Order of the Sceaf and Scyldingas of Valaya
The Order of the Sceaf & Scyldingas of Valaya (Sheaf & Shields) is a dwarven order of knights dedicated to the precepts of the dwarves’ illustrious maternal ancestor and goddess Valaya. The templar – order’s inception is only now becoming the dream of the rune – smith Mourendar Boulderdash and the priestess of Valaya Kwarjieh Headstone, but their dream is the consequence of their own endeavors and hopes to retake the dwarfholds of Karak Azgal and Zhufbar.
The order’s badge is reminiscent of one dear to Valaya, and is an escutcheon purpure, a barley sheaf or, bound & knotted with hops vert. The templar order’s alignment is neutral and their singular quest is to retake and hold the lost dwarfholds, for Valaya, dwarven posterity and their eventual security. As is the case with the cult of Valaya, the knighthood is open to any adult dwarf willing to take the vows of obedience, etc. (chastity isn’t one of them.) As brewers and healers are especially welcome in the Cult of Valaya; the same may be said for the templar order too, but given their quest others are highly valued – including: engineers and sappers, explorers and scouts, initiates and priests of Valaya, runebearers, runesmiths and smiths, shieldbreakers, etc. These individuals all bring unique talents to the foundation and support of the armies required; even the unfettered slayers may come and go as they please, given their ferocity they are uniquely qualified to act as shock troops while augmenting the army in the field, or within the recesses below ground. Because of this, and the fact that Grimnir (one of Valaya’s husbands) is the slayer’s archetype; the order is to give aid and comfort to any slayer seeking it!
In addition to their quest all knights are bound by the same strictures as are Valaya’s clergy:
- Always provide aid to a wounded or ailing dwarf.
- Always assist a dwarf – friend in need.
- Always attend to the needs of the young.
- Always protect fellow dwarves from harm, especially at the hands of a dwarven enemy.
- Never allow dwarf ale to fall into the hands of enemies, unless to do so saves dwarven lives.
- Never knowingly sell or otherwise distribute spoiled ale.
The knights will lay down their lives to protect the Temples of Valaya from desecration, and they will aid in the defense of any temple dedicated to the ancestors of the dwarf pantheon; since the Temples of Valaya are usually located near the Queen’s chambers, the knights will proffer their loyalty to the dwarfhold’s queen; championing her cause and life as if it were Valaya’s own. In the case of the dwarf friends the cults of Sigmar and Rhya, the Old Faith and the halfling cults, are shown the same deference that the cult of Valaya shows them. As suspected the order is entirely hostile towards the cults of the dwarven enemies!
The Spring and Autumn Equinoxes are the primary holy days of Valaya, corresponding to the sowing and reaping of the crops involved in the production of ale, and they are celebrated by the order’s templars accordingly. Aside from the order’s primary quest, the templars and prospects may be expected to endure certain trials as set by Valaya; they usually involve tending to the sick and infirm, or traveling great distances to gather rare medicinal plants.
In addition to the skills available to any of the classes seeking entry to the order, others skills and talents dear to Valaya may be acquired through the tutelage of others in the order. These are brewing, cure disease, heal wounds, herb lore, identify plant, immunity to disease, immunity to poison, and surgery.