The Reformed Chivalric Circles of Renatus
“IN NOMINE DEI”
Issued and confirmed by His Imperial Majesty, Godfrey III of the House of Horen, 14th of Horen’s Calling, 1720
In recognition of the failure of the Chivalric Reconstruction Act of 1708 to create a well-organized and efficient knightly system within the Empire, and with the absence of both honor as a national and personal dictate, it has been found in the best interest of the crown to reform the knightly systems once more.
II. Knightly Structure
Within this overarching system, each knight of Renatus shall find themselves beholden to both the Order in which they are sworn to the Imperial Crown and the vows they take upon gaining their spurs, along with any of the numerous leal and able vassals of the realm. As one of the few administrators of the system, there will be the Knight Paramount of Renatus, chosen by The Grand Knight from among the ranks of the Red Dragon, to disavow himself of the famed tabard of the Order and then on dictate and oversee the actions of all knights of the realm.
Current Grand Knight
Ser Rodrik ‘the Bloody’ Kortrevich
Current Knight Paramount
Ser William ‘the Bastard Dragon’ Jrent
Each Order is granted the right and privilege of declaring from among its peers its Ordermaster, who shall answer only to the Crown and the Grand Knight, in addition with the Knight Paramount who has the ability to approve to the Crown able squires and men and women of famed feats to knighting ceremonies, may decide upon their Order’s changing of tabards and colors, and are given the righteous duty of maintaining control over the knights within their chapter.
The Order of the Red Dragon’s Ordermaster is additionally the Grand Knight, the greatest warrior in the realm and sole controller of the Order of the Red Dragon. He is granted a seat upon the Privy Council, from which he ably offers the Emperor advice gathered from dozens, if not hundreds, of battles.
The Knights of Renatus can be coalesced into one greater, overarching hierarchy in terms of status and ability. They are listed below;
Knight Paramount of Renatus
Knight of the Realm
The Imperial Order of the Red Dragon
THE MISSION OF THE IMPERIAL ORDER
Following the anarchic descent of past knightly groups into misrule and dispute the Imperial Crown has seen fit to order the reformation of the Imperial Order. The group is to serve as not an all encompassing force of chivalrous warriors, but instead a collection of the Empire’s most elite Knights. They have a single purpose - the protection and maintenance of Imperial power.
Knights of the Red Dragon are mandated to protect the lives of the Imperial house and Horenic line, whilst also acting as the vanguard of wider military efforts. They are to be at the front of every military action and represent the bravest, most skilled and experienced of knights, while answering only to the Emperor himself and, established beneath him, the Ordermaster.
DEGREES OF KNIGHTHOOD
1. DRAGON KNIGHT
The ‘Dragon Knights’ stand at the pinnacle of the Order, and of all knights of the Realm. The finest warriors of the Empire, renowned across the entire world, they are embodiments of all the values which the Red Dragon represents: power and dominance over challengers, obedience to the Emperor, courage in the face of certain death, unbridled military might. They are selected only from the proven members of the Red Knights whose bravery and courage have shown through by legendary feat.
2. RED KNIGHT
The majority of the Order consists of Red Knights. While to many these are considered the average knights, merely normal compared to the paragons of virtue who stand above them, they are anything but. Each Knight has undertaken a lifetime of preparation for their role, proving themselves totally as devoted to the Empire and capable of bearing arms in its name. Red Knights have responsibility for many things - upholding their code, guarding the Empire and its Imperial family, maintaining peace amongst the realm, leading soldiers, and aiding the Emperor in conducting his duty.
Red Knights are selected only from the Sworn Knights of the Order of Pertinax serving those of Ducal rank and above, and who has taken a squire and raised them through to the rank of Knight themselves, thus creating a knightly lineage that the codes of chivalry shall continue to shine upon the masses.
LISTS OF CURRENT KNIGHTS
Ser Rodrik ‘the Bloody’ Kortrevich
Ser Gregor ‘the Mastiff’ Thorne
Ser Carlovac ‘the Inventor’ Kovachev
Ser Darius ‘the Butcher’ Ault
Ser Rozmeo ‘the Steadfast’ Kastrovat
Ser Uthred Gromach
Ser Geron of Helena
Ser Theobald d’Anpalais
Ser Jon Ballard
THE CODE OF THE RED DRAGON
The Imperial Order of the Red Dragon rests its values upon its ancient Code of Chivalry, revised over two centuries ago by Ser Maric II Varodyr. It is appended here:
A knight shall live by honour, for glory, and guard the honour of fellow knights.
Honour The Creator and maintain His Church.
Keep the faith and act in righteousness.
He shall serve his liege lord valorously and with conviction.
Persevere to the end in any quest begun and never turn his back upon a foe.
A Knight shall not give wanton offense and shall despise pecuniary reward.
Give succour to widows and orphans and regard the honor of women.
He shall offer that which is not needed, to those who are needy.
And safeguard the helpless and uphold the weak.
A knight shall respect those in authority but fight for the welfare of all.
Abstain from Injustice, cruelty and deceit.
He shall be vigilant and show courage, even in the face of evil.
Resolve not with swords what can be with words.
And at all times speak the truth, even if faced with death.
In his blood the creator’s will shall be written.
The Order of Pertinax
The Mission of the Pertinax Order
Knights of the Pertinax Order are tasked with the defense of Renatus’ noble class, whilst also operating as a provisionary grounds for those aspiring to achieve greater heights. The Order also serves as a tool to establish relationships between aspiring Knights and their prospective liege lords. The Order is comprised of those deemed worthy of beginning the harsh road to glory in service of the Empire. It, like all orders within the Imperium Renatum, is headed by an Ordermaster.
DEGREES OF KNIGHTHOOD
The Ordermaster is tasked with acting as the leader within the Order in addition the recruitment of prospective knights and squires within the Order. They are expected to uphold the ideals of the Chivalric Circles and ensure that all knights within the order do so as well. The Ordermaster also maintains the ledgers of their respective Order, ensuring that positions of knighthood are held only by those who have earned them. The Ordermaster answers only to the Grand Knight as well as the Crown.
2. SWORN KNIGHTS
Sworn Knights are those able Knights that have sworn themselves to lords within the realm, thus proving their loyalty to the Imperial cause through more than just personal gain. They are regarded most highly among the Sers of the Order of Pertinax, and will find their own prestige rise in correlation to that of their sworn liege. It is at this rank that Knights cannot be removed from their title, as a reward for their leal service to the nobility of the Empire.
3. KNIGHTS OF THE REALM
Knights of the Realm are Knights Errant who have earned their Spurs of Knighthood, and are as such granted the ability to hold lands as gentry, though ignoble. It is at this rank they are also granted the ability to be called ‘Ser’. Henceforth, Knights of the Realm are obligated to defend their fief, the lands and the honor of the Imperium Septimus. Alternatively, upon the Knight’s choice, a Knight of the Realm may seek out service elsewhere in the Imperium under that of a Landed Noble with a hereditary title and often times hold administrative tasks within that Lord’s holding, becoming a Sworn Knight. Should no land be available for a Knight of the Realm within the Greater Empire, it is the duty of a Knight of the Realm to expand the Borders of the Empire and plant their banners upon contested territories. A Knight of the Realm shall be made to undergo a quest to keep their post and station within the ranks of the gentry and Knights of Renatus should they be found overly negligent or incapable.
4. KNIGHTS ERRANT
Knights Errant are the sons of Noblemen who seek to prove themselves honorable in Quests or Battle as a means to earn the coveted Spurs of Knighthood, which would promote them to the Second Degree of Knighthood. Knights Errant are often times inexperienced, and thus they seek to learn and progress through action rather than study. Additionally, Knights Errant do not actively serve a lord, even when directly related, as they are preoccupied with achieving personal glory rather than hereditary tasks. A Knight Errant needs to be approved by the Ordermaster to be created.
PATH TO KNIGHTHOOD
When a page reaches the age of Fourteen, he is elevated to the role of Squire following confirmation by the Grand Knight. Squires retain the important tasks of their past and adopt new, combat related ones, such as maintaining arms and armour, protecting the knight, and even fighting in formation. Older squires are given important duties to be carried out, and will eventually embark on their Errant quest, as prescribed by their local liege or Grand Knight, to showcase their knowledge of Knightly Custom and Virtue with the goal of eventually becoming a Knight of the Realm.
The path to Imperial Knighthood begins as the lowly page. Noble boys between the ages of seven and fourteen are inspected and chosen by Knights seeking squires. Pages attend to menial tasks, such as cleaning, messaging and otherwise serving their knight. In return, they receive an education from their knight in the form of basic combat training and courtly manners.
Should one enlist within a levy force or military order yet not hail from noble lineage, the acquirement of Knighthood remains plausible. It is the will of His Imperial Majesty that the finest of Humanity are to be Knighted and serving within the Imperium, for often times men of low birth showcase more prowess and devotion to mankind than that of gentry or lords. As such, should one be found worthy of Errantry, His Imperial Majesty shall issue an Imperial Writ, officiating the knighthood if a lowborn individual.
THE KNIGHTLY CODE OF CHIVALRY
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall be loyal to the Emperor both in thought and in practice.
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall live by honour and for glory.
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall guard the honour of fellow Knights and the safety of the weak.
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall at all times keep the faith.
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall serve his liege lord valorously and with conviction.
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall persevere to the end in any quest begun.
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall never turn their back upon a foe.
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall refrain from the wanton giving of offense.
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall never leave an insult left unanswered.
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall never refuse the challenge of a duel from an equal or superior.
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall respect those placed in authority.
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall abstain from deceit and treason.
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall never draw his blade upon a fellow Knight in unlawful combat.
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall be vigilant and show courage in the face of evil.
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall at all times speak truly.
THE PRIVILEGES OF KNIGHTHOOD
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall receive the privilege to don the title of Ser.
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall receive the privilege to display one’s own sigil.
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall receive the privilege to be armed amongst the Emperor’s Court.
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall receive the privilege to govern lands in the name of the Emperor.
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall receive the privilege to levy taxes upon their fiefdom.
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall receive the privilege of providing counsel to the the Emperor.
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall receive the privilege of the right to trial by combat.
☩ A Knight of the Empire shall receive the privilege of being buried within the Helena Catacombs.
CENSUS OF IMPERIAL KNIGHTS
Ser Antun ‘the Young’ Kastrovat
Knights of the Realm:
Ser Aldis ‘the Decurion’ Chase
Dame Evie Aveline
Ser Valentin Castelo
Ser Roland Castelo
Ser Conan Vallberg af Mórr
The Rule of Pius
Authored by Ser Pius Horen, the Hellstrider, 19th of the Sun's Smile, 1679.
I. On the Conduct of Imperial Knights
Knights of the Imperium Renatum are expected to act as the Emperor’s personal enforcers when called upon. As such, Imperial Knights are DEPUTIZED unless blackmarked. Deputization ensures that all Knights of the Imperium Renatum hold the right to act as Judge, Jury and even Executioner when upholding the Emperor’s Peace, though will find themselves beholden to criminal charges should the Lord Justiciar find such actions unwarranted.
Knights of the Imperium Renatum are expected to know how to address their peers, clergymen and local liege lords. Additionally, Imperial Knights are expected to act with honour, in tandem with the Chivalric Code, in any and all given circumstances.
Knights of the Imperium Renatum are expected to be in good fitness and health and ensure that their mental state is not impaired whilst in the Public Domain. As such, Imperial Knights are expected to refrain from becoming publicly intoxicated upon liquors, Uruk herbs or hallucinogens.
II. On the Dress of Imperial Knights
Knights of the Imperium Renatum, by decree of his Imperial Majesty, are to remain armed and armored at all times whilst within the Public Domain. In tandem, Imperial Knights are afforded the right to don the colors and sigil of their House or Liege. To wear anything less is a sign of disgrace to the Emperor.
Knights of the Imperium Septimus, whilst in armor, are expected to upkeep their spurs as to ensure that they remain in good quality. Imperial Knights shall refrain from wearing pointed sabatons, shoes and shoelaces as they indicate pagan tradition and beliefs. Additionally, whilst in battle, Imperial Knights are expected to equip helmets at all times as to ensure that one's pride does not result in premature death. Should a Knight be without an adequate suit of plate due to damage, it shall be provisioned unto him by the Grand Knight until it can be repaired.
Knights of the Imperium Septimus, if physical labor is to be completed, shall not remove their armor in favor of wearing flexible materials; rather, Imperial Knights shall persevere and adapt to the constrictions of their armor. Should a Knight be so physically impaired as to conduct labor, they shall utilize partisans to complete it for them.
III. On the Elderly, Ill and Infirm Knights
Knights of the Imperium Septimus who are above the age of Seventy shall be considered Elderly. Elderly Knights shall be afforded the option of continued servitude or retirement. Elderly Knights shall retain their titles even into retirement, as well as the benefits that the Order provisions unto them.
Knights of the Imperium Septimus who are afflicted by viral pathogen or affliction shall be considered Ill. Ill Knights shall immediately be given leave ordered to remain within relative quarantine. Pathogens that result in illness are contagious and may threaten the lives of a Knight’s peer, and more importantly, the life of the Emperor. An Ill Knight shall remain in relative quarantine until deemed able and healthy by an Imperial Physician.
Knights of the Imperium Septimus who are physically unable to conduct their Knightly duties shall be considered Infirm. Infirm Knights, if permanently physically impaired as a result of combat, shall be permitted the option of retirement. In the case of the loss of limb, an infirm Knight is expected to acquire prosthetics and persevere through their disability. Infirm Knights, who are deemed infirm as a result of personal choice (laziness, stupidity, etcetera.), shall be blackmarked.
IV. On the Blackmarking of Knights
Knights of the Imperium Septimus are expected to act respectfully and within the Guidelines of the Order of the Red Dragon. However, time to time, some Imperial Knights will ignore such regulations put in place to keep them in the grace of GOD and his Empire. Therefor, misconduct is a bad omen to one’s peers and becomes a disastrous precedent to be left unchecked. Hence, the implementation of Blackmarking.
Knights of the Imperium Septimus who have been blackmarked have been found committing a grievance beyond repair in the eyes of the Emperor and Grand Knight, the latter of whom suggests the punishment. Blackmarked Imperial Knights are stripped of their Imperial regalia and forced to undertake a Quest of Restitution in the grace of the Empire. Such actions may only be undertaken ONCE in a lifetime.
Knights of the Imperium Renatum who been blackmarked and completed their quest of restitution, only to be blackmarked once more, are to be stripped of their Knighthood via the “Chopping of the Spurs”, condemned, and banished from Imperial service. Their name will be made public, and his presence in vassal states, while a stain on their good reputation, is only barely tolerable. If said grievances are terrible enough, the former Knight may be banished from the Imperium entirely, or even executed.
IN NOMINE DEI
HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY, Godfrey III of the House of Horen, Emperor of the Imperium Renatum, King of Renatus, Marna, Mardon, Salvus, Seventis, Savoy, Courland, Santegia, and Kaz’Ulrah, Duke of the Crownlands, Adria, Avar, and Frederica, Count of Helena, Alamar, Frederica, Thesmer, Thelen, Lorath, and Cantal, Baron of Darkwood, Gravelhold, Fidei Defensor, Protector of the Heartlanders, Highlanders, Farfolk, etcetera