The Blacksmith Knights: A Short History of the Knights of the Crucible

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The Blacksmith Knights: A Short History of the Knights of the Crucible
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The Blacksmith Knights: A Short History of the Knights of the Crucible is a book in Pillars of Eternity about the Knights of the Crucible.

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If the blacksmith fails, the armor fails. If the armor fails, the soldier falls.’ - Olrun Cyneheod, first guild master of the Knights of the Crucible.

The Knights of the Crucible have one of the most fascinating and rich histories in all of Eora. Currently holding a position as an incredibly influential group in the Dyrwood, they come from humble beginnings. There may not be a single person in all the Dyrwood who knows exactly how much they owe to the Knights.

The group has existed for years - long before they even came to be known as "knights." They started as a group of blacksmiths, led by Olrun Cyneheod, who came together to form a guild. Olrun felt it imperative for the members to unify, sharing their knowledge through the guild in order to keep the skills and techniques they had spent their lives perfecting. He called the guild "The Crucible," insisting that, though their work was used for destruction, they should always be remembered as creators. They would be known as the vessel that withstands the fire to deliver new form into the world, forged in the fire and all the stronger for the tribulation. Olrun, being a veteran of many battles, knew the importance of impeccably made armor and weaponry. He also espoused the necessity for members of the guild to be trained in martial combat - "The only true way to make a proper suit of armor is to be the one who must wear it."

Olrun led the guild for years, instituting a policy that any man who wanted to join must not only be a skilled blacksmith, but also take the time to learn how to hold himself in battle. He added a training ground to their guild hall and there was scarcely a minute of daylight that didn't see members out on the field, honing their fighting technique. Because of this, the guild earned the nickname ‘Knights of the Crucible.’ They became a de facto militia for the Dyrwood, an honorable group that many turned to for help. They were known to be fair, ethical, and quick to respond.

The Knights chose Abydon as their patron, dedicating their works to his name. To honor him, they incorporated his symbol into their own and wore it on their arms. Many of the Knights took this honor further - regardless of what material a suit of armor was made from, something on the right arm was made with iron, celebrating Abydon's moniker, ‘The Iron Arm.’ Both of these traditions are followed by some of the Knights to this day.

The Knights’ smithing skill led them to be known throughout the land as the premiere artisans of their craft, leading people to call any item of exquisite quality "of the Crucible."

Their training and dedication truly came into play during the War of Defiance (locally known as Hadret's Rebellion). Olrun, knowing the importance winning this war, sent out a call - all able-bodied Knights were to join the militia. They quickly proved invaluable to the cause and helped turned the tide of the rebellion. This was particularly true in the Battle of Defiance Bay. Admeth had already been lost in a previous battle and morale for the Dyrwoodan militia was failing. With the help of Glanfathan astrologers, the Knights were able to rout the imperial forces and secure victory for Dyrwood.

The new duc, grateful for the help, and knowing that without the Knights, the Dyrwood never would have survived, made a decree. The Knights would thenceforth be welcomed into the duc's castle and become his official royal guard.

In recent years, the ‘crucible’ aspect has fallen by the wayside in favor of ‘knight.’ The requirement that the members be proficient in both smithing and martial combat has loosened to the point that anyone who applies is guaranteed entrance, even if they possess little or no smithing experience. This is an allegation that is vehemently denied by the Knights.