Raising Hellknights!

Monday, July 7, 2008

A little over a year ago we started doing this thing called Pathfinder—you might have heard of it. Early on, we decided that its first volume would debut with a guide speaking directly to players, telling them a bit about the world we'd been cooking up. But honestly, at the time, we knew very little about said world. As James set to writing the premiere Pathfinder adventure, "Burnt Offerings," I was tasked with drumming up that something for players, a project that would become the first Pathfinder Player's Guide. Tricky thing, though, was that the book needed nouns—names, people, places, things—and we really didn't have many of those at the time. So, I made a bunch up.

It's more than a year later and now we have Golarion. But, what's both really funny—and pretty cool—is that now, a bunch of stuff that I just wrote down hoping that it wouldn't sound too silly are tags on our world's map and have pages of detail in the upcoming Pathfinder Campaign Setting. The elves of the Mordant Spire, the gnomes of the shey citadels of Irrere, the god Nethys and Gozreh, cyphermages, a year ago if asked what these things were all I could do is shrug. Now, that's not so much the case. But above all of these, one name that really seems to have intrigued folks was born out of a love of moral ambiguity, fanatical law dogs from film and literature, and hardcore armor: Hellknights. And the hardcover Pathfinder Campaign Setting's got them. While there's still not a new class for these devil-allied, ironclad enforcers (hum, could we be waiting for a new rules system so we don't have to invent the wheel twice?), there's now more information then ever before on the various orders, ranks, goals, and disciplines of these feared enforcers of absolute law. Just take a peek:

The Order of the Scourge: With anonymity and no consequences, every man becomes a criminal. The Order of the Scourge combats the lawless tendencies within mortal hearts through ever-present watchfulness and brutal reminders that no crime goes unpunished. The Order employs a vast network of informants, pays bounties for substantiated accusations, and publicly metes out grim punishments. Under the perfectionist Lictor Toulon Vidoc, the Hellknights frequently travel from Citadel Demain, near Egorian, to patrol crime-ridden slums and annihilate criminal organizations.

Lesser Orders: Numerous lesser orders of Hellknights exist, although few are known outside the borders of Cheliax. For example, Egorian's Order of the Scar stalks murderers and assassins, while the Whisperwood's Order of the Pike hunts down monsters that flourish in civilized lands. Although less pervasive, these smaller orders are only slightly less feared than their better-known brethren.

Expect to see plenty more Hellknight tyranny in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting hardcover debuting next month! Also check out the new face of the Pathfinder player's guides with volume 1 of the Pathfinder Companion: Second Darkness, giving players everything they need to ready themselves for the coming peril! And just a warning: keep your nose clean, 'cause even beyond what's coming up in the hardcover there's plenty more of the Hellknights' merciless brand of justice on the horizon.

F. Wesley Schneider
Pathfinder Managing Editor

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Hellknights Portraits Second Darkness

The Hellknight artwork in this blog entry appears to be by Andrew Hou (style is very similar).

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