The Cavalier and Innocence Lost

There was once upon a time a cavalier of some renown who had managed to earn a reputation for courage, nobility, and defense of the weak. He became something of a legend in the area in which he lived and before long there was a long list of people who sought out the cavalier to assist them with some endeavor or another.

It came to pass that the cavalier needed to travel from one city to another by means of a dangerous road through a forest rumored to be haunted by evil spirits. All manner of travelers took this route despite the risks it posed. It was the custom of these wayfarers to wait until a significant number of them had gathered so that they might travel in a group in the hopes that it would give them some semblance of protection. The cavalier, wearing his finest armor and with his trusted sword slung upon his belt, offered his protective services for a modest fee because he was heading along this same road any way. The other travelers agreed eagerly and pooled together some coins in order to secure the services of the cavalier.

While they made their way through the wilderness somebody among the group began to tell the story of a fallen angel that had embraced wickedness and now preyed upon mortals that had given up their own innocence. According to the story being told this entity was wholly unable to directly harm anyone that was truly innocent. But those that had lost their virtue were fair game to whatever violence could be imagined by the fallen angel. The story was quite engaging and all in the group except for the cavalier enjoyed it immensely. The noble warrior found the tale unsavory and bordering on salacious. He demanded angrily that the storyteller cease this narrative at once.

When the travelers resisted and continued their wild discussion, the cavalier stopped his horse and turned to face the people following him. He drew his sword and demanded that they stop their idle chatter and speak of more wholesome things.

One in the group smiled and asked the cavalier, “Did you not take our gold as payment to keep us safe, despite the fact that you would have been travelling alongside us regardless?”

The cavalier, quite confused by this, answered haughtily “Yes, I did. It is the price you must pay in order to benefit from my courage and training.”

The person grinned menacingly and hissed “Innocence lost!”

The cavalier was never seen or heard of again, and none have been able to say for certain what became of the other travelers.