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Excerpts from the book:
...The priest blessed Wulf by reading him an instruction about faith in Logos. The fact that the knight, first of all, serves not the Order, but the holy temple. The young man was invested a knight of the Order of the Golden Cross by the Meister himself, his father Friedrich von Hogerfest. The initiation ceremony was no less magnificent than the festival of the fifteenth birthday.
It took place in the main hall of the Hammaburg castle. Wulf, dressed in armor and a cloak with the emblem of the Order, walked into the middle of the hall, where his father was waiting for him. The Meister was also in full dress: in armor and a cloak. Behind him stood Kurt, holding a ceremonial sword.
Wulf approached the Meister and traditionally knelt on a red velvet pillow.
“Wolf von Hogerfest, do you swear to serve the Order of the Golden Cross faithfully?” Friedrich began to ask the usual questions of a knight's oath.
“Yes, Meister,” the young man replied shortly.
“Do you swear to honor the Order's code?” continued the Hogerfest.
“Do you swear to carry faith in the almighty Logos?”
Friedrich asked his son a series of questions, and, having received affirmative answers, took the sword from Kurt's hands. Putting the end of the blade to Wulf's shoulder, Hogerfest said:
“I hereby name you a knight of the Order of the Golden Cross. Get up off your knees, Wolf von Hogerfest, now you are a knight!”
Wulf rose from his knees. From that moment on, he was considered a full member of the Order.
At the end of the ceremony, the feast began. The servants were especially happy: first the birthday of the Meister's only heir was celebrated, and then his knighted. It's not often that get the opportunity to drink and have fun!
Wulf himself sincerely believed that the Order of the Golden Cross carries true faith to the pagans. However, no one in Hammaburg knew that for several years he had secretly visited the temple of Ruevit, the many-faced god of war of the Veneti.
Wulf convinced himself that he was doing this solely for educational purposes, in order to learn more about the Veneti. After all, he, as the knight of the Order of the Golden Cross, will have to fight with them and convert them to his faith.
However, visiting the temple became for the young knight not just a habit, or a craving for an alien culture, but a spiritual need. Wulf tried to drown out the call of his ancestors. He knew perfectly well that his mother came from Veneti. But here is his father... For the present young man there was no doubt — this is the Meister of the Order of the Golden Cross, the all-powerful Friedrich von Hogerfest.
Wulf loved and respected his father. It never entered his head to question his paternity. Although he heard vague rumors about his mother's past, he never took them seriously.
In the meantime, his father was planning another campaign against the pagans at the beginning of summer. His current target was the city of Szczecin, located higher along the Alster River, in the lands of the Pomeranians.
Recently, this Slavic city has gained immense strength under the hand of its ruler, Knyaz Cheslav. Szczecin has considerably increased its military power and increased in population, for in recent years refugees from the devastated Slavic lands have been actively arriving there. At times, the Meister Hogerfest mentally feared that Szczecin could become a very serious obstacle to the further advance of his army to the lands of the pagans...