Lion Pelt Order
|Lion Pelt Order|
|Leader||Primae Witterich Luxenbourgh|
|Headquarters||Emprizais du Lion Castle in Ivenna, Osteiermark|
The Lion Pelt Order is a Knightly Order which serves as a bodyguard unit for the wealthy citizens of the Regalian Empire. Created out of a necessity to find professional bodyguards who would be loyal to their clients, the Order started out relatively small until the concept of membership fees was implemented. Since then, the Order’s prestige has expanded alongside their facilities, acting as a physical manifestation of the wealth their clients provide them. Today, the Order exists as it has since the beginning, utilizing its renown to gather interested clients who desire only the best bodyguards.
The Lion Pelt Order finds its origins in the aftermath of the Viridian Coup Attempt of 122 AC. While this coup ultimately failed, Henri III no longer had faith in the Viridians to maintain the safety of the Imperial Family, and so removed them from the Royal Guard, replacing them with what would become the Tyrian Order. While the Emperor’s personal security was dealt with, many nobles at the time started to grow weary of their own bodyguards. While many had sworn oaths never to harm the families they served, the Viridian Order had shown that words meant very little; there was a growing paranoia with current security forces and a demand for changes.
It would be this desire for security that led the first Lion Pelt Primae to secure the rights to form a new knightly order, charged with protecting those that required it. Securing a headquarters at Emprizais du Lion Castle, then a small border fort, the Lion Pelts found their first mission guarding the Wirtemcaller nobles that were fleeing the Skagger Horde. As the Horde was driven back, these nobles began to tell stories of these bodyguards, giving a large prestige boost to the fledgling Order. As word spread, more clients requested the Lion Pelt Knights, who in turn would head out to do their duties. This arrangement would work well during the remaining days of the Skagger Wars, but as the war concluded, the Order had new challenges to face.
As demand for the Lion Pelt Knights increased, the supply of them decreased. To make matters worse, Emprizais du Lion Castle was not built to sustain so many knights, leading to a shortage of both supplies and manpower. It was during this crisis that the Primae of the time decided to fundamentally change the way the Order was run. Rather than serving anyone that required their skills, the Lion Pelt Order began to request fees from their clients, an action that led to many abandoning the Order. While a drop in possible clients would normally be a poor decision, the opposite became reality. With the Lion Pelt fees removing those of lower standing, only the nobility and other high society families were able to afford the protection of the Lion Pelts. This, in turn, made the Order a status symbol for the wealthy, which further increased the prestige of the organization. In order to better represent their clients’ wishes, the Lion Pelts began purchasing only the best equipment, leading them to become the best-dressed knights in the Empire. Emprizais du Lion Castle, meanwhile, began to expand its facilities, utilizing the increase in income to update outdated buildings, and create a small palace for the knights to train in. With this luxury came more prestige similar to before, causing the cycle to continue.
Today the Lion Pelt Order functions much the same way, hiring out its members to wealthy clientele, and sending their fees back to the organization to pay for updated equipment and facilities. While some knightly orders dismiss the Lion Pelts as nothing more than “upjumped mercenaries,” it cannot be argued that these decorated bodyguards provide a standing testament of security and social elitism, which continues to fuel their actions to this day.
The Primae is the head of the Lion Pelt Order, and has full authority over all other knights. He is chosen amongst the Elders at the death or resignation of the previous Primae and also chairs the Advisory Council. The current Primae is Witterich Luxenbourgh, who has been Primae for over 20 years. Due to the Primae’s need to be at Emprizais du Lion Castle, he is exempt from the seasonal and annual dues.
The Elders are the instructors and leaders of the Lion Pelt Order who, together with the Primae, sit on the Elder Council. Some Elders are given unique duties and are denoted by the additional rank of Master, such as the Master of Coin (who is responsible for managing the Order’s budget and collecting fees from all members) and the Master of Dressage (who keeps tabs on the fashion world, in order to adapt the Lion Pelt capes to seasonal trends amongst high society). Elders are generally senior members who have amassed a small fortune through their years of service, since the wealthiest Lion Pelt knights are genuinely the most successful.
- The Paladins are the most talented and skilled warriors within the Lion Pelt Order. They are known as paragons of service, and formidable in combat if engaged, consequently making them the most valuable Knights to be hired out by the Order. Paladins frequently secure contracts from the highest rungs of society.
- Lieutenants are the highest rank any Knight can achieve before becoming a Paladin. These are some of the most skilled of the Lion Pelt Knights, but lack a certain finesse or skill required to become an all-rounder like their Paladin higher ups.
- Sergeants are the next rank any Knight can achieve after being promoted from Man-at-Arms. They are quite capable combatants, but lack refinement and dedication to become a Lieutenant.
- Men-at-Arms (or Dames-at-Arms) are the lowest rank any Knight is after graduation at the age of 21.
- Squires are the second step at becoming a full member of the Lion Pelt Order. They receive this rank at 14 when they finish their training as a Page, and will remain such until they graduate. Squires often accompany their Mentors outside of the headquarters to learn first-hand bodyguarding experience, acting as an assistant to their senior Knight.
- Pages are the first step in becoming a Lion Pelt Knight, and to enter the Order at the age of seven following the completion of an entrance exam and tuition fee. Once inside, Pages are taught in a classroom setting by Elders and graduated Knights, after which they are paired with a Mentor who provides more in depth instruction to the trainee in exchange for completing various chores to learn humility. Pages also accompany their Mentors outside of the Emprizais du Lion Castle, though their role is limited to non combatant roles due to their inexperience.
- Lion Pelt Knights are identified by their Ularen Lion Pelt worn over their armor. This also has earned them the nickname "Pelters" amongst the other Knights in order to set them apart from the other Orders.
- Lion Pelt Knights disdain the Monzon Order, believing the Daendroque Knights only seek out personal riches rather than collecting money to give to the poor.
- For a time, the leadership of Dogmatic Unionism considered adding the Lion Pelt Order into the Helarian Guard. This was opposed by the secular nobility of the Archipelago, and the faith's leadership would not see a dedicated bodyguard order until House d’Gosselin founded the Villiers-Eclaire Order.