You are a squire, and very quickly on your way to becoming a great knight. Unlike those that call themselves paladins, your oath is to an order instead of a god. Many knightly orders exist amongst The Westlands. Some guard against the ravages of magic, while others hold dreams of noble warriors and great deeds. No matter which order you hold your oath to, you are an expert at one thing, battle. You have been taught that battles can be won or lost through courage and valor. You have been taught how to turn even the mildest of fighters to go far beyond their limits and do things that they did not know they were capable of. When you charge onto the battlefield, ordinary men become warriors, and fighters become soldiers.
The Raven’s Guard – “There is no peace; only vigilance and vengeance”, an order of elite knights and warriors who have devoted themselves before the unknown divine powers. Mostly made up of clerics, paladins, inquisitors, and others who have been affected by arcane power, the order is dedicated to eliminating the threat that arcane power represents. More often than not these killers search the land for signs of young sorcerers and other casters who have not been fortunate enough to find a mentor or be discovered by the Society of the Arcane Eye. They have a tenuous relationship with the society, strained the further each individual member gets from cities or gathering locations. Most of those that join do so out of vengeance for some terrible crime that befell either them or their loved ones by rouge sorcerers or monsters brought by Summoners. The divine aspect is seeking clarity and strength to combat arcane power. Most members of the guard will say that they do not believe in any one individual god or deity, but rather the power that the 9 high/6 low offer.
Their relationship with arcane casters is very difficult. There are some members in the order who possess arcane power, but there is some distance between them and the rest of the order. Meeting arcane casters outside of the bounds of a mission is left to the discretion of that member or group. If they show signs of being connected to a particular group such as The Society then the standing order is “restraint”, but mistakes and accidents have been known to happen.
The Knights of the Draco – “From the sky we shall reign”, an order of knights that has long since lost their precious dragons that rode them into victory and legend. They still tell stories and epics of the great riders from the past. But now the order has held on to its numbers through reliving the lost glory days versus striving on their new accomplishments. They live on ceremony and strict honor codes, but still have some of the cleverest warriors in the land. Their skills at riding are not myth, and even though many believe that their tales of dragons are boasting, the feats that they can perform on horseback are not. Despite being ill-suited for close quarters combat and siege warfare, the order remains the last enemy you wish to face on open ground where their charge of horse will trample all against them.
The Order of Steel – “The Border is set, Steel is unyielding”, They are a collection of some of the bravest knights in the entire world. Their chief role is to serves as defenders. Their philosophy is summarized in defending already established borders, and not serving to change new borders. Peace is the ultimate goal, but also a balance of power. It is perfectly reasonable in their view to defend a crossing from one attacker, only to defend that attacker when those that they wronged retaliate after justice was delivered. This paradoxical morality is difficult for some, but there are many in areas such as the Green Marches who join and offer hospitality to them, fully respecting their mission. They specialize in shield barriers and defensive tactics. Most smaller units and single members will often serve as body guards or personal protectors.
The Knights of the Sun – “Under this sign, you shall conquer”, a religious order of knights who claim decadence from saints and other holy leaders. Officially the order has no patron deity, however the order counts the followers of Iomedae, the most common among their numbers. Unlike the Raven’s guard the Knights of the Sun have no prejudice against arcane magic. Blood magic has even been given some provision in rare occurrences. Essentially the order is open to all members so long as they adhere to the moral and ethical guidelines. The knights are among one of the few knight orders to conduct private crusades, and even declare death sentences and bounties. Although this is rare, and only occurs when individuals or small groups have caused the Knights terrible pain and injury.
Many rulers consider the order a double bladed sword. The Knights of the Sun fight for their own causes and do not leave until they have either been defeated, or believe that their cause has been served. Because they serve moral codes and collective good, rather political goals, or individuals, many rulers are hesitant to invite their aid, or give them aid. Religious leaders are likewise hesitant to call upon them for aid, because despite their religious overtones, they do not serve any one individual religious order. With all that in mind they are very popular amongst common folk, and embody many common ideals of knighthood and bard songs. Many serve them and seek their aid when all other hope has failed.
The Dagger Guard – “Steel in hand, steel the heart”, an order of knights that believe in war for war’s sake. Most members in this order are considered to be murderers for hire. Their creed does not have provisions against killing innocents or other people normally considered off-limits by the rules of war. The Dagger guard knows that war is killing, and that war is fought on many fronts. The difference between murder and killing in war, is that there is an end to war, so the guard never sees an end to war. All hands have knives and they consider anyone that does not share this philosophy fools. The only provision that they have against killing is against paying contract holders. Everyone else is considered a possible target. Several smaller noble houses have private cash flows going directly to them, to prevent them from taking contracts against their own interests. They even claim to have at least one king paying them off as well.