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The Church of the Red Knight was a small organization based primarily in the west of Faerûn, devoted to the Red Knight.

HistoryEdit

The church of the Red Knight was not a distinct entity from the church of Tempus until the end of the Time of Troubles. At that point, a small organization of priests and monks split off from their parent church, apparently encouraged by Tempus himself.[1] For decades afterward, many still believed the Red Knight to merely be an aspect of Tempus[2] and Tempurans only barely tolerated their god's dissemination of power,[1] ensuring the church remained relatively small. The Red Knight's heroics, however, ensured a dedicated following in southwest Faerûn. The faith began to come into its own in 1361 DR, after the Horde War of the previous year.[2]

The mercenary paladin Kendera Steeldice also helped spread the faith in the Old Empires thanks to her aid in Mulhorand's conquest of Unther.[3][4]

Clergy Edit

The clergy of the Red Knight was also known as the Red Fellowship, and consisted of clerics, crusaders, monks and specialty priests styled as "holy strategists".[1] Members of the Red Fellowship serve in militaries across Faerûn, often as elite commanders, quartermasters and instructors in war colleges.[5] Most paladins of the faith were members of the Order of the Red Falcon.[6]

The clerics of the faith often penned tomes on military strategy. One such book, Master Tactician, was used as a teaching tool, both in the art of war and the Red Knight's secret magic.[5][7] Holy clerics of the Red Knight could gauge the strengths and weaknesses of their enemies using the analyze opponent spell.[8]

Regardless of class, priests of the Red Knight were regimented into a hierarchy with corresponding titles. In ascending order of rank these were:[2]

  1. Page
  2. Squire
  3. Knight
  4. Knight Quartermaster
  5. Knight Commander
  6. Knight Captain
  7. Lord Knight
  8. Lord Knight Commandant
  9. Lord Knight of the Red Standard

Gendered titles like Lord Knight were altered for female incumbents and higher-ranking priests preceded their title with their relative rank within the Knight's faith. So the High Priestess of the faith, High Lady Bloodhawk, would have been titled First Lady Knight of the Red Standard.[2] The practice of numerical ranking was abandoned as the clergy grew, however the rank system itself was maintained. [6].

When not on duty, the priests were known for their love of gaming. They disdained games of chance that would be the purview of Tymora, and instead preferred games of strategy that sharpened their minds and their ability to read an opponent. Lanceboard, chess and go, a game imported from Kara-Tur, were favored and were even included in the Queens Gambit festival.[2]

Holy strategists' interactions with priests of other faiths mostly mirrored their deity's own with other gods. Clerics of the Red Knight were popular with priests of Torm and Tyr, due to their shared devotion to discipline and a structured, military lifestyle and they would often jointly oversee naval battles with priests of Valkur. Most of the clergy harbored a certain distaste for clerics of Garagos and almost universally despised Cyricists. Priests of Tempus and those of the Red Knight often found themselves at odds, since many Tempurans disdained planning, and preferred to rush into battle. However despite this, the two clergies remained closely allied.[6]

VestmentsEdit

For ceremonial functions, holy strategists wore red enameled half or full plate, often complementing them with ornate, full face helmets when they wished to convey a grand impression. Over the plate, a snow white tabard embroidered with the Red Knights holy symbol was worn.[6]

For less formal occasions, flowing robes of red accented were preferred. The shade of red denoted the rank of the wearer - starting at almost black at lower ranks to brilliant crimson at the higher ones.[6]

A holy strategists holy symbol is usually carved from semiprecious red gemstone, but was comparable in most way to silver holy symbols of other faiths.[6]

Adventuring holy strategists were not expected to wear red enameled armor, but simply to wear the highest quality armor they can afford. While not a requirement to keep their armor spotless, almost all did so as a point of pride.

While in the field, strategists were expected to carry a banner or shield with a distinguishing design to serve as a rallying point for their allies. Some chose to simply use the Red Knight's holy symbol for this, but as many others used personal coats of arms or insignias. Despite this requirement, holy strategists were not prohibited from removing or concealing their symbols if it would provide some tactical advantage.[6]

Unlike Tempuran priests, followers of the Red Knight were not forbidden to conceal their faces with their helmets.[6]

ChurchesEdit

Temples of the Red Knight were dominated with images of chess pieces and the floors were inlaid with a giant lanceboard in white and either black or red and polished to a brilliant gleam by the priests. They were typically guarded by blood red and bone white stone guardians, carved in the shape of various, enormous chess pieces.[6]

The Citadel of Strategic Militancy
Located northeast of Baldur's Gate, the Citadel of Strategic Militancy was a noble estate belonging to the Bloodhawk clan that was pillaged during the Time of Troubles. Rebuilt by the Bloodhawk scion, Lady Kaitlin, she transformed it into a bastion of her faith and home to the Red War College, with miles of surrounding farmland.[8]
The House of Strategy
The House of Strategy was based in Ankhapur. The Red Knight was formerly the patron of Ankhapur's royal family and was that city's state religion for a couple of decades. When Janol Famisso became king, he had the state religion changed to that of Lathander, causing the Red Knight's clergy to suffer a marked loss of influence.[9][10]
Temple of the Red Knight
A small temple in Cimbar, built in 1359.[7]

Notable ClergyEdit

AppendixEdit

ReferencesEdit