Far off in distant Narthul, beneath the Count’s Summer palace, a man awoke in the dark. He pushed away the lid of the box he was in, sat up slowly, then reached in the darkness for the key he knew he would find at his side. Moving by touch alone he found his way to the door and, seeing no crack of light beneath, unlocked and opened it. This man was known as Uskeil Kende, and was said to be a distant relative of the Count himself. He had not been seen for some time, but would shortly announce himself returned from his travels, with urgent news of approaching raiders.
The sleeping knights were first created by psionic adepts in the service of the Counts of Narthul. All involved in the rituals were sworn to secrecy. This was for two reasons. First, the primary purpose of the knights was to act as agents of the Count and they were more effective in this role the fewer people knew of them. Second, the ritual to create such a knight involved taking two or more children in the first year of life and leaving them with only a single mind between them. That the others involved were as good as murdered was a high cost to pay at would not have been acceptable to the court.
Others have learned of the process since, although it is seldom attempted. As well as the less scrupulous human adepts there are various others with the power to create knights who have occasionally done so as a way to create effective agents hidden within the mortal world. Knights made in this way are less often loyal servants and closer to slaves.
The sleeping knights cannot be woken, but the knight who is currently awake will become aware if one of their other selves is disturbed and may consequently take urgent steps to find a resting place.
Certain secrets could in theory be used to sever the bond that exists between the knights of a group, but doing so would effectively kill the sleeping bodies.