MerricB writes "Of the Paladins of Heironeous who became wanderers after the rise of the House of Naelex in the Great Kingdom.
The Knights-Errant of Heironeous
by MerricB (email@example.com)
Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.
During the height of the Great Kingdom's power, the churches of the brother-gods Heironeous and Hextor continually strived for ascendancy. One must not assume that because a god is aligned with evil that normal people will automatically condemn them and their followers - War was considered a nasty business, and if the followers of Heironeous were more high-minded about the entire business, well, the followers of Hextor were more effective in battle against the Great Kingdom's enemies.
In any case, once the House of Naelix rose to power (about 437 CY), the favour of the Emperors of the Malachite Throne turned decidedly towards the Church of Hextor and the darker Oeridian deities. The Church of Heironeous found itself losing significant support from the populace, and finally was forced from Rauxes altogether, the Church of Hextor taking over the Cathedral of Heironeous.
The survivors of the purge - for such it was - scattered to lands still uninfected by the taint that had overcome the House of Naelix. A certain group of them chose to remain wanderers, and fight evil as they could and as their abilities allowed. So began the order of the Knights Errant of Heironeous.
The Knights Errant are not an organisation as such, but more of a loosely bound group of like-minded paladins that wander the Flanaess. Their only allegiance is to Heironeous, though some still retain feelings for their homelands and prefer to protect those areas than wander more widely.
The Order is quite refreshing in one aspect: they tend to be more intelligent than most servants of Heironeous. This means that they will avoid a battle they don't think they can win. Though by no means cowards, they do prefer to act with common sense foremost in their minds. This is not to say that a Knight would not sacrifice himself for the cause of good, just that they don't do it with the monotonous regularity that the other Orders tend to display.
There is no leader of the Knights Errant. Individual masters travel alone, or equally commonly, with a young squire they are training in the Knight's Code. The Order has grown away from its origins, and no retaking of the Great Kingdom en masse is foreseeable in the near future, though individual knights occasionally wander into that area on missions of Weal.
The Knights Errant rarely take any permanent home until they feel they have grown too old for the fight. At that point, they renounce all trappings of their old status, and live simply - though most still give aid to those they consider worthy of it.
The Knights Errant are most common in the western half of the Flanaess, but can be found elsewhere. Of their number, Gillian the White (LG human female Pal7) has recently gained fame for several expeditions against slavers and followers of Hextor on the Wild Coast.
Note: Aerdy, Heironeous