A Matter of Britain
After Arthur becomes King, many new standards of behavior gain credence and authority. A knight may strive to live and act in accordance with the new chivalrous ideal. Some famous knights may maintain two ideals at once (being both Religious and Chivalrous knights, for instance), though this is a great challenge not easily met.
Chrétien de Troyes wrote the first stories of high chivalry and adventure in Arthurian romance, the earliest known stories of Lancelot and the Holy Grail, and his definition of chivalry was imitated by less skillful writers and poets for centuries afterwards. To Chrétien, chivalry embodied the loftiest values of chevalerie et clergie. “Chevalerie” is embodied by true courage and a passion for justice. “Clergie” is defined as “elegance et culture”—that is, right conduct, sensibility, and the proper handling of personal relationships.
Chivalry is a method of behavior introduced by Arthur early in his reign and popularized by his Round Table knights, so it is in vogue during the middle part of the Pendragon campaign. It is one of the major civilizing influences that makes Arthur’s reign so outstanding. To be chivalrous is to be civilized.
Note that much of the early and mid campaign consists of spreading the ideals of chivalry by beating down everyone who disagrees (chivalry does not preclude violence).
Chivalry supports the protection of the weak by the strong. Before its acceptance, most knights live by the attitude that “might makes right.” Chivalry seeks to turn that attitude into one of noblesse oblige—nobility obligates responsible persons of high birth or rank to benevolent and honorable behavior. This definition of chivalry places its emphasis upon refining the knights’ duty. The magical power of Chivalry functions in any Period.
Chivalrous knights are recognized by ideals, behavior, and reputation. Although six different traits are admired, chivalry does not hold a person to have a minimum value in each trait. Instead, chivalry strives for an average high quality from among them.
A Chivalrous knight must swear this oath:
“To protect the widow, the orphan, the poor; not to slay a vanquished and defenseless adversary; not to take part in a false judgment or treason, or to withdraw if it cannot be prevented; to never give evil counsel to a lady; to help, if possible, a fellow being in distress.”
All chivalrous knights receive a supernatural boon called Armor of Chivalry which provides him with 3 points of magical protection against all physical damage. Whether naked or fully armored, the Armor of Chivalry protects the Chivalrous knight. This is added to any additional armor, so that a chivalrous knight wearing chain mail (10 points) gains 13 points of protection against successful attacks.
Chivalrous knights also gain 100 Glory points annually, during the Winter Phase.