Alright. It may not be the most original story, though...
Order of Choice: Knights of the Eventide
Name of Person: Tantius Moss
Story: Tantius was born to a blacksmith in Valonbray. From early age, Tantius helped his father in the smithy, and once he grew older, in his tweens, he became his apprentice, while practicing his martial skills at nights. Many a weapon he forged with his father, and many a month he spent honing his skills with swords and maces, which he forged on his own. One day, Tantius saw a small group of knights, mighty in their great suits of armor; their weapons shining in the sun, and their steeds were marvelous. The sight filled him with joy, yet in the same time with sorrow. He was a simple blacksmith’s apprentice, not a squire or a page and he couldn’t join such an order. But he kept practicing.
On a rainy night, while Tantius was working on his swordplay, a knight of the Dawn, Ser Grife, approached him. The knight was impressed with Tantius’s work, and even with his sword. He inquired about the origin of the sword, and was surprised when he found out that it was made by Tantius himself. “The blade could cut through flesh like dawn through the eventide,” he said. So he invited Tantius to be his squire; to see if he wishes to become a knight like Ser Grife one day.
And so he squired. For a few good years, he did. Until upon the wake of his final, a week before he was to be knighted, the knights captured his father and accused him of heresy. Tantius couldn’t believe it, and wouldn’t. As a trial of his loyalty, they demanded that Tantius lay the torch and burn his father. He wouldn’t do it, and so the knights threatened to burn him for heresy as well, but they gave him a day to reconsider. So he used the opportunity to flee into the countryside.
He hid in a cave a mile away from Valonbray. The next day, he could see a group of mounted men, presumably knights, dragging along another man, and tying him up to a stake. Then they burned him and left. After an hour or so, when Tantius finally got to his father, the stench was unbearable. He cried. He mourned. “The stench of burning flesh,” he thought. His father was horribly scorched; he was completely burnt. Utterly scorched, seared by the “flames of justice.”
“Ah, we knew you’d come,” said a voice from behind a tree. A man emerged. It was Ser Grife. “Yer father was a heretic. We had to burn him. You refused to do as we commanded.” Ser Grife said with a contemptible tone.
“He was my father! And he did nothing wrong!” He called out, never looking at him, “nothing!”
“Nothing wrong? So his refusal to appear-” Tantius didn’t wait for him to finish, and he draw the sword from his scabbard and rushed towards the knight, blinded by tears. The knight merely dodged and grabbed the squire’s wrists. He grasped them, and threatened to break them. He took the sword and tossed it away.
“You have learned the words of the vow. Think carefully before you dare defy them.” Ser Grife paused for a moment before he continued, “You swore to be my squire, to obey every order of mine. You flouted my order to burn your father. The penalty for such defiance is death.” He let go of his arms. Tantius was still crying, his eyes red, and his hands shaking.
“So kill me here. Kill me now,” said Tantius. “Take your sword and chop of my head. I’ve no use of it now. I’m a heretic.”
“You’re a young fool. I may be a servant to Astraea, but I’m not that sure that she wishes for us to take the heads of children. You’re lucky you didn’t take the vow yet,” Grife whispered. He took out a small knife, sounding a small metallic rattle. “Relax, it’s not your throat I’m about to cut,” he took the knife to a pouch by his waist, and cut it. It sounded heavy and full of small tinny objects. “Have this. It’ll be enough for a month or two of supplies and rest. Go to a nearby town, and stay there. Find yourself a job, you’re a good blacksmith. Know that it was not I that killed your father.”
“But you told me to burn him!”
“Some things must be done. Now take it, and go. Go to Javiksholm or Windsholm, and stay out of Singal. You’ve an hour.”
He dropped the pouch on Tantius’s hands and left. Wiping tears from his face, he opened the pouch and found it full of golden coins. He bit his lip and hesitated. He then tied it to his belt, went to his sword, and placed it in his scabbard.
He promised to avenge his father. He roamed the countryside, searching for those that reject the Dawn, avoiding bands of raiders and bandits. He stumbled on a group of warriors led by a knight of the Eventide, Ser Grost Vorren. Ser Grost heard Tantius’s pleads, and accepted him into his squad. He was blinded by vengeance, his grey eyes a stark wasteland full of utter scorn and hatred and Ser Grost saw that stark spark. A month after his recruitment, they camped by a lake. There was a castle to the east of them, and even farther, a river and a mountain. The castle was a good day’s march from the lake, and the river even more.
“What’s that castle over there?” Tantius pointed.
“Highcliffe Castle,” gruffly said Ser Grost. He was a coarse man, with a full and thick black beard and long rugged hair. He had a ghastly scar that went from his left eye to the right corner of his mouth, and it took half his nose. “And beyond there,” he pointed to the river and faintly visible walls, “that’s good ol’ Singal. The foulest den of scum and human filth there is in all of Pendor. The city reeks with blood, semen, and rank outlandish booze and whores. A bloody paradise.”
Tantius remembered Ser Grife’s warning. He told him to stay out of Singal.
“Is that where we’re headed?” he asked.
“Aye. That’s where me order is. Us knights of the Eventide are shunned by most, we’re reckoned as heretics and blasphemers, especially by those hatemongering Dawn knights. Singal’s full of those hissing Snake Cultists, Red Brotherhood Guildsmen, slavers, bandits, outlaws, all kind of scum. They didn’t mind accepting an actual order of knights. Ain’t like we’re worshipping that Occisor.” He said, while gnawing on black bread.
I wonder why we’re going there, he thought.
It seemed like the knight noticed. “I bet yer wonderin’ why are we headed that way?”
He seemed slightly exasperated, “Innit obvious? Yer a good and fierce fighter. Ye’ve got a look in your eyes, lad, a look that spits fire and hatred. You hate them Dawn cunts as much as we do and you ain’t afraid to show it. Ye’ve got guts and the skill, and we need men like you.”
“I’m going to be a knight?”
“Hold your horses, lad. Ye’ve still got training to do. I know you’ve been squiring for some dolt back at Valonbray. But you got more t’learn.” He then proceeded to consume a whole flagon of mead. It dripped on his beard, and he wiped it away with his arm.
“Like what?” Tantius was truly curious about what he needed to learn.
“Better lance control, leadership, all that rubbish. Yer swordplay’s good, but you need to be less reckless, etcetra. Now go to sleep, we’re ridin’ at first dawn.” He spat as he said the last word. Dawn.
Ser Grost did not exaggerate. The city was indeed quite foul. A malignant stench of rot and semen lingered in the air. Children fought other children and dogs in alleyways for food. Men clad in green leather armor with red serpentine sigils woven on their chests lurked about the alleys. Other men, clad in black robes with horned skulls on their chests hymned and chanted mantras of misanthropy and death.
“How you liking it so far?” Ser Grost mockingly asked.
Tantius gulped. “It’s okay.”
Two men approached them.
“Ah, Grost. We’ve been expecting you at last.” They grasped hands.
“Well, Ryvin, now I’m here.
“I can see that.” He looked at Tantius with his blue eyes. “And who’s this? I don’t remember a lad going out with you.”
“This here’s Tantius Moss. The kid got his father burnt by the hands of those knights of the Dawn, so he looked for vengeance. He found it, I hope.”
“Another victim of those damned Dawn cunts. Well, good to have you here. We need men more than ever. We always do.”
“Likewise, Ser.” Tantius said.
“Follow me,” Ryvin said.
And so they walked. Grost and the other knight exchanged some words, and he left.
“Who’s that knight?”
“Ser Lyjion Mellster. Rough on the outside, rough on the inside; came to the order after having his wife and daughter burnt.”
“What about that Ryvin fellow?”
“Ser Ryvin Bronn. He had a fight with a knight of the Dawn after a theological argument, and the knights decided to burn them. It was lucky that I and a couple of other Eventide knights were in the tavern that night to save him.”
And so, for some months, Tantius served as a squire to Ser Grost. He practiced with him and other knights everyday on his martial and tactical skills. He knew. He knew that retribution was at hand.
Perks: Bold; furious in battle; strong and tall; good with both sword and mace; zealously hates the Knights of the Dawn.
Weaknesses: Prone to leave himself open to enemy attacks; heartless; poor with a lance; uncharismatic; unsophisticated; will rush to battle, often putting himself in great danger.
• Basic Knight of the Eventide armor
• Longsword and heavy morning star
• Hunter (horse)