Knighthood, Imperial Orders of

Several dozen orders of knighthood exist within the Imperium.  Some are restricted to specific classes of noble such as members of the Imperial Family, racial Aslan, racial Vargr, or other special groups.  Others are awarded for specific achievement or service or for holding specific positions within the government.  Still others are broadly based orders into which most new knights are inducted.

The most common orders of knighthood are the Order of the Emperor's Guard, established in 52 and originally limited to the Emperor's personal retainers but now of wide and diverse membership, and the Order of Starship and Crown, established in 17.  More exclusive orders have also been established: the Order of Hlyuea (established to honor loyal Aslan citizens), the Order of Gvadakoung (established to honor loyal Vargr citizens), and the Honorable Order of the Arrow (established to recognize interstellar explorers).  The domains each have orders named for them: the Order of Antares, the Order of Vland, the Order of Sylea, the Order of Sol, the Order of the Gateway, and the Order of Deneb.  Of these, the Order of Sylea is administered by the Emperor himself, as de facto Archduke of Sylea; the Order of Deneb has only recently been used, as Norris is the first Archduke of Deneb to be named.

Each order has its own code (some lax, some stringent) and member knights are expected to abide by these codes.  The head of each order (for example, the Emperor as head of the Order of Sylea) is expected to abide by this code in addition to the protocol of his title, although conflicts are resolved in favor of the protocol.

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