Chivalric order

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There are many chivalric orders in the Realms. They are started by kings, church officers, famous lords or even lowly knights themselves. Many orders have come and gone but some have been around for a long time and is gathering influence all on their own (though usually within a specific kingdom or religion).

Background

Mounted soldiers have always held a special status in wars and as they got better equipment looking more like an "armoured knight", their privileges also increased. Some hundreds of years ago, the armoured soldiers that were not of noble birth themselves often received accolades and a title, though minor, as "Knight". Prior to this it had been known for excellent soldiers to be granted titles and land, but rarely. This was a more common occurance and became part of the greater feudal system as the minor lord now was in charge of a freehold or a few villenholds. The tradition of Knights has evolved further with a middle-step between Knight and Baronet known as Peer Knight (or "Hereditary Knight").

As mounted soldiers were several steps above other soldiers, they fraternised mostly amongst themselves and their lords. Lords didn't see them as equals, but perhaps at least as gentry, and definitely as brothers in arms. From this type of milieu the first orders were started; often by a fighting lord or king himself or by some Knight that had recieved some level of reputation himself.

From these fraternities the concept of chivalry was created and though nobles were expected to behave in a certain way, the knights were like a step between them and regular people. In many ways the Knights put higher demands on themselves than their lords and the codes of chivalry grew. Over time they also homogenised quite a bit between different orders and Knights were in many ways looked up to by the people more than non-combative nobles (especially from tourneys and other events made to entertain).

Shortly after some of the first orders working for a king or lord was started there were religious orders started by pious knights dedicating their lives to the Church of Rahn. Orders for the Orthodox Church and the True Faith (as it developed more closely to the modern version) were also started, not all with the permission of respective church.

One common denominator was that historical and heraldic enthusiasts took careful note of all the rapid changes and all the details were added to the Family Register. In the first instance, this wasn't essential but it has later come to underpin the intellectual power of influence from the Register in modern times.

Some orders allow membership in others but some are exclusive. Many orders allow at least a "member" status of a religious order as well as their lordly or royal order. Truly "international" orders don't exist other than as mercenary bands of disgraced knights, but also these are often mixed with "rabble". One exception to this is the Wall of Steel and Muscle, which started as a mercenary band that over time was very successful and slowly geared up its members in better armour until there was no essential difference between them and Knights. Their reputation increased further and they claimed sovereign non-territorial Principality of statehood of their Westwatch fort-like estate and simply named themselves Knights of the Steel Wall and made distinction between soldiers and Knights. This was allowed by Wyny partly because it actually raised their profile as combat specialists.


Chivalry

What binds these orders together is a sense of service to a higher purpose: Chivalry. Generally Rahn is invoked in one way or another, but other mythical powers can be as well, or just the spirit of struggle (usually armed struggle, or self-discipline). I the cases of an order praising a spirit other than Rahn, they usually keep that to themselves and activities behind very guarded closed doors. However, in some ways, chivalry itself can be seen as an "entity" worth dedicating one's life to and many orders only do lip service to Rahn and mostly leaves religion out of it. The 100 Rules of Chivalry is a sort of bible for Knights and a common idea is that a Knight-to-be need to be able to recite the most important Seven Vows in order to be dubbed.

People believe the 100 Rules of Chivalry is a universal set of rules, but they vary to some degree between orders and are not always 100 rules at all. Though its contents has been slightly harmonised, there are some differences that can be fairly major between certain orders, especially religious versus purely military orders. Even the "Seven Vows" are not the same in all orders (though the choice to have vows and for there to be 7 of them has become fairly universal).

The general theme of the rules are to focus on merits, skills and behaviour - gallantry. There is a greater focus on this within the religious orders. Military and religious orders can sometimes have a bit of an issue between one another because of this. The reason military orders may hold less importance to the rules is also obviously influenced by the fact that military orders do literally spend more time in armed conflict.

While not all Knights are Lords, all Lords are supposed to be Knights. In some cases Lords are leaders of orders or members. Their place among chivalric orders are generally pretty safe, unless they grossly misbehave and then their very titles are at risk. Noble titles come with a lot of privilege though, so the chance of this happening is quite slim. Lords may not be more likely to slip out of being chivalrous or following the 100 Rules of Chivalry, but it is definitely more notable. When a lord no longer needs to fight and feels personal goals are of greater importance than literally donning steel clothes to fight, the priority of the 100 rules also become more of a romantic notion than ideals to live by as they grow i power and becomes more disillusioned about the world and how it works. Commoners can feel the attitude of this and this is the reason why individual Knights often become a lot more popular than lords themselves (there are of course a host of reasons for this).


Types of Orders

Each kingdom has Orders. Some knightly orders are unbound by country (unpopular) but many are bound per country, county or province. All knights are from some sort of order. Some orders allow multiple memberships, others not.


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Notes

sovereign non-territorial Principality of statehood with a Prince Grand Master

Knights Templar regarded positions of nobility as solemn obligations, carrying a profound responsibility for representing and upholding the traditions, values and missions of the related historical institutions. Templars considered nobility – like knighthood itself – to be another form of a working system for organized service to humanity.

http://www.knightstemplarorder.org/templar-nobility/

Chivalry itself was essentially opposed to feudalism. The Code of Chivalry of 1066 AD commanded to “perform… thy feudal duties, [only] if they be not contrary to the laws of God.”

“the love of Justice which constitutes its duties”


The 100 rules of Chivalry

“govern Justly” and “take your rights” only as “specifically established” by law

“no person shall be elevated” and the strong must “give thanks to God” for it and care for the weak (Rule 34), and that “God holds both the strong and the weak equal” (Rule 38). [2]




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Each kingdom has Orders. Some knightly orders are unbound by country (unpopular) but many are bound per country, county or province. All knights are from some sort of order. Some orders allow multiple memberships, others not.

there is a sigil used on brooch and/or ring (or earrings in some cases)

orders of chivalry

armoured soldier is not the same as knight


gallantry

Vestments and accoutrements

collars

star

badge

medal

pin


accolade

dub

vigil


The process of becoming a knight generally included these stages:

   Page — A child started training at about the age of seven or eight, learning obedience, manners, and other skills.[5]
   Squire — At twelve to fourteen the young man would observe and help other knights. Occupying a position comparable to an apprenticeship), he managed equipment and weapons such as arrows. He learned the use of weapons while hunting with the knights.[5] He went into recruit training to learn how to become a military fighter. At age 21, if judged worthy, he was bestowed the accolade of knighthood.[5]
   Knight — A special kind of trained soldier, often cavalry, serving a lord (nobleman or royalty). Knights had particular status in feudal society.[5]


knights get a shield, but not necessarily unique or what they want, unless they show gallantry in combat (or in other ways help the local lord) and receive hereditary knighthood (peer knight)

A knight is expected to receive a small estate, at least a house and some land.

a peer knight normally at least doubles his land ownership to another house or a slightly bigger farm, or 3-4 small one-family settlements (or a 3-4-family settlement)


patent of nobility - adelsbrev


in a Letters Patent. - sent by letter


Accordingly, the automatic passing of a hereditary title to heirs and successors is merely a traditional presumption that offspring of the younger generation have been raised, educated and trained by the elders, and thus have absorbed and follow the meritorious principles of royalty and nobility.


Grand Master


Letters patent (always in the plural) are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch, president, or other head of state, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation. Letters patent can be used for the creation of corporations or government offices, or for the granting of city status or a coat of arms.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letters_patent