by Scott Paffenroth
Type of Building: Barracks to The Order of the Griffin
Business Conducted: Training of Mystran Knights, Patrolling the Temple of Mystra and School of Magic
Patroness: Sharelle Brightstar
Commander: Karel Truesilver
Karel Truesilver and Sharelle Brightstar first established the Order in
Silverymoon in 1363 DR. The Order is a military unit composed of highly
disciplined heavy cavalry (fighters, rangers, cavaliers, and paladins). The
Order is allied with the Towers of Balance and the Knights of the Order Mystic
Fire. The Order was established in Arylon in 1366 DR by the promptings of
Edain Bradley (by Kimberly Moser ), a Knight of the Mystic
Fire and retired member of the Silver Crescents.
The populace sees the Order as training Mystran Knights and protecting the
school of magic and Temple of Mystra. The Order has an additional purpose for
their presence in Arylon, to report all planar activity and aid in protecting
Arylon from possible incursions from the outer planes. The Order also
concerns itself with the wild and dead magic areas in the Fields of the Dead.
The Order is composed of Sharelle's and Karel's followers. It was organized
after the year the Gods walked Toril. Sharelle was a high priestess and her
followers were growing in number. Within her followers were trainable
soldiers and Karel banded them together under his leadership and her colors to
become the knightly Order of the Griffin, Mystran knights. Knowing he would
need to train his troops in all situations he hired his men out to guard
caravans for the Towers of Balance. Using the time Sharelle stayed in
Silverymoon, he created a force of specialized, elite soldiers who are highly
trained in magical and martial battle.
Karel and Sharelle went before the City Council with Edain to request a
charter for the Order of the Griffin. The Order's charter has limitations to
its growth and activities. It has been stated by the Council that the Order
can never grow larger than 50 active troops and when requested, in the defense
of the city, joint authority will be granted to the Silver Crescents. As a
precaution, the Council and Silver Crescents have appointed Edain to act as
liaison between both factions. In consolation to restricting its activities,
Karel has been given permission to increase the horse herd and create an
aviary for a single family of Griffins.
The Griffin numbers may not grow beyond 5 in total. Their use will be limited
to communication between field units and scouting patrols. All other
hatchlings will be trained and sent to other aviaries (such as Waterdeep) upon
reaching maturity. As of yet, Frithnath is the only griffin in the aviary.
Currently there is room for growth in the Order, its current active membership
is 35. To be considered for service within the Order a candidate must have a
patron. In most cases the patron is an active or retired member. Exceptions
are made on a case by case basis with the final vote made by Karel.
Candidates undergo physical strength, endurance and mental fitness testing.
All candidates undergo questioning by one of the lieutenants and a priest of
Mystra. All members are required to act civilly at all times, helping and or
defending any citizen or visitor to Arylon to the best of their ability. If
any member fails in these duties a board of inquiry is set up to investigate
and the member is placed on inactive status.
Due to the Order being comprised of Mystran Knights, military discipline is
strictly enforced and members undergo intensive field maneuvers at regular
intervals. This training, coupled with extensive drill, results in the
unshakeable discipline of the troop. Mounts and men alike are well-versed in
war and fighting amongst magic. The troops have seen numerous small
engagements fending off orc, goblin and ogre raids.
The Order uses the Fields of the Dead as training grounds for field exercise.
Once per month the full contingent parades out to the fields of the dead, also
taking a group of priests and mages, for field training. On rare occasions,
they have joined the Silver Crescents on larger patrols to the Fields of the
Dead. The Griffins will send a force of 10-15 fully armored heavy war-horses
under the command of a Lieutenant and the Order will defer to the leadership
of the Crescents. If the call to arms to protect the city is sent, 80 percent
of the troops muster as Heavy Cavalry to support the Silver Crescents and an
order will be sent to activate all able retired members; currently totaling
Each troop member is outfitted with field plate armor and large shield. Each
is trained in the use of Heavy Lance, Long Sword, Horseman's Flail, Light
Crossbow and is an expert rider. Their shield colors are a Nightshade purple
field with a griffin in the upper quadrant, a sash of white from right to
left, Mystra's Symbol in the Center, and Sharelle's wizard mark in the lower
quadrant. While on guard duty and foot patrol, on temple grounds, the troops
carry longswords and wear chainmail, with the symbol of Mystra on their over-
tunics of cerulean blue, and helm.
Their mounts are heavy war-horses, each horse was chosen for its mixture of
size and maneuverability. Each mount has dwarven steel chain barding with
fore quarter plates. Embossed in the plates are the symbols of Mystra and the
Order of the Griffin. Currently Sheelan has begun a breeding program and is
hoping to breed an extremely powerful horse with a higher degree of
intelligence and speed. As with any breeding program, it may take many years
before the current herd is replaced with this new breed.
Currently the Order of the Griffin is divided amongst 3 sergeants each
having two five men squads assigned to him. Each sergeant has a full day
of guard duty out of every three. The Lieutenants are the "Officer of the
Watch" for one week at a time. Guards are on rotating duty for 24 hours in
eight-hour shifts of full patrol and station posts.
For example: Monday 'A1' squad patrols for eight hours. For the next
eight hours A2 squad patrols, while A1 is placed on stationary post duty.
The last eight hours squad B1 patrols, A1 is relieved and A2 is on standby.
Tuesday B2 squad patrols for eight hours, followed by C1. C2 takes the
last eight-hour watch, followed by A1.
- 8:00am A-1-patrol/C-2 posts, C-1 barracks
- 8:00am B-2 patrol/B-1 posts, A-2 barracks
- 4:00pm A-2 patrol/A-1 posts, C-2 barracks
- 4:00pm C-1 patrol/B-2 posts, B-1 barracks
- 12:00am B-1 patrol/A-2 posts, A-1 barracks.
- 12:00am C-2 patrol/C-1 posts, B-2 barracks
Therefore, while 'A' Company is on patrol, 50% of 'B' Company is on
standby, and 'C' Company is off duty. At any given time there are 5 men
patrolling, 5 at stationary posts, and 5 sleeping in the barracks.
Each soldier is required to learn more than just weapon and horsemanship
skills. Each is trained at the temple in reading/writing and etiquette. For
those rare individuals whose calling is in the Mystran faith, they are tested
by the Sharelle, Karel and Sir Stefan Darganz for possible training as a Paladin. Currently, there are 4 paladins in training. The hierarchy of the
Order is a self-sustaining body and promotes only within its ranks. All
sergeants are in training to become lieutenants and all lieutenants are
trained to take command of the Order, as eventual replacements will occur.
Karel is a pragmatic leader and has hired a man(?) known only amongst the
order as the Ebony Knight. He is rarely seen amongst his brethren and no one
ever sees him enter or leave the barracks. His position in the order is one
of information gathering. The Ebony Knight's true identity is known only to
Gallene, Sharelle, Karel, and Sheelan. The knight joined the order at the behest of Sheelan to keep an eye and ear to all the planar activity that
occurs throughout the city.
The barracks is a stone structure three stories high and is attached to the
temple along the curving interior wall. It is 50 feet long and 40 wide with
crenellations about its top. Atop the barracks is a cistern, which supplies
water for sluicing the privies and stalls in addition to fresh water for the
horses. The entrance is a double door made from ironwood with metal bands for
reinforcement. The main doors enter into the feasthall where the soldiers eat
and have duty rosters posted. At the far end of the hall is a double set of
stairs going up to the second floor. Taking up the back section of the
barracks is the kitchen and pantry. To the left of the hall is the duty
office of the two Lieutenants, visitor quarters and the armory. To the right
of the hall is Karel's office, Edain's office and the planning room.
The second floor holds the soldiers quarters. Sergeants have individual
rooms, total of 6 and the guardsmen share one of three common sleeping
quarters, one for each shift. Each soldier has a bunk, a storage trunk for
personal effects, and a small upright closet for uniforms. Currently, there
are 35 in the Order of the Griffin, maximum capacity is 50 knights. There is
another set of stairs leading up to the third floor for the individual rooms
for the Lieutenants, Karel, and other important staff members. There is an
additional set of stairs leading to the top of the tower for access to the
The stable is a two story wooden structure 40ft by 60ft with a worked stone
foundation, and an exterior corral. All horses are kept on first floor in
individual stalls, maximum capacity is 100 horses. In front of each stall is
a metal grate to ease the clean up of manure. The second story is for hay,
straw and feed storage, and a small room for the stable hands. The
foundation/subfloor is crafted of fitted stone and pitched allowing manure to
flow, as it is being sluiced, from beneath the building into a brick walled,
sand floored holding area. The Rkeyteks R US Company picks up the majority of
the manure, and the rest is for use as fertilizer in the gardens around the
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