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Order of the Hart membership (esp. Veluna)

 
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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:44 pm    Post subject: Order of the Hart membership (esp. Veluna) Reply with quote

Greetings,

Some more questions regarding this 3-part Order of Knights. I realize they are supposed to be independent of the religious and political spheres of their respective regions (Furyondy, Highfolk, Veluna) but have influence in these areas. My questions mainly pertain to the Knights of the Hart in Veluna primarily.

In perusing the "Greyhawk: Player's Guide" (pages 56-58) it mentions that these knights, upon membership, are given a modest stipend (3 gp weekly), a mount (replaced as needed), and a tabard (as well as any other insignia). However in order to qualify for membership, knights are expected to maintain their own arms and equipment and have a staff of men and women (henchmen, hirelings, I would suppose) under their command.

1) If the Order is truly independent, who, or what, pays for the aforementioned stipend, mounts, and tabard?

In my mind, I wonder if this is like joining a union. Knights are expected to pay into the system to receive benefits. I just don't know if it is a set rate (if so, what is reasonable?) or like a tithe of monthly income (10% for instance).

If a tithe, then some knights are paying more than others, so wondering how they are compensated in other ways. Maybe they have more influence in the Order...?

2) When a candidate is inducted, is the ceremony open to everyone, or is it a 'Members Only' kind of induction?

3) It mentions there is a hierarchy. If so, how many levels are present? I am open to suggestions.

4) Do all members have the same voting power when meeting together to determine what needs to be done to safeguard their respective areas? I imagine these knights meet quarterly (during the Festival seasons perhaps) to discuss policy, politics, potential threats, and the like.

Or do more ranking knights hold more votes? Or do the ranking knights of the highest rank call all the shots?

5) How do knights rise in office? I imagine it has to do with length of service as well as what they have done to serve the realm. Is this voted on by the Order as a whole (see question 4 above)?

I am interested to hear what everyone proposes. This is something that I need to more clearly codify as DM b/c one of my players has a paladin who might be offered a position and I want to flesh this out.

THANK YOU!

-Lanthorn
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lamashtu
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Order of the Hart membership (esp. Veluna) Reply with quote

Lanthorn wrote:
Greetings,

1) If the Order is truly independent, who, or what, pays for the aforementioned stipend, mounts, and tabard?

In my mind, I wonder if this is like joining a union. Knights are expected to pay into the system to receive benefits. I just don't know if it is a set rate (if so, what is reasonable?) or like a tithe of monthly income (10% for instance).


I figure they're likely sponsored by their (noble) families or in exceptional cases, by their lords. Maybe some receive their stipend from their town or city, or other institution that sees value in the calling. In all cases the prestige would be valuable in its own right. And you know... those second or third sons (or daughters perhaps) need to do something.
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say that the orders (each of them having supporting patrons) pay the 3gp stipend to their membership. As to the knight maintaining their own gear, that means armor, weapons, tack and harness, and so forth. The only equipment provided are the mount, tabard, and insignia (pins, brooches, heraldry on shield, and so forth). The staff would be as you say - henchmen (squires, foot soldiers, a scout, etc.) and perhaps hirelings (porters, servants, herbalist/physic, mercenaries, etc.).

A to induction ceremonies, they might be private of public, as suits the events of the time or the person.

Regarding hierarchy, for Veluna at least, there should be one (the Knights of the High Forest are the least formal of the orders). I would suggest three levels, in general terms they being knights, commanders, high command.

Knights probably rise in rank through openings made available by death or retirement, and of course by acclamation of deeds performed.
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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My interpretation from various readings (including the one I mentioned) is that the Order is truly independent, meaning neither religious nor secular governing powers rule over them. So I imagine neither the theocracy nor the ruling families 'chip in' to cover Order costs. I take this to mean the Order is self-governing and expected to be self-sustaining, hence my take that each Knight pays in to the system to keep it funded.

Or am I incorrect in this interpretation?

What about the voting system, and who makes the final calls (a select few, or every member)?

-Lanthorn
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CruelSummerLord
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1) I think that while the Knights are largely independent of the governments of the states they're affiliated with, the states pay many of the Knights' costs. I see their independence as mostly being in terms of autonomy on how they do their jobs, including rousing and commanding local forces when necessary. They are still active in the politics of their countries-witness the Furyond Knights advocating that Furyondy annex Dyvers again, much to Belvor IV's annoyance.

Other sources of revenue would come from independent lords and communities who are also in danger from Iuz and other threats, and of course from the Knights' paying a share of any treasures won in battle.

2) A candidate being inducted would probably be open to everyone, at least those of an appropriate social rank in addition to the inductee's friends and family.

3) I can see the Furyond Knights having four or five ranks, the Veluna Knights having two or three, and the Knights of the High Forest all being equal. The Velunese and High Forest Knights have fewer ranks since they have fewer members. None of them have as many ranks as a conventional military force, of course.

4) All of the High Forest Knights have equal voting power, but the Veluna Knights allow the second and third ranks to choose delegates to vote alongside the first rank and the Furyond Knights only allow their first rank to vote. I see the Furyond Knights as being more traditionally military than the Velunese Knights, and the Velunese Knights being more military than the High Forest Knights. A traditional military hierarchy does not give its lieutenants and sergeants the same weight as its generals and admirals in decision-making.

5) Even the Furyond Knights are not as obsessed with protocol and ceremony as the Knights of the Watch, so advancement in all the Knights of the Hart orders is faster than you might think. Since high-ranking Knights are expected to continue to take the field, there is semi-regular turnover as the positions of Knights who die or are otherwise unable to serve open up.

There is factionalism among the Furyond and Veluna Knights, of course, but in both cases advancements in rank come from a combination of personal valor and skill and larger strategic and tactical ability. Length of service is not officially a factor, but it's often taken into account. A young Knight who's just earned his spurs is not as likely to be promoted as a hardened veteran who's both a skilled swordsman and has a long record of successful guerilla raids on Iuz. In the Knights of the Watch, who you know matters as much as what you know, but in the Hart these kinds of politics are much less of a factor.


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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CruelSummerLord, thank you for hitting point by point. Happy

Ok, liking the discussion so far and giving me things to consider. I guess I can see the government paying overhead costs for the Order, but I find it odd that they are supposedly independent...after all, who pays for something without expecting something in turn! Not many people, even those "godly" priests of Rao.

Only indirectly do the knights answer to the Velunese government, after all.

Does that mean, in your mind, that the Theocracy pays? Or the 7 ruling families? Both?

So a union membership due...not?

Keep it coming. Thanks again!

-Lanthorn
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lanthorn wrote:
My interpretation from various readings (including the one I mentioned) is that the Order is truly independent, meaning neither religious nor secular governing powers rule over them. So I imagine neither the theocracy nor the ruling families 'chip in' to cover Order costs. I take this to mean the Order is self-governing and expected to be self-sustaining, hence my take that each Knight pays in to the system to keep it funded.


Many of the Knights of the Hart are nobles and have lands and peasants providing them with income. These knights will support the knighthood as a whole, providing stipends to knights who need them.
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tarelton
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding the finances of the Furyondy and Veluna branches, I think we are looking too closely at a cash economy like our modern one, and not considering that this is a semi-medieval world.

The primary source of wealth in the Flanaess is agriculture. Feudalism is alive and strong in the various Oeridian-influenced states, such as Furyondy and Veluna. Therefore, the orders would likely hold feudal duties and privileges over certain areas, appointing a member as the actual lord. This would likely be in a strategic area that the state wishes to provide an extra layer of protection to... witness Castle Hart in Furyondy, which sits at the nexus of the Crystal and Veng rivers, and is run by the Order of the Hart. If I recall correctly, the Baron extracts taxes from his demesne and gives much of it to the Order, keeping the remainder to maintain the castle. Hart was only an example, as there are probably other castles in both realms that the Orders run.

As far as the Branch in Highfolk... it is small enough that a small endowment would likely cover its expenses.

I'm curious what people think about other branches of knighthood beyond the Oeridian-dominated regions; i.e. how do the Knights of the Watch fit in compared to the "germanic/Oeridian" Knights of the Hart? I actually think of them as closely resembling the Teutonic Knights, and Grand March being a sort of melange of the Tuetonic Knights and 18th-century Prussia.
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The orders are independent, although they operate with the permission of their home nations through a royal charter or equivalent, as governments are generally not all that keen on having military forces not beholden to them set up within their borders, no matter how friendly they might be at the time.
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CruelSummerLord
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tarelton wrote:
Regarding the finances of the Furyondy and Veluna branches, I think we are looking too closely at a cash economy like our modern one, and not considering that this is a semi-medieval world.

The primary source of wealth in the Flanaess is agriculture. Feudalism is alive and strong in the various Oeridian-influenced states, such as Furyondy and Veluna. Therefore, the orders would likely hold feudal duties and privileges over certain areas, appointing a member as the actual lord. This would likely be in a strategic area that the state wishes to provide an extra layer of protection to... witness Castle Hart in Furyondy, which sits at the nexus of the Crystal and Veng rivers, and is run by the Order of the Hart. If I recall correctly, the Baron extracts taxes from his demesne and gives much of it to the Order, keeping the remainder to maintain the castle. Hart was only an example, as there are probably other castles in both realms that the Orders run.


Isn't the 'cash economy' of D&D kind of implied, though? Regardless of edition, a major part of the game is accumulating liquid assets...of which there are a lot in the Flanaess, probably much more than existed in most of the real feudal European world. There are references in the 1E DMG to wizards accepting payments for their services in magic items, while 'The Adventure Begins' notes that Greyhawk's temple of Pholtus is sending large sums of money to the Theocracy of the Pale in gems. In my current Silver Wolf story, Seline pays a sage for his services with a pouch of amethysts.

If PC adventurers use the loot they accumulate from monsters to pay for so many of their expenses, why should it be different for any order of knighthood, particularly since some of those knights could be PCs? The governments of Furyondy and Veluna would probably encourage it, since it's less money out of their own coffers.
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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More questions, with my take added:

There are roughly 70 Knights in Veluna (something like that), but doubt they are equally divided across the Dioceses (and Archdiocese). I imagine there are more in the larger regions than the smaller and tend to be based out of the big population centers such as Mitrik, Whitehale, Devarnish, etc. Thusly, the Diocese of Whitehale (I think it's the largest of the regions) likely has the biggest concentration of Knights.

6) Agree or disagree (and why)?

Thusly, I imagine the Knights tend to focus on their respective "domain" (a Knight in Veluna City concentrates on the Archdiocese while a Knight based out of Devarnish focuses on that Diocese) rather than the huge nation as a whole but DO indeed cross-collaborate and assist as needed to protect the entire Archclericy. In this way they can divide and conquer (protect), in a manner of speaking.

7) Agree or disagree (and why)?

When a worthy candidate is presented, he/she must petition not just the Knights from his/her region (Diocese, or Archdiocese) but must have the majority vote of the Knights as a whole. I imagine this happens when the Knights try to meet as a huge conclave, perhaps once per year, to discuss matters of importance to the Order as a whole, and I propose this meeting is based out of the capital city, Mitrik.

8) Agree, or disagree (and why)?

thanks again everyone,

Lanthorn
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

6. At most times, the largest concentration of Velunese knights would likely be along the the Fals Gap and border of Gran March. Others might be along the border of the Yatils (possibly including as far east as Whitehale), Lortmils, and Lorridges to guard against incursions of...stuff...from those regions. Some knights might roam the land incognito, staying vigilant for spies, provocateurs, cults, etc.

7. I think it is reasonable to have the knights based in different places, but not too strongly, as that would be the purpose of the nation's military forces in general. Homes of knights sort of lie outside those bounds, as they are obvious bases. The Knights of the Hart are rather autonomous compared to any order directly serving the Archcleric, or any influential church in a particular city. I think they would be much more likely to rove about to areas where trouble rears its head, no matter what part of the realm that might be. Their numbers might fluctuate in any region, at any given time.

8. I think petitioners would be rather rare. Most would be invited by the order to join, whether that would be to squire for a member of the order or someone more accomplished being asked to join the order outright as a knight. Sponsorship would seem to be a better mode of induction. One must be known to the order through having shown their worth in some manner. The order is more likely to take on as a squire a pious farmer's son who drove off humanoid raiders that threatened his village than the son of an influential lord who is...just the son of an influential lord. For me, the Knights of the Hart are more representative of an ideal than any other secular order, and so I hold them to (and portray them as having) a higher standard. The Knights of the Hart are not normal orders of knighthood, and so they do things a bit differently in my book.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding income, much like Rasgon mentioned, I'd imagine the the Orders have their own manorial holdings that generate income. Some land may directly belong to some of the Order's members whilst other land may have been bequeathed to the order upon the death of a member with no heirs, building a property potfolio over the years that belongs to each order as a whole.

As for hierarchy - you could turn to one of the historic monarchical orders maybe?

Just as an example;

Grand Stag of the Knights of the Hart (if you want an overarching figurehead overseeing all three branches of the Order)
|
Grand Commander / Grosskomtur (one for each branch)
|
Knight Commander/Komtur (oversees a specific region such a a diocese in Veluna)
|
Knight Lieutenant
|
Knight

Not officially knights or members of the order would be the serjeantry/men-at-arms, squires and pages.

Each order could also have a number of other ceremonial or administrative positions. I think the templars had an offical draper who oversaw the tabards and colours for the whole order. A Treasurer makes sense, a Master/Mistress of Ceremonies or senior Chaplain, an officer in charge of the admin of running the various estates and manors maybe?
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are good ideas (manorial holdings granted/willed to the order especially), though the whole idea of diocese is incompatible with this order. None of the branches of the Knights of the Harts are holy orders, let alone one representing a singular faith and run nationally. Religion in Veluna is comprised of many faiths, and every faith will have its own equivalent of a diocese (the more organized religions will at least). Diocese area division would be suitable for a state sponsored holy order within the Theocracy of the Pale, but the Knights of the Hart are not that sort of order. They'd probably apportion areas of control based on how the nation does so: according to cities and surrounds, the landholdings of lords, etc.

As to command structure, there is no one person in charge of all three orders. Each order is autonomous and has its own command structure, with its own head. They are just related, that being based upon a common founding representing an alliance of nations. The 120 or so Velunese Knights of the Hart do not need more than a few levels of hierarchy: knights (who lead commoner troops), battle leaders (the most experienced knight among a group of knights), and an overall head of the order. There might be three to ten knights in any one place at most times, one of them designated the battle leader by whatever metric the order uses, with various commoner troops under their collective command. The LGG lists every Velunese Knight of the Hart as being a landowner. As they are landholding knights in the feudal sense, the foot soldiers will be household troops and henchmen. They probably only field mercenaries when necessary, and even then only from more local companies of good repute. The head of the order might be based in Mitrik, which is not only the capital but is also just a short ride from the Fals Gap.

The Velunese Knights of the Hart lend support to Verbobonc, Furyondy, and Highfolk, and do not have much opportunity to directly battle the forces of Iuz. They are mostly concerned with stopping Westerling raiders (some of whom are actual Ketite military), humanoid raiders from the local hills/mountains, and keeping an eye on the Gran March/Knights of the Watch who they do not trust all that much.
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tarelton
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Isn't the 'cash economy' of D&D kind of implied, though?


Cruel Summer Lord, this has been one of my gripes with AD&D for a while. While a cash economy does speed up the game, it also removes a lot of the detail that makes a medieval fantasy world so interesting. My inspiration for how I think things should actually work is Ken Follet's "Pillars of the Earth", a historical novel which takes place during the Anarchy (1135 to 1153 AD), which is the sweet spot for WoG in my opinion... or within a century of it at least. There you get a good sense of how a medieval economy actually worked: cash poor, barter, agricultually-based, silver the most common coinage, etc. My concept is that while the cities may mostly run on cash, most of the population runs on a combination of cash in barter in the smaller towns and villages, and barter in the most rural areas.
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CruelSummerLord
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lanthorn wrote:
More questions, with my take added:

There are roughly 70 Knights in Veluna (something like that), but doubt they are equally divided across the Dioceses (and Archdiocese). I imagine there are more in the larger regions than the smaller and tend to be based out of the big population centers such as Mitrik, Whitehale, Devarnish, etc. Thusly, the Diocese of Whitehale (I think it's the largest of the regions) likely has the biggest concentration of Knights.

6) Agree or disagree (and why)?

Thusly, I imagine the Knights tend to focus on their respective "domain" (a Knight in Veluna City concentrates on the Archdiocese while a Knight based out of Devarnish focuses on that Diocese) rather than the huge nation as a whole but DO indeed cross-collaborate and assist as needed to protect the entire Archclericy. In this way they can divide and conquer (protect), in a manner of speaking.

7) Agree or disagree (and why)?

When a worthy candidate is presented, he/she must petition not just the Knights from his/her region (Diocese, or Archdiocese) but must have the majority vote of the Knights as a whole. I imagine this happens when the Knights try to meet as a huge conclave, perhaps once per year, to discuss matters of importance to the Order as a whole, and I propose this meeting is based out of the capital city, Mitrik.

8) Agree, or disagree (and why)?

thanks again everyone,

Lanthorn


6: I would agree, since the most heavily populated areas would have the greatest number of civilians who would need protection, especially in Veluna where most of the civilian population has trouble killing rabbits, let alone invading orcs and ogres. That said, knights with wilderness training would regularly accompany regular military patrols to the outlying areas acting as 'first responders' to danger and to mobilize the larger forces of problems the wilderness knights and patrols can't handle on their own.

7: Agree to a certain degree. The lower-ranking knights would focus primarily on their own individual domains, but they would almost certainly pass on intelligence to their superiors in Mitrik or Veluna City. The higher-ranking knights would concern themselves with the entire nation, relying on the information and reports they receive from lower ranking knights to coordinate the larger effort. Lower-ranking knights have latitude to deal with local problems, when they're facing problems they can't handle alone they are both allowed and expected to alert higher ranking knights.

8: Agree if you're talking strictly about the Velunese branch of the order, disagree if you're talking about the Knights as a whole. Each of the three branches of the order is very different, and they all have their own preferences and needs for who they choose as knights. Someone who's trained for the Velunese knights would not need to be judged by a Furyond or High Forest knight, and the Velunese knights would not appreciate the other orders trying to make decisions for them.
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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again, thank you all who posted! Your input and suggestions are MOST helpful and have given my MUCH to digest.

I have decided that each Diocese (and the Archdiocese) will have a Knight Commander (perhaps elected by the other knights in his area of influence) who oversees the defense of that region. The 'subordinate' knights, especially those just below him/her in the Order hierarchy, report to the Knight Commander semi-regularly (perhaps during each Festival season). It is the Knight Commander who then determines what needs to be done and distributes tasks among his/her subordinates to do what they need to do for the safety and security of the region. How they choose to do this is entirely up to them based on their skill sets, influence, and the like.

There will be a 'grand meeting' open to ALL the Knights once per year, on average, held in Mitrik, but primarily the Knight Commanders from each region. This is the time for the Knight Commanders to talk amongst themselves about the safety and security of Veluna as a whole and debate, quarrel, and exchange information.

As for inducting new members (like my player's paladin), first a member of the Order must sponsor such person. The candidate must be presented to the Knights of that Diocese (or Archdiocese) for potential inclusion. The candidate must pass a series of 'tests' to demonstrate his/her abilities and skills prized by the Order. In Veluna, this means combat, diplomacy, and scholarship. It may differ with the other Orders (Highfolk and Furyondy).

Should the candidate PASS these tests (under the governance, but with minimal aid from the sponsor...after all the candidate needs to be self-reliant!), however long that takes, then he/she is brought before the group once more in that region (Festival season) for 'judgment.' Votes are cast by each Knight as to his/her worthiness to induction.

I am still pondering if a mere majority is needed, or a super-majority...

If the candidate has enough votes in his/her favor for induction, THEN he/she becomes a probational member of the Order. He/she then must present himself/herself to the 'great assembly' held in Mitrik annually for final approval. His/her case is presented (likely by the candidate with sponsor assistance), final votes are cast for final inclusion. If the candidate earns the majority of votes, he/she is in!

I am still vacillating which method to use on this score:

1) ALL Knights regardless of rank get to vote (but perhaps the higher ranking Knights have more voting power, like a Super Delegate), OR

2) ONLY the Knight Commanders get to vote!

Ideas?

thank you again,

Lanthorn
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