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Thread: How Jaymes Markham's Solamnic Empire Might be Governed

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    Default How Jaymes Markham's Solamnic Empire Might be Governed

    Hello all, I'm going to be a bit brave and attempt to reconcile Douglas Niles' Rise of Solamnia trilogy with the previous stuff written about Solamnia and the Knighthood. There are a lot of inconsistencies to work through from clerical posititions and titles, how the knighthood is structured, who rules various Solamnic territories, and general Solamnic history.

    First, a very general summary of the career of Jaymes Markham himself and the founding of the empire because some of you haven't read the books, nor really care to.

    The Story Thus Far: Rebirth of Empire

    The office of Emperor of Solamnia is a revival of an ancient office, originating during the Rose Rebellion of 1250 PC. An Ergothian commander named Vinas Solamnus was in charge of putting down revolts in the eastern provinces but was instead spontaneously declared emperor by the horselords of his army and joined the rebellion. Through battle, Vinas Solamnus forced the Ergothian Emperor to recognize his rule of the eastern provinces and an imperial court on the Vingaard river was established. His descendents ruled as emperor until the imperium of Solamnia was willed to the Kingpriest of Istar upon the death of the last of Solamnus' line. Thereafter, Solamnia would be ruled from Istar and its fabled Knighthood serve as the steel to enforce the laws of the Kingpriests. After the shattering of Ansalon through the blasphemy of the final Kingpriest, Solamnia became a lawless land ruled by the mayors of various city states and local dukes, ruling out of the ruined but still impressive ancient walled cities and grand castles constructed before the Cataclysm.

    The office of the Emperor would be revived by an outlaw of common ancestry named Jaymes Markham. With the help of a fortune of jewels stolen from a corrupt Solamnic duke, Jaymes Markham seized control of an Solamnic army in disarray from a string of defeats against a monstrous horde that had streamed out of the Estwilde. Proving a capable military commander, he conducted a skillful withdrawal and used explosive gnomish powder siege weapons to destroy the horde. Hailed Emperor by his troops, the new Emperor turned his fearsome new weapons against the dukes and cities of Solamnia, breaking the power of local rulers and weaving all the lands of Solamnia into a powerful new empire.

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    Default The Imperial Titles

    For the first post, I thought I would talk about the roles and powers of the Emperor by breaking down the titles I am giving him.

    So he would be addressed officially as:

    His Imperial Majesty Jaymes Markham, Grandmaster of the Knights of Solamnia, High Warrior of the Knights of the Crown, High Clerist of the Gods of Light, High Justice of the Realm, Duke of the Solamnic Heartlund, Protector of the Red Clergy, Wielder of the Brightblade, and King of Free Men.

    So let's see what that all means.

    The Titles of the Emperor

    Grandmaster of the Knights of Solamnia
    This title is pretty non-controversial I think, even though I don’t believe Douglas Niles ever uses it. It is the highest rank of the Knighthood, and it would carry a great deal of authority. I simply can't see Jaymes leaving it aside.

    I figure that since Jaymes declared himself the “Lord of No Sign” he probably did away with separate command structures for the three Orders, but he still uses the symbolism of the Rose, Crown and Sword. So I will assume he will subsume the iconic imagery into the heraldry of the Emperor. As Grandmaster, he would probably reorganize the Knighthood, and do it far more aggressively than Gunthar uth Wistan did.

    The Knights of the Crown would remain, and become synonymous with the Knights of Solamnia as a military force of elite horsemen, largely made up of nobility because it takes a lifetime of training and continuous practice to fight on horseback. This would be because I think Jaymes Markham would want to emphasize that Solamnia has a man controlling it who wears a crown again.

    The Knights of the Sword and the Order of Clerists seem to have become separate things by the time of Jaymes Markham, so I imagine he would just disband the former, and integrate the Order of Clerists with the Knights of the Crown and the Solamnic Army generally.

    I imagine that Jaymes would disband the Order of the Rose at first as well, but then realize that it is a convenient way to elevate to nobility his own followers, and to flatter and invest nobles into his service. Since the Empire will still need legislation enacted, I imagine the Chamber of Roses would be a good name for a parliament.

    High Warrior of the Knights of the Crown
    This is the first of three titles meant to invoke the triumvirate leadership of the Knights of Solamnia. I don’t imagine Jaymes would entrust overall command of the Knights of the Crown to anyone but himself, and Lord Warrior is a good enough title for a general in the field.

    High Clerist of the Gods of Light
    Here Jaymes claims authority over the clergy within Solamnia, particularly the clergy of Kiri-Jolith. This will of course be contested by the clerics themselves, particularly the Prophet of Mishakal in Schallsea. He will probably attempt to appoint the Prophet of Kiri-Jolith directly, with mixed results. Most important clergy in the realm will get a peerage in the Order of Clerists, in addition to Clerists serving in Solamnia’s army.

    High Justice of the Realm
    The Emperor’s court would of course be the highest court of the land, probably presided over Jaymes Markham himself only rarely. It would largely be concerned with conflicts between the rights of powerful nobles, but the court could also choose to hear cases of less import “in the interests of Justice”. Basically, any conflict that the Emperor would want to meddle in, this title gives him the right to do so.

    Duke of the Heartlunds
    Jaymes Markham’s primary opponents in the first book of the Rise of Solamnia were the Dukes of Thelgaard Keep and Solanthus, which conveniently both reside in a province labled as Heartlund on the maps in Tasselhoff’s Map Pouches. It makes sense to me that Jaymes wouldn’t turn over the control of such a well-fortified and wealthy province to anyone else, and the propaganda value of the name is obvious. This duchy would provide a lion’s share of imperial revenue to run the imperial household and court.

    Protector of the Red Clergy
    Jaymes Markham hates the clergy of Shinare in particular, and probably doesn’t think too highly of the other Gods of Neutrality by what I can tell. I imagine that certain pious Solamnics would also be inclined to pick a fight with them, such as Knight Clerists devoted to the gods of Light. So pragmatically, they would be an excellent source of revenue to extort protection money from.

    Wielder of the Brightblade
    I hope the fans will indulge me this one. Seeing early Holy Roman Emperors depicted with a sword sparked the idea that Jaymes Markham would be exactly the type of scumbag who would take a sword off the corpse of a far greater knight than he’ll ever be. I imagine the possession of the blade as a symbol of the defense of Solamnia would carry great weight. Since it could be argued that Steel Brightblade, a traitorous knight of Takhisis who seemed to have stolen it from the High Clerist’s Tower he could retrieve it from the Tomb of Last Heroes with little difficulty.

    King of Free Men
    This title evolved naturally as men Jaymes Markham raised up from common soldiers to be his bodyguard were released from feudal obligations to other lords. This title not only refers to all men who owe no other obligations save to the Emperor, but carries connotations that he is the protector of the freedom of all the human realms and as king, has the power to ennoble and dethrone princes, dukes or any other noble. Recited at the end of his list of titles as an emphasis of his sovereignty.

    Next time: The upper nobility.
    Last edited by ferratus; 12-22-2017 at 04:43 PM.

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    The Upper Nobility

    Before I start, I have to say I really hate that Douglas Niles used the European/Roman titles for Solamnic nobility rather than going back to Dragonlance Adventures and using titles listed there for Knights of Solamnia. These titles of Duke, Baron, Count, Margrave etc, never showed up in the books before, and it really clashes with the picture of a land of city states linked by a common knighthood presented by both Chronicles and the War of the Lance sourcebook.
    However, what is done is done, so I am taking the approach that these titles are now part of Solamnia and will try to integrate the two competing visions for what Solamnic society looks like the best I can.


    Prince


    The title of Prince in the Solamnic Empire will not only be a title for the Imperial heirs, but will also be bestowed on regions that are autonomous to the Empire but nonetheless owe the Empire ceremonial homage and alliance. I’m planning to give the title of Prince to the rulers of Tanith, Kharolis, and Qwermish as a semi-adoption of those nations and declaration of their client status. The ruler of Kayolin will be known as Prince-Thane as it would have a similar level of autonomy within and integration with the Solamnic Empire, but culturally dwarven rulers are known as Thanes.
    As the Empire continues, I imagine that important and powerful lords will start calling themselves princes or archdukes in a similar mold. I could see Prince Mayor for the ruler of Palanthas, or Prince of Nightlund being a possibility. I also see the possibility of some future Solamnic Emperor trying to crown a Prince of Abanasinia and it going very badly for everyone.

    Duke

    James Markham broke the power of the Dukes, but it seems he left their positions intact and I don’t think he is planning to centralize the state more later. So I follow the map on Tasselhoff’s Map Pouch and have created the Duchies of Coastlund (Hargoth), Southlund (Caergoth), Heartlund (Solanthus/Thelgaard), Elkholm (Egaard), and Lemish (Lemish). I have also added Vingaard as a duchy, between the Gold and Vingaard Rivers since there seems to have been a Duchy of Vingaard in the Rise of Solamnia books.

    The dukes will serve as territorial rulers, owing levies of troops and taxes to the Emperor. As well, they will probably run provincial courts and parliaments (I am calling them Lundsmoots) and dispense high and low justice in their territories.

    Since Jaymes Markham had bombards and control of the knighthood, I imagine he is able to dictate terms. He was inclined to destroy the Kerrigan family for example for not paying their taxes, and was largely successful in ousting them before pardoning the son Blayne Kerrigan and restoring him to his ducal throne. Therefore, I see Jaymes appointing agents and lords within the duchies that are more directly loyal to him by creating Imperial estates that pay taxes to the Emperor directly, and promoting Lord Mayors and their cities to immediate subordination to the Emperor as well. However, the dukes will still have a great deal of power, and the title of duke still carries a great deal of prestige.

    Count

    Douglas Niles does not use the title of count in his books (I did a word search for earl and count), but if you have dukes you have to expect counts or earls. I prefer count to the English title of earl. Since the power of the dukes was broken, the Emperor will probably peel off imperial estates centered around sources of revenue (forests, mines, productive land) and strategic importance (castles, passes, sea lanes etc) and entrust them to his own companions who would not be bound by oaths of loyalty to the dukes. Since count comes from a latin root meaning "companion of the Emperor" it seems appropriate. Their obligations would be similar to the dukes, and their titles will become hereditary within a generation or two just as it did in the Holy Roman Empire on our own earth.

    Margrave

    The lands of Nightlund, Gaardlund, and Hinterlund are all eastern provinces that seem to be sparsely settled (though Nightlund has Kalaman). Each also seems to have its own unique threats. Gaardlund seems to be a land of castles designed to defend against goblins, ogres, and barbarians coming from the Estwild. Nightlund seems to have a lingering problem with undead and Chemo****es following the exorcism of Lord Soth from the region. Hinterlund I assume is going to have a problem with desert tribesmen, draconians, and blue dragons because what else are you going to put there.

    As such, I imagine Jaymes and his successors would attempt to encourage settlement there, and for any settlement to stick he has to have an army in each location. So each territory gets a super-count called a Margrave on these border provinces, settled by veterans of his army and peasants looking to escape feudal obligations in the realms of the dukes. Nightlund in particular would probably have more clerical lords than other regions, with fortified temples and temples being just as common as frontier castles due to lingering problems with undead. Hinterlund would have to worry about blue dragons and desert raiders, while Gaardlund is named for the many castles constructed due to goblin and barbarian raiders streaming out of the Estwilde.

    As these territories become more settled and prosperous, the Margraves will soon rival the Dukes in power, if they don't assume the title of Duke or Prince.


    Lord Mayor

    Particularly important, wealthy and populous cities would remain as a "Lord City", cities that are autonomous from the dukes and counts and have their own territory. Their levies of taxes and troops would go directly to the Emperor, though they would still of course be bound economically to the duchies and counties in their immediate vicinity. Palanthas, Caergoth, Solanthus, and Kalaman are obvious choices as places that would remain “Lord Cities”. These are not to be confused with "Free Cities" which are self-governing cities under direct imperial rule such as Garnet, that do not control any territory outside the city limits.

    Lord Mayors have the rank and dignity equal to that of a count, but unlike other positions of upper nobility is not necessarily hereditary. The means of which the city chooses its leaders would be determined by a city's particular charter and laws, and it is even possible to have been elected to the position, usually for the term of 1 year. In cases where lord mayors are elected, it usually a thankless, unpaid, largely ceremonial, and expensive year in office, done solely for the sake of gaining prestige and a confirmation of the rights and noble status of your family within the city aristocracy.

    Next time: The Lower Nobility.

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    Hmmm. One comment here.

    "what is done is done." Well, not necessarily.

    In my version of Dragonlance in the fifth age, there were two Solamnic knighthoods. That schism started Gunthar attempted to revise the Measure. The revisionists were open to a lot of new things, some included more women, addition of spies in clandestine circles, etc. But in the end, it lead to Shinare taking up the role of the three gods watching over the knighthood. That's ultimately what you see in the Knighthood command structure in Nile's books. Once Markham came to power, Solamnic knights all around the world might reject Markham's knighthood and keep their own.

    So we have ultra traditionalists in Sancrist, who are exiles from Solamnia, and we have moderate traditionalists centered in Sanction with Linsha Majere. Both disavow anything related to Markham.

    Heck I even got an awesome name for my storyline. How was the War of the Three Grandmasters sound?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weldon Chen View Post
    Hmmm. One comment here.

    "what is done is done." Well, not necessarily.

    In my version of Dragonlance in the fifth age, there were two Solamnic knighthoods. That schism started Gunthar attempted to revise the Measure. The revisionists were open to a lot of new things, some included more women, addition of spies in clandestine circles, etc. But in the end, it lead to Shinare taking up the role of the three gods watching over the knighthood. That's ultimately what you see in the Knighthood command structure in Nile's books. Once Markham came to power, Solamnic knights all around the world might reject Markham's knighthood and keep their own.
    I'm not upset with the changes to the knighthood itself. Calling the order of clerics the Order of Clerists makes more sense than Order of the Sword, and combining the three knighthoods into one knighthood is certainly a reform that makes sense. Plus, he would undo a lot of the Gunthar Uth Wistan 5th Age silliness like deciding that knighthoods could be given to anyone regardless of family wealth or military training, or inviting the Knights of Takhisis to merge knighthoods. In the end he made it a rather common, disorganized, and disgraceful knighthood. Jaymes Markham despite the fact that he is a despicable human being has at least given the knighthood purpose and leadership again. I also don't mind that Jaymes Markham is a villain in charge of the knighthood, as it allows for some musketeer level shenanigans.

    But yes, I fully expect there to be resistance to the rule of Jaymes Markham and his heirs. I'm planning on splintering off Palanthas as its own city state with its own Prince, complete with a monument in the midst of the Shoikan Grove bearing the statue of Selinda weeping as she orders the execution of her own mad tyrannical son. I'm also planning to have Kensei monks as the "Sword Brothers of the Tower", guarding the sleeping and mortally wounded platinum dragon who will awake at the end of days to defeat the five headed dragon goddess. Finally, the knighthood of Sancrist will be the Sovereign Order of the Whitestone.

    I was speaking specifically about being angry he was using the titles of duke and baron, assuming a post-roman European style aristocracy and monarchy that didn't exist before. Now we have to pretend that these were Solamnic noble titles all along, and it is rather ugly, continuity wise. There were Solamnic lords, but they were never addressed that way.

    So we have ultra traditionalists in Sancrist, who are exiles from Solamnia, and we have moderate traditionalists centered in Sanction with Linsha Majere. Both disavow anything related to Markham.
    I wouldn't put the ultra-traditionalists in Sancrist, as that was Gunthar uth Wistan's stomping grounds, so I assume the culture there were on board with some of the reforms. I would make that a more technology embracing, gender inclusive, racially inclusive, democratic knighthood. An idealized medieval America as it were.

    I would probably put the ultra-traditionalists as a secret faction within Solamnia itself, sort of like sedevancantists in the Catholic Church. Electing an anti-Grandmaster, holding secret meetings in clandestine places, plotting sedition against the crown etc. etc.

    Heck I even got an awesome name for my storyline. How was the War of the Three Grandmasters sound?
    I do like that title.

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    I would probably add a special title for a central ruling figure for Solamnia. Like Kaiser for Germany and Tsar for Russia, which draws from Julius Ceaser. I'd have "Vinus" be the title for Solamnia. Make it standout from all the other "Emporers" in Dragonlance: Ergoth, both the Minotaur Empire and League, the Dragon Emporer for Ariakas and even Emporer of Dragons for Paladin.

    I also strongely expect Vinus Markham would completely abolish the Solamnic Knights in Solmania itself in the long run as "obsolete" and invite more nationalist oriented knights into the officer corps of whatever regular army he creates. But hey this is yours so have at it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ferratus View Post
    But yes, I fully expect there to be resistance to the rule of Jaymes Markham and his heirs. I'm planning on splintering off Palanthas as its own city state with its own Prince, complete with a monument in the midst of the Shoikan Grove bearing the statue of Selinda weeping as she orders the execution of her own mad tyrannical son. I'm also planning to have Kensei monks as the "Sword Brothers of the Tower", guarding the sleeping and mortally wounded platinum dragon who will awake at the end of days to defeat the five headed dragon goddess. Finally, the knighthood of Sancrist will be the Sovereign Order of the Whitestone.

    I was speaking specifically about being angry he was using the titles of duke and baron, assuming a post-roman European style aristocracy and monarchy that didn't exist before. Now we have to pretend that these were Solamnic noble titles all along, and it is rather ugly, continuity wise. There were Solamnic lords, but they were never addressed that way.
    Cool use of a platinum dragon.

    Yeah, the titles of Duke and Baron were annoying but I chalked up to my original schism from the Revised Measure. In the novel, the Rose and the Skull, Knights of Takhisis were allow to merge with the Solamnic Knights with disastrous results. Then Lian Erling saw Gunthar's terrible notes on the changing the Measure, and secretly "edited" Gunthar's work. The Revised Measure could be a source for new things, like new titles such as Duke and Baron, which never appeared before. I'd also blame the Revised Measure for allowing the restructuring of the three different orders into completely separate camps, as well as inclusion of new groups, the Order of the Kingfishers, the Solamnic Auxillary. As an aside, I'd also include the Taladan Dragonknights, brought over by the dragons to create an a new group chosen as riders for the dragons. Think of them as Navy pilots vs Navy Seamen.

    Quote Originally Posted by ferratus View Post
    I wouldn't put the ultra-traditionalists in Sancrist, as that was Gunthar uth Wistan's stomping grounds, so I assume the culture there were on board with some of the reforms. I would make that a more technology embracing, gender inclusive, racially inclusive, democratic knighthood. An idealized medieval America as it were.
    Well, in my version, Gunthar's dementia, and the disastrous attempt to merge two knighthoods forever placed a dark mark on Sancrist. Solamnia and Sanction would have readily accepted the revised Measure. To me, if I were a traditionalist who didn't like the corruption of Shinare are a patron god, or the Dukes in Solamnia, or that Dragon-loving thief who called herself a Knight of the Rose in Sanction, the only place to turn to would be in Sancrist. Ignoring Gunthar final days (and emphasizing Liam Erling's meddling), the origin of the knighthood is at the Whitestone, where Vinas Solamnus was blessed by Paladine, Habbakuk, and Kiri-jolith. That's where the original knighthood came to be. That's where the original Measure was born. So if I were a traditionalist, I'd gather like-minded conservative traditional knights with me in Sancrist. It's far enough to be away from the influence of Solamnia to continue the old ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by ferratus View Post
    I would probably put the ultra-traditionalists as a secret faction within Solamnia itself, sort of like sedevancantists in the Catholic Church. Electing an anti-Grandmaster, holding secret meetings in clandestine places, plotting sedition against the crown etc. etc.
    Well, after Markham, I assumed honorable, tradition-bound knights wouldn't hide from a guy like Markham. So, I assumed they would follow their rules and hold a grand vote among their member for their own Grandmaster. Obviously, Markham's loyalists didn't go to that meeting and stayed in Solamnia. So then we're stuck with an illegitimately elected Grandmaster vs a self-proclaimed villainous one. Who is grandmaster is completely dependent on whether you're outside or inside Solamnia.

    Ferratus, I'm assume that in your version there is only one grandmaster, Markham? If so, what happens to the solamnic knight who rejects his grandmaster? does he find a better grandmaster, or does to do something like join the Legion of Steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by ferratus View Post
    I do like that title.
    Thanks. I'm still playing with it. Dragonlance: The Grandmasters' War, does have a nice ring to it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weldon Chen View Post
    Yeah, the titles of Duke and Baron were annoying but I chalked up to my original schism from the Revised Measure.
    The Dragons of War module did refer to Serdin Marthasal (one of the representatives at the Whitestone Council) as the Duke of Vingaard Keep, so there is precedent for Solamnia having Dukes prior to the Rise of Solamnia trilogy.

    Well, in my version, Gunthar's dementia, and the disastrous attempt to merge two knighthoods forever placed a dark mark on Sancrist. Solamnia and Sanction would have readily accepted the revised Measure. To me, if I were a traditionalist who didn't like the corruption of Shinare are a patron god, or the Dukes in Solamnia, or that Dragon-loving thief who called herself a Knight of the Rose in Sanction, the only place to turn to would be in Sancrist. Ignoring Gunthar final days (and emphasizing Liam Erling's meddling), the origin of the knighthood is at the Whitestone, where Vinas Solamnus was blessed by Paladine, Habbakuk, and Kiri-jolith. That's where the original knighthood came to be. That's where the original Measure was born. So if I were a traditionalist, I'd gather like-minded conservative traditional knights with me in Sancrist. It's far enough to be away from the influence of Solamnia to continue the old ways.
    There is also a settlement on southwestern Sancrist called Markennan. It seem likely that said settlement is connected to Lord Alfred Markenin (one of the leading conservative knights during the War of the Lance era), so that suggests at least part of Sancrist was controlled by the conservative knights.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bguy View Post
    The Dragons of War module did refer to Serdin Marthasal (one of the representatives at the Whitestone Council) as the Duke of Vingaard Keep, so there is precedent for Solamnia having Dukes prior to the Rise of Solamnia trilogy.
    Well, I dug out my copy of DL8 and checked it out, and sure enough a Duke of Vingaard Keep. The Rise of Solamnia trilogy makes a lot more sense too, looking at the empty map of DL8 with only Thelgaard, Caergoth, Solanthus, and Palanthas as places of note, so that isn't surprising that is where Douglas Niles put the Dukes in. There is also Lemish on the DL8 map where he stuck Ankhar as the ruler at the end of book 2. Douglas Niles seems to have used DL8 as his primary source.

    Istar is a little bit Roman Empire, the Minotaurs are a little bit Roman Empire in Knaak's Minotaur Wars Trilogy, and Duke seems to spring up in random places across Ansalon (such as Kharolis in the 3e War of the Lance Sourcebook). Thererore, I'm going to declare it an Istarian title, probably given to commanders of regional armies or federated tribes. The minotaurs took over Istarian government when they took over the Istarian territory of what is now Mithas and Kothas, and took that style of government with them when they sailed to Taladas (where there are military officers with Roman titles in the League of Minotaurs).

    Even though Count is also a roman title (meaning companion of the Emperor), I think I will keep it as a Jaymes Markham innovation. The companions of Kingpriests would be clerics, and probably have ecclesiastical titles, rather than being warrior elites. I will of course revisit that if a source ever shows us Solamnic Counts pre-Jaymes, but since they weren't mentioned in Rise of Solamnia (only Dukes, Barons and Lord Mayors as a word search of my ebooks show) then I'm inclined to keep them. I could leave Counts out altogether, but I just assume that since Dukes and Barons are there, it is only a matter of time before Counts and Earls show up in a published author's work so I might as well prepare for them.

    There is also a settlement on southwestern Sancrist called Markennan. It seem likely that said settlement is connected to Lord Alfred Markenin (one of the leading conservative knights during the War of the Lance era), so that suggests at least part of Sancrist was controlled by the conservative knights.
    I'm not disputing that conservative knights can't arise out of Sancrist, it just isn't what I'm doing. I like the idea of true knights being clandestine and secret, while those who have betrayed the ideals in some way or another that have the titles and the power. I'm still holding out hope that I can inspire an knightly adventurer to seek the original copies of the Oath and the Meausure and restore the true knighthood. If conservative, true knights, already have their own territory that quest is caput.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Weldon Chen View Post
    Cool use of a platinum dragon.
    Thanks. Paladine as Valthonis was too much of a wild card to remain in play, and I wanted there to be some reason for a long term cease-fire between Palanthas and Solamnia to hold until the acceptance of the two powers as two separate political entities. Having the High Clerist's Tower be simply too sacred to attack meant that you couldn't just hurl troops and cannons at the city until it collapsed. Plus, Paladine would work as the archetype of the sleeping king, resting in a healing sleep until Takhisis returns.

    Well, after Markham, I assumed honorable, tradition-bound knights wouldn't hide from a guy like Markham. So, I assumed they would follow their rules and hold a grand vote among their member for their own Grandmaster. Obviously, Markham's loyalists didn't go to that meeting and stayed in Solamnia. So then we're stuck with an illegitimately elected Grandmaster vs a self-proclaimed villainous one. Who is grandmaster is completely dependent on whether you're outside or inside Solamnia.
    I'd assume after a couple of outspoken knights got their heads put on pikes, then the rest would learn the value of discretion.

    Ferratus, I'm assume that in your version there is only one grandmaster, Markham? If so, what happens to the solamnic knight who rejects his grandmaster? does he find a better grandmaster, or does to do something like join the Legion of Steel?
    Actually, I have three grandmasters as well. The Grandmaster of the Knights of Solamnia is the Emperor. The Grandmaster of the Sovereign Order of the Whitestone rules over Sancrist (a nod to the Sovereign Order of Malta). Finally, there is the anti-Grandmaster of the Knights of Solamnia who basically is the head of a secret society who seeks to keep the ancient traditions alive, sort of like all those cults and secret societies who claim they are the true Knights Templar in our own world.

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