The Forsworn

The Forsworn are feared and revered warriors, faceless knights who wander the world and slay the wicked, seeking to atone for their own unspeakable crimes.

Within the distant city of Gran Lothlir, an ancient tradition may spare the lives of condemned men: any criminal facing execution may choose exile instead of death. Those that do are brought before the king and his priests, and there swear an oath before man and god, binding themselves to a supernatural contract with heaven. These men and women, cowards, traitors, and murderers all, offer up their stained souls to the gods, pledging themselves to the service of righteousness, in the hopes of redemption. Through a lifetime of servitude, always wandering, always fighting evil, they hope to wash the blood from their hands and earn a place in paradise. Though they retain their free will, they are bound nonetheless to their contract: any who return to evil, who fall again into vice, are irrevocably damned, their soul destined to the deepest pits of Hell for their betrayal.

The oath sworn by the exiles is part of a mystical ritual, one which wipes clean their name from mortal memory, such that no man alive will remember they existed. Who they were, what they did; it is all gone, lost from record - their name, the Forsworn, comes from this sacrifice, as they forswear their identities, their lives, everything they were, to serve the light. The nature of this ritual means that no man alive, except the forsworn himself, knows the exact details of any one forsworn's crimes - unless he chooses to share. Many do not hide their crimes, for they do not feel they deserve to, but ultimately, the choice is theirs. Nevertheless, all who see the forsworn know that they did something worthy of death, and it is only by the grace of the gods that they still live. The Forsworn are pariahs, outcasts, trusted by no-one and despised by all who see them; yet they are still coveted for their might, as these warriors dedicate themselves, body and soul, to combat, fighting for any just cause they find. They make magnificent crusaders and guardians for holy orders, and many find peace as wandering knights errant, roaming from town to town and righting whatever wrongs they encounter. They will never refuse a legitimate request for aid, and live to take burdens from the shoulders of others, hoping in time to remove the burden from their own souls. That said, they are swift to retribution against those that would abuse their oath, and if they find they have been manipulated to evil ends, they will track the perpetrator to the ends of the earth and send their soul screaming to Hell. Righteous though these warriors may be, they are still, every one, hardened criminals and vicious warriors, and are not to be trifled with.

All Forsworn wear a mask at all times, hiding their faces from those around them. Though each mask is different, by tradition it is made of iron or lead, and worn with a red cloak, so that all who see them might know the purpose of the mask: to shame the warrior who wears it.

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