Another of the player-characters in the Brymstone campaign was Tobias of Vantery, played by Steve Foster with the degree of unbending self-righteous fervour that only someone who had been taught by the Christian Brothers could channel. Sir Tobias showed up in a couple of the Blood Sword books, illustrated here by Russ Nicholson in Doomwalk, and was a genuine warlock as per the Dragon Warriors rules. We played the game as written in those days, circa 1986, because the books were still coming out, so part of the point of running a campaign like Brymstone was to playtest the material that would go into DW Book Seven. Steve also played Cynewulf Magister before that, back when we were playtesting DW Book Four, so really he should be getting some of my royalties.
The early life of a fanatic
You were born a freeman's son, in eastern Albion. Your father Aldor was a staunch supporter and friend of the lord, Sir Caudris. Often he went to war with his lord, proudly astride the saddle in a coat of ring mail, with his longbow across his back and his sword at his side.
Your father was killed in a quarrel by a young stablehand when you were ten years old. The land and his house went to his cousin in Eckford, who sold it to your neighbours. They said their families were big enough already without taking you in, so Sir Caudris brought you to the manor house. He began to train you in the ways of chivalry. He took you hunting, taught you the use of sword and bow, made you practice long hours at the quintrain till your whole body ached. And he taught you to be a worshipful servant of God, and to seek for the Devil's works and worm them out wherever they lurked.
He bought your armour, sponsored your knighthood by Earl Montombre's sword. And when he rode with his sons on the Crusade, you went also.
Caudris of Leyfield died with all his sons on the crusade - all except his youngest, still at home in Albion, who then left the monastery where he had been studying to take overlordship of Leyfield. You survived the Battle of Ashatim where Caudris fell, and later joined the Worshipful Knights of St Wythan on Barada: the Knights Capellars.
This religious fighting order was formed when the Holy Realm was wrested from the Ta'ashim. It is their sworn duty to guard pilgrims on the road to Imbrahim, the sacred city. They originally called themselves "the worshipful Knights of St Wythan on Barada", but acquired their better-known name through their habit of blessing their swords before a battle in the chapel (or capella) where St Wythan's remains are stored. The Knights (mostly younger sons of the north-western gentry, with piety and chivalry in their blood and no inheritance to keep them at home) take monastic vows and cut their hair short to symbolize the casting off of wordly attachments. After a ceremony and all-night vigil at the Capellars' headquarters on the isle of Barada, the initiate takes up the distinctive accoutrements of the Capellars - a slender, slightly curved sword and a white surcoat adorned with an eight-pointed purple cross.
In the few decades since their formation, the Capellars have grown from a small band of poor knights to an extensive and very wealthy organization. They recognize no sovereign and are answerable only to the Pontiff. They loan and exchange money and have numerous business interests throughout the civilized lands. The Preceptory of the Capellars outside Ferromaine is almost every day crowded with merchants and explorers seeking finance or a secure vault for their treasures.
With regard to the Faith the Capellars are known to take a slightly heterodox line, but their usefulness to the Church gives them immunity from any repercussions. For example, they do not display the image of the cross anywhere in their chapels. The chapels themselves are octagonal halls where the knights stand in a circle facing the raised altar. They freely consort or even intermarry with the Ta'ashim, and some elements of the Ta'ashim religion have become absorbed in the Capellars' worship. They enforce their own laws and treaties, shunning the hospitality and company of other knights. Some practice wizardry and others have developed assassination skills in order to counter the power of the Marijahs. A "Knight" Capellar may thus be a true Knight - or he may be a Sorcerer or an Assassin.
Or, like you, a Warlock. You have studied magic, though you might have an ambiguous attitude to it: "Truly, magic is the Devil's instrument. But we must use any weapons to hand in our holy battle against the Prince of Lies. Let those who are slaves to unholy sorcery beware - some pious warriors have taken up these occult forces, and we are ready to turn them back upon our Lord's foes..." The apparent hypocrisy is unlikely to vex you. Capellars are not usually very rational men, anyway, and they are not prone to self-analysis.