Order of the Raven
Clad with a raven black coat and gloves, a Knight of the Raven is steadfast in the face of marauding Spirits.The Order of the Raven is a Knightly Order devoted to protecting the world from malevolent Spirits marauding across the land. Based in Glenwich Castle of County Glenwich, the Order has claimed sovereignty over its own holdings and political neutrality since the breakup of the Kingdom of Aaltiera. Unlike many Knightly Orders, the Order of the Raven does not restrict itself to recruiting exclusively from the noble classes, instead accepting folks of strong character from all walks of life into its ranks.
- At the head of the Order is the Lord Protector, a hereditary title held by the ruling Lord of House Hraban.
- The Lord Marshal stands as an advisor to the Lord Protector and to the General Chapter and Staff, taking on the role of Regent in the absence of the Lord Protector.
- The General Chapter sits beneath the Lord Protector, a council comprised of the Chaptermasters of each individual local Chapterhouse, and the Master of Levies. Often the Chaptermasters are too busy commanding from their Chapterhouses to attend in person, so they send trusted delegates to speak and relay messages on their behalf.
- The General Staff sits parallel to the General Chapter, comprised of the heads of support and civilian staff. This includes the Master of Arms, the Master of Levies, the Master of the Saddle, the High Cleric, the Master of Serfs, the Head of Treasury and the Quatermaster General.
- The Master of Levies, while a military office, sits on both the General Chapter and the General Staff as they are in charge of peasant levies and noble knights not inducted into the Order. They have little freedom to issue orders to the Levy-Captains, and as such sit on the General Chapter in a purely advisory role.
- The title "Master of the Saddle" is a recent change from "Master of the Horse", following the inclusion of equecorae into the Order's cavalry ranks along side mundane horses.
- The Auspex, also known as the Raven Priest, sits independently to the rest of the Order hierarchy and is the de facto spiritual leader of the Order. The Auspex is responsible for the sacrifice of tame ravens for divination and ceremonial purposes.
- The Master of Coats, while theoretically part of the General Staff, is in fact subordinate to the Auspex due to the nature of their duties creating and maintaining the Order's raven feather gloves and surcoats.
- Raven Wolves are knights of any rank who are sanctioned to operate independently of any Chapterhouse, with orders and leadership coming directly from the Lord Marshal or Lord Protector. They get their moniker from acting alone as "lone wolves", or in small groups known as "packs". As they are separate from the Order's main hierarchy, these knights have little authority over any other knight.
- Chaptermasters each command and oversee a Chapterhouse, a branch of the Order located far enough away from the main body to require its own semi-independent command. This may be a hereditary, elected or appointed position depending on the Chapterhouse's individual history and traditions.
- Knight-Captains oversee their Chapterhouse in the the absence of a Chaptermaster, and actively lead detachments of knights in combat.
- The Raven Guard is an elite guard for Knight-Captains and above. They are drawn from the ranks of veteran knights and those who have distinguished themselves in combat. They may ride equecorae as lancers when sanctioned by their Chaptermaster.
- The Master of the Drill is responsible for overseeing the training of Squires and keeping knights' skills sharp outside of active combat. Each Chapterhouse has its own Master of the Drill, typically drawn from knights who have retired from active duty.
- Knight-Lieutenants are the most senior knights not in a leadership role within the Order. They have the experience and training necessary to be permitted to ride equecorae as dragoons and hussars.
- Knight-Sergeants are experienced knights, permitted to only ride equecorae as scouts or to train.
- Clerics of the Raven are full knights whose talents and expertise tending the sick and injured lead them away from direct combat and into hospitals, both on the field and at the Chapterhouse. They also spread the wisdom of the Auspex and provide spiritual guidance to their fellow brothers and sisters within the Order.
- Knight-Brothers and Knight-Sisters are fully sworn and sanctified knights, making up the majority of the Order's rank and file. They may only ride equecorae as part of their training.
- Squires are knights in training. They spend most of their time training under and assisting their knightly superiors. They rarely face true combat at this stage, and may only ride an equecorax for training when sanctioned by the Master of the Drill or the Chaptermaster, generally being required to learn and master riding warhorses first.
- Levy-Captains are the highest ranking officers of the raised levies. They are utterly subordinate to the Chaptermaster and have little freedom to issue their own orders, making the position a primarily advisory one.
- The Levies are primarily a force of peasants from the lands around the Chapterhouses conscripted into service in times of need. They also include cavalry comprised of local nobility, who have knightly titles but are otherwise unaffiliated with the Order. Both are outranked by Knight-Brothers, who may take command of the levies on a small scale as the situation calls for it.
- The Serfs are civilian and supporting staff, comprised of servants, builders, cooks, tailors, blacksmiths, stablehands, farriers, fletchers, bowyers, powdersmiths, apothecaries, merchants, messengers, couriers etc. Despite being a the bottom of the hierarchy, Serfs are essential for the day-to-day running of the Order.
In direct response to the ever increasing threat of malicious spirits during the ongoing Spiritmeld, the first Lord Protector, King Peytre I of Aaltiera founded the Order, both as an elite order of professional knights dedicated to combating invading spirits, but also as a powerful symbol for the world to rally behind.
Qui tenebras vigilant
13 Era of Spirits
Military, Knightly Order
Order of the White Fire
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