Friday, February 19, 2016

Holy Orders: The Forge Divine

Of all the knightly orders in the North, it is likely that the Order of the Forge Divine is the oldest and most esteemed. It traces its roots back to the end of the second Second Empire, when the Mileans ruled the North from the Cloud Sea to the Sea of Gold. The sacred knights of Haeron gathered in the west to found the order during the Second Elf-Dragon war, when the rulers of Synd threatened the west. The western provinces of the Empire remained more or less in tact thanks to the presence of the Milean Temple. The Western Divine, Sormus Calinus, gathered the clerics of the Sun Shores at a great conclave at the seat of the Western Temple, at the ruins of what is now Nightguard Temple in Tholverin.

During the Synod of Nightguard, the Forge Divine was organized and established as a chapter of the Western Divine's authority. Its first Grandmaster, Orlandus Sunholme, brought together the disparate orders of Hierian clergy and built a keep on Sunholme Isle in the bay south of the Kaelian Marsh. In the following Ages, the Forge Divine acted as a semi-independent religious order, owing no allegiance to the secular rulers of the nearby kingdoms. It helped knight together the Sun Shores and provide a cultural lynchpin for the human lands of that region, most particularly powerful during the Sixth and Seventh Ages.

Sunholme Keep was abandoned after the Ambarite kings forced the Forge Divine to withdraw from the puppet-kingdoms it was establishing. Golnian power aided in this expulsion, and a long siege of Sunholme Keep ended only when King Baldur Karhart extended his protection to Grandmaster Larelus and invited the order to settle at Elborg in X.337. For one hundred and seventy-three years (as of the year X.510), the Forge Divine has been governed from the Kjellan stronghold of Highwater Keep, near the Five Hamlets of Elborg.

The Order of the Forge Divine has no holy book equivalent to the Codex Devout of the Order of the Sword Militant. The sacred texts of the Forge Divine are, in fact, cobbled together from centuries of rulings and writings. Collectively these are called the Sacral Index and are stored at Highwater Keep in the archives, which were taken from Sunholme Keep when the Forge fled.

Grandmaster: Sieur Severin Kjora
Master of the Reach: Sieur Aras Gorr

Paladin Ranks within the Order
Paige (levels 1-3)
Chapter Master

The Forge Divine prizes skill at smithing, and treats its sword- and armor-smiths with great reverence. The symbol of the Forge is the golden anvil of Haeron. Paladins of the Order are not technically full priests, but they are inducted as clerics minor of the Temple. This is even though the High Lawkeeper and the central Temple of Miles does not recognize the authority of the Order Divine to conduct Hierian ceremonies.

There are several major chapters of the Forge within Kjellos and one in the region of Craftsman's Reach. The Forge holds its lands directly from King Karhart, and thus owes him their fealty.

All members of the Order of the Forge Divine may receive either the Religion (Haeron) or Blacksmithing NWP for free.

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