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Order of the Nail

From PathfinderWiki
Order of the Nail
Symbol of the Order of the Nail.
(Hellknight Orders)

"Savagery must be quelled, in the land, home, and mind."
Thick nails forming a sunburst
Breastplate emblazoned with a fiendish face, helm bearing forward-facing horns
Piercing one's flesh with sharp metal
Source: What Lies in Dust, pg(s). 62

The Order of the Nail is an order of Hellknights based in Citadel Vraid near Korvosa. It concerns itself with quelling "savage" practices and bringing their idea of civilization to the inhabitants of the wild frontier.1


To certain dogmatic, rigid-minded individuals, civilization seems under siege. Beyond the bulwarks of cities and national borders lies an endless expanse of wilderness populated by those who, all too often, shun the rules of settled, lawful societies and follow their own callings. To the Order of the Nail, these beings enviously prey upon the children of the law, seeking to draw civilization into a regressive mire. The Order of the Nail stands staunchly against what it views as barbarity.2


A Hellknight of the Order of the Nail.

One of the original seven orders of Hellknights founded in 4638 AR, the Order of the Nail was coaxed to relocate to Varisia in 4682 AR3 by Korvosa's Queen Domina. Although the belief of the Queen was that her invitation and generosity would make the Hellknights indebted to the crown, this was not the case, and the government has since held a decades-old grudge against the Order. The Hellknights instead pursue their own agenda and follow their own ideals of law and justice. Even so, they have aided the city on several occasions (after being well-compensated) and their subjugation of the surrounding wilds have been of assistance to the Korvosan crown. Feared and misunderstood by both the populace and the city guard, the Hellknights are sometimes referred to as "Domina's Devils".45


Impressed by their efficiency and devotion to law, the Justice Court of Magnimar invited a detachment of Order of the Nail Hellknights to their city. The commanders in Citadel Vraid eagerly took them up on the offer to bring their brand of order to a place notorious for its lack of strong laws. The unit is garrisoned in the Bastion of the Nail in the Naos District under the command of Paralictor Darean Halst. Even though their numbers are few, they are fiendishly devoted to their charge. The Hellknights often take protection contracts more dangerous than any other mercenary company would dare.67 When not working on a particular contract, the members of this unit patrol the city looking for trouble, especially in the distant Ordellia district, where even the town guard does not often venture.8 Amongst the locals, the Order of the Nail Hellknights are colloquially known as Nail-Knights.9


Paizo published an appendix in Runescars 2 entitled "The Order of the Nail" and a significant article about Citadel Vraid in Castles of the Inner Sea.

For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. F. Wesley Schneider. Hellknights” in What Lies in Dust, 62–63. Paizo Inc., 2009
  2. F. Wesley Schneider. (17 June 2016). Expanding the Ranks of Hell, Paizo Blog.
  3. James Jacobs, et al. “Adventure Toolbox” in Hellknight Hill, 76. Paizo Inc., 2019
  4. Mike McArtor. “Chapter 3: People” in Guide to Korvosa, 38. Paizo Inc., 2008
  5. Mike McArtor. “Chapter 2: Places” in Guide to Korvosa, 6–7. Paizo Inc., 2008
  6. F. Wesley Schneider. Magnimar” in The Skinsaw Murders, 58. Paizo Inc., 2007
  7. James Jacobs & Adam Daigle. “Magnimar” in Magnimar, City of Monuments, 30. Paizo Inc., 2012
  8. James Jacobs & Adam Daigle. “Magnimar” in Magnimar, City of Monuments, 35. Paizo Inc., 2012
  9. Tim Hitchcock & Alyssa Faden. Citadel Vraid” in Castles of the Inner Sea, 24. Paizo Inc., 2013