Knighthood as a Way of Life
Every Knighthood in the Realms will have its own unique code and standards. Some may be set down in great detail, and some may be left somewhat less clear, but in my opinion every Order worth anything will have a few things in common that are both meant to be taken both in and out of character - EVEN if it's just an IC knighthood.
When I prefaced this with "Knighthood as a Way of Life", I mean just that. The things you learn from your experiences with Knighthood in the Realms are things you can take into your life in ways you may not yet understand.
I'll try to list them and explain as best I can:
Be True Unto Yourself.
This is the creed of the Knights of the Realms and Knights of the Eternal Flame, and as a knight commander I have always expected it of my knights - both the Knights of Eagle's Rook and the Knights of Rhiassa. Sometimes it can be a challenge to truly identify what YOUR path is, but being true to yourself means doing your best to find that path and stay on it.
Play By The Rules.
The concept of honor out-of-character is largely, though not exclusively, about playing within the rules. There are simply no times when it's OK to play in ways that a reasonable player could construe as "cheating".
Teach Others to Help Themselves.
The squiring process should help to show the squire the importance of teaching. Anyone can buy a cloak. Taking that extra step to teach someone to make a cloak themselves is a far greater gift. A Knight will know the value of that extra step and will take it whenever they can.
Help Others when they Cannot Help Themselves.
A Knight will know when to stand back and let people learn how to deal with challenges and when to step forward and get involved. There are times when you disempower people by fighting their battles for them and keep them from learning or failing on their own. There are also times when the right choice is to step up and protect those that need protection. This cannot be taught, but with experience you will get a better feeling for where this line lies.
Treat People Right.
This means understanding the difference between IC and OOC honor. A Knight can be a "good guy" or a "bad guy" in-character. It takes a true Knight to be able to ALWAYS carry themselves as an excellent OOC role model whether they are playing a villain or the biggest Goody-Two-Shoes the Realms has ever seen.
There are countless other lessons that you can bring from the Realms into your own life. These five are the most important I was able to think of. I hope you found something in here of value, even if you don't agree with all of it.
- Stephen Johnson, KoR, KoEF