Guidelines And Policies
The silence of footfalls is all that is heard as you journey down a long hall. Windows line the entire wall to the right, allowing the moonlight to enter as your reflection is cast on the glossy surfaces of the pane glass and the tiled floor. The faint howling of wolfs and an occasional cry of something dying is heard off in the distance, forcing you to grasp the reason why this place is so isolated - to train their knights better, using the V'knori: the bear people. Shuddering, you continue down the corridor, finding yourself at a single door marked with a rune you don't recognize, but you enter despite the feeling you get from the design, curious as to what is there, only to find a small group of men and women discussing several things, things that seem to be government related…something pertaining to what they call, the Council of Lords.
THE COUNCIL OF LORDS
This is the group of individuals within the Order of Baaton Knights that make the ultimate decisions concerning the status of the Order and its individual activities. All members, when convened, have equal authority, though older members of the Council may hold more influence than some. As of the moment, only a unanimous vote by the Council will bring a movement into play, whether it be to declare war on another knighthood, or simply to establish talks with the diplomatic leaders of a prospective ally.
Currently, only a select few of many topics have been decided upon:
1) Members of the Brotherhood are our equals in all ways, and they shall be treated as such. Each will receive a home in Pyra Metros and in the Lokian Caves. Uniforms will be given after initiation.
2) The Council of Lords will decide unanimously upon whom is allowed within the Order of Baaton and whom is not. This is to relegate unity, and ensure our members can be thoroughly trusted.
THE BLOOD OATH:
The Blood Oath is simple: “Submit or Die.” When joining the knighthood, each knight dedicates body and soul utterly to the cause. All thoughts of self are submerged, sublimated. Yet this does not mean that knights may not think for themselves, which brought about the creation of the Code. Initiations vary and given out by the Knight Admiral or Sovereign.
CODE OF HONOR:
The Code is complex in the extreme, yet elegant in its detail, formed off the basis of the strict, unyielding exactitude of the righteous knighthoods that caused them to fall from the orders of might, ending in their continuing weakness. Despite the fact that the knights and other forces for good had emerged victorious in many cases, they were a long way from bringing peace and order to previous realms, Exodus included.
Knowing the weaknesses of all mortal creatures, the founders of the Order crafted a detailed set of laws that relate principally to military situations, but that also can be extended into the lives of each member of the knighthood. Strict adherence to the Code is required, but each case is considered on its own merits, and exceptions can be made.
The founders established this Code so that there would be no need to argue fine points. The law was as written. Violations were obvious and dealt with summarily. However, they did recognize the need to be flexible, as occasion demanded, and so established a means by which an exception to the Code might be considered and either accepted or rejected on its own merits.
Adjudication of the Code: Exceptions to the Code are adjudicated by a single knight selected from a chosen few in command positions. The role of arbitrator is generally reserved for knights of 10th level or higher. The outward, visible sign of an arbitrator is a sceptre, presented to the knight by the head of the Knighthood on the floor of the Council of Lords.
If the arbitrator decides that the Code had been broken and that no exception to the Code may be permitted, punishment is meted out to the offender. Since a knight who violates the Code is seen to have also violated the Vision and broken the Blood Oath, the punishment is death.
Execution is carried out by the arbitrator, if the knight is present, or by the knight’s commander if the advocate is not. The knights do not view death as the ultimate end, but rather as advancement to a higher rank. Gamori or Lensen is the final judge of a knight’s life, and the knight is rewarded by His Dark Majesty's will or punished eternally as he decides. The knight does not fear death, therefore, but could have reason to fear the wrath of the Judgement God in the afterlife. A knight who wishes to appeal the ruling of the arbitrator may do so. Once his soul is dispatched to the gods, the God of Judgement and Damnation will hear the plea.
The Adjudicator, as Newtrom is sometimes referred, has been known to send knights wrongfully judged back to “correct the error.” Such undead knights return as death knights, with all thier original abilities and so forth doubled in power and speed -- level wise -- but with only the drive for vengeance keeping them in existance. Because of this, all arbitrators will want to be extremely sure of the facts and will order a knight’s execution only after serious prayer and consideration. And once vengeance has been exacted, the death knight is free of the curse and returns to the realm of the dead, finally rested.
Authority and Independence: Part of the Code deals specifically with the establishment and maintenance of lines of communication and authority. Thus, when an order is given from above, it is quickly dispatched and acted on. But the founders of the Order knew that the knights probably would find themselves in situations where they would be on their own, cut off from the chain of command. Therefore, major sections of the Code are devoted to acting on the Vision.
When communication with the knighthood is severed, individuals who have a clear concept of the Vision will act independently to carry out the will of the knighthood until such time as communication can be reestablished. In this way, order is maintained in times of chaos.
Even within the bounds of orders as given, the knights have broad discretion as to how these orders are carried out. As long as a knight’s actions do not violate the Vision, the standing orders of their knighthood, or the specific orders that they have been given, a knight is free to act.
Divisions of the Code: The Code is divided into several basic precepts, which guide the major orders of knighthood. These divisions of the Code lead to the natural specialization of the knights and help define the duties of the knights in the new world that they propose to create. The basic precept of each Order is:
The Sword: Independence breeds chaos. Submit and be strong.
The Sovereign Guard: Death is patient. It flows both from without and from within. Be vigilant in all and skeptical of all.
The Magistrate: One who follows the heart finds it will bleed. Feel nothing but victory.
The Vision is – in simple terms – a statement of the ultimate goal of the knighthood. For knights of 4th level or less, the Vision is embodied in the phrase: “One World Order.” The goal is no less than the total and unquestioned domination of the entire world of Exodus. The Blood Oath and the Code are established to work toward that end.