The Knightly Art of Chivalry
Knights form the foundation of the feudal system within the Kingdom connecting the Magnates and Peers of the Shires to their vassals. The lords of the realm rely upon their sworn knights to lead their troops into battle and oversee the day to day operations of their holdings. A knight serves as the example and the standard to which all should aspire to achieve. Knights take squires to mentor and teach leadership, martial skills and the virtues of chivalry.
Each lord may grant a portion of their holdings to a knight to entrust to develop and grow, building a stronger community. Knights hold together the kingdom supporting the leadership and guidance of the Magnates and Executors of the realm as well as His Majesty, the King. A knight understands the burden of leadership and those who carry out their orders encouraging the populace and advising the Peers of the Shires. The mitigation of dissent and allaying the fears of those who spread despair is of concern to those who have sworn the oath of knighthood.
There are Heralds who concern themselves with heraldry; Clerks who divest in logistics and support the operations of the kingdom and its shires; Priests who spread the holy word; and Serjeants who lead the troops into battle. A knight must be all things and understand the roles of all of those around them lending assistance should it be necessary. All of those of rank high and low should be able to approach a knight with a problem and leave with a means to an end. Before one swears their oath they must understand that with increased privilege comes responsibility. A knight must know that they form the leadership backbone of the kingdom and its shires.
A knight will always lead the charge into battle knowing when to engage and when to be prudent. Expertise in combat is essential to instilling confidence in those around them. The arts of war are the profession of the knight and the virtues of chivalry are their code of conduct and way of life.
Seven Knightly Virtues
A knight possesses Faith in heavenly and temporal lords. A knight celebrates the trials and tribulations laid before them as an opportunity to demonstrate their faith. Unwavering loyalty is given to the knight’s liege to bind all together through demonstrations of this faith.
A knight must possess the virtue of strength in body, mind and soul. Not only must a knight display strength in combat, but also in conviction to uphold the earthly and heavenly laws of the realm. Through strength a knight will stand fast in the other virtues of chivalry.
A knight must be Noble providing charity and largesse to those around them. A knight is granted privileged social status so that they may serve as a beacon of what it means to be a noble creature.
A knight must know when to show Mercy to friends and enemies alike. In the pursuit of justice and victory there is a time for relenting to show strength through forgiveness. A truly strong individual shows strength in mercy because they will be able to overcome an adversary should they attempt to take advantage of one who is merciful.
A knight must uphold Justice and seek to achieve the peace in all actions. No creature is above the laws of heaven and a knight will seek satisfaction of the law as it requires regardless of personal opinions or emotions. The law has no bias; only those who sit unfairly in judgment to apply the law harden their hearts to its true purpose.
A knight must serve as the rallying point when all else is thought to be lost. Despise the words of those who despair and lift them up through actions of courage, bravery and righteous example. When all others falter it is the knight who takes up the banner and leads the charge towards victory.
A knight must possess Prowess in all knightly activities whether in war or in peace. All enterprises undertaken by the knight must be seen to their conclusion and to the best of their abilities. Master the sword, spear, dagger as well as the arts and science of the making of war. In peace master the hunt, tournament and affairs of the state.
A knight takes on a squire to teach them the ways of chivalry. A squire should be someone who already displays the makings of a knight and the natural character of the virtues. There is no required timeline for a squire to become a knight. The knight who squires someone should know that the squire is a reflection of them. Only when a squire acts as a knight should they be granted the knighthood reflecting upon the virtues of chivalry of their mentor. Should the squire fail to attain the standard expected of them, there are ways to sever the knight-squire relationship.
Reflection and Meditation
A knight lives their life according to the virtues of Chivalry. All knights commune with themselves and the larger body of Chivalry within the Republic. Knights should take time each day to reflect upon the virtues and ensure they are living the code. This meditation is about personal growth and to develop deeper understanding of how these virtues apply. Each day, select a virtue upon which to reflect and find time to truly examine your life. Are you living up to the virtues or making excuses for ways to avoid them? It doesn't have to be a significant event in terms of time, but it should cause a moment of pause whether it is immediately after waking, before sleep or anywhere in between. Actively thinking and reflecting upon the virtues can build a strong foundation and routine that helps us better ourselves rather than constantly putting off what needs to be done and assuming it will get done in time on its own.
Sunday - Virtue of Faith
The weeks begins and ends on Sunday which is celebrated as a day of rest from the previous week and preparation for that which is coming up. Faith too serves as the beginning and the end of our lives. Faith prepares us for challenges and helps us cope with disaster. To have faith in something is to truly believe in it and derive all the other virtues to carry onwards. Faith should always form the bookends and foundation for your service as a knight to the Republic. Do you have faith in something? Regardless of what you believe in, are you true to it or have you become a part of the world rather than just living in it?
Monday - Virtue of Strength
Strength carries us forward and forms the means through which we overcome the hurdles and burdens of our life. We strike with strength and it is through strength of character that we derive the means to accomplish our tasks. Without strength we cannot carry through to achieve what we have set out to complete. We should always be growing stronger in how we live; always moving forward and never back. What are you doing to become stronger both mentally and physically?
Tuesday - Virtue of Nobility
Anyone can grant themselves a title or declare themselves noble, but it is the people who continue to volunteer their loyalty to you that makes nobility possible. Throughout history there are always those who abuse their stature and are removed from their position. Do not let your position lead you to arrogance or depravity. Use your station to serve others and work to elevate them to your same place. Be charitable and give freely because ultimately you are where you are because others have supported you in some way. What are you doing to improve the lives of those around you?
Wednesday - Virtue of Mercy
Mercy is the display of true strength and the demonstration of one who understands the greater position they possess. Those who fear their enemies seek their utter destruction. The truly merciful defeat their enemies and show them kindness leading to a reconciliation of both sides. Only through mercy can we continue to grow stronger as humanity and forge ahead to overcome moments of weakness as a people in inevitable conflict. A knight is not naive to the dangers of human nature, therefore mercy is not a path to be taken advantage of ultimately, but if an adversary does take advantage of mercy then the knight will be strong enough to overcome them again. That is a demonstration of true strength. If you fear your enemies and do not seek to grant them mercy, then you need to become stronger. Are you refusing to show mercy because of your own weakness?
Thursday - Virtue of Justice
Those who are just seek to be fair and uphold the basic tenets of integrity and the law. The law of nature is to uphold the weak against the strong who would seek to take advantage of them. Justice follows mercy in order to not confuse the two. A just knight applies the law evenly and does not back down under a false understanding of mercy. Subverting justice under the false guise of mercy is neither merciful nor just. Those who circumvent the divine laws and those of the people must be brought to justice and serve recompense under the law. A just knight will fulfill the law in its truest form to serve the people and not the interests of a single person or selfish reasons. It can be unpopular to be just in a lot of ways and your fellow knights may be letting things slide to make life more convenient. Are you being unjust or are you tolerating injustice?
Friday - Hope
Hope serves to give the weak the strength to carry on. Those without hope are clouded by doubt and distracted from finding a solution to the immediate problems at hand. In all things display hope and continue to press forward. Again, do not be naive to the dangers and challenges, but give hope to help others find strength to overcome the obstacles and hurdles that stand in the way. Are you bringing hope to those around you? Are you in need of hope yourself?
Saturday - Prowess
Known as part of the 'weekend' and generally a time when people take time to enjoy their personal enterprises. For some it is not so and serves as another work day. In both instances, take the day to reflect upon what you are doing to improve yourself so that you may better serve others. A knight cannot be noble and cannot serve or lead others if they cannot do these things in themselves. Ultimately a knight is a military professional and skilled in all things necessary to the security of their people whether that is on the field of battle or in any other role to support the fight. What are you doing to become better at what you do? Wishing to get better at something is no substitute for getting out and doing it. Take time to better yourself and become stronger. The strength of the individual is the key to the strength of the whole.
The Knighting Ceremony
Once a squire has been nominated for knighthood by their master knight they must be brought before the brotherhood to be examined. If a knight is found unworthy then they will be rejected and remain a squire. A squire is never stripped of their position through this rejection unless served under a Writ of Attainder by their feudal lord.
All knights trace their lineage through those who squired them all the way back to the font of knighthood, which is the original authority under which the most senior knight claims their right to appoint others to this most sacred order.
The most senior knight will read aloud, "We gather to examine the candidate for knighthood. I ask you all to profess your findings in the demonstration of the seven virtues under which all knights are examined and live their lives."
"I ask you then, do you find this squire to demonstrate the virtue of 'Faith'" and continuing through the seven virtues.
Each of the other knights respond with either, "Aye" or "Nay" for each virtue. If any knight confesses 'Nay' then they must confront the squire and speak their case. If the majority of the knights agree then the candidate is rejected and remains a squire until the senior knight agrees to hold the examination again. Any past cause for rejection will be reviewed again by the knights on the basis of whether or not this injustice has been remedied and overcome.
Should the candidate pass without rejection then they will be accepted into the order.
Each knight in the Republic belongs to the Silver Order or the Ordo d'Argento and serves the people. The Ordo is an ancient order and has taken on several different forms as either purely religious organizations or secret societies. The main purpose of the Ordo is the preservation of the Republic. Whenever the Republic has folded the government it always carries on through the Ordo in some way, shape or form. The Ordo has non-knighted members who serve as stewards, sergeants or other administrative positions to assist the order in its mission. The Ordo is fully integrated into the Republic and puts aside personal rivalries when the safety of the people is in jeopardy. Loyalty to the center is always the key principle practiced by those vested in the order.