Order of St Valian

One of the early militant orders, established in Kurland c. AS890, this order was relatively small in number but drew members from all over the north western lands of Legend, as it was one of the few orders that was willing to take a Knight into its numbers regardless of his rank at birth. The Knights valued courage above all – many would say, foolhardy courage above all. They would never refuse an order to undertake any mission no matter how dangerous.

In AS972, the Pope ordered the Knights of the Order to assemble in the Principalities of the Crusade for a special task. On the orders of King Fradarok II of Kurland, who was commanding General of the Crusaders at the time, the Order sent nearly 1000 Knights into combat at the Battle of the Dry Stones against a Ta’ashim Force at least ten times their size (many accounts say it was even larger – some have referred to a force of over a million men, but at least some exaggeration is likely) – within a single morning, not a single Knight of the Order survived. The reason for the Charge of the Knights Valiant was officially to demonstrate to the Ta’ashim that crusading knights would face any odds, and to try a force a surrender. In this task the mission was a failure. Others have suggested such a pious Order were inconvenient to the ambitions of the King of Kurland, and that they were sent into a suicidal charge for that reason. Whatever the reasons, only a rump of elderly and infirm knights who had been too ill to travel were left back to guard the churches and houses of the Order. From time to time, there is talk of reviving the Order.

Blazon: On a field argent, from chief to base, a star of six points and a sword point downwards gules

St Valian

Valian is a fairly obscure saint of the early Church. According to some legends, he lived in Kurland and was the son of a widow woman and an angel – although the Church says that this was merely a mythical explanation for an exceptionally holy young man – angels don’t go around impregnating mortal women. Whatever the truth, Valian was renowned for his piety from a very early age and was placed in the service of an elderly Priest. At the age of sixteen, he got into a dispute with his Master over a matter of theology and when the elderly Priest began to beat him, Valian refused to defend himself or do anything other than accept the authority of a man the Church had placed above him. He was beaten to death because he would also not back down from a position he knew to true in terms of theology.

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