Chevalier

Note: Chevalier is the in-game name for the warrior caste of the Brittanic people. The word is also used as the game rules name for this background, but each race and culture has their own name for the caste. Thus, a Free Dwarf who takes this background would write "Chevalier" in the Background slot on his character sheet, but in-game he would refer to himself as barak colan (see below). The image is iconic-- a mighty warrior, born and trained from the time she can hold a weapon, bound by a code of conduct to uphold the virtues of her society and defend it with her life. Nearly all cultures and races of Brittanis have their own variation on this theme (with two notable exceptions; see the note below), and each culture has slightly different values and codes of conduct for its warriors. Regardless of the subtle variations, the Chevalier is a member of that born-warrior caste, those who know from their earliest memories that their purpose in life is the defense and protection of their communities and the embodiment of the ideals of their culture. For some of the peoples of Brittanis, the Brittanic and Erin'Tar especially, the idea of the chevalier is tied to the noble class. Those who are born to wealth and have the time, equipment, and training to learn the warrior's art. The able-bodied children of these families are expected to, from the earliest possible age, learn the use of armor and martial skills of their people. Only those who show an aptitude for magic of one kind or another are exempted-- and some families have a storied tradition of battle-mages or fighting clergy as well. Chevalier (shuh--VAL--yay) is the Brittanic term for these noble warriors; the High Elves call them maernlyth (MERN--lith), which translates roughly to "defenders of the blade." For others, such as the Brynn, Norn, and Free Dwarves anyone can aspire to the ranks of the warrior caste, but they must prove themselves worthy first. Skill and desire, not birth or blood, determine entry to the ranks of these warriors. At some interval (usually every year, accompanying a festival, holy day, or other such large gathering), those who wish to join the ranks of the chevaliers (or their cultural equivalent) are tested. The means of this test varies from culture to culture and sometimes even neighboring settlements can have subtle or extreme variations on how these warriors are chosen; regardless, the result is the same. Those who succeed enter a period of intense training and initiation into the ranks of the chevaliers; those who fail return to their normal lives. Some cultures allow a person to attempt the testing more than once; others allow the applicant only one chance to prove their worth. For example, the Brynn allow a person to attempt joining the ranks of the Fianna once per year until they are 40 years old. Free Dwarves constantly struggle to preserve their culture amidst lives as refugees. Thus, the continuation of their warrior traditions is of utmost importance to them. The barak-colan (bear-ROCK coh-LANN) is seen as a holy duty, and any dwarf can join. The initiation and training phase is long and incredibly arduous, however, and many do not succeed. Those who do not quietly return to their previous lives and continue on as if they had never attempted to join at all. Norn are a warrior culture from start to finish-- their rites of challenge to become acarl (KARRL) -- which literally means "warrior"-- are long, complex, and both physically and mentally exhausting. Once the warrior has succeeded, they take on additional duties and can be called many things, such as: huscarl-- also called housecarl, a warrior sworn to defend a particular noble and his lands byrncarl-- a heavily armored warrior efencarl-- many carls can band together and mane themselves shield-siblings, referring to each other as efencarl ranncarl-- a soldier who fights on the vanguard, usually with a two-handed weapon; a breaker of the shield-wall The list goes on and on; this is a way for the many warriors of Norn culture to differentiate themselves from one another. Regardless of their race or ethnicity, a chevalier is required to uphold the social ideals of their people. They are required to believe in and behave as exemplars for those who look to them for protection and often for leadership. As such, while normal characters normally choose three Character Values, a chevalier must follow FOUR of these, as determined by their race or culture. Brittanic: Prowess, Justice, Defense, Nobility Brynn: Courage, Faith, Industry, Etiquette Norn: Prowess, Defense, Courage, Principle Free Dwarves: Prowess, Loyalty, Defense, Industry Erin'Tar: Industry, Prowess, Faith, Nobility Note: Khemri humans and Gael'Dar cannot take this Background. Their cultures simply do not have the same kind of ordered, traditional warrior castes. For the Khemri, each member of the clan is trained and schooled in the use of weapons and arms for the good of the clan; the Wild Elves in contrast are a society of hunters and stalkers, and their culture does not, as a whole, focus on the kind of stand-up fighting the Chevalier embodies. Tier 1 Arms-Bearer (0 CP, 0 Stamina; Battle) You have been trained and drilled in the use of your culture's fighting style. When using these weapons, your strikes are particularly powerful. When wielding a weapon from your race's Cultural Weapon list, you may make 2 melee or missile attacks for “X Damage by Heritage,” where X is the character’s Tier+1. Tier 2 Valiant Respite (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Day) You strike home against a foe and knowing that you are fulfilling your life's purpose renews your will to fight. Once per day, you can make a melee or missile attack with a weapon from you race's Cultural Weapon list for, "2 Damage by Heritage." If the attack hits and is not blocked, defended against, or otherwise negated, you can immediately call, "Refresh 2 Stamina to Self by Heritage." Tier 3 Bastion of Honor (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Burst, Day) You hold the line at all costs, dealing death to your foes and letting enemy formations crash around you like water from the rocks. You plant your right foot (burst keyword) and so long as you do not move that foot (pivoting is okay, but dragging it across the ground or lifting it ends the skill), your base melee or missile damage is increased by 1. This skill ends when you rest for any reason, use another called melee attack of any kind, or move your right foot for something other than pivoting.