Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Star Wars m20 Setting part I: Knightly Orders

Gray Marshals: The personal agents of King Maddav Bern, the Gray Marshals are famous for their devotion to the Monarchy. They operate with a great deal of independence in their role, and often can be seen on their own. Only fully trained Marshals are allowed in the field, so there’s really no good reason for an apprentice or padawan to be out on assignment, as with some other orders. While on duty, and not incognito, Marshals are famous for their black flight suits and their silver or white lightsabers.

Orthodox Jedi: The goal of the Orthodox Jedi is to recreate the old Jedi Order from before the Purge. Seeking out clues and lingering evidence of how the Order used to operate, the Orthodox Jedi are too involved in their own concerns to be overtly political, as other orders are. Orthodox Jedi usually travel in their errands by twos—a knight and a padawan together. Although not required, most Orthodox Jedi use blue lightsabers, whereas Skywalkers prefer green. But that’s merely a preference, not an absolute.

Skywalkers: Rejecting the rigid dispassion of the original Jedi Order, the Skywalkers believe that the compassionate and activist stance of Annakin and Luke is the way to balance the Force. They take their name as well as their approach from the order founded by Luke following the Battle of Endor. Closely associated with the Revanchist Republic, the Skywalkers are famous as do-gooders throughout the galaxy. They’re infamous for doing so with smugness, self-righteousness and a heavy-hand all too often, however. And a closely guarded secret of the order is the large number of Skywalkers who fall to the Dark Side…

The Cyborg Order: Knights who supplement their fighting abilities with cybernetic augmentations, as did the Chosen One himself, or so they imagine. In reality, these Knights tend to more closely resemble General Grievous than Darth Vader. They are loosely associated with the Corporate Worlds and their combat droid armies, making their resemblance to the erstwhile general even more pronounced, although not deliberate. Because of their location in the galaxy, they can more easily access yellowish lightsaber crystals, which grow naturally on Yuggoth, an icy planet in the Corporate Sector, making yellowish lightsabers more common amongst the Cyborg Order.

The Nightsisters and Nightbrothers: This insular and secretive order has grown tremendously since its days of isolation on Dathomir, where Count Dooku nearly destroyed them overnight to a galaxy-wide cult who settle in isolated enclaves and cells throughout the galaxy. Many are allied with the Sith Empire, although the Sith obviously have their own order of knights as well. Nightsisters and Nightbrothers do not typically use lightsabers, although some of them have discovered the ancient secrets of making darksabers, and more and more this antique-style weapon is showing up in the hands of Nightbrothers in particular.

Sith: After the disastrous risk to the order was revealed if the apprentice kills the Master and doesn’t ascend to his place (i.e., the death of Darth Sidious) those who have attempted to follow in the footsteps of the old Sith order have looked much further back to the ancient Sith Empire rather than the more recent age of the Rule of Two as their model. The master/apprentice dynamic is still important to the Sith, but many such pairings exist throughout the galaxy, reporting loosely to a Dread Council of Arch Heretics, and the Sith Emperor himself. The Sith are infamous, of course, for their red lightsabers, made of synthetic crystals. However, because synthetic crystals are often easier to come by than natural ones, seeing a red lightsaber is not necessarily a clue that you’re looking at a Sith Knight anymore.

Independents: In addition to these major (and many other minor) Knightly orders, there are a great many individuals who can use the Force as their ally, and who carry lightsabers or similar weapons. Some have trained with an Order, but turned their backs to its traditions, while others have sought out solitary masters or even are self-taught. Because of this, there is no way to generalize what an independent knight looks like, thinks like, or what his philosophy may be, but they are indeed varied and often strange.

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