THE KNIGHTS OF THE GRYPHON     

The Knights of the Gryphon are the Royal Guard of Anglamar, bearing the gold gryphon symbol of the House of Thelron, founder of the kingdom. They are officially commanded by the King himself, though the Knight-Commander of the Guard, Lord Narand, handles the day-to-day running of the order. Headquartered in the Royal Castle in Gondaran, they are a formal order of knighthood, with their own ceremony and traditions. They wear white surcoats over their armor and the men-at-arms wear blue and white. The order is 500 knights strong, with some 3000 men-at-arms, including 500 archers and numerous grooms, retainers and armorers. The order’s footmen are personally chosen by the knights and are considered the finest common soldiery in Anglamar. The “Gryphons” are charged with the security of the Royal Castle and protection of the Royal Family. They also man the border castles of Kragmoor Keep, High Horn Keep and Sunderguard Keep. There is also a small contingent stationed at Admiralty Keep in Westhaven.

The Knights were founded 36 (1454 IR) years ago, after members of the old old Royal Guard were implicated in a plot by the Black Monk Inghaman to overthrow the King. Several of the senior Guard were executed for treason and the force was disbanded. Their knight-commander, Lord Valwain, took responsibility for the actions of his subordinates, was stripped of his titles and went into exile. As the remaining corps of the Royal Guard gathered at Battle Down to await the King’s justice, Valwain rode north through Winter Gap to never be seen again … Baron Korwell of Beregond had been complicit in the plot. In order to cover his involvement and eradicate the remnants of the Royal Guard, he led his personal troops, the Swords of Beregond, bolstered by mercenaries, to Battle Down where they fell upon the Royal Guard and slaughtered them.

King Thelric then organized the Knights of the Gryphon as the new Royal guard.

Among their other duties, the Knights are responsible for the safety and security of the Royal Family. Wherever a member of the Royal Family goes, there goes a contingent of Knights. A single command-level knight and 10 men-at-arms are assigned to each member of the Family and accompany them at all times outside the walls of the Royal Castle. This state of affairs has led to some irritation, particularly on the part of the Queen Mother, who adamantly refuses to accept that She needs protection from Her subjects. Fortunately, knight-escorts are just as stubbornly obedient to the King’s will and that of the Royal Chamberlain, who is charged with the overall maintenance and security of the Royal Family …

With the death of Thelring II shortly after the New Year and the succession of Thelgar III to the throne, little has changed. In the past, Prince Thelgar was notoriously adept at slipping his escorts. Now, as King, he has, if anything, increased the level of vigilance of the Gryphons - particularly where the safety of his younger brother, Prince Halan, is concerned. His Majesty has no official heir, placing His Highness the Prince next in line for the throne.

Except for an occasional border skirmish or orc raid, Anglamar has been at relative peace for the past 30 years and the Knights of the Gryphon have yet to prove themselves in a major conflict. Nevertheless, they consider themselves the elite armed force in Anglamar. They drill constantly, conduct seasonal training exercises in the field, man the border keeps and participate in the annual High Summer tournaments against their rival orders, the Knights of Aragond and Arandor. Lord Narand remains adamant in insulating his knights from the political intrigues of court, and he harshly punishes any officer who makes himself available to outside influences. Despite the new King's well-known associations and sympathies, members are still forbidden from contact with the Old Guard, and any associations are swiftly ferreted out. Likewise, Lord Narand and his captains still regard the Northern Rangers as upstart commoners who lack the proper respect and deference of their station.