Rise and Fall of Arela
Order of Alion
The Order of Alion is a religious order of holy warriors, priests, and clerics who worship the deity Alion and headquartered in the city of Ceres. The Order was established at the founding of the city. Originally the order was founded by the followers of Alion in the Army of the North Road who accompanied General Lucius Cerris who took and founded the city. The order was established to destroy the remaining undead forces which surrounded the city as the rest of the Army of the North Road disbanded to establish the settlement and scout the territory within the walls. The Order evolved over time into a religious sect sworn to hunt and destroy all the undead of Arela. With settlement established in Arela it was discovered that undead forces would be a persistent problem, and that magic users could exploit the weakened barrier between life and death on the continent to make the transition into a Lich, an abomination of creation, easier. For this reason the Order has taken it upon itself to mercilessly hunt down those who would abuse necrotic powers, and any and all who seek to become, or have become a Lich.
Taken from its military roots, the Order of Alion has a strict military style hierarchy and chain of command. The order is lead by an ‘Order Master’. The Order Master is the commander in chief of the Order of Alion as well as its spiritual leader. Also from it’s historical ties with the city and the army which took it, the Army of Ceres formally recognizes the ranks of the Order of Alion, granting its members honorary rank in the military. The Order Master has an equivalent rank of Captain in the Ceres military.
Under the Order Master are several Disciples, Equivalent rank Senior Tribune. Below them are Paragons, equivalent rank of Tribune. Next comes the rank Paladin (not to be confused with the class. Non-Paladin class NPC’s may have the rank of Paladin in the Order of Alion) which has an equivalent rank of Sub-Tribune. Next in order of descending rank came the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Purifiers. The Purifiers make up the bulk of the Order and have equivalent ranks in the Ceres Army of First Spear, Centurion, and Spear Leader. The order also employees several levels of personnel not officially considered members of the order such as smiths, squires, cooks, and logistics people.
The current Order Master is a human Paladin of Alion by the name of Rulak. He is not known to have a family name.
The Order of Alion has its headquarters in a massive temple/keep in downtown Ceres. The Order Temple as it is called is one of the largest structures in the city, surpassed in size and stature only by the Royal Palace and keep itself. It is unclear which deity the Order Temple was originally built for, and it has been suggested in may have been a multi-cultural facility in ancient Arela due to its lack of religious symbolism. The Order has since decorated heavily in the symbols and dogma of Alion.
The Order of Alion is one of, if not the largest, religious order of Arela, boasting nearly 8,000 members spread across the continent. Of these, typically fully 1/4 of them are in Ceres at any given time.
To join the Order one must apprentice with a member of at least 1st Purifier for a time to be determined by the member. After such time a trial is set for membership. This trial can take the form of a trial by combat, a quest of varying degree, or even an oral test. The nature of the trial is unknown to the initiate prior to it being undertaken and is set by the Disciple or Paragon of whose branch of the order the initiate will be joining. Typically the Disciple or Paragon will pray upon the matter to Alion for guidance in determining the trial.
It is said that Rulak’s trial consisted of hunting down a rogue necromancer operating on the coast of the Dead Sea, where as his predecessor’s challenge was to simply recite the lineage of Order Masters when prompted.