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  • Class: {{esusrinfo_class392298}}
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    Mercenary Knight?

    When reading Elsword lore, we learn that in the setting, Velder's military employing knights (Red Knights, Feita Knights...) and mecenaries (Elder Mercenary...). Then we also learn that there are organizations called Mercenary Knight, such as Raven's Crow Mercenaries Knights and Elkashu's Red Mercenaries Knights. We are here to discuss this term and is it feasible for Mercenary Knight to exist.

    It should be noted that Velder's armies have the typical motifs of armed forces of a nation chronically stuck in a "medieval stasis". The equivalent of it would be the military of Europe countries since after the (Western) Roman Empire collapsed until around the High Middle Age or the early Renaissance.

    The lore suggested that, similar to its counterpart IRL, Velder does not have an unified national armed force, far from that. Velder is a feudal regime. It comprises of multiple feudal nobles and their fiefs, and they are expected to have their own armies. Under feudalism, the monarch is like the highest, most significant noble of the regime's hierarchy, and the nobles are like mini monarchs inside the border of the fiefs which they rule over.

    Beside the monarch's and vassal's armies, there are also some knights who are not vassals of the nobles, mercenaries and lastly, the militia. With certain certifications, knights can raise their own armies using their own money, and there are mercenary forces led by mercenary captains.

    (Since most lore writers for games probably knowing less about feudal era than the average guys who play Crusader Kings II, in the setting of Elsword, the knights are treated as a type of military unit, and are so numerous that the rank-and-file soldiers are also knights, and all you need to join it is having enough strength and being ratified after registering to some government's bureaucracy body. In real life, knight is a title and not a type of military unit or military rank, you have to become a vassal of a noble and swearing fealty to said noble for they to grant you that title, and there was no such thing as an all-knight army).

    In short, Velder's military comprises of decentralized and localized forces, and completely lacking a national army. The Velder (Imperial) Guards is expected to fall under the category of the monarch's own army instead, and not a national one.

    Military forces in Medieval Europe were mostly under the form of sovereign's and his/her vassal's armies, and the vassal's vassal's armies, and the mercenaries who were not vassals like knights. That status would last until England's New Model Army was formed, which marked the first time a professional national standing army re-emerged in Europe after the Roman Empire collapsed.

    ==============================

    So after that brief explanation of knights (vassals of nobles and/or the monarch, not necessarily serving in military activities, were paid upkeep and/or collecting taxes from land grants) and mercenaries (military forces which existed independently from armies owned by feudal noble/sovereign, fighting in exchange for direct payments), we will deduce what Mercenary Knight in Elsword's setting would imply. Below are 3 scenarios:

    1) Mercenaries who were granted knight title:

    + Self-explanatory. Before being granted knight title, the soldier was a mercenary. Because knight is a title and not a military rank, there are knights who don't or are not even expected to fight, but mercenaries are almost surely soldiers. So Mercenary Knight in this case is not contradictory at all, simply just a soldier gaining a title which he previously didn't possess.

    2) Knights serving as mercenaries:

    + The knights fighting for the ones who hired them and then being paid for that service. In this case they are surely serving as fighting soldiers, having the social status as knights and fighting in exchange for direct payments like mercenaries.

    3) Knights who lead mercenaries:

    + There is nothing prohibits a knight to employ mercenaries to fight under him.

    For example Gotz von Berlichingen aka Gotz of the iron hand, was a Holy Roman Empire knight (Reichsritter) who served as a mercenary and leading other mercenaries.



    Source: https://www.ancient-origins.net/hist...chingen-006153

    *Note: beside the similar name, the Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire are not the same thing. Holy Roman Empire was founded centuries after Roman Empire collapsed, it could be said that the HRE was inspired by the Roman Empire, but in most aspects they are very different.
    Last edited by Tyrannicide-solace-; 02-19-2019, 01:14 AM.
    "I hereby declare:...the remnants of the high nobility who plan to reverse the flow of history and steal by force the rights that the people have established will receive a suitable repayment for this atrocity." - Reinhard von Lohengramm.
  • Class: {{esusrinfo_class392724}}
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    #2
    I had always thought mercenary knights sounded like a contradiction as knights are bound by codes of chivalry while mercenaries are often thought of in a more negative manner
    so I looked it up on Wikipedia one day and found this

    "Often, a knight was a
    vassal
    who served as an elite fighter, a
    bodyguard
    or a
    mercenary
    for a lord, with payment in the form of land holdings."

    I'd imagine Mercenary Knights would be like todays Private Military Companies/Contractors (PMCs) who are required to abide by an international code of conduct.

    Personally I never liked the name "Crow Mercenary Knights", it just sounds a bit too long and not as cool as just "Crow Knights". I also don't like how a lot of other things in Elsword have very uninventive names, I really don't like the name "El Search Party" and feel they could have a much cooler sounding name if the localization team put a little more thought into it.

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    • Class: {{esusrinfo_class393039}}
      Level: {{esusrinfo_level393039}}
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      #3
      Originally posted by LeafRena2-solace- View Post
      I had always thought mercenary knights sounded like a contradiction as knights are bound by codes of chivalry while mercenaries are often thought of in a more negative manner
      so I looked it up on Wikipedia one day and found this
      "Often, a knight was a

      vassal
      who served as an elite fighter, a

      bodyguard
      or a

      mercenary
      for a lord, with payment in the form of land holdings."



      I'd imagine Mercenary Knights would be like todays Private Military Companies/Contractors (PMCs) who are required to abide by an international code of conduct.

      Personally I never liked the name "Crow Mercenary Knights", it just sounds a bit too long and not as cool as just "Crow Knights". I also don't like how a lot of other things in Elsword have very uninventive names, I really don't like the name "El Search Party" and feel they could have a much cooler sounding name if the localization team put a little more thought into it.
      Indeed. It was the fictional versions of knights (based on knighthood and chivalric type code of honor IRL) were the ones giving us the misconceptions regarding how knights in reality were. In real life the whole thing was a gray zone, and with many overlapping zones considering practicality. You said the knights had to uphold their code of honor, then they just need to uphold chivalric codes when serving as mercenaries.

      In reality, even many knights serving as knights also couldn't uphold the code of honor or oaths, the ones who could uphold all of them were rare and were well known because they managed to achieve that when many others failed, instead of taken for granted.
      "I hereby declare:...the remnants of the high nobility who plan to reverse the flow of history and steal by force the rights that the people have established will receive a suitable repayment for this atrocity." - Reinhard von Lohengramm.

      Comment

      • Class: {{esusrinfo_class393839}}
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        #4
        Knights during the Middle Ages were typically of noble birth and trained by older knights, becoming a squire at 15ish years old and then being properly knighted when they came of age. Knights, truthfully, had it easy. By pledging their loyalty and service to a some kind of ruling body, such as a monarch or the church, they were granted land, livestock, gold, peasants, etc. While there was a code of conduct, much of that was ignored in favor of pillaging not only their neighbors, but their own villages as well. In the latter case, their peasants couldn't stand up to their knight, or warlord, lest they be cut down. The code of chivalry wasn't really followed then, as knights would often ride into towns just to slaughter people because they could. And they could do this because of the banner they swore to.

        Mercenaries could be knights, but only to their current employer. When in between jobs, they technically weren't knights, unless you count being loyal to gold and women as being a knight. Because of that, I don't think the Crow Mercenary Knights is entirely appropriate unless they were under oath to a monarch or organization. Perhaps Raven's "noble" standing permits those who come under his employ to be considered knights?

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        • Class: {{esusrinfo_class393989}}
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          Guild Name: {{esusrinfo_guild393989}}

          #5
          Originally posted by GirgeFE-solace- View Post
          Knights during the Middle Ages were typically of noble birth and trained by older knights, becoming a squire at 15ish years old and then being properly knighted when they came of age. Knights, truthfully, had it easy. By pledging their loyalty and service to a some kind of ruling body, such as a monarch or the church, they were granted land, livestock, gold, peasants, etc. While there was a code of conduct, much of that was ignored in favor of pillaging not only their neighbors, but their own villages as well. In the latter case, their peasants couldn't stand up to their knight, or warlord, lest they be cut down. The code of chivalry wasn't really followed then, as knights would often ride into towns just to slaughter people because they could. And they could do this because of the banner they swore to.

          Mercenaries could be knights, but only to their current employer. When in between jobs, they technically weren't knights, unless you count being loyal to gold and women as being a knight. Because of that, I don't think the Crow Mercenary Knights is entirely appropriate unless they were under oath to a monarch or organization. Perhaps Raven's "noble" standing permits those who come under his employ to be considered knights?
          I think the middle age is a long period and situations at various places can vary, there can be tyrannical rules like that here and there, but it would not be fair to assume everywhere it was like that the whole time. Killing people in peace time would violate the law though, and counter-productive, since if your peasants or serfs were dead, they would not be able to work for you and paying you.

          What makes a person a knight is that they has to be granted that title. What makes a person a mercenary is that they serve under the role of a mercenary. For example the knights have to be loyal to their liege and in turn they would be paid under the form of upkeep money or other means such as land grants, they would collect tax/rent money from their fiefs etc…

          But when a knight’s liege summoned him to serve in combat, they would not be paid directly for the roles and activities they were asked to perform, when serving as knight. Whether the knights were in peace time and not fighting, or when they went to war, they would be paid the “like usual” amount by their liege.

          On the contrary, if one person was paid directly to perform military activities and not a subject of the contractor who hired them or formally enlisted to the military force created and/or owned by said contractor, that person would be mercenary. They only have to stay loyal so long as they were paid to, otherwise they are not bonded by oaths/fealty/employment contract... like the knights, subjects/servants of a feudal lord, or enlisted soldiers.

          For example when a village hiring a knight to fight for them and paying him with money, that would count as knight doing mercenary job. Knights fighting for persons not his liege and being paid for said military activities, while at the same time not being bonded by loyalty/fealty beyond the time duration they agreed to serve under their hirer, that would count as serving as mercenary.

          When the mercenaries didn’t have to stay loyal because they were not paid by their hirer, this could happen for example. In this case the mercs were denied payments for their services, they then fought against their former contractor, going as far as taking over the nation of their hirer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Halmyros

          In case of Crow Mercenaries Knights, I think the composition of the force included enlisted troops, knights, mercenaries... so it was not purely a chivalric order or mercenary organization. They could fight at times as mercenaries, being paid to carry out military activities, at times because they had to uphold loyalty/duty.

          Raven himself may have got a feudal title. What was known for sure was that he had the capacity and rights to legally creating and total command of a military force, and the Crow Mercenaries Knights owned allegiance to Raven and then to the Velder state. Having a title is the most sure way to have the rights to own a military force in medieval age and feudal system.
          "I hereby declare:...the remnants of the high nobility who plan to reverse the flow of history and steal by force the rights that the people have established will receive a suitable repayment for this atrocity." - Reinhard von Lohengramm.

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