Originally written for the RTACTN collective by Paul W.
In the New Dark Ages, the ancient idea of Chivalry must be, like a good steel, blended and hardened with a certain kind of brutality.
In the days of many of our forebears, they were dealing with a largely similar culture across Western Europe – the concepts of honor and virtue were, if not entirely universal, generally understood and applied by men of worth.
In our day, this is not so. Virtue is an uncommonly used word, and even more rare to see for oneself.
Honor is a vague idea, and defined by many in a loose way that allows for its general application as nothing more than a story a man likes to hear about himself. “I am honorable. I have honor.”
But we know that honor can only be had through loyalty to an ideal, and proven with the right action of a life lived in service to it.
We also know that chivalry and courtesy are wasted on many, and are even foolish to utilize in certain scenarios and situations that a man of these New Dark Ages might find himself.
In these cases, we must rely on our brutality.
Brutal is defined in these works by its older translations and meanings as: “punishingly hard or uncomfortable.”
“Direct, and lacking any attempt to disguise unpleasantness.”
The original Roman name “Brutus” meant someone “heavy” or “masculine.”
Truth is often ugly and harsh.
A life lived without compromise can often be hard, uncomfortable and direct.
Without hardship, without trials and pressure, a man cannot become something more than he is now – and those who flinch in the face of severity or discipline are not worthy of being counted among our new ranks.
Chivalry is critical – but a man must be able to switch between this chivalry and brutality when it is needed or called for: gentle to the weak and merciless to the wicked.
His honorable treatment extends to those who understand it – and even an honorable foe can be shown this courtesy, this chivalry…
But to those who despise the very idea of honor, and spit on the concepts of chivalry, truth, loyalty, and tradition, we extend no such kindnesses.
The hand that in one moment extends to assist and offer aid closes into a fist in the next, and the smiling face that is loved by our friends and families, our brothers and allies – swiftly becomes a snarling visage, a symbol hated and feared by our enemies.
This is the armor that will serve us in this age.
Our hearts are a fortress, entrance granted only to the few, and to all others, a grim and forbidding place where they can find no solace…
Below, you can download the digital e-book of “The Gauntlet.”
Written by Paul W., it acts as a brief manual about honor, brotherhood, and living a life of active loyalty to an ideal.