Young Bretonnian knights spend a period as Knights Errant, seeking out dangers in which to prove themselves. Only those who succeed can become Knights of the Realm. The King of Bretonnia can channel this custom by declaring an Errantry War, a grand campaign that qualifies all knightly participants for a higher status. Knights Errant are rather enthusiastic at the best of times, but during an Errantry War they have been known to take their rashness to a whole new level in their attempt to earn themselves honour and distinction.
The tradition of the Errantry Wars derives from the old custom of the Errand of Knighthood. Usually Knights Errant are set tasks to accomplish, often through fighting alongside their fellow knights in battle. Others are granted perilous tasks to complete on their own, such as slaying a Dragon, to prove themselves worthy of a knight's domain. When Bretonnia was invaded by enemies, the King and the Dukes used this custom to raise large numbers of new Knights by setting such tasks as capturing an enemy banner, or bringing back the head of an enemy champion.
The campaign would thus become an "Errantry War", and enthusiasm for the cause would spread throughout Bretonnia. As the war raged, many Knights Errant would, through reckless courage, accomplish such tasks and become full Knights of the Realm. Soon the King and the Dukes realised that Errantry Wars were an excellent way of mustering huge armies quickly and increasing the number of knights at their disposal. As for rewarding the Knights Errant with land, that was no problem either - the knights would be told that they could keep any territory that they had captured from the enemy.
Notable Errantry Wars
The first such war was declared in 471 (1449 IC), against the Arabyans who had invaded Estalia. The invaders were driven back, and a second army, which heard of the victory en route, turned aside to clear Greenskins from the lands that became the Border Princes. From this time of war, relations between Bretonnia and the Dwarfs have been good, though not nearly as close as those between the Dwarfs and the Empire.
The Errantry War declared in 1223 (2201 IC) had the aim of driving all Orcs from Bretonnia. Whilst this goal was always impossible, such was the ardour of Bretonnia's knights that the borders of the Dukedoms grew to encompass many mountain ranges that had previously been the domain of Greenskins.
In an attempt to emulate his predecessor, King Charlen declared an Errantry War in 1442 (2420 IC) that aimed to rid the entire world of Greenskins. So many knights left on the war that Bretonnia itself was left vulnerable to Orc raids. In 1510 (2488 IC), a mighty host of knights vanished in Death Pass, said to have been slain by the Black Orc warlord Morglum Necksnapper. The King then declared the Errantry Wars at an end.
King Louen Leoncoeur initiated another Errantry War during the events of the Storm of Chaos, personally leading the army into Middenheim and assisting the Empire in defeating Archaon's hordes of Chaos.
- 1: WFRP: Knights of the Grail
- 2: Warhammer: Storm of Chaos
- 3: Warhammer Armies: Bretonnia (5th Edition)