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Measure

Article written by Ambro


The Measure is a set of written rules and guidelines that the Knights of Solamnia are supposed to live by. The Measure is sometimes called the Solamnic Measure or the Encoded Measure. Squires study the Measure before becoming a knight.

The Old Measure

The knights' founder, Vinas Solamnus, originally wrote the Measure. The doctrine was added to by his successors and by the time of the Cataclysm it was thirty-seven 300-page volumes. It became very unwieldy and almost impossible for any one knight to understand and follow. By the time of the War of the Lance, the knights had lost the spirit of the Solamnic Oath and were just blindly following the Measure. The knight Sturm Brightblade showed the rest of the knighthood their mistake through his sacrifice. After the Measure was revised, the old Measure was still kept by the knighthood for study purposes.

One volume of the Measure was called the The Roster of Loyalty. Some believe that The Illustrated Guide to the Roster of Loyalty is a companion to this volume of the Measure.

Known Parts or Information in the Measure

  • Had information on formal address.
  • Had information on courtly etiquette.
  • Had seventy-five pages about how to proper saddle a horse.
  • Had strict steps for rising through the ranks in the knighthood.
  • Gave the Kingfisher a place of honor in the knighthood.
  • Spoke against hindering another knight when they are performing their duties, even one of lesser rank.
  • Said that on detached duty that regardless of rank the knight that has the most knowledge of the area has command until their superior has equaled their knowledge.
  • Said that justice be sought in peace before using the sword.
  • Said: "In war, the spirit weighs three times heavily as the body."
  • Said no knight should purposely insult another knight.
  • Said a state of low spirits is dishonorable and should be dealt with quickly.
  • Prohibited women from touching the sword of a true knight.
  • Said: "Any man who returns a blow must stay the course of battle."
  • Said a knight should support a superior in word and deed. Also, that it was inexcusable to refuse an order from a superior.
  • Stated knights cannot disguise their identity. It also stated that fulfillment of a quest of honor sanctioned by the Council can take precedence over the requirement of stating where their allegiances lie.
  • Stated that a knight should not kill an opponent unawares.
  • Stated to know thy enemy.
  • Stated that a leader never shouts, never loses temper, never wavers or doubts, and never shows fear.
  • Stated that in time of war all personal grievances must be put aside and contests of honor are forbidden.
  • Stated that a knight could not depart on a long journey without receiving sanction from their superior.
  • Stated that a knight cannot retreat from battle no matter what the cost.
  • Stated that a squire must go through the Night of Reflections when they are about to become a knight. That they must spend time "in watching and in long thought, from sunset again unto sunset, for even the light of day is dark when the memory ranges."
  • Stated to not take life needlessly and to fight only in defense.
  • Stated that enslavement is forbidden. Vinas Solamnus declared this.
  • Stated that the knighthood is made up of circles. A circle is in every city and town that knights openly reside in.
  • Stated the rules for forming the Grand Circle of the Knighthood to elect a new Grand Master including that seventy percent of all the circles must send two knights for the election.
  • Stated that the High Clerist must be from the Order of Clerists.
  • The end of the 35th volume and the first 70 pages of the 36th volume contain the rules for the Barriers of Sword that occurs during the Midsummer Tournament among others.
  • According to volume 2 page 37, article 2, subarticle 2, when the council is undecided in the Measure of Tournaments judgment goes to the Scholars of the Measure.
  • According to volume 16 page 22, article 3, A knight must accept any challenge of combat to defend the honor of the Orders.
  • According to volume 16 page 45, article 1, that trial by combat is the preferable recourse for matters between individual knights.
  • The Measure spoke of faith, but did not mention the gods or any god by name. This led some knights before the War of the Lance to believe this meant to have faith in oneself. Sir Adrian Montgomery wrote about this perspective of the Measure. The Measure also speaks of how knights would use prayers to heal the wounded in battle. It is unknown how Montgomery rationalized this.
  • Had ritual words that a Grand Master says to a High Commander when they leave for battle.
  • Said a type of meeting like the Whitestone Council requires witnesses.
  • After a few generations of being written, entries to the Measure were added discouraging the use of arcane magic by any knight.
  • Originally the Measure did not stipulate that a knight had to be Noble or Human. About 300 hundred years after it was first written the Grand Master at the time added to the Measure that only Solamnic humans could become knights. This was later changed after the War of the Lance.
  • The Measure did not stipulate between an honorary knight and a true knight.

Note that known parts of the revised Measure might have been parts of the old Measure as well.

The Revised Measure

After the War of the Lance, Gunthar Uth Wistan led a group of knights in revising the Measure. The first third of the work was brilliant, but became less precise after the death of Gunthar's last son in the Chaos War. Then after his wife's death, the work deteriorated. After Gunthar's death, Liam Ehrling worked tirelessly for a month and finish Gunthar's work. In 392 AC, the Revised Measure was unveiled and adopted by the knighthood. It is three volumes long. The Revised Measure contains what are believed to be the original writings of Vinas Solamnus and various other works. Liam wanted his work on the revision to remain a secret.

Known Parts or Information in the Revised Measure

  • States the blind, deaf, and dumb are to be treated with great courtesy.
  • States that a knight should not be preoccupied with personal glory.
  • Promises that people who make supreme sacrifice for their country will be rewarded in the afterlife.
  • States that a knight need not be fully human anymore but most only have some human blood.
  • States that a knight can now retreat from a more powerful foe if it allows fighting for another day.
  • States that a knight is forbidden to have any dealings with an outcast knight.
  • States a knight must go on a Quest of Virtue to advance through the Orders. The quest must be a witnessed deed of heroism and valor while upholding the Oath and the Measure.
  • Has instructions for how to recognize deserving rulers to be included on the List of Honor.
  • Has steps for promoting a knight through the ranks. These steps were relaxed from the old version. This allowed an officer to more easily promote those in his charge.
  • Has a law for the chance of redemption for a disgraced knight. The knight must go on some great quest. The law also stipulates that some disgracing acts are too heinous and the knight is either immediately outcast or can do the ceremony of the Honor of the Sword.

Note that known parts of the old Measure might be parts of the revised Measure as well.

The Measure and the Orders

Each of the three orders of the knight hold the entire document as an important doctrine but each order focuses on a particular aspect. This is true with the old Measure and the Revised Measure.

Measure of the Crown

Main article: Measure of the Crown
The Order of the Crown is supposed to focus on loyalty and obedience. A Crown Knight should always obey those he is loyal to without regard for their own welfare or opinion. Loyalty should go to one's family, those opposed to evil, just rulers in good standing with the knighthood, the Gods of Good (especially the patrons deities), and the new patron goddess Shinare. A Crown Knight is also supposed to help any fellow knight as long as it does not go against orders. Also, a Crown Knight must serve any kingdom on the List of Honor. The old Measure stated that a Crown Knight was to give the knighthood ten percent of all earned wealth. It is unknown if that is also stated in the Revised Measure.

Measure of the Sword

Main article: Measure of the Sword
The Order of the Sword is supposed to focus on courage and spirituality. They are to act in the cause of good no matter what the personal cost. Knights of the Sword should pay homage to their patron god, Kiri-Jolith, once a day. Although in very hard times once in a quartermonth is sometimes practiced. The old Measure stated that a Sword Knight was to give the knighthood all earned wealth except what was needed for upkeep. It is unknown if that is also stated in the Revised Measure.

Measure of the Rose

Main article: Measure of the Rose
The Order of the Rose is supposed to focus on wisdom and justice. The old Measure stated that a Rose Knight was to give the knighthood all earned wealth except what was needed for upkeep. It is unknown if that is also stated in the Revised Measure.

Kender Tale

One source stated that in order to become a Knight of the Rose, all other Rose Knights must approve. This is likely not quite true since new sources have stated the steps for rising in the orders involves knightly councils and Quests of Virtue.

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This article has been viewed 3,848 times. It was added on May 6, 2008, and was last modified on March 20, 2009.

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