An individual who has been inducted into at least one of the four orders of Knighthood
"Don't aspire to the knighthood. Aspire to do your best. Whatever happens beyond that point is just frosting."-Aphaydren
"Knighthood is what happens when someone falls in love with a certain aspect of the game, and improves both themselves and Amtgard as a result of that love."-Kaads
Knighthood in the real world from Wikipedia
Knight is the English term for a social position originating in the Middle Ages. In Great Britain and the Dominions, knighthood is a non-heritable form of gentility, but is not nobility. In the High and Late Middle Ages, the principal duty of a knight was to fight as, and lead, heavy cavalry; more recently, knighthood has become a symbolic title of honor given to a more diverse class of people, from mountain climber Edmund Hillary to musician Paul McCartney. By extension, "knight" is also used as a translation of the names of other honorable estates connected with horsemanship, especially from classical antiquity.
The history of knighthood involves, therefore, the history of the social institution, which began somewhat differently in the various European regions; the history of the word, and the corresponding terms in French and Latin; and the history of the technology which made heavy cavalry possible.
Knighthood is designated by the title Sir (e.g. Sir Tom Jones) or Dame (e.g. Dame Judi Dench) within the Commonwealth of Nations. The French title "Chevalier" or the German "Ritter" are usually used in Continental Europe. Outside the Commonwealth, the title is respected but may carry less gravitas, and thus may or may not appear, for example, in the mass media and other publications. There are technically differing levels of knighthood, but in practice these are even more symbolic than the title itself today and thus only express the greatness of the recipient's achievements in the eyes of the Crown.
Knighthood in Amtgard
In Amtgard, even though the title of knight ranks low on the Order of Precedence, it is probably the most honored and sought after achievement in the game. Knighthood is not for everyone, and only some are elevated to that level. Even fewer achieve more than one belt, there are only a handful that have earned all four. Each kingdom has it's own traditions and requirements for an individual to be honored with the title of Knight. The Wetlands, for instance, the power to grant knighthood rests not with the Monarch but with the Circle of Knights.A listing of the first knights of each kingdom can be found here.
Four Orders of Knighthood
Granted for outstanding leadership. Once it was the practice in a few Kingdoms to award to every Kingdom level Monarch this belt upon their stepping down, but that was in the distant past. Now, with the advent of award standardization, A player may become eligible for Knight of the Crown after serving with excellence, and completing, four terms in any of the following offices, in any combination, at kingdom level: Monarch, Regent, Prime Minister, or Champion. A player may become eligible for Knight of the Crown after serving with excellence, and completing, six terms in any of the following offices, in any combination, at duchy level or higher: Monarch, Regent, Prime Minister, or Champion. Note: The position of Kingdom Monarch counts as two offices. The position of Champion can only be counted once toward these qualifications.
See -Crown Knights
Granted for excellence in fighting prowess. Previously a candidate was often required have at least two out of the following three: Warlord, Weaponmaster, and Defender. But that has changed in Award standardization.
Note: Major kingdom-level tournament is defined as Weaponmaster, Warmaster, Olympiad, and/or an inter-kingdom event tournament. The level of competition and number of entrants in all tournaments must be considered before handing out Orders of the Warrior above seven. The difficulty of the tournament must warrant the level of order awarded.
Note: The title of Defender (awarded for serving with excellence in the office of Kingdom Champion), which may be earned only once, confers a single kingdom-level tournament win upon the title's recipient.
Symbols of Knighthood
Responsibilities of Knighthood
A Knight may choose to take a Squire, or directly take one or more Man-at-Arms or Page. While each Knight/Squire relationship is different, the Knight, by offering a squirehood, is offering the potential squire training and assistance on the road to knighthood. In some places, a knight may squire his/her self to another knight from a separate order, to receive training on that road. Also, some kingdoms limit the number of squires a knight may take (i.e. in Neverwinter, a knight may only take one squire per knighthood.)
To see a Complete (as we Can make it) listing of Knights everywhere see Peerage of Amtgard
Knightings take on different forms in all the kingdoms with different traditions being followed by all. The basic ceremony is largely the same.
Knightings usually occur at large events, a Coronation, Midreign Sometimes Quest during some type of Court. There are famous examples of this not taking place, (i.e. Drakknar in the parking lot at Three A.M.), but as I said we are going over the normal state of affairs. In most Kingdom's Knights are raised to their orders by the right of the Monarch, with the notable exception of the Wetlands where the power to knight rests only with the Circle of Knights.
The Monarch will call for the Guildmaster of Knights who will call the knights of Amtgard, which includes those knights visiting from other kingdoms. The Knights form an untidy arc, trying but failing to let the populous in on what's happening. The GMCoK will call for the Candidate. The Candidate kneels in front of the monarch, The Monarch gives a short speech about the person and why they have been called before the Circle. Then the monarch asks for the kingdom sword, which is usually carried by the Kingdom Champion. The Dubbing is accompanied by words that are almost always traditional to that kingdom, but almost always ending in 'Arise Sir/Dame Such and Such, Knight of the Bladdy-blah' Then the cheering, and The symbols of office and gifts are given to the new knight. In some Kingdoms the new knight is greeted by the circle with a Buffet Line (pronounced "Buff-IT"). Others disagree with this practice.
A knight no more
Some say that "once a knight always a knight". But several people over the history a amtgard have had their belts removed. Usually a belt is removed for some kind of misconduct. Most Corpora include a clause for the removal of a knighthood. In Dragonspine a knighthood may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the Circle of Knights, a two-thirds vote of the Althing, and the approval of the Monarch.
Belt lines in Amtgard
In the beginning there was only one knight, Tawnee Darkfalcon; Because of this there was no knights circle in the early days of the Burning Lands. Then only another knight could make knights. So when you read the histories from that time where it mentions who squired whom, sometimes that actually means that the Knight literally gave Knighthood to the Squired party. This is especially true of Gilos,Heimdale, Nashomi,and M'Deth. All of these were early monarchs of Amtgard, and whom ever they knighted became part of their knightly families.
Now a belt line refers to a group of people who are related by who they are belted under as a Squire, Man-at-Arms/Woman-at-Arms, Page, etc. More info available here: Knightly Families.
Bits of Knightly history
- March 27th 1983, Tawnee Darkfalcon is the first person to receive an Amtgard Knight hood. Joella Starwatcher is also knighted on this date.
- October 22nd 1984 Nashomi is knighted for receiving 10 Orders of the Lion
- April 28th 1984, Asmund Heimdale Haroldsson is crowned king and Knighted. Conan Ator Morningstar was also knighted on this date.
- July 14th 1984, Deth the Direhearted is knighted for service and outstanding play.
- August 10 1984; Tawnee wrote "The Responsibility of a Knight" and offers fealty to King Asmund Heimdale Haroldsson.
- October 22nd 1984, Andralaine of Stonehelven was knighted and given the title of Viscountess for outstanding play and service. She was also married to Berek the Hunter by King Heimdale.
- March 1st 1985, Meeting of Nashomi, Tawnee and Gilos to discuss policies and the future of Knighthood.
- April 12th 1985, A new system of Knighthood is introduced, dividing Knighthood into four different categories.
- May 4th 1985, Kalibria, Esuom aph' taed, M'Deth, and Aramithris were all knighted.
- The book for five (belt) Rings by Cullum
- Knighthood: Paperwork or Person? by Castings
- What's a Vigil? by Snicker Furfoot
- Chains of Fealty by Randall
- Knighting by the Numbers by Yoni HaMagid
- 10 Steps to Not Getting Knighted by Randall
- Pretenders: What Shall We Do? by Corum Hibernius
- Knightly Quotas by Randall
- Trends in the Awarding of Knighthoods in Amtgard by Kayrana
- Revisiting Emerald Hills Knightings by Kayrana
- Is My Knight Like Your Knight? by Azmandius includes knighting criteria circa 2003
- Qualify it by Randall
- The Stigma of Belt Hunger by Fitz
- My first Vigil
- The Scrooges of Amtgard by Matthias
- Letter to a New Knight
- How The Iron Mountains Bestows Knighthood by Grix
- The Book of Five (Belt) Rings by Cullum
- Different Visions: An Essay on the Future of Amtgard by Michael
- Knight/Squire relationship by Guy
- How to not be knighted by Randall
- The Seven Knightly Virtues
- SCA Knighthood Ceremony, SCA
- A Treatise on the Promotion of Knightly Orders Within the Amtgard Peerage by Ethryn
- Knighthood, Beyond an Award by Medryn