The Dominion Knights are a psionic tradition that serve the Emperor of the Balmesh Dominion as a sort of royal guard. They represent the continuation of the tradition that powered the Galactic Empire, though they hold to a more specific code then their ancestors did.
The oldest concepts that would form into the Dominion Knights were, ironically, the traditions of the Esper Knights. However this was through the lens of those who left the order for a myriad of reasons. Some of these exiles and renegades gathered together deciding that they had been marginalized long enough. The would go on to found the Galactic Empire and slowly built up their holdings on the edge of known space. However in the long run they would give into their desire for revenge and their hatred for those who had exiled and marginalized them back in ‘civilized space’. And so would begin the Civil War Era whose excesses from both sides would become legend.
The Dominion Knights were founded approximately three generations after the end of the civil war and swore fealty to the first Emperor of the Balmesh Dominion. The Dominion Knights became a highly-organized order within the first emperors reign, dedicated to the preservation of the Empire and the defense of the Emperor. Little has changed from that point on.
It was said that the first loyalty of the Dominion Knights was to the Empire as personified in the Emperor. Dominion Knights were in the service of the Emperor for life, and the punishment for leaving the Order or disobeying the Emperor was death. Although the Dominion Knights ultimately served the Emperor, this was only true if he himself served the Dominion. If he were ever to turn to his own selfish interests their duty was to either bring him back to his senses or remove him from power. This policy was put into place at the time of the Order’s founding, and as such, the Dominion Knights did ultimately owe their allegiance to the empire. It was also asserted that sacrificing innocents when necessary for the greater good was the Imperial way.
The Dominion Knights were trained in many of the same philosophies and techniques as the former Esper Knights, but differed markedly in their credos and method. The Dominion Knights viewed their power as a tool. A powerful one to be respected, but not one that they spent time contemplating and meditating on. They knew the dangers of falling to their darker temptations and self interests, and believed that their powers could not be used purely out of anger or selfishness. Managing one’s emotions and controlling one’s fear in the face of adversity was a paramount aspect of Dominion Knight ideology. The strict mental discipline and obedience to orders that was part of their training made Dominion Knights less susceptible to the strong emotions that would draw others into their darker temptations.
Recruitment within the Dominion Knights was limited to those who demonstrated loyalty to the Emperor, in addition to potential in psionics. Upon being identified a potential student would be drafted into Imperial service to study under a veteran Knight in the Imperial capital and would continue studying under that master until their own knighthood was warranted, although other Knights would occasionally assist in their training. Training could be very harsh, but not cruel, and could often take years. However no student ever failed in their training, as the Emperor demanded and always received success. In training a student would learn all they needed to know in order to defend the Emperor against all those who would harm him. Upon completing their training, they would serve the Emperor as a bodyguard and agent, fighting until their death. Their training saw them learn to use their powers in order to transform themselves into living weapons and shields.
Dominion Knights were permitted to take on one apprentice at a time, but only after having mastered their own skills to a sufficient degree. There was very little differentiation between those who had trained apprentices and those who had not, owing to the fact that the Dominion Knights had little time for any master save for the rightful Emperor of the galaxy.
Several Dominion Knights bore the title of Master. One Master was officially the second-in-command of the Order, and was at the head of its disciplined command structure. The title of Master was reserved for only the highest-ranking Imperial Knights, with the designation subject to Imperial approval.
The Dominion Knights were fully-trained psionics. Dominion Knights are said to be among the most talented and dangerous psionics in the galaxy, and every bit as capable of in the use of their powers as the Esper Knights.
The Dominion Knights made extensive use of their combat armor, and as such, were constantly prepared for combat. They trained strictly for combat and not contemplation, having even developed two new combat forms, the more aggressive Praetoria Vonil and the defensive minded Praetoria Ishu. They also learned to fight using many of the same forcesword combat techniques as the Esper Knights had. Dominion Knights were warriors rather than negotiators, a fact that they would never make excuses for.
The Dominion Knights were skilled with various uses of their powers, such as levitation, mind-tricks, and forcesword combat. As with other psionic traditions, proficiency with a forcesword varied from one Dominion Knight to the next. More experienced Knights have held their own against all opponents.
Each Dominion Knight carries a standardized silver forcesword that produced a silver blade. This symbolized the order’s unity, as well as the fact that each member was less than the organization that they served. The forceswords were crafted using techniques carried over from the League Era in a process bereft of ceremony or significance. To a Dominion Knight, a forcesword was merely a tool and their training devoted as much attention to fighting in vehicles, bare-handed, and with their psionic powers.
The standard uniform was a suit of crimson armor. The Imperial insignia was printed on the left shoulder pad and right gauntlet. The uniform also included a black hood and cape. Emperors often wore a more elaborate variant of this armor for most occasions, along with a royal cape. As skilled masters of psionic power, Dominion Knights knew how to get the most out of their armor.