- "In the year 2485 at the Battle of Black Road, Wolfram Hertwig Elector Count of the Ostermark, stubbornly refused to allow the Grand Master of the Knights of the Everlasting Light to take command of his army, though Hertwig was barely into his teens and had never commanded an army in battle. In response, Grand Master Kessler and his warriors rode back to their chapter house, leaving Hertwig's army to fight the invading Orcs without their aid.
- Though the greenskins were eventually defeated, the count's army suffered horrific losses and for many years, the Ostermark was dependant on aid from the armies of Ostland or Talabecland for its survival. Needless to say, Hertwig's Folly (as it has now become known) stands as a cautionary tale to those who would allow ego to blind them to the value of having the greatest warriors of the Empire fighting alongside them"
- —The Tale of Hertwig's Folly
No one is sure of the true origins of this curse, but many have come to believe it came during the lasting years of the Great Crusade in 1449 IC. Whatever this curse might be, the Templars still upload their duties to the best of their abilities, and although they might not be the greatest of the Knightly Orders, they are held in higher regards by the common people then any other Order in the entire Empire itself.
Known throughout the Old World, the Knights of the Everlasting Light are a doomed Order, an institution that shoulders the heavy burden of an ancient and terrible curse. Many view these warriors with a mixture of sympathy and mockery, for they cannot understand why any would voluntarily accept the curse by joining the ranks of this ancient Brotherhood. Despite their blight, the Knights of the Everlasting Light are noble and true in their service to their Goddess, and amongst the countless tales of their curse there are an even number of them revolving around their heroism and bravery. These Tales are always coloured by gloomy ends and desperate efforts to hold back the call of the curse that afflicts them all. It is due to their self-sacrifice to this horrible curse in order to uphold Justice and Fairness amongst Man, that they are amongst the most beloved Order in the eyes of the common people.
Like many Templar Orders, the Knights of the Everlasting Light traces its origins to the crusade against Araby, where it gained its fame and fortune from doing their part in the war-effort. Though they uphold the ideals of Fairness and Justice, it was during their great trek through the war-ravaged lands that they would be cursed for a single act of cruelty that will mark the Templars for the rest of eternity. Legend states that when these knights passed through a small town filled with women and children, they hardened their hearts and slew them all without mercy or forgiveness. No one knows why they did it, but it was at their last dying breath, that the matriarch of the village cursed these knights for all time consigning them to a life of heroic service, but one that will ultimately doom them to ignoble deaths.
The curse first became apparent when the Order made its way home from the crusades, its ships laden down with fabulous treasures from their many victories against the Sultans of Araby. Despite the sea being calm, and the Order's ships sailing in a fleet along with ships from countless other Orders, only their very own ships sunk, sending the wealth of the Order to the bottom of the Black Gulf. In the centuries that followed, the Order has suffered worse and worse turns of bad luck, ranging from strange outbreaks of illnesses that afflict only their Knights, to blights in the food they purchase and having their horses be born with strange mutations and illnesses. Nearly every knight has met some ignoble end at the hands of this curse, and the stories of their Order are filled with heroic warriors who survive battle after battle but to only succumb to plague, choke to death on food, or even sliping down a flight of stairs and breaking their necks on impact.
Some have even found themselves thrown from their horses at inopportune moments; swords break as a deathblow is delivered; and seemingly stable earth turns to marsh or quicksand once the hooves of their steeds touch it. Only a member of this Order, Kurt von Tzalza, could be struck in the eye by a ricochet that was fired behind him. Only a Grand Master of the Everlasting Light, Sigismund Drak, could be dumped unceremoniously into a cart-load of manure during a victory parade in Altdorf, the only such cart in a 5 mile radius. Only one Chapterhouse, in the entire history of the Empire, has vanished into a yawning chasm as the result of a freak earth tremor.
There are many more varied accounts of this ill-fortune in the histories of the Empire. In every case, these deaths are always from some mundane source, and rare for these Templars to finds an honourable end in battle like their brothers of other Orders. Despite being spurned by misfortune, the Knights of the Everlasting Light are renowned for their bravery and courage, and in upholding truth, justice, and liberty amongst Man. Due to the affliction of the curse that continuosly haunts the Order, these Templars have a tendency to throw themselves into battle recklessly, seemingly without a care for their own safety or for the curse that hangs over their heads, reasoning that if they are truely doomed to an ignoble death, there is little to no chance that they would die by the hands of their enemy. Unlike other Knightly Orders, the Templars of the Everlasting Light are not beholden to mundane duties like defending holy sites or temples like other Templar Orders do, but instead the Knights of the Order are constantly embarking on an endless stream of crusades or quests, either as a means to further the cause of justice, or as a way to expiate themselves of the curse, if such a burden can ever be lifted.
Knights of the Everlasting Light are almost all drawn from the ranks of the nobility, usually the middle sons of nobles sent to join the order as a compromise between a martial career and a religious education. Regardless of the order's infamy and notoriety, there is never a shortage of applicants wanting to join. There are those strange folk in the world—again, mostly nobles—who believe it is better to belong to a well known but cursed order, than to belong to a mundane but obscure order.
The knights swear to uphold the values of Verena, truth and justice, although as a result of their noble status, most of their views are skewed somewhat. The commoners they "deliver" unto justice do not always agree with their pronouncements. The Knights of the Everlasting Light wield great swords, representing the sword of justice, and wear expensive and elaborate plate armor.
- Warhammer: Empire Knightly Orders pg 20 - 21