode to battle one last time, perchance to kill an upstart duke for the glory of their monarch. But now that duke sits upon the throne, a cold chair washed in the blood of our king while the blood of our knights polishes the flagstones at his feet.
We have replaced a kingdom with an empire, glory with greed, and chivalry with cavalry. When the imperial soldiers ride through the streets, it is no gay parade, but a grim patrol. The neighboring kingdoms fear us now, and well they should, for we have conquered two of them and soon we shall conquer the rest. Only Corel, by the grace of her dragons and her mountains, remains secure. But the others? Farse, the land of Graceful Mountains? Kindar, the quiet Kingdom by the Sea? They are shackled to the empire, reduced to mere provinces.
Remember the knights. Remember the brilliant knights in shining armor. A darkness is spreading across the land and we will never shine again.
The empire is harsh to those who refuse to conform. The Artifice Mage is coming. Will he bring new light to the empire or his own brand of darkness?
Look out for Book 0.5 of The Artifice Mage Saga (PROMO post & Giveaway coming soon!)