Clans of Solace
The forces of Krynn are formed in a mix of belief, desire and necessity, and each formation has its own set of strict philosophies which dictate how it perceives and acts on those around it. Those who join a clan receive a set of special abilities which tip the beam sometimes, but being a member of a clan is also a great responsibility.
There are seven active clans at the moment:
Clan Halls and Clan Guards
Each Clan has its Clan Hall with two guards protecting it from intruders. The outer guard, standing at the entrance, greets Clan members and blocks the way for everyone else. If you don't belong to a Clan, you would have to kill the outer guard in order to enter the Clan Hall. Note that the outer guard won't attack you unless provoked to. The inner guard, being considerably stronger than the outer, keeps a relic symbolizing the power of a Clan and instantly attacks anyone at sight, except for Clan members. When attacked, both outer and inner guards inform Clan members that the Clan Hall is under assault. So, don't hope on any spy missions.
Each Clan Hall has a resident healer who will gladly cure Clan members (not free of charge, though), but won't heal intruders. Remember it and have a bulging purse before any serious fight - using Clan healing services competently is often essential to victory.
There is one important detail which is frequently forgotten. Only members of a Clan may use teleporting spells and abilities (like Vanish skill; Teleport, Word of Recall, Gate, Wildhome and Portals spells) within their Clan Hall. For everyone else, these abilities are blocked. So, have a good estimate of your survival skills and prepare for the battle before entering the territory of an enemy Clan - you won't be able to make as easy a retreat as elsewhere.
After death, belongings of any Clan member will return to the Clan pit located in the Clan Hall (provided nobody loots the corpse before) instead of returning to the hometown donation pit.
Imagine yourself a member of some Clan. You come to the enemy Clan Hall and manage to kill both the outer and the inner guards. When the inner guard dies, the relic of the enemy Clan will fall to your hands (killing the inner guard to capture the relic is called raiding).
If the clan is already raided by someone, nothing will fall out of the inner guard.
If you bring the relic to your Clan Hall and give it to the inner guard, he'll put it into a special sacred vessel. While the captured relic is held in the sacred vessel of your Clan,
Members of the enemy Clan won't be able to use their Clan powers,
All members of your Clan will be affected by a special bonus (called source).
In this case, we say that the enemy Clan has been raided. To retrieve their power, your enemies have to come to to your Clan Hall and defeat the outer guard. Obviously, your strategy would be protecting the outer guard by all means.
What is a Clan? A Clan is a well-organized community of characters driven by common goals. If you have just joined a Clan, you are a low-ranking member of this Clan. To earn promotion to higher ranks, you need to show yourself as a courageous true follower of your Clan's goals, a wise comrade, and an enterprising responsible person. Low members of a Clan may become Normal members, and the best of those may attain a position of High membership.
Following this, it is the Immortal Clan leader who nominates one of High members for Clan leadership. The Clan Leader is responsible for the following things: dealing with applicants, guiding and promoting Clan members, determing the strategy and politics of a Clan, signing peace treaties and declaring wars.
Leaders of Clans often send notes to all the inhabitants of Krynn, informing them about the opening of their Clan's gates for applicants. They also can send a note containg information about the end of recruitment.
To all those wanting to apply for entry to the Clan of their choice, you should begin by writing down a short story about the background of your character, along with your reasons for joining this Clan. Send this note to the Leader of the Clan (mortal or Immortal or both), and the clan itself. As well, you can address your application letter only to the Immortals if you are not sure that a Clan has a mortal leader. After sending this petition, you should wait patiently until the Leader of the clan meets with you and interviews you. Characters who wish to achieve full entry to the Clan are required to pass a Test. It can be a quest, or an order to fight, or whatever the Leader chooses.
Failure in the Test results in the rejection of the applicant. Once you pass all tests you will be inducted as a full Clan member, and get all privileges and duties that come with that. Remember that the Leader of the Clan always has the right to uninduct you if your behaviour or wayfollow begins to differ from the Clan's rules and goals.
These are the rules by which all Clans of Solace, no matter which, must abide by. Failure to do so may result in removal from the clan, loss of certain Clan powers, or worse.
1) Any Clan member to be inducted must be in the range of rank 18 to rank 25. Those outside of this range will not even be considered for membership.
2) The Clan must be defended at all times, no matter what. Unless the leader, mortal or immortal, excuses you from defending, you must go, even if it is just to heal or cast some minor protective spells on your Clan guards.
3) Quitting out once you find that your Clan had been raided is a sign of cowardice, and is subject to removal from the Clan. If your powers have been taken, find them and return. If the odds are against you (there are 3 or more defenders in your PK range), not re-raiding may be excused.
4) Enemy Clans must be raided at all times to weaken them.
5) Clan channels are to be used for in-character, roleplayed talks. Never use the Clan channel for speaking OOC (out-of-character), unless it is to report something to your immortal Clan leader. For example, item statistics are OOC, so are saying things like "I will be back in 15 minutes".
6) Use of the OOC channel is strictly prohibited. Any Clan member caught using this channel will be punished.
7) Guardians of Law, most responsible for safeguarding cities and hunting criminals, may attack any clan if a criminal hides there, but only if the criminal refuses to come out. This is the only case where they may use their special guards to attack a clan.
8) You must follow your mortal and immortal clan leaders' commands and instructions at all times.
9) Clan is a separated closed society and noone can be trusted entirely, even those who are trying join this society. Clan members should not accept any assistance from outsiders for their Clan needs (i.e. raids, re-raids, Clan conversations and Clan wars).
These Clan rules may change at any time, and you are responsible for following them.
The Knights of Solamnia are an organization of good aligned warriors who follow the Code of Solamnia. Being a symbol of all that is good and right in the world, the Knights are supposed to be truthful, honorable and trustworthy. They are sworn to defend the world from the forces of Darkness, to protect the helpless and aid those in need, and they are proud to serve as examples of righteousness and honour. The Knights are broken into three subdivisions - the Knights of the Crown, the Knights of the Sword, and the Knights of the Rose. The order is led by the Grandmaster of Solamnic Knights.
Any of the Light who are lawful may petition to join the Knights of Solamnia.
Clan Hall and Clan Powers
Clan location: inside the High Clerist's Tower
Outer guard: a knight of Solamnia
Inner guard: an ancient silver dragon
Clan relic: Code of Solamnic Knights
Sacred vessel: a statue of a gold dragonClan powers: Knights of Solamnia are able to call majestic metallic dragons which will fight on their side, forge Solamnic weapons and armor imbued with the blessing of Paladine, and call upon the Gods of Light to protect them or to smite the followers of Darkness.
The Knights of Solamnia were formed in 1775 PC by Vinas Solamnus, during the Age of Dreams. Solamnus was commander of the Ergoth army, and was sent to quelch a rebellion in north-eastern Ergoth. Solamnus found that the rebels had a just cause to rise up against the emperor, and soon joined them. The War of the Ice Tears began, as Solamnus and his army marched on Daltigoth, the center of the Ergoth empire. His army was victorious and the emperor sued for peace. The people chose Vinas as their king and named the region Solamnia, in honor of their new ruler. Solamnia became independent of Ergoth and Solamnus tried to justly rule his new lands. He consulted with advisors and then turned to the gods for aid. Paladine, chief god of good, and his sons Kiri-Jolith (god of just warfare) and Habbakuk (god of nature and of loyalty) answered his plea. They outlined the knighthood to Vinas and explained that he would need three orders that would represent the ideals of each of the three gods. Vinas then created the Solamnic Knights, based on the gods' model, and then formed the orders in their honor. He formed the Knights of the Crown to represent Habbakuk, the Knights of the Sword to represent Kiri-Jolith, and the Knights of the Rose to represent Paladine.
With the Cataclysm, the knights fell into disrepute, and were blamed for much of what occurred. The province of Nightlund was annexed from Solamnia, as the former knight Loren Soth was cursed to walk the world in a state of undeath. The knighthood steadily grew in strength during the Age of Despair, however until the War of the Lance, many still frowned upon them. It took the courage of a knight, Sturm Brightblade, to begin to turn the minds of the people about the vaunted knighthood.
The Oath and the Measure
The Knights are defined by two tenets: The Oath and the Measure. The Oath is: "Est Solarus oth Mithas" (My Honor is my life). The Measure is a complex set of laws in 37 volumes, that defines the meaning of honor. The volumes are the collected writings of Vinas Solamnus and his successors. Due to the rigidity of the Measure in the changing times, Grandmaster Gunthar Uth Wistan, head of the Solamnic Knights, began revising the Measure. With Gunthar's passing, his successor, Lord Liam Ehrling then completed the revision of the Measure in order to try and rebuild the honor of the knighthood, which was fast declining into a knighthood of lazy, dishonorable drunkards.
Knights of the Crown
Crown Knights exemplify loyalty and obedience. All warriors who wish to enter the knighthood must first serve as Crown squires. Squires are trained in the virtues of loyalty and obedience. Once their training is completed then they can choose whether they wish to be a Crown Knight or to apply to be a Sword Knight. Before a warrior can become a squire they first must be presented to a council of Solamnic knights by a sponsor, who must be a respected knight. Once presented, the applicant must swear an oath to the honor of the knighthood. After this the applicant becomes a squire and begins their training.
Knights of the Sword
Sword Knights exemplify heroism and courage. After completing squire duties in the Order of the Crown, a knight may choose to remain in that order or to enter the Order of the Sword. If a knight wishes to ultimately become a Rose Knight, then they first must become a Sword Knight.
Knights of the Rose
Rose Knights exemplify honor, wisdom and justice. They are the epitome of all that is good and honorable in the knighthood. Originally to enter this order, knights had to prove they were from a royal family. When the Cataclysm destroyed most genealogical records (and everything else!), the knights changed the rule, so that any knight could enter this order if their deeds showed they were eligible. An applicant to this order is brought before a council of Rose Knights. During this meeting the applicant must relate their family history and their actions that exemplify the ideals of the knighthood. The council then holds a closed session where it discusses the applicant.
The Dark Knights of Takhisis are a formidable group of people completely dedicated to the Dark Queen, Takhisis. All of the members have agreed to serve her Majesty eternally and give her their undying loyalty. The Dark Knights are brave and even honorable, though not in the same way as Solamnic Knights, and only the strongest can hope to join her army. The motto of the Dark Knights is "Death before disobeying our Queen". The Army of Takhisis is destined to rule to world, or so they believe; they fight to further their Dark Queen's power in the world and will destroy any who oppose them. The mortal enemies of all Takhisis members are Knights of Solamnia, and they also despise elves not of the dark paths.
All those who walk the dark path, respect the laws and are willing to pledge their eternal loyalty and souls to Takhisis may apply.
Clan Hall and Clan Powers
Clan location: take north-eastern direction from the Eastern Crossroads
Outer guard: a savage, small black dragon
Inner guard: a two-headed dragon
Clan relic: the severed head of an elf
Sacred vessel: the altar of sacrifice
Clan powers: Knights of Takhisis are able to call powerful chromatic dragons and use them as steeds, and they can also call upon the Dark Queen to protect them from some blows or spells. They are also able to smite followers of Light with the wrath of her Majesty. It is rumoured that members of each branch of Takhisis Army receive some special powers.
History and Ranking Structure
The Knights of Takhisis were formed by Ariakan, son of the Dragon Highlord Ariakas. At the closure of the War of the Lance, Ariakan was captured by Solamnic Knights. They imprisoned him for six years where he learnt all about the structure and organisation of the knighthood. Ariakan also learnt of the downfall of the Dragonarmies, "that evil turned in on itself". When he was released he was visited by Takhisis and he told her of what he learnt and his plans for a new knighthood, she promptly agreed. The Knights are based upon three tenets: the Vision, the Blood Oath and the Code. The Vision is a statement of the ultimate goal of the knighthood: total domination of Ansalon in Takhisis' name. The Blood Oath is simply, "Submit or Die". This is followed by every knight, who must commit themselves completely, body and soul, to the knighthood. The Code is a complex set of laws that primarily relate to military strategies and also how the knights should conduct themselves. The Oath and Code are dark versions of the Solamnic Code and the Solamnic Oath. Also similar to the Solamnics, the Knights of Takhisis have three orders of the knights. The orders are the Knights of the Lily, Knights of the Skull, and the Knights of the Thorn.
Knights of the Lily
Lily Knights are the military force and the backbone of the Knighthood. All Knights of Neraka are inducted as Lily Knights. Once a knight reaches fifth level he must endure the Tests of Takhisis (pre-Age of Mortals). The tests vary and are determined by each knight's advocate. If a knight passes their test, they can choose which order they wish to enter. The knight is then kept in seclusion in the Temple of Takhisis, where they fast and pray for four days. At the end of the four days, the knight receives the Deep Vision, is blessed by Skull Knights and enters their order. The knight is then trained for six months in their chosen order and is then officially accepted as a member of that order. The Deep Vision is where each knight is personally shown by Takhisis what their purpose is within the knighthood. With the vanishing of Takhisis, the Deep Vision also vanished. Governor General Abrena and a small group of highly ranked Skull Knights have since recreated the Deep Vision. It is a false message from Takhisis which tells every knight of her imminent return and that they must conquer Ansalon in her name.
Knights of the Skull
Skull Knights are the clerical arm of the Knighthood. These warriors practice the healing arts and are in charge of intelligence and security for the Knights. Since the disappearance of the gods, the Skull Knights lost their clerical powers and were considered useless by many. They have since adopted fifth age magic and grown in prominence again, assisting the Governor General in creating a new "vision" for the Knighthood.
Knights of the Thorn
Thorn Knights are the magical order of the Knighthood. They draw their power from all three of Krynn's moons for their magic and are thus considered renegade wizards by the Conclave. These knights are a force to be reckoned with. After the assault on Storm's Keep by the Conclave, where the knights decimated the raiding party, the Conclave will not attack them, even though they are deemed renegades. Since the disappearance of the gods, the Thorn Knights have lost considerable power, and have now turned to the new fifth age magic in order to practice their arts again.
The Army of Heretics is dedicated to the eradication of all magic, and the heresy of clerics who claim to bring the sacred power of Gods to mortal realms. Heretics believe that the ancient gods caused the Great Cataclysm on Krynn which took away many innocent lives. And even if Gods were not those who caused it they are still responsible for not helping mortals; Gods use mortals for their own purposes, just like tools, and that is the other reason to dislike or even hate them. Clerics, who worship these Gods are preaching dangerous heresy and thus my be stopped. Mages use unnatural powers which they cannot control, bringing the world ever closer to another Cataclysm. Dark wizards return those who are long dead into the world, they murder people and use their souls in unholy experiments, that is what they deserved death for. By destroying mages and clerics Heretics wish to stop the new Cataclysm. Cursed for their reason, Heretics can not use magic, but are able to withstand great hardships and fight with unmatched skill.
Only those who truly hate magic of all kinds may join the Army of Heretics. Those who have small magic abilities, such as assassins and rangers, can be accepted too if they have never used them. Camp need not lightwalkers yet, because while slaying living they will lie to themselves. Army of Heretics need no liers. Also Heretics Force has not need for those who obey law. Nothing should stay between them and their mission.
Clan Hall and Clan Powers
Clan location: at the foot of Snowy Mountains
Outer guard: a huge barbarian
Inner guard: the minotaur Inquisitor
Clan relic: the head of a priest
Sacred vessel: the cross of Heretics
Code of Heretics
Once young heretic joines elite Heretics Force, he is obligated to obey the rules. These rules were originally written by Lord Fordus. He supposed Heretics to be the strong disciplined forces.
1) We are fighters and we should be strong to fight foul mages. Train your muscles and skill.
2) We are fighters and we do not use any kind of magic or empowers.
3) We are fighters and we must have strong spirit to resist magicians.
4) We are fighters and we can help those who are natural born fighters, to step away from corrupt ways of magic.
5) We are fighters and we can not lie to each other and to ourselves. If you were born in darkness you can not step away from your way, even while fighting against a mage. You must not use the help of lightwalkers in this case.
6) We are fighters and we will not betray each other. A betrayer should die.
7) We are figheters and we will not allow any mortal to force us do something. If anyone uses magic on us, he forces us to step away from the way of Heretics, and they will die.
8) We are fighters and we have discipline, if an elder says "Go and die", we will go and die, because he knows better and what is best for our army. If he made the command to weaken the clan - he will die, because he betrayed clan.
9) We are fighters and we do not need the help of those who are corrupted by magic.
10) We are fighters, and we do not harm the weak. Only if they harm us first, or if their behavior is described in our code as harmfull, or if they are direct enemies of the clan (mages).
11) We are fighters, and we can seek a fight with a strong enemy, unless we are busy defending our camp.
The Tower of High Sorcery is an organization that is one of the most dangerous and venerable upon Krynn. It was formed under the guidance of Solinari, Lunitari and Nuitari - the three Gods each found an apprentice amongst the mortals, and taught them the arts of High Sorcery. It has formal system whereby those with magical talent could be sought out and taught how to control it, and where knowledge of magic could be shared. The Gods also taught the mages several rules by which they must always adhere and live their lives:
All mages are brothers in the walls of the Tower and they should cooperate in learning the art of Sorcery.
The world beyond the Tower may bring brother against brother, but such is the way of the universe.
The Tower will consider any mage for entrance, regardless of ethos or alignment. The only requirement for applicants is to have at least five spells mastered.
Clan Hall and Clan Powers
Clan location: south of the Eastern Crossroads, on the way to the Castle of Giants
Outer guard: a sentinel iron golem
Inner guard: the archmage of the Tower
Clan relic: Tome of High Sorcery
Sacred vessel: the orb of Magisters
The Orders of High SorceryPractitioners of the arts divided themselves into three philosophies or, formally, Orders.
The Order of the White Robes draws its power from the moon Solinari. The members of this order follow the paths of knowledge, wisdom, and the magic of protection. Beyond magic, White Robe Mages are focused on the cause of Good. They feel that the gift of magic is one that should be used carefully, in the service of others. Such a great power is not to be squandered or used selfishly. Often they will assist the forces of Good to defend against the Darkness.
The Order of the Red Robes draws its power from the moon Lunitari. The members of this order follow the paths of illusion and knowledge for knowledge's sake. The Red Robe Mages are said to have the ultimate loyalty to magic, having no tendencies to lean either towards good or towards evil. They argue that it is up to the conscience of the individual sorcerer to decide how best to use his magic. Red Robes seek to maintain the Balance.
The Order of the Black Robes draws its power from the moon Nuitari. While members of this order are evil-aligned, they do not cause random destruction for destruction's sake. Black Robe Mages may be cruel, but they are also cunning. They tend to avoid open acts of violence if more subtle ways can be found. But they feel that magic is power, and so it is the right of the user to exercise that power. Personal gain, no matter the cost to others, is acceptable since the High Sorcerers are obviously superior to mundanes. Black Robe Mages seek the quickest route to power possible to satisfy their hunger for magic.Each of these orders can be identified by the colour robes they wear.
Spheres & Moons
High Sorcery claims to take its power from the three moons of Krynn. White Solinari is the largest moon, Red Lunitari is slightly smaller, Nuitari is small and black, and unknown to many cultures. It can only be seen when it blots out celestial phenomena behind it. The three moons of Krynn are a determining factor in the power of a mage's spells. The phases of each moon strengthen or weaken the followers of that particular Order. Say Nuitari is low in the sky — a new moon. The Black Robes are at their weakest during that time. At the same time, Solinari might be full, so the White Robes are at their peak. A rare occurrence is the Night of the Eye, a night when the moons are full and align to form a white eye with a red iris and a black pupil, when all magic is at its peak.
Organization of the Orders
The Conclave of Wizards is the governing body of the Wizards of High Sorcery. The Conclave consists of members of each of the three Orders. Each Order selects one of the Conclave members to be the Master of that Order. Of the three masters, a consensus is taken amongst the Conclave to determine who the Master of the Conclave is. The Master of the Conclave is, in essence, the true ruler of the Wizards of the High Sorcery. The Master can call the Conclave to gather at any time, normally only in times of crisis that affect all the Orders.
Once a member of an Order, the young mage is obligated to share any knowledge he has, or any magical discoveries that he makes, with the Orders. Young mages must obey the rulers of their Orders. Certain things are forbidden by all Orders - the dealing with demonic forces is considered dangerous to the fabric of existence. All members of High Sorcery have an obligation to turn in any rogue mages (who are either missed by the Conclave or choose not to join) that they find. No outsider must learn of the secrets of the Orders. No mundane may enter the Tower.Arcane spellcasters who do not follow the tenets of the Wizards of High Sorcery are branded renegades. While renegade wizards draw their power from High Sorcery, their magic is not affected by the moons.
The Warders of Ansalon serve to protect the forests and fight against the growing waste that is being produced by the bustling cities. As true childs of Nature they seek harmony with the innerself, but call of the wild deep in their hearts sending him a feelings, while Nature being in need.
Those who feel a powerful desire to protect the forests and stop all those who defile them are welcome to apply. Only those who seek the way of Balance and have neutral path of life allowed to become protectors of Nature.
Warders fight against ones who spread over Ansalon law of the cities, and keep protecting his own law, law of Nature.
Clan Hall and Clan Powers
Clan location: in the Eastwilde Forest
Outer guard: a ranger of the Ironwood
Inner guard: the great grizzly bear
Clan relic: a small sapling
Sacred vessel: the hole in the tree
Ideology of Warriors of the Resistance
The Resistance Warrior preaches politeness, courage, honesty, unpretentiousness and abstinence, contempt to personal profit and money. Dishonour for the Resistance Warrior is similar to the wound upon a tree bark which only grows in time.
There are no reasons for a Resistance Warrior to be cruel. The Resistance Warrior is polite even with his enemy. The Resistance Warrior is respected not only for the strength which he reveals in battle but also for the treatment of others. The true inner strength of the Resistance Warrior reveals itself in hard times. If a warrior is able to bear Faithfullness to his ideals and Duty upon one of his shoulders and Courage with Compassion upon the other without fatigue only in this case he can be called The True Warrior of the Resistance.
The Forest Resistance never brakes pacts with alive ones and never enters into agreements with dead. The Forest Resistance never betrays our allys and never has mercy on enemies. We never forgive insults of our Clan or our Gods, and we never forgive betrayal and cowardice. Those who brake the pacts and zombies we consider dead and their annihilation is the matter of Honour.
In war, the faithfullness of the Resistance Warrior displays itself when he goes towards enemie's swords and axes without fear and sacrifices his life if his Duty demands. Loyalty, Fairness and Fortitude are three natural virtues of the Resistance Warrior.
One who has only crude power is not worthy to be called the Resistance Warrior. Without the idea of nobility, neither talent nor trainings can produce the nature of the Resistance Warrior. The Warrior considers it to be dishonorable if power and abilities are demonstated outside of battle, therefore he never leaves his home, the forest, if for not urgent matters.
Any city is repulsive for the Forest Resistance Warrior essense and he never shows up there, neither will he use the help of city healer priests, attack and fight there, spend his time in guilds or buy goods in city shops.
The forest is the sacred place and must be protected by all means. Anyone who enters the forest must have the permission of a Warder. Anyone who fights in the forest and kills forest creatures must receive the first warning from Nature Protector. Those who ignore it must be destroyed. The Rule of the First Warning has no exceptions but for black-robed mages and draconians who must be attacked the same instant they step upon sacred ground of the Forest. The Resistance Warrior knows all the Forests on Krynn and his main duty is to keep his eye upon them and be ready to action any time. There can be no excuses for the Resistance Warrior to be in other place if the Forest is being destroyed.
The Code of Honor of the Resistance Warrior says that any items contradicting with Nature forces can not be used. Any destructive power in them is considered to be hostile.
The cabal of the Guardians of Justice was established by the people and for the people to uphold the Laws of the cities. In a world of constant wars between the forces of the land, of life-long struggle for survival, of senceless violence and incomprehensible cruelty only these servants of the people provide a safe heaven for all, who seek refuge and solace, peace and tranquility in their lives, even if for a short time. The Guardians are the one force, which holds the land of Krynn from falling into total oblivion and madness of chaos and entropy.
Any alignment may join guardians of Justice, applicants must be lawful for join and completly understand goals of Guardianship.
Clan Hall and Clan Powers
Clan location: on the Royal Way street of Palanthas
Outer guard: a sentinel
Inner guard: the royal Guardian of Law
Clan relic: the book of law
Sacred vessel: the safebox
The background and the ways of the Guardians
Some way has been undertaken before the organization could be set up. All the main forces on Krynn have strived for centuries to establish their comprehention of "order" over all of the land. For a long time the Solamnic order of the Crown Knights was entrusted by the citizens with taking care of law enforcement. But their wish to eradicate evil, their pursue of the goals of the clan, rather than the goals of Justice, both of which they thought inseparatable, led their judgement to be tainted by the ideals of "goodness". Their righteous fury led only to the further spread of violence.
An alternative was sought by more and more people, an Order, that would bring the same justice to all and any, an Order, the sole purpose of which would be to uphold peace in the cities and enforce the city laws, an Order, that would be free of prejudice and corruption. And so the Halls of Justice were built in the city of Palanthas and there the mayors of the cities, which chose to ally themselves in an attempt for stability and peaceful prosperity, signed the book of law, entrusting law enforcement to this new promising structure. Palanthas, New Thalos, Kalaman, Caergoth, Shadowdale and Naiadia were for then forth under the Guardian jurisdiction. Then a call was sent to all the lawful creatures of the land, for all of them, in spite of their affection for light or darkness, could apply for the try-outs and receive a badge of the Guardian. And indeed true heroes of law came forth from many paths of life and thus a new era began.
It was decided, that the Guardians themselves do not alter the laws, but simply make sure they are enforced, that all had a right for fair judgment and all were to be punished for a crime equally, that the boundaries of their jurisdiction shall not be broadened by force and no attempt shall be made to spread their ways upon the rest of the land, that due to the extremely harsh conditions of constant threat of crime outbreaks marshal law shall be introduced, when each Guardian can make his judgment right at the time of the crime and carry out the sentence, which is death for any crime, immediately. By these ways the Guardians of Justice stand to this day.
Guardians and the other forces of the land
Of course the Order of Guardians can not neglect the other cabals and organizations, so some relations developed over time between them. Although with the creation of Guardians the Knights of Solamnia were deprived of the duty to carry out justice, being noble and honorable at heart and understanding the greater good this organization can bring, in spite of having those in its ranks, that would never be accepted into the Knighthood, they were the first to acknowledge this Order and established a treaty of neutrality.
Knighthood of Takhisis, on the other hand, was swift to declare the Guardians their enemy, for they strive for no other order and set of laws, but the one given to them by their Goddess, which can be altered at her will. So they are constantly trying to bring down the Guardians, just like any other power, but their own actually.
The Forest Resistance, as could be expected, saw nothing else, but another possible threat to their beloved woodlands and is always highly cautious of the Guardians. But peace treaties have been signed on a number of occasions between the two cabals, mainly when the Guardians managed to prove, that they do not seek to spread the "civilization" outside of the city walls. Though of course, those members of Guardians, who are considered the Warders' natural enemies are hunted by them regardless of any treaties, for in the end the Resistance only acknowledges the laws of nature.
The Army of Heretics cares little for the Order of Guardians and its goals, but they do "care" about the magic users, who are accepted into the Order. So peace treaties between these two cabals are even more seldom, than between Guardians and Warders, for orderly priests and mages are rarely not a part of the Order.
As seldom as Guardians have peace with Heresy, just as often they have peace with the Conclave of the Tower. The studying of their Arcane Arts seems to consume most of their attention to care for the turmoil of the cities.
And finally, Entropy - the natural enemy of the Guardians. That nest of no good annoying lunatics, greedy brigands and shameful clowns, as any of the Guardians sees it, should be better cleared of the face of Krynn, for they are the ones responsible for a major part of havoc and distress inside the city walls. But even they could be tolerated, if they took their foul deeds of "freedom" some place other, than the territory under the Guardian jurisdiction.
The nation of Silvanost seems to be friendly towards the Guardians, though not entrusting them with patrolling their territory. Any questions about law-enforcement, concerning both sides can always be discussed with the High Guard or the Speaker on an official level.
The members of the Order and its structure
As has been mentioned all and any of lawful spirit may apply for a position on the Halls of Justice. The main feature, that the members share is total devotion to their duties, which excludes any race or profession prejudice inside the ranks. That does not mean a Guardian forsakes his origin or beliefs, for that would lead to a lack of diversity and multiple views on life, the both of which in turn lead to fair and balanced judgment on the whole. But a Guardian knows how not to put his beliefs, which may differ from the other members', between him and his duty. That is how all the different members manage to work as a single force, keen on achieving one goal. It is the understanding of this concept, that lets one truly become a Guardian, and it is this concept that leads to so much frowning and muttering from the side of those, who do not see, how a pure elven maid and a merciless rude draconian, a foul necromancer and a priest of the Healing Hand, a dark knight and a knight of light can stand shoulder to shoulder, assisting each other. This is achieved though the means of special relationships, established in the Order. Though the Halls of Justice have a firm hierarchical structure and strict subordination all of the members are equal: equal in their duties, equal in their judgment, equally respected by the people they protect and hated by their enemies. They eat, sleep and revise the laws together. They are comrades-in-arms, and that is how they see each other, putting aside their differences.
The person, who stands in command of the Order is the High Counsellor of Justice. This title may differ from one leader to another to depict his unique features. He declares wars and signs peace treaties, makes the final decision about recruiting new members and uninducting. The cabal has three levels. The first one are the Magistrates. They are the most common of the Guardians and the base of their forces. They patrol the cities and carry out punishment for committed crimes. The next level are the Inquisitors. They are the Magistrates promoted for their shown devotion to the clan cause and their abilities in inquiring the exact circumstances of the crime and dealing out punishment to the criminal in a swift manner. And the last, the highest level, are the High Chancellors of Justice, who are the most trusted by the High Counsellor and the most experienced of the Inquisitors. Those, who have reached such a high position in the Order may seek one of the three elite positions: the Royal Inquisitor of Justice, the Recruitment Officer of Justice and the Battlemaster of Law. These members of the Order help the High Counsellor fulfill the most important duties.
The Royal Inquisitor is the one, who has the best knowledge of the laws and is the most experienced in solving complicated cases without ever abusing his power. He watches, that the new members gain the right understanding of the Laws and how they should judge, that the older members do not forget to be as objective as possible and seeks out those few in the ranks, who have turned to corruption and have put themselves above the Law. He reports to the High Counsellor alone.
The Recruitment Officer of Justice helps the High Counsellor to go through applications and interviews. A person can get inducted by the High Counsellor with a Reqruitment Officer's recommendation alone. This high member also spreads the ways of the Guardians by talking to the citizens, prompting them to be more law-abiding and finding those, who might become applicants in the future.
The Battlemaster of Law is a high member of the Order, who is most experienced in battle. He should be a good tactician, not simply a mighty warrior. He takes control whenever a joint effort is required to achieve victory: raids, reraids, pursuing dangerous criminals and so on.
All of these nominations are made by the High Counsellor and should be approved by the immortal leader.
As has been said, law-enforcement is a hard and important job. A guardian must be merciless and follow the book of law to the letter, thus avoiding involvement of his own personal affinities. A Guardian does not listen to the ones outside of the Order, when they tell him how to judge, no matter how much authority they may hold, for noone has the necessary understanding of the letter of the Law other than the Guardians. A Guardian's judgment is always based on facts, there is little room for doubt and contemplation of statements, not based on facts. A Guardian answers only to the clanmembers outranking him.
Everyone has the right to speak in his own defense and ask that his punishment be delayed, if some uncertainty can be found in his case and good will is shown from the accused person. This means not running from the Guardians, but coming to have a conversation instead. However, if one fails to prove his innocence or give at least a shadow of a doubt to a Guardian, who branded him, he shall be dealt with as a criminal immediately. Also, if one considers his wanted state to be a result of a Guardian's corruption or has anything else to report of a Guardian's inappropriate behaviour, concerning his duties, he may write an official petition to the Halls of Justice and request special attention to the case. Or simply speak to the High Counsellor or the Royal Inquisitor and explain his position. One should understand, that this is the only way to get his case a review, for the Guardians alone deal with mortal justice and no prayers to the Divine shall be heard, for heavenly justice is a totally other matter. Cases, when a person gets a pardon due to the facts, that he brought to the attention of the Halls, or a Guardian gets punished for improper actions have taken place.
The Guardians do know, that they are only mortals and make mistakes and are willing to make the right judgment, if proven wrong. The Guardians of Law are not above the Law themselves, but are subject to even more harsh judgment, having to serve as an example of lawfulness. Depending on the circumstances a Guardian may not only get the regular punishment of death for a committed crime, but, if found guilty of intentional breaking of the law or being corrupt, be banished from the ranks of the Guardians and be branded as Betrayers of Law and hunted down by his former brethen.
Entropy clan is based on the mixed philosophy of creating chaos and allowing things to take their natural path of degeneration. It is said that members of this clan seek to bring about total anarchy so that things may collapse and run their natural course, while at the same time living life to the fullest. Many have tried to understand the ways of Entropy and all have failed, only those mysterious ones that gain entrance to the Caverns of Decay have the smallest idea of Entropy's true goals and motives.
Entropy on Death
Often Entropy is sought out by young blades and muggers searching for riches and conquest. Yes, the caves run with rivers of gold, but this gold is achieved by different means. Being a member of Entropy does not allow free-reign to murderers to roam the lands. Those that do such will advocate their doings as actions of 'chaos'. While slaying does disrupt the lives of others it is not true to chaos. Life is a celebration of chaos, because a full-life creates innumerable variables that could occur. Randomness is a product of life. Death has only one outcome: death. There is nothing Chaotic about death. Death is death. Some will claim to be freeing souls by slaying them, but they are wrong. Entropy advocates freedom, but slaying someone is not freeing their souls. In many cases it damns them to the Abyss. Entropy must remember who they oppose. The Justice, who recklessly convict and persecute the living to death. Justice frees, and binds, by death; Entropy frees by life. This shall not be seen as weakness, for we will also give our lives freely in the protection of our Cavern, and some enemies can only be stopped by death.
Entropy on Race and Alignment
Check your prejudices at the caverns entrance for inside we are all brothers. Draconians and elves will shake hands inside our walls. Alignment and race is irrelevant to those of true Chaos. For we all realize that chaos needs and seeks variety. Also, slaying someone with the excuse that you dislike their race will not be accepted. Indeed those of Chaos can find more inventive reasons for an enemy. Race or alignment, even ethos in most cases, is not a reason to attack.
Entropy prides itself on the induction and grooming of the finest minds and craftiest members of society (rivaling even the snobbish brains of the Tower mages). I like to say, 'An Entropist can end your life as easily with a word as their blade'. There is truth in this, for spreaders of anarchy should be masters of manipulation and coercion A powerful member should be able to manipulate others with but a whisper into the wind. To trust an Entropist usually results in an empty bank account. Bringing a blade across a neck will not help you as much as a foolish, trusting 'friend'.
It is often mentioned that no one soul leads Entropy. That every member decides what to do, when they want, who to kill, who to rob etc. This is not correct. Indeed there is not an official rank system like the rigid structure of the Solamnic knights, but there is a looser knowledge of experience within the caverns. The youthful members learn of guile and cunning from the older members. Younger members respect the older members and listen to their wisdom. Outright rejection of wise, older members repeatedly is dealt with harshly. There may not be a definite rank but respect is paramount.
Entropy Fights for Freedom
Freedom is often toted as the goal of Entropy. Perhaps this is just a front for the caverns to lure trusting fools, or perhaps there is truth in these words. Freedom from the regulations of Justice are sought. Laws are restricting and flawed; Entropy seeks these flaws and exploits them. Freedom is a fluid term and often is hard to define. A wise Entropist will manipulate freedom to suit their needs and the goals of Chaos.
Clan Hall and Clan Powers
Clan location: a cave in the vicinity of the Dwarven Trail
Outer guard: a tattered old man
Inner guard: the decaying shambling mound
Clan relic: a dead tree branch
Sacred vessel: the dead tree of Entropy
The Cobar History
The first Cobar were nomadic horse barbarians whom originally dwelt in the plains of the Empire of Ergoth. The greatest horsemen that Ansalon had ever seen, the Cobar were hardy men who grew up in the saddle, making them better warriors than those who grew up in agricultural societies and cities. They trained endlessly on horseback with a variety of weapons, feeling ill-at-ease with unmounted combat. They were highly disciplined, superbly coordinated and showed an unmatched brilliance in tactics for the time. Similar in appearance to the Abanasinian plainsfolk, they were fearsome mounted warriors, expert trackers, and well versed in the arts of war. However, perhaps their shamanistic beliefs and relatively small numbers conspired to bring about an eventual demise. The Cobar were persecuted during the Age of Dreams by the overlords of Xak Tsaroth, seeing them as little more than a backwards and ignorant group of barbarians, a cheap source of labour for the mines. Too late, the Cobar rose up to wage war against the overlords, and whilst terribly outnumbered, they almost won. The overlords then enslaved many Cobar, executed the leaders and left the rest a broken people. The few surviving Cobar returned to Ergoth and were assimilated into other cultures; a forgotten, once great tribe of the plainsfolk.
The Khalkhist Mountain, the Smoking Giant
The Khalkhist mountain is a huge, rocky fang dominating the northern plains. In the ancient dwarfish language it meant “Smoking Giant”, for the clouds of ash that spewed from its lava-soaked bowels. The dwarves utilised this inner fire in their forging and smelting, creating the finest armor and weapons in the old world. A darkness visited that mountain at some time in the past, causing the dwarves to sadly abandon their work and seek a safer haven, though the nature of the darkness was never revealed. The name Khalkhist stuck however, and in time was bestowed upon the wide plains surrounding the mountain. The mountain remains an evil mystery, watching over the plains with its cold, snow-deadened eyes.
The Khalkhist Plains
The enormous, wide-reaching plains surrounding the smoking mountain share the same dwarfish name, though no dwarves have dwelt there for many years. Now it is the home of a myriad of horses and other creatures, free to roam the windswept grasslands. It is also the spiritual home of the Cobar, the horsemasters, the barbarian people who once thrived long ago before slavery and war took their bloody toll. In the ensuing years, the few scattered remnants of the Cobar people have returned to the home of their forefathers, seeking an end to their lonely wandering and perhaps a fresh beginning.
The Khalkhist, the Steeds of the Cobar, and the Dream
These wondrous horses are the essence of the wild plains themselves, the natural lords of the land, huge and powerful and blessed with an intelligence and cunning to rival even mankind’s own. They speak their own language, recounting the legends of the plains in a beautiful, whinnying tongue, passing on the deep wisdom of the race to their foals. Since the first foaling, the Khalkhist have lived alongside the Cobar as battle brothers and family, sharing the joy of success and the pain of decline. When the last of the Cobar were thought gone forever after the slave wars, the Khalkhist retreated in misery and vanished from the plains, lost to myth and only remembered in stories.
In recent times, the few remaining descendants of the Cobar have been visited by recurring dreams, dreams of the great stallion God galloping across the skies to the north, a powerful portent of the ancient people. In many cases, the descendants are unaware of their lineage, carrying out a normal life with no thought of their proud and bloody past. Only the dream gives them the inkling of what they may become, if they follow its message. Some choose to remain in the cities, ignoring the dream until it finally fades away. Others hearken to it, travelling day and night to the grasslands of the northern plains to find their spiritual homeland and become what they were born to be.
If they remain true to the calling, and show dedication to the Cobar way of life, living free upon the plains, protecting the sacred places, and fighting the oppressors of their people with all their heart, it is even rumoured that a Khalkhist steed will return from the mists of legend and bear that Cobar proudly into battle.
The Gods and Spirits
The Cobar believe in many Gods and Spirits; endless myths and legends are recounted by the shamen on the darkest winter nights, stories that make the Gods seem almost human, with failings and triumphs to stir the emotions of a true warrior. The Gods of the Cobar are mighty beings with no real interest in answering prayers or appearing in mortal form; the Cobar honour their gods with deeds and victory, and would not expect divine aid- in truth, they would never ask for it, relying upon their own ability to honour the Gods even further. The Spirits are very different from the Gods. They are formless, faceless, nameless manifestations of nature, dwelling in every breath of wind, roaring waterfall, rocky mountain or waving tree. They surround each living thing, ensuring the world remains in harmony with itself. Unlike the Gods, the Spirits take a keen interest in the activities of the Cobar, helping them or hindering them as they see fit, and may even seem malicious or mischievous. Whatever their motives, the Spirits are a powerful force that the Cobar treat with utmost respect.
The Creed of the Cobar
1) We will never again be enslaved, we choose the release of death before a shackled life.
2) Our steeds are our children, our brothers, our family. We live and die together.
3) We will guard the plains of our forefathers with every part of our being.
4) We listen only to the commands of the Chieftain, who is the voice of Whinan, the Horse God.
5) We shun the trappings of greed, and all who follow its poisonous path. We take what we need to survive, and pay our respects to the fallen for the life they have lost.
6) We shun a needless war, only the blood of the enslavers is enough to slake our thirst.
7) We observe no law but our own, and the law of the wild places.
8) We hunt to sate our hunger, never for the sport alone.
9) We will give every chance for our enemy to surrender before the summoning of the Ride. Woe to those that invoke our ire and the wrath of Myran, the bloody-clawed Lord of War.
10) We will honour the memory of our people, follow the teachings of elders long past, and strive to return the name of Cobar to its rightful place in the history of the world.