The Knightly Orders Divine

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Infragris
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The Knightly Orders Divine

Post by Infragris » Sun Jul 26, 2015 4:20 pm

This book provides some general information about the Knightly Orders that protect the Imperial Cult.

EDIT: the knightly order stuff needs some rethinking. Let's keep this in the back for now.
Arno Vanitius' Complete Guide to the Knightly Orders Divine
Cyrodiil, being the capital of the known world since days uncountable to man, is by its very nature a place of high nobility and great aristocratic tradition. As should be clear to any true man or woman of the blood, the very foundation of such nobility lies in the saintly gathering and speaking of oaths in common purpose - in other words, in the institution of Knighthood.

From its humble beginnings on the western seaboard, the tradition of chivalry has taken root in every quarter of Tamriel, and has been greatly enhanced still be concepts of Nordic and Redguard honor. There is no other institution as steeped in the cultures of Man than this, the endeavor of heroes and saints. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Cyrodiil, where knightly orders great and small dedicate themselves daily to quests and deeds of glory and piety.

As the office of knighthood naturally demands a great investment of piety, it should come as no surprise that many knights choose to dedicate themselves to matters religious. These Orders serve the Nine Divines, and by far outnumber their secular counterparts, both in number and in kind. Membership of these Orders is naturally bound to membership of their respective Divine Temple.

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The Knightly Order of the Hour is dedicated to the promise of stability and permanence, as embodied by the Covenant between Saint Alessia and the Divine Akatosh. They are dedicated to the cause of the Principal Temple of Akatosh, and serve directly within the Chantry in Kvatch. Each position in this most select brotherhood is imbued with ceremonial tasks and obligations of the highest importance, as decreed by Akatosh in his countless incarnations. As such, the merest hint of negligence from any knight would be met instantly with Divine punishment, for Akatosh does tolerates disobedience nor incompetence. The impeccable record of this Order should instill within us all a sense of deep respect for these august defenders of the Chantry.

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The Knightly Order of the Circle are the defenders of the Law and the Will of Arkay, the promise of safe passage. Theirs is a mournful lot, for they fight day and night, in sun or shade, to defeat the myriads of undead abominations that haunt the land. Always in mortal peril, the Knights of the Circle fears not the certainty or of death, drinking deep from the cup of fate. The Circle freely allows brigands and murderers to take oath, as for many penitents death in service to Arkay is a last chance at virtue before they pass on to the perilous path of the Spheres. Many consider these knights dead already, and avert their eyes when their silent companies pass by.

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The Knightly Order of the Lily is the dedicated fighting arm of Dibella. Beautiful in word and deed, these knights live only for the cheer and the joy of the fight, the beauty of a sword's arc and an arrow's flight. Though some criticize them for their vanity, their apparently aimless blood-lust and hedonism, it should be noted that these are the very qualities make them supreme in the eyes of Dibella. Their beautiful and perfect equipment and unpredictable fighting style make them feared opponents, indeed.

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The knights of Julianos are known as the Knights-Mentor. This most exclusive brotherhood of warrior-scholars is known both for their vast knowledge of the arts of war and magic, as for their elusive and hidden nature. A Knight-Mentor is not swayed by words or coin, but only by the higher calling of knowledge to pass on his secrets and techniques. Secret indeed, the path they tread, for the Knights Mentor have ever been observed to wander the land, seeking forgotten scrolls and exploring hidden libraries - for what purpose, none can tell.

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The Crusader-Knights proclaim Stendarr's call to men of power, to wield the sword in name of compassion and charity. Theirs is the task to defend the priests of mercy as they walk the evil places of the world, ever extending the invitation of Stendarr, the cup of peace. For these servants are ever preyed upon by the evil and the wicked, who see only weakness when given pity. For though the Crusader-Knights espouse a message of peace, they are merciless and swift when provoked.

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The Forester-Knights are often maligned for their simple life and lack of civility - for these knights roam far and wide, treading the unknown paths of the wilderness in search of those creatures of the night as are abominations in the eyes of Kynareth. These rangers protect the sacred places, the hidden grove, the ancient tree and the mystic spring, blessed by Divine presence. Be ever grateful for the work of the Forester-Knights, for without their presence the roads would be overrun by beasts wild and strange, and the dread jungle would be unchecked and overrun us.

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The Knightly Order of Iron is without doubt the most powerful of the chivalric orders, rivaling the lesser Legions in power and numbers. By the will of Zenithar these knights patrol the roads and escort the trade caravans, ensuring the safe passage of goods and commerce on the byways of tribulation. While some may throw offense at the feet of these noble captains, calling them money-hounds and questioning the necessity of their military greatness, these are once again the very qualities that their patron Divine most desires: for his servants to be industrious, and numerous.

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The Knightly Order of the Red Templars is the youngest of the Orders Religious, founded shortly after Emperor Tiber Septim's apotheosis by his successor, Emperor Pelagius I. Dedicated to will of Talos, these noble knights erected their great Blood Dome Temples on every place where the blood of Tiber Septim was spilled on the ground in combat. Through deep contemplation of these wellheads of Divine matter, the Red Templars are able to speak as Emperor Tiber Septim once did, a force they apply in their many holy quests and obligations. Wherever a Red Templars is seen, one can be sure that the power of Talos will be exerted fully in service of Order and Law.

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Lastly, the Harvester-knights are, or were, the martial arm of the Order of Mara. They sought to bring about the Peace that all followers of Mara desire through the application of military force - a contradiction which they proclaimed a Sacred Mystery in and of itself. Though noble of intent, it was judged that this exegesis of the Convention of Peace was in error. As such, the Order of the Harvester-Knights is presently disbanded, and all those who continue to call themselves such are to be considered in heretics.
Last edited by Infragris on Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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roerich
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Re: The Knightly Orders Divine

Post by roerich » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:40 am

I could see some of these making an appearance in Skyrim as well, particularly an Iron-Knight or two protecting mercantile interests and trade routes going through the Reach, maybe having a minor shrine in Falkreath. Perhaps Red Templars occasionally perform pilgrimages to the ruins of Old Hrol'dan? If so, the recent Reachmen settlement of the ruins could pose some trouble with that. Forester-Knights naturally seems very Nordic, but I think we'll have plenty of characters and factions to fill that role in our setting.

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Infragris
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Re: The Knightly Orders Divine

Post by Infragris » Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:07 pm

The Red Templars should definitely make pilgrimages to Old Hrol'dan, and I can see them starting trouble with the Reachmen. Sicne the Red Templar armor is already present in vanilla Morrowind, they don''t even require custom assets (save maybe a Red Dome Temple or something). Here's what MK writes about them:
The Red Dome Templars were psycho-crusaders who drank the blood of Talos to get short-term martial shouting powers. The rest of the Army hated them (and much of the Elder Council wanted them dispersed), which is mainly why they were shoved off to places like Morrowind.
The Forester-Knights fill the ranger niche for Cyrodiil, which otherwise does not have that kind of faction. They could show up in Skyrim, but the Nordic interpretation of Kyne is very different from Kynareth, so I doubt they'd be widespread. The Knights of Iron could go wherever Imperial trade goes, which is everywhere.

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Re: The Knightly Orders Divine

Post by Saint_Jiub » Thu Jul 30, 2015 6:00 am

Plenty of nice ideas and it's well written as always, but I don't totally love this one, to be honest. It feels a little too on-the-nose that High Rock's culture, which most closely parallels Western Europe in the gameworld, would be that pervasive, since that's basically how real-world history panned out. High Rock is kind of a backwater, aside from Direnni Tower, there's not much reason for their norms/mannerisms to gain any widespread traction versus the Nords, Raga, or Imperials who were all at one point empire builders- if anything, their multitudes of knightly orders and temples should be an effort to make themselves more like the Cyrodiils than the other way around.

As far as names go I would rather they all follow the "Knightly Order of the xxxx" or "xxxx-Knights" naming convention rather than having a mixture. And the Red Templars feel out of place compared to the others.

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Infragris
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Re: The Knightly Orders Divine

Post by Infragris » Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:31 pm

The part about High Rock is just a throwaway line - it's not something I came up with, but is mentioned somewhere in lore that Reman inspired himself on Breton examples for some of his stuff. But I share your concerns about eurocentrism, I'll change it.


The naming convention is based on the Templar Orders from Daggerfall, which are even more eclectic. Personally, I rather like the idea that different order have different kinds of names, as it implies that they don't all have the same origins or identity. Plus it makes it easier for player to distinguish between them. But I'm not particularly attached to these names: if anybody can work out a solid naming scheme, I'm up for changing it.

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Re: The Knightly Orders Divine

Post by TerrifyingDaedricFoe » Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:16 am

I think we need to decide to what extent the nobility have monopolised the institution of knighthood. The in-game description of the knight class in Morrowind says:
Of noble birth, or distinguished in battle or tourney, knights are civilized warriors, schooled in letters and courtesy, governed by the codes of chivalry. In addition to the arts of war, knights study the lore of healing and enchantment.
The "or distinguished" suggests that those who display the right skills and temperament can become knights, and the description of the Order of the Circle states that any old scum can become a knight. Perhaps different orders have different rules, which is a source of great friction whenever a highborn knight from one order comes into contact with a lowborn knight of another.

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Infragris
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Re: The Knightly Orders Divine

Post by Infragris » Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:46 pm

Almost all Imperial institutions should be somewhat meritocratic in nature, partly because it fits the Empire's functionalist and bureaucratic nature, and partly because it makes it more acceptable for the (no-name, no-history) player to ascend the ranks to top position.

The nobility used to have the monopoly on knighthood, but the ways of different orders, as well as the Administrative Court's habit of selling titles for easy money (parallels with the French Revolutions), have hollowed out not only the institution of knighthood but the very concept of Imperial nobility itself. This is a sore point for the Colo-Nordic rulers. It should be noted that the upper ranks of the Legions are also automatically elevated to knights (of the Garland/Dragon), further diminishing the prestige of a noble title. Noble tasks are increasingly usurper by Imperial Prefects, whose loyalty is to the Courts and Elder Council before the Emperor, unlike the older orders. There should generally be a lot of knights lurking around without clear titles or actual claims to land - indicative of the decay of the Imperial nobility superstructure.

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