Being a nobleman means being the first. The first one to step on the battlefield and the last one to leave it. Such is a philosophy that the Empire professes giving privileges and wealth to nobility. Of course, this does not always work, and not everywhere, and colossal space distances only increase feudal fragmentation.
But the main principle still works: knight is a heavily armed, well-trained warrior who is the mankind’s spearhead. The knights have rights and privileges as long as they stand guarding the borders of the Empire. Accusation of abuse is a guaranteed loss of title, position and income.
Of course, upbringing plays a vital role – noble families and the central system of education teach young gentry to think that they received money and power in advance and now have to pay their debt to the Empire. But whatever the state does, the gap between nobility and ordinary people only grows. A wide variety of ranged and close combat weapons provides a dominant advantage on the battlefield. As for protection, knights outfit their armor with active and passive defensive systems like magnetic shields, smoke launchers, decoy flares, and reactive armor.
In order to control the knights in vast spaces, several knightly orders were created:
– The Order of the Imperial Cross (created on the basis of existing and still orders Teutonic, Maltese, Holy Sepulcher)
– Order of the Fiery Falcon (Order of the Capital)
– Order of the Polar Star (knights of this Order decorate their armor and heraldry with attributes of the Northern European pagan religion)
– Order of Santiago (restored after the beginning of the war of the first contact to ensure security of space routes)
– Order of Oceanic Anger (attributes and traditions of Oceania and Latin America)
Of course, not all knights belong to these orders, but the ones above are the most powerful and influential structures. Grand Masters of the Orders compete for power with the Grand Ducal Houses.
Technically, knight armor is a fully airtight humanoid combat mech inside which there is an armored capsule where the pilot is lying with crossed hands. This is where the nickname of the knights – pharaohs – comes from.
Each knight’s exoskeleton is a unique complex and, in fact, is a custom-made product. All of them are based on more or less common and trendy chassis, but with differences. Armor and weapons of each fighter, despite being assembled from the parts of the same type, have unique designs created specifically for the user to ideally match his tactics and combat style.
Knight’s armor suit is designed to operate autonomously for several days. Mobility systems are placed around the operator’s sarcophagus. The suit is large enough to house a dual system: hydraulic servos and carbon fiber muscles. Around the main frame vital nodes and systems are located. These are covered with protective layers and pseudo-muscles. Which, in turn, are protected with external plates of ceramic armor with built-in surveillance and active protection systems.