It Started With a Kidnapped Pig...
The Knights of Samular
The Knights of Samular are an order of paladins dedicated to Tyr who have pursued justice across the north for over 500 years. They are a well respected order in the Northlands who tend to focus on the supremacy of law as a means to combat evil. They have a base of operations in Summit Hall while also maintaining a base in Waterdeep.
In the Year of the Rings Royal (952 DR), the Second Troll War finally ended under the leadership of Aeroth, War Captain of Silverymoon. One of the great heroes of that war was Samular Caradoon, a human knight of Tyr – god of Law and Justice – whose bravery and faith were unsurpassed. Samular was the third of three brothers: The oldest, Renwick, studied wizardry, while Amphail the Just and his younger brother Samular became paladins of Tyr. Nearly two decades before the war, Renwick Caradoon acquired a trio of artifacts of mysterious purpose now known as the rings of Samular and later gave them to Samular to hold. When the Second Troll War began, the magic of the three rings enabled the brothers (each of whom temporarily held one of the rings) to employ a magic siege engine known as Kezefbane to great effect against the trolls, lifting the siege of Waterdeep. For his heroism and leadership, Amphail was elevated to the position of War Lord of Waterdeep after the battle, only to die in a troll raid less than a year later. Without the third brother, the effectiveness of Kezefbane against the trolls was greatly diminished. Nevertheless, Samular played a key role in Aeroth’s eventual victory through his martial prowess and valor; in so doing, Samular acquired a legion of devoted followers. Renwick fell in the final battle, but the eldest brother had prepared to transform into an archlich, a process he began as he lay dying. Only Samular knew that Renwick had survived his “death” in battle.
After the war, Samular formed an order of Tyrran paladins based in the North. Under Samular’s leadership, the order seized Thornhold, the keep of a petty warlord named Brunyundar Margaster, and made Thornhold its chapterhouse. Located just south of the Mere of Dead Men, Thornhold became the personal property of Samular and his direct heirs.
The heart of the order moved to Waterdeep, occupying a wing of the Halls of Justice. The Knights lost their headquarters Thornhold to the Zhentarim thanks to the treachery of Dag Zoreth (estranged son of Samular). The keep was then confiscated by Samular’s daughter, Bronwyn Caradoon (a member of the Harpers) whom took up residence with her niece. This allegedly resulted in a breakdown of relations between the Knights of Samular and the Harpers, although this is disputed.
Renwick retreated into his tower in the Sumber Hills – his undead state would have been considered an abomination by many of Samular’s followers – and Samular’s acceptance of such would have destroyed the fledgling order. In time, a monastery (Sacred Stone Monastery) was built around Renwick’s tower. Renwick’s phylactery however, is in the tombs under Summit Hall.