The Galactic Riders were founded by the Iaranori Tenedden in the high days of the Empire of the Iaranor. Every ten Nephestalan years, the Galactic Riders' Festival is held to commemorate Tenedden. The "Tale of Tenedden" is a ballad that tells of the foundation of the Riders.
The Galactic Riders are headquartered on Nephestal. They are extensively trained in music, history, culture, and the accumulated wisdom of the Free Peoples. Each Galactic Rider owns a ship, crafted by the Shipwrights of Nephestal, which is very nearly a symbiote with the individual Rider. The ships have tuneable antigravs, and are imbued with enough intelligence to operate autonomously when necessary.
There are about four million Galactic Riders.
Any weapons that a Galactic Rider carries are linked (physically or telepathically) to the Rider and programmed so that they cannot be used in anger.
The Galactic Riders provide help to those in need. In addition, they carry on the fight for freedom over repression, maintain cultural continuity, act as mediators, and provide role models. Galactic Riders have the full authority of the Council of the Free Peoples; they can (and do) act as judge, jury, and executioner. A Galactic Rider's integrity is beyond question.
Galactic Riders' philosophy is summed up in their popular catchphrase: "We may instruct, advise, persuade, and cajole, but we may not force."
Although they are overseen by the Council of the Free Peoples, Galactic Riders are responsible only to their own consciences. On the few occasions that a Galactic Rider has misused power, other Riders have hastened to administer justice.
The Riders maintain a large database of all requests for aid; each individual Rider decides which requests to answer. The database weights requests by urgency, proximity, estimated length of time required, and various other criteria, in order to help individual Riders make their decisions. No Rider is required to respond to any particular request, or to any requests at all.
Many Riders make regular circuits of various worlds and settlements, visiting each perhaps once a year or so. Some set up permanent homes, and operate out of them. Others consider their ships to be their homes.
Some notable Galactic Riders include:
- Betar Chenyak: First Human Galactic Rider.
- Dar: Human Galactic Rider, spouse of Kev Mathis (The Leaves of October)
- Dareenten: Legendary Iaranori Galactic Rider who preserved the Golden Throne after the fall of the Avethellan Empire.
- Dayadhvam: Canis sapiens Galactic Rider.
- Debenned: Iaranori Galactic Rider, delegate to the Council of the Free Peoples of the Scattered Worlds.
- Mondappen: Iaranori Galactic Rider on the Virgo Mariner expedition. (The Leaves of October)
- Tenedden: Founder of the Galactic Riders.
- Tenedden (namesake): Iaranori Galactic Rider who visited Earth during the Sack of Terra. ("Candelabra and Diamonds")
- Fadil Tormity: Human Galactic Rider on the Virgo Mariner expedition. (The Leaves of October)
Find out more in The Leaves of October: a novel of the Scattered Worlds and "Candelabra and Diamonds" by Don Sakers