The Glorious Brotherhood of the Knights of the Round Table
The Round Table is the most important institution of King Arthur's realm. It is for a time (they say), the perfect brotherhood of equality and virtue.
Actually, the literature says lots of different things about the table and its members, so I settled on these below.
Facts about joining it were inadvertently left out of the core rule book.
ContentsThe Companions of Arthur
The Round Table
A Political Note About these Organizations.
The Round Table is certainly an organization of brotherhood, virtue and loyalty to the High King. As such, it puts itself in competition with the normal feudal vows of this world. A knight who has a loyalty to some other lord is now conflicted by a Loyalty to the High King, or perhaps simply some abstract ideal, like Chivalry or Virtue. Either way, that knight is now (at best) divided, and (at worst) disloyal to his previous lord.
The Companions are similar in nature. They stem from the desire of player knights to be openly "for Arthur," without necessarily being on the Round Table, being one of his vassals (or even vavasours). So the High King regularly has knights from anywhere come and swear to uphold his ideals. Once again, the High King has strengthened himself at the expense of the noblemen.
The oath, and the swearing of it at Sarum are both based on actions of William the Conquerer, who had all the knights of England come and swear the Oath of Salisbury in August 1086. It was a troubled time for him, and he wanted to remind everyone of the facts.
Companions of Arthur
Many knights voluntarily espouse the ways and beliefs of King Arthur, even though they may never meet the High King individually, or qualify to join the honored Table Round. It is simply that many knights take pride in their support of the High King and his ideals, and are willing to work for the cause even without being Arthur's direct vassals.
Requirements to Become a Companion
Every year a special ceremony is held during the Pentecost feast at Camelot, or wherever King Arthur may be found. At it knights may take an oath of allegiance to the High King.
Duties of a Companion
Membership is voluntary and unofficial, and so are the duties. But knight should always seek to maintain honor, keep their word, and support the ideals of the High King whenever possible.
The benefit is to become part of a widespread network of people working to further the cause of the High King. Companions also gain 100 Glory for receiving the honor, once only.
Round Table Knight
The ultimate ambition is to become a knight of the Round Table. The Round Table refers to a body of handpicked knights who serve at Arthur's personal command. They are chosen because they personify the virtues that Arthur wishes to bring to his land: knighthood, chivalry, and romance.
Requirements to become a Round Table Knight
A candidate for the Round Table must be a Chivalrous knight sponsored by another member of the Round Table (see above for the requirements for a Chivalrous knight); OR they must have performed a great deed, such as rescuing King Arthur, single-handedly turning the tide of an important battle; OR performed some great deed, such as slaying a dragon. Furthermore, King Arthur can appoint anyone he wants, as he often does for important political leaders.
Duties of a Round Table Knight
A Round Table knight must attend Arthur's court at least once a year, unless he is upon some quest or important business. He must acknowledge Arthur as his lord. He must perform every deed with a mind towards the betterment of Arthur's name and the glory of Britain.
Knights of the Round Table act as leaders in war, especially as officers over other knights, war councilors, bodyguards to the Pendragon, and as an elite battle unit.
Benefits of being a Round Table Knight
Upon selection to the Round Table a knight receives 1000 Glory points for the honor, and a place at the magical table.
Names Written In Gold
Early in Arthur’s reign, when he chose the first members of his Round Table, the last available seat was given to Sir Tor, a new knight, instead of Sir Bagdemagus, an experienced and loyal knight.
So when they were so chosen by the assent of all the barons, so were there founden in their sieges [seats] every knight's names that here are rehearsed; and so they were set in their sieges, whereof Sir Bagdemagus was wonderly wroth, that Sir Tor was advanced afore him...
Forty years later, at the annual Pentecost feast, after other miracles, the knights of the Round Table sit to eat. Suddenly the doors and windows all slam shut. The court falls dark. An elderly monk in shining robes reveals a young man, clothed all in red armor, and introduces the youth as the person who shall fulfill many marvels, beginning with the Siege Perilous [Seat of Danger.]
And the old knight said unto the young knight, “Sir, followeth me.”
And anon he led him unto the Siege Perilous, where beside sat Sir Lancelot; and the good man lift up the cloth, and found there letters that said thus:
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