There are two types of ranks and several special titles which fall outside of these two categories. The first category is that of common ranks, which are used for unknighted members of the Knights of Lyria. They cover aspiring knights and men at arms. The latter are paid to be in the service of the knights, and are exempt from any of the vows that the knights take when they are inducted in the order (poverty, no family, etc.) It is simply a paying job.
Every aspiring knight, no matter their background, starts off as a squire. They are responsible for a lot of menial tasks in service of the rest of the knights.
The armsman are the auxiliary troops that stand in service of the knights. They are either permanent soldiers with no ambition for knighthood, or simply in it for the coin (as knights are to hold no wealth and are to tithe all their earnings to the order), squires who were never accepted as knights, but felt a calling to stay, or conscripts from the lands held by the orders.
This is an armsman who has showed themselves to be naturally gifted leaders. They take leadership of up to eight armsmen.
These are veteran armsman who have risen past the rank of sergeant and have proven themselves to be steadfast, reliable and skilled soldiers. They are paid very well by the orders and next to knights they are considered the backbone of their fighting force.
The bulk of the knighted forces. They have been knighted and they are part of an order. This is the lowest, knighted rank.
The knight lieutenant is no higher in rank than an ordinary knight, but gets special tasks and privileges. This could be temporary, while escorting nobility or a diplomat, or more permanently when overseeing the construction of a new windmill or granary.
A knight commander oversees up to eight knights and dispenses orders. Also becomes responsible for their actions.
The master commander is, like the knight lieutenant, usually a temporary title, bestowed upon a knight commander for the duration of a special mission. It grants them the ability to do what is necessary in order to complete their task, like commandeering possessions with the promise of reimbursement, conscripting armsmen, committing troops to a theatre, etc. It is considered a very special rank and is very carefully granted due to the wide implications of their actions.
The knight captain oversees up to eight knight commanders, for a total of seventy-two knights. These knights are organised in a chapter, with their own heraldry. The knight captain is also referred to as the “prior”, if they are a follower of Paladine, or as “chapter master.”
Knight Grand Officer
This is the person who oversees an entire order and all its chapters. They are legendary knights and their names are known in most of the twelve kingdoms. They are the heart and soul of their order and embody everything the order stands for. They are also responsible for writing the statutes, bylaws and the directives for the order. The knight grand officer is also referred to as the “grand prior”, if they are a follower of Paladine, or as “grand master.”
During the time of conjunction, a knight primarch is chosen from the grand officers of the three orders. They represent all three of the orders to the outside world and determines the direction of all three orders. There hasn’t been a knight primarch in countless generations. The most famous primarch was Ser William Garamond, the first king of Lyria.
The seneschal is second in command to the knight grand officer and is in charge when the head of the order is indisposed. Other duties include liaising with other orders and overseeing recruitment.
Both the knight grand officer as well as the knight seneschal are aided by a knight secretary. These are often veteran knights who are being groomed for positions of high command. They act as bodyguards, councillor and advisors and help in the day to day planning of their charge’s duties.
The chronicler is in charge of records. This is a very broad host of duties, ranging from being the order’s historian, accountant and record keeper. This task is usually kept by a veteran knight with a penchant for letters and numbers.
Lyrian knights take heraldry very seriously as a means of recognition, comradery and pride. Each order keeps track of their own heraldry, the heraldry for each of their chapters and making sure that it’s clear and consistent. Once heraldry is approved, it is also sent to the heraldry officers of the other orders and to the royal palace in kingsport.
Before each engagement, a knight is honoured by being allowed to carry the order or chapter’s standard into battle. These are usually junior knights and it is a covetted position carrying a lot of prestige.
The “errant” adjective to the title of knight simply means that the knight is not attached to one of the three orders. There can be several reasons for that, most commonly they were honourably or dishonourably discharged from their order. Leaving an order doesn’t mean you lose your title as a knight. Once knighted, you remain knighted, but you become a Knight Errant until such a time you join a new or different order of knights.