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KNIGHTS: The Knight has a privileged place in society of the Realm. They are tasked with most police and military tasks and are granted benefits in return.

To Become a Knight: a character must be a 2nd level or higher fighter, and have possession of a suit of plate armor, shield, helmet, sword, lance, and a heavy warhorse and 2 medium or light horses (with tack and saddles), and have engaged a squire. He presents himself at a lord, baron, duke, prince or the king’s court on April 1, August 1, or December 1 at the festival held on those dates. He then undergoes a trial of arms (to prove 2nd level fighter status) and must swear an oath of loyalty to the Law and to the Realm. Then he is dubbed knight and has its privileges. The sons of Lords, Barons, Dukes or Princes are automatically knighted on their 21st birthday, regardless of their class and level.

Since the equipage for a knight runs about 600gp, it can be difficult to afford to become a knight. Some lords with front the equipment to good prospects to serve as Household Knights for a fixed term of years. Other knights achieve their gear from their families or their own efforts and wander freely as Knights Errant. The goal of most knights is to be granted a knightly manor in exchange for military service as a Knight Vassal.

Benefits of Knighthood:

  1. Arms: A knight may wear armor and carry a sword wherever he goes in the Realm. No town ordinance or lord’s decree can hinder him in this regard.
  2. Immunity: A knight cannot be arrested or judged by a non-knight, only by the hands of a fellow knight or a nobleman.
  3. Trial by Combat: An accused knight can refuse trial by jury of his fellow knights in exchange for trial by combat with his accuser or the accuser’s champion.
  4. Honor: A knight who is struck or insulted has the legal right to a duel to get satisfaction from his equals and may inflict disproportionate retribution on lower-order men who have so besmirched his honor.
  5. Command: Only knights can raise or command bodies of soldiers within the Realm (thus merchant caravans and temples eagerly seek knights-errant to command their guards).
  6. Joust: Only knights may joust at tournaments, which can be a source of great fame and wealth.

Obligations of Knighthood

  1. Service: If a Duke, Prince or the King issues the “Call to Arms” all knights within the lands in question are required to muster at the army’s gathering place. Knights of the Household and Knights-Vassal may be required to fight for free as part of their service, but Knights-Errant would have to be paid.
  2. Loyalty: A knight cannot serve against the Realm or will be forever marked as a traitor and stripped of his knighthood—and likely tried and executed.
  3. Lawman: A knight is obligated to stop crimes in progress or suffer fines or other punishments based on the severity.
  4. Oath: If a knight swears the “Sword Oath” on the pommel of his sword, he risks losing his knighthood if he lies or breaks the oath.

Degrees of Knighthood

  • A Knight Errant is a free-roaming knight with no lord who must earn his own income
  • A Knight of the Household receives 25gp per level per month and is employed full time by a nobleman.
  • A Knight-Vassal receives a house of some sort and at least a square mile of land, with its peasant tenants in exchange for 2 months of military service per year to his lord without pay.

Symbols of Knighthood: • When dubbed, a knight is equipped with a Knight’s Belt (5gp), a distinctive heavy leather belt with attachments for scabbards for sword and dagger, knights are expected to wear their belt in almost every occasion. • Gold spurs: when mounted, knights are expected to wear gilded (10gp) or solid gold (75gp) spurs as a symbol of knightly status. Squires wear silvered spurs (3gp).

Squires • Each knight requires a personal attendant called a squire. He is either a knight-in-training or a loyal retainer who is either a level-1 fighter or normal man. • The squire counts as one of the knight’s henchmen (followers). • The knight must supply the squire with a horse and saddle, suit of armor (of any type), some weaponry (typically a mace and dagger) and a pair of silver spurs (3gp). • The squire serves until he reaches 2nd level at which time he will either be knighted or leave service to quest for the wherewithal to gain knighthood. If he is knighted due to his knight’s efforts/gifts he will often stay in service as a Household Knight.

knights_and_knighthood.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/28 08:32 by dave