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General Organisation of the Order -- 5. Code of Conduct

by Bruce Heard

Heldannic Discipline

Discipline in the Order is notorious throughout the Mystara's Known World. It is based upon a code of conduct that applies to all members of the Order, including indentured soldiers. Articles of the code are listed in decreasing order of importance and priority.

1. Devotion: A brother must honour Our Lady Vanya and none other than Our Most Gracious Guide, and in every way support Her Purpose. Brother knights and brother priests must display Her Symbol at all times, clearly and unequivocally.
2. Order: A brother must abjure and shun all portents and cohorts of Chaos, and cleanse the Order from its baneful corruption.
3 Obedience: A brother must obey Commanders of the Order immediately and without question so long as the Devotion to Our Lady Vanya and the Order are preserved.
4. Loyalty: A brother must hold fidelity to the Order above and beyond his own life and well-being. A brother must never permit harm to come directly or indirectly to a fellow brother and the Order.
5. Discipline: A brother must never break rank or abandon a post, or cause harm to the Brotherhood through lack of attention or dereliction of duty.
6. Bravery: A brother must endeavour to show courage and boldness in combat, so long as Obedience and Discipline are preserved.
7. Respect: A brother must show all due reference to commanders, to companions, and to The Law, in words and behaviour, and shun any and all profanity.
8. Self-sacrifice: A brother must entrust his life and well-being to Our Most Gracious Guide to protect the Order, a fellow brother, and the honour of Our Lady Vanya's name.
9. Humility: A brother must show humbleness in words and behaviour to all in the Order, for no mortal is fully worthy in the eyes of Our Lady Vanya.
10. Virtue: A brother must never envy, cheat, lie to, or steal from a fellow brother, wager, play games of chance, or pursue frivolous goals.
11. Cleanness: A brother must endeavour to remain clean, in body, in, clothing, and in arms so as not to soil or damage the Order's property and symbols.
12. Achievement: A brother must never offer or accept material goods or services in order to gain or entitle another brother to a greater standing in the Order.
13. Poverty: A brother must neither seek nor conceal from the Order any material wealth. Temporal goods must be conferred to the Order for the benefit of all.
14. Abstinence: A brother must steer clear of the tyranny of hard beverages and unhealthy substances corrupting the body and the mind.
15. Frugality: A brother must shun gluttony and all excesses so body and mind remain healthy, robust, and alert as shown by Our Most Gracious Guide.
16. Hardwork: A brother must labour at all times for the benefit of all, for it is through one's hardship that spring forth power and prosperity.
17. Chastity: A brother knight or a brother priest must resist the temptation of mortal flesh for it engenders Chaos and peril to the Order.
18. Celibacy: A brother must devote his time, thoughts, and efforts on this mortal world to Our Lady of Vanya, and shun matrimony and affairs of the heart.
19. Restraint: A brother must not act in anger, or in revenge, or in provocation for therein lie the seeds of Chaos and Destruction.
20. Duty to the People: A brother must protect any and all subjects of the Heldannic Territories in danger of falling before Spawns of Chaos.

Punishment: Different penalties apply depending on which rule was broken. They are listed below in decreasing order of severity. Magistrates from the Heart may at their discretion upgrade or downgrade penalties one level to reflect circumstances. For the sake of expediency, garrison commanders may apply sentences requiring Atonement and Hardship directly without the presence of a magistrate of the Heart.

Rules 1-4: Loss of the House - banishment from the Order and its lands; confiscation of arms and clothing bearing the mark of the Order or of Vanya; branding in the forehead. The Order and subjects of the Heldannic Territories may not harbour, help, or consort in any way with a branded criminal. The penalty may be upgraded to a death sentence in case of extreme and damaging cowardice, treachery, or heresy.
Rules 5-8: Loss of the Robe - the brother is permanently condemned to wear the brown robe of the Serving Brother; 1-10 years hard labour in an abbey of the Hammer, depending on the gravity of the damage to the Order
Rules 9-12: Temporary Loss of the Robe - the brother is condemned to wear the brown robe of the Serving Brother for one to three years; the brother must regain status and rank as a newcomer. Penalties for simony or murder of a brother are automatically upgraded.
Rules 13-20: Atonement and Hardship - 6-24 lashes; fasting and praying before the altar until collapse. The punishment may be downgraded to 1-6 weeks at an abbey of the Heart to pray, meditate, and repent, especially for elder, frail, or unhealthy brethren.

In case of multiple crimes, 6-24 lashes are sometimes added in addition to possible upgrading for the worst offence.

Customs: Following a battle, brother knights serving in the same Lance often seal their companionship by sharing their blood. They cut open their forearms and apply the wounds together. Although tolerated among the military, the practice is frowned upon among the priesthood as it is thought to conflict with some aspects rules 2 and 3. The fear is that fraternal loyalty may supersede faithfulness to the Order and obedience to its commanders.