|Died||Disappeared in 4589 AR (age 70)|
|Images of Daidian Ruel|
Source: The Infernal Syndrome, pg(s). 65–66
Daidian Ruel† became the original Hellknight when he publicly renounced Aroden and organized a group of soldiers and friends to avenge White Plague-related deaths of his wife and son in Westcrown in 4575 AR.
The White Plague
Ruel's wife Lileia Ruel was murdered in Pharast of 4575 AR near the Miratanza market in Westcrown, and her death was publicly linked to the Path of Grace, a cult of false Arodenites who worshiped the demon lord Sifkesh. His son Eris committed suicide by pesh overdose under the cult's influence soon after in the month of Lamashan.
Ruel was blocked by members of Westcrown's government, some of whom were hidden cultists of the Path of Grace, from pursuing those guilty of his family's killings. In response, he renounced his own faith in Aroden, formed a group of vigilantes, and began hunting down and capturing the cult's members.
The cultists Ruel's group captured were soon released, however, thanks to their powerful allies, and Ruel and his vigilantes resorted to beating and killing the cultists against the Westcrown Dottari's objections (but to the public's approval). Six of his group were arrested in Desnus of 4576 AR, and Ruel himself was jailed during Sarenith of 4576 AR.
Within hours, his posse had broken him out of prison—against his own orders—and fled to Fort Rivad, then a Taldan ruin. He subsequently returned to the city and gave an impassioned speech before King Gaspodar of Cheliax, who then pardoned him and commissioned him to form a new knightly order.
Founding of the Hellknights
By Sarenith of 4577 AR, Ruel's order defeated the Path of Grace and a grateful King Gaspodar gave Fort Rivad to be the knights' permanent home and authorized its restoration into Citadel Rivad, which was completed in Neth of 4580 AR. Ruel's public and repeated rejection of Aroden led the god's followers to dub the group "Hellknights", a denigration that Ruel defiantly adopted.
Ruel's discovery of senior cult member Misirnis Taranik's woodblock printing press in the ruins of Taranik House, which Ruel burned to the ground along with Taranik in 4577 AR, inspired and helped spread his doctrine of "low philosophy" that would become fundamental to the Order of the Rack's creation decades later and its continued interest in maintaining and publishing an "official" Chelish history.
Disappearance and post-mortal life
In Kuthona of 4581 AR, Ruel determined that his son Eris's soul was in Avernus, Hell's topmost layer. He became obsessed with damnation and devils, and recruited his ally Sheel Leroung to help him summon and interrogate devils. While successful—and learning enough of Hell's legions to incorporate their practices into the nascent Hellknights—Ruel was also corrupted by a gelugon named Voulgarghas.
In Calistril of 4589 AR, the library of Citadel Rivad caught fire and Sheel Leroung's top apprentice was found dead. Ruel disappeared that night, never to be seen on Golarion again, to wander Hell's metropolis of Dis in an endless search for his son's damned soul. Having eventually shed his mortal body, Ruel still searches Dis with occasional aid from Leroung, who became a lich upon his own death.
The Order of the Rack, officially instated in 4638 AR and based in Citadel Rivad, continues Ruel's mission to destroy wasteful knowledge and indolent idealism before it can affect the simplicity of everyday life. They usually do so via book burnings and the suppression of rebellious groups.
The Hellknights remain ignorant of Daidian's fate, and while many Hellknight signifers summon Voulgarghas out of the accurate belief that the ice devil knows Ruel's fate, Voulgarghas has continued to keep it secret.
- F. Wesley Schneider. (2009). Path of the Hellknight. The Infernal Syndrome, p. 65–66. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-198-5
- F. Wesley Schneider. (2016). Path of the Hellknight, p. 5. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-843-4
- F. Wesley Schneider. (2016). Path of the Hellknight, p. 6. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-843-4
- F. Wesley Schneider. (2016). Path of the Hellknight, p. 34. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-843-4
- Steven Schend. (2009). Westcrown. The Bastards of Erebus, p. 58. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-190-9
- Jonathan H. Keith, Colin McComb, Steven E. Schend, Leandra Christine Schneider, and Amber E. Scott. (2009). Cheliax, Empire of Devils, p. 3. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-191-6
- F. Wesley Schneider. (2016). Path of the Hellknight, p. 19. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-843-4
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 267. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- F. Wesley Schneider and Jerome Virnich. (2015). Hell Unleashed, p. 3. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-757-4. This source is presented as an in-universe letter written by Vanchient Lor and might be unreliable.
- F. Wesley Schneider and Jerome Virnich. (2015). Hell Unleashed, p. 44. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-757-4