Expanding the Ranks of Hell

Friday, June 17, 2016

Illustration by Leonardo Borazio

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Path of the Hellknight hits this month! Ready to learn more about the legions you'll be joining or commanding once you've picked up the definitive guide to this deadly order?

This time around let's focus on the Hellknights' lesser-known orders, small but driven organizations ready to accept new members or that might come to oppose your wild adventuring.

Lesser Hellknight Orders

Beyond the seven well-known orders of Hellknight—Chain, Gate, Godclaw, Nail, Pyre, Rack, and Scourge—there are several minor orders. Among these are the vicious Order of the Coil, revenge-obsessed Sargavan interlopers, the Order of the Pike, a band of renowned monster hunters, and the Order of the Glyph, who you might already know from the Hell's Vengeance Adventure Path. Some of these fringe groups number among the most heroic and villainous of the Hellknight orders, but heretofore little has been said about them. The Lesser Orders section of Path of the Hellknight changes that. While these orders hold a great deal of interest and potential, especially with some of their niche focuses, they have less of a footprint in the Inner Sea Region, and, appropriately, in this book. But I didn't want to leave readers gravitating toward these orders adrift. As a result, each of these orders references which major Hellknight order it's most similar to. This guidepost points readers toward an analogous major order with options to crib from. It's a quick fix, but it opens the door to a variety of options for Hellknights of these minor orders. Beyond this, you'll find plenty of new details, histories, and options for these orders. To show off a bit of that, here's a few snippets from one, the Order of the Wall.

Illustration by Damien Mammoliti

Order of the Wall

Symbol crenellated skull

Headquarters the Gnashing Wall, south of Khari

Leader Master of Blades Atlan Essebar (LN male human fighter 8/HellknightISWG 5)

Members Chelaxians born in Rahadoum, soldiers

Armor Features angular mantle, cylindrical, castlelike helm

Favored Weapon lucerne hammer (Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Equipment 19)

Reckoning repeatedly strike bricks or stone

Analogous Order Rack

Today, the order has grown from 50 members to nearer a hundred, most of whom are lawful neutral. Technically subordinate to the Order of the Chain, the Order of the Wall has no lictor, as master of blades is its highest title. In practice, though, the order functions with near autonomy. The order's mandate to defend Chelish fronts south of the Arch of Aroden has broadened over the years. Now, members stand watch at several borders—not just Chelish ones—defending civilization's frontiers. Despite the order's Chelish origins, Garundi—and specifically Rahadoumi—soldiers comprise most of the order's Hellknights. While their defense of the Gnashing Wall remains an almost religious duty, many travel across northern Garund, serving as guardians of all sorts.

So that's a bit of what you can expect in the chapter on lesser Hellknight orders. But to get back to the major orders, here are glimpses of what you can expect from the fanatical Order of the Godclaw and the frontier scouring Order of the Nail.

Illustration by Damien Mammoliti

Order of the Godclaw

Symbol five-pointed iron star

Headquarters Citadel Dinyar, in the Aspodell Mountains

Leader Lictor Resarc Ountor (LN male fighter 4/cleric 2/HellknightISWG 6)

Members crusaders, religious zealots

Armor Features breastplate with clawlike vambraces, clawlike helm

Favored Weapon morningstar

Reckoning Flagellate yourself with a five-tailed lash. Whenever you are the target of a lawful divine caster's spell that heals hit point damage, you heal 1 additional point per die rolled. Additionally, if you cast divine spells, you can use the holy symbols of Abadar, Asmodeus, Iomedae, Irori, and Torag interchangeably.

Not content with seeking divine approval for their knighthood's righteous path, the Order of the Godclaw's members have sculpted their beliefs from the harshest, most exacting philosophies of five lawful deities: Abadar, Asmodeus, Iomedae, Irori, and Torag. Remade as five stern, armored paragons, the deities of this pantheon are known collectively as the Godclaw. The Hellknights follow revised doctrines to stamp out disorder, particularly its divine embodiments and beings of absolute chaos, with religious zeal. Rather than targeting the faiths of prominent religions, the order sets its eyes on supporting lawful crusades (such as the wars fought by Molthune and Mendev) and being at the vanguard of battles against the forces of chaos. No land is beyond the lawfulness provided by Hellknights—a fact the Order of the Godclaw endlessly seeks to prove.

Members of the Order of the Godclaw can also expect to learn much more about the formation of their unique order, their pentamic faith, their holdouts (and escape routes) near Citadel Dinyar, and a new Godclaw oracle mystery—for your most devout, polytheistic signifers.

Illustration by Damien Mammoliti

Order of the Nail

Symbol thick nails forming a sunburst

Headquarters Citadel Vraid, near Korvosa

Leader Lictor Severs "Boneclaw" DiViri (LE male fighter 4/rogue 2/HellknightISWG 4)

Members frontiersmen, settlers, victims of barbarian and monster attacks

Armor Features breastplate emblazoned with a fiendish face, horned helm

Favored Weapon lance or halberd

Reckoning Pierce your flesh with sharp metal. Gain a +4 bonus on Knowledge (geography) checks. Additionally, if you are trained in Knowledge (geography), you automatically succeed at attempts to use that skill to identify a creature's ethnicity or accent, as long as you are familiar with that ethnicity or accent.

To certain dogmatic, rigid-minded individuals, civilization seems under siege. Beyond the bulwarks of cities and national borders lies an endless expanse of wilderness populated by those who, all too often, shun the rules of settled, lawful societies and follow their own callings. To the Order of the Nail, these beings enviously prey upon the children of the law, seeking to draw civilization into a regressive mire. The Order of the Nail stands staunchly against what it views as barbarity.

Illustrations by Caio Maciel Monteiro and Maichol Quinto

Those who throw in with the Order of the Nail can also expect to learn more about the order's harsh ideals, their tri-part citadel, a number of famous Hellknights, the circuit judge cavalier archetype, and an array of deadly magical brands. There's also a pretty neat little glimpse of the Order of the Nail's Mistress of Blades, Maidrayne Vox, slipped into the illustration of Citadel Vraid.

That's it for today's peek into Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Path of the Hellknight, but our final preview is coming soon. Keep your eyes peeled!

F. Wesley Schneider

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Caio Maciel Monteiro Damien Mammoliti Hellknights Leonardo Borazio Maichol Quinto Pathfinder Campaign Setting
Dark Archive

Cannot wait for this book! I feel like we're getting absolutely spoiled by so much great stuff on the Hellknights at the moment, the art looks amazing, Lictor Severs and his skeletal hand... hell yes (pun intended :P)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Can't wait to pick this up! Interested in the Coil - from what I read, they sounded more like a Gurundi chapter of the Nail. Also t h email Wall hellknights not having a lector is interesting.



Silver Crusade Contributor

This book is amazing. ^_^

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber


Interesting that the Godclaw imagine Irori as heavily armored, given that he is generally supposed to have been a monk before his apotheosis to divinity.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
David Neilson wrote:
Interesting that the Godclaw imagine Irori as heavily armored, given that he is generally supposed to have been a monk before his apotheosis to divinity.

Dramaturgy: A vital part of any faith.

Maidrayne Vox


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