Legends of the Nentir Vale
Order of Light
Long ago, a great evil swept over the land and the people cried out in anguish. The Dawn War had ended and the Gods had gone to reside in the Astral Sea, far from their creations. And yet the most righteous among them Bahamut and Pelor, felt that something had to be done. The gods had all invested many of their followers with power, but that was not enough. And so Bahamut and Pelor gathered up those gods who would listen: Avandra, Moradin, Corellon, and Sahanine. They spoke with Corellon, who knew of a secret realm between the Astral Sea and the Material Plane. Avandra, she who never got lost, led the gods to this location. Sehanine, the trickster among them, dispelled the wards so that they might enter. There Moradin forged a perfect vessel to contain the power and aid of the gods. Avandra granted her luck, Corellon his insight, Sahanine her subtlety, Moradin his endurance, Pelor his light, and Bahamut his courage. And together the six cast their creation down to the world below.
As the creation fell, it split into thousands of shooting stars that impacted the land. And there, at each location, grew a pool of pure divine inspiration and radiance. It called out to their followers, and soon temples were built around these pools of divine power. All the followers of the six deities could feel the pull and power of their deities, and so a compact was enacted. The faithful of the Six would aid one another and bring the power of their Gods to the world who so needed them.
Soon the budding temples were sending out groups of members, hoping to turn back the darkness. And turn back the darkness they did. Years of hard work became decades as the order fought back the darkness. And then decades became centuries as the order worked to solidify the areas they'd won back from the minions of evil. Things were good and members of the Order of Light were considered to be great heroes.
And then a terrible calamity struck. None in this age remember just who caused the curse, but members of the order began to fall ill or meet strange ends. Slowly but surely the began to die, and the good folk were too terrified to bolster their dying ranks. Within the span of a generation the Order of Light went from a beacon of hope to nothing but a footnote of history.
Members of the Order
Traditionally, members of the Order broke themselves into six separate groups, one for each of their patron deities. While worship of any one deity wasn't required to join one of the six arms of the order, most followers found that their temperaments seemed to match. The six arms of the order are:
- The Crusaders: This was the most militant arm of the order. Crusaders led the charge against the darkness and used their strength of arms to fight the minions of evil. Most members of the Crusaders were followers of Bahamut, though more militant-minded followers of Pelor often joined their ranks as well.
- The Lightbringers: Lightbringers were charged with the physical spiritual well being of the order. They were the healers, counselors, and diplomats charged with making sure members were healthy and of good morale. Most were followers of Pelor, though followers of Sahanine often joined their ranks as well.
- The Pathblazers: Evil likes to hide, and this arm of the order was charged with finding where it laired. Explorers of great daring, they were charged with rooting out evil during campaigns and protecting the roads and paths of civilized areas the rest of the year. Nearly all Pathblazers were followers of Avandra, though a few followers of Corellon could be found among their ranks.
- The Redoubt: A warrior without weapons and armor is a poor one indeed. Members of the redoubt were tasked with forging the arms, armor, and other gear for the order. As such tasks were usually handled within the temples themselves, those of the redoubt were also tasked with guarding the temples. During great crusades, members were also in charge of building and maintaining the siege weapons. Nearly all members of the Redoubt followed Moradin, though followers of Bahamut who were too injured or old to actively campaign often retired and joined the redoubt.
- The Arcanum: Though nominally a holy order, the order knew that they'd be facing great works of evil magic. Members of the Arcanum were charged with researching magic and learning ways to disable the powerful spells of evil. They were also charged with enchanting the orders equipment and providing powerful arcane support during crusades. Nearly all member of the Arcanum followed Corellon, though a few worshippers of Sehanine were also among their ranks.
- The Eclipse: Members of the eclipse had the toughest job of all: working around their more lawful and obvious brethren. All members of the order of light knew that in order to truly combat evil, they'd have to use some of their methods. Methods that other members might find distasteful. But the followers of Sehanine knew that tricks, guile, and stealth weren't inherently evil. And thus they all gathered together and agreed to act as the covert arm of the order. They were sometimes joined by the followers of Avandra, who called them kindred spirits.
Rites & Rituals
Most of the rites and rituals of the order have been lost to the ages. Though there are rumors of great tomes of rites locked away in one of the mother fortresses.
Many of the temples have fallen into ruin through long disuse. Though there are rumors of other temples that might still stand. At one point in time, each temple was connected to another with a teleportation circle.