- May 24, 2020
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KNIGHTS OF THE REALM
Issued on the 18th of the Season's Turn, 6AC
It is through the Grace of King Richard the First that I proclaim this most honourable formation of the Knights of the Realm. An order of nobility stemming from both the Holmish and Nornish tradition ennobling worthy folk in deeds of valour and honourable bearing. It is the nobility of character that allows any man or woman to rise through the social hierarchy of Westholm and not simply by status of birth. This Order of Knights encompasses all of the realm of Westholm, including it’s vassals allowing for all to be given the opportunity to become a member of the Gentry class if shown to prove themselves to their fellow citizenry and indeed to the King himself. For no good deed goes unseen or unheard by the King, nor by his Council.
CODE OF THE REALM
The Code of the Realm represents a list of expectations and codes of honour that all Knights are held to, though it is important to note that any Citizen or Noble may strive to follow the Code of the Realm. However, it is Knights who are held to this code by oath. To break this hallowed Code of the Realm is to turn your back on a sacred oath given before Gods and Men.
I. Guard the Realm from threats Within and Without.
II. To your utmost remain Truthful whether in Word or Action.
III. To live by Honour and for Glory.
IV. Obey your Liege and Serve them with Valour.
V. Hold your Faith.
VI. Protect the Weak and Defenceless.
VII. Never turn your back on your Enemy.
VIII. Never Refuse a Challenge from an Equal.
IX. Always Aid your fellows to the Best of your Abilities.
X. Fulfill your duties Lawfully.
The term Knights of the Realm encompasses every Knight within this most honourable order, but as with any organisation there is a hierarchy. This hierarchy is split simply into three different ranks. The Knight Paramount, a singular leading figure of the order, meant to be an exemplar of Knightly behaviour and bearing. The Knights of the Realm, split into four different Classifications as listed below. Lastly the Squires, Knights in training, sponsored by current Knights that strive to Earn their Spurs.
All knights that have completed their Squirehood are thereby given the title of ‘Sir’ in the case of Male and ‘Dame’ in the case of Female. Further all Knights are assigned as Senior Officers within the Army of the Lion. During their Squirehood they are tutored in the arts of war and the finer points of commanding Soldiers. Lastly, any member of the Order that retains the title of Knight may carry their own standard and coat of arms into battle beside that of the Royal Banner.
Knight Paramount - Senior of the Order, in charge of stewarding the Knights of the Realm and seeing out the commands given to them by the Crown. Further the Knight Paramount serves as a meantour to Squires and others that would be Knights. It is their job to maintain the standards of the Order and tutor all in following the Code of the Realm.
Knight of the Crown - A Knight that has been given the sacred and honoured role of guarding the Royal Household. Picked for their stalwart loyalty, further these Knights are tutored in all manner of Courtly Etiquette and diplomacy, as often they are used as envoys to other Nations and lands held by Vassals of the Realm.
Knight of the Land - A Knight that has been given land in return for their great services to the Realm along with permission to raise their own retinue and levies. Essentially becoming vassals of their own to the crown.
Knight of the Road - A Knight that seeks their fortune and fame upon the road, taking the path of the adventurer, questing and adhering to the Code whilst traversing Enarion, helping those in need whether it be settling disputes between Vassals or slaying vile monsters and uncovering the mysteries of the land.
Knight Retainer - A Knight that holds no land but instead serves the Realm in whatever capacity they may. Many of these Knights focus on the military aspects of the Order, though every knight is called upon to fight for the Crown in times of war often these Knights are the first and last lines of defence in any military engagement, whether hunting bandits or leading the charge.
Squire - A Squire is a Knight in training, they may be a son of the Gentry or Noble, they may be a vetran officer of the Army of the Lion, either are held to the same standards. Whether from high or low birth they must prove themselves worthy of Knighthood and ‘Earning their Spurs’. Their worth is proven through great deeds in battle or in other service to the Realm. These feats are recorded, as are the feats of all Knights of the Realm, and scored by a system of points. After the Squire attains a certain number of points, they are considered worthy of Knighthood. It is also during this time of Squirehood that these would-be Knights are tutored in the art of war by either their Sponsor or Directly by the Knight Paramount, whether this being swordcraft or commanding. Further they are taught the finer arts of Knightly behaviour, reading, writing as well as philosophy and the following of the Code of the Realm.
“Earning your Spurs” - A term given to the act that leads to a Squire proving their worth and becoming a Knight. A Knight can only be Knighted by Royal Decree, meaning, only the King or his Lawfully Appointed Chancellor can officially grant Knighthood to a citizen of Westholm. Where upon the Squire will be asked to make the Vow of Knighthood, and swear fealty to the King. Ceremonially they will then be given a set of golden spurs which are seen as the sign of their Knighthood.
CEREMONY OF KNIGHTHOOD
Upon the completion of a Squire’s tenure and tutelage they are brought before the King during a session of court, wherein they will be escorted by the Knight Paramount and their Sponsor. The aspiring Knight will wear no sword into the hall. They will be commanded by the King to Kneel before him. The King shall call for the Knight to swear an oath. As follows:
Do you ____ Squire of ____ and Aspiring Knight of the Realm swear fealty to Myself King ____ as your rightful Liege? (I Do)
To answer whenever called and to uphold the Honour of the Crown Whether upon the field of battle or in private? (I Do)
Do you swear to uphold to the utmost of your abilities the Code of the Realm, so that your Honour may be beyond question? (I Do)
Do you understand that by taking this oath, thrice confirmed that you have, in sight of Gods and Men sworn allegiance to the Kingdom of Westholm, and that to break this oath you shall be condemned to lose your titles, holding and life? (I Do)
After the swearing of the oath the King will draw his sword, tapping the Squires shoulders once before bestowing a Knighthood upon the Squire. Bidding him to stand and announcing the Knighthood to the Court. Further the knew Knight will be presented with a pair of Golden Spurs, the mark of Knighthood within the Realm.
BREAKING OF THE OATH
If under any circumstance a Knight is to break these oaths in any capacity, whether by dishonourable deed or by disobeying their Liege they will be given a fair and full trial before the King’s Council. Wherein they will be allowed to defend themselves and bring forward witnesses, if found guilty the Knight may well be stripped of their Knighthood, have their lands taken or even be executed. Severity of punishment is determined by the severity of the oath breaking. Often for infractions that are redeemable, but dishonourable (For example, breaking the Code of the Realm) A Knight will be suspended from their land holdings and income, further this Knight will be sent on a Quest, determined by the King and the Knight Paramount in order to redeem themselves, these Quests often are considered so dangerous that they end in the Knight’s demise. Such is the severity of breaking One's integrity as a Knight of the Realm.
BY LOYAL DECREE, ISSUED & SIGNED,
King Richard Luc de Retford, Lord of Norn,
Lord Arthur de Blackford, Knight Paramount of the Realm.