Knights of Holy Shielding
Established in the mid–300s CY to support the lords of the petty domains north of the Nyr Dyv, the Knights of Holy Shielding once made up the core of an impressive army. Unfortunately, the years preceding the Greyhawk Wars saw the Shield Lands fall in humiliating defeat to the Horned Society and Bandit Kingdoms. Many Shield Knights fled to goodly nations, establishing relations with local rulers in an attempt to regain their lost homeland through military force. When the forces of the Horned Society withdrew in 583 CY, it appeared that those efforts were successful. The withdrawal proved only a brief respite, and soon the entire nation fell to Iuz. By the end of the Greyhawk Wars, only a third of the order’s original 1,800 esquires still lived.
In 587 CY, under the leadership of the newly installed Knight Commander Lady Katarina of Walworth (, the expatriate Knights of Holy Shielding returned to their homeland in force. With considerable support from Furyondy, they liberated Critwall and Scragholme Island in a series of bloody battles in which no quarter was asked or given. From Critwall, the knights continue to strike against very strong occupying forces to the north and east. The liberation of the Shield Lands and the destruction of Iuz and his armies are this order’s foremost goals.
Most Knights of Holy Shielding are now engaged in this “War of Reclamation.” However, several agents remain in Greyhawk, Dyvers, the Duchy of Urnst, and Furyondy, working as mercenaries and sending their revenue to support the army at home. Within the reclaimed lands, the Shield Knights represent the best sort of heroism. Commoners regard a Shield Knight with respect and awe.
Outside the Shield Lands, the knights are looked upon with less favor. For all their idealistic chatter, these were the same knights who failed to intelligently defend their own nation twice in the last ten years. Cynics reason that it is only a matter of time before they fall to defeat once again. Though the outside world knows the Shield Knights for an arrogance and naivete unacknowledged in their homelands, all know that Shield Knights can be trusted in word and deed. The Knights of Holy Shielding are noted rivals of the Knights of the Hart, who dismiss them with contempt.
The core of the Knights of Holy Shielding are paladins, though fighters and clerics of Heironeous are found among their number. Katarina is titular head of the organization, but the daily operations of the Knighthood are seen to by Knight Banneret Incosee of the Bronze Band (LG male human Ftr13), a surpassingly brave Flan general.