There are four Knight-protector titles, one for each season. The champion of each seasonal Grand Tourney is crowned knight-protector of that season and serves for a single year. The Knights-protector are expected to help Dawn deal with the realm in question and in particular to be first to stand against any threat that might issue forth from the realm.
The role of Knight-Protector is an ancient Imperial title, a Dawnish national position which had long since lapsed into obscurity in the past. While it is common for settlements across Dawn to host local tourneys, the tradition of a single Grand Tourney to appoint a Knight-protector each season fell into disuse after the death of Emperor Hugh. Following the changes to Dawnish senatorial elections in autumn 382YE, the egregores restored the tradition, to underscore the importance of victory in the tourney - and to provide a mechanism for nobles to commit their support to the tourney winner should they choose.
Each knight-protector is expected to help Dawn deal with the realm they represent, and in particular to be first to stand against any threat that might issue forth from the realm. They may also be called upon by the egregore to help arrange or marshal a Grand Tourney.
Banner of the Season
Each Knight-protector receives custody of one of four magical magic standards, created by the weavers of Weirwater. The bearer is expected to protect this unique magic item with their life - and to hang it prominently in their tent at Anvil and in their hall at home where all may see their glory.
Each banner bears an enchantment that allows a bonded bearer to pass through any portal connected with a regio - including the ability to visit the Hall of the Worlds. In addition, the knight-protector is treated by the eternals of the appropriate realm as an emissary, and granted certain protections from treachery or violence when treating with them - provided they carry the banner.
The winner of each seasonal Grand Tourney gains the title of Knight-Protector. All Dawnish nobility are eligible to participate in the tourney; yeofolk, however, may not compete. By long tradition of the grand tourney, a blind eye is turned to the participation of knights-errant, who often take part incognito. The tourney takes the form of a grand melee, the winner being the last participant standing when all others are defeated or have yielded. With help from the troubadours, the champion will be crowned as that season's knight-protector.
Each Knight-Protector is an Imperial title. The winner holds the title for a year, so the Knight-Protector of Winter will reign until the start of the next winter tourney, the Knight-Protector of Spring will reign until next spring - and so on. A reigning knight may not compete in a grand tourney until a year has passed - they can try to retain their title the following year, but they cannot compete for a different title before then, even if they resign their title or are revoked.
Only one grand tourney is held each season. If a knight-protector dies, steps down, or is revoked, the title remains vacant until the next time the grand tourney would be held.
The current knight-protectors are listed here - the full election history for each title are shown below.
|Winter Solstice 382YE||Vulgaris Vicarious|
|Spring Equinox 383YE||Logan Tallstag|
|Summer Solstice 383YE||Lady Izett, the Mournful|
|Autumn Equinox 385YE||Torag Meliora|