Friday, July 15, 2016

Faction: Knightly Orders

Humans are not the only ones to have Knightly orders. Non-humans also have their own brand of martial orders that serve the community, or themselves. Let's look at a few.

Order of the Owlbear

Rep: A Gnomish Order that combines martial prowess with magic. Typically investigates "the Strange".

Brief: Formed by Gnomish Battle Mages to protect the Gnomish community from supernatural threats, the Order of the Owlbear is famous for its successful taming and use of Owlbear mounts. The larger beak and claws are used by the Gnomes to make up for lack of height and reach that the Gnomes have.

-The Order dedicates itself to policing the use of magic. It's main enemy includes such foes as Warlocks, Necromancers, and Demonologists. All of which either traffic in sinister forces of death or destruction. To the Order there is no "fight fire-with-fire" those who ally with the forces are closely watched and quick to be dispatched.

-Owlbears are raised from birth by captured parents. Breeding and training along with alchemical diet and magic help tame the Owlbears to accept a rider. One of the first tasks to test Gnome squires is the cleaning and care of the mounts for the Knights.

-The Order hires player characters for things like covertly looking into a "deviant mage," magic item recovery, or assistance in a large operation to bring down a magic-user.

Order of the Ram

Rep: A Dwarven order that serves as elite defenders of a community. They include a combination of surface level riders and underground tunnel troops.

Brief: The Order of the Ram was one of the first knightly orders formed, long before the humans created the Order of the Dragon. The name itself comes from Dwarven mountaineers who use the ram's surefootedness to scale mountains to keep track of goings on the mountain. Present day the Order is found in different parts of a Dwarven community. On the side of mountains as scouts, in tunnels are shock troops, and in the hills and lands of Dwarven surface communities as patrol and protection.

-The Order was created and continues to dedicate itself to the protection and advancement of Dwarven culture. On one hand this leads to Dwarves who are fervent about protecting their lands and battling the forces of darkness that may encroach. It also leads to nativism as Dwarves typically express their misgivings about other races.

-The Order favors blunt weapons including flails, maces, and bec-de-corbin's as their main melee weapon. Their range weapon is the crossbow or firearm.

-Hires player characters' to investigate any trouble that might target the Dwarven community. The party can be expect to be paid in gold or gems, sometimes a magical weapon or armor crafted by Dwarven smiths if they have performed their job extremely well.

Order of the Hound

Rep: A Halfling Order that combines the talents of riding with talents of archery. The Order serves as outriders for a Halfling community.

Brief: Halfling knights are atypical in that they focus on range instead of melee. While they do use shortswords as their melee weapon, one will find themselves pelted with arrows first from the back of a running hound. The Order was created to serve as outriders and scouts for the Halfling community.

-The Order of the Hound is lead by a Halfling with the title of "Marshal" who serves a period of 3 years before having to elected or re-appointed by the Mayor of a town. The Marshal is in charge of both the Order and militia units that form in town defense.

-The Order favors hit and run archery tactics to harry the enemy. Some of the finest made and magical shortbows are found in the hand of Order members.

-The Order's dealings with player characters is escorting merchants, dealing with threats on the river, or as support for heavy melee. The Order pays in a combination of coin and foodstuffs.

Order of the Unicorn

Rep: An Elven Order that is dedicated to the art of healing. They are known a Hospitaller Knights due to this grand dedication to the medicinal arts.

Brief: While most Elven Orders align with human lead groups- such as Order of the Dragon and Order of the Crown. The Order of the Unicorn is a strictly Elven order dedicated to the healing arts. Knights are at least trained in the art of first-aid if not granted some magical talent such a healing or curing spell. The Order is attached to other groups when on campaign.

-The Order believes that Unicorn will only serve one of two things. Women who are good at heart or any Elf. Membership is very restricted to these two factors, even so, women of other races find a simmering prejudice against them by some of the Elves within the order.

-The Order is lead by a female and, as is custom, an Elven female who has proven herself both martially and in the healing arts. She takes the title of "Grand Knight" and administers day-to-day functions.

-The Order uses player characters to investigate incidents of the undead (whom the Order despises with a passion). Parties are also hired to recover magical artifacts that dealing with healing or to secure necromatic artifacts and keep them out of the hands of what are viewed as deviant magic-users. The Order pays in a combination of coin and healing items.

Order of the Boar

Rep: An Orcish Order known for using dire hogs and launching into furious melee attacks against their enemies.

Brief: Created with the foundation of the Orcish state. The Order of the Boar serves as both the defensive and offensive lead of the Orcish expansionary forces. They are known to lead the charge while astride massive battle boars with blades pointed towards the enemy. Quite a number of horse riders have spoken with fear at boar tusks raking their mounts stomachs in furious combat.

-Favors the scimitar, the falchion, the crossbow, and the firearm as their weapons of choice. They use their mount's massive tusks as a lance, lashing into the enemies mount and knocking the victim from their horse and then raining slashing blows onto the enemy. With their physical strength they can cleave into armor not forged by Dwarves.

-The Order is lead by a strong Orc who has the title of "Warlord." He answers only to the King, but must defend against challenges from within his Order. An Orc as lowly as a squire could technically challenge the Warlord to a duel for the crown, but without support of other Knights, there is nothing stopping that after the squire wins the fight that he is not killed himself.

-Player character's can expected to be hired to help skirmish or launch raids into a contested or assaulted territory. The Orcs pay in gold and a share of the spoils taken from the enemy.

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