The Imperius Sabres, also known as the Knights of the Dark Imperium, were an order of Force-users loyal to the Dark Monarch of ImperiusX, and to ImperiusX as a whole. They were fully trained in the ways of the Force, and also received intensive training in a wide variety of other fields as well, with a focus on adaptability. Though they did draw primarily on the Dark Side for power, as their Force-training regime was technically a branch off the Sith-Imperialism religion, they did not strictly bind themselves to this singular philosophy, and were taught how to utilize the techniques of Grey Jedi. Some Sabres were even known to have learned how to use the Light Side of the Force, although this was rare.
It should be noted that, although Sabres were considered to be largely, if not entirely, above the law when operating in an official capacity, any suspicions of misconduct were investigated with the utmost seriousness, and punishments for Sabres that abused their power often strict and harsh.
Although many citizens aspire to by Sabres, few accomplish this goal, as the selection process is harsh and the training is intense. As of 12 NE, there were only about 150 fully-trained Sabres in existence, with another 100 still undergoing training, in comparison to ImperiusX's total population of approximately 15 Billion (Dec. 2010).
To attempt becoming a Sabre, exceptionally talented citizens, and immigrants who have lived in ImperiusX for at least 5 Standard Years, of 16 Standard Years or older, and of any economic status, species or social class, must first create resumes showcasing their skills, and then submit these documents to the prestigious Knight Academies located throughout ImperiusX. If their resumes are accepted for consideration, the individuals are invited to stay at the academy's campus to complete the required, gruelling tests, which span several Standard Weeks, which test their abilities, mental and physical fortitude, and loyalty.
If these tests are all passed, they are accepted as Sub-Sabres into an academy, where they begin the rigorous training regime, and work to become extremely well-rounded and highly skilled individuals for the next 2 Standard Years. They also learn to perfect their respective specializations, to the point where they become veritable experts in their field.
It should be noted that Sabres are not technically military personnel, despite gaining many military-oriented skills during their training.
The honour of becoming a full-fledged Sabre, awarded to trainees upon their graduating from an academy, requires would-be Sabres to complete an especially challenging two-part final exam. The exam consists of a combat test, which tests a student's physical skills and fortitude, and a rapid questionnaire a Standard Hour or two later, to test a student's knowledge of both general subjects and their theory-knowledge of the subject they specialized in.
The student is not permitted the use of ImperiusX's "Download Machines" to study for their final exam.
In addition to passing the tests, would-be Sabres must also gain the Dark Monarch's approval. Generally speaking, however, this is more of a formality, and the easiest part of becoming a knight, as both Darth Salisk and his daughter & successor, Tanis Phillips, were almost always pleased to have a talented new Sabre in their service.
During the reign of Darth Salisk, his daughter was the one who carried out most of the Knighting ceremonies. Ceremonial metal blades are used in the ceremonies, and given to the graduating Sabres as a symbol of their accomplishment and the honour bestowed upon them.
In her mid-teens and early adult life, at least, Tanis was known to give an additional, more personal congratulation to new Sabres of a similar age, in that she would kiss them on the cheek, regardless of their gender.
And on the note of romantic gestures, only the most accomplished Sabres were considered eligible candidates to marry into the Royal Family. To consider anyone else was widely accepted as a preposterous idea.
Just as actually becoming a Sabre is difficult, advancing through the ranks of the Knights is also difficult. In fact, advancing beyond a moderate rank is arguably more difficult than meeting the entrance qualifications.
The Imperius Sabres is a strictly meritocratic institution, with its instructors and students alike sworn again any kind of unlawful discrimination.
Rank I Sabres are newly graduated Sabres. The lowest rank of a highly prestigious organization, they are still very talented and respected individuals.
Rank II Sabres are the result of Rank I's gaining several years of experience and wisdom. Once they have been in the service for at least 2 Standard Years, as well proven themselves to be mature, responsible, reliable and loyal, they are given an exam similar to their per-graduation final. If they pass, they are awarded the 2nd rank.
Most Sabres are Rank II Sabres, as advancing to Rank III is notoriously difficult. In order to promote organizational cohesion and increase moral, among other reasons, Rank II's may be assigned to struggling Rank I's as tutors to help them achieve the 2nd rank.
Rank III Sabres are exceedingly rare, and are literally the "best of the best". In the early NE Era, at least, they were hand-picked by the Dark Emperor himself using criteria known only to himself. Rank III's serve as the instructors to trainees and the other Ranks.
Sabres were often called upon by Darth Salisk to orchestrate, aid with or even single-handedly execute black and spec. ops. missions where normal commandos were deemed inappropriate, the mission was otherwise considered to be unfeasible, or sometimes both.
When deployed to enact the Emperor's will, Sabres were given neigh-unlimited resources and considerable freedom to complete their mission by whatever means they deemed necessary. If a Sabre chose to reveal themselves as a manifestation of the Emperor's will, they wielded unquestioned influence and authority over all but the highest echelons of government.
Sabres were not strictly military or intelligence operatives, however. They were also known to act in an official capacity as diplomats and representatives at important and high-stakes events. Some Sabres were even tasked with exploiting their near-mythic status with the populace to boost military recruiting, or otherwise promote government projects and instill a fresh sense of patriotism in the general public.