The sprawling lands of Geldenreich are kept safe and smoothly functioning in some part by the activities of the Knights of the Golden Empire. They serve as the officers in the armies of the empire and can serve in law enforcement capacities as well. Found in every part of Geldenreich, these “Gelderitters” are revered for their honorable actions and noble bearing. Most every young man dreams of becoming a Gelderitter and most every young woman dreams of marrying one.
Any of the four Princes can designate somebody as a Knight of the Golden Empire. Knights that are formed by the Archduke of Schlosswald are made members of the Lodge of Halberds. Knights that are formed by the Archduke of Gyepekmark are made members of the Lodge of Lances. Knights that are formed by the Archduke of Horske-Oblanski are made members of the Lodge of Hammers. Knights that are formed by the Archduke of Zaleznemark are made members of the Lodge of Swords. Naturally the Emperor can make somebody a knight as well. These rare individuals are made members of the Lodge of the Crown. Regardless of what lodge a knight might belong to their duties do not vary all that much. When not rallying troops and leading them into battle they tend to manage their modest estates and serve as sheriffs and bailiffs for more powerful nobles. Higher ranked knights from the Lodge of the Crown are most frequently encountered as field marshals for the Imperial armies or conducting the highest-level inspections on behalf of the Emperor (not entirely different from how the King of Fanolania utilizes his teams of royal inspectors).
Knights of the Golden Empire are ranked along military lines. The newest of them will be Lieutenants and thereafter they can be promoted through heroic deeds or notable actions to become Captains, Majors, Colonels, and Generals. With only five ranks and five lodges the hierarchy is much less convoluted than the Fanolanian Knights of the Domaine. Their duties are not as encompassing either, although the prestige they enjoy is certainly comparable to that bestowed upon their Fanolanian counterparts. Even at the lowest ranks they are frequently given estates to manage and their titles may be passed on if the Prince of their particular Archduchy approves or the Emperor gives his blessing.
Infrequently the Gelderitters can be found in foreign lands engaged in some sort of adventuring quest. These knights are either not landed lords or else they have business urgent enough to justify leaving their manors behind in pursuit of something greater.