Legends of the Three Pillars
“Like any tool, an Ancestor spirit will perform it’s chosen task admirably. The true mark of a craftsman, however, is choosing the correct tool. It is perhaps the greatest weakness of the Congregation that we become too easily hidebound, locked by tradition and rote into using the same hammer for every task. The same weakness that has brought us here today.”
– Magister Ligenn, on trial for heresy, 4th Year of the 23rd Dynasty of House Liann(2182 Sundering)
rder magic draws upon the processes by which all things in the world take their shape or form. Spirits of Order are able to strengthen or align the patterns that all things have – physical or mental. Order is a dominant force in the world and is easily thought of as ‘the good guy’ or as being pure, light, and all things nice. This is, however, rather wrong. Order is structure and purpose. It is rules, laws, traditions and maintaining the status quo. At its strongest, Order is stasis and soul-destroying stagnation.
Order spirits are commonly known as Ancestors, primarily due to how Men first encountered these entities. Attracted to ritual and patterns, these spirits will often take on the form of a being that is being prayed to – thus becoming the ghost or spirit of an honored – and deceased – forebear. Oaths, in particular, attract the attention of Order spririts – many hauntings are actually spirits eternally locked into the pattern of a strong oath, forever unable to fulfill it.
In general, Order mages do not identify or relate to specific spirits of Order. Through rote and ritual, specific patterns of speech or action that the spirits are compelled to obey by their very nature, the adept creates a ‘spiritual picture’ of what is required to be done. The spirit that responds will conform itself to that picture, taking on the qualities assigned by the adept’s ritual. Thus when a priest calls upon Saint Ordelaus the Melancholy to calm an angry mob, she is not summoning the ghost of the saint himself. Whichever spirit is drawn to her prayer will assume the qualities and patterns that the rite invokes, for however long it takes to complete its task.
The primary sources of Order magic, and adepts, are the “Congregation of the Choir of the Seven Saints” in Carathan; and the various orders of Swordmasters and their schools that are found throughout the southern Satrapys. The Congregation is a monolithic religious entity devoted to the worship of the seven daughters of Carathas plus the seven thousand seven hundred and seventy seven identified Saintly Companions. The Swordmasters themselves are not religious orders, but many retired warriors become scholars or travelling sages dedicated to spreading the ascetic traditions of their brotherhood.
Congregation Order mages can often be found carrying around a tome of Litanies from the saints that best represent their goals and endeavours. These weighty books are a focus – a way to structure and organise one’s thoughts before interacting with magic – but their use is entirely customary and has no game mechanic attached to it. Adepts of the Sword Schools often wear a ‘hamoor‘ – a gilded polyhedral amulet engraved with the teachings of the School’s masters.
The Sphere of Order is divided into five themed groups:
- The Rites of Command allow a priest to lead soldiers and enforce the will of the Church.
- The Rites of Structure protect the character from harm and enforce physical patterns.
- The Rites of Communion are methods for dealing with spirits of all types.
- The Rites of Stasis preserve and heal physical forms, as well as preventing change.
- The Rites of Purpose strengthen the mind and restore damaged mental faculties.