- "The price has been paid, so the mark has been made."
- —The Knights of the Golden Eight's mantra
The Knights of the Golden Eight are a centuries-long group of knights who serve the shadow royal world as mercenaries and assassins.
During the course of the ruling of the shadow rulers of the world, the Four Legendary Kingdoms, a group of eight knights emerged to serve their will, but unlike most other knights, this group demanded payment for their services. Calling their order the Knights of the Golden Eight, the knights became assassins-for-hire with notoriously high fees, often demanding whole settlements of land as payment for their services.
While the original members of the group eventually died, they established a hierarchy where their serving squires would eventually replace the knight they served upon that knight's death, and followed a German numeral system for their members to abide by, with the leader of the Knights being known as Jaeger Eins.
Early into their activities, around the 4th to 5th century, the Knights obtained Aragon Castle on the Italian island of Ischia, which they made into their headquarters and established a platform known as the Petitioner's Ledge where any royal who wanted their services would be forced to gaze up at them as they made their request.
Over the centuries, the Knights of the Golden Eight accumulated great wealth and the deeds to land in service to the Four Kingdoms by performing various assassinations and the capturing of wanted persons, though they preferred the former assignments more. Much of the land they requested as payment were those rich in valuable minerals in order to exploit their resources. Their success and notoriety gave the Knights such a reputation that even the royal jailers of the Four Kingdoms, the Governor of the Royal Prison of Erebus, wary to compete with them for a target, and anyone who tried to retrieve a captured loved one from the Knights failed.
Towards the beginning of the 21st century, the Knights came to be led by the present-day Jaeger Eins. The Knights also gathered together a vast collection of weapons, military vehicles and other resources to further their goals, including master access codes for all television satellites, and even a highly expensive Bombardier Global 8000 with a serial number that granted them unrestricted access to any airfield in most countries around the world.
A few years before 2016, the Knights were hired to capture a Swiss banker who had been discovered to have been embezzling money from European royal families. A bounty for the banker was also broadcast over a supposedly secure radio frequency for any other bounty hunters to learn of the contract, but the Knights managed to grab him first, albeit only after Aloysius Knight had sprayed him with MicroDots. Though the Knights brought the banker back to Aragon Castle, they apparently reached a deal with the current Governor of Erebus, Yago DeSaxe, to hand him over for imprisonment at Erebus.
In mid November 2016, four days after the fourth Great Games of the Hydra, the Trismagi Hardin "Sphinx" Lancaster and the son of the soon-to-be-force-abdicated King of Underworld, Dion DeSaxe, approached the Knights to hire their services. Dion, outraged by the upsetting of his plans to usurp his father at the Great Games, pled his case and demanded the assassination of Jack West Jr and the capture of Lily West and Alby Calvin. With Sphinx offering the Knights the down-payment of a Greek island he owned and the promise that Dion would grant them ownership of a few Indian states upon being officiated as the new King of Underworld, the Knights agreed to take on the assignment.
Additionally, Sphinx revealed that Jack's actions during the Great Games had provided an opportunity for a power grab against the Four Kingdoms, and so offered the Knights an alliance that would secure them through the coup he planned. Eins agreed to this plan, agreeing to ensure the capture of Lily alive for the success of the Trial of the Cities, and to secure an additional "package" he requested.
Learning that their targets heading to Anthony "Hades" DeSaxe's penthouse Saxony Tower, the Knights quickly began making their way to New York, and upon arrival at the McGuire Air Force Base, they acquired a pair of V-22 Ospreys and continued on to the Tower. As they set themselves into a holding position around the penthouse, the Knights spotted Yago confronting their targets. Eins, correctly guessing that the Four Kingdoms had set their jailer on Jack and Hades, took over the buildings PA system to state the Knights' intention to kill Jack and capture Lily, warning Yago that because the price had been paid for Jack's death, they would not allow him to take the target. Yago quickly acceded to their demand, and as soon as he and his men left with Hades, the Knights opened fire on the penthouse, killing Geoffrey Moles.
As some of the Knights disembarked the second Osprey and breached the penthouse, the Knights in the remaining Osprey continued to assail Jack's group to try an keep them pinned down, only for Jack, Lily and Mae Merriweather to jump onto the arm of a nearby crane controlled by Zoe and cross to the One Tribeca building. The Knights soon decided to bring down the building, and watched as it toppled into the Hudson River with their targets. However, after 10 minutes of waiting for them to surface, Eins realised that they must have escaped another way, and so decided to pull the Knights out and draw out Jack another way.
Using their access to the world's television satellites, the Knights activated every Emergency Broadcast Network in order to get a message out to Jack himself, exposing his identity to everyone viewing the broadcast, and, directly to Jack, warned the target that he would not be able to escape him.
Suspecting that Jack and his people would be heading to Venice to view a rubbing copy of the tablet of the Altar of the Cosmos, the Knights contacted the Fraternal Order of St. Paul to warn them and request that they stall Jack when he arrived. Indeed, as soon as Jack and Lily were confronted by High Brother Ezekiel, the Knights arrived, deploying three of their men down via parachutes while their Hercules landed on the Grand Canal. The men who parachuted down breached the Gallerie dell'Accademia and chased after Jack, Lily and Alby before the chase moved back onto the canals, and the Knights killed some investigating officers for their patrol boats. Jack's team, pursued by the Knights, managed to kill one of them and soon escaped, but were forced to leave Alby behind, who was quickly captured and sent to Aragon Castle.
Soon afterwards, Dion and Sphinx reached an agreement with Yago; as it was considered inappropriate for the Royal Governor to be in competition with the Golden Knights, they amended their deal with the Knights and permitted Yago to imprison Jack at Erebus. Seeking to exploit Jack's heroic nature and force him and Lily to come to them, the Knights came up with a plan to instead attack the relatives of his teammates. Jaeger Sechs was sent to collect Sphinx's other requested prize and to deal with Sky Monster's parents in New Zealand, while the rest of the Knights captured one of Jack's former allies, Lachlan Adamson, and his family, in London.
Once they were in position beneath the surface of the Thames, the Knights hung Lachlan and his family from their car and sent their remote-piloted Black Hawk to hover over the Thames, which soon captured the attention of the media. Not long after Jack and his team noticed this, Eins had the T.V. feeds hacked again to ensure Jack watched as the Knights blew up the Adamsons and Sky Monster's parents, to the horror of Julius and Sky Monster. Eins proceeded to call out Jack and Lily, demanding they meet them on Westminster Bridge before sending a remote-piloted Challenger tank onto the bridge and setting it to fire at Big Ben and the London Eye.
When Jack and Lily arrived on the Bridge, Eins revealed that the Knights also had a Chinook carrying a full double-decker bus, which they dropped into the river. Having expected that Jack would take control of their tank to bring down their aircraft, the Knights used the opportunity to grab the isolated Lily after she dove into the river to release the people on the bus. When Jack jumped in to try and save her, he killed the Knight who got in his way, but as he was soon captured by Yago, the remaining Knights were free to escape to their submarine with Lily.
The Knights of the Golden Eight soon reunited back at Aragon Castle, Sechs arriving first with Sphinx's extra package, and the rest were briefly seen to by their squires (the Knights who had died at Jack's hands were thus set to be replaced by their squires, before proceeding to bring Lily to face Dion and Sphinx with Alby. However, the Knights were surprised when an alarm sounded, with a helicopter having crashed nearby. Eins sent a pair of squires to investigate, who were killed by Julius, come seeking revenge for his twin's death. Though Jaeger's Drei and Fünf moved to take him down, Julius managed to ambush them and kill them first, only to soon step into a trap.
After having him caged beside Alby, Eins mocked Julius for his attempt for vengeance and then furiously cut his hands off as punishment for killing the two Knights (and as a demonstration of what would happen to Alby). Despite the pain, Julius called Eins out for killing Lachlan and his children despite their innocence, calling him a sick fuck. In response, Eins dropped Julius's cage into the sea below, to Lily and Alby's despair. After watching Dion sever Alby's left hand, the Knights escorted Sphinx and Lily to the former's boat as he departed, their initial deal fulfilled.
The next day, the squires remained at Aragon Castle to guard Alby while the Knights themselves accompanied Dion to Naples for his coronation and to receive his agreed payment. After some minor drinking in celebration of Dion's ascension, the Knights returned to the Castle to continue the new King's torture of Alby. The Knights, however, were astounded as they unexpectedly came under from the liberated Jack and his team. After having Alby's cage dropped into the sea below, Eins was forced to order his remaining men to fall back after losing one Knight to Aloysius Knight's RPG and Jaeger Acht as their railgun was destroyed. Eins hoped that setting torpedoes to strike the Castle would result in their enemies being destroyed during their escape, but in the end the Knights only escaped with their own lives.
The Knights of the Golden Eight soon joined Sphinx at his mansion near Atlas around the time that Jack's team was forced to back Orlando's people up in empowering the Three Immortal Weapons. Once Sphinx had the Mace in hand, he joined the Knights on his boat with the captive Lily, with Eins reporting that his men were armed and ready before they proceeded to the Rock of Gibraltar.
After Sphinx dropped them off a kilometer from the shore, the Knights and their squires swam the rest of the way and ambushed the Royal Marines stationed by the Four Kings to guard the Altar of the Cosmos during the sacrificial ceremony. Eins and three of his squires arrived at the Altar as Sphinx initiated his coup by stabbing Orlando with the Sword of the Rock, bringing down the last of the Royal Marines. The Knights proceeded to watch as Sphinx killed Lily to complete the ancient trial and soon departed with the rest of Sphinx's entourage.
- Note: the members of the Knights of the Golden Eight inherit the role of a Knight after serving time as that Knight's squire until their master's death. At present, the identities of any of the Knights beyond their titles are unknown.
- Squire Eins
- Squire Zwei
- Squire Drei
- Jaeger Vier
- Squire Fünf
- Squire Sechs
- Squire Sieben
- Squire Acht
While knights may typically pledge themselves to royals with their lives, the Knights of the Golden Eight are unique in which they demand payment for their services; typically their notoriously high fees involve the transfer of ownership of land rich in minerals for their own exploitation. Over the millennia, the Knights have garnered a reputation as the ultimate swords/guns for hire due to their exemplary success rate of killing or capturing targets that the shadow rulers of the world wish hire them for.
In the modern age, the Knights' primary goal remained the same as their original counterparts until Jack upset the Four Kingdoms' balance of power, with Sphinx proposing an alliance in which his entourage and the Knights would seize control in this new era. First, Dion and Sphinx hired the Knights formally to request the assassination of Jack, the capture of Lily for use in a sacrificial ceremony and Alby in order to be tortured. In the course of their assignment, however Sphinx and Dion arranged a deal with the Royal jailer Yago to instead have Jack imprisoned at Erebus.
Following the completion of their contract, the Knights evidently became loyal to Sphinx as he set out to begin his coup against the Four Kingdoms, most likely having been promised a greater payment for their service.
- Bombardier Global 8000
- V-22 Ospreys
- Water-Capable CL-130 Hercules
- Agusta A129 Mangusta attack helicopters
- Black Hawk helicopter (remote-piloted)
- Challenger 2 main battle tank (remote-piloted)
- Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter (remote-piloted)
- Lockheed Martin wet combat submersible
- Akula-class fast-attack submarine
- MP-9 submachine pistols
- Glock pistols
- Steyr AUG assault rifles