Order of the Knights of Light
I solemnly swear on the Scriptures of the Holy and Wise Sage Yemmu, our Master, that i'll defend the helpless, learn the right ways of magic, and defend Yeia from the Evil forces that want to corrupt this, our beloved word, all of this following his teachings. I also swear that i'll obbey the rules set by the Order, that my conduct will have an impeccable conduct, that i'll respect and protect my comrades in arms and that i'll respect and obbey the orders taken by my superiors.
The Order of the Knights of Light is one of the few military orders existing in Yeia. They belong to the faith known as the sect of Yemmu and its main goal is to defend the people from evil magical creatures and from the forces of "evil", mainly the states or peoples that use dark magic. Their have buildings, castles and properties all in most of the countries of the known world, and through it their fame as fair and honorable warriors as well as their deep faith has spread very fast.
Since its foundation in 701 AP, the numbers of knights have increased exponnentialy. Although they live in many realms the armies of the Order only obbey the commands of the Order's highest authorities their services are usually requested by the different States where the order has its sees.
The Organization itself at an internal level is organized as follows:
- Grand Master: The supreme leader and commander in chief of the order, he is elected for life by the Assembly of Masters. His duties are supervising the organization of the order, leading the armies of the order if needed, and finally being the supreme high priest of the order.
- Grand Commander: His main role is to took the place of Grand Master in case of his absence or death.
- Marshall of the order: His main duty is to to prepare the order for war, what means the procurement of armors, weapons, horses, provisions, artillery, ships, everything that is needed for a campaign. In case the order has to participate in a war.
- Masters: Governors of the different "regions" administered by the order. They assemble once or twice a year in the High Council of the order to discuss the policies of the order and to gave the inform of the activities of the Order in their regions to the Grand Master.
- Sargeants: The highest rank of Knight, its the equal to an officer in the army. They are divided between Great and Common Sargeants: Great Sargeants are usually garrison commanders, under the command of the Master. They are usually appointed to command a castle garrison, or a port under the sovereignty of the order. On the other hand, Common Sargeants are the ones in charge of a regiment of knights, usually comprised of 100-250 knights.
- Capes: Capes are the second in command in a knights regiment after the Common sargeant, they supervise the drills and military exercises of the knights and replace the Common Sargeants if they fall in battle. For being a Cape a knight have to have expended at least 5 years in the Order.
- Soldiers (also known as Knights or Sworn Brothers): Are the lower rank of the Order, they are divided in several groups. First attending to a lingüistic reason as the order is divided into "Tongues" making reference to the languages and diverse origins of the Knights; for example there is an Oronai Tongue group, a Blatian Tongue group, a Seris one, and Elvish one etc.. . Then the knights are also divided into verious categories depending on their profession aside from that of knight. For example there are lawers librarians, pharmacists, medics, bankers, copists, craftsmen, explorers, priests etc... .
The order is formed by knights of many different cultures and backgrounds. There is no racial criteria and humans, elves, thieflings that have been purified by magic ..., everyone can be part of the order if they want it and if they are kind hearted men and women.
The culture of the order is also reflected on the clothing and armor wore by the knights depending on the region they have came from or the region where the order is settled. For example a knight from Seria might be dressed in Seris fashion both in his daily life clothing or its armor.
On the other hand, despite being from different origins, all the knights have to be united as a single entity no matter their ethnic disputes, ethnic rivalries are left behind when they join the order. Also their common faith in the teachings of Yemmu and the goals of the order unites them.
In 698 a young Wesdalandian noble called Larik was travelling across the Kingdom of Brire on a diplomatic mission when he suddenly fell very ill. He was transported to the nearest monastery, Telorion. There he was treated by the monks of the monastery, followers of the faith of Yemmu, faith that had been introduced in the Elvish-Oronai Kingdoms just 50 years earlier, but that thad grown very quickly. He became fascinated with the live of these monks and their teachings, and he spend another two years in the monastery studying magic and the sacred texts of the Faith. As first born son and heir to a prominent family he couldn't become a monk and abandoned his realm, so, inspired by the caring of the monks and their teachings he created a holy order based on the principles of the faith of Yemmu to spread its message and also protect the innocent from evil and to fight the dark forces of magic.
The order was officially created in 701 AP and stablished its headquarters at the monastery of Telorion. Inicially there were only 10 knights with Larik as its Grand master that travelled across the countryside of the Kingdom of Brire defending the roads from bandits, defeating monsters using their magic. Soon their few grew enormously and the King of Brire himself granted permission to the Order to build a castle next to the monastery of Telorion 10 years after ithe foundation of the order. By that time the order had 150 knights from different kingdoms, mostly from Wesdaland, Brire and Stormitia.
In 731 Larik had to return to his Wesdalandian Homeland to his family state to be confirmed as the new Duke of Whitecastle. In his absence the first Grand Commander was named, a former elvish-oronai hoplite called Alkides Pylaid and one of the first knights of the order. Larik continued to be the Grand Master, visting the Castle of Telorion each summer for supervising the status and growth of the order. In 754 the order grow up to 2000 knights and had stablished its first castles in territories in the Blatian and Seris Empire thanks to two separate treaties with each empire in which the order swore to help such states in case they were attacked by forces using dark magic. As his elder son became an adult, Larik renounced to his title as Duke in favour of his son and retired to the Telorion Castle where he died in 765. Alkides became the second Grand Master of the Order and in the following decades the order grew rich thanks to the trade of textiles, sacred books and magical objects.
The Order does not posess an unify territory but a series of "Properties" or "Concessions" given by the realms where they settle in. This concession usually consists of the granting of a certain area where they can built their castles and fortresses and a couple of villages that have to pay an special tax to the Order instead of the authorities of the realm .
Nowadays, the Order have properties or Concessions in many realms, such as the Kingdoms of Brire, Stormitia and Steplia, the Blatian Empire, the kingdoms of the Green and White elves, the Kingdom of Cloudia, The Republic of Vatia and the Seris Emprie.
At present time the military of the Order of Light consists on around 9500 knights spread into multiple castles. Most of them tend to fight on horse in regiments comprising between 100 and 250 knights. In these regiments up to 5 knights must be trained wizards that can cast spells to protect the knights or to decieve the evil forces that they're fighting against. The order also have "auxiliares", local troops from the neighbouring regions and villages ( specially those that belong to the order or by faithful of the faith of Yemmu that are not sworn brothers) that usually act as infantry or archers and different personel inside the castles as cooks, blacksmiths, builders or squires.
The Order of the Knights of Light has obtained some of the most advanced magical technologies in the known world. Due to the different background of its members and the teachings of its faith, magic has played an important role in the brief history of the Order. Some of its alchemist have studied in the most prestigious universities and libraries across the known world and their wisdom and power are renown across the land.
The official religion of the order is the faith of the Followers of Yemmu, a sect born in Seria hundreds of years ago, that arrived to the southern parts of the continent of Teria around the 580s AP, and that spread quickly in the elvish-oronai kingdoms of Stormitia and Brire and to their neighbours such as the kingdom of Steplia and Wesdaland. The followers of this faith believe in the teachings of a Seris sage called Yemmu, who tought that every human has magical powers within himself, so it was nothing exclusive of a race or a certain "lucky" group of people, and most importantly, that this magic powers have to be used for good and not for evil purposes such as killing somebody, invading another kingdom or to do harm to helpless people. This focus on using magic for good is one of the reasons for the existance of the order, the other is also related to this because one of the goals of the Order is to protect Yeia from Dark Magic, used by people such as the Crorai or the Dark Elves to do harm to others. They usually refer to Yemmu as the Great or Wisest Sage, and he helds a divine status inside the order, and one of the tasks of the knights is to study methodicaly his teachings and to learn and improve their magical skills and how to fight the users of dark magic
Agriculture & Industry
Agriculture and craftmanship are key elements of the economy of the Order, from which they obtain much of its wealth and the resources to sustain its growing military. Each castle (specially its surrounding villages) and region under the command of a Master or a Great Sargeant has to produce a certain amount of food that has to be destined to trade while the other is used to sustain its own forces. On the other hand the Order is famous for producing high quality magical items (magical sceptres, books for casting spells, magical swords and shields (for example shields resistant to fire) which are very demanding and its market provides a large amount of wealth to the Order.
Trade & Transport
The Order owns around 400 ships (100 are warships and the other 300 are merchant/transport ships) all spread across the different ports own by the Order around Yeia. When the ships required for trade are not enough the Knights usually hire ships either from merchant guilds or from the Republic of Valia, one of its most trusted trade partners. The knights usually pay a sum of money to the Republic (sometimes between 5-10% the value of the cargo) and the Republic then transports the cargo to its destination, either a port of other state or to a port of the Order.
Meanwhile on land, the Knights usually do trade along the main routes of caravans in the two continents, usually escorting the cargo until it reaches its destination. Usually while following this routes they tend to go from castle to castle as its more secure and for avoid being asaulted by bandits during the night.
The Order posseses a large amount of castles spread across Yeia. Most of them are located in the western continent of Teria, where the order was born. But over the last half a century its presence in Karia, the eastern continent has increased substantialy due to the presence of peoples who uses dark magic, the traditional enemies of the Order. Each castle is ruled by a Great Sargeant who supervises the defense, supplies and agriculture outside the fortress. Usually the biggest castle is ruled by the Master, the provincial gobernor of the Order who in turn has the command over all the Great Sargeants of his province.
Justice, Protection and Honor
Knights of light
The High Council of the Order is the legislative body of the Order. It is comprised of the High Master, The Grand Commander, the Marshall of the Order and all the Masters of the Order. It meets twice a year to discuss the policies of the order and to recieve the reports of each one of the masters about their respective regions.
The Bureau of Judicial Affairs is the one that deals with judicial affairs. Disputes between Knights and crimes such as open desobedience of orders from a superior, misconduct such as been drunk while on guard or treason to the order.
It is formed by a group of 10 knights of the order experts in law and the rules of the order.