Knights of Hylo
D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules
"Ek'thik allus mot durnat"
History of the Knights of Hylo
In 1640PC, the citizens of Hylo established a new warrior regime. In awe for a long time over the Knights of Solamnia, with all their shiny armor and bright weapons, a large group of kender took it upon themselves to form a kender knighthood. Calling themselves 'The Knights of Balif', the kender ran amok, wielding short swords and spouting rules that sounded just and fair in imitation of the knights they so admired.
Eventually, word was passed of these events to the Grand Master at the time, a strict man named Gregori uth Telan. Thinking that the kender were attempting to mock the knighthood with their ridiculous antics, the Grand Master sent an emissary to Hylo to order the kender to cease and desist. The emissary returned with rather unexpected news. The kender had refused, and had instead, sent an invitation for the Grand Master and any knights with him to become honorary members of the Knights of Balif's most prestigious order, The Order of the Acorn.
The Grand Master was infuriated by this and ordered an invasion of Hylo, heedless of his advisors recommendations against such action. The kender never even realized that they were being invaded when the knights marched on the city, believing the Solamnics had indeed come to be Knights of the Acorn. With incredible jubilation, the kender greeted the knights, swarming around the enemy camp and causing chaos in general. After three weeks of this "siege", the commander in charge of the invading force, a man by the name of Markus uth Wistan, held an audience with Hylos Elder's Council. Calmly, the knight explained that the Grand Master felt like the kender were making sport of the knighthood. While the council did not understand what was meant by mockery, they did realize that they had somehow managed to deeply hurt the Grand Masters feelings, and so the kender knighthood was dissolved.
This did not mark the end of the knighthood however. In 349AC, a small province in Goodlund called Pouchstrap, the Elders Council met to form a new fighting regiment to oppose the then invading dragon armies. Under the council of Delnik Springfingers, the Council revived the old knighthood of kender. Wary of the situation and keeping in mind the circumstances and occurrences of the last time the knighthood was introduced, the council worked to make the Knights of Balif more versatile and more non offensive. Thus were born the Knights of Hylo, in honor of region that first established the knights. These knights did not go out of their way to look like knights and created their own rules instead of borrowing those of the Solamnics. Although many kender joined the Knights of Hylo, the orders recreation was too late to help stop the dragon armies' invasion of the kender lands. Instead, the knighthood attacked the occupying forces with impunity. The downfall of Toedes forces in Kendermore is credited to not only death of the highlord, but also the definite presence of the Knights of Hylo.
During the Summer of Chaos the Knights of Hylo that were present in Goodlund during the occupation were put in charge of finding a way to expel the Dark Knights from the Kenderwood, but the arrival of the Chaos beasts prevented that and they fought side by side with the occupying forces against the beasts. They were also present at the destruction of Kendermore and were credited for their part in assisting in the Kender Flight and holding back the marauding forces of Malystryx.
How the Knighthood Works
The knighthood itself has but one rule: To always work for good. The knighthood teaches the vow amongst its members, the kender phrase 'Ek'thik allus mot durnat' which means 'Goodness is best'. Each and every knight works wholly towards this end, but in different ways, depending on the order to which they belong.
Kender of the Pouch: The members of this order, like their namesake, are those who hold many things. Their involvement is minimal, but they are by far the most numerous. They act as information gatherers, fund raisers, as providers of safety, and in times of need, an extra hoopak in battle. They tend to be kender who have already settled down in a community, as this type of work is ill suited to a kender struck with wanderlust.
Kender of the Sparrow: Like the bird, this knighthood wanders freely, with mirth and cheer. These knights are often kender just struck with wanderlust, out adventuring and wandering in search of whatever is interesting. A kender of this order not only gathers information, but is a general good deed doer. He lives to right wrongs wherever he may find them, and thus usually getting into no end of trouble. Some kender joke that like the sparrow, this order must quite frequently take flight. Regardless, Kender of the Sparrow are by far the strongest of their race, and there is no denying that their ability to use weapons effectively is unrivaled by any of their race.
Kender of the Hoopak: The Kender of the Hoopak dedicate their lives to the furthering of good. These kender are like the hoopak: straight and tall, supple and strong. These kender are often on the Elders Council in their region, the leaders of the community. Kender of the Hoopak are often chosen to represent the kender as ambassadors to other nations, as emissaries and delegates. Also amongst their ranks are those few kender who will never lose the tinge of Wanderlust, those who will continue to wander until their dying days and those who have gained much respect from other races. This final order is the defining power of the knighthood, the members well known for their cunning and wit, for their intelligence and their way with words.
Unlike the Solamnic Knights that have strict guidelines on the type of person which may be a knight, the Knights of Hylo feel that any kender that is true of heart and can wield a hoopak can be part of the organization. They even include honorary members among their ranks of humans, elves and dwarves, but these cases are rare and sometimes an unexpected surprise to the honorary member themselves.
In true kender fashion the "orders" themselves are not actually in any particular order and belonging to one over another does not always begrudge any more respect. It is merely an indication of the type of work that kender does in the organization. Experience in the knighthood is the ruling factor in most cases as to which member out ranks another. A Kender of the Hoopak council elder may grudgingly accept the recommendations of a Kender of the Pouch if the kender has more experience in the organization. A kender may switch orders as they see fit. There is a formal council for the Knights of Hylo, but it is as transitory as its members. They are called together in times of great need, but in most cases the knights are free to do as they will to bring goodness to the world.
As lordly titles seem important to the Knights of Solamnia they seem equally important to kender knights. The title of a kender knight is a summary of their accomplishments and incorporate tales of their exploits and adventures. Their titles may change from day to day or even meeting to meeting depending on the situation. Some example titles are: "Sir Delbin Gnomeflinger Destroyer", "Lord Telik of the Minotaur Chase" or "Lady Simpra Uth Fun of the Dragon Isles and Beyond". The grander sounding the name, the more impressive they are considered among other kender knights.
There is no standard uniform for the Knights of Hylo as each kender has their own particular tastes and the idea of lounging all day in a suits of full plate mail are not on the top of many kenders lists. As such each Kender Knight does bear an emblem, broach or patch with the symbol of their current order. There is the Purple Pouch for the Order of the Pouch, the Orange Sparrow for the Order of the Sparrow and the Silver Hoopak for the Order of the Hoopak. These emblems are displayed proudly and they are just as much a part of a kender as her hoopak, they are something that is never lost or given away.
The Knighthood Today
Today the knighthood is based solely in Hylo, although Knights of the Sparrow still fly to the farthest reaches of the continent. It is ruled from Hylo by Sarha Truehand and a council of elder knights. The knights continue to promote goodness around the world and do their best to help those in need. Afflicted kender have added a new facet to the kender knights. The true kender have been wary of allowing their dour faced cousins into the knighthood. Many afflicted kender refuse to even enter as they believe that people should handle their own problems without interfeance, but occasionally there are those afflicted kender that truely have a longing to assist those in need and they are monitored closely by their peers to make sure they stay true to the ideals of the knighthood.
Belladonna has long sought to make the Knights of Hylo into a standing army, but that is near impossible to achieve as each kender knight has a duty to assist the weak and defenseless, two things that the leader of Hylo is definitely not. The organization does what it can to further the cause of righteousness and now that the gods have returned it is not uncommon to find followers of Fizban or Branchala among their ranks spreading the good word and performing good deeds for those less fortunate.
To qualify to become a Knight of Hylo, a character must fulfill the following criteria.
The Knight of Hylo's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intuit Direction (Wis), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Pick Pocket (Dex), Profession (Wis), Scry (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble(Dex).
The following are class features of the Knight of Hylo prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Knight of Hylo is proficient with all simple and martial weapons. They also gain a proficiency with one of the following kender weapons: bollik, chapak, hoopak, sashik, sithak, whippik or yothak.
Valiant Talent: At every odd level, a Knight of Hylo may take a Valiant Talent. Normally a character will select from the talents for their order, but they are free to choose a talent from any of the orders listed below. Each talent can only be selected once. See the Valiant Talents charts below.
Protection from Evil (Su): At 10th level the knight is constantly surrounded by an aura that duplicates the protection from evil spell.
Order of the Pouch
Intelligence Gathering (Ex): "When you arrive someplace new, see what you can find in the way of hospitality and information." The knight gains a +2 competence bonus to Gather Information and Pick Pockets checks.
Spot Entrance (Ex): "Many human cities are built without taking kender into consideration, so know how to get into and out of town." The knight gains a +4 bonus when searching for anything that would allow entry into or out from a location (doors, cracks in a wall, sewer pipes, chimneys, dumb waiters, coal chutes, etc).
Hard to Hold (Ex): "A Knight of Hylo should always be upstanding and never handled like a common thief." The knight gains a +2 to Escape Artist checks and +4 on opposing grapple checks
Fast Draw (Ex):"Be quick on the draw. You need to be fast to save lives." The knight can draw pouch items with astonishing speed. She can draw any item from her pouches as a free action instead of a move action.
Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): "Be nippy and nimble to keep your charges safe." The knight has become so adept at running away and dodging authorities, merchants and other pursuers that they may make a Hide skill check while moving at normal speed with no penalty. While running, they only incur a -10 penalty when using the Hide skill check.
Order of the Sparrow
Weapon Knowledge (Ex): "Don't hit your enemy with the wrong end of the stick." The knight is using a bollik, sashik, or whippik they gain the Weapon Finesse feat. If they are proficient in chapak, hoopak, sithak, or yothak they gain the Weapon Focus feat. If they are proficient in one of each they can select the feat to use.
Improved Feint (Ex): "Always keep them guessing about where your coming from." The knight gains a +2 bonus to his Bluff checks when he attempts a feint. He also feints as a move-equivalent action instead of a standard action. The knight cannot use this ability while wearing medium armor or heavy armor.
Quick Draw (Ex): "Make sure you're ready before they are." The knight gains the Quick Draw feat for free.
Sure-Footed (Ex): "When the enemy is about keep your eyes open, your ears open and your mouth closed." The knight is never flat-footed even when surprised. The knight cannot use this ability while wearing medium armor or heavy armor.
Combat Reflexes (Ex): "Always strike them hard and fast." The knight gains the Combat Reflexes Feat for free.
Order of the Hoopak
Kender Luck (Su): "Sometimes it takes a little luck to get what you want." The knight has an unusual knack for saving her neck in dangerous situations. Once a day on any roll she may opt to have a re-roll. The outcome of the re-roll must be used instead of the original roll.
Kender Diplomat (Ex): "Keeping your hands out of other people's pockets is a sure way to impress them!" The knight gains a bonus to the skill Diplomacy equal to his Knight of Hylo level.
Undaunted (Ex): "Never give up. Never give in." The DC of any Intimidate skill checks used on the knight is raised by +10.
Observe Motive (Ex): "It's surprising, but sometimes other races fail to be completely honest!" The knight gains a bonus to the skill Sense Motive and Bluff equal to half his Knight of Hylo level, remainders rounded up.
Kender Charm (Su): "Keep on smiling and everything will turn out fine." The knights Charisma is raised by +1.
Steve Miller: For Heroes of Definance and creating the back story of the Knights of Bailfor.
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