Prestige Classes


"You've threatened our people for the last time, cur."

-Ereth Nazbek, a Ruby Knight of Wee Jas

The Ruby Knights are a crusader order in the service of Wee Jas, goddess of death and magic. Inscrutable and mysterious, these secretive warriors serve as the militant arm of the Jasite faith. They protect the temples of Wee Jas, guard important leaders of the church, aid powerful sorcerers and necromancers sworn to the Witch Goddess, and help to train novice clergy. When called upon, they also serve as spies and assassins. Within the Ruby Knight order, the knights-vindicator are responsible for undertaking duties of the last variety. Most of the time, a knight-vindicator is free to do as he pleases, but every so often leaders of the knightly order or high priests of the faith come to him with a special assignment that requires stealth, intimidation, or assassination. A Ruby Knight vindicator relies on his spiritual strength and skill in martial disciplines rarely mastered by crusaders to capture or dispatch marked enemies of the faith. He strikes with unflinching determination and righteous vengeance, and his benefactors within the church sleep comfortably knowing the Ruby Knights always stand ready to do the church's bidding.


Due to the entry requirements, most Ruby Knight vindicators are multiclass crusader/clerics or paladins who have entered this class after learning a Devoted Spirit maneuver, either by selecting the appropriate feats or by taking a level in the crusader class.


You are a dark knight who swoops in to help his church in its time of need. You have served within the hierarchy of Wee Jas's faith, and you have won the right and privilege of determining for yourself how best to advance the Ruby Sorceress's cause. You are, for the most part, an adventurer who is periodically asked to complete a specific mission that requires your brand of ruthlessness and stealth. You are the living symbol of the Ruby Sorceress's wrath, and this role within the church gives you a somewhat sinister mystique. You have enough clout and prestige to decline a mission for any reason, but your zealous devotion almost always compels you to complete a task in whatever manner you deem most effective. You are a weapon of the church, to be wielded only in dire circumstances. Your conviction enables you to do the terrible deeds that other members of the church abhor or lack the skills to accomplish.

Once the church determines that it needs your help, a high-ranking cleric uses a sending spell or similar device to secretly contact you and invite you to the temple or some secret location for a "situation briefing." The mission in question usually requires a combination of subterfuge and martial prowess - two areas in which you excel. Sample missions include capturing a thief who has stolen relics from the church, spying on the activities of a troublesome cult, or assassinating a hard-to-reach adversary who has persistently antagonized the church or its members. If you have friends or associates with skills that might help you complete your quest, you can use them as the situation warrants - leaders of the Jasite faith trust you to use your best discretion regarding methods and tactics. Once you complete your mission, you are free to return to your regular life until you're called upon again.

When you commit to a mission, nothing stands between you and its completion. You are highly focused and disciplined, and no distraction except an assault on your church will deter you.

Church officials sometimes disavow a knight-vindicator captured in the line of duty, since to admit complicity could cast a dim shadow over the church or attract undue attention to its activities. Death is another matter entirely. Unless you have proven yourself inept by failing mission after mission, church officials will strive to resurrect you, their sworn knight, in the belief that you will continue to serve them faithfully. More than a few Ruby Knights are brought back to continue their service in undeath as well.


Unlike an assassin, a Ruby Knight doesn't go out of his way to hide from his enemies unless the mission at hand requires stealth or subterfuge. In general, you want your enemies to see you coming. You want them to tremble with fear as you close in for the kill. That said, you don't want to plunge headlong into combat without first observing your foes and analyzing the tactical situation. Wise knights-vindicator strike when doing so is most advantageous to them, not when their enemies clearly have a tactical edge. Your sword is mightier than any pen, and you aren't brought in to negotiate with your quarry.

You rely on your Shadow Hand stances and maneuvers to approach your foes unseen, launch devastating attacks from hiding, and confuse and befuddle those who stand between you and your target. As a student of the Devoted Spirit and Stone Dragon disciplines, you favor melee combat over ranged combat. You rely on your mastery of various maneuvers to beat your hated foes into submission or into an early grave. A stance that will serve you well against enemies of the faith includes martial spirit (to keep you alive). At higher levels, consider the daunting strike maneuver or the aura of perfect order stance.


Prove your loyalty to the church, master the discipline of the Devoted Spirit, and demonstrate a predilection for violence, and you can become a Ruby Knight vindicator. Even lawful good clerics of Wee Jas can benefit from the services of a Ruby Knight vindicator, so the profession imposes no alignment restrictions. If the church to which you belong recognizes your skills as a vindicator, you are considered part of the order.

A large chapter of Ruby Knights usually has its own hierarchy, and as a member of the order, you might receive missions from a superior member of the order instead of a cleric of the church proper. More likely, the order to which you belong exercises no authority over knights-vindicator, allowing these elite servants of the Witch Goddess to execute missions where and when they see fit. You might be respected in the order for your accomplishments, but you have no superiors or subordinates. Most knights-vindicator aren't concerned about advancement within the order or the church; they are content simply to act in the church's best interests when called upon to do so. The Ruby Knight order has no membership fees.

The greatest benefit of an order of Ruby Knights is the opportunity to train and confer with others who have mastered the Devoted Spirit discipline and who share a similar fanatical devotion to the cause.


Ruby Knight vindicators are loners for the most part. As a member of the class, you are expected to provide for yourself and purchase your own gear. Many knights-vindicator take jobs outside the church and use these as "cover" while keeping a low profile. Some Ruby Knight vindicators feel compelled to donate a portion of their amassed wealth to the church, but the church never requires you to do so. Your faithful service is reward enough.

If your church feels that you need a specific item to complete a mission, the item will be provided to you at no cost. Unless the item is disposable, such as a potion, the church will expect you to return it once the mission is completed.


"Shadow and steel! Cross the church, and you'll have to deal with them!"

-Jvesskah, a yuan-ti crimelord in Sasserine

Good-aligned Jasite shrines use Ruby Knights to deal with evildoers, and evil-aligned temples use them to spread fear and eliminate anyone who challenges their dominance. Consequently, it's a simple matter to drop Ruby Knights into your existing campaign. Just because they haven't shown up before doesn't mean they don't exist. When not executing missions for the Witch Goddess, Ruby Knight vindicators tend to keep low profiles. Moreover, PCs who oppose evil necromancers and sorcerers might find themselves stalked by one or more fanatical Ruby Knights hungry for vengeance.


A temple of Wee Jas usually has a small number of Ruby Knights to serve as soldiers, guards, and enforcers. Knights-vindicator are more scarce, and they often protect the interests of several small temples scattered over a wide area. A modest temple in a small city can get by with one knight-vindicator, while a large temple in a large city or metropolis might support a small chapter of knights-vindicator. A typical chapter has 2d4+4 members, all of whom have at least one level in the Ruby Knight vindicator prestige class. Some chapters have a hierarchy (with the more experienced members overseeing the less experienced ones), but most are loose gatherings of like-minded fanatics who occasionally train together.

Some chapters of knights-vindicator have special hallmarks, but most orders allow members to exercise their individual discretion, so it's more likely for certain members of an order to have unique "calling cards."

NPC Reactions

A Ruby Knight vindicator strives to maintain a life separate from the affairs of the church. Whether he plunders dungeons or trims rose bushes for a living, he's more likely to garner reactions based on such pursuits than for being a zealous thug who occasionally handles important jobs for his church.

Within his church, a vindicator is a silent shadow. Low-ranking members of the church might not grasp the function he serves or the skills he provides, and fewer still can truly appreciate the terror he sows. High-ranking clerics regard a Ruby Knight vindicator as a necessary evil, but they have good reason to fear him for the havoc he wreaks abroad. A vindicator sees things with sublime clarity and believes in his cause so fervently that clergy members who do not share his unswerving conviction are left to wonder whether the church needs and can control such terrible weapons.


Characters with ranks in Knowledge (religion) can research the Ruby Knights to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including the information from lower DCs.

DC 10: The Ruby Knights are the knights-templar of Wee Jas's faith. They are temple guards, advisors, and bodyguards to senior clerics, as well as soldiers who serve the Witch Goddess.

DC 15: There are different ranks and titles within the Ruby Knight hierarchy, including knights-vindicator. They take on missions that the church doesn't want the community to know about. Most vindicators are overzealous thugs, punishing those who oppose their church or cause.

DC 20: Ruby Knight vindicators primarily practice the martial disciplines of Devoted Spirit and Shadow Hand. These disciplines help the knight harness his spiritual strength and zealous devotion, as well as give him the ability to strike with stealth and subtlety.

DC 30: Ruby Knight vindicators generally work alone, although they cultivate a network of associates outside the church. Once in a while, a chapter of knights backed by a powerful or wealthy temple rears its ugly head, and woe be to anyone who incurs that temple's wrath.


Players who enjoy playing crusaders or paladins with a dark side or shady bent should find the Ruby Knight vindicator both exciting and fulfilling. Knights-vindicator gain the ability to use Shadow Hand maneuvers and stances, and the duties of the class do not interfere with a character's more adventurous pursuits. For the most part, a vindicator is free to do as he pleases, and when the faith beckons him, he helps out freely.


Although this prestige class is specific to a single crusader order - the Ruby Knights of Wee Jas - you could easily adapt it to crusaders devoted to almost any other deity. For example, the faiths of Hextor, Vecna, or St. Cuthbert could easily support secret vindicator organizations. If you replace the requirement for Devoted Spirit stances and maneuvers with another martial discipline (Iron Heart or Tiger Claw, for instance), it becomes much easier to qualify for the class without being a crusader - which means that you could create holy (or unholy) orders of warblade/clerics, fighter/clerics, or rogue/clerics.

Sample Encounters

Characters who undertake a quest of importance to Wee Jas's faith or find themselves sharing a common enemy with the Jasite clerics might work alongside a Ruby Knight vindicator, particularly if their objectives mesh. For example, characters infiltrating the lair of an evil cult might encounter a Ruby Knight vindicator assigned by his church to eliminate the cult's nefarious leader.

Similarly, it's easy to imagine the PCs running afoul of an evil-aligned temple of Wee Jas, and facing the wrath of a Ruby Knight vindicator (or group of vindicators) who appears on the scene to dispatch them.

EL 8: Ereth Nazbek (LN male human crusader 4/cleric 1/Ruby Knight vindicator 3) keeps watch over a necropolis buried near a small town. Long ago, vampires killed his parents, and the horror of the ordeal transformed him from a wide-eyed farmer's son to a dour champion of law. For now he tends to a small farm and enjoys the simple pleasures of life, but he maintains a vigilant watch over the hidden vaults and makes sure that ill-intentioned strangers don't unleash a plague of undead over the area. Ereth has a wife, Izabel, and two well-behaved young sons, Kalven and Errol. Farm life keeps him fit, but Ereth does not look or act like your typical rustic farmer. He stands well over 6 feet tall, has intimidating good looks and muscular development, and speaks with careful precision. Only his wife knows of the service he provides the church.

Given time to prepare for battle, Ereth drinks a potion of bear's endurance and casts shield of faith on himself before entering combat. Once he corners his quarry, he enters a martial spirit stance and attacks his foe using whatever strikes are granted to him at the time (favoring higher-level maneuvers first over lower-level ones). While he is in the martial spirit stance, he expends turn undead attempts to use his divine recovery abilities.

Hit Die: d8.


To qualify to become a Ruby Knight vindicator, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Skills: Hide 4 ranks, Intimidate 4 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 8 ranks.

Martial Maneuvers: Must know at least one Devoted Spirit maneuver.

Martial Stances: Must know at least one Devoted Spirit stance.

Deity: Wee Jas.

Special: Ability to turn or rebuke undead.

Class Skills

The Ruby Knight vindicator's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Martial Lore (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: The Ruby Knight Vindicator

Level Base
Special Spellcasting
1st +1 +0 +0 +2 0 0 1
2nd +2 +0 +0 +3 1 0 0 Divine recovery +1 level divine spellcasting class
3rd +3 +1 +1 +3 0 0 0 +1 level divine spellcasting class
4th +4 +1 +1 +4 1 0 0 +1 level divine spellcasting class
5th +5 +1 +1 +4 0 1 0 Armored stealth +1 level divine spellcasting class
6th +6 +2 +2 +5 1 0 1
7th +7 +2 +2 +5 0 0 0 Divine impetus +1 level divine spellcasting class
8th +8 +2 +2 +6 1 0 0 +1 level divine spellcasting class
9th +9 +3 +3 +6 0 1 0 Divine fury +1 level divine spellcasting class
10th +10 +3 +3 +7 1 0 0 +1 level divine spellcasting class
Class Features

A Ruby Knight vindicator learns new martial maneuvers, including maneuvers of the Shadow Hand discipline, while continuing to advance his divine spellcasting ability. Moreover, he gains class features specifically designed to channel his divine power into his martial maneuvers.

All of the following are class features of the Ruby Knight vindicator prestige class.

Spellcasting: At each level except 1st and 6th, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a divine spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one divine spellcasting class before becoming a devoted enforcer, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.

Maneuvers: At each even-numbered level, you gain one new maneuver known from the Devoted Spirit, Shadow Hand, Stone Dragon, or White Raven disciplines. You must meet a maneuver's prerequisite to learn it. You add your full Ruby Knight vindicator levels to your initiator level to determine your total initiator level and your highest-level maneuvers known.

At 5th level and 9th level, you gain an additional maneuver readied per day.

Stances Known: At 1st level and again at 6th level, you learn a new martial stance from the Devoted Spirit, Shadow Hand, Stone Dragon, or White Raven discipline. You must meet a stance's prerequisite to learn it.

Divine Recovery (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, you can channel divine power to recharge your martial maneuvers. You can expend a turn or rebuke undead attempt as a swift action to recover one expended maneuver. If you are a crusader, the maneuver you recover is immediately available to you as a granted maneuver.

Armored Stealth (Ex): Knights-vindicator are taught unusual techniques for staying out of sight. Starting at 5th level, you no longer take an armor check penalty on Hide checks. Your armor check penalty still applies to any other skills affected by armor check penalties.

Divine Impetus (Su): At 7th level, you learn how to use the divine power of the Stern Lady to quicken your reactions and act without hesitation. You can expend a turn or rebuke undead attempt to gain one additional swift action this round. For example, you could use this ability to both change your stance and initiate a boost maneuver in the same turn, or if you initiated a counter before your turn, you can activate this ability and then initiate a boost on your turn.

Divine Fury (Su): From 9th level on, you can directly channel Wee Jas's divine energy into your martial strikes. As a free action, you can spend a turn or rebuke undead attempt to add a +4 sacred (or profane, if you are evil) bonus on your attack roll with one martial strike this turn. In addition to its normal effects, the strike deals an extra 1d10 points of damage.

Multiclass Note: A paladin who becomes a Ruby Knight vindicator can continue advancing as a paladin.