- This article is about the Republic of the Sphere military rank. For other uses, see Paladin.
A Paladin is one of the elite leaders of the Republic of the Sphere, answering only to the Exarch himself. There are no more than eighteen Paladins at any one time and the Exarch is elected from their number. They vote on Republic policy, lead the Republic's military, and direct the promotion of Republic Knights. The Paladins, along with the Exarch, are ultimately responsible for the survival of the Republic of the Sphere.
Paladins are chosen by the Exarch from the ranks of the Knights as a candidate when a slot becomes available, through retirement, promotion to Exarch, or death. They are thoroughly tested by their fellow Knights after being chosen. They are knighted to Paladin rank in a ceremony using Devlin Stone's sword by the Exarch.
Of the eighteen Paladins, seventeen of are known public figures, while the remaining Paladin, known as the Ghost Paladin, runs the Intelligence Service of the Republic, the men and women known as the Ghost Knights. The current Ghost Paladin at the time of the election of Exarch Levin is Paladin Emil, who works under the cover of the concierge of the Hotel Duquesne, the hotel of choice for the Republic in housing its dignitaries and high ranking personnel. Known Ghost Knights include Reo Jones, under the cover of a disgraced Knight-to-be, and Mason Dunne, the man behind the Battle of Basalt, which restored that planet to Republic rule.
Among the Paladins, a notable figure is the "Black Paladin" was Daniel Peterson, also known as Ezekiel Crow. A Paladin of the Republic, he betrayed the very Republic he had sworn to defend, on the planet Northwind. Countess Tara Campbell of Northwind and leader of the Highlanders, unknowing of his intentions, had fallen for him. Shortly after his betrayal on Northwind, he attempted to assassinate Paladin Jonah Levin on Terra, and interfered with Terra's planetary defense against the Steel Wolves. He was foiled when Countess Northwind defeated him and destroyed his 'Mech. Unbeknown to her, he did not die. In an attempt to redeem himself, he ended up on the Republican world of Liao, fighting a Capellan Confederation assault and dying there.
Due to the deaths of Paladins Victor Steiner-Davion and Ezekiel Crow, the Paladin Council was now short of Paladins, which were needed for an election for the next Exarch to be held. Thus Knights Janella Lakewood and Gareth Sinclair were elevated to the position of Paladins of the Sphere.
The uniform of a Paladin is gray. The dress uniform is white and gold.