The crusader class is not held in as quite the high esteem around Evercrest as those among them would like to believe; in fact, it is that very belief that serves to devalue their class as a whole. The arrogant, cocky attitude their students often portray is entirely at odds with the attitude of a true crusader. The crusader population has been aptly stereotyped as the classic jock, favoring brawn over brains and overflowing with confidence. Needless to say, this behavior is utterly unacceptable and an unfair representation of their class; they would rather earn their accolades than assume they deserve praise simply for existing. Ideally, crusaders choose to dedicate their lives to bettering those of the community. They aim to always be ready and willing to lend a helping hand, whether the task be big or small.
Crusaders take pride in thier ability to handle any situation without the use of magic. They are purely focused on physical work, and training is an intense part of their regimen. Many crusaders tend to be human, although all non-magical species are welcome to join their ranks. As a rule, all crusaders are adept at using any and all melee weapons, especially heavier ones such as the longsword, and it is not unusual for a crusader to take up training in longer ranged weapons as well. One main focus of their five weekly training sessions is weaponry; it is inexcusable for a crusader to lack weapon knowledge. Many crusaders often find themselves serving in the military after their time at Evercrest, having been exceptionally trained and wanting to continue in the service of others. It's their job to protect anyone and everyone - a bit of a crusader mantra.
Aside from pure brute strength, the very best of the crusaders have a certain knack for strategy, possessing the ability to treat real confrontations as a game of chess. To the strategists among them, every move is carefully calculated, only taking the necessary steps to assure victory and defend Alluum. These crusaders are far above average, and tend to find themselves in much higher regard. One who shows both brains and brawn is far more likely to receive a high-risk mission as opposed to, say, cleaning the entire crusader tower.
Crusaders may not be the most fashion savvy class, but they don't go anywhere without at least a minimal defense. Every student, mentor, and even the class head share a single common attribute: arm braces. Made of a tough leather, the braces extend from the wrist to the elbow, effectively providing the option for a quick block should any fists or blades come at you. With plenty of padding, they generate quite a bit of heat as well, giving the more narcissistic crusaders a chance to show off their well-chiseled arms; there's no need for long sleeves except for in extremely cold weather, and even so, that wouldn't stop some of them.
Other than a class-wide identifier, the brace serves as protection. The braces become extremely roughed up during training sessions, and tend to feature quite a few scratches and missing chunks once you've become a seasoned crusader. In a way, this turns the braces into a bit of a status symbol; it seems to have translated into "the more scuffed up a brace is, the harder the brace's owner trains" by some of the crusader students. Aside from the brace, nothing else is required of students to signify their position as a crusader. However, being that the two crusader colors are red and brown, some of the more passionate crusaders intertwine these colors with their clothing.
This color scheme is also seen in the crusader tower, located near the front of Evercrest. With courtyards nearby to be used as training pavilions, the location is perfect. With a history of being unkempt, once Baldwin became the class head, cleaning became a well-used punishment. Now, the courtyards as well as the tower tend to be kept nearly pristine. Inside of the tower, the furnishings and tapestries are various shades of the class colors, making use of blue and white where the decorators saw fit. Currently, everyone has their own rooms; should the class become overcrowded, however, these rooms are large enough to allow for roommates. All crusaders are encouraged to decorate their room as they please.
The crusader class was founded in 1570 DE, being reworked from an old class that hadn't worked out as planned. The reason for this was that the old class – name now long forgotten, often referred to as the "knights" – was extremely without honor; the members were crude, and went into the world believing that they could do as they pleased because they were stronger than the average citizen. Realizing this could become a problem, Evercrest discontinued the class for twelve years and then reformed it as the crusaders – similar in purpose, but students were taught to protect the citizens at all cost rather than harass them.
Since then, the crusaders have stayed away from any applicants who seem as if they may turn into bullies and looked for more honorable traits instead: courage, ambition, trustworthiness, modesty, and charitableness for starters. Mainly, it became the goal of the class head to rid the class of the bigot stereotype clinging to it with thanks to past Evercrest alumni – egotistical students with no real claim to fame were to become a thing of the past.
One of the most notable things in the history of the crusaders are their dragons – also, perhaps, the only notable thing. Crusaders were not always linked with the dragon they are today; instead, they were once linked with the same dragons that the "knight" class had been linked to. However, in 2702 DE, on a cold morning, all crusaders woke up to find their dragons mysteriously dead or vanished. This was a tragic time for the class, and soon after, the class was almost entirely discontinued – however, it was at this point that the class head decided something had to be done, and though he was feeling his own sadness, he approached the sorcerers and asked for their help with summoning one of the other dragon species, one that was not in use by any riders, possibly a bit smaller in population. The sorcerers agreed, and a whisper dragon was summoned, which the crusader head quickly made an agreement with. The mystery of the old dragons stayed unsolved, and after a while, everyone forgot about them. The whispers have stood strongly aside crusaders ever since.