The Order of the Knights of Rightous Victory
Most knights at least pretend to be on the side of Good and to defend the weak. Not so those of the Order of Rightous Victory-they are openly on the side of Evil and make no bones about it.At least, that is what they say to outsiders, but the truth is not quite as clear-cut as that.
The Order of the Knights of Rightous Victory may have strict laws that it's members are expected to obey, but they are different to those of most other knightly orders. Not even lipservive is paid towards protecting the weak in this order. They believe in conquest for the riches that it brings.
More then three centuries ago , Sir Raymond, a knight who had fallen from grace and was lucky to escape with his life met another knight facing the same problem, and they decided to form an Order of their own, for the fallen knights like themselves. Such an Order could easily have been exterminated in it's infancy, but they hid at first in the deep dark forests, sharing them with robber bands and various other undesiribles.
They grew to number more then fifty but they might have remained just another bandit gang, had they not happened to interupt an attempted kidnapping by chance, and save the Lady Eschiva of Kerak. They escorted her home to her castle and she was very greatful to them and to Sir Raymond. Her husband had died in battle a year before and she fell in love with Sir Raymond, and him with her. They were married and Sir Raymond became the legal Lord of Kerak Castle.
With a powerbase in which they were not illegal and could recruit openly, the Order grew in strength and began helping local barons and mayors subdue their neighbours. They also, to the disgust of other orders, hired necromancers to serve alongside them. When they took a town, they would happily murder all the adult males and rape all the attractive women that they could find. When they took prisoners in battle, they would often hack off their fingers before setting them free, or would sell them into slavery in the South.
Some of the castles in the area were beseiged and taken, others gave in through intimidation, or were won in another way, by the seducing of the noble daughters when their fathers had no sons to leave the castle to instead.Soon the once outlawed Order had it's own Kingdom, and could take sides in major wars. It is said that they allways side with the *nasty* side, and have been known to switch sides if they consider that those who they are fighting for are too *nice*. Whilst in fact this is by no means allways true, wars tend to get a lot nastier when they are around.They despise the *good* Orders and delight in killing their members where possible,unless they are in a state of alliance with them, and they rarely seek mercy for themselves, knowing that though they may die their Order will survive.
They ride,where possible, black horses, with black saddles and bridles, black armour, black sheilds and blackened swords, axes and maces.Their symbol is a white spiral reresenting Chaos and two crossed white tusks below it representing force and their motto is 'Everything Justifies Victory'. They now number up to two thousand, but a quarter of the Order is allways within it's walled and well defended Kingdom, so if they suffer a major reverse the Order will survive.They have their own men at arms under them and when in war, have the forces of their allies.
Their rules are few in number, simple and strictly enforced.
Those who break them are at the very least stripped of weapons and armour and expelled and may well end up maimed or executed.
1-Do not foul your own nest-which means do not harm your own family,or kill your own peasents/men-at-arms without a good reason.
2-Do not betray or harm a fellow knight or his family.
3-Obey orders from your officers at once, no matter what.
4-All booty to be shared equally.
5-Cowards in battle will be killed on the spot, as they endanger their fellow knights and the reputation of the entire order.
6-There is no such thing as 'war crimes'-if you think that is not the case, then you should not be a member of our Order.
7-Whilst rape is perfectly acceptable in war, you should be prepared to win over a girl through romance and seduction if you want a wife and a legitimate family line.
8-All magic in warfare is acceptable as long as it is being cast against our enimies.
9-The needs of the Order come first, above religion, your own needs, your family's needs.
10-The Order is allways right in any dispute.
They are allways trying to expand be it through warfare or more peaceful means, and other Orders are not tolarated in their territory-they either have to leave, or disband and join the Victors, as the Order calls itself.
They are not quite as evil as they in fact seem. Whilst they do not tolarate other Orders within their lands, and whilst they are more likely to side with evil then with good, they have been known to side even with the Orders that they despise when an evil of great magnitude threatens the region. They have on more then one occasion defended the weak when they have seen a clear advantage in it. The way they see it in such cases, is that today's downtrodden peasent ground into the dust by a forign lord, could be working for them tomorrow in better conditions, willingly providing them with grain.Also, to kill or harm those that pay them tribute indirectly harms them, and they tend to be rather unforgiving in such cases, considering it an insult to the Order.
They have never forgotten that if their founder had not rescued the Lady Eschiva three centuries ago, they would be no more then a small robber band, if they had survived at all. Part of their evil deeds are in fact myth, a myth spread by themselves to deter would be challengers from daring to fight them.Of course some of their evil deeds are very real indeed and it would not be wise to anger them.
Evil to others they may often be, but those within their kingdom are often happier then those in other kingdoms where wars are more frequent and the local lords are much nastier.
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? Responses (8)-8
These guys rather remind me of Hell's Angels meet a renfest. The idea is interesting as the Order seems to play the role of evil for evil's sake. The kingdoms that border this faction might keep them around in the manner of a junk-yard dog, something nasty to keep other bad dogs and criminals away. just mind the length of the leash, mate.
I find them amusing. The bad guys living up to the ideal of knighthood. Might be entertaining to read their rules spelled out in noble speech, with all the 'bad things' being hidden in-between the lines.
Also, they will certainly have enemies in other knightly orders, up to 'must slay upon sight' command. They are such a stain on the name of all knights!
These guys are Evil for Evil's form and sake. They are cartoons.
I could see a school of Knights that opt for a different personal code (one a bit more selfish) than chivalry. But these guys basically woke up and said, 'we're evil! See, it is stamped on our forehead'!
Nobody thinks they are the bad guys. They think they are 'there own men' and that 'society rules do not apply to the great'. No, we only work for the 'nasty'.
I could see a group that does not fear 'the dark'. yet these guys specifically revel in it. Do good people wear one color jersey and bad people wear another in your world?
Do they worship 'Evil spirits' or ignore the good faith?
There is justification and rational, the seeds of greatness are in here... it is just that you have made them caricatures... sacks of stats and hit points to be knocked down by PCs.
My vote did not go. I will update this after you edit.
I'll try and edit in a day or two if my computer lets me.
Updated: Updated to make them less cartoon like.
Updated: Updated to make them less cartoon like.
Although the knights of 'real world' orders covered up their foul deeds with fair words, there were Medieval 'crusading orders' that were just as unpleasant as this. Some of the offshoots of the Teutonic Order, for example, were rather unpleasant sorts.
Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame) hit upon this in his book about Chaucer's Knight's Tale. His (controversial) thesis was that the 'ideal' knight depicted therein is shown to be a bloodthirsty mercenary when you dig below the surface. The historical Dracula, Vlad Tepes, was another excellent example of a rather nasty 'knight'.
I could see a group of 'plainspoken knights' that argued that the only difference between their order and others was that they eschewed hypocritical posturing. They might even argue that their actions were justified due to various historical factors similar to the excuses for the numerous crusades and pogroms aganst Jews and various heretics in Medieval Europe. After all, if the gods didn't approve, they would not be blessed with victory, right?