Knights of Takhisis
D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules
Harbingers of evil, henchmen of Takhisis, warriors of corruption, men and women of honor. These dark knights are the result of the careful studies and plotting of a man named Ariakan, the son of Ariakas, leader of the Dragonarmies. After defeat during the War of the Lance, Ariakan was taken prisoner by the Solamnic Knights. The young man was so well-mannered, courteous, and respectful that eventually the knights grew to take a liking to him, and were enjoyed by the great eagerness the youth possessed over learning about the Knighthood. However, his study of the Knights of Solamnia was for a much darker purpose. After leaving the custody of the knights, young Ariakan received a vision from Takhisis, and then went about organizing a knighthood every bit as disciplined, honorable, and well-functioning as that of the Solamnics without any of the latter's weaknesses.
Adventures: In the late 4th Age, the Knights of Takhisis kept themselves secret and hidden until the time arose when they were to sweep across the continent and conquer it, then defend that very same continent from Chaos, the Father of All and Nothing. In the 5th Age however, a great portion of Ansalon is under the rule of the Dark Knights, or rather the land of the Dragon Overlords is policed by them. As such, it is their duty to try and quash any uprising and rebellions that take place in the Overlord's lands, or go on secret missions provided by the knighthood, or by the Overlords themselves.
Characteristics: Knights of Takhisis are lawful, ordered individuals. They do not succumb to the temptations of many other evil individuals, such as the need for petty vengeance, in-the-dark assassinations, or even greed. Duty and loyalty in the name of Takhisis are paramount to everything for a Dark Knight. Underhanded subversive tactics are frowned upon greatly, and punished with no less than death. However, there is an exception to such deviousness--if it is done in the best interests of the Knighthood, then it is entirely allowed. Unlike Solamnics, the Dark Knights know when to put their pride behind them for the greater good of their cause.
Alignment: A knight of Takhisis must be of lawful evil alignment, as the group's laws and rules are quite demanding of the discipline of the individual.
Religion: As the name states, the Knights of Takhisis worship only the goddess Takhisis. Even the Thorn Knights hold no veneration for the gods of magic. The only other deity that even comes close to being worshipped is the goddess Zeboim, mother of Lord Ariakan. In show of respect and gratitude, one day a year has been set aside in reverence of the sea goddess, and members of the Dark Knights often ask for Zeboim's blessing before departing on a ship.
Background:In the Fourth Age, the fledgling Knighthood quietly recruited and trained young people from all corners of Ansalon, quickly teaching them as the Solamnics taught their squires that their honor was their lives, but (unlike the Solamnic Knights) service to Takhisis was the highest honor of all. This indoctrination, combined with Lord Ariakan's unsurpassed skills in the arts of war and designs of equipment (to this day the ordinary armor of the Knights of Solamnia is considered to be inferior to the design of Lord Ariakan, now uniform among his Knights), made them the undisputed masters of war. They also contacted dragons who had served in the Blue Dragonarmy and recruited as many of them as they could.
In the Fifth Age, recruiting is no longer done in secret in most cases; the Knights of Takhisis are at least the figureheads in nearly half the land on the continent. However, a larger base of recruits has caused a larger number of them to be of somewhat less than exemplary quality. Many leaders of communities within the domain of the Dark Knights offer captured criminals the chance to "volunteer" to join the Knights of Takhisis, and since their alternative is usually the gallows, they gladly accept. Still, once within the Knighthood, most are trained to a similar if not quite equal level with the Knights of Takhisis from the Fourth Age.
Races: Humans, half-elves, elves, dark dwarves, minotaurs. Unlike the Knights of Solamnia, the Knights of Takhisis will gladly accept the help of anyone willing to help in their cause.
Other Classes: Despite the grudging respect the Knights of Takhisis have earned from the Knights of Solamnia, the tensions between the Dark Knights and the other chivalric Order run high; nothing short of the impending destruction of Krynn (by a being other than Takhisis) could make them willing to work together. Knights of Solamnia are even required by the Measure to challenge any Knight of Takhisis they meet to a duel to the death. Similarly, in the Fourth Age, the Conclave of Wizards has declared the Knights of the Thorn, who pay homage to none of the Gods of Magic, to be renegades. Each wizard may choose to deal with Dark Knights as they see fit. Also, because the Knights of Takhisis killed Justarius, former Head of the Red Robes, many wizards have an extra reason to hate them.
In the Fifth Age, the Academy of Sorcery, founded and presided over by Palin Majere, former Head of the Conclave, is not consciously operating against the Knights of Takhisis, but only because they are uninterested in becoming a military entity. However, Palin is considered extremely dangerous by the Knights of Takhisis due to his intervention on behalf of the Qualinesti against Beryl, and Palin returns the sentiment, as do most Academy students. Unlike the Academy, the Citadel of Light is set against them, and has been in a state of undeclared war with the Knights of Takhisis since a trio of disguised Knights of the Skull stole the secrets of mysticism from the Citadel Masters and used them to create the dreaded sphere of necromancy. The Citadel regularly sends missionaries into their territory to preach hope in an effort to trigger revolutions against the Dark Knights. The Legion of Steel is also in a state of undeclared war against them because many of their members are reformed Dark Knights who have been sentenced to death in absentia by their former Order. The Knights of Solamnia, meanwhile, maintain an uneasy truce with the Knights of Takhisis; another large-scale war would be so destructive to the continent and the people in their lands that a "winner" would come out of the fight about as well as a loser.
This is only a partial list of the organized groups that stand against the Knights of Takhisis. Numerous groups in Palanthas, Solace, Sanction, and other large and small communities are also working against them. The only aid the Knights of Takhisis can expect to receive consistently is that of clerics of Takhisis and other gods in her pantheon.
Game Rule Information
Knights of Takhisis have the following game statistics.
Abilities:Strength is key to the Dark Knights in battle. Wisdom benefits those who desire to go onto become Skull Knights, as is Intelligence for those who crave Thorn Knight Status, and Charisma helps fuel the Dark Knight's Divine Grace.
The Knight of Takhisis's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge(religion), (Int) Listen (Wis), Swim (Str), Ride (Dex). See Chapter 4 in the Player's Handbook for skill descriptions.
All of the following are class features of the Knight of Takhisis.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Knight of Takhisis is proficient in the use of all simple and martial weapons and all armor (heavy, medium, and light) and shields. Note that armor check penalties for armor heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble. Also, Swim checks suffer a -1 penalty for every 5 pounds of armor and equipment carried.
Divine Grace: As per the Paladin ability Divine Grace.
Spell Aptitude: Should a Knight of Takhisis become a Knight of the Thorn or Knight of the Skull, add the knight's level to that of their spellcasting class for all intents and purposes of determining spell casting abilities.
The Vision: A knight of Takhisis, upon passing the Test of Takhisis receives the Vision, a personalized albeit vague look into their destiny and the worth of their service to Takhisis. A knight may consult his Vision to find out the best solution to an upcoming problem by succeeding a Wisdom Check (DC 16). The results are usually vague, but provide pivotal information that leaps to mind for the next two hours. For example, Pelan the Knight of Takhisis consults his Vision. In an hour, his talon comes to a rebel camp. Suddenly the images of red streaking from the woods to hit a black skull come to mind. He quickly orders the Knights in his talon to throw torches into the nearby forest, which causes the elven archers hiding within to flea from the flames.
Weapon Specialization: Knights of Takhisis may take the Weapon Specialization Feat.
Advancement: After a Knight of Takhisis passes the Test of Takhisis at 5th level, they may choose to continue in the Order of the Lily (represented by the Knight of Takhisis class by itself) or join either the Orders of the Thorn or the Skull. This can be done by multiclassing with the wizard class or the cleric class, respectively. If upon completion of the Test of Takhisis, the Knight remains in the order of the Lily and at a later date decides that they would best be of service to Takhisis in one of the other orders (after all, it wouldn't be about their own ambitions), then they have to retake the Test of Takhisis. In the Knights of Takhisis all orders are considered equal, and thus no order carries more prestige than the others.
Game Notes for Skull and Thorn Knights
Skull Knights are favored by the goddess Takhisis, and unlike the Solamnics, they gain spells on a daily basis. Moreover, they need not spend the usual time preparing their spells, but spend 15 minutes in concentration similar to a sorcerer.
Thorn Knights are all considered to be renegade magic-users by the Conclave, and are often called "grey robes". Unlike other magic-users, they mysteriously draw their magic from all the moons of Krynn, and thus are affected by them differently. Use the following table to determine the effects of the moons on Grey Robes.
This item has been published here with permission from the author(s) and may not be reproduced without permission. This is a fan submission and its contents are completely unofficial. Some characters, places, likenesses and other names may be copyright Wizards of the Coast.