OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
- Intent: Expand on the Order of Fire.
- Image Credit: Here. Kalsifer by Fetsch on Deviantart.
- Role: Force Warriors.
- Links: Firemane.
- Unit Name: Excubitors
- Affiliation: Order of Fire, House Kerrigan-Alcori, Siobhan Kerrigan, Firemane.
- Classification: Infantry.
Equipment: They can use Abregado-Rae Guild of Hammers equipment due to Firemane gaining access to ARGH tech in this thread. Firemane obtained a supply contract that allows it to use Fire for Effect gear here.
- ACS-207 Aerosolblaster (Wrist variant, purchase request here, approved here). ACS-207 Cryoban Gun (Wrist variant, storefent request here, permission here)
- ARGH flamer (Wrist variant), Wrist Bolter, ACS-208 Wrist Ion Beamer (storefront request here, permission here), ACS-208 Wrist Tensor (storefent request here, permission here) or ACS-208 Wrist Charric (request here, permission here). Two wrist weapons per soldier max.
- Centurion Battle Armour. Commlink uses CD-X cryptologic key (available for Firemane per this thread).
- Crossguard lightsabres or lightsabre-pikes.
- Cylix bolt pistol, Magnetic Revolver, Blaster Pistol or Sonic Wave Pistol.
- Grenades, thermal detonators.
- Holdout bolter.
- Misc equipment like Grappling hooks, Force focusing visor, Paragon-class Personal Energy Shield (request here, permission here) and Sky-Strike Jetpack
- (request here, permission here).
- Availability: Unique.
- Deployment: Limited.
Strengths & Weaknesses: The Excubitors are a unit of warriors who combine a strong Force connection with a martial ethos and military training. One could broadly compare them to Jedi Guardians or Sith Warriors, as their training focuses more on martial pursuits than esoteric knowledge. They are battle-hardened veterans who have been inducted into the small unit after proving themselves in several engagements. They are selected for their martial prowess as well as their loyalty to the Order of Fire, Lady Siobhan Kerrigan and House Kerrigan-Alcori. These factors make them a formidable fighting force.
However, they are warriors enhanced by the Force. Formidable warriors, but still. They will require support forces, especially in pitched combat. They do not command tanks, operate heavy artillery or snipe enemies at a distance. They carry melee weapons, sidearms and wrist weapons. In other words, not weapons meant for combat at great distances. Depending on the terrain, this can very problematic, especially if they have been deprived of their Force powers. Thus they are susceptible to long range bombardment. They can lead a charge to seize a trench, an enemy bunker or similar, but would do best to have other forces backing them up. This is especially because they are a very small unit and thus cannot appear on the battlefield in large numbers.
Most of the Excubitors are Knights, a few are Masters. They are very skilled in lightsabre combat. To ensure better hand protection, they favour crossguard lightsabres over conventional ones. Alternately, they carry lightsabre pikes like the Knights of Zakuul. In terms of powers, they are proficient in offensive and defensive applications of telekinesis, tutaminis as well as using the Force to augment their body's capabilities and utilising Battlemind. They are skilled in pyromancy, being able to harness the element of fire to burn, blast or blind enemies. Their training gives them good mental defences. Several of them are skilled in Force drain.
The Order of Fire is first and foremost a martial order. Above all its members as soldiers, who draw upon the Force as a tool to prevail over their enemies. They draw inspiration from a variety of sources such as the Imperial Knights, the Angelii and the integrated force model implemented by Omega Pyre during its glory days. Their lightsabres are weapons they utilise to smite enemies in battle. They avoid the cognitive dissonance of regarding themselves as 'keepers of the peace, not soldiers', yet being forced to fight in wars. To them the Force is a source of strength, honour and victory. They are expected to act in accordance with the orders of their superiors and further the interests of House Kerrigan-Alcori, the ruling family of Firemane Industries. In that regard they have more in common with a military unit than a religious order.
The Excurbitors are a logical step in the development of the Order, which boosts a variety of special units and suborganisations that are meant to support the ventures of Firemane and aid their Non-Force-Using comrades in arms. In terms of ability and training, one could broadly compare the Excurbitors to Jedi Guardians or Sith Warriors. Rather than provide combat support such as the druids of the Circle of Yarkul or the Force Suppression specialists from the Silencers unit, they are meant to take the fight to the enemy. Thus their training focuses on an unrelenting offence and resilience.
The Excurbitors only accept veteran Order members who have proved themselves in battle. Award as well as veterancy are taken into consideration when selecting candidates. A candidate must have fought in at least three campaigns, faced enemy fire at the front and be under thirty-five years of age - or whatever the equivalent is for alien races that age at a different pace than humans.
Many used to serve in the Fireguard, though members from other Order branches can also be found amongst their ranks. In addition to honing their combat prowess, they are also trained in small unit leadership and tactics. However, they must still obey the chain of command. Thus an Excurbitor with the rank of Lieutenant would not be able to override a Non-Force-Using Major because military rank trumps the ability to swing a lightsabre or shoot lightning. However, their abilities make them useful force multipliers on the battlefield and they are taught to integrate their preternatural abilities into an overall battle plan. By contrast, lone wolf actions are frowned upon. The Jedi's methods during the ancient Battle of Geonosis are held up as an example of how not do to things.
Part of the training process for an Excurbitors involved being pit against two senior Masters of the Order. These duels are designed in such a way that each recruit faces Masters with contrasting skill set. For instance one may face a duellist such as Colonel Leonina Varkathras first, then an elementalist such as Tempest or Elpsis or a mentalist like Nima Tann. Those who are considered extremely promising have the good fortune of being pit against the Grandmistress herself. Duels with Siobhan Kerrigan are always 'interesting' because the Lady has a habit of turning them into OSHA nightmares.
To steel their minds against mental intrusion and manipulation, especially in the case of capture, the Excurbitors must also endure harrowing interrogation sessions where mentalists try to force their way into their minds to torment them or extract information. This teaches them endurance and ways to protect their minds. An intense survival course in inhospitable territory is also part of the programme. The Order considers the extremely dangerous planet Raevana to be particularly suitable for this, though Terax and Tash-Taral have also been visited for this purpose. Those who make it through training join a very small, but exclusive group. They also receive a suit of Centurion battle armour, which is awarded to them in a formal ceremony. They are paid extremely well and enjoy generous benefits.
If Siobhan goes into battle, the Excubitors accompany her. This makes them a bit of a prestige unit. However, they are not limited to fighting at the side of the Lady. They can also be put under the command of senior Masters of the Order such as Colonel Varkathras or Tempest. The Excubitors are geared towards frontline infantry action, often acting in concert with Firemane shock troops. Firemane encourages its soldiers to display initiative in battle. This also extends to writing frank after-action reports, analysing what went wrong and what could have been done better.