Authors note, This will be a mix of canon and non canon.
Written by Courtney (Cortez).
On a quite street in the city-state of Nuln, there is a book store called Baak’s Books and scrolls Emporium.
“Welcome friends to Baak’s books and scrolls Emporium, I am of course Liebert Baak at your service!”
“So you’ve come to buy some literature about the Knightly orders have ya.. well I’m sorry to say I’ve not got any books on that topic…now now don’t look so crestfallen, maybe I can still be useful to ya, you see in my youth I was a bit of a scholar and I took a bit of interest in the orders myself so maybe I can help expand you mind.
“So were to start.. well I should probably explain what a knight is. You see a knight is a nobleman not like your usual sort of backstabbing money grabbers, no a knight is man of courage who for various reasons has decided to fight for mankind as part of a brotherhood of other knights we call a Knightly order. Armed typically with lances, shields and best Dwarven made full plate money can buy, they thunder down the battlefield on mighty warhorses, crashing in to the enemy’s of man like a hammer smashing into an apple! Each order is commanded by a Grandmaster who I can safely say are some of the finest commanders and warriors in the empire.
“Knightly orders are considered independent organizations, not part of the imperial army structure, as such the orders Grandmaster will have final say on whether the knights right to battle, there are tales of foolish nobles offending a Grandmaster and then having there call for aid go unanswered, I should note however that there are not many Grandmasters who would not think twice about refusing a call to arms from the Emperor, no order wishes to feel the wrath of a Emperor scorned”
“There are two distinct types of Knightly Order within the Empire, the Secular orders and the Templar orders. A Secular order is one created with a set goal or ideal in mind and may not have a specific allegiance to a deity or ruler. For example the grand order of the Reiksguard knights were created and sworn to the protection of the Reikland Imperial bloodline and by extension Reikland itself while the Knights Panther were created with the goal of eradicating mutants and Heretical Cults in the Empire.
“Templar Orders on the other hand swear allegiance to their gods. Made up of the fanatical worshipers of their chosen deity, these holy warriors will fight and die in the defense of their faith. They usually have close ties with there Gods temple as well, The Ulric worshiping white wolves for example play a key role in there faiths structure.
“Each order only recruits males of noble blood, although there are exceptions to this. The White Wolves for example favour martial ability, devotion to Ulric and a pure Teutogen bloodline rather than ones position on the social ladder. Each order will have there own requirements for entry and only those who meet them will spend a number of years squiring to a knight before going through an initiation and becoming a full Brother.
“The Knightly orders will have a main base of operations in an area called a chapter house. The order will normally use one of these as a headquarters but there are a few that have fortresses in the wild, Other chapter houses not under the Grandmaster’s direct command are called Preceptory’s which will be run by a Preceptor who would have supreme control of his brethren and only answers to the Grandmaster himself.
Regardless of where they are situated the orders property will be heavily fortified. This is mainly because the orders tend to be extremely wealthy and their have been past incidents of riots trying to break in and.. well share the wealth as it were.
“I do want to stress that point with you, regardless of whether they are in a rich city like our beautiful Nuln or a backwater like Stirland, the orders will not be short on gold and their knights will be equipped with the best weapons and armour. This is just a side effect of having a lot of nobles together, between “donations” some receive from family’s of new recruits or other nobles trying to gain some favour with the order, you will not see a knight with second rate equipment”.
Lastly let me give you brief overview of the ranks in a typical Order:
Grand Master: In charge of the entire order.
Preceptor: In charge of the order’s various Precptory’s across the empire.
Seneschal: The Seneschal was the right-hand man for the Grand Master,he will administer the Orders headquarters, Order Sergeants and any surrounding land the order holds, he handled the movement of the men, the pack trains, the food procurement, and other issues of moving an army.
Marshal: The Marshal was in charge of all arms, as well as all horses. He was very much a military man, and a Master would usually consult with him, as well as the Seneschal before making any final decisions on tactics.
Under-Marshal: The first officer under the Marshal, the Under-Marshal was in charge of the lesser equipment, bridles, padding for saddles, barrels of water, and other supply problems. He held a very important position in battle because he held the piebald banner, a flag at the head of all, to keep stragglers together.
Knight-Captain: A rank held by a knight who commanded a regiment of knights.
Confanonier:The Confanonier was in charge of the Squires. He was their paymaster, their disciplinarian, and the man who checked over their very important work of keeping the knights’ horses and weapons in good order.
Squires : Knights in training, in peace the squires would train with the Confanonier, while at war they would be assigned a knight and would assist the knight in any way possible, from polishing his weapons to feeding his horses
Low class ranks
Treasurer: In charge of the orders money
Sergeant: In charge of the lower class guards the order employ to protect the headquarters when the knights are away. Larger orders may have more than one.
Draper: The Draper was in charge of all the clothing and bed linen of everyone in the Order. He/she also had the power to oversee everyone of every rank, and to chastise them if their clothing was not proper for their position, or if anything decorated it
Lay Servants: From masons to blacksmiths, these men and women are the unsung heroes who keep the order and its knights running.
Right im done for today…don’t moan I was not put on this world so I could spend all my time giving history lessons to complete strangers. Next time we will start looking at specific orders, and where best to start if not one of the most famous of them all, The Reiksguard!.
“Oh and don’t come empty handed next time, there’s a bakery at the other end of the street that sell lovely pork pies….”