Planejammer Campaign Setting
Order of the Chalice
Type Fighting company
Founded Approx. -628 CY
Members Mostly fighters, paladins, priests, rangers, and Knights of the Chalice
Leader Masters of the Chalice
Symbol Ruby chalice with crossed ivory lightning bolts on the cup
Headquarters Eyrie of Heironeous
Enemies Dispater, fiends, demons, devils, yugoloths, Hextor
The Chalice, also called the Order of the Chalice, is an order dedicated to fighting fiends, including demons, devils, and yugoloths, and driving them from the Prime Material Plane. This knightly order holds itself to the highest standards of law and good.
Most people believe that the Chalice takes its name from an ornate silver cup said to be guarded by the highest-ranking members of the order. This cup is said to have caught the blood of a solar as it battled a demon. This is the story given in Defenders of the Faith and Complete Warrior; the 3rd edition Player’s Handbook II turns this on its head, revealing that the cup is not the true Chalice, and the true Chalice is not even in the order’s possession.
1,223 years ago (presumably counting back from 596 CY, given the Player’s Handbook II’s publication date), the solar Tomal revealed to the paladin Arbinget Ivenay that a young goddess-angel called the Chalice of Heironeous was Heironeous’s own daughter, kidnapped by Hextor and imprisoned in the realm of the archdevil Dispater. Ivenay founded the Order of the Chalice with one overriding goal: to liberate the Chalice of Heironeous from this fiendish prison. No one but the order that rules the Chalice, known as the Lightning Council, and the gods and devils concerned, knows if this goal has in fact been accomplished. However, the goals of the order have broadened over the centuries to include driving fiends of all sorts from the mortal world.
No one but the Lightning Councilors, the elite members of the order, know the truth of the Chalice’s nature and current location. Every day they dream of rescuing her, but after 1,223 years they are no closer to their goal.
While the members of the Order of the Chalice pray to Heironeous, those who hold other lawful good deities as patrons are welcome to join as long as they pray to Heironeous as well.
The Chalice is led by nine Masters of the Chalice, who have the duty of guarding the Chalice of Heironeous (which presumably means a silver or ruby cup in their possession, but also ultimately means they have the responsibility to attempt to rescue the goddess-angel). Each Master of the Chalice has command over nine Chalice Marshals, who each command nine Chalice Commanders, who each command nine Chalice Sergeants.
The Player’s Handbook II describes the following ranks of the order: Initiate, Defender, Thunderer, Scion of Heironeous, Paragon of Heironeous, and Lightning Councilor.
Most Knights of the Chalice prepare to join the order from youth, beginning as squires for a minimum of five years before attaining the rank of “quester.” Most questers seek to earn the rank of knight, which requires the ability to cast divine spells as well as a sufficient background in theology and the planes. Because mortality is high among knights and questers of the Chalice, the order is always looking for new members of sufficient piety, who need not begin as squires if they qualify for higher rank.
Members of the Chalice are free to leave at will without the order seeking vengeance. However, if a member of the order should fall from paladinhood, become possessed by a fiend, or change alignment, the order will dispatch an exorcism squad (typically including a cleric and a paladin) likely to smite first and bother asking a soul for repentance only after they are dead.
The code of the Knights of the Chalice is even stricter than the typical paladin’s code, with members sworn to celibacy, forbidden to touch a corpse, and sworn to hold the destruction of fiends above all other priorities.
The headquarters of the Chalice is known as the Eyrie of Heironeous, a structure with lightning rods incorporated into it. Its location is not revealed in canon. It is at the Eyrie of Heironeous that those who have recently attained the rank of Lightning Councilor are told the true story of the Chalice of Heironeous and her fate.