The Knights of the Cross, also known as the Knights of the Sword, are a group of people who wield one of three holy swords, each forged with one of the nails from the Crucifixion of Christ.
The knights are a force for Light that help keep the balance with the forces for darkness. When something truly evil happened, one of the Knights tended to show up.
The exact prerequisite qualifications for being chosen are unknown. Harry Dresden's working theory is that Knights are descendants of old royalty - which were the subjects of power in the old world. This would fit all the recent Knights known to him: Shiro is descended from the last king of Okinawa, Sanya from Saladin, Michael from Charlemagne. So far, the swords have been temporarily used by at least three people of unknown descent, Karrin Murphy, Waldo Butters, and Susan Rodriguez, which neither lends further proof nor unproof to Dresden's theory.(reference needed)
The main reason the Knights exist is to combat the Order of the Blackened Denarius. Whenever they are up to something, one or more of the knights tends to show up to combat them. Michael later explains that their main enemies are the Fallen, and that their job is to save the humans who hold the coins and help them free themselves of the Fallen.(reference needed)
The Swords of the Cross are three Holy Swords made from the three nails of Christ's crucifixion. The swords are protected by a holy power, a protection that can be broken by trying to use the sword in opposition to the principles it upholds. For instance, the sword of faith will become vulnerable when its wielder breaks a promise. Once that protection is broken, killing an innocent with one of the swords will destroy its powers. 
- Fidelacchius, The Sword of Faith. In the hands of Shiro Yoshimo and Karrin Murphy it took the form of a katana, known in Japanese legends as Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi. When wielded by Waldo Butters, it took the form of a Jedi lightsaber.
- Amoracchius, The Sword of Love. It has the form of a heavy European broad sword. Also known as Excalibur.
- Esperacchius, The Sword of Hope. It has the form of a cavalry saber. Also known as Durendal.
In Skin Game, Karrin Murphy misuses Fidelacchius when she attempts to strike down Nicodemus Archleone after he asked for mercy, resulting in its destruction. Later, in desperation, Harry throws the hilt to Waldo Butters; as he picks up the broken sword, Harry hears what sounds like a heavenly chorus as the sword transforms into a Jedi lightsaber.
In Proven Guilty, Michael states that, according to Church records, this is not the first time that one of the White Council has been asked to be custodian of one of the Swords. Harry is one—the other is The original Merlin who had Amoracchius.
The sword is known to have been wielded by the Egyptian, about which next to nothing is known, then by Sanya, who is currently a Knight.
In the seriesEdit
- Main article: Proven Guilty
In Proven Guilty, the Knights of the Cross were founded to save the Denarians, not to destroy them. Their purpose is to face and challenge the Fallen Angels and give the human they hold the chance to reconsider their choice, to set it aside, and to change their path.(reference needed)
- Main article: Small Favor
In Small Favor, Michael Carpenter states that their purpose, at least as it relates to the Denarians, is to rescue the poor souls trapped by the Fallen. They were not given their power to strike down their enemies no matter how much they might deserve it. When Harry attempts to persuade The Knights into taking an offensive operation against The Fallen, Michael states, "This isn't a democracy, Harry. We serve a King."(reference needed)
- Main article: Death Masks
In Death Masks, Father Forthill tells Harry that Nicodemus Archleone is an ancient foe of the Knights. He says that Nicodemus has killed every knight who has gone up against him, all except two. Shiro Yoshimo is one of them. Harry thought it was the Knights job to deal out justice: Fists of God.(reference needed)
- Main article: Cold Days
In Cold Days, Murphy told Harry that she is not telling him where the Swords—Amoracchius and Fidelacchius—are and that he’s not getting them back. She knows how powerful they are and how vulnerable they are in wrong hands.
- Main article: Skin Game
In Skin Game, Karrin Murphy, Michael Carpenter, and Waldo Butters all wield a Sword at one point. Murphy temporarily uses Fidelacchius to thwart Nicodemus Archleone, but plays into his plan and results in the destruction of the blade. Michael picks up Amoracchius again to help Harry. Butters takes possession of Fidelacchius' hilt to fight off Nicodemus, and the Sword's broken blade is replaced by a beam of energy. At the end of the novel, Fidelacchius is wielded by Waldo Butters. Harry intends to hide Amoracchius beneath Demonreach.(reference needed)
Nicodemus claims that an average Knight of the Cross throughout history served in that capacity for three days—not because all of them were killed that quickly, but because most had been chosen to wield a Sword for a specific purpose and relieved of their duties after fulfilling it (such as Karrin Murphy, who was chosen to fight in the battle of Chichén Itzá). If that is true, then long-serving Knights like Michael and Sanya are more of an exception than a norm.(reference needed)
- ↑ Dead Beat, ch. 37
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Small Favor, ch. 15
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Small Favor, ch. 46
- ↑ Grave Peril, ch. 21
- ↑ Grave Peril, ch. 29
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Changes
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Ghost Story, ch. 9
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Skin Game, ch. 51
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Death Masks, ch. 31
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Proven Guilty, ch. 47
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Changes, ch. 39
- ↑ Changes, ch. 46
- ↑ Changes, ch. 48
- ↑ Cold Days, ch. 28
- Charlemagne Video — History.com
- Charlemagne - Wikipedia
- Charlemagne -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia
- The Sword of Charlemagne -- myArmoury.com
- Saladin — History.com Video
- Saladin - Wikipedia
- Saladin (Ayyubid sultan) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia
- Saladin - Timeline
- Saladin (Salah al-Din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub)
Last King of Okinawa