Dragonlance - Age of Might
Knights of Solamnia
“Est Sularus oth Mithas.”
“My honor is my life.”
-Oath of the Knights of Solamnia
The Knights of Solamnia stand as the greatest order of chivalry in Ansalon. Founded by Vinas Solamnus in 1775 PC, in response to a vision sent by Paladine, Kiri-Jolith, and Habbakuk, the Knights of Solamnia are dedicated to the protection of Solamnia and Ansalon, service to the gods of Good, and above all to the ideals of honor. While there have been examples of corruption and disgrace among the Solamnic Knights, they have also given rise to some of Ansalon’s greatest heroes, such as Huma Dragonbane and Sturm Brightblade.
The Measure divides the Knights of Solamnia into three orders—the Knights of the Crown, the Knights of the Sword, and the Knights of the Rose.
The Oath and the Measure
The Oath is quite simply “Est Sularus oth Mithas,” or “My honor is my life.” It is the code by which all Solamnic Knights must live.
The Measure is the set of rules by which a knight lives his life, giving instruction on how to live the Oath. The Measure was once said to have spanned over 30 volumes.
The Measure is a set of written rules and guidelines that the Knights of Solamnia are supposed to live by. The Measure is sometimes called the Solamnic Measure or the Encoded Measure. Squires study the Measure before becoming a knight.
The knights’ founder, Vinas Solamnus, originally wrote the Measure. The doctrine was added to by his successors and by the time of the Cataclysm it was thirty-seven 300-page volumes.
One volume of the Measure was called the The Roster of Loyalty. Some believe that The Illustrated Guide to the Roster of Loyalty is a companion to this volume of the Measure.
From the Writings of Vinas Solamnus and his successors:
The Oath governs all a Knight is and does. It is his life’s blood, it is more sacred to him than life itself.
The Measure of a Knight is taken by how well he upholds the Oath. We judge a Knight against the Measure and by the Measure. The Measure of the Rose deals with holy wisdom among the Knights. The Measure of the Sword deals with the discipline of Honor among Knights. The Measure of the Crown deals with the disciplines of Loyalty and Obedience.
No Knight found wanting in the Measure of any Order shall command Knights on the field of battle nor council with them until repented of his unknightly deeds.
Orders of the Knighthood
The Knights of Solamnia are divided into three separate orders. The Order of the Crown is the lowest status order and comprises the majority of the knighthood. Next, the Order of the Sword, is a more militant and religious body comprising the next largest number of knights. The most renowned Order of the Rose comprises the nobility of Solamnia.
A knight first enters as a Crown Knight, eventually quests to become a Sword Knight, then quests again to become a Rose Knight.
Candidates for Knighthood
To become a candidate for Knighthood, the man must,
1. Be from Solamnia
2. Must serve as a squire to a Knight
3. Must be presented by a Knight in good standing
4. Must face any challenge put forth by any Knight
▪ Exceptions have been made in the past.
Generally, squires are young lads, but there are no age restrictions. Some men remain squires all their life. One whose candidacy has not been approved must wait one year to re-enter his name to be submitted for Knighthood again. During this time he can provide any new evidence to refute any claim against him.
Squires of the Crown
All those who would wish to join the ranks of the Knights of Solamnia must enter the knighthood as Squires of Crown. All knights begin their training in the virtue of Loyalty. The candidate must be presented to a Knightly Council and be sponsored by a knight in good standing of any of the three orders. The candidate swears an oath of allegiance and to the honor and causes of the knighthood.
If there is no dissent amongst the council, the candidate is accepted as a squire. Questions regarding the candidate’s honor require interrogation of the candidate. If the question of honor is dismissed, the candidate is accepted as a squire normally. If the question of honor is valid, the candidate is dismissed until the matter of honor can be satisfied.
Orders of the Knighthood
Knights of the Crown and their Measure
The Order of the Crown forms the basis of the Knights of Solamnia, providing the backbone of their armed forces and the training group for young Knights. The Crowns are led by the High Warrior.
The Measure of the Crown establishes Loyalty and Obedience as the foundation of honor and of the Knighthood. Knights of this Order know the importance of fealty to the Knighthood and to the ideals of the Gods of Good. True loyalty, the Measure teaches, is fealty given freely to those worthy of it. Such loyalty forms the backbone of virtue and the bonds that are the true strength of the Knighthood. Obedience is the brother virtue of loyalty, teaching a Knight to accept the rightful authority of his superiors. Both virtues reflect discipline of the soul and temperance.
Examples of acts befitting the Measure of the Crown: unquestioned obedience to those whose authority is righteously maintained in the Knightly Councils; dedication to the ideals of the Measure; loyalty to brother Knights of all Orders; and all other acts that cause the strengthening of loyalty among the Knights.
The Order of the Crown takes Habbakuk as its patron.
The Knights of the Sword and their Measure
The Knights of the Sword serve the people of Ansalon as warrior-clerics, crusaders, and knights errant, combining the purest ideals of heroism and courage with the power of the Gods of Good and of the heart.
The Measure of the Sword teaches the value of Courage, Heroism, and Faith as key components of the honorable life. To the Sword Knight, life is a continual struggle against Evil, both in the world and within the Knight’s own heart. Courage is necessary to resist the terrors and temptations of darkness, while heroism involves self-sacrifice and daring effort to force back Evil and aid the innocent and virtuous. It is from Faith, meanwhile, that the Knight’s commitment to what is right springs, as well as the strength that can sustain him when all else seems lost.
Examples of acts befitting the Measure of the Sword: facing evil without regard to personal suffering; accepting the challenge of combat for the honor of the Knighthood; defending the honor of the greater Knighthood; defending the honor of a fellow Knight in good standing; protecting the defenseless and weak.
Kiri-Jolith serves as patron to the Knights of the Sword.
Knights of the Rose and Their Measure
The Order of the Rose has always been the most prestigious branch of the Knights of Solamnia. The Rose Knights provide leaders, lawgivers, and exemplars to the Solamnic Knights and the world, guiding others on the path of honor by word and deed alike.
The Measure of the Rose focuses on Wisdom and Justice. Wisdom helps the Rose Knight and those following him determine what honor truly demands, neither failing in their devotion to the Oath and the Measure nor throwing lives away in a misguided pursuit of honor. Justice, meanwhile, involves not only protecting the innocent and punishment the guilty, but treating all people—noble and poor, Good and Evil—honorably and courteously, in conformity with the Measure. This is the ideal that the Order of the Rose strives to bring to Ansalon and to uphold in their own lives, bringing their behavior and that of others into conformity with the teachings of Goodness and the Order of Creation—not through force or fear, but through teaching and example.
Examples of deeds befitting the Measure of the Rose: taking compassion on the less fortunate; sacrific- ing one’s life for the sake of others; taking no thought to one’s own safety in defense of the Measure and its honor; protecting the lives of fellow Knights; seeing that no life is wasted or sacrificed in vain.
Paladine is the patron deity of the Knights of the Rose.
High Knights and Grand Master
The High Warrior or the Lord High Warrior is one of the High Knight positions of the Knights of Solamnia. The High Warrior is the leader of the Order of the Crown and leads an Army of about 48,000 men when the knights are at full strength.
A High Warrior is elected from within the order at a Circle of the Crown.
The High Clerist or the Lord High Clerist is one of the three High Knight positions in the Knights of Solamnia. This knight leads the Order of the Sword and is always from the Order of Clerists. The High Clerist is elected from within the Order during a Circle of the Sword.
The High Clerist is the only Knight that can use representations of the Gods on his heraldic crest design. Depending who he receives his clerical powers from depends on the design, either Paladine’s silver triangle or Kiri-Jolith’s bison horns. He also commands roughly 48,000 men when the army is at full strength, commanding from the High Clerist’s Tower.
The position of High Justice or Lord High Justice is second only to the Grand Master of the Knights of Solamnia and serves as the head of the Knights of the Rose. The High Justice is elected from within the order at a Circle of the Rose. At full strength this position commands six quadrons, a force of 48,000 men.
The High Justice wears judicial robes of black over his knightly armor and is based at the Hall of High Justice in the City of Palanthas.
The Grand Master is the leader of the Knights of Solamnia. According to the Measure, the Grand Master is determined at a Grand Circle of the Knighthood. The representatives at the Grand Circle vote privately to select the Grand Master from among the High Knights.
In dire circumstances, such as in a time of war, the measure provides the means to form a Grand Circle to elect a Grand Master when the High Knights have fallen in battle.
Grand Circle of the Knighthood
The Grand Circle is the governing body of the Knighthood. To convene the Grand Circle seventy percent of all the Circles of Knighthood must have two representatives in attendance.
If a Grand Circle can not be formed, or for minor matters of the Knighthood, a Knightly Council may be formed.
Such councils shall be convened as required by the Measure. They must include three Lord Knights, one from each of the Orders of Knights. If any order cannot provide a Lord Knight, then a Knight may stand in his stead so long as there is at least one Lord Knight presiding.
Councils shall convene for the following purposes: to determine strategies of war; to assign orders for war and battle; to select the Warrior Lord prior to a battle; to hear charges of unknightly conduct; to honor those who have performed valiantly on the field of honor; for settlement of questions concerning the Measure.
The Roster of Loyalty
The Roster of Loyalty is a volume of the Measure containing the rules for heraldic crests of the Knights of Solamnia. Some believe that The Illustrated Guide to the Roster of Loyalty is a companion to this volume of the Measure.
The Roster stipulates that a crest must be in the standard shield shape sometimes called a field. The Roster prohibits the use of any kind of godly symbols or representations. The only exception is the High Clerist. Also, the Kingfisher is considered a symbol for the knighthood as a whole and can not be used in a crest. Representations of evil creatures can not be used unless the creatures are represented as dead or dying.
Honor of the Sword
The Honor of the Sword is a ceremony of the Knights of Solamnia. If a knight is found guilty of committing a heinous act against the Solamnic Oath and the Measure they are offered the chance to go through the Honor of the Sword. The ceremony is a ritual suicide, but the knight’s and his family’s honor is retained. It is voluntary, but refusal to go through the ceremony means the knight will be outcast from the knighthood and all his titles and land awarded to him by the knighthood will be taken.
Night of Reflections
The Night of Reflections is a night of meditation and self-reflection that a squire goes through before they become a Knight of Solamnia. According to the Measure, the night must be spent “in watching and in long thought, from sunset again unto sunset, for even the light of day is dark when the memory ranges.”
Solamnic Circles are a type of organization that the Knights of Solamnia are structured in during peace time. Every knight belongs to a circle. They are located in within towns and cities. The size of a circle depends on the location, but most have forty to eighty members. Though small towns will have less and large cities may have a lot more. The leader of a circle is the highest ranking knight in the circle. Other offices in the circle are filled by popular vote in the circle. The knights in a circle are sometimes referred to as the Knights of the Circle.
Order of Clerists
The Order of Clerists is a sub-order of the Order of the Sword. Membership is limited to Clerics. The Order of Clerists is led by the High Clerist who, by the Measure, must be of this order.