Order of the Unicorn Organization in Getninia | World Anvil

Order of the Unicorn (/ˈɔːɹdɚ ˈʌv ðˈə ju:nɪkɔːɹn/ (Meride: /ɔʁdʁ də likɔʁn/ la))

Ορντερ ντε λα Λιχορνε

The Order of the Unicorn is the most prestigious knightly order of Merida, and which serves as the personal retinue of the Prince. The Order of the Unicorn is descended from the Band of the Unicorn, the mercenary company which seized control and unified the Principality in AS 2038. Consisting of the some of the most elite warriors in the realm, and possessing a great deal of specialized and rare equipment and the full backing of the Meridan state, the Order of the Unicorn is regarded highly by those familiar with them. Unlike most other Knightly Orders, the Order of the Unicorn does allow commoners to join its ranks, and is indeed one of the few paths into the nobility for those not born into such a status. The Order of the Unicorn is also the only organization that can grant the privilege of being able to ride unicorns in the Principality, a rarefied and highly regarded honor.


The Order of the Unicorn is structured in a manner typical of most other knightly orders, with knights of varying ranks, squires and retainers. Generally, one starts as a page, and ascends at least to the rank of Knight-Errant. However, unlike most other Meridan orders, the Unicorn allows commoner retainers to attempt to ascend to the status of knight as well. The ranks of the Order of the Unicorn are as follows:   Page: Consisting mostly second sons of noble families, pages are recruited into the Order at roughly the age of seven to begin their training and education. Pages are taught hunting, academic topics such as philosophy and theology, and later on learn the art of war, swordsmanship, and horseback riding. They are generally responsible for taking care of the equipment of a serving knight to which they are assigned. Upon reaching the age of fifteen, a page is eligible to be taken on by a knight as a squire, or if they are not taken on by a knight will become Bachelor Retainers, ineligible to advance further in the order.
Retainer: Recruited as adults, generally from a common background, retainers, like pages are responsible for maintaining the equipment and horses of the full knights of the order. They are also required to accompany a knight into battle, usually taking up a spear or crossbow, to assist levied soldiers in the field. A page who has failed to be taken on as a squire is a Bachelor Retainer, Bachelor Retainers are generally responsible for leading groups of inexperienced Retainers and teaching them how to maintain more specialized equipment. A few people recruited into the order come with experience in a specialized field such as smithing, runesmithing, or magical healing, and while they bear the official rank of retainer are not obligated to perform regular retainer duties. Instead they are given access to the tools of their trade, and made to perform their own special skills in service of the Order, along with these sometimes come a special title such as "Master Smith" or "Chapter Healer". Retainers who were recruited into the ranks as adults may be knighted if they perform an act of exemplary valor.
Squire: A page who has been sponsored by a knight becomes a squire. Squires are given a further education in the finer points of the art of war, as well as receiving, for the first time a suit of good armor. Squires directly attend to the wellbeing of more experienced knights, and are responsible for assisting the knight in putting on their armor before a battle. They will, like retainers help bolster the battle line in battle, and will accompany a knight wherever they go. Starting at age twenty-five, a squire is eligible to undertake a series of tests of their physical and mental abilities, after which they can become a full knight.
Knight-Errant: After years of service as a squire and passing several tests a member of the order can be knighted in a special ceremony by the Grand Prince of the realm. During this ceremony, the squire swears an oath of loyalty to the Prince, after which they are bound to the Order for life. Those who refuse this oath are allowed to remain in service as the seniormost Retainers in the order, but most elect to leave, where their finely tuned skill will be highly valued by mercenaries or other orders. Upon completion of the ceremony, the former squire arises as a Knight-Errant. Knights-Errant are the primary fighting force of the Order, and the most publically recognizable. Though they can be called to war by the Prince at any time, a Knight-Errant is primarily responsible for wandering the countryside with a small retinue of retainers, pages, and a squire or two seeking out and confronting threats to the Principality and its people, or looking for lost relics. Most knights of the order will never advance beyond this rank, and indeed it is not seen as a shame to remain a Knight-Errant for life.
Knight-Gallant: A Knight-Errant who manages to slay a dragon or a similar threat, or obtain an ancient artifact of great import however is eligible to advance to the rank of Knight-Gallant. In a special ceremony where the oath of knighthood is resworn, a Knight-Gallant is granted the privilege of riding unicorns, as well as being given one of the highly prized Prismatic Blades as their own. A new suit of armor is forged for the Knight-Gallant as well with a far more impressive appearance than anything the knight could have cobbled together themsleves. Knights-Gallant rarely stand more than one hundred in number, and as a result are concentrated close to the Prince, They are the prince's bodyguards in times of both peace and war, and must be ready constantly to serve at the request of the Prince.
Knight-Banneret: Knights-Banneret number only ten, and six of those seats are traditionally reserved for the dukes of the realm. However, when a member of the Knights-Banneret dies, their space is filled by a relatively young Knight-Gallant who has performed notably to the office of Banneret. The Knights-Banneret are the leadership council of the order, responsible for running the organization on a day to day basis. They answer only to the Prince of Merida, and are the only people other than the Prince who are allowed to command groups of the order in battle.
Knight-Emeritus: A knight who has not become a member of the banneret council, and who has through age, infirmity, or injury, become unable to take to the field is elevated to the rank of Knight-Emeritus. Knights-Emeritus are traditionally responsible for educating young pages and training junior members of the Order. In practice however, many are allowed simply to retire to their own homes, taking up their duties only in times of great need.


The Order of the Unicorn is a martial society within a state with a strong military tradition and is, as a result something of a trend setter when it comes to military culture of Merida. The Order of the Unicorn promotes a warrior ethos of skill at arms, honor, and valor. Knights of the Order are expected to be great warriors yes, but also there a certain prohibitions of conduct deemed dishonorable. Any member of the Order is expected to be truthful to their superiors, diligent in their duties, and act with courteous respect and dignity towards everyone. Knights of the Order are further obligated to provide aid as frequently as they are capable, and to refrain from trickery in almost any circumstance. In combat, members of the order are not allowed to attack the defenseless, expected to protect the innocent, and refuse to cause any more indignity or pain to foes than is necessary to bring about victory.    Knights of the Order are expect to prove their skill in combat against other members of the order in frequent tournaments wherein many seek to impress their paramours. These tournaments are often spectator sports with many people living within Merida eagerly awaiting the arrival of such events to their communities. This competition is not necessarily limited to tournaments as those seeking to advance in rank within the order seek out incredibly dangerous and difficult tests of arms and wit to demonstrate their skill to others in the order, with only the finest and bravest being allowed for example to achieve the rank of Knight-Gallant, and fierce competition for the tops of the Gallant rosters in the event a Knight-Banneret dies.

Public Agenda

The Knights of the Order of the Unicorn are publicly one of the main enforcement arms of the Grand Prince of Merida, and were built first and foremost to expand the power and influence of the Grand Prince. Several shifts in attitude of the reigning monarchs have altered the meaning of this primary aim. In the modern era, the Knights of the Order are not only a major hard power arm of the Principality, but also its primary soft power arm. Knights of the Order are expected to pursue threats to the common people, in particular legendary and dangerous beasts are a major target for members of the Order. Thanks to a couple centuries of prosperity, the Knights of the Order have started to take up the act of charity, with a few successful knights setting up local charitable organizations within their own lands.


The Order of the Unicorn is one of the wealthiest groups in Merida, with access to vast assets, arms, and equipment, as well as most of the Crown estate thanks to their close relationship with the Crown. The Order is believed to have monetary assets in the millions, an exceptionally rare feat in the region, and uses these assets to secure the services of of highly skilled professionals as well as bankroll expeditions and keep its members well paid in times of quiet and peace. Their armories are well stocked with plenty of hauberks, plate harnesses, weapons, and banners kept up to the highest standard of care, and struck bright and shining to strike fear into their foes. This includes the are Prismatic Swords, which serve as badges of office for members of the order. The Order is also, thanks to their partnership with the Crown, allowed access to the Crown Lands, which allows them to train on them, and indeed when a commoner is made a Knight of the Order, this allows the Order to offer land and a proper title to them. Lastly, the Order is given privileged access to the unicorn fields, and are nearly the only people in Merida allowed the privilege of keeping and riding unicorns.


The Order of the Unicorn traces its lineage directly to the founding of the Principality of Merida. Formed from the mercenary Band of the Unicorn when Reynard 'the Feytouched' established the modern Principality, the Order of the Unicorn consisted first of members of the mercenary company and played a key role in enforcing Candilis rule in the region. Over time, as the newly founded Order became more and more entrenched, and retained its ties to the Crown, it began to evolve certain rituals and cultural practices unlike those of a typical mercenary band, and the organization established itself more fully as a knightly order. Starting with the reign of Elisabet I, the Order was formalized completely as membership in the Order was said to, eventually grant proper titles of nobility, a path which reopened the nobility to native peoples, and cementing more fully the reign of the Candilis dynasty and integrating the foreign ruling class and the local elites together. As a part of this process, membership in the order became a common, and expected tradition for young members of the ruling classes, and binding that class to the fate of the Crown. In the modern era, thanks to a push to build up the economy, the Order began to evolve into an organization that not only enforced Candilis rule, but helped build up the economy by clearing out major threats, and building into the wildlands. This change has seen knights of the order serve more and more to stomp out the dangers at the edge of civilization, an act which has ingratiated the Order to the commonfolk.
Military, Knightly Order
Training Level
Veterancy Level
Parent Organization
Manufactured Items

Statblocks for members of the Order


Cover image: Yonder by Robbie McSweeney
Character flag image: Order of the Unicorn Crest by Javak