Astrid is managed by the Council, which is all of its current members. When the need arises, they convene to discuss matters involving each of the Order's divisions, as well as the valley as a whole. Decisions are reached via vote normally.
Current members of the order include:
Members whose where abouts are unknown:
Former members of the Astrid Knights:
Mith Ischarri (K.I.A )
Dame Zssadra Tharress (Left due to a falling out with the other knights)
Lord Gerald Leonsmane (Left to form his own order after over 18 years of service on the council and as the Lt. General/ Colonel).
The symbol of the order consists of a flaming sword stabbing a snow flake, symbolizing the knights victory over the forces of Auril. The Beldin Ship Wheel is placed in the swords cross guard, and surrounded by an adamantine circle, representing the strength of the Astrid Council and its role in protecting the kingdom. At the pommel of the sword, above all, is the vigilant eye, ever watchful for threats to the valley.
The Order serves several functions. Primarily, it is a military bastion that was initially established as the north most outpost of the kingdom of Beldin, with the objective of watching for signs of Aurrilties and holding them at bay should they return. Currently, it is the northmost outpost of the kingdom, guarding its borders against any and all threats. It is also charged, albeit unofficially, with keeping the Uthgardt tribes in line.
Another important function is the governance of the Astrid township. This town was established at the request of Dame Marie Levey , who wished to make it a haven for tieflings and other pariah races who turned away from the darker powers.
The knights also maintain a temple freely accessible by pilgrims, as well as a well supplied Mage's tower.
Finally, Astrid Keep is the home of its members and their families.
A less spoken of objective of the knights is to combat the forces behind the Dark Prophecies . As such, they keep a very close eye on the "chosen".
Resources and DivisionsEdit
Astrid Keep maintains several divisions.
(Full Article: Astrid Armed Forces)
The Astrid Armed Forces is the military unit of Astrid Keep. It is composed of some of the most highly trained and well equipped soldiers in the Kareyn valley. It is commanded by Lord Eininfar , with Sir Feynot Hlalm serving as the second in command, under the title Colonel.
Astrid Mage's AcademyEdit
(Full Article: Astrid Mages Academy )
The Mage's Academy is a wizard tower on Astrid. Its purpose is to train wizards (both as researchers as well as front line soldiers), as well as to teach sorcerors, warlocks and bards to hone their magical talents. More than this, the tower supports all other functions of Astrid Keep both directly and indirectly.
A secondary function is the development of magically augmented weapons.
(Full Article: Astrid Pantheon Temple)
The order is composed of several races of varying religious backgrounds, and indeed the favored priests of several gods and goddesses. Many of these clerics and favored souls wished to establish a second pantheon temple to accomidate the spiritual needs of the Order as well as township.
Full Article: Township of Astrid
The township, as mentioned before, is a sanctuary for pariahs seeking to escape violence directed at the bulk of their race on the basis of their ancestry. It is governed by Dame Levey .
Though primarily composed of tieflings, the town bars no one based on blood (with the exception of pure blooded fiends and other more savagery beasts).
By the end of the Fourth Winter War , Sir Ronin Eininfar became convinced that Beldin would repeat its past mistakes and leave Astrid Rock barren and unwatched. Although the Aurrilite forces had been beaten, he felt that the realm needed an outpost on the mountain to guard against future assaults. Besides this, it also seemed a good location for him and his fellow knights to continue their work without interferance from other, less trustworthy adventurers and officials.
He approached each of his comrades with the proposition of establishing a keep there, all of whom unanimously supported the notion (the Levi's joined primarily to establish the township, a project Marie Levey had been planning for the last several years). Once their support was assured, king Aelfric Aelfhiem was approached for consent, which was granted. Unfortunately, this infuriated Siluvan.
Siluvan did not care to claim the land for itself, but its rulers were uneasy about the idea of having the now formed Order of Astrid Knights so close to their domain, as many of them were either drow or surface drow sympathizers. Despite their deeds, Siluvan simply did not trust the group nearly as much as King Aelfric, nor was this distrust entirely without basis; Sir Ischarri i had outright bombed their court several years before. Tensions over the mountain being given to the Knights were growing to a boiling point and nearly led to outright war (in thanks partially to the words of Illinai), but eventually the matter was resolved peacefully, and Siluvan grudgingly came to terms with the presence of the Knights.
The Adamantine War: Last standEdit
(Full Article: The Adamantine War )
Though the knights themselves continued to be involved in several military campaigns and investigations, the ultimate test for the Order came well before the Keep was itself complete. During the The Adamantine War , every single territory in the valley had fallen to the armies of the Death Kings, with the exception of Astrid Rock. All surviving nobles, soldiers, adventurers and knights rallied to the peak and prepared for their last stand while a strike team made its way to the undead lords themselves. Despite the odds, Astrid Rock was held until the Death Kings themselves were slain.
The Knight's RebellionEdit
(Full Article: The Knights Rebellion )
Following the Battle of the Maidens Temple, the rebellion initiated Operation Trident, a plan to capture three critical locations of the north; Karenlyn, Astrid Rock and the Mere.
The first assault succeeded in taking both the Mere and Astrid Rock, but Karenlynn would not be taken for another month. Once the mountain was in the Knights hands again, it quickly became the new bastion for the rebellion.
The Demongate CrisisEdit
The apocalyptic events following the destruction of the Kareyn valley's mythal claimed all but three settlements in the entire valley; Beldin, Siluvan and Astrid. The knights and those whom they could evacuate from the northern half of the kingdom (the nobles, their soldiers and the township of Karenlynn) fortified in the mountain keep, and launched their counter attacks from there untill the gates were closed and SIluvan liberated.
Full article: Kareyn Apocalypse
The Reclamation WarEdit
Full Article: The Reclamation War
A little under years after after the Demongate Crisis, the Astrid Knights led a war effort against the orc tribes of the Morrains, and successesfully drove them out, allowing for the dwarves to reclaim the adamantine mines, and the Utghardt to resettle into the Morrains.
The Second Civil WarEdit
When Aelfred Aelfhiem's command for Gerald Leonsmane to surrender the bastard child of Anezka was defied, the Leonsmanes were declared outlaws, and all forces of the kingdom were called upon to defeat their forces. The Astrid knight's, all being close friends of the Leonsmanes and believing that Aelfred had fallen under the sway of enemy forces, also defied the king and instead join the Leonsmanes in open rebellion. Astrid forces led a quick strike that utterly destroyed the morale of Beldins forces and broke the seige of the Lion Fort. In the days following the battles, the Astrid Knight's rallied behind the Leonsmanes and helped ensure their ascension as the new royal dynasty of the kingdom.
The Order of Astrid Knights is one of the most elite fighting force in the valley. Its members are veterans of several conflicts of extraordinary nature, and have all been on the front line of wars in which the fate of the valley hung in the balance. Many of them have ventured to hell and back, and even faced down Auril's avatar in a dramatic duel (and lived to tell the tale). As such, they command a great deal of respect even from their enemies.
However, they are also feared in equal measure, by both their enemies as well as the people of the Kareyn. Most of Astrid's Knights are the exact opposite of what a knight is popularly thought to be. They are not bound by codes of honor, choosing instead to protect the kingdom "by any means necessary". Several drow, two tieflings and a yuan ti also formed its ranks, as does an adventurer known for his particular brand of brutality. The success of the rebellion during Malark Lester's ironically also generated some unease. Although the order's actions ultimately led to victory and the successful banishment of Malark Lester, it also highlighted the capabilities of Astrid and power its location afforded its Knights, a fact which worried many greatly. Whispers began to circulate that its establishment ultimately weakened the rule of Beldin city, as whoever held Astrid Keep could in theory easily claim the entire north as their domain and split the kingdom. The fact that the Knights did not make a very big secret of their issues with Aelfric's rule added to this. For now the Knights have proven loyal, but they are also known as mavericks and unpredictable forces almost more terrifying than the monsters they are meant to hunt... The mere presence of the Astrid Knights - and the power afforded to them- has been a point of contention with Siluvan for a while, though in recent years this issue has been mostly settled or simply put aside.
The soldiers of Astrid are reknown as the best trained, disciplined and equiped fighting force in the valley, rivaled only by the Lion Legionairres. The Astrid Armed Forces are also the most battle hardned and experianced army in the kingdom, having engaged both mortal and extra-planer enemeis on numerous occasions.