Lands of Erdos
Knights of the Black Rose
Dorianor’s military is considered by many to be the most sophisticated in Erdos. The Knights of the Black Rose exemplify that notion.
Though there are several knightly orders in Dorianor—and indeed in the entire world—the Black Rose is perhaps the most unique. Most knightly orders are societies composed of the nobility with the express purpose of promoting a singular ideal or crusade and often dedicated to a deity. Most of them are militant orders, promoting strength at arms and warfare capabilities.
The Order of the Black Rose however is an official branch of the Dorianorian Special Forces. It primarily serves as elite infantry and cavalry, capable of undertaking missions that Dorianor’s conventional military can’t handle.
Its members are not part of the hereditary nobility—any officer of the Dorianorian army can apply for membership. If accepted, the candidate goes through a training regiment and upon successful completion he or she becomes a neophyte knight, which also means receiving a Knight’s title.
The Order’s primary mission is the safeguarding of Dorianor from all threats both internal and external. They are the Dexter (right side of a Coat of Arms) in the phrase “the Dexter and the Sinister of Dorianor” (the Sinister—left side—being Shadow Force).
Though the Order is not dedicated to any god, Magnus and Tyr are often seen as its patrons.
The Errant Quest
Knights of the Black Rose typically live out a life common to most army officers, but a few of them choose to take up the Errant Quest. Effectively this gives them a sanctioned Leave of Absence where they go on for adventuring, traveling the Lands in search of danger. The idea behind this is that Knights can go around the world fighting threats to Dorianor before they become true dangers. Furthermore, Knights helping various people in need beyond the borders of Dorianor is major boon to the image of the Hegemony as a whole.
Errant Knights are thus act as ambassadors of good will and their actions promote diplomacy—in essence, they are a walking, fighting, monster-slaying public relations campaign. Or propaganda, depending on how you look at it. It is no wonder then, that when adventuring bands that count Errant Knights in their ranks are seen as heroes by the common people, even miles away from Dorianor.
Just like ordinary adventuring, the Errant Quest is by definition very dangerous, so not many of the Knights opt to take that path. Those who do however are seen as brave exemplars of the Hegemony. Those who survive to make a name for themselves quickly become legends in their own right.
The Order has been named in honor of the Black Rose Alliance; the spearhead of the Great Rebellion that cast down the Iron Empire.
Most of the Knights of the Black Rose are warrior-type NPCs (Knights and Veterans in particular) but a significant portion of them have class levels—particularly Fighters. Paladins are also drawn to the order as are a few clerics. The other classes are generally absent, unless you count Knights that have multiclassed into them.
Some Knights have received additional training to tackle even more unconventional missions. These are the so-called Special Operations Capable. They are almost universally warriors with levels in one or more classes.
The banners of the Order are red with a Black Rose emblazoned at the center. Knights typically wear a red tabard with the symbol, or a red cloak with it, or both. They often wear dark-colored plate armor.Special Operations Capable knights may, at their option, wear a modified version of the Coat of Arms. It is identical save for the colors which are reversed and a band with the word ‘AIRBORNE’ at the top.