“The Dark Lord and his forces will never be content to let us live in peace. He aspires to rule over all. They must be stopped and we must triumph. We must reveal ourselves to the universe, to stand against the darkness as the guardians of the New Republic. As of this day, we delcare the Aldárae Order reborn!”
- - Grandmaster Ryen
The Aldárae Order, also known as the Order of Light, is an organisation of knights, scholars and peacekeepers based on Aldár in the Cyrannus Galaxy, formed in opposition to the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus and the shadowy Phaedric Order. Renowned for their wisdom and strength, Aldárae knights and diplomats are well respected across the Gigaquadrant, standing as a bulwark against the dark forces of the cosmos. Closely aligned with the New Cyrannian Republic, the Aldárae were proclaimed as the "Guardians of the New Republic"—a mirror image to the Phaedra's role within the Empire.
Formed under the tenets established by the ancient Oikoumene text known as the Annals of Valin'uvalyë, many members of the Order are attuned to the mysterious energy referred to as the Light, connected with the Oikoumene Lord of Light Apolithanatár, who serves as the Order's spiritual leader and guide. Overseen by the Ethelnór Aldárae, Grandmaster Ryen and the Dragon Lord Du'utahrovin, the Order is the subject of fascination across the Gigaquadrant, upholding ancient traditions and beliefs starkly in contrast to modern galactic civilisation.
The current Aldárae Order is but the second incarnation, the reborn legacy of an order which existed during the earliest millennia of the First Republic. Archaeological evidence, as well as the teachings of Master Du'utahrovin, indicate that Aldárae explorers were perhaps the first native Cyrannians to venture into the galaxy's wormholes, leading to the neighbouring Quadrants and the limitless expanses of Endless Space, where remnants of their legacy remain to this day. Within Cyrannus, however, the Order faded from history during the dark ages of the First Republic, a period in which they fought to defend the Core from the invading Nagith and Phaedric Empires. Millennia later, Du'utahrovin called from beyond the stars to figures such as Ryen and Alinor Nanuq, in preparation for the eventual rebirth of the Order. This effort was later spearheaded during the Cyrannian Cold War by Ryen's students, Kara Inviá and Aoirtae Valaeris, both of whom played a crucial role in galactic events leading up to, and during, the Second Great Cyrannus War.
The origins of the Aldárae Order, both new and old, lie with the mysterious Dragon Lord Du'utahrovin, a being of immense wisdom and strength believed to have been created by the ancient Oikoumene prior to their Apotheosis. Calling to key individuals from across Cyrannus, Du'utahrovin trained them in the philosophy of Valin'uvalyë, forging the first Aldárae Order within the woods and glades of Aldár. The Order served as protectors of the First Republic, though limited information from that period survived the dark ages of the Nagith and Phaedric Wars. Nevertheless, recent findings in the Quadrants and within Endless Space confirm that Aldárae explorers ventured beyond the mother galaxy, establishing outposts and temples on far-off worlds such as Noldágorel, while the mysterious Yodian became closely linked with the teachings of the Order.
However, the Order would mysteriously vanish after the end of the Second Nagith War, fading from all knowledge as the fall of the Republic ushered in a new period of galactic disunity and chaos. Nevertheless, throughout the subsequent millennia, Du'utahrovin would occasionally interrupt his slumber by once more calling on select beings across the galaxy, including the Osteolan sage Ryen and the Thanatyrannusi warrior Alinor Nanuq. With the rise of Tyrómairon, the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus and the Phaedric Order, Du'utahrovin began to accelerate his plans, leading to Ryen discovering two young women whom he believed shared a special destiny to reshape the galaxy for the better—Aoirtae Valaeris and Kara Inviá.
Ryen first introduced the teachings of Aldár to his young students in 08 NE, in the midst of the galaxy-spanning cold war between the Empire and the New Cyrannian Republic. Two years later, Aoirtae was called by Du'utahrovin to train with him atop the Peak of Ages, where she completed her final trial as a student of the Aldárae. Afterwards, she acted on a vision provided to her by a mysterious energy to fulfill a prophecy detailed in the Annals of Valin'uvalyë, bringing the mythical Zevian Skull to Aldár and use it to bring about the return of Apolithanatár—the Oikoumene Lord of Light whom Du'utahrovin heralded as the saviour of the galaxy. Though struggling against the dark forces of Morgandaûr and the Phaedric Lords Venatorius and Meketanor, Aoirtae ultimately proved victorious, utilising the Skull to travel to Apolithanatár's domain. There, she pleaded with the Oikoumene to aid the Aldárae in preventing the Dark Lord from gaining eternal dominion over the cosmos, convincing him to return to the mortal plane.
In the three years since Aoirtae's departure, the Aldárae began to grow in size and strength, though remained relatively unknown to the citizens of the Gigaquadrant. This changed in 14 NE, when Aoirtae finally returned with Apolithanatár, prompting Master Ryen to successfully convince New Republic Senator Apollo to open talks with the Senate to recognise the Aldárae as the "guardians of the Republic". Later that day, Ryen officially declared the rebirth of the Aldárae Order as a bulwark of justice as the rising tide of darkness.
Second Great WarEdit
In the weeks immediately preceding the outbreak of the Second Great Cyrannus War, the Aldárae Order became closely allied with the New Republic government under President Nexarón Valkistair, in part due to Master Ryen's role in saving the Senate during the Senate Hostage Crisis earlier in the Cold War. However, due to the Republic's unwillingness to openly challenge the Empire, the Aldárae turned to additionally allies in the form of General Sesoka's Cyrandia Resistance, which held no such qualms. Utilising information provided by Apolithanatár, Master Nanuq Alinor began to plan for the liberation of the Miluiel from the Empire's clutches, leading to the Battle of Ambar, a conflict which saw the first direct combat between the Aldárae Order and the Phaedra, as well as their first major victory.
However, the victory would be made hollow with the outbreak of full scale war in 15 NE. Unwilling to allow the Republic to die in the wake of the devastating Mou'Cyran Cataclysm, Ryen offered the newly sworn-in President Apollo the full resources of the Aldárae. Subsequently, Aldárae strike teams played crucal roles in the Battle of the Ecimaex Wall and the Battle of Cadian, while the Order's new starfighter and corvette corps provided backup to the embattled Republic Navy during the critical Coru Secundus Campaign.
Throughout the opening stages of the conflict and beyond, Aldárae agents became known throughout Republic Space as enigmatic, though inspirational figures capable of standing against the Empire's endless legions and emerging victorious. During the pivotal Battle of Cyranduas, the Aldárae Master Tyandas led a contingent of Republic soldiers in defence of the planet's shield generators and ultimately sacrificed their lives to crush the Imperial army and save the people of Cyranduas.
In other campaigns, such as at Laurantia and Capricaerón itself, Master Ryen personally led Republic forces against the Empire. During the Fall of the Twelve Worlds, the Grandmaster sacrificed his life to protect Aoirtae and Kara against the insurmountable power of Agonânghâsh, destroying the dark Phaedra at the cost of his own life. In the aftermath, and with the subsequent fall of the Republic, the Order went into meditative seclusion. While individual members would continue to fight in resistance movements across the galaxy, Aldár became sealed within a protective pocket, preventing it from being assailed by Imperial forces.
The governing body of the Aldárae Order is the Ethelnór Aldárae, a council of the most respected teachers, warriors and diplomats in the Order. Though the Aldárae find leadership in the wisdom of Master Du'utahrovin and Apolithanatár, both saw fit to lay down any official claim of leadership of the Order over to the Ethelnór. From their chambers within the Aldárae Temple on Aldár, the Ethelnór determine the future of the Aldárae Order, organising each and every member toward relief efforts, military operations, or peacekeeping along the hyperlanes. While the Ethelnór operated in secrecy for much of its modern history, it became an open body when Master Ryen secured an alliance with the New Cyrannian Republic, with the council now serving as an intermediary between the Republic government and the members of the Order.
Elected by a unanimous vote by the Ethelnór is the Aldárae Grandmaster, a largely ceremonial title currently held by Ryen. The Grandmaster is tasked with overseeing the Ethelnór, arbitrating disagreements and ensuring order within the halls of the temple. In his role, Ryen has been keen to facilitate ever-closer cooperation with the beleaguered New Republic, striking up a friendly relationship with President Apollo and the members of his administration. Another important position on the Ethelnór Aldárae is the Keeper of Válrenaeum, who is tasked with maintaining and expanding upon the knowledge contained in the Válrenaeum, regarded as one of the Cyrannus Galaxy's most comprehensive repositories of information. The position is currently held by Master Daera Rosalayne, who seeks to provide an ever-evolving resource for the students of the Order, or simply those curious enough to explore, to expand their knowledge and deepen their understanding of the universe and its mysteries.
Master Alinor Nanuq is the senior member of the council responsible for military matters, and despite his scepticism about dealing with the Republic Senate, is committed to serving the ideals of justice and democracy enshrined within the Republic. Within the New Republic military, Nanuq's words are considered to hold the same weight as a high ranking general or admiral, and much to the surprise of Republic soldiers, is more than willing to put himself in harms way on the front-lines of the Second Great War. Other notable masters, such as the diminutive Aenaró were elected to the Ethelnór due to their expertise on the mysteries of the Light and the Dark.
“Look to the heavens and see darkness, yes. But where you see this darkness, you also see starlight.”
- - Master Aenaró
Born amidst the shadows of the Dark Times brought about by the rise of the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus, the Aldárae Order is dedicated to preserving peace and tranquillity in the galaxy, independent from the meddling of Tyrómairon and his band of evil followers. A society of teachers, monks, warriors, philosophers, mages and scientists, the Aldárae aspire toward compassion, mercy and benevolence on an intergalactic scale, aspiring toward ending ignorance with knowledge and falsehood with truth. Most, though not all, members of the Aldárae draw upon the pervasive powers of Valin'uvaye, an Essence-like energy which exists wherever life can be found. While some tap into the forbidding depths of darkness, most followers of the Aldárae exclusively harness the aspect known as the Light—bound with the ancient Oikoumene known as Apolithanatár.
Nevertheless, the Aldárae are a far more diverse order than their Imperial counterparts. While they are commonly believed to study and use the mystical powers of the Light, in actuality, not all members of the Order are attuned. Similarly, while most Aldárae pledge allegiance to the New Republic, many others disapprove of affiliating the Order with any single organisation. Such rogues and mavericks are regarded with disapproval by many of the more orthodox members of the Order, though the organisation's official mantra encourages all members to possess an open mind. While a certain respect for the Light is expected, members of the Order such as Vanikaimar and Master Tarvynil express no such admiration, with the latter joining the Order only as a means of exploring the deepest depths of ancient and forgotten lore. Such individuals are, naturally, an overwhelming minority, however, with most members of the Aldárae Order being hailed as paragons of compassion and enlightenment.
“The winding path to peace is always a worthy one, young Aoirtae. Regardless of how many turns it takes.”
- - Ryen imparts some wisdom on his pupil Aoirtae Valaeris
While great variation exists within the Order, three guiding principles bind the Aldárae together—the Way of Peace, the Path of Wisdom and the Pursuit of Justice. By upholding peace and understanding, the Aldárae mantra says, one finds wisdom, and through sharing their enlightenment, the Aldárae break the bonds of ignorance, injustice and fear. While some members of the Order scoff at such tenets, it is undeniable that an unspoken guideline is upheld by each and every member—self-improvement. From the most humble adherent of the Way of Valin'uvaye, to the most pragmatic and self-centred scientist, the Aldárae seek to better themselves and those around them by learning new skills, uncovering unknown knowledge, and seeking fresh comprehension of aspects of life which had previously been known to them.
“Humility, my young friends, is both the greatest lesson, and the finest teacher.”
Membership in the Aldárae Order is predicted on a single attribute—a willingness to learn. It is certainly true that not all members of the Aldárae can swing a blade like Aoirtae, or manipulate the Light like Ryen, but all who seek to better themselves and to serve others, is welcome to join the Order. For those attuned to the Light, however, membership is considerably more complicated. Applicants undergo a series of trials and tests, spending their time honing their physical and spiritual bodies through meditation, study and constant exercise.
A typical day for students training on Aldár begins in the Temple, where they enjoy breakfast before a short hike to the Mountain Path training area. There, students practice honing their skills with a blade, while more advanced trainees practice telekinesis. In the afternoon, students head back to the Temple for four hours in the Válrenaeum, the great Library of the Order, where they study history, diplomacy and a wide range of other subjects. In the evenings, students are generally free to do as they wish, be it arcane experimentation, hanging out with friends, meditation, or volunteering to tend to the gardens of the Temple. Additionally, students may also wish to attend seminars held by esteemed masters of the Aldárae, or by visiting dignitaries.
After a span of two standard years, successful students are chosen to study as tirolenros—an ancient Oiseaui title meaning "learner"—where they are often paired with a more experienced member of the Order. Tirolenros typically spend a great deal of time learning directly from their master, travelling the Cyrandia Cluster to deepen their knowledge of the cosmos. Eventually, the time comes for each tirolenros where they must say farewell to their masters and undertake their Final Trial. In each trial, which are each unique, the tirolenros is faced with their greatest challenge. Depending on the individual, it can be their greatest fear or their deepest regret, though regardless of the specifics, they achieve insight into their greatest strengths and their own limitations. Those who take such a lesson to heart emerge as a full fledged member of the Aldárae Order—a Guardian of the New Republic.
The end of the Final Trial does not herald the end of an Aldárae's journey, however. As even the wisest Master can attest, there is always more to learn. Therefore, an Aldárae often chooses a formalised path of study to guide themselves within the Order. Those attuned to combat and the defence of the innocent may become an Aldárae Knight, champions of justice and the greatest bane of the Empire's forces. Knights, such as Aoirtae Valaeris and Kara Inviá, are often found in leadership capacities, while the self-titled Sentinels are the bulwarks of the Order, defending the Aldárae through the strength of their powers.
Nevertheless, combat is not the defining characteristic of such individuals. It has become commonplace for knights of the Order to advise military officers of the New Republic in the way of strategy, particularly during the Second Great Cyrannus War, and as such, they often serve as emissaries, solving problems through discussion without drawing their weapons. In contrast, Shadow Knights, such as Zahra Ross, can mask themselves with the Light, for infiltration and espionage—activities which remain unknown to most members of the Order.
Other Aldárae may follow the path of the Mage, who seek to explore the mysteries of Valin'uvaye, be it through scientific experimentation, spiritual connection with the world around them, or by delving into the deepest secrets of the Order's great libraries. Unlike Knights, who often adorn battle armour befitting their role, Mages often garb themselves in formal robes to suggest a willingness to negotiate. However, they can be a diverse group, even by the Order's standards. For example, the most notable mage of the Order, Master Aenaró, has very little in common with Master Tarvynil, who delves into the mysteries of the Light for purely academic, albeit personal reasons. Nevertheless, all Mages are, by default, wise, insightful and knowledgeable.
- New Cyrannian Republic: "The strongest pillar of a peaceful galaxy. We must not let the spark die."
- New Republic Remnant: "An ember of hope."
- Galactic Empire of Cyrannus: "We do not fear you."
- Phaedric Order: "Where there is Light, so too must there be darkness."
“Like the golden sands of Vendespode - holy, rough and irritating, not to mention they get everywhere.”
- The Aldárae Order is based on the Jedi Order in Star Wars, the Inquisition in Dragon Age: Inquisition and the College of Winterhold in the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
- The sigil of the Aldárae Order was created by TheImperios.