Bond of Brothers
The Legend of Vinas Solamnus
The Legend of Vinas Solamnus as told by the Golden Dragon Shimlar in the Paladine Place of Power
The Knights of Solamnia arose in the Age of Light, about three millennia ago. The order of knighthood emerged from the ruin of the decadent Ergothian Empire. The commander of the Ergothian Palace Guard, Vinas Solamnus, rode from the capital city of Daltigoth to quell a rebellion in the northeast. Arriving at the troubled spot, Vinas saw that the rebellion was justified: the people toiled beneath the Empire’s oppressive tributes and tyrannical laws.
Solamnus assembled his legion. In an impassioned speech, now lost to history, he detailed the imperial atrocities and announced plans to champion the people’s cause. In addition, he promised any soldier loyal to Ergoth safe passage back to the capitol. But the warriors were moved by the people’s plight and, risking exile or even death, most chose to stay.
In the midst of a fierce winter, Solamnus mustered his knights and the local frontier nobles. He then launched a series of daring campaigns, which came to be known as the War of Ice Tears. The Rebel army doggedly pushed the imperial legions back to the very gates of Daltigoth itself. Vinas laid seige to the city, executing many covert raids inside the city walls.
In two months, the city fell – a revolt among the citizens of Daltigoth forced the Emperor to sue for peace. Thus, it was not armies but common folk who brought independence to northeast Ergoth. The people from Hylo to the Khalkist Mountains chose Solamnus as King, naming the country Solamnia in his honor. Though the nation did not become a great power during the Age, the name Solamnia became synonymous with honesty, integrity and determination.
In 2225 PC, the Lords of the Northern Reaches besought Solamnus for help. They, too, had thrown off the Ergothian tyranny and wished to unite with Solamnia. Though Vinas wanted to wanted to comply, he saw the task as impossible: the ideals and customs of the nations differed markedly or even conflicted. King Solamnus therefor launched his Quest of Honor to find an answer to his problem. He left his most trusted lieutenants in charge and journeyed into the wilderness.
Various apocryphal stories tell how Takhisis, the Dark Queen, initiated several covert plots to topple Solamnia in the absence of her king. Fortunately, Vinas’ lieutenants had learned well from their king and commander and foiled each plot.
Meanwhile, after many weeks of wilderness travel and hardship, Solamnus sailed to Sancrist Isle. Arriving bruised and wind-torn, he forged into the wilderness. In time, he found a glade where a stone of black granite lay. There he prayed and fasted to the gods of God. After several days, the gods Paladine, Kiri-Jolith and Habbakuk came to him. They instructed Vinas to create a knighthood that will last for generations to come. Three separate orders would be created, each upholding a high ideal from one of the three gods. These knights would unite the northern lands with Solamnia and carry on Solamnus’s vision of honor and goodness.
Vinas then saw a vision of the future downfall of the knights. While Vinas was horrified by this, Paladine reassured Solamnus that the knights would rise as often as they were truly needed. Then each of the three gods told Solamnus a great secret of wisdom, and wrote these three secrets on three tablets of black granite. The wisdom tablets are purportedly lost, scattered about the continent.
The gods then transformed the stone where Solamnus prayed into a pillar of white crystal. The crystal blessed and sanctified the glade, sealing the god’s pact to watch over the orders of knighthood. The gods were bound to the pact unless the knights strayed from the narrow path of honor. Solamnus named the clearing the Glade of the Whitestone and then returned and established the three orders of the Knights of Solamnia: the Orders of the Crown, Sword and the Rose.
Much of this is known and set down in history and legend. What is not commonly known is as well as establishing the knighthood, Vinas needed someone to carry after him the knowledge of the great secrets of wisdom the gods had imparted to him. For this Vinas created a secret order known as the Paladin’s of Paladine. These Paladin’s would possess the greatest of courage, unbreakable honor and be utterly faithful to the teachings of Paladine. These scions of goodness would be the ones intrusted with the secrets of the gods.
Vinas himself became the most famous Solamnic Knight, though two of his contemporaries also became legends: Bedal Brightblade and Huma Dragonbane. All three were Paladin’s of Paladine.
Bedal Brightblade single-handedly held a pass into Solamnia against hordes of desert nomads. His sword, Brightblade, was of dwarven make, never rusting or losing it’s edge despite heavy use. Legend states that Bedal will return to aid Solamnia in its darkest hour.
The tomb of Bedal is believed to be buried in the southern arms of the Khalkist Mountains, its location all but lost, but in reality the tomb of Bedal lies here in this holy place.
Only one Solamnic Knight ever exceeded Vinas in virtue: Huma Dragonbane. He led a group of heroes to destroy the evil dragons, and drive them from Solamnia. Huma’s greatest ally was a silver dragon who, in her human form, had fallen tragically in love with the knight. During their battle with Takhisis, Huma sustained a mortal wound. Some accounts say he died where he fell; others say his death was slow and painful, causing the agonized gods to inflict thunderstorms across Ansalon. To this day, many Solamnians claim that hunderstorms mark the god’s mourning for Huma.
Regardless of the Legends, it is fact that through Huma’s sacrifice the Queen of Darkness was thwarted and cast from this world.
It is just and right that you are here young Quinn, seeking the teachings of Paladine, as another of your line, years ago sought the same and through trial and suffering become a Paladin of Paladine, your ancestor Anakin Goldenscale. It was he, whom Huma intrusted the knowledge of the gods to. It was he who was trusted above all others.