Knights Lonnuso (Witch-Hunters)

Copyright Robert J Defendi for Final Redoubt Press © 2008

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"Witch-Hunter politics often result in accusations and burning someone at the stake"

The Knights Lonnuso is the most feared and hated Order of the Church. Carrying the authority of the Faerarch, they scour the world looking for heretics to slaughter or put to the fire. Technically, they are in charge of hunting down Undead, Demons, Witches, and Wizards, but in practice the Witch-Hunters police doctrine.

The Knights Lonnuso headquarters in Marnele.

Common Professions: Fighter, Outrider, Layman/No Profession, Paladin, Priest (Arms), Alchemist (Channeling).

Additional Base Lists: Banishment, Holy Discipline, Holy Element (Fire), Ulcer Ways.>>

The Saint

Lonnuso was the head of a small monastery dedicated to the preservation and copying of books. One day, his monastery was attacked by a group of drunken bandits. Despite the formidable clerical powers of one or two members of the group, the bandits managed to take Lonnuso. They burned him alive using the books he cherished as fuel.

During the drunken pillage that followed three of the bandits tried to enter Lonnuso's private library. They instantly burst into flames. As they died agonizing deaths, they called out the names of their friends. As each man's name was called, he too burst into flames. Soon, the monastery was saved. Not a single extra book had been burned.

The Witch-Hunters have latched onto to this image of fire and death and pulled it into the methodology. The image of the flame has become an image of cleansing fire. An image of the destruction of sin. Purification. Fire, an element associated with Hell, is put to a holy end, making it all the holier.

Dogma

Heresy, blasphemy . . . these are the poisons that gnaw at the roots of the world. Evil is one thing. It's brutal and destructive. It causes Ulcers, but heresy and blasphemy are deeper, more insidious. It is the seed of all evil.

And this is war.

It's long past the time of rooting out Ulcers and cleansing Hell from the world. Now we must cleanse the seeds of evil before they spout. To do otherwise would be to condemn the world to destruction.

Mission

The Witch-Hunters are tasked with destroying Ulcers wherever they grow. Officially, they are also in charge of hunting and destroying evil cults. Since the decree against magic, they have also taken it under their discretion to hunt and kill anyone who practices the dark arts.

Membership

Young men are sometimes recruited into the order directly. Other times, Witch-Hunters begin in the seminary but display more violence and aggression than befits a priest.

Once in the Knights Lonnuso, they learn under apprenticeship and study. Most follow the path of a soldier, while a few learn the way of the Paladin. A few, mainly those from the seminary, become invested priests as well as <<Fighters or Paladins>>.

Organization

The Knights-Lonnuso are organized along military lines. Spell casters seem to rise to the top, as do the priest-knights. Those with spells and the authority of the clergy are almost guaranteed to rise.

Advancement

Politics serves less of a role in the Witch-Hunters than in other Orders. There is still a certain element of perceived merit in promotions (a spell-casting priest will advance with far fewer accomplishments than others).

But for the most part, a character rises through the ranks by deeds. Destroyed Ulcers, burned heretics, and slaughtered cults mark the path of the Witch-Hunter as he rises through the ranks.

Reward and Punishment

Witch-Hunters are rewarded with honors and promotions. Punishments can involve stripping a Witch-Hunter of status, but more often, punishments involve trial by inquisition. Characters who go before inquisition rarely make it out alive.

The Flock

The Witch-Hunters have no flock. People fear them more than follow. Occasionally, groups of Witch-Hunters will develop a group of camp followers, often zealous madmen, who follow them about looking for opportunities to burn and pillage. Some Witch-Hunters encourage this. Others try to put a stop to it at every opportunity.

Clergy

The Witch-Hunters have their own clergy members in their ranks. When in the field, if a priest is not handy, the commanding officer can serve the role under the rules of extreme unction.

Magic

The Witch-Hunters have no qualms about using God's magic to smite heretics. They are reasonably successful at training Paladins to fill their ranks.

As for other forms of magic, they seek them out and destroy them with a near-single-minded intensity. Still, they are not above declaring magic items they find to have a church origin, for expedience.

Locales

The Knights Lonnuso have fortresses, castles, and quarters all over Human lands. They have local headquarters in all the major cities and the Order's Headquarters are located in the city of Serard, in a deserted area of the city.

Witch-Hunters build military buildings and fortifications. Every building they own has a defense plan and often fortifications of some kind.

Family Life

Witch-Hunters can marry and have children. Lands given to individuals are lands that individual holds and can pass on to their children. Family life for a Witch-Hunter is similar to other military men, with time spent in the field and leaves spent at home. Beyond that, life is defined by the personalities of those involved.

Factions

The Witch-Hunters are remarkably unified, likely because those who step out of the pack usually have something questionable in their pasts that's worthy of inquisition. There are disagreements and sides to any argument, but mass dissent is rare.

Politics

The Witch-Hunters tend to disdain politics. Of course there are politics in any Human interaction, but Witch-Hunter politics often result in accusations and burning someone at the stake. Because of this, they are more subdued than many Orders when it comes to politics.

Of course, Witch-Hunters can still run afoul their brothers. This rarely ends well.

Spotting a Witch-Hunter

A Witch-Hunter almost always wears some kind of armor, even if it's quilted cloth. He carries himself with the strength and authority of a man used to combat. Most Witch-Hunters pin their cloak back over one shoulder, and people have come to know this as a sign of the order.

Typical Usage

The typical Witch-Hunter is a pitiless hunter of Heresy. He has no humor (or what he has is dark), nor love, no mercy. He makes for a good villain, but one fraught with dangers, as standing against him means standing against the Church.

Atypical Usage

Witch-Hunters will often come across as two-dimensional bad guys in a normal game. To break the mold, allow the players to see the complicated motivations behind the front. A Witch-Hunter that weeps as he slaughters could be memorable. One who advises his victims gently in the defense that will result in the most painless death will also seem more than a caricature. One that actually tries to help people . . . .

Sir Leonial

Sir Leonial dominates any room he enters. He moves with grace and power and woman swoon when he passes. He speaks with a soft voice that demands attention and he's often friendly when not pursuing his duty. Over time, and prolonged association, some people can even find the courage to stop fearing him.

Leonial pursues his job with a solid intensity. The only thing he pursues more are women, and he usually has two or three on the hook outside of his marriage. He loves the power he exercises on the lives of men and the hearts of women. He enjoys it when he can make either beg, though he inevitably loses all respect for the person once they have.

Leonial is tall and muscular with black hair and a clean shave. His eyes are piercing and chin strong, although his nose is a bit hooked. He carries the scars of his past battles.