The Order Of Illumination

The Order of Illumination

…You can not hide from me. There are no shadows so thick, that the light will not shine through. You hide among us, thinking yourself safe, but it is a false security. I will find you and expose you for what you are, and then you will tell us where the others of you are until I have found every last one of you. That will be the end of you, for there is no hiding from the Order… — High Inquisitor Malavious D’Erricio – founder of the Order of Illumination.

History…

Born in the time of the shadow war, the Order of Illumination is a direct result of the mistrust and suspicion, the minions of the Nameless one can cause. Its founder was Malavious D’Erricio, a constable of High Garten Keep, one of the largest Fortresses built to protect people from the oncoming shadow. Mal lived there with his wife and children and was one of the men responsible for keeping order in the keep. His life changed when one night at dusk he saw first hand what power the shadow had.

Malavious stopped by the west trade door, making sure the thick iron bar was a crossit.
High Garten, unlike the other sanctuaries had several doors, the main one and two smaller doors on each side of the keep, known as the trade doors. Tonight Mal was of mixed mood. He had just been raised in rank to Door Warden, and given the keys to the trade doors. Since the attack on the city weeks ago, the doors were never unlocked, but it was still a promotion. It meant bigger quarters, and a larger food ration for him and his family. The only downfall was that Terrance did not follow. Terrance and Mal had been friends since they were children. They both entered the militia together and served the same captain. Terrance was Holy witness to his marriage and god father to his only daughter, under the light of Sul. They had become constables together, and even made sure that had quarters side by side. It was Terrance who wished to go for Door Warden and convinced Mal to put forth the writ.Terrance wanted so hard to work the doors, even though the increased ration and space was not very big. Had they stayed militia, they would have probably both been squad captains now. Mal didn’t mind though. It allowed them to stay together and still be a service to the keep. It also allowed him to spend time with his most precious gift, his daughter Alarial. When he had gotten the promotion he didn’t know how to tell Terrance, fortunately he didn’t have to. His best friend had already been told, and was glad for Mal. He congratulated him and made him promise to share some of his extra ration tickets.

They shared a drink at the tavern just an hour ago, before going to their separate duties. Mal already missed his friend. That is why it was such a surprise to find him down here, by the trade door.

“Terrance, I’m glad it’s you and not a loiter, but what are you doing down here. You should be on duty up in the higher levels.” That was when he noticed something not quite right. In Terrance’s hand was his short sword and it was covered in blood. “Terrance, has something gone awry? Was there trouble? Do you need my assis…” Mal’s word’s died in his throat. Terrance’s other hand, previously hidden by his body but now in view held Alarial by the wrist.

“Give me the Key Mal.” Terrance said in a low voice.

“Alarial, come here. Terrance, are you crazy? Let her hand go. You’re holding her too
tight.” Terrance grabbed the young girl moving her close and putting the blade to her neck.
Mal froze. “What are you doing? Terrance? Have you gone mad?” His childhood friend spoke
in a voice barely recognizable as his own.

“It should have been me Mal, was supposed to have been me. It should never have
come to this, but some ties are too strong. If only you had not been so good at your job, but
then it would have happened anyway. When they entered, it would have gotten you then.

At least then you wouldn’t have known… Give me the key.”

“If you want the job that bad I’ll surely..” It was then that Mal realized the truth. He
looked into his friends eyes and saw there the blackness. The sign of a Darkfriend. One who
has pledged himself to the Nameless One. A servant of shadow. He didn’t want the job. He
wanted the key, so he could open the door and allow the shadow entrance. Mal took a step
forward and Terrance pressed against the girls neck with the blade, drawing a line of blood.

“Stop or she will die, like her mother. I’m sorry I had to do it, but she wouldn’t give her
up. I knew only one thing would get you to give me the key, but she would not let me take
her. It won’t matter. Once the door is open, all will share her fate. I may be able to have
them spare her, Mal. Alarial.” Malavious knew that was a lie though. He had seen what was
left after a shadow attack. Those that lived were better off dead.

“Why?” Mal croaked the words out.

“Some bonds are built to last Malavious. Some oaths can not be broken. When this is over, we that are left will rule. We will never want for anything. I will never have to bargain for a food ration again. I will eat what I want, when I want. I will have who I want. Now give me the key, or the daughter joins the mother.” Mal knew that to give the key was to doom them all to death. Not only himself and Alarial, but everyone in the keep. He prayed to Sul for guidance and found none. He moved toward Terrance holding out the key in one hand, but grasping the hilt of his sword in the other. As Terrance reached for the key, mal struck. His blow was true, but not quick or deadly enough to save Alarial. The short sword opened her throat even as Terrance dropped, his own life draining to the ground in a puddle of crimson. As Terrance lay there he looked in his old friend’s eyes and whispered. “I am not the only one.”

Malavious truly wanted to die that day, but he realized that what happened to him, could happen to others. He dedicated himself to finding others, who had pledged themselves to the shadow. He did this with a religious zeal, claiming that it was his duty. That Sul had given him the task and that was why he was made to suffer. He filled the hole left by his family with a hatred of all those who would betray their people. He slowly gathered to him others who felt the same way. They named themselves the Order of Illumination for they brought the darkness to light. They found over one hundred Darkfriends in the High Garten keep. They were all tried and executed. Today it is believed that not even half were truly evil, perhaps even less. The order however grew in numbers. Soon the men and women of the keep feared for anyone could name them a Darkfriend and the order would come with their questions. Harsh questions. It was said after they were done, the innocent believed they truly were Darkfriends. The Lord of Keep, Valandal The Wise heard of this and demanded that the order be disbanded. By this time the order had grown to over 100 and had more men than the constables. Also many believed that they truly were guided by Sul. Malavious accused Lord Valandal of conspiring with the Shadow. Why else would he want to stop the Order. No one stood for the aging lord, and soon he too was put on trial. They could not find enough evidence to execute him, however he was now suspect and had to step down. He gave command to Malavious and left the keep never to return. Some say in truth he never left but was kept in the dungeon until his death.

After The Shadow War, the order has increased its definition of evil. Rater then just those pledged to the shadow the order seeks out all evil. Its mission is to find those who have the capacity for evil who live among the regular people. Those who infiltrate society and wait for the right time to strike.

During the Calamity when magic had gone awry, the Order claimed that it was wizards and other users of Arcane Magic who cause the reliance on magic. They say that it was the wizards way of controlling the populace, and making the people turn their eye to their strange ways. The Order says the Calamity was a gift from Sul to free the people from their arcane chains and finally wrest themselves from the control of the Arcanists. They say most arcane casters can not be trusted and have made pacts with evil for the magic they possess. How could they not, as the priest of the good gods have not the same powers. Therefore they must get it from evil sources. Before his death, Brother Tobin, and the church of Sul denounced the Order and excommunicated them, calling them extremists and saying they pervert the teaching of Sul. Since then the Order has found a new calling in the form of the One God. This new God, though they claim he is older than all of the others, sits above even Sul in their eyes, and truly stands for good.

Today the Order has thousands of members and a standing Army of over 2,000 soldiers. High Garten Keep is known as Harrenhal now, and the order controls all the lands Southwest of Emic. Even in the lands they do not control they are feared and respected. If they find someone who is doing evil, they feel it is their duty to stop him and bring him to justice, no matter where he is. If the local lord opposes them, then he too must be in league. Many of the common people feel the Order protects them from the incursion of evil and will support them.

There are two types of people who wish to join the order of Illumination. Those who truly believe in the extermination of all evil, and those who wish to used the order’s power to help them succeed in their goals. Most of the latter do not stay in the order for long, for it strong adherence to a code of rules makes it difficult for them. However there are those who make it through the rigorous training of the order and have raised high in the ranks.

The Order has several Sects. The first is the Guard of Light. These are the soldiers who are the bulk of the army. They are responsible for enforcing the decision of their leaders. It is their duty to be ever vigilant against the encroachment of evil and to combat it and treachery wherever it may be found.

The Oath of the Guard of Light.

By the light and under the Eyes of the Gods, I pledge my life to the Order of the Illumination. I swear to uphold the edicts of the order and the command of my commander. I swear to live my life bereft of influences of evil. I vow to give to the light desires of alcohol, gambling, and pleasure of the flesh save as my duty in marriage. I vow to give to the light my lands, and property and title, save that bestowed upon me by the Order. I give to the light my life, and vow to willingly sacrifice it to the cause of good. I vow to combat evil wherever it is found and to suffer no foothold of it in my presence. Under the light and by my salvation from Gods of Light, I swear.

Ranks of the Guards
  • Illuminated
  • Sergeant
  • Lieutenant
  • Captain
  • Lord Captain
  • Lord Commander

The Brotherhood is a sect devoted to finding those who are highly placed or difficult to find and are under the influence of evil. Shadowbane Stalkers and Shadowbane Inquisitors works together in dealing with these special threats. They are the special forces of the Order. The stalkers use their ability to mesh seamlessly with the darker side of society to find those who have pledged themselves to evil. Once they find them it is the job of the Shadowbane Inquisitors to destroy or bring them to the questioners. The Brotherhood has a separate structure than the rest of the order. The Shadowbane Stalker has no rank, and the Shadowbane Inquisitor has a rank of at least lieutenant.

Above even the Lord Commander is the Tribunal. Two Justicars and a High Justicar rule the order. They also have the authority to name a Shadowbane stalker or inquisitor as an archon, with the power of the tribunal behind him. This is done usually only to find internal treachery. The tribunal is responsible for making sure the Lord commander follows the laws of the Order and and are responsible for making judgement on all thing relating to the order. They do not make desicions for the order.

The last sect is that of the Chacellory. These are the messengers of the one God and healers of the order. The chacellory are concidered the guiding force behind the order, btu they have no real authority, except as advisors. Where matters of the church are concerned though, they trump even the Lord Commander.

The current makeup of the Order consiss of two Lord Commanaders. Lord Commander Alister Mallory and Lord Commander Bernard Vinas. The current Tribunal is made up of Lord Justice Pontifax and Justices Ophelia and Maximus.

Lord Commander Allister, former commander of Harrenhal and warden of the east is an old school commander, who beleives strongly that the order's fate is to lead the world against evil. Lord Commander Bernard, is a more modern thinker, who beleives that the order must work with the rest of the word to combat evil. Thes two different viewpoints has cause much friction in the order.

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