If Knights of the Vale has gained a Trait that is not printed on the card, characters with that trait are eligible targets as well. Knights of the Vale is always an eligible target for its own ability too.
You can choose an opponent’s defending character if you wish.
A quantity cannot be reduced so that it functions with a value below zero. If your initiative value is a negative number, it will be treated as 0 and the chosen character will get +4 STR.