Sage smiled, then rose and held his sword upright before his face. “To stand for justice, mete out mercy, protect the downtrodden, and be fair and just in all we do!” Lowering his sword, Sage sheathed it in his scabbard once more. “Mage knights don’t just defend Aylodae. We stand for a higher ideal. We put the welfare of others before the one, before the individual. This is the duty of the mage knights; to be arbiters of justice under the wise counsel of the Archsage, and when the need arises, defend Aylodae as a unified force.”
“I want to be a mage knight.” Martin said with wide eyes.
Sage knelt down. “You’ll have to put every effort into it, then. In order to get into the Instructory, where they train mage knights, you must know both magic and swordsmanship, and you must show exceeding promise in both when you apply - which is at the age of fourteen. The Instructory only accepts the best to protect Aylodae and uphold its laws. If they find that you are worthy, then you will be called to the Instructory when you are fifteen, to begin your training.”
“Where do I start?” Martin asked.
“With learning. You need someone to teach you to wield a sword, and someone to teach you to use magic. Neither of these endeavors come lightly, Martin; you must be able to devote yourself to them. The duty of mage knight is not an easy one, and only the dedicated and talented are rewarded with the honor of being a mage knight.” Sage warned.
Martin stood upright, puffing up his chest. “I will be brave and true!”
Sage was silent for a moment, then reached up to his steed and pulled a dagger out of his bags. “This is for you, Martin.”
Martin de-puffed his chest and reverently took the dagger with wide eyes. “For me? Why?”
“So that, if at any time in the future, you doubt your path or what you believe in, you can remember the day that a mage knight visited your village and told you what we defend and uphold.” Sage explained. “If your studies in the sword and the spell ever become difficult, if your peers insist that you will not make it, if you become discouraged in dark times, you look upon this dagger and remember the high calling that is the duty of a mage knight. Justice. Mercy. Fairness. They are noble things to fight for.” Sage said, then ruffled Martin’s hair. “Now run along and tell your parents you want to be a mage knight. It’s an idea that they’ll take some getting used to, so keep on pushing it till they know you’re serious.”
“Yes sir!” Martin said, running off.
Sage smiled, opening his spellbook once more, and remembered a time a decade prior when a mage knight had stopped by in his village, and given him the same dagger Martin now held.