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Crusaders dominate battlefields through sheer purpose. The support of the heavenly Light and the sanctity of their quest lend Wrath to a crusader’s punishing attacks.
As crusaders prepare for combat, their Wrath simmers, increasing slowly but steadily. When they cut down their foes, it boils over. A crusader overfull with Wrath is a dangerous adversary indeed: blessed with iron skin; swathed in scourging flames; blasting foes apart with bolts of radiant light, and springing back to life after defeat.
Resourceful crusaders find means beyond dispatching enemies to fuel their Wrath. Their many skills allow them to recover spent resources through blocking attacks, suffering serious injuries, or when they’re encircled by snarling demons.
Crusaders are unbending champions of faith and law. These living fortresses use impenetrable plate and towering shields to wade through scores of foes, leaving demonic bodies smoldering in their wake.
The thick of battle is unforgiving, but crusaders rush in without hesitation, relying on holy magic and heavy armor to guarantee victory. Well-trained crusaders are adept at deflecting attacks entirely, often shrugging off massive blows that would fell lesser combatants. If pressed, they can sacrifice speed and mobility for pure staying power.
Bone-crunching flails and wicked shields are perfect for melee, but crusaders are hardly limited to extinguishing evil at close range. When one of these divinely empowered warriors joins battle, blazing fire and blinding light follow, smiting entire packs of enemies who dare to resist judgment.
The leaders of the harmonious Zakarum religion once strove to imprison Mephisto, Lord of Hatred, beneath Travincal temple, preventing him from ever twisting the hearts of humanity again.
It was not the first time Zakarum had lapsed; 200 years prior, the cleric Akkhan noticed corruption at the heart of his faith, and sent his acolytes on a far-ranging quest to cleanse it. Akkhan’s “crusaders” were young recruits, chosen for honor and goodness, trained in weaponry and flesh-scouring magics, though their most important quality was unwavering devotion to duty.
Today, the crusaders’ focused quest for purity has broadened. Flimsy “containment” gives evil many opportunities to thrive, and wandering crusaders – often master and apprentice pairs – regularly strike down Sanctuary’s demons. Some fight out of righteousness; others in the hopes that their victories may make corrupt Zakarum whole again. When a crusader's master dies, their student takes up their weapons and their identity…and the crusade continues, even beyond death.
To brandish a Crusader’s unique shield requires extraordinary training, as they’re used for far more than simple protection. Crusaders hew about with their shields, flinging them like javelins or bashing their opponents into a daze. Crusaders are also taught to swing cruel flails, spiked steel weights suspended on heavy chains. Veteran crusaders learn to grip a giant two-handed weapon in one mailed fist or swing a one-handed weapon with incredible speed.