The King's Own, also called the Own, is a part of the Tortallan armed forces, which include the regular army and the Queen's Riders. It is a strong military force in Tortall, and is one of the main combative forces.
Before Lord Raoul
Before King Jonathan gave the post of Knight Commander to Raoul of Goldenlake, one of his friends, the Own was mainly ornamental and was not an effective fighting force. It existed mainly to be the fallback for younger sons of nobles when they were still bachelors, so even though they might not have been knights, they were still paraded around the palace, much to the delight of court ladies. The Own was more for show than actual use.
Under Raoul of Goldenlake
Raoul began changing the Own immediately upon accepting the post. He changed it from an ornament to a formidable fighting force. He also started accepting Bazhir into the ranks of the Own, to further good relations between his people and theirs.
Some time before 455 HE, the Third Company was stationed in the Great Southern Desert for a significant amount of time. While there, Sir Raoul ran a determined recruitment campaign. As a result, a large number of Bazhir men joined the Own.
The Own are far more suited to quick maneuvers than the general army, but less swift than the Queen's Riders.
The Own consists of three total companies, each numbering around 100 men for combat, and another ten each as servingmen. Each company is led by a captain, who reports to the Knight Commander. Companies are further divided into squads of ten men. Every squad is led by a sergeant and is made up of two corporals and seven regular soldiers. The King's Own also included at least one standard-bearer for the Knight Commander.
- First Company — Glaisdan of Haryse (until his death at the hands of Scanrans, newer captain unknown)
- Second Company — Ulliver of Linden
- Third Company — Flyndan Whiteford
Rules for Enlisting
In order to enlist, one must have been an able horseman, and unmarried. Members desiring to marry had to withdraw from the Own; of the force, only the Knight Commander was allowed to marry and keep his position. Upon joining, men had to supply themselves with two suitable horses, one for fighting, and a faster remount. The Own provided replacements for any mounts lost in battle.
Membership was exclusively male. Although a ban on women's participation in the Own was never explicitly stated, in practice it seemed to be an unwritten rule.
In the 300s HE until Raoul's promotion, the Own wore an all-white uniform. By the 450s HE, the colors were blue, silver, and white, the colors of the Conté Royal Family. The servingmen wore colors of blue and white to signify that they were not full members of the Own.
During social events and parades, the Own wore their blue and white uniforms with mail polished to silver.
In combat situations uniforms are far more sensible, and the mail is not ornamental, but usually deep-woods gear. The white is also far less prevalent, as it is an impractical military color.
Weapons and Field Kit
All members of the King's Own need a sword, dagger, a small axe, and a shield for combat use. The members of the Own are not required to provide these weapons themselves, but can use company issue.
Popular long weapons for men of the Own are spears and halberds, the former being the more popular, and the latter adding up to about a third of the men.
For known members of the King's Own see King's Own (Members).