|Sword Knights of Aella|
The Symbol of the Sword Knights of Aella
1st Sword (Imbringen):
1st Sword (Lordaeron):
Theater of Operations:
The Sword Knights of Aella, are the military branch of the Holy Church of True Justice, a religious entity that was established countless generations ago on the Imbringen Islands. It is lead by 1st Sword Karleigh Marquos on the islands of Imbringen, however, the recently created Lordaeron branch of the Sword Knights is lead by Swordmaster Zephon Carhagen, a veteran Paladin who has served in many wars in his long life.
Comprised entirely of men and women loyal to Aella and the Holy Church of True Justice, the Sword Knights of Aella accept faithful of all races, factions and creeds, provided they are willing to serve the Holy Church of True Justice and live by the code that all Sword Knights must follow. Their goal that they ultimately strive for is to eliminate evil at the root, rather than treat the symptoms of evil that are produced by its presence.
The Lordaeron branch of the Sword Knights of Aella was created after the 'Battle of Bloody Justice' a long battle within the lands of Avern where the forces of Zephon Carhagen, reinforced by Sword Knights of Aella from the Luxerois Empire clashed with the Scourge and Cult of the Damned forces lead by the Fleshcrafter, Lord Moander. Prior to its founding, Avern had a small population of Paladins who had pledged their loyalty to Zephon and had followed him throughout many campaigns, although there was no 'holy order' in the region. After the Battle of Bloody Justice had been successfully won, the 1st Sword of the Imbringen Branch of the Sword Knights of Aella, elevated Zephon to the position of 1st Sword of Lordaeron and charged him with building up the order and spread word of the Church of True Justice to neighboring lands.
The hierarchy of the Sword Knights of Aella is not that of the more traditional paladin orders located in the Eastern Kingdoms, but rather resembles a proper military force. The Sword Knights maintain the Alliance hierarchy in regards to overall ranks, but those in leadership positions within the military fall into the 1st and 2nd Circles, which act as councils of a sort. Reaching either of the circles is considered to be a great honor, as only those currently within a circle can recommend another to join, and only when a position in the circle is vacated either through retirement or death of the previous member. The absolute leader of the Sword Knights of Aella is known as the 1st Sword of Aella, and the appointment of a 1st Sword is a lifetime appointment. Retirement is not an option for a 1st Sword. They must serve until they perish, either through battle, old age or sickness, although battle is by far the more preferred method of passing on the title to a successor.
The Sword Knights of Aella have a total of fourteen ranks, mirroring the ranks of the Alliance Military.
Leadership Ranks Edit
The leadership of the Sword Knights of Aella fall into three categories, absolute leadership, which is filled only by the 1st Sword of Aella. The 1st Circle, which is filled with Grand Marshals and Field Marshals, and the 2nd Circle, which is filled with Marshals and Commanders.
1st Sword of Aella Edit
The 1st Sword of Aella is the leader of the Sword Knights of Aella. Upon appointment of a new branch or the death of a 1st Sword, a new leader is chosen by the 1st Sword of the Imbringen branch, where the military order originated from. The 1st Sword of Aella is not a position to be taken lightly and requires much in the way of faith and sacrifice. Service to Aella and her values is paramount, and any lapse of judgement of a 1st Sword or deviation of those values is considered to be a great crime against Aella herself.
Known 1st Swords of Aella:
- Karleigh Marquos - Imbringen Branch.
- Zephon Carhagen - Lordaeron Branch.
Grand Marshal - 1st Circle Edit
The Grand Marshal, echoing the Alliance military is a veteran commander, and paladin. Elevated to the position by the 1st Sword, the number of Grand Marshals in the Sword Knights of Aella is very small compared to other ranks. To earn the rank of Grand Marshal and take a place in the 1st Circle, a candidate must have displayed acts of courage, valor and compassion above and beyond what would be considered normal for a Sword Knight. Beyond that requirement, the Grand Marshals must also be a masters of arms and battle-tactics.
Known 1st Circle Grand Marshals:
- Dumah Carrington - Lordaeron Branch
Field Marshal - 1st Circle Edit
Also echoing the Alliance military, the Field Marshal is another senior rank within the Sword Knights of Aella and is awarded to individuals by others within the 1st Circle. Only those who have shown extraordinary military and leadership abilities are considered for elevation. During times of war, the Field Marshals of the 1st Circle can take command of the entirety of the Sword Knight forces if no other senior leadership is present. As a result, each Field Marshal must be a master of battle-tactics and coordination.
Known 1st Circle Field Marshals:
- Richard Arving - Lordaeron Branch
Marshal - 2nd Circle Edit
The Marshals of the 2nd Circle are leaders among men within the Sword Knights of Aella, and each marshal can be placed in command of large numbers of forces, although never all unless senior Sword Knights are not present. Elevated to the rank by those in the 1st Circle, the position of Marshal is awarded to those who have shown exceptional advancements in both battlefield tactics and skill at arms.
Known 2nd Circle Marshals:
Commander - 2nd Circle Edit
The Commanders of the Sword Knights of Aella are chosen by other members of the 2nd Circle. They are often placed at the head of specialist units within the Sword Knight ranks, such as the Lancers, who fight wars entirely from the back of flying beasts such as gryphons or dragonhawks. Each commander is a skilled tactician and loyal servant of Aella and the Holy Church of True Justice.
Known 2nd Circle Commanders:
Non-Leadership Ranks Edit
- Lieutenant Commander
- Sergeant Major
- Master Sergeant
The Blades of Justice Edit
The Sword Knights of Aella are more than just a standard holy order. Threats of all shapes and sizes exist in the world of Azeroth and beyond, and the Sword Knights of Aella must be prepared to face any challenge that is presented to them. To that end the Sword Knights of Aella have several units in their forces known as the Blades of Justice. Each of these blades are specialists, armed with weaponry and tools to eliminate a specific threat or fight on certain terrain. The Blades of Justice are as follows:
Lancers are one of two mounted forces employed by the Sword Knights of Aella the other being the Dragoons. While the Dragoons are masters of the mounted charge and battle on horseback, the Lancers are specialists in air combat, taking their battles into the sky to combat threats that strike from on high. Riding either armored gryphons or dragonhawks, these soldiers fight with powerful light lances, holy oil bombs, steel-wire nets and bows which they use to harry or kill their opponents.
Krakens make up the naval force of the Sword Knights of Aella. Often reinforcing the navies of other kingdoms or military orders, the Krakens none the less maintain a well sized navy of their own. Compromised of three different types of ships, the Aboleth Class Longships, the Marid Class Warships and the Shaggoth Class Galleys, the Krakens carry enough firepower on their vessels to reduce enemy ships to splinters and coastal fortresses to rubble should the need arise.
Shatters are the siege engineers of the Sword Knights of Aella. They are, as the name implies, masters of shattering land based fortifications, as well as adept at softening up an enemy force before melee combat beings. To that end they employ a vast number of siege weapons including balistas, cannons, bombards and trebuches of various sizes, as well as different variants of explosives.
The Dragoons are one of two mounted forces employed by the Sword Knights of Aella. While the Lancers strike from the sky and specialize in fighting threats in the air, the Dragoons are heavily armored masters of the charge. They carry heavy lances into battle, often forming a wedge or other formation to break the line of an opponent, and once broken quickly draw well crafted longswords to bring down their opponents with sharp steel. Many times the Sword Knights of Aella have won the battle due to a well timed and perfectly executed charge from the Dragoons.
Divine Hunters Edit
The Divine Hunters are a ranged unit which specializes in softening up the enemy before they close into range of the infantry. Formed entirely of Paladins, the Divine Hunters use firearms in their wars against the unholy. Often employing rifles which allow them to fire volleys at long range. As they are trained to kill demons and undead, the ammunition used by the Divine Hunters is blessed with holy energy or filled with holy oil which makes each shot devastating to any undead or demon that gets hit with them. In times when the Divine Hunters must fight other men however, they have standard ammunition which proves to be just as devastating on impact.
The Sword Knights Code Edit
The Sword Knights of Aella follow a strict code which must be adhered to at all times. The code is simple in both wording and application and every Sword Knight is expected to live and die by this code. The Sword Knights ultimate goal is not to treat the symptoms of evil, such as poverty or sickness, but to strike at the root of the evil and remove it entirely. Regardless of rank, a Sword Knight must be willing to surrender their lives to aid their fellows if it means that their allies are given time to escape from a greater threat. The Code of the Sword Knights includes the following affirmations:
- I will learn the weight of my sword. Without my heart to guide it, it is worthless. My strength is not in my sword, but in my heart. If I lose my sword I have lost a tool. If I betray my heart then I have died.
- I will have faith in Aella and the light that shines from her. I will channel her strength through my body. I will shine in her legion and on the battlefield. I will not tarnish her name through debased actions.
- I am the first to battle, and the last to leave it.
- I will not be taken prisoner of my own free will. I will not surrender those under my command.
- I will never abandon a companion, although I will honor sacrifice freely given.
- I will guard the honor of my fellows, both in thought and deed, and I will have faith in them.
- When in doubt, I may force my enemies to surrender, but if they do so, I am responsible for their lives.
- I will never refuse a challenge from an equal. I will give honor to worthy enemies, and contempt to the rest.
- I will suffer death before dishonor.
- I will be temperate in my actions, and moderate in my behavior. I will strive to emulate Aella in all things.
- I will protect my allies with my life. They are my light and my strength, we rise together.
- I will be fair to others and expect nothing for myself other than that which I need to survive.
- I will redeem the ignorant with my words and my actions. If they will not turn towards the light, I will redeem them with my sword.
- I will not abide evil, and will combat it with steel when words are not enough. I will not flinch from my faith, and will not fear embarrassment. My soul cannot be bought for any price.
- Each day is a step forward into the light. I will not look back on the darkness that I have left behind.
The Relics of the Sword Knights Edit
The Sword Knights of Aella have several relics of great value. While the original relics are stored safety in the Vault of Aella located beneath her Grand Cathedral within the city of Bioncourt, there are many replicas of these items made and blessed in similar fashions. Each chapter of the Sword Knights are given a set of relics for their own use by the main branch on the Imbringen Islands. The relics of the Sword Knights are:
- The Altar of the Sword: This altar is a white marble slab which is engraved with the code of the Sword Knights of Aella and the Trials of Aella. Embedded within the white marble slab is a an ornate sword with an endlessly burning flame surrounding the blade.
- The Cloak of the Righteous Crusader: This cloak is made from white silk and embellished with gold thread. In the middle of the cloak is the symbol of Aella, that of a flaming sword. Magically enchanted, this cloak is capable of deflecting blows that land against it. It radiates a holy aura which inspires those around it to perform great deeds. This alone has meant that many times the cloak has been used as a banner in battle.
- The Breastplate of the Righteous Crusader: This white and gold breastplate is decorated with the holy symbol of Aella and inspires the wearer, providing courage in the face of great fear. While wearing the breastplate, any evil spell which would cause terror or fear cast on the wearer has no effect.
- The Gauntlets of the Righteous Crusader: These gauntlets comes in many different forms, existing with cloth, leather, mail and plate variations. Created with white and gold materials and engraved with the holy symbol of Aella, these gauntlets are capable of enhancing the weapon held in the hand of the wielder. For a short period of time, the blade of the weapon will glow with holy fire, and strikes made by that weapon will burn as if the opponent were struck by a searing flame.
- Blade of the 1st Sword Knight: This longsword is a magically enchanted weapon that has existed within the Holy Church of True Justice since its inception. It channels the light through it, acting like a torch in dark places, and setting alight in the presence of demons or undead. Such is the power of the light wielded through this weapon, that if used correctly, it is capable of healing light wounds with a single touch, although the weapons power dissipates for a while if used in this manner.
- Ring of the 1st Sword Knight: A magical ring but one that is simple in appearance. The gold band looks entirely unremarkable, save for the small engraving of Aella's holy symbol on the inside of the band. While wearing the ring, the wielder will find that weapon blows made against them do not hit for their full force, as if they were slightly deflected. The ring also has a vanity enchantment placed on it, allowing the wearer to speak a word of power which gives the illusion that they are presentable in both appearance and smell, an enchantment that was used quite often by the 1st Sword Knight after stepping off the battlefield.
- Medal of the Righteous Heart: An honorary medallion given to those in the Sword Knights who have served Aella honorably and devoted their lives to the Church and the Code. The medallion itself is enchanted to provide soothing reassurances to the wearer, but it does little else.
The Sword Knights of Aella, the Sword Knights Code, and the Relics of the Sword Knights are all based off aspects from the Pathfinder RPG. Specifically the goddess Iomedea, with portions of the code coming from Sarenrae. The overall attitude of the Sword Knights is based off of the White Mantle from Guild Wars: Prophecies.