Order of the Fist
|Motto||be ye deaf to wisdom; be ye broken by might|
|Parent Faction||Starlit Court|
|Leader||Grandmaster Syr Adrain Caischild|
|Colors||red, white, and blue|
|Capital Ship||SCS Unassailable|
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. Syr Cai was a close confidant of the High King, and known to be highly defensive of his position, pride, and kin. Prior to the civil war on Elentar Syr Cai was known to be the first to defend the honor and person of the High King, meeting any challenge head on. Syr Cai would frequently fight the founder of the Mourning blade, Syr Amadaus. Once, famously, Syr Cai was called ‘the hound of the king’, in response Syr Cai beat the man and boastfully declared “No, I am their mailed fist”.
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 Fists are often called upon when a location or asset must be held or protected, and individual lances and knights are quested as bodyguards and escorts.
In melee, the fists live up to their name. Knights of the Fist are proud of their long tradition of unarmed combat, with some quarrelsome Fists actively seeking opportunities to brawl. The order of the fist has developed and practices numerous unarmed fighting styles over the centuries. Traditionally there are three dominant styles; libenfaust, rustungfaust, and automafaust, or the living fist, the armored fist, and the machine fist. Most existing Order of the Fist martial arts are derived from these core styles, and are brutally efficient in combat. libenfaust is designed for when one is unarmored and unarmed, rustungfaust is designed for when one is wearing power armor and unarmed, and automafaust is designed for unarmed combat within a mech.
The Order primarily operates from its flagship, the SCS Unassailable, one of the first twelve capital ships built to escort Sihi. The Unassailable at first appears to be an under armed ponderous vessel that lists along its chosen escort. At first glance the Unassailable only sports a handful of offensive weapons, reinforced armor, and reactive shielding. On further inspection one will notice the enormous spinal mass driver that runs the full length of the ship. The Southpaw, as the Order of the fists affectionately call it, is capable of launching enormous metal slugs at incredible speeds and was itself a relic of the Elantar civil war.
The Fists however do not typically operate out of the Unassailable, typically using the vessel as a central command point and bodyguard for Sihi. In most cases the Order of the Fist dispatch carrier class vessels ferry lances to their destinations and provide orbital support. Fist ships are often equipped with orbital drop bays, for rapid planetary deployment, and regularly stock drop pods equipped with weapon emplacements, and detachable heavy plating to allow Knights in the field to rapidly create choke points and hardened emplacements.
Order of the fist mechs are as varied as their members, but the majority of them have a few things in common; durability and a humanoid shape with hands. Order of the Fist mechs are typically built to take heavy sustained punishment, while remaining mobile, at the cost of onboard weapons or ammunition reserves. This is because Fist mechs and their pilots seek combat engagements where they can quickly close the gap with their foes, and engage in automafaust, or to bunker down where their mechs can easily be resupplied. In the former case long range weapons will only be useful while on the charge or while destroying goes too fast or evasive to attack otherwise. In the latter case deployed and entrenched weapons systems can supplement the otherwise light armament of the mechs. In melee however Fist Knights enjoy a wide array of specialized melee weapons that enhance their mechs automafaust capabilities, including powered claws, pile bunkers, battle fists, and numerous bladed or heavily reinforced extremities used for bashing, slashing, and crushing enemy machines.
Founding, History, and Grandmasters
The Rule of Syr Cai 950-850
According to the order's own chronicles, The Fist of the King was founded as a militant order during the Elentar civil war. Initially the order was a unit of bodyguards and warriors hand picked by Syr Cai to protect the Elentar royal family. During the war this unit was expanded and folded into the future High King’s military to continue protecting VIPs and to entrench captured territories. During the later days of the civil war Syr Cai was confronted by his brother and father, and slew both of them in successive single combat.
After the Exodus Syr Cai was one of the first to embrace the starlit path, seeing it as a means of spiritual salvation. Syr Cai was a major force in silencing dissent and spreading the starlit path in Sihi; preaching the path as a way to mend the spirit and put the pain of war behind one's self. In the early days of the exodus Syr Cai swore himself to a form of militant pacifism, and encouraged such behavior among his personal following. He had come to believe that marital excellence was a tool only to be used for self discovery and defense.
After the death of The High King many expected Syr Cai to demand the position for himself. Instead after a week of mourning he formally renounced any claim to the throne for himself or his own descendants, and officially founded the Order of the Fist. Despite his influence and position on the council Syr Cai largely withdrew from politics and the day to day governance of the court, instead focusing his time and energy into training the next generation of knights and the construction and reinforcement of defensive locations across Sihi. During this time Syr Cai had the transit nodes across the wards of Sihi reinforced and turned into the way forts we know today.
The Rule of Syr Elenar Caischild 850-795
Syr Cai died suddenly fifty years after the High King’s death in 850, appointing his daughter Syr Elenar Caischild his successor and the next grandmaster of the Order of the Fist. Syr Elenar inherited all of their father’s pride and bravado that defined him during his youth. The grandmaster was outspoken in all their beliefs, inquisitive, and jovial to be sure, but famously stubborn. Early meetings of the Council of Grandmasters were regularly slowed by their insistence on strict adherence to protocols down to the minutest of detail.
Famously Grandmaster Elenar led the force that put down the Returnist riots. She saw the Returnists and their beliefs as a direct insult to her family and their legacy. Syr Elenar was a major agitator during the post High King era of strife, and was a contributing factor to the length of the Year Long summit. Syr Elenar believed in the primacy of the High King, and that by establishing the path and leaving the court that the High King had expanded that noble primacy to the Council of Grandmasters and their knights. That said they did not believe that the general population of Sihi were lesser or deserved less rights, just that the Knights who fought and bled for them deserved special privileges and allowances for their duties.
Grandmaster Elenar continued to lead the Fists for another eighty years, retiring in 795 as complications from age and several battle wounds saw her unable to continue piloting a mech. During her Reign Elenar drew more and more withdrawn from politics as time passed, as her voice was often outnumbered by the other grandmasters, and she grew weary of dealing with the Council of Elders.
The Rule of Syr Kay Caischild 794 - 649
Grandmaster Elenar appointed her grandson Syr Kay Caischild the new grandmaster of the fists after a year-long tournament in 794. Some accused Syr Elenar of creating an elaborate series of trials to cover her nepotism in promoting a 42 year old Knight captain to the position of grandmaster. Syr Kay quickly silenced these accusations in a series of duels and brawls that proved that he was, at the very least, a capable enough warrior for the position.
Syr Kay was wise enough to realize that he could not simply beat the Order of the fist into efficiency, and opted to establish his own small council of advisors. For the first twelve years of his reign as Grandmaster of the Fists he brought together the finest retired knights of the order and a number of Sages to guide him in his new role. The Order of the Fist was notably less active during this time, but thereafter Syr Kay grew into a capable leader and politician.
Early on in his career Syr opened the Order of the Fist to non enhanced humans for the first time, increasing the orders number greatly by accepting Lutrians and Zelvan into their ranks. It was during this time that Syr Kay, a well known enthusiast of unarmed combat witnessed a demonstration of Lutrian martial arts. Syr Kay was so impressed by the feats on display that they integrated unarmed combat drills into Order of the Fist training routines, eventually culminating in the schools of libenfaust, rustungfaust, and automafaust.
The Rule of Syr Donald Caischild 649-633
Syr Donald Caischild was appointed the new Grandmaster of the Order of the fist as part of his great uncle Syr Kay Caischild’s will, when he died in a training accident 649. Syr Donald was 73 when he was made grandmaster, and had been groomed for decades ahead of time. Unfortunately, Syr Donald’s reign was short and uneventful. Grandmaster Donald was overseeing work on a spaceport on the Najaran to harden it against storms. Under the cover of a storm a Najan strike team infiltrated the site and set off a series of coordinated explosions. Grandmaster Donalds’s mech was buried beneath rubble from the explosion as the Najan saboteurs moved in to assault the disoriented crew. Grandmaster Donald covered the retreat of the civilian engineers from the front, killing twelve Najan assassins in an impressive display of rustungfaust before succumbing to his wounds.
The Rule of Syr Chelex Caischild 633-512
Syr Chelex Caischild was Grandmaster Donald Caischild’s cousin and former squire, and was in his honor guard when the ambush took his life. Sry Chelex famously calmed her lancemates out of a killing frenzy that overtook them after witnessing their Grandmaster’s death. From there the Fists entered a succession crisis despite the ongoing events on Najaran. Despite having arguably the strongest claim to the seat of Grandmaster, she was not only Donald’s cousin and squire but being the youngest daughter of Syr Kay. Despite this, Syr Chelex stayed out of the impromptu series of challenges and trials to determine the leader of the order.
Syr Chelex instead elected to rally those among the order with no claim to the seat of Grandmaster and finish their work on Najaran so her uncle's death was not in vain. Over the next year Syr Chelex personally commanded and coordinated nearly a third of the order’s knights, and was instrumental to the successful evacuation of Najaran.
With her quest completed, Syr Chelex returned to The Unassailable, a proven commander and hero of the order. By this point the contenders for grandmaster had been narrowed down to two knights: Syr Ersha the river swift, and Syr Renark the Claw. Syr Chelex approached both knights, and made them an offer, they would surrender their claim for the position of Grandmaster and instead she would use the coffers of the Order of the Fist to sponsor the creation of their own splinter orders. Each claimant would take with them any knight who supported their claim, their mechs, and a cruiser class vessel to be their flagship. Ultimately Syr Renark and Syr Ersha knew they had little chance of defeating Syr Chelex’s claim, she had the support of the Grandmasters, the order, personally earned renown, and a powerful lineage behind her.
So, Syr Ersha and Renark accepted the deal, leaving the Order of the Fist with a total 28% of the order’s number and establishing the Order of the Steel Bound, and the Order of the Claw respectively. In creating the Order of the Steel Bound and the Order of the Claw Syr Ersha in one move took absolute control of the Fist. Now Grandmaster Chelex then replenished her ranks with Najan warriors who were loyal to her for her part in the Najaran evacuation. She had bloodlessly purged her order of dissenters, created two splinter orders with bonds of loyalty and finance to her own, and replenished her ranks with veteran exotic warriors with personal vows to her leadership. It was a master stroke.
Grandmaster Chelex continued to foster a culture of competition, comradery, and loyalty among her knights. She took great pains to integrate the Najan recruits into her knights and men at arms, synchronizing many customs and beliefs of the Najan with that of the court. She also maintained morale and promoted competition and excellence with a series of tournaments and challenges. During this time she also codified the rules of succession in the Order of the Fist, requiring all Grandmasters to keep a log of potential heirs at all times who would then receive special training for command and leadership.
During the events of the light and civil war Grandmaster Chelex and the majority of the Order of the Fist claimed spiritualist affiliation, and actively fought the secularists, with several Fist Knights participating in the the Strife of Camlann and the Realm Sundering. After the war was ended attempts were made to reconcile with Fist Knights who joined the Secularist movement, but these ultimately failed; resulting in the founding of the Order of The Open Hand and the order of the Tower.
The Rule of Syr Lenaya Dulancy 512 - 432
The Rule of Syr Catanz Caischild 432 - 368
Syr Catanz’s command of the Order of the fist was largely uneventful, they were considered particularly temperate and calm. Syr Cantanz exchanged rounds of guard duty for Sihi with other orders, while sending out small detachments of Fist knights on bodyguard and protective quests. Grandmaster Cantanz died during the Battle of Sorozia when the Soul Burner cannon tore through the Unassailable and disabled it. Grandmaster Cantanz was leading the vessel’s evacuation when a backup generator near the bridge exploded.
The Rule of Syr Sadalax Cartoza 367 - 344
Syr Sadalax Cartoza was a close confidant, friend, and former squire of Grandmaster Catanz, and was chosen to lead the Order of the Fist after the loss of the Unsassable and Grandmaster Cantaz’s death. Grandmaster Cartoza considered himself a Steward for the Order, as did many other members of the fist, but was a well respected leader in his own right. Grandmaster Cartoza led the order for the remainder of the Tereket Wars and the reconstruction period thereafter. Grandmaster Cartoza eventually passed at the ripe old age of 62, passing rule of the order to their own former Squire and the chosen heir of Grandmaster Catanz.
The Rule of Syr Sarah Caischild 344 - 261
They did some stuff
The Rule of Syr Drake Caischild 261 - 103
Got us to here, was a powerful sorcerer
The Rule of Syr Adrain Caischild 103 - present
Syr Adrian Caischild was not originally singled out as a potential leader for the Order of the Fist, having been young and an entirely average career when he joined the order. However, Grandmaster Drake claimed to have received a vision that Sry Adrian had a great destiny ahead of him. So for the last ten years of Grandmaster Drake’s rule Syr Adrian received special intensive training. Syr Drake was reforged in the harshest conditions that Grandmaster Drake could conjure, enduring extreme conditions, magical and physical assault, battling multiple armored opponents while completely unarmed.
If anything could be said of Syr Adrian when he assumed control of the Order of the Fist after Grandmaster Drake’s passing it was that he had the patience of a saint and was tougher than the outer armor of the Unassailable. Grandmaster Adrian proved to be a Sorcerer himself, with a speciality in biomancy and technomancy, and while he uses his abilities sparingly they have achieved a number of impressive feats during their career through their magic and mettle. Once while defending a position from assault his mech suffered a direct hit to the cockpit from an enemy missile barrage, tearing the cockpit open, and blasting him with fire and shrapnel. Grandmaster Adrian simply stood his mech back up, and continued fighting, having mended his wounds and the vital damage to his mech through his sorcery.
Grandmaster Adrian largely blames himself for much of the destruction that occurred during the Dachia crisis. He believes that if the Unassailable was with Sihi the day of the attack then his order would have been able to easily defend the station, having had over twice the available lances than the order of the Griffon at the time and their order’s specialization. After the conflict Syr Adrian personally led an inquest among his knights, banishing 20 knights with dominionist affiliations and heavily punishing 30 more with ties to dominionists.