The White Knights of Terath do not form a single order or organization, but they all follow the same code of honor, and often operate in loose affiliation with one another. Their code, known as The Path of The Lightwalker, is believed to be older than the oldest kingdoms of Terath. The two most famous White Knights in all of Terath are Lord Knight Jacen Yabesh of the Queen’s Lands, and King Aleric Falconcrest.
The Path of The Lightwalker
The Path of the Light Walker is made up of three parts: the Virtues, the Code, and the Measure. The Code and Measure are a list of tenets to live by, which exemplify the Knightly Virtues.
The Virtues of Knighthood:
Prowess: To seek excellence in all endeavors expected of a knight, martial and otherwise, seeking strength to be used in the service of justice, rather than in personal aggrandizement.
Justice: Seek always the path of right, unencumbered by bias or personal interest. Recognize that the sword of justice can be a terrible thing, so it must be tempered by humanity and mercy.
Loyalty: Be known for unwavering commitment to the people and ideals you choose to live by. There are many places where compromise is expected; loyalty is not amongst them.
Defense: The knight is sworn by oath to defend his liege lord and those who depend upon him. Seek always to defend your nation, your family, and those to whom you have sworn to protect.
Courage: Being a knight often means choosing the more difficult path, the personally expensive one. Be prepared to make personal sacrifices in service of the precepts and people you value. Courage means taking the side of truth in all matters, rather than seeking the expedient lie. Seek the truth whenever possible, but remember to temper justice with mercy, for pure truth can bring grief.
Faith: A knight must stand firm in himself and in his beliefs, for this faith roots him and gives hope against despair. Spread hope and healing that others might better be able to find faith in goodness in the world. Seek the redemption of evil when it is held in your power to do so, and know that a villain turned to righteousness stands greater then twenty slain in anger.
Humility: Value first the contributions of others; do not boast of your own accomplishments, but tell the deeds of others, thus according them the recognition rightfully earned through virtuous deeds.
Largesse: Be generous in so far as your resources allow; largesse used in this way counters gluttony.
Nobility: Seek great stature of character by holding to the virtues and duties of a knight, realizing that though the ideals cannot be reached, the quality of striving towards them ennobles the spirit. Nobility also has the tendency to influence others, offering a compelling example of what can be done in the service of rightness.
Franchise: Seek to emulate the Code as sincerely as possible, not for the reason of personal gain but because it is right. Do not restrict your exploration to a small world, but seek to infuse every aspect of your life with these qualities. Should you succeed in even a tiny measure then you will be well remembered for your quality and virtue.
Honor: Do not sully your honor for the gain of the moment. Speak the truth, knowing that the gain of a lie is lost in the failings of your lost honor. Seek not to deceive, that others may find you worthy of trust in truth not just in view of the letter of the law. Do not cheat, neither in game nor war nor life, but follow the path which upholds the glory of knighthood.
Fair Play: Both live and fight with honor and fairness to all, even when those around you, friend or foe, will not abide your code. Seek not to strike an unarmed foe. Strike and attack fairly, seeking not dishonorable deception or advantage in neither life nor battle. Accept and honor a truce or surrender. Do not support torture or abuse, neither in battle nor in the quest for truth or law.
Respect: Show always respect to the fair and the weak, for they ennoble the knight to do greater deeds. Respect those who hold trust or title, even if they can not be held worthy of respect in their own right. Treat all beneath you as you would with your beloved to be treated. Treat your peers as you would wish them to treat you. Treat all who hold title above you as you would wish your own lord treated. In these acts you show that honor will not be tainted by personal love or hatred to the shame of those to whom you owe loyalty and respect. Also, a knight must seek to show respect for all life, even in battle gain not joy from the destruction of any life but sorrow for what you must do. Respect the law and those who administer it, even if that law is not your own. Have manners and courtesies at all time that none shall call you a bad guest or host.
In addition to the Virtues of Knighthood, Knights of the Path of the Light Walker must uphold the Code and Measure, a number of tenets or commandments, which embody the meaning of Nobility. The Code and Measure are similar in many lands throughout the world, suggesting they originate from an ancient, widespread source.
The Code and Measure:
Thou shalt respect the weak and constitute thyself the defender of them.
Thou shalt love the land to which thou hast sworn fealty.
Thou shalt not recoil before thine enemy.
Thou shalt make war upon evil when ever it causes harm to those who are good.
Thou shalt scrupulously perform thy noble duties be they not contrary to the laws of the land.
Thou shalt be generous and give freely to everyone.
Thou shalt never lie and shall always be faithful to thy word.
Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of Right and Good against Injustice and Evil.
A knight is sworn to valor.
His heart knows only virtue.
His blade defends the helpless.
His might upholds the weak.
His words speak only truth.
His wrath undoes the wicked.