|Origins||City of Regalia|
|Grandmaster||Bohemund II von Drachenburg|
|Symbols||Unionist eye, Sword and Shield, Knight on Horseback|
|Colors||white, Black and all shades of Green|
|Race Limits||Ailor and Urlan (if previously Ailor), Eronidas and Teledden/Fin’ullen/Solvaan if they were born in the Regalian Archipelago|
|Magic Usage||None at all, very illegal.|
The Viridian Order is a Knightly Order with a long and troubled history within the Regalian Empire. The Viridian Order was started in the early days of the Empire, acting (at the time) as the Regalian Guard, the Imperial Guard, and the leading military officers of the Regalian soldier levies at the same time. Over a century down the line, the Viridians were implicated in a coup against the Regalian Emperor, and had their power severely restricted. Over time, their reputation rebuilt, and they are now known as the Knights who ensure the status of Knighthood across the Empire, though many remain wary of any political or military power they may be given, due to the history of the Order, and the fact that many of them are Nobles, and already predisposed to political intrigue.
The Viridian Order is a Knightly Order that specializes in the enforcement of respect and deference to the Emperor, but also the dignity, honorability and respectability of all the other Knightly Orders. In a way, the Viridians are like the honor-police among those who hold honor in high regard. They are however also notable warriors in their own right, it is very common for Noble families of any rank to send several sons to the Viridian Order to teach them respect, class, finesse, and discipline. To be a Viridian Knight is considered a high honor and worthy of praise among the upper classes of the Empire, and these are also the social classes that Viridians are mostly contracted to defend. The Viridian Order accepts women, men, and non-binary members. The Viridian Order only accepts members of the following Races: Ailor, Urlan (if they were Ailor when they joined), Teledden/Fin’ullen/Solvaan (if they were born in the Regalian Archipelago and swear off Magic), and Eronidas (if they were born in the Regalian Archipelago).
The Public View of the Viridian Order is very mixed. There are those who consider the Viridians the fist of the Emperor, where his Imperial Guard cannot strike. Viridian Knights lead at the front of levy troops to embolden them with faith and love for the Emperor, and the Empire. They are there when soldiers retreat, to cover their departure, and there to protect the commanders and generals in the field. Yet, history has not been kind to the Viridians, and it is still very common for them to be mocked for their historical political scheming. Equally, many of the lower classes in the Empire (those not enamored by the ideals of Knighthood) consider them stuck-up and unable to move with the times. They often lean hard into the conservative elements of the Empire, and as such, have often been seen on the opposing side of Occult rights and religious freedom.
Common Knights Code
The Common Knights Code applies to all Regalian Knight Organizations, but is also mentioned specifically on each Order page for reference. This Common Code is additional to the Viridian Knight Functions.
- Knights are expected to be loyal to the Emperor and the Empire without complaint. Unionism is not required, but obedience to the Crown is.
- Knights are expected never to attack the unarmed and defenseless, and to not resort to dirty fighting tricks or attack others from behind.
- Knights are expected not to complain, moan, or self-deprecate, Knights should never degrade themselves or be an annoying bore.
- Knights are expected to follow the laws of the land and not become a Criminal. They should assist Guards in apprehending criminals.
- Knights are expected not to lie, but never express every truth that needn’t be known. Knights should not deceive unless for the greater good.
- Knights are expected to give alms to the poor and care for the needy, and to protect those who cannot protect themselves, and punish dishonor.
Viridian Knight Functions
Order Functions are a set of roleplay goals and activities that one can engage in while being an Viridian Knight. These are functions more-so than rules, but some rules are implied in the functions. For example, while Viridian Knights are expected to hunt Imperial Profaners, a Viridian Knight is obviously violating Order conduct if they fraternize and socialize with Imperial Profaners, or simply let one of their friends commit foul deeds against honor and not do anything about it.
- Viridian Knights are expected to teach and enlighten the people to the good deeds and reasons to have respect and love for the Emperor. This involves both knowing in detail what the Emperor has done in the past years, and understanding/explaining the nuances and context to his actions, and why he is such a great Emperor (in their eyes).
- Viridian Knights are expected to be the watchful eye of Honor on all other Knightly Orders, and other Knights. While due diligence is required in every Order, Viridian Knights in particular are tasked with charging other Knights, even of other Orders, with Honor violations. They must either challenge honorless Knights to duels to correct their stain on honor, or hold a trial for their Honor.
- Viridian Knights are expected to protect the Nobility and the wealthy of the Empire. They act as bodyguards where House Guards cannot suffice or don’t have the rights to perform their duties. Viridian Knights may wear weapons and armor at all times and places, except at the Palace, and make excellent Noble Guards. It is not uncouth for a Noble Viridian to protect a lower ranked Aristocrat or non-noble wealthy person, though a Noble or Aristocrat may never command a Viridian to do anything.
- Viridian Knights are expected to hunt down so-called Imperial Profaners. Imperial Profaners are those who disrespect the Emperor, either by refusing to acknowledge the Emperor’s authority, or to disrespect the Emperor by disregarding him, offending him, debasing him, or invoking evil words or thoughts about him.
- Viridian Knights are expected to seek out organizations or groups who are loyal to the Empire and Emperor (both of them) and act as mediators to diplomatically resolve their issues and prevent conflict between them in the name of the Emperor’s peace and graces, so they can re-focus their efforts on the Empire’s enemies.
- Viridian Knights are expected to pay special attention to government officials, both for protection, but also to act as their (if willing) advisor and helper to perform their tasks to the best of their ability, and feel safe while doing so. This also involves punishing those who publicly debase or humiliate government officials in front of them.
- Viridians are also expected to be the international symbol of the Regalian Empire. And as such, act both as protectors for international guests, but also as guides for those who are new to the Empire or the City, to get their bearing, and to understand how to behave by the laws of the land and dignity standards.
- Viridian Knights can specialize, something unique about their order. Their specialties fall in three categories: Reik, Pelt, and Meid. Reik enforces Honor primarily, Pelt protects the Nobility and Aristocracy particularly, and Meid is an all-female role that focuses specifically on handling issues unique to women in the Empire.
- Meid focused Viridian Knights are a bit more unique in that they are only permitted to be women or those who self-identify as a woman, and focus largely on woman-dominated issues, like combating those who demean, mistreat, and verbally abuse women, but also domestic abusers, those who defile the honor of women, and those who would demean women in public.
- Viridian Knights gain access to “Arcanum Tokens” for completing specific tasks regarding their Order, which they can cash in for unique rewards. This system is explained Here.
- Where possible or necessary, State Law trumps Knightly Codes, Functions. If a Knight would be committing a State Crime by following their Code or their Functions, they should refrain and follow State Law instead. There are some exceptions to this expectation, as Lothar Knights play fast and loose with the Law, and Viridians are sometimes compelled to commit Low Law Crimes to protect higher interests like the Princeroyals or the Crown. Where possible, Knights should follow the Law, unless their moral compass dictates that in good faith and good conscience, the Crown will clear them of any blame after the fact. If they cannot be certain the Crown will forgive them, caution is recommended.
Viridian Knights have specific legal privileges that remain active so long as they are not disgraced. A Viridian may become disgraced by part of backstory writing, or in roleplay because they break the Knight’s Code and are found guilty of treason within the Order. There is no further civil prosecution of a Knight for being expelled, but they do lose all privileges. Some privileges require higher ranks. In order to be approved for higher ranks, consult a Discord Ticket for accessibility.
- Sergeants and up have automatic rights to wear armor up to plate quality in the city.
- Sergeants and up have automatic rights to bear arms of any kind in the city, and even open-carry such weapons. They must however stand down if commanded by Metropolitans.
- Sergeants and up have automatic rights to call for an Honor Duel or Trial against a fellow Knight or a Knight of a different Order, by setting an (OOC amiable) date and place for the trial.
- Only Reik/Pelt/Meid-Knights have automatic rights to receive a Knightly Manor in the Noble District. This Estate is not as large as a Noble Estate, but provided for free in Uptown.
- Only Reik/Pelt/Meid-Knights receive a Mythic bearing their name and identity in the Viridian Order. Delivery time of Mythics pending availability and production times upon inquiry.
The first step to resolving the dishonor of a Knight of any Order, is for a Viridian to challenge them to a duel. If they accept, it does not matter if they win or lose the duel, their dishonor will be removed. If they lose, their dishonor is considered cleansed with their defeat, and they relent. If they win, the Viridian who accused them is considered wrong (even if objectively they were not) and the case is dismissed. Sometimes however, Honor Duels do not suffice, or the offenses are so great, that the case is transferred to an Honor trial, in which the collective present Viridians judge the individual. These two practices give the Viridians some modicum of power over the other Knightly Orders, something they are in no small part resentful of.
Honor Trials are performed on Knights of any Order (including the Viridian) Who the Viridians deem to have violated their Honor Code. This largely covers the Common Code, but can also cover the individual Codes of the individual Orders. An Honor Trial is called in much the same way as a Civil Trial, but is not held in the Imperial Courtroom, but rather at a Park Amphitheatre, or some kind of open-air arena like Arena Court. During the trial, all present Viridian Knights shall act as the judges, while only one of them shall act as the accuser who will read out the accusations of dishonor. The accused may then defend themselves, with a final vote of the Viridian Knights deciding guilt or innocence. The Viridians are also tasked with finding a suitable (in roleplay) punishment, which may also lead all the way up to expulsion from the Knightly order the accused is a member of, though they can only send this as recommendation to the Order Headmaster (through Discord Ticket) for final approval.
Nuance of Respect
While Viridians can help the Metropolitan engage in arrests and law enforcement, in large part they do not unless they are given an additional reason to do so. While crime is obviously illegal, the Viridians do not really act on those things outside the law unless respect for the Emperor is violated. Viridians are acutely aware that some crime forms purely because of the insane poverty and class divide that exists in the Empire, and in many ways, those that commit crimes are the weak in need of defense against that which is more powerful and greater than them, and applied unequal force of punishment. The Viridians don’t outright defend poor criminals from the law, but they don’t exactly punish or chase after them either, unless these criminals directly offend the Emperor. A devout and Emperor praising a criminal is one in need of sympathy, while a criminal who ridicules the Emperor and insults his name, is one who is committing crimes far more severe than just the legal violations. The Nuance of Respect, is the fact that Viridians are able to turn a blind eye to those who profess good faith and will towards the Emperor, but come down very hard on those who do not respect or show deference to their master.
The Viridian Order has a hierarchical structure that defines the ranks within their Order.
- The Grandmaster is the ceremonial leader at the top. This rank is reserved for Event NPC’s.
- The Grand-Knight Elders are the retired instructors and teachers. They are Event NPC.
- Reik-Knights are the higher ranked Viridians with special privileges in Regalia which requires review. This rank is the same as the Pelt/Meid-Knights, but is more clearly known to be excellent at safeguarding the Honor of the Empire.
- Pelt-Knights are the higher ranked Viridians with special privileges in Regalia which requires review. This rank is the same as Meid/Reik-Knights, but is more clearly known to be excellent at guarding the Regalian aristocracy.
- Meid-Knights are the higher ranked Viridians with special privileges in Regalia which require review. This rank is the same as Pelt/Reik-Knights, but is more clearly known for its female dominated membership and focus.
- Viridian Sergeants are the file and rank of the Viridian Order. This rank can be obtained without review.
The Membership list of the Order can be found here.
The Viridian Order is the second oldest Knightly Order in the Empire, and largely the grandfather of both the Bloodcast and the Villiers-Eclair Orders. Only the Aelrrigan Order is older than the Viridian Order, predating the founding of the Regalian Empire. The Viridian Order was founded by loyalists under the Five Families during the Five Family Rebellion, acting as the first Imperial Guard for the Ivrae dynasty, the Regalian Guard (for the capital), and the leading officers and commanders of the Regalian Military. This arrangement worked well for several decades, until it became common practice for the upper classes of the Empire to send their sons to the Viridian Order for training.
With the sharp increase of noble inclined members of the order, scheming and noble plotting became part of the daily activities of the Knights. Many Knights went on to become courtiers and Dukes in their own right, and many noble recruits brought politics into the hallowed halls of the Viridian Castles, which set in a slow but insidious moral rot. The honor guiding principles established by the first Grandmaster slowly eroded for the idea that Viridians were somehow better than everyone else, and also more suitable in keeping a strangle-hold on military power. As the Empire grew and annexed more territories, the Viridians were always on the front line establishing military governors in the early absence of proper annexation, allowing them first pickings in looting or establishing power in an area long before the government could grant the land to loyal Dukes.
While no hard evidence has ever been found, the Viridians were implicated in a variety of assassinations at the Imperial Court, beginning with the death of Emperor Henri I, which was immediately followed by the Years of the Three Emperors. These Emperors were so shortlived, and died under such odd circumstances, while Viridian power at court was paramount, that the accusation quickly fell on them as kingmakers. Indeed, the suspicion seemed confirmed when Leomar I became Emperor, who was a great supporter of the Viridians, and a period of peace followed, only to be succeeded by more chaos when Leomar died and was succeeded by a series of sons who quarreled with the Viridians. Justeaux I investigated the deaths of the previous Emperors and the Arch Chancellors Betheoric and Ellenore, was killed, only to be succeeded by Henri II, who himself also died in mysterious circumstances.
Henri III was the first to take drastic actions, removing many of the Viridian powers in 122 AC, intent on reforming them. It is known at this point that many of the Elders conspired against the Empire’s top leadership, intent on imprisoning the Emperor if not outright forcing abdication, and establishing a military junta under their leadership. Despite his loyalty to the Emperor, Grandmaster de Montverrat could not stop this plot, and fell on his own sword in atonement for his crime. This was the closest the Empire ever came to losing the Imperial system, as the Knights nearly succeeded, but five Knights in their ranks betrayed the Order and warned the Emperor, who was able to maneuver his supporters to outdo the Viridians who were rounded up and executed.
When the Order was remade under the new Grandmaster personally appointed by Henri III, it was stripped of the vast majority of its power, having Henri III establish the Tyrian Order which would later become the Imperial Guard, and the Violet Order, which would later become the Regalian Guard and State Metropolitan subsequently. With the power of the Viridians largely neutered, they spent the next 100 years re-establishing and re-branding themselves, though they could never quite get away from the stain of nearly ending the Empire so soon. It was Grandmaster de Chattelois who re-established the order with dignity and respect, and was able to bring them back into the graces of the nobility, once-more resulting in a large flow of cash and recruits into the order.
In 198 AC, with the death of Grand Marshal Marianne Cadar, the question of Viridian chauvinism became a hot topic of debate, because the order was all-male up until that time. The order eventually opted to allow women into the Order, ostensibly as gate-guards for their castles, but eventually as full members, who took on a more specific role of protecting the honor and sanctity of women across the Empire, a matter that had largely been ignored in the many paternalistic cultures within the Empire. This culminated in the first (and only) female Grandmaster of the Viridian Order, d’Arcoulais, who is remembered for penning many notable treatises on the role of women in the Regalian Military.
The Viridian Order took a great deal of damage during the Lo Occupation, which saw both the Viridian Castles demolished, and many of the Knights perish as a particular target from Freya Lo. Nearly all the Elders and the Grandmaster died, with only many of the younger recruits and Knights who happened to be outside of the capital at the time surviving, some speculate as few as 30% of the total Knights before the Lo Occupation. This resulted in the Cedromarite reforms under Emperor Cedromar, who appointed himself co-Grandmaster with a relative of von Drachenburg, the family whose crest the Order also currently uses, changing up aspects of the honor code and modernizing many of the functions and roles within the Order.
- Nobles who are Viridians are not officially permitted to hold a title. Instead of becoming Barons, Counts, or Dukes, they become Lord-Protectors.
- Unionism is not required for Viridian membership, but 95% of all Viridians are devout Unionists, of either Emended or Dogmatic beliefs. Evintarian Unionists do not exist in the Order.
- Viridian Knights without exception are Mundane. There are no Magic users in their order, and being Magical is the reason for expulsion.