Perceived as being originally established as an order of fellowship among the vassals of King Caeradon of Arthanos in fealty to and protection of the realm of their sovereign king, the Paldeoneth Knights were thought to have evolved over the past milennia as an order bound by Oath to serve as the military arm of the Brotherhood of the Sentinels, acting as knights-errant who travel the land serving two great purposes—protection of the stability of the realm and vigilantly seeking signs and portents of free-roving shards of The Beast or demons freed from their kaeolar.
The Paldeoneth Knights are the protectors of the world. They are the epitome of chivalry and glory, and nearly every boy and girl at one time dreams of being selected to become an initiate when they turn eight. They are the greatest warriors, able to withstand all number of terrible wounds without faltering in battle, and are said to perform great feats of physical strength and agility that mortal men cannot; they are known to wield magic in battle as well.
The Paldeoneth Knights chooses their initiates from all social strata, not just nobles or the wealthy. Yearly the Order holds something akin to auditions for young children from about the ages of eight to ten to determine if they qualify for the mysterious qualities the Paldeoneth Knights are looking for. If a child is chosen, he or she chooses whether or not to go into the Order, and consent of the parents is always required. A child who accepts is taken to the nearest Sentinel Stronghold for training (for Arthanos, that stronghold is Taralon, deep within the Dragonspire Mountains), and it is likely that the parents will never see their child again. The Paldeoneth Knights’ requirements must be incredibly strict—only one child from Atruthir, a boy named Benaphir who was chosen just this year, has been taken in the last hundred years.
The word of a Paldeoneth Knight is respected by all, and they are often consulted by Kings and nobles in matters of state, and are often brought in to mediate disputes between noblemen. Many a terrible war has been averted by a single guiding word from a Paldeoneth Knight.
The Paldeoneth Knights were, effectively, the military branch of the Sentinels, those individuals who pledged to watch over the places where the fragments of The Beast were lodged into the living rock of the world. Officially referred to in northern Elemontia as the Caerdonic Paldeoneth Order, referencing legendary King Caeradon, the founder of Arthanos, the Paldeoneth Order technically predated the Palandrin Empire. The Knights were officially charged with roaming the world in order to seek out and destroy any possible fragments of The Beast which may have manifested, to seek out evidence of the exiled God of Chaos, Daerkoth, and thwart any of His efforts to reintegrate The Beast, and to seek out anyone with the potential to bolster the ranks of the Paldeoneth Knights.
In their charge, the Paldeoneth Knights were very much an extension of the Sentinels, and the two organizations are very much tied together; generally, when a Paldeoneth Knight retired from active service, he became a Sentinel, and most of the Sentinel’s organizational heirarchy was made up of former Knights.
How The General Public Viewed The Order
The Paldeoneth Knights wandered the world righting wrongs, defending the weak, protecting the innocent, rooting out evil in all forms, and serve as Oathbound guardians of truth, justice and peace. They wander the land performing heroic deeds and recruit only the brightest and best to increase their ranks. They are the epitome of chivalry and glory, the greatest warriors, able to withstand all number of terrible wounds without faltering in battle, and are said to perform great feats of physical strength and agility that mortal men cannot; they are known to wield magic in battle as well.
The word of a Paldeoneth Knight is respected by all, and they are often consulted by Kings and nobles in matters of state, and are often brought in to mediate disputes between noblemen since they are utterly neutral in all worldly politics. Many a terrible war has been averted by a single guiding word from a Paldeoneth Knight.
All Paldeoneth Knights within wear silver tabards with the red crossed swords of the Order of Paldeoneth Knights, trimmed with a border representing the color of their homeland.
Being Oathbound, the Paldeoneth Knights serve the Palkara directly and are therefore incapable of telling lies, acting out of self-interest, or perform any wrongdoing.
It is, indeed, true that the Paldeoneth Knights wore white tabards with red crossed swords and a colored band that signified their location of origin, though that was not their homeland so much as the League in which they belonged. The rest of what the public believed is what the Paldeoneth wantd them to believe.
In truth, a Paldeoneth received special training in a form of magic known as The Grace — it gave the Paldeoneth Knight his various advances in physical strength, endurance and agility, as well as the ability to perceive the use of magic nearby and to identify those with magical potential or ability. They were also trained to identify the various different types of Fae and recognize their magics, as well as being able to identify kaeolar and their properties.
The Paldeoneth Knights acted in tandem with and were originally founded by the Sentinels, the individuals charged with guarding the Strongholds, which are the magical fortresses built to safeguard against the larger fragments of The Beast from ever reforming.
There were five Strongholds throughout Elemontia: Taralon, located at the base of the entrance to Palkaromae (the Valley of the Gods) in the Dragonspire Mountains, which watched over the greatest fragment of The Beast and is considered the central seat of the Sentinels and the Paldeonethar; Raelon, located on Sposs Isle overlooking the tip of Cape Servith in Baeleros; Omaelon, deep in the forests west of Aquillia; Teleston, hidden in the hills and mountains in Giendory; and Evaelon, deep in the desert sands of Disor or Scarabis (depending on who claimed the area at any given moment). The most populous is Taralon—that is where most of the Knights declared their base of operations, and the underground city accommodated the needs of tens of thousands of the Sentinels and Knights and their trainees, acolytes and support (farmers, merchants and the like who see to the maintenance of the city).
The Knights were organized in Leagues (the Azurine, Argentine, Sanguinetine, Verdant, Golden, Violet and Sable Leagues—these were the borders around the shields that people confused with the “country of origin”), had a leader (known as the Ranth) who was “elected” by winning a tourney among those senior knights invited to participate and who serves for a select period of time, etc.
*The current Ranth of the Azurine League (the league that currently presides over Taralon) is Sir Horpald, an Iquenyan who has served the Paldeoneth Knights for thirty years and who is due to step down as Ranth. (Many assumed that Sir Coriman would have won the next tournament and be the new Ranth). Sir Horpald is extremely conservative and rigid in his beliefs, and holds considerable sway over the Sentinels stationed at Taralon in addition to the Knights.
*At the moment, following the defection of Coriman and his followers, there are presently about 30 active Knights in Taralon and another 20 or so spread throughout the region of Arthanos, Iquenya, Lontra, Ocellen and Oetahr.
There was a Truce between the Paldeoneth Knights and the magical underworld known as The Cunning which stated that so long as mages did not use their magics to harm, kill, or manipulate non-mages to do things against their will, or to make gross displays of their powers in public in those cultures which disavow the use of magic, the Paldeoneth Knights would leave the Cunning members—known as the Clever Ones (“Are you... clever?”)—alone.
State of Affairs
Slightly over sixteen years ago, the Knights discovered the lord of the Ocellen city of Paltovey was being controlled by a coven of necromancers and diabolists (mages who specifically use kaeolar to fuel their magic) led by a mage by the name of Paltor the Vindictive. It took the Knights the better part of a year to finally oust the city of Paltor and his coven’s influence, and they were convinced by the time they restored the city to its proper rule the mage and most of his coven had been killed. In the process, Paltor’s two sons were discovered as having the Potential, and while the younger son, Veylor, somehow managed to disappear into the city and was not found again, the older son, Peynik, was taken into the Order to be trained at Taralon where he remains as an unknighted initiate of the First Circle.
Shortly after re-instating Paltovey’s Count Taleyon to his throne, however, it became apparent that many of Paltor’s cohorts were still active in the area—according to some reports, one had even managed to infiltrate the court of Duke Belebrik of North Guard and was nearly killed by The Hunter’s Stone before, rumor has it, Atruoth Himself spoke through one of his clerics stating that the sorcerer’s destiny was not for those mortals to decide.
When rumors of this divine intervention reached Taralon, many, particularly Sir Coriman, wanted to investigate directly, but the Ranth, Sir Horpald, forbade it, saying the affairs of the Gods were not to be tampered with and that the Order’s concern was, instead, keeping an eye on the more temporal matters of keeping an eye out for The Beast and its influence on the world, particularly since a fragment of The Beast had recently broken off and escaped into the mountains nearby, stirring up the local troll population.
While much of the Order tried to deal with this immediate problem (which, to date, has not yet been resolved if the news reports are correct), Coriman led a number of his supporters, including (in addition to you) Sir Jayrek, Sir Rhondar, Sir Laran, Sir Aerzhotan, Sir Raethan and Sir Padresh on a campaign to end the slaughter of the Paldeoneth Knights by the crusading Knights of the Black Bear in Erlosche and Oetahr. This, however, was a cover for the group’s secret investigation into Paltor and his followers’ activities in the area.
What they learned was shocking—Paltor and his coven had not only all managed to survive, but had somehow managed to find and obtain the Orb of Air (which was used to fake their deaths in Paltovey and obscure their escape) and were actively seeking other Orbs of the Gods, and that they were using the Valley of the Gods, practically right on Taralon’s doorstep, as their base of operations.
When Sir Coriman presented the evidence to Sir Horpald, the old Ranth was utterly furious at having been disobeyed, and the resultant conflict tore the Azurine League apart, with half the members calling for Horpald to step down as Ranth and the other half wanting to declare Coriman and his followers outcasts and oathbreakers.
Finally, four years ago, Coriman declared that if the Order was unconcerned with securing the Orbs of the Gods from the likes of Paltor and his coven, then he would found a new order, the Brotherhood of the Orb, to discover and protect the remaining Orbs from Paltor the Vindictive. To that end, Sir Horpald renounced Coriman and his followers, declaring them outlaws.
Coriman led his followers to Arkenmore, declaring that they would need a base of operations to seek Paltor and his men and what better than his father’s old lands. It was then that you realized that Coriman’s primary motivation was revenge against the his father’s death by the hands of Houses Rinhar and Atruthir ten years earlier. Before his campaign against Arkenmore could get underway, you and Coriman fought, and when you realized all six of the others were siding with him against you, you fled before they killed you. And make no mistake, they would have killed you.
So now you’re in a situation where you are outcast from the Order, hunted by the Brotherhood, and still must find and destroy Paltor’s coven: Sleath the Salacious, an Arthanon pedophilic sorcerer; Varley the Capricious, an Ocellenic necromancer known for his sadism; Balasco the Callous, an Ettalion wizard known to perform transformative rituals; Nothra the Seductive, an Arthanon sorceress; Nayton the Relentless, an Iquenyan sorcerer known to use his powers to simulate Paldeoneth Graces; Shauth the Slippery, an Oetahran sorcerer known to focus on darkness and shadow powers (most likely this is the one who infiltrated Belebrik’s court fifteen years ago); and Brago the Versatile, a Bercanon necromancer about whom little is known.