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Imperial Knights Falcons Guide


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Imperial Knights Falcons

 

              Nuance is a necessary aspect of rule, the flexibility of the blade is what prevents it from shattering upon impact. A falcon understands the need for give, that authority channeled, not controlled, can achieve results beyond expectation. In conversation, the subversion of authority and protocol garners respect from those that flaunt such things. In battle, the refusal to meet strength with strength allows the Falcon to flow around the defenses of their opponents. In matters of courtly decorum, the expectation of flaunting tradition allows for measured impropriety without consequence.

 

               Where the Paladin and Warden are loved for the offices that they are sworn to, the Falcon applies charisma on a personal level, cultivating an image of self akin to bravos and rogues. There remains a level of aloofness that distances the Falcon from attachment, but displays of humanity make them easier to approach and speak freely to in the minds of underlings and villeins. This casual demeanor allows them to better emulate the behaviors of their lessers and move undetected amongst the populace.

 

                Falcons are almost exclusively second born or further, with families heavily discouraging any first born heir from pursuing this path, as their duties and obligations demand the kinds of propriety and decorum that Falcons eschew. In some ways, the Falcon’s path is considered an outlet for the frustrations that manifest in scions that will not inherit crown or throne, consoling them with freedom in exchange for their acceptance that they will not inherit the height of the family’s power.

 

                Every Falcon must take a vow upon reaching the age of majority that will give at least some measure of focus and direction to their lives. Families often have preferred vows tied to the needs of their political and financial position, but rarely are such things absolutes. These are Falcons that we are talking about, after all. Falcons also must adhere to the Codes Gallant and the Articles of Nobility, as both combatants and members of the nobility.

 

       

Vows

 

Vow of Reclamation: The Falcon has been tasked with recovering heirlooms and objects of antiquity tied to their family’s history, or the acquisition of newly sought after pieces of art and prestige. While these Falcons are always encouraged to move through legal channels, in certain cases involving uncooperative collectors or the criminal elements, discreet action in the shadows does occur. Reclaimers can also be found working with archaeologists and treasure hunters to locate cultural relics.

 

Vow of Obligation: When a noble family needs to represent itself on the battlefield, but the theater is deemed too risky or the more prominent members are needed elsewhere, Falcons under the Vow of Obligation are dispatched. These Imperial Knights undergo heavy martial training, and are expected to be current in their knowledge of battlefield tactics and technology, within reason. Functioning more as highly skilled and disciplined specialists than figureheads, many military commanders and units prefer an embedded Falcon over the trouble that comes with a major symbolic leader visiting.

 

Vow of Binding: When a house or family wants to bring in members from outside of the aristocracy, they call upon Falcons who have undertaken this vow. These scions are trained to act as intermediaries between courtly life and how everyone else in the galaxy behaves, integrating outsiders and acting as an approachable guide to the sometimes incomprehensible expectations of aristocratic society. Most Falcons under this vow are dispatched to court individuals of particular interest, but they can also act in a supporting role if a proper heir has fallen for an outsider and cannot be swayed towards a more appropriate match.

 

Vow of Consequence: When insults to the honor and nobility of the family are made, or challenges issued, it is the Falcons of the Vow of Consequence that respond with no quarter. Trained extensively in the use of fencing weapons so that they may duel aristocrats that lack the ability to use lightsabers, these Falcons are trained to be consummate duelists who bear the responsibility of defending the image of their families. These Imperial Knights have the least leeway in breaching etiquette, but are most likely to be considered as next in line should the original heir face an untimely demise. Furthermore, these dueling specialists are often tasked with hunting down and killing disgraced and villainous rogue Imperial Knights, given their specialization in facing elite opponents.

 

Vow of Bravado: The concept of nobility is rooted in the belief that the most qualified and exceptional individuals who have received the best education and training that can be found. This notion must be reinforced from time to time with acts of daring and risk, and it is the thrill seeking Falcons of this vow that perform them. Big game hunting, high speed races, extreme competitive sports, and other dangerous pursuits are the meat and wine of these Imperial Knights, demonstrating the capability of their houses while not risking a chosen heir.

 

Vow of Defiance: In times of uncertainty and potential revolt, a family may resort to the Vow of Defiance to assuage the fears and concerns of the populace. A Falcon who undertakes this vow acts as an advocate of the people as a means to co-opt insurrection rather than the nobility attempting to crush it with tyranny. Families are wary of Falcons who seek out this vow, instead preferring that scions who must be incentivized into taking it with promises of additional lands and titles at the close of the performance. Should order be restored, Falcons that took this vow are permitted to accept a declaration of duty fulfilled, and undertake a new vow.

 

Vow of Vanquishment: The nobility is acutely aware of how important logistics and resources are to the pursuit of victory, and Falcons that undertake the Vow of Vanquishment are tasked with the recruiting and command of naval crews for the specific purpose of privateering actions against the enemy. These Imperial Knights carry letters of dispensation that allow them to conduct corsair operations against enemies of the state and any who would aid or harbor them. While considered indispensable assets, Vanquishers are the most likely vow to go rogue, and so houses go out of their way to ensure their loyalty as much as possible.

 

Implements of Conflict

 

Lightsaber: For many, the lightsaber is inseparable from the identity of Force users, and the Falcons are no exception. Notably, Falcons tend to employ crossguards, finger guard rings, extended emitters that serve as a ricasso, and ornamentation that befits their noble status. Families and houses often have blade colors associated with them on account of their crystals coming from specific mines on their lands. Using a lightsaber in an honor duel against an opponent with a blade that cannot withstand a lightsaber is considered disgraceful.

 

Fencing blade: Forged to the highest standards by family artisans and often augmented through specialized alloys and augmentations like vibrating blades, fencing blades are the means by which Falcons are often called upon to defend the honor of their family or house. For the purpose of honor duels, Falcons train with these blades either alone or paired with a defensive implement such as a parrying blade or dueling glove.

 

Parrying blade: A shorter blade meant to deflect melee attacks while leaving the main blade to attack independently. Generally made of lightsaber resistant material, but not particularly augmented to inflict damage on its own.

 

Dueling glove: A glove or gauntlet made of lightsaber and cut resistant material used to bat away attacks while also allowing the hand to remain relatively free. Falcons are taught to not use a dueling glove to grab a blade for an extended period, as many opponents have a strength advantage over them, especially in regards to Sith Warriors, or sparring with Jedi Guardians. Dueling gloves work best against weightless blades like lightsabers or fencing blades, melee weapons that capitalize on mass are harder to redirect and more likely to smash through the glove’s protection.

 

Quarterstaff/cane: Falcons often go to places where weapons are frowned upon or may escalate hostilities, and so they are often trained in the use of staves and canes. Many young falcons scoff at the use of a staff until their instructors put them in a medbay for a week with an elegantly savage beatdown. Unless a Falcon is going for low profile, staves and canes that they use are constructed with the same quality and artisanry as the rest of their gear. There are plenty of ways to enhance these weapons, but Falcons should be wary that with advanced weapon scanning this may defeat the purpose in some places. Falcons that favor masquerading as custodial staff are known for concealing staves as mop handles.

 

Precision blaster: Falcons are under no limitations by ancient religious orders to not carry ranged weapons, and so they readily employ blasters, albeit in a limited and codified way. Falcons are expected to employ the same precision and control with a blaster as they do with a blade, and so their shots are always aimed and directed at a target. Using a blaster against a target without ranged ability is considered dishonorable. Slugthrowers are largely considered primitive and brutish, and disruptors are viewed as the tools of terrorists and sociopaths. Indiscriminate or wide dispersion weapons are equally frowned upon. Rifles and carbines are the means of line soldiers and not suitable for people of an Imperial Knight’s status.

 

Heavy hunting blaster: Falcons of the Vow of Bravado often carry personalized blasters meant for taking down large game. These weapons are often wired into independent power units and pack a considerable amount of armor penetrating punch in exchange for a slower rate of fire. Otherwise, they are treated the same as precision blasters.

 

Dueling armor: High quality armorweave with light plating on the chest and arms, along with a hardened helmet. Mobility is considered the first line of defense, but these suits make an adequate second line.

 

Parrying shield: A smart energy shield that activates upon detecting imminent explosive or fragmentation impacts. The shield overloads quickly if kept on longer than a few seconds, and is meant to be deployed in short bursts against attacks that otherwise couldn’t be evaded or deflected, such as grenades or rockets.

 

Anti-gravity rig/armor assisted movement system: Some Falcons integrate anti-gravity rigging into their armor to enhance their mobility and lend an air of etherealness to their movements. Or because anti-gravity is fun. Extremely experienced Falcons have the funds and capability to own and operate armor that uses microjets to take that mobility to the next level.


 

Gambits, Obligations, and Principles

 

                 Without the religious cult approach to Force powers, Falcons instead engage the Force with the philosophy of exceptionalism and noble obligation. They have these powers that elevate them above others, but they are obligated to use those powers to protect the people that they rule over. Falcons refer to instant and fleeting techniques as gambits, and passive applications of the Force as obligations, in reference to the constancy of their duty to the citizenry. Principles are powers that aren’t “always on”, but persist until the Imperial Knight ends them or use a different principle. Principles are too complex and draining to use more than one at a time.

 

Principles of Grace: A suite of powers that focus on using telekinesis on the self to enhance advances, retreats, balance, and sidesteps. Falcons are taught to use these moves in short, controlled bursts, the purpose is to be unpredictable while also not overextending or exhausting oneself. 

 

Principles of Counteraction: A suite of powers that focus on using telekinesis on the self to empower defensive strikes meant to deflect attacks, guiding enemy strikes into thin air and pushing aside weapons to create openings. The powers do have their limits, especially against bulkier weapons being used by strength focused combatants. 

 

Principles of Precision: A suite of powers that focus on using telekinesis on the self to guide strikes towards joints and gaps in armor. Imperial Knights are honorbound to give opponents the chance to yield before delivering a killing blow, so this principle is always used to wound before being used to kill, and going straight for the kill is seen as a massive red flag for Dark Side corruption.

 

Principles of Liberty: A suite of powers that focus on using telekinesis on the self in conjunction with Force Sense to read both body language and the flow of spiritual currents to dodge the sorcerous attacks of particularly mystical Sith. The Principles of Liberty are considerably more draining than the Principles of Grace, and practitioners must be careful to not exhaust themselves into a loss.

 

Principles of Focus: The Falcon uses the Force to enhance their reflexes, reaction time, and combat awareness to a level that greatly increases their capabilities as a pilot or driver. Often used by Falcons under the vows of vanquishment or bravado.

 

Cloak of Ignominy: Falcons often need to move unnoticed or into places where their kind are unwelcome. This obligation allows the Falcon to blend into crowds and appear like just another citizen. Adopting the guise of custodial staff or maintenance crews are common go tos.

 

Crown of Virtue: The opposite use of Cloak of Ignominy, this obligation represents the Falcon broadcasting their majesty and sense of duty to both enhance their charisma and draw people to approach them about problems. This power is considered vital to fulfilling the noble obligation.

 

Bravo’s Challenge: The Falcon ignites the Light around their form so that all eyes are drawn to them, drawing the focus of thugs and villains away from the defenseless and innocent. The Falcon needs to actually be in the area, no using this power through a video call, etc.

 

Discernment: An obligation that Falcons use to enhance awareness, primarily in detecting threats, although Reclaimers and Binders use it to enhance their ability to appraise objects and read social cues, respectively. Falcons with this obligation have enhanced resistance to Sith illusionry.

 

Authority: Essentially a Jedi mind trick, but more effective on people that are under the Falcon’s family’s rule, and less effective on those who are not.

 

Outclassed: The Falcon attempts to flood the mind of their opponent with false tells and phantom movement in the periphery of their eyes. For Force users and opponents familiar with the speed and unpredictability of Falcons, the power inflames the imagination even deeper.

 

Vigilance: The Falcon is considered to have 360 degree awareness within their immediate zone of control with the Force.

 

Scrutinize: As long as the Falcon has line of sight, they can look at a location as if they have macrobinoculars.

 

Deflecting Slash: A gambit that turns a slashing motion with blade or hand into a concussive wave meant to turn aside weapons and stagger opponents. Works more effectively on grunts than elite combatants.

 

Chimeric Dance: The Falcon co-opts and channels push and pull attacks through the Force into their own momentum.

 

Considered Response: The perception of time (but not time itself) is altered to give the Falcon more time to respond to sudden and unexpected events. 

 

Principles of Discipline: The Falcon uses the Force to act unfettered by fear or pain, relying on their years of training and muscle memory. This power does not remove fear or pain, it just allows the Falcon to act in spite of these things.

 

Adaptive Momentum: The Falcon can use the Force to navigate treacherous paths and crowded streets with ease, getting to people in need or away from people that are trying to kill them. In layman's terms this power functions like Force assisted parkour.

 

Principles of Daring: The Falcon uses the Force to overtly and powerfully enhance their movement, whether that’s expressed in Force Speed, Force Jump, or other expressions of Force enhanced movement. Often one of the first sets of principles that Falcons in training learn, it is an early go to for avoiding responsibilities and escaping courtly affairs.

 

Principles of Mischief: The Falcon uses the Force to conceal their presence, commit acts of legerdemain, and open locked doors. These Principles are not taught by any court approved instructor, instead being passed on from Falcon to Falcon, often during family gatherings.

 

Principles of Charm: The Falcon uses the Force to navigate even the most treacherous political waters. Embodying charisma, perfectly recalling names and details of acquaintances and associates, and moving with dreamlike poise, the Falcon excels at putting on a winning public face to balance any prior chaos that they may have caused.

 

Rulers of a Thousand Tongues: This obligation allows the Imperial Knight to communicate with people using unknown languages using the Force, and Falcons often teach this power to Paladins and Wardens, but they pick it up far quicker.

 

Disengaging Strike: The Falcon uses the Force in conjunction with a weapon attack or unarmed strike to fling themself back with great speed and momentum.

 

Humble: When a situation calls for a loud and clear statement, the Falcon can quickly make an example that can’t be missed. The Falcon makes a definitive action, often a violent one, that everyone in the area is forced to notice and subconsciously reflect on. Falcons often use this power to make it clear to violent criminals and malcontents that their behavior will not be tolerated. 

 

Different: The Force allows the Falcon to plant the idea that despite being nobility, they are different from the arrogant and rules obsessed aristocracy. How true that is may vary, but this power will open doors with people that have a general distaste for hierarchies.

 

Triumph of Virtue: The Falcon can imbue a weapon or object with the benevolence of the Force, allowing it to withstand attacks and strain that would otherwise destroy it. This can be done ritually for long term protection, or impromptu to create an improvised weapon, although the latter is more draining.

 

Blossom of Aargau: Used most prominently by the more rakish or vampish of Falcons, this gambit was supposedly invented by a Falcon that fell in with a group of Falleen con artists who used their species’ pheromones to defraud the financially rich but morally bankrupt, the nouveau riche in particular. It’s as close to a Force powered “Come hither” as one can get without crossing moral lines, but some Falcons use it mid duel to cloud the minds of their opponents. 

 

Ghost Stories: A form of childhood mischief turned useful tool, Falcons often learn or are taught this gambit at a young age, after having it inflicted upon them by older siblings or cousins. This gambit manipulates EMF and infrasound to trick the mind into the sensation of being haunted, and combined with simple stimuli like a sudden loud noise or object moving through telekinesis, it can spook and distract an unwitting target. Sometimes the power is used to haze family members or to test the mettle of a young Falcon, but generally speaking extended use of the power outside of nights around the campfire telling stories is considered a traversal into the Dark Side.

 

Avert Your Eyes: The Falcon conjures a burst of blinding light to daze, overwhelm, and divert the attacks of enemies. 


 

Style and Grace

 

             The following are sample dueling and combat styles, but should not be taken as the only forms of combat style that Falcons use, nor should their traits be taken as givens in a duel, players are still expected to validate outcomes with solid writing, and opponents still have final say on outcomes of attacks. Furthermore, this is not a best of list, and some of these options are included more for worldbuilding and character development rather than any kind of god tier dueling tactics.

 

Core Regulations Competitive Fencing: The standard competitive sports version of fencing that nobles learn to compete in galactic tournaments. An approximation of a martial art, but it introduces solid fundamentals, is excellent for friendly sparring matches, and knowing its movements is key to predicting the patterns of most courtly opponents that don’t use traditional house styles.

 

The style focuses on footwork, ripostes, and presenting as small of a target as possible to your opponent. Competitive fencing is performed in lanes, so practitioners of this style are less likely to think of strafing movements, but have exceptional close in skills against other fencers. This is a starting point for nearly all young Falcons, but one that they generally quickly move past.

 

Mischief Unto Misfortune: A philosophy of combat shared amongst Falcons, this style, more casually referred to as simply “Mischief”, has the duelist using the environment to leverage mistakes out of opponents for them to capitalize on. The Falcon repeatedly draws their opponent into situations where excellent footwork and coordination are required, or where they must re-engage in less than favorable circumstances.

 

This style is often also used to mitigate the advantages of a group of attackers by disrupting their ability to attack cohesively and allowing the Falcon to isolate individuals and pick them off. It is often referred to as holovid style for its flashy theatrics and similarities to stunt work. Clever Falcons will use this style to equalize duels against opponents with superior mastery of the blade.

 

The Bastillietra Manual: A fencing manual that teaches a martial art focused on quickly and efficiently killing opponents while minimizing risk to the self. The style is observed to have an ebb and flow of momentum, combining measured retreats and lethal presses. It is not a style for use against a single skilled opponent, rather being a guide on how to self defense a large group of  attackers unskilled in melee fighting to death. Carefully controlled thrusts are key to this style, and great importance is given to not getting your blade stuck in an opponent while other threats remain on the field.

 

The Cor’Phalos Manual: Not only was the Marquis Cor’Phalos an exceptional fencer who took great pains to transcribe and codify his style, he was also a remorseless troll who took impish glee in the murder and shaming of rivals. Practitioners of this form of combat aren’t just fighting to secure martial victory, they are weaving in psychological attacks and social barbs to embarrass and emotionally ruin their opponents. They are, in short, styling on their opponents.

 

Duels pursued in this manner are as much theatrical displays as they are measures of martial skill, and often involve non lethal attacks meant to taunt opponents into making mistakes and biting commentary meant to goad and rile up the opponent, preferably in front of an audience. These duels do not always end in death, and Cor’Phalos was known to intentionally leave opponents alive to force them to live with their shame. In one particularly well documented incident, the Marquis used a dinner fork to feed a particularly rotund noble who had commented on the figure of the Marquis’s companion his own eyes.

 

The Marquis garnered a reputation as an oddly moralistic sociopath who readily visited violence on anyone who insulted his companions, his sensibilities, or his taste in theater. It was mostly other nobles who suffered the brunt of his wrath, as he dismissed most missteps of the lower classes as a symptom of not knowing better, and only drew his blade for the most egregious behavior on their behalf. Despite making hundreds of powerful enemies, the Marquis died of old age surrounded by the people he had so fiercely protected, despite many, many attempts to prematurely end his life. 

 

Falcons of the vows of consequence and defiance regularly make use of this style to make examples of their opponents. Jedi who observe the style have voiced concerns that it very closely resembles the use of Dun Möch, but never within earshot of its practitioners. Even so, Falcons who become too enamored with the style are watched carefully for corruption.

 

The Vastira Manual: Written by one of the most esteemed and sought after fencing instructors to have ever lived, the Vastira manual is not as much focused on the pursuit of victory as it is in training other duelists through nuanced observation and probing strikes. While many Falcons that do study the manual use it for its intended purpose, there has been a growing number of them that have started using the teachings to instead push a dialogue with fallen nobles and Sith with the aim of redemption. When used in this manner the duelist focuses on defensive movements meant to frame aggression as ineffective, while attempting to reach whatever humanity remains in the opponent. If the opponent reveals themself as truly damned, the Falcon generally has at that point gained enough insight into their style to deliver a quick mercy kill.

 

The Ghendrivhar Treatise: An extensive look at the application of fencing principles to lightsaber combat. Given that its intended audience has access to less lethal means to settle disputes and matters of honor, the text is concerned solely with pursuit of lethal triumph over threats. It also heavily interweaves the use of Force powers to achieve its techniques, based off of the assumption that anyone using a lightsaber based style has access to the Force. The primary points of leverage that the treatise focuses on are the weightlessness of the lightsaber blade, the independence of its cutting power from strength or momentum, and the divorce of its ability to cut from the physics of a physical blade’s edge. 

 

The treatise focuses on efficient movements and drawing out overcompensated strikes from opponents to create openings that the duelist can exploit. There are no sweeping blows or grand overhead slashes in this martial art, only refined pointwork and calculated strikes. The economy of movement means that practitioners of the style will often outlast their opponents, both in individual duels and in terms of extended battlefield engagements. In fact, exhausting the opponent is a heavily encouraged tactic for responding to highly aggressive strength based fighters.

 

The Nixtalla Codices: A collection of martial arts manuals that were falsely claimed to be ancient texts of a long lost warrior order, however in spite of the attempted con, the books are popular among Falcons who enjoy indulging in theatricality but lack the sadism needed to follow in the footsteps of the Marquis. There are multiple theories of who the true author of the books is, and each theory carries with it a variation of the style. At this point, making cases for who wrote the texts is a common pastime for historians, university students, fencing enthusiasts, and holonet programs alike.

 

The first theory is that the codices are the work of the court jester Vellinia Forkes, in what was meant to be an elaborate but good natured joke on her Duke who was rather fond of collecting various works on fencing without necessarily scrutinizing their provenance. Proponents claim that knowledge of the text spread farther than intended, and the realization that several prominent families had been misled and would likely be out for blood convinced Forkes that denying any connection to the scheme might be her only chance for survival. Forkesian interpretations of the texts focus on the use of the style as a de-escalating tactic, as the style is notably playful and bombastic in a way that might be considered critical of the practice of lethal duels in general. In application, the Forkesian method is used by Falcons in challenges that have arisen out of fleeting passion or the necessities of politics that Falcon is disinclined to resolve with murder. Forkes was known for her ability to talk her way out of situations, and this style can very easily be interpreted as the fencing equivalent of “Bro, chill!”.

 

The second theory is that the codices were actually secret love letters between two master fencers of rival families, who hid their flirtations in the elegance and grace of a dance of blades. The circumstantial evidence for this comes from the reading of the texts as being penned by multiple authors, and the sometimes rather sensually charged phrasing of the text. A holovid based on this theory was released to great critical acclaim, but its distribution is currently in legal limbo on account of both of the families named in the script suing for slander and defamation. The “Lovers theory” reads the text as a sensualist take on fencing, celebrating the joy and artistry of it all and channeling passion into an artform often associated with discipline and control. The perceived “sloppiness” of this variation makes it harder for practiced opponents to read, and the joyful expression is claimed to offer a measure of protection against negative mental attacks. If this theory is true, then the identity of who distributed the texts remains unknown.

 

The third theory ties the books to a notorious ring of falleen rakes and coquettes who were infamous for their scamming of the ultra rich, particularly people of wealth who came from outside of the circles of nobility and refused to conform to those cultural expectations. They were already known for their scandalous endeavors when the codices were “found”, they had a history of using sex as a weapon and means of subversion, and there are accounts of various members of the group claiming authorship. Libertine theory interpretations focus on the use of passion as a tool to undermine an opponent, and to dissuade attacks through seduction.

 

The fourth theory is that the codices are in actuality guides for theatrical stage fighting, written in the form of actual fencing manuals as a lark. The practically winking at the audience approach to killing blows would be detrimental to a degree that contradicts the understanding displayed by the rest of the text, and makes more sense for death scenes than actual duels. This theory doesn’t particularly have a useful application for the read, Falcons think that Mischief does it better, and if someone wants to flip around all over the place then they can do Ataru like a Jedi.

 

The fifth theory is a more sinister twist on the Forkesian theory, suggesting that the Duke had a rival that was both a competing collector and sleeping with the Duchess, and that the codices were bait for an assassination attempt. In this version, the Duke’s copy of the codices is stolen, only for his rival to die of mysterious causes, and gossip of the codices being the work of Forkes conveniently precedes an attempted assassination on the jester that instead claims the life of the Duchess. It’s indisputable that the Duke and Forkes became romantically involved after the death of the Duchess, but whether their relationship was born from a double homicide remains unknown. This interpretation, commonly referred to as the murder theory, is treated more as a reminder of the darker underside of court life, and the power of misdirection. A student of this lesson most likely poisoned their opponent before the duel even began, or ensured their deployment to a distant and ruthless battlefield.

 

Observations of Warfare in the Ysarvian Reach: Dame Ursinia Cawell was never a particularly charismatic or roguish Falcon, but she was born behind several older siblings, and the likelihood of inheritance was miniscule for her, so instead she was “encouraged” to become a Falcon and undertake the Vow of Obligation. Shortly thereafter she was shipped off to a distant battlefield to either find her fortunes in glory or to fill an unmarked grave. Cawell kept a journal during her time at war, and while it is by all accounts a dry and at times overly meticulous account of warfare, it is also a frank and unfiltered look at warfare and how to survive it as a noble. It emphasizes the need to discard courtly expectations and to routinely drill with the implements of total war, such as the blaster, rather than expecting the enemy to conform to your expectations.  

 

Observations is considered required reading for any Falcon undertaking the Vow of Obligation, and at this point is the Cawell family’s greatest claim to fame, a fact that irks them to no end. Followers of the book’s accounts put considerable work into pistol marksmanship, tone down the flamboyance of their outfits to avoid the notice of snipers, and develop something resembling a passable rapport with the line officers and soldiers. The finer points of socializing eluded Cawell, but her trial and error attempts at fitting in and obsessive focus on detail in regards to her tasks makes the knowledge in Observations comprehensible for anyone, even if they want to bang their head against a wall while reading it.

 

The Nature of Predators, Memoirs of Master Hunter Castra Sinchler: Despite the accusations of heavy embellishment of Sinchler’s exploits outside of the hunt, The Nature of Predators presents a detailed look at big game hunting, emphasizing the importance of understanding all aspects of what you are hunting, knowledge of the terrain, the importance of staying calm and collected while in mortal danger, and how to beat a hangover while tracking a Kiltik beetle to the nest while also explaining to your Cathar guide that there’s no way that you could be the father. While Sinchler’s fieldcraft is exceptional, and his hunting exploits are both impressive and thrillingly told, the most popular part of the book is a confrontation between the hunter and a near feral Sith Lord driven to madness in the outer rim. Sinchler strongly believed in looking a beast in the eyes before killing it, and like most Falcons eschewed the use of a hunting rifle for a heavy blaster pistol. 

 

Charitable Stranger: A style of stave fighting discreetly passed between Falcons, who publicly present themselves above staff weapons, but often make use of them when acting covertly or slumming it with the lower class. Despite the simplicity of staves, Falcons imbue the use of such weapons with a stunning grace and flow that allows them to truly elevate the weapons through the artistry with which they use them. Charitable Stranger foregoes courtly restraint in exchange for extensive flourishes and broad, twirling swings, and is excellent at “dissuading” large groups of ruffians.


 

Privileges and Accouterments

 

                 Despite the distance that many families hold Falcons at, they are still in the end, nobility. As such they still have access to the trappings of wealth and status, and perhaps can indulge in them more freely due to the roguish personas that they cultivate.

 

Palaces, Mansions, and Penthouses: While the Paladins and Wardens may emphasize leading more austere lives, Falcons are in many ways encouraged to live loudly. And they certainly stand out in stark contrast to the Jedi, who often forego material trappings. While the truly massive residences are often shared amongst the family, Falcons often own private mansions, space yachts, penthouses, and other estates secreted away from the public eye.

 

Valets, Staff, and Courtiers: Falcons, like most nobles, tend to have assistants and servants on hand to handle mundane details, and to insulate them from people. Even Falcons have their exposure to people outside of the nobility carefully limited and manipulated, to prevent dilution of aristocratic culture and the fomentation of the philosophies of the masses. Falcons tend to be… particular about handpicking their staff, their ability to read people allowing them to see virtues and failings that others can’t. As such, those that pass muster are generally treated well and trusted as confidantes.

 

Fame: Falcons carry with them an aura of celebrity that opens doors that are closed tightly with others. People go out of their way to please them, any place that has a VIP list either has their name on it or will in short order, and dinner with A-list celebrities are just a comm call away.

 

Connections: On the other hand, Falcons also maintain black books of courtesans, high stake gamblers, errant socialites, black market dealers, and disgraced nobles that serve as sources of information, power brokers, and the providers of introductions. Or sometimes just as fun diversions. 

 

Top of the Line: Whether it’s weapons, armor, or conveyances, Falcons have the credits to obtain the very best on, or oftentimes even off, the market. Generally Falcons focus primarily on the implements associated with their interests and vow, but even tertiary gear is of above average quality.

 

Diplomatic Immunity: Obviously Falcons can’t commit crime without restraint, and they certainly don’t want to draw the attention of the Paladins, but their status does buy them a degree of protection from the law.


 

Errata and Esoterica

 

Harlequins: Sometimes Falcons will find Force sensitives in their travels that possess exceptional character in spite of their ignoble origins, and will offer to train them. Referred to as Harlequins, they occupy an even more grey area than the Falcons in regards to noble propriety, but they come by their place honestly, and smaller noble houses will often seek them out to try and secure future Force sensitive heirs.

 

Purifiers: It’s no secret that many human noble families and houses ascended into prominence thanks to the crusades of the Pius Dea, and some of them continue to secretly follow the cult’s teachings to this day. Purifiers are sanctified zealots that are tasked with culling and opposing the presence of alien influences, particularly in regards to species considered to be immoral like the Hutts. Purifiers claim that their duty exposes them to the taint of unclean creatures that causes them to eventually be overwhelmed and fall, but to any outsider it’s clear that their dogma is an express lane to the Dark Side. Purifiers pursue their genocidal and xenophobic agendas in secret, not wanting to draw the ire of the more liberal elements of the Remnant or Alliance.

 

Provost Tutors: Falcons that tire of the political games of their position or develop an overwhelming passion for the art of fencing can renounce their noble claims and become a Provost Tutor, an instructor dedicated to passing along their knowledge of fencing to the next generation. Provost Tutors are held in high regard despite their reduced status, and are some of the only house staff that can discipline tantruming heirs without fear of consequence. Provost Tutors don’t seek out conflict, that’s not their path in life anymore, but should a threat come to them or their charges, death will follow shortly after.

 

Eyes of Judgment: A secret society that acts as an unofficial inquisition within the Imperial Remnant, tirelessly hunting down both Dark Side apostates and nobles with sympathies for the Sith. They prefer to carry out their assassinations under the guise of accidents or consequences of the lethal churn of court politics, and a great deal of thought is given to spacing out attacks so that their secrecy is maintained. First and foremost though, the Eyes are an intelligence gathering operation, as great care is taken to ascertain the loyalties and innocence of potential targets before action is taken.

 

Mist Sirens: In the Hapes cluster, a number of women introduced to the teachings and philosophies of the Falcons banded together to form a privateering fleet to escape the ruthless politics of their people. Mist Sirens value personal freedom above all else, and tend to raid oppressive governments to fund their operations.

 

Tyrants of Korgotu: A conspiracy of nobles that have embraced the Dark Side but reject the teachings of the Sith, instead focusing on material power and wealth. Their practitioners maintain many of the trappings of court life, making them in many ways a dark reflection of the Falcons, although the Tyrants have a deep love for illusionry and mind control. The relationship between the nobles of the Imperial Remnant and the Tyrants of Korgotu is complicated, and not necessarily a kill on sight affair. Many nobles see the Tyrants as just another collection of noble houses, or argue that their bloodlines can be redeemed with proper guidance. Others consider them a trashy hot mess, but in the fun kind of way. And no noble can say that in their heart of hearts they haven’t wondered what it would be like to rule with absolute power. The Tyrants often swoop in to recruit fallen Imperial Knights, and many times the response is a shrug and something about “Better than them becoming a Sith”. It’s an uncomfortably toxic relationship that often leads Imperial Knights astray, but also occasionally pulls someone back into the light.

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