Shak D’Rath, the first paladin of Tiamat. Born in -15 DAR, Shak jumped at the chance to become a paladin. Hero-worshipping Sean and Dar Tania, Shak advanced rapidly as a knight. When Sean passed away, Shak assumed command of the paladins. Eventually, his powers developed and he summoned a griffin as his divine stead. This surprised everyone, even Shak. Alerius loved it. Griffins are smaller and faster than dragons and he charged Shak with building an Order of Griffins. Before he was permanently slain in the 1st Cascade in 350 DAR, Shak had many children with Dar’s daughter Seline and other priestesses. However, only the offspring of himself and Seline proved able to summon and bond with griffins.
It was said that Shak loved Morbatten and served Dar Tania with all his heart. When, by Tiamat’s blessings, he began age more slowly, he eventually fell in love with Seline. Because of her prophetic abilities, not many could tolerate her. Syliri and Shak proved to be the only who could. In the 1st Cascade, Shak died saving Seline from death at Orcus’ hand. She is said to have looked at the bloody pulp of his body and said, “Farewell, husband.” She then turned and walked back to Alerius’ throne.
In keeping with Dar’s visions, Shak began construction of Soldier’s Fort in 35 DAR. He also deciphered the “Take It All Away” training book from Sean’s Pha Rannic Order and instituted it in Morbatten. He quickly learned to organize the paladins by type based on how they responded to the TIAA rites: Water, Fire, Earth, Tower, Griffon, and Dragon.
- Water. The mightiest of the known Orders, but still shrouded in secrecy, the Order of Water takes only those paladins proven in other Orders, or who pass their much higher standard rites, where death is a real possibility. Expected to use flexibility and drive towards strategic outcomes, Water pairs 1 cleric with each knight and has several battle mages assigned to it at all times.
- Fire. The shock troops at the head of the army, this command structure is oriented towards demoralizing enemies and defeating the strongest opponents in any battle. Any paladin of Fire outranks any military officer.
- Earth. These paladins forsake the sword for siege weapons and area effect magics. They partner with mages and engineers to bring mass destruction to the battlefield.
- Tower. These paladins serve as the bodyguard of mages on the field of battle.
- Griffon. Only the bloodline of Dar Tania and Shak D’Rath can summon and ride griffons. They are their own Order.
- Dragon. When any paladin has risen to Dar rank, they are considered part of the Order of Dragon in addition to their normal order, and may be recruited into special teams for specific missions and quests.