lore book transcription: dark knight
for a poster on the RPC
Specialised Disciplines - Soul Crystals [ref: 217]
Ever since the height of the Allagan Empire in the Third Astral Era, the practice of using crystals to store and impart knowledge has been prevalent in Eorzea. An adornment known as a“soul crystal” is worn close to the skin, where the uncommonly clear facets of the carefully cut shard catch and transcribe the ebb and flow of a soul’s aetherial composition - effectively capturing an imperfect echo of the wearer’s memories. This arcane tool engraved with the myriad deeds of heroes from eras past was employed by many of the disciples of yesteryear to preserve and pass on the skills of successive generations of masters.
The wisdom contained in a soul crystal, however, is not so easily drawn forth - an untrained neophyte cannot simply pick up one of these gems and expect his mind to be flooded with the knowledge of advanced spellcraft or combat techniques. Without first attaining sufficient proficiency and tempering one’s soul to mirror the maturity of the crystal’s contributors, a prospective student will be denied even the slightest glimpse of enlightenment. Thus, as is the case with the more contemporary disciplines, the key to mastering the secrets of a soul crystal lies in diligent study and training.
Specialised Disciplines - Crystals [ref: 217]
Job: Dark Knight
Era: Year 968, Sixth Astral Era
Dark Knight [ref: 238]
The pious Ishgardian clergy guide the flock, and the devout knights protect the weak. Yet even the holiest of men succumb to the darkest of temptations. None dare to administer justice to these sacrosanct elite residing outside the reach of the law. Who, then, defends the feeble from the transgressions of those meant to guide and protect them? A valiant few take up arms to defend the downtrodden, and not even the holy priests and knights can escape their judgement. Pariahs in their own land, they are known by many as“dark knights”.
Dark Knight - History [ref: 238]
In the year 960 of the Sixth Astral Era, a commoner by the name of Tryphaniel the Unshod was granted knighthood for acts of valour upon the battlefield. A young man with an unwavering sense of justice, Tyrphaniel’s desire to champion the cause of the lowborn was undiluted by his entrance into the privileged world of the nobility. It was this same moral fortitude that bid him trail after clergyman after witnessing the robed figure drag a squirming child from the alleys of the Brume. The knight’s suspicions were confirmed when he entered the secluded domicile of the priest only to find him committing unspeakable acts upon th ebody of the abducted waif. Noticing his unexpected visitor, the clergyman attempted to explain away his vile actions as a form of“exorcism”, but the incensed Tryphaniel drew his sword without hesitation, and answered the babbled excuses with a single, fatal blow.
Rather than praise his heroism, however, the knight’s peers condemned him for slaying a holy member of the church. He was forced to defend his life in a trial by combat, but though he survived, it was decreed that he would be stripped of his knighthood. Unflinching in the face of accusations that he had fallen to darkness, Tryphaniel roared that he would gladly surrender a title that required him to turn a blind eye to a child’s suffering. He cast aside his crested shield - the symbol of his station - and continued his crusade for the commonfolk with no thought or fear for what others held taboo. His righteous deeds inspired some courageous few to embrace the path of the forbidden, and thus the legacy of the dark knight was born.
Dark Knight - Equipment [ref: 238]
Passed down through generations of dark knights, this antique set of armour was forged of Ishgardian steel and appears sheathed in a faint nimbus of shadow. While the plates may once have shone like well-polished iron, years of blood spatter have dulled the metal’s natural gleam.
Some two centuries ago, a troubled smith crafted this weapon as the price for a dark knight to punish a terrible injustice. The knight accepted the payment, and found a fitting name for the greatsword after baptising its blade in the lifeblood of the guilty.
This great katana was forged by a Doman artisan at the behest of Rowena’s House of Splendors. Said to resemble a weapon described in Far Eastern legend - the divine sword that cut down the monstrous spider-spirit“tsuchigumo” - the blade becomes thicker as it nears the tip, giving the weapon a top-heavy balance. In the hands of a master swordsman, however, this awkward weight can be exploited to generate swings powerful enough to cleave through a giant’s thigh. According to the weaponsmith Seika, certain improvements could further enhance the quality of this already devastating weapon.
Crafted in the Churning Mists at a time when peace prevailed between Dravanian and man, this greatsword and the dragon-like design of its crossguard is representative of that harmonious age. Dainslaif’s creation predates the appearance of dark knights by some centuries, and was originally commissioned for an orthodox knight of high standing. Intended for the purpose of monster slaying, the weapon’s blade was forged with sufficient resilience to endure repeated blows against thick bones and dense hide.
Dark Knight - Tricks of the Trade [ref: 239]
By infusing a vast well of aether with her own inner darkness, the dark knight forms arcane barriers of impregnable midnight. The sight of liquid shadow pouring from a sky torn open by this otherwise benevolent technique is commonly described as“unsettling”.
A sweeping slash, followed by a punishing upward slice. The most fundamental attack in a dark knight’s repertoire, this technique originated from a now-antiquated style of knightly combat.
Releasing his pain and rage upon nearby foes, the dark knight manifests an inky black circle of spikes on the ground around him. All those caught in its thorns are struck by unreasoning terror, and an irresistible need to claw away at its source.
This dark art allows the practitioner to continue fighting through the most heinous of injuries, and exhibit an immunity to pain usually attributed to the shambling undead. Though undeniably effective, abandoning one’s corporeal form to negative energy in this manner, however briefly, is an act fraught with mortal peril.
Dark Knight - Profile - Fray Myste [ref: 239]
Race (Clan): Hyur (Midlander)
Gender: Male Age: 25
Epithet: Fray of the Onyx Shade
An orphan of the Brume, a young Fray was set on the dark knight’s path when his future master found him plotting revenge over the body of a friend unjustly executed by Holy See officials. Proving an apt and inquisitive student, Fray approached both the book-bound and physical aspects of his training with equal eagerness. But it was the desire to adi his master and the fiery Sidurgu in their duties that truly drove the youth to excel. Alongside his volatile fellow disciple, Fray later succeeded in rescuing the maiden Rielle from an undeserved fate, but would himself fall afoul of her pursuers. Dragged before the Tribunal for trial by combat, the dark knight fought with skill and righteous rage only to fall to the dancing blade of the court’s champion. It is a testament to Fray’s devotion to life and those he left behind that his soul crystal would burn with such undying intensity…
Dark Knight - Profile - Sidurgu Orl [ref: 239]
Race (Clan): Au Ra (Xaela)
Gender: Male Age: 26
Epithet: Sidurgu of the Obsidian Heart
As a child, Sidurgu lived with his family in a frontier town of Othard, until their settlement fell under the subjugation of the invading Garlean Empire. Unable to endure the stifling regime of their conquerors, his parents bundled him into a cart along with their meagre possessions, and fled into the wilderness soon after his sixth nameday. For five years they wandered, seeking a place to belong, before their journeys eventually brought them to Eorzea’s shores. Like many of their race, they found themselves drawn to the plains of Coerthas, where they hoped to adopt the nomadic ways of their ancestors… but neither fate nor the Ishgardians were kind to the Au Ra.
Molded by a life of tragedy, the displaced Xaela found himself well suited to the mantle of a dark knight. Now bereft of family, master, and fellow apprentice, Sidurgu wears his stern demeanour like a suit of armour, impenetrable to all perhaps but his young charge, Rielle.
Dark Knight - Darkness [ref: 239]
Arising from the fear and wrath within the dark knight’s own soul, this shadowy flame feeds greedily on her body’s aether, its sygian fires coursing through her blade and fuelling her eldritch arts. But as ever, such power comes with a price: should the dark knight lose control over this darkness, she will be consumed in a backlash of entropic energies.
Dark Knight - Dark Arts [ref: 239]
Fuelled by the darkness from within ,the dark knight employs these techniques to lend an arcane edge to the blows of her greatsword. Though known for their disdain for shields, the fighting style of the earliest dark knights was nevertheless built upon mundane swordplay, and it was not until several centuries later that one of their order first unlocked the secrets of the dark arts.