The Knightly Order was formed at the beginning of the Age of Strife. It was to be an order, rather than a household, as its founders from Terra were more scholars and keepers of the ancient manuscripts of pre-dark age histories. The texts, books and scrolls they kept were so old that some could not be removed from their stasis cubes to be transferred to the safer storage devices of this era.
These were not hidden histories, but parts of humanity that had been forgotten. Mostly tales of knights and battles and histories of ages that were no longer relevant. Times before machines fought wars for humanity. Many amongst the ranks of the Ordo Scolastica deemed their continued existence to be a waste of resources. And so the Order was formed of the few that considered these works of the early days of humanity to be records of a time that would repeat again. Times of fractured houses and knights sent to war against each other. And by the time of the Great Heresy they were justified, and ready to face their foe
Lion el'Johnson arrives on Telka. After being brought back into the Imperial fold of his father and reading of the knightly houses, his first visit was to Telka. It was on this world where he believed the Order of the Last Dawn finally colonised. Taking a small contingent of his 1st Company, he found eventually them.
The world was not far removed from Caliban. Forests and jungles covered much of its surface and it was clear that the knights here were of a different breed. Honour and fealty went hand in hand with the ancient and amazingly well-cared for suits of Castigator, Lancer and Acheron armour. The early Mechanicum envoys that went with the original colonists had been among the most senior priests of Mars. Knowing that the technology to keep the books in such pristine condition was something sacred, they could not leave without studying it. They welcomed the Knights and merged with the Order to became a single entity. Machine Lore and the books of a forgotten age were both taken with equal solemnity. The secrets of both were shared and a revived Order was reborn, knowing their armour because they had helped build it.
The head of the Order, Arator, met the Lion on their jousting fields and immediately swore loyalty to him. Seeing in him all the qualities of a knight in any age of man.
It transpired that the system of worlds ruled by the Order had faced countless wars since loosing touch with humanity. Eldar, Ork, and even the tentative raids by other knightly households that they had swept aside with ease. And with the tactical help of the Dark Angels by their side they tore apart the strong holds and worlds lost in the 5000 years of silence.
The Order and the Dark Angels Were now one and the same. The ancient volumes had been entrusted to the Lion to safe guard on Caliban and instead of freeblade knights running to see the galaxy with other households or legions, the freeblade knights of the Order swore oaths of blood to the Lion and painted in the colours of the legion, they would march as honour guard.
Known for their joy in battle and camaraderie with the space marines, they were a welcome addition to Crusade.
+++++++ HISTORIES EXPUNGED ++++++++++
Nearly 10,000 years passed between the Heresy and the knights of the 41st millennium. Now a Household with its banners proudly displayed the knights still hold the heraldry of the Dark Angels, however they no longer fight along side them. Amazingly they still hold all the patterns of armour that had fought against Horus and the traitors. It is widely believed that the stasis technology that kept their books and treasures in such pristine order were also used to keep the armour and even pilots for a time when they would be needed again.
Colours and heraldry:
While red features prominently within the colours of the house it was made very apparent that this had nothing to do with the Mechanicum of today. The majority of knights in the household are coloured red, black, and white. One or two knights choose to be black or white knights. Both a type of freeblade yet still a part of the Order. The Black and White seems to dictate that the knights are no longer constrained by the hierarchy of the Order, making independent choices on the battlefield.
The Skull has featured prominently in the strange and scattered heraldry of the Order since its inception, however, most knights’ colours and heraldry are left to the pilots. Many have given prominence to the illuminated text from the manuscripts they have protected through the millennia.
Thank you to John (www.heresyandheroes.wordpress.com) who has kindly given his time and expertise to making this read like something not written by a tired man.