The exact nature and origins of the Wolkenritter are unclear, although Dearche claims to have created them and is thus their mother in Stage 3 of Zafira's path of The Battle of Aces. They are referred to as "living magical programs", though whether they have always been this or were once human mages (and a Guardian Beast) is never addressed. While they may remember their own origins, they never reveal it to any other character. They do not, however, have any recollection of the Tome of the Night Sky before it became the corrupted Book of Darkness, nor of the ultimate fates of its many masters. It is stated in the 2nd Movie Commentary by the Wolkenritter that their memories of the Book's rampages are erased due to the alteration(Materials) to the Defense System for the same reason Administrator Rights is locked down as long as the Defense System is active(revealed in Gears of Destiny to be in order to control System-UD which caused the Defense System's rampages). The Wolkenritter do remember Ancient Belka, and they identify themselves as Belkan Knights, using names, techniques and devices from that era. Vita and Zafira even display knowledge of Belkan colloquialisms. Assuming that the Tome of the Night Sky predates the Belkan Empire (as the Saint's Cradle allegedly did), the Wolkenritter may have been a later addition to the system.
Until 0065, the magic of the Book of Darkness forced the Wolkenritter to serve its current owner regardless of their wishes, but during the final Book of Darkness incident, they have been granted freedom by its final owner, Hayate Yagami, and its spirit, Reinforce. Immediately thereafter, they have voluntarily pledged loyalty to Hayate, becoming her personal knights. Before Reinforce was voluntarily sealed, she removed the Guardian Knight system from herself and transferred it to Hayate, so that the Wolkenritter would survive her death. Later, the knights comment that they are now entirely dependent on Hayate as their life source. This seems to mean that after Hayate dies, all four of them will likely disappear, as well (much like familiars do), which they readily accept. It is also implied that should one of them die before Hayate, she can always resurrect them again, like she did upon assuming full control of the Book in A's. However, as of StrikerS, the Guardian Knights are becoming more and more human-like (possibly indicating that the whole system is deteriorating), so this may no longer be possible.