Knightly Orders of the Starlit Court
There are many Knightly Orders under the aegis of the Starlit Court, from the large and famous such as the Order of the Lion to many smaller and less well-known orders they all command respect and positions of honour amongst Sihian society. These orders form the backbone of Sihi's military structure, providing combined arms forces across a variety of specialties.
Below is a list of the major Knightly Orders in the Starlit Court:
The Lions are an order of generalists, not specifically trained in any one style of combat, they have members that specialize in almost any field of warfare but the order as a whole doesn’t have a theme except for being exceptionally brave. In the Order of the Lion what matters most is the bravery to face any challenge whether it be a quest or a contract.
Members of the Order of the Red Dragon are often seen as ‘old fashioned’ in comparison to the other knightly orders. Choosing to focus on close-quarters battle (hence referred to with CQB) both in and out of their mechs, Red Dragons have an ever so slight stigma attached to them. Manifesting itself most poignantly in the saying, “A Red Dragon is always bringing a knife to a nuke or laser fight.” That being said, members of this order work hard to make sure all those who interact with them, and especially those that fight them, are few who match their prowess in CQB.
The First Forge is the order of mass production, providing the vast majority of the Court's material goods,
The Bright Forge are the creators of specialist mechs that are the pinnacle of luxury, a lot of the designers for the Order of the Bright Forge are noted to be a little strange and have a tendency to include personal tweaks and names in each project they work on, when you have a mech from the Order of the Bright Forge you call that mech by who created it instead of what order it came from.
Named for a mythological creature that was half lion half eagle; The Order of the Griffon seeks to emulate the ferocity and speed of this legendary beast. Knights of the Order of the Griffon fulfill the roles traditionally held by light cavalry units in more traditional warfare, scouting ahead, harassing heavier forces, and cutting down the unprepared and disorganized.
The Mystic Dragons hold superiority over the skies and above. For centuries, they have tamed the mighty space dragons that were once thought to be mere myths. They soar through space and skies, raining down justice and fear on their enemies. They use agile stealth mechs, and their dragons are equipped with similarly agile mecha armour for the ultimate in unified aerial combat.
The Order of the Fae is the most technically adept order within the Starlit Court, focusing on maintaining the fae within all of the order, as well as tending to the Lady and Maeve. When it comes to Fighting out in the field, they adhere to a more supportive role, serving as combat engineers both in and out of mechs.
The Beast Wardens are a specialist order of knights who raise and use beasts for both their Men at arms and their mech combat. The Beast Wardens are just as much zoologists and conservationists as they are warriors; and are often referred to as the game wardens or the Black Forest Rangers. In addition to rearing and training specialized war beasts known as familiars, their duties include monitoring and preserving the biodiversity and ecology of Sihi.
The Order of the Phoenix is one of the twelve original founding Knightly Orders of the Starlit Court. It focuses on dropping elite troops behind enemy lines to soften them up for the main assault. Their mechs and pilots are dropped from low orbit all at once so that, upon landing, they can immediately engage the enemy. Their main focus evoking shock and awe as they disrupt enemy defenses and infrastructure, delaying retaliatory action for as long as possible. They sometimes double as advanced scouts for orbital bombardments and artillery strikes. Their mechs are light to medium in size and weight to allow for speed, but balanced with staying power to combat infantry and the occasional mech division.
The Fist of the King, or the order of the fist is one of the 12 founding Knightly Orders of the Starlit Court. The Order was founded by Syr Cai the Proud, who according to order records was a cousin of the High King. The fists operate largely in two modes: defense, and punching. The Fists have mastered the ability to dig in and entrench positions, creating and reinforcing positions. Traps, hardened structures, and brutal crossfire zones, the Fists are experts at drawing the enemy in, stalling their momentum, and pouncing on them while they are disoriented.
The Lunar arrows is a child order, having split because their founding grandmaster had a disagreement between two siblings and their ideas of ideal battle strategy. The siblings eventually broke and formed their own subfactions within their parent order, before eventually fully splitting and creating their own orders, hoping to prove to their sibling that their combat style was superior. Since then, the Lunar Arrows have honed their skills to the point that their accuracy is so exceptional that they can perform a dangerous close barrage without ever hitting a friendly unit.
As a sibling order to the Lunar Arrows, both having made their divergence from their parent order, the Celestial Swords. They wish to be the first on the field and last ones out of any combat. They see it as their duty to ensure and protect everyone within their capability, regardless of Order. Their large formations are organized in a square shape, with shields forward and their heavy guns resting on the rim of their shields, stabilized. These blocky formations can easily move due to their extensive training to march in formation. Should the large formations be broken, separated into smaller lances, they will employ similar strategies, albeit in smaller numbers, to retain the strength of a wall of steel, ever pushing forward.
The Order of Preservation focuses on supporting the other orders. They serve as reserves in combat, protecting their allies and bolstering their numbers, as well as providing medical care and tactical, strategic support. Those who see them may think them spineless or cowardly at first, but such prejudices are immediately discarded. Those of Preservation will fight and kill with vicious precision in the protection of their allies and goals.
The Order of the Valkyries was founded out of the need to provide control of the medical services and supplies in cooperation with the Medical Guild. Formally an extension of the Order of Preservation one of the twelve founding orders. The two complement each other while the Valkries focused more on medical training and hospital infrastructure, and the Order Of Preservation focused on battlefield strategy and supporting the other orders.
The Order of the Resplendent Eagle is fiercely independent, rumors even say that Syr Alessandro Earn, annoyed with the confines of Sihi, got some of his followers together to drag a moon into Sihi’s gravity well before leaving Elentar just so he didn’t need to live under such crushing constraints. Founded on the principle of air supremacy as well as naval supremacy the order is often the key to maintaining the defense of Sihi and the Court’s interests at large.
While most orders follow the typical pattern of Squires being brought into the order to learn under Knights there are a few that, due to various circumstances, have other atypical membership patterns. Ranging from unique training practices to being purely additional titles and responsibilities for those already members of other orders.
The Order of the Sheathed Soul, esteemed within the Starlit Court, comprises disciplined knights who master the Soul Blade, a potent technomagical ability. They can supercharge their mechs beyond limits, yet it costs them their Sheath, a cybernetic implant recording memories for Avalon upload upon death. These knights embody valor and sacrifice, defending the realm while upholding honor and discipline.
As the sister order to the Sheathed Soul, the Order of the Unsheathed Soul stands as a solemn testament to sacrifice within the Starlit Court. Its members, revered as heroes among knights, have wielded the Soul Blade in the direst of battles, forsaking their chance at Unseelie Court upload for the sake of protecting their sworn people. Their identities remain secret until death, after which they find their eternal rest in the Mausoleum of the Soulless.
While Knightly Orders are the most common way that knights are organized in Sihian society, there are a few ways that a knight may be found outside the organization and hierarchy of the orders, these knights are generally known as Hedge Knights.