Knights of Alerion
This venerable brotherhood of knights dedicated to Mitra’s service was once a minor order. However, during the war of succession, they were the only order to side with House Darius. All the rest sided with House Barca. With Markadian’s victory and the elevation of House Darius to royalty, this order has risen to become the greatest and most prestigious order throughout the land. To “fly with eagles” (the heraldric symbol of the Alerion is the eagle) is used as a synonym for joining this order.
Fiercely religious, all its members must swear oaths of service to Mitra and support the Mitran Church. Oaths of chastity and poverty are not uncommon among the more devout members of this order but are not required.
Uniquely, this order of knights does not require noble blood. Any commoner who can pass the rigorous tests of membership can become a member. Of course, the overwhelming majority of its members are highborn. How often do farmers train with the horse and sword? Still, some of the most prestigious members are common heroes who have answered the call of the Shining Lord.
Nowadays one could be forgiven for thinking this the only knightly order in the land. This is untrue of course (see below) but what is undeniable is that the Order is the most influential military organization in Talingarde.
Though the Order serves the Church of Mitra, it is led by no less august a personage than the King himself. Markvadian V called the Brave is the highest ranking member of the Knights of the Alerion.