Red Knight

<b>The Red Knight:</b>
<i>Lady of Strategy, Grandmaster of the Lanceboard</i><br>

<b>Symbol:</b> Red knight chess piece with stars for eyes<br>
<b>Home Plane</b>: Toril/Faerun<br>
<b>Alignment</b>: LN<br>
<b>Portfolio</b>: Strategy, planning, tactics<br>
<b>Domains</b>: Law War <br>
<b>Worshipers</b>: Fighters, gamesters, monks, strategists, tacticians<br>
<b>Aliases</b>: N/A <br>
<b>Cleric Alignments:</b> LN, LG, LE<br>
<b>Favored Weapon:</b> Longsword – "Checkmate"<br>

The Red Knight serves Tempus, the Lord of War, as the goddess of planning and strategy. She is portrayed as a dark-haired woman in blood-red armor, with a map of the Realms tightly clasped in her hands. The Red Knight keeps her true name secret from all but the Lord of Battles, as she realizes that if any power, mortal or divine, were to gain any measure of control over her, they would be privy to all the plots and stratagems of rulers throughout the Realms and the powers throughout the planes.

The Red Knight is venerated by the Foehammer's followers in a secondary position to the Lord of Battles. Only since the Time of Troubles has a small priesthood distinct from that of the Foehammer arisen in her name. This small priesthood, owing it existence in part to the increasingly complex nature of war, is grudgingly tolerated by Tempurans and apparently encouraged by the Lord of Battles himself. Some sages speculate that Tempus has sponsored the Red Knight to the rank of demipower and encouraged her worship as a natural counterbalance to Garagos the Reaver, his mortal enemy.

The Lady of Strategy is calm and logical in demeanor, but displays a great wealth of compassion, though she is unafraid to send her worshipers to their deaths when necessary to secure the objective of a plan. She rarely raises her voice and is said to love a good joke and have a throaty laugh. She dislikes flighty behavior, and looks unfavorably upon those who switch alliances often or capriciously.

The Red Knight see Tempus as a father figure, and the two spend a great deal of time together. They sometimes hunt together or exchange tales in his feasting hall, but most often they are busy visiting the numerous fields of battle in Faerun or reviewing battles of times past. The Red Knight sees Valkur as her best ally in the disposition of naval conflicts, though her expectations of him sometimes exceed his demonstrated level of commitment to all but the protection of sailors. The Red Knight and Torm are similar in disposition, and their interests in battle and the duties of warriors coincide well. She is known to be fond of him, but whether they are in love or merely close friends is a matter they have kept very private. The Lady of Strategy dislikes Garagos from what she has been told of his behavior by Tempus, though she personally has not come to blows with him. Her animosity is reserved for Cyric, who she despies as the utmost of traitors and liars and a poor planner besides.
During the Time of Troubles, the Red Knight was active in Tethyr defending the strife-torn nation against an army of monsters that threatened to surge forth from the Forest of Tethir. Her military genius was decisive in numerous battles where the small, but determined, Company of the Red Falcon overwhelmed numerically superior armies of beasts and humanoids.

War is won by those with the best planning, strategy, and tactics, regardless of the apparent odds. Any fool can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with fortune's aid. Only a master strategists can ensure victory and that is will last.

War is a series of battles. Losing a battle does not necessarily indicate the war is lost. Seek out your opponent's weaknesses and recognize your own; avoid an opponent's strengths and play to your own. Only by focusing one's own strengths on one's opponent's vulnerabilities can triumph be ensured.
In times of war prepare for peace; in times of peace prepare for war. Seek out your enemy's enemies as allies, and be prepared to compromise. Life is an endless series of skirmishes with occasional outbreaks of war. Be ready—and have a contingency plan.

The Red Knight commonly manifests as a chess board on which various pieces are positioned. By discerning the most appropriate next move on the board, worshipers blessed with such a vision can intuit an appropriate strategy for the future for their current situation.<br>

The Red Knight shows her favor by the discovery of small, red chess pieces carved from price-less rubies. She shows her displeasure by the discovery of similar pieces carved from crumbly white quartz. She also has been known to enable trained battle animals to perform feats of strength or intellect normally beyond their capacities in order to aid their owners. The Red Knight is served by einheriar, maruts, pers, and stone golems and stone guardians shaped in the form of chess pieces. More common creatures said to manifest her presence or interest include owls, eagles, falcons, elephants, pegasi, horses, and domestic dogs and cats, especially those trained for battle, most such creatures are of a ruddy hue.<br>

<b>The Church of the Red Knight:</b>
Only in recent memory has the Red Knight emerged as a demipower in her own right, distinct from Tempus. Most folks still view her as a follower or aspect of Tempus, similar to Veiros and Deiros, the Foehammer's twin steeds. Although the Red Knight serves all sides in battle, villagers and city dwellers perceive her as an ally of civilization who enables small numbers of brave defenders to triumph through superior intelligence and foresight against ravening hordes of rapidly breeding humanoids.

The Red Knight has but a few shrines dedicated to her name, and all but one are found within temples of Tempus. Chapels of the Red Knight are dominated by images of chess pieces and the floor is inlaid with a chess board (also known as a lanceboard) of black and white or red and white marble. Typically they are guarded by numerous stone guardians of blood red and bone white hue, carved in the shape of various chess pieces.

The clergy of the Red Knight, known as the Red Fellowship, is an offshoot of a monastic order within the hierarchy of the church of Tempus that concentrated on planning and strategy. Evenly divided into clerics, crusaders, monks, and specialty priests (known as holy strategists), this relatively small priesthood has only organized into a distinct faith since the Time of Troubles and has been most active since after the end of the great crusade against the Tuigan Horde in the Year of the Turret (1361 DR). Regardless of class, priests of the Red Knight are regimented in a strict hierarchy with corresponding titles. In ascending order, these titles include: Page, Squire, Knight, Knight Quartermaster, Knight Commander, Knight Captain, Lord Knight, Lord Knight Commandant, and Lord Knight of the Red Standard. Higher-ranking priests precede their titles with their relative rank within the clergy (for example, the eighth-highest ranking priest of the Red Knight's faith is known as the Eighth Lord Knight of the Red Standard), although this practice may be abandoned as the clergy grows in size.

<b>Day-to-Day Activities:</b>
Members of the Red Fellowship serve in armies throughout the Realms. Many are high-ranking commanders, often of elite squads. Others are well-respected instructors in war colleges in kingdoms throughout the Realms. A few are quartermasters skilled at obtaining and maintaining supply lines over hostile territory. Quite a few priests of the Red Knight have authored tomes on military strategy.

When not on duty, priest of the Red Fellowship are known for their love of gaming. Although they avoid games of chance that require the smile of Lady Luck more than the brilliance of the Red Knight, priests of the faith strive to constantly improve their skills in abstract games of all sorts to further challenge their development of parallel lines of thought and new stratagems and to sharpen their ability to read an opponent's intenions.

<b>Holy Days/Important Ceremonies:</b>
In addition to observing the holy days and important ceremonies of the church of Tempus, the clergy of the Red Knight observe two important holy days themselves.
The Retreat is an annual event held every Midwinter's day. During this solemn cermony, the clergy of the Red Knight assemble for a day-long retrospective on the previous year's campaigns. Strategies are discussed, battles are analyzed, and the accumulated lore is intergrated into the church's teachings.
The Queen's Gambit is celebrated on the first day of Taraskh. During this festival, the clergy of the Red Knight unwind with a day of feasting and gamesmanship. Day-long tournments of chess and go (a game imported from Kara-Tur) are held, with tournments victors receiving recognition, titles of merit, promotions, and sometimes a precious gift from the temple armory.

<b>Major Centers of Worship:</b>
The Citadel of Strategic Militancy has arisen as the center of the Red Knight's faith outside of the aegis of the church of Tempus. Located at the juncture of the Coast Way and Thundar's Ride, approximately 40 miles northeast of Baldur's Gate, this small castle was the hold of the Bloodhawk clan, part of the minor, self-styled nobility scattered throughout the region encompassing the Fields of the Dead. The castle was built by Taric Bloodhawk over a century ago with money he plundered from an orc chieftain's secret horde during the battles of the Year of the Lost Lady (1241 DR).

During the night of the Fall of the Gods, Lady Kaitlin Tindall Bloodhawk, sole heir of Lord Ronlar Bloodhawk, was exploring the ruins enveloping the village of Tempus's Tears with the rest of her adventuring band, the Company of the Red Falcon. During the night, she was possessed by the Lady of Strategy to serve as her avatar host. The Red Knight forged the Company of the Red Falcon into a small, but powerful, mercenary company. She led the band south where the group was single-handedly responible for eradicating an army of monsters that swarmed out of the Forest of Tethir and threatened to overrun the northeastern quarter of beleaguered Tethyr. The strategic genius of the Red Knight enabled the Company to triumph against overwhelming odds and forever earned them a place in Tethyr's history.

When Lady Kaitlin returned to her ancestral home at the conclusion of the Godswar, however, she found the lands pillaged, the castle a smoking ruin, and all of the inhabitants put to the sword. Broken-hearted, she vowed revenge, but she could never discover the perpetrators of the foul deed. In her family's memory, she rebuilt the castle and dedicated it as a temple to the Red Knight.
Today the Citadel of Strategic Militancy is a bastion of military might and serves as the home of the newly founded Red War College. This school caters to military officers throughout the Realms who are sponsored by their lieges to study strategy and planning. The Citadel's walls are checkered with red and white marble, and a blood red dome tops the central keep. The central chapel is a giant lanceboard on which the priesthood engages in strategic battles during religious ceremonies. Farmlands in a 20-mile radius are worked by peasants who gladly embrace the Citadel's expanding hegemony. The havrested land serves as a training field in the cold winter months. High Lady Bloodhawk admnisters the burgeoning complex in the name of her liege, the Red Knight, and serves as First Lady Knight of the Red Standard (high priestess) of the faith.

<b>Affiliated Orders:</b>
The Order of the Red Falcon is a fellowship of crusaders, warriors, and a few paladins who serve the Red Knight and Lady Bloodhawk. Small in number, the elite knights of this order are dangerous opponents who have triumphed in the face of overwhelming odds on numerous occasions. Based in the Citadel of Strategic Militancy, many of the knights serve as instructors in the Red War College. Other serve stints in various armies throughout the Realms training the officers in military history. On rare occasions they are all summoned back to the Citadel and led into combat by Lady Bloodhawk herself.<br>

<b>Priestly Vestments:</b>
Clergy of the Red Knight wear blood-hued suits of plate armor or plate mail for ceremonial functions over which is worn a white tabard embroidered with the Red Knight's symbol. They are not forbidden to cover their faces with their helms like Tempuran clergy are, however, and so they often sport full helms when visibility is not a concern and they wish to convey a grand impression. When not armored, their clerical robes are red, although the shading varies slightly from darker to lighter with increasing rank. They wear the symbol of the Red Knight carved from a red-hued gemstone on a chain around their necks.<br>

<b>Adventuring Garb:</b>
Adventuring garb for priests of the Red Knight is the best armor they can obtain. Although their armor can be battleworn, most priests strive to keep it polished and unmarred, as befits a commander seeking to inspire both his followers and the bards. All clergy of the Red Knight have a battle standard, paint their heraldic symbols (in entitled to one) on their shields, or display the symbol of the Lady of Strategy on banner or shield to form a rallying point for troops when they are going into organized battle. Covering or concealing such a standard generates no disapproval from the church however, if a strategem should require it.<br>

Last updated byDispater