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Hellknights

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Merciless Enforcers of Interstellar Order

Leader: Varies by order Headquarters: Seven massive citadel-ships

Chaos reigns among the stars. For sanity and survival, the fanatical Hellknights are determined to spread order across the galaxy, even if a billion worlds must burn along the way.

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The Hellknights hold law as the only virtue. Through force and intimidation, this legion imposes its ruthless justice. Heedless of borders, they go where called, crushing piracy, pacifying primitives, stamping out rebellion, and taming wild expanses. Engaged in countless conflicts, the Hellknights will accept nothing less than absolute order—yet they themselves have no desire to rule. The Hellknights are no mere conquerors, lusting after wealth and power. Rather, they are zealots, perfectly committed to the rule of law and the enforcement of consistent, stable systems. Who makes those laws or sits on a particular throne is beside the point, hence their popularity as mercenaries with clients who can claim a legitimate mandate or seek an end to civic disorder. Even after their battles end, the Hellknights aren’t easily ousted—not until they’re satisfied that lasting order has been assured.

In their philosophies and aesthetics, the Hellknights take inspiration from Hell itself, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the diabolical designs of their imposing black armor. Matters of good and evil mean nothing next to the necessity of order, and in this Asmodeus and his legions are exquisite examples, for Hell suffers no disobedience. This doesn’t mean that Hellknights are themselves evil or revel in slaughter, only that they remain unflinching in carrying out their orders and put moral concerns second to stability. A Hellknight would never capriciously harm an innocent—and many actively seek to protect them—but they’d still burn a city and all its residents to the ground if it served their cause. To assure that only the worthiest number among their ranks, all Hellknights are trained and tested, culminating in single combat against a denizen of Hell. Only those who face and overcome such terror can call themselves Hellknights.

While united in their aims, the Hellknights consist of several independent orders, each focused on a different aspect of their crusade and endowed with particular expertise. Some—such as the Order of the Nail, which forcibly “uplifts and civilizes” less-advanced races, or the bounty-hunting Order of the Chain—trace their pedigree back to Golarion, their forbears having predicted the coming disaster and retreated to deep space or extraplanar holdings. Others arose upon far-flung worlds and planes only to be called back to the Pact Worlds. Seven major Hellknight orders campaign among the Pact Worlds, with lesser orders operating in their shadows; these are the Order of the Chain, the Order of the Eclipse, the Order of the Furnace, the Order of the Gate, the Order of the Nail, the Order of the Pike, and the Order of the Scourge. Each is known for its distinctive armor, its signature weapons or fighting technique, and its eclipsing Hellknight battle cruisers. Yet the embodiments of true Hellknight intimidation are their citadels—the massive mobile war stations each order employs as headquarters.