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Paladin

The forces of Faldurin's Reach are filled with expert riders who excel in both sword and shield. However, it is their horseback Paladins that are renowned and greatly feared on the battlefield, who form heavily armored cavalries. Paladins sacrifice their mount's speed for strategic defense. The sleipnir they train and ride into battle are armored and hardened battle mounts, able to bulldoze through enemy lines with nary a scratch as they create chaos and confusion. While their mounts are trained to trample foes beneath their many hardened hooves, the Paladin knight above strikes with a flurry of blows from their sword or spear, all the while defending their charge with shield and practiced skill. They are a devastating combo; a small line of veteran Paladin knights can sweep through a platoon of ground troops in a matter of moments, turning the tides of battle in their favor and uplifting their own troops spirits.

It takes years of strenuous training for both knight and mount to perfect their deadly combo. Constant daily regimens with the shield must be perfected first to defend both you and your mount from volleys of arrows. The Paladin trainee must also learn to not collapse and faint under the heavy armor they must endure. They must train with it until it feels like a part of them. Same goes for the sleipnir steed they are paired with. Only the larger breeds are bred for such a task, and even then they must be trained from a young age into adulthood to not fear the scent of blood and to charge through bodies of armored foot soldiers without faltering in their stance.

The Paladins of the southern human kingdom are known widely across the realm as being the best of the best. They excel at both balance and stamina; they must, for one mistake atop their rearing mount could spell doom for both knight and steed. They are an especially fearsome force when lined up with other chargers. A line of Paladins strikes fear into the hearts of many, for it often means the death of those who stand in their way. Even on their own, a Paladin and his mount are a formidable team upon the battlefield, able to stand their ground til both mount and rider fall. Even then, both still fight to the brutal end. A Paladin's sleipnir is trained from birth to never flee, so even if the mount is riddled with mortal wounds it will still fight til its heart bursts, such holds true for the knight as well.

Paladins are taught that if you are knocked from your mount you no longer have time to get back on it in the heat of the moment -- this often means your final hours are at hand, and you are to face it boldly, with no turning back. Because of this they are trained to fight alongside their sleipnir who does not know the meaning of retreat. There are many grand and heartrending tales of a Paladin and his loyal mount, many ending with both equine and human battling till they are broken, the sleipnir still trying to run and strike at his rider's foes while it can no longer stand, and Paladin still lashing out with sword and shield even while stricken to the ground by his mount's bleeding side. They are brothers in war, their hearts beat as one, and they will die as one -- so goes the mantra of the Paladin in many old legends. A knight and his mount's armor are often hailed as being a part of their very soul, for it is inevitably what they will die in, thus, the 'Passing of Legacies' is a sacred ritual that many new Paladins take as they are passed the souls of the great Paladins that came before them, and so they too will add to their legacies and die within their armor as true Paladins of Faldurin's Reach.

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