Monday, 24 November 2014

The Knights of Rhodes

The Knights Hospitaller (Latin: Fraternitas Hospitalaria) were one of the most prestigious True Faith military orders during the Crusades, when they distinguished themselves in battle against the Crescent Moon. However, at the end of the 16th century, the order is but the shadow of its former self. The disputes between New Wayers and Old Wayers have rendered the presence of religiously-minded knights in battle utterly obsolete, since most battles of the day are now between Europeans.

After the fall of the Crusader states, the order had to relocate to Rhodes, and then finally to Malta in 1530. The order is now mostly known as the Knights of Rhodes after their earlier home.

Dispossessed of their lands in the Levant, rendered idle by the internecine conflicts in Europe, the Knights of Rhodes now resort to piracy against Crescent Moon ships in the Mediterranean, or have become sellswords at the service of the various European powers, and in particular of the Iberian powers, who are the only ones still actively fighting against the Way of the Crescent Moon in distant lands.

The original statutes of the order contemplated the service of the sick pilgrims to the Holy Land, and the defence of the Crusader states. Their habit is a red surcoat with a white Maltese cross emblazoned on it.

The order of the Knights Hospitaller as a role-playing clerical cult: 
Temple traits: Protect True Faith pilgrims, Wage war against the Crescent Moon
Worshippers' Alignment: any non-Evil/Worshippers' Allegiance: Old Way of True Faith
Temple Weapon: Sword
Spheres of Activity: Cure, Protect, Shelter the Faithful.
  • all Knights of Rhodes have the Tenacious trait (from the Aperita Arcana supplement)
  • Lawful Good Knights of Rhodes may choose advancements from the Paladin Traits pool on p18 of the M&M core book, replacing 'Evil' with 'Crescent Moon'
Holy Symbol: Maltese Cross.
Spells: Combat, Guardian, Healing, Protection.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

13th Age in Csachticz − Detailed Icons, No.2: The Alchemist

The Alchemist is the name given to the Archmage in 13C. The title 'Alchemist' definitely sounds more "early modern" than 'Archmage', which smacks of high fantasy. The Alchemist is the embodiment of the intelligence, of the spirit of research, and of the enlightenment of the age: in the 16th century, mathematics, physics and alchemy are not deemed incompatible — it is actually quite the contrary.

There have been many Alchemists in the history of the Empire of the One Faith, but none of them have been as influential as the current one, whose amity with the Emperor and with most learned men of Europe has put him at the exact centre of European alchemical and hermetic studies. If a major endeavour in any of these fields is under way anywhere in Europe, the Alchemist definitely knows about it — he might even be actively involved.


At his tower on top of Alchemist's Hill near the city of Brüx, approximately 50 miles northwest of Burgstadt along the River Biela.


Despite his being a well-known public figure, and despite his many appearances at court, little is actually known about the Alchemist. It is rumoured that he was born about 40 years ago in Albion. He is supposed to have worked as an apothecary at the court of Queen Gloriana, where he quickly rose through the ranks but fell out of favour just as quickly, finding then refuge on the Continent; first at Wittingau, then at Brüx, always enjoying the patronage of the Emperor.

The Alchemist has a huge laboratory in his tower that is rumoured to extend well beneath it into Alchemist's Hill, and even under the city of Brüx. This laboratory~dungeon is equipped with all manner of paraphernalia retrieved by the Alchemist's agents from all the corners of the Empire of the One Faith, and beyond. It is said that each section of the labyrinthine laboratory is devoted to a given art, e.g., one to optics, one to divination, one to summoning, etc.


As per the standard 13th Age core book under Archmage (p14)— the Alchemist hires adventurers to retrieve strange implements, to test new spells, and to volunteer for participating in his séances. Pay is high, but so are the hazards.


The Alchemist has sworn total fealty to the Emperor. Despite the Alchemist's incredible supernatural powers, the oaths he has taken are apparently even stronger.
The Alchemists professes respect for the tenets of True Faith, and in particular for those of the Old Way, but he and the Pope have never been know to actively co-operate. On the other hand, rumour has it that the Alchemist and the Superintendent have worked together to prevent the Sultan from locating certain magic items buried deep in the mountains of the Oriental Range.


There is an ongoing rivalry between the Alchemist and the Occultist, but it has never escalated into open warfare between their agents.
The Alchemist wants to bend nature under humanity's will; as a result, he has deeply hurt the Erlking and Frau Perchta, who are now openly opposing him.


There has always been an Alchemist working for the Emperor, despite the uneasiness his presence has always brought at court, and the whiff of heresy surrounding his works. Some were grand, some were petty; the current Alchemist is probably the grandest of them all.


Danger lies with the Alchemist's various experiments, and in particular his summonings of strange extra-planar creatures. He calls them 'Angels' — but are they?