Edge of Darkness: The Broken Circle
Knights of Luminairre Prestige Class
The Knights of Luminairre
The Knights of Luminairre are an ancient and highly-venerated order of paladins that has devoted itself to battling the forces of evil and protecting the Empire of Luminairre and its citizens. The Knights are immortalized in hundreds of ballads and stories for their heroism, courage, and dedication to justice. The evil-doers of Ondoron regard them with hatred and fear.
The Knighthood was founded by Emperor Brighton Luminairre I after the great Demon War. It started out as a single Order of Knights, but as the years passed and the tactics of their foes changed the Knighthood expanded. Today, there are 13 separate and distinct Orders of the Knighthood. Each of them has a specific role in the Knighthood as a whole, and all of them are regarded as equal.
Each Order of the Knighthood is distinguished by a tabard that is worn over the Knights’ armor. The color of the tabard indicates to which Order any given Knight belongs. Below is a table of the Knightly Orders of Luminairre and the color associated with it:
|Knightly Order||Associated Color|
|Knights Hospitaler||Light Blue|
|Knight Officer||Varies by order, Gold command bars based on officer rank|
About the Knighthood:
As stated above, the Knighthood is a chivalric organization dedicated to the defense of the innocent, the advancement of truth and justice, and the destruction of evil. It is the primary military might of the vast Luminairre Empire. The most unique feature of the Knighthood is that it is made up entirely of paladins (though many Orders have multiclassed members). Furthermore, almost all of the Orders are dedicated to the service of the Empire, the Emperor and/or Empress, and above all, Rozerus. Two Orders within the Knighthood, the Knights Lumina and Knights Hospitaler, are trained by the clergy of Lunarus and Mirala’ana respectively.
Service in the Knighthood is considered an honorable and highly prestigious calling in Luminairre. Parents in the Empire could not hope for a greater honor than to have one or more of their children grow up to be Knights. Indeed, many families have served in the Knighthood for many generations.
Most of the Knighthood’s duties involve protecting the Empire from invasion from the orcs of the Blood Plains and keeping the peace within the borders of the Empire. More rarely, undead or foreign powers attempt invasions or skirmishes that must be fended off. Foreign governments in good standing with Luminairre may also ask for the Knighthood’s assistance in dealing with particularly grave threats and disasters.
Organization of the Knighthhood:
The Knighthood is made up of 13 Orders as listed in the table above and in the text that follows.
The eleven “basic” Orders are considered to be equal in power. The “basic Orders” are the Knights Arcanum, Knights Cavalier, Knights Crusader, Knights Defender, Knights Hospitaler, Knights Inquisitor, Knights Justicar, Knights Lumina, Knights Petitioner, Knights Sentinel, and Knights Templar. Each Order has its own purpose and specialty, but all must work together to achieve ultimate victory.
Within each Order there are Knight Officers. The Knight Officers still wear the tabards of their Orders, but have golden command stars upon their armor. The number of stars determines the Officer’s rank. A Knight Officer in one Order is considered equal to any Officers of equal rank in the other Orders. Likewise, a Knight Officer is considered the superior of any lower-ranking Officers from other Orders.
The next tier of the Knighthood’s leadership is the Lord Knights, an Order of 23 Knights. There are two representatives from each of the basic 11 Orders plus the current Emperor or Empress. Sometimes, there are 24 Lord Knights. If the heir to the throne of Luminairre is found to be worthy of the title, but the current Emperor or Empress is still in service and there are no other openings on the Council of Lord Knights in that heir’s chosen Order, he is granted a 24th seat on the Council of Lord Knights. Upon the death of the current Emperor or Empress, the heir moves to fill that position. Likewise, if a Lord Knight from the heir’s previous Order resigns, dies, or is otherwise incapable of serving as Lord Knight, the heir will move over to fill that position.
Lord Knights elect their own members. When a position within the Lord Knights opens, the remaining Lord Knights choose a Knight from the Order that is now under-represented. A review is done of all Knights within that Order, and the one that most closely represents the spirit of that Order is chosen to fill the slot.
The Lord Knights handle the affairs, strategy, and administration of the Knighthood in addition to acting as advisors to the current ruler of Luminairre.
All Knights are sworn to serve and obey the Emperor (or Empress) of Luminairre. As such, the current ruler of the Empire has a great deal of influence in the Knighthood and is considered to be the “head” of the organization. It should be noted that to become the Emperor (or Empress) of Luminairre, the eldest heir must first rise to the rank of Lord Knight of Luminairre (it should be noted that the Emperor/Empress’s spouse does not have to be a Lord Knight). If the eldest heir is unable or unwilling to attain the rank of Lord Knight, then the next eldest heir is given the opportunity.
The Emperor or Empress still only gets a single vote in all matters just like any other Lord Knight. Indeed, the Emperor or Empress usually does not vote except to cast the deciding ballot in the event of a deadlocked vote.
Joining the Knighthood:
All Knights of Luminairre start out in the Order of Knights Petitioner regardless of background, socioeconomic status, or skill. A potential Knight must first meet the prerequisites for the Knight Petitioner Prestige Class. A Knight may apply for Knighthood before he meets those prerequisites, but he will not be accepted into the Order. Meeting the prerequisites for the class is only the first step in the process. Once a potential Knight has gained enough skill and experience to successfully qualify to join the Knighthood, he must find a Sponsor. A Sponsor is a Knight from any of the Orders who vouches for the potential Knight. Knight Sponsors are typically more experienced Knights, but there is no law within the Code that forbids young Knights Petitioner from being Sponsors.
The Code of Light
Knights are trained from the very first day of their Squiredom about the importance of maintaining the Code of Light. The Code is a long list of rules that was first put together by Emperor Brighton Luminairre I, and it has since been expanded and updated by his ancestors and the Knighthood in the long centuries since the Knighthood originated. Knights live and die by the Code, and the Knights Justicar adjudicate any violations. While the whole Code is far too extensive to list in its entirety, below is a general summary of some of the core principles of the Code:
- A Knight is the champion of the weak, and is honor-bound to defend those in need.
- A Knight shows respect to citizens of Luminairre and citizens of allied nations regardless of social status, gender, or race.
- A Knight shall not bear false witness against another Knight.
- A Knight is sworn to Justice. A Knight has a duty to uphold the law and to be fair in settling disputes.
- A Knight is incorruptible. A Knight may not accept bribes or other favors.
- A Knight must provide aid, whether it is simple hospitality or military aid, to another Knight that is in need, regardless of Order or rank.
- A Knight’s first duty is to others. He must be willing to lay down his life in the service of Good.
- A Knight fearlessly opposes Evil wherever it may be found.
- While a Knight may sometimes be required to lay down his life in opposition of the forces of Evil, he need not waste his life in an unnecessary battle that cannot be won.
- Poison is a tool of assassins and fiends. A Knight is forbidden from using it.
- Prisoners should be treated with due courtesy and should not be beaten, degraded, denied adequate access to food or water, tortured, or killed unnecessarily.
- When traveling abroad, a Knight must follow all rules of the sovereign governments that he travels through unless such laws violate the moral code of the Knight or the Code of Light.
The Emperor or Empress of Luminairre may add or delete sections of the Code with a majority vote of support from the Council of Lord Knights. It is primarily the job of the Knights Justicar to interpret and adjudicate the Code when questions come up, and to conduct trials over alleged violations in the Code. In the event that a new section of the Code is added or conflicts in some way with previously written Code, the Knights Justicar can bring the matter to the Council of Lord Knights for a review of the newly-adopted section of the Code.
Becoming a Sponsor is a very serious matter that is not taken lightly. Becoming a Sponsor Knight is making a commitment to an individual. It is a Sponsor’s duty to help the potential Knight through the trials ahead and to help him grow into the best Knight that he or she can be. Friendships between Sponsor Knights and petitioners are, overall, extremely strong and last a lifetime.
The sponsored Knight-hopeful is known as a squire until he takes and passes his Knight’s Test. Sometimes, the squiring period lasts a matter of weeks, other times it can last for years. During the Squire phase of the potential Knight’s training, the Sponsor begins to instruct him in the Code of Light, history of the Knighthood, and martial and devotional aspects of the Knight’s vocation.
Once the Squire has a Sponsor and meets the prerequisites of the class, he is presented by her Sponsor Knight to a Knight’s Trial. The potential Knight is questioned at length. A background check is completed by the Knights Inquisitor. Assuming the potential Knight passes the background inspection and the interview process, he moves onto the physical part of the test. The physical tests are meant to test the mettle of potential new recruits to see if they have the basic skills, moral character, and fortitude to live the life of a Knight.
Once the Knight successfully completes the Knight’s Trial, he or she spends a night of prayer in the Grand Cathedral of Rozerus in the heart of Rozeril with other new Knights. The following morning, the new recruits are Knighted and given their Greens (the green tabards of the Order of Knights Petitioner). From that day forward, the Knights are considered full members of the Order.
Both women and men can apply to and be accepted into the Knighthood.
While all of the basic orders of the Knighthood are considered equal, a large percentage of the Knights Petitioner are made up of inexperienced and new knights. Their green tabards have led to the nickname “greenies.” While there are no specific rules for how long a Knight can or should serve in the Knights Petitioner, the Knighthood tries to expose these new Knights to other Orders that fit with their personality and skills. When he gains enough experience to increase a level, the Knight Petitioner may choose to take another level in his current Knight prestige class, take a level in another class, or petition for transfer to one of the other Orders of Knighthood. It should be noted that choosing an Order is not an eternally binding agreement. A Knight may petition to join another Order at any time, provided they meet the prerequisites of the new Order and they comply with the guidelines listed below. The Knights of Luminairre encourage their members to grow and learn, so they provide ample opportunities for Knights to learn new skills in the eternal battle against the forces of Evil.
A Knight is not stuck in the same order forever. A Knight may petition to leave his current Order and join one of the other “basic” Orders at any time. Assuming that the Knight is in good standing, and that he meets the class requirements, the petition is usually accepted. Upon receiving approval from their superiors, the Knight turns in his old tabards for new ones of the appropriate color. Once inducted into a new Order, the Knight goes through a brief orientation and training to help better familiarize himself with the responsibilities, members, and officers of the Order. A Knight may change Orders any number of times in his career, with one exception. In order to help eliminate confusion and paperwork, a Knight may not return to an Order he previously belonged to without special approval of the Council of Lord Knights. These approvals are uncommon, and the approvals that are allowed are generally due to a Knight failing to fit in or having a lack in aptitude for the new Order. A decision to leave an Order is not to be taken lightly.
A Knight Officer of an Order faces a special restriction when they change to a new Order. They maintain their rank, but their effective Knight Officer level in their new Order is treated as being one lower for the purposes of determining the strength of their Minor and Major Aura abilities. If this reduces the Knight Officer’s effective level to 0, he is unable to use any Aura abilities until his effective Knight Officer is 1 or more. The penalty remains until a Knight Officer takes his second level in his new Order (it must be a 2nd level in the actual new Order’s prestige class, not the Knight Officer class). Once that second level is gained, the penalty disappears. A Knight Officer still knows the normal number of Auras of a Knight Officer of his total level.
After attaining the rank of Lord Knight of Luminairre, a Knight may no longer change Orders.
A Knight keeps any class features, spellcasting abilities, and other powers that he gained from his previous memberships in other Orders.
Knighthood Military Organization
The military organization of the Knighthood has changed and evolved as military tactics have advanced. In times of peace, the military might of Luminairre is primarily made up of Knights of Luminairre with a small number of permanent Luminairre soldiers. In times of war, Lord Knights recruit soldiers from the lands under their control to reinforce the military might of the Empire. As such, each province has its own volunteer militia that can be mobilized by a command from the province’s Lord Knight. All volunteers receive basic military training and are required to spend one weekend per month at provincial fortresses to receive additional training and to maintain their combat skills. If there are insufficient reserve troops in the provincial militias in a time of war, Lord Knights have the authority to draft provincial citizens. Lord Knights rarely need to initiate a draft as the citizens of Luminairre consider it a matter of family honor to help defend their homeland.
The units of the Knighthood are named after the military organizations of the Seraphim at the time of the Demon War. While the number of soldiers within a unit is standard, the makeup of the units can be very different. Each Shield can be composed of Knights of the same Order, Knights of different Orders, Luminairre militia, or any combination of the above. Units composed primarily of Luminairre militia members are usually led by a Knight, though sometimes this is impossible if there are insufficient numbers within the Knighthood. It should be noted that the militia has its own officers and command structure which shall not be addressed here. The structure of the Luminairre militia can be found in the complete description of the Empire of Luminairre.
It should be noted in the descriptions below that there are clerics that serve in the Knight units. Almost always, these are clerics of Lunarus, Mirala’ana, or Rozerus who hail from the Empire and that have been granted Honorary Knight status (see below). However, any cleric of a good Watcher that has earned the title of Honorary Knight may serve. These clerics are not part of the command structure and do not possess any true rank in the military structure. They are present to aid with the administrative work and coordination of the units in addition to providing healing and enhancing the offensive and defensive capabilities of the Knights. The units of the Knighthood’s military structure are as follows:
|Unit Name||General Description|
The links below define the individual powers and class abilities of each order:
Knights Arcanum Prestige Class
Knights Cavalier Prestige Class
Knights Crusader Prestige Class
Knights Defender Prestige Class
Knights Hospitaler Prestige Class
Knights Inquisitor Prestige Class
Knights Justicar Prestige Class
Knight Officer Prestige Class
Knights Lumina Prestige Class
Knights Petitioner Prestige Class
Knights Sentinel Prestige Class
Knights Sentinel Prestige Class
Lord Knight Mythic Prestige Class