“Honor in magic. Honor in life.”
It was over 10 years ago that I wrote those words. My job, as a contributor to Age of Mortals, was to take a role from the Dragonlance: Fifth Age products and turn it into a full-fledged prestige class. This concept has become one of my favorite archetypes in all of Dragonlance.
The Kingfisher originally appeared as the Solamnic Auxiliary Sorcerer from Heroes of Sorcery, a Fifth Age product from 1997. The basic concept was that the Knights of Solamnia learned from the Chaos War that having a more divergent background can be beneficial. Indeed, the Knights of Takhisis merged martial, divine, and arcane might into the (arguably) greatest military machine that Ansalon has ever known. The Knights of Solamnia, known for centuries of tradition, created an auxiliary that these sorcerers fit into, rather than allowing them in the knighthood. Yet these sorcerers, like any knight candidate, had to take the Knight’s Trial, and to behave every bit like a knight would.
The concept emerged a few years later in Age of Mortals, from 2003. This was a companion book to the Dragonlance Campaign Setting book, and was Sovereign Press’ flagship product for their new license. Many roles from the Fifth Age found a place in this book. The new prestige class was renamed the Solamnic Auxiliary Mage (so both sorcerers and wizards could join). There was some question of how both could work together, but I believe we determined that both were expected to follow the Measure, and those that didn’t would get the boot.
I was excited by this concept, so much so that I found myself penning this particular prestige class. I wanted to present a mage who was so inspired by the Oath and the Measure, that it manifested itself in their magic. These abilities were called Magic of Loyalty, Magic of Courage, and Magic of Justice, representing the Crown, Sword, and Rose knights.
The Kingfisher came into its own in Knightly Orders of Ansalon from 2006, now with a shiny new name and utilizing the then-new substitution level mechanic from Dungeons & Dragons 3.5. The major difference in this rendition was that Kingfishers are now only White Robe wizards. Some fans may have been upset by this move, but it makes a certain amount of sense. The Knights of Solamnia value order, which the White Robes represent. Likewise, Solinari is the other son of Paladine and Mishakal, and brother to Kiri-Jolith and Habbakuk. The Kingfisher could also have the equivalency of being a knight, as demonstrated with the iconic Kingfisher, Sir Haley Copperclasp.
After a decade, the Kingfisher came into its own. It was a strong archetype, given a place of prominence in an evolving knighthood. We even got to see them featured in the Rise of Solamnia trilogy by Douglas Niles. Perhaps, one day, we shall see the Kingfishers again.