101 Knightly Orders
If ever you need a random-roll for what type of knight a character faces in tournament, or just new ideas, what follows is a great big list (some with further descriptions and nicknames) of different sorts of knights.
Some of the names of locations & faiths are from Midian, but these are easily changed to fit different campaign settings.
These are knightly orders tied to an organised faith.
Divine Order of Fury—Red God—This order is predominantly Killian, but may be found anywhere the Red God is held in regard—that is to say anywhere people are killing one another. As personal glory is not only a knightly virtue for them, but also a tenet of their faith, the Divine Order of Fury may be found in nearly any chivalric and open tournament worldwide. Aka Furies
Holy Knights of Melchom—Melchom—These knights are known for their wealth. Not only is their profession expensive (armour, horses, lances, et al.) but accumulating wealth is encouraged by their faith. Aka Moonies or (even less flattering) Loonies, as the symbol of their order (a pair of silver coins) reminds some of Midian’s twin moons
Holy Order of Knights in God’s Service—Bhahi—These ecclesiastical knights receive training in religion as well as at arms. Whereas most monastic knights are laymen, these Bhahists are trained and charged with performing religious duties whenever a priest is unavailable. It is permissible for a Bhahi priest to join this order as well.
Holy Order of Servant Knights—Temple of Light—This is the second, smaller order of the Lightwalker knights. This order is seen as less prestigious by some, but more exclusive and holy by others. Compared to the Knights of the Temple (Templars) the Servitors focus more on faith than war. Aka Servitors
Holy Paladins—unknown cult—These knights preach a simple message of goodwill, charity, and perseverance. They teach this message not to a congregation or on a street corner, but through the example of their actions. While they may offer an occasional homily of their unknown faith, they don’t seek converts. They do not even discuss their faith at length, considering it a very personal matter and not one to preach to others.
Hugh’s Handy Helpers—Church of Hugh—Though this order has many of the trappings common to other divine orders of knighthood, Hugh’s Handy Helpers aren’t given any formal combat training. They are charged with helping people in need rather than spreading their faith at the point of a sword. Far from being cowardly, Hugh’s Handy Helpers on the battlefield are always appreciated, even if not on the front lines. They are fearless in the face of danger, and always maintain their helpful 'boyscout' attitude even in the worst situations. None of this is to say that the Helpers are pacifists, or that the order lacks plenty of knights who are more than willing to charge with the lance. Aka the shortened forms of Hugh’s Helpers or just Helpers
Knights of the Temple—Temple of Light—This is the largest order of knights worldwide. Many knights of the peerage join this order as well as clerical knights, especially in Formour. Aka Templars
Unholy Knights in Darkness—Black Church—Though the Black Church itself doesn’t have a well-structured hierarchy, the Unholy Knights in Darkness are as fierce, organised, and capable as any other. They are known to be self-reliant, yet always aid their brethren knights when possible. Aka Dark Knights, with some confusion with the Undead Dark Riders subset of the Returning Knights-errant
Unholy Knights of Stryfe—Stryfe—Though they may seem rather more competetive than cooperative with one another, and dispite the reputation of their faith, this is a fairly ordinary knightly order. Aka Unholy Knights
These are knights tied to the nobility. Most of these orders are non-exclusive and indicate meritorious service to your liege lord.
Advance Guard of the Knights-Forward—Formour & Northern Protectorate—Aka Advancers
Banneret Knights of the Lion—Formour
Blood of King Elijah—Formour, some Heldannic—Largely Dwarven membership
Cerise Order of the Knights of Chivalry—Byzant & Formour
Chaste Preservers of Peace—Grim Sea Islands—Requires a vow of chastity, as the name implies; disavows the knighthood of the Defenders (below); aka Peacers (or Piece-less to their detractors)
Circle of Spurs—Formour
Defenders of Peace—Grim Sea Islands—This order formed as a splinter group from the Peacers (above). They take a vow of celibacy instead of chastity: they vow never to marry, but don’t vow to not sleep around… Aka Defenders
Defenders of the Coast—Elven Homeland
Desert Legion of Brothers—Byzant, but not exclusively—Aka Legionnaires
Flowering Plum Blossom of Knighthood—Elven & Killian—Aka Plum Blossoms or Plummies
Grand Order of the Bayard Charger—Formour
Guardians of Harmony—Formour & Elven Homeland
Guardians of the Silver Chalice—Sea of Chaos & Byzant
Knights of Bitter Tears—Formour, Grim Sea, & Sea of Chaos
Knights of Duke Augustus the True—Formour & Byzant
Knights of St. Chae—Killian
Knights of the Abyss—Killian & Greatsea Islands—Accomplished sailors as well as horsemen
Knights of the Broken Violin—Greatsea Islands
Knights of the Copper Shield—Formour & Killain
Knights of the Golden Spoon—Byzant & Elven Homeland
Knights of the Great Mother of Peace—Killian—Founded directly by the previous Empress, and consider the current holder of that office to be the titular head of their order
Knights of the Metal Ribcage—Byzant—Founded by a Meta whose skeleton is still on display at their chapterhouse
Knights of the Order of Princess Andrea—Elven Homeland & Formour, with some in Heldannic lands
Knights of the Order of the Knights—Grim Sea Islands
Knights of the Order of the Muskrat—Elven Homeland & Formour
Knights of the Rose—Formour—Bitter rivals of the Order of the Rose; aka Red Roses
Knights of the Shield and Mace—Formour & Killian
Knights of the Smoke—Elven Homeland & Formour—This order was founded on the principle of anonymity. Knights of the Smoke do not reveal themselves during a tournament nor even to each other. Only the three sponsoring knights know the new supplicant’s identity. While some do use this protection for nefarious ends, most join the Smoke Knights because their position, reputation, or family would otherwise prevent them from joining their fellow knights in tournaments and other events. It is rumoured that an Elven prince created the order so that he may participate in the lists without his title gaining him an unfair advantage. Most Smoke Knights are also members of other knightly orders. Aka Smoke Knights or Smokies
Knights of the Splintered Table—Greatsea Islands—Aka Splinters
Knights of the White Cross—Elven Homeland & Sea of Chaos—Aka Cruxes
Lances of Justice—Sea of Chaos—Aka Lancers
Legion of Honour and Justice—Worldwide
Magenta Order of the Chalice—Grim Sea Islands
Mountaineers of the Highest Order—Formour & Northern Protectorate, with a strong showing in the Heldannic Confederation, especially among Dwarves & Trolls—Aka Mountaineers
Mysterious Order of the Serpent—Byzant—Actually, the only thing mysterious about this order is why they chose this name. Aka Snakes, but this has a connotation with 'knowledge' in parts of Byzant
Order of Distrellia—Byzant—Distrellia is a Bizzannite province; the order originates there from back when it was a sovereign state
Order of Knights of the Grey Cat—Formour
Order of Knights of the Legion—Byzant & Sea of Chaos
Order of Lace—Worldwide
Order of St. Benjamin—Formour
Order of Tears—Byzant, Formour, & Northern Protectorate—Largely Gothic membership
Order of the Bat—Byzant
Order of the Black Goat—Elven Homeland & Greatsea Islands
Order of the Cross of Sebastian—Sea of Chaos
Order of the Chrysanthemum—Elven Homeland & Grim Sea Islands
Order of the Doomed Maple—Greatsea Islands & Byzant
Order of the Dragon—Worldwide—A very prestigious order, comprised of only the cream of the crop; only the best knights (of any order, or none at all) are invited to join, and the invitation has never been refused to date, nor has any members later proven unworthy
Order of the Emerald Bridle—Formour
Order of the Falcon—Greatsea Islands
Order of the Grey Stone—Greatsea & Grim Sea Islands
Order of the Heavy Heart—Grim Sea
Order of the Knights of Peace—Formour
Order of the Knights of the Sword—Byzant & Killian Empires
Order of the Morning Sun—Killian, Greatsea Islands, & Northern Protectorate
Order of the Pitcher and Plate—Formour
Order of the Raging Spleen of Justice—Byzant
Order of the Rampaging Possum—Worldwide
Order of the Rose—Byzant—Bitter rivals of the Knights of the Rose; aka White Roses
Order of the Scarlet Knights in Waiting—Formour
Order of the Seekers After Order—Worldwide—Predominantly Trollish membership, and considered by many Trolls to be nearly as prestigious as the Order of the Dragon; the order’s name isn’t redundant in the original Dwarven, by the way; aka Seekers
Order of the Sour Fruit—Grim Sea Islands
Order of the Squirrel—Elven Homeland & Formour
Order of the Warders of the Oaks—Elven—Aka Wardens
Preservers of the Flowering Garden—Killian and Northern Protectorate—Aka Preservers
Preservers of the Purity of the Dawn—Byzant & Grim Sea Islands
Questing Knights—Mortocracy of Malachai
Sisterhood of Peace—Byzant, Grim Sea, Formour, and Killian—This is an all-female sorority of knights. Aka Sisters
Sisters of Merciful Justice—Formour—Despite the name, this order does have a few male knights
Soldiers of the Night—Byzant
Squires of the Banner—Byzant
Swamp Knights—Northern Protectorate
Western Guard of the Knights in Service—Formour—Once a lay splinter group of the Holy Order of Servant Knights; aka Western Guard
These knights earn their spurs through their order itself, rather than a king or church.
Axes of Honour—Imagine the worst street gang you can. Now evolve that mental image into an international organised crime syndicate, but without losing any of the viciousness of life on the street. Now imagine that every member of this gang/syndicate is also a knight with all of the martial expertise and experience, quality of arms & armour, determination, leadership, wealth, connections, and vainglory that the term implies. The Axes of Honour originated in the Killian Empire, but moved their operations to Byzant (fled the country) early in their history. From there they reorganised, grew in strength and numbers, and returned to the Killian Empire as well as spreading to other nations. Though the Axes’ underhanded dealings are not exactly the best kept secret, they somehow manage to avoid the Law and keep a decent public image. Their dealings with other knights are always honourable, at least openly, and always meet dishonour with death.
Charge of the Terrible Light Squad—Lightwalker Missionaries in the Killian Empire have met with some success on those islands. Most of Her Imperial Majesty’s citizens follow some other faith, or even several, but these knights are among those that converted wholeheartedly to the Temple of Light. This is a knightly order that would otherwise be considered a third monastic order of the Temple, but it is not officially recognised by the church hierarchy. These Killian Mammonites are often considered just a touch fanatical.
Crimson Order of the Knights of the Shadows—A group of dark knights who practice necromancy; detailed further in Death: The Pale Horse—Aka Death Knights or Shadow Lords
Divine Order of the Fang & Fist—This order was originally a Heldannic berserker society that fought unarmed (though armour was allowable). It still exists in that form in the Confederation, but has expanded to become a knightly order in regions further south. They have transformed the creed of 'no weapons ever' to become 'no dishonourable and inappropriate weapons.' Thus, they never face a dismounted foe while on horseback, never meet sword with spear, do not use siege weapons or poison, and some do not even ever use ranged weapons in open battle. The original motto of 'an unarmed warrior is never disarmed' has been kept, and all of the Divine Order of the Fang & Fist are trained in multiple forms of hand-to-hand combat. They are bitter rivals—some would even say enemies—of the Divine Order of the Tooth, Horn, and Hoof who claim the Divine Order of the Fang & Fist split off from them when that is clearly not the case. Everyone knows the Divine Order of the Tooth, Horn, and Hoof is a rogue splinter of the Divine Order of the Fang & Fist. Aka Fangs
Divine Order of the Tooth, Horn, and Hoof—This order was originally a Heldannic berserker society that fought unarmed (though armour was allowable). It still exists in that form in the Confederation, but has expanded to become a knightly order in regions further south. They have transformed the creed of 'no weapons ever' to become 'no dishonourable and inappropriate weapons.' Thus, they never face a dismounted foe while on horseback, never meet sword with spear, do not use siege weapons or poison, and some do not even ever use ranged weapons in open battle. The original motto of 'an unarmed warrior is never disarmed' has been kept, and all of the Divine Order of the Tooth, Horn, and Hoof are trained in multiple forms of hand-to-hand combat. They are bitter rivals—some would even say enemies—of the Divine Order of the Fang & Fist who claim the Divine Order of the Tooth, Horn, and Hoof split off from them when that is clearly not the case. Everyone knows the Divine Order of the Fang & Fist is a rogue splinter of the Divine Order of the Tooth, Horn, and Hoof. Aka Teeth
Downward Thrust of Vengeance—The downtrodden and anguished who aspire to knighthood may seek the errant/bachelor orders. In the Downward Thrust of Vengeance, it is actually a requirement that one has known suffering, loss, &/or hardship before joining. Though they may have grim demeanours and all have pain-filled pasts, these knights are to be emulated for their strict adherence to the virtues of knighthood. Aka Vengers
Followers of the Peaceful Shepard—This is the Anglan version of their name. The original Southron Bizzannite name was the more metaphoric 'Lovers of Sheep' (meaning 'those who seek to be as peaceful as a lamb'), but this suffered in translation. This order traces its history—at least mythically, if not in fact—to one of the Companions of the Prophet Mammon (the titular Peaceful Shepard). The Followers do not have the support of the Temple of Light. As they place a great deal of emphasis on their founder’s written legacy—some might even say moreso than the Book of the Cannon itself—it is unlikely that they will ever have such support. This is a lay order, and few in number. These twin facts and their geographic distance from the main areas of influence of the Temple of Light prevent their being considered heretics. Their founder charged them with never using a weapon that sheds blood, but paradoxically also charged them with defending the innocent and the traveller. The Followers reconcile this by using blunt weapons such as the mace and quarterstaff, but are otherwise just as militant as any other order of knights. They still participate in jousts and other tournament events using blunt tips on their lances, but will never use a proper lance in an actual battle. Demonstrating knowledge in the gentle arts of healing is a prerequisite to applying to the Followers of the Peaceful Shepard—i.e. how to apply field & pressure dressings, and how to properly splint a broken limb.
Glorious Sisterhood of the Isle of Seraphi—These bitches are crazy. I’m not being negative, I’m quoting. It actually says that on a placard near the main entrance to their chapterhouse, 'These bitches are crazy,' the way some might place a sign saying 'beware of dog.' Glory in battle is the second most important thing to them—winning at all costs comes in first. Whenever the Glorious Sisterhood enters into battle each looks across at their opponent and knows, 'I’m going to kill you.' Survival falls in importance to winning. Even if it costs the knight her life, she will slay her opponent. Needless to say, they are not very welcome at many tournaments, but none dare question their bravery nor effectiveness. They mark the areas around their eyes with black tattoos. Each is personalised, but collectively identifies that woman as one of their number. The Glorious Sisterhood of the Isle of the Seraphi is also noted for their love of exotic—sometimes unique—weaponry. There is no stated rule that a male cannot join the order and become a Glorious Sister, but to date no man has yet had the fortitude to survive the application, much less the initiation. By this point, few even dare try anymore.
Grim Knights of the Mists—The short description is that the Grim Knights are Shadow Lords without the necromantic talents. However, they have a completely separate history and organisation; one is not related to the other. In all other aspects of their character: appearance, outlook, structure, goals, et al. they are the same as the Death Knights. They even share an identical Crimson Code.
Hidden Servitors in Shadows for the Glories of the Loneliest One—What is quite possibly the longest name ever for a knightly order, the hidden servitors are something of a mystery cult that seems to worship the Killian Empress. Membership is predominantly, but not exclusively Killian and Gaijin. They consider it their charge to do what is best for the Empress beyond all bounds, even at the cost of the Empire itself, or even against the express wishes of the Empress. Belonging to this order is not kept secret, even if what goes on in their closed meetings is. The Killian monarch has several of these knights in her employ, and they are some of the very few errant knights to be in the imperial personal guard. She publicly refers to them as her most loyal subjects, even as she privately worries about what extremes to which they will go.
Knights in Stryfe’s Service—Nearly identical to the Unholy Knights of Stryfe save for slight differences in their colour scheme (red arrows on yellow background rather than red arrows on white background) and that the K.I.S.S. are a lay order. They don’t have the official approval and support of the church, but do not need church approval of their membership or actions, either.
Knights of the Isle of Sanguineus—The Sanguine Knights originated on Sanguineus Island, which according to local legend was the cause of the Red Dawn. The island is a dormant volcano which did errupt about 2000 years ago, but most loremasters agree that the focal point of the Adventus Sanguis event was far to the east, possibly even beyond Osterre. An island in the northwestern arm of the Sea of Chaos near the Elven shores is not a likely candidate. The order’s chapterhouse is a large stronghold at the island’s center, and acts as a default capitol building. The Knights of the Isle effectively hold sovereignty over the island, and they have repelled all would-be claimants, but this is not recognised by either the Byzant or Killian Empires or the Kingdom of Formour. The Elves officially decline to comment on the issue (they don’t care, really), and the Northern Protectorate is the only nation to acknowledge the knights’ sovereignty.
Knights of the Red Cap—Not much is publicly known about this order. They keep their rituals and inner workings a secret, even from junior members. Publicly they state that the mysteries helps bond the knights together, and that there isn’t anything odd or untoward going on behind closed doors. Meetings consist of complaining about the rising cost of grain and locker-room humour, according to them—boring really. Uh huh, sure. Rumours abound about the nature of the Red Caps & their mysteries: they dye their signature caps in the blood of infants, they are all werewolves, they are spies for the Elves (or Hobgoblins, or other Fae), they are a secret sub-sect of another mysterious organisation called the Brotherhood or the Pact, or that they all cheat on their taxes.
Noble Order of the Knights of the Ladder—A charge of knights on the field of battle is a fearsome sight; few units can withstand their lances. However, for a mercenary army to train, equip, and maintain cavalry to the high standards of knighthood is often too great an expense to bear. The Noble Order fills this need with mercenary knights. They hire themselves out to nations needing their expert counsel as military advisors. They subcontract their lances to mercenary units who desire their unbeatable charge. They sell their services to those laying siege, or to besieged cities alike. These knights charge dearly for their services, but they are effective and in high demand. Unlike most orders of knights-errant, many of those in this order were already knights or military commanders before joining. Aka Besiegers
Northern Rangers—Found almost exclusively in the Farreaches, this band of horsemen attempt to keep the peace and aid the few folk who live there from the ravages of the wind, cold, beasts, and Hobgoblins. This is an order in only a tenuous sense, and lacks most of the trappings common to other knightly orders. They often go unarmoured or only lightly armoured, most bear ranged weapons, do not use the title 'sir', do not attend tournaments or other events, and don’t really think of themselves as knights—some might even find the idea rather silly.
Order of Anti-Paladins—This is a fairly typical errant order, tough and evil sounding name notwithstanding. A refusal for the order as a whole to follow only one sovereign is really what separates this order from being a patriciate one. Nearly half of its membership achieved their spurs from noble squirehood, and joined as unbound knights. Many are these are of noble birth. A sizeable number are also members of other orders, and at least as many were cast out of their prior service before joining the Anti-Paladins. This order is known for light censure—if any at all—for those found violating the knightly virtues. Darker rumours swirl around the Order of Anti-Paladins, but it is unknown whether any of them are true, or if they are in fact all mere rumours and unhealthy speculation. If these rumours are false, and it is likely that most if not all are, one wonders whether they were spread by the detractors of the order, or by the Anti-Paladins themselves?
Order of the Bronze Spur—This order seems to serve predominantly as a path to knighthood that would otherwise be denied its worthy supplicants. While it cannot give a young would-be knight a good family, long esquirement, or the wealth to purchase the requisite gear, it can match them with a sponsor who can—or a pair of sponsors as a growing trend: one for training and one for gear. In character it is a mirror of the chivalric peerage orders.
Returning Knights—What gives the Returning Knights their great bravery in battle is that they are already dead, or more accurately, that they have already died. The initiation rites involve the necromantic spell 'Little Death' along with other magics. This ritual temporarily slays the prospective knight, removing a fear of dying along with any ailments or enchantments from which the knight may be suffering. Not all of the supplicants survive the process, in fact many do not. As a result, a given Returning Knight may have a dozen or more squires at one time. The knights of this order spend much of their time out questing, especially for the strange requirements of their order and their own darkly odd new natures. Among the other dark necromancies performed on the short-term corpse of the knight during the investure rituals are 'Last Rites' tied with 'Mockery of Life.' This curse prevents the knight’s final rest, however honourable or ignoble. The Undead form that arises moments later is very similar to how the Returning Knight was before: it looks the same, speaks the same, eats, drinks, trains squires, breathes, bleeds, and sweats. The only overt differences are that the knight is now termed a Dark Rider, and changes the symbol on his shield & banner from a silver crescent on a grey background to a grey crescent on a black background. The Dark Riders are a subset organisation to themselves. They are still Returning Knights, still ride with them into battle, and stand next to them at grand meetings in the chapterhouse, but also have their own hierarchy, own meetings, and own secret agenda. While it’s not something easily defined, there is something sinister to the knight’s new condition. Some of them seem to have strange needs and abilities after their return from the grave the second time.
Vile Order of the Knights of Nefarious Deeds—This order was created to be an anti-knightly order with an almost cartoonishly villainous outlook & character. Though the founder was mentally unwell & created a knightly order of rather silly serial-villain stereotypes, currently the order consists of knights who are noble in deed as well as blood. The grandson of the founder took over command of the Vile Order, and turned it into something much more positive. The modern incarnation of the Vile Order of the Knights of Nefarious Deeds dedicates itself to acts of charity as well as glory in battle. In spite of the odd name and stated goals, as a knightly order founded by the sovereign of an Elder Kingdom, it was just as legitimate as any other. The original name was kept both as a way to somewhat untarnish the founder’s memory and to remind the current knights to stay on the right path. The original members of the order never really did anything terrible. The founder was more into the tropes of the villain than a bad person at heart—and he did run his kingdom well in spite of his affliction. Aka Nefarions
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? Responses (5)
I dont know, I do love some of the names and descriptions in here, but it is way to disorganized and long-winded to give me any vibes to talk of. It seems as if this is just a list of entries pulled from a random generator? If that is the case, I would not consider it suitable for a main submission.
Nevertheless, some may find use for it, without a doubt. And I´m impressed by the sheer size of it...
A good idea but it would be better as individual submissions in great depth.
I echo Ouroboros comment of them seeming kind of random, however having created lists of such as this for Hewdamia I know sometimes it seems that way. I would like to see a start of these being fleshed out a bit. A small entry in to making them their own sub perhaps.
It would be nice to have random strolenites choose one and flesh it out for the site but i also realize that this is for Midian and may have guidlines to follow.
A great wealth of details here, a pity it was not better organized.