|Current Leader:||Steel Centurion, Paladin Council|
|Base of Operations:|
Defense of the innocent from belligerent Armors.
Minimization of the negative impacts of the Arrival
(For the Armored Descent faction this group is based off of, please see the Crusaders page.)
The Crusaders are a peace-keeping force of Armors known for their strong sense of justice and desire to protect the weak. Their stated goal is the end of all conflict around the world, with the first step of this plan to minimize the impact of the arrival of the extraterrestrial forces now present on Earth. They are not afraid to use force to achieve their goals, but will usually try to find a peaceful solution when possible.
During the dark and violent time following the Arrival, the world was rife with mayhem. Between the ecological and economic troubles caused by the natural disasters brought on by the Arrival, and the brutality of violent armors made evident shortly afterward, society was strained to the breaking point. One faction of Armors in particular, a group known as the Pack, surged ahead any others in size. Though originally a protective pact, the Pack's mentality quickly changed to that of an "us vs them" mindset, with Armors on one side and the rest of the world on the other, and the public and its governments soon began to fear that a war with these power armored individuals was on the horizon. Small groups and individual armors found themselves pressured to either join the Pack or face vindictive actions from both sides of the coming conflict.
Unwilling to pay the price for sitting idle and allowing the next greatest war to commence, some independent armors began to band together, coordinating across the world to assemble a unified force to challenge the Pack before tensions lead to a greater war. Though their numbers were much smaller than that of their enemy's, the Pack was unprepared to fight against another Armor faction, and proved to have much less a stomach for a fairer fight than expected. Rather quickly, the tide turned to favor the united Independents, and the Pack broke and scattered.
Though now most of the independents that fought alongside one another chose to also scatter rather than become the next focus of fear from the rest of the world, some chose to stick together as their own group. Their actions had shown that Armors could be used for incredible acts of good as well as evil, and from that sprang a belief that this group could use the power of their Armor to end needless conflict and bloodshed. For these individuals with a greater cause in mind, some amongst the public had already likened them to fictional crusaders fighting against demons, and thus it was decided by the leader of this group to carry on with that name and image.
Though once and to a degree still a very informal group, the Crusaders have adopted a more and more regimental organization over time in an effort to prove their self-control, and now boast a strict ranking structure and insignia for each rank. On an Armor, the insignia of each rank is required to be worn, usually on the chest of each armor. Though individual colors may be chosen by each armor, the standard coloration is coded in the same gold and silver that the Crusaders use as their faction colors.
The symbol of each grade of Crusader is fairly simple in meaning, becoming more decorative the higher one progresses and the more responsibility one assumes. The golden line, the first decoration one earns as a Crusader, represents the line that must be held between aggressive Armors and the defenseless masses. The golden sword represents the necessity and willingness to defend that line, but also serves as a reminder that a Crusader's armor must be used only to protect the common man.
RanksEditThere are five ranks within the Crusaders, the lowest of which is “Defender”, a rank for armors and personnel new to the cause. There are relatively few Defenders now that most Armors considering joining a faction have done so already. Defenders largely share the same responsibilities as a proper Guardian, though they naturally tend to fall under close scrutiny to ensure they follow the proper conduct expected of a Crusader.
Once a “Defender” proves his worth by successfully partaking in a Mission, he is promoted to the rank of “Guardian”, which is the frontline rank of the Crusaders. Most Crusaders will fall under this rank and title, making a Guardian the foundation of the Crusaders. Further promotion entails direct leadership over other Crusaders, and as such, individuals without armor simply cannot progress past this rank.
Guardians showing a talent for leadership and a flair for bravery will eventually promote to “Sentinel”, whom lead Missions, or teams of armors. Their positions as battlefield leaders means that a Sentinel must be trusted to keep a cool head in tough situations and lead his fellow Crusaders through any mission whilst maintaining the values the Crusaders hold of upholding order for the good of all.
The next highest rank is “Paladin”, carrying with it authority to launch Missions. Promotion from Sentinel to Paladin requires a recommendation from either a current Paladin or a substantial number of Sentinels, as the rank entails one must occupy a seat on the Paladin Council, a group within the Crusaders responsible for managing Crusader deployments and advising the faction's leader on current issues the Crusaders face. The current Paladin Council is for the most part made of founding members of the Crusaders. Both Shining Seraph and Steel Centurion were known Paladins.
The highest rank of the Crusaders is "Marshal”. There may only be one Marshall at a single time, and only he has the authority to declare a Crusade; a special mission that warrants the mobilization of the entire faction towards a specific goal. The Marshal's other duties include seeing to the well-being of his faction's members, and acting as the public face of the faction when dealing with factions, organizations and governments. The current Marshal of the Crusaders is Steel Centurion, succeeding Cardinal after his presumed death.
The word "Mission" is used interchangeably by the Crusaders to refer to assembled squads and current objectives. Missions are only assembled for specific purposes because of this, with participating numbers being usually three to five armors lead by one or two Sentinels. Any member of the Crusaders can officially request a mission, but the decision to execute a mission lies with the Paladins, who must carefully weigh the risks and benefits of a Crusader intervention. Most missions can be approved right away by a single Paladin, but more important missions requiring larger deployments or involving extremely delicate political situations will require a majority vote from the Paladin Council. If approved, a Paladin will select a Sentinel to lead the mission, or possibly lead the mission himself if he so desires. Selection for a mission is usually volunteer based, with the resident Sentinel's discretion used to determine what kind of team he wishes to assemble out of this pool of volunteers. Because missions are not permanent formations, the makeup of groups remains constantly fluid when not deployed. This is done to encourage Crusaders to fight alongside friends and allies of their choosing, ensuring a bond of trust between each armor difficult to find among other factions.
The Crusaders focus heavily on diversionary and defensive tactics, and appreciate armors that can take a hit. Medium, Heavy and Superheavy classes can all find a place in the ranks of the Crusaders as frontline Defenders and Guardians, marching forward as a wall of alien steel to drive off whatever attacking force warranted their intervention or drawing fire from their lighter-armored allies. Smaller armors are used as first responders more often than active combatants, using their speed to arrive to an area of crisis ahead of the slower-moving heavy armors to assess the situation and tend to the wounded.
|The Crusaders, Desperado Enforcement, The Hunters, The Pack, The Safety Net, TSS, UNAP, The Vox Republic|