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  • #139628
    Memnoich
    Participant

    This is a story passed around in the SCA to help explain the path of becoming a Knight. To me it also explains the path of the Jedi pretty well. Tell me what you guys take from it:

    Quote:
    [size=10pt]Miles and the Knight[/size]

    Once, long ago but not very far away, there was a young man named
    Miles. Miles wanted to become a great warrior. So he thought, and
    thought again, and said, “I shall go on a quest to find Perfect
    Mastery.” And so he did. Miles hung his sword, picked up his shield
    and started out.

    Now, Miles knew from legends and stories that the secret to Perfect
    Mastery lay in the center of a Great Dark Wood. But when he reached
    the forest he found that it was even Greater and Darker than he had
    imagined. And it seemed to Miles that finding the center would be very
    difficult indeed.

    So he thought, and thought again, and said: “I shall look for a path.”
    And so he did. Miles walked along the edge of the forest, first in one
    direction and then the other. He walked and walked. Just when he was
    about to stop and rest, he came upon two men.

    The first was a young man about Miles’ age. He had taken out his
    sword and was hacking his way into the tree-line. He was breathing
    hard and sweating quite freely, but seemed to be making some
    progress. The other man had white hair and a beard, but stood tall and
    straight despite his obvious age. He wore a well-used and well-oiled
    mail shirt and a plain hilted sword hung at his side. From time to
    time he spoke encouragingly to the first man. Miles approached the
    young man first and said, “Hello, I’m looking for Perfect
    Mastery. Could you direct me to the path? ” The young man merely wiped
    his brow and continued his work. Miles turned to the older man and
    said, “My name is Miles, and I’m looking for Perfect Mastery. Could
    you direct me to the path?” The old man said, “I am Sir Veritas, and I
    do know a path.” He stepped aside and Miles could see a path leading
    into the Great Dark Forest. “I am willing to show you this path if you
    are willing to be my squire.” Miles thought, and thought again, and
    said, “I shall become your faithful squire.” And so he did.

    Sir Veritas removed his scabbarded sword and handed it to
    Miles. “Here,” said the knight, “See to its care.” Miles took the
    sword. It was heavy, but he held it carefully. The knight gestured for
    Miles to enter the path first and said, “Start down the path, Miles. I
    will be behind you in case you falter.”

    As Miles started down the path he turned to Sir Veritas. “Sir Knight,”
    said Miles, “why didn’t you show the path to the other man?” The old
    knight sighed, “He never asked.”

    “He must be a great fool,” said Miles.

    “Do not think poorly of him,” said the Knight, “for many the effort is
    as important as reaching the goal. He chooses his own path.”

    Miles turned and started up the path. They walked and walked, the path
    twisted and turned, rose and fell, and the knight’s sword was
    heavy. Sir Veritas warned Miles whenever they were coming upon a
    pitfall or a low-hanging branch, but it was slow going.

    By and by, they came upon another young man sitting by the side of the
    path. He held a sword in his lap similar to the one Miles now
    carried. The old knight greeted the young man courteously, and the
    young man replied respectfully as they passed.

    “Sir Knight,” said Miles, “who was that sitting by the side of the
    path?”

    The old knight sighed, “He is a squire, like yourself.”

    “He must be very lazy,” said Miles.

    “Do not think poorly of him,” said the Knight. “He has found a place
    where he is comfortable, many do not make it even this far.”

    They walked and walked, the path twisted and turned, rose and fell,
    and the knight’s sword was heavy.

    “Sir Knight,” said Miles, “I grow weary.”

    The old knight sighed, “I promised you a path. I did not promise you
    and easy one. you may rest if you wish, but we grow no closer to your
    goal.”

    Miles thought, and thought again, and said, “I should like to
    continue, Sir. If you would continue with me.”

    The knight said, “I will be behind you if you falter, Miles; just stay
    on the path.” And so he did.

    Suddenly, or so it seemed to Miles, they came upon a clearing. All
    about the clearing were other knights, most sat around fires
    talking. As they entered the clearing Sir Veritas was greeted
    familiarly by the others. And, to Miles’ surprise, the knights hailed
    him in friendly fashion as well. They were invited to sit and talk
    for a while, and so they did. As they talked, Miles watched around
    him. Occasionally, one of the other knights would get up, go to the
    edge of the clearing and listen at the tree line. From time to time,
    he would shout directions to someone unseen in the forest. Eventually
    someone would break out into the clearing, and be greeted as Miles
    was.

    Sir Veritas turned to Miles and said, “You may return the sword now
    Miles. This is as far as I can take you. You are now a knight in your
    own right.”

    Miles handed the sword back to Sir Veritas. He had grown used to its
    weight and it felt strange to suddenly be without it.

    “Sir Knight,” said Miles, “is this Perfect Mastery?” The old knight
    sighed. “No, young Miles, that is still further into the wood. From
    here, you must find it for yourself.”

    “And these other knights?” said Miles, “have they found the secret of
    Perfect Mastery?”

    This time the old knight laughed. “No, I dare say not.”

    “Then why do they bide here? They must be very lazy.”

    “Do not think poorly of us Sir Miles. Now and again we venture into
    the wood. Now and again we go back to the edge of the wood to guide
    others, for these are the duties of a knight. But sometimes it is
    comfortable to sit here and rest awhile and talk with friends.”

    Miles thought, and thought again, and said, “Thank you, Sir Veritas,
    for your help. For now I will venture a little ways into the wood. But
    now and again I will come back to enjoy this fellowship. And now and
    again I will go back to the edge of the wood and guild others. For
    these are the duties of a knight.” … and so he did.

    The End

    #153372
    inari
    Participant

    A good story Memnoich. The only thing I’d add is that there are too few knights to do the guiding…assuming we aren’t all still hacking our way through the forest. What would Miles have done if Veritas hadn’t been there?

    I like that it shows that attaining knighthood is not the same as attaining perfection…something some of us need to be reminded of when we become too hard on ourselves or others.

    #153385
    Memnoich
    Participant

    Ahh, but how do you think the first Knights got there? They guided each other by showing the paths they had built. The first Knights then joined together to make the path figuring out which trees were easiest to fell, and if it came to it, joined together in overcoming the bigger obstacles. The question is, are the Knights in the clearing at the end, or just like the squire along the way, in a place they find comfortable? As Verites said, perfect mastery was still further into the forest then they are at. They stay in the clearing for companionship, but I’m sure they also pass on what they have learned along their path, to each other, about how to get further into the forest towards their common goal.

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