The Valerian army is commonly referred to as the Twin Loti, even if the actual army itself carries the banner of the White Lotus, while the Black Lotus counterpart is more of an acquired honor than a duty to the Empire. The Valerian army was always viewed as the peak of military refinement in Entheria, being one of the only in the continent to develop military science as a study. The tactics employed by the Valerians after their landing, and continue to this day, are of masterful make, and are complemented by the Valerian spirit of Bushido, always propelling them to victory.
General Caesar Koujiro famous for dividing his forces into subdivided companies, he maintained a tactical reserve, which allowed him to rotate combat units in and out of key areas to keep them fresh. Additionally, he was able to quickly exploit breaks in the enemy defense by committing reserve forces at key moments. This strategy, combined with the use of the rifle (A new weapon to Entheria, but one the Valerians had brought from their old continent), allowed for continuous fire, as he would move a regiment forward to fire, then back to reload while another company took their place. He would use flags to signal his orders, streamlining the battlefield command.
Kensei Maria Hideyoshi was the heir of Caesar, and advanced his tactical concept even further, maintaining several soldiers subdivided by task, to supplement and support her cavalry forces. She used wave attacks to pressure parts of the enemy lines, while keeping her troops fresh until she could launch a massive assault to break the enemy line. Highly coordinated and well trained troops, which could deploy and change formation at a moment's notice. She once drew Aelef into battle by feigning marching past his castle in column formation. The general had planned to await a siege, and so he fortified his defenses, but seeing Maria's army pass by, decided she was unprepared for a surprise attack from the rear, and led his smaller force to attack. Maria quickly drew into a battle line in astonishing speed, and all but destroyed the opposition in a matter of hours.
Sage Tiberius Hanzo, well known for his ambush and surprise tactics, during the last years of their conquest, he was tasked with building an advance fort in enemy territory. He began by disguising his soldiers as Elven woodsman, using the occult face stealing magic of his clan, then cut down large amounts of trees in enemy territory, stealing their lumber. The lumber was cut into predetermined pieces, so they could be quickly assembled into a fort later on, then lashed together as rafts, and floated downriver during a rainstorm. The lumber was quickly assembled into a fort, given them a stronger foothold in enemy territory.
God Emperor Gaius, famous for defending the Valerian territory against a full scale invasion from the demonic plane, was outnumbered 30,000 to 3,000 in the final assault against the Primeval of Wrath. He sent small contingents to occupy 3 forts to divide his enemy, leaving 2,500 elite troops at his command. Asura dispatched overwhelming forces to the 3 forts, winning easily there, but only remaining with 4,000 ~ 5,000 troops. The Emperor dispatched scouts to determine the location of the main camp, and using a rainstorm as cover, conjured by Alfred, his finest strategist, and one of the first Silver Elves to attain the title of Sage, force marched his troops into the main camp, killed their enemies with a surprise offensive, and won the battle, banishing the Primeval.
The Black Lotus is a faction of prestigious members of the Valerian army. This is a predominantly military organization focusing on developing, conserving and passing down knowledge of the martial arts, alongside hosting the most famous competition in Entheria, the tournament of the Number One.
The Black Lotus has no Grandmaster, instead, it has a council of senior members who take it upon themselves to organize some of the more manageable aspects of the group. These in turn would be the organization of the events held by the group, and the keeping of the great library residing in the Valerian capital, one that contains the written contributions of all Sages and Kensei ever accepted into the group.
Concerning the previous titles, there are a few ways to be accepted into the group, but the simple acceptance does not earn the prestigious titles mentioned before. The most common way to be accepted into the group is through merit, and merit can be earned in a few different methods. Usually it is earned through rank in the central army, as the older generals are often initiated to grant them the honorous title, and the responsibility of keeping the traditions alive. Martial arts masters with a well renowned school are also invited, and they too receive a more traditional task of organizing the group.
The other way of being inducted is by receiving the honor of being named a Kensei, or a Sage. These two can be earned in a few ways, but regardless of the method, they carry weight and great honor.
Kensei is the greatest honor that a Bushi could ever receive, and all who follow the path of the Bushi strive to obtain this title. The word is taken from the language of the old continent from the western sea, and in the common tongue means "Saint of the Sword". The title shows the prowess of the people who possess it, and the means to acquiring it expose the effort required in the whole ordeal. There are three ways of obtaining this title.
The first is by recognition of martial skill and knowledge. The Black Lotus masters can receive this title by judgement of the other masters, in tribute to their contributions concerning martial prowess, knowledge and skill. Masters who lead well known schools known to have developed special techniques or attained the unrivaled plaque on their dojo for more than a decade. In the later case, the time period may vary depending on the area.
The second way is by Imperial decree. The Emperor has the right to bestow this prestigious title to Bushi that have distinguished themselves in Imperial service. This is the least common of the three, as only 7 Bushi have ever attained this title, all of them at the same battle, all lowborn, granted the title after conquering overwhelming odds to save the Emperor on a seemingly lost battle.
The third way is by conquering the Number One Headband. The champions of the tournament are recorded in the tablet of the number one, and are remembered as unrivaled under heaven. This is the most common way of receiving the title, as it is the purest display of martial prowess in Valerian society.