Full name: The Grand Order of the Shields of Abba (Commonly called The Shields.)
Emblem: A star above 2 crossed swords in red on a background of white.
Leader: Augustus Tigullia
Headquarters: A large compound in Pyralis is technically the HQ but real control is Hellaginia Castle in Shauurl.
Size: exact numbers are a secret but estimated at 10 - 15,000 in some 50 fortresses and and locations.
Founded: Official recognition was in 221CR. But it was in existence for at least 10 years before then.
Location: Pyralian Confederation
Nature of the Organization: The Order is a Knightly military order that exists in the southern areas of the continent. Unlike most knightly orders which are mostly of a social/political nature this order is organized more along military lines and it's members are professional, full time fighters. Although small in numbers their better training and leadership make them a lot more formidable then their usual feudal opponents.
As the Pyralian Kingdoms are divided by culture and language this effects the Order as well. Initiates coming in tend to be grouped at first by language. But after taking vows the order deliberately 'Stirs up the pot' by assigning Knight Brothers to areas that they are NOT from. And being sure that no one culture or language dominates any one group of the order. This assures that the order stays above and outside the factionalism is rife in the Pyralian kingdoms.
This order was founded by a Patriarch to help protect and defend the faith. A lot more militant the the Order of Protectors. Possessing a large organization they are limited to the Pyralian Kingdoms and the Holy land and spend most of their time fighting/watching the Sathmore empire.
The order is divided into several different branches:
Grossmeister: Grandmaster. Highest rank in the order. Its leader.
Hobmeister: Second in command of the order
Master of the Robe:
Cheval Maitre: Master of the Horse. Senior military commander. In charge of all military units. Lay or Knight Brother
Spitler: Hospitaler. In charge of the orders hospitals and charity groups.
Trapier: In charge of all the non -knight-brothers. All the lay people who not knights or soldiers
Komantur: Higher ranking brother. Usually commands a castle or a Kommantery.
Priest Brother: A fully ordained priest who is a member of the order.
As a religious order the group has some strict rules. By Rule the individual Knight Brother is allowed to own only 2 Shirts, 2 pants, 2 pair of Boots. 1 Surcoat, 1 sleeping bag (called a sleeping roll), 1 blanket, 1 breviary, 1 knife.
For a real world example see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_order
The order has a large compound in Pyralis itself that holds the palace of the leader and is technically the HQ. But the actual administration is in Hellaginia Castle.
Hellaginia Castle: Located in Shauurl located roughly in the center of the Kingdoms. Close to Pyralis but far enough out to avoid the 'sin and decadence' of the city.
The Pyralian Kingdoms draws strongly on European style cultures. Names and the like should have a French, German. Belgium or Dutch feel to them. Basically any European culture.