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 The Knighthood

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PostSubject: The Knighthood   Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:55 pm

Knights of Solamnia

The Knights of Solamnia were formed in 1775 PC by Vinas Solamnus, during the Age of Dreams. Solamnus was commander of the Ergoth army, and was sent to quelch a rebellion in north-eastern Ergoth. Solamnus found that the rebels had a just cause to rise up against the emperor, and soon joined them. The War of the Ice Tears began, as Solamnus and his army marched on Daltigoth, the center of the Ergoth empire. His army was victorious and the emperor sued for peace. The people chose Vinas as their king and named the region Solamnia, in honor of their new ruler. Solamnia became independent of Ergoth and Solamnus tried to justly rule his new lands. He consulted with advisors and then turned to the gods for aid. Paladine, chief god of good, and his sons Kiri-Jolith (god of just warfare) and Habbakuk (god of nature and of loyalty) answered his plea. They outlined the knighthood to Vinas and explained that he would need three orders that would represent the ideals of each of the three gods. Vinas then created the Solamnic Knights, based on the gods' model, and then formed the orders in their honor. He formed the Knights of the Crown to represent Habbakuk, the Knights of the Sword to represent Kiri-Jolith, and the Knights of the Rose to represent Paladine.

With the Cataclysm, the knights fell into disrepute, and were blamed for much of what occurred. The province of Nightlund was annexed from Solamnia, as the former knight Loren Soth was cursed to walk the world in a state of undeath. The knighthood steadily grew in strength during the Age of Despair, however until the War of the Lance, many still frowned upon them. It took the courage of a knight, Alexandra Corsandrus, to begin to turn the minds of the people about the vaunted knighthood.

Over the years, the knighthood has produced many of the most famous warriors to walk upon Krynn. Names such as Huma, Alexandra Corsandrus and the like, are revered by many. It has also had several renowned leaders. Tristan Nightbane, was the long running leader of the knights, and the first knight to hold the rank of Grandmaster in post-Cataclysmic times. His wife and successor, Anastasia Mercedes, rewrote much of the Oath and the Measure so that it was adaptable to more contemporary times. Anastasia Mercedes is currently the Grandmaster of the Knights of Solamnia.

The Knights are defined by two tenets: The Oath and the Measure. The Oath is: "Est Solarus oth Mithas" (My Honor is my life). The Measure is a complex set of laws in 37 volumes, that defines the meaning of honor. The volumes are the collected writings of Vinas Solamnus and his successors. Due to the rigidity of the Measure in the changing times, Grandmaster Tristan Nightbane, head of the Solamnic Knights, began revising the Measure. With Tristan's passing, his successor, Lady Anastasia Mercedes then completed the revision of the Measure in order to try and rebuild the honor of the knighthood, which was fast declining into a knighthood of lazy, dishonorable drunkards.

Crown Knights exemplify loyalty and obedience. All warriors who wish to enter the knighthood must first serve as Crown squires. Squires are trained in the virtues of loyalty and obedience. Once their training is completed then they can choose whether they wish to be a Crown Knight or to apply to be a Sword Knight. Before a warrior can become a squire they first must be presented to a council of Solamnic knights by a sponsor, who must be a respected knight. Once presented, the applicant must swear an oath to the honor of the knighthood. After this the applicant becomes a squire and begins their training.

Sword Knights exemplify heroism and courage. After completing squire duties in the Order of the Crown, a knight may choose to remain in that order or to enter the Order of the Sword. If a knight wishes to ultimately become a Rose Knight, then they first must become a Sword Knight. First the applicant must donate a magical item to the order. Then the Sword applicant must complete a quest that show great heroism or courage. The quest must be witnessed to be deemed successful. Upon completion of the quest, the knight must relate his deeds to a council of knights and is then welcomed as a Knight of the Sword.

Rose Knights exemplify honor, wisdom and justice. They are the epitome of all that is good and honorable in the knighthood. Originally to enter this order, knights had to prove they were from a royal family. When the Cataclysm destroyed most genealogical records (and everything else!), the knights changed the rule, so that any knight could enter this order if their deeds showed they were eligible. An applicant to this order is brought before a council of Rose Knights. During this meeting the applicant must relate their family history and their actions that exemplify the ideals of the knighthood. The council then holds a closed session where it discusses the applicant. If judged worthy then a knights must give three magical items to the order and is sent on a dangerous quest. Many applicants are slain due to the difficulty of these quests. Once a knight is successful and returns to the inform the council of their victory, they are immediately welcomed as a Knight of the Rose.

All Solamnic Knights first must begin their training as squires. Once the squire completes his training they are given the option to choose to either rise in the Crown ranks, or to apply to join the Sword Knights. Once they complete their basic training in the Sword Knights, they may either stay in those ranks, or apply to join the Rose Knights. All low-level knights must follow orders from senior level knights. All senior-level knights receive their instruction from their respective Lord Knights. The Lord Knights are the senior-most ranked knights in each order. The Lord Knights are led by the High Knight of each order. The Crown Knights are governed by the High Warrior. The Sword Knights are governed by the High Clerist, and the Rose Knights are led by the High Justice. The three High Knights rule the knighthood in the absence of a Grandmaster. However when a Grandmaster is elected, that person has supreme rulership over the entire knighthood.

The basic ranking for the Solamnic Knights is as follows:

Knights of the Crown

1. Squire of Crown
2. Defender of Crown *on reaching this rank, a knight may petition to become a Sword Knight
3. Knight of Crown
4. Scepter Knight
5. Shield Knight
6. Shield of Crown
7. Lord of Shields
8. Lord of Crown
9. Master Warrior
10. Lord Warrior
11. High Warrior (only 1 at any time)

Knights of the Sword

1. Novice of Swords *on reaching this rank, a knight may petition to become a Rose Knight
2. Knight of Swords
3. Blade Knight
4. Knight Clerist
5. Abbot of Swords
6. Elder of Swords
7. Master of Swords
8. Lord of Swords
9. Master Clerist
10. Lord Clerist
11. High Clerist (only 1 at any time)

Knights of the Rose

1. Novice of Roses
2. Knight of Tears
3. Knight of Mind
4. Knight of Heart
5. Knight of Roses
6. Keeper of Roses
7. Master of Roses
8. Archknight
9. Lord of Roses
10. Master of Justice
11. Lord of Justice
12. High Justice (only 1 at any time)

Circles

The knighthood has always been divided up into circles. These circles are in short, the local organised units of the knighthood. The Solamnics have circles in most regions of Ansalon, and in some parts that are not friendly to their cause, they have clandestine circles. The average Solamnic circle has between 40-80 members, but this is dependant on the area's population and local support. The circles are led by the most senior-ranked knight in the area. Open circles usually aid adventurers and protect the general populace. They are also large recruiters for the knighthood. Clandestine circles rarely recruit outsiders, and work on covert operations to subvert the evil forces at work.
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