Path of the Sword
The Path of the Sword is a guild founded in Pian en Luries, Dwilight.
The Path of the Sword is one aspect of the twin guilds of a warrior, the other one being the Cavalier's Code. The Path is an expression of the inner strength, focus and determination of a warrior. Every warrior is ultimately alone, his skill, wits and willpower defining who he is, best seen in the heat of the battle.
Rules of the Path
By becoming and aspirant of the Path, a noble agrees to abide by the following rules. A failure to do so may result in an expulsion from the guild.
"A sword has a tongue of its own - it needs no other."
1. Never show off or boast about your skill. Let your sword speak for itself.
2. Treat every opponent with respect. Let your sword, not your words, decide a fight.
3. Bring no war to the Path. Fight not another member with your words.
4. Your rank is in who you can defeat - as well as in who defeats you.
(OOC: 5. NEVER speak of actual skill percentages, not even OOC. Part of the fun in the guild is in letting its own ranking systems define the "skill levels".
The members of the guild are encouraged to wear a plain silver ring in the finger of their choice.
All members are expected to contribute to the running of the guild. The higher your rank, the more responsibility you have, also in the everyday financing of the guild expenses. If there is surplus in the guild vaults, Elders can use that gold to partially fund new tournaments. The elders will choose among themselves what is seen as an appropriate withdrawal. If guild funds have been used even partially to fund a tournament, that tournament counts only as a half a point for the host.
Guild Houses are to be constructed primarily to cities and strongholds alone. Only for specific reasons, such as expanding the guild to far away lands, may guild houses be built elsewhere. This may also be done if it is necessary to support growing numbers in membership, and the guild houses in cities and strongholds can not be enlarged further.
Ranks of the guild
These ranks are reserved mainly for rulers and dukes. Any non-elder rank who hosts a tournament will gain the lowest Elder rank. Only if the other elders agree that the host of the tournament is not fitting for the guild, can they choose not to give the host a this rank. In this case they also must ban the said noble from the guild. Former rulers and dukes keep their rank even if they no longer enjoy that title and can not host further tournaments.
The Elders are responsible of maintenance of the guild and settle the disputes among the members, especially regarding ranks. The one who has hosted a highest number of swordfighting tournaments as a member of the guild will have the highest Elder rank below the Founder. The number of tournaments hosted is kept track on in the internal board of the guild. Elder ranks are gained by hosting tournaments. Each tournament held gains a rank.
The Founder has the final word in all matters.
Custodian Primus is the rank reserved to the Elder who has hosted the highest amount of swordfighting tournaments as a member of the guild. If two Custodians have both hosted as many tournaments, the one who held the rank before keeps it until someone else has hosted more tournaments.
From the rank of Second Custodian to the Sixth Custodian ranks are defined by the number of who has hosted the highest number of tournaments as a follower of the path. Only one holder of each rank is permitted.
Honorary Custodian is a rank given to a Custodian of the Path who has contributed much to the guild in the past but can no longer host further tournaments.
Custodian of the Path is the standard rank of the guild. A holder of this rank has hosted more than one swordfighting tournament, but not yet enough to justify a higher rank.
Novice Custodian has only hosted one swordfighting tournament as a follower of the Path.
Steward of the Custodians A Steward is a rank of service, lowest of the Elders, who is appointed to take care of the day to day maintenance of the guild, as the elders direct him.
There can only be one swordmaster at a time. Whoever defeats the swordmaster in a swordfight becomes the new swordmaster.
The full member ranks are named Second Sword, Third Sword, Fourth Sword etc. The most skilled swordfighter below the Swordmaster is the Second Sword. Members can share the same rank if both can defeat one another at times. A member can fall into a lower rank if he no longer can defeat others with the same rank.
At times it may happen that a member has not participated in a tournament for quite a long time, making it hard to estimate his true rank. It is perfectly within the inalienable rights of a noble to choose whether to participate or not in any tournament. In this case anyone with the same or lesser rank may demand that the undeserved rank be lowered. If the other party agrees, his rank is lowered by one. If he disagrees, the challenger must prove his demand in a duel, as it is an insult. It is the responsibility of the challenger to travel to the one challenged.
A new member will always begin with a rank of an "Unproven Sword". Once he has participated in a tournament as a member of the guild, the other ranks become a possibility.
An aspirant who has participated in a tournament, but has not been able to defeat anyone.
An aspirant who has made it to the second round of a tournament.
An aspirant, who has made it to the third round of a tournament.
Once an aspirant reaches the fourth round of a tournament, the elders with the help of the members give them a full member rank that seems appropriate. If at any time an aspirant defeats a member rank, the aspirant is immediately given the same rank.
Shield of the Path
A noble willing to support the cause can apply for a rank of a Shield. It is and always will be an aspirant rank. The responsibilities of a Shield are to pay a weekly sponsoring fee as well as promote the guild in other ways, perhaps by constructing a guild house to distant lands. A simple payment for any "Unproven Sword" is sufficient to gain this rank. A shield is also expected to abide by the rules of the path.