The most well known of all psionic traditions and orders. They were founded almost at the same time as the League of Systems and soon became it’s defenders.
While their formal origins begin during the establishment of the League, their foundations were laid down long before that. They merged several yet older traditions from a variety of races into one whole and laid down the foundation to the philosophy of duality that colors there entire understanding of their abilities. Though one event shaped exactly how this would be perceived.
Originally the forces of the duality were to be kept in balance, everyone possessing aspects of both. However a psionic threat that very little record remains for came out from beyond the known galaxy that was made of all things evil. To have even a chance against it they sacrificed the balance in themselves and took on only the positive aspects of power. Wielding this selflessness like a weapon they defeated, or at least drove off, this threat.
Their fate from then on would soon become bound with that of the League. As the official protectors of the government they acted as negotiators, peace keepers, and guardians for millenia.
The early order offered training to those with psionic powers, the later order would simply take children who proved to have potential. The early order supported it’s members in living a full life as part of the people, the later order restricted what it’s members could do on their own initiative and had knights live apart. The early order was proactive on matters related to safeguarding the common person, the later order would debate and study before acting.
Outsiders started to see them as somewhat unhelpful and arrogant. By the time of the Civil War most outsiders were sure the order had fallen to the sin of pride. Even so the enemy they faced in the Galactic Empire had psionics in their ranks and the only group among the League that had a chance was the Esper Knights. So the Esper Knights went to war and it changed them. They became savage and even cruel in their efforts to eliminate the threat, so much so that near the end many people could not tell what side they were on in the war as atrocities mounted form both sides. Even many of the surviving Esper Knights had this problem.
Few Esper Knights survived and the order certainly has not recovered. Even the Galactic Commonwealth which is fairly close in concept to the old League of Systems wants no part of them. This after a millenia of absence from the galactic stage as an order. Those who remain are almost like hermits, training a few people here and there. Those who are not hermits tended to drift into other traditions, passing along their skills and knowledge from the Esper Knights to these traditions.
The core philosophy of the Esper Knights have two conflicting concepts which they tend to refer to as ‘light’ and ‘dark’, ‘passive’ and ‘aggressive’, or ‘order’ and ‘chaos’. These beliefs come down to a set of two competing codes: Jedaikōdo & Shourido. The Shourido would become forbidden and acting in accordance with it could get one exiled from the order. A singular code appeared before either of the other codes, but it became forgotten by later generations. It was called Gurēkōdo.
Several distinct types existed among the Esper Knights, each of which had their own traits: negotiators, peace keepers, guardians, healers, investigators, and researchers.
Negotiators act as ambassadors and diplomats, as well as sometimes acting as scouts. They train in interpersonal skills and psionic powers that relate to others such as ESP, Telepathy, and Animal Telepathy Powers. They trained very little in weapons and offensive abilities.
Guardians take a physically active stance against psionic threats and dangers to the League. Guardians focused much of their training on perfecting their sparring and athletic skills as well as the art of unarmed combat. They trained in either offensive psionics like Psychokinesis or Psychometabolism Powers to augment their physical abilities, also trained extensively in weapons.
Healers focus on the more humanitarian aspects of psionics by performing the arts of healing. Their role within the order is rather self-evident. They trained in healing the mind, healing the body, or in rare cases healing the heart. They never trained in weapons and practiced the psionic abilities of Psychic Healing, Telepathy, or Empathy.
Investigators ferret out deceit and injustice, bringing it to light. They work with law enforcement agencies in tracking down criminals and uncovering hidden and obscure threats to the galaxy using investigative and analytic skills. Anti-Psi, Astral Projection, and ESP were the powers sought by Peace Keepers. They trained in weapons, though not usually offensive abilities, and they had skills in security, computers, and stealth.
Researchers would either study a field of science or become lore keepers. Scientists would chose a specialization such as archaeology, geology, biology, mathematics, and astronomy. On the other hand lore keepers divided into historians, archivists, and librarians. ESP was the most often trained ability for them and they trained in combat for personal defense.
Peace Keepers bridged a kind of gap between Guardians and Investigators. They acted as security or even military aides to League forces. They trained in combat, investigative skills, and would train in offensive psionic powers. Eventually the order would eliminate them in favor of the separate areas they merged together.
The original ranks of the order were: Initiate, Squire, Journeyer, Knight, and Master. Eventually the rank of Journeyer was dissolved in favor of only three ranks: Squire, Knight, and Master.