The militant wing of Purgatory’s dominant religion Tairism, the Knights Atomic are a powerful and aggressive military force who have seen frequent action both on their homeworld and throughout the cluster.
Organisation and tactics
All members of the Knights Atomic are recruited at an early age, typically by being gifted to the order by their parents. This typically takes place at the age of ten, and to have a son accepted into the Knights is a mark of honour on the family name. No girls are ever adopted, although in other areas of Purgatorian society, including the priesthood, there is no such restriction.
Although significant conscript armies support the Knights Atomic on Revelation itself, these are generally treated only as disposable cannon fodder by the order. These forces are never used off-world.
Several years of intense schooling follows recruitment, focusing primarily on physical training (particularly combat skills) and theology. At the end of this period all recruits then undergo a gruelling test known only as The Scourging – the survivors are then regarded as full Knights.
Ground training and doctrine emphasises the use of a-bomb strikes to destroy centres of resistance, followed by an assault mainly utilising short-ranged weaponry – swords and knives are popular, although pistols and sub-machine guns are also common. Flamethrowers are also popular, despite the danger to the wielder, due to the fear and panic they cause.
The Knights also control Purgatory’s aerospace defences, ranging from fighter jets to system defence patrol ships. Design philosophy generally concentrates on heavy (often atomic) armament and heavy armour, at the expense of speed and mobility.
Special operation groups make up a relatively large part of the order, and off-world strikes and missions are commonplace, especially on Heorot. Heorot is too strong for Purgatory to face in open warfare, but this has not prevented them trying on multiple occasions in the past, with predictable results.
The Knights main weaknesses are a lack of imagination and poor planning, issues that have frequently resulted in their defeat, although often not without significant loss of life.
Everywhere in the Shattered Ring cluster the Knights Atomic are known for being fearsome fighters who are highly resilient and difficult to panic or break, due to the extreme reserves of willpower their faith provides. They are also extremely brutal, with no hesitation about killing civilians where it will further their ends.
The Knights themselves have been known to ‘play up’ to this stereotype by threatening the indiscriminate bombing of populated areas unless their demands are met, often resulting in the swift capitulation of their opponents.