The Imperial Knights, or the New Order, are a recent invention, the birth of which was necessitated by the fall of the Sith Order and Warmaster Altair Din's Declaration of a New Order. They serve as the primary Force-using order of the new Empire, replacing the exiled Lords of the Sith.
The Imperial Knights are an extension of Imperial military law enforcement, acting as enforcers of law and order and particularly specializing in dealing with hostile Force-using organizations like the Sith and Jedi Orders. Unlike the aforementioned orders, they are not a religious organization, devoting themselves entirely to The Empire, its survival, and its stability. Unlike the Sith Order before them, Knights adhere strictly to military chain of command with Knight ranks correlating to those of appropriate military positions.
Philosophy & Training
As an organization whose first generation is composed of mostly former and reformed members of the Sith Order, many Imperial Knights follow the dark side of the Force. However, their use of the dark side is not a religious component of their identity as it is for the Sith or even the Nightsisters. Instead, the Knights use the dark side as a tool to enforce Imperial law and the will of their superiors. This means that they cannot use the darker aspects of the Force, such as Sith magicks and alchemy, nor advanced techniques like lightning. However, the use of the dark side does allow them to use force and be firm and harsh when the situation requires it.
The Imperial Knights do not follow a Code. Their loyalty is not to the Force. Their guidance and accountability comes from Imperial law and the words and orders of The Empire's leaders.
The first generation of Knights came from former Sith who renounced their Order after The Empire expelled them from its borders. They swore away their crimson sabers and adopted loyalty to The Empire above all else. They then began to train a new generation of squires to protect the order, selecting young Force-sensitives from Imperial census data to be trained on Raxus Secundus.
Squires are trained in investigative and diplomatic techniques to aid with their work. They are also put through rigorous physical and mental training, allowing them to fight on par with other Force-sensitive warriors and resist their mental probes. They are then directed the crystal caves on worlds like Dantooine to complete the saber with a kyber crystal of their own — though most tend to choose white and yellow crystals.
Severaltypes of armor are commonly issued to Knights, though color is more important than form with standard Knight armor being red to distinguish and identify those within the organization.
Imperial Knight Ranks & Structure
Squire (Trainee Rank)
Equivalent to a Jedi Padawan or a Sith Acolyte.
Squires are newly recruited Force-sensitives who have not undergone any previous Force training. The Imperial Knights recruit young, starting at the age of puberty for a given Species. Unlike the Jedi and Sith, which are more open about the ages of their trainees, all Squires must either promote to Knight by the age of 20 (or the age of maturity in their respective Species) or be expelled from the Order. Rank-equivalent to a private in the army.
Imperial Knight (1st PC rank)
A fully trained Knight. Imperial Knights are every bit as competent and skilled as a Jedi Knight or a Sith Champion. They have mastered the art of using their lightsabers and are daunting Force-users in their own right. Knights are authorized to begin taking missions on their own and may also begin training a Squire of their own. Imperial Knights make up the bulk of the New Order and are rank equivalent to a lieutenant in the army.
Knight-Captains are the seasoned, veteran warriors of the Order and are considered Masters of their craft. The dark side is their tool and it bends to their wills with ease. Knight-Captains are trusted with more difficult missions that often put them directly in harms way. They are also trusted with leadership in the Order and their words are to be treated as orders to Knights and Squires. Though they are few in number, their prowess should never be underestimated. They are rank equivalent to a commander in the army.
The Lord Commander is the Force-sensitive leader of the Imperial Knights, and oversee all work within the New Order and represent it on the Imperial Council. They are the pinnacle of what it means to be an Imperial Knight and their loyalty to The Empire is complete. Their orders are treated as equivalent to a supreme commander and they report directly to the Emperor.
Because the Imperial Knights has a controversial start, thanking its creation to Sith Champions and Masters defection from the Sith Order, the Imperial Security Bureau (ISB) strictly monitors them. This means that the Lord-Commander is not the only one reporting to the Emperor about the activities of the Imperial Knights. As such they are beholden to Imperial Law & Order, which says the following in regards to the knights:
Imperial Knights will always put The Empire first.
Imperial Knights will never use the Force on fellow Imperial citizens.
Added to these three simple rules is the following unwritten rule; "The Emperor's word is law. The Emperor isThe Empire. The Imperial Knights serve the Emperor."
Note: Because our iteration of the Imperial Knights was the creation of former and reformed Sith, please be advised that they will not exactly resemble the organization from Star Wars Legends. They are the creation of roleplaying here on the site and will continue to grow as such.