The first order of three in the hierarchy of the Knights of the Domaine, the Order of the Crown is also the most numerous in terms of active members. They are the men and women of Fanolania that serve the King in a number of capacities. The most publicly admired of these are the elite soldiers that form the King’s Musketeers, most of whom are knights in the Order of the Crown. Other roles filled by this order are those that form the bulk of the noncommissioned officers in times of war, naval commanders that patrol the rivers and coasts that serve as the nation’s boundaries, and the warriors that serve as griffon, hippogriff, and dragonnel riders. While not everyone of these brave souls are knights, those that are will certainly be in the Order of the Crown.
The following are the ranks for the Order of the Crown. All Knights of the Domaine begin their endeavors as a first-ranked member of this order, and after having passed the second rank are eligible to either continue on to the third rank or else take the tests to pass laterally into the first rank of the Order of the Hammer (to be discussed later):
- Squire of the Crown – Often apprenticed to a higher ranked member of the order, it can sometimes take years to gain enough notoriety and respect to be advanced to the next level.
- Defender of the Crown – It is rare for a person to remain in this category for too long, as they are already making a name for themselves and are quicker to advance than squires.
- Knight of the Crown – Most order members are in this rank. It is not uncommon for the less politically motivated members to never advance beyond this point.
- Scepter Knight – These knights are most often affiliated with manning small militias, such as in frontier regions. They are also tasked with duties in and around the capital having to do with security and law enforcement.
- Shield Knight – A notch above their brethren the Scepter Knights, these individuals organize and train larger military formations, either as lords themselves or in service of such a noble.
- Shield of the Crown – Fanolania is divided into regions, the borders of which are sometimes modified for a variety of reasons. Each region has a knight of this rank assigned to it that oversees all activities of the order within that region. It is a job of considerable merit and honor, and is never handed out without considerable thought.
- Lord of Shields – This person oversees all of the 6th rank members in order to keep their activities and responsibilities in proper course.
- Lord of the Crown – Something of a grand inquisitor, this person has the safety and security of the King themselves as their mandate.
- Master Warrior – This person maintains and enforces the rules of conduct for all nobles that take up arms in the service of the King. Having some semblance of uniformity helps this feudal nation field a more powerful military than it otherwise might.
- Lord Warrior – This person is the second-in-command for the entire order, and may carry out a great number of tasks appropriate to their station.
- High Warrior – The equivalent of Slothjemia’s Lord High Marshal, this is the person that gives martial advice to the King and will more than likely develop the strategies needed by the realm to attack and defend successfully.
The 7th rank and higher are unique titles, and only one person can hold each of those ranks at any given time. These are the top echelon of the order, and command a good deal of respect accordingly. The High Warrior is often one of the King’s closest advisors, and will frequently be placed in command of the nation’s defenses in time of war. This person will likely be a highly placed noble such as a duke or an archduke, and will always have a close connection to the King.
Make no mistake, although the Order of the Crown is the first of the three in the Knights of the Domaine, it is far from being the weakest. There are more of them than there are knights in the other two orders combined.