Knights of Solamnia
Solamnia were once the greatest order of chivalry in all the history
of Krynn. This historic organization was founded in 1775 PC, by a
human named Vinas Solamnus, a noble warrior visited by the gods
Paladine, Kiri-Jolith, and Habbakuk, the patron gods of the
Knighthood. Now their entire way of life shifts in precarious balance
between the Code of Honor and the truth of what the world has become.
Knighthood of Solamnia is the enforcing arm of the good. Its goals are
not so much to win more land and glory for good, but to stem the
rising tide of evil on Ansalon. The knights are the main force for
chivalry, law, and goodness on this continent, and they constantly
seek to keep the people aware of the knightly ideals.
The Oath and the
organization of the Knights has not changed substantially in the last
1,800 years. The Knights subscribe to two codes: The Oath and the
Measure. The Oath is simply: "Est Sularus oth Mithas"--"My Honor is My
Life." The Measure is an extensive set of codes, many volumes in
length, the purpose of which is to define "honor." The Measure is
complicated and exacting, consisting of thirty-seven 300-page volumes.
Organization of the Knighthood -
Knights are led by the Grand Master, who sits in judgement on matters
of importance to the Knights and, subsequently, the nation of Solamnia
as a whole. Below him are three posts: the High Warrior, the High
Clerist, and the High Justice, each representing the three major
Orders of the Knights. They are, according to the Measure, the
embodiments of honor, Wisdom, and Loyalty. All three rule the entire
knighthood jointly, though they govern the tree orders of Solamnia.
three orders of knights. All knights start out as Squires of the
Crown. After they actually achieve knighthood, they may move onto the
Order of the Sword if they meet certain requirements. After they reach
a certain skill level as a Knight of the Sword, some few may move onto
the Order of the Rose.
has a specific Virtue, which the knights must study and adhere to:
of the Crown -
This is a training order. Along with general knighthood training,
Knights of the Crown study they Virtue of Loyalty. This is the least
of the Sword -
Knights who wish to enter the Order of the Sword must first complete a
quest. This is the most popular order. The Virtue of the Order of the
Sword is Honor.
of the Rose -
Knights who wish to enter the Order of the Rose must go before a
council and relate tales of himself and his family. The political
power of the Knights rests within the Order of the Rose. The Virtue of
the Order of the Rose is Justice.
Orders of the Knights of Solamnia are named the Rose (honor), the
Sword (wisdom), and the Crown (loyalty). Squires accepted into the
Knights of Solamnia enter under the Order of the Crown, learning the
laws and codes of loyalty first. They then must demonstrate their
acceptance of the codes of that Order before progressing to the Order
of the Sword. Entry into the Order of the Rose, the highest-ranked
order, can be attained only by nobility; however, this rule has become
more lenient in recent years.
Order of the Crown -
knights begin here with training in the virtue of loyalty. The Order
of the Crown takes its Measure from affairs of Loyaty and obedience to
authority of the greater Knighthood through its Highest Councils and
commanders. Examples of such acts: unquestioned obedience to those
whose authority is maintained in the Knightly Councils; dedication to
the ideals of the Measure; loyalty to Knights of all Orders; and all
other acts that cause the strengthening of loyalty among the Knights.
Loyalty is the unquestioned promise of a Knight to a higher power and
authority. Loyalty is a treasure valued only when it justly given.
Those to whom loyalty is due include the following: Habbakuk and all
that is good, those oppressed by evil, and those monarchs who by
decree and common consent of the Knightly Councils are in good
standing with the Knighthood and deserving of its honorable loyalty
Responsibilities of a Knight of the Crown: forfeiture of 10% of all
wealth accrued by the Knight, service and aid to any fellow Knight who
is about the business of his order and requires assistance, service to
the kingdoms on the List of Loyalty as compiled by the Grand Circle of
Order of the Sword -
completing his squire duties in the Order of the Crown, each Knight
candidate has the option of either entering that order and continuing
allegiance to that group and its ideals or of entering into the Order
of the Sword. A knight who wishes to advance into the ranks of the
Order of the Rose must first rise through the Order of the Sword. In
addition, every candidate who wishes to join the Order of the Sword
must first complete a quest. According to the Measure, the test must
be a witnessed deed of heroism and valor that upholds the virtues of a
Knightly honor and good.
of the Sword takes it Measure from affairs of curage and heroics.
Examples of such acts are: facing evil without regard to personal
suffering; accepting the challenge of combat for the honor of the
Knighthood; defending the honor of Knighthood; defending the honor of
a fellow Knight; protecting the defenseless. Courage is sacrifice to
the ideals of honor; it is the well from which true honor draws its
life. Heroism includes acts of might in defense of sacrifice and
honor. Those to whom honor is due include the following: the weak and
the oppressed, the enslaved, the poor, the falsely imprisoned, fellow
Knights in need, and the defenseless.
Responsibilities of Knight of the Sword: forfeiture to the coffers of
the Knighthood of all wealth save that required for upkeep, pay homage
to the gods each day (though in times of great hardship, once in a
quartermonth is still a seemly practice), never decline combat with an
evil opponent nor flee from such combat regardless of the strength of
the enemy, protect the weak and the defenseless wherever the need
arises, abstain forever from the use of Knightly powers for
Order of the Rose -
of the Rose takes its Measure from deeds of wisdom and justice.
Examples of such deeds are: taking compassion on the less fortunate;
sacrificing one's life for the sake of others; taking no thought to
one's own safety in defense of the Measure; protecting the lives of
fellow Knights; seeing that no life is wasted in vain. Wisdom is the
strength of honor and ability applied in the service of just causes.
Justice is the heart of the Measure and the soul of a Rose Knight. All
beings regardless of their stations, positions, or beliefs have equal
claim to compassion under the Measure.
Responsibilities of a Knight of the Rose: forfeiture of all wealth
accrued as a Knight save for that needed for the upkeep of any
principalities under the protection of the Knighthood, to honor the
gods of good at all times and in all acts, to fight for justice
without regard to personal safety or comfort, to never submit to any
evil foe, to sacrifice all in the name of honor.
Cataclysm, the Knights of Solamnia were the greatest order of chivalry
in Ansalon. Between the Cataclysm and the War of the Lance, the
knights became reviled and scorned by the people for their inability
or unwillingness to combat the Cataclysm. After the War of the Lance,
the Solamnic Knights regained their status. They sought to revive
their code of honor and apply it to new Ansalon.
Knights of Solamnia arose in the Age of Light, about three millenia
before the War of the Lance. The order of knighthood emerged from the
ruin of the decadent Ergothian Empire. The commander of the Ergothian
Palace Guard, Vinas Solamnus, rode from the capital city of Daltigoth
to quell a rebellion in the northeast. Arriving at the troubled spot,
Vinas saw that the rebellion was justified: the people toiled beneath
the Empire's oppressive tributes and tyrannical laws.
assembled his legion. In an impassioned speech, now lost to history,
he detailed the imperial atrocities and announced plans to champion
the people's cause. In addition, he promised any soldier loyal to
Ergoth safe passage back to the capitol. But the warriors were moved
by the people's plight and, risking exile or even death, most chose to
midst of a fierce winter, Solamnus mustered his knights and the local
frontier nobles. He then launched a series of daring campaigns, which
came to be known as the War of Ice Tears. The Rebel army doggedly
pushed the imperial legions back to the very gates of Daltigoth
itself. Vinas laid seige to the city, executing many covert raids
inside the city walls.
months, the city fell - a revolt among the citizens of Daltigoth
forced the Emperor to sue for peace. Thus, it was not armies but
common folk who broght independance to northeast Ergoth. The people
from Hylo to the Khalkist Mountains chose Solamnus as King, naming the
country Solamnia in his honor. Though the nation did not become a
great power during the Age, the name Solamnia became synonymous with
honesty, integrity and determination.
PC, the Lords of the Northern Reaches besought Solamnus for help.
They, too, had thrown off the Ergothian tyranny and wished to unite
with Solamnia. Though Vinas wanted to wanted to comply, he saw the
task as impossible: the ideals and customs of the nations differed
markedly or even conflicted. Knig Solamnus therefor launched his Quest
of Honor to find an answer to his problem. He left his most trusted
lieutenants in charge and journeyed into the wilderness.
apocryphal stories tell how Takhisis, the Dark Queen, initiated
several covert plots to topple Solamnia in the absence of her king.
Fortunately, Vinas' lieutenants had learned well from their king and
commander and foiled each plot.
after many weeks of wilderness travel and hardship, Solamnus sailed to
Sancrist Isle. Arriving bruised and wind-torn, he forged into the
wilderness. In time, he found a glade where a stone of black granite
lay. There he prayed and fasted to the gods of God. After several
days, the gods Paladine, Kiri-Jolith and Habbakuk came to him. They
instructed Vinas to create a knighthood that will last for generations
to come. Three seperate orders would be created, each upholding a high
ideal from one of the three gods. These knights would unite the
northern lands with Solania and carry on Solamnus's vision of honor
to some legends, Vinas then saw a vision of the future downfall of the
knights. According to others, Paladine reassured Solamnus that the
knights would rise as often as they were truly needed. Some of the
legends even report that each of the three gods told Solamnus a great
secret of wisdom, and wrote these three secrets on three tablets of
black granite. The wisdom tablets are purportedly lost, scattered
about the continent.
legends agree, though, that the gods then transformed the stone where
Solamnus prayed into a pillar of white crystal. The crystal blessed
and sancified the glade, sealing the god's pact to watch over the
orders of knighthood. The gods were bound to the pact unless the
knights strayed from the narrow path of honor. Solamnus returned and
established the three orders of the Knights of Solamnia: the Orders of
the Crown, Sword and the Rose.
himself became the most famous Solamnic Knight, though two of his
contemporaries also became legends: Bedal Brightblade and Huma
Brightblade single-handedly held a pass into Solamnia against hords of
desert nomads. His sword, Brightblade, was of dwarven make, never
rusting or losing it's edge despite heavy use. The tomb of Bedal lies
buried in the southern arms of the Khalkist Mountains, its location
all but lost. Legend states that Bedal will return to aid Solamnia in
its darkest hour. Sturm Brightblade, a knight honor and fame, is a
distant descendant of Bedal.
Solamnic Knight ever exceeded Vinas in virtue: Huma Dragonbane. He led
a group of heroes to destroy the evil dragons, and drive them from
Solamnia. Huma's greatest ally was a silver dragon who, in her human
form, had fallen tragically in love with the knight. During their
battle with Takhisis, Huma sustained a mortal wound. Some accounts say
he died where he fell; others say his death was slow and painful,
causing the agonized gods to inflict thunderstorms across Ansalon. To
this day, many Solamnians claim that thunderstorms mark the god's
mourning for Huma.
reverently buried in a tomb shaped like a silver dragon. Many who
aspired to knighthood pilgrimaged to the spot. As the worl darkened,
the path to the tomb became rough and overgrown. Soon, folk even
questioned whether Huma had truly lived, or was only a legend. The
location of Huma's tomb fell from memory.
War of the Lance, a band of heroes found Huma's tomb. There they also
discovered the special metal used to make Dragonlances. Wanting to
establish the truth of the Huma legends, the heroes opened the tomb.
It was empty. Had the gods of Good taken Huma's body up to the
heavens? Had the evil dragons or even Takhisis stolen the body? The
original legend, told by th elven bard Quevalen Soth, was now to
fragmented to offer any answers. The discovery of Huma's tomb had only
deepened the mystery.
Kingpriest of Istar's monomaniacal quest to extinguish evil was
quickly eroding the foundation of the world- the balance between
Good, Neutrality, and Evil. Krynn was poised on destruction.
Ironically, the gods could only halt the destruction only through an
equaly destructive force. They dropped a fiery mountain onto the
capital city of Istar. The resulting devastation changed the face of
Ansalon and sundered her great civilizations.
though spared the worst, was overrun by evil creatures. Beasts boiled
up from beneath the earth and ravaged the nation. Many knights died
fighting these horrors. After years of such attacks, the peoples faith
in the Solamnic Knights dwindled, then vanished. Rumors purported that
the knights knew of the Cataclysm in advance and refused to avert it.
There was a kernal of truth to these rumors.
deeds blighted the name of the knighthood in a time when the knights
were needed. Soon, the Oath and Measure were publicly jeered. Words
escalated into violence. Knights were fouly murdered; their castles
and homes were invaded and seized; their families were slaughtered or
driven into exile
of heroism fell to years of panicked hatred. The Solamnic Knights
faded from view. Some forsook the road of honor and took up the simple
tools of laborers. Others roamed the countryside under false names,
continuing to fight evil. Others still, who could not bear to work in
secret, left Solamnia and settled on Sancrist. To this day, a
settlement of knights thrive there.
Last modified: Saturday, 24-Sep-2005 15:24:01 UTC