- "The Knights of the Blazing Sun are a small elite order of Templars devoted to the study and mastery of the science and art of warfare. These fervent followers of Myrmidia value ability and accomplishment over all other factors, including noble birth. It is because of this that the order has grown in prosperity attracting the finest military minds to its banner. A Knight of the Blazing Suns primary goal is to obtain perfection in the art of War, as such they travel the old world individually seeking battle both large and small. A warband with a Knight of the Blazing sun at its head is a potent force capable of dealing with opponents with a level of cunning that ensures victory before the battle is even joined."
- —The famed Knights of the Blazing Sun.
The Order of the Blazing Sun is a Templar Order dedicated to the worship and martial practice of the Goddess of Warfare and Battles, Myrmidia. This particular Order is among the mightiest and most well-known within the Empire, boasting a distinguished history dating back to the Great Crusades. They were amongst the first of the Knightly Orders from the west to travel to Nuln and join with Magnus the Pious during the Great War against Chaos, having fought with him all the way to the Battle of Kislev itself.
These knights take great pride in their equipment and abilities, as their prowess in battle is equal if not greater than even the oldest and most powerful of the many Templar Orders. They are often seen charging on the battlefield in their highly polished and resplendent armour of black and gold, adorned with sigils of the Sun. Many of their weapons blaze with a bright and fiery power, enchanted with the divine flames of their goddess.
As a patron Order devoted to the Goddess Myrmidia, these Templars devoted themselves to the study and mastery of the science and art of warfare in all its aspects. These fervent followers of Myrmidia value ability and accomplishment over all other factors, including noble birth and their prowess in battle. It is because of this that the Order has grown in prosperity over the years, attracting the finest military minds to its long and distinguished banner. A Knight of the Blazing Sun's primary goal is to obtain perfection in the art of War, and as such they travel the length and breadth of the Old World, individually seeking to battle both large and small and to learn and perfect the many tactics and strategies from all the other Human nations. An army with a unit of Knights of the Blazing Sun at its head is a potent force capable of dealing with opponents with a level of cunning, leadership, and strategy that ensures victory before the battle is even joined.
- "The Goddess instructs us to seek out the enemy’s weaknesses and to attack them with relentless force. Do this in all things – in love, in politics, in war. To accomplish any task – to defeat any foe, all that is needed is a keen eye, a sharp mind and the favour of the Goddess."
- —The Order's Creed.
Foremost of the many knightly orders in the service of Myrmidia, the Knights of the Blazing Sun were not always so pious. They were founded during The Great Crusades in 1457 IC, over a 1,000 years ago. These first knights were formerly a Secular Order of the Empire sworn to no one god, but — prior to the crusades of Araby — underwent a miraculous conversion that has passed into legend. Sixty of the original founding knights were stationed in Estalia when the sultan's attack washed over them during the Battle of Magritta.
They were cornered by his forces, with no hope of relief, but it was then that they were saved from certain defeat by a freak earth tremor which dislodged a huge statue of Myrmidia from a temple roof. It crashed to the ground and landed on Emir Wazir the Cruel and his Black Scimitar Guard, killing them instantly, thus allowing the Knights to turn the tide of battle and escort several hundred Estalians to safety. After the battle, the survivors banded together and founded the Order of the Blazing Sun in Myrmidia's honour. They converted to the worship of Myrmidia and set out on the crusade of Araby in the name of the Goddess of strategy and battle, earning much glory for themselves and their faith. Upon their return to the Empire, they built a shrine to Myrmidia in the heart of Talabheim.
The Knights of the Blazing Sun are by no means the largest of the Myrmidian Orders. For example, the Order of the Righteous Spear, along with its countless sister orders, is much, much larger, but thanks to their reputation, the Order of the Blazing Sun is by far the most famous and well-respected, not to mention the richest within the Empire. The Order was formerly based in the middle of the Empire, within the heartland of Talabecland, but due to their popularity, they have begun to rapidly gain support and influence in the south, and in these parts, the Order holds a great deal of political power amongst the nobility.
In recent years the Cult of Myrmidia has also gained a stronghold amongst the Imperial warriors of the Empire, replacing Ulric in the prayers of the more southerly soldiers. As the cult has ascended, so too has the Order's fortunes in wealth and power. Foremost of the Order's duties is the maintenance and guarding of the important pilgrimage routes between the Empire and the holy sites of Magritta. These duties have proven to be especially lucrative, as many upper-class would-be pilgrims are willing to pay handsomely for the guarantee that their Gods will, indeed, keep them safe as they travel (albeit using the Myrmidians as vessels to ensure their safety). Since it was established, the order has spread throughout the lands of distant Estalia, and is one of the most prominent of the Knightly Orders in that distant nation.
Unlike most other Templar Orders, its members do not reside in large chapter houses; instead they travel the land individually or in small groups, looking for new challenges to test their skills and lend their aid to the poor and defenceless. They are well versed in the use of arms and armour, but their true expertise is as tacticians and strategists, and they often serve as military advisers and commanders on the battlefield when the former commander is far too incompetent to lead.
Throughout Estalia, countless villages, farms and isolated outposts owe their survival to the timely arrival (and subsequent assumption of command) by a Knight of the Blazing Sun. Since these knights spend a great deal of time away from their chapterhouses and temples, often embarking on crusades or quests for the glory of their Order, they would often travel in small groups of their fellows, sometimes alone, and lend support to whatever military endeavours is most needed for their aid, whether it is bolstering beleaguered units of soldiers on the battlefield, taking command of leaderless companies in the midst of a campaign, offering military advice to generals and nobles, or training local militia in the art of warfare.
Each knight must spend the first several years directly after his initiation performing these sorts of deeds, and only after putting his skills and training to the test may he return to the chapterhouse as a full brother of the Order. Once they return, these Knights would normally live in a similar fashion as their other fellow Knights, but there are some notable differences. The knights spend a great deal of time training in rather unusual methods of warfare, unafraid to experiment with ploys, tactics, and equipment other Knightly Orders might overlook or find dishonourable. Many of these Knights are even well-trained archers, a result which lead to the formation of the Knights of the Verdant Field. Some of the knights have even been known to use highly burnished shields, employed to dazzle the knights’ opponents with reflected sunlight and strike while they're blind. When not doing physical training, these knights would spend a great deal of time in the discussion of broader military tactics, the deployment and manoeuvre of entire armies, use of terrain, and placement of artillery. While all knights have a grounding in military theory, the greatest tacticians in the Empire may be found within the ranks of the Order itself.
Blazing Sun Chapterhouse
- "The Knights of the Blazing Sun are dedicated to Myrmidia, their large chapter house emblazoned with her likeness."
- —The main Chapterhouse of the Order of the Blazing Sun.
Myrmidia is a goddess of war, worshipped mainly in the southern nations, although a fair few Empire-men give her devotion as well. Most famously, the Knights of the Blazing Sun are her Templars, despite being based in the Taal-worshipping city of Talabheim. Their chapter house is in the style of the southern temples and adorned with a statue of the goddess upon its gold dome, which shines fiercely in the summer sun.
The Monastery That Jaeke Built
Lord Myrmathsson Jaeke von Hendorf became Grand Master of the Knights of the Blazing Sun in 2303. A long-term member of the Inner Circle of his Knightly Order, he was Leorican-educated, and was the new representative of Myrmidia on Emperor Magnus’s Grand Conclave. With the Great War over, he was keen to strengthen his newly accepted Cult in the Empire. When he encountered a battered Leorican travelling through the Reikwald, the answer suddenly seemed obvious: fund a monastery to teach his fellow Imperials the wisdom of Myrmidia’s teachings. The monk agreed to help him, and plans were laid for the Empire’s first Myrmidian monastery on Jaeke’s lands in Wissenland. As work went ahead, and unbeknownst to Myrmathson Jaeke, the monk he had met was the bearer of the Dark Maiden’s Testament. He buried his secret burden beneath the foundations of the new monastery. When the monastery was completed, the monk became the first Myrmidian Abbot in the Empire. He died 37 years later, having never told a soul about the buried scrolls.[5a]