Defender of the Realm
Defender of the Realm is a title granted to veterans of major Literomantic offensives carrying great personal risk, such as The Battle of the Book and The 50K Offensive. It carries a knighthood along with the title, and holders of it are addressed as "Sir" or "Dame." Defenders of the Realm may use the post-nominal letters DoR.
A Defender of the Realm must have put themself at direct personal risk to raise literomantic energy for a dedicated ritual purpose, and must have participated in a literomantic ritual that is recognized as being of suitable importance. The title is meant to acknowledge the bravery of the act first, and the acumen of the Literomancer second.
All current leaders of the Great Houses must agree to award this rank to any Tome Knight.
Tome Knights look to Defenders of the Realm for inspiration and leadership. They are expected to set a good example for other Tome Knights, and encourage others whenever possible.
While the Defenders have no formal responsibilities other than those expected of every Tome Knight -- namely, to defend the world from the Undead Horde through literomancy whenever and wherever they appear -- Defenders of the Realm often find themselves called upon to take the vanguard in important and dangerous actions in war.
The Defenders are highly respected in their Protectorates, and in the wider world. They are valued by their Houses, and courted by other Houses from time to time for their skills.
Formation of the OrderIn the July Tourney of 2022, The Iron Tome began to spread a negative influence over the Realm. This is believed to have been sparked by Sable Aradia's choice to share the duty of guarding the Tome amongst several trusted literomancers of the Realm. Led by the Mad Batter of House Chiroptera and Regent EGryph of House Avis, some of the "power writers" of the Realm approached Queen Sable to ask if anything was amiss with the Iron Tome, since they were all experiencing a number of setbacks, maladies, and possibly curses, that were depleting their literomantic energy and harming their ability to write and perform literomancy. Complaints ranged from repeated migraines to illness, to dangerous accidents and computer malfunctions. Having recently read a number of books that chronicled the history of the Tome, Queen Sable discovered that this was an indication that the Tome considered its possession to be contested. This might have resulted in an early Tome War before November if nothing was done. But the Mother of Bunnies also found an ancient ritual that combined the literomantic power of participants towards an effort to "put the Tome back to sleep," either by placating or subduing it. The condition of the ritual was that each participant had to generate 50,000 words worth of literomantic power within a week, multiplied by the number of participants, between them -- and anyone who found out about the ritual would be required to join it, thus adding to the necessary total. When Sable-rah recognized what was happening and began swearing loudly, Prince Jean and Tempest Kwake popped into the Zoom call where Queen Sable was holding audience, and thus were also dragged into the ritual. Therefore, the initial participants were Sable Aradia, Queen Siobhan the Writer, Prince Jean, Prinx Tempest Kwake, Regent EGryph, AttorraRu, the Mad Batter, Phantascene and Duochanfan of House Lapin, and Licia MB of House Mollusca. Over the course of the week, with some of the most prolific and capable literomancers of the Realm writing in a tight, relentless focus, some of the other literomancers at the Tourney realized they had set themselves some kind of massive challenge. Inspired by their work, they decided to join in to support the frantic power writers. Among these "support writers" were Queen DaniAdventures, Captain ShyRedFox of the Brocktrees, Dhan Llynya of the Knightwings, AuthorGoddess, Archon Mykola Void of House Ailurus, Inky Wolfkeeper of House Mollusca, and Flubb. House Apis was particularly helpful in this support role, going out of their way to individually encourage the combatants in this surprise mid-season battle, and see to their physical needs. Because of the work of the support writers, Sable Aradia was able to utilize the unique nature of her magic and adapt the original ritual. She created talismans that bound the support writers into the spell, and also bound the Iron Tome into the connection, so that it could feel the offering of love and creativity that was being generated in its name. The ritual generated well over the required quota of literomantic energy; almost half again as much as was required. The Iron Tome's rumblings were successfully quelled and an early Tome War averted, as the Tome acknowledged Queen Sable's claim and her form of "soft power." After the ritual was complete, the leaders of the Great Houses agreed to recognize the ritual's participants for their achievement, and granted them knighthoods that applied equally in any Protectorate, naming them "Defenders of the Realm."
The 50K OffensiveAs November of 2022 approached, Queen Sable reached out to EGryph to adapt the ritual from the The Battle of the Book to hit the Undead Horde with a massive literomantic assault right at the beginning of The Third Word War. The two Defenders recruited other Defenders of the Realm into the effort, as well as new power-writers who had not participated in the Battle of the Book. This initiative became known as The 50K Offensive, and it struck a devastating blow to the Undead Horde in the Third Word War. New Defenders subsequently joined the ranks, like Scion Striker of House Mollusca. The 50K Offensive had extensive consequences in the Third Word War. The success of the offensive may have been the deciding factor that prevented the living from being overrun by the Undead Horde. Prince Jean's failure to generate the required 50,000 words worth of literomantic energy resulted in his death when House Chiroptera fell. However, the resistance to the corrupting influence of the Undead allowed Feral Foxx, bodyguard of Archon Mykola, to survive a zombie bite long enough to help their Archon escape the Horde and flee to The Warren, where the Mother of Bunnies healed the wound with no further consequences. The additional pressure of having five of Queen Sable's ten children killed in the War, combined with the immunity conferred by her successful generation of the 50K, may have been what caused the massive "Turn Undead" effect described by numerous witnesses at The Battle of Kin Beach as well. When the survivors gathered at Mount Mitchell to join the Dinos against the Horde, the decision was made to recognize veterans of The 50K Offensive as Defenders of the Realm, alongside veterans of the Battle of the Book.
A Fallen SisterIn September of 2022, Queen Siobhan the Writer and Prince Jean, both Defenders of the Realm, were in a major motor vehicle accident. Prince Jean survived, but Queen Siobhan did not. The Defenders of the Realm gathered to toast their fallen sister-at-arms at her state funeral.
The MissingWhile there were known to have been other Defenders of the Realm who were veterans of the Battle of the Book and the 50K Offensive, some of them disappeared in the aftermath of The Third Word War, along with the members of The Missing House and their bannermen. Those numbered among the missing include three members of the House, including their Monarch and Heir, a couple of significant members of House Sauropoda. Just like with the rest of the Missing, however, no further details are remembered by anyone, and their names have been erased from history.
This article is a work in progress, and may be subject to changes.
This article is part of a series related to streaming the Game of Tomes. For more information, see Streaming Game of Tomes.
Defenders of the Realm were first recognized in a statement delivered in a press conference by Queen Sable on July 17, 2022. The conference was immediately followed by awards ceremonies in individual Protectorates.
Form of Address
Sir or Dame
Source of Authority
Leaders of the Great Houses
Length of Term
The Defenders of the Realm drink to a fallen sister, Siobhan the Writer.