Sunday, July 10, 2016

The "Rebirth" of the Knights of Solomnia

 28 January, 1978:
"Mygi has come" ... that was the phrase that altered my campaign.

I devoted the next few weeks deciding on what type of group dynamic needed to be the main focus to defeat the big bad evils, and later defend the lands once a threat had been neutralized. I looked at a monastery of monks, a priestly order of clerics, and a champion group of heroes. None really fit my campaign, which is based on the time period of medieval history when Motte & Bailey's were king. Sure, smaller castles dot the landscape, but truthfully they really are fortified manors. A glen of druids, an order of mages and an order of knights became the three main choices. I leaned towards an order of knights, one which would have some semblance of the original Knight's Templar, and be devoted not only to the study/collection of magic, but mainly in preserving the history of the realm.

Then, Dragonlance was released in 1984. The original Knights of Solomnia reside in the world of Krynn, and when I first read the stories, I found the entire order to be one of the few things I truly enjoyed about the series. So I adopted the original three orders of them and added in my own Order of the Tree

Over the next few years a couple PCs followed the order, leading up to the Geomancer Wars which shook the realms, and altered the course of the campaign. During the war, the last remaining Knight of the Tree was killed, and the order fragmented over the next 600 years. Less than a handful of knights of the three combined orders remained.

I had created an "drop in event" in 1985 which could be placed in any dungeon. The requirements follow:
  • 1) Fighter/Ranger/Paladin/Bard must be in the group.
  • 2) Mages/Clerics/Thieves would be excluded.
  • 3) Alignment wasn't critical.
  • 4) Race was restricted to Human, Elf, Half-Elf.
The set-up:
Three small tombs (1,2,3), with a larger tomb (4) somewhere in the same mausoleum.
Room 1 has two sarcophagi, when opened both have stairs leading down to roughly hewn natural passages that lead about 30'.
A) At the end is a knight lying in full armor, shield and sword present, and a carved bas-relief tablet (unknown language in current state), with a slight depression in the stone (close observation reveals place to kneel for prayer).
B) Contains a knight lying in full armor, shield and sword present and solid old vase and a carved bas-relief goblet.

If the knights are checked, they appear to be very old, grey skin drawn tight across the bone.

Room 2 has two sarcophagi, when opened both have stairs leading down to roughly hewn natural passages that lead about 30'.
A) Contains a knight lying in full armor, shield and sword present and bas-relief sword (red herring).
B) Contains a bas-relief fountain.

If the knight is checked, appears to be very old, grey skin drawn tight across the bone. 

One the 2nd crypt is opened, the knights will awaken, and a slow chant will begin. After 10 rounds, the knights will leave their places of rest, and gather in front of Room 3 (below) standing in line, unmoving.

If vase is brought to the fountain, water begins to trickle out of the wall. Vase can be filled with water. Return vase to the goblet and pour onto goblet. Goblet will slowly push out of the wall, and be filled with water. Take goblet to the tablet, drink, kneel and pray (the tablet will reveal what needs to be said).

While prayer is happening, the three knights will enter Room 3, and sit in their proper order on the benches.

Room 3 Has three benches against the North wall - each with a stone shield on the wall behind/above (Crown, Sword, Rose) them, a stone effigy of a shield on the east wall, and a set of emptyy armor on the west wall.

Once prayer has finished, go to room 3 and wear armor. Shield will become real, falling off effigy. If armored PC grabs shield, a fourth bench will slowly rise beside that of the Order of the Rose (complete with Tree Shield effigy behind/above) and sits next to the three other knights, a sword will descend from the heavens. If sword is grasped, proceed to Room 4.

Room 4 Has four sarcophagi.. Three are adorned with carvings of the three knights, the fourth is not adorned. On the wall is a massive tapestry depicting a scene of utter destruction. A lone tower sits in the forground amongst the carnage, and an island in the far distance. Upon the island site a large tree, it's green leaves and white blooms a startling contrast to the scene around it.

If everthing is finished in Room 3, the three knights will proceed to this room, and lay down in their proper sarcophagus. Water will cascade out of the walls, filling each of the tombs. In 5 rounds, the knights will arise, reborn into this time period.

All of the above happened, and thus the Order of the Solomniac Knights are restored.


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