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Heldannic Knight -- Later Reforms to the Law

by Bruce Heard

This is an update to the original Code of Conduct

Later Reforms

Married Knights (AC 1016): One of the major changes among both the knighthood and priesthood was to allow married candidates in a first move, and in a later move existing members to take a spouse in our out of the Order. This naturally implies they may have legitimate progeny. These changes to Heldannic Law came at a time when the Order needed even more recruits and desired to relax some of the older laws to adapt to the challenges of the day. There are, however, conditions to the above.

There are no further restrictions on accepting new members married before seeking to join the Order, as long as the intent of the 6th Amendment is respected. Those members seeking marriage while serving the Order have to go through a trial to determine whether the law on Chastity was violated. If not, the wedding is approved. If not, the petitioner(s) may be sentenced for breaking Heldannic Law.

The spouse cannot be a spell-caster other than a priest of Vanya. Members of the Heldannic Order must vouch for the virtue and honour of their spouse, and bear responsibility for the acts of said spouse. All progeny of the couple must be raised honouring Vanya. Provided the couple has progeny capable of bearing arms, the couple must provide at least one offspring to join the Order. Offspring may include any legitimate or adopted sons or daughters (including of a prior marriage) with proper rearing in regards to Vanya's faith.

Land Grants (AC 1017): In order to make the Order a more attractive prospect to experienced warriors - essentially members of Heldann or foreign nobility - The Order began providing small dominions to certain knights and priests as a reward for exemplary services. This was aimed in particular at the younger members of large warrior families who expected to inherit very little. These warriors were needed because of their high education crucial for their eventual gain of a higher rank among the Order. Most of these high-born adventurers were married before they would join the Order, which explains why the reform of AC 1016 on matrimonial laws was needed before land grants could be considered. Naturally, the grant of property comes with several obligatory duties.

Use and occupation of the dominion is permanent so long as the family has a legitimate heir. Lawful inheritors includes all living sons or daughters with direct blood lines to the original grantee of the Heldannic dominion. Spouses of the grantee or of legitimate heirs are not considered legitimate heirs themselves, but their progeny is (unless adopted, illegitimate, or of a prior marriage). Spouses and illegitimate heirs may become eligible if they are active members of the Heldannic Order who have taken the Oath of Service, and are in good standing. Following the grantee's death, disability (either total or temporary), or disappearance, the Order will appoint an administrator from The Voice as Heldannic Regent if the legitimate heir is too young to take on the responsibilities of rulership, usually less than fifteen-years-old. Should the grantee pass out without acceptable inheritors, or repudiate the Order, the dominion immediately reverts to the Order's ownership. The land and its buildings cannot be sold as a whole or in part, or seized to fulfil debts.

The grantee or the later heir owes fealty to his/her liege, the Heldannic Order. The grantee cannot have other lieges and remains under the jurisdiction of Heldannic Law. Should a grantee or the lawful heir be tried for a crime and sentenced to Loss of the House, the dominion is immediately seized and the whole family is expelled from the land. Generally only the first four laws of the Heldannic Code of Conduct (Devotion, Order, Obedience, and Loyalty), apply to a later heir of a dominion, especially if not a member of the Order.

The grantee must pay a 20% tithe to the Order, or a set minimum determined when the land is granted. A specified number of good quality troops must be maintained on the grantee's dominion, who should be made available to the Order in times of war (treated as mercenaries or foreign volunteers). Although no one in the grantee's family may cast spells granted by other than Vanya, spell-casting retainers may be employed.