Curse of the Crimson Throne
Some 15 miles south of Korvosa stands Citadel Vraid, the black-iron fortress of the Hellknight Order of the Nail. From its grim fastness, this autonomous legion of law-bringers seeks to enforce its own harsh vision of order upon Varisia, meting out law with blade and iron-shod boot. Unconcerned with the petty trivialities of morality, Hellknights are fanatics of law, adhering only to their harsh, Cheliax-born vision of order and their own unyielding vision of honor. To this end—as is common among Hellknight orders—the black-robed signifiers of the nail often call upon the aid of extraplanar embodiments of law, particularly the fierce, cold will of Hell’s legions that best embodies their philosophy. Like most Hellknights, those of the Order of the Nail believe themselves to be above morality, caring only for the establishment of righteous order at all costs.
One of the original seven orders of Hellknights, the Order of the Nail is among the farthest removed from their home in Cheliax, having been coaxed to Varisia in 4682 by Korvosa’s Queen Domina. Strong martial traditions, strength, force, and intimidation are the primary virtues of the order, well represented by their distinctive horned helms and demon-maw breastplates (each member of the Order of the Nail’s armor being unique, but bearing these features). The order is currently commanded by Lictor Severs “Boneclaw” DiVri, with Mistress of Blades Maidrayne Vox presiding over its martial forces and Paravicar Acillmar directing the order’s signifiers.
Members of the Order of the Nail are found in greater numbers in Korvosa than in any other settlement in Varisia. The Korvosan Guard bristles at the occasional unrequested aid of the harsh-minded knights, but it begrudgingly accepts their results and acknowledges their effectiveness. The city’s government has little interaction with the knights except for occasionally employing contingents on a caseby- case military basis, much like common mercenaries, and welcomes their contributions in subjugating the wilds surrounding the city’s holdings. The city’s monarchy, however, holds a decades-old grudge, dating back to the order’s refusal to obey the Korvosan crown upon relocating to the region. This sentiment is shared by the people, who fear, despise, and misunderstand the knights—often referred to as “Domina’s Devils”—but none dare speak openly against them, fearing the carte blanche with which they enforce the laws of Cheliax.