Tales of the Sleepless Knights

he weasely little man leaned in close to the Bard, and made pathetic little noises as he swapped what he knew for a drink of cheap hootch.

"I was drinking in this bar, sees, down in the Blasted Plains? Dirtly little place, a dive. Served a good mead, though. Anyway, all at once the room goes quiet and the guy I'm with, a little skunk of a man named Mumbly Jack, looks up at the window, and there's this Knight looking in."

"You can't see much inside that tinpot hat they wears, but what Jack saw was enough. Just like the stories say...glowing red eyes. It was one of them. Now it coulda' been there for any of us, but somehow, Jack knew. He was out the door screaming into the night. Never saw him again, but at least that thing went with him. You don't mess with the Sleepless Knights."

Sleepless Knights
No. Appearing: 1 (or the world ends?)
Size: 7'
Battle Ability: 14
Vitality: 57
Enchantment: Dark Tongue
Strength Attacked: CO
Strength Damaged: PE
Passed by: Speech
Physical Attacks: d8+4 Great Sword
Special Attacks: Dreamwalk

hey dress in black.
There are eleven Sleepless Knights, and they are never found together. There have been sightings in the Wastes, in the cold northlands, in the depth of dungeons and in the Eagle Peaks. They say that if the full eleven ever appear in one place that the world will split from pole to pole and the Final Conflict between Man and the Dragons will begin. (But then again, that's just the kind of thing they would say, isn't it?) They also say that even the Dragons fear them, although who but the Dragons really know?
      Even the Wise Ones at the Academy know very little about these creatures. Are they men, Dark Creature, or some strange Dragon-made clockwork? What are their goals? Very little is known, but here is what LightRaiders have discovered about them. This information is to be regarded as little more than rumor, but it is all we have.
      They move on their own quests for their own reasons. They appear as knights in the finest black armor, but are supernaturally silent, their armor giving no creak, a MS of 20! This eerie silence even extends to their battle; a Knights blow to a foe is completely soundless (but just as painful!) They TE at 14. Their armor also allows them to BWS at 20, although any WordRune that evokes light will drive them back, and lower their BA to 10. For all that is known, they may be Dragon-animated suits of armor, for no man has lived to raise the visor of a Sleepless Knight.
      They get their name from the fact they never sleep, never stop, never give up tracking a foe. Once they select a target, they pursue relentlessly. Brave men have been known to lay down in their tracks and wait for the Knight's huge foul blade rather than run like dogs for the rest of their lives. They seem to seek out LightRaiders especially. And oddly, no victim is ever found...they disappear upon the killing blow.
      They are fierce fighters, but often they will simply stop and stow their swords, and begin talking with their Dark Tongue Enchantment. This is their most fearsome weapon. Any round they are not fighting, they may begin chanting a whispering drone of almost unintelligible words, that is hard to identify but seems to be in the native tongue of every listener. Anyone hearing this for more than one round must make a DL10 ability check vs. their Courage rating, or run in absolute total terror at the highest movement rate possible for the next hour if not restrained by their fellows. A SF check will prevent 8 points of Peace damage, but will not lessen the fear. The character is running from whatever thing or person that it absolutely, down deep fears, and will not stop for anything. (The sole exception, of course, is Rescue by WordRune or Scripture. See the Remove Fear WordRune in the Appendix.)
      Stoppering one's ears with wax will prevent the effect, or the music of a Psalmist will drop the DL level of any check to DL5. This dark enchantment works only once per encounter, though, and the Knight will hand-to-hand if it fails, seeking to dispatch the remainder of the party who stand around to fight. 
      If anyone survives an encounter with a Sleepless Knight, and the Knight is not destroyed or subdued, the person will begin having horrible Knightmares(!) upon going to sleep the following night, in which the Knight will attack and battle the person in their dreams. Combat is Solo Battle, but all processions of the PC are allowed into the dream if the player wants to try something creative. If appealing in prayer to the OverLord, player may create normal weapons or items in this dream to counter or battle the Knight. (Do not treat this like a magic ability...the PC MUST be aware that the OverLord sustains him in this battle, it is not his own doing.) It is possible for the PC to be slain in this dream, and in real life.

AM's Eyes Only - Concerning the Sleepless Knights: 

he Knights are, of course, the eleven white-clad Brothers of the Watchtower. They are doomed to walk the world doing the Dragons' bidding until the end of the world...or until a certain young band of LightRaiders stops WHACKING on them, and starts witnessing to them! All the chopping in the world MAY kill a Sleepless Knight, but remember the Overlord's own prohibition against taking the life of a OnceBorn; if the party slays one, they are going to bear the sin and will need to repent it. The visor of that jet-black plate is down...anything (or nothing could be there.)
      If players think to subdue the Knight and bind him, they will find his Strength is a mere 5, like other men. If they think to lift the dark visor of the armor's helm, they will hear a keening unlike any they have ever heard; the Knight has had a thousand years to walk the world, destroying the lives of the ones he thought to protect, and knowing what he is doing every minute. A lined, anguished face will stare back, eyes pleading. Once this is done, and the party knows that apparently a human is inside, give the Knight a brief burst of Strength at 15 in a DL5 check to try and snap the ropes. The Dragons don't want to give their plaything up!
      Only the love of the OverLord and becoming TwiceBorn will shatter the now jet-black armor to bits and free the poor hapless soul within. The knight may be killed or subdued, tied and bound, but that armor of Darkness is on tight until the Sword of the Spirit and/or the Great WordRunes blow it off.
      They are tired, they are so tired; they haven't slept for a thousand years. A freed TwiceBorn Knight will praise God, and fall down to sleep for a month. After a game year training in the Liberated Lands, they may return to the game as player characters. They will have a KN bonus of +10 alone in History from a thousand years ago, a +3 KN bonus in ancient artifacts, and other pluses as determined by the individual AM.
      People "killed" by a Sleepless Knight do not die, they evaporate into a Dragon's castle, to be mindless servants until that Death Knight is killed or freed from the control of the Dragons. When the Knight's spell is broken, all those imprisoned by his actions reappear about him, no older than when they were taken. Concerning the "nightmare" attacks: other LightRaiders, if currently in the realm of sleep, may be bidden in to the defender's dream to offer aid...if the PLAYER thinks of it. A Sleepless Knight cannot be killed in the DreamRealm...but defeating the dream-shade of one WILL place the Knight in a dormant mode for 24 hours...if players can deduce the creature's physical lair from clues in the dream. And there may be clues in the dream fight to the Knight's true nature if the AM wants to use it to move the plot along. "What's that on the hill behind him? Could it be...a TOWER?" Also, remember that if anyone is killed in the DreamRealm, their physical self evaporates from the dream and from their bed, and they get to be a mindless NPC in some Dragon's castle somewhere until the party either redeems THIS knight, or learns from the Overlord where the character has gone. If they assume that because his body has disappeared that he is dead, don't dispel the mistake immediately. But you will want to tell the player what he sees in the Dragon's castle as he reports for work, and EXPECT that this information WON'T come back to his comrades.

Onward, for the OverLord!

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