For purposes of being succinct, the term ‘Aspirant’ in the Curriculum of the Knight-Paladin will be defined as the role of Aspirant, or the role of Crusader. Both are equally applicable. The teaching role may be comprised by any Knight, Counselor, or Master, but will be referred to as ‘mentor’.
Once a mentor of the Order of Saint Isaac has been selected, training may begin immediately. Only the Tome of the Mind may be studied by a recruit in the Regiment, they are required to be at least the rank of private to continue to the other two sections.
Aside from the aforementioned restriction, the mentor will have full control on how the aspirant progresses, with the understanding that a difficult Aspirant may bring shame onto the knight in question. Alternatively, any Counselor or the Master may deem the Aspirant ready to progress, or that a new mentor is needed.
Aspirants may notice a growing connection to the Light as early as their studies in the Tome of the Mind depending on the individual.
Tome of the Mind Edit
This section is the first all aspirants will go through. They will be honed into the proper mindset and demeanor that is expected of a paladin. The exact specifics and method of training will be the mentor’s full decision to decide, however the abridged expectations are thus:
- Humility: Aspirants will be expected to understand their life is that of service to humanity and to the Light, represented both in demeanor and lifestyle. Simply, a destruction of self. Aspirants will be expected to maintain a spotless disciplinary record in the greater Regiment
- Tranquility: Aspirants will learn to keep their emotions in check when in the face of others. At all times must a paladin remain in utter control, lest doubt claim them, or they are driven to some great evil.
- Chivalry: Aspirants will be expected to conduct themselves honorably in all things, a paragon of knighthood. They will also learn how to tend, care for, and rise a horse if they do not already know how to do this already.
- Virtue: Aspirants will be expected to live in accordance to what is defined as virtue- obedience to Westridge Temple Law, humility, kindness. Aspirants will learn how to pray and the value of prayer, as well as what devotion means.
- Dignity: Paladins are a noble kind, and thus aspirants must learn to abhor any demeanor or habits that might bring shame onto them in their role as Knights of Saint Isaac.
- Scholarship: Aspirants will learn academia deemed fundamental to any learned man. Aspirants will be taught to read and write, for those illiterate Aspirants this education will start simple, while Aspirants coming from nobility will be expected to begin immediately with advanced texts. Use of the Diocese Archives is strongly recommended.
- History: Aspirants are also taught the history of the Order, and the life of Saint Isaac. These knowledge is expanded upon to also touch upon the topics of Stormwind proper, as well as the Order of the Silver Hand.
- Theology: Aspirants will be expected to learn aspects of the Church of the Holy Light beyond what is accessible to the simple layman. Though complicated arguments are reserved, they will be introduced to the writings and arguments of the great clerics of old.
Tome of the Body Edit
In this section, Aspirants are taught matters of advanced warfare. It is assumed by this stage they are trained in the basics of combat by their sergeants in the Army proper, so the emphasis in this section will be dueling, the unorthodox weaponry of the maul, and tactical capabilities. Aspirants will also be expected to embody physical supremacy, to be both strong and fit at all times.
- Swordplay: All Aspirants will be expected to be at least proficient in the Lordaeronian form of swordsmanship. Though the Aspirant is not forced to apply this form, knowledge and understanding (as well as the ability to display it) are required.
- Dueling: Aspirants shall learn the specifics and nuances of clever and intelligent fighting, from advanced techniques to the development of soft skills. This may be done with the mentor's weapon of choice, but the longsword is recommended.
- Traditional Weaponry: After the Aspirant has understood swordplay, they will advanced to usage of either the maul or the Warhammer- the choice is a matter of individual preference. Such weapons are the traditional arm of the paladin, and thus only mastery is acceptable with this weapon. This is a difficult weapon to use and master due to its slow speed and its limited means of attack, yet a symbol of righteousness it remains.
- Horsemanship: Aspirants will learn now the more advanced aspects of horsemanship, specifically how to fight from horseback, the components of a horse's armor, and (most importantly), how to conduct a proper lance charge.
- Physique: Battle is a test of both endurance and strength, and thus Aspirants shall learn to reforge their bodies to be physically strong, beyond even the high standards of the First Regiment. This shall prepare themselves to take full advantage of the Light's blessings.
- Tactics: Aspirants must continue their academic studies, now with a specifically martial emphasis as they read the accounts of battles and generals of the past, and may apply this in table-topped recreations at the mentor’s discretion.
- Leadership: Aspirants shall learn to use their charisma to have a professional impact on their men- what it means to lead. They will be taught examples of good initiative, and when it is appropriate to use it.
Knights of the Brotherhood of the Horse are privileged to an abridged version of this section that only requires mastery of the maul. If a knight has already mastered this weapon and can prove it, they may immediately go to Section 3.
Tome of the Soul Edit
This is perhaps the least familiar of the sections. In this section, Aspirants will both learn to use the Light both in clerical duties and in combat, as well as learn the deeper philosophies of how a paladin ought to be.
- Advanced Theology: Aspirants will once more take an academic education on the theology and philosophy of the Church, now with a specific emphasis on paladins- and Saint Isaac's actions. Aspirants may, or may not at this stage be asked to produce a written argument of their own to add to the permanent argument of a paladin's philosophy
- Application: Aspirants will be need to understand the difficult problems and hard questions that will inevitably face them. They will look to the examples of the past, some righteous such as Uther the Lightbringer's resistance at Stratholme and some sinful such as the Scarlet Crusade, but will be expected to follow the Light's laws in such things. Aspirants may not proceed under any circumstances until this is understood and mastered.
- Connection: An optional chapter for those who have not established a connection already, Aspirants will be taught to nurture their direct connection to the Light, and the specific techniques to bring it to manifest in the physical world.
- Restoration: Aspirants will be taught healing spells. These will start with slow-healing, low-energy spells many Clerics favor, before using quicker, and more powerful abilities of this nature that are renowned among the paladins.
- Warding: Aspirants shall also learn to use the Light's blessings to shield and guard both themselves and those around them. In this section, they will learn perhaps the most crucial of all abilities in the paladin's arsenal- the Devotion Aura. An alternative aura may be taught if the mentor deems it necessary.
- Combat Application: Fighting is quick, and fierce, and a paladin must be able to apply such powers decisively, and at times without even thinking if they are to be of any use in battle. This is a chapter that will push Aspirants to the very limits of their abilities- all other spells they have learned will be taught to be cast instantly, and still at full power. They may quickly over-exert themselves, this is to be expected. Directly offensive spells, such as Holy Fire, are discouraged for an Aspirant in order to maximize the emphasis in melee prowess.
Ordained Priests may be privileged to an abridged version of this chapter after a brief review of philosophy, with instead a greater focus in battlefield application. Clerics may be privileged to this only with a written letter of recommendation from the Bishop of Westridge.
Once all three sections are completed, the Aspirant may be submitted to a Counselor, or the Master for review. These reviews may vary wildly depending on the Aspirant’s displayed strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately both Aspirant will be judged, and the Mentor depending on the Aspirant’s performance
If the Aspirant is found ready, they may proceed on to the Trials of the Paladin Knight. If they are found wanting, the onus will be on the mentor to continue their training. An aspirant may be rejected for any reason, as such reviews are as spiritual as they are clinical.
Further Education Edit
Though excessive deviation from the curriculum is discouraged for Aspirants, Knight-Paladins may (and do) continue individual studies in warfare, philosophy and usage of the Light's blessings.
It is expected that paladins at times deviate from the use of traditional melee weapons, and this is accepted so long as the weapons remain knightly and melee. Among spiritual abilities, experimentation is also permissible so long as it is not blasphemous.
Many paladins, for instance, decide to master auras other than the Devotion Aura- and the strongest of such knights have an ability for them all. Other paladins favor a more direct usage of the Light's abilities, channeling such things as Holy Fire.