|Motto||“He who does not walk against the arrows cannot talk about the strength of his shield!” -Grandmaster Markus Carlson, 1st grandmaster of the Order of the Celestial Swords|
|Parent Faction||Starlit Court|
|Leader||Syr Fabius Bruno, The Golden Wall|
|Colors||Red and Gold with Silver Accents|
|Capital Ship||SCS Svalinn|
As a sibling order to the Order of The Lunar Arrows, both having made their divergence from their parent order, the Celestial Swords, the Order of the Solana Shields first deployed 400 years ago during a contracted conflict. At the point in combat when most other orders would have held their ground or maintained distance, the Shields took a more direct approach. Using towering shields of sturdy metal, they made an interlocking wall that marched forward. Fire rained down on them and yet their shield wall held, and they were not even slowed in their advance. They made it to the enemy's bastion with barely any injuries or casualties amongst them, as hardly any shot had made it through their shields. Admittedly, these shields were battered and damaged by the end of the advancement.
At the walls of the bastion, the order bashed its way through with precise charges and sheer force. Once the walls were breached, the other orders on the quest swiftly followed. By the end of the fight, there were very few casualties from the Shields, and fewer than twenty-five of their hundred men sustained injuries, mostly from the devolving conflict within the walls. .
Their courage cannot be disputed nor questioned, as one must have a solid will to brazenly walk forth, trusting in your shield to hold, shoulder to shoulder with your shield brothers and sisters. In body and in mind, their goal is to always move forward, undaunted. From the outside, viewers might categorize them as headstrong; they accept any challenge fearlessly. When not assigned to the attack, they are brilliant defenders whose lines rarely -if ever- falter under heavy assault.
Out on the fleet: SCS Solana Shields ships, while not necessarily carrying heavy guns, do carry light anti-capital ship cannons, anti-fighter turrets, and many countermeasures to deflect and disrupt torpedo and missile-targeting signals. Their ships, along with these armaments, are constructed with a heavier and thicker hull, allowing for them to easily absorb incoming fire. They often use their ships as shields for their lighter allies to hide behind, should a battle grow too dangerous, or an ally need reprieve. They also act as mobile resupplying vessels, even in dangerous combat situations.
In combat: SCS fighters deploy in large tight formations on the front lines, acting as vanguards to their fellow knights. They wish to be the first on the field and last ones out of any combat. They see it as their duty to ensure and protect everyone within their capability, regardless of Order. Their large formations are organized in a square shape, with shields forward and their heavy guns resting on the rim of their shields, stabilized. These blocky formations can easily move due to their extensive training to march in formation. Should the large formations be broken, separated into smaller lances, they will employ similar strategies, albeit in smaller numbers, to retain the strength of a wall of steel, ever pushing forward.
“Svalinn” is a mighty ship with many scar marks across its hull, repaired yet left there as a sign of the numerous encounters they've prevailed through. These scars often invite attacks, tricking enemies that think these marks must be the weakest points, when these are the strongest, most reinforced areas, well defended against assault or attempted boarding.
Syr Fabius Bruno, The Golden Wall: Fabius, the current grandmaster of the Solana Shields, earned his title “The Golden Wall” by leading his order to personally guard the gates of Sihi’s engines at the Crisis over Dachia. He fought off and held the line against the Dominionists that dared to attempt to capture the engine directly to ensure Sihi was steered into the planet below, should the control center be lost, as it ultimately was when Syr Reinauld of the Lions defeated Ancelot and canceled the deadly descent. Many onlookers to the conflict noted how Fabius and his men seemed to stand like a wall of gold that wouldn't budge under the assault.
Syr Brooklyn May, The Gorgons Shield: May is the second in command, having earned his honorific after returning from a mission with his shield twisted, battered and condensed down into an ugly mess. Miraculously, it still holds strong -if not stronger- and he has yet to repair it properly. He has, however, decorated the shield with snake-like imagery to enhance the frightful message his shield will still hold strong, despite being battered by constant adversity. He is known for not often replacing or discarding his effects, often using things till they're worn out or repurposing them into new things of worth.
Syr Melody Thornton, The Golden Rose: Melody is a visage of beauty and strength. She is often sent as the representative and diplomat of the Solana Shields, due to her level head, temperament, and ability to usually see a situation clearly and without bias. She does not back down from conflict, and does call others out if they’re being hypocritical. Due to her integrity and graceful skill of social interactions, she is the most approachable of the members of the Solana Shields’ leadership. Compared to her, the others come off as stern, strict, and blunt in their conversations and interactions.
Recruitment begins with sorting the aspirants into teams of five and instilling into them a sense of brotherhood and family. One must trust those on their team to have their back. No one person should rise above the others in the team without the others first placing their trust in that individual to lead them. They will have to choose by vote after some time together who they feel would best lead them. It's not perfect, and leadership is in flux in the earlier stages of recruitment due to a wide variety of factors and internal conflicts. Eventually, this process inevitably instills good teamwork into each group of aspirants.
These teams will be put through tests of teamwork, competitive trials of speed, dexterity, and strength against other aspirant groups. These may consist of races, obstacle courses, and other challenges to their teamwork and camaraderie. Those that fail to work together or efficiently have their meals cut and are made to do exhausting workouts.
As they get further along, they master marching, walking, and running in formation while holding their shield and weapons. Aspirant teams fight one another so that they may gain some good practice fighting against others that may employ similar tactics against them.
Aspirants are subjected to classes on tactics, physical training, formation marches, and lessons on how to wield both a sword and gun with a shield. They will be taught to trust one another. At the end, the teams are disbanded, and the remnants of the training are treated as a cohesive unit. Those who did not withstand the grueling training often move to the men-at-arms regiment. Those that remain become squires and are taught to take what they learned as a team in training to influence their future within the order, their new family.
A strong brotherhood and sisterhood of fellow knights must work together, succeeding or failing together.
212th Infantry Regiment, “Dawn Guard”: The Dawn Guard is a mix of aspirants that failed to make it into knighthood or regular applicants to the men-at-arms. They go through similar training, but instead of piloting mechs, they equip towering composite metal tower shields that are black in color and golden stylized image of the regiments logo printed onto the front.
Their innovative shields are crafted from a carbon nanotubes composite, a black diamond-like substance. Due to the Court’s ability to print molecules into specific patterns and shapes, the unique molecular format can be reproduced en masse with relative ease. Its moderate weight and exceptional durability allow for it to last longer in combat situations and hold up against most ballistic styles of weaponry.
Throughout the infrastructure, protruding bolts are installed along the framework. These bolts are charged with an electrical field. This field is amplified to alter the trajectory of incoming rounds. When in close combat, the shield can be used to bash and stun opposition.
They are frequently deployed during city-clearing missions or defensive operations within an urban environment; they excel in close-quarters combat. The Dawn Guard is an ideal counter to individual mechs, which are usually designed to fight in an open area or field. As a group, they are able to be much more maneuverable in much tighter confines, and they use that to their advantage.
These maneuverable, highly defensive forces are often sent in advance of the knights to clear out anti-mech weaponry, especially when combat involves an urban environment.