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"I set down my lance, symbol of the duty... I spurn those whom I love, I relinquish all, and take up the tools of my quest... No obstacle shall stand before me... No plea for help shall find me wanting... No moon will look upon me twice lest I be judged idle... I will give my body, heart and soul to the Lady whom I seek."
The Questing Vow.[1a]
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Questing Knights on the charge.[1]

A Questing Knight is a former Knight of Bretonnia who has taken up the Questing Vow and now seeks the blessings of the Lady of the Lake, in the hopes of becoming accepted into the ranks of the legendary Grail Knights. Since the days of Gilles le Breton, the Grail has since been the ultimate symbol of Bretonnian chivalry, and the ultimate goal of any true Knight is to drink from its holy waters and be accepted as the holy guardians of the Lady herself...[1b]

Such a declaration for such an arduous task should not be taken lightly, for only the most ambitious or perhaps the most desperate of Knights would take this quest upon himself, either for the honour of serving the Lady, or as a means to forgive past sins.[1b]

Whatever the reason for his decision, once a Knight has taken it upon himself to become a Questing Knight, he is required by law and custom to relinquish the use of a Lance, a symbol of his duty as a former Knight, and instead would forever use the Sword as a means of enacting his deeds, battling the hardiest of foes he can face. He is also required to relinquish all of his worldly possessions, his titles, his domains, and even forsake ties with both family and kin. He would then institute a heir or Knight who shall fulfill his former duties and administrate over his former realm. Once all is set in motion, the Knight would pack all that he requires for his journey, and set on the world to seek both deeds and glory in his quest to gain the attention of the lady.[1b]

Overview

"There are few more iconic things in the World than the Questing Knights of Bretonnia, heroic warriors setting off to find the Grail and join the elite ranks of true legends."
The heroes of the Long Journey.[2]
Warhammer Questing Knight

A Questing Knight searching for the Grail.[1]

Sometimes a Knight Errant on accomplishing his errand of knighthood may set out on the grail quest without having been given the lordship of a domain. Although he is entitled to be a Knight of the Realm, he relinquishes his feudal rights to pursue a career in the service of the Lady of the Lake and thus will soon be accorded greater honour as a Questing Knight. This is considered to be a particularly noble gesture. It is common for sons of Bretonnian Lords who are not chosen for a lordship to follow such an ambitious path. Since the time of Louis the Rash, it is common for even the King's own sons to take upon themselves the challenge of becoming a Grail Knight by taking up the Questing Vows for themselves. Sometimes this even includes the heir apparent to the entire realm itself. In this way, it will often be a Grail Knight who sits upon the throne of the Kingdom of Bretonnia.[1b]

The following months and years of a Questing Knight's life are filled with trials and hardships that strengthen his mind, body, and soul. The path of a Questing Knight is a winding one, for they are pledged to never sleep two nights in the same place and never to yield in their search while they yet draw breath. Many Questing Knights live a solitary existence, the Lady of the Lake their only companion. The quest for the Grail knows no physical boundaries and it is common for a Questing Knight to travel far beyond his domain and often beyond the realm of Bretonnia itself.[1b]

As he searches, the knight strives to prove himself to the Lady, performing good deeds, slaying foul beasts, entering into single combat with great and terrible foes, or through valour on the field of battle. Throughout it all, the quest is always foremost in the Knight's mind, daring to hope that one day his efforts will be rewarded with a sight of the Grail. Few Questing Knights ever achieve this honour, many are slain in combat with fearsome and mighty foes. Others live their whole lives without sight of the Grail, their souls in constant yearning for it.[1]

Only a Knight who has overcome many perils and hardships can he be found worthy to find the Grail. His courage, valour and perseverance will be thoroughly tested. During his long quest he may see the Lady of the Lake in dreams and visions, holding the Grail. This leads him ever onward and inspires and encourages him in his quest. Should the Knight be found worthy, the Lady shall appear before him upon a Sacred Lake, and bestow the Knight a sip of the Holy Grail, thus finally becoming the ultimate warrior, the holy guardian known by all as the Grail Knight.[1b]

Since the first appearance of the Lady of the Lake to Gilles, she has appeared countless times to many Questing Knights in every part of Bretonnia. She is a magical being and the spirit of the land who can appear anywhere at any time. To see her is to know that you have her favour. Indeed, often a Questing Knight will be led by visions of the Lady to find an ancient magical weapon or similar relic. The ultimate favour is of course to sip from her enchanted chalice. A Questing Knight is accorded far greater rank, honour and respect than either Knights Errant or Knights of the Realm.[1b]

A Questing Knight will often find an unusually kindred spirit in, of all warriors, the Dwarf Slayer. They both follow a quest, seek out the deadliest of foes, and neither of them will ever retreat or surrender. Of course, a Slayer is also not averse to quaffing vast quantities of ale, but they may nonetheless prove an ideal ally for a Questing Knight.[3]

The Battles

"He who undertakes the quest must never flinch and never waver, until at last he finds the sacred Grail, and sups."
The Quest for the Grail.[6]

The Great Battles form the material of the national epic of Bretonnia, and many knights try to visit each of the battlefields at least once during their period of Errantry. Once a knight sets out on the quest for the Lady of the lake, it is not unusual for him to find that the events of his quest somehow mirror the events of the Great Battles, his meeting with the Lady occurring on the eve of his last and greatest struggle...[5]

The Lance

Although most Questing Knights are expected to renounce the use of the lance, some will continue to wield one if it is believed to bear the Lady's Blessing.[4]

Famous Questing Knights

  • Gefreid the Pure - An ageing Questing Knight who travels the dangerous paths of Mousillon.

Gallery

  • A band of Questing Knights
  • Total War: Warhammer portrait
  • Total War: Warhammer

Miniatures

  • Questing Knight Miniatures (6th Edition)
  • Questing Knight Miniature (6th Edition)
  • Questing Knight Miniature (6th Edition)
  • Questing Knight vs Blood Knight Miniature (Golden Demon 2005)


Sources

  • 1: Warhammer Armies: Bretonnia (6th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 34
    • 1b: pg. 49
  • 2: Black Library: Questing Knight Synopsis
  • 3: Warhammer Quest - Bretonnian Knight
  • 4: White Dwarf #303 - In Pursuit of a Traitor'
  • 5: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Knights of the Grail (Supplement)
  • 6: Total War: Warhammer

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