Knights of the Flying Hunt

Few events are more legendary or spectacular to witness than one of the famed flying hunts of Nimbral. Many have heard the tales of pegasus-riding warriors, their glass armor gleaming in the rays of the sun, swooping down from the sky to drive off fierce beasts or destroy pirate ships. Far fewer have actually observed such a magnificent thing, and those who have consider themselves most fortunate - or unfortunate, if they were the targets of the Knights of the Flying Hunt.

Hailing from the mysterious island realm of Nimbral in the Great Sea southwest of Chult, the Knights serve as that land's protectors, defending its people from dragons, woodland beasts, and pirates and slavers from distant shores. They dwell in fanciful castles in the interior of the island and answer to the mysterious Nimbral Lords, reclusive rulers who spend their days hidden away from the eyes of others. Only rarely do the Knights venture forth from Nimbral itself, but when they do, all who see them never forget the image.


The land of Nimbral has always been shrouded in mystery, and more fantastic lies than truths have been told and retold about the wooded realm. Certain scholars have gleaned some factual information, but the history of Nimbral still remains sketchy at best. Moon elves originally colonized the island and later welcomed humans from Halruaa who departed that wizard-dominated land due to their veneration of Leira. The two races intermarried freely until no pure elves remained, and their descendants lived in harmony on the island for many years.

At some point along the way, Nimbral's inhabitants found a greater need for protection from the depredations of dangerous beasts dwelling in the forests of the island, as well as from the raiding of pirates and slavers on the surrounding seas. Thus were the Knights of the Flying Hunt born, though it is doubtful they were dubbed such in those early days. The wizards of the land, long subjugated to the whims of the clergy of Leira, developed an impressive array of tools - such as magnificent glass armor, magical lances, and trained pegasi - for the Knights to use in their endeavors.

The Knights Today

The Knights of Nimbral have three ranks: Commander, Knight, and Novice. Commanders lead patrols and hunts, by virtue of experience, but they wield power very much as "first among equals" rather than brook-no-disobedience authority figures. Onlookers can immediately identify novices by their nonglowing "practice suits" of armor, but Commanders wear no special badges or identification.

The knights patrol the skies and coastal waters of the realm in groups of three to six pegasus-riders (typically including one or two novices). Patrols fly in one of three daily shifts: morning, late afternoon, and nighttime. Most Knights assemble at a mountaintop outpost every seven days to join in a larger hunt involving anywhere from ten to forty members, which takes them on patrol over all areas of the realm. Including novices, the full muster of Knights numbers approximately seventy-five.

In the event that a Knight sounds a general cry on an alarm-horn to announce a threat to the realm, larger hunts muster on particular mountaintops. That said, a Knight rarely sounds a general cry; more often heard is a rally call, which signals for individual Knights to race in as reinforcements to deal with a lone problem. On their patrols, the Knights attack predatory beasts and monsters, repel invaders and raiders (such as pirates and slavers), observe the whereabouts and doings of Nimbral's residents and visitors, and enforce the laws of Nimbral upon visitors and citizens alike.

The Knights' masters, are the mysterious Nimbral Lords, of which little is known. They answer directly to these Lords, and it has been said that a Lord sometimes rides with the Knights so that he can cast a variant of mass teleport that snatches the entire Flying Hunt from the skies above Nimbral and sends it to mainland Faerûn or to isolated islands in the sundering seas between. Whether this is indeed true or not, the magic items used by the Knights of the Flying Hunt (armor, weapons, steeds, and horns) are made for and given to them by these Lords.

Knights are provided with full plate armor made of glassteel. Only the Lords (and certain Halruaan wizards) know how to make such armor, which is as hard and yet as durable as the finest battle steel. All novices begin training with a practice suit of dull gray armor known as flying hunt armor. When a novice becomes a Knight, the Lords bestow what is known among Nimbrese as storm armor. the glowing glass armor of legend. (Its hues and patterns have nothing to do with rank or awakened magic, but they shine and shift entirely as the wearer desires, gaining brightness as their rage or excitement increases, and going dim as consciousness or physical vitality fails.) Faithful service and outstanding performance by a Knight can earn more augmentations. The suits of senior Knights can have numerous powers.

Knights of Nimbral fight with swords, daggers, thrown clubs, and heavy lances. The Lords sometimes enspell some senior Knights' lances so that the Knights can activate them as wands.

The Knights, the wealthiest and most worldly of Nimbrese (with the exception of the mysterious Lords), dwell in fanciful castles - stone structures built in graceful, sweeping curves that feature tall, slender towers, balconies, and beautiful stonework. A "home farm" surrounds most Knights' castles, and on this land lives a small cluster of tenant families who grow specialized crops for sale around the island. Knights follow an elaborate code of chivalry (designed centuries ago to prevent them from raiding each other's holdings and families, or ever making war upon each other directly) and a strict code of loyalty to the Lords, ever mindful of the power those mysterious figures wield.

The Knights Foes

Because the Knights of the Flying Hunt so rarely venture beyond the borders of their own realm, few can truly call them a foe. Still, the fierce creatures that roam the forested regions of Nimbral, were they of sufficient intelligence to understand such, would consider the Knights to be deadly enemies. The Knights do not ruthlessly hunt these beasts, preferring to leave them alone until one or more become a threat to the common folk of Nimbral, but they respond quickly and decisively whenever trouble arises.

Beyond the shores of Nimbral, the only folk who could truly call the Knights foes are the seafaring folk who use piracy and slavery as a means of making a living. Many slavers hailing from Calishite ports revile the members of the Flying Hunt as ruthless raiders and bandits, blaming them for many strange disappearances and bad luck, which suggests a long history of strife between the Nimbrese and any who would come slave-raiding within the Knights' reach.

Beyond those two kinds of enemies, the Knights have no argument with any other folk who come ashore, so long as they observe the laws of Nimbral. The history of the Knights is dotted with occasional tales of rivalries between members, usually in the form of fierce competition between their various demesnes and the kinds of crops grown, crafts sold, and so forth.

The Knights' Allies

There are no true allies of the Knights of the Flying Hunt. Being such an isolated realm, Nimbral itself has no formal relations with any other lands of Faerûn - though not long ago, skyships from the wizard-land of Halruaa traveled to Nimbral in response to a particularly notable foray by the Knights to the Nelanther Isles to wipe out a cluster of pirate ships. Whatever transpired between the Nimbrese and the Halruaans is left to speculation, but once the conversation was concluded, the skyships returned to their own lands and it is generally assumed that the two sides consider relations to be amicable.

Membership in the Knights

Few become Knights of the Flying Hunt who are not Nimbrese, although such is not unheard of. Of course, before such a thing can happen, the visitor must become a resident, choosing to settle on the island and call it home, and demonstrate unquestioning loyalty to both the land and its people. Far more often, a native Nimbrese usually rises into the ranks of the novices after journeying in secret to the mainland in her youth to taste what the rest of Faerûn has to offer. Many of the most restless Nimbrese youths can't wait to "take the tour," as this practice of wandering and adventuring is known - and unless they meet with misadventure abroad, or fall deeply in love with someone who is rooted to the mainland, they return eventually to Nimbral and prepare to join the Plying Hunt.

Only those with courage, skill at arms, and an affinity for pegasi can hope to become a Knight of the Flying Hunt. Most novices are military-minded characters, typically fighters and rangers. Paladins are quite rare, and clerics also seldom make suitable members, for the folk of Nimbral do not tolerate organized faith within their realm. Wizards, rogues and other non-martial characters rarely demonstrate the talents to serve effectively.

Knights of the Flying Hunt (Standard Government): AL LG; 100,000 gp resource limit; Membership 75; Isolated (humans 68, half-elves 7); Salary 100 gp/level/month.

Authority Figures: Nimbral Lords, Nimbral Heralds.

Important Characters: Chergon Holvik (LG male Nimbrese human fighter 8/Knight of the Flying Hunt 10; the eldest, longest-serving Knight Commander still in active duty), Baltir Merivolst (LG male Nimbrese human fighter 7/Knight of the Flying Hunt 8; led the punitive expedition against the pirates in the Nelanther Isles), Solianth Draminsla (female half-moon elf ranger 9/Knight of the Flying Hunt 4; responsible for training novices and as hard-edged as they come).

Associated Classes: Fighter, ranger.

Associated Skills. Handle Anima1, Ride.

Requirements: To become a member of the Knights of the Flying Hunt, a character must first qualify for and take a level in the Knight of the Flying Hunt prestige class, whereby he is considered a novice. Once he has joined the ranks of the Knights, he must participate in regular patrols and defend the island realm of Nimbral in order to be considered active and to earn his salary. On occasion, Knights can be asked to journey to distant locales on behalf of The Nimbral Lords in lieu of their regular duties. This is still considered active military service.

A Knight is expected to begin construction of a demesne immediately upon becoming a member of the group. While at novice level this estate may be modest - such as a manor house with one or two farms - as a Knight rises in levels, his prestige ought to rise with it. Thus, at higher levels, only a true fortified castle is considered acceptable.

Note: If you have the Stronghold Builder's Guidebook, you can use the sizing system of stronghold spaces found there to gauge an adequate size for your manor or keep. Assume that the total size of your demesne should be three times your prestige class level in stronghold spaces, and that at least half of those must be allocated to the main keep, with the remainder serving as outbuildings, farm houses, and so forth. Thus, by 10th level in the class, a Knight Commander's demesne is expected to be no less than 30 stronghold spaces in size, 15 of which are a main keep. Since no character will want to rebuild his castle at every level, the majority of the, allotment will necessarily go toward a larger fortification early on, with more outbuildings and farms added as the need arises.

Favored in Guild Benefit: A Knight of the Flying Hunt must have the Favored in Guild feat to qualify for membership in the organization and must have taken 1st level in the prestige class. Thus, he gains special benefits automatically for belonging to this group. He earns a salary of 100 gp per Knight of the Flying Hunt level each month so long as he actively participates in his duties or is on special assignment. He receives any necessary curative and restorative spells to heal wounds and other maladies sustained in battle. And he receives the legendary flying hunt armor of the Knights (see page 65) as a gift from the Nimbral Lords.

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