The Brotherhood of the Horse is the official knighted order of the Kingdom of Stormwind. Its knights are staunchly loyal to the royal family and are some of the finest cavalrymen in Azeroth – seasoned warriors who ride armored destriers specifically bred for combat in the County of Eastvale. The Westridge Cavaliers are the regional chapter of the brotherhood that are equipped by the House of Montclair. These armored knights are, in essence, the best and brightest soldiers that are often dedicated to the Westridgean detachment of the Stormwind Royal Army; the First Regiment of the Elwynn Brigade.
History[edit | edit source]
After Logan Wrynn I was assassinated in Brightwood in 48 K.C., his son, Daniel Wrynn, founded the Brotherhood of the Horse in order to provide an order of knights loyal to the House of Wrynn over the noble houses of the realm. Many consider the brotherhood to be the progenitor of the Royal Army, as it stood as the kingdom's first men-at-arms directly loyal to the crown. The brotherhood kept peace in the realm throughout the Age of Consolidation, acting as chivalrous mediators for the newly united noble houses.
When King Thomas I was found dead in his chambers in 125 K.C., the brotherhood was torn over vying claims of whether Thomas was killed by his wife, Mary Brightwood, or his brother, Samson Wrynn. Many of the brotherhood were exiled from Stormwind City with the latter as those who supported Mary's claim to the throne were backed by the peasantry.
As Mary tightened her grip on the kingdom, slaughtering those who protested her dissolution of the Church of Northshire, those of the brotherhood loyal to Samson Wrynn aided him in gathering support for the eventual toppling of her reign. There they followed him all the way to the Siege of Brightwood, where they fought valiantly and quashed the rebellion once and for all.
To honor their dedication and service to the crown, the royal family under Samson Wrynn funded the construction of Karazhan Keep – the tower of the brotherhood. The order's bastion of power and its surrounding buildings was designed to their influence, ornamented with horse heads in various and equipped with grand stables that could accommodate the brotherhood's mounts. From then on, the Brotherhood of the Horse steadfastly defended the realm, expanding its borders and defending it from those who would threaten its people. As centuries passed, the brotherhood moved their headquarters from their tower to Stormwind Keep where they could better serve the House of Wrynn.
Chapters arose throughout the realm as the need for loyal peacekeepers grew. In the Duchy of Westridge, the House of Montclair began equipping its own knights in a branch of the brotherhood that came to be known as the Westridge Cavaliers. These knights were gruesome in their craft, keeping the peasantry and even minor lords in line with threats of violence and theft. While this coercion maintained productivity in the mountainous duchy, it sewed the seeds of rebellion in an increasingly abused populace.
These seeds bore fruit of revolt during the War of the Three Hammers. Infuriated by the heavy-handed tactics of the Knights of Westridge, the peasants of Mirwood took up arms against the House of Montclair and its loyal bannermen. Lord Philip De Vries, a baron who held land on the banks of Mirror Lake, rallied his personal guard and not only quelled the local rebellion, but single-handedly captured many of the rampaging knights; imprisoning them for their crimes against the realm.
Together with the other lords who faced abuse at the hands of the Knights of Westridge, Lord Philip put forward to the reigning Duke a Chivalric Code in an effort to curb the wanton brutality. This code of virtue and conduct included faith in the church and practice of the Three Virtues, but most importantly a clear set of moral guidelines that all knights would be expected to adhere to in their duty to the realm. The Duke agreed to the terms of the code, establishing them as law. The Chivalric Code of the Westridge Cavaliers has been in place since; guiding knights to noble word and deed.
One of the most recent notable members of the brotherhood was Sir Anduin Lothar. At the onset of the orcish wars, the Brotherhood of the Horse fought valiantly in defense of the kingdom under his leadership. The fallen sorcerer Medhiv took residence in the former seat of Stormwind's knighted power and directed his orcish minions to ravage the landscape. Despite several initial victories, the brotherhood was overwhelmed by the vastness of the orcish horde and suffered crippling losses. Azeroth was declared lost and Sir Lothar evacuated its people to the sea in a desperate bid for survival. Most of the remaining knights of the brotherhood were killed in the last days of the exodus as the orcs closed in on those fleeing the kingdom. Many of those who fell to the orcs were transformed into death knights by the orcish warlock Gul'dan.
What once were a grand order of knights were nearly wiped out during the destruction wrought by the Orcish Wars. Of the nearly two hundred Sworn Knights of the Westridge Cavaliers, only a dozen managed to survive the First War - the foremost of which included Sir Robert Rolhelm, Sir Thadik Wallace, and Duke Maxen Montclair.
Rallying the people of Azeroth across the sea to Lordaeron, Sir Lothar brought about the Alliance of Lordaeron that contended with the Orcish Horde during the The Second War. The remaining knights of the Brotherhood of the Horse fought alongside the armies of the new Alliance, offering their expertise in orcish combat. With the aid of the Lordaeronian Army and those of Quel'thalas, the brotherhood secured heroic victories against the orcs. After the Horde's mysterious retreat from Lordaeron and Grand Admiral Proudmoore's victories at sea, Lothar led the armies of the Alliance to liberate much of Azeroth and Khaz Modan, eventually breaching the Black Morass itself. Lothar was killed at the foot of Blackrock Spire after a force of Alliance troops he personally commanded was ambushed by the Horde forces. Despite this tragic loss, the Alliance prevailed and liberated Azeroth from the Orcish Horde.
In the decades that followed the liberation of the Kingdom of Stormwind, the House of Montclair focused on rebuilding its holdings and aiding with reconstruction efforts throughout the realm instead of raising its own chivalric knights – not by choice, but by necessity in the dark times that gripped the kingdom. Only in the past decade has the order begun to rebound as new knights rise to the occasion.
Chivalric Code[edit | edit source]
The Chivalric Code of the Knighted Order of Westridge
As compiled by Duke Maxen the Patient:
- Have faith in the Light and maintain its Church.
- Serve thy liege lord in valor and faith.
- Falter not in the pursuit of justice.
- Forgive those who wrong you.
- At all times speak the truth.
- Protect the weak and defenseless.
- Give succor to widows and orphans.
- Refrain from the wanton giving of offense.
- Live by honor and for glory.
- Refuse monetary reward.
- Guard the honor of fellow knights.
- Eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit.
- Complete any enterprise begun.
- Respect the honor of all peoples.
- Never turn thy back upon an enemy.
Structure[edit | edit source]
The Brotherhood of the Horse follows a long-established structure that stems from the ultimate authority of the King of Stormwind and the House of Wrynn.
The Lord of Westridge – The Lord’s role is simple, in that he holds lordship and authority over the entire Westridgean order of Knights and the process that is maintained. He may take on a squire, he may induct a new knight, he may establish changes, and he may denounce and remove knights of the realm from service. The Lord of Westridge may choose to make executive decrees, though often casts a vote to be counted equally among the Council of Horses.
Master of Horses – In prior days, the Master of Horses was held as a sole authority alongside the Duke of Westridge. The role has subsided in clout over several decades, now resigned to a focused leader of discussion and keeper of lore. Their word is not law outside of combat and campaign, as they are held as a first among equals alongside the Council of Horses. In a split vote amongst the council, the Master of Horses retains the final decision.
Council of Horses – The Council of Horses is the governing body of the Westridge Cavaliers. The Lord-Patron and Master of Horses are guaranteed a seat, and they alone choose who to elevate and who to discharge from the Council. Most operations such as policies and disciplinary concerns of the Westridge Cavaliers are handled by the Council which will put all decisions to a vote and follow the simple majority. The induction of new members and approval of knightings are controlled exclusively by the Council of Horses. While only members of the council may vote in council meetings, it is open to all members of the Westridge Cavaliers and the First Regiment of the Elwynn Brigade for observation. Members of the Council of Horses may be called upon to serve as the jury for military tribunals under the purview of the Duchy of Westridge.
General Assembly – The General Assembly is composed of all sworn knights and vigilants of the Westridge Cavaliers. While the Council of Horses governs most activity, it may be determined that a larger vote must be taken for certain actions. These decisions are often things such as moving en masse to support other military units when not already sent attached to the First Regiment, large numbers of the Cavaliers taking upon them a single quest or making pilgrimage. A General Assembly meeting may also be called for members outside of the council to make their voices heard. Motions brought up by members of the General Assembly must be seconded to have a vote called. However, the Council reserves the sole right to determine whether it will be a Council vote or an Assembly vote.
Crownsmen of Westridge – Cavaliers who have taken time to settle into their role as knights of the realm may express an interest in assisting the Brotherhood and taking on Squires to teach. Becoming a crownsman is similar to becoming an adjutant to the Council; they conduct trials, give lessons to squires, and are veterans of the Brotherhood. Crownsmen may typically only train one squire at a time, however those with profound merit and capability are sometimes granted permission to train a second by the Council of Horses. Those training squires may freely dissolve the union if they determine their squire to be unworthy of knighthood.
Cavaliers – Once a Vigilant has taken their vows, they are made a Cavalier and given the honorific of Sir or Dame. Held to the heaviest of standards, they are expected to maintain respect for their superiors and prove themselves, not only as soldiers, but as the best that Stormwind has to offer. In warfare, they act as the primary cavalry units on the battlefield; in peace, they are expected to take on quests and tasks that their liege-lord, or even His Majesty, have decreed of importance to the realm. Cavaliers are considered inexperienced, but are able to take on one squire to train if deemed fit by the Council
Vigilants – The Vigilants are those who have been approved by the Council of Horses as having completed their training as squires, but have not yet taken their oaths.
Squires – Those who aspire to become Knights of Westridge must work for and maintain a standing within the realm of Stormwind as the kingdom’s most gloried. While any standing cavalier may endorse them for the Brotherhood, it is only the Council of Horses that will approve them for full training within the order. They must take on a set of tasks, lessons, and quests alongside a given mentor in order to be raised from petty status. While a squire is assigned to a crownsman by the Council, none may be forced to train anyone as a squire who they do not wish to. Traditionally, a squire and knight will choose each other prior to the official designation. Squires may choose to abandon their aspirancy at any time.
Order Leader[edit | edit source]
Count Ismond Laldere is a well-known knight of the Brotherhood of the Horse for his service in the First Regiment of the Stormwind Army, having conducted numerous campaigns in the various locales of Azeroth on its behalf. He is as well known for his barbarous tactics in defending Stormwind as he is for his barbarous appearance; despite his average height, he stands as a brutish and imposing figure. He was born a bastard to a woman of the House of Montgomery of Wanduke, who perished in childbirth, and an unknown father. He was then raised by outcast relatives in Grand Hamlet until the time of the First War, where he began to prove himself while fighting as a man of the First Regiment.
Through numerous successful campaigns, and contributions to both the Army and Westridge, he quickly rose to prominence within the courts of Westridge and became a close friend and confidant of Duke Maxen, who raised him to the Lord’s Hand and provided him with lands within the duchy. With the death of the former Count of Wanduke, Richard Montgomery, he has since inherited the territories of Wanduke and continues to serve the House of Montclair with pride and distinction.
Roles[edit | edit source]
The combat roles that members of the Westridge Cavaliers may take on and their associated requirements will be listed below.
Cavaliers of the Brotherhood in service to the royal army are issued a variant of the typical footman's plate that is better suited for riding on horseback and forged from the highest grade of steel. Feared and respected throughout Azeroth, knights of the brotherhood charge into battle with steel-tipped lances and other weaponry suitable for mounted combat.
Requirements: • Be dubbed a Knight.
How to Join[edit | edit source]
Soldiers of the Royal Army, in particular service to the Westridge Duchy Reserve, may either express interest in taking up the reins of a destrier or be honored with summons by the Lord of Westridge for the opportunity. It is important to note that summons such as this are only offered to parties of extraordinary ability and unparalleled dedication.
Any who wish to join the Westridge Cavaliers, whether as a squire or a companion, must achieve the rank of Private and present themselves before the Council of Horses for judgement. As requests for squireship are held to a much higher standard, those who have been approved as companions must present themselves a second time if they wish to be assigned to a knight.
Those aspirants who are approved in their quest for knighthood are assigned to be mentored by a crownsman of the Westridge Cavaliers; on rare occasion, a member of the Council may take a squire of particular value to the Brotherhood. The squire and their selected mentor will work together through a passing of knowledge of the Curriculum of the Brotherhood by preparing the new-blood’s understanding of chivalric code, combative ability, and comprehension of leadership, while being put against rigorous quests and tasks as a measure of their tenacious dedication.
During this time, the squire must also obtain the Argent Warhorse through the Argent Tournament in Northrend to prove their skill and dedication to jousting.
When a crownsman determines that the training of his or her squire is completed, they must present their squire before the Council of Horses for judgement. Both the knight and the squire will be expected to explain why they are ready for advancement. The Council may question them, or may proceed directly to a vote. Should the vote succeed, the Lord-Patron will determine when to hold the Knighting Ceremony and the squire may now call themselves a vigilant. Should the vote fail, a second vote will be held to determine whether the squire has failed their aspirancy or should simply return to training.
A date will be determined after the final test is completed, wherein either the Master of Horses or the Lord of Westridge will induct a tested squire in a formal Dubbing Ceremony. The vigilant will be given a studded belt and mithril buckle with a lion’s sigil, a mithril chain, a plumed helm, and then be ordered to rise with their newly honored moniker. Through completion of this trial, a cavalier takes on the task of being one of the First Regiment’s most exemplary personnel.
Roster[edit | edit source]
- Duke Maxen the Patient, Lord of Westridge
- Dame Alice the Apt, Master of Horses
- Sir Ismond the Guardian, Councilor
- Sir Roy the Gentle, Councilor
- Sir Thomas the Oakhearted, Councilor
- Sir Aralieass the Butcher, Crownsman
- Sir Valrik the Exalted, Crownsman
- Dame Clarissa the Cleansing Flame, Cavalier
- Dame Tilliea the Red, Cavalier
- Dame Meriliah the Swift, Cavalier
- Cashen Bailey, Squire to Sir Aralieas.
- Mustadio Ranthal, Squire to Sir Aralieass
- Abigail Potter, Squire to Sir Ismond
- Melanie Witherseed, Squire to Sir Maxen
- Kaitriona Williams, Squire to Sir Valrik
- Robin Foy, Squire to Sir Valrik
Additional Readings[edit | edit source]
- Brotherhood of the Horse Forum
- Curriculum of the Brotherhood
- Dubbing Ceremony of the Westridge Cavaliers
- Rules of the Joust
- Medieval Lives: The Knight
- Know Your Lore: Brotherhood of the Horse
- D20 Jousting