The Unfettered – Disciples of the Knife
The Disciple of the Knife views fighting and combat as an expression of deep belief in freedom and justice. Through personal combat, the dance of man and blade provides others with a chance to witness the grace and beauty of the Unfettered – a splinter faith of Avandra.
A Disciple enjoys a fighting contest in order to improve his/her skills, help his comrades in battle, as well as to make a name for himself. A Disciple’s fighting style all rests on his speed, agility and ability to hit where it hurts. Even though they are champions of Good, their reputation, their gleeful expressions during combat and frenetic fighting styles and abilities give the impression that they are champion’s of Chaos.
The Disciple of the Knife travels the Realms for many different reasons, but their main purpose is to find those whom are “Chosen of the Knife” – they seek out young orphans, street children or delinquents to take back to the enclave as new Disciples. This has earned them a nasty reputation as pedophiles and pederasts. A disciple would kill anyone who would bring harm to a child, but they tolerate the reputation as it keeps them mysterious and outside the law. The disciples of the Knife respect all races and creeds, viewing all as part of the great fabric of life; however they will not tolerate abuse, slavery or servitude of any humanoid. They will not challenge this activity in the open, but rather orchestrate a fitting confrontation, that will secure the freedom of the victim(s).
In addition to seeking out new recruits, the Disciple moves through the towns and cities of the Realms to continually improve their skill – they accomplish this by partaking in fighting competitions and exhibitions. It is not unheard of for a Disciple to hire themselves out to Adventurers or Adventuring Guilds as teachers or mentors for a time, passing on some secrets (but not others) to those willing to be taught the techniques of close-quarters fighting.
Disciples of the Knife begin their training when they are very young, and most (if not all) Disciples are former street urchins or homeless orphans. They are recruited into the guild at a young age by other members who observe them on the streets, noting their natural abilities and tenacity in the face of hardship. Once the orphan has been initiated into the Order, they begin training with the Orders’ various Masters. They are subjected to a rigorous education learning close quarter fighting techniques, stealth and thieving skills, tumbling, gymnastics and strength training. They are also taught to appreciate the elaborate, beautiful and spiritual dance that knife fighting truly is – the knife is a way to enlightenment. This training takes ten or twelve years, and only after they are deemed worthy by the Masters are they allowed back out into the world. The enclave is a well-guarded secret and to this date, no one other than a member of the Order knows where the home of the Disciples is located. If a Disciple ever breaks with the order or reveals the location to a non-Disciple, or if a member fails to aid another Disciple in an unfair fight, they are hunted down and brought back to the enclave for trial and judgment. Since Disciples have a certain way of moving gracefully, each can instantly tell if another person is a Disciple.
All disciples of the Knife consider other Disciples as brothers or sisters. They only ever fight against each other in order to improve their skills.
The only races that are tolerant enough and ambitious enough to become disciples of the Knife are humans and tieflings.