Also known as the OotP, or simply the Order when appropriate, they run locations in just about every major built-up area of the world of Darkspell, but keep their primary headquarters in Imperis. They are, in a way, the “FBI”-type organisation of Darkspell – relatively smaller than other police force-style organisations such as (whatever we call the main police force of Imperis), but they are the ones who, more often than not, aim to get rid of large-scale terrorist threats or otherwise defuse world-threatening situations such as demonic incursions. Relatively speaking, they are a rather exclusive (or as their detractors would put it, “elitist”) group – their members tend to work without pay, and the group itself is non-profit, obtaining only as much money from the local governments as is necessary to provide said members with food, lodging, and other necessities for an anti-terrorist organisation; as such, they tend to be quite strict with regards to who they accept into the group in question.
Screening for entrance into the Order is generally performed along the lines of both general moral viewpoint, and whether or not an entrant has relatively high proficiency in Ligia magic and/or a Divine element. As a result, those who control Heavasia are in relatively high demand, given that the element counts towards both magical criterion; at the same time, Shadesi users are the only Void elementalists that can potentially fulfill the magic criteria without additional training in Ligia, and even then, they have a tendency to increase in rank more slowly in the Order than the non-Void members, though there have been a number of exceptions in the past. On the topic of ranks, there are ten - ranks one to four are reserved almost exclusively for training by higher ranked members, with ranks five to eight being taken up by those members who go out and take on threats actively. Rank nine paladins are both powerful and relatively few in number, their deployment generally being reserved for extremely high-level threats, with any additional training being taken up either alone or under the tutelage of the grandmaster of the local Order, this being the rank 10 paladin of any given location.
Vows of PurityEdit
In order to advance in rank beyond the first, a paladin must first achieve a certain level of proficiency with their magic and the spells taught to them by the Order, and then cite an appropriate vow that, as they increase in rank, stacks upon those vows made before so as to form a moral code of sorts, with the additional impetus that if they break one of their vows, they are stripped of rank to the rank below that which the broken vow is required for. For some of the higher vows, breaking them do not have such a consequence. In general, certain vows (*) have a 3 strike rule once you are at least 2 ranks over that vow. Certain exceptions have been
Said vows are, in increasing rank order:
R2/Vow of Lesser Purity of Word*: No ugly swears (i.e. anything worse than ‘crap’, inclusive).
R3/Vow of Sobriety: No drugs of any sort.
R4/Vow of Honour*: If someone is in dire need of assistance, such as when being assaulted by several thieves at once, assist them.
R5/Vow of Chastity: No sex. Some masturbation is allowed for younger paladins, although not expected.
R6/Vow of Greater Purity of Word: No swearing, period.
R7/Vow of Kindness: Do not cause unnecessary pain or anguish to any human being.
R8/Vow of Forgiveness: Any and all previous grudges will be forgotten in their entirety, and past enemies will not be pursued unless a direct threat to themselves, another human being or the Order as a whole is perceived, or if ordered to by a superior paladin.
R9/Vow of Transcendence: All ownership of anything not directly assigned by the Order of the Paladin will be given up; the only items that should be kept permanently are Order-assigned armour and weaponry.
For obvious reasons, a grandmaster is not ranked up in the same way as other paladins. Instead, when a grandmaster dies, his body, if it is still present for such, is preserved and escorted back to the local headquarters, where an appropriately-powerful Necrolia mage or group of mages (usually a rank 8 paladin or equivalent number of lesser paladins, to prevent tampering) is charged with bringing the grandmaster's spirit back into the world for a short time, during which the grandmaster picks his successor from the assorted rank 9 paladins. A successor, once picked, is allowed to decline the role of grandmaster, or a unanimous vote from all other rank 9 paladins is able to undo the grandmaster's choice; if neither of these is the case, though, the picked successor assumes the role of grandmaster immediately, and the body of the previous grandmaster is incinerated afterwards. If a body is not present for temporary resurrection, e.g. if the old grandmaster's body has been incinerated, a new grandmaster is instead picked via majority vote amongst the rank 9 paladins.
Short term goalsEdit
Stop terrorist threats.
Long term goalsEdit
Make it known that a terrorist threat is less likely to come up if people don't react to them in a fearful manner.