|Order of The Imperial Knights|
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First to stand, last to fall.
The Order of the Imperial Knights were an order of Force-users devoted to the defense and preservation of the New Empire established in 12 ABY. They were fully trained in the ways of the Force, but the New Jedi Order considered them to be highly controversial, as they swore loyalty to the Empire and its Emperor above all else, including their devotion to the will of the Force.
Origin and history of the Imperial KnightsEdit
The history of the order is hard to define, since numerous force-users hailing from a number of different organizations and sects served under the New Empire for several years prior to the formal establishment of the Order in 20 ABY. Most historians and scholars agree, however, that the first seeds that would eventually grow into the proper Order of the Imperial Knights were sown when Emperor Pahmus encountered and befriended the former Jedi Master in 9 ABY, and having come to view him as a friend and confidante, put forward his plans of building an organization of force-wielding guardians to protect and serve the New Empire in the same way that the Jedi Knights of old had done in the times of the old Republic. This order, however, were to focus on upholding the laws of the empire and to ensure political and societal stability, rather than pseudo-religious ideals concerning morality and the force, and vice versa. They were to maintain galactic order and as such would have to be incorruptible and paragons of reason. The members of the order would walk the middle path, using both light and dark to achieve balance, rendering their beliefs similar to that of the Potentium.
The Order was divided into two branches known as the Companies and the Academy. The Companies were the part of the Order who directly served the New Empire and its Emperor, whether through battle or diplomacy. The Academy, in turn, consisted of the students learning the ways of the Order and the teachers who taught them. As all Knights taught in one way or another while at the Bastion, the Academy branch only included those who were too old or otherwise unfit to serve the New Empire in the field.
The Companies consisted of twelve divisions, each led by a Knight Captain. The Captain was assisted by a Knight Lieutenant as well as a group of senior members known as the company's Seated Knights. Each company was made up of between 150 - 300 Knights, including 20 Seated Knights, the Captain and his Lieutenant and any Initiates apprenticed to a Knight of the company.
Imperial Knight ranksEdit
As Imperial Knights were trained in the ways of the Order and of the Force, each member progressed through several different ranks, each with its own rules, privileges and obligations.
First Captain – the highest rank of the Order was that of First Captain. The First Captain commanded the 1st Company as well as being the leader of the entire Order. Cadell Auroneri was the very first member of the Order to claim this title.
Seated Knight - a Imperial Knight who sat on the council of the company the Knight belonged to. A Imperial Knight who had great skill in battle, a strong connection to the Force, a untarnished record of noble conduct and who had managed to successfully train an apprentice to the level of a Knight would often be offered to join the Seated Knights of his/her company. This rank could also be achieved through the performance of extraordinary deeds instead of training an apprentice.
Knight – a fully trained Imperial Knight who had finished his/her apprenticeship and completed the Tests at the Bastion, thus seen fit to serve as a agent and guardian of the New Empire as well as granted the privilege to train apprentices of his/her own.
Apprentice – a member of the Imperial Knights who was apprenticed to a Knight of higher rank. All Initiates were chosen by a Knight at a young age to become the learner and student of said Knight, with the hope of one day becoming fully acknowledged Knights themselves. But a member of the Order referred to as an apprentice was not necessarily an Initiate, as a Knights Lieutenant was considered the apprentice of the Captain he served under. Any Knight, regardless of rank, could become the apprentice of another Knight of equal or higher rank in order to further their training.
Initiate - a force-sensitive child who was removed from their family at a young age to be trained at the Bastion to become a Imperial Knight.
Firm but fair.
The core ideals of the Imperial Knights were Loyalty, Honor, Moderation and Duty. Although similar to the ideals of the Jedi at a glance (Indeed, they were not that different), the Imperial Knights placed greater importance on serving the state representing and maintaining these ideals in a correct manner. The Knights Creed, the code of conduct of the Knights, opened with the Knights Vow, which detailed the essentials of what being an Imperial Knight meant:
Soon to come
The Knights Creed sums up the ideals of the Order of the Imperial Knights as detailed below.
- Loyalty - A knight is to respect and obey his superiors and strive to always follow their example. The same respect and kinship shown to superiors should be extended to other knights, and any knight should treat his fellow knight's lives as of greater importance than his own and be willing to sacrifice his own life to save the lives of others.
- Honor - A knight should always set an example to others when it comes to conduct and action. They are expected to offer friend as well as foe civilized treatment regardless of the situation, and to be as fair as possible in all matters. A Knight should show tolerance for all creatures regardless of species, sentience, sex, sexuality, age, personal beliefs/ideals and appearance.
- Moderation - A knight should strive to attain balance within the force, within his own self, and with his place in the galaxy at large. A knight should strive to attain strength, wisdom, skill and power to better be able to do his duty and overcome obstacles.
- Duty - A knight should learn to put aside his personal wants, desires, hopes and fears in favor of selfless dedication to the state and its citizens. A Knight should always do his utmost to right wrongs, protect those who cannot do so themselves, punish cruelty, oppression and malicious acts, aid those who need help and resolve issues in a peaceful fashion. A knight should be ready and willing to battle enemies without mercy and face torture, humiliation, loss and death without hesitation or remorse.
Following the Knights CreedEdit
Moderation and Self-discipline was perhaps the most emphasized concepts of the Order of the Imperial Knights, and Initiates were taught this from day one. The lessons started off similar to what might be taught to an ordinary student; however, as the student progressed, so did the complexity and intensiveness of the lessons.
Imperial Knights were required to learn that although they were able to use the Force, they had no right to consider themselves better than those who could not. The Knights were taught that they only were so because the order had taken the trouble to train them, not because they were inherently superior to others, and that an Imperial Knight was only an Imperial Knight because he/she had disregarded his/her own sense of self-importance and embraced a life of service to the Empire and the Force.
Many young Initiates began to believe that they could accomplish anything as they learned more about the Force and their own potential. While self esteem was very important to an Imperial Knight, overconfidence was viewed as equally stupid and dangerous and as such all Initiates were taught to exercise caution in all situations and not to underestimate dangers and risks during missions.
Imperial Knights were trained to accept defeat if the cost of winning was greater than the cost of losing and to not let personal desires affect the to decision whether to fight or not.
A Knight lacking in self-restraint who plunged straight into battle without first assessing the situation correctly was a dead Knight. The Order didn't mourn the loss of such an individual, one who failed to recognize even common sense. All Imperial Knights were constantly told about the dangers of rash decisions and foolhardy behavior, and Initiates who displayed these flaws were firmly disciplined.
Like the Jedi, the Imperial Knights discouraged aggressive behavior, even in battle. Their reasons for doing so differed, however. The Jedi avoided aggression due to its perceived Dark Sided nature. The Imperial Knights refrained from aggression to prevent anger from clouding ones judgment in battle, believing that any distracting emotion held the potential for disaster in combat. In addition, a Jedi was permitted to kill only in self-defense—only if there was no other option, while an Imperial Knight was allowed to use violence if he found it necessary.
An Imperial Knight were discouraged, though not forbidden, from keeping more than a few essential belongings like his robes, armor and lightsaber. This was because they could distract the Knight from the Force and his duties to the Empire, and as most Knights went away on missions on a frequent basis when not actually training, the Knight would have little time for his personal quarters or personal belongings. Therefore, it was common for a Knight to possess little else other than what they could carry on their person at one time.
Species represented in the Order of the Imperial KnightsEdit
All manner of species were present in the ranks of the Order of the Imperial Knights, though humanoid ones constituted the vast majority of these. As with the Jedi Order of old, humans and near-humans made up a small majority.