Disclaimer: There are no characters in this chapter, but the characters you will soon see belong to Gerald Morris.

This is a little different than my usual stuff, but only because Squire's Tales is one of my favorite series of all time, and Mr. Morris is my second favorite author. This is a character exploration, mostly, into the knights of Camelot. Enjoy!

To be a knight was less about great tournaments, trials, and battles than people thought. Rather, to be a knight was to be intimately familiar with pain. All knights, whether they are of that prestigious union known to all as the Round Table, knew pain. Knighthood was pain, and if the men involved were any less than prepared to handle it, they would not be knights.

Some talked it up, some talked it down. Some ignored it, others fought it. Still others flirted with it, and the select dangerous and insane fell in love with it. A good knight avoided it at all costs. A better knight tried not to put himself in the way, but treated it with a healthy dose of respect and rose to the occasion if needed. The best knights lived with it permanently. The Round Table knights were of that last category.

Any knight worth his helmet could tell you that there are more than one kinds of pain. There are thousands of pains, and pains upon pains. Each one is different than any other, and each one is varied depending on who was feeling it. Many times this pain was secret—knights speak of the scars that mar their bodies, never the scars searing their souls.

It is the pain that scorches the heart and burns the mind that we are most interested in…and it is the most surprising people who are most afflicted…