“May honor and virtue be my guiding light.”
-Oath of Drastin
The Gold Lancers are a unit of Knights of the Crown who serve as the defenders of Castle Drastin on the Solamnic plains. The Gold Lancers are noted for their valor and bravery, though they often run into political squabbles with higher-ranking knights and Solamnic nobles. While the remainder of the Knights of Solamnia recognize their valor, they are just as happy allowing the Gold Lancers to operate semi-independently. This has allowed the Gold Lancers to maintain traditions dating before the Cataclysm.
The Gold Lancers were originally a unit under the command of Lord Drastin, a medium-ranking Knight of the Crown who hailed from a long line of knights. He eventually grew dissatisfied with the Knighthood’s lack of response against Istar. Drastin left the Knights of Solamnia, vowing to do a better job in training knights than the Solamnics did. He vowed that he would do a better job of training his knights, who would follow the spirit of the Measure, if not the exact words.
Drastin raised his children and grandchildren with a slightly modified version of the Oath and the Measure, training the women of the family as well as the men. The other Knights of Solamnia let Drastin be, as he was both a force for good and they saw his efforts as a harmless aberration that would have no lasting effect. The other knights were mistaken, though, as the Order of the Gold Lance grew. All members of the family became part of the Order, which accepted a few other members as well – typically distant relations, friends, and a select few who have shown they value honor, courage, and justice. The Order of the Gold Lance never grew to more than a dozen knights, and eventually shrank to just a few. During the War of the Lance, all but one Gold Lancer was slain at Solanthus fighting the Blue Dragonarmy – Steveck uth Drastin.
After the war, Steveck worked alongside Daviter the Wise, a Knight of the Rose, and his distant cousin, Kimmil, to help rebuild the land. As the trio traveled together, a close bond formed. Steveck grew to know his cousin better and became close friends with Daviter the Wise, who in turn fell in love with Kimmil. The Gold Lancer, the knight, and the paladin would often discuss honor and valor, forming a consensus between them on what is good and just.
Daviter recognized that the variant teachings of the Gold Lancers had merit and could be of benefit to the Knighthood. He proposed that Steveck apply for knighthood within the Knights of Solamnia. Meanwhile, Daviter would arrange for the Gold Lancers to be their own unit. Though Steveck had reservations, he agreed to do so in order to pass along his heritage to others. Lord Gunthar Uth Wistan agreed with the provision that Daviter accompany Steveck back to Drastin Keep and supervise the training of any prospective knights. Daviter and Kimmil soon wed, and the trio moved back to Steveck’s ancestral home, Castle Drastin. The Gold Lancers grew to a dozen strong, no more and no less – a tradition set down by Steveck in honor of his heritage. They served the Knights of Solamnia well throughout the Time of Dragons.
During the Chaos War, Steveck Uth Drastin fell against the Knights of Takhisis, and Castle Drastin was abandoned. Daviter, Kimmil, and the other Gold Lancers made their escape, riding hard to warn the Knights of Solamnia. They arrived too late, discovering that the Dark Knights had won several victories already. Daviter and Kimmil led the Gold Lancers throughout the Chaos War, saving several innocents from the forces of Chaos.
After the Chaos War, Daviter and Kimmil moved the Gold Lancers base of operations to the isle of Sancrist. The two had made the decision to pass on the leadership of the Gold Lancers to their daughter, Kimberlyn, already an accomplished Knight of the Crown in her own right. When Kimberlyn was to be knighted as a Knight of the Sword, the ceremony was interrupted by the appearance of a strong young man wearing the golden scale armor of Steveck Uth Drastin. Daviter challenged the young man to a duel, calling him a grave robber. The man defeated the elder Daviter, though he gave him his life – and proof of his heritage. As Daviter looked over the letter in Steveck’s handwriting with his personal seal, he looked up and saw the face of his old friend in the young man. The man introduced himself as Davack Uth Drastin.
Davack would not speak of his past, only to say that he was the illegitimate child of Steveck and that his father would visit him on occasion. Daviter and Kimmil knighted Kimberlyn as a Knight of the Sword, though they did not transfer command of the Gold Lancers over to her. She resented Davack for many years because of this, though she secretly grew to love him. Davack proved to be a quick study, becoming a Knight of the Crown. Davack eventually proposed marriage to Kimberlyn. Despite their distant relation, she accepted – a practice that, while uncommon, was not unheard of. Daviter transferred command of the Gold Lancers over to both Davack and Kimberlyn, giving them his blessing.
The two raised a son, Merrick, who they groomed to be the next leader of the Gold Lancers. Davack wanted to strike back at the Dark Knights who occupied Solamnia, but Kimberlyn put a stop to that, reminding her husband that the Storm Over Krynn would destroy the Knights of Solamnia. Reluctantly, Davack let the issue go, though he maintained contacts within the Legion of Steel, using them to wage his war against the Storm Over Krynn.
As Merrick came of age, the family gold scale armor was passed down to him. He led the Gold Lancers in the War of Souls, even fighting at Sanction. After the death of Takhisis and the defeat of the Dark Knights, Merrick petitioned unsuccessfully for aiding the elves against the minotaurs who invaded their homeland. Merrick grew to resent his superiors, and he went on a quest to reclaim his ancestral home, Castle Drastin.
The Gold Lancers campaigned against the Dark Knights, successfully reclaiming Castle Drastin. The Gold Lancers operate semi-independently of the Knights of Solamnia, though they are bound to follow orders. Nevertheless, Merrick has established allies within the Legion of Steel and has done what he can for the elven exiles. He has allied himself with the gold dragon Aureus, who had been imprisoned during the War of Souls.
Merrick mourned the loss of Lord Lorimar and Liam Ehrling, two men he greatly respected. He despises the corrupt leadership of the Knights of Solamnia, especially the Lord Regent, Bakkard du Chagne. Though he recognizes that the Lord Marshal, Jaymes Markham, has done much to restore Solamnia, he feels that Markham is using the ends to justify the means. Merrick hopes that honor and nobility can be restored to the Knighthood.
The Gold Lancers believe in much the same ideals as other Knights of Solamnia, though they are trained that the spirit of the Oath and the Measure takes precedence over the written law. They tend to be independent free-thinkers who enjoy their seclusion from the world. The Gold Lancers believe strongly that the Knighthood should follow the cause of freedom. They are not happy with the Knighthood’s lack of response with the elven diaspora. Most Gold Lancers do not care for anyone who takes orders from Bakkard du Chagne, and they keep a careful eye on Jaymes Markham as well.
The Gold Lancers are a wing of the Knights of Solamnia comprised of 50 men-at-arms and twelve knights trained in cavalry. The knights are typically Knights of the Crown, though Sword and Rose knights have served in their ranks. Most recently, the knights consist of one Rose Knight, nine Crown Knights, a Clerist, and a Kingfisher. The leader of the Gold Lancers is always a descendent of Drastin.
Areas of Influence
As a small unit within the Knights of Solamnia, the Gold Lancers cover little territory.
- Solanthus: The Gold Lancers call Castle Drastin to the east of Solanthus their home.
- Sancrist: During the Reign of the Overlords, the Gold Lancers held a base on this isle. It has since been abandoned.
The Gold Lancers are typically led by a descendent of Drastin, though he may have assistants. The leader typically holds the rank of captain and may have up to five stewards under his command.
Time of the Dragon
- Steveck Uth Drastin: [LG male civilized human noble 4 (armiger 1/3)/fighter 2/Knight of the Gold Lance 5 ] Steveck Uth Drastin is the last descendent of Drastin during the years following the War of the Lance. He is determined to rebuild the Order of the Gold Lance. Though his ancestor, Drastin, split from the Knights of Solamnia, Steveck has come to appreciate them. With some convincing from Daviter, he has become a Knight of Solamnia himself, teaching his own company in the ways of the Gold Lancers.
- Daviter the Wise: [LG male civilized human fighter 8/Knight of the Rose 3] During the years following the War of the Lance, Daviter sought to improve the image of the Knights of Solamnia with the common man. During his journeys, he befriended Steveck and convinced him that the divisions of the past between the Knights of Solamnia and the Gold Lancers should be put behind. Daviter is working closely with Steveck on rebuilding the Gold Lancers.
- Kimmil: [LG female nomad human paladin 11] Kimmil is a distant relative of Steveck’s. During the War of the Lance, she befriended Steveck and Daviter. Though she is by no means your average knight, she has been granted honorary status as Knight of the Sword.
Reign of the Dragon Overlords
- Davack Uth Drastin: [LG male civilized human fighter 5/Knight of the Crown 3/Knight of the Gold Lance 2] Davack is the illegitimate child of Steveck Uth Drastin. Davack never talks about his past, only to say that his father would visit him and teach him of his heritage. He never talks about his mother. Some suspect it is out of shame, while others suspect that his mother was a harlot and that he was raised by someone else. Davack is a proud knight who fights valiantly against evil. He has established contacts with the Legion of Steel and seeks to drive the Dark Knights out of Solamnia.
- Kimberlyn: [LG female civilized human fighter 6/Knight of the Sword 4] Kimberlyn is the daughter of Daviter and Kimmil. When she was knighted as a Knight of the Sword, she was to also be given command of the Gold Lancers. She resented Davack for interrupting the ceremony where she was supposed to take command of the Gold Lancers. She did become a Sword Knight that day, and continued her studies of faith even as the resentment ate away at her. Over time, she eventually fell in love with Davack. They eventually were wed and, as a wedding present, command of the Gold Lancers was given to both Davack and Kimberlyn. Kimberlyn became the mother of a son, Merrick, to whom the tradition of the Gold Lancers would be passed down.
Post-War of Souls
- Merrick Uth Drastin: [LG male civilized human noble 4 (armiger 1/3)/fighter 2/Knight of the Gold Lance 3/Knight of the Rose 1] Merrick is the last of the Drastin family line, the son of Davack and Kimberlyn Uth Drastin. Merrick fought during the War of Souls, demonstrating to the Knighthood the value of the Gold Lancers. He has petitioned the Knighthood to aid the elves, but has been expressly forbidden from doing so, a decision he resents. He works to find other ways of helping them through less official channels, such as with his allies in the Legion of Steel and with the gold dragon, Aureus. He despises the corruption of the Knighthood with the merchant dukes and the Lord Regent. While he respects the work the Lord Marshal has done, he feels that Jaymes Markham will use any tactic to achieve his goals, honorable or not.
As members of the Knights of Solamnia, the Gold Lancers can call upon their aid when needed. The Gold Lancers generally get along well with their fellow Solamnics, though there are times they have disagreements.
Merrick Uth Drastin has recently formed a covert alliance with the local cell leader of the Legion of Steel. He also maintains contact with a few elven nobles, trying to aid them however he can.
The primary enemies of the Gold Lancers are the Dark Knights. Though the Gold Lancers have despised the Dark Knights as a whole, they have recently begun to tangle with some of the smaller Nerakan factions, such as the Knights of the Storm. The Gold Lancers have recently won a victory over the Storm Knights, killing their blue dragon. The Storm Knights have vowed revenge.
Joining the Gold Lancers
Prospective Gold Lancers must be Knights of Solamnia. The captain of the Gold Lancers typically chooses members he personally knows and trusts. Descendents of Drastin are guaranteed a spot, while close friends and family come in right behind. It is rare that the Gold Lancers accept a total stranger into their ranks.
Costs and Benefits of Membership
Joining the Gold Lancers is little different than joining the Knights of Solamnia. One has to prove extreme skill with horsemanship and using a lance. The return comes in the form of superior training in a brotherhood of Solamnic Knights who operate fairly independently of the Knights of Solamnia.
Those who would become Gold Lancers typically hail from the Knight of Solamnia classes, as well as those base classes that typically lead to a higher prestige class. The following are typical classes taken by Gold Lancers, though others are available.
- Fighter: Most Gold Lancers have at least a few levels of fighter, generally prior to taking prestige class levels.
- Noble [armiger]: Gold Lancers often have levels in noble, with armiger substitution levels. Typically, these are descendents of Drastin, though other nobles are welcome as well.
- Cavalier: Many Gold Lancers take levels of cavalier to represent their prowess with a lance. This prestige class can be found in Complete Warrior.
- Knight of the Gold Lance (see below): Traditionalist Gold Lancers will have ranks of this prestige class, though not all Gold Lancers do.
- Knights of Solamnia (Crown, Sword, and Rose): Most Gold Lancers have levels of one of the Knight of Solamnia prestige classes.
- Clerist: The Gold Lancers typically keep one Clerist on active duty with them at any given time.
- Kingfisher: Only recently have the Gold Lancers seen the inclusion of a wizard to their ranks. Kingfishers from the White Robes are welcome to join the Gold Lancers, though typically only one will serve with them at one time.
Knight of the Gold Lance
Author’s Note: The Knight of the Gold Lance prestige class was my earliest design for the order. Though not necessary now, those who want to play a Gold Lancer may find this prestige class to be fun. I hope you enjoy it.
Hit Die: d10
Alignment: Lawful good.
Base Attack Bonus: +5
Skills: Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 4 ranks, Ride 6 ranks.
Feats: Honor-bound, Mounted Combat, Weapon Focus (lance).
Special: The character must already have been accepted as a squire.
The Knight of the Gold Lance’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (nobility and royalty) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Ride (Dex).
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
Drastin’s Heart (Su): At 1st level, the Knight of the Gold Lance may draw upon his inner strength and conviction. He may add his Charisma bonus (if positive) to any one skill check, saving throw, or to damage roll. This ability may be used a number of times per day equal to his Knight of the Gold Lance levels.
Mounted Weapon Bonus (Ex): At 2nd level, a Knight of the Gold Lance gains a +1 competence bonus on his attack rolls when using a lance. This bonus increases to +2 at 4th level.
Drastin’s Courage (Su): At 3rd level, a Knight of the Gold Lance embodies the ideal of having the courage to do what is right. He applies his Charisma modifier (if positive) as a morale bonus on all saving throws vs. fear effects.
Drastin’s Soul (Su): At 5th level, the Knight of the Gold Lance embodies the ideals set down by Drastin. Once per combat, a Gold Lancer may imbue his lance with his own spiritual energy, transforming it into a holy weapon (see p. 225 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide) for a number of rounds equal to his Wisdom modifier. The weapon glows with a soft, golden light.
|Knight of the Gold Lance|
|Class Level||Base Attack||Fort Save||Reflex Save||Will Save||Special|
|2||+2||+3||+0||+3||Mounted weapon bonus (lance) +1|
|4||+4||+4||+1||+4||Mounted weapon bonus (lance) +2|