The Order of No Quarter is a villainous group of knights created by the Enchantress in order to assemble an army capable to conquer the Valley, which ended up divided into four quadrants closed by locked gates. In addition to their individual skills in combat, each knight has a specific role in the Order, and loyal minions under their personal employ.
- King Knight - Lord of Pridemoor Keep
- Specter Knight - Enforcer, commanding the dead in The Lich Yard
- Plague Knight - Alchemist, concocting deadly potions in the Explodatorium
- Treasure Knight - Financier, hoarding gems and ancient relics in Iron Whale
- Mole Knight - Excavator from the Lost City
- Tinker Knight - Engineer, building mechanical monstrosities in the Clockwork Tower
- Propeller Knight - Airship Commander of the Flying Machine
- Polar Knight - Warrior, guarding the Stranded Ship
The Enchantress tried to recruit Black Knight and Phantom Striker to the Order as well, but they escaped her grasp. Conversely, Baz tried to join but was refused due to his buffoonish demeanor. Black Knight would later decide of his own accord to protect the Enchantress safety from afar, indirectly contributing to the chaos generated by the Order.
As shown in Specter of Torment, most of its members didn't actually join of their own free will; rather, the Enchantress sent Specter Knight to "persuade" them and if they proved reluctant, beat them into submission. Specter Knight himself was also coerced in his role of enforcer, only agreeing to serve the Enchantress because she promised to make him alive again after he recruited eight knights. Furthermore, he was never treated with any kind of respect, being instead constantly belittled and threatened by her. Then, when she realizes that he was too strong-willed to be bent into submission, she tricked Specter Knight in wasting the power she gave to the Keepsake Locket by targeting Reize, corrupting him into Dark Reize and then transforming him into the monstrous Nightmare Reize. When she treatened to make the youth her 8th Knight, Specter Knight was forced to become a member in his place, and with the locket no longer being able to revive him, Specter Knight was shackled into what seemed eternal servitude.
And so, while not necessarily evil, each knight was forced into aiding the Enchantress in her conquest, although they did receive some benefits for their exploits. For example, King Knight was given his own castle, Pridemoor Keep, usurping its legitimate ruler, while Treasure Knight was given unlimited rights on everything found in the ocean, both above and below it.
However, as seen in Plague of Shadows, the cunning Plague Knight did not join the Order out of fear, but because, unbeknownst to the rest, he was planning on defeating his colleagues and getting their Essences to brew the Ultimate Potion, the most powerful concotion in the world.
Due to their hostile takeover of the Valley, in Shovel of Hope Shovel Knight is forced to dismantle the locked gates by confronting the Order members in their lairs while on his quest to reach the Tower of Fate and discovering what happend to Shield Knight, while Plague Knight initiate his master plan, unknowingly aiding each other in their respective goals.
Ultimately their combined efforts cause the Enchantress to be defeated, reverting back to Shield Knight, and the Tower of Fate collapsing unto itself. With the Order disbanded, the knight returns to their previous activities, although some of them end up suffering some punishment for their actions like King Knight and Treasure Knight.
- The phrase "no quarter" loosely means "take no prisoners". "A victor gives no quarter when the victor shows no clemency or mercy and refuses to spare the life in return for surrender" (Oxford English Dictonary: quarter).
- ”No quarter” may also be a reference to arcade gaming. When a player runs out of quarters to insert into an arcade machine, they get a game over. The Order of No Quarter’s purpose is to give Shovel Knight a game over.
- The concept of an Order of Knights is a reference to the many orders that exist in the real world, such as the Order of the Garter, the Royal Order of the Seraphim, and the most notorious and enigmatic Order of the Knights Templar. Also relevant are fictional, legendary orders, such as the Knights of the Round Table.
- Each of these orders has its own criteria for eligibility, but knighthood is generally granted by a head of state to selected persons to recognize some meritorious achievement. This explains how The Enchantress selected those various knights to serve her.
- During Specter of Torment, King Knight was already subserviant to the Enchantress. The events leading to him joining the Order are told in King of Cards, chronologically placed between Specter knight resurrection and his first attempt to recruit Black Knight.