Class Feature Friday: Order of the First Law (Cavalier Order)
Just as there are those that follow deities in Pathfinder, so too are there those that reject all gods, just as there are in real life. Of course, in a lot of settings, the gods and their servants are very present, so being an atheist in a world of angels and devils means acknowledging that gods exist, but choosing not to follow any of them.
In the Golarion setting, the nation of Rahadoum banned the practice of all religions within it in the wake of religious conflicts that tore the region asunder in the past, a ban that has existed to the modern day of the setting.
Of course, with every ban comes those who break it, and many religious folk practice or even call upon the gods for magic in secret. However, the bans are no idle threat, and the leadership of the nation has no qualm about arresting and punishing the religious, so that the gods never again use them as proxies in their quarrels.
Enter one of the many groups that enforce the ban, the cavalier order of the First Law, who seek out and arrest or slay those practicing religion. They, like many other such agents, are not evil for the most part. They only wish to protect their people from what they see as uncaring gods.
Of course, outside of this setting, they might instead be the protectors of the areligious, particularly in worlds where atheists are persecuted by zealous clergy of the gods.
Indeed, it is the edicts of this group to protect atheists and the common folk from harm caused by divine agents good or evil, in addition to rejecting all gods.
These cavaliers know all too well that they cannot count on any but a few methods of magical healing, and so, they Instead learn to enhance their own vigor, using the adrenaline of fighting a challenged foe to ignore pain and keep fighting.
Typically these warriors swear off all divine magic, and gain confidence in their defensive might from going so long without said aid. However, they are not fools, and if emergency demands it, they can accept such magic, though it takes time to regain that confidence afterwards.
The threat of these atheists to all divine casters is so palpable that they can feel it, causing them to fumble their words and invocations when trying to call down divine spells in close proximity to them.
These knights and riders are particularly deadly to divine casters, attacking with ferocity any that they challenge to combat, hoping to defeat them before they can bring divine aid.
If you’re interested in an anti-divine caster cavalier, and you know your party healers are arcane or psychic in nature, this can be a useful order if you can put together a reason why they have a chip on their shoulder concerning divine magic. Feats and choices based on disrupting casters are great choices for whatever build you come up with.
Like I said earlier, these cavaliers can either be those fighting to suppress religion, or those fighting against religions that oppress, but there should be a good, in-lore reason for why that is. After all, this is an order dedicated to doing so. As such, they probably have a history with how religion has been handled in the region. Give it some thought when using this option.
Too often have wayangs found themselves at the mercy of the religious, who see them as creatures of darkness. So they began to fight back, the shadowy beings training their warriors to patrol their lands ready to strike down the devout, smashing their holy symbols.
All remember the horror of the Decade of Blood, when a battle between the Gods left behind an immortal ichor, which began establishing dominance, only to eventually be defeated by heroic adventurers. Since then, the people have begun rejecting divine magic, both for the divine nature of the horror that had ruled them, and for the negligence the gods had in letting this occur. Now, there is a need for refugees who still cling to the gods to escape the riders who hunt them.
The lord Muryu has had enough of religious politics in his realm, and has ordered his samurai to purge such nonsense from his lands, a task they have taken to heart exceptionally quickly, becoming deadly forces against priest and shaman alike.