Knights.

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Re: Knights.

Post by Lathlain » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:57 am

Absolutely legally and above board of course, with royalties paid where appropriate - because we do not condone or endorse theft or piracy in any way whatsoever :P
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Re: Knights.

Post by Briek » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:09 am

Of course........ no well not really :D
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Re: Knights.

Post by Harroghty » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:30 pm

Many 2d Edition Dungeons and Dragons books are available for free on the Wizards of the Coast website. 3d Edition forward are the only books that they are concerned with apparently.
"A man may die yet still endure if his work enters the greater work, for time is carried upon a current of forgotten deeds, and events of great moment are but the culmination of a single carefully placed thought." - Chime of Eons
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Re: Knights.

Post by Briek » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:59 pm

I have quite a few of both at any rate including those books that any evil champion of darkness might want to take a look at :D
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Kits Cont'd - and Finished

Post by Harroghty » Sun May 10, 2009 4:03 am

The Squire
Description: Historically, a Squire functioned as an apprentice, serving his master both at home and on the battlefield while honing his skills. When his training ended, the Squire became a paladin himself, sometimes continuing the cycle by taking on a Squire of his own.
Occasionally, however, Squires made a career of service. By choice or circumstance, the Squire has spent his life as an aide to a high-ranking paladin, an elder of his church, or a government official. Although never quite attaining the status of other paladins, the career Squire -the type described in this kit- commands respect for his loyalty and devotion to duty.
Role: A Squire performs household chores, cares for horses, and maintains weapons. If he has the appropriate skills, he may also cook meals, repair clothing, or do leatherwork. These functions may be part of his regular duties, or he may take it upon himself to help out; Squires are eager to pitch in when there's work to be done.
Despite their reputation for dedications and hard work, Squires lack the stature of other paladins. They are rarely invited to state banquets or other formal functions, except as waiters or chefs. They never become high-ranking military officers, nor are they even eligible for the honors available to other paladins. (If a Chevalier and a Squire are equally responsible for defeating an enemy army, the Chevalier may receive a festival in his honor and a gift of asic] golden spurs; the Squire may have to settle for a pat on the back.) While commoners respect the Squire, open admiration is rare; unfairly or not, many believe that career Squires have some deficiency that prevents them from becoming full-fledged paladins.
A Squire's party finds him a tireless worker and supportive companion. He graciously volunteers his aid to whomever needs it; he's always willing to repair a torn tunic for a comrade who can't sew, groom the horse of a friend who's too tired to do it himself, or teach a novice the way to hold a shield. He avoids leadership roles, deferring to those in authority positions, but follows orders to the letter. No job is too menial, no request too trivial.
p.62-63
The Votary
Description: Like Divinates, the devoutly religious Votaries are far more militant, considering devotees of "false" religions as the epitome of evil. Additionally, Votaries follow an unusually strict ethos that includes vows of poverty and chastity.
Role: The typical Votary is grim, self-obsessed, and quick to judge. She believes her church is the only true one and is suspicious of all other religions. She behaves with stony civility to priests of other lawful faiths and open skepticism to priests of neutral faiths. Followers of evil faiths, she believes fervently, deserve nothing less than death.
The Votary maintains an ascetic, ordered life. She owns few personal possessions, avoids strong drink, and even declines to eat heavily seasoned food. She disapproves of gaming, dancing, and other entertainment as childish distractions. Concern for personal grooming is a distasteful affectation (and not a requirement of the Votary's ethos). Some votaries leave their hair uncombed and beards shaggy "as the deity intended," devoting only as much effort to personal hygiene as necessary for good health and minimal courtesy. Whereas a Votary is as susceptible to courtly love as any other paladin, she would never consider approaching the person she desires; her passion would likely manifest as guilt and shame.
Many commoners admire the Votary for her dedication and discipline, but some see her as an intimidating, even frightening, fanatic. Her humorless outlook and self-righteousness[sic] attitude tend to discourage close friendships.
p.65
The Wyrmslayer
Description: The Wyrmslayer is the sworn enemy of evil dragons and has devoted his life to their destruction. Battle-hardened and fiercely determined, the Wyrmslayer roams the world in search of the hated creatures. Even the mightiest evil dragons tremble at the approach of a Wyrmslayer, as few humans pose a greater threat.
Only a select few qualify to become Wyrmslayers, with the final choice up to the gods. If a candidate meets the basic physical requirements, he declares his intention to become a Wyrmslayer before he takes his Oath of Ennoblement. As part of his oath, he pledges to destroy all evil dragons, singling out a particular species as his principal foe. The principal foe can be a black, blue, green, red, white or any other evil species prominent in the campaign world. Once a candidate names his principal foe, it remains the same for the rest of his career.
After completing his oath, the candidate becomes a standard 1st-level paladin (as described in the PH). That night, a lawful good deity appears to him in a vision, giving him a quest to demonstrate his courage. Typical quests include:
  • Retrieving an egg from the nest of a principal foe.
    Finding and destroying the lair of a principal foe.
    Singlehandedly defending a village from an attack by a principal foe.
The quest must be completed within a specified time limit, usually 1-2 years. If the paladin fails to complete the quest, he remains a standard paladin forever after; he can never become a Wyrmslayer, nor may he choose another kit. If he completes the quest, the deity grants him the special attributes described below; the paladin is then a Wyrmslayer. The Wyrmslayer retains the same level he had as a standard paladin.
Role: Just as the Ghosthunter is obsessed with destroying undead, so it the Wyrmslayer obsessed with killing evil dragons. Nomadic and restless, the Wyrmslayer spends most of his time searching for his nemeses. Even Wyrmslayers formally affiliated with governments or churches have unusual freedom of movement; their superiors know that Wyrmslayers function best when left alone.
Though preferring to operate by themselves, Wyrmslayers will join adventuring parties if their travels take them through dragon territory. A Wyrmslayer fulfills his fealty obligations as well as any paladin, yet he may withdraw and brood if he goes too long without engaging his principal enemy. His eagerness to battle evil dragons impresses some as courageous, others as foolhardy. No one, however, doubts his resolve.
p.66-67
All kits above reprinted without permission from:
Swan, Rick. The Complete Paladin's Handbook. Random House, 1994.
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On the Pell [Essay]

Post by Harroghty » Sun May 10, 2009 4:28 am

On the Pell
By J. Clements

Against a Stake
One of the simplest training tools for practicing strikes in Renaissance martial arts was the pell. The pell was an ancient training device for practicing swordplay and training soldiers in arms. It typically served as a practice target for striking with a shield and a wooden sword. A pell is something like the Medieval equivalent of a boxer’s punching bag. It consists of an ordinary wooden post or tree trunk planted firmly in the ground. A pell might be man-height and roughly six to twelve inches in diameter.

This essay continues and provides historical citations (the "Poem of the Pell" from the 15th century Knghthode and Batayle) on the value and methods of individual practice to martial ability (some of which may be helpful in describing your character's style of combat).
http://www.thearma.org/essays/pell/pellhistory.htm
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Laws of Courtly Love

Post by Harroghty » Tue May 19, 2009 3:42 pm

Andreas the Chaplain (Andreas Capellanus) wrote the Treatise on Love (or the The Art of Courtly Love trans. De arte honeste amandi) between 1170 and 1174 at Poitiers, the court of Queen Eleanor (of Aquitaine) of England. His book was not as well done as books by other luminaries like Chrétien de Troyes, but it too defined a concept for centuries to follow. In the book, there are several discussions and a few include allegorical stories about the "King of Love". Here are the rules of the "King of Love":
The twelve "chief rules in love":
I. Thou shalt avoid avarice like the deadly pestilence and shalt embrace its opposite.
II. Thou shalt keep thyself chaste for the sake of her whom thou lovest.
III. Thou shalt not knowingly strive to break up a correct love affair that someone else is engaged in.
IV. Thou shalt not choose for thy love anyone whom a natural sense of shame forbids thee to marry.
V. Be mindful completely to avoid falsehood.
VI. Thou shalt not have many who know of thy love affair.
VII. Being obedient in all things to the commands of ladies, thou shalt ever strive to ally thyself to the service of Love.
VIII. In giving and receiving love's solaces let modesty be ever present.
IX. Thou shalt speak no evil.
X. Thou shalt not be a revealer of love affairs.
XI. Thou shalt be in all things polite and courteous.
XII. In practicing the solaces of love thou shalt not exceed the desires of thy lover.
The whole list:
  • Marriage is no real excuse for not loving.
    He who is not jealous cannot love.
    No one can be bound by a double love.
    It is well known that love is always increasing or decreasing.
    That which a lover takes against his will of his beloved has no relish.
    Boys do not love until they arrive at the age of maturity.
    When one lover dies, a widowhood of two years is required of the survivor.
    No one should be deprived of love without the very best of reasons.
    No one can love unless he is impelled by the persuasion of love.
    Love is always a stranger in the home of avarice.
    It is not proper to love any woman whom one should be ashamed to seek to marry.
    A true lover does not desire to embrace in love anyone except his beloved.
    When made public love rarely endures.
    The easy attainment of love makes it of little value; difficulty of attainment makes it prized.
    Every lover regularly turns pale in the presence of his beloved.
    When a lover suddenly catches sight of his beloved his heart palpitates.
    A new love puts to flight an old one.
    Good character alone makes any man worthy of love.
    If love diminishes, it quickly fails and rarely revives.
    A man in love is always apprehensive.
    Real jealousy always increases the feeling of love.
    Jealousy, and therefore love, are increased when one suspects his beloved.
    He whom the thought of love vexes, eats and sleeps very little.
    Every act of a lover ends with in the thought of his beloved.
    A true lover considers nothing good except what he thinks will please his beloved.
    Love can deny nothing to love.
    A lover can never have enough of the solaces of his beloved.
    A slight presumption causes a lover to suspect his beloved.
    A man who is vexed by too much passion usually does not love.
    A true lover is constantly and without intermission possessed by the thought of his beloved.
    Nothing forbids one woman being loved by two men or one man by two women.
"A man may die yet still endure if his work enters the greater work, for time is carried upon a current of forgotten deeds, and events of great moment are but the culmination of a single carefully placed thought." - Chime of Eons
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Equestris Ordo: Chivalry as a vocation...

Post by Harroghty » Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:39 am

Morris, Colin. 1994. Equestris Ordo: Chivalry as a vocation in the twelfth century. Chronique 9: 51-6.
(Original citation from Studies in Church History 15 is in scanned text:

Enjoy. This article presents the different concepts of chivalry during the period generally considered to be its peak. Links are below for those portions cut off from view here.

Image

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Links:
http://i428.photobucket.com/albums/qq5/ ... DO_001.jpg
http://i428.photobucket.com/albums/qq5/ ... ORDO_2.jpg
http://i428.photobucket.com/albums/qq5/ ... ORDO_3.jpg
http://i428.photobucket.com/albums/qq5/ ... ORDO_4.jpg
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Re: Knights.

Post by Raona » Sat May 01, 2010 7:58 pm

You can also funny-click (right click on a PC, Cntrl-click on a Mac, I think) and choose view image. Thanks Drew!
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"Caballus et Caballarius in Medieval Warfare"

Post by Harroghty » Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:06 pm

De Re Militari, a journal of medieval military history, has some fantastic articles relating to chivalry and its purposes at home and in the field. I have found a few articles that may help people define their role-play as so-called "application knights" (who go by the title "Sir" but are still not paladins), but first I wanted to put up this interesting one about horses during the campaigns of William the Conquerer (formerly Bastard).

This article is specifically about the horses used during the Norman Conquest of England. It covers some things that may be helpful to builders ("What should my warhorse look like?") and it covers some things that may be helpful to the detail-oriented player ("How often should my horse be shod? What and how much should I feed it?").

"Caballus et Caballarius in Medieval Warfare" by Bernard S. Bachrach
http://www.deremilitari.org/resources/a ... hrach3.htm
From: Howell Chickering and Thomas H. Seiler, ed., THE STUDY OF CHIVALRY: Resources and Approaches (Kalamazoo: WMU Press, 1988).


I've left this thread alone for a while, but I'm working now on an article about mercenary knights as I mentioned above.
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Paladins, application knights, cavaliers, and John Hawkwood.

Post by Harroghty » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:53 pm

Many Forgotten Kingdoms players believe that the title "sir" is reserved for player characters of the paladin class but this is not true. This stems from the game's long-standing practice of narrowing the paladin class to knighthood, and the subsequent misconception that the two concepts are the same instead of only similar. This article will briefly discuss some other options and then provide role-play ideas based upon the life of the fourteenth century Briton John Hawkwood.

The paladin class does not equate to knighthood in Dungeons and Dragons, but Forgotten Kingdoms uses the office of a knight to structure the class' very demanding role-play. To summarize as it was first told to me: "A knight is not always a paladin, but a paladin is always a knight". This is a very 2d Edition, Dungeons and Dragons model and the newer editions have new roles for paladins (they are now champions of their god's ideals, holy warriors still, but not necessarily knights), but Forgotten Kingdoms will continue to use the office of knight to structure the class. Therefore a paladin may always be called by the sex specific honorific (sir, dame, or lady).

The official title "sir" is guarded closely in Forgotten Kingdoms, but there is another way to attain it. There are paladins and also player characters who are colloquially dubbed "application knights" by virtue of their path to chivalry. These player characters come from a gamut of classes, but have dedicated their individual role-play to the pursuit of chivalry. They apply to the game staff and, if accepted, are granted the title "sir" and the office of knighthood.

This second path offers a wide range of role-play opportunities beyond the strict path of a paladin. A knight may derive his title from a church, a government, or even from a personal mandate. Clearly, in Forgotten Kingdoms, a church-derived knight is a member of the paladin class, but the latter two options are something that a player could plan to develop and submit an application for eventually. (Author: For perspective though, I submitted my application for Harroghty after two years of play.)

A knight who derives his title from a government has obligations to that state in all cases, but the obligations themselves may vary. Adventurers may have a hard time believably executing many of the more common roles of a captain or lieutenant of this army or that, a castellan of a fortress, or some other of the more common roles for a "government knight". Many governments award the rank of knight to someone for a singular, impressive event and then allow the new knight to range free as a knight errant. Some will employ knights as envoys to foreign lands and hold them accountable only for regular reports on certain subjects. These options more reliably allow the kind of freedom that an adventurer needs, but remember that even a free-ranging errant can be called back to service by his king (queen, prince, chief minister, whomever) when a need arises.

Sir John Hawkwood was born in fourteenth-century England during the reign of Edward III. His father was a land-owner, but not a knight, and he was the second son. He found himself apprenticed to a London tailor and it is believed that he came to knighthood via a press gang, some good tutelage from a capable uncle, and distinguishing himself while in the Black Prince's army in France. Blackwood was still a poor knight relatively speaking but he was placed at the head of a mercenary company in France after official hostilities were concluded by the Peace of Bretigny.

After the Hundred Years' War Sir John went on to distinguish himself as a mercenary captain, fighting in conflicts all over the continent. He won much praise and came to know many notable personalities such as Geoffrey Chaucer, Catherine of Siena, Jean Froissart, and Francis Petrarch. This career may be of particular interest to a player of Forgotten Kingdoms because this man won his knighthood and then went on to basically pursue an adventurer's career. It is something that a player character in Forgotten Kingdoms could role-play towards.*

This story may also interest players who have (or would like to have) a cavalier. A cavalier is a fighter or cleric who fights primarily from horseback and emulates the conduct of a knight or paladin. It is not an official career and does not confer the title of "sir", but many players have found it to be a very enjoyable path (particularly those unwilling to accept any kind of structure or who have applied and were declined). Historically, I would put such player characters into the category of "man-at-arms".

There are two paths to knighthood in Forgotten Kingdoms and ways for anyone to emulate a knight through their role-play. There is a wealth of information about colorful historical characters available on the internet that may spark imaginations and inspire some really enjoyable role-play.

* Interested players should investigate Sir John Hawkwood: Story of a Condottiere by John Temple-Leader and Giuseppe Marcotti and translated by Leader Scott or John Hawkwood: An English Mercenary in Fourteenth-Century Italy by William Caferro.
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Re: Knights.

Post by Briek » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:33 pm

In regards to the cavalier, the complete fighters handbook Ad&d has some information on them.
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"L'Arbre des Batailles" (The Tree of Battles), c.1387

Post by Harroghty » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:36 pm

Honore de Bouvet (also called Bonet) published his book "L'Arbre des Batailles" (The Tree of Battles) in 1387. Bonet was the prior of Salon and had his doctorate from the University of Avignon. This book was meant for a wide audience and discussed the "law of war" (still a vague concept today) and the conduct of war. Several parts of the book are specific to chivalry and its responsibilities. I have highlighted portions below.

Bonet agrees with many of his contemporaries and cites loyalty as the highest virtue of a knight. (This is also echoed in Realmslore through Torm's depiction as the perfect knight by virtue of his loyalty to his masters both as a lesser power and a mortal.) Bonet writes that "the first and principal thing is that they should keep the oath which they have made to their lord to whom they belong". He goes into specific detail about types of knights and how their duties should suit their responsibilities. Knights in service to a lord "should in thought and deed be occupied only with the practice of arms" and not own property, farm, or do any other trades because "knights should have no cause to leave arms for desire of acquiring worldly riches".

Bonet differentiates value between actions based upon their motivations also. It is not enough for a knight to be bold, but he must be bold for the right reasons. Bonet lists reasons a knight might be bold such as not being smart enough to realize the danger, wanting to succeed for his lord, or trusting his equipment, but explains that "in all these kinds of boldness there is no virtue whatever". For Bonet, only the knight who is "bold through right knowledge and understanding, who has the will to hear reason and justice" deserves credit because he not only understands the situation, but has evaluated it and applied his boldness wisely. (As opposed to charging into a fray without consideration for whom you are fighting or why.)

De Re Militari. "The Tree of Battles, by Honore Bouvet." Last viewed September 28, 2010. http://www.deremilitari.org/resources/sources/bonet.htm.

Copeland, G.W., trans. The Tree of Battles of Honore Bonet. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1949.
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Where is real chivalry?

Post by Harroghty » Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:38 pm

Where do we find real chivalry?

Caveat: This article reflects my own opinions and biases based upon personal research and experiences. It is really aimed at those who want to play a knight (paladin or not) in Forgotten Kingdoms or those who have truck with knights (paladins or not) frequently.

Our ideal of chivalry in Forgotten Kingdoms is often times skewed. The concept of chivalric behavior in history is generally not well understood and is particularly misinterpreted in Dungeons in Dragons. We limited chivalry to the paladin class for many years and there is no resource book dedicated specifically to the paladin class in any edition later than the 2d Edition (while there are those that include them such as Defenders of the Faith). So we return to Rick Swan's The Complete Paladin's Handbook (TSR 2147) for reference on how the class is portrayed in both that game and our own because of the logical basis that it provides. The book reflects more of our Western cultural myths of chivalry than anything else and, unfortunately, many serious historians (even the experts like Maurice Keen or Georges Duby) are not helping.

Western culture wants to remember chivalry as most of us were introduced to it through Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty or some other fairy tale. I was inundated with fanciful portraits of chivalry as a child from story books, children's movies, and cartoon programs and most others were too, but many have only seen those things. Our culture does not then indulge us any further, serious exposure to chivalry and only either adds to the base of misinformation with more fancy (First Knight, Knights of the Round Table, Ivanhoe) or, more recently, seeks to discredit chivalry by painting knights as either boorish, cruel, stupid, vicious, or all of the above (Kingdom of Heaven, A Knight's Tale, Robin Hood 2010). Neither is accurate and the latter, most often a generalization made as a vehicle for modern commentary, serves to only reinforce our common desire to look for the former: our shining Prince Charming who does no wrong and speaks no hasty word. We want to see our "knight in shining armor" as just that, without blemish.

The reality of chivalry is that it was a warrior's code of conduct designed to lend structure to warfare, but we look for examples in all the wrong places. I have already cited some of those wrong places above, but sometimes the amateur (or even the serious) historian will begin to scratch the surface and look at tournaments, the panaloply and pagent of chivalry as we too often remember it. Tournaments (mass mock battles, the big brother of the joust) were designed to model warfare and train for it; chivalric behavior applies loosely to tournaments, but it develops less and less real application to the watered down tournament: the joust. In the same way that the rules governing the German longsword practiced by Ringneck and Talhoffer, a martial art, now are only treated with a vague nostalgia in our modern fencing sport. "Prince Charming" in his immaculate velvet outfit and nicely coiffed hair is hardly a good model for a profession dedicated to winning battles and enforcing the commands of an overlord through force. We want to remember our "knight in shining armor", but unfortunately we need to sometimes get dirty in order to win.

Instead of looking at Prince Charming or at Guy de Lusignan (a la "Kingdom of Heaven") we should be looking at the real pinnacles of chivalry from history like William Marshall, Geoffrey de Charny, Roland, or Hugh de Payens. We can look at their tournament experiences (the first two men both are well documented competitors), but that is really doing them an injustice. Even in the case of Marshall who was the English jousting superstar of his day, a David Beckham (he was so good and so important to the English national jousting team that he was forgiven a possible tryst with Henry the Young's wife), we are doing him a disservice by only considering his tournament behavior when we disregard his accomplishments as a national war leader and remarkable tactical and martial prowess in seventeen sieges, two major pitched battles, and innumerable raids (that we have a historical record of). It would be too lengthy a commentary to discuss prestigious careers in detail here but only consider that William Marshall was not selected as an advisor to kings for jousting well, Geoffrey de Charny did not carry the King of France's oriflamme banner only because of his refined manners, and Roland's song is only famous because he fought a necessary military action and died well. The most celebrated knights were loyal unto death and fierce, cunning strategists in life.

Our inspirations for chivalry should be the real men who embodied it and influenced it, not childhood fantasies. The two are not always mutually exclusive, but it is a question of focus. We have come to a point in gaming, this game, where we define chivalry by the social niceties that have been developed around the essential qualities necessary for a knight instead of those essential qualities themselves and we need to look back to the exemplars from history to center our concept of chivalry.
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Re: Knights.

Post by Gwain » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:10 am

I've always found that Afonso of Portugal and Jan Sobieski epitomized the ideal of medieval chivalry. You have two examples of rulers that were fighting kings of realms that also shaped and governed for future generations that either endured or suffered setbacks. Both were not overtly brutal, but in control of their situation depending on the norms of the time.
Justice is not neccesarily honourable, it is a tolerable business, in essence you tolerate honour until it impedes justice, then you do what is right.

Spelling is not necessarily correct :)
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The War Lord (1965)

Post by Harroghty » Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:10 am

This movie not only accurately depicts much of a Norman knight's daily business circa the 11th Century with relative accuracy, but it also provides an interesting character study. The costumes and scenery may seem dull by comparison to today's modern movies, but its characters conversely shine and their interactions are engrossing. The movie, on its own, stands out within the genre of movies set in the Middle Ages, but it unfortunately provides only vague reference for a role-playing character in Forgotten Kingdoms.
Painstakingly accurate historical epic that has Norman knight Heston (Chrysagon), in charge of an 11th-century Druid community**. He exercises his right to claim bride Forsyth (Browyn) on the night of her wedding, and she then falls for the knight, refusing to leave his side. Seeking vengeance, Farentino (Marc), the son of Druid leader MacGinniss (Odins), foments an all-out war between Heston and Heston's covetous brother (Stockwell) (Draco). Despite the impressive scope of the battle scenes, The War Lord, based on a stage play by Stevens, is an intimate drama. Still, the sure-handed direction of Schaffner and the credible performances of Heston et al are well complemented by Morross's driving, Stravinsky-like score.
* I added the characters' names to this summary for clarity; the author used the actors' names.
** Maybe not, but the local peasants do follow some heathen traditions.

The first obvious difficulty in using this movie as a resource is the setting. England and Faerun differ greatly, but this is not really the setting that I believe is the problem; after all, you can make clean enough parallels between England and Cormyr or the Dales in many cases. The trouble is that the protagonist of this movie is a landed knight serving his feudal overlord as castellan of a coastal fort and lord of a village. Adventurers will probably not be filling one of these roles, and it is even less likely in Forgotten Kingdoms.

The value that this movie contributes to our game here is that it gives players a great concept for the background of their knight (paladin, fighter, or cleric). It provides an easily digestible depiction of what the character's life would have been like before he took to the road, perhaps. Maybe he was a landed knight and was somehow disgraced. Maybe he was a landed knight who chose or was assigned to be an errant and took to the road, abandoning his custom. In any case, this movie gives you an entertaining story, but you will have to think about how it may or may not apply to your character.

IMDb. "The War Lord (1965) - IMDb." IMDb. Unknown. <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059896/> (25 June 2011).

Check this thread over the next few days for a list of medieval movies (listed right after the books)! Feel free to recommend movies, but please do it via PM rather than posting to this thread.
"A man may die yet still endure if his work enters the greater work, for time is carried upon a current of forgotten deeds, and events of great moment are but the culmination of a single carefully placed thought." - Chime of Eons
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Re: Knights.

Post by Harroghty » Sat May 12, 2012 3:43 am

There were some knights who lived very similar lives to a Forgotten Kingdoms character! Take, for example, the life of Jacque Lalaing a Walloon knight from the 15th Century. While he remained in the service of the Duke of Burgundy for his entire life (and even died in that service at the ripe age of 32), he also was an avid competitor in sports of arms and would travel all over Europe and to England to challenge squires and other knights in single combat or to compete in tournaments. In fact, he began to make his name by impressive performances as tournaments and this then allowed him to gain further opportunities for glory in sport and war.

I encourage you to read the entire article "The Deeds of Jacque Lalaing" by S. Matthew Galas, but I will put out some interesting bits that I feel highlight the similarities between his experience and those a player character in Forgotten Kingdoms might have.

Does this not sound like any spar that your character has been involved in?
In the same year, Jacques de Lalaing began his famous Feats of Arms. These were pre-arranged, "friendly" duels in which the combatants fought in full armor with sharpened weapons of war. The combatants agreed in advance on the terms of the combat.
Particularly this example of his contest against an Italian knight from Sicily.
The rules of the combat were laid out in a document called the "chapters of arms." The conditions laid down by Sir Jean de Boniface were as follows: The combat was to begin on horseback, continuing until one of the combatants broke 6 lances on the other. The lances were to be of equal length. The horses were to be separated by a barrier, no more than 5 feet in height. After this, the combat was to continue on foot in full armor. The foot combat was to begin with each side hurling spears or "throwing-swords."* Thereafter, the combat was to continue with polaxes, swords, and daggers. The combat would end when one of the combatants touched the ground with his hand, knee, or body, or when one of them surrendered. Neither party was to affix any spikes or other "evil device" to his armor, nor was either party to carry any magical charms designed to influence the outcome.
Does this not sound like a spar that you've had?
Early on in the combat, Jacques used a disarming technique, knocking the polaxe out of one of Jean's hands - but the Italian knight quickly recovered his weapon, and resumed the fight. Jacques struck Sir Jean such a blow that it nearly turned him around, but still the fight continued. Finally, Jacques disarmed his opponent entirely, striking the polaxe out of both his hands.
This seemed like a cool idea.
On the same day as his combat with Thomas Que, Jacques de Lalaing announced his intention to accomplish a pas d'armes (passage of arms). In this type of encounter, the knight would usually issue a challenge at large, and take on all comers for a set period of time.
"A man may die yet still endure if his work enters the greater work, for time is carried upon a current of forgotten deeds, and events of great moment are but the culmination of a single carefully placed thought." - Chime of Eons
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Re: Knights.

Post by Gwain » Sat May 12, 2012 5:08 am

Any man that can put a rooster on his shield and still be one of history's greatest knights is an example to live by, especially for rp sourcing and information. I'll definitely be looking for these publications.
Justice is not neccesarily honourable, it is a tolerable business, in essence you tolerate honour until it impedes justice, then you do what is right.

Spelling is not necessarily correct :)
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Re: Knights.

Post by Harroghty » Wed May 30, 2012 8:02 pm

This is a little excerpt from DMG2 The Castle Guide about demi-human knights. Worth reading if you get a chance, even if it is not specific to the Forgotten Realms and primarily deals with stuff outside the realm of the average FK PC (castle building and managing), it does include things that might be relevant (chivalric and clerical lives, events, ranks, etc.).
Demi-Human Knights
Knighthood and the Code of Chivalry are primarily states of mind and occupations chosen by the person in question. In fact, adapting knighthood to other demi-human societies can add a lot of spice to the campaign, and a great deal of depth to some non-human societies. Following the guidelines presented in the two examples below, an ambitious DM can throw all sorts of curves to his players.

Elven Knights
Elves follow the code of chivalry to the letter, except when it comes to battle. Elven life is too precious to be squandered needlessly against lost causes. When they do sacrifice themselves, it is only for the greatest good of the elven kingdom or in defense of their companions. In short, elves as a people avoid war whenever possible. They prefer to depend on politics to settle disputes, and are far less aggressive than most of the other races in an average campaign.

Elven knights place a high regard for the ceremonial aspect of chivalry, as well as respecting their peers and superiors. However, they are quick to the point of snobbery in showing contempt of those beneath their station and those of ignoble ideals. To their credit, elven knights place no weight on class dierences in such judgments, just on personal character and reputation.

Since women are equals among men in elven society, the respect elven knights show for women is more courtesy than outright adoration. Importantly, while the majority of the elven cavalry is comprised of male elven knights, most elven archer companies contain a majority of women.

Elven knights almost never wear plate armors, but prefer more lightweight, flexible armoring made of fine chain. As elves prefer battle within forested environments where they can rely on their natural adeptness in such surroundings to give them an added edge, they consider plate armor too noisy and bulky for such maneuvering.

It is important to note that magical elven chain mail is only given as a gift to worthy men and women who have honored themselves in the defense of elves and elven lands. It is rare, but not unheard of, for non-elves to earn such a gift if their deeds warrant it. Non-elves are never taught the secret of making and enchanting elven chain mail.

Magical elven chain can be found in treasure hoards, of course, but if knowledge escapes of its recovery, elves are sure to converge on the discoverer with offers for the suit's purchase. A reasonable price is oered, and any person who does not sell their prize, is hounded for many years until death takes the short-lived mortal, or until a better price is reached.

The elves will not give up the quest, as they see the common use of such a great prize tends to lessen its overall value and signicance for all others. Also, the elves do not want untrustworthy armorers to get a hold of any elven chain mail, lest they manage to discover its secrets through magic or research. Such a discovery by outsiders would risk war.

Elven knights that choose to wear plate armor (very rare) always make them look like they were made from mithral. A highly polished coating of the shiny silver metal is applied almost like paint to the armor, and the suit then gleams and shines in even the most indirect lighting. In fact, the greatest of kings or the richest of knights often take their armor to the elves for such detailing once it has been purchased.

Dwarven Knights
Dwarves take their warring very seriously indeed, and their views on war and honor would make any visiting samurai warrior proud. Dwarves, in stark contrast to the elves, would rather die in glorious battle than any other way. It is even said that dwarves always lair near a dragon or a large colony of giants just to keep a steady scenario of conflict going. To their credit the dwarves are always ready for war.

In fact, during the numerous battles between elven and dwarven forces, it has always been the elven kinship with animal and plant life that has kept them one step ahead of their dwarven enemies. The elves always seem to have enough time to get ready for a battle, no matter how well the dwarven forces try to conceal themselves.

As mentioned earlier, the dwarves take the ceremonial aspects of their idea of chivalry very seriously, but keep such things rather private. The "respect for women" notions are pretty much ignored by a rather chauvinistic male dwarven hierarchy. In a society geared for war and hard work in the mines, there seems to be no glory available for the little ladies.

Now, that is not to say that dwarven women are mistreated. That is far from the truth. They are given equal rights and protection under all laws, and dwarven marriages are ones of partnership, not obedience.

The dwarves like to make their armor heavy, plated, and black. Almost without exception, all dwarven-sized armor is actually made from dwarven forged iron. A dwarf will not wear armor forged by any other race, for their pride is quite strong and their codes of honor very exacting on such points.

While elven armors require constant repair if they are to remain attractive, dwarves place less value on appearance and more value on defense. Dwarven plate armor is treated as plate mail +1, but is almost 50% heavier than human plate. This means that a dwarven set of plate armor (sized for a 4' tall dwarf) weighs just about as much as a human
set of plate (sized for a 6' tall knight). Unfortunately, dwarves rarely make their armor for humans, and do not know how to make either eld or full plate armors. Their own limbs and joints do not have the mobility necessary to make a functional set of those full-body armors, and so the dwarves will have none of it. Just like the elves, dwarves don't teach non-dwarves their metallurgy secrets.

Dwarves dwell extensively on their own version of heraldry, based on the personal histories and family genealogies of the entire dwarven race. Dwarves are remarkable at remembering long list of names, and spend a great deal of their lives memorizing details about everyone they ever see, meet, or hear about.
Grant Boucher, Troy Christensen, Arthur Collins, and Nigel Findley, The Castle Guide (Lake Geneva: TSR, 1996), 27-28.
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Re: Knights.

Post by Harroghty » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:42 am

The Chivalry Bookshelf (now defunct) was apparently falling apart on the inside. So while some of its publications are available from places like Revival and Amazon, it is up to you if you wish to support Mr. Price as he allegedly fleeces his authors and spends what would be their royalties willy nilly.

This doesn't mean a whole lot to you, the average reader, except that the Chivalry Bookshelf books will become more scarce in times to come. Note that the relevant links are gone now from the links post at the beginning of this thread (but I have the glossary archived somewhere if you want that).
"A man may die yet still endure if his work enters the greater work, for time is carried upon a current of forgotten deeds, and events of great moment are but the culmination of a single carefully placed thought." - Chime of Eons
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