Hamartia: Against the Scourge
Sir Petros Arkanian
Dour and determined Knight of the Horns.
SIR PETROS ARKANIAN
Bastard-born son of Andrei, Duke Arkanian of the Northern Marches
Inside the Table’s circle,
Under the sacred Sword.
A Knight must vow to follow
The Code that is unending,
Unending as the Table—
A ring by honor bound.
A Knight is sworn to valor
His heart knows only virtue
His blade defends the helpless
His might upholds the weak
His word speaks only truth
His wrath undoes the wicked.
The right can never die,
If one man still recalls.
The words are not forgot,
If one voice speaks them clear.
The Code forever shines
If one heart holds it bright.
The Old Code of Arturus, Dux Bellorum and first knight of the Triune Faith.
House Arkanian was founded in the ancient days of the Old Empire, and as with many duchies, the lineage traces back to a Dux Bellorum, one of the war-leaders who established the northern frontier against the Trollheim and Eisenriden barbarians. As such, their aristocracy had a martial origin, and the pride of the Arkanian dukes was always in their strength of arms. When the Empire dissolved, House Arkanian retained its noble status, and its land holdings on the northern frontier, though the rocky resource-poor terrain provided them with little enough wealth.
Duke Andrei had a little-loved wife, and quite a few dalliances, but only sired two children who survived infancy, sons of near the same age. Symeon was born of the Duchess, the rightful heir, and Petros his half-brother was born to a miller’s daughter on the wrong side of the sheets, but the two boys received similar upbringings. Tutored by a Triune friar in the basics of letters, ciphering, and history. Instructed in the basics of administrating a domain by the Duke’s steward, a Vicentian expatriate named Ezio, and taught the arts of sword, shield, lance and horse by Sir Baldwin, the Duke’s master-of-arms. Symeon had a head for numbers, but Petros had a hand for battle, and in this regard he took after their father, which endeared him to the Duke, and provoked his half-brother’s jealousy. As the brothers grew older, they grew apart, and Symeon’s envy of the love his father showed the bastard over himself festered.
Petros was also favored by Sir Baldwin, who taught him everything he knew about swordplay, and also told him the tales of legendary Arturus, the Dux Bellorum who converted to the then-new Triune Faith in the days of the Old Empire, and instituted an oath of righteous conduct based on Triune principles that all his thanes swore to uphold in the name of the Philosopher, the Architect, and the Reaper, becoming the first knights. The Code of Arturus, still followed by every sworn knight, was ingrained into Petros from a very early age.
The old Duke died of sudden illness when his sons were seventeen. By the time Andrei was cold, Symeon had the Ducal ring on his finger, had donned his father’s silver-plated mail and belted on his father’s jeweled Ducal greatsword, and told his half-brother that he had until sunset of the next day to be off of Arkanian land.
Following Sir Baldwin’s council, Petros rode for Ackinus, to the chapterhouse of the Knights of the Horns. He took with him his father’s second-best armor, a coat of black leather scales riveted with brass and iron, and his father’s favorite longsword, a plain well-worn blade, unadorned but forged of finest steel, bearing the name Judgment. He passed the Order’s tests for admission, and after three years of training and three years of squiring, he took the oaths and received the accolade, becoming a knight.
Shortly after earning his spurs, Sir Petros received a letter, written by the steward Ezio on his deathbed. In it, Ezio confessed to conspiring with Symeon to poison the old Duke, accusing Duke Symeon of patricide. Sir Petros discovered that his brother had sold the ancestral lands and castle, and with the gold had headed south, to the safety and comfort of the Free Cities, where he had been multiplying his wealth through canny investment in certain merchant fleets and privateers. Wealth and a noble title allowed one to live comfortably in the Free Cities, and he was far from the reach of any Republic Magistrate.
Sir Petros swore a mighty oath, by the gods, by his knighthood, by his sword, by his blood: Symeon, Duke Arkanian, poisoner and kinslayer, would die for the murder of his father and for his treason against the Triune Republic, and Sir Petros’ would be the hand to bring about this justice.
Since then he has sought information about his brother’s precise whereabouts, and money to finance a journey to the south, to hunt him down and kill him. The gods will not permit his death until this mission has finally been accomplished.