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GREY KNIGHT OF THE FEY
‘Madam, I would dally longer but the Court rides tonight; and there are duties to which I must attend. No, keep your kisses, I pray you. I am pledged to a Lady of great renown, and a jealous lover is she. ’
Grey knights of the Fey are those rare mortals who have been chosen by a Queen of the Fey. (There may be one or more of these, depending on the campaign; background details are left to the Games Master to determine.) Their role is to serve her and to act as intermediaries between the earthy realm and the pleasant lands of faerie. In order to be selected, the lrnight must be physically handsome and of good renown. Most of them are men, though this is not a stringent prerequisite. The Fey Queen presides over ihe Seelie Court, a gathering of good-aligned fey. In contrast, the Unseelie Court consists of Fey of evil alignment; the two courts are often at loggerheads.
Grey knights have a difficult task to fulfil, often being caught between their duty to the Fey realms and their responsibilities in the world of men. By way of some slight compensation, their lives are guaranteed never to be dull. The life of a grey knight is not one of laborious martial battle but of intrigue, derring-do and desperate swordfights between lordly gentlemen. Although they may sometimes sigh at the demands of their position, the truth is no grey knight would wish for any other life; it would simply be too dull by comparison.
The Fey Queen is most fond of humans as candidates for grey knighthood, though she will also sometimes iay her hand upon half-elves or elves.
‘This version of the grey knight presupposes a Fey Queen of a race akin to the pixie (see the SRD and the class features are given accordingly. The class could easily be adapted for a Queen of a loftier Fey race, or otherwise adjusted to suit the campaign.
Hit Die: d8.
To qualify to become a grey knight, a character must fulfil all the following criteria.
Base Attack Bonus: 5+.
Feats: Any one from the following list: Weapon Focus (shortbow), Weapon Finesse (rapier), Weapon Finesse (dagger) or Skill Focus (diplomacy).
Skills: Perform (storytelling and singing must be two of the chosen forms) 4 ranks, Diplomacy 6 ranks.
Special: Must be selected by the Fey Queen and accept the Fey Queens’ Oath.
The grey knight’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Profession (Wis) and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Points at each level: 2 + Int modifier.
The Grey Knight of the Fey
|Class Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special|
|1||+1||+0||+2||+2||Fey Friend, Clear Mind|
|2||+2||+0||+3||+3||Detect Evil, Fey Blood|
|3||+3||+1||+3||+3||Pixie Shot, Court Intrigue|
All of the following are class features of the grey knight prestige class.
Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Grey knights are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armour and with shields. Note that armour check penalties for armour heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Sleight of Hand and Tumble.
Fey Queen’s Oath: A grey knight must accept the Fey Queen’s Oath during a solemn and mystical ceremony. During this magical event, the Fey Queen gains an empathic connection to the knight. She can determine if the knight has abandoned the oath simply by concentrating, regardless of how far he is from her.
The Oath binds the grey knight to the following ongoing duties:
|Help the poor with small favours.|
|Serve the Seelie Court.|
|Commit no evil act.|
|Remain celibate, unless with the Fey Queen.|
Fey Friend (Ex): The grey knight is a member of the Fey Queen’s court, in good standing. As a result, he gains a bonus equal to your class level to all Charisma ability checks and Charisma based skill checks when dealing with non-evil fey.
Clear Mind (Ex): The experience of close mental contact with the Fey Queen strengthens the grey knight’s mind. He gains a +4 circumstance bonus to all saving throws against enchantment, illusion and mind influencing magic and against fear effects from any source. At 5th level, this bonus increases to +8.
Detect Evil (Su): The grey knight can detect evil in the same manner as a paladin. Furthermore, if the source of evil is of the Fey type or an item strongly associated with the fey, he will also know this during the first round of concentration. This ability tends to quickly alert the grey knight to unseelie involvement
Fey Blood (Su): The soul of the grey knight becomes imbued with Fey magic. He gains Spell Resistance equal to his grey knight class level plus 12.
Pixie Shot (Su): The denizens of the Seelie Court teach the grey knight some of their secrets. He gains the knowledge of how to craft sleep arrows as used by pixies. Crafting one arrow requires an hour and a Craft (bowmaking) check at DC:20. The arrow may be crafted as a masterwork arrow first if desired but the extra hour and skill check are still required. A failed check to make a sleep arrow does not harm the arrow. Only one attempt to craft a sleep arrow may be made per day. Sleep arrows revert to ordinary arrows after ten days if not used, or if used by a non-fey creature other than the grey knight.
Sleep arrows turn to dust on impact (even if they miss) and deal no damage. However, the target, regardless of its Hit Dice, must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 15) or be affected as though by a sleep spell.
Court Intrigue: The grey knight’s presence begins to attract a significant level of scrutiny from other members of the court. As power is constantly shifting, he must be especially careful to stay in favour. At least once per month, he must make a Diplomacy check against a DC of 20 plus his grey knight class level. A successful Sense Motive check against the same DC provides a +2 synergy bonus to the check. If the skill check is failed, the grey knight has lost standing within the court. He may regain his lost standing by performing a special quest or favour for the Fey Queen. The exact details of the quest are up to the Games Master to determine but should include the defeat of an appropriately challenging opponent from the unseelie court, either in single combat or in some sort of competition or mental challenge.
Until the service is complete, a disfavoured grey knight loses any benefits from the Fey Friend, Clear Mind and Fey Mind abilities. Furthermore, a grey knight in disfavour may not advance to a higher level in the class.
If the check is made by ten or more, the grey knight has actually enhanced his standing within the court. He gains a +4 bonus to any one Charisma ability check or Charisma based skill check within the next two weeks. In all cases, at least one court intrigue check must be made before he may gain each new class level, starting with fourth level. The enhanced favour bonus may only be gained once per level.
This game mechanic is a simplified way to sum up the dalliances, gossiping, power plays and social climbing that goes on within the Fey Queen’s court. At the Games Master’s discretion, the skill checks could be substituted for a wholly roleplayed session.
Spell-like Abilities (Sp): The grey knight gains several spell-like abilities as he advances in level. They all function as spells cast by an 8th level sorcerer.
Invisibility: cast once per day at 4th level and twice per day at 7th level.
Minor image: cast once per day at 6th level.
Polymorph self cast once per day at 8th level.
Major image: cast once per day at 9th level.
Fey Lord: While a 9th level grey knight, the character must make a special visit to the Fey Queen before he is permitted to advance to 10th level. During this visit, he re-affirms his vows in a formal ceremony.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, he becomes a Fey Lord (or Lady). A Fey Lord is a powerful member of the Court and stands as a proxy for the Queen herself. This promotion grants significant political and magical power to the grey knight but also greatly increases the political complications of his life.
The Fey Lord may use each of his spell-like abilities one additional time per day. He may also summon ld4+1 pixies once per day, as if he were casting a summon monster VII spell. His caster level for this ability is his character level. One out of ten pixies summoned have the ability to cast irresistible dance: determine this by rolling a d10 for each pixie, with a result of 1 meaning that the pixie can cast the spell as an 8th level sorcerer.
These pixies are relatives of the Fey Queen, and their safety is important. The death of any of them will cause the grey knight's next court intrigue Diplomacy check (see above) to be made at a -2 circumstance penalty. On rare occasions, the Fey Queen may refuse to allow a petitioner to advance to the status of a Fey Lord. If she refuses, the grey knight must either gain a level in some other class, or choose not to advance until he has proven himself worthy by completing additional favours for the Fey Queen.
Ex-Grey Knights: A grey knight who is no longer of good alignment, or who grossly violates the Oath he took to the Fey Queen, becomes an ex-grey knight. The only way to regain his class abilities is to return to a good alignment or perform some special favour for the Fey Queen. This is always an extremely difficult task, which the grey knight's political enemies will try to sabotage. A grey knight who willingly commits an evil act becomes an ex-grey knight forever and may never recover the use of any class abilities.
Ex-grey knights cannot use any of their supernatural or spell-like class abilities.
The old ballads of Britain have told many tales of the grey knights of the fey. The most notable of all of these was Tam Lin, who was seized by a covetous Faerie Queen when he fell from his horse and was only brought home to the mortal world by the help of the devoted Janet. Also worthy of mention is Thomas the Rhymer, or 'True Thomas', the famous minstrel whose fate was to serve the Queen of Elfland for seven years.
Player characters who take the romantic, gallant path of the grey knight are in for some dramatic and exciting roleplaying. There is always a ready adversary in the form of the Unseelie Court and its minions. Fey politics are as tricksy and deceptive as the Fey themselves. The quests set by the Fey Queen are often quite epic in their scope. One might be sent to catch a tear fallen from the moon, or pluck a feather from a phoenix's wing. If these seem like the exaggerated tasks of children's stories, remember that there is a reason why they are called fairy tales. The Fey are simply like that to deal with. Just keep telling yourself her favour is worth all this trouble …
This material originated in a 3rd party source (Licence)