The Kinshra, often referred to as the Black Knights, are a Zamorakian military order based primarily in and around northern Asgarnia, founded in the early Fifth Age. The Kinshra were official defenders of the Kingdom of Asgarnia for roughly 155 years, although their presence within the nation was and continues to be a constant point of political tension. The group is currently led by Lord Daquarius Rennard, a former resident of Falador.
The Kinshra order helped the nomadic King Raddallin to establish Asgarnia in year 8 of the Fifth Age. However, this decision placed them in close proximity with the White Knights, with whom they had a long-standing rivalry that had at times been violent. Although the two officially remained allies even as Asgarnia became one of Gielinor's largest human nations, their rivalry continued to grow. The two fought for more than a century to gain the upper hand in the nation's government, resulting in constant power shifts and political upheaval. In 162, the White Knights seized political supremacy in Asgarnia, resulting in the Kinshra's banishment from the kingdom a year later. The two have since been open enemies, and are currently engaged in a complex and many-faceted war.
The group now resides primarily in the Black Knights' Fortress on Ice Mountain, as well as in Taverley Dungeon. In addition to being militarily powerful, the Kinshra are also an extremely politically active organisation and have had many allies and affiliates throughout their existence. The group is currently associated with multiple other organisations, most of which are Zamorakian in attitude. These include the Renegade Knights, ZMI, Dark Warriors, and Dagon'hai. They are also allies of the Mahjarrat Lucien.
Pre-Asgarnia and the Fourth Age
The Kinshra was founded as an all-Zamorakian order and likely supported by wealthy merchants, bankers, and businessmen that had earned fortunes and gained political power in those human nations that existed at the time. Given that both Asgarnia and Kandarin did not officially exist during the late Fourth Age, the majority of the founders probably came from Misthalin.
Although the Kinshra have evidently existed since the late Fourth Age, details regarding their pre-Asgarnian history and structure remain vague. The exact date of their founding remains unknown, although given the intensity of their rivalry with the White Knights by the beginning of the Fifth Age, they had presumably existed long enough to be well-established.
By the Fifth Age, the Kinshra had developed a strong rivalry with the Saradominist White Knights, an offshoot of the Temple Knight order. The Temple Knights, an ancient order that had existed since the Third Age, gave considerable support to White Knights. This put the Kinshra at a distinct disadvantage.
The Founding of Asgarnia
In the early Fifth Age, a tribal leader known as Raddallin entered what is now Asgarnia with a large number of civilian followers. Although the region already possessed several small settlements, most, with the exception of Port Lina, were relatively small and reclusive. Raddallin evidently hoped to expand humanity's control over the area. However, to do this, he needed a military.
Raddallin found support in the White Knight and Kinshra orders. Despite the groups' extremely differing views and intense rivalry, they both came to the understanding that they could benefit by supporting Raddallin's movement. The two agreed to support him, although they attempted to avoid involvement with each other whenever possible. Under the Kinshra and White Knights' military power, many of the region's native races were forced to migrate. Goblins, giants, hobgoblins, and dwarves were amongst those moved out of the area, some diplomatically and others through open combat. Despite their successes, however, the orders' rivalry only grew.
By the Year 8, Asgarnia had been officially established as a nation. Falador, a small community near the region's modern centre, was made the nation's capital and the home of both the Kinshra and White Knights. The White Knights' Castle was built over the course of several years, and the city's borders were fortified with stone walls. Under the protection and political ability of the Kinshra and White Knights, the city rapidly grew, and by the mid-Fifth Age had become as politically important as Kandarin, Misthalin, and Crandor. The Kinshra, as a result, became extremely wealthy and influential in both Asgarnia and internationally.
Struggle for Supremacy
As Asgarnia grew, so did the Kinshra and their influence. The Kinshra, from the founding of Asgarnia, were extremely powerful within its government, and their interests were reflected in many of the nation's actions. However, as King Vallance, the descendent of King Raddallin, became old and fell ill during his rule, the White Knights used the situation to their advantage in order to gain political supremacy in Asgarnia. At some point, King Vallance became unable to rule in public, and the White Knights came to govern in his place. The Kinshra's political power was taken from them soon after, and they were declared to no longer have power and authority in the kingdom. This situation forced the Kinshra out of Falador and into an open war against Falador and the White Knights, of which one of the greatest conflicts was the Siege of Falador in the War of 164. The Kinshra now are plotting in their fortress on Ice Mountain, and they have made an attempt to conquer Falador using an Invincibility potion (though this is thwarted in the quest Black Knights' Fortress) and smuggled pests from the Void (which led to an investigation by the Temple Knights and the Void Knights). There is little else known about their operations, however, the number of Black Knights seem to vastly outnumber the White Knights, and their range of influence stretches further as well.
Battle of Lumbridge
During the Battle of Lumbridge, the Kinshra Order served as Zamorak's footsoldiers and suffered heavy casualties. Never before seen Kinshra Battle-mages, Snipers and Footsoldiers fought against Saradomin's White Knights, while Elite Kinshra archers defended Zamorak's encampment.
Invasion of Falador
The Kinshra attacked Falador in the Sixth Age to search for the fabled sword and banner of King Raddallin. Daquarius, not wanting to see a repeat of the Siege of Falador, informed adventurers that there was potential political gain with the Raddallin artefacts. He also ordered the Kinshra to not harm innocents or plunder what was once their former home. After a long battle, the Kinshra retreated.
Heart of Gielinor
Daquarius sent many Kinshra soldiers to aid the Twin Furies in claiming control of the Heart for Zamorak.
- Lord Daquarius - Lord of the Kinshra as of Wintumber 164
- Captain Gilroy - Officer in Taverley
- Commander Colby - Officer in the Black Knights' Fortress
- Lieutenant York - Officer in the Black Knights' Fortress
- Lieutenant Graves - Officer in the Black Knights' Fortress
- Blacklock - A high-ranking Black Knight
- Evie Higgs - Former Black Knight sergeant who "deserted" to find her brother Jacob
- Lord Shadwell - Lord of the Kinshra until killed in 163
- Lord Milton - Lord of the Kinshra from 163 until killed in 164
- Lord Sulla - Lord of the Kinshra until Wintumber 164, killed in 165
- Captain Dulcin - Overseer of the Black Knights' Fortress, killed at the start of the Sixth Age
- Iban - Officer until killed in the Dawn Ascent, resurrected, then killed again in 169
- Sir Finistere - Kinshra spy within the White Knights; killed in 164
The Kinshra have several well-defended bases. The Black Knights' Fortress is located near Ice Mountain and is a small establishment. It, however, contains a basement which leads to a huge underground catacomb, which is the base of operations of Dark Squall and the Elite Dark Warriors. The Black Knights' Base, located deep in Taverley Dungeon is much larger and is also the home of the Lord of the Kinshra. It contains a passage to the storerooms, where security is maximum. Finally, the Kinshra own a small workshop near their Fortress, where slaves do menial work. It is also securely guarded.