The Knights of Saint Kairen
The Knights of Saint Kairen
AKA: The Kairenites
Acrassia is a land cursed by the distant Paragon Wars, and the countless leftovers of those dark times terrorize the various nations of this land. Countless feudal societies have granted the noble title of “Knight”, but there are several independent and international organizations that also give it, and there is no such organization is more prominent than the Knights of Saint Kairen.
The Knights of Saint Kairen believe in the legendary Saint Kairen, who was by all accounts one of the most dangerous warriors of the Paragon Wars. Master of both sword and magic, she was also a passionate artist who seemed to entrance those around her with her beauty and intellect. She is revered in story and song, and the key tenets of her followers philosophy include: “Don’t stop moving, so long as you throw yourself into everything you do, it’s nearly impossible to fail”, “passion can move mountains”, and “clever thinking and tactics can make up for missteps, so long as you keep moving forward.”
The Knights of Saint Kairen have existed as long as anyone can remember. The reason for their longevity is mostly to do with their deep pockets and their existence as one of the most effective middlemen in international banking. The Dwarves are the greatest producers of gold in the world, but the Kairenites are the ones who leverage their precious metals, offering the storage of wealth, documents, and the transfer of funds for commoners, nobles, and kings alike. While they have been nearly destroyed several times, their existence as the cornerstone of the international banking system of Acrassia has saved them far more often than strength of arms.
The official history maintained by the Knights themselves is that they were formed at the end of the Paragon Wars as a dedicated army within the Church of Preservation to protect the remaining peoples of Acrassia, and protect the original dream of the Heralds for the world. They’re present during major natural disasters to give relief, they perform strike operations to eliminate leftover monstrosities from the Paragon Wars, they capture major criminals, and try to keep major Orcish Warbands and Paragon cultists under control. The Knights manage their responsibilities using elite teams of skilled adventurers. Publicly, there are only 100 “Knights of Saint Kairen” (level 10 Minimum) at any given time, but each Knights commands 4 to 8 skilled “Agents of Saint Kairen” who are often as skilled as their Knight, or in training with that Knight as a Squire, or meant to perform roles and tasks that the Knight could not fulfill. Often times, Initiates of the Knights of Saint Kairen travel the world, solving problems, and gather adventurers who end up becoming full fledged Agents of Saint Kairen as they become experienced. This allows many adventuring parties to make use of the Order’s resources as they grow in strength, and the Order in turn gets skilled agents and a firmer grip on the wider world. Individual knights are also commonly responsible for the development of 5 initiates at any given time who learn the ins an outs of being in the Order from them before continuing to other duties.
Besides the active forces connected to the Knights of Saint Kairen, each branch of the Order gets support from Mentalists who form a Research and Development branch of the Knights, known collectively as Magi. These experts represent one of the few truly organized groups of Mentalists on Acrassia, constantly working together to push the boundaries of magic and identify forgotten spells from a bygone age. As a whole, the Knights of Saint Kairen are obsessed with the collection, cataloguing, and recreation of Heraldic magic and practices, and go to great lengths to recover artifacts and magic items. Because of this, their priorities often seem skewed, but the benefits are self-evident. More than one thief has tried to rob a Kairenite Keep, only to find themselves destroyed at the hands of one odd contraption or another. They’re known to collect Paragon artifacts for study and disposal as well, which is a point of serious contention between the Kairenites and other orders, but their track record shows that the safest place on Acrassia for such dangerous items is in their hands. Due to Drakenheim’s incredible amount of hidden magical items and artifacts, their current headquarters is their ancestral home, the Tower of Kairen.
The upper echelons of the Knights of Saint Kairen (Knights and Agents, Lvl 10+) are fully aware that Saint Kairen was in fact, the Herald of Passion, one of the many forgotten Heralds that at one point existed on Acrassia. The Order was originally her honor guard, and they’ve since tried to protect the Heralds’ old dreams. This is a closely guarded secret that they do not reveal to anyone below a certain rank, unless someone can be proven to be truly trustworthy.
There are few forces on Acrassia more dangerous and watchful than the Knights of Saint Kairen.
Ranking Structure (Minimum Level Per Rank):
Initiate (Knight, Magister or Adept): Level 1 to 2
Postulant (Knight, Magister, or Adept): Level 3 to 6
Squire (Knight); Apprentice (Magister); Scribe (Adept): Level 7 to 9
Knight (Knight) or Magister (Magister); Librarian (Adept): Level 10 to 14 (Only 100 Knight or Magi at any given time)
Chapter Master (Knight); Lord Magister (Magister); High Archivist (Adept): Level 15 to 19 (only 5 at any given time)
Knight Commander (Knight); Grand Magister (Magister); Keeper of Secrets (Adept): Level 20 (only 1 at any given time)
Grandmaster (only 1 at any given time)
The current Kairenite Council: Grandmaster Angela Parseigan, Knight Commander, Grand Magister (?), Keeper of Secrets (?), Legendary Agent Bartemaeus,
Opinions on Other Organizations:
The Imperial Rangers: “Cagey bastards. They won’t trade with us, they won’t talk to us, and they certainly don’t listen to us. They’re definitely hiding something, and they’re definitely dangerous, but they keep the area around the High Elven Empire secure and monster-free. Something about it all just makes me real nervous. One of these centuries, we’re going to have to go in and ask some really tough questions.” -Bartemaeus, Legendary Kairenite Agent
The Order of the Ashen Heart: “Ten thousand strong, the Order of the Ashen Heart is one of the most effective forces for good in Acrassia. They’re also a bunch of Smash-happy murdering madwomen who would rather kill them all and let the Heralds sort them out rather than find an effective solution to the problem. It also doesn’t help that they’ve come to our doorsteps with small armies to request the surrender of Paragon artifacts that we’re best suited to dispose of, some of which we’ve been able to study to the point that we can eliminate some major Paragon curses and forgotten heraldic weapons, but they don’t care about that. We skirmish, we parlay, we politic, but the situation remains unresolved. They outnumber us five to one, but we’ve got the money, and the kind of weaponry to take out nations. A war between us would be the worst possible outcome. We’ll avoid it, although I doubt the Saint is nearly so rational. I want deployment plans on my desk for the possibility of an active conflict between the two organizations.” -Grandmaster Angela Parseigan
The Keepers: “We keep secrets. They trade in them, juggle them, live and breath in them. If they exist, they’re a good source of information, and we often trade facts and items. They are good allies, and we have an excellent working relationship- or at least we would, if they existed. If they existed, things wouldn’t be perfect though. They’re annoying because of their tendency to sandbag us in favor of their long term goals, and because of their requirements for operational security. But even so, their nonexistence aside, I trust them.” -Dame (Knight) Karis Lamont
The Witchkin: “They play with forces they don’t understand, and easily qualify as the worst mass murders currently working in Rovania with the way they wipe out their initiates with their poorly concocted super soldier elixirs. If we could just get a proper study performed on their elixirs, (preferably using monkeys), we might at least lower their yearly fatalities! Maybe. Honestly, it may be better that they’re the only ones using such dark powers against the night. On the other hand, they reduce yearly overall casualties due to aberrations in a Rovanian town by 43% any time they spend at least two weeks on site. So, there’s definitely a net gain from their continued existence!” -Magister Erza Capris