The History of Realmgard in 30 Days: November 30

“The Wolf Knights are one of the few knightly orders to be regularly active across the entire continent. This is spurred by the Order’s self-professed mandate to travel throughout Realmgard to vanquish evil and aid the downtrodden.”

The Wolf Knights of Mount Lykos

A shield with the emblem of the Wolf Knights: a black wolf holding a sword and a blue-and-white shield.

While most of the knightly orders founded during the great Hrimfaxi invasion that culminated in the Liberation of Folkvang still exist in some form, and many younger chivalric orders ultimately trace their origins to the orders of these period. However, the majority of these orders largely exist only as ceremonial associations little practical influence or political power and reduced largely to hereditary titles passed down through noble families to affect a greater degree of prestige.

A notable exception to this is the Order of the Tern, which accepted a fief in Northgate in return for seeing to the city’s defences. This proved crucial in the city’s victory during the Great Siege of Northgate and this agreement has continued unbroken down to the present.

However, the most famous knightly order in Realmgard is the Wolf Knights of Mount Lykos — properly known as the “Free and Sovereign Fellow-Soldiers of the Wolf on Mount Lykos.” The Wolf Knights remain one of the few knightly orders in Realmgard to retain political independence and direct control of their own political domain, albeit consisting of little more than Mount Lykos itself and its immediately surroundings and populated almost exclusively by the knights of the Order.

Tthe Wolf Knights are best known for the errant character of their Order, which contributes in large part to the Order’s visibility among the general populace. The Wolf Knights are one of the few knightly orders to be regularly active across the entire continent. This is spurred by the Order’s self-professed mandate to travel throughout Realmgard to vanquish evil and aid the downtrodden.

Thus, while the Order is formally headquartered at the so-called Cathedral Fortress of Mount Lykos, the majority of the Order’s knights will be spread adventuring throughout Realmgard. At most times, the Cathedral-Fortress is staffed only by a minority of the Order’s knights: those tasked with maintaining the Cathedral-Fortress and its facilities, the Order’s archivists, the novice members of the Order and those responsible for the novices’ training. The only time the entire Order will be recalled to Mount Lykos is upon the death of the Order’s Grandmaster in order to elect the next Grandmaster.

As a privilege of membership in the Order, Wolf Knights are de facto associate members of most of the associations overseeing adventuring guilds throughout Realmgard and the Wolf Knights often lend their aid to groups of adventurers. This is partly done for practical purposes, as it is seen as a valuable source of experience for younger knights, but it is also viewed as an extension of the Order’s mandate to lend aid to people throughout Realmgard.

Historically, this has also been an effective recruiting tool for the Order, as the opportunity to adventure with Wolf Knights has spurred many adventurers to join the Order.

The Wolf Knights are also notable for accepting members of diverse social status and origins. As an independent polity to itself, the Order has no political or feudal obligations to any other state, and is one of the few knightly orders to accept members into the Order without noble lineage.

In fact, famous Grandmaster of the Order Mikel Inon was an orphan who first joined the Order as a cobbler’s apprentice.

This one isn’t really based on a true story. Though, FYI: with the notable exception of the Templars, most of the knightly orders founded during the Crusades still exist: the Hospitallers — in the current form of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, plus the Protestant Orders of St. John (as in St. John Ambulance) — the Teutonic Order, the Order of Santiago, and the Order of the Holy Sepulchre all still exist in some (mostly purely religious, ceremonial) capacity.

In fact, the Order of Malta is still considered an entity of international law (hence, “Sovereign”).

But the Wolf Knights are basically Generic Fantasy Paladins, more so than all that much like a real-life military order.

And, hey, there’s my 30 Days! Good job, me.

A Facebook post by J.B. Norman: "J.B. Norman, you're a genius!"

Recap coming soon.

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