|Motto||“Flying high, flying fast, and fight hard”|
|Parent Faction||Starlit Court|
|Leader||Syr Constantine Earn, The Purple Phoenix, Lord Aquilae|
|Homeworld||Sihi, specifically the moon of Thorann|
|Capital Ship||SCS Liberator|
Order of the Resplendent Eagles
Founded to be part of the Hobbesian Leviathan doctrine of the Court fleet, the Order of the Eagles was founded on the principle of air supremacy as well as naval supremacy would be the key to maintaining the defense of Sihi and the Court’s interests at large.
Founded by one of the most independently minded knights to ever serve the High King, Syr Alessandro Earn, many of the knights seek to emulate their founder. This has had mixed results to say the least. The Order is fiercely independent, rumors even say that Alessandro, 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.
While many rumors about Syr Alessandro Earn dragging a moon over Sihi are historically exaggerated, historical fact does show that The First Eagle was never fond of living by hard strictures like those imposed on the early days of Sihi. This led to the Order being one of the most isolationist orders from its founding onwards, only beginning to become more accepting of outsiders during the reign of Syr Alexander Earn in 499 AoQ. It is generally accepted that this isolationism is also due to their streak of independence from other Orders and even the Council at times.
The Duchy of Earn, back on Elentar, had a long history of the city leaders being just as powerful as some counts and barons of the realm. This would become the basis for the High Council and later Syr Constantine’s Small Council. This legacy has etched itself into the Order that would be founded by Syr Alessandro, allowing village leaders to sit in and make suggestions on how Thorann should be run. It was also the Eagles grandmaster of the time, Syr Ilyana Winchester, who most vocally supported the creation of the Council of Elders, for instance.
“Tradition is the answer to questions we’ve long since forgotten. Let us keep ours as close to that of our forefathers.” is a commonly cited precept of Syr Alessandro Earn, and this has largely allowed for the Thorann knights to distinguish themselves from their Sihian brethren, and those who’ve embraced it to become a better version of themselves
The Right to Prove
When Syr Gawayne expanded on who could enter The Grand Tournament in 470 AoQ, many men-at-arms and even some of the stronger civilian elements of Thorann wished to test their mettle. While it would still be almost exclusively knights winning, this led to a sense of pride amongst those who participated and so began the The Right to Prove. The Right to Prove oneself against the best fighters on Thorann was seen as a rite of passage for many a young man at these yearly games. It also allowed several arms manufacturers to show off their wares.
Besides their common disregard for the Council of Grandmasters, Knights of the Order are prone to rivalries both within and without. This has led to things like the rivalry between the Resplendent Eagles and the Sundered Heart for instance, or the rivalries that would become the dividing lines between the Dominionist Eagles and the Loyalist Eagles.
Chanson de Geste
Tales from ancient days of heroes like Syr Samuel, the first Champion of Sihi, of Syr Alessandro’s heroics during the High King’s Rebellion, the stories of the various heroes of Dachia, be it from the battlefields of Sihi, Leviathan, Thorann, or Dachia itself, are revered among the Order, and these tales will commonly be told among the fleet when they travel long distances. Oftentimes when inspiring the knights to action, The Speaker of the Order will invoke former Lords Aquilae. It is not uncommon for a knight to have a copy of these stories written down in their personal library in order to remind them of where they come from and the legacy of martial excellence they’ve inherited.
The order of the Resplendent Eagle was founded by Syr Alessandro Earn, known by many titles as The King’s Talon, The First Eagle, The Dawnbreaker, and The First Lord Aquilae. Alessandro wished to impart his values–formalized as the Creed of Stars–unto a cult of personality which had formed around his heroic acts during the High King’s war against his father.
To codify his values Alessandro wrote the Creed of Stars, with fifty precepts that would guide the future order born out of this gaggle of knights and commoners. The two most important values were Vigilance and Honoring of the Path. Vigilance by the new Order would preserve peace on Sihi and, gods forbid a civil war would break out on Sihi, Allessandro’s order could stop it before it could begin in earnest. The second, Honoring the Path, lead to the Order’s independent streak. Each knight is taught that the Path they follow is the highest honor one can achieve. As a result, the individual paths led the Order to hae a loose structure and more than a fair few fights between knights of this Order and others.
Alessandro is often quoted with “Let them read our manuals. It won’t save them.” when it came to actually founding the Order following the High King’s disappearance. Unlike other Orders he started a tradition of elections to choose a new Grandmaster, called The Lord Aquilae, to lead. Historians often debate why he opted for elections, but it is generally accepted that he found neither of his two children, Alfonso and Alejandra, as worthy to carry on the family business. Alfonso was deemed too bookish and frankly was more comfortable working with machines than leading, and Alejandra was seen as too reckless and gung-ho, always charging head first into battle.
In the years following the flight from Elentar, the historical homeworld of the Starlit Court, the Order would begin construction of their fortress-lookout upon the moon of Thorann. The castle, The Eagle’s Perch, became home to the Order’s training facilities and in-house production yards. On top of this, it serves as the Order’s private shipyard, capturing enemy vessels and refitting them for the Court’s use.
When Alessandro disappeared to seek out the High King, a statue of marble was erected to remember their founder, and serves as the place all Resplendent Eagles swear their oaths to the Order.
The Era of Grandmasters
Entering into the Era of Grandmasters would see the Order suffer a series of young, inexperienced Grandmasters elected to the position of Lord Aquilae, causing several schisms in the Order’s unity. It was even feared the Order would disband during the troubling Baker Trials. Only with the ascent of Syr Ilyana Winchester the Wildcat that the Order’s seeming nosedive would be reversed.
Syr Ilyana Winchester, The Wildcat
In EGM 84Syr Ilyana was elected the Lord Aquilae (the term is the same regardless of gender neutral) and sought to reunify the Order’s various splinters. She started this unification crusade by approaching her staunchest rivals, the self professed Patriots of Elentar, who believed it was the Court’s duty to protect all who the Court crossed paths with. Though history would show the Patriots would get their way when it came to the Lutrians and Najan, Ilyana vowed to support such an endeavor should it arise and appoint their candidate for Lord Aquilae, Syr Malrik Koch, to be the Order’s first Talonlord, the master-at-arms. He was an absolutist when it came to the law, and would bring anyone to justice, regardless of their rank. The ship he personally commanded was the venerable, even then, SCS Wolverine, which would be the command of all future Talonlords. With these concessions, Illyana managed to bring the faction of patriots on her side.
Following that would be the zealous Walkers of the Third Path, a cohort of the Order’s Wizards, all of whom felt that their contributions were being overlooked and overworked to keep some sort of parody of the Forge Orders. Ilyana’s plans for future fighter designs would be stymied for some time, but it would be through her fierceness of personality that the Walkers would return to the fold of the Order. The Wizard Syr Davith Heckler would become the first Speaker of the Order, serving to both repair the war machines of the order, but to inspire their pilots.
The final major splinter cell was under the captain of the SCS Untouchable, Syr Cassandra Colt, known among her crew as Coldheart for her seeming indifference to the casualties of both her own crews and her enemies. Syr Illianda and Cassandra met t, and while no records survive of what was spoken about, the two came to a mutual understanding.Coldheart would call her faction to support Illyana as The Lord Aquilae. It is noted that the carrier groups would receive much higher prestige from this point on within the Order.
Syr Ilyana Winchester the Wildcat would pass due to cancer only a few short years before the Lutrian Wars, though she remained true to her vows particularly those with the Patriots of Elentar, being the first Grandmaster to call the Court to arms, citing; “All peoples, regardless of technology, ought be given the right to forge their own destiny. These people, the Lutrians, have had that choice ripped from their hands. My fellow Grandmasters, honored Elders who will read this transcript, is it not just and righteous that we aid these Lutrians in their pursuit of freedom against the tyrants who would butcher them like so many cattle?”
The Era of Elders & Schism
Syr Thoda’kodom Warstorm, The Roc of Sihi
Syr Thoda’kodom Warstorm, The Roc of Sihi and Ilyana’s successor, would execute that final wish to see the Lutrians freed. Thoda’kodom fought a brutal war, piloting first-hand both his fighter and mech to slaughter the Slave Masters in the Court’s first few engagements with the foemen. His lance, The War-Storm, earned several accolades, including one to Syr Charles “Chuck” McAngus. Thoda’kodom was regarded as a Zelvan of two extremes. In battle, few could claim to carry half the valor he did, and yet was a noted scholar and theologian. He was the first Knight in the Starlit Court to take a Lutrian squire to train.
Perhaps his most important contribution to the Order was the Warstorm Reforms. A policy which forced mech pilots to also become capable pilots in aerospace vessels, train that was previously only optional.Following the Lutrian War of Freedom the Grandmaster saw that their men-at-arms needed more support in the air. Given the Order’s focus in these places, Thoda’kodom would ensure that not only could his Knights fight in mechs, but were also exceptional pilots. Increased training requirements from The Warstorm Reforms also led to the finalization of VR training pods for pilots first envisioned by Lord Aquillae Syr Alessandro. For the more spiritually minded of the Order, Syr Thoda’kodom invoked the skills of their paramount Grandmaster, The First Eagle, and his abilities to better serve the High King:Why should they not follow in such esteemed footsteps?
Thoda’kodom also expanded and elevated the role of the Speaker of the Order to a ruling member of the Order, giving the engineer corps more influence in the inner workings of the Order. The Speaker would oversee the spiritual needs of the Order–making their Wizards something akin to warrior-monks. IThough the Order would still quest in this time, Thoda’kodom would spend much of his remaining tenure as Grandmaster overseeing the Order’s continued growth
Syr Thoda’kodom would die at age 182, in 72 EE, making the last being on Sihi who had seen Elentar perish.
Syr Theodal Colt, The Kingmaker
Syr Theodal Colt rose to the rank of Grandmaster following a controversial election in 72EE. The controversy stemmed from being untested in battle unlike other Grandmasters, even those hundred in the Age of Misdirection. Theodal would not ease many of these concerns, as he spent much of his time not on Thorann, but rather on Sihi in the Council, swinging deals to benefited his Order over than others. Despite the boons afforded to the Resplendent Eagles under his watch,being a politician was far too dishonorable in the eyes of knights. For one of the first times in history, the SCS Liberator would spend more time docked at Sihi rather than The Eagle’s Perch during Syr Theodal’s reign.
Syr Theodal Colt gained the nickname “Kingmaker”, not out of respect, but for his common tactic to be neutral on all things, until one side or another offered him a deal that better benefitted his Order above all else, even at the expense of practicality. His order’s prominent figures denounced him, but lacking any mechanism they could agree on to remove him legally, Syr Theodal continued this until his death by heart failure in 100 EE.
Syr Rylon Steyr, The Warrior
Within hours of the Kingmaker’s passing a new name entered the list of Grandmasters, Syr Rylon Steyr. Steyr had been questing and out earning glory for the Order while Theodal had been playing politics, and had also served as Talonlord before his ascension. As Lord Aquillae he revitalized the Order with promises to lead them personally into battle every chance he had. So began an era known as the The Glory Wars, a period of about 70 years in which the Order would take every quest that came across their desk. Unlike others who died in their office, Syr Rylon Steyr chose to retire in 149 EE, having accomplished all he’d wished to do as Grandmaster and believing he had set the Order on the right path. The last anyone saw of him would be him taking his fighter out for one last spin before disappearing.
Syr Caerwyn Silverstream, The Chainbreaker
Late into the following year, (150 EE) the Lutrian Syr Caerwyn Silverstream was elected as the new Grandmaster. Syr Caerwyn had studied his history, and had sought to invoke greats like Syr Ilyana, Syr Thoda’kodom, and Syr Alessandro in his leadership style. Just as much a warhawk as those three, when the Najan were discovered, Caerwyn rallied the Order to intervene. When the war began, he led the fleet action that broke the Najan space corps, and with his former squire, Syr Azaria Dawn, would fly circles around the Najan air forces. When he named her Talonlord, he didn’t realize that would be their last meeting. The victory in 156 EE was a bittersweet one, and he made sure she was buried with maximum honors. Syr Caerwyn would spend the remaining years of his life establishing the Order’s internal security and intelligence network, MIRAGE.
Syr Taliya Staccato, The Iron Eagle
After the death of Syr Caerwyn, Syr Taliya Staccato would be elected to the Grandmastership on two major promises; the first would be an ending to the Glory Wars, as by this time all the Knights and squires were battle-tested and hardened, the second would be an expansion of the fleet, specifically their smaller corvettes and a new carrier. This won her the election, as the Order felt they needed another dedicated command ship like the venerable Untouchable, glorious Victoria, or valiant Thunderstorm.
In 166 EE, the keels were laid down for the SCS Resolution, SCS Star Talon, SCS Meteor, SCS Last Hope, SCS Close Encounter, and SCS Badger. 168 EE would see the SCS Thunderbolt, SCS Steel Aurora, and SCS Dragonstar would join them in the shipyard. These ships would be finished in 179 EE for the corvettes, and 182 EE for the SCS Resolution. These ships, commonly called The Iron Fleet when together, would join the already massive fleet around Sihi. They would get their first taste of combat in 184 EE, during a raid against a pirate base in conjunction with the Order of the Sundered Heart. The battle would only last sixteen hours, with the Sundered Heart making planetoid fall while Resplendent Eagles secured the void around them. This victory, the Battle of Reaver’s Bay, would end the Glory Wars. From there on, Knights would be assigned to the various ships of the fleet, and would go out on missions with those ships and their crews. In 200 EE, plans were made for a second super-carrier like the SCS Liberator, though they would never come to be due to the expensive nature of such an endeavor.
In 209 EE, Syr Taliya Staccato would die in a training accident with her then squire, Cira Wyne, when her fighter’s engines cut out suddenly. Though it was heavily investigated by MIRAGE agents, no foul play could be confirmed. For two years, it would be hotly debated in the Order who the next Lord Aquilae should be, with the main candidates being Syr Lucas Sunglass, a respected corvette captain, and Syr Geia’tadam, an ace pilot who fought all through the Glory Wars. In the end, neither would be selected.
Syr Trystan Browning, The Unifier
The story goes that one day in 211 EE, during another useless debate to get people to come over to one side or the other, a lowly Flight-Captain named Syr Trystan Browning would step forward, call both of them vainglorious buffoons, call the entire Order stubborn bastards, and walked out of the meeting hall.
This is one of the only cases where the vote for the new Grandmaster was unanimous.
With his ascension to the Grandmastership, Syr Trystan began reorganizing the way the Order did things. Firstly, he did away with fightercraft based honor duels, as those were getting increasingly expensive to maintain, let alone replace. You could still duel someone with your side arms or mechs, but the fighters that were also part of a Knight’s kit were now out of the picture as far as dueling went. To say this went over well would be like saying that future crises like Dachia was a spot of mild unrest. Many of the Knight-Captains and even Master Knights saw this as the Grandmaster infringing on their rights, which it absolutely was as the bylaws were written. This would be challenged, but the financials backed Trystan, so the law changed in his favor.
The second major act was to turn their focus more and more into hunting pirates, as at the time space piracy was a major threat to the sector the Court was traveling through. This meant countermeasures to the evolving tactics of those arrayed against them, which made many of the Wizards quite happy to go over battle data and program that into the VR Pods.
The final part of the Browning Reforms would be the way battlegroups were structured. Before, it was a hodge podge based on ancient rites and honor duels. Now, the carriers, Liberator, and battleships would have priority to command of a battlegroup, with the Liberator and carriers having precedence. Assuming none were present, it would continue the old way. This angered many hardline traditionalists, but was favored by many senior officers.
Syr Trystan Browning would be the Grandmaster tasked with guiding the Order through the Era of the Schism, with the Order split almost entirely in two with the Spiritualists and Secularists. Trystan himself attempted to broker neutrality between the two, but as tensions boiled over in 6 ES, the Order’s few remaining assets on Thorann would do battle. Browning himself would take to the void in his interceptor ‘Doomed Lovers’, to try and end the bloodshed by killing the Spiritualist leader, the Speaker of the Order, Syr Jacline Dalt. Thorann would be embroiled in war through the entire Civil War. It would be many Eagles that would go to Sihi for what would be the Realm Sundering.
A large part of the problem was that in 5 ES, after capturing a nuclear device from a pirate base called Libertalia, the Order of the Sundered Heart would claim the weapon, citing the orders of the High King to keep and safeguard such weapons. This angered the Eagle knights who had fought and bled for the weapon, and reasoned their Order should get the spoils. When it was taken before the Order of Grandmasters after a tense standoff, the Council sided with the Sundered Heart, who took custody of the weapon. Though Trystan publicly stated he supported the decision, many of his inner circle did not, most vocal of which had been Syr Jacline Dalt.
When the war ended, even after the penitent quests, those who had turned their guns on their brothers and sisters were tried by the Order, and found guilty of crimes against Sihi and the Starlit Court. This led to a mass exile of several knights, squires, wizards, and even some civil officers.
The Age of Quests
Syr Trystan Browning would die at the dawn of a new era, late in the first year of the Age of Quests, having succumbed to a poison his political rivals would put into his food. MIRAGE agents would hunt down the assassins, and would see them disappear as the election for a new Grandmaster.
Syr Rohar Earn, The Warring Eagle
Over the next three years, there would be several Grandmasters, causing some to fear a new Age of Misdirection, so perhaps it is fitting that a scion of the man who founded the order, Syr Rohar Earn, would put a stop to those fears. Elected not for his skill, gallantry, or personality but because his political faction had the most power within the Order, Rohar was something of a political mastermind on the moon of Thorann. He played people off one another, getting his enemies to overcommit and leaving them unable to deliver. Rohar, upon ascension to the Lord Aquilae, took a different tact.
Rededicating himself to the Order, Syr Rohar Earn would personally lead his forces on hundreds of quests between his election in early 4 AoQ and late 10 AoQ, leaving the Talonlord to sit on the Council in his stead. When he returned with wild riches for his people, Syr Rohar embraced the spirit of the age and began to organize more and more quests for his Order. He would only spend the next two years at Sihi and The Eagle’s Perch, before blasting off to the stars again. For the next fifteen years, he would constantly be out on campaign, usually against pirates, terrorists, or rogue nation-states. However, by 26 AoQ, the forces would tire and beg their Grandmaster for a return to Sihi, both for practical purposes and to get a chance to rest. Much to the Grandmaster’s dismay, there was also the threat of a mutiny if he didn’t allow them to return. In the next year, Rohar would suffer a sudden stroke, and would die in moments before a medic could get to him.
Syr Volker Strong, Bonebreaker
With Rohar dead, the Order once again gathered for an election that would determine the fate of the Order. As always, factionalism threatened to make the proceedings stretch well into 28 AoQ and leave the Order temporarily rudderless, a common problem that happened each time there was no clear line of succession. This would have been a problem, if not for one Syr Volker Strong, called the Bonebreaker for his ability to damage bone even through power plate. Volker came forward as one of the coalition parties who was popular for his defensive missions during Rohar’s reign. Syr Relo’lasum and Syr Saloman Kettleblack were the two main candidates. During another round of debating, Volker simply jumped into the arena and would duel both to defeat. Either by the spectacle or the knights remembering he was also an option, this won him the election to the Lord Aquilae.
Syr Volker spent much of his term away from Thorann and Sihi alike, leaving a mere lieutenant to handle the business of the Council. Instead, Syr Volker lead the Order from the front lines, always coming to the defense of those who couldn’t defend themselves; this mentality is what led to the split into the Order of the Holy Sanctuary. This split was amicable, but generally seen as more warrior-monks than proper knights. Volker would assign his brother, Syr Krieger, to oversee that splinter faction. All the while, he would continue to take contracts and quests at a breakneck pace, many thinking it would be a return to the Glory Wars.
This wouldn’t be the case, though ideas of such would continue long past Syr Volker’s reign. As for the rest of the Bonebreaker’s reign, Volker was fairly conservative as far as Grandmasters go, always trying to keep the fleet up to the best possible by the Order’s financial windfall, pushing many of the smaller vessels to hit above their weight-class during this time, as well as allowing for some of the most experimentation in fighter and mech design and weapons configuration.
It also saw an uptick in honor duels both inside and external to the Order. Such notable examples would be the duel between Syr Bronden Durrandon and Syr Chester Payne, which lasted for three days and spanned across Thorann’s surface and even parts of The Eagle’s Perch. The reasons for the duel were many, but ended with Durrandon caving in Payne’s chest. Another notable duel was Syr Leopold la Croix and Syr Darrick Conklyn. This duel was quick, but destructive, Leopold’s axe almost tearing a hole into the vacuum of space from within the Eagle’s Perch.
This would see the Perch expanded on for the first time in several centuries. New VR Pod bays were added, multiple new hangers were made for the corvettes to land and take off from, new barracks for men-at-arms, an entire subterranean complex for MIRAGE, among others were added, all under the custodianship of Syr Volker Strong.
Syr Tagwen Greenway, The People’s Champion
His death in 81 AoQ would seemingly end a Golden Age, and this fear propagated throughout that election. The one who capitalized on this the most was Syr Tagwen Greenway, a Lutrian of Sihian birth, Tagwen had been born to a humble family of fishers before becoming a knight. She was a well known flight-commander, and was credited with several quests under her belt.
Although she would have a short reign, only twenty-one years, Tagwen would oversee an overhaul of the Warstorm Protocols, allowing for greater flexibility in combat and training. She also championed the men-at-arms, citing her jump infantry regiments as some of the finest Sihi and Thorann would ever produce. Notably, she would assign the 22nd Jump Infantry and 13th Air-Cav to her personal retinue. These two regiments, known modernly as the 22nd Jump Infantry “Can-Do”s and 13th Air-Cavalry “Stormcrows” regiments, continue to serve as elite regiments of the Order and defend the Lord Aquilae.
Another major victory was Syr Tagwen’s political acumen in the halls of the Council. Throughout her time in the Council, the Lutrian Grandmistress was able to pull several large quests, while also keeping on good terms with their allies. She was even able to mend some of the rivalry between her Order and the Sundered Heart, which had been festering for almost three centuries at this point.
Syr Tagwen’s reign would be one of the shortest in Order history, comparable in length to Syr Alessandro Earn at twenty-five years or Syr Theodal Colt at twenty-three years. Despite this, Syr Tagwen’s twenty-one years would serve as a smooth end to the golden age started by Syr Rohar Earn. Her death, old age having caught the Lutrian, was a peaceful one, with her abdicating much of the authority of the office in her twilight years to her Talonlord and former squire, Syr Otan’vakamai.
Syr Otan’vakamai, The Almost-Good
Syr Otan’vakamai’s ascension was not so guaranteed. He would have several people run against him, Syr Fiyona Blackmont was the Director of MIRAGE and an accomplished Knight, Syr Owin Strong was captain of the SCS Malta and a renowned hero of several battles, Syr Uriel York was one of the knights attached to the 22nd Jump Infantry ‘Can Do’s and was reportedly one of the best Freelancers in the Order. It would be a close race, but ultimately, the Talonlord would become the new Lord Aquilae, with him naming Syr Uriel York as the new Talonlord.
Inspired by previous Zelvan grandmasters not only of his own order, but of others, Otan’vakamai’s reign would be one characterized by two major events. The first would be a lack of quests during this part of the Great Meandering, this caused a down turn in the Order’s economy and a lack of development for their moon-base for several generations. The second was a few hair-line fractures starting to show in the Order’s unity. Several old ideological debates once thought put to rest would begin to plague the ale halls and halls of government alike. For his part, Syr Otan’vakamai tried to remain as neutral as possible, but in 134 AoQ when a neo-Secularist tried to stab him on stage while giving a speech, he was forced to purge many knights from the Order. While he tried not to crack down on free expression, as that was a tenant that Syr Alessandro Earn had stated was beyond importance, he was forced to hunt down these ideological radicals within his ranks. This purge, The Pruning of 135, resulted in the Order barely being able to field the bulk of their considerable fleet.
This lull in recruitment would cause a dark age for the Order, something that Syr Otan’vakamai is still infamous for to the modern day, as it became increasingly hard to get squires. It doesn’t help that Syr Otan’vakamai had none of his predecessor’s political tact, oftentimes inflaming a situation unintentionally with his curt demeanor.
Syr Otan’vakamai would die during a combat mission, in which he’d pulled off from his retinue to engage the enemy pilots at what most trainers call ‘danger close’ distances, when a part of the enemy destroyer broke off and smashed his fighter’s cockpit in. At fifty-five years, this had been the longest run anyone had ever held the title, beating out Syr Volker Strong by one year.
Syr Osvaldo Montoya, The Lucky One
While the elections of previous Lord Aquilae were fiery, but mostly peaceful affairs between those who saw each other as sibs, the election of Syr Osvaldo Montoya was anything but. Firstly, he’d not been a knight of the order particularly long. While time as a member of the Order was not a usual metric, this was used to smear him as an agent more interested in politics, invoking Syr Theodal Colt as an example to this. Secondly, there were few people running for the office. After the mess Syr Otan’vakamai had left, no one wanted to clean it up other than those power-hungry sorts who get into politics and no one knows why anyone would vote for them.
Suffice to say, much of Osvaldo’s early run as Lord Aquilae was spent trying to stop a civil war within his Order. This caused even more of a downturn, as his loyalists ‘Redcoats’ or just ‘Reds’, would not be supported by their political rivals ‘Bluecoats’ or ‘Blues’ who supported ousting Montoya and replacing him with someone else. He was lucky, then, that the early days of his reign they were more pressed with supporting allied Orders. This would only last a few decades before finally he managed to get a handle on his Order’s politics.
A quite run for the next few years after, he would be the Grandmaster that would begin the Tereket Wars. While history doesn’t record Syr Osvaldo’s ability as a mech-knight or pilot, what is known is that in 200 AoQ, Osvaldo would sacrifice himself in order to secure a retreat path for a group of knights that had been cut off in battle.
Syr Micah Winchester, The Sentinel at the Gates
With little time for debate or the usual running of an election, former captain of the SCS Trafalgar Syr Micah Winchester was appointed to the Grandmastership. Syr Micah would begin a trend within this three decades long conflict, and that would be the Resplendent Eagles going through Grandmasters very quickly. Micah herself was a notable fleet commander, and was credited with the liberation of several worlds in concert with others orders. It would be while she was during the Siege of Sihi that a team of Tereket assassins would kill her in 204 AoQ.
Syr Gregor Taurus, The Meteor that Rides
Syr Gregor Taurus would be next to take the mantle of Lord Aquilae. Syr Gregor, The Meteor that Rides, would be one of the most effective at fighting the Tereket aerospace forces, and would be credited with overseeing the destruction of several Tereket warships, but would be assassinated while out on patrol with the 13th Air-Cav men-at-arms in 208 AoQ.
Syr Kyso’tegram, The Ship-Master
Following in Syr Gregor’s footsteps would be Syr Kyso’tegram, a female Zelvan who had spent the war as captain of the SCS Challenger. While of all the Tereket Wars era Grandmasters, her reign would be the longest besides the final one’s, it was only twelve years of the thirty year long conflict. Over that period of time, the Order of the Resplendent Eagle took a back seat in the conflict, opting to spend time licking their wounds and supporting their allies’ actions.
Even then, this didn’t stop the Grandmaster from taking the field ahead of her fleet. Taking Task Force Liberator, consisting of the SCS Relentless, SCS Polaris, SCS Gladiator, SCS Hellhound, SCS Challenger, SCS Star Finder, SCS Trident, SCS Nomad, SCS Freedom, SCS Stormspike, SCS Gauntlet, SCS Thanatos, SCS Raven, SCS Bayonet, SCS Kingfisher, SCS Dagger, SCS Shooting Star, SCS Badger, SCS Last Hope, SCS Steel Aurora, and SCS Invader, out to engage the enemy at the Battle of Hero’s Rest.
Hero’s Rest was a station nominally aligned to the Starlit Court, which had turned from Tereket control fairly early in the war and had been an important refueling station deep behind enemy lines throughout the war. When a massive Tereket Fleet threatened to overrun the station, Task Force Liberator made full burn to protect the station.
Although outnumbered three to one, Lord Aquilae Kyso’tegram is recorded as stating that she believed it was a fair fight. By this stage of the war, Resplendent Eagle pilots had proven the better fighters, and Court soldiers in general held a greater resolve. Coilguns, Plasma Beams, and Laser Cannons shone bright in the battle, as ships bearing the starlit eagle insignia cut apart their Tereket counterparts.
Much of the battle was fought in the deep black between stars, but several Tereket frigates made their way to attempt to board the SCS Liberator, assuming that if they could take the flagship, the rest of the task force would crumble in confusion. This lead to some of the bloodiest fighting in the entire battle, as Eagle knights did battle with their Tereket enemies. It is known that the Grandmaster fought her way from Hanger Six to the bridge, managing to kill the enemy commander in the grand melee.
Following the victory at Hero’s Rest, much of the task force would need extensive repairs. The Liberator herself had taken much damage and was holding on by only a few bits of support remaining to her. While this would end large scale operations by the Eagles, their ships would support the continued war effort.
During diplomatic talks, Syr Kyso’tegram would be assassinated by the more warlike elements of the Tereket Dynasties, reigniting the rage and fury of the Eagles. This assassination would mark the rise of one Syr Martyn Riverrunner, a Lutrian knight and fighter ace. Though old for his species by the time of the election, he would still take office only a few months removed from Syr Kyso’tegram’s passing.
Syr Martyn Riverrunner, The Short-Reigned
The Martyn Years, as the years between 220 AoQ and 223 AoQ are commonly called, were some of the fiercest fighting in the Order’s history. Channeling the rage and grief felt by the dishonorable killing of his predecessor, Syr Martyn was a warlike Grandmaster, and used his executive powers to push the fleet harder than ever before, engaging all known Tereket fleets. Many of the corvettes and destroyers were heavily damaged, forcing them back to the shipyards on Thorann. This forced the fleet to operate more conservatively than Syr Martyn would like, and Talonlord Syr Franklyn Kimber would instead focus the Order’s scientists to begin development of newer, better fighters and bombers. This began the industrial build up that would see the situation of the Order through the long march towards the Light.
The end of the Martyn Years would begin in 223 AoQ with the Battle of the Dark Light, a black hole in the northern end of Tereket territory. Syr Martyn took his lance and flew out to meet the enemy station. The battle would be short, but violent. Martyn’s fighter would be hit with a plasma weapon, disabling the engines and leaving The Lord Aquilae a sitting duck for Tereket fightercraft. The entire lance would be wiped out in the battle, though the Starlit Court would come out the victor.
Syr Franklyn Kimber, The Inventor
The final Lord Aquilae of the Tereket Wars would be the old Talonlord. Syr Franklyn Kimber, known by his detractor as The Lame Turkey due to his advanced age, would be appointed by vote, with a single knight, Syr Malik Earn, being the deciding vote. Syr Franklyn had always been a polymath, and a savant of development for mech and fighter designs.
Reigning over the final four years of the Tereket Wars, Syr Franklyn spent much of this time on Thorann, in the Eagle’s Perch developing new designs for transforming mechs. While this was nothing new, the Order had wanted to develop an in-house mech that would allow them some leverage over other fleet-oriented Orders.
While much of these developments didn’t go anywhere, what was developed were several mech and fighter systems that allowed for the Order’s fighters and mechs to deal with more Gs than most others. This added maneuverability allowed for fighters to make some previously theorized moves that were now being combat tested in the VR Pods, using the most up to date data the Order’s wizards had. Speaker of the Order, Syr Anabel Barret, would personally oversee the upgrades to both the precious VR Pods and also the aerospace craft.
Continuing on this trend of rearming and regrouping, Syr Franklyn would write what would later be referred to as the Kimber Amendments to the Order’s internal law. Firstly, it vastly limited the power of MIRAGE as an internal policing force, something that angered Director Syr Ernesto DeCone, who decried that particular Amendment as ‘defanging MIRAGE.’, which was the intent of the Amendment.
Secondly would be the restructuring of the Department of the Fleet, removing many of the subcommittees that had formed over the past several centuries that bloated the administrative branch of the Order. Again, earning the ire of the Director Syr Marianna Anderson III, though it would not be as explosive as that of DeCone.
Third would be a new mission statement, calling on the Order to actively be hunting pirates at all time. Syr Franklyn’s parents, both knights of the Resplendent Eagle, had been killed in a raid on pirate bases during the previous three decades of war, and saw it as a righteous mission. It is commonly accepted that Syr Marianna Anderson III’s wrath was stymied by this.
Finally, the fourth of the Kimber Amendments was to reshuffle certain priorities from active combat to R&D. Though this amendment would be retracted by Syr Duncan Tallman in 356 AoQ, this was seen as one of the first steps towards The Path Less Taken era of Sihian history.
Like so many before him, however, Syr Franklyn would meet his end in tragedy. During a tour of one of the mechworks on Sihi, disgruntled worker Seban Holt, would shoot and fatally injure the 183 year old knight in 249 AoQ. Seban would be captured by MIRAGE agents, now codenamed Lone Eagles, and questioned. He would be tried to murder, high treason against the Court, and a litany of other charges. He was never seen again after being deemed guilty. While many, to this day, believe some of the crimes were fabricated by MIRAGE in order to secure a guilty verdict, others believe that Mr. Holt was just that vile a man.
No history of this particular era in the Order’s history would be complete without mention of the theory that it was MIRAGE Director Syr Ernesto DeCone who ordered the execution of the Grandmaster. While official investigation by MIRAGE clear him of any wrongdoing, there are some who believe Seban Holt was actually a MIRAGE agent, as the sort of rifle he used to kill the Lord Aquilae was notoriously hard for civilians to get their hands on. It is also worth noting that Director DeCone almost immediately retired following the investigation to be replaced by Syr Johnathan Sharp as Director of MIRAGE, who had been acting director during the investigation. As for the fate of Seban Holt? Murdered and hurriedly shot into the vacuum of space. This has left MIRAGE with a black mark within the Order’s history, causing future issues to be had with the organization.
Syr Malik Earn, The Soaring Eagle
For two years, the Order would debate on a new Grandmaster. This time had been spent by various Directors to boost their power within the High Council. This lead to Syr Malik Earn throwing his hat into the ring. Using his name as a rallying point, being a scion of House Earn, but also being an accomplished knight in his own right. Syr Malik would be elected in 251 AoQ, a reign that was marked by some of the best years for the Order in over half a century. Firstly, the division of Reds and Blues within the Order would be patched up. While the issues had stemmed from the weakness of Syr Otan’vakamai and Syr Osvaldo Montoya, at this point it had taken a full scale war to bring them back together, and even then, the division had caused the Order to operate well under peak efficiency. Syr Malik put an end to this in a creative way. He would establish the The Grand Tourney of Thorann, where any knight on Thorann could compete in a martial olympiad, allowing the two parties to air their grievances without risk of killing anyone while also boosting the local economy by using it as a show of the knights’ prowess.
Secondly, the Eagle’s Perch would be expanded on, building the Watchtower, mimicking the various towers around Sihi to offer more security for the homeworld. The Watchtower also would double as a weapons silo for more conventional war, including space-based missile systems.
While there was no great military campaign, the slouch in recruitment was beginning to be reversed, as Syr Malik was a notoriously charismatic grandmaster. He was also one of the few Lords Aquilae to ever have a family while in office. In 265 AoQ, his eldest daughter would be born, naming her Azalea after his own mother. This was something of an oddity, but brought people together seeing that the Lord Aquilae was in many ways like them, starting a family during this lull in active wars being waged.
A third great accomplishment would be the signing of the Pact of Eternal Friendship between the Order of the Holy Sanctuary and the Order of Resplendent Eagles. While the Holy Sanctuary had split off from the Eagles in the early 30s of the Age of Quests, over two-hundred years later the two Grandmasters of the Orders would meet in the halls of the Council of Grandmasters. Syr Luciean Belleguard, Grandmaster of the Holy Sanctuary and distant blood-relative of Syr Krieger Strong, would find himself easily supporting the ideas of Syr Malik Earn in the Council meetings, and Syr Malik had to respect Syr Luciean’s strong will and principled decision making. Both knights found in one another a staunch ally, and so would formalize their Order’s alliance with this pact. Within the Pact would be a number of clauses, such as the mass production of corvettes for the Order of the Holy Sanctuary to give them more independence in their actions, but also the support of one another politically should things get hairy within the Council.
In 302 AoQ, Syr Malik Earn would die of old age, but had publicly supported his daughter, now Syr Azalea Earn, as his successor for years by that point. This was an uncommon practice, but the woman had made quite a name for herself, having been Director of Recruitment & Training at the Eagle’s Perch for a decade and overseeing vast expansions on the VR Pods programs, now including some of the more theoretical combat situations. With this and on the back of her father’s glowing recommendation, Syr Azalea Earn was voted in before Syr Malik’s body was even cold.
Syr Azalea Earn, The Delight of Thorann
Syr Azalea took office and immediately continued her father’s policies, and even expanded on The Grand Tourney, the tournament grounds themselves would expand and a small settlement of civilians would sprout up around the yearly games, a place called Hawksnest. Known as The Delight of Thorann for her unmatched beauty, Syr Azalea used this popularity to expand on the Eagle’s Perch, mostly the training grounds. She firmly believed that while the VR Pods were great for flight training and early mech training, the Order needed to improve their personal martial abilities.
Within the Council’s halls, Syr Azalea was a notoriously cunning politician, holding to the Pact of Eternal Friendship while also getting other Orders into a bloc to oppose the Sundered Heart grandmaster, then Syr Garin Thorne, The White Rose of Sihi. Syr Garin and Syr Azalea would prove strong rivals in the halls of politics, with the High King’s Left-Hand even going so far as to challenge her to a Trial by Seven, in which the two belligerents and six of their champions would duel until only one side remained. Though usually not to the death, it was feared their Order’s centuries old rivalry would draw blood on this day.
On the first day of the new year, 333 AoQ, Syr Azalea would call on some of her best knights, Talonlord Syr Zor’vokam, Syr Isolde Redrun, Syr Olivar Oldflowers, Syr Cedric Waters, Syr Kathrine Lancaster, and Syr Shannon York would face down The High King’s Left-Hand, Syr Garin Thorne, Syr Forthwind Storm, Syr Koya’kalcam, Syr Kevan Dayne, Syr Abel Tyde, Syr Sulwyn Coldcreek, and Syr Loko’nadam. By the end of the day, all of these knights would be considered legends by their respective faction.
While things started out fairly amicable in terms of not trying to kill one another, it would be Syr Cedric Waters who would draw first blood by slaying Syr Abel Tyde, his poleaxe eviscerating the now former Knight-Captain of the Third Lance. This brought the Sundered Heart knights to a fevered pitch, in return taking the lives of Syr Kathrine Lancaster and Syr Shannon York, done by Syr Koya’kalcom, who crushed their skulls in her bare hands. It would be only a moment before Syr Olivar, long rumored to have been Syr Kathrine’s lover, shot Syr Koya’kalcom in the back of the head, destroying her sheath. In turn, Syr Olivar would be killed by Syr Kevan Dayne, whose greatsword was rumored to have once been an ancient treasure of Elentar.
When the Trial finally ended, only Syr Azalea Earn and Syr Zor’vokam were left standing, while the Sundered Heart still had Syr Garin Throne, Syr Forthwind Storm, and Syr Kevan Dayne. The rest lie dead in the fields. It took the elderly Syr Luciean Belleguard, who had been one of the many witnesses to this bloody mess and good friend of Azalea’s father, intervening to end the Trial, declaring the whole thing a farce. Though many would argue it was a Sundered Heart victory, in the end, both Orders had lost some of their finest knights in a rivalry few even understood at this point. The Trial of Blood, as it would later be called, was a black mark on both Orders, one the ambitious in both would quickly begin to exploit.
Syr Azalea had come out of the Trial of Blood heavily wounded, and it was only thanks to her medical officers that she was able to survive till 347 AoQ, where the life of a knight finally caught up to her. During a raid on Thorann by previously unknown pirates, she would be killed in the fighting. Afterwards, Syr Garin Thorne sent the moon-based order a thornless rose, as a symbol of mourning for his long-time rival.
Syr Duncan Tallman, Piratesbane
That election cycle things were heated. Some wished to attack the Sundered Heart and humiliate them for the insult to their late grandmaster and to avenge the Trial of Blood. Others wished to focus more internally, channel that rage into more productive means. In the end, the later won out, electing to the title of Lord Aquilae one Syr Duncan Tallman.
Syr Duncan Tallman had been captain of the SCS Relentless, and would be elected on the grounds of rebuilding the Order’s pride, but his plan was unlike anything else. Firstly he would refocus the order onto military fronts, repealing the Fourth Kimber Amendment by 356 AoQ, and return the focus on hunting pirates and generally being a fleet so large no one would dare attack them in force. The reason this particular item of business took so long was due to there having never been an entire amendment to their charter taken out before, and if that was even allowed. Ultimately, it was agreed the Grandmaster could do it.
Another part of Syr Duncan’s plan was to break a nearby pirate confederation. These pirates, though not yet a threat to the Court, had been their enemies on several different Quests, and Syr Duncan wished to not give them a chance to strike. After getting the blessing of both councils, he gathered the entire fleet and set out for the planet they’d taken over, a place called Ibrorix.
The Battle of Ibrorix was some of the fiercest fighting the Order had engaged in since the Tereket Wars. Over fifteen-hundred aerospace craft between the fighters and bombers launched from the ships, as each ship in the fleet is capable of deploying a complement of craft based on their size. Syr Duncan took command of the ground invasion once the immediate area around the planet was secured. Elsewhere, Task Force Wolverine would engage the rag-tag fleet of the Ibrorixian navy.
The ground battle was a rough one. Being a badlands world, the various infantry, traditional armor, and mechs moving quickly along the dry ground. At the city of Gold Isle, Ibrorixian Pirates staged a defense-in-depth, layered across the economic heart of their burgeoning empire. Lord Aquilae Syr Duncan Tallman offered them an amicable peace deal. Surrender, be taken into Order custody, tried for their crimes fairly and humanely, and the Order wouldn’t have to besiege the city. The city’s leader, Capt. Orvin ‘No-Fingers’ Blakemore, refused outright.
While the Eagles controlled the air, the ground battle was fierce, building-to-building fighting that would last almost three weeks. Of the roughly sixteen hundred knights and forty-thousand men-at-arms, the knights would lose eighty-nine and the MAA casualties would be almost two-thousand. The piratical forces would be killed to a man, with Capt. Orvin being hunted down and personally killed by Syr Duncan Tallman. This would typify the ground war, the Order would find an enemy stronghold. Offer them terms of surrender, and then they would refuse. A bloody battle would take place, and the Order’s superior weapons, armor, and discipline would see the day.
It would be 360 AoQ by the time the Battle of Ibrorix was finished, with the pirate republic burned out and ground to dust, and in it’s place was a friendlier state, the Ibrorixian League. This new republic would have a rocky start, but soon found that their extreme mineral wealth allowed them to trade quite well with their neighboring planetary governments. After four years of war, many of their regiments were badly beaten, and the loss of so many knights risked the Order losing a lot of status, but for a time, there was a constant mineral tithe coming into Sihi.
Syr Duncan Tallman was another of the few Resplendent Eagles grandmasters to step down from the office, in 381 AoQ, when his twin sons, Arthur and Jamie Tallman, became knights. He wished to fight alongside them and life as the Grandmaster made such a dream near impossible. He would nominate the Najan knight, Syr Salathrax-zej, to be his successor.
Syr Salathrax-zej, The Storm-Sword
Although adopted back in 156 EE, there had never been a Najan Lord Aquilae. In fact many of the more contentious elections almost saw a Najan take the role by sheer accident. What made Syr Salathrax-zej unique in this case was many fold. Firstly, he'd been in command of Task Force Wolverine during the Ibrorix Campaign. Secondly, he'd been endorsed by his predecessor. Thirdly, he'd distinguished himself during the Ibrorix Campaign by predicting enemy fleet movements before they were made. This ability to predict the foe made him both dangerous as a fleet commander but also as a fighter on the field.
As for policy, Syr Salathrax-zej would fall into being one of the more conservative Lord Aquilae. He’d expand the fleet by one extra battleship, the SCS Bravery, which would be one of the most dangerous battleships in the Order’s line up. He would also send out many of his knights out on quests, seeking to build renown for his Order.
Other areas of note for Syr Salathrax-zej was his incorporation of several different fighting styles as to make sure his knights were ready for anything. Often times, if they weren’t drilling, Resplendent Eagles were out finding new ways to fight. This meant scouting out other Orders and learning from them. For some, this was easier, for others, it was much more difficult.
By 400 AoQ, Syr Salathrax-zej had made several key Directorates redundant, allowing him to make his internal council smaller and smaller. Soon, the council would take the modern form, the Director of MIRAGE, the Director of the Navy, the Director of Administrations, the Director of External Affairs, the Director of Training, The Speaker of the Order, and the Talonlord, with the Lord Aquilae serving as a tie-breaker.
Dying of old age in 413 AoQ, Syr Salathrax-zej had become something of a legend, his Lighting Strike sword-style had become something many Resplendent Eagle knights sought to emulate, and his slimming of the Order’s government allowed them to invest in Hawksnest and other settlements on Thorann, causing the civil elements to experience a golden age, and if that was not enough, he’d managed to bring great glory in the squared circle of combat and in the halls of the Council of Grandmasters, having won his order several quests no other Lord Aquilae would have considered.
Syr Cledwyn Silverstream, The Defiant
The election of 413 AoQ was an unusually smooth affair. The popular battleship captain, Syr Cledwyn Silverstream, long descendant of a former Lord Aquilae Syr Caerwyn Silverstream, was elected to the grandmastership. The Lutrian would address his Order, informing them that he intended to continue the policies of Syr Salathrax-zej, as it was working very well. Syr Cledwyn also had plans to improve the fighters, bombers, interceptors, and a mass increase in the transport capacity of the fleet.
For much of his reign, Syr Cledwyn would be forced to stay on Thorann, due to needing to oversee the R&D for the updated craft, as well as a tricky situation politically. In 425 AOQ, Sundered Heart Grandmaster Syr Avelina Morrigan was making moves against the Eagles and their allies. Syr Avelina’s allies included Syr Claudio Brooke of the Order of Preservation and Syr Antonis Giaus Claudas Sethdragon of the Order of the Mystic Dragons, while the Eagles found allies they knew they had, such as Syr Silvian Tremaux of the Order of the Holy Sanctuary, but also in figures like Syr Mroginworth of the Order of the Griffins, Syr Cazimeer Holth of the Order of Red Dragons, Syr Ricardo Starhunter of the Order of the Great Wyrm, though the support of others like Syr Nortrom of the Order of the Lions came with the caveat that the Eagles not try to go around the Council’s decision for a number a years.
Plans were drawn up for a peace deal between the two orders, but it wouldn’t pan out, and Sundered Heart and Resplendent Eagles would fight in the Fields of Honor, leading to several of the combatants being exiled. This included Syr Cledwyn’s own daughter, Syr Cristyn Silverstream, being cast out. This did more damage to Syr Cledwyn’s political aims than the Sundered Heart could possibly imagine. In 449 AoQ, due to failing health, Syr Cledwyn would step down, but died of heart failure only a few days later, leading many to consider him having died in office.
As the year changed over to 450 AoQ, the new decade was marked by a series of short reigning and unremarkable grandmasters, much like the Age of Misdirection. This would last until 463 AoQ, with the rise of Syr Gawayne Winchester as Lord Aquilae. Syr Gawayne was something of a hero to the Order, having been one of the few knights to pilot the then new F-17 “Panther” fighter in combat, and downing fourteen enemy fighter-craft but also managing to down two enemy frigates in a single combat.
Syr Gawayne Winchester, The Reformer
Syr Gawayne would be the Grandmaster that saw the Order enter Beacon Space in 470 AoQ. He would celebrate the seeming near end of their quest with grand parties across the moon of Thorann, and further expanding of the The Grand Tourney to allow anyone to compete if they so wished, though it was still common for Knights to take home the victories.
The most notable thing Syr Gawayne did was allow Sheathed Soul teachers into the Order, allowing them some level of bleed mastery. The Eagles had always been very skeptical about the bleed, and so have prohibited its use. In 473 AoQ, that prohibition was officially lifted. Though controversial at the time, Technomancy, Metamancy, and Biomancy proved great for the Order’s ability to survive for long periods of time away from Thorann.
Syr Gawayne’s former squire, Syr Alexander Earn, was a close and constant companion to the Lord Aquilae. Many within the Order assumed Gawayne intended to support Alexander as his successor when he passed, with the assumption being passing the Order back to the House that founded it almost a thousand years ago. When in 499 AoQ Syr Gawayne fell ill, one of his last missives was to support the still relatively young Syr Alexander Earn as the new Lord Aquilae.
Syr Gawayne’s passing that same year came as a bit of a shock, but Syr Alexander Earn would still be elected to the grandmastership. Though the youngest knight ever elected, he was only thirty-five at the time, Syr Alexander began his reign by building up relationships with the Orders that had supported them during the reign of Syr Cledwyn Silverstream. He would normalize relations with the Mystic Dragons, though both still eyed one another with suspicion, as well as with the Order of Preservation, though both grandmasters would still clash brutally in the Council sessions, and perhaps most importantly, he began a mass recruitment for the Order’s men-at-arms, founding the 65th Armored Rangers “Fearless Engines” regiment. This particular regiment would go on to serve as the finest reconnaissance and light armor regiments they ever produced.
Syr Alexander Earn, The Screaming Eagle
Syr Alexander would also oversee much of the modernizing of the aerospace assets within his Order, using new battle data collected from the strange civilizations encountered within Beacon Space. Several of the reports he received were less than helpful, as they seemed to be more adaptive than their previous enemies.
Although Syr Alexander would not reign to see the rise of the Dominion movement, he did see the beginnings of a new schism within his own Order. In 541 AoQ, Director of MIRAGE, Syr Caroline DeCone proposed developing, in secret, biological weapons designed to kill Veinite Bioshells following new reports of what they could do against Sihian mechs. While many directors agreed, Syr Alexander would shut the whole idea down, and threatened to dissolve MIRAGE. He also had to deal with a growing concern about the sort of states they were encountering out here, some even calling them demons guarding the gate to their destined paradise.
Syr Alexander would be shot while on a diplomatic mission to the station of Telas, the Lord Aquilae having been investigating a group called The Penumbra Network. Several Agents would jump the grandmaster as he landed his lance’s transport The Rainmaker at Hab 2, where he would be brutally assaulted and killed. This caused a lot of anger among the Resplendent Eagles on Thorann, calling for a swift exit to the TTGI, which the Court had joined in hopes of finding Grail faster.
Syr Matilda Earn, The Castout
Although not named his successor, his daughter Syr Matilda Earn would be elected as Lord Aquilae that same year, as she had a staunchly isolationist streak when it came to the other stellar polities within Beacon Space. Unfortunately, she lasted only six years in the office before being removed from office by a vote of no confidence. Why varies on each director, but the common conspiracy is that each of the Directors had joined the growing Dominionist movement, and wanted a weaker Lord Aquilae on the Oakenwood Throne before their attack. She would be found dead in her home a few short months later.
Syr Constantine Earn, The Purple Phoenix
The Crisis over Dachia
Now is where the narrative structure of following the lives of each Grandmaster and talk about the conspiracy regarding the Dominion and the Resplendent Eagles. When Ancelot and company first got started with the Dominion ideology, the first Eagle to embrace it was Director Syr Caroline DeCone, whose family had long been derided as murderers ever since the death of Lord Aquilae Syr Franklyn Kimber back in 249 AoQ. Syr Caroline would convince her fellow Directors, Syr Adonis Fox, Syr Alicia Mejia, Syr Gideon Swyft, and Syr Livu’zakam. This five-knight conspiracy would gather several others to their banners.
One of the things that Syr Caroline DeCone made sure of was to get as many men-at-arms regiments as she could, notably the Thorann Defense Force commander, General of the Vanguard, Jaxton Turner and his 23rd Elite Infantry ‘Grand Talent’ and the 35th Light Armored ‘Thunderhawks’. Importantly, she was able to convince nearly a quarter of the fleet to go Dominionist by the time Ancelot pulled the trigger in 550 AoQ.
Much has been made in the past two decades about the lack of Eagles involvement in the greater Crisis over Dachia. However, the war in Sihi wasn’t the only theater of combat. Thorann, in conjunction with Syr Ancelot’s attack, was also attacked, with a quarter of the fleet helmed by Syr Caroline DeCone aboard the battleship SCS Avenger. Her task force had been ordered to either neutralize or destroy the forces on Thorann.
It was the same year, mere months before, that Syr Constantine Earn, nephew of Syr Alexander Earn and direct blood descendant of the first Lord Aquilae through the line of Syr Alfonso Earn, was elected to the Oakenwood Throne and grandmastership. Syr Constantine was generally seen as young and inexperienced, but that was what the Dominionist faction of the Eagles wanted, as well as someone who would follow the will of his High Council and the Councils on Sihi, which he was much more amicable to do. Constantine was, in this time, seen as the most diplomatic of Lords Aquilae, reaching out to fellow Old Blood houses like the Sethdragons to hopefully build better relations with them.
What hadn’t been expected was Syr Constantine to quickly rally the Courtier faction around him. He formed his own small council of more senior knights and took their words to heart, learning from them as he had learned from others in the past. Fearing he might not be the puppet they wanted, Syr Caroline prepared to have him assassinated, but the attack would begin far too quickly for her to execute the Lord Aquilae.
With a mostly corvette and destroyer fleet, Syr Caroline DeCone launched her attack on Thorann while most of the fleet was docked. This took the Order by surprise, but several took off and were able to return fire. Knight-Captain Leonidas Gallagher took command of SCS Atlas, and headed the Eagle Loyalists in defense of The Perch. Meanwhile, Syr Constantine Earn was leading the Loyalists against General Jaxton Turner as over sixty percent of the men-at-arms turned their guns on their brethren.
The space battle was perhaps the oddest battle in the entire Crisis. As DeCone wished to keep the fleet intact, fearing Ancelot’s betrayal if they won, she ordered the ships boarded. Something unexpected was just how fierce the fighting got, as the Dominionist/Courtier split followed several long standing rivalries within the Order. Syr Leonidas ordered similar boarding actions, the bloodiest of which was the Dominionist attempt to board the SCS Victoria. Knight-Captain Tommen Tallman would lead his knights in defense of the venerable carrier. Of the two-hundred knights and four-thousand men-at-arms, only forty knights and two hundred men-at-arms would survive, with the entire Dominion boarding party of three hundred knights and men-at-arms being wiped out. Syr Tommen Tallman, last heir of Syr Jamie Tallman, known as the Lion of Thorann, perished in the fighting.
On the ground, Syr Constantine Earn took his personal command, the 22nd Jump Infantry “Can Do”, 13th Air Cavalry “Stormcrows”, and 501st Elite Mechanized Infantry “Thorann’s Fist”, to meet General Jaxton Turner and several infantry, air-cavalry, and mechanized units. Most notable of them were the 23rd Elite Infantry ‘Grand Talent’ and the 35th Light Armored ‘Thunderhawks’. Outnumbered nearly sixty to one, Syr Constantine had more mechs, and using those mechs to slaughter to a man the personal command of General Turner, the 3rd Elite Heavy Tank regiment “Last Sinners”. Earn personally slew Jaxton Turner, with the loss of only thirteen mechs.
Captain Marvin Cook of the 23rd Elite Infantry ‘Grand Talent’ would take command of the Dominionist ground assault, and moved to attack Hawksnest. The Battle of Hawksnest would see the bulk of Dominionist ground forces slain. As Captain Cook arranged his battlelines, Syr Constantine Earn would move all the civilians to the Eagle’s Perch for their safety, while he ordered his three personal regiments to set up a perimeter, while the remaining men-at-arms filled in where they could. Syr Constantine is quoted as telling his remaining knights and men-at-arms the following;
“Hold your ground, sons and daughters of Thorann, of Sihi, of Lutria, of Najaran, my kith and my kin! I see within each of you the fear that would take anyone. A day may come when the courage of our Order fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it will not be today! In this hour of treason and faithlessness, where these wolves prowl at our doors, we will fight, and we will stand! I bid you, my warriors, we fight not only for us, for all our brothers and sisters who fight aboard Leviathan, aboard Sihi, and in the cold dark between the stars! Either Dachia will be our tomb, or we will make it theirs!”
As the battle began, Captain Cook would send in his irregulars, civilians who took up arms in name of the Dominion as shields for his more elite soldiers as VTOLs screamed overhead to the battle. As the 13th Air-Cavalry met their treasonous counterparts, the 22nd “Can Do” lept from their fellows into the enemy lines, managing to destroy much of the light and medium armor barreling towards Hawksnest, while also threatening Captain Cook’s command bunker.
When the enemy were within six-hundred yards, the anti-tank guns of the 501st sang their song of death, while the mechs would charge out to engage the Dominionist knights in combat. The 23rd “Grand Talent” would manage to be air dropped behind the lines, causing a massive battle with the 501st “Thorann’s Fist” infantry. As for Syr Constantine, he was leading the defense of his backlines, cutting down enemies with his heirloom blade, Caliburn, a blade it is said the High King gifted Alessandro Earn after the War of the Old King as a sign of their eternal friendship and brotherhood.
Five times did the Dominionist hordes crash into the Eagle’s lines, and five times were they repulsed. All the while the 23rd “Grand Talent” that had attempted to get into their back lines were slain to a man. The knights who’d sworn their souls to Ancelot’s folly lay dead, their mechs taken out with precision fire from the Eagles. By the time it was all said and done, there were nearly ten-thousand dead for the Loyalists, and almost six times that for the Dominionists, with several regiments wiped out.
Of the three-hundred 22nd “Can Do” soldiers sent behind enemy lines, one-hundred and thirty would make it back alive, with their Captain Emmanuel Skyes reporting the death of Captain Marvin Cook. The Battle of Hawksnest represented the bulk of Dominionist assets on Thorann being destroyed, while in space Syr Caroline DeCone and her fellow Directors were desperately trying to plot a course to victory. Unfortunately, Ancelot’s death by one Syr Reinauld had already happened, and Syr Leonidas Gallagher would launch a full assault to recapture DeCone’s ships.
The Battle of Dachia L3 would see all the ships recaptured, as losses for the naval knights aboard the Loyalist fleet had been remarkably small compared to the ground forces, and all five Directors captured as per the Lord Aquilae’s orders.
As for Thorann, it would be a final push to the city of Sheer Cliffs where the new Dominionist commander, Captain Johan Wynn would make his final stand. A veteran of some of the fiercest fighting since the arrival in Beacon Space, Captain Wynn knew a last stand when he saw it. Knowing he lacked the numbers or weapons or logistics to win, but not willing to surrender, Captain Wynn charged out to meet the mechs, tanks, and later on massed fighter and bomber squadrons. Of the remaining Dominion forces on Thorann, none would survive.
The Thorann War Trials & The Execution of Traitors
With the Crisis over Dachia over, Syr Constantine would have the five directors tried for high treason against the Court, high treason against the Order, and crimes against all sentient life aboard Sihi, Leviathan, and Thorann.
First to face trial was the Director of Training, Syr Livu’zakam, who would plead guilty, not knowing just how far the Dominion was willing to go. Because he didn’t try to protect himself, Syr Livu’zakam was stripped of his Fae and Sheath, and then banished. This was the only act of mercy for the traitorous Directors.
Second would be the Director of External Affairs, Syr Gideon Swyft. He would plead innocent, citing that he was following the precepts of the Order the entire time, fighting for what one believed in, regardless of the odds. The prosecution would bring forward mountains of evidence raided from the Department of External Affairs, showing Gideon was using the office for personal gain and actively sabotaging The Lord Aquilae’s efforts to normalize relations with other Orders since the time of Syr Alexander Earn. For this blatant corruption and treason, Syr Gideon was stripped of his Fae and Sheath, but also sentenced to hang.
Third would be Administrations, Syr Alicia Mejia. Syr Alicia would, like Syr Gideon before her, please innocent, claiming she’d been blackmailed into servine Syr Caroline’s scheme to usurp the Order. While this was found to be true, she had also used her position as Director of Administration to send good knights on suicide missions, leading to the death of several Freelancers and Lone Eagles that had been deemed too dangerous to be allowed to live. For this treason, she would lose her Fae and Sheath, but also be sentenced to death by beheading.
Fourth would be the Director of the Navy, Syr Adonis Fox. Syr Adonis would call Syr Constantine a tyrant, and claim that any court he oversaw was illegitimate. The hot-tempered knight would ultimately end up pleading no-contest, where hundreds of his crimes were uncovered, including sabotaging key repairs, upgrades, and funneling information to their rivals, and the murder of several key captains, including Syr Constantine’s first Talonlord, Syr Eliza Blackburn. For this and many more, Syr Adonis Fox would be stripped of his Fae and Sheath, and was to be hung from the neck until dead.
Finally was the Director of MIRAGE, Syr Caroline DeCone. Syr Caroline claimed she was only following orders from a true leader, Syr Ancelot, but loyalist MIRAGE agents uncovered the full breadth of her crimes, including the murders of Syr Alexander Earn and Syr Matilda Earn shortly after Syr Caroline had orchestrated a vote of no confidence. For these heinous crimes, she would lose her Fae and Sheath, and be hung from the neck until dead.
Across Thorann, several hundred other trials, just like this, were playing out. What few knights escaped Syr Constantine’s justice were either hanged or exiled, and the men-at-arms that were captured being exiled almost in totality, only those who had committed atrocities against the civilian population were to be hanged. In total, the Order would hang over three-hundred former knights and nearly a thousand men-at-arms.
Not all would see their gallows, however. Syr Adonis Fox would famously break out of prison and manage to smuggle himself aboard a freighter before anyone knew he was gone, where he would disappear from almost all records. Sgt. Thalia Graves would be given poison by one of her former squad-mates to avoid the hangman’s noose. Others would kill themselves in prison, usually by defenestrating themselves.
As for the remaining, three months after all the trials had finished, in the early parts of 551 AoQ, Director Alicia Mejia would be brought to the chopping block. Syr Constantine Earn would be her executioner. As he would later tell Sihian news publications;
“I sentenced her to death, and like all I sentenced, I will be the one to end their life. If I have the will to let it be written, I should also have the will to let it be done.”
Executions would end by 557 AoQ, at which point the Great Exile from Sihi happened. Syr Constantine had supported the measure, citing it as flushing out a cancer that might be tempted to spread once more. After seven years, Syr Constantine would be able to lead his Order in rebuilding. The first thing he did was make his small council the new directors, and assigned Syr Leonidas Gallagher as his new Talonlord following the retirement of Syr Valentina Rose in 556 AoQ.
The new Director of the Navy, Knight-Captain Syr Arving Greystark, would see the fleet undergo much needed repairs, maintenance, and upgrades. This included the aging aerospace ships, which would cause Thorann’s economy to slide backwards for the next ten years. When the economy did start to pick back up in 567 AoQ, the new Director of Administration, Syr Declan Ortega, would offer fifty percent of the Order’s wizards to aid in rebuilding Sihi. New Director of MIRAGE, Syr Emilia Romero, would expand the agency’s role into hunting down Dominionist terrorists and began Operation Almanac, an intelligence corp dossier on every known Dominionist knight that escaped justice, with the express goal of finding Adonis Fox and bringing him to the gallows.
It would be the Office of External Affairs that would see an almost total restructuring under their new Director, Syr Morgan Rainwood. The Lutrian would ensure that several lances of Resplendent Eagles were on Sihi at some point in their career, to get their focus off of Thorann and only in Thorann’s interests.
Finally, in 570 AoQ, the new Director of Training Zavier Snow would open the Thorann Military Academy, allowing the retiring Knights to help train a new generation of Knights. This not only helped retired knights get a job, but also allowed for the younger squires to learn from real life examples.
The Lord Aquilae - Nickname for the Grandmaster. Often used by lower ranking Eagles to keep the mystique of the Grandmaster. The Grandmaster is elected by the Knights of the Order, with the factionalism of the Order often causes this to take more time than other Orders.
Speaker of the Order - The Order’s chief Wizard, also serves a religious purpose to many in the order. The Speaker’s role is not only to maintain the weapons of war, but also to inspire the Knights, Squires, and Men-at-Arms.
The Talonlord - The Order’s Master at Arms, often also made the captain of SCS Wolverine. Commonly, The Talonlord is seen as a second-in-command of the Order, although there is no guarantee that the Talonlord will be the new Lord Aquilae upon their passing.
Flight-Captain - Overall commander of the various Wings onboard a ship, for a battlegroup it becomes Flight-Commander.
Lone Eagles - Lone Eagles is a code name for a vast array of MIRAGE agents, as well as the Order’s primary recon force. Usually operating in single person teams, Lone Eagles tend to fly ahead of their assigned Battlegroup and relay information back to MIRAGE and to their flagship.
Freelancer - A knight who eschews the aerospace aspects of the Order and even the idea of a lance for more ground-oriented work, usually this will be with a men-at-arms regiment focused on rapid assault, airborne operations such as paratroopers (often called Jump Infantry within the Order), or tanker crews. Freelancers are considered highly dangerous in single combat.
MIRAGE - Military Intelligence Regulatory Administration for Greater Engagements, or MIRAGE, is the OSI branch of the Order, and the body which the Lone Eagles answer to before answering to The Lord Aquilae. While individual Eagles might investigate specific issues or trails of the Free Dominion, MIRAGE handles the big picture, such as coordinating data between them, securing compromised agents, and on occasion aiding in large scale operations. All data regarding Dominion activity is processed through MIRAGE, which, officially, doesn’t even exist.
Flights - Usually named after the Flight-Captain (Flight-Samuel), a Flight is in many ways the aerospace version of a Lance. The two will be used interchangeably by Eagles in the company of others.
Battlegroups - Named after the largest ship in the group, or the most prestigious ship in the group (ie; Battlegroup Liberator), a Battlegroup consists of whatever ships happen to be working together, and are often very fluid. When called upon by the Councils to do battle, the Order will build six battlegroups, one built around the Liberator and the five carriers. Traditionally, Battlegroup Liberator consists of the Order’s battleships, which are historically smaller than others, but pack about as much of a punch.
The Order of the Resplendent Eagle is often apart, so an overall command structure is very hard to do. This has led to many confusing the various Battlegroups as the Order itself. This has been both a boon to the Order’s operational efficiency, allowing them to bring in more supplies and resources for the Court, but also has led to more than a few times where a battlegroup has been hired out only for the client to claim to have been cheated when more ships show up.
The Grandmaster, The Lord Aquilae, captains the SCS Liberator, and holds absolute power over the Order, having the power to pass bylaws and countermand what are otherwise practically independent Battlegroups’ orders with the flick of a wrist. While that level of power is rarely invoked, in times of crisis, the Lord Aquilae will take full dictatorial powers over his or her Order.
The High Council is a governing body made of directors of various departments within the Order. While the Directorships hold no direct power, short of their direct department, it gives them a unique amount of knowledge of what is going on.
Also within the High Council are the mayors of the two major settlements, Hawksnest and Sheer Cliffs. Although the Mayor of Sheer Cliffs is commonly a mining guild crony, these two advisory seats hold no power within the Council, but do allow the council to understand what their civilians need and want from the governing body.
- Current Lord Aquilae: Syr Constantine Earn, The Purple Phoenix
- Current Talonlord: Syr Leonidas Gallagher, The Golden Lionhawk
- Director of MIRAGE: Syr Emilia Romero, The Illusionist
- Director of the Navy: Syr Arving Greystark, The Grand Strategist
- Director of Administrations: Syr Declan Ortega, The Seneschal of Thorann
- Director of External Affairs: Syr Morgan Rainwood, The River-Dancer
- Director of Training: Syr Zavier Snow, The Rimelord
- Lord-Mayor of Hawksnest: Solomon Elder
- Lord-Mayor of Sheer Cliffs: Horatio Crawford
The Order of the Resplendent Eagles, while still heavy in favor of mech assaults in ground based combat, operate a wide fleet of tanks like some other orders might. In part, they use heavy up-gunned APCs as their mobile armor of choice, but do keep some tank regiments such as the 105th Heavy Armor “Marked Riders” regiment.
The APC-149C “Coyote” is one such example, sporting a 25 mm autocannon and a MRS-5, it is one of the fastest of the fighting APCs, able to carry twelve soldiers and their equipment, as well as a small assortment of heavy weapons such as rocket launchers, mortars, and heavy machine guns.
The APC-149B “Black Bear” is the up-armored version of the Coyote, stripping out the MRS-5 and replacing it with a MRS-2 and an extra ton of armor plating. The autocannon is replaced wholesale for a minigun, though this means that it can only carry ten soldiers and their gear.
The APC-149B2 “Brown Bear” is the Order’s attempt to meld the two styles, the 149B2 replaces the chaingun with a rapid fire 12 mm autocannon, two independently fired Arrowhead anti-armor rockets, and a MRS-4. This larger base model means it can carry twenty soldiers, their gear, and with any heavy weapons they may be assigned. The Brown Bear’s biggest weakness is that compared to the Coyote or Black Bear, it lacks armor and trades it for speed.
The APC-149BB “Bobcat” takes the Brown Bear’s design approach and decides to focus entirely on speed. Stripping down most weapons to a 10 mm RFAC, a MRS-2, and only a half ton of armor, the Bobcat can reach 53 mph (85 kph). Contextually, the Brown Bear can only do 45 mph (72 kph) whereas the Black Bear and Coyote can only do 34 mph (55 kph) and 37 mph (60 kph) respectively.
The go-to tank of the Order is the M2 “Paladin” heavy tank. Armed with two 50mm autocannons, two Arrowhead rocket systems, and a suite of electronic warfare options, the M2 Paladin is a force on the battlefield. With almost sixteen tons of armor plating, the M2 is also remarkably resilient as well as deadly, but also nimble, able to match the APC-149BB “Bobcat” for speed.
The M3 “Crusader” is the sister to the M2 “Paladin”, although it has a narrower focus on being a tank of the line, featuring a small naval laser, a co-axial 20 mm RFAC, sponson-mounted heavy machine guns, and a hull mounted mortar. The M3 is designed to deal with multiple situations all at once, be it infantry, armored foes, or even smaller mech-scale weapons.
When a situation calls for mobile artillery, the Order calls upon the M56 “To Whomst It May Concern” mobile artillery platform. Armed with a single 300 mm artillery cannon and four machine guns for protection, the M56 can launch a wide variety of shells, including shrapnel, high explosive, incendiary, and can swap out the 300 mm gun with a naval plasma cannon as needed.
The M103 “Giantslayer” is a tank designed in the last few years specifically to kill enemy mechs and mech-scale weapons systems. Armed with two laser cannons, two MRS-15s, and a single Saber missile with Headhunter targeting system, the M103 has multiple configurations.
The M103-B “Beastslayer” carries a single naval autocannnon, inspired, though never admitted to, by the Sundered Heart grandmaster’s mech, the Wallbreaker which carries a similarly sized gun. The M103-B also carries two machine guns to protect itself from infantry.
The M103-D “Dragonslayer” carries a light plasma cannon, two machine guns, and three Beehive MRS systems. The M103-C is the most expensive and heat intensive of the M103 variants, but is also the best at peeling off heavier armor like that found on Dominionist mechs. It is also very good at destroying anything short of a superheavy tank.
Most pilots in the Order have two signature pieces of war gear; their mech, which most people would assume as much when talking about an Order of Knights of the Starlit Court, but also their aerospace fighter. Over the years there were many different fighter-classes, the same goes for bombers, interceptors, and transports.
The F-19 “Sabercat” was the preferred fighter in modern times, being one of the fastest, safest, and most heavily armed aerospace fighters ever developed. The F-19 “Sabercat” is armed in several different configurations. The baseline “Sabercat” houses two beam-cannons, a laser designed to puncture heavy armor, and several Saber missiles, another anti-armor weapon, though less power intensive than the beam-cannons.
The F-19B is notoriously armed with two Longsword rocket pods in place of the beam-cannons, and ten Saber missiles equipped with Headhunter targeting systems. This allows the commonly nicknamed “Wildcats” to be the preferred anti-armor platform for the Order.
Finally, the F-19C, armed with two Galahad pattern chainguns, called the “Shadowcat”, is a great stealth platform designed to mow down infantry, even within power armor, and light armored vehicles. The “Shadowcat” is often used as a scout-fighter, as it is faster than the Sabercat or Wildcat.
For bomber pilots, the B-25 “Castlecracker”, is a flying fortress of an aerospace craft. Armed with two Rapid-Fire 35 mm Autocannons on each side down the fuselage, six different anti-fighter laser cannons all around the fuselage, a front facing plasma cannon, designed to clear away asteroids in the Castlecracker’s path, though ripping apart enemy fighters is also a valid use, and can carry upwards of two tons of ordinance and a belly-facing 105 mm Autocannon. Though there are several other modern bombers, the Castlecracker makes upwards of 85% of the bombercraft in the Order’s fleet.
The I-49 “Lancer” interceptor is a truly fascinating craft. Born during the final years of the Fourth Kimber Amendment, the I-49 was designed to hunt down fightercraft, with a Beehive auto-locking rocket pods, two Galahad-pattern chainguns, and is filled with several subsystems designed to give the Lancer maximal maneuverability. Due to it’s lighter armor, it outspeeds the Shadowcat by almost 20 mph (32 kph).
The I-83 “Faster Than A Speeding Bullet” is the fastest craft the Order ever developed. Moving in atmosphere at Mach 6.9, the I-83 is almost exclusively a scouting and reconnaissance vehicle, armed with only one 16 mm autocannon and enough ammo to fire twenty times. Since all of the I-83’s systems are designed to make the ship go faster, the defensive abilities of the craft are nearly non-existent, but is still classified as an Interceptor.
The I-71 “Freedom Trail” is the top of the line interceptor, though is still rivaled by the I-49 “Lancer” for modern usability. The I-71 is armed with ten Arrowhead rockets with Headhunter tracking systems, two 10mm rapid-fire autocannons, and the still experimental SPRITE electronic warfare system, allowing a knight’s fae to take over flying the craft or to hack into enemy craft and disable them.
The ATS-99 “Doomstack” is the transport-of-the-line, capable of bringing several companies of Men-at-Arms, a Lance of Knights, and a few armored vehicles in a single vehicle. Armed with several small laser batteries, six missile batteries, and a set of heavy autocannons to help clear a landing zone, the ATS-99 truly lives up to it’s name.
The ATS-108 “Phatstacks” is specifically a mech delivery system, able to move three lances of even the heaviest mechs Sihi can build while sacrificing none of the combat potential of the ATS-99. The main difference between the two is in what they’re designed and outfitted to carry, allowing a more mech-focused operation to begin faster and with more numbers.
Locations of Note
The Eagle’s Perch - Situated atop a mountain on the Sihian moon of Thorann, The Eagle’s Perch is a vast complex of ship repair depots, supply depots, and training facilities. The Eagle’s Perch, or commonly just called The Perch, doubles as the seat of power for the Order. While Wizards might repair strike craft, the men-at-arms and knights have VR Pods that are used to simulate combat, allowing them to keep a rather high combat efficiency even in times of long peace.
Hawksnest - A small city built up around The Eagle’s Perch, Hawksnest also serves as a constant place for The Grand Tournament to be held, with the Tourney Grounds bringing in the most revenue for people coming to see the games. It also gives a place for a knight’s family, and some families have been living in Hawksnest since its founding in 302 AoQ. Notable locations in Hawksnest include the Thorann Military Academy, Burritoville, and Roc of Thorann Tavern & Inn.
Thorann Military Academy - Located in the eastern end of Hawksnest, the Thorann Military Academy was opened in 570 AoQ under direct supervision of Director of Training and Headmaster Syr Zaviar Snow. The massive complex began construction during the rebuilding years following the Dachia Crisis in 555 AoQ. Fifteen years later, the doors would open, and begin training both squires and men-at-arms alike.
Sheer Cliffs - A small village in the Eternity Pass, Sheer Cliffs was founded in 318 AoQ following further settlement of Thorann, and set up by a mining guild to extract minerals from the moon. While famously the last stand of the Eagle Dominionists on Thorann, Sheer Cliffs became the site when the worst MAA traitors were hanged. A monument to those brave heroes who fought and died to liberate the two stands in the center, a single obelisk of rough, lunar stone. A golden plate names every armsman and knight slain in the name of freeing them from the Dominion’s oppression.
Regiments of Renown
22nd Jump Infantry “Can Do” - The elite jump-pack equipped infantry for when the Order needs to put mechs and boots on the ground, the 22nd Can Do are notorious for their cheerful outlook on life, and can do attitude that gives them their moniker and regimental motto.
13th Air-Cavalry “Stormcrows” - The premier regiment of lightly armored VTOL regiment, the Stormcrows get their name from the VTOL of choice, being one of the only ones in the Order’s roster to feature an energy weapon, in this case, a laser cannon.
501st Elite Mechanized Infantry “Thorann’s Fist” - While the 22nd Jump Infantry are the fast moving scouts of the Lord Aquilae’s entourage, it is the 501st EMI who make up the bulk of their bodyguard forces. Armed with the best weapons and armor Order industry can produce, the 501st are the original defenders of the Grandmaster, dating back to before the High King’s Rebellion, having been the ducal army of House Earn back on Elentar.
65th Armored Rangers “Fearless Engines” - Founded following the passing of Syr Gawayne, the 65th Armored Rangers are the premier armored scouts of the Order, often going well in advance of any terrestrial army the Order might need to land. During the Dachia Crisis, it was the 65th who found the columns of traitors moving on Hawksnest, and then again at their final redout at Sheer Cliffs.
105th Heavy Armored “Marked Riders” - Heirs to a legendary band of horsemen from Elentar’s ancient past, the 105th treat their machines the same way a cavalryman would have treated his horse. Known for their extensive use of the M2 “Paladin” and M3 “Crusader”
33rd Light Armored “Rough Riders” - The 33rd Light Armored regiment, called the Rough Riders for their love of all things fast, have a long and storied history of overrunning enemy positions, one of the first regimental commanders, Col. Cyrus Milligan, would be quoted as saying “Time to ride rough over there!” which gave the regiment their name.
Syr Alessandro Earn, The First Eagle
Born to the noble house of Earn, Alessandro spent much of his youth in the Elentari capital, learning to become a proper soldier of the Old King and later, the High King. He was known to only be a good swordsman, but his real strength was in his abilities as a pilot of not only mechs, but strike craft as well. He had grown close to the young High King long before the rebellion, and was one of the first to throw his hat in with him. Alessandro would pass away only a few years after founding his Order. It is said he took his mech and flew off alone into the stars to try and find his friend. Perhaps his greatest contribution was the construction of The Eagle’s Perch, something he’d been working on since the moon had been pulled into Sihi’s gravity well.
Syr Samuel Earn, The First Freelancer/The Champion of Sihi
The first Champion of Sihi. During the Returnist Riots, it would be Syr Samuel who would lead the charge against the rebels. During the battle, he would personally hunt down the rebel leadership, using Caliburn to slay them in single combat. His wounds would be grave when he was finally found after the battle, mountains of rebel corpses around him. Unfortunately, despite being rushed to a medical center, he would be declared dead. Caliburn would be returned to his family during the ceremony to name him the First Champion of Sihi.
Syr Azaria Dawn, Mistress of the Fleet
Azaria was born to a lowborn family in 100 EE and was something of a delinquent in her youth. When she was chosen and squired, Azaria took to the fighting like a fish to water. Some of her first notable missions would be in the Najan Wars, where her Flight left the Najan military outflown despite being outnumbered nearly four to one. This got her a lot of recognition, and in 154 EE, was named Talonlord. Azaria would not hold the title long, however, as in the following battle she would be particularly hunted down by the Najan air forces.
Syr Crispen Colt, The Thunderbird
Knights of the Resplendent Eagle are often not known for their mild manners, nor their temper. Crispen was no different, and after a particularly grueling battle between the Era of the Elders and the Era of Schism, would find his Flight at odds with the Order of the Sundered Heart, who claimed the planet-killing weapon was theirs by order of the High King. It would be this event that would cause a schism between the Eagles and Hearts. Colt would fight in the Realm Sundering, but would ensure his forces opposed as many Sundered Hearts as possible, and would die at the Sundering. In later years, for his service to the Order, a Destroyer would be designated with his title.
Syr Angelo Malone, The Eagle’s Eye
While infantry work is not something many within the order commonly do, as their men-at-arms tend to man helicopters or other fighting vehicles when in atmosphere, Syr Angelo Malone was a different case. Serving as one of the Freelancers, Angelo would discover an enemy base that the Court had not anticipated being there. Upon contacting MIRAGE, Angelo was tasked with neutralizing the base. This would lead to him silently killing the command staff save for the CO, who would be captured, and forced to march his remaining forty men almost six miles to the nearest Court emplacement as his prisoners, the most ever taken in a single action by a single Freelancer.
The Resplendent Eagles, due to their fleet and aerospace focus, have quite the fleet of ships totalling one-hundred and one (101) in total. These ships are generally of such a varied design and purpose that the categories being almost pointless. As part of the doctrine of aerospace-superiority championed by the order it should be noted that each ship has some sort of hanger bay, so fighter capacity will be noted.
SCS Liberator (50 fighters, 30 bombers, 60 interceptors, 100 troop transports)
The SCS Liberator is perhaps the most iconic ship in the fleet. Operating as something like a hybrid between a Battleship and a Carrier, the SCS Liberator has some of the highest end cannons in the Order’s arsenal, while also allowing for hundreds of strike craft and transports. Being twice the size of the next biggest ship, the SCS Liberator is comparable in size to a tiny worldship like Leviathan, though Leviathan dwarfs Liberator by multiple factors of scale.
Carrier-type ships are remarked by their expansive hangar bays and squadrons of small craft that operate out of them. Over 150 support vessels can be carried by some ships of this class. While powerful in their own right, the Resplendent Eagle’s carriers are seldom without screening ships to make up for their limited main guns. Prominent carriers include:
- SCS Thunderstorm (25 fighters, 15 bombers, 30 interceptors, 40 troop transports)
- SCS Victoria (30 fighters, 10 bombers, 20 interceptors, 40 troop transports)
- SCS Untouchable (35 fighters, 20 bombers, 60 interceptors, 40 troop transports)
- SCS Resolution (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 25 interceptors, 40 troop transports)
- SCS Millenium (40 fighters, 20 bombers, 10 interceptors, 40 troop transports)
Battleships used by the Resplendent Eagles feature large ship-to-ship weapons and considerable firepower. They typically carry a complement of up to 65 support craft including 20 fighters, 10 bombers, 15 interceptors, 20 troop transports. Notable ships include the SCS Atlas, Avenger, Bravery, Claymore, Polaris, Relentless, Reliant, Rhodes, Trafalgar, and Wolverine.
- SCS Relentless (20 fighters, 10 bombers, 15 interceptors, 20 transports)
- SCS Polaris (20 fighters, 10 bombers, 15 interceptors, 20 transports)
- SCS Atlas (20 fighters, 10 bombers, 15 interceptors, 20 transports)
- SCS Claymore (20 fighters, 10 bombers, 15 interceptors, 20 transports)
- SCS Trafalgar (20 fighters, 10 bombers, 15 interceptors, 20 transports)
- SCS Reliant (20 fighters, 10 bombers, 15 interceptors, 20 transports)
- SCS Avenger (20 fighters, 10 bombers, 15 interceptors, 20 transports)
- SCS Bravery (20 fighters, 10 bombers, 15 interceptors, 20 transports)
- SCS Rhodes (20 fighters, 10 bombers, 15 interceptors, 20 transports)
- SCS Wolverine (20 fighters, 10 bombers, 15 interceptors, 20 transports)
The middle ground between a Battleship and a Destroyer, the Order of Resplendent Eagle’s cruisers are designed around beating anything that gives the carriers any weird looks. Designed around a few main, medium-level cannons. Many of these ships are also specialized in electronic warfare, meaning any red and gold painted cruiser is always a threat.
- SCS Stalwart (10 fighters, 10 bombers, 10 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Navigator (10 fighters, 10 bombers, 10 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Pleiades (10 fighters, 10 bombers, 10 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Triumph (10 fighters, 10 bombers, 10 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Arcadian (10 fighters, 10 bombers, 10 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Montgomery (10 fighters, 10 bombers, 10 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Confidence (10 fighters, 10 bombers, 10 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Eternity (10 fighters, 10 bombers, 10 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Stormfalcon (10 fighters, 10 bombers, 10 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Cydonia (10 fighters, 10 bombers, 10 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Traveler (10 fighters, 10 bombers, 10 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Corsair (10 fighters, 10 bombers, 10 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Nightfall (10 fighters, 10 bombers, 10 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Gladiator (10 fighters, 10 bombers, 10 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Hellhound (10 fighters, 10 bombers, 10 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Opal Star (10 fighters, 10 bombers, 10 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Eternal (10 fighters, 10 bombers, 10 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Argonaut (10 fighters, 10 bombers, 10 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Challenger (10 fighters, 10 bombers, 10 interceptors, 5 transports)
Often called ‘Torpedo Boats’, Resplendent Eagles Destroyers are built around launching maximal saturation of void-torpedos against an enemy fleet. While perhaps not horribly efficient alone, en masse, they’re as scary as facing down a Battleship. Though designed to launch torpedoes, the laser batteries that make up the main guns of a Destroyer, are still dangerous if you disregard them.
- SCS Star Finder (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Oberon (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Thunderbird (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Intervention (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Vanguard (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Invictus (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Actium (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Phalanx (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Malta (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Trident (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Behemoth (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Starhunter (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Sparrow (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Hunter (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Wailing Wind (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Stellar Flare (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Providence (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Nexus (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Avalanche (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Nomad (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Stormspike (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Freedom (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Thebes (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Saber (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
- SCS Rampart (10 fighters, 5 bombers, 5 interceptors, 5 transports)
The smallest military vessel the Order of the Resplendent Eagles employs, Corvettes are the fastest ship in the fleet, often serving as forward scouts and setting up a perimeter around the carriers and escorting Battleships or Carriers. Although the lightest armed, lightest armored, and often joked to be ‘Torpedo Catchers’, massed Corvettes can and will kill much larger warships.
- SCS Gauntlet (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Thanatos (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Pursuer (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Experience (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Inferno (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Raven (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Dream (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Bayonet (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Wolf (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Constellation (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Kingfisher (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Legacy (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Typhoon (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS New Hope (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Event Horizon (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Scimitar (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Promise (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Spitfire (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Starfall (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Falling Star (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Invader (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Remorseless (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Black Viper (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Dagger (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Rising (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Hummingbird (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Alto (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Stargazer (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Shooting Star (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Whirlwind (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Falcon (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Voyager (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Dragonstar (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Steel Aurora (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Thunderbolt (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Badger (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Close Encounter (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Last Hope (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Meteor (5 fighters, 1 transport)
- SCS Star Talon (5 fighters, 1 transport)
Relics of the Order
Caliburn, The Eagle’s Blade - Allegedly gifted to Syr Alessandro following the final victory over the Old King, Caliburn has been a relic of the Earn family since the earliest days of Sihi. Allegedly forged to be as strong and sturdy as mech armor, this blade has been wielded by every Earn Lord Aquilae ever since.
The Oakenwood Throne - The seat of power from the old Duchy of Earn, the Oakenwood Throne is a massive chair carved expertly out of the base of a titanic oak tree that had grown where the Earn castle was to be built. This seat has been preserved within The Eagle’s Perch where any knight may approach their grandmaster.
The Arathorn Scrolls - Said to come from Elentar’s far past, the scrolls are said to have been the founding documents of the Duchy of Earn. It is said these scrolls were bound with sorcery, though this is disputed to put it mildly.
Shaheen - The power armor of Syr Alessandro Earn, the armor is not only a set of power plate, but the seemingly decorative pinions on the back also serve as a jump pack, allowing The Lord Aquilae to join a ground battle fast. It is said that more secrets hide within the armor, that will reveal themselves to a worthy Lord Aquilae.
The Stormfury-V - Stormfury was an energy weapons company of old Elentar, and were known for selling laser and plasma weapons to the Elentari nobility. The one-of-a-kind Stormfury-V is a plasma pistol that hooks into the armor and is mounted on the wrist. Although called a pistol, it operates more akin to a flamethrower, but instead of something silly like napalm, it fires supercharged plasma about the same distance.
Ring of The Lord Aquilae - The former Ducal ring, the Ring of the Lord Aquilae is a silver band with the Order’s sigil (also the sigil of House Earn), used to wax-stamp official paperwork and as a sign of office when The Lord Aquilae isn’t within his armor.
List of Grandmasters
Syr Alessandro Earn, The First Eagle - 721 EOK - 18 EHK (25 years): Had a cult of personality before founding the Order, Founder of the Order
Age of Misdirection - 18 EHK - 84 EGM (84 years): During this time, the Order suffered through over fifty inept Grandmasters.
Syr Ilyana Winchester, The Wildcat - 84 EGM - Early 25 EE (32): Ended the Age of Misdirection
Syr Thoda’kodom Warstorm, The Roc of Sihi - 25 EE - 72 EE (47 years): Fought the Lutrian War and wrote the Warstorm Reforms.
Syr Theodal Colt, The Kingmaker - 72 EE - 100 EE (23 years): Played the Council of Grandmasters in order to better serve his own needs. Would commonly spend his time making deals on Sihi, and spent nearly no time at The Eagle’s Perch.
Syr Rylon Steyr, The Warrior - 100 EE - 149 EE (49 years): Restored the Order to it’s pre-Theodal glory by starting The Glory Wars.
Syr Caerwyn Silverstream, The Chainbreaker - 149 EE - 163 EE (14 years): Fought the Najan War, founded MIRAGE.
Syr Taliya Staccato, The Iron Eagle - 163 EE - 209 EE (46 years): Expanded the Fleet, known for ending the Glory Wars.
Syr Trystan Browning, the Unifier - 211 EE - 1 AoQ (44 years): Oversaw the Order through the Age of Schism and Civil War.
Syr Rohar Earn, The Questlord of Thorann - 4 AoQ - 27 AoQ (23 years): Oversaw the most number of quests in his order’s history.
Syr Volker Strong, Bonebreaker - 27 AoQ - 81 AoQ (54 years):
Syr Tagwen Greenway - 81 AoQ - 102 AoQ (21 years):
Syr Otan’vakamai - 102 AoQ - 157 AoQ (55 years):
Syr Osvaldo Montoya - 157 AoQ - 200 AoQ (43 Years):
Syr Micah Winchester - 200 AoQ - 204 AoQ (4 years):
Syr Gregor Taurus - 204 AoQ - 208 AoQ (4 years):
Syr Kyso’tegram - 208 AoQ - 220 AoQ (12 years):
Syr Martyn Riverrunner - 220 AoQ - 223 AoQ (3 years):
Syr Franklyn Kimber, The Inventor - 223 AoQ - 249 AoQ (23 years):
Syr Malik Earn - 251 AoQ - 302 AoQ (51 years):
Syr Azalea Earn, The Delight of Thorann - 302 AoQ - 349 AoQ (47 years):
Syr Duncan Tallman - 349 AoQ - 381 AoQ (32 years):
Syr Salathrax-zej - 381 AoQ - 413 AoQ (32 years):
Syr Cledwyn Silverstream - 413 AoQ - 449 AoQ (36 years):
Second Age of Misdirection - 449 AoQ - 463 AoQ (14 years):
Syr Gawayne Winchester - 463 AoQ - 499 AoQ (33 years):
Syr Alexander Earn - 499 AoQ - 543 AoQ (44 years):
Syr Matilda Earn - 543 AoQ - 549 AoQ (6 years):
Syr Constantine Earn, The Purple Phoenix - 550 AoQ - Present (23 Years)