I'm creating a faction for every class in Xanathar's Guide to Everything. Normally, I try to create factions that can be tweaked to work either as an aid to the PCs or as an enemy. It'll be hard to make this faction, inspired by the Oath of Conquest Paladin, an uncomplicated ally for the average heroic PCs.

Civilization is built on rules: implicit or explicit codes of conduct that allow different people to communicate and work together. Over time, these rules have become codified into laws. Some individuals dedicate themselves to enforcing these laws.

In their fortresses in the Nine Hells--and meeting secretly in small groups all throughout the multiverse--the fanatical organization known as the Hell Knights have taken this basic fact of intelligent culture to its logical extreme.

To the Hell Knights, disorder is an existential threat that must be utterly eradicated. It is worse than a social ill; it is a cancer that will sooner or later destroy all that is good and just in the universe.

Many generations ago, a secret order of paladins sought the most powerful force in the multiverse to aid them in the destruction of disorder and chaos. They found it, in the innumerable devils of the Nine Hells. The paladins, with some initial misgivings, agreed to an alliance with those powerful creatures, forming the organization now known as the Hell Knights.

Those who know of the Hell Knights' existence fear them. These fanatics' single-minded dedication to law and fighting chaos makes them very effective hunters and soldiers, often simply powering through traps and obstacles in pursuit of their foes. Worse, they are not simply brute soldiers; many spend years in their secluded hideouts planning an assault on an enemy fortress or the assassination of a major crime lord.

Hell Knight by badillafloyd

The Hell Knights can be used as a friendly faction if the PCs generally work for civilization and law. If they take jobs from the local sheriff or nobility, they may be approached by a representative of the Hell Knights to help with a job. The Knights are cautious, giving the PCs a relatively small and self-contained job, such as wiping out a group of bandits or clearing out an infestation of mutants in the sewers, before they're put in charge of larger tasks. If the PCs do poorly in their initial work, they are unlikely to be approached again.

But the Hell Knights work much more easily as a foe faction, as terrifying zealots who slaughter anyone who gets in their way. They will just as soon wipe out a hard-bitten criminal organization as every addle-minded addict in a drug den or all the patrons (and workers) in an illegal brothel.

Indeed, just such an act by the Hell Knights can serve as a plot hook to cause the PCs to investigate them. They will find that they've made powerful enemies.

View the art for this faction here

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