The Dragon Knights of Io
Rather than try to stop the millions who fled the Emergent attack on Earth, MerGN-A instead allowed them to escape through the green Wyrmgate to Venus. It proved to be one of her more brilliant calculations, as the colonies there soon became packed beyond capacity, their resources too overwhelmed to come to Earth’s aid. Massive riots over food, water, and living space led to a horrific civil war amongst the teeming mass of humanity. By the time the founding of the Morningstar Matriarchy ended the bloodshed, Earth was firmly under the heel of MerGN-A and her metal minions. But even in the peace they brought, the Matriarchy found itself split into two factions: the Valkyries who wished to re-take Earth or die trying, and the Vespers who focused their efforts on building a new home for humanity on Venus.
Venusian armour is handed down from mother to daughter, the designs of the suits incorporating artistic elements unlike armour found anywhere else. Rigorously trained and ever vigilant against the inevitable Emergent assault from Earth, Venusian knights are among the finest in the solar system. Their Queen, Valerie La Guin, is the perfect mix of breeding, poise, and martial skill. Though her marriage to Arthur came as a surprise to all, few would argue theirs is not the perfect match.
From an early age, the daughters of the Valkyries are taught to fight. Large families often hold tournaments to see which daughters will take their mother’s armour. Those daughters who do not inherit armour serve their fief as diplomats, guards, and knights in waiting. Some daughters also scheme and plot for their sisters to have accidents. When a Valkyrie dies, it is the duty of the youngest sister to recover her body and launch it into the Sun.
While more peaceful than their sisters, Vespers are not pacifists by any means. Men may take armour only if there are no girls born to the lady. They give up their armour if they marry as part of their dowry. Vespers bury their dead on the surface of the planet in the wrecked ships that brought their families here from Earth.