Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Better Know a Chapter - Knights of Glory: Rites and Rituals


The Knights of Glory place a high value on nobility and station. As such, the transition from an unranked Squire to a Knight is a significant ordeal for any member of the Chapter. Occasionally a promotion will take place on the battlefield, but most knightings are held at the chapter's castle fortress on Avalon. For three days, the people of Avalon feast and celebrate, holding contests of skill and arms (though of course the Space Marines participate in separate events). The peasantry are granted a respite from their drudgery and merchants and minstrels awe the common folk on the land beneath the Rook while the nobility and gentry are invited to the floating fortress to witness the promotion.

The Knights of Glory are almost universally drawn from the noble families of Avalon, and so a Knighting ceremony is a chance for families to reunite with their superhuman relatives. For a scion of a noble family to be inducted into the chapter is a grand honour indeed. At Knightings, the various dukes and earls will strive to bring their children to the notice of the chapter, sometimes through feats of arms during the festivities and sometimes through generous gifts to the chapter's coffers or armoury. Once a child has been inducted into the chapter, his deeds influence the prestige of his family. Thousands of years ago, during the Age of Apostasy, a full Knightly Order opposed the will of the Council of Virtues and supported the tyrant Goge Vandire. They were slain to the last man and stricken from the Chapter records, and their families shamed and stripped of titles and lands. Just as a mighty hero or virtuous leader can bring great fame and wealth to his family, so can a traitor or a coward ruin the fortunes of his entire line.

For the Squire ascending to Knighthood, the ordeal is far more solemn. While the Chapter at large feasts, drinks, and tells tales, the Sqire spends three days in fasting, meditation, and prayer. At the end of that time, he is brought out by the Master of Deeds and presented to the Masters of the Knightly Orders. There, the Squire requests admittance into an order, in which case he must engage in a combat trial with the Order's champion. The Squire is not expected to win this fight; indeed, to date only seven Squires have ever won their admittance trial, and each of them rose to become a Grand Master of Virtues. No longer a Squire, the newly-minted Knight joins his Order and takes on all the responsibilities of a Knight. He takes a vow to defend the weak, defend Mankind, to behave with honour, to never abandon his duty, and slay the foes of the Emperor. Once the Master of the Order is satisfied, he presents the squire with his sword, steed, and a coat of arms. These things the Knight owns until the day he dies in battle.

No comments:

Post a Comment