The Ordo Invictus
The White Knights of Zion
Before the founding of Zion, as the Circle of Unbroken Fate sojourned to the east, The Lightbringer began to be troubled by visions of Infernal invasion. Not long after, men and women from every corner of Creation began to seek out Durandal, to pledge their fealty and begin training as a vanguard against the enemies of creation, wherever they may be, and whatever guise they may take.
Years later, the Ordo is approaching full operational capacity. Having found an unprecedented nexus of Solar aspected demesnes, the massive Bastion Invictus was built in record time, using first age architectural designs, and powered by essence charged magitech wonders. Banners of white and gold fly high over No-Key’s Kingdom, and the Ordo has already become a fixture of Zion; their legend spreading with every person they save.
The Knights of the Ordo are warrior-monks whose faith is as important as their sword arm. They are trained in an armored fighting style, developed by Durandal, and based on the teachings of Dace, with further specialization as they advance in mastery. Each knight is grafted with a hearthstone socket that holds a rechargeable artificial hearthstone which serves as the power source for their magitech arms and armor. Though personal fighting style may vary, the Ordo is first and foremost a mounted force, fighting in organized wedge-shaped units called “Lances”, named after their heavy essence-lance weapons that every knight is trained extensively with.
The heavy lance, and indeed heavy cavalry wedge tactic have become iconic of the Ordo and heretofore unseen in Creation. Few forces can muster a response to being charged, and already stories of armies breaking at the sight of the Ordo’s advance, sunlight glinting off their armor and forks of golden essence crackling from their weapons, are being whispered in war rooms around the world.
Unmounted, the knights of the Ordo are still a force to be reckoned with, able to best several mortals of similar training and experience, and Ordo captains (an order of magnitude more powerful) have been known to hold their own against onslaughts from fledgling Terrestrials.
However, fighting wars against men is not the specialty or intent of the Ordo. They were established to fight the enemies of the Sun; the dead, the demonic, and any monster that slinks about in the shadow, waiting to prey on the innocent. They are meant to be humanity’s best hope against the darkness, and stand ready to face terror the likes of which Creation has not seen since before the first age.
The Captains of the Ordo Invictus are monuments of mortal prowess. Each are unquestioned masters of martial skills, with an unshakable faith in the Unconquered Sun, unbreakable will, and belief in the righteousness of the Ordo’s mission and precepts. Veterans of hundreds of battles, the captains have distinguished themselves enough to be granted the honor to lead other knights, and the Ordo’s organization is based around it’s captains. Each leads a company of one hundred knights, plus HQ, divided into platoons and then further into individual lances. Such is the influence of the captains that over time their companies end up adopting aspects of their personalities and interpretation of the Solar faith. As a result, squires tend to seek out the company that most aligns with their own sensibilities and vision of what a knight should be. The captains are given near full autonomy to lead their companies, and most missions are negotiated directly with the individual captain. It is said that the captains of the Ordo Invictus stand head and shoulders above all other mortals, and indeed if one is ever in their presence it certainly feels that way.
(Below are a few examples of Ordo captains)
The first and the finest of all the captains, Drederig was one of the very first supplicants that were called upon to seek out The Lightbringer and was instrumental in building the Ordo into the force that stands today. Hailing from Halta, Drederig was a ranger who found a kindred spirit in Durandal, and has never once questioned the righteousness of his mission, the prominence of the Unconquered Sun, or the threat of demonic corruption. He has built his company to be the physical embodiment of the Ordo Invictus’ beliefs. As a result, the First Company has not only become home to the best and brightest, but the defining image of the Ordo to the rest of the world. Every squire has at one point dreamt of joining the First Company, and it has always been fully staffed.
Brother-Captain Hrothgar Rengarl
Rescued by Invictus knights from deathless monstrosities as a child, Hrothgar is one of the first initiates who’ve grown up entirely in the care of the Ordo, training all his life to become one of them. His focus has always been on the martial side of his training, and has dedicated himself to becoming bigger and stronger than anything that evil can throw at him. Brash and cocksure, his company (who prefer to call themselves simply “The Second”) has adopted his strength-first discipline. The Second has become home to the powerhouses of the Ordo; with the most bombastic and aggressive fighters and champions. However, his focus on personal prowess has left his tactical skills undeveloped. As a result, The Second most often either works directly with another captain, or loans out it’s knights to act as supporting heavies amidst the ranks of other companies lances.
Sister-Captain Sabine Alder
Intelligent and circumspect, Sabine is one of the best minds and swiftest blades in the Ordo. She is a master manipulator and is often called upon for missions that require subterfuge or guile. Unlike most of her compatriots, she focuses on precision and expertise in both command and physical conflict, rather than obvious force. Some of the Ordo’s most keen duelists and fencers are amongst Third Company’s ranks, and it tends to attract squires who are quietly confident and skilled. Captain Alder knows she is as good, if not better than Drederig, however has no intention of competing with him for the spotlight. Like the Unconquered Sun, Durandal has no qualms about playing favorites, and everybody knows Drederig holds the top spot. That suits her just fine; everyone is there for the same reason, after all, and she’d rather not get mired in Ordo politics.