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Heldannic Knights -- Medals and Decorationsby Bruce Heard
Medals of the Order
There are five decorations that are awarded for exemplary service in the Order. They can be awarded either to military or members of the priesthood and can be worn with our without armour.
The Gorgerin: As the only decoration that can be awarded to an indentured soldier, it rewards bravery in combat. Any single chaplain or knight bachelor may request the award, which requires an approval process by the offices of The Voice. The Gorgerin looks like a crescent- shaped silver plate engraved with Heldannic motives, and with a silver chain. It is worn around the neck, with the plate resting on the chest. It symbolises the armour of the warrior. Once a day, a gorgerin provides the effect of a bless spell to the owner.
The Garter: Three Abbots of The Heart may award this decoration for outstanding work supporting the faith of Vanya, usually achieving some great feat of faith and devotion. The garter is a discreet, black band worn on the right thigh, just above the knee, symbolising humility in faith. The garter provides a +1 bonus to any Wisdom-based saving throws and ability checks.
The Cord: Three Abbots of The Hammer may award this decoration, usually for converting great numbers of followers to the ways of Vanya, or protecting the Order against manifestations of heresy and chaos. The cord is a simple, black and white braided rope worn as a belt. The black and white braid symbolises law and order, and the cord's knot, the undying loyalty to the brotherhood. Some theorise it symbolises a spiritual umbilical cord, the priest being the growing child and the Order the all- giving mother (presumably Vanya). Once awarded, the cord must always be worn The cord provides its owner a +1 to all saving throws against chaos magic (spells cast by chaotic wizards).
The Hilt: Three Abbots of The Voice or Knight Bachelors may reward with the hilt an act of great bravery in combat our outstanding leadership. The hilt involves the alteration of the recipient's weapon, including the addition of three lion head motives to its hilt. The three decorations symbolise strength of heart, body, and mind. They provide a +1 bonus to saving throws against fear and all mind-control spells when the weapon is in hand (or simply held in its scabbard).
The Eagle: It is the highest decoration awarded in the Order. In most cases, it awarded posthumously by two of the three Primates. So far, only a handful living members of the Order have received the Eagle. It is a marshal's baton made of obsidian surmounted with a small silver eagle spreading its wings. It symbolises glory above all. When calling out Vanya's name, the baton turn into a semi-corporeal melee weapon, the type that the owner normally fights with. It is equivalent to a +1 magical weapon (to attacks and damage). Against chaotic opponents of at least tenth level or ten Hit Dice, however, it has additional effects equivalent to a light belcher's "Holy Glaive" (see Artillery section).
Oak Leaves: Another form of decoration lies in the successive awards of the same decorations. For example, a priest may be awarded the cord three times. In this case, the priest would have one cord and two oak leaves. They are small oak leaves made of green enamel and gold which can be embedded in or attached to either the garter, the cord, or the hilt (the Eagle can only be awarded once in a lifetime). Each oak adds a +1 bonus to the effect of the original decoration, up to a maximum of +4.