Order of the Dragon (Dragonstar)
The title of Knight of the Order of the Dragon (or simply Dragon Knight) is awarded to any commoner that is made into a Dragon Noble. It can be awarded to both civilians and military personnel.
The recipient receives the Medal of the Dragon. It is made of gold in the form of the Imperial Seal with a ruby star. The medal is worn on a red ribbon around the neck. Higher ranks wear a red sash.
Knights are Dragon Nobles. Knights are inducted in the Order of the Dragon during a ceremony where he is dubbed by one of the Marshals. The Knight receives a patent of nobility in digital form (for use in datapad or digital wallet) as well as an illuminated scroll suitable for framing.
The Knight is presented with a magic sword, which can be worn at all social functions. If a dragon sponsored the Knight, it is expected to provide the sword. If not, the Order of the Dragon presents the Knight with a minor weapon, typically a +1 keenblade rapier.
This title is most often awarded to officers. In the rare (but not unknown) case that it is awarded to a noncom or even private, the Knight is commissioned as a junior officer.
The Knight also receives an amount of money. This is determined by the generosity of the sponsor and limited by the stinginess of the DM.
True Dragon Nobles sometimes look down on members of the Order, but they are usually awarded great respect in Imperial society. They may not be Dragon Blooded, but they tend to be lucky, dangerous or have very powerful friends.
There are many ways to receive this award, most of them dangerous. The most common is to perform an act of great heroism or to do a true dragon a favor. Any adult true dragon can sponsor a Knight, but this must be confirmed by a Marshal of the Order.
The ranks of the Order are Knight, Captain, Marshal, and Grand Marshal. There are over many thousands of Knights. These include soldiers, celebrities, scientists and corporate executives.
Knights can advance to Captain subject to the approval of the Marshals of the Order. The Captain receives a small pension, and allied Dragon Nobles and members of the Order usually grant the Captain shares in an Aristo Corps. This grant is often anonymous.
There are ten Marshals, each one appointed by a Dragon Archduke from the Knight Commanders of the Order. The Order is led by the Grand Marshal, who is elected by the Emperor from the Marshals. The current Grand Marshal is Admiral Liela Starfire (a high-level female elven pilot), commander of the Imperial Navy.
A Knight can present the Marshal with a sword before the ceremony. According to custom the Marshal must then present this sword to the Knight during the ceremony. One of the privileges of knighthood is to wear the sword at all times, and this custom allows the Knight some choice of blade. For example, Karghaz the Bloody is known and feared in red dragon society for the cursed sword Widowmaker which never leaves his side.
A Marshal must approve a request for knighthood. Soldiers are usually approved. Most of the Marshals have had military careers, and can recognize courage even in their enemies. Requests from dragons are seldom refused, particularly those from an allied dragon clan. When they are refused, the dragons are often reluctant to press the issue, since the Marshals are some of the most dangerous people in the Empire.
A noteworthy incident recently occurred at the court of House Altara when Marshal August de Winter refused a request from Lady Zarishtar, an ancient white dragon female. The Lady wanted a knighthood for her favorite holovid actor, and when Sir August refused, she became peevish and ate him on the spot. Needless to say, this was something of a faux pas, and the Marshal was promptly resurrected. Sir August appeared to take this in stride, but no-one was surprised when Lady Zarishtar disappeared a few months later. When accused of dracocide, Sir August professed ignorance. So far, all magical means of contacting the Lady (including sending, commune and true resurrection) has failed. Sir Augusts position on the Archduke's staff seems secure, and in this case it appears that Archduke Nimgroth believes that an intelligent human is worth more than a stupid white dragon.