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PostSubject: Organizational Structure of the Knighthood.   Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:42 pm

Leadership and Organization

In times of war, leadership of the Knights of Solamnia
depends solely on rank held within each Order. The higher
a Knight’s rank, the more men he leads. However, in times
of peace the leadership of the Knighthood is organized
somewhat differently. Positions of leadership are still based
on rank, but having a higher rank sometimes has nothing
to do with how many men answer to a single Knight.
In peacetime, the Knighthood is organized into circles.
A circle is a collection of all of the Knights who live in
a certain area, from the highest-ranking lord officer to
the lowest-ranking Crown postulant. The size of a circle
can vary from just a few Knights in some rural areas to
hundreds of Knights in large cities or other places where
large numbers of Knights dwell.

The leadership of a circle falls to the highest-ranking
Knight, regardless of how many Knights belong to that
circle. If a circle has forty Knights, but the highest-ranking
Knight is a Sergeant of the Crown, then that sergeant is the
Master of the Circle. He would still defer to higher ranking
Knights on larger matters, but the command of his circle
falls to him. While it is rare that a lower-ranking Knight
presides over a circle, it is not unheard of, especially in
more rural areas.

Offices within a circle, and within the Knighthood, are
usually assigned by popular vote. The Master-at-Arms of
the Circle of Lytburg would be elected to his position by
the Knights of that circle, though the Master of the Circle
would automatically be the highest-ranking Knight and
would hold that office without being elected. Knights
that hold office within a circle, or within the Knighthood
at large, have no special rights or precedence except in
matters directly related to their office. The exceptions to
this rule are the High Knights and the Grand Master. The
Knights who hold these offices outrank everyone else in
the Knighthood and usually hold the office for life.
The High Knights are the leaders of the three Orders.
The High Warrior leads the Order of the Crown, the High
Clerist commands the Order of the Sword, and the High
Justice is the head of the Order of the Rose. These positions
are gained through nomination from within each Order.
In accordance with the Measure, an Order can only elect
one of its own members to fill its High Knight position
and must conduct the election without interference from
the other two Orders. However, this was not the case in
the days before the War of the Lance. During this time,
there were not enough experienced Knights to fill all of
the offices the Measure deemed there should be. During
this time only, an Order was allowed to nominate a Knight
from a different Order to fill its High Knight office.
The Grand Master is the supreme leader of the Knights
of Solamnia. He ranks above all other Knights and is
the master of the Grand Circle near Whitestone Glade
on Sancrist. Only a High Knight can be nominated for
this office, and he must be elected by a group of Knights
drawn from all three Orders. Each circle can send two
of its members to be part of the electing committee;
seventy percent of all circles must be represented for a
valid election. The office of Grand Master was vacant
from the Cataclysm until just after the War of the Lance,
some 353 years. During that time the Knighthood could
not summon the requisite number of Knights to hold an
election because many of the circles had been destroyed or
forced into hiding because of the widespread persecution
of the Knighthood. Regardless, the Measure held that
those circles were still officially part of the Knighthood
and therefore required representation. This matter was
not resolved until near the end of the War of the Lance when
Lady Anastacia Mercador was Elected to the office of Grand Master
By a majority vote due to her steadfast devotion and honor to the gods
of light and her experience. Under her guidance, she was able to bring
about the return of the Knights, and was able to bring enough back
for the vote that made her grandmaster. Since her disappearance however,
the office of Grand Master has remained empty, with many knights
Returning to their keeps, unwilling to involve themselves in the world.

Rank Structure

The rank structure of the Knights of Solamnia
remains unchanged since the time of Vinas
Solamnus. He laid down the ranks of the three
Orders and based them loosely on the hierarchy
of the Cavaliers of Ergoth, the order from which
Solamnus himself came. The hierarchy of the Knights
is unofficially divided into three groups: novitiates,
those who are new to an Order; officers, those who
directly command troops in battle; and lord officers,
the generals and strategists of the Knighthood. A
squire of the Crown is not officially considered part of
the Knighthood and therefore does not hold a military
rank among the Knights.

Novitiates are those who are generally new to an
Order. A novitiate may be an experienced knight,
such as one who has recently become a Rose Knight,
but he is still learning his role in his new Order. The
first rank held by a Knight is that of Crown Postulant.
No other Order has members of postulant rank, as a
postulant is newly knighted and, while he has proven
himself worthy of being a Knight of Solamnia, he has
yet to serve in any significant manner. Postulant is a
rank a Knight rarely holds for long, as most Knights
soon prove themselves worthy of advancement. Some
Knights never hold this rank, proving themselves
capable of holding higher rank while still squires.
Above Crown Postulant is the rank of Knight. This is
the first rank held in all three of the Orders. Knights
are the backbone of the Knighthood and the largest
percentage of Solamnic Knights hold this rank. The
rank of Knight Officer is the rank at which a Knight is
first placed in a leadership role. He is typically placed
in a company as second-in-command. A Knight officer
is called a Sergeant of his Order.

When a Knight becomes an officer, he has proven
himself capable of leading others. A Knight’s first
real command is held at the rank of Subcaptain.
Subcaptains are called Stewards of their Order. A
steward is given command of a company, usually made
up of 2 knights and 10 men-at-arms. If a Knight wishes
to advance from the Order of the Crown to the Order
of the Sword, or from the Order of the Sword to the
Order of the Rose, it is usually done before advancing
beyond steward. Once a Knight reaches the rank of
Captain, he has usually decided to stay in the Order
in which he currently serves. A Knight who holds the
rank of captain is called a Captain of his Order and is
placed in command of a regiment, which is usually five
companies, around sixty men. A compgroup is made
up of seven regiments, which is around 420 men, and
is led by a Knight with the rank of Commander. A
commander is known as a Warden of his Order.
Once a Knight is raised in rank above Warden,
he is a lord officer. It is at these ranks where a Knight
is placed in command of thousands of Knights and
leads whole armies on the field of battle. The lowest
of the lord officer ranks is that of Warrior Lord. A
warrior lord is called a Marshal of his Order. A marshal
usually leads a shield, or five compgroups, more than
2,000 men. A Lord Knight, called a Lord of his Order,
commands a quadron, made up of four shields, or
more than 8,000 men. There are only a handful of Lord
Knights at any one time, depending on the strength
of the Knighthood. Above the Lord Knights are the
three High Knights. The High Warrior commands
the Knights of the Crown. The Knights of the Sword
are lead by the High Clerist. The Knights of the Rose
follow the High Justice. Each High Knight commands
the army of his Order. At full strength, each army
consists of 6 quadrons (48,000 men); however, the
Knighthood has not been at full strength since before
the Cataclysm,

At the head of the Knighthood is the Grand
Master, who personally commands the Grand Circle
of Knights on Sancrist. He is also the supreme military
commander of the Knights, leading all three armies
through the High Knights and Lord Knights.
Prior to the revision of the Measure, there were
exact steps that had to be taken and certain regulations
that had to be followed to be able to rise in rank, and
these were rarely bypassed. Since the revision, there
are still regulations and steps, but the flexibility of an
officer or lord officer to promote those below him is
greatly increased.

Years of love have been forgot
In the hatred of a minute. - Edgar Allen Poe
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