Friday, November 8, 2019

Wiki Showcase: the Path of the Righteous Crusader

The Righteous Crusader was the first of the three paths I created for True Communion.  It draws inspiration from the Archetype of the Noble Knight from "the Magic of Stories" from Pyramid #3/13, and the general archetype of the Jedi Knight (perhaps exemplified by Luke Skywalker, arguably best in the Empire Strikes Back).  You can see the revised version here.

The Righteous Crusader obviously focuses on a martial manifestation of True Communion.  He is the heroic warrior who sets out to destroy the monsters that threaten his community.  Part of my revising process was to shift the Righteous Crusader towards a more supernatural role: his purpose is not the slaying of men (though he can do that), but the slaying of demons and dark gods.  He is primarily a hunter of that which defies the cosmic order.  The Righteous Crusader slays dragons.

But the Righteous Crusader cannot do what he wishes.  He is constrained by the bounds of honor and duty.  He follows and enforces the law.  That is, the monsters he slays are those that "violate cosmic order" as defined by True Communion.  This makes the Righteous Crusader something of an enforcer.  He is not just noble knight, but dark inquisitor as well: he seeks out those who would harm his community and casts them out.  He is justice, which means he divides the righteous from the wicked, and then purges the wicked.

The Righteous Crusader tends to be a leader among men.  His courage in the face of monsters brings courage to those around him.  His martial prowess inspires others to fight harder.  His judgment ensures that his men remain true to the cause (or be cast out and be no longer counted among his men).

As is often the case for the Paths of True Communion, the ultimate reward for those who set out on the path is death.  The sword of the Righteous Crusader serves the purposes of True Communion, and when it has been spent, the Crusader "goes to his reward."  The benefit is that the Righteous Crusader knows that his legacy is secured: the sacrifice of the Righteous Crusader (like the sacrifice of the Bound Princess) always means something and secures what they set out to do for their community.

The Righteous Crusader is obviously an ideal path for a heroic player character.  It evokes many of the tropes of the Paladin and the hero of the hero myth.  It oozes martial prowess and seeks to slay monsters, which are things players often want to do.  It also makes an interesting enemy and a good example of where True Communion can sometimes begin to look "oppressive" in that the violation of some community's cultural norms and traditions by an outsider can sometimes spawn a champion who rises up to defeat that outsider and preserve their ways.  Such an opponent is naturally bound the laws and honor of his traditions and culture, which constrain him and can provide openings to defeat him.

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