The Circle of Five. Knighted and appointed by King Shayne the Conqueror to maintain order within his newly acquired dominions, the Circle of Five was made up of the five best warriors in Braelin: Lady Knight Victoria Raynsford, Sir Gabriel Maycott, Sir Brandeles la Hale, Lady Knight Esdeline Chernock, and Sir Ryence Berdwell. Later, after King Shayne’s passing, Queen Abbigale Robbins created the Order of the White Lotus and placed the Circle of Five in charge. Lady Knight Victoria was promoted to the position of High General Knight, and the White Lotus adopted the long-time adages of the Circle of Five as its official codes:
To obey and serve the liege lord in valor and faith
To protect the weak and give succor to the needy
To live by honor and for glory
Never to refuse a challenge from an equal, nor turn back upon a foe
To eschew unfairness, meanness, and deceit
At all times to speak the truth
To persevere unto the end of any enterprise begun
To respect the gods and make due offerings
To despise pecuniary reward and boasting
To refrain from the wanton giving of offense
To show mercy to a vanquished enemy
Lady Knight Victoria Raynsford. One of Lady Knight Victoria Raynsford’s most famous accomplishments occurred when a call for help arrived from the newly-made Duchess of Blacknall’s home. There had been heavy Serenite raiding along the borders, Lady Roseline explained in her letter, and she needed reinforcements. Lady Knight Victoria, accompanied by Sir Gabriel Maycott, set out to lend their swords in Blacknall’s defense. When they arrived, however, the situation had worsened immensely—after several days of quiet along the borders, Lady Roseline had chanced a hunt. While the hunting party was out, a large contingency of raiders had appeared out of the mountains and beset Pinemont—still, at that time, a small village. The lady herself had been captured by raiders in the forest, and was now being held for ransom; meanwhile, the members of her hunting party had been imprisoned and executed.
Upon learning of Lady Roseline’s plight, the pair of knights rode to the raiders’ base-camp and demanded her immediate release, but their request was met only with scorn by the raiders’ leader. Sir Gabriel accepted the leader’s challenge, swearing to avenge himself on the man who had so insulted them, and battle erupted. While Sir Gabriel held off a party of at least fifty soldiers, Lady Knight Victoria managed to locate Lady Roseline. The Duchess, much the worse for wear, had been hastily escorted out of the camp and was about to be executed by a panicked contingency of soldiers. Sensing the urgency of the situation, Lady Knight Victoria waded through the mess to stand guard above the helpless Duchess. For three days and three nights she remained there, keeping all aggressors at bay, while Sir Gabriel continued to fight the soldiers within the camp. On the morning of the fourth night, the tide of battle finally shifted in favor of the knights, who emerged victorious. Lady Roseline was restored to Pinemont, rallying her soldiers and riding with the knights to turn back the raiders threatening the town.
[Merry Christmas from Éras to all those who are celebrating today!]