Order of the Chalice

The order of the Chalice is a holy order of virtuous knights sworn to a noble quest: the extermination of demonkind. Held to the highest standards of law, good, and nobility, the knights of this order are everything one might associate with the word 'paladin' - paragons of virtue, pure of heart, perfect in valor, cultured and refined, pious and devoted, and, too often, arrogant and vain.

The order of the Chalice takes its name from a holy relic that is in the possession of the order's highest leaders - an ornate silver cup that is said to have caught the blood of a solar while it fought a demon prince. The chalice is rich in holy powers, or so the tales say, but more important, it is a constant source of inspiration to the knights of the order as they pursue their difficult mission.

The order is a devoutly lawful good organization, and its members offer prayers to Heironeous at every gathering of the order. However, characters who hold other lawful good deities as patrons are welcome in the order, as long as they do not balk at offering prayers to Heironeous as well.

True to its alignment, the order of the Chalice is rigidly hierarchical in organization. At its head are nine Masters of the Chalice, whose greatest responsibility is safeguarding the holy chalice itself. Each Master of the Chalice has command over nine Chalice Marshals, each marshal has authority over nine Chalice Commanders, and each commander leads nine Chalice Sergeants.

To become a member of the order of the Chalice, a would-be knight usually must prepare from his youth for this high calling. Young men and women are apprenticed to older knights as squires, and they learn about the life of a knight by serving their master without question for at least five years. At the end of that period, the squire is evaluated by a council of nine senior knights, largely based on testimony given by the squire's knightly master. If this evaluation is favorable, the squire is elevated to the status of quester. It is at this point that the character could begin play as a player character.

A questers task is to meet the qualifications for full membership in the order, which are the same as the requirements for admission to the knight of the Chalice prestige class. The character must have a +8 base attack bonus, 10 ranks in Knowledge (religion) and 5 ranks in Knowledge (the planes), the ability to cast divine spells including protection from evil, the class feature of favored enemy with demons as that enemy, and a suit of magic full plate armor. Perhaps most important, the knight must defeat a demon, either by destroying it or driving it back to the Abyss.

Once all these qualifications are met, the quester returns to the knightly council and presents evidence of these accomplishments. Assuming the council approves the quester's admission into the order, the quester spends a night in prayer and fasting, then takes the solemn vows of the order at daybreak, becoming a knight in full standing. The next time the character advances in level, he or she can take a level in the knight of the Chalice prestige class.

In addition to the general principles of paladinhood and lawful good alignment described in the Player's Handbook and Chapter 1 of Players Guide to Faerûn, the order of the Chalice demands that its members swear to a stricter code of conduct. Knights of the Chalice must be chaste and celibate, must never defile their bodies by touching a corpse, and must always place the extermination of a demon above all other priorities.

Organizations of Faerûn
Lands of Faerûn