Reverents of the Lance

Alignment: Any.

Symbol: A burning eye pierced by a spear.

Disciplines: Piercing Thunder.

Oath: Reverents seek members who hate and despise demonkind, with martial skill being the only other consideration in membership. After training—or tests to prove the prospective member’s mettle—the would- be Reverent is taken to a place sanctified by the powers of law and asked to kneel. As they swear their oath, a shard of the Pitiless Spear is driven into the back of their hand, where it burrows into their bone and roots itself. The process is excruciatingly painful, but recruits that cannot finish their oath through their suffering endure its reverse as the shard is dug out of their hand and they are rejected from the order.

“I bear my hate for demons and all of their kin, and I will unleash that hate upon all who would dare to ally with them. I will defend the mortal realms from their howling hordes, hunt them wherever I find them, and murder them without pity, and should faithlessness stay my hand, may I be cast out and unforgiven.”

Allegiance Benefit: A Reverent of the Lance gains a +4 bonus on Knowledge checks to know about or identify outsiders with the chaotic or evil subtypes, as well as a +4 bonus on Perception checks against such creatures. In addition, a Reverent of the Lance of 3rd level or higher gains Haft Strike as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites

A Reverent of the Lance who violates his oath loses these bonuses and the benefit of the Haft Strike feat (but not access to the Piercing Thunder discipline) until he atones by slaying a creature with a CR equal to or greater than his character level in single combat (thus slaking the shard’s bloodlust), or by spending seven days re-attuning himself to the fury of the Pitiless Spear. A Reverent of the Lance who leaves the order experiences agonizing pain over the course of roughly an hour, as the shard of the Pitiless Spear in their hand works its way out, then returns to the care of the General-Reverent.

Description: Part knightly order and part death cult, the Reverents of the Lance hunt demons, demonic cults, and all who would dare to ally themselves with Abyssal powers. The tale of their origin is short and savage; their world was ravaged by a demonic invasion, led by a great and terrible demon lord whose burning eye withered all it gazed upon. Just as all seemed lost, a force of knights volunteered to hold the demon at bay while their allies summoned a celestial that could do battle with it. The spell succeeded, but the celestial could not cross through the gate. Not wishing to abandon the innocent in need, the celestial forsook its duty and threw the terrible spear it was charged with guarding.

The moment the Pitiless Spear left the celestial’s hands, the demon turned his gaze upon the gate. The celestial was slain in an instant, but the spear continued through the withering glare, piercing the demon lord’s eye. The two stood locked for an eternal moment, and then both spear and eye shattered into hundreds of shards that sprayed over the battlefield. Clutching the ruin of its face, the demon lord quit the field of battle and fled, with his troops following in a disorganized rabble. The knights who stood against him gathered up the shards of the Pitiless Spear and vowed to use its power to ensure that no such invasion could ever happen again.

Today, the Reverents of the Lance are a diverse group of warriors that favor spears and polearms. The Pitiless Spear is not a holy artifact, a fact of which they are well aware, but they use its endless bloodlust to spur them forward in battle and to hunt the demons that are their ancient enemies. Most Reverents act as knights- errant, traveling the land as part of adventuring parties or militaries and lending their expertise to the cause. Some few instead travel with their fellow Reverents, but this is fairly rare; Reverents tend to be hateful, angry people, and do not particularly find each other’s company pleasing, especially since proximity amplifies the mental side effects of the shards in their hands. Any given Reverent usually makes an effort to check in with the General-Reverent about once every two years, but for the most part if the General-Reverent wants to talk to you, she’ll find you.

Aside from their general mission of slaying demons and their allies wherever they can be found, the Reverents of the Lance seek the original demon lord whose invasion founded their order. Buried in the skull of that demon is the final shard of the Pitiless Spear, and with it they can reforge the spear into the great and terrible weapon it once was. What they would do with such a thing is not known, perhaps even to the Reverents themselves, and the manic gleam of hate and fury in their eyes when they speak about it sometimes worries their allies.

Common Tasks: The Reverents only rarely assign actual tasks, but they provide plenty of information. Members share rumors with each other and disseminate information through allies in lawful churches and regions where the Reverents are favored. Occasionally the General-Reverent catches wind of a demonic artifact or an impending invasion from the Abyss and sends in her knights to investigate, which leads to temporary periods of organization within the order.

Available Services: The allies of the Reverents provide them with access to lawful-aligned weapons (and holy ones, for those Reverents who can use them), lore on demons and planar travel, and often are willing to provide discounted spellcasting for the demon hunters. The General-Reverent retains an armory of magical items that are sometimes loaned out for truly dire tasks, with the expectation that they will be returned.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Path of War – Expanded, © 2016, Dreamscarred Press.

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