As a British child in Chicago, you loved the stories of the knights of old. You reveled in the adventures of Lancelot and Galahad, you thrilled in the epic tales of Beowulf and Roland, you devoured the Homerian tales of Achilles and Hector. While girls your age wanted to grow up to be princesses, you dreamed of becoming a knight in shining armor, off saving said princesses. You loved the lifestyle, the chivalry, but most of all you loved the swords. You loved the idea of a piece of metal designed with the intention of death. Sure, a wizard could kill people with his mind, but a knight had unlimited uses of a short-range death spell! Katanas and wakizashis, longswords and greatswords, rapiers and sabers. You loved swords in every form, but first and foremost you loved Excalibur, blade of King Arthur, defeater of the Saxons.
Your father, a man known only as Roland, always fostered your interest. When he was around (he often left for extended business trips), he taught you how to swordfight, and about Knights throughout history. It never occurred to you, however, to wonder how he might have known this. One night, you woke up to get a glass of water. On your way to the kitchen, you heard strange noises coming from the lawn. You looked outside to see your father engaged in a brutal swordfight with a shadowy figure. As you watched, Roland disarmed the figure and stabbed him through the chest with his shining blade. The shadow vanished instantly, as if a bright light had been shone on it. The glowing sword in your father’s hands vanished, and as he dropped the hilt to his side, he saw you.
Your father explained to you that he was a Knight of the Tree, a true Knight just like you had always loved. His “business trips” were really secret missions for the Order of the Tree, his knowledge of sword fighting was the result of years of training, and his magic the result of sacred oaths he had taken. Just like that, your father had been elevated from “nifty” to “near-godlike.” You began to train just that much harder, now knowing that your dream of becoming a Knight was possible.
Unfortunately, no matter how hard you tried, your Soul Sword never materialized. When you were fourteen, your father finally told you the sad truth: there was no such thing as a female Knight. Magic-using girls became witches, or runecasters, or summoners, but not Knights. The elements just didn’t work that way. Suddenly, your entire life seemed meaningless. Your hours of practice were now pointless, your years of study useless, and your intense devotion a waste. You collapsed in horrible depression.
The next night, your father staggered into the house, his eyes wild, his hair a mess. He was babbling, incoherent. The only words you could make out were, “I’m sorry,” “I didn’t mean to,” and “I tried to stop him.” In horror, you realized the truth: he had broken an oath. Oaths were the most basic source of a Knight’s power: if one ever broke his oath, no matter what the circumstances, his powers and mind would be broken, and the other Knights would track him and kill him. Even as you thought you that, you heard a crash, and there were three people breaking through the front door.
The three Knights moved in to the living room, swords drawn. Roland immediately lunged for a sword on a rack in the hall. You knew from what he had told you that this particular sword had had many powerful enchantments placed on it to cut through magical defenses. It took a moment for you to realize what this implied. A Knight’s most basic oath granted them protection from mundane weapons—if Roland needed to penetrate that, he must be planning to kill the Knights. You were in shock. Your body refused to move, even as you watched your father disarmed and cut down first one, then two of the Knights who had been sent to kill him. Finally your body leapt in action, grabbing your favorite saber from the wall. You threw yourself between Roland and the last, disarmed, wounded Knight, catching the blow from his enchanted longsword on your saber. The saber, which you had nicknamed Excalibur, rang out with the impact. Your father looked at you without a hint of recognition in his eyes. Suddenly his longsword snapped back and flashed out once more. Your years of training came back to you in an instant, pulling Excalibur into position to block the blade. The two swords clashed again, and you both leapt back. He continued pressing the attack, forcing you backwards. You matched him easily, blow for blow, though you were steadily losing ground. However, there was one factor you forgot: you were using a saber. Just as your back touched the wall behind you, your father raised his longsword over his head and brought it down. You blocked the blow, but as you did your saber shattered. Excalibur was broken.
You collapsed against the wall, crying. Suddenly, there was a noise from behind your father. It was the last Knight, getting up, bracing himself against the wall, sword held weakly in one bloody hand. Roland turned to him, the enchanted longsword clutched tightly in his fist. You closed your eyes, not wanting to see the end. You began to wish that Excalibur hadn’t broken, or that better yet you had had the real Excalibur… If only you had Excalibur, none of this would’ve happened. You could’ve saved the three Knights and forced your father down. You saw a flash of light through your clenched eyelids, and heard the sound of a sword piercing flesh. Then you heard a gasp of shock from the Knight. Not pain, not the sound of death, merely surprise.
When you opened your eyes, a man stood before you. He was tall, with long brown hair, and was wearing an antiquated gray suit of armor. He had his back to you, and his arms were extended in front of him. He then withdrew his arms, and you saw your father fall to the ground, a bloody hole in his chest. The figure before you held a blood-covered blade at his sword that you recognized immediately. It was Excalibur. The real Excalibur. The man slowly turned to face you, then dropped to one knee.
“I am Excalibur. How may I serve you, milady?”
You could only gape in shock.
The surviving Knight, who you later learned was named Rook, brought you to his monastery for the night. The two of you figured out that clearly you were a summoner, and you had summoned the spirit of Excalibur. Rook brought you to the attention of a young man named Nod, who took you in as one of his students. Your best friend is Brushstrokes, and you have something of a playful rivalry with Isonade. In the past two years, you have continued to master summoning, particularly focusing on mythical swords. You often find yourself jealous of the actual Knights, and still follow a code of chivalry and honor. While you present a face of happiness to the outside world, and make plenty of friends, you are secretly still depressed, as you never really recovered from the fact that you killed your own father. You still summon Excalibur on a regular basis, and he has come to regard you as his rightful wielder. You drew him from where he rested at the core of the Earth—this technically means you drew him from the stone, making you the rightful Queen of England. You find this rather amusing and don’t take it completely seriously, much to his chagrin.