Knights of Solamnia

Huma Cover by Artgerm
Huma

Motto: Est sularus oth mithas. “My honor is my life.”

The origins of the Knights of Solamnia lie in the Age of Dreams when Vinas Solamnus, praetor of the armies of the Ergothian Empire, was sent to quash a rebellion in the eastern province of Vingaard. When Solamnus discovered the cause of the rebellion was just, he turned against the Empire and took command of the rebels, eventually liberating them and establishing the realm of Solamnia. 

Solamnia became a beacon of honor and justice, eventually attracting other lands wishing to throw off the Empire’s yoke. However, the disparate peoples, customs, and cultures led to new problems for the fledgling country, leading Solamnus to embark on his legendary Quest of Honor.

Solamnus, traveled to Sancrist Isle, finding a black granite monolith in an ancient glade deep in the heart of the island wilderness where he spent many days in fasting and prayer. At some point, Solamnus received visions from Paladine, Kiri-jolith, and Habbakuk instructing him to form a mighty knighthood which would endure through the ages, the Knights of Solamnia, and would serve to unite the disparate peoples of the land.

The knighthood would consist of three orders, each modeled after the tenants of one of the three patron deities of Solamnus’ vision.

The Order of the Crown

The Order of the Crown’s patron is Habbakuk and is dedicated to the ideals of loyalty and obedience.

The Order of the Sword

The order of the Sword honors Kiri-jolith. Knights of this order seek to exemplify courage and heroism.

The Order of the Rose

Paladine, himself, represents the Order of the Rose. As such, Rose Knights uphold the virtues of justice and wisdom. Even in the Age of Mortals, the Order of the Rose continues to honor Paladine, seeing the sacrifice of his godhood as the ultimate example of what it means to be a knight.

Other Solamnic Knight Orders

The Knights of Solamnia are not made up entirely of warriors. There are others dedicated to the cause of good who swear their allegiance to the Knighthood.

Clerist and Kingfisher
Clerist and Kingfisher

Knight Clerists

A sub-order of the Knights of the Sword, Knight Clerists are warrior-clerics and paladins dedicated to Kiri-jolith. While not officially members of the Holy Order of Kiri-jolith, the patron of the Order of the Sword grants his blessings to these few who have proven their faith. They serve as the spiritual center of the Knighthood, and it is this order from which the High Clerist is chosen.

Kingfishers

Kingfishers are wizards of the White Robes who have pledged themselves to serve the Knights of Solamnia in the Solamnic Auxiliary. Due to their split allegiance, Kingfishers rarely, if ever, hold rank over members of the other Solamnic orders.

Allies and Enemies

The Knights of Solamnia are dedicated to the preservation and advancement of good throughout Ansalon and will consider any who share these goals an ally. Realizing the benefits of having arcane spellcasters in their ranks, the knighthood has recently allied with the Order of White Robe Wizards of High Sorcery, creating a new auxiliary order, the Kingfishers. 

In times of great need, the knighthood has also allied itself with metallic dragons, preferring to pair riders with gold, silver, and bronze wyrms. While they do not shun aid from copper and brass dragons, these are often seen as too chaotic in the eyes of the lawful Knights.

While attempts have been made to establish relations with the new United Elven Nation at Inith-Wakenti, their efforts have thus far borne little fruit. 

More often than not, the values of the Legion of Steel will align with those of the Knights of Solamnia, although the Solamnics consider the Legion too disorganized to be seen as a truly reliable ally. 

The knighthood considers any who would advance the cause of evil their enemies. Depending on the era of play, these groups can include the dragonarmies, the Knights of Neraka, the Dragon Overlords, the newly established goblin nation in Abanasinia, and the minotaur colony of Ambeon. 

Goals of the Knights of Solamnia

The goals of the Knights of Solamnia are relatively simple. They see themselves as a bulwark against the machinations of evil on Ansalon. While their primary duty is to the people of Solamnia, the knighthood has come to realize that waiting for evil to come to them is often unwise. To that end, several circles of knights have been established in secret in areas where the gods of darkness hold sway.

Joining the Knights of Solamnia

To join the ranks of the Knights of Solamnia, an applicant must be sponsored by a knight in good standing with one of the three orders and submit to a trial, wherein the applicant’s worthiness is questioned. Further, in order to advance in rank or to change from one order to another, knights must distinguish themselves by undertaking quests as laid out by the Measure.

Knight’s Trial

An individual seeking to join the Knights of Solamnia may apply to any of the three orders within the knighthood, but they must first submit to an interrogation by a knightly council, in which the applicant’s family, deeds, and honor are questioned. The focus of the interrogation will be different depending on the order the candidate is applying for. The Knights of the Crown will question a candidates sense of duty and and their willingness to follow the orders of their superiors, while an applicant to the Knights of the Sword will be questioned about their faith and look for examples of the candidate’s courage in the face of danger. The Knights of the Rose will typically examine the applicant’s ability to make wise and just decisions, especially when those decisions are unpopular.

Prior to the War of the Lance, an applicant to the Order of the Rose would have their pedigree examined in order to prove they’re descended from a noble line. However, while this is still a part of the examination and a factor in determining the candidate’s suitability for the Order of the Rose, it is no longer considered a requirement if the hopeful can show that their honorable actions supersede any lack of noble lineage.

If it is evident that the applicant has lived an honorable life and shares the values of their chosen order, they are admitted as a squire under the direct supervision of a knight whose rank is that of Steward or higher. This knight is usually the one who sponsored the applicant but not always.

Once the squire’s patron has determined their worthiness, the squire’s deeds are, once again, scrutinized by the knight’s council. If no question of their honor can be found and they’ve been shown to uphold the ideals of their chosen order, the applicant is accepted as full Knight of Solamnia, with all rights and responsibilities inherent in that role. 

Quest of Virtue

A Knight of the Crown who wishes to join the Order of the Sword (or a Sword Knight wishing to join the Order of the Rose) must undertake a quest to prove their worthiness. These quests must be approved by a knightly council, though sometimes a council will just assign a quest to a knight if there is an immediate need. 

Every Quest of Virtue must include a journey to a distant land and have a specific goal or task the knight must achieve. According to the Measure, the goal of a knight’s Quest of Virtue can be among several things:

  • Protecting the innocent from a powerful threat
  • Defeating a powerful monster
  • Negotiating a peace between warring factions
  • Recovery of something that was lost

After the Quest is completed, the knight must present themself before the knightly council and tell the tale of their journey. The knight must provide witnesses who will testify that the applicant’s actions upheld the ideals of the knighthood they seek to join. The knight must, also, present material evidence of their claims. Once the council is satisfied that the knight has successfully completed the Quest, they are inducted into the new order.

Knight of Solamnia Characters

Sturm, by Jason Engle
Sturm, by Jason Engle

Alignment: Usually Lawful Good

Suggested Races: Human. In the Age of Mortals, characters with a human parent may also become Knights of Solamnia.

Suggested Classes: Cleric (Clerists), Fighter, Paladin (Clerists), Ranger, Rogue, Wizards (Kingfishers)

Requirements: Proficiency in light and medium armor, and at least one martial weapon.

Rank and Renown

Upon proving themselves worthy during their trial, an applicant to the Knights of Solamnia must spend a certain amount of time as a squire in service to an elder knight. By earning renown, a knight can gain ranks in their order. In order to gain a new rank, a knight must be approved by a knight of superior rank.

If you switch orders within the Knights of Solamnia you retain the benefits you gained in previous orders or you may replace one of the benefits of your previous order for one that you qualify for in your new order. 

You can earn renown within the Knights of Solamnia in many ways. Here are a few examples:

  • Recovery of something lost
  • Facing a more powerful foe in single combat
  • Acting in such a way that increases the reputation of Knighthood
  • Disregarding one’s own life to protect the innocent

You can also lose renown by acting in a dishonorable fashion. Some examples include:

  • Refusing to aid the innocent
  • Disobeying direct orders
  • Seeking out wealth or fame for oneself
  • Showing cowardice in the face of defeat
  • Any act that brings dishonor to the knighthood

Rank 1: Knight Steward

Prerequisite: Renown of 3 or higher in the Knights of Solamnia

After earning three points of renown as a squire, you may petition your lord to gain the rank of Knight Steward. You’ve gained some authority over other soldiers. When you’re sent on missions and quests of a military nature, you may request a company of up to 10 guards who will follow your lawful orders without question. You may also requisition rations, supplies, and transportation as needed from nobility loyal to the Knights of Solamnia. 

Knight Clerist (Special Role)

Prerequisite: Renown of 3 or higher in the Knights of Solamnia, A member in good standing with the Knights of the Sword

Clerics and Paladins dedicated to Kiri-jolith, who’ve joined the Knights of Solamnia and have been inducted into the Order of the Sword, may also take on the role of Clerist. As a clerist, you have the responsibility of acting as the voice of wisdom within the knighthood. All High Clerists are chosen from the ranks of knight-clerists.

Kingfisher (Special Role)

Prerequisite: Renown of 3 or higher in the Knights of Solamnia, Ability to cast arcane spells of 1st level or higher, At least 1 point of renown with the Order of White Robed Wizards of High Sorcery.

As with all wizards, your first commitment is to magic. However, you share the values of the Solamnic knights and have dedicated your talents and skills to aid them in pursuit of justice. The Order of Kingfishers is an auxiliary unit. While you hold the same ranks and the privileges that come with them within the knighthood as you gain renown, all other knights of Rank 1 and higher technically outrank you. 

Rank 2: Knight Captain

Prerequisite: Rank 1 and renown of 10 or higher in the Knights of Solamnia

Upon gaining the rank of knight captain you are assigned charge over other knights. You’re responsible for interpreting, strategizing, and executing the orders of your superiors. Often, knight captains are members of a circle of knights assigned to a particular city or region. Occasionally, a Knight Captain will lead the circle. In times of war, you will command a wing, consisting of up to five companies each led by a Knight Steward who answers to you. In addition to the benefits of your previous rank, when embarking on a quest for the knighthood, you may requisition a number of uncommon or rare, consumable magic items equal to your Charisma modifier.

Rank 3: Knight Marshal

Prerequisite: Rank 2 and renown of 25 or higher in the Knights of Solamnia

You are the ranking member of a circle of knights assigned to further the knighthood’s goals in a particular city or region. You are responsible for gathering intelligence pertaining to the region and of interest to the Knights of Solamnia and reporting your circle’s progress to your superiors. In times of war, you take on the role of battlefield commander and are placed in charge of a shield, consisting of up to 2000 soldiers and thirty to thirty-five wings. In addition to the benefits gained from previous ranks, you gain the benefits of the Position of Privilege background feature on page 135 of the Player’s Handbook.

Rank 4: Lord Knight

Prerequisite: Rank 3 and renown of 45 or higher in the Knights of Solamnia

At this rank, you become eligible for land and titles suitable for the nobility. You have direct access to the High Knight of your order and are considered a trusted advisor to them. In times of war, you command a quadron, consisting of up to 4 shields. Additionally, you have the ability to requisition additional magic items, including weapons and gear, without the permission of your superiors, unless your honor has come into question.

Rank 5: High Knight

Prerequisite: Rank 4 and renown of 65 or higher in the Knights of Solamnia

At this point, you’ve ascended to the highest rank in your order (High Warrior, High Clerist, or High Justice) and have direct access to the Grand Master. All other knights of your order answer to you. You answer only to the Grand Master himself.

Subclass Options

Knight of Solmania (Martial Archetype)

When you reach third level, you can choose one of the following Orders of the Knighthood to join.  

A Knight of Solamnia joins one of the three branches of the Knighthood.  Members who join the Order of the Crown are often focused on the development of their physical prowess and sense of justice.  They continue to focus on upholding the highest physical standards as a way of life.

Knights of the Sword are often focused on the continual struggle against Evil and strive to learn more about how best to combat it.  While these knights often seek out knowledge or divine learning, they also have the courage and strength to resist the terrors and temptations of darkness.

The noble Knights of the Rose are the backbone of the orders.  Often of noble birth, these knights are looked to as the leaders, lawgivers, and benefactors of the knighthood.  This order strives to treat all people, no matter their birth or life choices, as if they were guided by the wisdom of the measure.

3rd Level Feature

Strength of the Crown (Order of the Crown).  When you join this order at 3rd level, you can add half of your proficiency bonus (rounded down) to all strength and dexterity skills that do not already benefit from your proficiency bonus.

Belief in the Sword (Order of the Sword). When you join this order at 3rd level, you gain advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened.

Rally Cry (Order of the Rose). When you join this order at 3rd level, you gain the ability to allow a number of allies up to your charisma modifier who can see or hear you to reroll a failed saving throw.  Once you use this feature, you may not do so again until you complete a short or long rest.

7th Level Feature

Horde Breaker (Order of the Crown).  Once on each of your turns when you make a weapon attack, you can make an additional attack with the same weapon against a different creature that is within 5 feet of the original target and within range of your weapon as part of the same action.

Secrets of the Sword (Order of the Sword).  Your studies and faith in Paladine or Kiri-Jolith have granted you limited access to his divine power.  You learn two cantrips from the cleric spell list. Additionally, choose two spells from the cleric spell list that are third level or lower. You have the ability to cast each spell once at its lowest level. Once you cast them in this way you must finish a long rest before you are able to cast them again. When you gain a level in this class, you may exchange a spell you know for another spell that meets this feature’s criteria.

The ability to cast these spells is considered a blessing from either Paladine or Kiri-Jolith (your choice), and manifests itself as a single weapon of your choice which bears the mark of the god you chose, called the Mark of the Patrons. This weapon can be used as a spellcasting focus for these spells.

Movement of the Rose (Order of the Rose).  When you take the attack action on your turn, one ally of your choice who can see or hear you can move up to half their speed (rounded down) as a reaction without provoking an attack of opportunity.

10th Level Feature

Strike of the Crown (Order of the Crown).  Your fighting skills have grown so that your weapon attacks deal additional damage. When you take the attack action, you may choose to deal an additional 1d6 points of the same damage type to target.  This damage increases when you reach certain levels: 1d8 at 15th level and 1d10 at 17th level.  You may use this ability a number of times equal to your strength modifier.  You regain all uses of this feature upon completing a short or long rest.

Spare the Sword (Order of the Sword). You have received the gift of healing from your patron. As an action, choose one ally that you can see. That ally regains a number of hit points equal to 4d4 + your wisdom modifier.  You are able to use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (Minimum 1).  You regain all uses of this feature upon completing a long rest. 

Additionally, you gain proficiency in the Persuasion and Insight skills.

Rose Tactics. If you are within 5 feet of an enemy and not incapacitated all allies have advantage on attacks made against that enemy. 

15th Level Feature

Crush the Tide (Order of the Crown).  When you take the attack action, you can make one melee attack against each creature within five feet of you.

Lost Secrets of the Sword (Order of the Sword).  Your studies and faith in Kiri-jolith have granted you even more access to his divine power.  You gain two additional cantrips as well as two additional spells that are sixth level or lower from the cleric spell list.  You have the ability to cast each spell once at its lowest level. Once you cast them in this way, you must finish a long rest before you can cast them again.  When you gain a level in this class, you may exchange a spell you know for another spell that meets this feature’s criteria.

Icon of the Rose. When an ally who can see or hear you is reduced to 0 hit points, you may use your reaction to have them drop to 1 hit point instead. You may use this feature a number of times equal to your charisma modifier (minimum once), and you regain all uses of this feature upon completing a long rest.

Kingfisher (Wizard Arcane Tradition)

Solamnic Auxiliary Mage
Kingfisher

Motto. “Honor in magic. Honor in life.”

Kingfishers are White Robe wizards who have pledged to serve the Knighthood of Solamnia as part of the auxiliary unit. A Kingfisher’s first commitment is to the magic, of course; but they share the same values that embody other Solamnic Knights. A strong belief in the Oath and Measure fuels a Kingfisher’s magic, manifesting in powerful abilities.

Restriction

This arcane tradition is reserved for those endeavoring to become White Robe Wizards of High Sorcery who also wish to serve the Knights of Solamnia. If you are using the faction rules (DMG, 21) you must have at minimum a renown of 1 in the Wizards of High Sorcery with the intention of becoming a White Robe. You must also earn renown to qualify for the Kingfisher rank within the Knights of Solamnia.

Knightly Training

Your training with the Knighthood allows you mastery of a knight’s weapons and horsemanship. At 2nd level, you gain proficiency with one martial weapon of your choice and with vehicles (land).

Magic of Loyalty

From the Order of the Crown, a Kingfisher learns the virtue of loyalty. When you take this arcane tradition at 2nd level, during combat you may use an action to choose a loyal ally to protect with your magic. By expending a 1st level spell or higher slot, a magical aura surrounds your ally giving them a bonus to Armor Class and saving throws against spell effects equal to your proficiency bonus. The ally must always be within 30 feet of you to sustain these benefits. The aura lasts for 1 minute, or until you are incapacitated or die. Once you use this feature, you may not use it again until you finish a long or short rest.

Magic of Courage

At 6th level, you’ve learned the virtue of courage from the Order of the Sword. You gain Advantage on Wisdom saves against fear effects and may add half your proficiency bonus (rounded down) to initiative checks during combat.

Magic of Justice

At 10th level, you’ve mastered the virtue of justice from the Order of the Rose. During combat, you may designate an enemy that the Knighthood is seeking to bring to justice. For one minute, the target has disadvantage to saving throws against spells you cast. The target must be an enemy of the Knights of Solamnia. If not, the effect fails. Once you use this feature, you may not use it again until you finish a long rest.

Steward of the Kingfishers

At 14th level, your oath to the Measure and Knighthood manifests itself in your magic. When you use your Magic of Loyalty feature, you may use a spell slot of 5th level or higher to affect a number of allies equal to your Intelligence modifier. Additionally, each ally affected by your Magic of Loyalty features gains advantage on saving throws made to avoid spell effects and attacks made against them have Disadvantage for 1 minute. The allies must be within 60 feet of you to sustain these benefits. 

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