Knights of Wonder

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T165, The Swedish Empire of Russia
Octavia 'Whitehair' Gustaffsson, Tsarina of All The Russias, Queen of Sweden, Duchess of Poland

In Warsaw, Brecht Kane, a commander of the Knights of Wonder (a religious fighting order) swore allegiance to Pope Alexander in his crusade against the manifestations of evil that seek to escape from hell into the world of men. A company of Wondernachten had apparently found a peculiar fane in a crypt on the shores of Lake Constance and destroyed it. Some items recovered from the tomb had convinced Kane that strong action was necessary to forestall "armageddon". The ruins had been the site of strange disappearances ever since the Vision of the Blood of the Lamb.

T169 Empire of Swedish Russia
In a side note, the new Swedish masters of Lubeck were annoyed to have a number of Imperial agents crawling around the harbour after the odd death of one Edmund Crane, F.R.S. in his rooms at the "Besotted Mouse" by the waterfront. The military and civil authorities had already ruled that he had committed suicide. These Imperials did not take this too well and dismantled most of the Inn before leaving. Questions directed to the innkeeper, one Stefan Asher, by the local newspapers led to the following item in the "Lubeck Harbor Buoy":

Edmund Crane, F.R.S., passed away in Lubeck while en route to visit a colleague at Stockholm University. The noted philosopher's body was discovered in an inn near the harbor, where apparently was poisoned, strangled, bludgeoned, stabbed, shot several times, and then decapitated. The wall's of Crane's room were covered with odd symbols, including a purple figure, a fishhook cross, a black dagger, a insect head, a death's head, an eye in a pyramid, several pentacles, a tree, a black ideogram, and a peculiar yellow mark. According to the innkeeper, several strange men visited Crane on the night of his death. Some of these men wore dark purple, red, white, grey, black, green, or yellow robes, one wore a turban, and one reportedly hummed or 'buzzed' to himself. It appears the men were acquainted, for they seemed surprised to see each other, and they shared a round of drinks, engaged in an animated discussion, then all shook hands before they went upstairs.

Editors Notes:

  • The 'buzzing' man was perhaps a Mi-Go.
  • The insect head would be Kror.
  • The death's head Bone Mother. The man wearing white?
  • The eye in the pyramid the Iluminati (Order of the Golden Dawn?).
  • The black ideogram might represent Nyarlathotep. The man wearing black?
  • The yellow mark is the mask of Hastur. The man wearing yellow?
  • The purple figure might be Cthulhu (the Purple Pirates). The man wearing purple?
  • The black dagger might be the Assassins of Alamut. The man wearing the turban?
  • The tree the sign of the Tuatha de Danaan? The man wearing green?
  • The fishhook cross may be the Yellow Sign. Yellow sign.jpg Said to be an old and defunct SE in Western Europe.

This looks like a veritable convention of SEs.

T173, The Kingdom of Spain
Captain Karl Wilken of the Knights of Wonder was struck down in broad daylight in the streets of Lisbon by bold assassins. The noted adventurer, lately returned from Bruges, is said to have gasped, "My God, Abu was right! Warn Jay Hanly!" before he died.

T176, Great Britain
Some odd disappearances were reported in the Hebrides, including a London brush-salesman, which in turn led to raids by the Protectors on various smugglers dens. The culprits were executed after a fair and speedy trial.

These events as well as a catastrophic warehouse district fire in Kingston (reportedly some secret government activities were taking place there and they went awry) caused Cromwell to come out with a statement: "...these events are the work of diverse agents of Darkness calling themselves, variously, the 'Illuminated Order of the Dawn' and the 'Knights of Wonder', but they are one and the same - vile, demon-worshipping heretics nesting in the confused and troubled lands of war-torn Europe". The government was unwilling to make further clarification of these statements, but there were some interesting arrests made in the days that followed.

The body of Hans Jacobsen, a Captain of the Knights of Wonder, was found, puzzlingly empty of blood, in a hostelry in Venice. It appears that the redoubtable warrior was another unfortunate victim of Pernicious Anemia. According to the bartender of the "Groat and Goat", a tavern where Jacobsen had spent the previous evening, the aged Crusader had just arrived from St Georges-the-Defender and was on his way to an appointment at the Fortress of the Pearl with one of the Empress-Regent's aides. "Aye, and he had been spending summat much time in the company of those Albanians that have been about so much of late!" quoth he.

T178, Swedish Empire of Russia
Excerpt from the Lubeck Herald:
The Grand Captain of the Knights of Wonder, Baron Ivan Berensen, appeared here in Lubeck to annouce the dissolution of his order. The Baron seemed unwell, perhaps because of the pressures that led to his decision, and collapsed at the end of his announcement. His announcement came as a surprise to local spiritual and teporal authorities. Because of its significance, the Baron's speech is given verbatim below.

"My brothers, our order was founded for a single purpose: to oppose the growing force of evil with the clear eyes of wonder. It was, and I believe still is, a noble purpose, and I have devoted my life to that cause.

"Unfortunately, that purpose has been corrupted. Our wonder and tolerance led us to acceptance, which in turn led a few to embrace that evil. Only a few, yet that embrace was fatal."

At this point the Baron paused, apparently overcome some physical distress.

"It has come to my attention..."

The Baron paused again, then resumed his speech in a voice that was suprisingly loud.

"Heed me, my brothers! We have lost this battle in the War of Shadows! Our Temples, Lodges, and Fellowships have all been infiltrated and subverted by the very evils we fought. Like vampires, these Extra-Denominational Religious Organizations - the Freemasons of Bavaria, the Followers of Kulhuz, the Worshippers of Biarni, the Dread Initiates of Hapsburg and the Yellow Stein, the Tuatha de Danaan, the Assassins, the Children of the Pale God, the Cult of a Thousand Hives, the Bull-worshippers of Adina, and even the lowly Clockmakers of Achaea -- have wormed their way like vampires into the very heart of our Stronghold.

"This battle is lost. To save what remains, on this day, May 12, Anno Domini 1684, I command the Knights of Wonder to disband."

The Baron paused for a long time. When he spoke again, his voice could barely be heard.

"This battle is lost, but the War goes on. To my brothers who still remain true to our cause, I have one final command.

"Disband, but remember. Remember our purpose deep in your hearts. Carry it like a flame, to pass on to future generations, so that wonder and tolerance can survive, and evil will finally be overcome and defeated. I...

The Baron paused for one last time.

"...I'm sorry, my brothers. I can no longer..."

At this point the Baron collapsed and was carried to a nearby inn. Recently we learned that the good Baron has passed away, apparently the victim of some wasting disease.

T184, Grand Duchy of Burgundy
A body was found on the banks of the Rhine below the Reinfalls. Although the head was missing, the deceased man was identified by an elaborate sword tattooed on one arm as Bjarnhard Hrisi, a Swedish adventurer. A local priest recalled that the Swede had vanished the year before while looking for some 'relic of the Knights of Wonder' on the eastern shore of Lake Constance.

Last updated: 12 September 2003

© 2003 Robert Pierce © 2004 Martin Helsdon

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