Wednesday 22 November 2023

Setting: Chivalric Orders of Outer World

The Chivalric Order is a concept that has been present throughout much of Outer World's history. The very first of these was technically the Cataphracts of the Gossamer Cloak, a group of elven warriors that was formed shortly after the 1st Cataclysm with the aim of slaying First Hero for his supposed treachery. The result of their disastrous crusade is evident in the fact that the order was very much defunct within a year of its founding, but their tale (which has been retold numerous times in works both dramatic and comedic) placed the idea of high minded bands bringing sword and staff to bear in the name of some cause within the hearts and minds of the folk - for better or worse.

Many such orders have come and gone since then. They have only become more prominent in the 4th Aeon, thanks to its fractured state both allowing for greater ambitions and necessitating heroics. In this entry, we'll explore a handful of these and their current standing in Outer World.

The Knights of the Sacred Chain is the militant branch of the religion of the same name. Centered in Shard, they represent an almost ubiquitous military force in the country. These warrior monks are accepted by the populace but greatly feared - depending on who you ask, they are respectable keepers of order or the right hand of pious tyranny. Many among them obscure their face with closed helmets or scarves when on duty to help keep up their order's image of a unified, almost mystical army rather than one of individuals who happen to share a similar creed. 

Bearers of light in a place enshrouded by darkness, the Knights of the Lantern have dedicated themselves to protecting those living in the Shadowed Lands. While this does involve traditionally heroic acts like driving away monsters or fighting raiders and the like, the knights are also well known for their efforts in infrastructure; such as assisting in the establishment and maintenance of "Lantern Towns" in the heart of the region. While many of its members might be considered a bit rough and shabby by more noble warriors, their hearts are in the right place.

The Black Glove Cavaliers answer directly to Night Haven's Duke of Red Roses, acting as his eyes and ears. While rumors and speculation of what their true purpose is run rampant, it's actually more straightforward than what many assume: the cavaliers investigate conspiracies and schemes and are expected to do their utmost to make sure no harm befalls the citizens of their home isle. The broad nature of this task leads to a great deal of variance in temperament and restraint among their members.

Of those on this list, the Forgotten Swords can be the most loosely defined as an order. Founded by a mixed group of samurai and shinobi whose livelihoods were cut away by the military and social upheaval of the Seven Holy Isles, they function as a highly organized network of myrmidons and sell-swords. Since their inception their area of influence and diversity of membership has broadened considerably. Sometimes referred to as an army without a nation, the transparency of their dealings has made them highly trusted mercenaries, if not well liked ones.

Born of a concentrated effort to make safe pathways in the famously inhospitable region of No-Folk's Land, the Knights of the Open Road have filled their ranks with hard workers and stalwart warriors prepared to ensure safe passage for travelers however they can. They can often get a bit carried away, with some of the paths they end up creating stretching far further than planned. While this has gotten them in trouble with some local powers, they tend to be appreciated by common folk for obvious reasons. Of all the orders listed here, these Knights are the most likely to take up errantry and end up in other lands - who doesn't need better roads, truly?

Further Notes
  • While many of these orders have purposes specific to these regions, it doesn't mean members of their ranks can't become adventurers without leaving their order. They may have simply taken up errantry or questing and plan on returning to them someday.
  • This is probably obvious, but these are far from the only orders of this sort in Outer World, just a handful to show the sorts of spaces they might take up in a game. You can and should make up your own if you feel so inclined!
  • If you wish to use these orders in the game you are running you can save yourself a bit of time designing members by re-skinning available adversaries in the book: Custrels can be used for squires or low ranking knights, Blaster Mages for spell casters among their number, Proudhound Sellswords and Killservants as exceptional knights, and even an Oppressor as the antagonistic leader of an order if you need. 


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