A History of Hermann the Hermit
Many a fighter have journeyed across the forested wilderness of eastern Kesmai to visit Hermann, granter of knighthood. However not many fighters, or knights for that matter, know the story of Hermann. As a young lad he learned fighting skills from his father, a renowned weapons champion. He became highly skilled in many forms of combat, and proved that he was as technically gifted as his father was. His independent spirit helped him through many trying times, for he relied on his abilities and cunning alone. When he reached the age that he could wield the large halberds and broadswords effectively, he set off to earn himself a living and a reputation.

He began his career as a weapons trainer in Kesmai town where new adventurers in need of guidance were always pouring in. He built a training gym just to the east of the fountain in town square and offered his services within. In his younger years as a champion fighter, he had observed many different methods used to kill or disarm an opponent. None of them agreed completely with his mental picture of a fighter. As he became older, one of his dreams was to develop his own fighting style and teach it to the masses. Hermann wanted to develop the attitudes and perspectives of normal fighters in a way that would make them even more effective in battle. Hermann's desire for time to begin this undertaking augmented as more and more fighters ventured to the island in search of training from Hermann, who had become quite an admirable teacher. Although many wanted to obtain training from Hermann himself, he felt that he had to seclude himself to organize his ideas into a system of beliefs that could be taught. Hermann sent for his honorable cousin Olaf to replace him in his absence.
Hermann was away from his position as trainer for a summer and a winter. He spent some of that time in a hut outside of town and he spent some time in distant lands. He returned with a complete methodology and a curious-looking ring that was rumored to have magical powers. When he returned, all fighters (experienced and inexperienced) were told that Hermann would still train them, but in a different way. They were told that he would live in the far northeast corner of the island and offer training to all who possessed enough courage to journey there. Intense courage was needed and is still needed today to make combat with the griffins who live near Hermann. Luckily, Ydnac the evil thaumaturge, is almost never seen on the way to Hermann's hut, although he does make his isolated residence near Hermann. The rumor of the ring was confirmed when fighters returned from a dangerous trip to Hermann's hut. They returned with proud faces and a new, well-defined self-assurance. They all wore a silver ring with a triangularly cut jade mounted among three small blue diamonds that gave the transformed fighters the power to cast five simple and profitable spells. These converted fighters were referred to as knights, which was the name Hermann contrived for them and the only one that he deemed worthy of the new class.
Aside from their useful spells, knights bear a badge of respect and strength set up for them by Hermann. This class of people is just, helpful, and above all, honorable. Knights still retain some qualities of the fighters such as hard-headedness and thick-headedness. Most knights only possess but a few shreds of wit. It's a good thing that they don't usually associate with the wizards who tell the most complex jokes and riddles! You can be sure however, that when a knight gets a joke, he'll be the one you hear over the crackling laughter of all the others.

Ever since Hermann made his legendary journey of discovery, Olaf has retained the position of general weapons trainer in Kesmai town. Many know that his teaching ability does not reach the high levels of skill that Hermann's ability does, but he exceeds a vast majority of trainers in his capability to teach those who are beginning their training. When one has reached the level of skill that Olaf himself holds, they are usually ready to venture to other lands anyway, so Olaf fills Hermann's niche nicely.

As word spread, there became a great demand for Hermann's incredible knight training. The demand grew until Hermann ventured to Oakvael where he conferenced with Aniet, a friend whom he had met during his quest for the development of knighthood. Aniet was the teacher whom Hermann deemed most qualified to become a second granter of knighthood. With the availability of another knighter who had learned from Hermann himself, many fighters flocked to Oakvael, to seek training from Aniet and become knights.

Copyright 1999, Brian Fox.