Triadic knights were holy warriors were dedicated to the Triad, an alliance of three good-aligned deities: Tyr the Maimed God, god of justice; Ilmater the Broken God, god of suffering and compassion; and Torm the True, god of duty.[3] They called upon the combined power of the three deities to combat the devils, demons, and other evils that plagued the world.[4]

History[edit | edit source]

Triadic knights originated among the Order of the Triad, a knightly order of Old Impiltur founded in the Year of the Proud Father, 732 DR, which itself grew out of the Triadic Crusade that fought the demonic Scaled Horde that once overran the kingdom. The early Triadic knights served the crown in combatting the fiends that plagued the kingdom in the 8th to the 12th century DR. However, in the long Kingless Years (9261097 DR)) and in the early years of the Heltharn Dynasty (1097 DR onward),[5][1] [6] though they held firm to their traditions and faith, their numbers waned to nil as the holy champions were gradually killed off by fiends and other foes and no more knights replaced them. Eventually, the Order of the Triad was no more.[5]

Yet its traditions and faith in the Triad survived in future generations, in the form of Triadic knights in not one by many knightly orders.[3][1] A century into the new Heltharn Dynasty, in the Year of the Shrike, 1196 DR, King Imphras II was inspired to found a new holy knightly order to serve the monarchy and revise the Order of the Triad's traditions. The Most Holy Order of the Sacred Shrike would come to be known simply as the Knights of Imphras II Circa 1374 DR, its leading members were these Triadic knights.[5]

Meanwhile, beyond Impiltur, in central and west Faerûn, Triadic knights served in the countless knightly orders dedicated to Ilmater, Torm, and Tyr, or the Triad as a whole. They were present in large numbers as leading members of the Knights Kuldar at Barakmordin in Tethyr and of the Janessar in Calimshan, both dedicated to the Triad. However, the majority, though not by much, were independent clerics and paladins who venerated the Triad apart from the individual churches with little if any opposition from them.[1][7]

Attitudes[edit | edit source]

Like paladins but more so, Triadic knights were those knights in shining armor who fought for goodness and justice for all.[3][1] They believed they must embody the strengths of all three gods of the Triad and display always courage and honor and perseverance in order that they might be true and virtuous paladins.[3][7]

Yet this this was no simple stereotype, but based in a complex system of beliefs combining the dogmas of three churches with shared goals but different approaches.[1] To a Triadic knight, the church of Ilmater, the church of Torm, and the church of Torm each had unique views on how to live honorably and courageously,[7] and they weighed their respective merits and sought a balanced solution. An example was of a criminal who is captured but then apparently repents—the Triadic knight must consider duty versus mercy versus justice in deciding his fate.[1] They understood that doing good must come before following orders, that justice must be tempered with mercy, and suffering must be ended with courage.[7]

I met a mighty warrior on the road. Her sword was shattered, her face was scarred, and she carried with her a bloody saddle. I offered her a ride in my cart, but she graciously declined, saying that she had to walk the path Ilmater had set before her. Within her eyes burned a fire the likes of which I've never seen. This warrior, I imagined, had fought horrors that would crush the spirit of any common man.
— Arrath Darcylon, the Wandering Bard, encountering an unnamed Triadic knight[7]

As a result, they proved more flexible in their beliefs and practices than typical clerics and paladins of similar lawful good faiths, even those of their three churches.[7] They were also more resilient in spirit and body than even other paladins, with their combined sense of courage, justice, and perseverance driving them on no matter how dire the situation.[1]

Requirements[edit | edit source]

A paladin of only Ilmater, Torm, or Tyr could discovered the faith of the Triad after encountering a complex challenge that forced them to consider things from the perspective of one of the other faiths. This might lead to a revelation in which they embraced the Triad and pursued the way of the Triadic knight.[2]

To become a Triadic knight, an aspirant must of course be dedicated to one or all three of the gods Ilmater, Torm, and Tyr, and be of lawful and good nature. In particular, they must radiate the aura of good that a cleric or paladin of one of these deities would, so members invariably walked one or both of these paths, at least in part. In addition, they needed to be adept in combat and possessed of especially good endurance. They also needed to be schooled in religious and planar lore, as well as local knowledge. Finally, they needed to be initiated into the higher secrets of one of the churches of Ilmater, Torm, or Tyr and to have learned the associated special combat techniques and spells.[2] Moreover, aspirants who undertook three quests on behalf of each church and performed them with valor were more likely to be accepted, but this was not a necessity.[2]

Activities[edit | edit source]

By their nature, Triadic knights were required to study the faiths of all three gods and their churches. Novice Triadic knights were even rotated between the three churches to serve them individually and follow the commands of their respective senior priests. They were expected to learn not only how each was reinforced by the other two but also the precise weaknesses or flaws in each of them alone. They were to apply their understanding of the faith of the Triad as a whole to bolster and advance each of the faiths.[7]

In particular, Triadic knights were required to carry on and ultimately lead the Triad Crusade.[7] Although it had officially ended in 732 DR,[5] they believed it would not stop until they had slain or banished all fiends from Faerûn. Triadic knights hunted down fiends wherever they might find them, no matter how dark the place, and brought to bear the resources of the three churches to destroy them.[7]

Otherwise, they acted similarly to regular paladins, though their powers to take hardships meant for others, uncover truth, and confront danger with courage naturally saw them inspire and lead others.[7]

Abilities[edit | edit source]

A Triadic knight had much in common with a paladin, if they weren't one already, being a holy warrior with many similar abilities. They advanced or acquired a special mount of great intelligence, hardiness, and loyalty, and late in their career they could smite evil beings with the force of their conviction once a day. A paladin turned Triadic knight merely did so much better an extra time per day. The greatest Triadic knights could triple the impact with the "threefold smite"—it was said they could slay the mightiest villains in a single blow.[2]

In addition, as they advanced, they gained extra defensive powers granted by their gods and named for them. The Hands of Ilmater prevented them from being sickened or nauseated. The Eyes of Tyr ensured experienced knights could no longer be dazzled or blinded, except via injury. With the Heart of Torm, veteran knights could feel no fear.[2]

They also gained various magical abilities also commonly named in reference to their gods. The "martyr's embrace" let an early knight create an effect similar to shield other. The "judge's insight" let an experienced knight detect falsehoods as with discern lies. Finally, with "lion's roar" a knight at the pinnacle could create a shout.[2]

They could often continue casting divine spells, if they could do so before, like a cleric or experienced paladin. Meanwhile, their existing aura of good grew stronger.[2]

In addition to the common skills of a mounted warrior, a Triadic knight could be skilled in healing, diplomacy, and sensing deceit, and knowledgeable in local affairs, the nobility and royalty, and religious and planar lore.[2]

Tactics[edit | edit source]

In battle, Triadic knights were found fighting in the front line, usually in melee with the enemy commander or champion to smite them. They relied on their divine magic and gifts to protect themselves from dark magic and push on.[7]

Possessions[edit | edit source]

Triadic knights preferred good armor and weapons that aided in combat with demons and devils. Typically, they wielded cold iron and silvered blades and bane (evil outsiders), holy, and thundering enchantments.[2]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

The paladin's paladin, a Triadic knight was respected wherever a paladin was, or reviled wherever they weren't, and in much the same way. Not many outsiders understood how they merged and followed the three faiths, nor the subtle differences that resulted.[1]

With their three churches in close alliance, a Triadic knight had many options for aid. Moreover, the Triadic knights were members of honored knighthoods, so, like paladins, they could count on being treated well in realms where goodness reigned,[7] especially in Impiltur, where Triadic knights were closely associated with the kingdom's history and monarchy.[8] And while they were not well known in places further away like the Old Empires and in non-human societies, their open-minded and adaptable views about the various lawful good faiths made them appreciated.[7]

Notable Triadic Knights[edit | edit source]

We are few, but our resolve can break the spine of any fiend.
— Haelimbrar, Servant of the Lords of Imphras II[3]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 125. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 123–124. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 122–123. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
  4. Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 106. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 90. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
  6. George Krashos (August 2006). “Impiltur: The Forgotten Kingdom”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #346 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 69–70.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 124. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 George Krashos (August 2006). “Impiltur: The Forgotten Kingdom”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #346 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 64.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 92. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
  10. Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 125–126. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
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