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Origins The Errant Knight’s Code is an interpretation of the informal code of conduct associated with the tradition of Knighthood which has long been a staple of human (specifically Canonist) martial culture. Over the centuries, many ‘Knight’s Codes’ have been written, all of which vary greatly on the matter of emphasis, but most, unsurprisingly, uphold loyalty to nation or Emperor before all other things, in some shameful cases, even putting secular loyalty above that to the Canonist Faith. Knights were first and foremost enforcers of their Kings and Emperors, and lesser landholders as a result, such was the standard they were, and in many places, still are held to this day. During the Harvest Revolution and the violent overthrow of the Orenian Kingdom, most landholders sided, unsurprisingly with the Royalists, as such, few knights, and most of whom were destitute and desperate sided with the commonfolk. One of them being the future Tar-Númenatâr Foronathor of Númendil, at the time, a humble hedgeknight by the name of Ser Uther. In the aftermath of the Revolution, Ser Uther was charged with maintaining the peace within the wartorn Heartlands, which had barely recovered from the Brother’s War before being bled anew during the peasant’s revolt. To do this, Ser Uther put out an open call to all who would answer, offering in part wealth and honor, but chiefly a worthy cause to those who sought it. Penitence for one’s previous failings proved a popular notion in the aftermath of two bloody civil wars, and soon, Ser Uther had rallied a cadre of destitute knights, repentant highwaymen, and dispossessed mercenaries seeking redemption. Many of them he knighted himself, under the logic that, in the absence of a King, a Knight can make a Knight, should he deem one worthy. And though the Harvest Confederacy would inevitably fall, the spirit of that Brotherhood endured as Ser Uther and his tribe of Harrenites, the predecessors to the Númenedain, came to conquer the Barrowlands, and later found the Kingdom of Númendil- Where Knighthood is earned through worthy deeds of great valor, and those who wear the honor wear it with piety, rather than serving as thugs for their monarch. THE CHIVALRIC CODE As laid out by Ser Uther ‘the Pendraic’ of Acre Written 88 SA. In memoriam of Ser Rolvald Thassion I Thou shalt maintain His Church and live piously. II Thou shalt constitute thyself the defender of All Canondom, regardless of rite, and shall never take up arms against the Church. III Thou shalt constitute thyself the defender of the innocent, the weak, and defenseless, to act else-wise is to dishonor the very concept of Knighthood. IV Thou shalt refrain from acts of wanton cruelty, to act else-wise is to dishonor the very concept of Knighthood. V Thou shalt give succor to widows, orphans and the dispossessed. VI Thou shalt not recoil before thine enemy, and shall act always with valor, even if it leads to thy death. VII Thou shalt make war upon the apostate and the servants of Iblees without cessation, and thou shalt never leave the call to crusade unanswered. VIII Thou shalt guard the honor of thy fellow knights, and in turn act virtuously as not to bring dishonor to them. IX Thou shalt perform scrupulously thy feudal duties, if they be not contrary to the laws of God. X Thou shalt always remain forthright and honest, and will be true to thy word, even if it leads to thy death. XI Thou shalt refrain from giving wanton offense. XII Thou shalt always respect and defend the honor of women. XIII Thou shalt persevere to end in any enterprise begun. XIV Thou shalt never refuse a challenge from an equal, and shall always respect the rite of single combat. XV Thou shalt be generous, and give largesse to everyone. XVI Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil. Númenedain Knighthood Due to their origins in the knightly warband of Ser Uther, the Númenedain place a strong reverence on the institution, even beyond their usual adherence to absolute feudalism. The phrase A Knight is a Knight wherever he may be describes their attitude towards the profession. Titles and peerages do not carry half as much weight among the Númenedain as martial prowess and piety, in this regard, even the lowliest hedgeknight might be held in higher regard than even the mightiest king, based on how true they remain to the chivalric ideal. ‘False knights’ ie, those granted the honorific title for political reasons alone, and those lacking martial skill or moral fiber, are viewed more akin to bandits than true knights, and the Númenedain disparage those who grant them such false ‘honors’. According to the laws of the Númenedain, any Knight who deems another worthy can name someone a knight through a basic ceremony in which the recipient is asked to swear to adhere to each clause of the code one at a time, after which, the following is recited. [ Grantor] “Do you, [name] of [name], swear to uphold all these tenants, on pain of exile should ye fail?” [Recipient] “I swear it.” [ Grantor] “Do you swear never to falter, to aid the foe willingly or unwillingly, knowingly or unknowingly, on pain of death should ye fail?” [Recipient] “I swear it.” [ Grantor] “Do you swear to be an example and mentor to your children and your taken squires, so they might carry on your legacy once ye fall?” [Recipient] “I swear it.” [ Grantor] "Then by the Cross, the Flame, and the Radiant Star, I charge you all this and more- To uphold all duties required of you by your station, and to act honorably, now and always." [ Grantor] "Arise Ser [Name] of [Name]- Knight of the Realm." [Both] “So mote it be.” Traditionally, if one is also being named a Knight with vested authority, they will be declared ‘Knight of the Realm and of [kingdom name], and the Knighting ceremony will be followed immediately with a pledge of fealty. A knight may also oftentimes be landed, but this is not always the case, for Knighthood in its own right comes with associated honors and privileges, as well as the duties as laid out in the chivalric code. These rights include being permitted to fly their own banners beneath that of their served Lord, them and their household being permitted to wear their own colors into battle, and being awarded favored treatment in the eyes of the king’s law, which they are also permitted to enforce should they be pledged, and not a simple errant Hedgeknight. Knights are expected and trained to fight primarily as heavy shock-cavalry, but are required to be capable to serve in any role (though in the case of landed knights, lowly positions such as manning siege-equipment or performing menial labor is often seen as beneath them, unless commanded by greater authority.) Uniquely among the Númenedain however, is a duty unlike any other, called The Last Rite of Kings. The Last Rite of Kings is a clause which dictates that, should the reigning monarch of Númendil be willingly or unwillingly brought under the sway of the Forces of Darkness, it is not only expected, but commanded of all Knights of the Kingdom to either bring said monarch back into the light, or, failing that, raise their banners in rebellion and overthrow them in favor of the heir, or should succession be muddied, the High Steward. In the case where both the High Steward and the Heir are unavailable, regency is to be assumed by the eldest knight in service to the Kingdom. This is perhaps the only case among the Mannish Kingdoms in which regicide is not only permitted, but outright commanded per the founding principles of the Kingdom. Malchediael and the Númenedain Among the Númenedain, along with the Canonist God and his Saints, reverence will also at times be placed upon the Aengul of Courage, Malchediael, known by most by his Canonist name, Archangel Michael. Even those without the patronage of the Archangel, his Templars, have come to favor the Warrior-Angel, and call to him in battle as one might call upon the intercession of the saints. However, the Archangel is never venerated above or in place of the Creator. As well as the Aengul of Courage, Michael is oftentimes attributed to be the Archangel of War specifically, and depictions of him or his four-pointed radiant star can be found everywhere in Númendil. Notably, the Royal House of Arthalionath adopted the Radiant Star of Malchediael into their sigil after the destruction of Barrowton during the Dagor Almariad.