The Once And Future Past

There was this time...

Years removed from their mother's breast but not her sustenance, young boys gaining strength to engage in overt skirmishes with their fathers were sent at the late harvest of the year to a foreign Land on an epic Quest that would last four years. The Quest undefined by the Land would instead be defined by each individual young boy. For having these young boys, the Guardians of the Land promised to nurture both their bodies and minds, to train them in the art of conflict and compromise, and to teach them the Laws of both God and Men. The Guardians would say often to the fathers and mothers of these young boys, "For your bags of silver, you sons will inherit gold."

For safe passage to the Land, most of the young boys arrived by guarded caravan before sunset that fateful first day - the young boys visibly worn by travel and pale with dread. The last of the young boys came unguarded by various trade routes that were often alive with highwaymen in search of spoils and deadly at night with vampires out for the kill. They too arrived safely and also travel-worn and pale as well. Upon their arrival the names of the young boys would be entered into the Red Book of the Land for all to see before being quartered together. Two or three young boys to a cell ordered by succession of surname, yet each would begin their studies in the presence of equals. The Promise would begin in earnest this day with its value to be measured in four years.

Training would begin that second day and everyday thereafter near sunrise and would end late into the night for all the young boys. Their studies were disciplined and challenging for body, mind, and soul. Many of the young boys excelled; some young boys failed to understand the Promise made to them or the meaning of the Quest that lay before them; other young boys incurred unwarranted attacks on both flesh and spirit by some of the others. The Promise made by the Guardians to each young boy would be challenged early by the young boys themselves and the Quest for each would be placed in jeopardy.

As the early days lengthened into weeks and then months, the young boys began to form alliances that would aid in their survival and that would strengthen their spirit. During this time, individual identity of the young boys was maintained and encouraged but would give rise to forming many new alliances with other young boys and finally to forming an alliance with the Land itself. These young boys would now call themselves Knights.

Throughout their Quest, training did not ease in the discipline and challenges the Land would require of the Knights. Blood was often spilled during conflict from within, and afar. Wounds were bandaged and scars would surface on both flesh and spirit to honor their struggles. Yet their alliances held strong and were respected by all the Land. New alliances would continue to form between the Knights - adversaries of old would be no more. Allegiance to the Land and to each other flourished and would sustain the Land and the Knights themselves until their Quest was at an end.

The Knights would finally leave the Land with symbols of their Quest in hand and to the fanfare of their fathers and mothers and the Land itself. The Guardians would remain to replenish the Land. The Knights would leave to tillage and seed new and different Lands.

During the years following their Quest, the Knights would gather often to celebrate their lives, to speak of their exploits, to forge new swords and armor their steeds, and to bury their dead with honor. They gathered to affirm the Land and the Promise made to them and affirm their allegiance to each other.

The Legend of the Knights persists to this day and is spoken of often and by many. Of the many words spoken of their Legend only a few need resonate throughout the lands and the ages.

This Land. This Promise. This Quest. These Knights of Campion.

There was this time!