- Sir Segar Aldane–Master at Arms of the Warden Order
- Sir Martin Everim–Seneschal of the Paladin Order
- Sir Lord Edmond Maw–Grand Master of the Cavalier Order
Location: Dragon’s Peak Mountains (bedtime story told to kids about dragon sleeping under the mountains and protects the good people)
Population: 4,000 at Pan-Fafnir
65,000 spread through 36 granges.
Banner: Twin mountain peaks with dragon wings
They can field a maximum army afield of 9000 from 36 Granges. Rarely will the army be fully assembled and together. Typically two to three granges band together for a large contract (army of 600 to 900). If all Peaks are called to action (invasion) the army will swell to 27,000. However the losses of such an army would ultimately cripple the community.
Primary income is through hired service to houses, merchants, and other groups. 80% of the income from all contracts carried out by the Knights goes back to the community. The remaining amount goes to those who did the work. If a member of the Knights is self-employed (ie: not carrying out a contract through the Knights themselves) s/he must tithe 50% of his/her income back to the Knights in order to retain the title of Knight of the Peak, Paladin of the Peak, or Warden of the Peak.
They are skilled in martial combat, smithing, harsh terrain agriculture, and scouting.
Although greatly famed for their military, the Peaks are vigorous farmers. The lands of the Peak are dotted with collective farming communities called granges. All the money, resources, and commodities of the granges are pulled together and the grange purchases for its needs. This granges were formed as the rocky terrain yields a modest return even with great effort. Arable land is rare. The mountains are famed for their terraced farm. The granges own the farms. Each grange has a forge at its heart. The grange itself produces the arms and armor for their forces. Every night as darkness falls the whole community assembles at the grange for “worship.”
The preferred method of worship is to meet in a building called “The Barton.” At the Barton there is an hour of training in the manual of arms. Training consists of elaborate community dances with heavy wooden shields and heavy wooden weapons called “hauks.” The dances are rather beautiful to behold. These complex dances teach the community to fight in formation. After the hour of dancing the community breaks into groups that focuses on different weapons. The worship ends with a service from a marshall of one of three order. All adults attend this gathering. Many a bandit has been surprised to find an silver haired elder is as deadly with a farming implement as an armored knight. One feature of this collective training is that the granges themselves formulate the battalions. A typical grange can field 200 to 300 soldiers to go farther afield. If the Grange itself is under attack, all adults could create an army of 900 to 1200 skilled fighters.
The children of the Peaks are seen as children to all. A common phrase is “A Son of A Thousand Fathers.” By the age of 8 most children attend the Barton. All adults are considered responsible for all children. As the children of the Peaks grow up in a militaristic farming community there is little play or humor. Merchants have remarked on the dour adult like demeanor of the children. Any Peak parent knows that outsiders do not understand and that play is found through work in the fields and the manual of arms at the Barton.
What is not known to the world is that the Peaks practice polygamy. As they are trying to greatly increase their population a typical Peak household comprises of four wives and three husbands. This social structure is built around combining resources to maximize procreation. If one brother dies in battle the other male sibling is expected to marry the wife. Thus the phrase “A Son of A Thousand Fathers” could be phrased as an insult.
In current times there are 36 granges that dot the Peaks.
The Knights of the Peak are an organization almost as old as Azkon itself. It’s history is not a kind one however, and is full of violence and destruction; much of it caused by them, and some directed at them.
The Knights of the Peak are, well, the Knights of Azkon. Short and simple, you are not a Knight unless you have been through the process being knighted by the KotP. That being said that process, is not one to take lightly, it’s said to be the ultimate test of mind, body, and soul.
The Knights of the Peak have a strong hatred towards the Hazon Empire. Long ago the Hazon destroyed the Knights of the Peak and obliterated most of the granges. The survivors of the Hazon Purge instituted harsh survival laws for the community. The Knights of the Peak mutter to themselves about a “Sin” or “Great Evil” within the Hazon Empire. They never speak of the actual nature of the Sin or Great Evil. They only comment to strangers “Never Again.”
The leadership of the Knights of the Peak is a strange one. Because of the three distinctly different groups there are three different positions of leadership. Those three positions are Master at Arms, who heads the Warden Order, Senchal, head of the Paladin Order, and the Grand Cavalier, head of the Cavalier Order. The Paladin Order is nicknamed “The First Order.” THe Warden is Order is nicknamed “The Second Order.” The final order is the “The Third Order” which has the greatest concentration of knights. Each leader has its distinct role and one cannot out rule the other two on major decisions, although the Grandmaster is ultimately able to take charge in times of war under certain circumstances. The Master at Arms is in charge of training and battle strategies. The Seneschal is in charge of the relations with the other Houses, as well as the finances of the Knights. Leading both of them, as well as being in charge of the day to day running of Dragons Peak is the Grand Cavalier.
While they are each in charge of their own department the Grand Cavalier can and will make major decisions for the group in time of war. Those positions are filled by Sir Segar Aldane as Master at Arms, Sir Martin Everim as Seneschal, and Sir Lord Edmond Maw as Grand Cavalier. Each position is fought for and earned, and one can only be replaced by the other two. That may happen when one dies or steps down, or if someone better for the position steps up.
The First Order currently numbers 58 Paladins with 6 that number in servants, squires, and men at arms. The First Order is considered a specialist order (Peak Special Forces). Often the Paladins go afield alone or with a “Spear.” A spear consists of 1 paladin, 1 knight, 4 men-at-arms, and 1 squire. The total forces of the First Order is 348. Although this number seems small any Lich or Deamon Lord would fear such a formation. The First Order is primarily mounted. The Paladins tend to worship Arnayan, Aravel, and Tidron.
The Second Order currently consists of 300 Wardens with 5 times that number in men-at-arms and wardens in training. The Second Order is considered the elite force of the Peaks. Historically it was only the Second Order that survived the Hazon Purge. The mentality of a Warden pervades Peak society. Wardens tend to travel together in a formation called a “Shield.” A shield consists of 7 Wardens, 5 heavily armored men at arms who use polearms, and 5 chain clad archers. The total forces of the Second Order is 4000. The Second Order marches afoot.
The Third Order comprises the bulk of the Peak’s forces. There are approximately 800 knights at this time. Each knight leads a “Banner” which comprises of 1 Master-At-Arms, 10 men-at arms, 20 soldiers, and five logistical supports (1 groom, 1 surgeon, 2 orderlies, 1 cook). The total force that can be fielded is 29,000. These “banner” come from the granges. Therefore each grange has about six to ten knights.
- All Wardens and Paladins are considered knights.
- Knight: A Peak who has been knighted and leads.
- Man-At-Arms: A Peak whose profession is military.
- Master-At-Arms: A Peak whose profession is military. Exceptional warrior, often a weapon master. A Master-At-Arms typically worships Nargoth.
- Soldier: Any Peak who chooses or is ordered to go afield. Their primary profession would be farming, crafting, or metal work.
History of the Knights of the Peak
The Knights were formed 200 years ago as a partisan resistance to the Empire. Coming from the mountains, they proved extremely difficult to conquer, as they would disappear into caves and valleys only to strike at the flanks of any Hazon army sent to restore order–especially as the Hazon Empire’s army is devastating in their use of chariots and heavy cavalry, but those are far less effective in the mountains.
In the year 955, the Hazon Empire finally had enough and send hundreds of thousands of warriors, war elephants–trained specifically for this task, and slaves into the hills to root out the Knights for good. They were mostly successful, and for the next 15 years the Knights’ power was severely crippled.
The Knights took part in the War of the Lords and assisted Olmir Thorn in throwing off the yoke of the Hazon Dynasty. Due to this, they have had a close relationship with the Thorn family and have been hostile towards anyone from the Hazon lands. Their motto, liking to the times of Hazon control, is “Never again.”
In the recent Second Dynasty War the Knights “afield” suffered a decisive defeat at the hands of the Hazon Empire. Many of their forces were killed (300 out of 800) and Sir Aldane was captured; he later escaped. Peace was attained between the Knights and the Empire at the request of Jorrin Thorn, now King of Garresh.
- Serve the greater good
- Guard Azkon from the forces of evil, necromancy, empire, and corruption
- Every member, male and female, spends time as a soldier, most make it a career
- Faith is based on a daily meeting at a grange where they practice arms
- Humility is to be honored and desired
- Never boast. Let the manual of arms speak instead.
- Never again be under the control of another house or kingdom
- To utterly destroy any invading forces
- To provide military aid to leaders they find worthy in Azkon. (Thorn has benefitted from having a presence of three granges)
- To repopulate the Peak and be able to mount an army of 48 k afield at all times. A wise general said that an army of 48,000 professionals can defeat an army of 1 million (Alexander the Great).
Relationships with other Northern Houses
Their biggest ally is House Thorn. They have a rocky alliance with House Kran. They despise the Hazon Dynasty, as they were destroyed 15 years before the Lords’ War by them. They distrust and dislike House Dranir. And they have a working relationship with the Library of Arn.
- Hazon Dynasty–Hostile
- House Dranir–The Knights distrust House Dranir and bar all members from working with Dranir
- House Kran–They disagree with the philosophy of Kran, but respect their martial prowess and have worked together before
- Library of Arn–They have a grudging respect for the Library and have worked together before
- Thorn–Close ally to the Knights, Thorn allows them to travel freely through his land
- Province of Jade–Knights are unaware/mostly unaware of them