Friday, September 8, 2017

Order of Solar Excellence

          There are many orders of chivalry throughout the Third Imperium. All of them, of course, recognize the Emperor as sovereign, but are in practice overseen by one or more nobles. In 1065, Duke von Ritterberg of Sol sought to establish an order to recognize the accomplishments of Imperial citizens in his demesne. In 1067, it was authorized by the Imperial Household, with the first inductions to the order made on 001-1068. Unusually, it provides the following levels:
            Knight or Dame of the Order of Solar Excellence (KSE/DSE)
            Companion of the Order of Solar Excellence (CSE)
            Officer of the Order of Solar Excellence (OSE)
            Member of the Order of Solar Excellence (MSE)
            Medal of the Order of Solar Excellence (OSEM)
A sketch of the Medal, used for proofing purposes.
Original work by Michael Thompson
Only Knights and Dames receive titles, the other levels are decorations, and merely make the awardee a prominent member of society. There are two divisions, the Military and General for all levels except for Knights and Dames. The motto of the Order is “For Sol and the Emperor”
            The ribbon of the Order is dark blue, with central symmetrical stripes of pale green and purple, differenced by a narrow yellow stripe at each end for the Military Division. Recipients of the medal are awarded a hexagonal gilt medal bearing with a stylized map of the subsector on the obverse, and “For Sol and the Emperor” in Anglic on the reverse. The Medal is worn on the left breast. Members receive a similar award, with a miniature hexagon mounted on a Maltese Cross, and also worn on the left breast. Officers receive the award as a neck order, but made of gold, using a medal similar to that the Medal. Officers receive the award as a neck order, in gold with the same design used for the Medal of the Order of Solar Excellence. Companions wear the award as a neck order as well, in gold and mounted on the Maltese Cross. Knights wear the hexagon upon a gold disc on the left breast below any medals, with the home world of the recipient picked out with a gem of the appropriate color of the star, and the rest noted with diamonds. If the Knight is not native to the subsector, the world he is most associated with is used instead. For informal use, the ribbon is worn with a following differentiations, Medal plain, Member a miniature of the hexagon in gold, Officer a miniature of the hexagon in silver mounted on a bar, Companion a gold miniature of the hexagon mounted on a bar with the left side gold and right side silver, and Knights wear the gold miniature of the hexagon on a gold bar.
            Officers of the order include the Sovereign, Grand Master, and Secretary. The current Sovereign in Strephon, Duke Mazun Tomas von Ritterberg is the Grand Master, and his Seneschal is the Secretary. Currently, Knights and Dames include Marchioness Alessandra Ribeira da Silva of Terra, Archduke Kiernan Langos Adair of Sol, the Count of Nusku, as well as many other nobles resident in the subsector.
            The Medal is awarded for long meritorious service in the Sol Subsector Unified Armies and Fleet personnel, as well as for ordinary sophonts performing a service worthy of particular recognition. Membership in the General Division is for “service in a particular locality or field of activity or to a particular group”, and the Military, “exceptional service or performance of duty,” and limited to 1020 persons per year. Officers of the order are have “Distinguished service of a high degree to the Sol Subector or to the Imperium at large” or “Distinguished service in responsible positions,” with a limit of 430 per year. Companions have “Eminent achievement and merit or service in duties of great responsibility,” and are limited to 100 per year. Knights and Dames have “Extraordinary and pre-eminent achievement and merit of highest degree in service to the Sol Subesctor or to the Imperium at Large,” with a very hard limit of twelve per year. Any Imperial citizen in good standing can nominate another for an award. The Duke’s staff is responsible for ensuring they are proper.

Game rules:
In UPP based Traveller games:
Rank
SOC
Notes
Knight/Dame
11
If received with a higher SOC, note the postnominals
Companion
+1 to a max of 10

Officer
+1 to a max of 10

Member
+1 to a max of 9

Medal
+1 to a max of 8



GURPS Third Edition Traveller:

A Knight or Dame is Status 2. Other grades of the Order may give Status 1 at the Referee’s discretion, or else a +1 Reaction from everyone in the Solomani Rim with sometimes recognition as a 2-point advantage. Use the character’s background to make the determination.