Continuing the entries into the History and Background files, we present the first profile of one of the Military Brotherhoods to be found throughout the galaxy.
While definitely not the first of the Military Brotherhoods, the Caractacan Brotherhood is still among the oldest, and one of the most feared and respected. Founded by Caractacus Regnus in the aftermath of the Elbianian Terror, the Brotherhood has grown over the centuries since then until there are Legions established across the Orion, Carina, and Crux Arms.
Caractacus was not only deeply affected by the horrors that the Elbianian cultists wreaked across a hundred star systems. The chaos afterward was what really formed the Caractacan Brotherhood. In the wake of the atrocities perpetrated by the Elbianians, entire systems descended into lawlessness, as so much of their infrastructure had been destroyed. On many worlds, in many systems, the only law became strength and brute force.
Caractacus was a pious man as well as a superlative military commander. Retiring from his post on Christopholis, he set out to found his own Military Brotherhood, based on a very specific set of principles.
Caractacus originally wanted to name his organization “The Artorian Brotherhood,” after the legendary King Artorius from Old Earth. He was eventually overruled by his original recruits, who immediately began calling it the Caractacan Brotherhood. Caractacus was every bit the virtuous leader that he wished to emulate, and his men recognized that fact.
While the Brotherhood has its own Code, its founding principle can be summed up in the words, “Might Must Serve Right.” In fact, it has long been a Brotherhood legend that the original Brothers wished to make those words the Brotherhood’s motto, but Caractacus prevailed on that. “Vigilantia et Honestas,” “Vigilance and Honor,” is therefore the motto.
The Code, which every Brother must know by heart and is expected to follow with near-religious fervor, is as follows:
To fear God and obey His commandments.
To protect the weak and defenseless.
To help the poor whenever possible.
To refrain from the wanton giving of offense.
To live by honor and for glory.
To despise pecuniary reward.
To fight for the welfare of all.
To obey the superiors of the Brotherhood.
To guard the honor of our Brothers.
To eschew unfairness, meanness, or deceit.
To keep faith with our given word.
To always speak the truth.
To persevere until the end any enterprise begun.
Never to flee before the enemy.
To become a Caractacan Brother requires the utmost commitment and intense endurance. The Brotherhood only accepts veteran soldiers into its ranks to begin with, and they must complete a five-year novitiate before they can be accepted as Brothers. The novitiate is grueling, involving training and testing in nearly all the arts of war, along with daily meditation and reflection on the Code. If the Code has not become a part of the novice’s soul by the time his novitiate is at an end, he is supposed to be denied his full Brotherhood, and sent back where he came from.
The Brotherhood is equipped through agreements with various worlds who have been aided by Caractacan arms. Among these worlds are some that are quite wealthy, such as Uhar Prahet. As a result, the Brotherhood is quite well-equipped, with some of the most advanced starships, combat armor, weaponry, and vehicles in production. It is a point of honor that every resource is guarded jealously, lest the largesse of their benefactors be wasted.
In recent years, however, since the bloodbath on Pontakus IX, there has been a certain loss of faith in the Code among some of the Brotherhood. A belief, however it may be misguided, has begun to circulate in some parts of the Brotherhood that following a strict Code of honor got too many Brothers killed on Pontakus IX. Disputes have arisen, even as high as the Sector Legio commands, as to the application of the Code in the future.
It remains to be seen what the way forward holds for the Caractacan Brotherhood.