Order of the Griffon
|Motto||"Fangs of Steel, Wings of Fire"|
|Parent Faction||Starlit Court|
|Leader||Grand Master Teresa Balodis, The Fang|
Named for a mythological creature that was half lion half eagle; The Order of the Griffon seeks to emulate the ferocity and speed of this legendary beast. Knights of the Order of the Griffon fulfill the roles traditionally held by light cavalry units in more traditional warfare, scouting ahead, harassing heavier forces, and cutting down the unprepared and disorganized. The knights of the order of the griffon are more than capable of independent operations, but are well known for their willingness and effectiveness when cooperating with other orders, particularly when acting in support of those whose combat doctrine favor more heavy lumbering machines, or rapid direct assault.
Organization and Equipment
The order of the Griffon consists of a number of tightly knit lances, internally known as ‘Hunts’. Each hunt is an independent military unit, which operates independently. A handful of hunts will often work together, or embed themselves with larger orders, these collaborations are formal, but fleeting things that rarely last longer than a single quest or contract. The order attempts to maintain 10 to 20 hunts at a time.
Each hunt is made up of 5 to 10 knights, their squires, a team of engineers, a small force of men at arms, and the crew of a single atmospheric combat capable drop-craft. All members of a hunt must be ready to engage in active combat maneuvers and engagements, as a hunt’s drop-craft can be expected to enter hostile airspace at any time. A Hunt is often the first force to arrive within hostile territory, and relies on its mobility and difficulty to pin down for its survival and effectiveness when on full deployment.
Each hunt chooses its own leader from among its knights, who bears the rank of Huntsmaster until the hunt chooses a new Huntsmaster. The hunt then chooses a Second from among the it’s men at arms and engineers. The Huntsmaster is the first in command of the Hunt, setting out tactics and strategies for the bulk of engagements, the second takes command of all members of the hunt and acts as a coordinator when the Huntsmaster is deployed in active combat situations. The Grand master of the Order is chosen from among all knights within the order in an annual vote, with each Huntsmaster and Second voting. While serving as Grand Master, the knight must temporarily leave their hunt to stay aboard Sihi and act as both coordinator, recruiter, and contractor for the order.
The Order of the Griffon prefers rapid deployment, short high intensity engagements, and hit and run tactics. Hunts prefer to hit soft targets, harass, and ambush rather than engage in direct conflict with enemies when working on their own or in tandem with other hunts. When forced to engage in open or direct conflict the order will employ hit and run or shock and awe tactics. When working with other larger orders the hunts will fill the same roles, or act as support and flanking forces, and spotters.
Each hunt operates out of an atmospheric capable frigate that acts as a mobile operations base and troop carrier, and command center for the hunt. These ships are fitted for quick insertion, vertical take off, and have extensive bays for refit, repair, and retrieval as they will often hot-drop into a combat situation to deploy or retrieve a hunt’s knights. The mechs of the order are designed for speed, maneuverability, and firepower.
Order mechs always employ jump jets, sometimes are capable of limited flight, and some are capable of transforming into a heavy aircraft. In addition to their speed, the mechs employed by each Hunt employ hard hitting weaponry, often carrying guns and missile systems that are larger than normal for mechs their size, often sacrificing the ability to carry out extended engagements for precise and devastating weapons that deal maximum damage in minimum time frames.
Founding and History
The Order of the Griffon was originally founded near the tail end of the Age of One Thousand Quests out of necessity. Originally dubbed the Sparrow knights, the Order was founded from a group of volunteers who were sent ahead of Sihi to scout out and relay information about new worlds and contacts, acting as scouts and trailblazers for the court.
It was during the Great Meandering that the order first took shape into what it is today. Rather than risk the total loss of manpower and equipment, the order began acting in conjunction with other larger orders as a support force. The now Griffon knights utilized the tactics they had developed as scouts to often act as vanguards and harassers for larger forces.
The size and independent action developed to operate on the fringe of Starlit court logistical networks made the griffon knights fast, flexible, and quick to deploy. This made the order the perfect vanguard force to clear the way and begin operations, while allied orders began to mobilize. When allies were fully mobilized and engaged, the griffon knights would stay and use their mobility and speed to support their allies for the remainder of an engagement on both tactical and strategic levels, while utilizing the ground and facilities taken and established by their allies.
During their entire history it has been rare for the whole of the order to come together for a single operation. The entire order has only been called together in collaboration three times before. The first time was during the Day of Dead Suns, where a third of the order were nearly wiped out transporting the last civilians to safety before the supernova impact. The second was at the dawn of the Great March, when the order was called together to act as a vanguard for the Court’s entrance into Beacon space. The final time to date was after the Dachia Crisis, where in the aftermath of the near crash on Dachia the Elders commanded the Order of the Griffon to hunt down surviving Dominion knights in the Wild Hunt.
Grand Master Garid Ashigh
First grandmaster of the Order, chosen to lead the order in a trial of coordination and speed. Syr Garid coordinated and led a team of five knights in a race from sihi, through a local asteroid cluster and back, arriving first with the least damage, and was then chosen to lead the then Order of the Sparrow.
Grand Master Teresa Balodis The Fang
The current Grand master of the Order of the Griffon. Grand Master Balodis was the chosen leader of Operation Wyld Hunt, and was chosen to be the new grand master after the Wild Hunt’s official end. Grand Master Balodis still believes there are renegade dominion knights in Beacon space, and seeks their annihilation to this day.
Syr Meginhard the Phantom
Huntsmaster of the Albatross, Syr Meginhard refitted the Albatross for extreme length and covert operations. There are many stories of Syr Meginhard and the Albatross quietly entering a planet’s atmosphere months ahead of an allied force, sabotaging and harassing targets before vanishing again and again until the target was in disarray and chaos by the time the main force arrived.
Syr Iago, of the Shadow Blades
Former huntsmaster of the Kingfisher and Dominionist traitor. Syr Iago was directly responsible for the deaths of then Grandmaster Samuel the Eaglem, Syr Robert the Builder, and Syr Norah Drake during the Dachia Crisis. Syr Iago is still at large, and is considered an imminent threat to the security of the Starlit Court and Sihi.
Syr Edric the Sanguine Hawk
Huntsmaster of the Osprey's Rage, Syr Edric is the youngest Hunstsmaster in the order’s history. Syr Edric’s has not been seen without their helmet since their knighting, and rumors have begun to spread that they are a fey implanted into a machine body.