The Knights of the Divine Hammer was a knighthood charged with the protection of the Holy Empire of Istar and with eliminating the enemies of the Kingpriest. All knights wore white surcoats with a gold hammer on it (except the Grand Marshal whose surcoat was red). The knighthood was led by a Grand Marshal who took direction from the Kingpriest of Istar. The headquarters of the knights was the Hammerhall in the holy city of Istar. The knights were also put in charge of the Scatas, the empire’s soldiers.
The knighthood had many laws and was very religious. An important law in the order was that all knights were chaste. When knights died in battle they were cremated in one fire together as a knighthood tradition. In 15 PC, the Kingpriest legalized slavery again, but the Grand Marshal Tithian forbade any knight from owning others. Also, there was a rarely used rite of trial by combat called Ponfobo Ifas.
History of the Knights of the Divine Hammer
In 40 PC, Beldinas Pilofiro became Kingpriest of Istar after numerous trials. During his rise to power Beldinas was assisted by Cathan MarSevrin. In return for his help Cathan was granted the right to become a Knight of Solamnia. During Cathan’s Night of Reflections, Brother Jendle came to him and gave him a vision of a burning hammer falling on Istar. When Cathan told Beldinas of this vision the new Kingpriest decided it was a message from Paladine. Beldinas believed that Paladine supported not only supported his stance against the Doctrine of Balance but that there should be a new knighthood to achieve that goal. That day Cathan MarServin was knighted the first Knight of the Divine Hammer.
Doctrine of Balance
After their founding, the Knights of the Divine Hammer took the place of the Knights of Solamnia as the protectors of the Holy Empire of Istar. They began to eradicate all churches of the Gods of Darkness. Then by 32 PC the Kingpriest had the knights slowly start eliminating the churches of the Gods of Neutrality.
In 19 PC, the Lost Battles occurred between the Wizards of High Sorcery and Istar and its allies. During the Lost Battles, the Kingpriest sent brigades of knights to the Tower of High Sorcery at Losarcum. The Wizards destroyed the tower while it was being attacked and only two people survived the tragedy, Cathan and his one time squire Tithian with help of Leciane do Cirica.
Post Lost Battles
After the Lost Battles, the Knights of the Divine Hammer roster was greatly diminished. Since Cathan was believed dead, Olin Silverhaft was made the new Grand Marshal. Olin needed to replenish the ranks of knights. He allowed Scatas to petition for knighthood and the children of lesser nobles as well. Over the following years the knighthood had many members that were either more like mercenaries or people seeking fame. By the time Tithian became the next Grand Marshal, Beldinas paranoid politics made it impossible for Tithian to return the knights to what they were when he was a squire.
In 0 PC, the Cataclysm, the very vision the knighthood was named for, occurred. With the Cataclysm came the end of the Holy Empire of Istar and the Order of the Divine Hammer. The few knights that were in edges of the empire were either hunted down and killed by angry mobs or assimilated back into the populace.
Becoming a Knight of the Divine Hammer
The Knights of the Divine Hammer were initially made up by the children of nobles and the Children of the Hammer. The Children of the Hammer was Beldinas’s idea. He decided that orphan children should become knights after being educated about the Istaran church. After the Lost Battles, the ranks were opened up to Scatas and the children of lesser nobles. They had to petition to join and gain a sponsor. Once they gained a sponsor they had to be approved by the local Knight Marshal. Once admitted to the knighthood they were sent to Hammerhall to serve as a squire.
At Hammerhall the squires would be instructed by knights called Preceptors. A person served as a squire for at least three months, but usually a year before being admitted to become a full fledged knight.
The knighting ceremony for the Knights of the Divine Hammer was a religious experience. The initiate spent the night praying to Paladine and could not eat or drink. At dawn the initiate and three knights (including the initiate’s sponsor) severing as honor guard marched from the chapel in Hammerhall to the High Keep. There the initiate was knighted by the Grand Marshal and given a weapon, a shield, spurs, and the white surcoat of his new order. Very rarely the Kingpriest would also knight initiates into the knighthood.
- Knight Banneret (Icodio)
- Knight Commander (Icilmo)
- Knight Marshal (Frebo)
- Senior Marshal (Frecico)
- Grand Marshal (Freburmo)
List of Knights
- Amber and Ashes (HC) p. 320
- Chosen of the Gods p. 355-340, 342-344
- Divine Hammer (Novel) p. 28, 50, 114, 151
- Knightly Orders of Ansalon (Web Enhancement), 'Knights of the Divine Hammer' p. 1-8
- Legends of the Twins (Sourcebook) p. 50, 165
- Sacred Fire p. 15, 22, 79, 263