Company of Knight Captain Jan Valerián of Lindenvale

Knight Captain Jan Valerián of Lindenvale

“Why do you laugh?” asked the demon and sunk his claw in the knight’s chest.
“I laugh because this is the Lord’s will. I laugh because life is good. I laugh because you have entered my circle and you are in my power. Now go back from whence you came!”

Some knights prevail thanks to the strength of their arms; some rely on exceptional wit or agility; and some simply survive. Jan Valerián's strength is his faith. Not only his faith in Christ but also his faith that the sun will rise again in the morning; that every situation can end well; and that every smile counts.
Of course, he is not lost in a battle either and he can come up with many an ambush; he is still one of the most experienced warriors in the land and a man who has survived countless adventures.
His life of wandering and travel has brought him friends in many domains, amongst many of Šumava's creatures. Yet when coming back to Grimness, he is a bit like a stranger and a bit like a living legend - and how can a man live up to such an image? How can he not fail?

Sir Berbrown

"But many did not understand why he vowed to undertake such a cruel punishment willingly. Knight and barons asked him whether he loved his master so little.
He replied that he loved his master so much that he would accept his justice."

When Berbrown crawled to Grimness as a little cub and asked for sanctuary, they had to spend many years proving their worth with hard work. When Albert Tomáš was six, Berbrown was given to them as a servant, guardian, and toy.
Under a different master, this would mean years of the worst humiliation, but for Albert Tomáš, Berbrown soon became not only a servant and a teddy to hug and cuddle (only allowed to Albert Tomáš; Berbrown would bite off any other hand that dared do that!) but also an advisor and perhaps even friend.
They never expected to be free. But once they gained his freedom, they were always very moderate in using it: they stayed at the court, were made a knight, and always stood by the side of the lords of Grimness. That is not to say that they are always peaceful and friendly. Especially when the nights grow longer and the winter creeps closer, they can be irritable, moody, and have no good words to spare. Inappropriate jokes from anybody but their friends can always make them very angry indeed. And their friends are often happy to wait for Berbrown to knock any jokers into the mud before they intervene.

Sir Karel Ignác of Grimness

“‘Lo, here is a knight against you for the love of Sir Launcelot.’
And there he slew two with one spear and ten with his sword.”

It is said that Karel Ignác could have been the lord of Grimness himself, but he bent the knee before his cousin and let Albert Tomáš become the ruler of the land instead.
And is that any surprise? It is said that Karel Ignác was struck by some terrible catastrophe, which broke his will to rule. And his nature may never have been that of a leader: a calm, sober, and good companion, yes, but a natural leader? Never. Instead, he became a true warrior, standing by his cousin's side.
They had great adventures ahead of them. What Karel lacked in ambition, he made up for in the strength of his arms and the swiftness of his legs. At eighteen he won his first tournament, ridiculing his opponent and injuring him so badly that he was bedridden for a month, with broken ribs, a broken arm and a thousand smaller bruises and cuts. Thus, he found a lifelong friend: his defeated opponent was Jan Valerián. The company did many heroic deeds and grew up together. Karel Ignác did not travel anywhere near as much as Jan Valerián, but unlike Berbrown, he did sometimes leave Grimness.
His return home can mean many things: perhaps it will reopen old wounds; perhaps bring reconciliation. But it will definitely worry his competitors because Karel Ignác is carrying a champion's shield and will represent his company in the tournament.

Martin Jan

“Now Merlin,’ said Arthur, ‘say whether this lad shall be a good knight or no.’
‘Yea, sir, he ought to be a good knight, for he is comen of as good a man as any is alive, and of king’s blood.’”

Martin Jan was born of the first marriage of Lord Albert Tomáš of Grimness. He found it very, very hard to cope with the loss of his mother and his father’s marriage to a new wife, and he has always been a divisive character. Some loved him for his brightness and his sweet, attentive nature - he would always bring flowers to even the lowest of kitchen maids and always remembered to wish a good night to the men at arms. Those were his good days - but as he grew closer to adolescence, his good days grew scarcer and the pimply youth started talking back, swearing, and ordering people around more and more. When his father exiled him from Grimness, some say its people were relieved.
But often we only realize that something is important for us when we have lost it.  After some time, people only remembered the good of Martin Jan and when they heard the first stories of the company's spectacular expeditions and battles, many lower nobles and servants started secretly looking forward to the day the young master came back.

Content warning: Please note Martin Jan’s story includes the topics of sexual assault and incest.