Knighthood and Chivalry
The ideas of chivalry where first brought to Ghillodahn by Dalecarlians sailing from the Western Reach during the second cycle. While the native peoples of Ghillodahn had fierce senses of honor and duty, the foreign knighthood was different in that it was slightly more refined. There are a handful of knightly orders that knights can appeal to join in Ghillodahn today, but all share the same principles. Chief among these are courage, courtesy, honor and great gallantry toward poor folk. Both men and women can become knights. They are honored by their achievement with the honorific "Sur". To be knighted, a man or woman who is a knight must recognize a spectacular feat committed in either war or peace by a worthy individual. The knight will cross his sword over the recipient's shoulders and beseech them to hold faith, courage, and honor above all other qualities, as well as to protect the weak and poor. The knight will strike the recipient with the flat of their blade or hand. This is to be the last blow the newly made knight can accept without retribution. If a cleric or bishop of Pelor is available, they will anoint the newly made knight with holy oils. Knights can either gain lands of their own in service to a lord or lady, or swear themselves as a household knight to a noble house. In both cases, the knight will bequeath services and soldiers to his or her banner lord. Alternatively, a knight can join a knightly order, or wander as a mercenary and adventurer. Joining a knightly order is not generally a popular option, while it allows for great prestige, knights of an order typically have less autonomy and rarely obtain land.
Knights of the Dragon Wall
Illion and the Crown
The Knights of the Dragon Wall are a consecrated order of spell swords and mage blades sworn to the Grand Magister, the minister of Ghillodan. They are based in Illion, the capital of the continent of Ghillodahn. The Knights of the Dragon Wall take similar vows as the southern Black Bird Banders or the western Chevalie with slightly less religious emphasis. Although they are sworn swords of the Grand Magister, they have been known to cling more to their vows to honor than their duty to the Magister.
Role and Reputation
The Knights of the Dragon Wall were imperative in the suppressing of the Hustalen rebellion in the 73rd year of the third cycle. They are a small but powerful portion of the Illioner fighting force. They have acted as brigade commanders while being supported by Gryphonic Knights of Sterich and the famous Great Swords of Buckland. As a knightly order, the organization is not sworn to a particular house. Their prime directive is to support the Golden Throne of Illion. Even so, many Knights of the Dragon Wall have mixed feelings about participating in the Grand Magister Lathandre's pursuit to put down Lady Micah Essen's rebellion.
The Gryphonic Knights of Sterich
The tradition of gryphon riding was ironically first witnessed put into play by the Hustalens during the first cycle. Many northern Hustalen folk had an affinity for and took care of Grpyhons in the forests and cliffs of Sterich. During the War of the Eye, many Hustalen Gryphon Riders fought against Tharizdun's armies in The Stone Islands. During the Dalecarlian Conquest of the second cycle, many Hustalen gryphon riders turned traitor in order to protect their gryphons and joined the invading Dalecarlian armies. The Hustalens attempted to demonstrate to the Dalecarlians empathy for the beasts. However, most Dalecarlian knights did their best to dominate the winged creatures. In years to come, the Dalecarlians would outfit the Gryphons in plate and barding, and take lances with them into the air, the result was a terrifying weapon of war.
Role and Reputation
As with any knightly order, joining means that a knight must forsake all lands and holdings in their name for the sake of serving their organization. Add to this that Third Cycle Ghillioners lack the magical luck the psst Dalecarlians possessed that allowed them to tame gryphons, it becomes easy to see why so few knights belong to this order. The few that do name themselves a member of this order, are extraordinarily determined, foolhardy, and prideful.
The Knights of the Long March
The Knights of the Long March were an order born during the Husto-Dalecarlian War in the 18th year of the second cycle. The order was formed after the victory on the belts, when Lord Marshal Hrimbold lead a contingent of heavy cavalry across the belt barrier islands in the south. The force of knights marched across thin ice to take the Hustalens by surprise. The order is based in Taer, the city from which the Knights of the Long March first went on campaign.
Role and Reputation
The Knights of the Long March carry a large number of spell swords within their ranks. Many are knights trained purely in martial skills. The Knights of the Long March are well known for possessing the epitome of chivalry. The men and women who choose to join this order are often prideful and honorable to the point of folly.
The Black Bird Band
The Black Bird Band arose as a knightly order in the 78th year of the third cycle when Sur Tempus Thealavandron was named Lord Protector of Kairihen. The Black Bird Banders are composed almost purely of knights, ladies, and lordlings of the Kairihenan protectorate. Some have taken the Raven Queen as a deity alongside Pelor. They have proven themselves unparalleled in the use of the lance on many occasions, including during the Siege of Shwarzenbruin.
Role and Reputation
The Black Bird Banders have become a popular force in the southwest portion of Ghillodahn. They have contributed to many victories achieved by Tempus Thealavandron against rebels and outlaws. Not only that, the holy magic many possess make them indispensable in turning back the undead hordes of drowned men, summoned by the inhabitants of Kharkoli.
Rickard Susseunex of House Sussenex in Kairihen sent his overly ambitious second son, Byron Sussuenex, north to foster in Illion in order to protect his eldest son's inheritance. After fostering as a squire and eventually being knighted by Daveth Essen, he returned and removed his older brother from the line of succession in a knightly duel. After becoming a lord, Byron Susseunex's cunning and prowess soon gained the attention of Lord Tempus Thealavandron of house Thealavandron, the richest lord of the south. Lord Thealavandron commissioned Lord Byron to hunt and destroy the outlaws Cain Racar, Horace Suttecliffe, and their Blades Paramount organization.