Sundered Realms

#Sundered_Realms is a IRC RPG on Where Fantasy meets the Post Apocalyptic. Set on Earth after centuries of devastation and geopolitical upheaval.
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 The Grey Knights

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Lith Maethor

Posts : 16
Join date : 2017-04-26
Age : 38
Location : Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece

PostSubject: The Grey Knights   5/5/2017, 19:55

“Two knights one horse? No... one knight, one shield, one code.”

The First Oath
The history of the faction starts during the early days of civilisation on Earth, back when the first groups of Humans decided to establish cities and erect walls around them. Survival was a matter of having the power to take what you needed from others that lacked the power to defend themselves.

The African savannah was ruled by brutal tribal leaders that led their warbands against one another, slaughtering anyone that got in the way. One such warband would be instrumental in changing the nature of these conflicts forever. This however would not happen for several decades, until finally the time was right.

Led by a man named Ugro, the warband dominated three times the area a tribe their size normally did. Savage, ruthless, and always training for war, they raided surrounding villages to provide for their own. In just under two decades, what started as a small village turned into the largest city in the area.

Their constant harassment of their neighbours turned against them during a raid against a distant village. When the warband returned to their village, they found pillars of smoke rising from the ground. Everything they had built over the previous years was destroyed and every man, woman and child brutally murdered.

Devastated by the loss, Ugro's first reaction was to order his men to gather the dead and create a large pyre. The men of the warband used what was left of their village to burn their dead, watching in silence as the thick black smoke rose. None spoke a word and none moved a muscle as their loved ones were put to rest.

It was one of Ugro's lieutenants, a man named Bara, that moved first. He approached the pyre and reached into the ash, using it to mark his face. Over the remains of his family, he was the first to take the oath that would forever shape the future of the warband. Having lost his taste for raiding, he swore never to allow such carnage.

Bara painted his armour with the ash, burying his weapons in the ground once he was done. One by one, all the members of the warband followed his example. In the end, the warriors decided to split up, each choosing a different direction. These men were going to be remembered as the first Grey.

What followed is as much legend as history and the fates of many of the warriors are lost in time. What is known is that most of them found new villages and pledged their shields to the people. No Grey took arms to actively attack again, but all of them would give their lives to defend their new homes.

Their example soon drew others and each warrior took apprentices, men eager to defend their village from raiders. Over the years their numbers grew and it was not long before every village had at least two warriors painted in ash. With each warrior that fell, two more stood in his stead and the numbers of the Grey swell.

Most of the Grey at the time were hermits, living outside the society they were sworn to protect. These defenders were also isolated from each other, unwilling to discuss their oath and mission. That would change about half a century after the original massacre, when each Grey, old and new, received a summons.

The summons, brought each Grey back to the site of the massacre, where the first among them took their oath. There, they found the old warlord, Ugro, sitting on a makeshift throne over the location of the old pyre. Beside him was the shrouded body of the first Grey, Bara, placed on a pyre of its own.

The Second Oath
Over the ashes of their fallen comrade, the Grey took a second oath, the time for mourning was over, it was now time for them to live. When they returned to their villages, most of them took wives, ready to start families and pass the mantle of the Grey to their sons. Most of them also started being more active in daily matters.

With each generation, the legend of the Grey grew and after many centuries, all cultures had warriors dedicating their lives in protecting the innocent. From Egypt to China, the Grey stood their ground against all that would harm those without the means to defend themselves and the legend grew further.

What was perhaps more impressive was that the Grey were among the first not to be bound by species. Their self-sacrifice extended to any that needed their help and it didn't take long before non-Humans started joining their ranks. The number of non-Human warriors reached one third of the faction within two centuries.

As the world advanced, so did the Grey. With the first settlers to Mithbar, they followed to protect them. Back on Earth, they would hide themselves in the various warrior societies that started to form. From elite guards serving powerful rulers, to the knight orders of Europe and the Japanese samurai, the Grey were always there.

While the Grey on Earth had to stand their ground against all sorts of trouble during the Dark Ages and the centuries that followed, those that made the trip to Mithbar would face challengers of their own, with constant wars, and mythical monsters threatening everything they held dear.

While war ravaged the land, and massive armies gathered against each other, the Grey remained behind, their shields held against any Fallen that made it through. Eventually, the time for peace came and the threat of conquest was gone. When the armies returned home, they found the Grey there, standing guard.

With warrior societies becoming more formalised, the Grey followed. Once more, they gathered at the site of the first massacre. There, at the graves of their fallen, their leaders started codifying the tenets of their order, writing the Code of the Grey.

Despite their common beliefs, the Grey were as diverse as a military order could be and another major change was to come. By the end of the 15th century, the order made official what was always true and the first female Sworn were openly accepted.

On Earth and Mithbar alike, the faction grew, respected by rulers and common people. When the Grey appeared, morale soared and it didn't take long for the faction to establish chapter houses in most major cities and citadels. Many such chapter houses doubled as the unofficial home of the city guard.

When the Sundering happened, the Grey Knights refused to take arms and help with the invasion, they did however agree to help the civilians evacuate Mithbar and were among the first to accompany the settlers on Earth. Eventually, the Grey fell back into their familiar routine, serving the public wherever they were needed.

Where there is suffering, one will find the Grey, defending the innocent. At least that is what the faction claims. While true to some extend, the reality of it is a bit more complicated. New recruits soon find out that the Grey, like most factions, are limited by practical reasons like logistics and upkeep.

The main force of the Grey Knights is stationed in Avalon, guarding the ancient citadel and the region surrounding it, sacred land to the order. It has been suggested that the Grey feel a kinship to the mythical King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The Grey have not discouraged the comparison.

While their largest chapter house is in the city of Avalon itself, the order maintains several strongholds in all the major settlements of the region. There have also been rumours about a Grey stronghold away from all centres of civilisation, where the order keeps some of its most sacred and ancient relics.

The faction also maintains a significant force in Atlantis, though the Grey in that region rely more on auxiliaries. With their main chapter house in the region's capital, they can be found in most major settlements as well as in all cities with frequent traffic by sea.

With the sworn members acting mainly on land as a police force, the auxiliaries are often found protecting the trade ships that travel at sea. The Grey Knights in Atlantis serve as a reminder to the people that the urge to protect the innocents is universal.

Britain also claims a good number of Grey Knights. With their chapter house in one of the main ports, they often offer their aid to the authorities. Still a fighting force if necessary, the Grey of Britain keep themselves busy with administrative duties more than anything else, helping coordinate and supply the other regions.

The chapter house in Atlantis serves two more purposes for the order, those of museum and recruitment centre. The rich history of the Grey is on display there, luring in new recruits from all walks of life. For practical reasons, most of the relics there are now obsolete and no longer useful in the field.

Finally, there is a number of Grey Knights that roam the land freely, not attached to any single chapter house. These wandering paladins offer their aid whenever needed and do whatever they can to promote the ideals of the faction. Several veterans of the faction also choose that life instead of mentoring new recruits.

Sworn Hierarchy
Being a military order first and foremost, the Brothers and Sisters of the Grey follow a hierarchy similar to that of the knight orders of old. The following ranks are only for the sworn members of the order and each represents the appropriate Status one can hold within the faction.

  • Squire: An initiate to the faction, the squire is a new recruit that has just made it past basic training. Having received their shield, they are expected to uphold the most fundamental tenets of the order and protect the innocents. Their daily duties are rarely challenging or important.
  • Sergeant: Rising among their peers, Sergeants serve as the first true soldiers of the faction. Mace in hand, many double as city guards where they are stationed. A sergeant is often found in the company of five to ten Squires, acting as their squad leader, first among equals.
  • Knight: The most visible members of the faction, the axe-wielding knights of the Grey are what most new recruits aspire to be. Their duty is to protect the innocent, acting as the first and last line of defence against all threats to their order and their chosen cause.
  • Officer: Veterans of the faction, those that survive a couple of decades as a knight are eventually called to serve the order in one of the many offices. The Treasurer, Stewart, and the Honour Guard are chosen from the ranks of those who have earned the right to carry the sword.
  • Commander: The top tier of the Grey, only the Marshal, the Seneschal, local Masters, and the Grand Master of the faction ever reach this rank. Those carrying the hammer have the right and duty to sit at the council of the order. These veterans are the most revered Grey.

Auxiliary Hierarchy
Next to the Sworn, serves a number of Auxiliaries, unorthodox troops specialising in forms of combat that did not always fall under the code of the Grey. Able to reach ranks equal to the Honour Guard, these almost-mercenary men and women best serve in support or complementary roles.

  • Page: Impulsive, unruly, and eager to prove their worth to their Sworn brethren, Pages are the rawest of recruits among the auxiliaries of the Grey. Fortunately for them, they are most often used as messengers and logistic support rather than in any post that may see combat.
  • Man-At-Arms: Those that display special skills are separated from the rank and file, taught to use these skills in the service of the order. Men-At-Arms act as the unofficial special force of the faction, as useful as they are expendable. Their effectiveness as shock troops is legendary.
  • Chaplain: The lowest rank of auxiliaries serving alongside sworn Grey on a regular basis, Chaplains man a number of supportive roles in Grey squads. From combat medics to scouts and fire support, those bearing the cross of the Chaplain have proven their worth.
  • Knight-Errant: As visible as sworn knights and just as popular, these auxiliaries are respected by their brethren and the public alike. Their combat skills and unorthodox tactics have been tempered by countless battles. Trusted by their superiors, they are given freedom to act as they see fit.
  • Champion: The highest possible honour for an auxiliary, to be chosen as a Champion of the Grey is to be a living legend, second only to the Commanders and entrusted with the most unique and demanding missions. These veterans can turn the tide of combat just by showing up.

Those that join the Grey are dedicated, stalwart and ready to sacrifice themselves to protect others if necessary. The Grey, however, are not about mindless sacrifice and they make sure their members are well equipped to handle all possible threats with as few casualties as possible.

From the moment they join the ranks of squires and pages, Grey Knights are trained to do one thing, protect the innocent. While they are expected to be experts at using a shield and archaic weapons, many are at least somewhat proficient in modern counter-terrorist techniques.

Easily the strong point of the faction, the Grey are famous for their equipment. Grey Knight armour is impressive even when fully mundane. While upgrades are crafted every year, true relics like Honour Guard or Commander armour have not been created for centuries.

Just as impressive is the arsenal of the Grey Knights, from the shields all carry to the swords of the officers and the mighty hammers of the commanders. While the faction is focused on defence, they are not without their sharp edges and many of their weapons are imbued relics.

For the auxiliaries, or sworn members in special missions, the order carries a surprisingly varied arsenal, with lighter armour, polearms, crossbows and more exotic weapons like flamethrowers, rocket launchers and sniper rifles. Various tactical firearms are also routinely deployed.

Given that the Grey are expected to submit their lives to their order, it is no surprise that the faction offers a proper wage for its members. In addition, sworn and auxiliary Knights are given access to a support network from all walks of life.
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