The Knightly Orders of the Empire are a heroic brotherhood of armoured warriors who ride into battle atop mighty barded warhorses and sometimes other, more exotic creatures into battle.
Knights are magnificent figures, clad in gleaming full plate armour crafted by Dwarfen smiths, armed with weaponry of the finest quality. To become a Knight is also to become one of the most elite warriors the Empire has to offer. [3a]
Many sons of the Imperial nobility choose to join one of the many brotherhoods located throughout the Empire as a way to progress through society, and as such, the Knightly Orders come in many different shape and sizes. Some of these Orders, like the Knights Griffon, only recruit from the local nobility, while others become templars of a particular Imperial deity, such as the zealous Knights of Sigmar's Blood or the Knights of the White Wolf. Some are well known throughout the Empire, while others are quite small, relatively unknown sects valiantly doing their part to make the Empire a safer place for Men to live
Although the common people might find little distinction between the many Knight Orders of the Empire, upon closer observation, one will realize that there are two distinct types of Knightly Orders within the Empire itself. These types are divided between the common Secular Orders (An Order of Knights with no specific allegiance to a Ruler or Religion), and the religious Templar Orders (An Order founded for the purpose of servitude to a particular god).
Knightly Advantages and Disadvantages
Like other groups of intrepid individuals, there are often both positive and negative aspects to the orders. [5a]
- Blessed: The order has a patron diety who grants them a part of their power in battle. [5a]
- Examplars of Sigmar: Representing the purityof the Man-god they inspure nearby allies. [5a]
- Fearless: These knights are immune to fear. [5a]
- Signature Weapon: Some orders do not use the lance as their primary weapon but arm themselves with Cavalry Hammers, Pistols, Morning Stars, Great Weapons or Flails. [5a]
- Resolute: The knights are firm of purpose and stout of heart. [5a]
- Unquenchable Zeal: The members of the order burn with energy and are undaunted by any amount of foes. [5a]
- Wealthy: The Grand Master may be skilled in ransoming or has merchantile skills. [5a]
- Disorderly: They spend little time training to fight as a unit. [5a]
- Fractious: They take delight in quarrelling amongst themselves.[5a]
- Humility: They seek insight and purity rather than status. [5a]
- Jinxed: The ill-fared vagaries of fate haunt this order. [5a]
- Pariahs: No longer welcommed by their peers they are reviled by them instead. [5a]
- Pride: They will never refuse a challenge and a reluctant to flee. [5a]
- Recklessness: The knights of the order are hungry for honour and glory. [5a]
Templar Orders are brotherhoods of champions of a particular deity, and act as the figurative 'mailed fist' of their respective religious cult. As well as fighting on behalf of the Empire, they are responsible for defending the temples of their cults and taking the forefront in any holy wars.
Notable Templar Orders
- Knights Griffon: fanatic Sigmarites.
- Knights of Morr: Silent worshippers of Morr
- Knights of Sigmar's Blood: staunch Sigmarites.
- Knights of Taal's Fury: include a large number of demigryphs.
- Knights of the Blazing Sun: Powerful champions of Myrmidia.
- Knights of the Fiery Heart: champions of Sigmar, committed to the destruction of Goblinoids and the persecution of heretics. 
- Knights of the White Wolf: ferocious warriors of Ulric.
- The Reiksguard: Bodyguards of the Emperor.
The members of Secular Orders will honour most gods in an equal measure.
Notable Secular Orders
- Knights Encarmine
- Knights Panther, an order dedicated to human purity and the eradication of mutants.
- Knights of the Arrow
- Knights of the Everlasting Light
- Knights of the Black Bear
- Knights of the Black Rose
- Knights of the Broken Sword
- Knights of the Gold Lion, an order fiercely loyal to the Empire.
- Knights of the Vengeful Sun
Weapons and Equipment
- 3rd Edition: Hohensknechte: Hand Weapon, Heavy Armour, Lance, Shield, Warhorse with Barding. May have Musician, Standard Bearer. May have Magic Instrument, Magic Standard. [4a]
- 3rd Edition: Stadtsknechte: Hand Weapon, Heavy Armour, Lance, Shield, Warhorse with Barding. May have Musician, Standard Bearer. May have Magic Instrument, Magic Standard. [4a]
- 3rd Edition: Temple Ritterbruden: Hand Weapon, Heavy Armour, Lance, Shield, Warhorse. May have Barding. May have Musician, Standard Bearer. [4a]
- 6th Edition: Barded Warhorse, Full Plate Armour, Hand Weapon, Lance, Shield. May have First Knight, Musician, Standard Bearer. May have Magic Standard. May be Knight of the Inner Circle. [3a]
- 6th Edition: Knight of the White Wolf: Barded Warhorse, Cavalry Hammer, Full Plate Armour. May have First Knight, Musician, Standard Bearer. May have Magic Standard. May be Knight of the Inner Circle. [3a]
- Hohensknechte: Secular orders of knights such as the High Helms. [4a]
- Stadtsknechte: Feudal knights who make up the bulk of the cavalry of the Empire. [4a]
- Temple Ritterbruden: The Templars of various religions such as the Order of the Fiery Heart and Knights of the White Wolf. [4a]
- 1: Trollslayer (novel) by William King, The Dark Beneath the World (Short Story)
- 2: Warhammer Armies: The Empire (8th Edition), pg. 45
- 3: Warhammer Armies: The Empire (6th Edition)
- 3a: Knightly Orders, pg. 12
- 4: Warhammer Armies (3rd Edition)
- 4a: Army Lists: The Empire, pg. 56
- 5: White Dwarf 310 (UK)
- 5a: Knightly Orders of the Empire, pg. 117
- Uniforms & Heraldry of The Empire, pgs. 60, 61, 62, 63
- Warhammer Armies: The Empire (4th Edition), pg. 52
- Warhammer Armies: The Empire (7th Edition), pgs. 40, 41
- The Enemy Within campaign, volume 1 (1986), pgs. 18, 27