Champion of Courage
The Champion of Courage is intended to serve as an inspiration to the Pilgrims of the faith and laity as to what it means to be Courageous, particularly in a military context. Historically the bearers of Torchbrand formed, along with the bearers of the other Pilgrims shield, the “Seven Pilgrims” band.
Regalia of the Champion of Courage
The Champion of Courage bears Torchbrand, the unique Pilgrim's Shield. If the Champion of Courage loses their position, then the item must be given to the new Champion with all haste. The Champion is encouraged to take all appropriate precautions to keep this item safe, and is expected to do everything within their power to recover it if it is lost.
The shield Torchbrand was created by Ezkiah the Benefactor, greatest smith of the Highborn along with six other shields. Each was gifted to a different hero, forming a company known as the “Seven Pilgrims”.
Torchbrand was first carried by Kaya of Thornhaven, a Navarr of Briar Lineage. Passed from Champion to Champion, or selected by the priests of Courage when this was not possible, it remained an enduring inspiration to the faithful of the Empire.
At the battle of Reikos in 367 YE the Seven Pilgrims of the day charged an entire Druj army on their own, allowing the outmatched Imperial forces time to quit the field in good order. Torchbrand was lost along with the other six shields, but recovered three years later. Rumour says that it was retrieved following a tournament with heralds of the Summer Realm by nobles of House Orzel of Dawn. The Courage Assembly demanded the return of the shield, but agreed to select a member of House Orzel as Champion.
Regardless of this alleged agreement, the shield came into the possession of Horsa Tyshalt of Wintermark. A dispute over the shield ensued. In a statement of principle raised by Nina of Cantiarch's Hold the Assembly stated “The Courage Assembly will decide the fate of the Courage Shield Torchbrand” (Statement of Primciple, Autumn 381, Judgement 65, Upheld 104 - 0 ). In Summer 382 then Cardinal Jorma Steelhail retrieved the shield, and the Senate agreed to create the title of Champion of Courage.
Historically the Shield was passed from Champion to Champion; the Synod has ended this tradition through the creation of a formal title. It is likely that the other assemblies will follow suit should their namesake shields ever be recovered. Original history text from Michael Durrant