Knights of Rhodes Organization in Red Sunrise | World Anvil

Knights of Rhodes

Pirate hunting man-at-arms


The Knights of Rhodes originate from the Roman Catholic Knights Hospitaller

When the Knights Hospitaller starting to battle the Barbary pirates in the 15th century they had their Headquarters on Rhodes, giving them the (nick)name Knights of Rhodes. The nautical actions of the knights kept going for a long time, and some of them started to specialize in them.
When the Knights Hospitaller moved to Malta in 1530, they became a maritime power in the Mediterranean Sea during the 16th and 17th century.

After the loss of Malta, the Hospitaler scattered across Europe, and a group of knights continued their nautical work by serving on other ships of foreign nations. Mostly on pirate hunting actions. But sometimes they were caught in a war too. In the 18th century the Knights of Rhodes as they styled themselves worked in the service of the British Navy and British East India Company in the caribbean to push down on the piracy in that region.
In the 19th century they fought their first opponents, the Barbary pirates, again, but now in the service of the USA. And they participated in the Second Opium War with the British to end piracy around China.


In modern times they are for hire to guard merchant ships who sail to and from the Red Sea around the Horn of Africa, as there are a lot of pirates in those waters. Also Malaka Strait and the Gulf of Guinee are known pirate zones where the order is active.

Deus conteret praedones

Founding Date
18th Century
Religious, Holy Order
Formation Type
Training Level
Veterancy Level
Leader Title
Parent Organization
Related Ranks & Titles

Jet ski jousting

The knights of Rhodes have always sought for ways to test each other in a honourable way, they evolved from jousting, in rowing boats, to sword fighting while manouvering an obsticale course with a sailboat to jet ski jousting.


The track is indicated by two yellow buoys one-third of a cable apart. With a line pulled taut between them kept on the surface by alternating white and red floats, with the center float in yellow again for reference.

The jousters approach each other both on their relative right side of the track, holding a shield in their left arm and a lance in their right. Speeding towards each other, and when they meet, they will try to push their opponent off their jet ski. If they both miss they turn around at the end and go again.

Jet ski

The jet skis are modified to be steered with the knees, in the saddle there are two buttons which can be pushed with the knees, to turn the jet port or starboard. Most jousters keep both buttons pushed, and release one or the other to steer, this way they sit stabler on the jet ski. The jet ski does not feature a windscreen or handle bar. Nor a back rest. The speed is controlled by a gas leaver which is set by hand at the start of the track. Jet ski's connect to jouster by a stop cord, if they fall off the ski engine turns off and the jet ski stops.


The armour design did not change much since the medieval times, the material it is made off how ever did change a lot, making this version much thinner and light weight compared to the steel predecessor.

The jousters wear fully enclosed carbon-fibre helmets, with two narrow eye slits for vision. This serves two purposes; it protects the head and face, but it also increases the difficulty, by reducing the sight, as the sport is quite a bit more dangerous on the fast moving jet skis.

On their body the jouster wear a padded jacket with stab/slash proof outer layer with a high collar, A Cuirass, gorget, pauldruns of which the left one is bigger, and the edges flared away from the wearer, rerebrace, couter and vembrace, gauntlets and cuisse. Their buttox and lower legs are not protected by the carbon-fibre plate armour, but just by the slash proof pants, as this is protected by the design of the jet ski, and the lower legs are left free to aid in swimming.


The shield is also made of carbon fibre, and strapped to the left arm. The shield is of a confex shape to guide the opponants lance away from the body of the jouster. Shields are usually painted with identifying patterens or colours.


The lance is a wooden pole of of about 7 meters with a blunt tip. Often painted in bright colours and spiraling motifs. The lance isn't designed to hurt the opposing jouster, but to assert a blunt force, if the force is to big the lance will break before it penetrates the armour.


To push the opponent from the jet ski they sail, without falling off yourself. The jousters are to aim for the shield of their opponents, hitting anything else will result in point reduction or disqualification.

It's all about showing control of the jet ski while combining the lance and shield.

If the jousters do not hit each other at the end of the track they turn around the buoys and go again.


Opponant is unsaddled and pushed off the jet ski into the water, you stay seated.10
Opponant is unsaddled and pushed off the jet ski into the water, you are pushed out of the saddle but stay on the jet ski.8
Opponant is pushed out of the saddle but stays on the jet ski, you stay seated.6
Opponant stays on the saddle, you hit the shield.2
Opponant hits your shield.-1
You sail over the dividing line, before or after passing the opponent.-5
You hit the jet ski of the opponent before hitting the shield.-8
You hit the body of the opponent before hitting the shield.DQ

Articles under Knights of Rhodes

Character flag image: Coat of Arms of the Knight of Rhodes by Jacob-W


Author's Notes

In response to: Summer Camp 2021, prompt 17: A religious order founded or based on your world's history.
I really need to thank cow2face and Laurabones for giving me the inspiration for a promt I really had a hard time with.

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Jul 26, 2021 20:43 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

This is really fun :D Super dangerous though :p We had a king who died while jousting and I doubt this is much safer...

To see what I am up to: my Summer Camp 2024.
Jul 26, 2021 21:16 by Bart Weergang

I read about that when researching jousting :D. But I guess accidents still happen. Being knocked off and splashing at speed in the water in armour doesn't sound like a safe idea. It still sounds fun, and I would try it probably :P maybe at a slower speed.

Jul 27, 2021 01:53 by William Belley

oh my god hahaha. this is fucking hilarious. you have to commission a sketch of said jetski jousting XD. Maybe the equipment could have some waterfloating apparatus with the gear ? could happen that the head is hit and swimming back while unconscious is... usually hard, eh.   Quite a fun read. Happy Summercamp!

Jul 27, 2021 05:59 by Bart Weergang

Thanks! Yes I was thinking about about a lifejacket of some sorts, but couldn't make it work in my head with the armour. Wearing it over the breastplate creates all kinds of options for the lance to get trapped behind. Wearing it below, then the whole armour needs some break away system for in case the jacket inflates. And that would weaken it.

Same to you! I hope you have and will enjoy Summercamp