To those who have asked to know more, and particularly to Seeberg who stated "I doubt the nation of Seeberg would meet the requirements", I hope that the following will help to explain things. This has been prepared from several documents on my hard drive and from several threads on the Order's forum. The Order of Gryphons is a brotherhood of Knight-Priests from within The Holy and Gryphonnic Land of New Thyatira, a nation founded upon Christian principles. As such, its motto was based on Revelation V:12. Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive Power, and Riches, and Wisdom, and Strength, and Honour, and Glory, and Blessings. On 21 April, 2004, The Order officially recognized that Nobility does exist outside the borders of its homeland and cordially extended an invitation to other nations that wished representation. The virtues espoused by the Order (as defined in New Thyatira) were those listed in the New Thyatiran motto. However, we realize that the virtues espoused by the greater Order need not be strictly these, nor need they be only seven. The Knighthood is not a Christian organization but an ecumenical brotherhood that embraces diversity. [Still, much of the iconography is obviously based on the initial precept.] Why is New Thyatira in The North Pacific? … in Lemuria? … in The West Pacific? In a sort of national roleplay or historical backstory, it has been determined that New Thyatira was founded by the Order of Gryphons. The Order, in the Knighthood’s fiction, was created in AD 1144. At that time most of the County of Edessa had been lost by Christians in the Levant. The Gryphons were founded in Byzantine-controlled city of Thyatira. Because of the loss of territories in the Holy Lands, the Gryphons were to search for Prester John – to beseech him to send reinforcements. The Kingdom of Prester John was believed to be east of Persia. The Gryphons never found the man they sought after, but they did find and settle in Lemuria and the North and West Pacific. Q) What the… you guys were created in 1144? Did they even have computers back then? A) Nope, but they had camels. Camels trump computers. There is an ‘expanded’ history [somewhere; I’ll have to find it]. The NS Version of the Order of Gryphons was created in early 2004. In-game, the Order came to be loosely based on such groups as the Knights Templar. Q) What is the Order of Gryphons? What does the Order do? A) We are a brotherhood of Knight-Priests, dedicated to making the world (and Nationstates) a better place! We are dedicated to peace, freedom, and the greater good of Nationstates. We are not an army, nor are we a primary affiliation. We do not require you to move out of your home region and leave your friends behind. The Order of Gryphons is an organization, a group of people who loudly proclaim they follow the Virtues and will stand up to injustice. We are defined by our Code of Conduct. Code of Conduct. 1. Respect all others in times of civility and war. Each person we share kinship with or cross swords with is due respect as a person, in life or death. We therefore vow to honor even the vilest with respect not offered in return, whether we come to embrace each other or find duel and disagreement unavoidable. 2. Pursue the benefit of the public and the state that protects it. The Order of the Gryphons exists for the betterment of the peoples of our world, vast and chaotic. Each knight vows to make every personal effort to benefit those around us whether through state or individual. 3. Defend the weak. In the pursuit of benefit for all, we will often find those young in the ways of this world or weak in their abilities or understanding. We vow to support the education and encouragement of any such we come across. 4. Listen deeply before speaking with wise counsel. Quick words too often are the cause of foolish hostilities. We vow to listen earnestly to all who seek dialogue with us, measuring their words with the counsel of others who may have special wisdom. 5. Promote peace and sensible dialogue whenever possible. War is too quickly pursued in this world of ours. We vow to seek peaceful resolutions and encourage likewise between others when at all possible. 6. Dedicate oneself to a life of service. No good aim comes to fruition through idleness. We vow to model and be the change we hope to see, always in light of the other duties to family and friends. 7. Preserve the honor of the region, champion, chapter and order that you serve. Recognize that what shames one of us can come to dishonor us all. Preserve the honor of your brethren. Application: Any nation may apply to join the Order. The procedure is as follows: 1) Publicly post that you wish to join the Order of Gryphons. You may also select a Branch [see below] if it is your intention to join one. 2) Tell us what attracted you to the Order of Gryphons. 3) Tell us about your Virtues, why you would be a good Brother or Sister of the Order. We of the Knighthood believe that everyone has at least three virtues that would make him or her fit to join the Order. If you have problems, simply drop one of us a line and we’ll help you out! 4) Declare the name of the Nation joining if it differs from your registered name here. It is the custom to hoist the flag of Member Countries as they are received to the Order. We are not looking for essays. Short answers will suffice. Simply be truthful, that is all we ask. Supporters/Champions: Masterknights are asked to act as Supporters (in a style inspired by Heraldry) to Aspirants (those who have applied). It is hoped that an Aspirant will have at least 2 different Supporters. Supporters are asked to get to know that Aspirant they Champion, and post regarding the Aspirant’s Gryphonnic Qualities. Notes: Many Master-Knight nations have ceased to exist. Finding a Master-Knight as a Supporter may prove difficult. Until such time as the Order is revitalized, the system of Supporters may be temporarily suspended. After Application, a review takes place. It is generally brief. Branches: The Branches of the Order of Gryphons are: The Militant, The Hospitaler, and The Chancery. No part of the Order should be deemed superior to any other part. Declaring for any Branch is not required, and members are able to switch back and forth between Branches. Each Branch is led by a Special Officer – the Field-Marshal of the Knights-Militant, the Castellan of the Knights-Hospitaler, and the Chancellor of the Chancery. Knights-Militant. The Knights-Militant Branch acknowledges that Knights are typically seen as Warriors. Knights-Militant are Gryphonnic players of NS who participate in Actions-of-Arms (military affairs) that call them away from the region where their Chapterhouse is. We hold such UN countries to be part of the Esteemed defense groups and would not think to interfere with their protection of rightful sovereigns of foreign regions. [The Knights-Militant is not the military branch of the Order.] Knights-Hospitaler. Historically, a Hospitaler was a member of a military religious order devoted to the care of sick and needy pilgrims. Hospitalers are those Brother-Gryphons inclined to promote Civil Rights and Political Freedoms, rather than the Peace of the Sword. On-going strife is lamentable and should be considered an issue for the Hospitalers. Further, where extending the hand of brotherhood would make sense, and where you are so inclined, please answer the call. Chancery. The Archives of the Order are to be kept by the Chancellor and his/her office, the Order’s Chancery. The Chancery is intended as a Staff organization within the Order. Archivists and historians are encouraged to research and provide information regarding Gryphons in myth and Knights in legend. Further, the Chancery should record any official matters of the Order. Q) I qualify for more then one Branch, can I be in more then one? A) As mentioned above, members are able to switch back and forth between Branches. However, if you want to hold a High Council position within a specific branch, you'll have to "stay put." Rank and Honorifics: Knight: This is applicable to any Member. Males use “Sir” as an honorific and females use “Baroness.” These titles can be changed to “Lord” or “Lady” by special award by the Knight-Commander for exemplary service to the Order. Master-Knight: Nations that have the Gryphon flag in their Signature and/or their Rank Honorific as their Member Title in forums are accorded the Rank of Masterknight. Use of the flag of the Order and Rank Honorific is encouraged for all member states, but it is by no means mandatory. The list of Master-Knights includes, but is not limited to: Cakatoa, Costelloism, Democratic Donkeys, Economic Determinists, Midatlantia Revolution, Nem, Royal Keeblerhoffs, Second Imperium, Shagna, Sub Rosa, Swabbia, UglyTool, Underdog (UK_Underdog), and Virtual Boy. This list is based on old records and is by no means intended to be comprehensive, or to slight anyone deserving of the title whose name has not been to this file record. Count/Countess: All Chapter-Masters and Assistant Branch Commanders shall be entitled to use the honorific 'Count' or 'Countess'. They shall revert to their former ranking upon stepping down from their commanding position. Grand Duke/Grand Duchess: Any member of the High-Council shall be entitled to use the honorific ‘Grand Duke/Duchess', and shall revert to their former ranking they have earned when they step out of their commanding position. There shall only ever be seven Grand-Dukes or Duchess within the Order, one for each High Council position. NOTE: Titles on the Gryphorum [Gryphon Forum] differ from those for actual rank within the Order. Q) What Regions have Chapters? A) Historically, we have enjoyed the hospitality of several NS forums: Dragons Lair; Gatesville; IDU; Lemuria; Nasicournia; Stars; The East Pacific; The North Pacific; The Refuge; The South Pacific; The West Pacific. Changing Regions does not require a Member-Knight to change Chapters. Moving to a new Region without a Chapter may tempt you to start one. Until the revitalization is in full swing, expansion of the Order will be tightly controlled. Expulsion: Dishonorable behavior can result in expulsion, but cases have been rare. These were handled by extensive review before any decision was handed down.