The Cursed Knights of Tsern hail from various races and backgrounds and are made up anything ranging from street brawling fighters to deposed nobles. They are almost entirely comprised of those who practice a martial art. There may be a smattering of arcane magic users amongst their ranks, but it would be rare.
In the beginning Tsern inspired passion in the races, to love, and live and laugh. To wager and battle and boast. There were some among the races who she could not see, and yet they yearned to be noticed by her. To be adored. The first Cursed Knight, was a human knight, named Raiford Penning. Raiford was a talented warrior and master at arms of such extreme skill few would dare to challenge him in single combat. His life was one of constant challenge, impossible obstacles, and near-death experiences. One day, standing amidst a field of corpses and wreckage, his nerve finally faltered but for a moment. He invoked Tsern as he had countless times, wishing to know why she had never once shown him even a hint of her favor. For the first time in his life she did respond, and mixed with lilting laughter came her reply, “What if you made your own luck? Indeed, you are cursed, for try as I might to see you, I cannot. Yet still you have not turned from me. You are a fool, though a skilled fool, but loyal. It vexes me that you exist beyond my reach, serve me still and in time I will find a way to reach you. Turn from me now, and I will ruin you. Leave this place and hold a tournament in my honor. I cannot see you, and those like you, but if a gathering of my faithful is realized then you may feel a hint of my grace in their number. I leave you with these…” an artifact she bestowed upon him, “you will know how to use them when the time comes.” Raiford wept with joy, and yet he was stricken by overwhelming sadness.
Raiford, realizing he could not achieve his long-held dream of finding Tsern’s grace alone, gathered those who seemed to suffer this same misfortune. Using the wealth, he amassed in his travels and during a life of service he held a grand tournament. Tsern had gifted him with six red dice. Those red dice he gave to six faithful servants to decide the tournament rankings through several days of rolling. It is said that while they rolled, elsewhere in the world, famine struck plagues ravaged the land, crops failed, the weather became erratic, coins fell from the sky on the destitute, wasting diseases became cured, and even baren women were able to conceive children, but Raiford could not have known this. Raiford took victory in the tournament, and with the holders of the six-red dice at his side he prepared to set out into the world. Just beyond where the tournament was held the newly formed Knights encountered the arrayed forces of the followers of Amil. Driven to extreme anger by the chaos that had wracked their world as Raiford, and his followers gamed with Tsern’s dice, a battle ensued. In the aftermath Tsern’s dice were taken by members of both sides and lost to the annals of time. Raiford survived the battle with Amil’s followers, as one might expect, and with what remained of his life he had managed to assemble a smaller following. Only two of the six dice remained with the Knights thereafter.
The whereabouts of the other four dice are still unknown to this day. While the Knights do not specifically seek out Tsern’s dice, those who hold these sacred artifacts are traditionally recognized as either exceptionally skilled or disastrously misfortunate. While they do not seek Tsern’s dice, if they happened across one of them, they would attempt to claim it. Rest assured that if Tsern’s dice were in the hands of one who did not follow Tsern the Knights would respond with force.
The Cursed Knights of Tsern are said to have suffer from extreme misfortune at worst or make their own luck at best. Some may be morose or even feeble and others may appear as indomitable. Cowardice may be as common as ferocity. As with their patron deity, when you are dealing with a Cursed Knight of Tsern, it is a roll of the dice. They may work in groups, but their varied personalities and outlooks could potentially make them as much a liability as an asset. Membership in the Cursed Knights does not guarantee a bond. Ultimately their goal is to find a way for Tsern to see them, to that end it is certainly possible that this may lead to infighting.
Relationship with Modern Day Tsernites:
The Cursed Knights of Tsern may be welcomed or shunned by other Tsernites. Some believe they are her truest agents while others believe that Raiford squandered her blessings when he lost what she had gifted him. The Knights themselves are not a religious organization and may choose to revere her clerics or ignore them entirely.
On Tsern’s Dice:
Tsern’s dice are likely to be recognized by very devout followers of Amil, and some scholars and historians well versed in lore and history may know what they are. Dice holders would be unwelcome in Nique Taure.