Defender of the Crown
D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules
During his time as head of the Ergothian palace guard, Vinas Solamnus realized that nobility was not to be found only among the noble. Many of the peasantry who joined his cause during the War of Ice Tears showed as much honor and courage in battle as the Ergothian riders. This realization lead Solamnus to create a means for the low born peasant to become ennobled through military service. It had always been possible for anyone to achieve nobility in Ergoth, but only if the opportunity presented itself. A peasant was unable to actively seek nobility.
Thus, Solamnus created the Defenders of the Crown. An Order within an Order, similar to the Knight Clerists. A peasant could join the Solamnic Knighthood as a squire, and if he was accepted as a Knight, would hold the rank of Defender of Crown. Though a peasant could never dream of reaching the Order of the Sword, he could become a noble, even a Lord. In fact, more than a few Defenders of the Crown went on to become High Warrior, head of the Order of the Crown, and head of homeland defense. Nobles entering the knighthood were not required to be a Defender of Crown.
To the Solamnic peasant, the greatest draw of the Defenders was for his ancestors. Once a peasant had risen to the rank of Knight of the Crown, his family was considered fully ennobled, and his sons were eligible to join the Order of the Sword.
After the War of the Lance, the role of the Defenders was expanded, allowing those not of Solamnian blood to enter the Knighthood. The first of these were Tanin and Sturm Majere, the sons of Hero of the Lance Caramon Majere, and the nephews of the infamous Raistlin Majere. More would follow, and eventually Caramon's granddaughter, Linsha, made history twice over: she was the first non-Solamnian, and the first woman ever admitted to the Order of the Rose.
Defenders of the Crown make up the bulk of standing garrisons, knights on patrols or guarding important locations. Defenders often act as bodyguards for higher ranking knights as well.
To take a Defender substitution level, a character must be a member of the Order of the Crown and be about to take his 1st, 4th, or 7th level of Knight of the Crown.
Defender substitution levels have the class skills of the standard Knight of the Crown prestige class plus Sense Motive (Wis) and Spot (Wis).
All of the following are features of the Defender of the Crown substitution levels.
Stalwart Bastion: Once per day, a Defender may take on a firm defensive stance. When defending he cannot move, but he gains a +2 to Strength, +4 to Constitution, +2 resistance bonus on all saves, and a +4 dodge bonus to AC. The Stalwart Bastion lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character's improved Constitution modifier. At the end of the Stalwart Bastion, the Defender of the Crown is winded and takes a -2 penalty to Strength for the duration of that encounter. Stalwart Bastion requires no time itself to activate, but must be engaged on the Defender's turn.
The Defender may use Stalwart Bastion 2 times per day at 4th level, and 3 times per day at 7th level.
Uncanny Dodge: The Defender gains the Uncanny Dodge feat even if he does not qualify for it otherwise.
Improved Uncanny Dodge: The Defender gains the Improved Uncanny Dodge feat even if he does not qualify for it otherwise.
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