As defined by the New OutRider's Charter the Champion is the highest non-officer rank in order of precedence in the New OutRiders. Being the highest attainable non-officer rank, Champion is one of the rarest ranks in the guild, as many people skip past it.
As non-officer members of the New OutRiders, Champions have no official mandate. Champions are often some of the guild's most seasoned veterans and they are expected to aid others and provide support whenever possible.
Grades of Distinction
There are four levels of Champion:
- Champion Court
- Champion Honor
- Champion Elite
Each is considered a different rank, ascending in significance, but still below the rank of Baron. While not officially mandated, it is historical precedent that any New OutRiders non-officer who loses their life is elevated to Champion Elite on the Memorial Wall.
In the Feudal Era, Knights were expected to be champions of both prowess in combat and of causes, the latter most commonly being either patriotic, romantic or religious in nature. This reaches its most literal meaning in a trial by combat, in which each combatant champions the cause of one side of the trial. A "King's Champion" is appointed for ceremonial purposes at the coronation of an English Monarch, to defeat any challenger to the monarch's right to be crowned.
The office of King's Champion was originally granted to Robert Marmion, along with the castle and manor of Tamworth and the Manor of Scrivelsby in 1066. From then until the nineteenth century the officer's role was to act as champion for the King at his coronation, in the unlikely event that someone challenged the new King's title to the throne. The Champion was required to ride in full armour into Westminster Hall during the coronation banquet, escorted by the Earl Marshal and the Lord High Constable, all in full dress, robes and coronets, and await the challenge to all comers. The King himself could not fight in single combat against anyone except an equal. This trial by combat remained purely ceremonial and had a central place in the coronation banquet.
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