'..From the ashes of the old are born the new, and the fire shall have cleansed them, and they shall be free of evil.'
Chronus Goodheart at the funeral pyre of the Brotherhood.
Chronus Goodheart was a member of a singular band of crusaders in the holy war against the Arabians. He was one of the Brotherhood. Chronus came from a deeply religious family and firmly believed in the ways of the West. He abhorred the swarthy, outlandish men of Araby and their insidiously evil culture. Now he was confronted by the most hideous scene he could possibly have envisaged.
Before him was a sight that turned his stomach, and a stench that spelled both his nostrils and his soul. It was human carrion, carrion that had once been friend and fellow crusader. Chronus and his three companions were puzzled arid horrified at the sickening carnage that had fallen upon their fellows. It was the work of no man, or no sane man at least, they reasoned.
They built a great funeral pyre to consume what remained of the Knights of the Brotherhood. As the flames bellowed and roared one of Chronus's Knights made a strange discovery amongst the ruins where the massacre had taken place. Returning to Chronus he told of his find, and Chronus at once investigated. What the young Knight had chanced upon was an underground sanctuary -originally part of a temple, but now hidden amongst the ruins. Entering inside Chronus saw the blood stained frescoes, frescoes that depicted scenes of horror and perversion of an altogether abhuman nature. Worst of all, upon the floor lay the discarded uniform and equipment of a Knight of The Brotherhood.
'Eroneus', he gasped, as he recognised the clothing of one of the company, Eroneus Balbadron, his own cousin.
Chronus's mind was thrown Into chaos. Clearly his cousin had been murdered, and in a manner both foul and inhuman. The whole thing stank of some perverse religious ritual, of a terrible sacrifice to who knows what hellish god.
But it was Garland, the standard bearer who glimpsed the truth, for in his youth he had seen the secret woodland temples of the Gods of Chaos, and had heard rumours of their deeds. He came from the forests of the Empire, lands deep enough, and dark enough to hide the minions of chaos and their victims. In the ruins of the temple he recognised the signs.
Chronus was struck dumb at what Garland told him. To find that his own cousin was the monster that had undoubtedly precipitated, if not actually accomplished, the deaths of so many good Knights, was a considerable blow.
The Knights packed the sanctuary with straw, and around the whole circuit of the hill they spread such flammable materials as lay to hand. Within an hour the whole hilltop was on fire, and what little remained of the Knights of The brotherhood, and of the strange temple, was utterly destroyed. As the flames burned each Knight swore a great and binding oath.
'This shall be our call to arms and symbol, the flame of our burning brothers. We must keep the flame burning until such time as our oath is fulfilled and the world cleansed of the evil of Chaos. Only then can our souls rest in peace. And the flame we shall bear as our device, and -the minions of Chaos will come to fear us, and we shall be known as the Avenging Knights of the Cleansing Flame.,
So it was that the four Knights travelled abroad in search of Eroneus. They encountered much evidence of his passing, and many men joined them in their quest, for many were the unspeakable acts committed by the defilers of Chaos.