The Silver Handbook is a literary work made for new and aspiring Paladins to use for review and as a guideline on their long journey towards the ascension to Knighthood. Penned by Zaria Blackmoore, the guide is open to interpretation for those who seek to utilize it. The book is a compiling of many accepted practices, and is also to be the main handbook in a series of reference materials.
|“||My church is the field of battle.||”|
–Uther the Lightbringer
A Knight of the Silver Hand is a steadfast warrior of the Light and Virtue who stands at the ready in the face of the unending perils of the world, and holds stalwart against the temptations of darkness. A small spark can light up the darkness, and the Silver Hand exists to be the torchbearer to keep that light shining bright.
As an aspiring Knight, you begin the charge of a new generation to take up that torch and guide the Light’s supplicants to prosperity, and shall face many trials and tribulations in order to become closer to the Light. In your time of taking on the learnings of Knights of old, great expectations will be placed upon you for greater glory in the Light’s name for years to come.
Part I: The Novice
While many seek out glory and due diligence when becoming a Knight of the Silver Hand, they must first understand the origins of the Order and those who were heralds of its name.
Origins of the Order
The Order of the Silver Hand was first brought to Light during the Second War when Alonsus Faol introduced the Alliance of Lordaeron to his development of steadfast warriors who utilized martial skill, and the Holy Light as powerful weapons against Orcish Death Knights.
The Silver Hand's name stems from the legend of a great Titan Watcher by the name of Tyr, who guided the Human race to the Eastern Kingdoms and showed them the Holy Light. Tyr had lost his hand doing battle with the great proto dragon Galakrond, and replaced the lost hand with one forged of pure silver. He sacrificed his life defending fleeing mortals in a battle against two spawn of the Old Gods, managing to kill one.
During a battle against the Orcs in Northshire Abbey it was noted the greatly devastating power the Light had against Orcs. It rendered their flesh and caused them great harm. However, the Clerics of Northshire were ill prepared for combat, and thus swiftly defeated by the orcs. This hybrid between a cleric of faith, and a great warrior was exactly the tool the Alliance needed to combat the Orcish threat.
The Knights of the Order accomplished great feats, and helped turned the tide in many battles. After the Second War they became the tales of legend. But, the Plague of Undeath spelled the end for the Order as it was known in Lordaeron. The destruction of Stratholme saw the loss of their barracks, and Prince Arthas’ sweep across the lands along with the Scourge brought a swift separation of the Order, and spurred the founding of the Scarlet Crusade, and soon after Crusaders separated to form the Argent Dawn.
In the fight against the Lich King, Tirion merged the remnants of the Order with the Argent Dawn to defeat the Lich King, and its Knights found new purpose.
Today, the Silver Hand is reformed under its Highlord to fight against the Legion.
Champions of the Silver Hand
The Novice must take time to do personal research on the legends of the Order, as well as the history behind them. These notable figures include the founders of the Silver Hand, whom are:
Alonsus Faol was the Archbishop of the Holy Church during the Second War. After witnessing the terrible devastation the Light had on the Orcs, his Holiness began training noble knights and clerics in order to create the first Knights of the Silver Hand, and helped found the Order. Today Alonsus has been raised into undeath and aids the Conclave in the fight against the Burning Legion.
One of the first humans to encounter the Light and its major tenets in a vision and revelation in the early days of Lordaeron. Mereldar is credited with bringing others together to interpret these visions of a divine power, and aided in the creation of the modern Church of the Holy Light.
More information can be found in the Silver Hand Compendium.
Uther the Lightbringer
Uther Lightbringer was the first Knight of the Silver Hand trained under Alonsus Faol. Originally destined to be a Cleric trained by the Archbishop, the Light guided him onwards to lead the Silver Hand and later train Arthas Menethil in Knightly practices. He was later killed by Arthas when defending the urn of the slain Terenas Menethil.
Once placing great doubt in the Holy Light, Turalyon found his conviction in the Light in the battle for Blackrock Mountain after the death of Anduin Lothar, the Lion of Azeroth. He led the first charge into the Outlands and went missing sometime later after the planet was shattered. Today, he leads the Army of the Light against the Burning Legion.
Gavinrad the Dire
Gavinrad had first accompanied Anduin Lothar to the North after the exodus in the First War. For his pious nature and faith in the Light it was requested that he be trained as one of the first Knights of the Silver Hand. He was the Knight to give Arthas Menethil his hammer, and also lead the Champions of Peace in Lordaeron, who guarded the remains of Kel’thuzad. He died, and was consumed by Frostmourne.
Originally a Knight of Lordaeron, Saidan Dathrohan became one of the first Knights of the Silver Hand after studying under Archbishop Alonsus Faol. Having witnessed the destruction of Lordaeron by the Scourge, Dathrohan led a charge into Stratholme and later founded and lead a new Order, the Scarlet Crusade. Before the formation of the Crusade however, he was possessed by the Dreadlord Balnazzar and later slain by adventurers.
Tirion Fordring was the only original Knight to be excommunicated from the Order by Uther himself for siding with an orc named Eitrigg to maintain his honor and promise to him when Eitrigg’s life was in danger. He held onto the Light within himself, and long after was the herald of the charge against the Lich King in Northrend after merging the Argent Dawn, and the Order of the Silver Hand. Having begun to reclaim lands in Lordaeron, he was killed in the battle of the Broken Shore.
The first Ashbringer, and the Scourge of the Scourge, Alexandros Mograine was famed for his discovery of the dark crystal that was used to forge the Ashbringer. He was later slain through the betrayal of his own son Renault after being baited into fighting a slew of undead within Stratholme.
The practices of a Paladin, and the mindset it takes be be one boil down into philosophies that have spawned throughout generations of thought, practice, and interpretation from bearing witness to the Light’s divine grace and splendor. These have been broken down for simplicity into two aspects of the Light. The Five Tenets, a set of aspects of actions that must come into play to receive the Light’s blessings; and the Three Virtues, a way of living to remain holy and true.
The Five Tenets
The Five Tenets of the Holy Light are a means to harness the Light’s power. Should a supplicants charge exemplify one of these five tenets, the Light will provide them with the means they need in order to enact justice, protect others, and serve the weak and innocent.
An aspiring Paladin must understand the tenets and their necessity in order to ascend further towards the path of Knighthood, and better connect themselves with the Holy Light.
The Light shall provide to someone who beckons their call, should they believe their call encapsulates the definition of Protection, Justice, Retribution, Compassion, or Holiness. These five tenets do not expand far from their intended definitions, but can be elaborated upon by an aspiring Paladin seeking to exemplify one of these aspects of the Light’s call.
The Virtues Three
A Novice of the Silver Hand is expected to learn of the three tenants of the Holy Light. These three key virtues encompass all knightly values the order follows. It is expected of the Novice to speak to a Knight of the Silver Hand to explain each virtue in further detail than mentioned here, as well as review other reference material for better understanding.
The first virtue is Respect. Its premise is simple, as it is the virtue that allows a supplicant of the Light to acknowledge that all things are connected in the Lights grace.
Tenacity is the second virtue, a strong foundation to living a wholesome life of self-improvement, and betterment. Tenacity is having unbridled faith in the Light, while also seeking out ways to improve oneself to be closer to the Light.
Compassion is the final, and most difficult Virtue of the three. It dictates that we should aid others who are truly in need. But, weighing that need holds the delicate balance of helping others improve, and making them reliant on the goodwill of others.
While a Novice is expected to study hard, they must also work hard to maintain a physical capacity to endure the many hardships a Squire or Knight must face. As a Novice these tasks simply include:
- The ability to wear a set of armor along with a weapon for an extended period of time.
- Running and fighting in armor.
- Basic hand-to-hand combat.
- Basic stances.
- Properly swinging a selected weapon (maces, swords, axes).
The Novice Examinations
After the Novice has completed his preliminary tasks and has proven himself devoted to their respective order they may request their examinations be given to be proven worthy of taking up the mantle of a Squire. These examinations include:
An oral exam between a certified member of the Order, and the Novice in question. This is a ranging difficulty examination that will be covering most of the references provided at the will of the proctor. This includes the Three Virtues, infamous figures of the Silver Hand, and history beyond what is included in the Handbook. It will also include a question from the individual the novice spoke to about a differing view or different faith.
Basic Channeling and Uses of the Light
This is a simple examination to gauge any novices understanding of the Light and how to swing it. This will begin with a small discussion about the capabilities of the Holy Light, and then the novice will demonstrate their prowess in using the Holy Light.
Novices will be subject to basic tasks to demonstrate their own personal capabilities. This can vary from a long run in an allotted amount of time, to a series of exercises to determine how physically capable a Novice is. They will also demonstrate basic practices learned in Martial training.
Exemplifying A Tenet
With the Novice Examinations passed, the Aspirant must now look inward to reflect upon the tenets they have learned and must choose one. The sole tenet they feel best suits themselves. A Knight of the Order, or one of the Aspirant’s teachers shall be present to aid in the decision.
After the Aspirant has selected their tenet, they may then take the oath of Squireship.
Part II: The Squire
A Squire of the Order of the Silver Hand is one sworn to serve the Knights of the Order for their self-betterment, and eventual ascension to Knighthood. Once the Squire has pledged their oath, they may begin writing their Libram, and seeking out Knights for training.
Traditionally Knights and Squires would swear to one-another in a pledge of service to protect and serve. While a Squire has the choice to do this, with the rise of the Burning Legion many Squires have begun seeking out many Knights to assist them in their training.
It is the charge of the Squire throughout the duration of their training to seek out a Knight who will eventually sponsor their ascension to Knighthood, and assist them in training when available. Should the squire wish to take on the Knight as their sole and formal teacher, they may request an oath be taken between the pair.
Creation of a Libram
A Libram is a Knight’s most coveted possession. These holy texts are one of the few personal effects of a Knight, and are made personal through their own writings. Before Knighting, Squires are expected to have some of their first writings completed as the basis for this holy text.
These writings can include mentions of lessons learned while training with a Knight, an example of a specific virtue being exemplified in daily life, a set of prayers made by the Squire in conjunction with a Knight, and a message in the back of the text from the Squire’s sponsor.
Once this is completed, the Squire can seek out someone to assist them in binding the pages of the text for expansion during their time as a Knight.
Beck and Call
Squires live to serve and assist the Knights of the Order. While acting as a Squire, the individual is required to be ready to serve the call of any Knight to offer them assistance in various tasks, and act as the Knight’s aide. If a Squire has a sponsor, it is expected they be at the call of said sponsor first and foremost in order to situate good relations and practices between the respective Knight and Squire.
Knights are the paragons of justice, courtesy, and chivalry. An acting Paladin Squire, like all standard noble-knights is required to delve into learning about how to enact mannerisms and practices that are deemed “Knightly”.
A Squire is expected to learn from a Knight, or multiple Knights what it means to be chivalrous. In summary, this can include:
- Remaining faithful to the Light in all actions.
- Never surrendering against an enemy; never faltering.
- Being generous to those who are truly in need.
- Maintaining decorum.
- Being courteous to others.
- Being honest.
- Honoring law, but speaking out if a law is unjust.
- Respecting social hierarchy, and the hierarchy of the Silver Hand.
- Remaining humble.
A Squire should also be able to answer why these practices and traditions are important knightly values. The full code of chivalry for a Knight of the Silver Hand can be found in the Silver Hand Compendium.
Along with chivalrous practices, Knights are also expected to be well conditioned in order to uphold the defense of the weak and innocent of the lands. They also must have a broad range of skills that they can learn from other Knights of the Order which include:
Horsemanship and Jousting
The relationship between a Knight and their steed is one crucial for the success of the any Knight. In dire straits, the benefit of having one’s horse at their side can make the difference between victory and defeat. Knights have long prized their mounts and held them at great value and have taken great care of them.
Squires, throughout the duration of their training are expected to learn how to tend to a mount of their choosing, and learn how to ride it. They will also be expected to learn about jousting, a traditional practice of many Knights to show their stability on a steed. They will need to defeat an opponent in a joust as well to present this to a higher ranking Knight-Paladin.
Weapons Skills & Armor Maintenance
The most efficient manner to describe the weapon capabilities of a Paladin is often to compare this aspect of them to other types of Light-wielders. A major distinguishing point between a Paladin and a Priest is the distinction in weapon skills and use. Whereas a Priest might focus almost entirely upon the Light, a Paladin learns to use a variety of weapons that they utilize almost as a focus for their Holy energies, alongside their ordinary use as a weapon. For Paladins, expertise is typically found among the heavier side of the spectrum, as they are designed to either assist in the protection of themselves and their allies, or to be capable of bringing devastating harm to enemies.
Common weapon types among Knights consist of swords, shields, maces and hammers, as well as halberds.
As a Knight must understand how to use their weapon, they must also understand how to properly take care of their armor to ensure they can be effective as possible on the battlefield. General armor maintenance is key to remaining presentable, and keeping oneself protected in the heat of battle. Polishing, rust cleaning, and oiling are important in keeping a full set of armor well maintained.
Endurance, Dexterity, and Athletics
The staples of any good fighter, the ability to endure when harsh forces are placed against the Squire, or great feats need to be committed in order to protect those in need. Squires are expected to seek out Knights in order to cover each specific topic on a personal level, as well as partake in general training exercises with their respective forces.
Throughout a Squire’s training, they shall be subject to entering the field of battle alongside their peers — should they be old enough. During this time, it is important that the Squire becomes proficient in casting multiple spells powered by the Holy Light that encompass its broad range of uses. It is also important they are able to hold their own in a combat situation. The Squire must also learn about battlefield triage for himself, and to aid others in dire straits.
This also means that the Squire will need to show a way of exemplifying their selected tenet in a manner above and beyond the call of duty.
To be a leader is much more than simply possessing a title. Hard work, devotion, charisma and good standing are crucial in gaining the respect a proper leader deserves. In order for a Squire to develop these skills, they will be tasked on taking a group out on an outing or mission and planning it entirely on their own with limited aid from others.
A Knight of the Silver Hand is expected to sacrifice his own life in order to protect the innocent of the world, and surrender himself for their benefit if necessary. A Squire is expected as one of their tasks to commit a random act of kindness to a stranger and write a small excerpt about the experience.
While a requirement, the Squire should not forget to uphold the virtue of Compassion and only offer assistance to those who truly are in need of it. Their service can range from volunteer work at a local clinic, to gathering donations to a soup kitchen, or something as simple as fending off a bandit seeking to steal from an innocent.
Part III: The Three Trials
The Three Trials of Virtue are a staple in testing aspiring Paladin-Knights of the Order of the Silver Hand. These tasks will examine the degree a Squire has managed to exemplify the Three Virtues of the Holy Light. A Squire may seek out a Knight, their Sponsor, or a Paradigm of the respective virtue they wish to be tested in representing.
Each trial is designed to be personal, and it is suggested they be conducted by someone close to the Squire.
Should a Squire fail anyone of the three, they shall be given a period of reflection before retaking the trial. If they fail on multiple occasions, they shall subject themselves to a hiatus from being able to retake the trials until they further study the virtue they cannot surpass through its trial.
Trial of Respect
A Trial of Respect should make a Squire present their ability to act in a knightly and courteous manner to those around them, while demonstrating their kindness and good tidings towards others.
Trial of Tenacity
During the Trial of Tenacity, a Squire should be able to present determination to their cause no matter how dire. They must also show how they will succeed in daunting situations while maintaining their resolve.
Trial of Compassion
A Trial of Compassion should test the Squire on their ability to represent Compassion through their words and actions to aid in encouraging those who need inspiration, or aid those who are truly in need through a means deemed compassionate.
Part IV: A Final Pilgrimage & Ascension
As a rite of passage to enter the Order of the Silver Hand as a Knight, the Knight-Elect must endeavour on a holy pilgrimage to a location of their personal choosing.
The Knight-Elect must begin their journey in a set of simple chain armor, along with a dull sword and a meager amount of supplies that will suffice to get them to the selected location. This is designed to represent the Knight-Elect’s mastery and undying devotion to the Silver Hand.
Along the journey, the Squire is tasked with creating a personal prayer which they shall pen in their libram as a reflection of the long and dangerous journey.
After the Knight-Elect has had a successful journey to the selected holy site they are then able to be inducted into the Order of the Silver Hand in the same manner the Knights before them had for many past generations.
The ascension ceremony will be conducted by a present Bishop, or higher ranking Silver Hand Official if one is present. During the ceremony, the Knight-Elect shall receive their ceremonial pauldrons, cloak, and weapon from their selected sponsor.
In addition to receiving their ceremonial affixes, the Knight-Elect shall be infused with the powers of the Holy Light from their fellow Knights, washing them clean of any impurities that exist within them, and filling them with the Holy Light.
At the end of the Ceremony, the newly inducted Knight and their sponsor are free to state words to the audience, and the new righteous weapon of the Holy Light can pass down their knowledge and lessons learned to future generations, as well as protect the weak and innocent with utmost resolve as a blade of the Light. As a member of the Silver Hand, they become a tool in the Light’s arsenal for years to come.
|“||You're a Knight of the Silver Hand now, be ready to play the part.||”|
Future Paladin's Checklist
- Learn about the History of the Silver Hand.
- Learn about the first Paladins of the Silver Hand, and other heroes.
- Understand how they connect with the teachings of the Light.
- Gain a broad understanding of philosophy of the Light (Virtues & Tenets).
- Conduct physical conditioning with a Paladin, or soldier.
- Pass Aspirancy Examinations
- Pass History Examination.
- Pass Fitness Examination.
- Present basic skills in utilizing the Holy Light.
- Select a tenet to exemplify.
- Find a Sponsor (and take the oath of pairing if applicable).
- Construct a Libram which can include, but is not limited to:
- A detailed article of the Squire’s preferred Tenet.
- The Squire’s interpretation of the Three Virtues.
- Learn to act in a knightly manner, including:
- Horsemanship and Jousting
- Armor Maintenance
- Endurance, Dexterity, and Athletics
- Leadership Skills
- Gain field experience including:
- Learn offensive and defensive stances, and weapons skills
- Battlefield Tactics
- First aid knowledge
- Sparring with a sponsor, or another Knight
- Sufficient use of the Holy Light in key aspects
- Conduct a compassionate charitable act.
- Exemplify your selected tenet in a manner that goes above and beyond the call of duty.
- Complete the three trials.
- Pilgrimage and Induction