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Shield and Sword of Karameikos

by Tim Haney

Here's one idea for paladins in Mystara that could use some fleshing out. This is a fighting order established by the Church of Karameikos after splitting from the Church of Thyatis. It uses the AD&D PHB 2nd Edition paladin experience table. The abilities gained are listed below which follow a gradual increase in power better than having it all at 1st level, in my opinion.

3rd level - detect evil up to 30' feet away

6th level - immune to all forms of disease, detect evil up to 60' feet

9th level - laying on hands, cure disease, aura of protection, clerical spells

They are known as the Shield of Karameikos and function as the protection force of the church. They have a large garrison in Mirros but find themselves used mostly as royal guards participating in ceremony. As the church sees King Stephan as the Immortal's choice for their king, the Shields see to his and the royal family's personal safety. In the event of a war between another nation and Karameikos, these knights will be stationed around strategic areas for protection. They are also assigned to the various Churches of Karameikos around the kingdom with their major concentration in Mirros and Threshold. They also serve as guards to ambassadors of the church and accompany them on any official business. They will not desert the official even in the face of death unless dismissed by a higher official. Though not a much used fighting force they work to maintain their readiness should the need arise and they be called into battle.

An elite force of the Shield known as the Sword are assigned missions directly from the king, queen or patriarch of the church. These warriors openly wear their emblems of rank proudly for all to see and so aren't useful for any subterfuge work. Loyalty, honesty and obedience are the virtues they hope to embody.