It is rather difficult for one to obtain the certification required for a knight badge. In most cases, only landed noble families, huge armies, Gold ranked knights and academies that had the qualification for knight training can issue such badges given the authority and status it provides to the bearer. If wandering or freelance knights passed on their skills to their successors, they can also pass on their knight badges as well.
Once one reached the Iron rank, received training for the skills and etiquette of a knight as well as having a bit of family background and paying some fees, one would receive a knight badge and become a squire. If one reached the Silver rank, one would become a proper knight and be able to choose the path of wandering and freelance knights or pledge oneself in service of a lord. Naturally, most poorer commoners could choose to become attendants to a knight and slowly rise to the ranks of a proper knight as well.
Knighthood Competition Edit
During a knighthood competition, defeated knights have to offer up their mounts, armor, and weapons to the victors or pay an equivalent ransom. Normally, those are worth somewhere from 30 to 40 gold Fordes which are equal to 100 to 150 imperial gold coins.
If a Silver ranked knight was taken captive on the battlefield, all the belongings he carried with him would belong to the victor by default and if he wanted to regain his freedom, he had to first buy his equipment, mount and attendants back. If the price of all that was 50 gold Fordes, it would be multiplied by 2 and the resulting 100 gold Fordes would be the ransom that had to be paid separately for the knight's freedom itself. In conclusion, a Silver ranked knight would have to pay around 150 gold Fordes in total to regain his freedom, attendants, mounts and gear to be allowed to leave. The one who captured the knight might even host a banquet to get to know the knight better before sending him off.
Additionally, if a captured knight had a noble title, he would have to pay another ransom that is fitting of the status of the title as true nobles were worth far more than quasi-nobles like normal knights. This was an agreed upon convention on the battlefield and no noble would dare to violate it. But the main point was that it only applied to Silver ranked knights.
Few Gold ranked knights would actually end up being captured on the battlefield due to their far superior battle prowess. In terms of Battle Force, Gold ranked Battle Force would last longer on the battlefield and had superior attack, defense and endurance. It wasn't possible to subdue a Gold ranked knight unless a huge sacrifice of troops was made or the knight was caught off-guard by surprise. The best method to deal with a Gold ranked knight was to use another Gold ranked knight. Battles between two Gold ranked knights would always become the focal point of the battlefield and unless one was far superior than another in terms of technique, the loser would usually end up dead with the victor heavily injured and not faring much better.
Then again, Gold ranked knights being held captive was not without precedent: the Forund Duchy's Gold ranked knight Bisya was a prime example of this as he had collapsed unconscious after sustaining injuries from fighting against the forces of the Redlis Kingdom and became the captive of the First Prince. Duke Forund had to offer 3000 gold Fordes as well as a precious treasure sword to be able to sway the First Prince to release the knight and that incident was frequently mentioned among the nobility for some time.
On the Grindia Continent, noble families usually didn’t grant their knights their own pieces of land, but rather a bastide and a yearly salary. That was also dependent on the knight’s Battle Force rank. Silver ranked family knights were usually paid a yearly bonus and only those who have served a family for ten years would be able to obtain a bastide for themselves, which can be inherited by their descendants along with the noble title of a knight. That was why on Grindia, becoming a family knight of a landed noble was akin to being granted quasi-nobility.
When a noble family recruits a Gold ranked knight, or when one of their Silver ranked knights break through to the Gold rank, the family will have to start considering granting them with one such bastide. Normally, a knight’s bastide included a castle, more than 600000 square meters of farmland as well as large lands for livestock grazing or mountains or lakes. Some knight bastides even had small villages or towns.
However, noble families granting their knights proper dominions were not without precedent. But it was usually only restricted to knights who have entered the realm of Blademasters or those who have made great achievements during their service. For example, the two Blademasters working for the Second Prince each have a small city or town that they were given total control of. The other reason for granting a proper dominion was due to the large size of the noble’s own dominion. Usually, nobles with high ranks would grant their knights with lower-ranked noble titles and smaller dominions to make them their vassal noble families.