"The Shining Knight always Slays the Dragon"
He swore an oath, as he was a true knight,
He willed down so far forth his might
Upon the tyrant Creon him to wreak,
That all the people of Greece should speak
How Creon was of Theseus served,
As he that had his death full well deserved.
-Geoffrey Chaucer, The Knight's Tale
James Richardson was born September 14th 1981 to Gordon and Cassandra Richardson. The eldest child, James had a sister younger by two years named Veronica. The family lived in the Detroit area, with James' father working in the Detroit Police Department, eventually reaching the rank of captain. James was 10 years old when the Battle of Detroit took place in 1992. James, along with his mother and sister, was evacuated from the city while his father remained behind in an effort to assist in the fighting. Inevitably, when Destroyer's orbital laser destroyed the city, Gordon Richardson was killed.
James teenage years were spent in Chicago. They were hard, with James growing more introverted and less interested in education and more interested in escapism, finding himself joining clubs devoted to tabletop gaming. His sister was not happy with James' choice to forgo education to play games with friends. There were numerous arguments, causing the siblings to grow further apart before, when James was 20, he moved to Millennium City.
Finding employment at a Blacksmiths Hobby Gaming Emporium, James spent much of his time furthering the store's reputation, causing the branch to become one of the most popular hobby stores in the city. He eventually became the store manager, operating the branch. Unlike what you'd expect, James did a great deal to keep himself in shape, following the notes of his father's own training regimen. When James was 27, he received a call from his estranged sister. Insisting on staying with him while visiting the Detroit memorial, the family was reunited briefly over the anniversary of the Battle of Detroit. It was a moment of reflection for James. While he had done much to make his job significant, he felt he was not doing his father proud, a heroic police captain.
It was that brief period of mourning that Gloriana, the Faerie Queene, took notice of James, a mixed bag of regret, nobility and aspiration. She conjured a spell that granted James a temporarily magical skill in blacksmithing, allowing him, in a dreamlike trance that night, forge the first version of the Lancelot Powered Armor.
Astounded by the sudden development, James' memories flooded with recollections of stories his father had told him of heroic knights battling evil and saving princesses. It was those stories that got him into the idea of roleplaying in fantasy games. With this suit, he didn't need to pretend. He could be a knight. He could be Chivalry.
James Richardson is a 30 year old Caucasian male with green eyes, brown hair and an olive complexion. He speaks with a Michigan Detroit accent, his voice typically quiet and thoughtful, but sometimes jittery and quick when excited. James is something of a cult hero among Millennium City's role playing communities, both Live Action and tabletop. The Blacksmiths gaming store is one of the most popular places for tabletop gaming in the city, boasting a number of tables that are full almost every afternoon. He attends a few Renaissance Faires, adopting the persona of Sir Jelsor of West Ellswik. Typically, those that know James from either being a long time gamer at Blacksmiths or an attendant at Millennium LARP fests, will be able to comment on his tendency to get very into it, but sometimes having to excuse himself for extended periods of time, leaving his assistant manager, Giles Patrick, in charge. Giles is much less enthusiastic, but is not a bad guy.
The persona James adopts as Chivalry is, while not exactly different from his normal personality, far more extroverted. Chivalry is loud, boisterous and straight-forward. He's well known, especially in the Millennium City area, as a resolutely heroic figure. He's taken down more than one giant monster and has racked up a good number of villains defeated. Many heroes remark on his thickly put-on Early Modern English dialect, sometimes leading to confusion, but usually leading to amusement.
Chivalry, while capable of wielding a powerful magical sword, prefers to use his fists against lower powered enemies. His sword is powerful and can sometimes cause rock to become molten as it passes through it. He can use the magical properties of his sword to great advantage in combat, summoning it in a bolt of golden lightning. He can also revert the sword to lightning and throw it like a javelin to attack people at range. However, both of these moves are draining on Chivalry and he becomes extremely tired if he does it three times in succession, collapsing to his knees. Chivalry tends to travel with jet boots, capable of reaching sonic speeds if not impeded. He can also run surprisingly fast, giving him an added advantage over other tough opponents. Chivalry is a straight-forward fighter, at least at first glance. If the enemy doesn't drop in surrender at the sight of him, Chivalry charges in with fists and punches people. If they don't go down from punches, he summons his sword and fights with that. If they still don't go down from swordsmanship, Chivalry flies away using his jetboots and comes back with something even bigger to use as a weapon. Chivalry's simple approach has worked on multiple occasions and he's defeated at least two giant monsters with this method.
Chivalry has possessed two suits over his activity. The first, known as the Lancelot Powered Armor, underwent significant modifications over its lifetime, becoming more and more formidable as time went by. The second, known as the Galahad Powered Armor, is far smaller and more agile than the Lancelot suit, yet offers almost as much protection and gives just as much strength.
Lancelot Powered Armor
The Lancelot Powered Armor is the suit Chivalry made his debut in. A witness of the initial fight between Chivalry and the villainous brute, Ogre, said:
"He was in this shiny suit of armor and had a helmet that made him look like a knight, guy had this crazy sword that was made out of energy. Big red cape with gold trim. Said his name was Chivalry."
Over the three years of the Lancelot suit's use, Chivalry had it adapted and modified, increasing its armor durability and strength. The first major addition was the Aegis Energy Shield, visible on the Lancelot version second from the left. Eventually, the suit became sleeker and larger before it finally reached the state of its fourth incarnation, visible on the far right. The Lancelot suit eventually collapsed after Chivalry was taken captive by the Galaxar, Warmonger.
Galahad Powered Armor
The Galahad Powered Armor is the suit Chivalry currently wears. Shorter than the final incarnation of the Lancelot suit by over a foot, the Galahad suit is far more agile than the Lancelot suit. It is, however, less well armored. Fittingly, Chivalry debuted in this armor in another battle against Ogre. A witness there said:
"It was obvious, soon as we saw him. Shining armor, red cape. It was Chivalry, but man, he looked MEAN! In a good way!"
Witnesses say the battle against Ogre was over within a minute of Chivalry arriving on scene, a vast improvement from Chivalry's initial encounter which took approximately 40 minutes and caused extensive damage to Westside's dock facilities.
Chivalry's reemergence after his captivity in the hands of the Warmonger also sparked more information about the Silver Lance. Chivalry gave a list of heroes he is currently considering for membership.
Despite speculation that the Silver Lance would consist of primarily Defenders of the Earth members, only two, Grimoire and Danger Deer, are from Defender stock. While Cosmic Glory's consideration is not unexpected due to the two's experience together, Peacemaker, also known as Geneva, is considered by many to be a surprise. Chivalry and Peacemaker have not shown much interaction and it is theorized that Chivalry is including Peacemaker for his technological abilities as it has often been speculated that Chivalry does not possess much expertise in technology himself and that his suits are constructed by someone else. It is also possible Chivalry is considering Peacemaker due to his involvement against the deceased supervillain, Superior, alongside Cosmic Glory.
Associates, Allies and Adversaries
For which I told thee mine adventure
As to my cousin and my brother sworn.
-Geoffrey Chaucer, The Knight's Tale
As with any hero that's been active for a length of time, Chivalry has made a number of enemies, some more dangerous than others.
Shadow Knight and the Shadow Court
The closest thing to a nemesis Chivalry has is the dark spirit warrior, the Shadow Knight. Supposedly a European knight in life, the Shadow Knight often acts as an agent for darker and more powerful forces. The Shadow Knight and Chivalry have clashed on numerous occasions and the Shadow Knight has even successfully stolen the Lancelot powered armor. The Shadow Knight is currently inactive after being defeated by the heroes assisting Chivalry in the recovery of the Lancelot suit. The Shadow Court, a team of medieval themed villains, lasted for about a year. They consisted of the Shadow Knight, Black Arrow, the Puzzle Jester and the Weird Sisters.
Galtoid the Infallible and the Galtoidians
The strange brain invaders known as the Galtoidians arrived in mid 2011 all over the world. Despite their initial successes, the Galtoidians were pushed off the surface by the efforts of heroes and government agencies. With Galtoid himself expressing a peculiar interest in the heroine Cosmic Glory, Chivalry was bound to get involved. He found his niche in battling the giant Galtoidian Doomwalkers.
The immensely powerful Warmonger, a Galaxar of inhuman strength, made one of his first contacts with mankind through the hand of Chivalry. During the investigation of the incident at Marsbase Ares I, Chivalry discovered the Sword, an emissary of the Warmonger's. On picking it up, an image of the Warmonger appeared, apparently using data transmitted to him from the Sword itself to determine mankind's worth as soldiers. He found man suitable for conscription. The Sword was then teleported from Chivalry's hand. Contact with the Sword had a detrimental effect on Chivalry's psyche, causing him to experience increasingly worsening nightmares about physical violence and to see hallucinations of both the Sword and of Warmonger. After joining the Warmonger in order to seal a deal on arranging a tournament for the safety of the Earth, Chivalry suffered two months of psychological attacks before, finally, being freed by the efforts of many heroes, along with Azunai and Wolfgirl. The battle with Warmonger left Chivalry's previous suit of powered armor, the Lancelot Suit, destroyed. Chivalry quickly acquired a new suit designated as the Galahad Powered Armor.
UNTIL Report, June 3rd, 2011
Chivalry has proved his worth as a hero numerous times during the short time he has been active. He has battled on the front lines of a good number of the recent threats against the USA and, also, the world as a whole. He has valiantly proved his worth in the successive "Bloodmoon" phenomenon, managing to rally and organize heroes, providing accurate and efficient striking orders against the incursions made by Takofanes.
Chivalry has also been working closely with UNTIL agents, opting a large amount of cooperation. To his credit, he has not proved to be elusive or hard to find. His willingness to interact with local or global authority may mean he could be a viable recruit for any teams UNTIL may decide to assemble, potentially as a leader figure.
The British Ministry of Superhuman Affairs also informs me that Chivalry was the leading hero in an incident named by British press "The Cornwall Dragon Sightings" during which Chivalry, alongside a number of New Knights heroes, battled what was reportedly a large, black scaled dragon in the English county of Cornwall. The Ministry refused to reveal specifics on the event, but did suggest a magical artifact of significant power. It was told that said artifact is now in safe hands.
Chivalry is currently in an unknown sector of space after being recruited by Star*guard along with many other of Earth's heroes.
UNTIL Report, August 3rd, 2011
Chivalry, along with the other heroes that left with the Star*guard, has returned and is now returning to his regular activities.
UNTIL Report addendum: Black Omen
Chivalry was involved in the Black Omen space station incident that resulted in the presumed deaths of both street vigilante Trauma and the supervillain "Black Omen". Chivalry has come in and answered questions relating to the incident. The interview is filed under the Black Omen villain profile.
UNTIL Report, September 19th, 2011
Chivalry discussed with us certain details of the "Cornwall Dragon Sightings". We have added information pertaining to the enemies he fought during the incident and also his relationship with the New Knights of the Round Table below.
UNTIL Report, October 13th, 2011
Chivalry's involvement in the Galtoidian invasion is to be noted. Directly working alongside UNTIL's soldiers in the clear up procedure after the zone's shield was deactivated, he fought and defeated a Galtoidian "Doomwalker" single handedly.
UNTIL Report, October 14th, 2011
Chivalry has contacted UNTIL with the intent on supplying information on himself for our database. Its possible that, by tomorrow, we may have a comprehensive knowledge on the man behind the helmet.
UNTIL Report, October 15th 2011
Chivalry has complied and has supplied with a great deal of information about his person on the agreement that such information is restricted to those with high level clearance.
UNTIL Report, January 5th 2012
Chivalry has contacted us and informed us that his suit has been stolen by the Shadow Knight, leaving Chivalry unable to act in a superhero capacity for an indeterminate time. The Shadow Knight is also a greater threat and we have adjusted his rating accordingly. Chivalry has said that his sidekick, Fealty, will be taking a greater role in the community in order to try and amend this situation as quickly as possible.
UNTIL Report, January 12th 2012
Fealty has informed us that she and Cosmic Glory extracted information from the Puzzle Jester about the next step in tracking down the Shadow Knight. Unfortunately, the Puzzle Jester escaped and the next location is a heavily fortified one, requiring the aid of other, more powerful superheroes.
UNTIL Report, January 14th 2012
Chivalry's meeting has seen some interesting events even before the first congregation ended. An Omen-bot replicant disguised as UNTIL agent Dennis Kereden (Blue Bruiser) infiltrated the meeting and threated to detonate, possibly causing significant damage to the heroes and the Millennium City UNTIL HQ. Fortunately, nominated chairman and UNTIL agent Arc Thunder intervened, teleporting the Omen-bot out of the building.
Many other topics were discussed and the meeting was seemingly well received. The meeting was named SUMMIT (The Superhero Union for Meeting, Management and Intelligence Trading).
UNTIL Report, February 8th 2012
Chivalry has returned to activity, following the retrieval of his suit after the summary defeat of the Shadow Knight. The Shadow Knight remains at large.
Sadly, Black Arrow, Paul Brann, has disappeared from his prison cell, pending investigation.
UNTIL Report, August 11th 2012
Chivalry has returned after a two month absence, quite fittingly defeating Ogre once again, mirroring his debut fight just over three years ago. He appears to be in a new suit of armor.
((Want to share the love? Post a quote here! Don't be afraid to post negative quotes, UNTIL keeps bias out.))
"This man epitomizes the old legends of knights and honor. He is something this world needs. Though he may not officially be a knight I feel he has the heart for the station." - Lenora Carver AKA Ice-Heart
"Dude would be so *@#$ing Metal if he painted his armor red man, I would, just sayin'" - Iggy of the most metal meta band in Millennium, HELLEMENTAL!! AKA Ignition
"Dude looks like a techno-paladin or something, I gotta say, it's pretty freaking metal." - Lightwave
"If we could only get him on a jet horse, I bet he'd solve the whole history versus science fiction fast enough. What do you mean, "too dry"? I already gave you something for your silly editorial, didn't I? Stop badgering me now, you bum! I have these foolish neer-do-wells to arrest! Who cares if thats Mayor Biselle's limo holding them down, this is JUSTICE! Are you still writing!? What did I sa--" - The Blue Bruiser
"One of the best, an amazing man whiom I'm proud to call a colleague and a friend. Okay, he's a tad eccentric, but in this business, a techno-Arthurian knight is practically normal. And just between the two of us? He has a thing for Helena, I'm sure of it. Time to get out my supermatchmaking power, heh..." - Thundrax
"I believe Chivalry is a pretty cool guy, eh slays mythological monsters and doesn't afraid of anyth-wait... did someone make that joke already? He's erratic, clever and inspirational with a good drive to boot. Closing note, methinks he has a soft spot towards Star Girl..I mean...look at them! " - Your friendly neighborhood Danger Deer
"I've always disliked the whole idea of chivalry. Like it was just another way to undermine women. But Chivalry, well, hes different. 'Sincere' is the word. Hes not full of machismo and testosterone. I'm actually surprised hes not married. Maybe hes trying to stay pure for his princess." - Nightwave
"Sascha not fan of monarchies or knighthood, but when person use words Sascha not understand in a way that Sascha understand person behind words, well, Sascha think it person of sincere values." -Real Soviet Damage
"Big sword." - Mr. Blank
"Poor Chiv... he thinks his suit is as shiny as mine. Nor did he notice the "kick me!" sign I taped to the back of it. *laughs* Honestly, he's a damn good dude. Funny in the head, but good." -Silver Eagle
"Sir Chivalry is the pure embodiment of the heart and soul of knighthood! There is no other person, robot, monster, deity, or twisted horror from beyond the veil of the planes, that I would rather have by my side as we face down the forces of darkness and evil most vile!" - Blashperion
"Chiv's quite the guy. He can walk around in knight armor and talk like it's the friggin' Renaissance, and people respect him. I do, too." - Livepool
" Chivalry? He's alright in my book. Say something good, he compliments you. Say something bad, and he chastises you but makes it sound eloquent...Also he's kind of funny to fight alongside, ahem: 'Prepare to be defeated, Dark Brigands of Dark Science! HOOOO!' " -Proud Patriot ~quoting said knight.
"I think it's kind of odd how he talks like he's from medieval times but, from what I've seen, he's a very capable hero. He also has a good heart and helped brighten my view of the sometimes-tainted hero community." -Spirit/Winterstar
"RenFaire is a pretty cool guy. He can't sneak to save his life and let's face it, the knight thing can get a little silly sometimes. He does have fantastic taste in capes, though." -Nightfang
"Chivalry? Yeah, he's one of my f-favorites! He's like, a knight, but all t-techy and awesome, and he just p-proves that even nerds like me c-can be pretty awesome! Plus, something about him j-just seems familiar, y'know? I swear, it's like I know him from somewhere!" -Samantha, aka Galactigal
"I remember meeting Chivalry almost a year ago, now. While I haven't talked to him in that time, his skill is no less evident these days. Shame about the old armor, though." - Snowtalon
I remember when I first roleplayed as Chiv, about two years ago now. I had conceived him after reading the advantage for Energy Shield and wondering how cool that would look with single blade. This was, of course, before the Heavy Weapons framework had been released, so Chivalry, at first, was an unusual invuln using single blade hero.
When I got him onto CRP, I jumped into character quite quickly, putting to use the work I had been doing on Shakespearean texts that year in school. At first, I didn't have an idea about who this man would be. His name, James Richardson, was thought up pretty quickly (And I kind of regret it, it is dumb name! XD) and the idea of him being a modern man pretending to be a knight seemed to appeal to me more than any time travelling character. Simply put, you relate more with someone modern, someone like James, than you would with a time traveller.
I think that combination of fun personality, relatability and classical representation of the knightly archetype is what lends him his popularity. That and the fact he's been a regular face for two years. Sometimes, you just have to be active to get the recognition.
Deeper aspects of his character came later. I needed an explanation for how he got his suit, but I didn't want to simply have it built by someone else. After reading up about Gloriana, a name I had come across in-game in the name of a piece of gear, revealed to me exactly what I needed. A magical benefactor that's known to pick out mortals to become champions.
The rest of his character came about through brainstorming sessions with other CORP members and through interaction with those same folks.