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General Organisation of the Order -- 6. Bias & Prejudice

by Bruce Heard

The Heldannic Knights do not favour one gender over another as far as functions, ranks, and status are involved. Separate barracks are otherwise designated for different genders to avoid discipline problems. Members of the Heart are predominantly female. The main factor influencing this tendency is Vanya's past existence as a warrior princess. All members of the Order who have taken the Oath of Service must observe chastity, the others merely celibacy. Disgrace and banishment awaits knights and priests breaking this rule. Lesser members are severely punished but not released until the end of their term.

Over the decades of the Order's existence, its founders and those who were later permitted to take the Oath of Service often harbour a dislike of races other than human. Prejudice has more to do with the knights' own arrogance and ignorance of other peoples. The bias of the knights' unfortunately goes further, although it is not openly admitted. Discrimination has been directed toward any "brethren" unable to prove clear Heldannic lineage (referring to Hattian origins). Some among the Heart have alluded to the deplorable attitude as baseless and ill-serving the Ways of Vanya. The fear is that this on-going hypocrisy not only deprives the Order of useful skills, but may also encourage dangerous internal conflicts and threaten the whole Order's cohesion. A quiet struggle goes on behind the Order's curtains.