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Sovereign Military Order of the Burning Dawn

The center could not hold for any longer. Though the Servants of Flame were brave, bravery alone could not extricate them from the valley they had been backed into. Desperate and flagging, the orange-clad Frithitt gave dismayed yowls when the Knights of the Burning Dawn, clad in their tabards of white with red suns, gave their mighty cry. "Ere the fire of First Sun!" With that, the rout began, and on that field of battle died the dreams of Flame.
— An account from the reclamation of the Vale of Krratin, 19662 FA.

Structure

The sovereign and grand master of the Order of the Burning Dawn would be styled as a Prince. This individual was both the spiritual and political head of the Order and represented it in all external matters. The Princes of the Burning Dawn were the only individuals in Frithitt society outside of the royal family who could be addressed as "Your Brilliance"; though also styled as princes, leaders of other military religious orders carried the less prestigious distinction of "Your Eminence".   Unlike Frithitt royalty, Princes of the Burning Dawn were still "princes" regardless of gender, while princes or princesses of the royal house were not. The Princedom was a lifelong position but was not hereditary, instead being elected among a conclave of the Knights Resplendent.   Other officers in the order included the Chief Treasurer and the Master-at-Arms.   There were two tiers of membership within the Order: the Knights Resplendent and the Knights Faithful. Knight Resplendent was a hereditary title, and only Knights who had proved themselves in the military service of the faith, or their descendants, could bear it. Knights Faithful were a less exclusive group, and membership in its number merely required a statement of loyalty to the faith and a proven record of such. This title was not hereditary.   Knights inducted to the Order would have the honorific "Ley" affixed before their names. (Example: Ley Solha Fehen, a princess of the royal house and Knight of the Burning Dawn in the 168th century.) This word means something like "shieldbearer". Members of the Order were "knights" regardless of gender, as was the case with all other Frithitt knightly orders.   There were ten Great Priories, nine of which were on Frith and one of which was in the offworld colonies. Each Great Priory was essentially a regional headquarters and chapel for the Order, with the Prince residing at the Great Priory in the imperial capital.

Public Agenda

The stated purpose of the Order of the Burning Dawn was the furtherance of the Faith of the Eternal Sun. Traditionally this meant holy war against deserving targets, with polytheistic peoples and adherents of the Path of Flame particularly earning their enmity. The Eternal Sun's monotheism demanded that the Order suffer not heathen gods to receive offerings in any lands touched by the sun's rays, and the Frithitt sacrifice practiced by the Flame was abhorrent to them.   Once these foes were vanquished, however, and Frith became unified, the Order's time as holy warriors came to a gradual end. Members of the Order did serve in war thereafter, but except in extraordinary cases did so as members of the Frithitt military structure. The chief function performed by the Order in these late centuries among the stars was as a charity and a patron of famine relief and war relief on foreign planets.

Assets

The nine Great Priories of Frith were in heavily fortified locations which once served as actual castles for the Order, but by and large had their walls removed over the centuries to become ceremonial centers and palaces of the faith. The tenth Great Priory, offworld, had no physical fortifications as it was constructed many centuries after these grew out of fashion. The Order held a considerable treasury from its wealthy benefactors and donations.

History

Founded among the great religious wars of the 17th millennium of the Frithitt Age, the Sovereign Military Order of the Burning Dawn was founded to arm the Faith of the Eternal Sun and to encourage lay knights to enter the service of the Faith. Protection of pilgrims as well as the spread of the religion were chief motivations of this order's foundation.   It saw action in numerous engagements in Krratin during the wars against the Empire of Flame and was instrumental in the Empire of Daylight vanquishing its old rival. Like all Frithitt military forces of its day, the Order disdained ranged weaponry, with plasma-bladed or -tipped weapons forming the majority of its armory. This commonly included axes, pikes, and spears, with swords rare but also included.   While in battle, the Burning Knights kept disciplined formation, with pike lines and squares forming a frequent portion of their order of battle. When forced into melee, they were trained to always fight in pairs, watching one another's backs. This discipline under the pressure of combat was fostered by a long term spent training upon initiation into the Order, which could afford the best instructors possible owing to its great wealth and prestige.   Post-unification, the Order declined in relevance, but remained one of the cultural fixtures of the Faith. It would also remain the only Frithitt political structure with notional sovereignty from the Frithitt Empire. The Order had its own laws and extraterritoriality within its priories and other holdings, and was exempt from taxation. In all practical matters, however, it always answered to the Emperor.  

Engagements

Here follow a few of the major campaigns and battles of the Knights of the Burning Dawn:
  • Wars of Wrath (18440-83 FA) - Battle of the Drowned Shore (18456)
• Reclamation of the Vale (19659-62 FA) - Battle of the Burning Hills (19659) - Action at Claw Harbor (19660) - Battle of Fras Vale (19662)

Disbandment

It is said that the Knights of the Burning Dawn were prophesied by seers and clerics to carry on their holy mission until the sun's flame burnt out. The Knights took no chances, and so constructed the tenth Great Priory on one of Frith's offworld colonies. It was hoped that, should Frith's light ever flicker, their mission would continue among the stars. They could never have foreseen that those very stars would blink out, and allow them no refuge. With the passing of Frithitt civilization, the Order became defunct.
DISBANDED/DISSOLVED

Ere the Fire of First Sun

16407 FA - 20663 FA

Type
Military, Knightly Order
Alternative Names
Knights of the Burning Dawn, the Burning Knights

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Cover image: by Val (myself)
Character flag image: by Val (myself)

Comments

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21 Feb, 2019 12:09

Uhm... dunno what to add actually. An article of this size woud even be a valid choice for some organization that was still in existence. Kudos. It was an easy read, not overloaded and on point. Even in nameheavy sentences the context could always be derived. Gonna give it my like.   You speak of prophecies that actually came to pass, is this a thing in your campaign / bookworld? That prophecies can't be tricked? Or is it rather the other way around (the seeers thinking thy prophesize a long and prosperous future ( 4.5 billion years can be a long time for a culture with barely 20 millenias under its belt) and then, suddenly, collapse of culture because a lot of stars die (which would be even less foreseen)   So... wouldn't change too much with this article contentwise.   If this is your scifi/space campaign you might like to change the appearance theme to a more scifi tone though. Can be done on your main page (the world article, if i remember correctly). However if you chose this style on purpose, you don't have to. Just figured you probably didn't know about this possibility, and wanted to tell you.

21 Feb, 2019 13:23

Mixed science/fantasy, leaning toward the latter, really. I've been exploring applying a theme to my world but none of the existing themes available at my Worldsmith level really hit the right spot for me. We will see...

21 Feb, 2019 13:56

You might consider adding some tenants of your religion into the article so the reader will get a better grasp on why the concerns of the knights are so important. To get contexts.

21 Feb, 2019 21:03

I was planning to just write and link a separate article for the Faith of the Eternal Sun... But this may still be wise! If not as its own section here, then maybe I can work a few details into the existing text to say, perhaps, -how- the Order embodied the Faith's tenets. Good eye.

21 Feb, 2019 15:02

The level of detail you go into with the style name and honorific of the Grand Masters had me geeking out right from the start. I love details like this. Describing the formality of the nobility in this way shows (instead of tells) your reader how important protocol and formality were among the Frithitt aristocracy. Very nice!

I like hughpierre 's suggestion to add some descriptions of what adherents of Faith of the Eternal Sun believe and practice as part of their worship. This would help readers understand more about how the Burning Dawn was integrated into the culture of Frithitt civilization.

I would like to see more on the actual battles/wars fought by the order. A brief timeline showing the major conflicts/engagements might give some perspective on the changing scope of the order over time.

21 Feb, 2019 21:04

Thank you. That's a good idea, actually. I'll add something of the kind to the History section sooner or later.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
22 Feb, 2019 06:38

Excellent work! I enjoyed it quite a bit. Lemme start with formatting for a moment cause I noticed something ...odd. the first several paragraphs you make it a point to space them out but you don't really do so in the later sections. I'd definitely recommend it. Makes it easier on the eyes. Apart from that I don't have much to say other than maybe more side bar use and give it a good proofread. You mispelled faith in the first section of assets. :)   Like I said, I enjoy them the banner and quotes adds a layer of coolness to it I think. The quote really opened up the article and prepared me for what I was reading.   My question is what do they use? I see next to nothing on weapons, styles of fighting, mounts, etc. I'm curious what they utilize in their holy wars.

22 Feb, 2019 20:21

The misspelling you point out is actually just the word "Frith", which is the name of the planet, and was placed there intentionally. I think you're right about spacing though! And I think I will add a little about the Order's armory and plans of battle.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
22 Feb, 2019 20:28

Ooooops! That is my fault. Got caught up looking for any errors and found one that was not an issue. My bad my friend it didn't register. New to your world thus far. Faith seemed like the right word. Regardless id love to read what you have on the armory and tactics once your done. Lemme know!