Tenets of Knighthood

As taken place on the 3rd month, 7th day, in 5099

Brinn asks, "Knighthood - what should it mean to the Order of the Silver Gryphon?"


Brinn says, "This is a difficult document to write, as it is being written from a single point of view, and is highly likely to be skewed. Therefore, I want to take this one piece at a time, and encourage feedback as often as possible from all of you. For now, expect that this should be a living document, growing as we add to it. Better yet, consider it a discussion paper."

Brinn says, "This essay, by nature, will call into question the motives, beliefs, and code of conduct of individuals participating in an organization, namely the Order of the Silver Gryphon. Before we delve too deeply into the subject of the behavior of others, let us please remember some basics."

Brinn says, "No One is Pure - None of us is pure in action all of the time. All of us have participated in activities which, under the right circumstances, could seem suspect by others. The act of joining the Order is neither a confirmation that one is pure of action and thought, nor an expectation that they will be from this point forward. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has slip-ups. The important point is to recognize them, and correct them before they become a lasting detriment to the Order."

Brinn says, "All of us, being able to make mistakes, must also be able to forgive mistakes. When one of us makes a mistake and is at a moment of weakness, we should not use this moment to drive them down. Instead, we should be more interested in helping them come back to the path that we share together."

Brinn says, "No Mistake is Irrecoverable - There are very few single actions that call for someone to be expelled from the Order. In fact, a single act would have to be horrendous and blatantly against all we believe in to cause someone to be ejected from the Order. It is more the case that patterns of behavior, which are indicative of irreconcilable sets of values or codes of behavior, would result in removal from the Order."

Brinn says, "We all either have or will make mistakes. We need to deal with then gracefully, and not over-react. This does not mean that no action warrants extreme response. Some clearly do. However, we are to use as much restraint and objectivity as we possibly can when dealing with these circumstances. "

Brinn says, "No One is Perfect - Failing in one or several of the tenets listed below does not mean that an individual is not fit to be a member of the Order, or even a knight. Many people will excel at several of these tenets, but may fall short in others. We need to be aware of these differences between us and try to help each other to overcome some of these shortcomings."

Brinn says, "None of us are Judge and Jury - It seems that in organizations with a code of behavior, such as a chivalric order, people tend to focus on behavior as an over-riding factor in the day to day activities of the organization. This Order is no exception to that rule."

Brinn says, "We have seen how, when we have little to do, we peck and claw at each other, looking for examples of imperfection and grounds to criticize and judge each other's behavior. This needs to stop. Each member's duty is not to point out flaws in other members and call for their expulsion. Instead each member should strive to help each other to reach the same code, the same set of values, the same beliefs."

Brinn says, "In situations where members have concerns about each others actions, discourse should be the first avenue, to determine whether the entire situation is understood clearly by both parties. Then, if the points of view are still incompatible, an exchange of ideas as to why each feels that the other is mistaken. Finally, when no other recourse has had any effect, a formal challenge can be made, or the issue can be brought before the Order for judgement."

Brinn says, "There are many areas that need to be addressed with regard to the topic of what it means to be a Knight in Wehnimer's Landing. First, I will attempt some common definitions, just so that we can all be speaking the same language. Then, I will move more into the philosophies behind who and what we are and stand for. Again, these are my own definitions and are very open to discussion and modification."


Brinn says, "Valor - I'm still working on this one. If you have input send me a note."

Brinn says, "Honor - Honor is often interpreted as the application of a personal code of ethics to a situation. By this, I mean that it is often considered that one has acted honorably as long as they remain within their own personal code."

Brinn says, "An example of this is, if Sir Maldon is insulted by Sir Crabban, and his code calls for swift and sure retribution for the insult, then Sir Maldon has acted honorably if he strikes his opponent down. Conversely, if Sir Maldon's code calls for all disputes to be handled in a verbal manner and to avoid combat at all costs, then if he strikes Craban down, he has acted dishonorably."

Brinn says, "As is obvious, the same act can easily be labeled honorable or dishonorable depending on the code accepted by the participants."

Brinn says, "For our uses, however, Honor must be defined by more than a strictly personal code of ethics. We have to have some tenets of honor that we all hold to be common that cannot be compromised without damaging one's status in the Order. These common tenets are what we must strive to define, as the personal aspects of honor are impossible to completely understand or reconcile."

Brinn says, "That being said, if one's personal code is in direct conflict with that of the Order, then the individual needs to evaluate their association with an Order so opposed to their views."

Brinn says, "Honor to the Order will comprise of three simple tenets:"

Brinn says, "* To choose consciously all of your actions to be in accordance with the benefit of your liege, your charge, and your vows, and conversely to never act in a way detrimental to your liege, your charge, or your vows."

Brinn says, "* To do what is known to be right, regardless of the conflicts that arise in you, and regardless of the personal cost to you."

Brinn says, "* To be answerable for all you do, regardless of the reasons for choosing your path."

Brinn says, "Duty - Duty is the obligation to do what you have vowed to do and to do what you are committed to do as a member of a given organization to which you have sworn loyalty. To be dutiful is to complete your commitments, and to be consistent in your obligations and loyalties. This means that you are steady in your resolve, and do not change your obligations based on the situation. Belonging to an organization is to give away a part of yourself to become a member of that organization."

Brinn says, "In other words, you may believe in some or most of the beliefs of the organization, but will probably not believe in all of them. However, your duty requires that you act for the good of the organization, even when it is not necessarily in line with one of your personal beliefs."

Brinn says, "If one finds that an organization, such as the Order, requires of them more than they can do in good conscience with their personal code, then they need to seriously re-evaluate their association with that organization, for both their own good and the good of the organization."

Brinn says, "Duty means you keep up your obligations not only when it is convenient, but also when it causes you discomfort and strife."

Brinn says, "Largess - Largess is a tendency toward selflessness, but not restricted to generosity. For purposes of this Order, Largess generally will translate into the willingness to put others before yourself and help them, possibly even to your detriment. This can be demonstrated in volunteer work, donations of coins or gear, teaching others, preparing events, procedures, documents, or services to organizations, etc."

Brinn says, "We must all have a modicum of this trait, but don't misinterpret this to mean that you must empty your bank accounts and hand out the coins in Town Square, or empty out your lockers and give your posessions out on the Mine Road. We all need a willingness to do these things, but that does not translate into a requirement to be completely selfless."

Brinn says, "Humility - Humility is the ability to see all others as equals in some way or another. We all need this trait in order to succeed in the Landing, especially with the way many folks seem to view us, as elitist snobs. We are not any better than those we protect, or any better than anyone else. We need to keep in mind that we are all parts of the same whole, and that our place with regard to others in the world may be different, but is not by definition any better or worse."

Brinn says, "Humility should translate into your ability to treat someone who is not your equal in combat or your equal in knowledge with the same respect that you would expect from them. We do not garner the respect and admiration of others by demeaning those around us. Remember that you are to be an example to others, and that your humility in dealing with others will go far in not only improving our image, but in determining how others will react to each other."

Brinn says, "So, when you are at the Town Gate demonstrating your Honor in your dealings, fulfilling your Duty in guarding the town, and demonstrating your Largess by sending mana to empaths and clerics, if a young person asks repeatedly to be healed, don't thump them and call them names. Help them, as you would have someone help you if you did not understand how your actions had offended others."

Brinn says, "Bravery - Some think that Bravery is to never fear what comes next. To be fearless of death, and of the vast forces arrayed against you. However, Bravery and stupidity are far too often mixed up. Bravery is many things, but it is not fearlessness."

Brinn says, "Bravery, with regard to fear, is not an absence of fear, but is instead the ability to act in spite of that fear. To be fearless is to have no sense of self. To be able to overcome your fears shows a very evolved sense of self. Fearless individuals are usually those who simply have not identified that which they fear yet. "

Brinn says, "Bravery, with regard to the Order, means a number of things. Bravery on the battlefield means that, regardless of the fear for your life, or your professions, or your ability to continue, you remain constant in your Duty and Honor. This is not recklessness. This is the performance of duty and obligation regardless of the opposition to your doing so."

Brinn says, "Bravery also comes in word and action off the battlefield. One must be brave enough to do what they know to be right, and what they are bound to do, without flinching from that duty. This means that often, one will have to do things that may cost them dearly in the eyes of others, or even cost them something of themselves. Sometimes, we have to be brave enough to do what is right, regardless of these outcomes."

Brinn says, "Conscience - Conscience with regard to the Order means being self-aware enough to know what you have done and how it fits into your personal code and the code of the organizations you are a member of. This means that we must be able to understand the repercussions of our actions outside of ourselves as well as within ourselves. To close a blind eye to the implications of your actions definitely proves problematic when trying to reconcile the goals of an organization with your activities."

Brinn says, "This is not to say that there will never be a conflict of conscience between your actions and your codes. However, it does mean that you need to be aware of when this happens, so that, as described above, you can responsibly choose your action and be fully answerable for that action."

Brinn says, "Honesty - Honestly translates into being forthright and truthful in your dealings. This does not mean that you must be a walking source of information. Withholding information is not being dishonest. Also, refusing to answer someone's question or questions is also not dishonest. Honesty, for our purposes, will translate into intent to mislead someone or misrepresent the truth."

Brinn says, "What is expected from us is that we be honest in all our dealings, opting to be silent when unable to speak on an issue rather than telling a lie."

Brinn says, "Free Will - This is not so much a tenet of the Order, or a quality that we look for in others, as it is something that each of us possess. I have included it here because I want to make it clear that each of us are creatures of free will. If any of us are less than that, then we should be examining our ability to be a member of any group that requires commitment."

Brinn says, "Free Will means simply that you are a thinking being, and that each of your actions is of your choice. You are making a choice to act the way you act, no matter what the situation (except for maybe demonic possession, which I haven't heard of much)."

Brinn says, "This is an important concept to keep in mind. Having "no choice" will never be accepted as an excuse for an action or reaction. We all need to keep in mind that we are making a conscious choice when we do anything. This does not mean that the choice will always be easy, or that you will always have more than one good choice. But you always have alternatives even if they are unattractive."

Brinn says, "Courtesy - Each of us are required, by our station, to show courtesy to each other, and even to our enemies, in certain situations. Regardless of your feelings for an individual or how they feel about you, we are required to be courteous in social and public situations."

Brinn says, "This does not mean you have to like everyone, or take everyone under your wing, or even tolerate their presence if they are a threat. But we do have to refrain from childish behaviors like name calling, leaving in a huff, or exploding into a temper tantrum."

Brinn says, "Courtesy would also require us to sheath our weapons and remove our armor in courtly and official occasions. Order meetings are not such occasions. Court meetings with Malwind are. If there are questions on this protocol, ask."

Brinn says, "That is all I have so far. I am willing to send this to you in a scroll at your request, in a format of your choosing. Please let me know if you want it. If you have input, please also send that to me, and I will include it or at least discuss it with you. Thanks for your attention."