The Order of the Silver Rose
Established in 3052 by House Lyonn as an independent order of knighthood. Called The Virtuous Order of the Silver Rose until its reformation, and subsequent move to Thornwood in 3122.
Colors: Black, Silver, Red
Heraldry: Silver Rose upon a black field
Knights normally wear a scarlet cloak with the heraldry of the Order on their shield.
Knight Commander Verlan Sartren – First Knight and Commander of the Virtuous Order of the Silver Rose. Knighted for service by House Lyonn, and given directive to establish the Order. Remained Commander until 3063 when he died honorably on the field of battle, defending the kingdom.
The Order prospered and grew under the leadership of Commander Verlan. Expanding to 250 knights, with associated squires and support staff. Their headquarters were Located in the city of Deridius, Galea.
Commander Verlan set about making the Order a force for good in Galea. He established the idea that all were welcome to join, and those worthy would become knights. It was a truly different way of doing things, and word spread far and wide of the opportunity it presented.
Knight Commander Forwin Verlain – Second Knight Commander of the Order. 3063 through 3087.
Upon Commander Verlan’s death in 3063, Knight Forwin was elevated to Commander by the Order. His views on membership and knighthood were somewhat different than the former Commander. While all were still welcome to join the order, it was the rare commoner who could attain knighthood, regardless of service. He instituted the “entrance tithe”. At first this was a nominal fee, intended to offset the cost of support and training for those entering service.
Forwin continued the work of the previous Commander, gaining the Order an even larger reputation for good works. He chose their battles carefully, aiming for success as well as visibility. Under his leadership the Order recruited successfully, able to field 800 knights.
Commander Forwin was killed by assassination in 3087. The assasin was never found, but rumor claimed the Prelacy of Camon to be responsible.
Knight Commander Anson Combes – Third Knight Commander of the Order. 3087 through 3122.
Knight Anson was Lieutenant Commander of the Order, and assumed the leadership role upon the death of Commander Forwin. Under his command the order expanded enormously, their ranks swelling to 1400 knights by 3122.
The entrance tithe put in place by Commander Forwin was unofficially expanded. Those who could pay more would achieve a better rank within the Order, though only the nobility were ever to be knighted. Anson was a creature of both comfort and politics. The Order grew quite wealthy, though in reality it did very little. Life at their headquarters was beyond luxurious for Anson and his coterie. The knights didn’t receive the same kind of excess as their commander, but lived extremely well. The servants were servants. The squires were treated as slaves, to be used for any purpose thought up by their betters.
In 3113 Jennifer of Westford was accepted into the order, and assigned as squire to Dame Lorrie Drawnel. Dame Lorrie died upon the field of battle, and Jennifer knighted for bravery in the face of overwhelming odds by the surviving knights in 3117. A few weeks after being knighted, she was sent to join the 6th Company of the Silver Unicorn. The order did not see her again until 3122.
While they did not see her, they did hear of her. The 6th Company of the Silver Unicorn achieved fame at the battle of Eagle Watch, moving on to other exploits over the next several years. Commander Anson saw this as a fortuitous opportunity to promote the Order, thereby promoting his own wealth and power. Over these several years, the house of Lyonn became more and more concerned with the excesses hinted at within the ranks of the Order. Eventually it was even noticed by the King, though the true extent would not be known until 3122.
As Commander Anson got news of the 6th Company, he sent word far and wide to illustrate the achievements of the Order. Jennifer’s actions in service to Galea were made the actions of the Order. Each resulting in a feast to which any sympathetic nobility would be invited. Their support and donation to the Order grew with each event.
In 3122 Commander Anson was made aware of a particularly noteworthy action on the part of the 6th Company. He immediately began preparation for a feast, having invitations sent out to an even larger group. A mistake was made on the part of the Order’s scribes: Dame Jennifer was invited.
On the evening before the feast, Dame Jennifer arrived at the Order’s headquarters and allowed into their inner council chambers to speak with the Commander and 6 Lieutenants. By sworn account of all those present, she was unarmed when she entered. Voices were heard raised in argument, then screams. Before anyone outside could get to the door, it was opened from the inside. Dame Jennnifer stood in it, drenched in blood, the Commander’s blade in her hand. All inside the room were dead. Accounts vary as to what next happened, but that night the number of knights in the Order was halved. Some left of their own accord, some were forcibly made to leave, others were never seen again. None of those who left will discuss their departure.
The next morning the remaining knights elevated Dame Jennifer to Commander by acclaim. The planned feast was held, though many of those invited chose to leave rather than remain. 2 weeks later Commander Jennifer received a summons from the King of Galea, and upon attending him was commanded to move the Order outside the borders of the kingdom.
The Order was reformed as the Order of the Silver Rose, and moved to the site where the town of Thornwood now stands. Approximately 700 knights, 2100 squires and a large number of support staff were relocated from Deridius.