Knights of the Black Pit
The Knights of the Black Pit dedicate themselves to smothering Tellene in total darkness. They fanatically adhere to the teachings of the Book of Endless Night, an unholy writing from a bygone era. The ancient manuscript speaks of the Time of the Void, a time when Lord Midnight will devour the sun and Tellene will be cloaked in eternal blackness. The Church of Endless Night teaches that when the Assembly of Light and its allies are destroyed, this prophecy will come to pass.
Besides vigilantly opposing the Assembly of Light, the Knights of the Black Pit are constantly preparing themselves for the Time of the Void. Because these clerics believe the world will be devoid of light, they regularly practice combat in total darkness and in underground or confined areas. Additionally, clerics of Blackmourn learn the necessary survival skills for life below the surface.
Just as important as the removal of a cleric’s own eyes (see Advancement section) is bringing the bounty of her god to another. Therefore, when in battle, these clerics will strike for their opponent’s visual organs. A Knight will taunt and goad his opponent into speaking; this allows the cleric to home in on his foe’s eyes.
Each potential cleric must undergo a ceremony, known as the Cleansing, before earning a place in the clergy. A group of Dark Friends places the future congregant at the bottom of a dark pit. They then leave the aspirant in the pit, providing only food and water, until the Pitmaster believes the aspirant is ready to become a Knight. The time varies, depending on the individual; however, it is seldom less than a year and never less than two months. The aspirant then trains in the way of the Knights of the Black Pit.
A form of the Cleansing also takes place on unwilling participants, usually children and those whose eyes have been taken for sacrifice. The victim is brainwashed to believe that only the Eyeless One can give them the power to see again. As they adapt to their new environment and learn to function in the dark, they come to believe that the Knights are correct. At this time, the brainwashing is complete and the victims are admitted to the congregation. Such victims suffer the penalties for blindness as a Pitmaster (see the Advancement, Special Requirements section).
Adventures: Knights of the Black Pit adventure to bring the gloom and shadow of the night to all parts of the world.
Characteristics: Knights of the Black Pit emphasize their divine powers, using their martial prowess only when necessary.
Background: Many Knights of the Black Pit come from unwilling participants in the Cleansing, although an alternate background for Knights of the Black Pit is some time spent in isolation in the dark. A dwarf who got lost far from home, a human captured by mind flayers, or a traveler of any race who fell into a sinkhole and couldn’t escape a natural cavern – each is a likely candidate.
Races: The Lurker in the Void is extremely popular among underground races such as stone dwarves, dark elves and various humanoid cultures. Races who are at home underground are natural Knights of the Black Pit. Other elves tend to be fond of nighttime, but only as long as there are stars out; they have no love for total darkness.
Relations With Other Classes: Knights of the Black Pit prefer to work with fighters. Wizards with an appropriate spell selection (emphasizing cold, darkness and gloom) are well regarded, but rogues are not, since they lose many of their skills in the darkness. In keeping with their faith, Knights despite enemy clerics, especially those of The Eternal Lantern. They view other classes with indifference.
Relations With Undead: Clerics are encouraged to animate or create undead in their attempts to further the faith. If intelligent undead must be controlled, the cleric must free them of control as soon as possible. Clerics may freely destroy undead created by junior clerics of their faith, but should not those of peers or higher-ranking clerics. A cleric is allowed to destroy undead created by another faith, if those undead hinder an act that furthers the faith. Violating these restrictions may cause the cleric to lose temple rank, or undergo a quest to atone.
Role: Even when part of a group, the Knight of the Black Pit often prefers to work alone, knowing that few (if any) of his companions can match his ability to function in the dark. He often uses his darkness to disrupt enemy spellcaster (who usually need a direct line of sight for their spells) and attacks the eyes of fighters and other direct threats.