You belong to an order of knights who have sworn oaths to achieve a certain goal. The nature of this goal depends on the order you serve, but in your eyes it is without question a vital and honorable endeavor. Faerun has a wide variety of knightly orders, all of which have a similar outlook concerning their actions and responsibilities. Though the term "knight" conjures ideas of mounted, heavily armored warriors of noble blood, most knightly orders in Faerun don't restrict their membership to such individuals.
The goals and philosophies of the order are more important than the gear and fighting style of its members, and so most of these orders aren't limited to fighting types, but are open to all sorts of folk who are willing to battle and die for the order's cause. The "Knightly Orders of Faerun" below details several of the orders that are active at present and is designed to help inform your decision about which group you owe allegiance to.
- Skill Proficiencies: Persuasion, plus one from among Arcana, History, Nature, and Religion, as appropriate for your order
- Tool Proficiencies: One type of gaming set or musical instrument
- Languages: One of your choice
- Equipment: One set of traveler's clothes, a signet, banner or seal representing your place or rank in the order, and a pouch containing 10 gp
Feature: Knightly Regard
You receive shelter and succor from members of your knightly order and those who are sympathetic to its aims. If your order is a religious one, you can gain aid from temples and other religious communities of your deity. Knights of civic orders can get help from the community- whether a lone settlement or a great nation that they serve, and knights of philosophical orders can find help from those they have aided in pursuit of their ideals, and those who share those ideals. This help comes in the form of shelter and meals, and healing when appropriate, as well as occasionally risky assistance, such as a band of local citizens rallying to aid a sorely pressed knight in a fight, or those who support the order helping to smuggle a knight out of town when he or she is being hunted unjustly.
Knightly Orders of Faerun
Many who rightfully call themselves "knight" earn that title as part of an order in service to a deity, such as Kelemvor's Eternal Order or Mystra's Knights of the Mystic Fire. Other knightly orders serve a government, royal family, or are the elite military of a feudal state, such as the brutal Warlock Knights of Vaasa. Other knighthoods are secular and non governmental organizations of warriors who follow a particular philosophy, or consider themselves a kind of extended family, similar to an order of monks. Although there are organizations, such as the Knights of the Shield, that use the trappings of knighthood without necessarily being warriors, most folk of Faerun who hear the word "knight" think of a mounted warrior in armor beholden to a code. Below are a few knightly organizations.
Knights of the Unicorn
The Knights of the Unicorn began as a fad of romantically minded sons and daughters of patriar families in Baldur's Gate. On a lark, they took the unicorn goddess Lurue as their mascot and went on various adventures for fun. The reality of the dangers they faced eventually sank in, as did Lurue's tenets. Over time the small group grew and spread, gaining a following in places as far as Cormyr. The Knights of the Unicorn are chivalric adventurers who follow romantic ideals: life is to be relished and lived with laughter, quests should be taken on a dare, impossible dreams should be pursued for the sheer wonder of their completion, and everyone should be praised for their strengths and comforted in their weaknesses.
Knights of Myth Drannor
Long ago, the Knights of Myth Drannor were a famous adventuring band, and Dove Falconhand, one of the famous Seven Sisters, was one of them. The band took its name to honor the great but fallen city, just as the new Knights of Myth Drannor do today. With the city once again in ruins, Dove Falconhand decided to reform the group with the primary goal of building alliances and friendship between the civilized races of the world and goodly people in order to combat evil. The Knights of Myth Drannor once again ride the roads of the Dalelands, and they've begun to spread to the lands beyond. Their members, each accepted by Dove herself, are above all valiant and honest.
Knights of the Silver Chalice
The Knights of the Silver Chalice was formed by edict of the demigod Siamorphe in Waterdeep a century ago. Siamorphe's ethos is the nobility's right and responsibility to rule, and the demigod is incarnated as a different noble mortal in each generation. By the decree of the Siamorphe at that time, the Knights of the Silver Chalice took it upon themselves to put a proper heir on the throne of Tethyr and reestablish order in that kingdom. Since then they have grown to be the most popular knighthood in Tethyr, a nation that has hosted many knighthoods in fealty to the crown.
Use the tables for the Soldier background in the Player's Handbook as the basis for your traits and motivations, modifying the entries when appropriate to suit your identity as a knight of your order. Your bond almost always involves the order to which you belong (or at least key members of it), and it is highly unusual for a knight's ideal not to reflect the agenda, sentiment, or philosophy of one's order.