The time knights are an order of Paladins (and, occasionally, people of similar classes or dispositions) who seek to protect the timeline from the machinations of evil creatures. The order was noticeably weakened when a large part of all the people on the continent of Etera were slain by the actions of the Verk Empire in the days leading up to its destruction.
It's unclear exactly how long the time knights have been around. Rumors claim everything from being founded at the dawn of the universe by an unknown deity of time to originating in the future and traveling backwards in time to protect it and ensure its own establishment. What is known is that the time knights are an active force on Etera, acting primarily to protect the timeline from evil but occasionally intervening in other matters that appeal to its members' sense of goodness.
Ranks of the Time Knights
- Mission Control: Assumed head of the time knights; claims to be hiding their identity in order to reduce the risk of time-based observations of the knights' communications, thereby protecting themselves and helping ensure the continuity of the order. To be fair, they're probably right.
- Grand Officer: Grand officers are the senior member of a specific category of officers, such as the Grand Treasurer and Grand Historian. They oversee the day-to-day activities in their sphere of influence. Note that this is primarily a bureaucratic position, so most Grand Officers (with the exception of the Grand Marshal and Grand Hospitaler) are not high-level characters, although some Sergeants and Commanders move into these roles as a form of retirement from front-line duties where they can stay involved with the organization.
- Commander: Commanders are high-ranking knights who report to the Grand Marshal (the functional head of the combat section of the time knights, which is by far the largest part). They are usually the ones in charge when Mission Control dispatches multiple time knights on a single mission. If two are along, the highest-level time knight is in charge; if they are of equal level, then the one who's been with the organization the longest has command. The six most senior commanders are known as the Colored Knights and may announce themselves as such in battle; in order of rank, the Colors are Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Pink, and Black.
- Sergeant: Sergeants are mid-ranking time knights who have at least several successful missions in their record of achievements. Although not yet ready for becoming Commanders, Sergeants in general are well-regarded within the organization.
- Knight: The standard members of the time knights' combat department. Knights often live together in communal lodgings under the authority of a commander and are expected to actively pursue the goals of the order. Most members reach this level after spending time as a squire, but the order occasionally inducts experienced people straight into this rank.
- Squire: The lowest official members of the time knights, squires are apprentices who are still learning the combat and magical skills required to be an effective warrior. Squires are usually 1st-2nd level commoners who have not yet trained into a PC class.
Outside of the important ranks described here, the time knights have assorted functional ranks for noncombatants and supporting roles.
Missions and Dispatch
The time knights have an uncanny ability to be present at times and in places relevant to their interests. To nobody's surprise, this is mostly because of their mastery of time magic and general effectiveness at gathering information about potential threats to the timeline. Accordingly, the organization typically sends out however many members it thinks are required to resolve an issue. This can be as little as one, but occasionally as high as five or six. More is usually considered overkill.
Time knights of sufficient wealth and experience almost always carry around some type of transformation tool - this could be a hat of disguise, a transformation trinket, or one of many other items that allow them to rapidly don a costume for combat. Some are even capable of creating an outfit with magic (whether tangible or as an illusion). This holds with the order's philosophy that it is not the face or appearance of members that matters most, but their willingness to fight for the timeline.
Some time knights take this to a further extreme and use their own talents or magical abilities to play music when they arrive and transform, letting absolutely everybody in the area know that they have arrived and are about to fight. (Though some call this silly, it has the practical value of warning civilians to get out of the vicinity immediately, so even the most opinionated members of the time knights rarely do more than grumble a little when somebody does it.)
Code of Conduct
The time knight must be of any good alignment and instantly loses all class features except proficiencies, martial traditions, and combat talents if their alignment ever ceases to be good. Additionally, the time knight must do their best to slay or imprison any evil creature they encounters who possess the Time sphere or any of its talents, evil creatures that know time magic spells such as haste, slow, or time stop, or evil creatures with abilities that allow them to manipulate time.
The time knight can choose to accompany such a creature for a limited time in service to a greater good, but willingly allowing such a creature to go free causes the time knight to suffer the same effects as losing their good alignment until the time knight receives an atonement or brings the creature to justice.
In addition to their normal code of conduct, time knights carry around a silver pocketwatch at all times.
Relationships With Other Organizations
Bastille of the Iron Lord: The time knights are currently maintaining a cautious observation of the Bastille of the Iron Lord. While its use of highly advanced time manipulation is deeply suspicious, the fact that it has an angel in charge of day-to-day operations and seems dedicated solely to imprisoning powerful foes means the time knights do not (yet, at least) consider the Bastille an enemy.
Fair Maiden's Cathedral: Though not officially allied, the Time Knights are broadly on good terms with the staff of the Fair Maiden's Cathedral, a centerpoint for religious services and good or neutral-oriented religious activities in Fort Fair Maiden. As the time knights are not bound to follow a specific deity, they are not considered part of a church, but its members are generally welcomed at the cathedral and can search it for allies with specific skills, healing magic, and general services. After the destruction of Fort Fair Maiden, and the cathedral with it, there is no longer a functioning relationship.
- Mission Control: The enigmatic individual known only as Mission Control is thought to be the head of the Time Knights, although it is possible they report to some sort of grandmaster. Mission Control contacts the members of the Time Knights through long-distance communication magic, typically appearing as an indistinct humanoid of unknown age, gender, or species. Most communication is one-way, but Grand Officers have the ability to contact Mission Control directly.
- Rhea the Merfolk - Classes: Paladin [Soul Weaver]; Rank: Knight
- Selena Sage - Classes: Legendary Kineticist [Unchained Monk]; Rank: Knight