The Sacred Knights of the Order

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Order of the Hospital (Hospitallers)

  • Symbol: A Downward Sword, Sheathed, Before a Sunburst
  • Status: Public, Religious
  • Influence: Aregon, Tarantis, The Shire Lands
  • Resources: 20
  • Skills: Lore, Medicine

Order of the Pardoners

  • Symbol: An Upraised Palm Before a Sunburst
  • Status: Public, Religious
  • Influence: Aregon, Drachen, Tarantis, The Shire Lands
  • Resources: 20
  • Skills: Diplomacy, Presence

Order of the Rose and Cross (Rosicrucians)

  • Symbol: A Sword pointing downward, with two rises twined around the blade.
  • Status: Private, Religious
  • Influence: Aregon, Tarantis, The Shire Lands
  • Resources: 22
  • Skills: Blades, Occultism

Order of Sophia (Sophists)

  • Symbol: An Upraised Palm Before the Moon
  • Status: Secret, Religious
  • Influence: Drachen, Tarantis
  • Resources: 10
  • Skills: Awareness, Occultism

Order of the Temple (Templars)

  • Symbol: An Upright Sword Before a Sunburst
  • Status: Private, Religious
  • Influence: Aregon, Tarantis, The Shire Lands
  • Resources: 18
  • Skills: Awareness, Blades

History

There is a land called the Burning Lands. A desolate and cursed region deep within the Mainland. But it was not always so. The followers of Adonai have a story to tell, about a time when the Burning Lands were called the Heartlands. The Heartlands, according to the Joshuites, were a lush and plentiful region – a paradise. The god Adonai looked favorably upon his children, and they prospered under his care. The names of the rulers of that time have been lost, but legends of what happened to send the followers of Adonai fleeing for their very lives is still told. The Empire of the Eremites loomed over the lands bordering this heart of civilization for many centuries. As old as Adonai’s children, the Eremites worshiped the lands of the dead, and were thought to practice a form of sacrificial magic to appease the demon god, Ravana. Hinde, the land of the Eremites, was a blasted, barren land, and Adonai’s eyes gazed down upon the Empire of Brass, and His sight burned the crops and dried the rivers. The Eremites were envious of the prosperous and fertile Heartlands, and begun a war in Ravana’s name, setting fire to the villages of the children of Adonai and stealing the children to sacrifice to Ravana. Shape-shifting rukshasa plagued the children of Adonai, believing that the peaceful folk of the Heartlands would fall swiftly.

From a distant land came Joshua, a prophet. His faith was greater than the magics of the rukshasa, and he saw through the illusions and lies that they wove. He united the scattering people of the Heartlands, and unified their faith in Adonai. His vision and leadership created the order of the Rose and Cross, and the Order of the Temple, to protect the sacred shrines of Adonai, and to return the shed blood of the children of Adonai back upon the Eremites a thousand fold. When the Cult of Ravana saw the sacred armies approach the city of Eremus, their priests prayed to the Demon King to save them. In answer, Joshua led a strike upon the forbidden temple, followed by a thousand loyal knights. The darkest hour of the children came when a rukshasa, hidden among the Rose and Cross, struck Joshua down from behind. Joshua’s sacred blood spilled out into the temple of Ravana, shattering the ritual which would have summoned the Demon King. Then did Adonai’s eyes gaze upon the fertile Heartlands, burning the crops and stripping it of all life. Adonai’s paradise would never be soiled by the Eremites. The children of Adonai fled, guided by the last words of the prophet. “No kingdom lasts forever except for the Eternal Kingdom. Adonai has a land prepared to the West, and it is there His children must build and prosper. His children will know when it is time to return and reclaim the Heartlands once more in His name.”

The Journey west was long, and many enemies of the faithful rose in an attempt to destroy them, but their faith was strong. They wandered, until they came to the Exta Sea. There, they made ships, and sailed to the land of Kith Kanaan, the land of Cane, and rebuilt their temples. It has been a thousand years, and the Joshuites have toiled and looked after their new home. Their eyes have turned back to the East, and many called for a reckoning, a chance to reclaim the holy land that was taken from them. Armies have gathered, and sailed and marched upon the Blasted Lands and the Empire of Ravana. Two thousand faithful went into the heart of the Demon’s lands, yet only a dozen returned, carrying nightmares of rukshasa and blood, of the land rising to strike down the children of Adonai, and of elemental demons howling and descending upon the faithful. One by one the survivors died, but the warning has reached the ears of the Joshuites – Ravana has come to Kith Kanaan, to finish what was started so long ago.

The Church is divided into four groups. The Church consists of a number of regions called parishes. Each parish is responsible for the village, town, or region that it is situated in, and is controlled by a Pardoner, who takes the title ‘Reverend’. In a city, more than one parish may exist, in which case a Minister is used to oversee the region, and settle disputes and coordinate the actions of the Reverends in the region. Each parish is autonomous from one another, and does not answer to any one governing authority unless a Minister has been chosen to assist the parish’s actions with its neighbours.

The Order of the Hospital

The Hospitallers are charged with keeping the lore of the faith, studying the history of the church and interpreting the church’s lore and creating the laws and traditions that the Joshuites follow. They are also the faith’s healers and tend to the injured and wounded, work in orphanages and see to the needs of those they live among. The Hospitallers turn back none who need their care, and are the most respected Order among the faith, their hospitals seeing to any injured who comes seeking aid, and who respects the rules of sanctuary.

The Order of the Pardoner

The Pardoners are the voices of the church. They are the responsible for speaking to the faithful each day, and performing services upon the seventh day. It is their responsibility to listen to the concerns of the parish, offering the wisdom of Adonai to guide the faithful, and it is they who council those who come with confessions. They are charged with protecting the flock, blessing the worthy with Adonai’s graces, while turning Adonai’s wrath against those who would harm the people. They are not warriors, and only their presence and willpower are their weapons. The Pardoners are the judges of the Church, listening to charges made against any member of the Orders by the Templars, offering punishment or forgiveness as is proper to the occasion.

The Order of the Rose and Cross

The Rosicrucians are the sword of the Church. They are the Knight Errant, sent out into the world to find and destroy any threats that face the Church or the faithful. They are trained to face demon and undead, dragon and faerie, and when the Church is threatened they act as Adonai’s army, prepared to defeat any who oppose them. The Rosicrucians have gathered much arcane knowledge through the course of history, and often study the mysticism of other cultures, using this knowledge as tools and weapons against their foes, though the Templars would speak against such things if they knew.

The Order of Sophia

This heresy believes that while Adonai created the material world, it was Shekina who gave her breath (wisdom) into mortal kind, granting them a soul. Adonai, upon seeing this, wished to learn how to perform this miracle. Shekina, knowing that with this knowledge Adonai would have no need of her, refused. Incensed, Adonai banished her from his light. According to the heresy, when Joshua was discovered, he had with him a partner, Sophia. Though Joshua was slain by the rukshasa, Sophia guided the people to the west, her wisdom and insight guiding them to Kith Kanaan When the Maelstrom threatened to destroy their ships, she guided them through the quiet places in the storm. It was she who eventually brought them to what would one day be Tarantis. The followers of the heresy believe that Shekina should be revered for her wisdom and be given thanks for the breath of the soul and the creation of Free Will.

The Order of the Temple

The Templars are the enforcers of church doctrine, ensuring the purity of the Church and of the faithful. The Templars police the other Orders, hunting for heresy and purging it to keep the Church strong and uncorrupted. The Templars are charged with watching the members of the Church, ensuring they do not stray or fall to temptation. They are the Inquisitors who question the faithful, seekers of truth and the knights who ensure that Justice is done.

The Ten Laws of Adonai

  • Hold faith in Adonai and his prophet, Joshua. It is by your Faith that you rise above all others.
  • Do not revere any save Adonai. All other gods are false. Do not revere the spirits, nor the daeva, nor the demon.
  • You shall swear no oath, nor take no oath. You are bound to none but Adonai.
  • On the seventh day, remember who you are and remember what was lost to your people.
  • Honour your mother and your father. Your life is theirs.
  • You shall not murder. You shall not slay another without just cause.
  • You shall not commit adultery. A wife shall have one husband, a husband shall have one wife.
  • You shall take nothing which is not given to you, nor shall you take a man, woman, or child against their will.
  • You shall not bear false witness against your brethren. Protect one another, but always speak truth.
  • You shall not desire your brethren’s home, nor their wife, nor their servants.

Psychomachia

The ‘Contest for the Soul’ is a natural part of the Joshuite Faith. It is believed that Ravana attempts to win the souls of the faithful through an epic battle, pitting seven Sins against the seven Virtues of Adonai. Below are listed the seven Virtues of Adonai, and their opposing Sins. They are listed in Church Arin, from the most important Virtue to the least. Each Virtue has an associated Pursuit, a driving goal which the Joshuite is expected to follow selflessly.

  • Virtue: Humilitas (Humility)
  • Sin: Superbia (Pride)
  • Pursuit: Pursuit of Modesty

Humilitas represents selflessness and the ability to show proper respect and to recognize the achievements of others. It is the Virtue of modesty and the ability to take satisfaction in the achievements of others. Superbia is the love of the self, the belief that one is, or desire to be, more important or better than all others. This Sin is thought to be the first of all sins and the cause of Ravana’s fall from grace.

  • Virtue: Humanitas (Kindness)
  • Sin: Invidia (Envy)
  • Pursuit: Pursuit of Charity

Humanitas is represented as empathy of others, friendship and compassion, and the offer of sympathy to others without thought of one’s self and without prejudice. It is through these acts of kindness that a community can thrive. Invidia is the sin of jealousy, of wishing hurt on others and a lack of empathy. With envy, one does not always wish to claim what another has (the Sins of Greed or Pride) but rather wishes harm on another for what they possess, the desire to see another brought low.

  • Virtue: Patientia (Patience)
  • Sin: Ira (Wrath)
  • Pursuit: Pursuit of Peace

Patientia represents moderation and forbearance, as well as the ability to follow the path of peace. This Virtue teaches the faithful to forgive and to show mercy. Ira is the Sin of anger and hatred. It is the denial of truth, self-deception, and impatience. Wrath is the path of revenge and the need to do harm, rather than acceptance in law and justice.

  • Virtue: Industria (Diligence)
  • Sin: Adia (Sloth)
  • Pursuit: Pursuit of Ethics

Industra is the Virtue associated with a strong work ethic, the belief that any task done should be done joyfully and with all of one’s heart. This Virtue is used to promote an active community, where the faithful always have an activity to pursue, whether it is work or play one should enjoy each day to the fullest. Adia is not about being lazy, it is about spiritual ennui. Prolonged apathy and sorrow is considered a sin, as it means that the individual is not feeling joy in the gifts that Adonai has given and is not sharing these gifts with others.

  • Virtue: Liberalitas (Liberality)
  • Sin: Avaritia (Greed)
  • Pursuit: Pursuit of Will

Liberalitas represents generosity and the willingness to give of oneself without thought of reward. It is considered the Virtue of nobility, where one’s thoughts and actions are for those who surround the individual, rather than the individual themself. Avaritas is sometimes called Avari and is associated with treachery, betrayal, and disloyalty. To the Joshuites, the sin of Greed is the desire for personal gain, more so when it is undeserved.

  • Virtue: Frenum (Abstinence)
  • Sin: Gula (Gluttony)
  • Pursuit: Pursuit of Giving

Frenum represents constant attention to the surroundings of the faithful and the practice of self-control and moderation. The Joshuites do not believe in wastefulness and that each should take only what they need, rather than what they want. Gula is the thoughtless excess, not of just food and drink, but of mindless consumption for its own sake, which often leads to devastation. Gluttony is considered the desire of worldly goods.

  • Virtue: Castitas (Chastity)
  • Sin: Luxuria (Lust)
  • Pursuit: Pursuit of Courage and Knowledge

Castitas embodies the concepts of boldness and courage, where the individual uses moral well-being to achieve spiritual and mental purity. The Joshuites consider this Virtue important for pursuing education and enlightenment and sometimes calls this Virtue Valour. It is believed that Luxuria distracts the faithful from the search for Truth with the distractions of the flesh.

Abilities

Health of Joshua

  • Type: Hospitallers Benefit

The character gains a number of Additional Successes equal to the Might of the character on all Endurance rolls and Death Saves. In addition, the character can go a number of days equal to half the character’s Growth without food or water.

Laying of Hands

  • Type: Hospitallers Miracle

While touching the recipient of the Ability, the character spends a Full Round Action and 2 Essence. The character makes a Results Roll using Spiritual + Medicine. The character gains a number of Additional Successes equal to the number of Actions sacrificed for that Round. The recipient heals a number of Wounds equal to the Potency. Any Afflictions the recipient was suffering from have their Potency reduced by the Potency of the Ability.

Tongue of Multitudes

  • Type: Hospitallers Benefit

The character interacts with a group or community and makes a Results Roll using Spiritual + Linguistics. This takes a number of minutes equal to the Difficulty. For a number of hours equal to the Potency, the character can communicate with the group even if they do not have a shared language, using simple words, gestures, and drawings. While there may be trouble sharing complex concepts, the character’s meaning will be clear and the character will be able to avoid any faux pas concerning the group or community. In addition, the Joshuite will always gain a number of Additional Successes equal to the character’s Might on all Diplomacy, Empathy, Presence, and Socialize rolls.

Works of Adonai

  • Type: Hospitallers Training

The character is a skilled worker and keeper of knowledge. The Joshuite will always gain a number of Additional Successes equal to the character’s Might on all Craft, Lore, Medicine, Occultism, and Profession rolls.

Blessing of Adonai

  • Type: Pardoner Miracle

While touching the recipient of the Ability, the character spends a Full Round Action and 2 Essence. The character makes a Results Roll using Spiritual + Meditation. The character gains a number of Additional Successes equal to the number of Actions sacrificed for that Round. The recipient increases their Defence, Resistance, and Resolve by the Potency of the effect. This protection remains for the day, or until the recipient acts upon one of the seven Sins.

Sanctuary of Suleiman

  • Type: Pardoner Miracle

The character spends 2 Essence and then sacrifices a Full Round Action and makes a Results Roll using their Spiritual + Meditation. The character gains a number of Additional Successes equal to the number of Actions sacrificed for that Round. Anyone not of the Joshuite Faith who wishes to perform a Spell or perform a Miracle within a number of yards equal to the Joshuite’s Might must have a Resolve higher than the Potency of the roll, or the effect simply fails. Those within the area of effect are immune to all Affliction and Charm Powers.

Voice of Joshua

  • Type: Pardoner Training

The character is a skilled orator and can motivate and move crowds. The Joshuite will always gain a number of Additional Successes equal to the character’s Might on all Awareness, Diplomacy, Empathy, Presence, and Socialize rolls.

Wrath of Adonai

  • Type: Pardoner Miracle

While pointing at the target of the Ability, the character spends a Full Round Action and 2 Essence. The character makes a Results Roll using Spiritual + Meditation. The character gains a number of Additional Successes equal to the number of Actions sacrificed for that Round. The target of this Ability reduces their Defence, Resistance, and Resolve by the Potency of the effect. This effect remains active for a number of days equal to the character’s Might or until the character is subject to the Blessing of Adonai Ability.

Adonai’s Will

  • Type: Rosicrucians Benefit

The character is resistant to the influences of unnatural forces. The character adds their Might to the Difficulty of all rolls which target the character’s Resistance and Resolve that are not mundane in nature.

Mysteries of Shekina

  • Type: Rosicrucians Training

The character has plentiful access to occult lore and knows many things about the mysteries of the world, gleaned from the cultures encountered during the exile of the Joshuites. The character will always gain a number of Additional Successes equal to the character’s Might on all Awareness, Lore, Meditation, Occultism, and Survival rolls.

Servant of Adonai

  • Type: Rosicrucians Investment

The character has a day-long ritual and ceremony performed, blessing the character’s sword and shield. The DP spent for this Ability is invested into the character’s sword and shield, bonding them to the Joshuite. From this point on, the sword and shield can not be influenced or affected by Gifts, Powers, Merits, or Spells. In addition, the sword and shield are immune to the miracles of rival faiths. If the sword or shield is lost, the character must purchase this Ability again to get them replaced. The benefits are only granted to the person the sword and shield are bonded to.

  • Shield: +Might Additional Successes for the Shield Skill, +(Half Might) Defence bonus when used for Active Defence, Defence (Might) or Defence (+Half Might), whichever is higher.
  • Sword: +Might Additional Successes for the Blades Skill, +(Half Might) Defence bonus when used for Active Defence, Damage (Might) or Damage(+Half Might), whichever is higher.

Truth of Shekina

  • Type: Rosicrucians Miracle

While observing a number of targets up to the character’s Might, the character spends a Full Round Action and 2 Essence. The character makes a Passive Roll using Spiritual + Awareness. The character gains a number of Additional Successes equal to the number of Actions sacrificed for that Round. Any target who has a Resolve less than the character’s Successes gives the Joshuite the following information:

  • Is the target a member of a non-Joshuite faith?
  • Does the target practice heretical magic?
  • Does the target have a heretical supernatural race or bloodline?
  • Has the target attacked or harmed a member of the Joshuite faith?

Blessing of the Madonna

  • Type: Sophist Benefit

The character is in touch with nature. Animals and Mythic creatures are reluctant to attack the character, and will not initiate hostility against the character unless the character attacks first. Even then, the Difficulty of the creatures to act against the Sophist is increased by the character’s Might.

Mysteries of Sophia

  • Type: Sophist Ritual

The Sophist can perform a ritual meditation to see images of the future. These images are usually metaphor or done with symbolism, and it is up to the character to decipher their meaning. The character performs a Results Roll using their Spiritual + Meditation, spending a number of hours and an amount of Essence equal to the Difficulty in a trance. The character gains insight into the future, the secrets of Shekina laid out for them to see. For a number of days equal to the character’s Might, they have access to a Prophesy Pool equal to the ritual’s Potency.

The character may sacrifice a point of this Pool during the period of time it exists, to interrupt someone else’s Action with an Action of their own, after learning what the first Action is. They may sacrifice a point of Pool to gain +3d12 on a single roll. They may sacrifice a point of Pool to activate an Active Defence, without the need to spend an Action or Essence. Only one point of Pool can be sacrificed for each effect at a time. Finally, the character can say they have reached the end of the Prophesy, sacrificing any remaining Pool to give a number of Minimum Successes equal to the amount sacrificed to a single die roll for anyone within sight of the Sophist. On the duration expires or the Prophesy runs out of Pool, the character is allowed to enact this Ritual again.

Whisper of the Dark Mother

  • Type: Sophist Miracle

The character whispers into the ear of the target as an Action, spending 2 Essence and making a roll using their Spiritual + Presence against the target’s Resolve. If successful, what was whispered by the Sophist will be considered an unshakeable Truth for a number of hours equal to the Successes rolled unless the target is given absolute evidence that the whisper was a lie. Even the most outrageous lies can hold a target of this Ability for a little while. A target can only be the subject of one Whisper at a time.

Word of Lilitu

  • Type: Sophist Miracle

The character speaks with someone over the course of a Scene, planting a suggestion into the mind of the target. The character spends 4 Essence and at the end of the Scene makes a Passive Roll using Spiritual + Presence. The Successes are reduced by the target’s Resolve. At any point for a number of days equal to the character’s Might, if someone speaks the command word in the presence of the target, they must follow the suggestion that was planted, for a number of Actions equal to those Successes which surpassed the target’s Resolve. If the target can not carry through on the suggestion, they sacrifice the Action, hesitating in indecision. A target can only be the subject of one Word at a time.

Ear of Truth

  • Type: Templar Training

The character is almost impossible to influence when they do not wish to be. Any attempt to use Integrity, Larceny, Presence, Socialize, or Subterfuge against the character reduces the number of Successes by the character’s Might.

Forced Confession

  • Type: Templar Miracle

While questioning someone as a Full Round Action and spending 2 Essence, the character can for full and complete answers. The victim must have a lower Resolve than the Joshuite’s Might, and will be forced to answer a number of questions equal to the Might of the character. If the target is unwilling or incapable of answering the question, they suffer a number of Wounds equal to the number of Actions which were sacrificed in the Round this Ability was activated. This damage can not be Soaked, and is inflicted with each question not answered.

Purity of Adonai

  • Type: Templar Benefit

The character is difficulty to influence by any Merit, Power, or Spell, reducing the Successes of any roll made against them by the character’s Might. Individuals with Divine, Faerie, Infernal, or Undead natures (including bloodlines) or who are a member of a rival faith have the Essence Cost of any Merits, Powers, or Miracles that are directed against the Joshuite increased by the character’s Growth. The character is immediately aware of any attempt to use a Merit, Miracle, Power, or Spell against them.

Purge Heresy

  • Type: Templar Ritual

This potent Ritual is used to protect the Templar from threats to the faith, both from without, and from within the Church. The character makes a Results Roll as part of a Full Round Action. The character spends 4 Essence and rolls Spiritual + Meditation, gaining a number of Additional Successes equal to the number of Actions sacrificed in the Round. Anyone with a Resolve less than the Potency of this Ability can not activate Merits, use Miracles or Spells, or activate Powers while within a number of yards equal to five times the character’s Might. Merits and Powers which do not require Activation are unaffected.


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