Knight

Knighthood in the Kingdom of Valyria, like other supplied game mechanics, is something that Valyria’s system develops more fully than the game’s default. As of the time of this writing, it is only known that knighthood is a title that can be given out by kings and dukes. [1] No matter what details emerge, however, Valyria will treat knights as a subtype of gentry, which is the class it refers to as “equites” in Old Valyrian. This subtype will generally be identified as the “military” version of the equivalent “civilian” gentry title, esquire, especially when it refers to the leader of a settlement. Country squires who convert their estates to outposts or garrisons will generally do so at the time of their Accolade and ascension to knighthood. However, precisely because of these military connotations, Valyria also provides for a number of different ways to become a knight that do not have to do with settlement leadership. Almost all have to do with proficiency in combat and arms, both in terms of trained in game skill bars and also player skill. Below are the different means by which knighthood is acquired. All involve the issue of a coat of arms if the knight’s family does not have one already, and all involve the ceremony called the Accolade, which is recorded by heralds.

Knights by Fee

Also known as vassal knights, knights by fee are the leaders of settlements who enter into a fealty agreement with a count, duke or local baron. Because knight is a gentry title, these settlements are less than 25 parcels in size, and are hamlets, villages, outposts, or garrisons. To be a knight, a settlement leader does not need to convert his settlement into the military equivalent, but because of the changes to NPC professions and the increased prevalence of soldiers, many opt to do this. The “fee” in the description of this type of knight is another word for “fief,” referring to the settlement that knights of this type lead. The settlement is supposed to provide enough income to the knight to fully train and outfit himself as a heavy cavalryman, and to supply a number of trained sergeants in a retinue.

Knights of this type have their settlement name after their own name, such as “Sir John of Paddiwiddle,” and use the suffix “Kt.

Knights of Chivalric Orders

Knights who are members of orders usually do not possess a knight’s fee, and whether they do or not has no bearing on their involvement in their order. Certain orders have received charters which allow them to grant the title of knighthood to multiple members of a body of troops. There are a number of different types of chivalric orders, including the religious “military” orders which produce church or temple knights, and the dynastic orders that are dedicated to the preservation of certain causes, usually royal or noble. These knights do not have retinues, but may take squires, depending on the rules of the order.

Different orders offer different suffixes for knights to take after their names.

Knights by Decoration (Honorific Orders)

Some “orders” of knighthood are not societies or memberships at all, but are instead only badges or medals. These decorations are given out as honors for meritorious service or heroism, and the people who receive them are still entitled to the prefix “Sir” or “Dame” before their names, and still receive coats of arms, but do not need to be trained in the arts of chivalry and combat.

Knights Bachelor

Bachelor knights are those who have earned the title of knighthood, possibly by being elevated from squirage under another knight, or for heroism on the battlefield, but have not offered their fealty to anyone, whether liege lord or order. Knights bachelor can be found serving in cavalry squadrons under banneretsbarons or dukes and also as mercenaries.

Knights Bachelor take the suffix, “KB” after their names, such as “Sir Rybo Thornside, KB.”

Knights Banneret

A banneret is a knight so accomplished that he was singled out on the field of battle for promotion by his duke or sovereign, and his pennon was ceremonially cut into a banner. Having a banner, his retinue was converted into a company and therefore he is awarded the military rank of captain. A banneret is considered nearly equivalent to a baron, having all of the distinction of a baron except for land and a fortress, keep, or stronghold. The banners of bannerets can attract knights bachelor and other gentle armigers such as squires into their service. Other knights and gentry serving under a banneret can, but do not need to swear fealty to him.

Banneret knights are addressed as other knights, but may include “lord” in their style, for example, “Lord Tallywreath of Paddiwiddle, Bnt.”

Baronets

A baronet has an hereditary knighthood that is passed to his children without the need for them to be knighted. The title of baronet is usually reserved for those who hold fortresses, keeps, or strongholds larger than 25 parcels but who have not sworn fealty to a duke to gain the title of baron. Instead, they may receive the title of baronet from their local count, who does have the authority to grant gentry titles.

Baronets take the suffix, “Bt.” after their names, such as “Sir Percival Blakeney, Bt.

Thanes and Lairds

Not often used in Valyria, the titles of thane and laird are nonetheless recognized as equivalent gentry ranks to that of knight. They are flavorful options to those of a brudvir or hrothi based lore background. The Hyperion clan “the Society of the Anvil” was known to use laird for its equites, and the Wessex subguilds Sancta and Sleggjaholl were known to use “thane” for their clan leader’s title.

Knights of the Shire

Knights of the Shire are not a specific type of knight, but an elected position that is open to knights, barons, bannerets, baronets, and esquires. Every shire in Valyria, of which there are 24 in every duchy, is permitted to send two elected representatives to sit in The House Comitates. The name of their position is referred to as Knights of the Shire when the ones elected are substantive title holders.

 

All knights are referred to by heralds as “Sir or Dame <Name>”, and then a suffix for what type of knight he or she is, as well as a place name if a knight by fee. The wives of knights are called “Lady <Name>.” 

References:

  1. Caspian, Post #1 in Forum Thread, “Knighthood” 5 May 2016