Stained Glass Champions
Alignment: Any non-evil.
Symbol: A ruined church, with its windows shattered.
Disciplines: Shattered Mirror.
Oath: A potential Champion is always sworn in by the Stained Glass Knight, who takes time from other matters to meet and evaluate them in a friendly duel. Once the matter is concluded, she asks the Champion-to-be to kneel and cuts a design into their cheek, depicting the ruined church common to the Champions. As they swear their oath, the scars color in until the design is a vibrant, multicolored tattoo.
“I offer you my aid for your wisdom and my loyalty to the brotherhood of your students. I will search for the knowledge, tools, and aid needed to take you home, and help others whose homes and lives are threatened by circumstances beyond their control. Should I betray you, may my body shatter as my honor does.”
Allegiance Benefit: A Stained Glass Champion can use commune once per week as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to her character level. She must be looking into a mirror to use this ability, and her questions are answered by the Stained Glass Knight. A Stained Glass Champion who violates her oath loses her ability to commune with the Stained Glass Knight (but not access to the Shattered Mirror discipline) until she atones by permitting the Knight to chastise her (a process that requires a mirror and deals 1d4 points of Intelligence damage to the Stained Glass Champion. This damage must be allowed to heal naturally for the atonement to be complete) or spends seven days in meditation on the nature of her crime. A Stained Glass Champion who becomes evil may not atone or commune with the Stained Glass Knight until she ceases being evil.
Description: The Stained Glass Champions are a brotherhood of warriors and agents loyal to a being they know as the Stained Glass Knight. In years past, an individual they call the Summoner drew the Stained Glass Knight through an enchanted mirror so that she would fight his enemies. Bound by the Summoner’s magics, she scourged his foes until they found the mirror she had been drawn through. They destroyed the glass, thinking it would send her back from whence she came, but instead it broke the hold that the Summoner had on his servant. The Knight appeared to destroy the one who had enslaved her, but he fled, leaving her trapped in this reality with no way of getting back home.
The Knight made her apologies to those she had opposed and began wandering, searching for a way back home. Eventually she began gathering students and allies to help her, teaching them the arts of war in exchange for their help. Not all of her students stayed, but enough did to form a society that holds her as their leader—the Stained Glass Champions. And though their original purpose was solely focused around the Knight, today the Champions also watch over those whose homes are threatened. Bereft of her own home, the Knight takes hospitality very seriously and asks her Champions to investigate cases of crimes committed upon hosts by their guests, as well as to defend and champion the helpless against those that would destroy their homes and communities.
Champions spend their time searching the land for ways to leave this reality, which sends them into deep dungeons, obscure libraries, and sometimes other planes of existence. They keep in touch with the Knight as they can, speaking through specially enchanted mirrors, and sometimes gather students of their own. The Knight vets these students personally but is otherwise busy with her own tasks, which she performs mostly alone. Every so often, however, she ‘gathers’ her Champions for an important announcement by traveling to the ruined cathedral where she was first called into this reality and using the enchanted mirrors she has there to communicate to her students and friends all at once. These communications are rare and reserved only for news of great importance or dire urgency, so when a Champion hears a voice issuing from her hand mirror, she tends to listen.
Common Tasks: Aside from their ongoing mission to help the Stained Glass Knight go home (a task they’ve been at for hundreds of years), the Stained Glass Champions spend their time hunting down ancient lore about dimensional travel, seeking out learned sages of the planes, and finding artifacts that might help the Knight go home. They are also expected to uphold and defend the sacred laws of hospitality and to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Every now and again the Knight will contact a specific Champion with a request, if she knows that Champion is the closest or best-suited to a task, though she is very understanding about other obligations.
Available Services: The Stained Glass Champions offer many services, among which are enchanted glass equipment (hard as steel and often enchanted for battle), a comprehensive library of lore about the border places between planes, summonings, banishments, and light, and the wisdom of the Knight herself. For trusted members, the Champions maintain a series of portals linked to various mirrors that can serve as a method of swift travel to those that are instructed in their secrets.
Path of War – Expanded, © 2016, Dreamscarred Press.