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General Organisation of the Order -- 00. Introductionby Bruce Heard
Goals and Overview
The Heldannic Knight was created to further the ambitions of unruly and head-strong Hattian knights who did not get along with their Thyatian overseers. Little more than a band of armed hooligans, they flocked around an obscure clerical sect worshipping Vanya, an Immortal Patron whose primary interest is war and conquests. They created an order of knights and clerics with some degree of organisation. They grew out of hand very quickly and presented a threat to Thyatis' imperial control of Hattias. To avoid a pointless fight against the imperial legions, the order set sail to the nearest spot they thought they could invade. They took over the Heldann Freeholds and began calling themselves the Heldannic Knights. After a few generations, their order has grown into a highly organised and experienced military machine capable of threatening other nations, and a financial powerhouse. Lands that fall under their control are called the Heldannic Territories. At first, other nations' rulers, including the emperor of Thyatis, considered the knights as outlaws, but with their growing power they have been forced to deal with them. In the mean time, ethnic tension with native Freeholders remains an everlasting thorn in the side of the Order.
The goal of the Order before its clash with the Davanian simbasta was essentially to conquer anything conquerable. The order preyed on weak nations, unclaimed communities unable to repeal a major invasion, and wilderness territories. So far, their gains include coastal lands of Norwold, from Landfall to Oceansend. Outposts in faraway places were created and lost over the years.
Goals of the Order after the war of invasion from Myoshima were redefined to heal a dangerous schism that split the Order apart. Now, the Heldannic Knights' target is what they call Spawns of Chaos threatening the established order in their area of the world. These are in particular creatures from the Abyss, undead, and other powers of darkness. Ironically, the Order also considers "outlaw" nations as Spawns of Chaos. The Order is making it known to other rulers that its knights may be able to help against aggressions from Chaos, in exchange for some territory which would be donated ad eternam to the Order, or for the liberty to conduct legal, non-covert banking operations on their lands. The lawful character of the Order stands as credible warranty that financial transactions are secure and legitimate. A goal of the Order is to develop banking operations enough to influence international politics. Another is to rely on this income to finance the needs of its growing military apparatus, war and conquest remaining the ultimate quest. Fortunately, this arrangement protects many of the nations in the Known World from potential Heldannic aggression.
A growing and mutual enmity separates the Order and the Principalities of Glantri. With good cause, the Order perceives Glantri as a harbinger of chaos, while the Glantrian wizards resent the looming threat of a clerical hegemony in the region. The Heldannic Knights concern themselves with concepts of Law - but not those of Good or Bad, although improvements are forthcoming in this area, at least for the sake of diplomatic relations with the rest of the Known World.
The Heldannic Order breaks down into four main branches: one military branch which is the tool of Heldannic territorial expansion, and three clerical branches. They are the Voice of Vanya handling general administration, the Hammer of Vanya responsible for enforcing the Order's laws and ensuring orthodoxy among the military, and the Heart of Vanya whose role is to create and interpret the Order's laws.