The Knights of Nimbral patrol the skies and coastal waters of the realm in patrols of 3-6 pegasi riders (typically including one or two novices). Patrols fly in one of three daily shifts: dawn to sunsigh (that moment after highsun when the sun has clearly passed its highest point), sunsigh to dusk, and dusk to dawn. Most Knights assemble at a maerntop moot every seven days to join in a larger Hunt (of 2-40 Knights), which takes them on patrol over all areas of the realm. Including novices, the full muster of Knights is probably just over 75. Like the magic employed by the Heralds, the magic items used by the Knights (in armor, weapons, steeds, and horns) are made for and given to them by their masters: the mysterious Nimbral Lords.
In the event that a Knight sounds a "general cry" on an alarm-horn to denote a threat to the realm, larger Hunts muster on particular maerntops. The Knights rarely sound the general cry; more often heard is the "rally-call," which signals for individual Knights to race in as reinforcements to deal with a lone problem.
The Knights have three ranks: Commander, Knight, and Novice. Commanders lead patrols and hunts by virtue of experience, but they wield power very much as "first among equals" rather than brook-no-disobedience authority figures. (The decrees that aren't to be gainsaid come from Heralds and the Lords.) Onlookers can immediately identify novices by their nonglowing "practice suits" of armor, but Commanders wear neither special badge nor identification.
Knights of the Flying Hunt wear magnificent spired and curving full plate magic glass armor. Only the Lords (and certain Halruaan wizards) know how to make such armor, which is as hard and yet as durable as the finest battle-steels. As Novices, all Knights begin training with a practice suit of nonglowing dull gray armor, with the following properties: +1 glass full plate with an always-operating feather fall (that affects separated pieces of the suit, not just its wearer). (Note to DM: This normally costs 5,050 gp, but it should be available only to those accepted as a Novice.)
When a Novice attains full Knighthood, the Lords bestow what is known among Nimbrese as "Storm Armor": the glowing glass armor of legend. (Its hues and patterns have nothing to do with rank or awakened magic, but they shine and shift entirely as the wearer desires, gaining brightness as their rage or excitement increases, and going dim as consciousness or physical vitality fails.) All storm armor suits have the following base properties: +2 invulnerable glass full plate with an always-operating feather fall (as the Novice version) and electricity resistance 10. (Note to DM: This armor normally costs 47,050 gp, but it should be available only to those accepted as a Knight.)
Faithful service and outstanding performance by a Knight can earn the Lords' choice of magic armor augmentations; these almost always have some of the following enhancements:
1. fortification, moderate
2. ironguard, greater
3. ironguard, lesser
4. magic missile (3/day, as 7th-level caster)
5. mirror image (1/day; five images of self and steed)
6. reflecting (as the shield property; suit does not become mirrorlike)
7. all powers of a shield of arrow deflection
8. spell resistance (13)
9. water walking
The suits of senior Knights may have all of these powers, and more. It is thought that a Lord sometimes rides with the Knights so that he can cast a variant of mass teleport that snatches the entire Flying Hunt from the skies above Nimbral to mainland Faerûn or isolated islands in the sundering seas between.
Knights of Nimbral fight with swords, daggers, "hurl clubs," and heavy lances. Hurl clubs are greatclubs that have both ends weighted for throwing, which Knights can do without penalty for 1d10 points of damage per strike. (Critical damage is impossible, and despite tavern-tales to the contrary, the weapon doesn't return to the hurler.) Some Knights attach long chains to hurl-clubs to prevent losing them, but these hamper throws, lessening damage to 1d8 and forcing a -2 penalty on the attack roll. The Lords enspell some senior Knights' lances so that the Knights can activate wands fitted beneath their tips at the wielder's will. Typical wands include color spray, cure serious wounds (for use on fellow Knights), darkness, dispel magic, Melf's acid arrow, lightning bolt, and web.
Knights follow a strict code of loyalty to the Lords, and chivalry to all otherwise, ever mindful of the power they wield.
The last article in this series covers the Nimbral Lords.
About the Author
Ed Greenwood is the man who unleashed the Forgotten Realms on an unsuspecting world. He works in libraries, writes fantasy, sf, horror, mystery, and even romance stories (sometimes all in the same novel), but he is still happiest churning out Realmslore, Realmslore, and more Realmslore. There are still a few rooms in his house with space left to pile up papers in . . .