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Postfest XI(Growfest 2009): The Queens Knights
Posted on Mon, July 13, 2009 by LordCeb
anced_math writes "For more than a thousand years a group of knights has wandered the upper Sheldomar, fighting evil and tyranny in all its forms.  They are beloved by the the people, and ignored by the nobles.  Until now.


The Queen’s Knights of Gran March
An Analysis of a Brotherhood
Prepared By
Prendant
Chief Librarian of the March
By the Order of
The Commandant of the Gran March
Fireseek, 592 CY


“Commandant,

As you have requested, I have searched the records for all details concerning these so called “Queens Knights.”  In addition, I dispatched some of my librarians to the areas where they tend to congregate in order that we may learn more of them.  What I have found is interesting in the extreme, though contrary to our fears. 

I do not believe that the Queen’s Knights are a danger to the March; to the contrary, they seem to be a great boon to the land.  I will begin by stating that I do not believe that persecution of the group is warranted.  Further, I do not think it would be effective; it would drain the already strained resources of the nation and add to a tense political situation.

My search has revealed that since before the Gran March was carved from the wilderness, in the lands in and around the Lort and Rushflow Rivers a group or brotherhood has existed who call themselves the Queen’s Knights.  These men and women wander the land fighting evil singly and in pairs.  They fight in the name of a Queen.  This is unusual because, as you know, the Gran March has never had a queen.

As far as I can tell, the Queen’s Knights have never advocated anything that we would find offensive.  On several occasions they have come to the aid of the March, particularly during the Troll Wars.  Thus, there is often admiration among the ranks of the Nobles and various other Institutions of the March.  This fact, and the Knights propensity for good deeds, has allowed the knights to be tolerated by all Commandants and the Army throughout our history.  Besides, they have always been too popular with the common people and the nobles for eradication to be effective.  Even Berylkin, who hated all that was not under his control, found them confounding;  he was willing to go to lenghts we cannot begin to consider.

Inquiries with the Knights of the Watch revealed an undisguised disdain.  The Watch scoffs at the Queen’s Knights, calling them the “Free Lances,” apparently believing that they are poseurs trying to imitate the long and noble tradition of the Watch.  The Queen’s Knights treat the Knights of the Watch and of the Dispatch with respect, though they do not seem to imitate them in any way.  Quite the contrary, the Queen’s Knights seemingly never speak good or ill of the Watch.  However, as we know well, the Watch often considers itself the only true Knighthood, though there are families of knights in the March who can trace their lineage back to the migrations.

Generally Queen’s Knights are men or women of the nobility whom have lost their liege or their lands, or who were born with too many older brothers to rise to a station of significance.  Nobility is not a requirement to join, nor seemingly is there any advantage in joining their ranks.  These persons wander the March and the surrounding kingdoms seeking out injustices and righting them.  They seeming have no structure or hierarchy, at least not one that anyone outside their order can comprehend. They generally travel alone or in pairs, with larger groups apparently only forming by chance meetings.

They appear to follow a code which they do not explain to outsiders;  however, it is known that for generations they have consistently interposed themselves between the forces of evil and the people of the March. They are not known to pursue any vices, brawl, or engage in any illicit activity.  They honor those of authority and go humbly about their lives.  It is also known that as the giants descended upon Geoff, the Queen’s Knights rode toward battle, never slowing and many never returning.  It is said that as the people of Pregmere fled, over their shoulders they watched two dozen Queen’s Knights sitting astride their horses as the giant hordes advanced.  When the giants neared enough to throw boulders, the knights charged without hesitation.  Both giants and Knights died that day, but many of the refugees claim that it was only through the bravery of the Queen’s Knights that any of the citizenry survived.

The only known way to provoke one a Queen’s Knights, other than outright evil, is to slander the Queen. Many a drunken soldier has woken to find that they received a sound beating at the hands of the Knights for some drunken comment. When asked, the Knights will only say that the Queen has always been defended by her knights and that they would continue until she commands otherwise.

Possible History of the Queen’s Knights

Eidus of Lortenford was a Flan scholar who lived around five hundred and seventy years ago, during the reign of Lanchaster II, on the early frontiers of the Kingdom of Keoland.  I found the following treatise in the dustiest section of our Library.  Apparently this was a missive sent to an unknown party, but apparently the first page is lost.  Herein we find something of the Queens Knights, though it is apparent Eidus is translating from older texts that are lost to us today.  It is also of some interest that the Flan had petty kingdoms long before the rise of Vecna and the coming of the Suel or Oederian. This is unexpected, as we have always thought they were simple nomads and farmers.
 
“I have translated the manuscript, which was written in elven, though I think that this was not the original language in which it was penned.  I will send you a copy along with this letter. 

It tells that in the days after the Boat people retreated, the Seven Kingdoms were strong and flourishing.  Each held it’s promise and its charm.  All had existed since the first days men walked under the Sun, and in each the people were bonded to the soil beneath their toes.  They often quarreled amongst themselves, and with their neighbors; but they held a common sense of unity.  In times of trouble they stood united, along with the other friendly folk of the valley. In these modern times, we would not think of a land so small as a kingdom; maybe a barony, for they were petty princes to be sure. They were nothing compared to the beloved Suel Imperium of our grandfathers day; they do not even compare to the Barons of Keoland, much less our Dukes or our beloved King. 

But these cities were beloved by their people, and by the other speaking peoples of the valley. These “Kingdoms,” were called Aoidh, Burgess, Dal' Ailinne, Na Radal, Tirilith, Wilshet, and Wolsing.  The elves of Taurnusilmëa allowed them to dwell in and around the rivers, unconcerned by peoples so few in number.  Each entertained envoys of the Fey Queen on occasion, and always peaceably and with respect.  But the record never speaks of the humans giving fealty to the Elves, or of the elves ever requesting such a pledge.

Aoidh was the wealthiest, with it’s far flung trade. It rested along the Rushflow and the Lort, taking advantage of the trade that flourished even then.  Of all the cities in all the Kingdoms, their capital was the grandest and the most populace, nestled in the crook of the two rivers and controlling the fords.  They traded with each and all of the peoples of the river, and though their control of the river was contested by some, the height of their walls assured that the traveler either paid the geld or rowed around.

Burgess was known for it’s warriors and the stubbornness of it’s King.  Verging into the mountains, they were close allies of the dwarf princes.  From their capital at Re Val, they often brought down wares and wonders crafted by the dwarven smiths, who preferred to stay in their mountain holds. The Kings of Burgess were wont to climb the tall peaks of the Lortmils, and explore their hidden valleys. The people were known for their fierce spears and their obsession with honor and clan.

Dal' Ailinne was known for the beauty of it’s capital, the peacefulness of it’s people and it’s relations with the fey.  Of all the Kingdoms, its was the Ailinne who were most beloved by the elves.  But it is also said that the very streams, rivers, and the trees sought the company of the of the people of the Ailinne.  The Queens of Ailinne were said to possess the blood of the elves, and live lives far longer than those of other men.   It is also said that as much as they were beloved by some, the dark fey hated them even more. It is said that in it’s final days, it was betrayal by a dark fey that caused the death of the last queen and the fall of her city, her life ending on the blade of Kas.  It is also said that at the moment of her death, she commanded her knights to forever protect their people, for she and the knights were the same, and that neither her death nor those of the knights mattered if the people lived.

Tirilith was an isolated kingdom, where people were honest if wary.  It’s only produce was wine, wool, and timber.  It’s people struggled against the forest and the swamp, and the coming of Vecna.  A few standing stones survive, which I have personally transcribed, describing the peoples of Tirilith as “quick to eat, quick to drink; slow to make war, never to make peace.”  I have perused the remnants of several scrolls from the First Comers, who occupied this region after the fall of Vecna, and it is apparent that these very same people still inhabit the lands east of Hochoch today.  They are just as stubborn now as then.

Wilshet was known for it’s healing herbs, and the undead that assaulted from the swamps. Each year the undead came with the fog, and only through the diligence of those of Wilshet did they not overrun all the land.

Wolsing was known for it’s long line of Kings, all named Darras.  It held friendly relations with the centaurs of the northern plains, and those wandering tribes known only as the Horse People.

Na Ridal was a large Kingdom to the south of the Rushflow.  How far it extended we do not know, for the only trace of this kingdom are two marking stones.  One lies outside the town of Nirdal, and states that “Here the princes of Na Ridal must come each year, on the Night of Failing Stars to submit to Monncha as our king.”  Another rests outside Pitcombe, which states “Here the King of Na Ridal has extended his power, to last forever.” Though both stones have other writing, it is so worn as to be illegible, and no magic I can work can repair the stone.   I do know that Monnacha is a name used for“
Here the scroll is severely damaged, with the name specifically excised.  Beyond this point only fragments remain, but the fragments can be pieced together so as to provide this progression of events:

  1. Establishment of the Seven Kingdoms
  2. The Coming of Vecna & his Wars of Conquest
  3. Fall of four of the Seven Flan Kingdoms of Aoidh, Dal' Ailinne, and Wilshet, and Wolsing.  
  4. Na Ridal allies with Vecna
  5. The Fall of Kingdom of Burgess the last Flan Kingdoms
  6. The First Comer Suel Arrive and Establish Houses
  7. Vecna Falls at the hand of Kas
  8. The First Comers and Flan establish petty kingdoms
  9. The First Comers establish relations with the Duke of Nehli
  10. The arrival of the Knights of the March.

We do not have another text so ancient as either Eidus’ work, or that which he translated.  There are only fragments here and there the describe the works and actions of the Queens Knights.  But from these texts I believe that the Queens Knights have existed since the fall of Dal’ Ailinne.  You will note in the passage concerning this kingdom, that the knights and the queen are prominent.

The Queen’s Knights are also noted in various other texts, though only in passing. They are mentioned as aiding in the defeat of some of the more evil of Suel First Comers.  We know that they were despised by Knights of the March, because they opposed, and often stopped, some of the more barbaric depredations visited on the people by this early knighthood. They also participated in the Hateful Wars, despite the abstinence of many others.

There are reports that the Knights of the March attempted to eradicate the Queens Knights, as have the Knights of the Watch on various occasions, though the details are sketchy.  According to his journal, Berylkin attempted to root them out “in the name of Glory and Righteousness.”  On several occasions various churches have taken up the crusade to rid the world of the Free Lances.  All have failed.

If this is true, the Queens Knights are older than the Gran March, or even the Kingdom of Keoland.  To contemplate such a brotherhood, existing in our midst for so many centuries, is fascinating.  That is has apparently been passed from mouth to ear for so many generations confounds imagination.  The idea that they have maintained such an unbroken line since before the coming of the Whispered One seems preposterous.

However, Commandant, this appears to be the case.  I strongly caution against any attempts to persuecute them.  If history is any guide, and it usually is, to do so is similar to striking water with a blade.   The people love them, and the nobles respect them, and apparently they keep wolves from the door of many a home.

I beg of you, think carefully,

Prendant
Chief Librarian of the March and Advisor to the Commandant.

"
 
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Re: Postfest XI(Growfest 2009): The Queens Knights (Score: 1)
by tulkas (tulkas37@yahoo.com) on Tue, January 31, 2017
(User Info | Send a Message)
This is a great write up.  Really good.  I have used it in my home campaign, in the Sheldomar Valley already for an NPC.  I would realy like to see more on the seven kingdoms and the Queens knights.   Great story. 




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