| The Shadow Empyre
The Shadow Empyre
©2013 Keith Haney and John L. Campbell
Next Session: Retired
  • World Map
  • Approved Sourcebooks
  • Overview
  • World History
  • Titles and Knighthood
  • Army Officers

For purposes of creating and leveling a player character in the D&D 3.5 version of this campaign. Feats, spells and abilities are limited to the following books. If you have a strong case for the use of other suppliments see your GM. I reserve the right to omit unbalanced and unfair rules from any of the approved books if it upsets game balance or is abused.

Sanctioned Books:
Player's Handbook
Player's Handbook 2
Complete Adventurer
Complete Divine
Complete Arcane
Complete Warrior
Complete Mage
Complete Champion
Complete Psionic
Complete Scoundrel
Complete Warrior
Defenders of the Falth
Expanded Psionics Handbook

These books are not in use for the Shadow Empyre because they include classes and capabilties that do not belong in the world. Remember this campaign has been crafted for the most part to onle include the core rule books. I have extended the list above, but to limit my own need to research and balance an already written campaign I am excluding the following books so that I don't spend my life as a full time GM. I do still have to pay the bills by going to work. If this feels too limiting I am sorry.

Unsanctioned Books:
Book of Vile Darkness
Epic Level Handbook
Legend of the Fire Rings (Campaign settings books)
-Races of Destiny
-Planar Handbook
-Savage Species
-Races of the Wild
-Song and Silence
-Spell Compendium
-Sword and Fist
-Tome of Blood
-Tome of Battle
-Tome of Magic
-Unearthed Arcana
-Weapons of Legacy
Manual of the planes

The war against the Grimm has been a reality for as long as most can remember. Here in the fortified city of Eldred's Cross, the war is constantly in the minds and hearts of the citizens. As the last civilized outpost between the war-front and the Imperium, Eldred's Cross sees more than its share of veterans and casualties.

In the time before the war with the Grimm, Eldred's Cross served as the advance staging area during the civil war against Castille. Their secession from the empire sparked a war that eventually split the empire in two. Now at peace with each other, Eldred's Cross has become a fusion of the two cultures, though they are firmly loyal to the Emperor.

As a city that caters to a broad range of peoples, many of whom are facing the meat-grinder of the northern passes and the war. Eldred's Cross is host to a disproportionate number of business that cater the the vices of men.

Perched on the southern edges of the Hardlands "The Cross" is an untamed bastion of humanity where life is held in low regard and man live as though they may draw their last breath on the morrow.

As citizens of the Imperium you are obligated to serve in the defense of the nation. Conscription comes in many forms. For some, they enter the ranks of the soldiers to legitimize their claim to family holdings. Others come in defense of their homeland ot titles, but most do so at the bidding of the emperor as conscripts bound to serve out their one year obligation. A pitiful few find their terms of services as an alternative to prison time. All who enter share one thing in common--risk.

Of the legions who serve in the Pass Wars only the lucky and the skilled see the light of day that marks the end of their time in the military. Some find their place in the deathly halls of war and serve several tours of duty. These men and women are a rare breed and are honored with stripes of service for their skill and courage. There is no greater honor than to distinguish ones self in the Pass Wars.

It is now your turn to take fate’s hand. His imperial highness has called on you to serve. Soon Eldred's Cross will relinquish its warm embrace on you and release you to the ravages of war. Make your peace now for tomorrow a new day dawns.

Shadow Empyre – Revelations

(PE denotes pre-Imperial calendar. IC marks the years of the Imperial calendar.)
Players may know some or most of this, at DM disrection. Scholars, mages & clerics should know most if not all.) In the campaign, anything called “OLD WORLD” refers to people, places or things from before the start of the Imperial calendar.

PE 3,500 First known record of the Elven forest kingdom of Llhona, ruled by a Parliament of Shade and the Everqueen.

PE 2,450 First record of Dwarves in the mountains, and of a Dwarven kingdom called Delmharven. Humankind is scattered & primitive, religion is purely pagan.

PE 1,500-1,000 Humans begin banding together in tribal communities ruled by warlords. Famine, disease and war keeps their population low. The first records of pagan, tribal communities appear on the islands which will later be known as Thippus, Thessalya, Capricia, Pela and Tenedor around PE 1,200.

PE 1,000 – 0 “The Time of Kings.” Over the course of the millennium, the known lands slowly transform from tribal lifestyles into more “civilized” feudal communities and territories, ruled by kings (created through war or heredity, some little more than new versions of old-world warlords.) From the 800’s forward, the growing influence of The Church starts to take hold and helps to shape these kingdoms.

PE 960 The generally accepted birth year of Cuthbert in the village of Coregg (the future Hax.)

PE 930 Cuthbert begins his ministry (see supplement on The Story of the Church for details.) He is followed by a select group of disciples, and over the next ten years his influence and words spread rapidly throughout the known world.

PE 920 Cuthbert is martyred by crucifixion in the fishing village of Florenta, by Pagans and a Druidic high priest. His disciples carry his body to Coregg where it is entombed. Cuthbert is immediately “Sainted” by his disciples. This is generally considered the birth year of The Church as it is known today.

PE 921-600 The faith of St. Cuthbert spreads across all the known lands, and soon becomes the dominant religion, pushing Pagans into the background.

PE 611 Rosalyn (a future, primary saint) is born in Madrigal.

PE 601 Silas I, the first Cardinal of Saint Cuthbert, is ordained in Florenta. The position of Cardinal replaces previous positions of Disciples as a centralized, mortal head of the Church and the earthly representative of Cuthbert. In PE 598, Silas I officially declares Coregg to be the Holy City, and renames it Hax. The Church as an organization remains in Florenta. Hax becomes the destination of pilgrimages for eons to come.

PE 597 Claiming holy visions, Rosalyn begins her work in Cuthbert’s name, spreading his word. In PE 576 she founds San Marin, a mountain chapel on the north side of the Alps, and begins bringing the word of Cuthbert to the primitive Goblin cultures. She is martyred by Goblins in PE 561 at Gristmil by the Blood Hand clan. Her remains are heroically rescued by Monks of the Opus Dei order, and she is entombed at San Marin.

PE 559 Cardinal Equious II is ordained. An architect before receiving his calling to the faith, he designs and orders the construction of the Holy Basilica in Florenta

PE 525 The Monks of Opus Dei begin construction of a mighty mountain Abbey at the site of San Marin.

PE 309 The Holy Basilica is completed in Florenta, and work continues to build a small, fortress-style walled city around this sacred place. Cardinal Pax III performs the consecration ceremonies of the Basilica.

PE 280 In the many scattered kingdoms of Seville (current day Castille) a secret religious movement begins to break away from the Holy Church, claiming that Cuthbert was most certainly the mortal founder of the Church, but was simply a man. They claim it was his mother, the Blessed Virgin, who was divine and that she is the true deity.

PE 265 – IC 300 The Church mounts a four-century-plus campaign of fear, bloodshed, torture and burnings on “The Heretics of The Blessed Virgin.” It is the time when Grand Inquisitors came into being, and is without a doubt the darkest period for The Church. Despite the ruthless campaign, faith in the Blessed Virgin grows in the west, and early feelings of national identity begin to grow in the western lands.

PE 250 – IC 0 A series of human kings, all taking the name of Hax to give themselves credibility with Church followers, begin solidifying and centralizing rule through widespread warfare among the scattered kingdoms and warlords. The Church, seeing a strong personal benefit to a centralized government, supports the two and a half centuries of war, and in return the war against the Heretics is supported by the Hax Kings. This time of political centralization and war is known as “The Forging.” It is also the beginning of the Imperial Bloodline of Hax.

PE 225 The Abbey of San Marin is completed in The Grimme.

PE 125 Cardinal Giovanni IV canonizes Rosalyn as St. Rosalyn of Madrigal, and renames San Marin as the Abbey of Saint Rose.

IC 0 Official birth year of the Empire, and start of the Imperial Calendar. All known lands come under Imperial rule (Madrigal, Seville, all the Island Cultures, the Great Province of Florenta (the boot), the Grand Province of Fertilium (a lush, green land of agricultural bounty - current day Hardlands) and a 300 mile semi-circle extending into the Grimme from Hax. It is declared the Florentian Empire by Hax VIII, first emperor of Florenta. Llhona and Delmharven are not part of the empire, and as an acknowledgement to avoiding war with this large, violent human culture, the Elves and Dwarves officially recognize Florenta and her Emperor.

IC 05 Hax VIII renames Seville as Castille, and continues Imperial support of the Church’s purge of Heretics in the western lands. Imperial support of this heretic hunt will continue for the next three centuries.

IC 05 – IC 300 The city of Florenta grows into the Capital, the center of the Empire.

IC 201 Mithril is discovered in Viletta. The Imperium immediately annexes the mining village and transforms it into a fortified city.

IC 300 Emperor Victorius I moves the Imperial Court to the southernmost town of Seapoint, renames it Victorius and orders the town developed into a mighty fortress city. Also in this year, the Church officially stops its persecution of “Blessed Virgin Heretics.” An enlightened Cardinal Alphonse IV officially recognizes it as an independent faith, with mutual foundations in the teachings of Cuthbert, and a time of religious reconciliation and healing begins.

IC 400 – IC 700 This 300 year period is known as the “Age of Serenity,” a time of peace and development. The Imperial seat returns to Florenta, where a series of Imperial rulers – with Church support – begin developing the empire’s towns into cities, building roads and infrastructure, developing ports and sea lanes and of course, building churches. A feudal-style government with titles and hereditary governorship of cities is established;
HOUSE (family name) CITY
Hax (Imperial Bloodline) Hax
Hax (Imperial Bloodline) Florenta
Eldred Eldred’s Cross
Wales Victorius
Avalon St. Capella
Novella St. Lucius
Dairn Mole’
Heitag Viletta
Dela Toro Torregidor
Lupo Domingo
Orlando Grenada
Papadopolous Ettenes (Thippus)
Greco Genova (Pela)
Athellia Hadrias (Thessalya)
Cabanera Runidor (Tenedor)
Quicksilver Angel’s Reach
Blacke Astoria
Molinari Santiago (Madrigal)
Rivera San Maria (Madrigal)
Spade Notrenoc (Fertilium)
Forkiotis Tritonus (Capricia [Apoxus - Nessia])
Constantine Neptium (Capricia [Abraxus - Nessia])

IC 700 – IC 800 The “Enlightened Century.” Throughout this 100 year period, universities and seminaries are founded throughout the realm;
IC 710 Hax Infinitum University of Magical Studies (Hax)
IC 769 The Carnelli School (St. Lucius)
IC 725 Helix Institute (Florenta)
IC 740 Torri Duo (Florenta)
IC 780 University of Hax (Hax)
IC 700 Hax Seminarium of Cuthbert (Hax)
IC 775 Archon Monastery (Mole’)
IC 720 Seminary of St. Mark (St. Lucius)
IC 798 Universidad de Seville (Torregidor)
IC 791 The Theorum Mana Institute (Santiago – Madrigal)

IC 784 Rise of the Oroth of the Bloody Hand. This is the first Imperial realization that there is an organized Goblin culture, not simply scattered, wild bands.

IC 801 Birth of Laric the Archmage.

IC 812 “Miracle of San Maria.” A trick of the light in the Cathedral of Domingo puts the image of the Blessed Virgin on a wall. The cathedral becomes a pilgrimage site.

IC 815 – IC 825 The fertile region of Madrigal begins to rapidly dry up. Within 10 years it is uninhabitable, the cities of Santiago and San Maria are lost to the desert, the ruling families of Molinari and Rivera are lost to obscurity, and the region is lost to the empire.

IC 871 Establishment of the Oroth of the Nine Fists. The ruthless and highly organized nature of this goblin dynasty creates the first ripples of concern in the Imperium over the growing strength of the forces of the Grimme.

IC 900 The Spade family, hereditary rulers of Notrenoc in Fertilium, builds Iron Tree Estates. It is a grand palace in the largest and most fertile plantation in Fertilium. So bountiful with agriculture is the region that the term “Spades Feed the World” is common, and the family has tremendous wealth, power and influence at court. Whispers that the Spades employ slave labor (an outlawed practice) are quickly swept under the rug and ignored.

IC 940 – IC 976 The Goblin Clan of the Nine Fists begins with skirmishes with Imperial forces at the edge of the 300 mile territory in the Grimme. The guerilla-style engagements rapidly turn to open warfare, and over the years the goblins steadily push human forces back towards Hax, reclaiming the 300 mile zone.
IC 976 Hax falls to the goblin horde.

IC 978 Start of the 1st Crusade. Hax is retaken in IC 980.

IC 982 Hax falls again to the goblin legions.

IC 985 The Imperium launches the 2nd Crusade. Hax is retaken in IC 990.

IC 1,000 The Millenium. Church scripture and Prophecy tell of the beginning of a dark eon; Famine, Disease, the spread of Evil and the Delivery of the “Sweet Tones of Chaos,” (an unexplained mystery. They also tell of the birth in this year of an Antichrist, one who is “Dark of hair and skin, yet fair of nature, a Rider with dominion over the beasts.” This is perhaps true, and perhaps a subtle church attempt to further discredit Castillians, who clearly match the description. A rogue element of the Church, Monks of the “Order of Puriciation,” launch a covert campaign of murder and assassination in Tenedor (home to world-class riders and horses), intent upon exterminating the first-born, believing the Antichrist is among them. This vicious campaign results in countless, innocent deaths and the destruction of the Monks and their order. Ten years after the slaughter, the Church quietly pays reparations to the peoples of Tenedor. Also during the early days of the new Millenium, in the island colonies of Thippus, Thessalya, Capricia and Pela, citizens cast aside the teachings of Cuthbert in favor of a return to worship of the old, Pagan gods. The Church mounts a new war against these Heretics – led by Cardinal Ramone II – which rages for 10 years before fizzling out. The conflict succeeds only in reinforcing worship of the Pagan gods, and removing all traces of Cuthbert from the islands. In Castille, faith in the Blessed Virgin grows stronger than ever. Finally, in the year IC 1,000, the Holy City of Hax falls yet again to the Goblin armies. This is seen as verification of Church scriptures of doom.

IC 1,027 A Castillian Bishop – “Enrico the Chaste” – speaks openly of Castille’s secession from the Empire. When Imperial and Church (Cuthbert) forces move against him, he goes underground and begins an opposition movement.

IC 1,028 – IC 1,075 Enrico gains near-mythical status as a revolutionary, and his following grows steadily. He is eventually captured (a 77 year old man) and publicly executed for sedition in Torregidor. The execution sparks riots and violent revolt as Enrico’s underground comes out into the open to engage Imperial forces across Castille.

IC 1,076 Castille declares its independence from the Florentian empire, and names a young Queen as its leader, “Isabel dela Toro I.” (She is a Ranger, outcast from the ruling family, and a leader in the Enrico Underground.) The island of Tenedor immediately renounces the Empire and swears allegiance to a soverign Castille. Across the western realm, the former families of Lupo, Orlando and Cabanera are dragged from their palaces and executed in the streets. Isabel I, a ruthless new queen, personally presides over the executions of every member of her own dela Toro family. She spares a younger, favored cousin, whom she takes as a husband…a King with no power. This begins the Castillian royal policy of strictly female Regents.

IC 1,076 – IC 1,086 Civil war between Castille and the Imperium rocks the known world with a massive, tragic loss of life.

IC 1,087 In a deal brokered by the Churches on both sides, Castille and the Empire reach a peace, and a period of reconciliation begins. The Imperium is forced to recognize Castille as a soverign power, and releases all claims to it as well as Tenedor. Queen Isabel I and Emperor Glavius V maintain a smiling, but deadly serious watch on one another. Throughout the centuries, tempers cool, trade begins and flourishes, and cross-culture marriages take place, all of which eventually results in the neighboring superpowers living with mutual respect, tolerance and benefit (although as in all cultures, pockets of racism and old stereotypes persist.)

IC 1,100 The Island of Capricia secedes from the Empire. The Imperium is too drained from its civil war to offer more than token resistance and protest. The inhabitants of Capricia quickly degenerate into a time of internal violence, debauchery and worship of the Dark Gods.

IC 1,125 A pair of Dark Mages, brothers named Apoxus and Abraxus, centralize and seize power in Capricia, bringing a harsh order. They rename the cities of Tritonus and Neptium after themselves, and rename the island Nessia after an infernal region of the netherworld. Within 2 years, organized and deadly Nessian pirates are prowling the sea lanes. Every last member of the former ruling families of Forkiotis and Constantine are hunted down and murdered, even those who flee to the Empire seeking asylum. Nessian assassins finish the job.

IC 1,126 Seeing a weakened Empire, little response to Nessia’s secession, and still stinging from the Church’s war on Pagan Heretics, the islands of Thippus and Thessalya secede from the Empire and declare themselves an independent alliance. Again, the Imperium can do little to stop them.

IC 1,146 Goblin Oroth of Divinity begins.

IC 1,150 Emperor Davidus III moves the Imperial Seat to Astoria, where great castles and palaces are being built. He removes the Blacke family as hereditary rulers and offers them lesser noble status. When the Blackes loudly protest and bring their grievances to the Church, they all suddenly and mysteriously fall victim to a deadly, hereditary disease, and cease to be a problem. (It is whispered that a few Blackes survived the purge and went into hiding for generations, developing and sharpening their skills as killers in hopes of one day seeking vengeance upon the Imperial crown. To this day, assassins of any affiliation are referred to as those who practice the “Blacke Arts.”)

IC 1,151 The Archmage Elemis publicly disproves and denounces the “Flat Earth Theory,” making him a celebrated figure throughout the scholarly world.

IC 1,158 Start of the 3rd Crusade. Within 3 years it ends in horrible defeat and tremendous loss of life, never even reaching the walls of Hax. Cardinal Umberto II orders the Abbey of St. Rose evacuated, magically sealed and concealed from the forces of evil. (The powerful, divine enchantments are so successful that all memory of the existence of St. Rose is lost to mankind for close to the next 300 years, until the magics start to lose power and fade.) Goblin strength in the Grimme grows to an all-time high, and in the week following the defeat of the crusaders, Nine Fists chieftan “Borok Headcutter” sends a message to the emperor which simply reads, “Your children will speak Goblin.”

IC 1,160 Imperial forces from the elite Victorius Regiment (infantry & cavalry) successfully defeat a strong, well-planned invasion of the southern coast by Nessian forces. They are supported by the 1st Imperial Marines out of Victorius. Over the next 250+ years, this regiment and the 1st Marines will face and defeat (19) such assaults – each one a miniature war in its own right – and become known as the two fiercest military units in the Imperium.

IC 1,180 – IC 1,190 The same “drying-up” phenomenon which hit Madrigal sweeps across Fertilium, turning the great city of Notrenoc into an abandoned, desert ruin, driving the ruling Spade family into near obscurity, and removing yet another bountiful jewel from the Empire’s crown. The responsibility for ‘feeding the empire’ falls to the fertile lands of the Florenta Boot. Iron Tree Estates, no longer a lush plantation, is converted to a remote, feared, Imperial desert prison. The Spade family, their noble status and importance faded, takes up the trade of Prison Wardens as the plantation palace is built into a fortress.

IC 1,220 A furious volcano erupts on Pela, burying the capital of Genova under ash and lava, wiping out the entire civilization. Pela becomes a haunted, untamed place of ghosts, ruins and monsters.

IC 1,226 The Goblins discover Mithril in the Grimme region of Mite.

IC 1,276 Fifty years of mithril production, and centuries of unhampered breeding, training and planning bring Goblin plans of southern invasion to life. The Pass Wars begin at Butcher’s Pass, The Chalice and Red Saddle.

IC 1,290 With the Empire’s attention on the Passes, and no Imperial help in sight to defend against raiding Nessians, Viletta declares itself a soverign City/State unaffiliated with the empire, and forms treaties with the Thippus/Thessalya Alliance. The empire is yet again powerless to prevent this newest in a long line of secessions.

IC 1,310 The Dwarven Kingdom of Delmharven decides on a strict isolationist policy, ceases all trade with the outside and closes itself off in its mountain realm.

IC 1,312 Emperor Tiberious I, a battle-toughened cavalryman with Pass War experience, creates an elite cavalry unit with noble bloodlines called the Astoria Lighthorse. (Tiberious I is considered the greatest emperor in history by most fighter-types and military people, and his images fill places of honor in the Great Hall of the Lighthorse.)

IC 1,320 The last surviving member of the Quicksilver family, the hereditary rulers of Angel’s Reach, dies without an heir. A string of weak and ineffective Imperial governors causes citizens to choose self-rule, and the Empire’s grip on this northern, frontier city slowly fades away with a whimper.

IC 1,326 The last member of the Dairn family, Mole’s hereditary rulers, dies without an heir. The Church takes over governorship of this heavily-religious mining/monastery town.

IC 1,339 Successes in the Pass Wars prompt the start of the 4th Crusade.

IC 1,351 After 12 years of bloody fighting and siege against a well-defended enemy (the Goblins had 350 uninterrupted years to fortify and reinforce Hax), the Holy City is captured by Imperial Crusaders. It will remain in “civilized” hands for the next 25 years, though the fighting continues.

IC 1,376 A massive Goblin push, led by Nine Chiefs Warlord “Sabbat Spleene” retakes Hax and pushes the surviving, battered and bitter crusaders back to the Passes, where they stay to fight the Pass Wars. Sabbat was supported by an elusive and mysterious “Goblin God” who stayed out of sight within a specially-built, fortified wagon, and provided him with advice and rumored godly thunder…)

IC 1,420 “The Great Fire of 1420.” The Castillian port city of Domingo is nearly burned to the ground by fireballs from a vengeful mage.

IC 1,421 Emperor Aristus III dies of syphilis (some say poison and murder.) He leaves an infant heir. This begins the Franco Stewardship.

IC 1,423 Castille begins construction of a mighty fortress called “Salamanca de Reya” in the Hardlands along the Great Western Tradeway. When it is completed in 1428, they will announce the annexing of a large portion of the Hardlands as the new province of Salamanca, expanding the Castillian kingdom.

IC 1,426 PRESENT DAY. The current Imperial ruler is Francisco VII, eight years old. Lord Franco rules as Steward. Military successes at The Chalice near the end of this year will spark the 5th Crusade, which will launch in the summer of 1427.


Nobility is nobility, hereditary bloodlines with entitlements to be princelings, barons, counts and dukes. Knights are different. Any knighted noble will always be a noble. Commoners who are knighted do not automatically become part of the nobility.

Noble knighthoods come from the top ranking member of the noble house, and those knights can go on to become barons and the like. Only a noble can knight another noble. The role of noble knights is often ceremonial only, preferring to employ small armies to conduct patrols and protect the hamlets of their lands. A few noble knights actually ride their own lands, protecting their subjects and dispensing justice.

Paladin Knighthoods come from either The Church (a bishop or higher) or a senior knighted paladin (Church sanction may or may not be present at the time of the knighting, in which case The Church trusts in the knighting paladin’s judgment.) Knight paladins, if not born of a noble family, never become nobles, though they are highly respected. It is often the case that a noble chooses the path of the paladin, accepting that knighthood and forfeiting all claims on his or her noble title in favor of a life of service to Saint Cuthbert.

Family Knighthoods come from private, prominent families of considerable wealth, power and influence with their own lands. The knighting receives the sanction of the ruling family member, and is conducted by an older family knight. This position is above the commoners (as is the family), but does not impart nobility (just as the family is not classified as noble.) Only a member of the family bloodline can hope to attain this honor. It is usually given to family-member squires after extended service. Knightly service is generally spent in defense of the family and its holdings.

Imperial Knighthoods come directly from personal decree by the Emperor (or Steward.) This is granted to commoners who truly distinguish themselves in service to the Imperium, and the actual knighting is conducted by the Emperor or Steward himself. This knighting moves the commoner into the lowest rank of nobility, entitling him or her to lands (a land grant and small keep - from the Emperor’s personal holdings - is the usual gift to accompany this honor) & the authority to collect (and pay) taxes. This type of knight cannot then become a baron or duke…those are blooded titles with hereditary lands, whereas the Knight of the Imperium has been granted newly-created lands. The knight can, however, by Emperor’s decree be elevated to the noble title of Earl (ie, “Sir Keith Haney, Knight of the Imperium, Earl of Farmington.”) This ranks approximately between Baron and Count. “Normal” nobles have no access to this title. These knights most often come from the ranks of adventurers, and they usually defend their own lands and/or continue to ride the realm spreading and enforcing the power of the Imperium and their own glory. Technically, they have the authority to dispense justice anywhere in the Empire, but that could easily step on the toes of others who consider it their privilege…


There are several titles and orders (or honors) a knight can receive, depending upon what they do and where they come from. Being a knight is one thing, but being titled - a knight of a particular order or recipient of honors - will instantly elevate the knight’s standings, improve how he/she is treated, entitle them to a better class of everything, and of course, raise other’s expectations.

Knight-Commander: Title (Noble or Paladin only) A title granted to those knights in regular military service. Reserved for senior commanders. Grants the right to command Imperial fortifications and forces larger than Battalion size (generally over 1,000 troops.)

Lord High Commander: Title (Noble or Paladin only) A title granted to a knight (who may also hold another noble title) in military service. Reserved for the highest levels of command. Grants the right to command Imperial fortifications in the Passes and forces of Host size (generally any and all troops within a theatre of operation), and to lead forces into The Grimme on his or her sole decision.

Emperor Victorius Cross (Knight EVC): Order (Any non-paladin) This order is bestowed by Emperor’s decree for the highest level of personal bravery and accomplishment while in service to the Empire. It is the highest knightly order in the Imperium. If given to a previously titled knight, it will generally elevate him/her to Earl. If given to a landed nole, it can elevate a baron to a count, a count to a duke, or a duke to an Archduke.

The Imperial Sword: Order (Any non-paladin) The 2nd highest honor a knight can attain. This is granted by the Emperor to any knight who faces and defeats – in single combat - a being of mythic proportions (such as Dragons, Higher Demons, a Lich, Nessian Dark Mage, Mind Flayer Archlord, Goblin Clan Lord or Archmage, etc.)

The Iron Drake: Order (Any non-paladin) This honor is bestowed by the Imperium to those knights who selflessly act above & beyond the call of duty while in service to the Emperor. It is the third highest honor a knight can receive.

The Golden Spurs: Order (Noble only) These actual solid gold spurs are an honor bestowed upon any noble who successfully completes his or her mandatory (1) year of service at the Pass Wars, and confers full noble status. The jingle of hundreds of golden spurs serves as a musical backdrop to large formal parties thrown by the nobility.

The Claymore: Order (Any non-paladin) This honor is granted by the Imperium to any knight who distinguishes himself in a combat infantry action. Can be awarded by anyone of Duke status.

The Imperial Saddle: Order (Any non-paladin) This honor is granted by the Imperium to any knight who distinguishes himself in combat cavalry action. Awarded by anyone of Duke status.
The White Steed: Order (Astoria Lighthorse only) Granted for selfless bravery above and beyond the call of duty during combat action. The highest award in the Lighthorse, it is bestowed by the ranking Lighthorse general, and the Lighthorse Hall in Astoria is filled to capacity with horsemen present to pay their honors.

The Grey Mare: Order (Astoria Lighthorse only) Granted to those knights of the Lighthorse who distinguish themselves during combat. Awarded by a Lighthorse Regimental Commander.

Lord Admiral of the Deep: Title (Any non-paladin) A title granted to a senior knight in Naval military service. Grants the right to command an armada of up to 100 warships and 50,000 sailors and marines. There is usually only one Lord Admiral in existence at any given time.

Knight Commander of the Ocean Seas: Title (Any non-paladin) A title granted to a knight in Naval military service. Grants the right to command up to three Imperial War Galleons, and a force of up to 1,500 sailors and marines.

The Scarlet Wave: Order (Any non-paladin) This honor is given to knights who distinguish themselves during Naval combat engagements.

The Holy Sepulchre: Order (Paladin only) This rare honor (few who have it are still alive) was given to knights who participated in the liberation and defense of Hax during the 4th Crusade. Awarded by the Cardinal.

The Holy Chalice: Order (Paladin only) An award presented to those paladins who distinguish themselves with honor at any one of the three Pass War theatres (the term “Chalice” refers to a holy relic of Cuthbert, not necessarily the Pass named ‘The Chalice’) Presented by a Bishop.

The Mithril Cross: Order (Paladin only) This honor is presented by the City Fathers of Viletta, for distinguished service in defense of Viletta against Nessian invasion.

The Holy Basilica: Order (Paladin only) A fairly generic honor automatically given to any paladin who serves a three year tour of duty at the Basilica (a boring post obtained through ass-kissing and political connections.) Those with this order get respect in Church circles (one never knows who someone might know…), but it means little to those outside of Florenta and field knights in general. It is presented by the Cardinal, usually in group ceremonies.

The Sacred Light: Order (Paladin only) This honor is presented by a Bishop to those paladins who distinguish themselves in action against forces of the undead. This is not simply handed out to knights who crush a few skeletons or banish a ghoul or two. It goes to knights who have faced the darkest, most powerful foes (vampires, liches, etc.) Recipients are treated with grave respect and deference, and are a bit feared…

Saint Catherine: Order (Paladin only) Recipients of the Order of Saint Catherine receive this honor for ‘Unfailing faith, loyalty and service in the causes of Cuthbert.’ It is generally granted to a knight who completes a holy quest, and is considered the highest earthly honor a paladin can receive. It is presented by the Cardinal, during a very solemn and grand ceremony within the Basilica.

Imperium Military Ranks
The rank structure of Florentinian army is formalized with the top officers being known as commissioned officers because their rank came from a royal commission (I.E. Lord Aiden Highmyst Lord High Commander of the Host was commissioned by the Emperor/Imperial Steward). Army commissions were reserved for the elite — the aristocracy and gentry of Florenta, Castellie, and other countries allied in the cause. Lord High Commander is granted to a knight in military service and reserved for the highest levels of command. This designation rants the right to command Imperial fortifications and generally any and all troops within a theatre of operation, and to lead forces on his or her sole decision.

The Lord High Commander and/or the Emperor will also retain the right to name their generals/ commendatores within a theater of operations. A general/commendatore will command four to ten Battalions.

The Battalion is typically composed of four to six companies, and is commanded by a Knight Commander or Colonel.

The basic unit of the Florentinian army was the company, a band of soldiers assigned (or raised) by a vassal lord or conscripted on behalf of the empire (as D company was mustered roughly up at Eldred’s Cross and formally at the Chalice). The vassal lord in command of the company was a commissioned officer with the rank of captain. Captain was derived from the Late Latin word capitaneus (meaning head man or chief).

The commissioned officer assisting the captain with command of the company was the lieutenant. When he was not assisting the captain, the lieutenant commanded a unit called a platoon, particularly a more specialized platoon.

The commissioned officer carrying the (infantry) company’s flag was the ensign. The word ensign was in fact derived from the Latin word insignia.

Not all officers received a commission from the Emperor. Certain specialists were granted a warrant, certifying their expertise as craftsmen. These warrant officers assisted the commissioned officers but ranked above the noncommissioned officers. They received their authority from superior officers rather than the Emperor. The highest rank of NCO was sergeant major. Sergeant major is used by the commanders of various levels of units. The sergeant major is a jack of all trades, concerning himself with intelligence, operations and logistics all aspects of administration to maintain the enlisted men serving under his commander.

The sergeants were the armed servants (men-at-arms) of the aristocracy, assigned to command, organize and train the militia units raised for battle. A sergeant commands a squad upon promotion.

A corporal is a veteran soldiers or simply experienced privates; who either assisted their sergeant or performed the duties of a sergeant themselves. It was this second function that made armies increasingly regard a grade of corporal rather than a grade of private.

Over the course of the war, the Emperor increasingly relied on professional soldiers to fill the bottom ranks of their armies instead of militiamen. Each of these professionals began their careers as a private. The private was a man who signed a private contract with the Imperium, offering his services in return for pay. The money was raised through taxation; those yeomen (smallholding peasants) who did not fulfill their militia service (1 year) paid a tax that funded professional soldiers recruited from the yeomanry. This money was handed to the company commanders from the royal treasury, the company commanders using the money to recruit the troops.

Imperial Commission Officers Non-commissioned Officers
Lord High Commander Sergeant Major
General/ Commendatore Sergeant
Knight Commander /Colonel Corporal
Captain Private

Adventure Chronicles
System: Dungeons & Dragons 3.5
Designer: Keith Haney & John L. Campbell

Dewayne Rawls
Mike Holladay
Ryan Holladay
David Ernst
Erik Collett

Start Date: April 4, 2013
Status: Retired Apr 26, 2014
Campaign Setting: The Shadow Empyre
Contact: keith@gamepointworlds.com
Dinner Keith
© 2013 Gamepoint Inc.