The Church Knights are a fictional military organization in The Elenium and The Tamuli. The Knights are divided into four orders, created to protect the Elene Church. All the Militant Orders are trained in the Secrets of Styricum, allowing them to perform magic. Each order has its own teacher, representing one of the Thousand Younger Gods of Styricum. Church Knights are the only Elenes permitted to learn magic. The Preceptor of each Order hold equal rank to a Patriarch in the Church Hierarchy.
The Church Knights are considered members of the clergy, to an extent. They are hinted at being forbidden alcohol and are sworn to tell the truth. These rigid practices, however, are not well-suited to the corrupt world they inhabit, and many Church Knights routinely smuggle in a wineskin into their chapterhouses and drink in taverns, though, notably, they never seem to drink enough to get seriously drunk. Even the Preceptors ignore the prohibition against lying, using deception when necessary to accomplish their goals.
Each order has a presence in important cities in its native country and in Chyrellos. They are each based in a motherhouse that also seems to handle most of the training of novices, and each order also maintains several chapterhouses in major cities in their home country, and in Chyrellos. Each chapterhouse is ran by an administrator selected from that order's own ranks, often a person whose manegerial skills outweigh their battle prowess.
The Church Knights also engage in spying, sending members out to unstable areas to search for information. Such assignments are often long-term, requiring a knight to become an accepted member of the populace, sometimes by living for years in one place.
The orders have different methods. The Pandions are renowned as being torturers--although these rumors were started by the Pandions themselves because 1) It's very hard and very messy to torture somebody and 2) It's easier to intimidate someone into talking. The Genidians will readily contact the Troll Gods if necessary, though Church doctrine holds that the very act imperils an Elene soul. The Cyrinics seem to be perfectly willing to wait for years for an enemy to meet them on the Knights' terms and their champion, Bevier, is an expert on siegecraft and often absently corrects others' mistakes in the area. ("Bevier could hold this place for two years at least." "Five - there's a well inside the walls. That adds three years.")