The Empyrean Knights are an insular and secretive group. Very little is known about the organization by outsiders due to very little public interaction. Many observers have noted the high risk/high reward attitude the faction tends to take when attemting to acomplish its goals, and trained staff and suits they tend to field. This has led to speculation that the knights were founded and supported by some external entity or entities who have taken interest in suit technology and acquisition. It has been suggested that the Empyrean Knights are an extra-legal proxy for wealthy governments or corporations who wish to acquire alien technology by any means necessary, and without UNISSO oversight. Regardless of their origins, these men have no official connection to any reputable organization, and the use of mobile airships allows them to avoid the laws of nation-states, foregoing legal boundries.
The orginization began with relatively few members that had found a few suit pods by chance, and were recruited and organized by a few research divisions across the globe, supplying them with their first airship. This small group was sent to Antartica within the first few weeks of suitfall to gather as many suit pods as possible. This expedition was called Operation Hoarfrost. Very few global entities would have time to react given domestic disturbances, giving them more than enough time to acquire a healthy amount of pods from the Antarctic, and further funding from various backers.
The primary goal of the Empyrean Knights is to collect, understand, and apply alien technology. This goal often brings them into conflict with other groups and the Empyrean Knights are not above using violence to enforce their claims. They have a growing rivalry with several other exosuit factions, including Outer Haven, The Hunters, and especially The Vox Populi.
Their airships are used to fly at high altitude where the ship and its compliment of suit pilots patrol for suit pods or any other alien technology as it travels throughout the globe. When alien equipment is detected, the airship sends a recovery squad as quickly as possible to the site. Any competitors are quickly forced into combat, and if successful the pod is brought back for study and or delivery. Often recon flights will discover exosuits being piloted by amateurs in small groups or even alone. Such easy targets are rarely allowed leeway, and quickly come into combat with the ships forces. There have also been a few occasions where the Empyrean Knights have launched full scale assaults involving several hundred of their staff and pilots on concentrations of alien tech.
Personnel and AssetsEditAlthough the exact extent of Empyrean Knight resources are unknown, they are estimated to possess between 6 and 10 airships with approximately 25 exosuits and 50 support staff on each vessel. Some experts believe that the faction also must posses one or more ground staging areas and bases in remote and hidden locations which they use to maintain their fleet.
The nature of their operations means that a majority officers of the Empyrean Knights are combat trained, with various degrees in scientific and engineering fields, allowing them to conduct some research aboard a few of their aircraft or ground locations. The exosuit pilots most often have significant military and combat experience. The result of such an exclusive team is a small, mobile, efficient, and effective strike teams and staff.
Many observers have commented on the difficulty of amassing a team of such very qualified individuals. For this reason there is much debate amoung experts as to the source of Empyrean Knight funding and organization. Some have noticed the high number of members that have american military experience and therefore believe that the knights are an unofficial branch of the United States Military. They suggest that the united states is trying to gain an advantage over other nations by capturing suit techonology outside the regulation of UNISSO, and the Empyrean Knights provide plausible deniablity to breaking international law. Others Believe that the drawdown of operations in afganistan and iraq and the subsequent reduction of civilian military contracts has produced a surplus of skilled military and technical empoyees which could have been recruited by any organization or coutnry.
The Empyrean Knights invest much of their resources into reverse engineering and applying alien technology, with varying degrees of success.
The Recon Model 46 “Cyclone” is one of the various power armor template developed to meet aerial exosuit pilot requirements. Most suit pods that come into Empyrean knight hands are used to create this armor. The Cyclone is designed for stealth reconnaissance, high speed, and strong long range firepower. It uses a comprehensive sensor suite with augmented reality to detect potential threats. Twin shoulder mounted rail guns offer firepower that can challenge the most heavily armored super heavy exosuits. Ion thrusters and other mobility enhancements give the Cyclone advanced mobility in a combat envrioment. An on-board stealth generator, ECM, and top tier armor materials allow excellent threat evasion and survivability.
Heavy Lift Airships
During the 2010's several large cargo airships were under development around the world for civilian and military applications. The Empyrean knights were able to acquire several of these ships and equipped them to serve as mobile headquarters for their squadrons of flying suits. A length of almost 300 meters allows these airships to carry 500 tons of equipment. Advanced solar panels and energy storage systems mean they can remain airborne for great amounts of time without support. They can travel at up to 120 mph and can reach altitudes of over 20000 meters. Dynamic buoyancy systems allow the ship to land without ground infrastructure of any kind. They can even land on water, allowing time to repair or resupply with support ships.
Operational HistoryEditAlthough few in number, the Empyrean Knights mobility allows them to be involved in various operations around the globe.
The most high profile of which was the battle of Mogadishu, where the Vox Populi and Empyrean knights came into conflict to control over 10 suit pods that had dropped in and around the city.
Encounter at Lagunas de ChacahuaEdit
The hunters and Empyrean Knights had engaged in several minor skirmishes around the southern mexican state of Oaxaca which culminated in the battle of Lagunas de Chacahua.
Weeks after the suitfall, most of the alien drop pods had already been claimed. Empyrean Knight command calculated that many alien drop pods were lying unclaimed in the frozen wastes of Antartica. 2 airships were dispatched to capitalize on the opportunity. Over the coarse of several weeks, the knights were able to collect over 200 alien drop pods untill their ships came across a UNISSO task force that had figured out what was happening.
The Tanna Island campaign was the catalyst to create the Deep Sky Coalition between The Abyss and Empyrean Knights. A relatively large piece of debris from the fae spaceship was discovered by both factions on an island in the pacific ocean. Unfortunately it was under the control of a relatively large Suit Cult. This suit cult had evolved from a polynesian cargo cult and clearly had no intention of understanding the suits or ship debris. The Abyss and Empyrean Knights had long been on friendly terms and frquently exchanged trade, information, and research. The two factions realized that the best chance for them to recover the alien technology was to work together to defeat the suit cult.
A joint opertaion was launched against the suit cult involving dozens of exosuits from each faction. Although outnumbered, combined Abyss and Empyrean Knight forces were able to defeat the cult and recover the alien ship debris. An agreement to share the knowledge and resources from the expedition was reached. This agreement eventually evolved into an alliance and named the Deep Sky Coalition.
Notable Pilots and MembersEdit
Shock also earned her call-sign after the battle of Mogadishu for destroying 2 Vox Populi exosuits and a dozen conventional soldiers.
Mako pilots a variant of the Cyclone exosuit called the XR-46C.
Unlike most Knights, Raphus is a ground base suit, therefore he has little interaction with the most of the other pilots in the Empyrean Knights. So, he tends to have more relations with the general staff of the base. When fellow knights do come by though, they often call him "Dodo", and use various jokes about dodos.
Stratovarius "Strato" Espera is a pilot with over 20 confirmed kills. Skilled in melee combat, he is renowned for his controversial "berserk" battlefield tactics, as well as his charming, sarcastic nature. Little is known about his life before he joined the Empyrean Knights, but his tenacity and near-unrivaled prowess in 1-on-1 combat has earned him notable prominence in the Knights, and infamy amongst the ranks of his enemies.
He pilots the RAMM "Warglaive Ascendant" suit, a crimson harpy build armed with a signature glaive and shield that is fully capable of combat in space and high altitudes.
The Empyrean Knights have a military, intelligence, and trade alliance with The Abyss called the Deep Sky Coalition. They have conducted joint military operations on several occasions, most often in response to the encroachment of UNISSO forces. The knights specialize in aerial operations while the abyss is master of the seas. Their complimentary specialties allow them to work toward the same goal without becoming competitors. The two groups share many of the same goals and values:
- They are both factions with highly educated scientific personnel.
- They both desire to aquire and understand alien technology.
- They have a complete disregard for the Fae/Symbiote War.
- They both reject the world's nations and have consquently hostile relations with UNISSO.
For these reasons, an alliance between The Empyrean Knights and The Abyss was a natural one and only required a catalyst to take shape. That catalyst was the Tanna Island Campaign.
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