The Military Orders are the military branch of the PanOceanian Christian Church, the most influential and powerful organization in PanOceania’s political system. While the religious character of the Church and its Orders seems out of place in a secular society like PanOceania, the Church has a huge influence on the society, funding a lot of social projects and protecting its citizens from all kinds of dangers.
As the main source and power in the Resurrection market and Cube technology, the Church practically decides who lives, granting them even more social influence. The Church reestablished the system of indulgences, allowing the citizens to gain favors by fulfilling certain conditions of the Church.
By Lampyridae and Scorch
The Rise of the Church
The Church gained a lot of popularity due to its focus on social projects and charity. This way they gained a foothold in society, becoming an organization with a strong influence throughout the whole of PanOceania.
The prestige gained by the Church due to their social projects helped them to gain political influence as well, becoming part of PanOceania’s government with enough funds to become a major player quickly.
If the Church wanted more power and influence. they had to gain military influence as well. This way, the Church wouldn’t only be a political player, but also a powerful military force within PanOceanian culture.
The Church founded two monastic-military orders; the Order of the Hospital, and the Order of the Temple. One would focus on research of military technology, the other would focus on medicine and rescue missions. The Order of the Hospital quickly gained popularity because of their vanguard position and their public appearances. The Order of the Hospital made the Church much more popular among the secular PanOceanian society.
The Order of the Temple became a big fish in the technological sector of PanOceania, focusing much of their research on Artificial Intelligence and programming. The Order quickly rose to power, becoming independent from the Church. But when the Order was at the height of their power, the Order of the Hospital, together with ALEPH started digging into the Order of the Temple’s research, accusing them of creating a rogue A.I. out of the control of ALEPH although they denied charges of conspiracy.
The Order of the Temple was disbanded shortly afterwards, and most of their wealth was given to the Order of the Hospital and the Order of the Holy Sepulcher back on Earth. Most of the Templars flowed into other Orders, but some went underground and into hiding, rumoured to have found asylum with the Nomads.
The Military Orders are organized into different Orders and each Order has its own personality. The Order of the Temple was disbanded after they rebelled against ALEPH. To better understand the Military Orders, we’ll take a look at each of the five relevant monastic-military Orders. Most of the Orders exist today, here on Earth, already but lack any military importance.
Sacred Order of Knights Hospitallers of Saint John of Skovorodino
The Sacred Order of the Hospitallers is the oldest remaining Order after its sibling was disbanded for its insurgence. Because they attend the wounded and undertake rescue missions, the Order has gained a lot of public popularity among PanOceanian citizens and the Army. Although the Order is military in origin, they focus on the aftermath of the battle, collecting the wounded from the field, and rescuing comrades captive behind enemy lines.
The Hospitallers were the inspiration for every other Order that came after it and their inner organization functions as a blueprint for all the others. They are the largest and most influential Order in the Human Sphere and the only Order present on more than one planet. Their main monastery is on Svalarheima, PanOceania’s winter planet, but their Grand Master houses on NeoTerra, in the San Giovanni di Neoterra for political reasons.
Ordenstaat of Teutonic Knights
The Teutonic Order is the most recently founded Order and due to it’s active military campaign it has amassed a lot of popularity quickly. The Order is a frontier-force, providing and securing a military foothold for the Church on every new planet and territory discovered. They were established during the colonization of Paradiso and even placed their central seat at the Saint Mary of Strelsau in the middle of the jungle at the edge of NiemandsZone. Where the Order of the Hospital is focused on rescue, aid and protection, the Teutonic Knights focus themselves purely on the military aspect.
Their devotion to the conflict is shown by removing their Cube, which will ensure a true death for every fallen knight. This allows the Knights to fight the Evolved Intelligence of the Combined Army.
The Teutonic Knights are known for their devotion, their fanatical and savage fighting style and their strict discipline. There are rumours that the Teutonic Knights have found something of immense value on Paradiso, and only the highest ranking members of the Order know of what it is.
Military Order of Montesa
The Order of Montesa is the Military Order granted to Acontecimento, PanOceania’s industrial and granary planet. They were established to counter the growing influence of the Hospitaller Order on Acontecimento. Because of the many Christian citizens on Acontecimento, Monsignor da Silveira thought a direct link to the Church would prove more valuable than a foreign Order. Although the Curia was reluctant in the first place, after social pressure and constant demands of the bishop, they decided to go with it. The Montesa Order was established by Veteran knights of another Order and was forced to small on order of the Church.
The Montesa Knights are pious and the Order has struggled to prove it’s value to their Church and they focus on being the best of the best because of that. The Order focuses on mobility as their main tactics. They are known for their use of teamwork, courage and daring.
Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher
The elite Military Order, formed by the best members of other Orders. They are the Military Order burdened with the task protecting Earth’s Holy Places, like Jerusalem and the old Vatican. They are arrogant and see themselves as the embodiment of the Knight’s ideal. Nobody can doubt their tactical and military strength, having proved time and time again they are the best of the best. They favor melee combat, shooting while advancing towards the enemy to face them up close. The Order has the largest amount of Seraph TAGs at their disposal and when the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher enter an area of conflict, they will really make a difference.
Holy Military Order of the Knights of Santiago
The Knights of Santiago were the third Military Order to form. They are tasked with the protection of pilgrims during their travels and they work side by side with the PanOceanian Navy. Their military doctrine is focussed on space conflict, and the Santiago Knights are feared boarding specialists. Their expertise is even used to protect the neutral Circulars; large ships that travel between all the different planetary systems.
The Order is based on small orbital monasteries spread around NeoTerra, the Edge and the Solar system. They don’t have a permanent base of operations and most of the Knights move constantly from ship to ship.
The Church during the Paradiso Conflict
The Church had a big influence on the planet of Paradiso from the start, founding the main base of operations for the Teutonic Order quickly after the planet was discovered. Thanks to the system of indulgences, the Church is able to fund their Crusade on Paradiso—making sure PanOceania has a constant influence on the planet and preventing the Combined Army from gaining any foothold on the planet. People can gain the biggest favors if they take up arms in the Paradiso Conflict. The system of indulgences allows the Church to remain a powerful organization in PanOceania, creating funds and manpower for the Church, and due to the resurrection program political influence as well.
The Forces of the Church
“Miles Christi” (The Soldiers of God) Order Sergeants motto.
Order Sergeants are a strange breed of soldier, ranging from the devout to the desperate, all seeking redemption through sacrifice and a chance to install a backup copy of a loved one in a clone. The Order Sergeant can not lead, because that is a feat only beholden by the great knights. They can aspire to become Knights, of course! Unless they are female. The Order Sergeants work closely in teams to protect each other from harm since they lack the power armoured suits of the knights, and because of their status in the Order they mostly do the dirty work, while the Knights go for the glory. Some of the more specialised Order Sergeants, the Specialists, take themselves quite seriously and are often ex-regular forces. They tend to operate as independent assets to support the squad, applying pressure when needed with a hacking attack, a shot out of nowhere as an infiltrating sniper or to purge the enemy with flame as an Auxbot wrangler.
It is often said that Order Sergeants are the real power of the Military Orders, and the Knights the sword-waving glory boys. They approach their job with pious dignity, zealous devotion and never yield before the foe. An Order Sergeant will keep the mission in mind, amidst the glorious battle, either succeeding or honourably sacrifice himself as a true warrior faithful to Christ. Plus they can win a free backup and earn points to get a special someone resurrected.
“Deus est nostrum contego quod tutela” (God is our shield and protection) Legend present in the insignia of the Magister Knights
Every Military Order has their ranks of Magister Knights, who shun worldly goods, ranks and conceits, preferring to fight with the strength of their faith. Magister Knights represent the true values of the poor Church knight: valour, self-sacrifice and a whopping great sword. The Panzerfaust most of them carry is rather out of place, as are their cybernetic augmentations that allow them to move with great speed and literally dodge bullets. For some reason unbeknownst to anyone but the Grand Masters of the Military Orders, these somewhat unstable individuals are also the sole Knights authorised to carry heavy Missile Launchers.
PanOceanian High Command does not really have an explanation for why Mother Church chooses to deploy her servants thus. A combi rifle would not slow them down, so why the fuss? Some believe that the Magister Knights are purely psychological Many believe the Magister Knight’s power comes from his belief in God—conjuring images of sacrifice and nobility of a bygone era, just as the rest of the orders with their archaic swords and tabards. The sight of a noble knight dashing through a hail of bullets with nothing but their armour for protection will inspire the faintest of hearts to new feats of courage and strike terror into their enemies—unless they’re Morats, who love a good fight, or Shasvastii who simply don’t care and probably were feeling a bit hungry anyway…
“Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat” (Christ Wins, Christ Reigns, Christ Governs) Motto of the Teutonic Order.
The Teutonic Knights are the fast-moving assault specialists who have seen a great deal of action on the Paradiso fronts, and have an impressive list of victories and bloody last stands to their name. Long experience on Paradiso has made them skilled jungle fighters as well, a far cry from the thick forests of Germany and Poland from whence their order first arose. Eschewing heavier weapons and armour in favour of portable anti-armour Panzerfausts, high-mobility armour, light combi rifles or Spitfires and of course a big, long sword, they are fully prepared to go toe-to-toe with a TAG and are so fanatical that they sometimes get a thrust in with their swords. But like most PanOceanian heavy infantry, they are masters of the gunfight. They have a zealous rivalry with Yu Jing, seeing them as the greatest foes a swordmaster can face.
Known for hundreds of years as doctors, nurses and humanitarians long after they abandoned their steeds and swords, a portion of this Order became a full military organisation once again. The Hospitallers are the closest thing to the public ideal of a modern knight; enlightened, noble and (mostly) merciful. They are honour-bound to protect the weak, injured and helpless. They specialise in lightening rescue as well as taking of prisoners, and are often seen in normal PanOceanian detachments giving orders or providing medical support. Every Hospitaller is first and foremost a healer although not necessarily on the battlefield. They carry heavy weapons and sensor equipment to protect the flanks of the army and provide covering fire. Although they are zealous fighters, they are very rarely at the forefront of an assault but often involved in sensitive operations where their medical skills are a useful asset. Unlike other Military Orders, they also have somewhat cordial relations with the Haqqislam nation, sharing medical knowledge and assisting in their operations on Paradiso. Many times the two have had come to one another’s aid in the darkest hours of the Combined Army invasion.