Knights of Rarita
An order of knights devoted to the acquisition and destruction of magical items in Pescaliat. Excommunicated from The Ageless One not long after its founding in the 4th Cycle, the order now operates as a rogue mercenary force throughout the Northern Territories and the Campanel Desert.
A member of the order takes on the title of Champion Defender, leading the Knights of Rarita bureaucracy and maintaining diplomatic relations with neighboring kingdoms. The Champion Defender has final say on the mercernary contracts taken on by the Knights, with interpretations of the order's tenets varying wildly from leader to leader.
The Knights are largely known for their antipathy for magic items, but their worldview covers more than just the handling of enchanted relics. Adhering to a strict moral code, the Knights believe that their values should be applied to all Ekalians and that those who fail to meet them should be brutally punished. This stands in stark contrast to the mainstream teachings of the Ageless One, who only seeks to punish the most extreme offenders of the global order and allows people to live and worship as they see fit. This has allowed a variety of lifestyles and cultures to flourish over the centuries, many of which would be deemed irredeemable by the Knghts' moral code. These oaths and codes have proven alienating for many, at least once a year an aspiring paladin will try to undergo the order's grueling admission process only to give up to go join a monastery in the Way of the Range. And many are reluctant to hire the Knights as mercenaries, knowing wherever they go they'll harass the locals and try to enforce their code through violent means. The Knights' contracts never last long enough for them to cause any lasting damage to the communities, even Oda Clan ended its relationship with the Knights after just a few years for fear of escalating conflict with Kyoko Hara's Northern Union.
- The Knights consists of more than 5,000 elite fighters and paladins that have gone through years of rigorous training
- Its castle fortress in the the northwest of the Campanel Desert keeps the Knights secure and isolated from the oversight of many world governments and would-be enemies
- Rumors abound that the Knights never actually destroy magic items, that the most powerful items are stored in Castle Rarita and used for mysterious rituals
Forged in CrisisIn the 4th Cycle's second century, the kingdom of Despero was threatened by invaders on all sides vying for ownership of a trove of magic relics discovered in the Underdark beneath the country. In 109 a devout sect of knights stormed the palace treasury and destroyed every relic, eliminating the cause for war in the region and providing Despero with enough time to regroup and push back invaders. The Knights of Rarita were born. King Emmelot Caragaulle (96, 4th Cycle - 172) made them an official branch of the nation's military a couple of decades later, providing them with the funding and training needed to create the most prestigious order of knights in Pescaliat. The Knights fancied themselves the true representatives of the Ageless One faith, a self-righteousness paving the way for radicalism and reckless leadership. For centuries the Knights faithfully served the Caragaulle royal family in Despero, called on at the drop of a hat to suppress revolts or make political enemies disappear. This political alliance fell apart in the Noble Revolt of the 610's when the kingdom's noble houses rose up against the king's movement towards centralization. When the Caragaulles were replaced by the De Mer family of Brei, the Knights were locked out of the highest echelons of power in Despero. Some of its leaders tried to raise a coup against Queen Odelina De Mer (620, 4th Cycle - 683) in 629, but the failed uprising left the order with hundreds of its fighters either dead or banished for their treason.
Years in the WildernessLoathed and reviled by Despero's new regime, the Knights of Rarita fled into the Campanel Desert to avoid further persecution. Dozens of knights died of thirst or starvation in the desert, but after months of aimless wandering the surviving band came across a small oasis undisturbed from the rest of the outside world. The Knights took it as a sign from the Ageless One and decided to use the region as their headquarters. For the next several decades the Knights transformed themselves from a military force into a mercenary band willing to fight for the highest bidder. A condition of every Knights' contract demanded the collection of magic items after the completion of any campaign, a term that proved draconian for some and amenable for others. Over the next three centuries the Knights would fight on both sides of the Elflands-Rakkan War of the 740's, the Kiri-Kawa-Oda War of the 870's, and even some minor skirmishes for the Temple of the Ageless One in Dhamma to repel yuan-ti cultists. The Knights' intolerance for magic items made the order skilled in the use of most martial weapons with an emphasis on greatswords, glaives, and halberds. The order began experimenting with the use of long-range firearms in combat in the late 890's, indicating that the Knights were more than comfortable with adapting to new forms of combat. In early 919 a new era began in the order's history when Bucephalus the Rambunctious, leader of Oda Clan and the largest empire in the Northern Territories, signed a deal with the Knight's leadership to make them state-sponsored defenders of peace and stability within Oda Clan's newly-aquired territories following the Oda-Kiri War of 908. After centuries in the wilderness, the Knights of Rarita once again found themselves working under the blessing of one of the world's most powerful kingdoms. This arrangement proved short-lived, however, as clashes with Chusei University and their contracted mercenaries led Oda Clan to decide on a more concilatory approach towards dealing with the nations of the Northern Territories. The contract with the Knights was called off shortly after Oda Clan's admission into Kyoko's Northern Union, and while many of the Knights returned to Castle Rarita several stayed behind in the vast countryside of Oda Clan to sow chaos. Many of those would-be warlords have been dealt with by Northern Union General Toshiro Matsui, but some Knights are still unaccounted for.
Champion Defenders of Rarita
- Gillette Montesquieu (883 - 913)
- Marguerite Rousseau (913 - Present)
Tenets of Faith
To Acquire and DestroyThe Knights were created with two explicit goals that every knight for the past 800 years has tried to attain: to seize magical items all over the world and destroy them for the glory of the Ageless One. In the centuries since, there have been countless debates and schools of thought over how to interpret these tenets. Is it right for a Raritan Knight to use a magic item to acquire or destroy a different magic item? What means should a knight take to acquire a magic item? The current leader of the Knights favors an emphasis on acquisition rather than destruction, leading to accusation that Gillette Montesquieu has been stockpiling magic items for some nefarious purpose.
None for All
109, 4th Cycle
Religious, Holy Order
Official State Religion
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