The Shayu were an ancient order of psionics who studied from a purely intellectual perspective, forsaking the more spiritual paths taken by the Esper Knights and others. Shayu were typically more known for diplomacy, on par with the greatest knight negotiators, but unlike the knights they were less successful in physical pursuits, even where psionic powers were involved. The Shayu were also a nomadic group, traveling the galaxy in search of new locations to study, and they were particularly selective about recruiting new members.
The tradition survived into the time of the Civil War Era, but the Galactic Empire considered them viable targets for persecution and destruction. It is currently unknown if any followers of this tradition have survived.
The Shayu order was considered one of the oldest traditions. They were nomadic by nature and did not settle for long in any particular place. Instead, they searched for places that could improve their understanding of their powers. Yet the Shayu were not only scholars and observers; they also participated in the life of the society in which they operated, using their knowledge to help improve the lives of beings around them. The knights largely considered them just another psionic sect comparable to the Zeshan. They were not considered militant and maintained a philosophy of viewing psionic power intellectually rather than spiritually. A few Shayu remained in existence during the Civil War Era, but not much is known of them after that time.
The Shayu were considered especially adept at diplomacy, negotiation, and spirited debate. Shayu could be found acting as negotiators in disputes, and were regarded as particularly skillful at diplomacy, ranging from simple arguments to negotiated settlements of great complexity including wars. They were often compared to knight negotiators. With the use of their psionic abilities, they could often catch their opponents off guard, allowing them to keep any potential opponents off-balance.
The Shayu recruited psionics from a variety of worlds and species, but they were selective, choosing only those who they believed would accept the Shayu way of life and contribute to their scholarly and diplomatic efforts. Individuals they saw as tainted with aggressive tendencies and those who presented an affinity for combat were typically not selected. They were never known for being particularly numerous.
They did not consider themselves tied to one location, but instead moved from one destination to the next in search of places that would improve their understanding of their abilities. Examples of things that the Shayu studied included psionic nexuses, the history of certain species, and other psionic traditions.
Many Shayu could learn basic martial techniques for defense, but few ever did. Unlike the knights, the Shayu shunned physical pursuits, preferring to hone their understanding of their powers, negotiate settlements, and produce psionic items.
The Shayu categorized themselves into three different classifications. Mentors were known for their intelligence and understanding of their abilities, they were also considered an equivalent to the rank of knight Master. Advisors were the most common type assigned to research and diplomatic missions throughout the galaxy. Neophytes were new acolytes who studied with mentors until they were ready to accept missions of their own.