Formed in secrecy during the Middle Ages under the guise of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table, 'The Order' as they are more commonly known was formed as a way for humanity to fight back against the rise of the Half-Breeds, a species of bestial humans which evolved after mankind began to 'genetically split in two' in even more ancient times. They have helped bring hope to a populace often devastated by the Half-Breed infestation. However, despite The Order's best efforts, Arthur soon realized that the fight against the Half-Breeds was a losing battle.
Through a strange stroke of luck, or perhaps by some deeper secret occurrence, the members of The Order discovered Blackwater - a mystical substance that granted its users enhanced strength, keener senses, and most polarizing for the Knights themselves, near-immortality. Despite this, most of humanity continued to be plagued by the increasing onslaught of the Half-Breeds, until the era of the Industrial Revolution began to turn the tide. Technological advancement leap forward far quicker with the Half-Breed threat than it otherwise would have, and with the new and more effective methods now available of waging war, communicating and otherwise staying one step ahead of the Half-Breeds, using devices ranging from aircraft to energy weapons, humanity for the first time began to emerge victorious over the half-breeds.
By 1886, the war continues, and humans have the conflict in their favour. Nevertheless, a new threat has emerged to confront the Order - in the form of a major class uprising against the wealthy and powerful of London, a social group with close ties to The Order. The downtrodden and destitute who far outnumber the rich, living in the slums and alleyways of White Chapel, are easy prey for what remains of the Half-Breeds, who have receded into the shadows though nevertheless remain a constant threat. This paradigm shift in the purpose and calling of the Knights has begun a slowly-growing schism among it's ranks, with some, like Grayson a.k.a. Sir Galahad admitting that what was once a war without end has turned into a fight against the very souls the Order has bled to protect for centuries. Concern grows that this in-fighting will soon present the Half-Breeds with a perfect opportunity to strike in a deeper, more profoundly threatening way than has ever been attempted by their kind before. Rumors grow that the Rebels, as the human class warfare guerrilla fighters are known by, have allied themselves with the Half-Breeds, the latter secretly taking advantage of the societal discord in order to subjugate valuable human foot soldiers to their will.
Origins Of The OrderEdit
Half-breeds are the result of centuries of mankind evolving in different directions.
The Order was formed to combat these creatures: a battle for survival with an enemy stronger, faster and more deadly than mankind. Only with the arrival of the Industrial Revolution does mankind begin to gain the upper hand.
In established history, the Round Table falls shortly after the death of King Arthur at the hands of Mordred. However, the origins of The Order and its continued existence over millennia have become entwined with the popular legends of King Arthur.
"... the king established all his knights...and charged them never to do outrage, nor murder, and always to flee treason. Also, by no mean to be cruel, but to give mercy unto him that asked mercy, upon pain of forfeiture of their worship and lordship of king Arthur for evermore; ... Unto this were all the knights sworn of the Table Round, both old and young. And every year were they sworn at the high feast of Pentecost."
The Pentecostal Oath
Sir Thomas Mallory, Le Morte d'Arthur (Book III, Chapter XV), ed Sir Edward Strachey.
The Knights of the Round Table formed King Arthur’s council for the ruling of Britain. They were bound by a code of behavior known as the Pentecostal Oath. In a time of chivalry and fellowship, the Round Table provided a physical basis around which the Knights could rule in a true and just manner, protecting the people of Britain from threats to their new rights and the fragile society created by Arthur and his Knights.
The Round Table itself is first mentioned in Wace’s "Roman de Brut" (1155). There is some dispute over whether the table was created by Arthur or his father Uther Pendragon, but what is certain is that the Round Table ensured that no Knight would be given precedence over another, and that the voice of each Knight could be heard equally.
The shape of the Round Table is believed to be based on the traditional structure for meetings of Celtic warriors.
Knights were expected to undertake dangerous quests and fight for their country in battle, all the time displaying the highest qualities of behavior. It is perhaps not surprising that The Order, if it existed, would be based on these same principles.
Following the disappearance of King Arthur after his battle with Mordred (it is frequently speculated that Arthur left Camelot to return to the Isle of Avalon), it remains a mystery as to who would lead The Order. It seems that there are two possible options. First, one of the Knights may have located the Grail, and by doing so earned the right to sit in the Siege Perilous, a seat fatal to anyone other than the Knight who was successful in the quest for the Grail. Alternatively, leadership may have fallen to the greatest Knight - who, since the tales of Chretien de Troyes in the late 12th Century, has been widely recognized in popular retelling of the Arthurian legends as Lancelot. However, due to his infidelity with Queen Guinevere, Lancelot was certainly not the most pious of the Knights. That honor fell to his son, Galahad: the truest of the Knights and the only one able to complete Arthur’s quest for the Grail itself.
His knight title is unknown and he is reputed to be over one thousand years old, having fought at King Arthur's side in the past. Grayson comments on him seeming calm and lenient in peace-time, but during the events of the game he demonstrates a strict, authoritarian personality, though his loyalty to the Order is absolute. He is the adoptive father of Isabeau and Alastair.
The oldest of the Knights, Sebastian Malory is a descendant of Thomas Malory, who in the 1400s, wrote Le Morte d'Arthur, the definitive Arthurian text. He is the second knight to hold the title of Sir Perceval, and is considered one of the Orders' Best. Ruthless and dependable in the field, he is a friend and mentor to Grayson, as well as Isabeau and, to some extent, Lafayette. He has a gruff yet candid demeanor as well as a somewhat dry sense of humor. It was Sir Perceval who recruited Marquis de Lafayette into the ranks of the Knights and opened his eyes to the deeper and more pressing conflicts faced by not only England, but humanity itself.
The third to hold the title of Sir Galahad, Grayson has faithfully battled the supernatural enemies of the Order and mankind for centuries. Although he privately entertains questions of self-doubt and existential concern, Grayson carries himself largely as a stoic, militaristic man whose black-and-white worldview grants him an uncomplicated understanding of the world at large. After his betrayal by the Order, Grayson is forced to realize the mutuality of the sociopolitical discontent amongst London's lower classes and the growing Lycan presence plaguing the city. He has a close friendship with his mentor, Sebastian, and with his own protégé, Isabeau. Although disapproving of his frivolity, Grayson views Lafayette as a friend. There is a strong suggestion that Galahad and Isabeau, if not for their vows to The Order, would have been romantically involved.
Alastair holds the title Sir Lucan and was a Knight Commander of the Order. Holding a high rank inside the the Order he holds great responsibilities. He is the adoptive son of the Lord Chancellor and older brother of Isabeau D'Argyll. He was later revealed to be a Lycan.
Isabeau was the youngest Knight to ever be sworn into the Order. Her title, Lady Igraine, was first held by King Arthur's mother. Isabeau is the adoptive daughter to the Lord Chancellor and sister to Sir Lucan. She has a sarcastic manner of speaking and enjoys badgering Grayson about his advancing age. Although strong-willed, skilled in combat, and fiercely loyal to the Order, years of endless combat have clearly worn her down. She wants a better, more peaceful life for both herself and Grayson, her former mentor and potential love interest.
The newest member of the Order, Lafayette's tactical expertise during the French and American Revolutions brought him to the attention of the Order. As an inductee, he has not yet been knighted. Lafayette has a whimsical, lasses-faire outlook on life. He is a natural flirt and frequently banters with Isabeau, who fondly rebuffs him. He is the most lightly armed of the main characters and appears to perform mainly in a scouting/support capacity. He is known for his globetrotting.
- It has been stated by Ready at Dawn that The Order has over 30 Knights.
- Only 6 Members of the Order are known currently.
- After years of training and service to the Order an inductee is given the name of a knight from Arthurian legend.