The Chronicles of Erdon
“The Accolade” (1901) – Edmund Blair Leighton
The Knights of Heironeous is the order of holy knights that compliments the monastic Order of Heironeous. The order is strictly military, except insofar as the paladins must carry out their noble and chivalrous duties to Heironeous. The order is recognized everywhere that good and lawful men can be found, and is especially appreciated where such peoples are threatened with violence and evil.
The Sons of Pelor is a rare and elite order of paladins who are specially called and blessed by Pelor. Only the best of his paladins and those who have proven themselves especially worthy and virtuous are admitted. This order is one of the few (if not the only) organizations that explicitly exists to further Pelor’s will in bringing light to the darkness. In dark times, this order sees much more action as the requisite purge is often more dire and widespread.
The Champions of Ehlonna is a small order of knights who have taken the maxims of chivalry to some of the highest, if unconventional standards seen. Most often paladins, these knights champion Ehlonna herself as other knights champion a mortal lady or damosel. It is said that such knights display an inordinate passion – both in and out of combat – and that they are visibly affected, as by some divine presence; that Ehlonna herself graces these knights. Many Champions are knights errant, but many can also be found acting as guardians of the forest. Those who do join this order however, are perhaps the most often derided, as their duties involve the (near-absurd) protection of trees and animals.
The Knights of the Stag is a rather strange order, even despite its reclusive, eclectic, almost non-existent state. Not many people have even heard of the order outside of Aschlaadt, or other rare places where the faithful meet the forest. Notable attributes of the order include a near-complete shun of metal gear, in preference for more natural materials, as well as a virtual lack of dues in the traditional sense. Of the knightly orders, this one has the highest percentage of rangers as members.
The Order of Thelon is always clearly identified by the horns of their helms – when they’re not confused with champions of the Barbarian Horde. The Thelonic Order holds the most influence in eastern Archlond, but their members may be found wherever men prosper. Unlike many orders, these knights are not bound by blood, land, or deity, or anything for that matter, save their independent drive for superior combat prowess through strength of their arms. In some ways they are the most noble of knights, keeping pure those ideals that have come to distinguish all who bear a device of arms.
The Knights Arcanum is a peculiar order whose knighthood is sometimes contested by other “true knights.” The quintessential members of this order begin their jousts standing afoot in naught but wizards’ robes, but quickly summon about themselves phantasmic gear and even horses upon which to joust. As such, entry is available only to those who demonstrate a certain level of magical talent. The costs are usually higher than a more ordinary wizard’s guild, but for those devoted to the martial application of magic, it’s hard to find more prestige than as a member of the Knights Arcanum; and prestige is not the least notable of benefits.
The Knights Draconis is an order of knights devoted to hunting down and slaying dragons, or at least evil ones, if there’s a distinction to be made. Of the knightly orders this one is perhaps the most ceremonial, as their focus is so narrow, their presence and resources scale directly with that of (known) dragons, and applicants must have already slain a dragon in single combat to gain admittance.
If all else fails, even a local church, church of origin, or a noble’s service can function as a suitable order for true knights. Knights (Paladins, Fighters, etc.) can usually expect better rewards than other warrior types, but their duties and services are also more often called upon, which really isn’t so bad according to some.