The vast and ancient Kingdom of Yuul, ever shrouded in winter, is mankindsâ€™ first line of defense against those northern nightmares, hyperborean and heat-hungry, that haunt the polar regions: the Yeti, the Wendigo, the Chattering Teeth, and the Cold King. This frozen bulwark would long ago have disappeared beneath the ice if it werenâ€™t for the bravery of the Jump Knights.
The ten Leap Lords have ruled Yuul for centuries, passing their enchanted armor from parent to child in an unbroken line. King Pepin, the ostensible monarch of this realm, is essentially a glorified figurehead. The power of the knights comes from their magical plate mail, permanently endowed with the effects of both the Jump spell and Feather Fall. Bequeathed unto the Jump Knights by anti-gravity Dwarves during the Anachronism Wars in the second century of man, this magic armor has kept the south safe from the evil at the top of the world.
Itâ€™s also had a marked effect on the architecture of Yuul. As decreed by the leaping lords, all buildings within Yuul must come fitted with external platforms capable of supporting a well-fed fighting man in full plate. These leap-pads (as the locals call them) festoon every building and provide routes of retreat and ambush to the Jump Knights. Many Snow Golems, Werereindeers, and Ice Elves have tried to invade the warm realms, only to have their dreams crushed by 400 pounds of falling muscle and steel.
TO KILL A JUMP KNIGHT
A Jump Knight fights as a Knight, but with an AC of 19. Also, they are affected by Jump and Feather Fall. As landed aristocrats, they are loath to fight battles they do not think they can win. Most will flee to seek backup should they encounter anyone capable of injuring them through their armor. They are generally happy to insult, condescend, and otherwise look down upon the earth-bound lower classes until that should happen.
Â though either can be dismissed or reactivated by its wearerâ€™s mental command. If these spells are deactivated, the armor weighs 250 lbs. Jump Mail is an Uncommon Magic Item.
TEN LORDS A-LEAPING
The Jump Knights are not a monolithic organization; when they are not saving the world, they pursue the same petty tyrannies and childhood vendettas that waste the time of highly armed ruling classes everywhere. Those currently living are listed here:
🌳 Percival Paraquail
Nickname: the Partridge
Appearance and Standard: Percivalâ€™s Plate Mail is pearlescent white. His standard is a Pear Tree.
Personality: A proud man, Percivalâ€™s perseverance against the polar perils which terrorize Yuul counterbalances his propensity for pulverizing peasants. On the whole, he is relatively well-liked.
🕊️ Testudo Columba
Nickname: the Turtledove
Appearance and Standard: Baby-blue enameled armor encases this Jump Knight, whose house sigil is the Turtledove.
Personality: His father never planned for Testudo, his second son, to inherit the sky-blue Jump Mail. However, when his older brother Turtur fell to his death, Testudo was retrieved from the priesthood to fulfill his bloodlineâ€™s obligations to King Pepin. No fan of violence, heâ€™s most famous for tepidly offering mercy to a Tenjoname before his allies killed it. Heâ€™s generally regarded as either a milquetoast or a saint.
🐔 Titus Pollo
Nickname: the Hen, the Rooster, Fowl-Cock
Appearance and Standard: The Rampant Chicken is the heraldic emblem of this most violent Jump Knight. Only recently knighted, his blood-red armor still bears the â€˜ostentatious femininityâ€™ from when his mother wore it.
Personality: A high-maintenance psychopath, Titus is prone to explosive fits of violence. Nothing triggers him more than being called â€˜the Henâ€™, his much more accomplished motherâ€™s nom de guerre. He is constantly trying to prove his manhood. The local Armorersâ€™ Guild wonâ€™t serve him thanks to his bigoted comments about dwarves at King Pepinâ€™s feast last year.
⚫ Lenore LeNoir
Nickname: the Coal Bird
Appearance and Standard: Black Armor. Black Bird.
Personality: Descended from a traitor who allowed the Chattering Teeth within the city walls, Lenore has much to prove. Her extreme positivity and big smile are her first line of defense against her ancestorâ€™s poor reputation, but she has no problems letting steel settle the matter when charm fails.
🐦 Tom Guuze
Nicknames: the Goose, the Maverick
Appearance and Standard: His dark blue Jump Mail was refitted for his small stature. The emblem of his house is what we would call a â€˜Canada Goose.â€™ In the kingdom of Yuul, such creatures have a more proper name: Angry Birds.
Personality: Heâ€™s most notable for his extreme intensity, clownishly esoteric religious beliefs, and propensity for celebrating new relationships by jumping into every salon in the city. Heâ€™s a wild card, but inexplicably popular with the peasantry.
⚪ Hugo Swann
Nickname: the Swan
Appearance and Standard: Although his gold and white armor is the most beautiful Jump Mail, he is more often found in what he was born wearing. His house standard is the Swan (the randiest of the birds, as he is quick to note).
Personality: An extreme libertine, Swann is almost always the last to arrive at the battle. He is the richest of the Jump Knights, as he maintains a near-total monopoly on the sale of sex and spirits within the city walls. Heâ€™s incredibly charming, but donâ€™t shake his hand; you donâ€™t know where itâ€™s been.
💍 Xialing Shu
Nickname: the Maiden
Appearance and Standard: Her golden armor is made more ostentatious by her standard: five golden rings.
Personality: As the youngest of the Jump Knights, Xialing is mainly concerned with rebuilding the estates left ruined by her father, whose career as a Jump Knight ended with his execution for running the local thievesâ€™ guild. She still runs the local organized crime groups, but she makes sure to keep up legitimate appearances. She spends her downtime humiliating her brothers in Yuulâ€™s underground fight clubs.
🔔 Lady Margaret â€˜Peggyâ€™ Magnanimo
Nickname: the Lady
Appearance and Standard: Her standard is the ringing bell. Her armor is unusual among the Jump Mails, in that it is completely invisible. It does not transfer this property to its wearer, making it very difficult to tell if the lady is armored at any given point in time. Regardless, she always wears the very finest in combat-ready under-armor fashion.
Personality: A family with very close ties to the crown of Yuul, this distant cousin of King Pepin considers the Jump Mail more a responsibility than a boon. She is technically a Jump Lord, not a Jump Knight; she never lets her â€˜peersâ€™ forget it. Despite her disdain for â€˜lesserâ€™ nobility, she is noted for her charity to the small folk.
🎵 Yuki Nieva
Nickname: the Piper
Appearance and Standard: Bright yellow Jump Mail and a Pan Flute sigil hide the darker nature of this Jump Knight.
Personality: Known for torturing their serfs, the Nieva family has carried a dark reputation for years. Tolerated only for their contribution to Yuulâ€™s defenses, the other Jump Knights have often conspired to install a more benign landholder in the Nieva fief. Only their infighting over the fate of the Jump Mail has stalled their plots. Despite their known evil, the Nieva serfs are always quick to defend their current mistress; it is said she has an almost musical bent compared to her forefathers. Thus she is known as the Piper, daughter to the Wailer, who was in turn the son of the Screamer.
🥁 Dasher Drummond
Appearance and Standard: Opalescent armor, the color of a gasoline spill, shines like a rainbow whenever Drummond is under direct sunlight. Their house sigil is a drum.
Personality: Dasherâ€™s armor isnâ€™t just shiny, itâ€™s also very loud. The Opalescent Jump Mail is the only one that grants disadvantage on Stealth checks. Tired of not being heard over their armor, Dasher has resigned themselves to silence. Beyond that, little is known, save that they are among the fairest and most dependable of the Jump Knights.
If you like Austin’s work you can check out his adventures Doom Desert in the Decanter of Delirium, Moon Elves’ Masquerade, The Divisible Man, and Long Bear Valley. Also, you can look out for his upcoming 5e adventures Privatized Little Hell and Memento Bombyx Mori. If your taste runs astray of the 5e field we will be releasing a Troika adventure by Austin soon.