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Feuds and Rivalries of Knights and Their Orders, Part I
Posted on Sun, January 30, 2005 by Dongul
CruelSummerLord writes "It is noted in canon that the Knights of the Hart, despite their less militant outlook, have rivalries and hatreds with groups such as the people of Dyvers, some of the Nyrond nobility, Perrenland, and so forth. Other tensions and rivalries exist between the Knights of the Watch and the elves of the Sheldomar Valley, the Knight Protectors of the Great Kingdom and the Flan, and so forth. Where do these rivalries come from? Why have they developed?

Upon the Feuds and Rivalries of Knights and Their Orders, Part One
By: CruelSummerLord
Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

“It has been noted quite often that the orders of knighthood share many rivalries and feuds with each other and with other groups, although there has been little explanation of why these conflicts exist. Quite likely, the origins of these rivalries extend back to their founding in the Flanaess, and their revelation proves once again that there are two sides to every conflict; that peoples and nations supposedly viewed as good can turn on each other just as can the forces of evil; and that one should be wary when assigning the term of "good" or "evil" to any given situation in the Flanaess.” – The The Brother of the Cruel Summer.

The Knights of the Hart were originally founded in the 260s CY after the secession of Furyondy from the Great Kingdom, founded as a compromise between the king of the new realm and his fractious nobles, who could not agree on plans for defense against outside invaders. These threats included the humanoids and some demihumans of the Lortmil Mountains, Yatil Mountains, the Vesve Forest, Keoland and its forces to the south, Zeif, and later the Brazen Horde in modern Ket, and the looming threat of the Great Kingdom, which still existed in the north and east. Since no accord could be made on plans for the new army, the Knights of the Hart were founded as a compromise so that the kingdom could immediately defend itself while still respecting the sovereignty of its nobles. The Knights of the Hart later had a new branch established in Veluna in the 450s CY, formed from the heroes of the Short War, which freed Veluna from the grip of imperial Keoland. When Veluna broke away from the kingdom, it kept its own order of the Hart, one that worked with Furyondy's while closely guarding the interests of its own country. The Knights of the High Forest were established to protect Highfolk from the threats offered by its enemies, especially the petty baronies of the Northern Reaches, the degenerate peoples of which would later form the Bandit Kingdoms, Iuz, and the Horned Society.

The reason for the enmity between the Hart and the evil nations to the north was immediately obvious; the Northern Reaches were full of fractious and cruel men who consorted with humanoids and constantly raided and slaughtered each other, and caused no end of trouble for the Furyonds and the High Folk to the south. With the rise of Iuz and later the Horned Society in the 400s and early 500s CY, this enmity was sealed. The Knights of the Hart, as the defenders of their nations against raids and attacks from the peoples of the north, continued a tradition of mutual animosity with the peoples of the north that the indigenous Flan nations had carried on long before the Great Migrations.

Other enmity can be explained as well. Furyondy took control of the marches of Perrenland after breaking free of the Great Kingdom, and the Knights of the Hart of Furyondy were among the leading bailiffs and noble landowners who controlled the realm. The attack of the Relentless Horde in the north allowed the Perrenders to expel the Furyonds, in a series of quick military victories that ended in a deep humiliation for the Furyondian Knights of the Hart. This embarrassment has not been forgotten by the modern Knights of Furyondy, many of whom would love nothing more than to reclaim their "birthrights" in reconquering and holding Perrenland. Tensions between the Knights of Furyondy and the Knights of the High Forest continue over this issue, as the High Forest and Highfolk have ties to elves who are friendly with the Perrenders; elves that had their own clashes with the Furyonds when the latter were still part of the Great Kingdom. While they are both part of the alliance of good that stands against the evil in the north, the Knights of the Hart in Furyondy and the High Forest in Highfolk still have major tensions between them over these issues.

The enmity between the Knights of the Hart and the Knights of the Holy Shielding are also noteworthy. The nobles of the modern Shield Lands had long had an ugly rivalry with the knights of the Viceroyalty of Ferrond, which often ended in armed clashes and skirmishes. The nobles of the Shield Lands and their order, the Knights of the Shield, continued the unfriendly rivalry with Furyondy and its Knights of the Hart. The Shield Lands felt that the Furyonds had betrayed the ideals of ancient Aerdy by seceding from the kingdom, while the Furyonds viewed the Shield Landers as being mere puppets and lapdogs to the imperial Aerdy regime. Allies against evil only by necessity, the Hart and the Shield often engaged in small-scale battles and even the occasional war with one another after both nations attained their independence, much to the consternation of both their sovereigns. Much of the reason for the Shield Lands receiving only token aid from Furyondy in the Greyhawk Wars in its battles against the Horned Empire have to do with the animosity the Furyondian Knights of the Hart have for their eastern rivals.

Concerning the Knights of the Watch, they and the Knights of the Hart have long been enemies. The Watchmen were enthusiastic supporters of Keoish imperial ambitions, and were a key component of Keoish armies in the Short War between Furyondy and Keoland. Incompetence on the part of the arrogant Watchmen was a major reason for Keoland's defeat and the liberation of Furyondy, but the bravery and courage of those who would found Veluna's branch of the Knights of the Hart galled many in the Knights of the Watch with jealousy. Those Watchmen among the Keoish prisoners of war taken by Furyondy were treated with mercy, compassion and kindness by the priests and ordinary folk of Veluna, but the actions and words of the secular Velunese nobility, as well as the general friendship shown by the Velunese towards neighboring demihumans, so disgusted the Watchmen that they developed an intense loathing for the Velunese Knights of the Hart and its secular noble backers, who were far more blunt than the religious rulers of Mitrik in defending their country's interests.

The hatred felt by the citizens of Dyvers towards the Hart is, as one might suspect, rather predictable in its origin. The Hart were moralistic, collecting donations from the wealthy on behalf of the poor and supporting the interests of demihumans in the city. Charity in itself did not upset the citizens of Dyvers; philanthropy is an admirable tradition in Dyvers, and one that continues to this day. But the people of Dyvers were greatly upset at the growing power and presence of demihumans, especially dwarf and gnome merchants who began to seriously erode Dvyers' profits, and were uncomfortably tied to Dyvers' commercial rivals in Greyhawk and Verbobonc. These were additional motivations for Dyvers to secede from Furyondy in 526 CY. While the Knights of Veluna and the High Forest cared little for such actions, the Knights of the Hart in Furyondy, who still viewed Dyvers as an essential part of the Furyondian kingdom and empire, protested against the decision of King Thrommel II to allow the secession to pass. They now employ methods both subtle and blatant to try and force the city-state back into the Furyondian fold, which angers and upsets the people of Dyvers and causes them to feel loathing for the Knights of Furyondy, and Furyonds in general to a much lesser degree.

Where the enmity between the nobility of Nyrond and the Knights of the Hart comes from is harder to determine. It may have simply to do with the heavy stick of Nyrondal diplomacy, which is still wielded even after the Greyhawk Wars by certain nobles who simply cannot break their old habits. Nyrond's rivalry with Furyondy is not well-known, but it certainly exists, despite the generally fair state of relations between them. Both nations have clashed diplomatically over alliances with Greyhawk, various elements of trade, and Furyondian support for the navy and military of the Urnst states, which provided a useful check against any Nyrondal ambitions on the Nyr Dyv. The governments of both nations have ceased open discourse, as they must both lick their wounds and recover their losses from the Wars.

However, unofficial conflict continues, especially among the nobles of both realms. The kings and their governments are officially allies and have genuinely good and honest relations with one another, but their nobles are another matter entirely. Furyondian provinces such as the Duchy of the Reach and Viscounty of the March, along with their supporters in the Furyondian Knights of the Hart, wage a low-grade war of words and diplomacy with their Nyrondal rivals. King Belvor of Furyondy cannot stop this without stepping on the rights and responsibilities of his nobles, and King Lynwerd has not been able to spare the time to corral his nobles as a Nyrondal king would normally do, given the other pressing problems he faces.

Thus ends Part One, describing the conflicts faced by the Knights of the Hart. Part Two will discuss the origins and rivalries faced by the Knights of the Watch, Part Three will describe the Knights of the Shield, Part Four will describe the Knight Protectors of the Great Kingdom.

"
 
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Re: Upon the Feuds and Rivalries of Knights and Their Orders, Part I (Score: 1)
by Wykthor on Sun, January 30, 2005
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I liked this article. Knightly intrigue meshed with historical facts always enrich one's campaign. I look forward the next parts.




Re: Upon the Feuds and Rivalries of Knights and Their Orders, Part I (Score: 1)
by Scottenkainen on Sun, January 30, 2005
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Furyonds? Perrenders? Are these forms found in canon? They seem strange to my eyes.

I look forward to pt. 4, which I should find most useful and would likely have the most to comment on.

~Scott C.



Re: Upon the Feuds and Rivalries of Knights and Their Orders, Part I (Score: 1)
by Anced_Math (mlheath@mindspring.com) on Sun, January 30, 2005
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I enjoyed the article and thought it was very well done. Thanks.



Re: Feuds and Rivalries of Knights and Their Orders, Part I (Score: 1)
by Wordenwill on Mon, January 31, 2005
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Good work, thx



Re: Feuds and Rivalries of Knights and Their Orders, Part I (Score: 1)
by Samwise (samwise1@msn.com) on Mon, January 31, 2005
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Knights of the Watch are known as Watchers, not Watchmen.

I find it rather unusual that the Knights of the Hart would have been founded to be wary of Keoland in 260 CY. Keoland was still in the period commonly known as the Slumbering, and the Fals Gap was indepdent of any nation. The new Kingdom of Furyondy and the ancient Kingdom of Keoland didn't share a border at the time. Then again, it could simply have been jealousy. Everyone knows the Aerdy and their successor states have always been jealous of the Lion Throne.

The Shield Lands weren't a nation at the time of the creation of Furyondy. Indeed, they were claimed as part of Furyondy at the time of their creation. While I can easily see a rivalry growing later, due perhaps to a lack of concern for such a border region among the Knights of the Hart, the given explanation of the rivalry doesn't seem to jibe well with the history.



Re: Feuds and Rivalries of Knights and Their Orders, Part I (Score: 1)
by Kirt on Wed, February 02, 2005
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Good article, interesting idea for a series. I look forward to reading the others, as I have not thought much about them. I *have* thought alot about the Hart. I must say that I think my article on the founding of the Knights of the Hart adds a lot of depth to this.

http://www.canonfire.com/cfhtml/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=234

Some points:

Yes, Perrenders is a canon term. I agree Furyondians is too cumbersome, and don't know of another canon term.

You say that you assume that the Shield Lands was part of Aerdy longer than Furyondy. But Thrommel I was crowned with the title "Marshall of the Shield Lands", among others. I would say that this strongly implies that the shield lands were part of Ferrond when it broke from Aerdy. It also gives the shielders reason to fear annexation by Furyondy, since they were originally part of that nation.

Finally, it is clear that before the Greyhawk Wars Nyrond and Furyondy would be rivals, and it makes sense that Nyrond would be implicated in the dissapearence of Prince Thrommel. But as for the particular enemnity between Nyrondese nobles and the Knights of the Hart, I have a pet theory...I bet many of the Knights supported the rebellion of the Urnst States from Nyrond, and the Nyrondese nobles have neither forgiven nor forgotten that. I hope to explore that more if I ever get around to adding on to my History of the Knights of the Hart series.

Kirt



Re: Feuds and Rivalries of Knights and Their Orders, Part I (Score: 1)
by Maraudar on Thu, February 03, 2005
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Nice, rivalry and intrigue with the historical background thrown in. I especially like the knight so f the hart. Good to see them get wrote up.

Maraudar




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