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"They think they're so great, with their shiny armour and noble birth and majestic steeds and superior battle training and - okay, so they're pretty good."
Jacob Roedwig, Halberdier.[2a]
Knight of the Inner Circle

A Knight of the Inner Circle from an Ulrican order.

Knights of the Inner Circle make up the the deadliest and most experienced warriors within a Knightly Order.

Overview

Within each knightly order there are those who rise to the top, the best of the best. They have proven themselves valiant and loyal time and time again and for that they are brought into the Inner Circle of the order. They command Knights in the field, represent the order at court, and make the important decisions. They are some of the greatest warriors the Old World has to offer and many of them have been entrusted with dangerous secrets about the foundations of their group.[1a]

The most senior of the Knights of the Inner Circle, and the nominal heads of each of the knightly orders, are the Grand Masters. Each Knight of the Inner Circle aspires to become the Grand Master of his order, for that is the pinnacle of knighthood.[1a][4]

Due to the rarity of Demigryphs within the Empire, Knights of the Inner Circle are often the only men found worthy to ride into battle atop these ferocious and exotic beasts.[3]

Secrets of Knightly Orders

Many knightly orders have a mythology regarding their founding and the famous (or infamous) deeds that occurred throughout their history. Knights of the Inner Circle regard it as their responsibility to become familiar with these tales, and also to keep them secret.[4]

These histories are usually somewhat more fanciful than the official versions. For example, everyone with any interest in the Order of the Blazing Sun knows that a pivotal episode in its formation was an earthquake that caused a statue of Myrmidia to fall upon the Black Guard of Wasr the Cruel at the Battle of Magritta. Knights of the Inner Circle, however, are taught that there was no earthquake during the battle, but that one of the knightly captains had thrown off his helmet in a moment of desperation and kissed the foot of the goddess. He beseeched her for aid, and she promptly toppled over and crushed his enemies. They are also taught that the order has an older heritage. Forebears of the Knights fought as a bodyguard to Ottokar, a ruler in antiquity forgotten by all but classic scholars and playwrights. He boasted he had met the goddess and she had fallen in love with him.[4]

Why knightly orders are so secretive about their histories is also a secret. If an unkind commentator learned of them he might claim that the reticence was due to the fact that anyone with a serious interest in history would find these stories hard to believe. Still, most knightly orders persist in handing down such stories.[4]

Known Inner Circles

Sources

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