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Author Topic: Submission: Primer: Knightly Codes and Honor, First Draft  (Read 2696 times)


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Submission: Primer: Knightly Codes and Honor, First Draft
« on: December 21, 2018, 03:29:23 pm »
Written by Maximus Valerius,
Intiate-Judge of the Court of Amaunator,
Sunlord in service to the Yellow God.


This is a primer intended to explain to the layman or to an aspiring squire what a knight is, what their purpose is, and the codes and edicts by which a knight lives by.  In every developed empire, there is always a warrior caste.  While the names often change, the purpose has always been the same: A well trained force, defined by the profession of war., and the courtesies and honor of the upper classes. 

On Knights

A knight is an elite warrior caste, usually defined by the use of cavalry, a chivalric code, and heavy weapons and armor training.  Most knights are trained from youth, and all serve a lord, or a monarch of higher station then themselves.  Knights may be sworn to a house, they may be of a religious order, or they may simply be a wandering knight-errant, seeking to prove themselves worthy of their station.  All knights are sworn to honorable conduct, and adhere to a code, sworn to their lord, deity, or order.  It is above all, a position of service. 

On Honor

Honor is an oft debated topic in warrior circles, and many of those not initiated into such practices barely seem to understand what it is.  Honor is, in simple terms, the cultivation of a reputation worthy of respect.  For a knight it is their pride, and their acknowledgement of that pride,and it's acknowledgement by their peers.  It is the means by which their excellence is recognized, the value of a person in their own eyes, and in that of their society. 

Thus, the exact definition of honor can vary from order to order, or culture to culture.  Thus, the codes.  A 'Code of Honor' is a set of standards that must be reached in order to receive respect from a group.  These codes outline how to obtain honor, and how it may be lost.  This is important to note:  Honor that cannot be lost is not honor.

Moreover, honor while often forcing one to rigid and high standards, is always considered the minimum requirement for acknowledgement of one's peers.  To not uphold one's honor is despicable, and cause for shame, and a sign of deficiency. 

It is agreed upon that there are generally two different ways that honor is displayed:

Honor is displayed horizontally, as respect between peers of equal standing.  An example being the courtesy two knights show each other upon meeting.  It is necessary by virtue of honor existing that it must be exclusive.  Not all may be honorable.  Only the best may be.  Equalism and Honor cannot exist.  Most groups displaying this shared form of honor are tight knit, and know each other face-to-face.  Honor is all or nothing. Either you have it, or you do not, and most knights would rather die then lose their honor, for it would result in their casting out by their peers. 

Honor is displayed vertically, such as the relationship between a knight and his lord, or between a knight and a commoner.  In displays of this sort, it is about praise and admiration for the ones above, and patronage towards those below them.  The praise of a lord is a much higher thing to receive then the praise of a commoner. 

The Knight's Code

While codes may vary, every warrior who takes up the mantle of knighthood has one.  Whether they be in the shining ranks of the paladins, the venerable servants of the High Houses, or a vile blackguard sworn to the lower planes.   While it can vary from Enclave to Enclave, or Order to Order, each knight will have a code of service that is rigorously upheld.   An example of a typical knightly code, similar to the one used by the Swords of the Lady, might be as follows:

1.  A knight shall defend the land, and her interests as the heart of his conviction.

2.  A knight shall always challenge those who attempt to defame the integrity of their sworn institution,
in honorable combat or otherwise

3.  A knight shall not refuse a challenge from an equal, and protect the honor of fellow knights,

4.  A knight shall refrain from acts of unnecessary or extreme violence unless defending their charges.

5.  A knight shall maintain a high moral standard, acting as the righteous bar for both noble and peasant

6.  A knight shall enforce all decrees brought by their liege, empire or charge.

7.  A knight shall never break an oath once given.

8.  A knight may yield, but they may not ask for quarter, or demand mercy. 

The Honor Duel is often used as a means of resolving disputes of honor between peers, it is a display of warrior prowess, for above all a knight must be a competent warrior.  Those who are greater in skill and more competent are those with the greater honor.  It is not uncommon for duels to be fought to the death in particular egregious circumstances.  Rules are usually set beforehand, and it is considered exceedingly dishonorable if these terms are fixed to a particular outcome, or to the particular advantage of one duelist over the other.  It is generally acknowledged that the one challenged may set the terms accordingly. 

Examples of the Rules of engagement in A Knight's Duel::

A duelist may not be assisted.
Vestments from the gods are permitted
Arcane enchantments from self or others are permitted
Should a duelist yield, the fight ends
It is proper to grant mercy to a yielding opponent

Duelists must agree to the nature of the duel: To the death, to the pain, etc.

Duelists must be separated by at least ten paces before beginning. 

A winner is declared when terms are met.

« Last Edit: December 23, 2018, 12:52:04 am by Dagonlives »


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Re: Submission: Primer: Knightly Codes and Honor, First Draft
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2019, 08:55:28 am »
I thank you for your Submission to the Valstiir Library.

I shall take time over a cup of tea to read this Knightly Code

Albert Pendragon, Master Librarian
Build it and they will come.