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The Order of the Brotherhood of the Northern House of the Holy Triad
“The Order of the Brotherhood of the Northern House of the Holy Triad”
(a.k.a. “The Order of the Holy Triad” or “Brotherhood of the Holy Triad” or “Brotherhood of the Three” or “The Northern Brotherhood” or most commonly “The Knights Triad” also derogatorily “The Blind Brothers”)
The Knights Triad are a militant monastic order of knights and warriors dedicated to fighting evil in the name of the power Tyr and his servant powers, Torm and Ilmater; placing hostile emphasis upon the churches of Cyric, Mask, Talos, Talona, Loviator, and Malor, as well as the cults of Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul. They also serve to aid the various followers of the Triad’s churches, as well as to attract new followers to those churches and to acquire treasure to further support their causes. Their guiding principles are benevolence through Justice, Duty, and Perseverance, as well as retribution through force-of-arms. The Order is widespread throughout Faerun, particularly in the northern reaches, but the Order is few in numbers and not particularly well known. Each Brother must be a devoted follower of Tyr, Torm, or Ilmater, although the Order does augment its strength with followers of allied faiths such as Lathander and Helm. The Brothers tend to be clerics, priests, paladins, fighters, warriors, and occasionally rangers; men who are strong in faith and strong at arms. The Order forms loose, albeit disciplined, horse companies comprised of heavy cavalrymen, typically of noble birth, called Knight Brothers; and light cavalrymen, usually commoners or nobles without knighthood, referred to as Sergeant Brothers. Many of the Sergeant Brothers also provide useful skilled and unskilled labor to further support the Brotherhood. There are also some noncombatant priests that serve more ecclesiastic and administrative roles within the order, called Chaplain Brothers. Followers of allied faiths that have been attached to a company are referred to as Honored Brothers, although once these men have served in combat alongside the Brethren of the Order these distinction are often overlooked. Each company is headed by an elected leader called a Master Brother or Master; and the Northern House is headed by an elected leader referred to as the Grand Master or Father. Honored Brothers of allied faiths have no voting rights within the order, a restriction that is never overlooked. Each Brother must swear an oath to the Brotherhood and take certain religious vows upon entering the Order. Although, these men have sworn an oath to one another and the Order’s overall purpose is a unified one; the various goals and missions of individual members, parishes, and churches frequently cause tension and conflicts within the individual companies.
Initially, individual members must provide their own mount, arms, and armor (at least a light warhorse with barding, personal armor including a helm and shield, a lance or spear, and a melee weapon), as well as a monetary donation based upon one’s station (this is one reason why the order typically has more Knight Brothers than Sergeant Brothers within their ranks). Each Brother wears a long, white tabard embroidered with a gold border and numerous small golden holy symbols (15 of Tyr, 12 of Torm, and 12 of Ilmater; on the front and the back) and a large black holy symbol, representing that individual’s specific faith, centered on the front (many Brothers wear a simple white and black tabard with no embroidery when in the field). In addition to the tabard each individual Brother wears a short shoulder cape that identifies their rank; Knight Brothers wearing purple, Sergeant Brothers wearing blue, Chaplain Brothers wearing white,and Honored Brothers wearing red; these capes often have embroidered gold borders. The Grand Master wears a full length cape to identify his status; and to further identify leadership within the Order the Grand Master and Master Brothers wear a helmet plum that match their respective capes. The Brothers also carry white kite shields with gold or black outer border and a large, black holy symbol of Tyr centered at the bottom and two smaller, black holy symbols of Torm and Ilmater side-by-side at the top.
The Brotherhood has no specific grooming requirements , such as those found in more ascetic monasteries, although some ecclesiastic organizations may require it of an individual Brother; most of the Brethren having full heads-of-hair and beards. Many priests and clerics within the Brotherhood take religious vows, largely to offset the military and often violent nature of the order. The most common vows are those of Abstinence (Abstain from alcohol, Drugs, and Other Intoxicating Substances), Chastity (Abstain from Sexual Intercourse ), Celibacy (Abstain from Marriage), & Support (Tithe 50% of Wealth & Treasure). However, several religious vows are looked down upon by the Brotherhood, such as vows of Silence, Poverty, and Pacifism (or non-violence), all of which hamper their military methods. These more ecclesiastical Brethren are also not typically restricted to using bludgeoning weapons as retribution often comes through the honorable (in combat/on the battlefield) letting of blood.