- "My father’s father’s father was a Knight Errant of Bretonnia. Our family upholds the honour of true nobility, unlike some here."
- —Lord Bastond of Rushwater, Border Prince.[2a]
Knights Errant are those young sons of Bretonnian nobility whom have yet to prove themselves worthy to become an honoured and fully-fledged Knight of the Realm. All noble sons of Bretonnia are committed to the path of knighthood from the moment they are born. Though birth into nobility guarantees his place within the circles of Knighthood, a young noble is not honoured until he has proven his worth. Some earn status through faithful service to their Lords, others through powerful connections and family ties, but the most glorious and true way for a young knight to fulfil his calling is to test himself against a foe on the field of battle.[1a]
These deeds are known as Errands, and it is a requirement for a young Knight to finish his Errand before he may be accepted into the higher epsilons of Bretonnian nobility. Knights of the Empire start their careers following after some other knight, acting as nothing more than a servant. Knights Errant, however, are expected to travel widely, often alone, seeking out perilous situations in which to prove their worth. As a result, they can be found anywhere in the Old World, sometimes to the regret of the natives.[1a][1b]
- "Of course, recklessness is not always a bad thing in a warrior, as many Knights Errant have proven."
- —The eagerness of Bretonnia's young knights.
Upon reaching adulthood, an age that varies slightly from family to family but is always in the late teens, a male noble is dubbed a Knight Errant and sent out into the world to prove himself. In Bretonnia, knights start off riding their own trail, as they set off on their errantry tour. Bretonnian knights learn from the best school there is; genuine experience. At the start of their tour, they don’t have any genuine experience, but most make up the deficit with their enthusiasm.[2c]
Social pressure to pursue the perils of errantry is very strong, and so most nobles at least make a show of it. As a result, at any time there are large numbers of young nobles travelling around the country, looking for trouble. Naturally, they find it. Often enough, it is of their own devising.[2b][2c]
Travelling the roads of Bretonnia alone is perilous even for the mighty Grail Knights; for young Knights Errant, it is almost suicidal. Some knights travel alone for precisely that reason, hoping to meet with glorious adventure but often finding a cold and lonely death instead. Most knights, then, find travelling companions. Other Knights Errant are the most popular choice, as they are of the same social class and truly understand your concerns. However, this is a case of the blind leading the blind, so wiser or luckier knights find themselves joining up with adventurers from a variety of backgrounds and social classes. Knights expect to be the leaders of such groups, of course.[2c]
Knights Errant project an air of bravado in many everyday situations, dealing with peasants and fellow Knights alike with a brash self-confidence and haughty manner. Eager to prove their skill, and thus attain status and renown, these young nobles are bold and enthusiastic to the point of recklessness. Knights Errant are renowned for answering any and all call to arms wherever it is sounded. They are also the first in line for any charge and the last to retreat, as their headstrong nature overwhelms their common sense and their sense of strategy.[1a]
When a Duke begins to marshall support for a campaign, Knights Errant would flock to his banner in the thousands. In the prime of youth, these ill-experienced but highly eager warriors comprise a significant portion of many Bretonnian armies. When not on campaign, all Knights Errant are expected to travel long distances, often alone, seeking out perilous situations in which to prove their worth. As a result, they can be found anywhere in the Old World and perhaps even beyond.[1a]
On the battlefield, they are impetuous, eager to earn fame and honour in the thick of the fight. They charge boldly into the fray, heedless of danger and earning either great honour or a glorious death. Fighting on horseback, these Knights often engage the best enemy regiments in their eagerness to earn the title of a Knight of the Realm. The older, more experienced Knights rarely discourage them. Some see it as a way of pruning the ranks, others as a suitable outlet for the enthusiasm of youth, but none would deny a young knight his destiny. Those whose skill and bravery are proven will go on to become Knights of the Realm.[1a]
As young Knights Errant seek out dangers in which to prove themselves, 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.
Little Known Facts
Knights Errant are, by their very nature, young and inexperienced. Once the king or a senior noble feels the Knight Errant has had enough experience and proven his skill and bravery, he promotes the knight to a Knight of the Realm.[3a]
Knights Errant tend to travel a great deal, seeking every opportunity to win acclaim, and so they usually travel with few worldly possessions. Most Knights Errant carry their arms and armour, their horse’s gear, one or two sets of basic clothing, a few small coins, some food, and a few personal items.[3a]
Some knights cover their shields, hiding their Heraldic device to show that they are seeking experience and justice rather than personal glory. This rarely happens with a Knight Errant, however. They are, after all, trying to establish their reputation, and so they take every opportunity to display their device and proclaim their name and lineage.[3a]
Knights Errant are renowned for answering any and all calls to arms. They are also the first in line for any charge and the last to retreat, as their headstrong nature overwhelms their common sense and their sense of strategy.[3a]
Famous Knights Errant
- Sir Tomas the Shieldless - Renowned by other young knights all across Bretonnia.
- Sir Darrepin the Furious - Known for his bravery, recklessness and luck.
- Redemund d’Lyonesse - A young noblewoman disguised as a man, who defends her homeland from greenskins.
- Sir Thibault - A Knight Errant who travelled Bretonnia in search of his missing brother.
- Aldrad - The son of Duke Adalhard of Lyonesse, who led his own group of Knight’s Errant during the End Times.
- Defenders of the Fleur-de-lis - One of the few Regiments of Renown within Bretonnia.