The Dragonlance Nexus

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The Gods of Light, The Triumvirate and Shinare

D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules

by Markus_Essers


The following text is a correction of the current trend involving Shinare as one of the patrons for the Knights of Solamnia. Many people are uncomfortable with this situation and feel that the Solamnic Knights were not meant to worship a neutral deity at all. Nevertheless I tried to explain Shinare's interests and goals in Solamnia.

The Knights of Solamnia in the Age of Mortals

Kiri-Jolith offered the gods of Light to share the responsibility for the Knights of Solamnia altogether, so they all can contribute to the well-being of the knighthood and revere the memory of Paladine, beloved husband, father and friend. They remembered the knightly virtues the Solamnic Knights were built on.

Kiri-Jolith will teach the knights justice, courage and honour, his brother Habbakuk stands for true loyalty – their mother Mishakal was next. She will teach mercy. Majere saw that the time has come to teach every knight reason and clarity to oppose undisciplined or fatuous foes. Solinari's vigilance for rising evil was also welcomed and added to the virtues of the knighthood.

Branchala's music of creation should inspire the heart of a true Knight of Solamnia. The gods of Light agreed that these will be the virtues the Solamnic Knighthood will be newly founded on.

So the Pantheon of Light long debated the various virtues that they sought to bring out within a re-forged knighthood. Through the wisdom of Majere and Mishakal they realised that this re-forging would have a dramatic effect on the well-being of the knighthood and for Solamnia as a whole. Thus they sought out Shinare to witness their oaths and pledges and validate it.

The Knighthood and the Gods of Light

The Solamnic Knights have always had a strong relationship with the Holy Order of their three patron gods. Now that the triumvirate is broken and the responsibility for the Knights of Solamnia shared by all gods of Light the specific roles of the patron deities are less clear than at the founding of the knighthood.

Now that Kiri-Jolith has taken the leading position of the Knights of Solamnia and replaced his father Paladine, every god of Light brings new virtues to the knighthood. Loyalty, courage and honour are not the only virtues a true knight of Solamnia is nowadays bound on. These old virtues are joined by justice, mercy, inspiration and vigilance. Without these new ideals the knighthood can't face the challenges that lie ahead of the Age of Mortals.

All Knights of Solamnia regard Kiri-Jolith as their supreme spiritual leader and they have a strong relationship with the Holy Order of Kiri-Jolith. For the Knights of Solamnia he represents justice and courage and he is the embodiment of knightly honour and fair tournaments.

As one of the original patron deities of the Solamnic Knights, Habbakuk is revered by the knighthood for his loyalty and reliability more than his natural aspects. The Knights of Solamnia had always a tight relationship with the church of Mishakal and she is respected as Paladine's wife and Holy Mother of their three offspring's Kiri-Jolith, Habbakuk and Solinari. Though Mishakal teaches the Knights of Solamnia to show mercy and respect life in all its forms. Clerics of Mishakal have always accompanied the Knights on the field of battle and served as healers.

Majere was Paladine's closest friend and best advisor. So his wisdom and his clear mind are undisputed and respected by all knights, especially by those joining the Order of the Rose. The knighthood certainly looks favourably on Majere in his discipline aspect, though the relationship to the Holy Order of Majere is certainly not the best.

Solinari, the little brother of Kiri-Jolith and Habbakuk, is patron of the Order of the Kingfisher and respected by the other Knights of Solamnia for his commitment to vigilance and watchfulness.

The god most uncomfortable with his new position is Branchala. His free will and untroubled mind had no place in the old knighthood. But he remembered his earliest efforts to establish romance and chivalry to Krynn's mortal mankind. So he was chosen to inspire the Knights of Solamnia to greater deeds in the memory of their ancient icons like Vinas Solamnus or Huma Dragonbane. But the knighthood itself has almost no alliance whatsoever with the church of Branchala.

Measure of the Crown

Crown Knights are sworn to protect, serve and aid according to the rules of loyalty and obedience. He must respect the authority of the greater knighthood and higher ranking knights and its High Councils. A Knight of the Crown obeys those to whom he is loyal, regardless of his own well-being or personal opinion.

Loyalty is a treasure valued only when it is justly given. Knights of the Crown pledge loyalty to the gods of Good, specifically to Kiri-Jolith and Habbakuk, and they are loyal to the memory of Paladine. They also pledge high allegiance to their little brother Solinari. He has an ever watchful eye to safeguard and protect those in need and danger. Furthermore Crown Knights even respect the decision of Branchala and they draw inspiration from his music of creation to do knightly deeds in the name of chivalry.

Measure of the Sword

The Order of the Sword combines the purest ideals of heroism, courage, and spirituality with the power of the gods of Light. A strong spirit and faith in the patron deities of the knighthood form the fountain which true honour draws its life from. Courage is the sacrifice to the ideals of honour, no matter what the personal cost. The spirit of heroism is nothing without sacrifice and honour.

The heroic and courageous knight is a champion of the weak, the enslaved, the poor, the falsely imprisoned, fellow knights in need, the defenceless and the oppressed.

The following acts beseem a true Knight of the Sword: facing evil without personal concern for suffering, accepting the challenge of combat for the honour of the knighthood, defending the honour of the knighthood, defending the honour of a fellow knight in good standing and protecting the defenceless and weak. While no truly courageous and heroic knight would run from a battle or decline combat with an evil foe, the Measure does recognize that it is in vain to throw oneself away in a battle that cannot be won. The Measure teaches a knight prudence in choosing his battles and that it is better to live to fight another day than to die in a battle that cannot be won.

A Knight of the Sword must pay homage to Kiri-Jolith and the other gods of Good each day. With the constant aim to ease the suffering of the helpless a Sword Knight has a strong relationship to Mishakal, Paladine's beloved wife, who eagerly helps to heal the wounds of those in need. It is not unusual that many Knights of the Sword see her as the embodiment of true mercy and protector of the home. Every Knight of the Sword has got the duty of defend Mishakal's honour where ever it might be necessary.

A Knight Clerist must spend one day a week fasting with prayer to Kiri-Jolith at sunrise, noon, and sunset.

Measure of the Rose

The Order of the Rose exemplifies honour guided by wisdom and justice. Wisdom is the strength of honour and ability applied in the service of just causes. Justice is the heart of the Measure and the soul of a Rose Knight.

The following acts befit a true Rose Knight: taking compassion to the less fortunate, sacrificing one's life for the sake of others, giving no thoughts to one's safety in defence of the knighthood, protecting the lives of fellow knights, seeing that no life is sacrificed or wasted in vain.

A Knight of the Rose is expected to honour the gods of Good in all things at all times. Rose Knights see Kiri-Jolith as their supreme patron who is guided by Majere's wisdom and wise council. Every Rose Knight has to learn the lessons of clarity and reason from Majere and only with a rational and even-tempered mind justice can be served and evil opposed. The Order of the Rose honours Mishakal as The Healing Hand caring most for those in need. But also her more martial aspect as Shield-Maiden of Solamnia and protector of the home is revered by Rose Knights.

The Knights of Solamnia and Shinare

Shinare was chosen by the gods of Light to witness the oaths and pledges of the Knights of Solamnia. She agreed to her new position to oversee all knightly negotiations, all contracts and all partnerships. She will report broken promises immediately to the Pantheon of Light so that transgressions can be dealt with. But Shinare is no part of the heavenly council or a patron deity of the knighthood. Nevertheless she has great interests in her new position which has brought her church a level of influence it has never before enjoyed in the lands protected by the knighthood. Solamnia is an upcoming nation where wealth and profit can be made. So she seeks to drive Solamnia forward with the spirit of fair trade and enterprise. Many times the Knights of Solamnia have to rely on mercenaries to fill their ranks for battles to come. But mercenaries are not known for their reliability and therefore the Solamnic Knights trust more often than not only those mercenaries who sign contracts in the name of Shinare. She blesses every agreement made in her name between knight and mercenary soldier but punishes who breaks the contract – willingly or not. Nevertheless Coinswords of Shinare often share ranks with the Knights of Solamnia and both of them fight side by side.

The gods of Light had another reason to choose her as one of the patrons of Solamnia. Recent events have shown that Hiddukel has taken great interest in the people of Solamnia whether knights or peasants. He seeks to corrupt every good soul in Solamnia spreading lies and misfortune. The church of Shinare opposes Hiddukel, the Prince of Lies and Greed, with significant zeal and effort to promote her sense of order and trust.

The gods of Light know that Shinare will pay most attention to abuse, unfair practices and thievery wherever Hiddukel might be involved, so her wrath will incur the violation of fair trade and false promises.

Sources:
Dragonlance Adventures (1987)
Heroes of Steel (1996)
Holy Orders of the Stars (2005)
Knightly Orders of Ansalon (2006)

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