The one now known as the Pixel Paladin was not always a champion of all that is good and just.
Depending on where and whom you ask, Pixel used to be nothing more than a runaway farmhand, or the beautiful scion of a destitute noble house, or the dissatisfied apprentice of an honourable blacksmith. What is certain, however, is that on one stormy, fateful night, one very sad and wet child showed up at the great oaken doors of the Temple of the Realm.
Pixel wished to join the Order of Light, the brightest out of all the Realm’s orders, and she was soon accepted as a lay sister. The following years were sunny and joyful, with Pixel finding herself fulfilled and satisfied with her life. What was once a lost and frightened girl became a confident and optimistic woman, and Pixel wholeheartedly believed she had found her vocation.
Pixel grew to be meek in nature, humble, and kind-hearted. The driving force behind her good deeds was knowing she had offered another human being happiness and comfort. By the virtue of diligence, her soul soon became a beacon against chaos and disorder.
Pixel learned more of the world as she aged, though she was yet confined to the walls of the Temple. The teachings of the Light spoke to her, but yet she yearned to wander the Realm and help illuminate its darkened corners.
One day changed everything for her. She was confined in her room on her own accord, meditating upon the nature of the Light. Raindrops poured against the window of her chamber, rhythmically followed by the ear-splitting sound of thunder. While outside was storming, inside of Pixel was nothing but tranquility.
In her trance, Pixel found herself facing a shining, warm light. The air around it seemed to undulate and the light itself felt as if it was reaching out to her. Though her heart was close to beating out of her chest, Pixel set aside her fear and listened.
“Three times you will be tested, and three boons will you be granted. These three tools are the key to lighting the four dim corners of the Realm. Persevere!”
The light spoke with her own voice.
Pixel found herself snapping back to reality, shivering. Even though she had left the vision, the last word rang throughout her very being. Her meekness, a core facet of her personality, now seemed to have been reinforced with burning zeal. Pixel knew with all her heart that she had to leave the Temple and serve the Order in a different way.
With that realisation came yet another: she was deathly cold. The windows to her chamber had been opened by the raging gale outside, and the storm had not subsided, but instead seemed to have picked up in strength.
The door to her chamber swung open, hitting the wall with a deafening thud. The yells of terrified men echoed throughout the Temple’s corridors. A monk stood in the doorway, the light behind him casting a shaky shadow across her room. “The Shadow! ‘It's here.” was all he could muster to speak as his knees buckled underneath him, collapsing over the cold, hard stone.
The all-familiar feeling of fear was starting to envelop Pixel’s body, and yet it was not as strong as she remembered. The young woman felt as if some unknown force was fighting her fear, absorbing it, and transforming it into fervour. With fanatical determination, Pixel grabbed a broom from underneath her bed and ran out of her chamber, following the screams.
In the courtyard of the Temple she had found her very first adversary. The neat rows of bushes and most of the flowers in the garden seemed to have decayed, lining the flagstone path leading to the grand marble fountain where she used to read during her spare time with dead leaves and gray petals. The rain was still pouring, drenching Pixel from head to toe. A throng of fellow monks were laid out around the fountain, their lives having been forfeit.
A single lightning bolt lit up the courtyard. Over the fountain hovered an ethereal shadow, producing a low thrum that almost drowned out the sounds of terror from inside the Temple proper.
The shadows cast across the courtyard by the pillars surrounding it seemed to contort unnaturally, and even though fear crept up her limbs and numbed them, she firmly rejected the feeling, and consciously chose to replace it with Light. With that decision came bravery, and she ran towards the shadow, her broom clutched tightly in her hands, her hair plastered across her face.
In response, the shadow hovering above the fountain swooped towards Pixel, shrieking a deathly wail. She swung her broom with all of her strength, and yet the broom passed through the shadow, casting towards the sky a sliver of black ink. The sliver of darkness winded its way inside one of the former monks, reanimating him with its foul energy, causing him to get on his feet.
With an ear-piercing screech the reanimated remains of a former brother of the Order ran towards her with blinding speed and swung his arms at her with reckless fury, allowing Pixel to easily deflect his blows. Despite the creature’s unbelievable agility, its lack of intelligence made a predictable opponent.
Pixel, however, was not a fighter. Her untrained arms now started to ache as she deflected each of the ghoul’s blows and swung back, time after time, the thin stick that served as the broom’s handle now starting to break against the foul creature’s bones. All this time the shadow danced around the combatants, whispering evil words, promising evil deeds, corrupting the very air around her.
A grunt, a decisive swing, a snap. Pixel’s makeshift polearm smacked across the ghoul’s face, breaking both the broom’s handle and the creature’s face. Gasping for air, Pixel realised with horror she had nothing to defend herself with. Her consciousness urged her to run away, to preserve her life, but yet the Light inside her stirred her on, calling for victory.
And then the shadow rushed at her. The enemy bounded towards her, making the sound of a whip rapidly being struck at empty air. Despite losing confidence, Pixel curled up her fingers in a fist and hit the oncoming demon with her full strength.
But her fist was useless against a creature of the Shadow. Summoning up all of her willpower, Pixel sent towards the heavens a desperate prayer, asking for guidance, asking for help. Her arms grew weary as she struck blow after blow, each hit sending a shadowy wisp to the pile of monks arrayed around the fountain.
Soon, the brave sister found herself facing not only the shadow, but a pack of her former brothers, now thirsty for her lifeforce. She was not only tired, but also overwhelmed. The people that had been her friends, her confidants and her teachers, were now licking their lips and snarling with unbridled ferocity at their own sister.
Just when she felt like giving up, Pixel felt the Light coursing through her body coil around her right arm, and, as a flash of light erupted from her palm, Pixel’s fingers wrapped around the leather handle of a weapon.
In her hand appeared a brilliant sword, made of a shining, translucent crystal. The crystal seemed to reflect the moonlight, throwing rays of silver across the courtyard, making the shadow convulse and eventually dissipate. The ghouls fell to their knees and yelled until their throats could yell no more, and then the shadows left their body, being replaced by Light.
With the defeat of her first foe came a hundred more shadows, sneaking into the courtyard through keyholes, through open windows, from cracks in the earth. Countless ghouls climbed their way over the walls of the monastery and into the Temple garden, pouring over the freshly-cut grass of the courtyard lawn in greater numbers than the stormy rain itself.
The legion of Shadow rushed at her with a horrifying, demonic anger, and was driven away by the swirling rays of light dancing around the priestess. She swung her sword in all directions with passion in her heart, exorcising all that was not pure, banishing the evil shadow, and laying to rest her fallen comrades in the glowing bosom of the Light.
Come dusk, all that was left in the courtyard was Pixel, kneeling, surrounded by those who were once alive. While the rain had abated, her flowing tears supplanted it.
According to legend, that was the day Pixel became a conduit for that which is sacred . The Light chose her as its hand, and Pixel left the Temple in order to wander the four corners of the Realm, bringing salvation to all those who needed it.
The first three corners of the Realm took most of her lifetime to light.
For her meekness, she was granted the Crystal Sword, so that she might protect those of her disposition. For her humility she was granted the Mithril Armour, a suit of impenetrable chainmail lighter than a feather and always smelling of lavender, so that no man nor lackey of the Shadow would harm her pure soul. For her kind heart she was given the Aegis Shield, a bulwark with a mind of its own, whose existence revolved around helping Pixel bear the brunt of all pain.
The fourth corner of the world is where Pixel, now the Paladin, faced the very Shadow itself. The battle raged inside the Cavern of Towers for fifty-five days, the Light rejuvenating Pixel each time she was on the verge of collapsing.
On the fifty-sixth day, Pixel drove the Crystal Sword through the Shadow.
With the last vestiges of its boundless malevolence, the Shadow let out a roar so deafening that the eternal towers of the caverns crumbled atop the both of them. The great stone slabs of the ages pounded against Pixel’s arms, her Aegis Shield raised above her, but even her immense strength and power of will could not save her. Even though her shield guarded her from the worst effects of pain, she found herself wincing as not even the Aegis could withstand the sheer weight of the gargantuan slabs of stone collapsing over it. A desperate cry rang out from her lips, begging the Light for help. She received no response as she fell.
Though deeply saddened, the Realm rejoiced. Pixel the Paladin would since be remembered as the saviour of the people, and the Cavern of Towers became the Pillars of Many Names, named after the remnants of the once proud towers of stone that had collapsed during the battle. All of the remaining pillars were sculpted by the Realm’s finest artisans after Pixel’s own likeness.
Yet Pixel had not died. Her physical body had been lain to rest, though her soul had persevered, basking in the warm glow of the Light. The one once known as Pixel became the Paladin, the true embodiment of saintly virtues. Her eternal soul gave birth to the concept of the Paladin, and even though the girl Pixel had died, that which she had been lingered in the world.
Pixel the First Paladin became all Paladins that would follow in her footsteps.
You are the glowing blade of Justice guarding against darkness and chaos. The living embodiment of Lawful Good, you have sworn to uphold honour and truth in all places. A child of the Light, you fear no evil.
Paladin, don your Mithril armour, pick up your Crystal Sword and once again drive back the Shadow. Let no demon, mad-god or abomination stand in the way of Justice. Take up your Aegis Shield, the bards will once again sing your glories to the four corners of the Kingdoms.
The Pixel Paladin rash guard and leggings is a homage to those times of awe and adrenaline we have experienced when exploring the realms of sword & sorcery and high fantasy. Drawing upon our love for fantasy roleplaying games and crafting it into a mythical set of armour to protect you from evil, we believe the Pixel Paladin set is a great way of fully immersing yourself in a world full of wonder.