Pity the ones who once have seen the light:
Who touched perfection, and who turned away
To tend this broken world another day.
Who, proven futile, rejoined the fight.
For when they fall — a fact that Fate ensures —
It’s not as martyrs, laid in gloried graves,
But lost, last embers of a flame that fades.
No new Utopia shall prove their cause.
When stars have faded red, too deep to see
When fields’ last soil billows into dust
That last soul, striving still to do what’s just
Will ask, “What purpose placed this strength in me?”
That question echoes as existence ends
And stands unanswered as the void descends.
These are the oaths a paladin would keep:
To do with honour what can thus be done;
To shield the threatened, comfort those who weep,
And then move on, once pain its course has run.
To neither scorn, nor be a slave to laws,
But do what’s right, then give the law its due.
To fight — but only in a holy cause,
And once a plea for peace has been refused.
To be a beacon, shining coast to coast:
A force for change that none need ever fear;
A friend to lost souls when they need it most,
Who does not need to say what deeds make clear.
To be a soldier with no martial heirs,
Who leaves, to souls of peace, a world that’s theirs.
It is the fate of paladins to fall —
Or else to stumble on, far from the Light,
Left lonely when their cause demanded all
And friends retreated for another fight.
Having no other beacons, they must shine
In lands left black and trackless — stars of hope
That leave behind belief in Dawn’s pink line
When they are snuffed beneath Night’s cloudy cloak.
The wards they leave are hot and iron-hard,
But even these are ashes in the end:
Strewn through dead fields by winds that leave stone scarred;
Consumed by rising depths that reap and rend.
When echoes end, the tallest walls are felled,
But grass sprouts green where Light’s last stands were held.
Within this place, my songs will bear no fruit.
Here heroes fade, and dragons choke on flames;
Here conjurers and demons own no names,
And all the wizards of the world are moot.
To once fall here means no new chance to rise.
Though all the world did echo with the name,
Though deeds were done that won immortal fame,
The Fates would still repeat the same replies.
Here every power breaks, and legends pause.
The lords of Light and Dark stand side by side,
Their solemn paladins forget their pride,
And, faced with fatal risk, make common cause.
Here, Doom and Destiny maintain no sway,
And only mortal minds can choose the way.
There stands a Law, as certain as the Sun;
The Book to match the Scales, and the Sword.
An Act no mortal strife can see undone
— a virtue without fear, without reward.
The Scales weigh as true, only the truth;
The Sword will strike at nothing but the crime.
Immortal Justice needs no mortal proof,
No fractured juries free to take their time.
The Law does not stay crouching in the light
When darkness hides the truth, or shields the wrong;
Though monsters — tempters! — wait beyond my sight,
The Scales know that I am just as strong.
Before the Sword, I vow to find the proof
Show all the words they questioned were the truth.