Lore Day! #4 – The Origin of Paladins

It is said that in the beginning of memory, evil roamed the world. Demons tormented the minds of humans, elves and dwarves alike by spreading fear and turning them against each other, while dragons set the sky on fire. This diminished the power of the gods, as the people lost their faith and stopped praying to them, leaving the people feeling they had been abandoned.

The High Lord, the creator of all and the highest in the Hall of the Gods, used the last of his powers to send light into the hearts of the people, showing them that there is still hope if they only have faith. It was this light that made it possible for them to see the webs that the demons had spun and stand together. All of the known world was at war, when the humans tribes started to ally with each other after centuries of fighting, and were joined by the other races, in order to fight back against wicked creatures that were on the side of evil. Feeling the light made people start praying to the High Lord again as they knew there was no chance for them without his aid.

Through these prayers the High Lord gained the strength to call upon a champion to be his sword. His choice fell upon a self-assured young heir to one of the human tribes who showed a love for fighting but had a compassionate heart.

The High Lord called upon him to seek out and protect those in need, guiding his way and lighting his path. Ascildan was reluctant, he did not understand what the High Lord wanted from him and had only a spark of faith left, but he was afraid not to heed his call. He felt the urge from the High Lord to pledge himself to the light, although he supressed that as he did not fully trust in the High Lord and never took a vow.

After spending some time fighting alone at the High Lord’s requests he realised that he was close to his home. He had missed his family that he loved dearly as he had not seen them since he left. He could feel the resistance in his chest as the High Lord warned him, but he could not resist going there to just see them once again.

His father, mother and siblings were so happy to see him again and they held a great feast in his honour. They sang songs and ate until late at night, before falling asleep, exhausted and happy. The next morning Ascildan’s horse stood waiting for him; he could no longer disobey the call to move on.

After saying goodbye to his family he rode north, towards the mountains. He had just reached the first pass when it seemed as if it started snowing, he soon realised that it was not snow but ashes. As he looked over his shoulder he saw that the sky was black from smoke. He reared his horse around and galloped back as fast as he could.

Once he reached the rubble that used to be his father’s keep, he saw burned bodies scattered on the ground. Now he understood the High Lord’s warning and hated himself for showing his weakness to the very evil he had been chosen to fight. He had not realised that evil had its eyes on him and that he had led it straight to his loved ones, who were helpless without the High Lord’s protection. For the first time Ascildan saw the ways that evil worked and knew that this was meant to break him and leave the High Lord without a champion.

That night, after burying the bodies of his family, he vowed his life to the service of the High Lord and to fight evil wherever he went, in order to protect those who could not defend themselves. His pledge gave the High Lord strength enough to grant him gifts that would make him able to stand against the challenges that he would have to face.

Ascildan was given the power to heal himself and others at the High Lord’s will, the strength to withstand the blows of dragons and the protection from the darkness of demons. He could hear the voice of the High Lord calling; “Be my champion, Paladin”.

Wherever he went, he fought evil and brought hope back to the people, giving them back their faith in the High Lord. Eventually other warriors joined his path, vowing their lives to the High Lord to become paladins. Although most of them perished, they managed to unite the fragmented human tribes and the other races and defeat evil in a series of great battles.

After victory had been won, Ascildan joined the remaining paladins that had been called to fight with him, and formed the very first order of paladins. Their purpose was to train new paladins and aid the helpless wherever and whenever necessary in the name of the High Lord. In memory of what had happened to Ascildan’s family, paladins swore to forsake their names and heritage, pledging their lives to the High Lord’s service.

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