Rule of the Order
|The Codex of the Hospitallers of St. John of Caid and the Priory of
the Western Seas
Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum
(Defense of the faith and assistance to the suffering).
In the Society of Creative Anachronism (from now on referred to as the SCA), many participants practice
some form of martial weapons combat. This codex is for the use of the Hospitallers of St. John of Caid, as well
as all those considered allies and friends upon the field of battle, to use in fulfilling the role of a productive
war band as well as in the preparation of each individual in the art of armored combat. It is wished by the
authors that the reader will take more from the book than just the assistance it will bring on the battle field.
The reader can use the passages and comments found throughout to help in their everyday life as well.
Inside this tome you will find advice for motivation, mental and spiritual strengthening as well as general
historical knowledge about the actual Hospitallers of St. John.
Who were the Hospitallers?
The Longest lasting of the Religious Orders, the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem has existed
before the Crusades and is still in operation to this day. Father Gerard founded the Order with the
permission of Pope Paschal II in 1113 C.E. In 1100 Father Gerard was elected master of the Hospital of St.
John the Almoner for pilgrims at Jerusalem . As the number of pilgrims increased in the Holy Land, Father
Gerald abandoned the Benedictine rule for that of St. Augustine and also adopted St. John as patron. In
1120 Father Gerard was succeeded by Raymond of Provence and according to Desmond Steward:
Raymond was expert in providing an administration for these European possessions, setting up houses
whose revenues were spent in forwarding food, wine, clothing, and blankets for hospital use; some were
specifically charged with providing luxuries, such as white bread for the sick. The Papacy gave the
Hospitallers many privileges: Innocent II forbade bishops to interdict Hospitaller chapels; Anastasias IV gave
them their own priest; and the English Adrian IV gave them their own churches.
In 1178 Pope Alexander III decreed that they should carry weapons only to defend the kingdom of
Jerusalem , or to attack a Pagan city. The Order was divided into four classes: the Knights of Justice, who
had to be of noble birth; sergeants; chaplains, who were charged with maintaining the spiritual well-being of
the members; and serving brethren. The Hospitallers took part in major campaigns in the Crusades,
including the capture of Ascalon in 1154. When Jerusalem fell to Saladin in 1187 the order moved to
Margat then to Acre . Throughout the Crusades and beyond, the order defended Christians from the pagans
and healed the sick.
The Hospitallers of St. John of Caid
The Hospitallers of St. John of Caid are a collection of Brethren and Confraters, placed into two separate
units that work together in unison to accomplish victory upon the war field. The first Unit consists of the
Hospitaller Foot soldiers and employs the majority of the Heavy Weapons fighters in shield wall attrition
tactics. The Second Unit is the Turcopoles, which consist of light cavalry, armed with Spears, Javelins, and
Archery. The Turcopoles are used as a skirmish screen and flanking unit. Together the two units form into
one large entity that is the Hospitallers of St. John of Caid. The Hospitallers of history served as protectors of
pilgrims, healers of the sick and lame and defenders of God's people. In like manner, do the we, SCA
"In each of us are heroes; speak to them and they will come forth"
Each and every person in the SCA is considered to be born of Noble Blood. There are no serfs or slaves, no
peasants to toil in the land. Only those of noble ancestry walk among us. However, noble blood does not
make a person noble in stature. First and foremost for all warriors is to find the nobility of spirit within
oneself, to become a bastion of honor and to become a hero for those around you. Lead by Example and
care deeply for the emotions of friends and foes alike. There is none within the SCA, and especially within
the Hospitallers of St. John of Caid that can not live up to their potential. It is our duty to make this not only
our goal, but a solid quest to better ourselves and the Kingdom in which we call home. In Order to
accomplish this we must raise our self potential, constantly thinking of ways to better ourselves in fighting
and life in general.
Order Mission Statement
The Hospitallers of St. John of Caid exist to enhance the experience of its members through the recreation of
events and philosophy of the Hospitallers; to advance the pursuit of excellence and perfection through
combat and chivalry.
Facta non Verba -Deeds not Words
Values of the Order of the Hospitallers of St. John of Caid
Protectors of Pilgrims
In the SCA those of new beginnings in the organization are considered by the Hospitallers of St. John of
Caid to be Pilgrims. They are unaware of the politics, manners and chivalry that are expected of them. As
such the Hospitallers protect them and help to educate them as befits their station. The Hospitallers visit the
newcomer's camps at every war and invite these pilgrims to the meager meals they share among one
another. The Hospitallers answer the questions they can from the pilgrims and teach them the etiquette they
will need within the SCA. The Hospitallers also try to find the Pilgrims a home within the SCA among the
whole of the Organization.
Healers of the Sick and the Lame
Each member of the Hospitallers of St. John of Caid strives to become First Aid and CPR certified. Doing so
gives them the ability to help the wounded upon the field of battle. The Hospitallers also use their medical
knowledge to assist the Chirurgeons when possible both on and off the Society battlefields.
The Hospitallers of St. John of Caid host various tournaments throughout the year that help community
organizations that focus on serving the less fortunate such as the St. Jude’s Children Hospital , and the San
Diego Food Bank.
Defenders of God's People
The Hospitallers of St. John of Caid serve in the Royal Army of Caid under the Royal Crowns. Although many
may think that the fighting prowess of the King and the shining example of beauty of the Queen are what
placed them on the throne; we the Hospitallers know that without the grace of God they would not be the
King and Queen. The Crowns of Caid are the Almighty's will and as such we the Hospitallers serve them as
the rulers of God's Kingdom here on earth. Our Loyalty is unwavering when it comes to the Crowns of Caid.
Even if those that become King and Queen are not holding to the high standards we place upon ourselves,
it will not deter the loyalty we have for the Throne. Our support must be unmoving in this issue.
This is the first and highest standard that will make us unshakable in the stormy days ahead. If the King
tells us to fight and hold our ground against outnumbering odds with no chance of victory we will fight and
die to the man, fulfilling our duties as vassals to the Crown. Above all things we must hold this edit true.
Membership to the Hospitallers of St. John of Caid
Becoming a member of the Hospitallers of St. John of Caid can be as easy or as challenging as an
individual wishes to make it. There are many avenues to travel in the Order. One can participate as much
as he wished by becoming a confrater and simply fighting for the Order, or very involved by becoming a
professed brother. All steps will be explained in detail.
The Confrater is the first step in membership in the Hospitallers of St. John of Caid. If a person so wishes to
become a member of the Hospitallers they must begin their service as a Confrater (unless they are a Knight
of the Realm). To do so the candidate must present himself to the Grandmaster of the Order while at least
50% of the voting Brethren are present to witness. Then the Candidate must express his interest in the order
on bended knee, giving his intent on what he wishes to accomplish within the Order. At this time the
Brethren in witness may question the candidates intentions and have further explanations given to them as
to why he so wishes to become a member. After the intention and questions are finished the Grand Master
then welcomes the candidate as a Confrater and he is then assigned to either the Hospitaller Unit or the
A Confrater must be in possession of a valid SCA fighter’s authorization card. The Hospitallers are a fighting
War Band, not a household and all members must start their carrier in the Order as an authorized fighter.
Although their voice can be heard, the Confrater does not receive any voting privileges when the council of
brethren is in session.
A Confrater do not have to pay the tithe that the other members of the Order must pay to continue to hold
rank and status. Nor does a Confrater have to attend the minimum required events to hold status.
Confrater will be given a Tunic made of Black Fabric, bearing the white cross over the heart, to be worn only
when the Confrater is fighting in the name of the Order, in service to the Order, in service to the crown or its
affiliations. Never is it to be worn for personal gain, nor glory, nor is it to be worn if actions will bring remorse
to the Hospitallers. This tunic belongs to the Order, should the Confrater leave for any reason he must return
For a Confrater to progress in the Order, it is required that the Confrater give a donation of $100 dollars to
the Preceptor of the Order. This money can be given at any increment and over any amount of time. The
Preceptor will keep record of the donation and will inform the Confrater when he has reached his $100
After the $100 Donation has been accepted and noted by the Preceptor then the Preceptor will inform the
Voting Brethren that the Confrater has fulfilled his Donation obligation. At this time the council can either
accept him as a member or ask for continued time to observe the Confrater. If he is accepted as a member
he will go through the ceremony of the Secular Brother. If he is not accepted he will be given the reasons
why he is not accepted, he will be asked if he wishes to continue as a Confrater to work on those reasons
and try again within Six months. If the Confrater wishes to leave the assembly then he will be given back his
100 dollar donation at that time.
2nd ranking member of the Order
At this point the warrior may choose of two distinct paths one way leads to the Hospitallers and the other to
the Turcopoles. A secular brother is a sworn member. To enter this group you must pay the $100 dollar
donation to the Order and be approved by the Council of Brethren and accepted by the Grandmaster in
the ceremony of the Secular.
Is allowed one Voting tile for ballot in times of polling such as election for the Grand Master. As long as Dues
and attendance is up to date.
Pays Monthly Dues of $5
If the Secular Brother can not pay the Dues for three months he will be demoted to Confrater Status until a
time he can pay the three month dues. If ever the Secular Brother goes over three months and returns, he
only has to pay the three months to retain his status.
At anytime a Secular Brother knows he will be gone for a great deal of time he can request a hold be
placed on his dues, the hold must be accepted by both the Preceptor and the Grand Master. The Hold can
not take place if the Secular Brother owes Penance to the Chaplain. The Penance must be fulfilled before
the Hold is registered.
When attending a war event, Secular Brethren are requested to volunteer a minimum of 4 hours at the war.
Two are recommended as time spent helping the Chirurgeons, water bearers, or the marshallate (not
required to help those listed; only recommended). If on the Queens Guard or Baronial Guard, that time is
considered volunteer time.
A Secular brother is required to attend no less than six events sanctioned as Hospitaller events during the
year. The events will be detailed further in the Codex. It is the Secular Brothers responsibility to keep track of
those events by contacting the web minister so that the Secular Brother’s attendance to the event can be
recorded. If the Secular brother can not attend six events he will be asked to return his Cappa in place of a
Confrater tunic until a time that he can attend the six events.
Keeps all equipment given and loaned to him as pledge. (Loaned equipment still being loaned out to him).
Is issued a Cappa of the Order. The Cappa is to be black with the large white cross of the Order of the
chest. It is also to be long sleeved and with Hood. If ever the Secular Brother leaves the Order then the
Cappa is to be returned to the Order.
3rd ranking member of the Order
Receives 2 votes when Council is in session on each subject being voted on, As long as the Professed
Brother is up to date on Dues and attendance.
Continues to pay dues.
Must be a Warranted Marshall, a Constable and a Chirurgeon (or First Aid CPR Certified)
Keeps all Equipment loaned.
The Professed is to be given by order a pennant with the symbol of the order to be placed upon a spear.
This pennant is on loan to the Professed Brother and at any time the Professed should leave the Order, then
the pennant must be returned.
The Professed Brother is to be given by Order a Banner with the symbol of the Order to be placed within his
House. This banner is on loan to the Professed, if the Professed should leave the Order then the banner is to
be returned to the Order.
The Professed Brother is to be given by the Order a Black Cloak with the symbol of the Order on the left
shoulder and above the heart. This Cloak is on Loan, should the professed brother leave the Order then the
Cloak is to be returned to the Order.
When attending a war event, Professed Brethren are requested to volunteer a minimum of 4 hours at the
war. Two are recommended as time spent helping the Chirurgeons, water bearers, or the marshallate (not
required to help those listed; only recommended). If on the Queens Guard or Baronial Guard, that time used
in service is considered volunteer time.
A Professed brother is required to attend no less than eight events sanctioned as Hospitaller events during
the year. The events will be detailed further in the Codex. It is the Professed Brothers responsibility to keep
track of those events by contacting the web minister so that the Professed Brother’s attendance to the event
can be recorded. If the Professed brother can not attend eight events he will be asked to return his Cappa
in place of a Confrater tunic until a time that he can attend the eight events.
Knights of the First Order
The Knight of the First Order is the highest rank within the Council of Brethren within the Hospitallers of St.
John of Caid. It is the rank given to a member of the Society’s Order of Chivalry upon entering the Order of
Receives 3 votes when Council is in session on each subject being voted on as long as the Knight of the First
Order is current with Dues and Attendance.
Continues to pay dues.
Keeps all equipment loaned to them by the Order.
When attending a war event, Knights of the First Order are requested to volunteer a minimum of 4 hours at
the war. Two are recommended as time spent helping the Chirurgeons, water bearers, or the marshallate
(not required to help those listed; only recommended). If on the Queens Guard or Baronial Guard, that time
is considered volunteer time. The Additional Two hours are used to help in set up of the Hospitaller Camp.
A Knight of the First Order brother is required to attend no less than eight events sanctioned as Hospitaller
events during the year. The events will be detailed further in the Codex. It is the Knight of the First Order’s
responsibility to keep track of those events by contacting the web minister so that the Knight of the First
Order’s attendance to the event can be recorded. If the Professed brother can not attend eight events he
will be asked to return his Cappa in place of a Confrater tunic until a time that he can attend the eight
A Knight of the First Order may wear a Cappa of Red Bearing the White Cross upon the Chest. Whatever the
color of the Cappa it is to have short sleeves and no hood to distinguish the Knight from the Professed and
List of Events that are Hospitaller Sanctioned
· Iron Brigade Practices (8-12 a year)
· Kingdom War Practices
· Western Seas Fighter practices designated by the Gonfanier of the Priory within that Barony.
· Estrella War
· Gulf War
· Pennsic War
· Lillies War
· West/An Tir War
· Great Western War
· Potrero War
· Highlands War
· Spring Crown
· Fall Crown
· Angel’s Melee
· Altavia Anniversary
· Angels Anniversary
· Calafia Anniversary
· Dun Or Anniversary
· Dreiburgen Anniversary
· Gyldenholt Anniversary
· Lyondemere Anniversary
· Naeveheim Anniversary
· Nordwache Anniversary
· Starkafn Anniversary
· All Baronial Anniversaries/ Investures for Western Seas
· Queen’s Champion
· War Bands in Western Seas
· St. Jude’s Children Tournament
· St. Almoner’s Food Drive
· Hospitaller Appreciation Tournament
· Any Hospitaller sanctioned event.
Positions within the Order
The Grand Master
The Grand Master must be made from a member that is at least a Secular Brother. The Grand master is
the leader of ceremonies, he is the voice of the order in the courts of their majesties and, he makes sure
that all the other positions of the Order are working together and getting their job done.
Every four Reigns of the Kingdom of Caid , the Hospitallers of the Professed, Secular and Knightly Orders
from all the Priories come together and vote a new Grand Master. Once a new Grandmaster is chosen, it is
the duty of all those that held that position in the past to act as his
council and strictly enforce his edits. To give him support in his position and to never mark against him.
If a Grandmaster has behaved in a manner that is seen in a bad light by ANY VOTING MEMBER, that
member has the power to bring it before the council of Brethren made of all Secular, Professed and Knights
of the First Order, and have the council vote on a position of no confidence. If the vote is passed the Grand
Master is removed from that position and another must take his place. This is the only way, save finishing a
term, which a Grand Master can be removed from office.
Grandmaster has final say in the determination of advancement within any aspect of the Order.
The Grandmaster's word is law and can be only superseded by the King.
The Grand Master is the one who appoints the other positions in the Order. The positions are not part of the
election as the Grand Master position is. When called to a position it is the duty of the Secular, Professed or
Knight of the First Order to due the duties of that office to the best of their ability.
Duties of the Grand Master
The Grand Master is to lead the Hospitallers of St. John of Caid to and from the battlefield. He does so with
the Gonfanier and is heralded by the Honor Shields of the Order.
The Grand Master is to be aware of the scenarios of battle and to inform the Gonfanier of the Primary
Objective on the war field
The Grand Master is to communicate with the King, Army General, and Iron Brigade Commander along with
Hospitallers and other allies about practices.
Communicate with Marshal of the filed to see if anything is needed from the Order.
Communicate with Chirurgeons to see if anything is needed from the Order.
Communicate with water bearers to see if anything is needed from the Order.
Visit newcomer encampment and meet with the pilgrims
Make sure everyone is equipped and ready for the field.
The Chaplain must be made from a member that is at least a Secular Brother.
Duties of the Chaplain
The Chaplain leads in The Ceremony of the Cup on Saturdays of Wars.
The Chaplain host all Order Ceremonies and Meetings making sure all is in attention.
The Chaplain is a Counselor to the members of the Order.
The chaplain's chief role is to help the members of the Order become Chirurgeons, First Aid and CPR
The Chaplain maintains a record of Penance owed to the Order by members of the Order.
The Chaplain is the Keeper of Records, The Book of Ceremonies and the Book of Song.
The Chaplain is the Keeper of all Reliquary of the Order.
The Castellan must be made from a member that is at least a Secular Brother.
The Castellan is the Organization manager of the Hospitaller camp. The Castellan is issued Orders from the
Grand Master and the Chaplain.
Duties of the Castellan
· The Castellan is to make sure that the Order has Land Allocation at war.
· The Castellan is to make sure Members of the Order Pre Register for the War.
· The Castellan is to prepare camp construction and make sure there is space for the Chapel.
· The Castellan is to organize Period pavilions around the Chapel.
· The Castellan is to help members move toward a more period look in the Construction of a Camp
· If there is no Castellan then the office falls under the responsibility of the Chaplain.
The Preceptor must be made from a member that is at least a Secular Brother.
Duties of the Preceptor
Keeper of the Logistics and Loaner gear and Treasurer. The Preceptor is to keep detail accounts on each
member of the Order in finances pertaining to what that member has donated in time and money and what
items were given in trust to the member from the order.
No money or items can be bought in the name of the Order without the Preceptors permission to do so.
If there is no Preceptor then the office responsibilities fall to the Chaplain.
The Preceptor must be made from a member that is at least a Secular Brother.
Duties of the Chronicler
The Chronicler is the Order’s Historian. The Chronicler is to keep a written account of all meetings in
Minutes. These minutes will be added to the Hospitaller website for all to see.
The Chronicler is to keep a record for all awards given to the members of the Order; these awards being
Kingdom, Baronial and Order apparent.
The Chronicler is to help maintain the Website.
The Gonfanier must be made from a member that is at least a Secular Brother.
The Gonfanier is the overall commander of the Hospitallers on the field. Only the Grandmaster can overturn
his Orders when the Hospitallers are fighting. The officers under his command are the Shield Commander,
Spear Commander and the Turcopler.
The Gonfanier commands the Hospitaller Secular Brothers and the Lay members on the field and is directly
responsible for there training and equipment.
Duties of the Gonfanier
The Gonfanier is to be aware of Prime Objective laid down my Grand Master.
The Gonfanier is to get the Hospitallers into position to execute orders to accomplish the prime objective.
The Gonfanier is to supervise training in shield work, sword work, maneuvers and team work.
The Gonfanier is to carry the Gonfannon upon the field.
The Gonfanier is to make sure the Honor Shields are decided upon before the fighting and they are in the
front of the march to the field to Herald the arrival of the Hospitallers of St. John of Caid.
The Gonfanier is to take care and account of all instruments of war belonging to the Order.
The Turcopolier must be made from a member that is at least a Secular Brother.
The Turcopolier is under the direct command of the Gonfanier. The Turcopolier commands the Turcopoles
and any ally warriors that have pledged to fight along side the Hospitallers on the field and is directly
responsible for their training and equipment.
Duties of the Turcopolier
The Turcopolier is to be aware of the Prime Objective laid down by the Grand Master through the Gonfanier.
The Turcopolier is to get the Turcopoles and any allies with the Order into position to execute orders to
accomplish the prime objective.
The Turcopolier is to supervise training in spear work, archery, great weapon, maneuvers and team work
within the Turcopoles.
The Turcopolier is in charge of setting the Guards of Confraters around the Chapel when a ceremony is
If there is no Turcopolier, then the responsibilities of the Turcopolier fall on the Gonfanier.
Sergeant of the Watch
The Sergeant of the Watch is directly under the command of the Gonfanier and Commands the Fire Teams
of the Shield wall on the field.
Duties of the Sergeant of the Watch
The Sergeant of the Watch is to be aware of the Prime Objective laid down by the Grand Master through the
The Sergeant of the Watch is to get the Shield wall into position to execute the orders to accomplish the
The Sergeant of the Watch is to supervise the training of the fire teams on the shield wall.
If there is no Sergeant of the Watch then the responsibilities of the position fall to the Gonfanier.
The Spear Sergeant is directly under the Command of the Gonfanier and Commands the Spearmen of the
Hospitaller Unit on the field.
Duties of the Spear Sergeant
· The Spear Sergeant is to be aware of the Prime Objective laid down by the Grand Master through the
· The Spear Sergeant is to get the Spearmen into position to execute the orders to accomplish the Prime
· The Spear Sergeant is to supervise the training of the spearmen in the main unit of the Hospitallers.
· The spear Sergeant is to protect the Shield wall in engagements.
· If there is no Spear Sergeant then the responsibilities of the position fall to the Gonfanier.
Meetings of the Hospitallers of St. John of Caid are held at the first Sunday of each month to discuss the
future endeavors and preparations of the Order. It is during this time that dues are recorded by the
Preceptor or Chaplain.
The Chaplain also lets those who owe penance to pay for such and records the events that each member
has been present at.
What is discussed at meetings are to be kept within the confines of the warriors of the Order, unless stated
otherwise by the Grand Master. We must always be truthful with each other and open. If any warrior has a
problem with another, it is to be dealt with in the open at meeting.
Practice is to be held two times a month, one being brigade and the following in two weeks after, provided
no events interrupt schedule. Advance practices can be called upon at any time by the Gonfanier,
Turcopolier and Grandmaster.
A Priory is a Hospitaller establishment that is in another geo political unit within the Society, either outside
the borders of Caid or far from the main body of the Order.
A Priory is organized under the Direction of the Gonfannier of that Priory. The Gonfannier is voted upon by
members in good standing within the Priory and approved by the Grand Master. This voting happens the
same time as the voting for the Grand Master.
The Gonfannier of the Priory acts in the Grand Masters best interest and is the decision maker for the priory
when the Grand Master is absent, and can function as such if there is a need for ceremonies.
If ever the Priory’s members are at an event where the Hospitallers of St. John of Caid are all together, then
the Grand Master decides which of the Gonfanier’s will lead the main force of Hospitallers.
Camping within the confides of the Hospitaller Order
The Order and its members are not required to camp together. However it is recommended that the
members do so to further the brotherhood and companionship within the Order. Each member of the Order
can have affiliations with other households and war bands as long as those organizations do not interfere
with the structure that is the Order.
Each Brother must look after his own guest which include his family and friends that are with him. If they
are a reason for some dispute then it falls on that brother to deal with it.
Key Functions of the Hospitallers of Caid on the Field of Battle
The Spirit, soul and body of the Hospitallers are the warriors that make up the unit. Each individual brings
his own strengths and therefore strengthens the unit as a whole, thus each individual is considered a great
asset to the unit. No warrior is considered higher in esteem than the other. We are all equals within the
Order, regardless of rank within the Society. Thus a Secular Brother who holds an Award of Arms within the
Society and is current in his Dues, Attendance and Penance, has equal weight in council with the voice of a
Duke within the Knights of the First Order.
Our strength must be in our flexibility, adaptability, and steadfastness. As a War band with the unwavering
trust in our brethren, we can act decisively and secure for our forces or deny our foe the advantage, exploit
opponents or elevate Allies weaknesses, and surprise our enemies with aggression and tenacity.
We deny our foe his leadership by killing off key individuals on the battlefield. Examples are opposing
monarchs, commanders, knights and squires. We destroy moral by taking away those that give commands
and those that bestow courage by their sheer presence on the field. Without the leaders, our enemy will be
disorganized and reluctant to come into contact with the Hospitallers. When facing a monarch of another
land, the Hospitallers should seek out that Monarch and request the permission to engage that Monarch on
The Hospitallers of St. John of Caid exploit weakened positions and flanks by sheer power of attack and
aggression. The Knights of the First Order and Turcopolier of the Hospitallers act as a wolf would when
looking over a heard of elk. The Shock locates the weakness and penetrates the enemy. Turcopoles hunt the
weakness before the main unit is engaged and destroy other skirmishing units that would prove to be a
The Hospitallers of St John of Caid use tactics to force enemy units into a defensive posture by Maneuvering
units to expose flanks to our allies in combat.
The Turcopoles employ delaying actions to hold or slow down larger units, allowing Hospitallers and allies to
reform and counter attack.
The Hospitallers of St. John of Caid take measures at practices to prepare the individual’s mind for the
battlefield in keeping the individual’s wits about them. Preparing, in practice, the mind to understand and
execute orders. Preparing to the body to fight in tournament as well as on the War Field.
Off the Field of Battle
1. Serve the King and Queen; help the Queens Guard if possible.
2. Serve the Pilgrim, the newcommer.
3. Serve the Sick
4. Become inspiration for all those around you.
Lex Scripta - The written law
Honor Causa- for the sake of honor.
Chivalry and Honor above all. To sacrifice your honor for victory is to suffer the most humiliating defeat. A
defeat that will take your name and that of your comrades-in-arms down with you. Never call your blows
upon an opponent. It is the honor of the foe to accept or not accept a killing blow.
Never tarnish your honor by becoming the one questioning a killing blow that you have delivered unto an
opponent. If a foe does not take a blow you deliver and you think it was good enough then simply strike the
foe harder. If the foe continues to brush your killing shots away then call for aid from your Hospitaller
brothers, sisters and allies. If the foe still continues to brush killing blows aside then use Shock tactics to
knock him down and call him dead on the ground, or flank him and call him dead from behind. If he still
does not accept the death blow-leave him. You are only human and only God can strike him down.
Never let your temper speak for you. Always remember that ghosts can kill. No matter how many killing
blows your opponent shrugs off, the first one you receive is good. It's always better to allow a dishonorable
fighter to take your life than your honor. You get another life in the next fight, but honor lost is hard to regain.
If a conflict does occur, get the Grand Mater, or the next in line of authority immediately and let him be
your judge and jury. His word is law and is to be respected on the field and he is the final say in a matter.
Even if you do not agree with his decision, respect his position and go along with him on the field.
Afterwards when honor permits it, you may question his decision in private or even bring it up to the
Council of Brethren. Do not question him on the field in front of those not of the Hospitaller war band. We
must show the world that we respect our roles in the Society. Most likely the Commander will back your side
of an argument (especially if you're right).
If the Hospitaller Commander is ever in conflict with someone, immediately pull him from the field and
question him as a whole, the entire Council of Brethren then must decide if the Commander is still capable
of leading them on the field. If not, then the Hospitallers and Turcopoles will leave the field and return to
camp to end the day of fighting and to determine what will Be come of the Commander.
How it all Works
The King commands us. He is the supreme commander of the Hospitallers of St. John of Caid. No other
warrior of command can change the King’s Word, it is law and to be obeyed without question on the field.
No Hospitaller is to strike against the King. Be aware of who you are fighting and make terms with the King
before doing so. Even if we have to fight the king’s army we are still loyal and should avoid him if possible. If
you can not avoid the king announce that it is with regret that you must combat him and ask his permission.
Being loyal to the crown does not mean we follow blindly. It is our duty to offer council to their majesties,
even if they do not wish to hear it. It is also our duty to fulfill their wishes as best we can.
The Grand Master operates the Order on and off the field. He is the ultimate in decision. The Gonfanier with
the help of the Turcopolier, Sergeant of the Watch, and Spear Sergeant make sure the will of the Grand
Master is put into action. If there is no Grandmaster, then control of the Order falls to the Gonfanier and
Chaplain under the guidance of the Council of Secular, Professed Brethren and the Knights of the First
The Grand Master appoints all the positions in the Order. If the number of active Brethren should fall low,
then it is his duty to appoint duties on more than one individual. The Chaplain and Gonfanier fall under this
clause and can, at times, be asked to take up many duties in the Order.
The Chaplain manages the internal aspects of the Order, making sure that moral is good, that all members
are working toward the goals set before them and helping keep track of the finances as well as the website.
The Gonfanier manages the fighting aspects of the order, making sure practices run smoothly, that amour
and weapons are well kept and that the Hospitallers are meeting all requirements placed on them by the
Crown and its officers.
Aggression is the strongest asset the Hospitallers of St. John of Caid can apply on the field. If applied
creatively both, as an offensive tool and a defensive tool, then aggression will win the day. A few warriors
with the right mindset can be formidable opponents even when vastly outnumbered. Skill of arms is
secondary to working together as a team, and having the heart to get the job done.
Training should be an eternal part of the Hospitallers of St. John of Caid in concerns of the war band’s
actions on the battlefield. This training not only includes the physical aspects of fighting, but also the
training of the mind, the philosophies of the Order and the acute knowledge of the Command structure.
The Hospitallers of St. John of Caid should train as we expect to fight. Practices should be conducted with
the War bands best interest at heart, with a set agenda and goals to accomplish for that particular
practice. Individual training both in tournament fighting and in war fighting will ensure that the war band
as a whole will improve on the field. It is the individual’s responsibility to include themselves in the training.
We are only as strong as our weakest member. Inexperience is no excuse.
Training is only effective if it produces proficient tactical warriors and leaders who form a cohesive unit
capable of accomplishing their designated missions. It is not training if we just go to fighter practice and
fight one another. We must set goals to battle our weakest skills. We must develop training that will help
those who have trouble with charging to break past those troubles and accomplish the task.
We have an average of eight times a month we can practice at Allied Gardens, four Wed. practices in
which you can do so with high caliber tournament fighters, and four Sunday practices, one of which will be
Brigade Practice, in North County there are practices on Tuesday nights as well, there are many times we
can practice and gather experience for our march to the field.
Training of the Mind
The mind is where every battle begins, and it can also be the worst enemy in any scenario. Doubt is a huge
factor on failure. When you start to question your own abilities then you allow that fear to sink into the fiber
of yourself. Battling Doubt is the first step in training the mind.
No hesitation. Hesitation is contagious and a plague on the battlefield. When ordered forward move so until
ordered to do something else. If you stop because you feel it is warranted to do so you will have others stop
with you. Your job is not to stop but to take orders from command and perhaps they see something that you
do not. You stop and all else in the plan falls apart. Your hesitation could be the cause of defeat. To DO is
your charge, your commitment. The commanders make the commands and the rest follow without
hesitation. If you do not like the command you may say so later, in council or better yet step up for a
command role and see if you will do better.
Bestow confidence in others by being confident yourself.
The enemy is only human, not a war god. Even if that enemy is a King ten times over he still puts on his
armor the same as you, eats his breakfast the same as you, and marches to the field the same as you. He is
the enemy of your dreams; he is the one you wish to test yourself upon. He may be a wonderful or fearful
fighter, or it may be a war band of ferocity known to inflict damage upon those before them. Who better to
confront them than you?
There is a fear far more terrible than these obstacles. It is the fear of letting your brethren down. Replace
this fear with all others and nothing will stand before you.
When the Spartans of ancient Greece marched to war the wives and mothers of the city would give the red
cloaked Spartans their hoplon shields and say, “come back with this shield or upon it.” In order to flee from
the field a Spartan would have to drop the heavy shield, do so would dishonor him and he would never wish
to endure that dishonor.
That ten time King may be great at dealing death with his sword, but it will do him no good if he is run over
by the shields. That war band of renown can not unleash damage if it is deflected by tactics and sheer
determination. Fear not the man, fear letting down your brethren or fear nothing.
The Gonfannier is the thinker; all else are eyes and ears to his will; an extension of physical self. The Order
is the instruments of his decision and executioners of his will. We are all brothers and as such it is important
to worry about our brother's well being on the battlefield. The Gpnfannier will worry about all other aspects
of the Battle to insure that each warrior can focus on the goals that are intended for them to accomplish.
This does not mean that we are automatons and just follow blindly into battle. If a member of the
Hospitallers notices a danger upon the field (enemies circling the flank, assassin crossbow preparing to fire),
it is the duty of all in the Unit to let the Gonfannier know about the threat. If he does not hear or foresee the
threat, then act upon it and take initiative.
No less than four warriors and no more than eight armed with Hospitaller War Shields, With one being the
Sergeant of the Watch.
The War Shield is either a Kite Shaped Shield of Oval bearing the symbol of the Order. Offensive weapons
should be Single-Hand Weapons (Long Swords, Mace, and Hand Axe). The shield will be supplied by the
Hospitallers and maintained by the all warrior of the Order, regardless is they are shield men or not.
If ever the warrior leaves the Hospitallers for whatever reason, he must return the shield as property of The
Hospitallers of St. John of Caid. Under no circumstance is any member of the Order to decide a shield
belongs to the individual. The war shields belong to the Hospitallers kept under record by the Preceptor and
issued out by the Gonfanier.
Shields should never lay face down on the earth as this is disrespecting the colors of the Order on the field.
If a shield is found in this state, the Gonfanier can ask for penance from the wielder as he sees fit.
The front line will consist of seasoned warriors that have had the experience of at least five wars and new
fighters. The ratio is two new warriors for every seasoned warrior, each new warrior flanking the seasoned in
a standard line formation. This allows the new warriors a chance to learn to fight in the line as well as have
the seasoned warriors to help train and be inspiration for the newer warriors around them. Ideally the front
line is where new fighters (not new members) will learn to fight alongside brothers and gain respect for the
shield wall in general. It is in this First Rank that warriors will gain Pride for the Hospitallers, Experience on
the field, and master basic skills and an understanding of SCA war fighting. Here honor will be tested and
aggression will be molded into a devastating weapon of war. The Sergeant of the Watch commands the
the Gonfanier is the field commander of the front Line. His movements and actions direct the strength and
will of the Shield men within the Hospitallers. All action is brought to bear by his word and deed within the
main unit of Hospitallers. The Gonfanier is armed with the Banner Pike of the Order which will carry the
Gonfannon, and secondary weapon. The Gonfanier can appoint up to three Hospitallers to act as his
personal guard and runners on the field. These three may carry the Gonfannon if the Gonfanier wishes to
fight with another weapon.
Second Rank- Spears make up the second wave of warriors. Spear men are only to March to and
from the Battle field with the spears of the unit held vertical to display banners and pennants. During Battle
spears should be held at the hip in ready position to hide them being counted by our enemies and give the
Hospitallers a little element of surprise.
Third Rank- Reserves, Crossbowmen and Allies:
Turcopoles- Turcopoles are light cavalry armed with Pikes, Spears, Javelins, Throwing weapons and
Archery. The purpose of the Turcopoles is to attack the enemy in skirmish tactics, to thin the numbers of a
rather large force before the Hospitallers get into contact. To cover the falling back of Hospital's from
combat so they can get into position to charge once again. To attack the flank or rear of a unit engaged
with the Hospitallers
Rules of Conduct for Archers of the Hospitallers
1. Give supporting fire on targets that the Shield Wall and Turcopolier are destined to engage.
2. Target other missile combatants.
3. Target Unit Commanders, Royals and Knights with Spears.
4. Provide suppressing fire on target so Shield wall can fall back in an orderly fashion.
5. Weaken an enemy flank engaged with an ally unit before Shield wall attacks.
Battle Line- Minimum of Four Shield and maximum of eight shields in the Front Rank, Every one else
in the Unit is to be in the shadow of the four/eight shields in a spacious area. Front shields are arm plus
sword length apart (measures by extending the sword arm with sword out until it touches the shoulder of the
shield men next to you). All other shields are in single file behind both flanks with equal distribution of
shields on both sides. This lets Spears, Archers and the Shock Charge move easily through the unit.
Assault Line—Same as Battle line except that the shield wall is shoulder to shoulder. This formation
should be achieved before a charge.
Wedge- Shield wall forms a wedge to create large impact hole in enemy. The Sergeant of the Watch is
the point of the Wedge. Used in conjunction with a large ally unit, moments before they charge or slightly
Column- also known as the Train. Unit Shields form two line columns, each warrior behind his brother.
Primary movement Order.
All Orders start with the word, "HoC’s" to be shouted by the Gonfanier, and repeated by his guard, as well
as the Sergeant of the Watch and the Spear Sergeant. Actions that move the Turcopoles Start with the word
"Turcs", shouted by the Gonfanier, and repeated by the Turcopolier or just Shouted by the Turcopolier when
out of earshot of the Gonfanier.
These words are to get the attention and let each person know that the command of movement is to follow.
For example, "HoC’s" then followed by "Column of Two". The commands should be shouted out clearly and
repeated clearly as well. The unit should not move on the command word of the commander but should
move instantly on the repeat word of the guard.
Each command must be met with absolute determination on the part of the unit to accomplish the test at
hand. There is no room for hesitation.
On me- Gonfanier shouts the command, "on me". He then holds the Gonfannon Horizontal before him
using it as a guideline to which the unit will form upon. The Gonfanier should be flanked on each side by his
guard and these three forms the center of the unit. All other shield men form up on them. The unit will form
in whatever movement formation they were in before the call was implied. For example, if the unit was in a
battle line and changed the enemy when the Gonfanier calls "Hocs. On me" they will form on him in a Battle
Forward- Used in either Battle line, Wedge, Or Column Formation. Issues the Unit to move forward at a
Clip Charge- Used to Form aggression in new fighters and confusion in the enemy. If Charger is on
the right corner of Hospitaller Formation and ordered to Clip, the Charger sprints to his left at a diagonal to
hit the enemy unit right corner. This will build aggression in the lone charger to not let his Brothers and
Sisters down, and draws all enemy eyes on the Charger for a Brief moment taking their attention from the
Next command given to the whole unit.
Pulse Charge- The Hospitallers will be Ordered to Pulse, the shield wall will charge the enemy and
move him back. Taking the opponents position and swinging his own weapon three times before pushing
Deus Volt!- Charge means to break through the opposing line, preferably a gap between two units
and 'form up',(in line) in the direction indicated by the Gonfanier. It will usually be facing the line we just
Reform- Gets shields into position as quickly as possible. If the Gonfannon is pointing at a foe, then the
Hospitallers will reform before that foe
Circle the Wagons! When we find ourselves in the thick of it, Circle the wagons gives us the best
all around defense, until the Gonfanier Can determine a more promising position elsewhere. The formation
places the Gonfanier in the center of the unit with all else facing outwards in a tight circle
Follow me; The Gonfanier. Has determined a good direction to run to. The Gonfanier will yell, "HoC’s
Follow Me". HoC’s should give chase in columns of two and then wait for the next order to be given.
Every member is encouraged to point out opposing formations that
they feel are a threat to us that the Gonfanier may not have noticed
We wish that things will not come to this, yet as experience has shown there are bound to be issues and
problems that people can not reconcile with. If those problems pertain to the Hospitallers and the Members
within the Order they should be dealt with as followed.
Step1. Communicate the problem face to face
Nobody likes someone talking about them behind their back. If you have a problem with another member of
the Order, then tell that person. If you feel you need an arbitrator when doing so seek someone on neutral
grounds-that being the Grand Master. Deal with the problem the instant it is perceived and do not delay.
Step 2. Communicate the problem in writing
Placing it in writing and giving it to the Preceptor places it in our Historical Documents. We as historians
need to document the good and the bad. If you do not want your name seen in the pages of out past in a
bad light, then do nothing to make people act so harshly. Fix the problem before it gets to this step.
Step 3. Communicate the problem to the Grand Master
If the Problem is brought before the Grand Master he will take account all sides and judge what should be
done. Respect his position and the road that got him there, respect his judgment.
Step 4. Grand Master communicates with both parties and
attempts to resolve the issue.
A peaceful resolution should be obtained from the grandmaster that both sides should agree on.
Step 5. Dispute is brought before a Counsel of the Brethren
If the Grandmaster can not deal with the Problem, or the decision made by the Grandmaster is not one to
that is agreeing with both parties, and then the problem can be brought before the council of the brethren
to be judged upon.
Step 6. Counsel advises the Grand Master
The council will look into the situation and make sure that the Grandmaster has a neutral opinion and that
he is using his power to benefit both parties. They can intervene and over rule the Grandmaster if needed.
The Grandmaster's decision is the final outcome, if the participants of the dispute can not agree with the
decision they risk the chance of expulsion from the Order.
Penance is given out by the Grand Master, Gonfannon, Turcopolier, Sergeant of the Watch and Chaplain for
the follow offenses.
Profanity while wearing the Mark of the Order. The Cross represents everything we hold dear about our
brotherhood. Speaking falsely while wearing it and using words others find offensive will cost a Hospitaller
Regalia of the Order.
At anytime a Hospitaller wears the Cappa of the Confrater, Secular Brother, Professed or Knight of the first
order, or the Cloak of the Professed, the Scarf of the Chaplain, bearing the Gonfannon, the Honor shield or
any shield bearing the cross, or wearing a Shirt with the symbols of the cross and the name of the order; the
Hospitaller must abide by the Codex and bring no shame to the name he represents.
The Campfire of the Hospitallers is for everyone to enjoy the company of his fellows, to drink and feel safe. If
is not a place for drunken rudeness and loud profanity, nor a place for excessive parties. Therefore as long
as a brother is in his Cappa he can only drink a minimum within the camp and no where else. If the brother
wishes to drink more then they must remove the cappa of the Order.
The eight points of the cross stand for the beatitudes of Christ's
on the Mount (Matt 5.3-10):
the poor in spirit
they who mourn
they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness
they who hunger and thirst for righteousness
the pure in heart