Simplicity is key to goblinoids understanding their place in the world, the tasks they are expected to accomplish, and the rewards with which they are paid. Historically one of the best ways that the rulers of Slothjemia have found to honor the great deeds of its adventurers, heroes, and other accomplishers of note, are knighthoods. They are given in three ranks, or tiers, and are handed out for general things like heroism and patriotism as well as specifics such as exploration or skill in a particular field.
The tier of the award is indicated by the ribbon. The more tiers, the more bands on the ribbon. The lowest ranking knighthoods have only a single color, with the enamel on the medallion matching the ribbon; and these awards are the most commonly encountered. In two and three tier knighthoods, one of the colors is enameled on the medallion as well.
First and second tier knighthoods cannot be inherited in Slothjemia. Third tier knighthoods are the lowest form of landed nobility available in the realm. The awarded estate that goes along with the knighthood itself is small, but often related in some way to the reason for why the award was given in the first place. For example, an award given for exploration would include a parcel of land in the newly discovered lands. An award for heroism in battle might offer land taken from an enemy that the knight helped defeat.
Everyone that is awarded a knighthood in Slothjemia is entitled to use the honorary prefix of “Shr” (for males) or “Shar” (for females). This prefix follows military rank and other noble title, if any exists. Slothjemia is the only country that currently uses these prefixes, and it does help to establish that the bearer of the honor is Slothjemian, a curious fact that may either help or hinder a person bearing such a prefix.
It is worth notating that for widely generalized concepts such as heroism and patriotism, there are often knighthoods available in all three tiers to allow the reward to fit more properly the accomplishment. For instance, the concept of patriotic duty can be rewarded by a first tier knighthood, the County Brotherhood, a second tier knighthood, The Iron Gauntlet, or a third tier knighthood, The Midnight Skull. They all mean the same thing in principle, but have been weighed differently by the Crown. The following is a list of all of the Slothjemian knighthoods, their enamel color, tier, ribbon colors, and for what reasons they are most frequently awarded:
- County Brotherhood (brown), first tier, brown ribbon = Awarded for patriotism, frequently given for military heroics or other general contributions to the realm.
- Iron Gauntlet (grey), second tier, grey and white ribbon = Awarded for patriotism, frequently in cases of exceptional military actions. Has also been awarded for lifetime achievements warranting recognition.
- Midnight Skull (black), third tier, black, white, and red ribbon = Awarded for patriotism, such as extreme battlefield valor or lifetime military service in dedication to the realm. Those given this knighthood are sometimes called “Skullers” and are considered to be among the most influential nobles due to their exploits and not merely by virtue of title or class.
- Order of Exalted Allies (purple), first tier, purple ribbon = Given to foreigners that accomplish great deeds in service to Slothjemia. This has been given both as an honor to valued allies and as a mocking joke to enemies that test the mettle of the realm and through their blundering enable Slothjemia to achieve great victories.
- League of Shadows (dark blue), second tier, black and dark blue ribbon = The only award given specifically to rogues, assassins, thieves, and other ne’er-do-wells that put their unique talents to work for Slothjemia. Many of these recipients are spies, huntsmen, or archer lords.
- Arcane Fellowship (pink), second tier, pink and white ribbon = Mostly given to mages and psionicists for their contributions to the realm, it can also be given for progress in research or practical application in areas such as engineering, architecture, and education.
- Holy Order of the Fen (red), second tier, red and white ribbon = Bestowed normally at the request of the Archbishop of Slothenburg, this knighthood is reserved for clerics, priests, and paladins that champion causes dear to Slothjemia.
- Order of Seekers (green), first tier, green ribbon = Given to those that have made discoveries in foreign policy, cartography, or geography favorable to the realm. Examples might include negotiating a trade deal with a foreign power or discovering a shortcut for sea trade to a particular destination.
- Travelers of the Empire (light blue), second tier, light blue and green ribbon = A recognition of accomplishments more important than those granted to the Order of Seekers. Might also include those that engage in epic quests that benefit the realm or spelljammers that find new allies or markets beneficial to Slothjemia.
- Royal Society for Exploration (white), third tier, black, white, and blue ribbon = Awarded for the most exemplary work in furthering the realm’s foreign alliances, exploration of new areas, quests to far-flung locales in this plane or on others, and in general adding to the greater knowledge and resources possessed by the empire through such activities.
- Draconic Brotherhood (dark purple), second tier, purple and white ribbon = Awarded to those that slay true dragons of any type or that successfully retrieve the eggs of black dragons for use by the empire.
- Phantom Legion (silver), third tier, silver, black, and silver ribbon = The elite bodyguards of the royal family and agents of the monarch given full authority to exercise their will. Can be awarded to any class of character that is at least 10th level. This is the only knighthood in Slothjemia that requires specific duties in return for it being awarded. It will frequently be given only after one or more knighthoods have been given to the person upon whom it is bestowed.