The Snake Cult had very nearly won, only a few bands of rebels remained, scattered about in the mountains and forests of the former Baccus Empire. Only one castle remained, ever defiant to the influence of the Cult, Fang Keep. Azi Dahaka sent a Snake Cult Army to deal with this last bastion against her rule. Confident that it would be unable to hold out, she cast her gaze towards Pendor and began to make arrangements to wage war against that war-torn nation. The son of the Lord of Fang Keep, a humble man known as Marneus, bravely took up arms with the few remaining Baccus Loyalists. It was a long, hard battle and most of Marneus comrades died that day, however they threw back the horde of Cultists and won the day.
Grieved by the loss of so many of his friends, and his own father, Marneus had a massive funeral pyre built, and all the bodies burned. The flames were so hot that the survivors stood around it felt the metal in their armor begin to melt. No-one knows what happened next, but the next morning Marneus and his men awoke to find themselves properly dressed but no-longer in armor. When they went to investigate the remains of the great pyre, all could see within the bright gleam of embers, but they gave off no heat. Curious the men brushed the ash aside and found their all their armor hidden beneath, each suit seemingly made with liquid fire, but the metal was cool to the touch.
News of this victory spread and the entire region rose up in arms, mere days later Marneus was proclaimed the new Emperor of the Ashenborn Empire, and those who had served at his side at Fang Keep became known as the Order of the Phoenix.
Now, the members of the Order of the Phoenix pass their armor down to their eldest son when they die or retire, meaning that the Phoenix will forever ride to the defense of the Ashenborn Empire, their flame-touched armor glittering at the head of the army, their brilliant longswords inspiring fear in their foes and providing resolve to their allies.
Knights of this order are considered heavy cavalry, but they feel unique in that they always have a 1 handed sword (Phoenix Longsword) and their order shield, making them worse than lance cavalry in charges but better in close combat.
The sergeants, on the other hand, do have couch lances with very high range, that will use these in the initial charge to most likely, then change to their sword (Phoenix Broadsword/Empire Great Sword). These are considered more like shock cavalry. Their Phoenix Leather and Mail and Phoenix Barbutte are also highly distinctive on the battlefield.
Joining the Order of the Phoenix requires 15 honor, 500 renown and neutral or positive relations with the Order. A chapter of the Order already exists in Maras Castle, Calendain Castle or Almerra Castle (in 1 of the 3, chosen randomly).
You must have a Qualis Gem, as well as having wary (-10) relations or better with them and 15 or higher honor to found a chapter of this Order. Creating a chapter of this order will lower by 20 relations with Snake Cult and Adventurer Companies (Order's rivals).
They start being neutral to the player (0 relation).
Changes from 3.8.4
- Honor requirement for both creating and joining the order raised from 10 to 15
- They have now a traveling knight, thus a knight may be seen in taverns and asked about their story. Can also be asked if in party.
- Their prestige cost is now x1.3 times higher
- Strength raised from 27 to 28
- Ironflesh raised from 8 to 10, the rest of the skills remain the same
- Phoenix Barbute renamed to Phoenix Knight Barbute
- Phoenix Broadsword changed to Phoenix Longsword
- Steel Greaves changed to Heavy Plate Greaves
- Steel Gauntlets changed to Supreme Steel Gauntlets
- Their prestige cost is now x1.4 times higher
- Level raised from 35 to 36
- Now upgrades from Empire Cavalry instead of Empire Light Cavalry
- Strength raised from 21 to 24
- Agility raised from 15 to 18
- Melee Proficiencies raised from 250 to 290
- Throwing Proficiency lowered from 300 to 100
- Removed Broad Head Throwing Spears (no longer has throwing weapons)
- Mail Boots changed to Heavy Iron Greaves
- Mail Mittens changed to Hourglass Gauntlets
- Heater Shield - Phoenix renamed to Phoenix Heater Shield
- Phoenix Longsword changed to Phoenix Broadsword
- Empire Great Sword added to his melee weaponry (2 of these)
- He will now have a couching lance (Long Dark Knight Lance)
Player: You don't look like most knights around here good sir, where do you hail from?
Knight: I come from across the sea, the great continent of Amala. My order is known as The Order of the Phoenix.
Player: I can't imagine a place bigger than Pendor. What can you tell me about your order?
Knight: We are true sons of the Ashenborn Empire. Our Emperor, Emperor Marneus Calgar, leads our people from across the sea against the very threat that is strong enough to destroy this world, The Snake Cult. Our name derives from the multitude of Empires that each one has been built upon. From the ashes, the true sons spread their wings and again take up arms for each new empire, now, The Ashenborn Empire. We believe that each Empire is stronger than the next, like that of the mythical Phoenix, with each resurrection. Our order is unmatched across the sea and our Emperor has sent us to Imperator Marius to help quell the unrest the Snake Cult has been creating. Unfortunately, we are now tied up in whatever this proxy Empire gets itself into.
Player: That is quite an interesting view on your own Empire and the one in Pendor. How does one become a Phoenix Knight?
Knight: Back home, our order are heir successors from knights who live long enough to produce an heir. From the moment we are old enough, we are trained to ride horse, become smiths, and we train for combat. Our future is laid out by our fathers, as certain as there is to be another day. Each one of us wear our father's armor as they did before us and as they did for theirs. Like our beliefs, we renew our armor and make it reborn from heat, ash, and steel. We have had to make due with the fact that we aren't home, so we accept only the strongest this land has to offer. The Phoenix is represented upon our breastplate, so our enemies know whom they face and that each time we are struck down, we only come back stronger and in greater numbers.
Player: Thank you. That was interesting indeed.
Knight: We are the true sons of the Ashenborn, we give our lives to defend those remain true to the remnants of the ancient Baccus Empire.
Player: Are there not two group who claim to defend the Ashenborn Empire?
Knight: Indeed, we are the visible cadre who stand proudly facing down our enemies. The Emperor also employs a rather more covert group known as the Wolves of the Shadows. I cannot speak more of them though, in case one of them overhears us.
Player: Is that man watching us?
Knight: What? No, I don't think so. Is he?
Player: No, never mind. What more can you tell me of the Phoenix? That armor for instance is quite remarkable!
Knight: Our Order were the last guardians of Dark Pass castle, the last bastion to hold out against the Snake Cult. Our commander, Servius Petronius Sparsus has become something of a legend to our people. Some say he is the greatest commander to have ever lived. We fought so many battles that our armor become permanently stained with the blood of the Cultists we had slain. In order to preserve the memory of the sacrifices of our ancestors, we hand our armor down to those we name as our successor, this is normally our eldest son.
Player: What are the other factors that grant entrance into your prestigious order.
Knight: There are three things a prospect must do before they are permitted entrance. First, they must break and train their own horse, this may take several years to do, the horse and rider must become one in spirit. The second thing that the prospect must do is forge the sword that they will carry for the rest of their life. Lastly, the prospect must learn the history of their armor, for every suit of armor is a family heir loom; every suit has been handed down from father to sons for generations. If the prospect is not able to recite the history of the armor then they are denied entrance.
Player: Thank you, Captain, for this glimpse into the history of your order.
A mentioning of "Emperor Marneus Calgar" in the tavern conversation with a knight is most likely a refrence to Warhammer 40.000 universe and more specifically to Marneus Augustus Calgar, Chapter Master of the Ultramarines.