Athos: The Return
Knights of Iscariot
Excerpted from the Encyclopaedia Athorium
Holy Knights of His Holiest Church
The Knights of Iscariot were formed by Padros Tarquinius I in 3489 in order to protect Athos Terrarum from demonic evils. They are operated by one of the Athori in The Church of Athos Dominus. In their early years they were regarded for their brutality and ruthless efficiency. The Knights often clashed with local law militias and town guards over authority rights. After much complaining, the Sovereign ended the bout by siding with the Church, giving the Knights the highest legal authority in the land. Within the following decades the Knight’s force shed most of its brutal image, instead taking on a much more sinister and mysterious aura.
As an Institution
The Knights of Iscariot are specifically labelled the “Armed Legion of the Church” in official documents. The Knights are administered by an Athori who must have been a previous officer in the Knight’s Core prior to being given the Office by the Padros. Under the Athori head are his seven Archknights who each oversee activities in each of the seven (normally) non-militarised regions of The Kingdom of Athos (Exception being contemporary Troix). These Archknights then have 1st Knights who administer duties and missions to their 2nd Knights who command their own bands of 3rd Knights. 1st Knights administer the duties regulated to them by their commanding Archknight but are occasionally known for directly overseeing larger operations. 2nd Knights and 3rd Knights are the most common foot soldiers of the Church. Archknights hardly leave their regional headquarters but do occasionally oversee high priority missions. The chain of command is strict and the closer an Order’s origination from the Padros the more important.
The Knights of Iscariot are run out of Head Offices in the Holy Ward in Sovereign’s Port. The Head Office communicates to the Archknights’ headquarters usually in a fortified country fortress or a heavily guarded office in a major city. The 1st Knights take residence in small temporary barracks while 2nd and 3rd knights do their duties and then report back to that barracks when missions or duties are fulfilled.
The Knights are funded by The Church, which still enacts heavy taxes to pay for the exorbitant cost of maintaining an paramilitary force.
The Knights’ standard duties are to maintain and administer religious law on the Continent and also complete any specific missions given by the Church. Their justice is swift and brutal in regards to religious affairs gaining them the slang title of ‘Travelling Inquisitors’. Standard missions include seeking religious criminals and investigating crimes specified by the Church as religious. These missions are given by 1st Knights and are awarded to 2nd Knights based on merit, skill, and, depending, favouritism.
In settlements and marked lands, The Knights are responsible for enforcing religious law consistently. They often clash with local Guards over authority in mixed cases which leads to much distrust between Holy Knights and City Guards.
Non-Standard Duties and Legends
There are many old tales of secret Church missions given by the Athori to the Archknights. Some even tell of Missions from the Padros himself. These generally have become legends or tales but there are many accounts that suggest many are true to some degree.
These legends include quests for powerful magical weapons like the Holy Sword of Tarquinius I, the Bow of Athos, and the Golden Pick, missions like reanimated towns, mass demon possessions, and great supernatural battles. There have also been many times when the Knights of Iscariot have tried to destroy a demigod but such rare actions have always ended in failure.