Online Dungeons and Dragons ReUnion
The Crusade Legion
Ad Victoram Ex Machina Non Sibi Sed Patriae
The Crusade Legion is the collection of all of the Holy Orders that serve the god, Gatagas, the Crusader. At one time in addition to the Army’s role as keepers of the peace and order of Gatagas,they would also evangelize for their deity among the people they protected, but now in this time of reason they serve a more practical role as the upholders of the Council’s laws in the hinterlands.
The Legion is divided up in to 9 Orders each Order has a central monastery, and a number of outlying watchtowers from which to protect the citizens of the land. Eight of the orders are for the eight cardinal directions and the last is for the capital of Cideron itself. The 1st Order, The Order of the Holy City, serves both as defenders of the law in the capital and as the governing body of the Church of Gatagas. The other 8 Orders are in control of the law in the 8 districts that make up the rest of the known world to unmapped regions each with a monastery in a central location in their district.
The orders are then broken down into two branches of service, militant and supplicant. The militant order is first and foremost associated with the Legion because they are the day to day faces that individuals generally meet on the street. The supplicant branch is made up of ascetics, clerics, ecclesiarchs, pontiffs, and at one time missionaries and evangels. While not thought of by the people as being part of the Legion, these individuals who are part of the everyday operations of the Church of Gatagas, also serve the purpose of assisting the more secular appearing branches of the Legion.
The militant branch of an order changing to meet the needs of the changing world. It is made up of various kinds of paladins who serve as a enforcement force of the laws of the land. They have always been used to protect caravans and travelers along the long roads that lead from the hinterlands to the capital, and to also be used to rout bandit gangs and other undesirable rebels typically under the command of an inquisitor. At one times these were the crusading armies of their god but now they serve the secular purpose of being elite guards.
The supplicant branch hasn’t changed much in recent years like the other two branches. That is because this is the branch that forms the visible Church of Gatagas. They are also the branch that maintains the monasteries, churches and watchtowers. As well as maintaining libraries and the spiritual well being of both the parishioners and the other two branches. The only real difference is that the branch no longer trains as many evangels and missionaries and they haven’t for quite some time because of the religious tolerance exists there is no need to try and force the message like they once did. However with the greater secularism, there has been a push to start training numbers of evangels to at least get their words out there to people who might have been raised with no religion or deities.
Recruitment and Advancement
Typically the Legion expands itself by taking in orphans and by accepting children that their families have entrusted to them, as either a sign of gratitude or because the family is too poor to take care of the child. Each monastery runs its own school as a way of increasing their numbers slowly, for the need for replacement members to the orders is not all that great at the current time and trickle of replacements suffices. The children are taught to read and write by rote memorization and by copying holy works for the supplicant branches.
Then at around the age of 12 or 13 they are tested and placed into a branch of service for their continued training. Those chosen to be supplicants become novices and are taught the prayers, holy days, and rituals of Gatagas. Those chosen for the militant branch are made squires to current paladins and are trained in the arts of combat and how to maintain their weaponry and gently enforce the law. In addition to their more specialized learning they are still taught lessons in reading and writing by copying holy works. By around the age of 21-24 they are ready to advance into their actual job as a Paladin of Order or as a full member of the supplicant branch.
Both of the branches has its own path of advancement, but none more so than the supplicant branch provides the most paths for advancement. In the supplicant branch which encompasses the whole of the Church of Gatagas side of things has numerous ways that a supplicant can choose to serve. Some choose to remain ascetics and work their way up to being abbots over whole monasteries. Others still chose to become priests and have congregations that follow them, these will advance to become potiffs and ecclesiarchs who determine how the church is going to be run.
The Paladins start their carriers as Companion, for all are of equal rank on the field of combat. The leaders of the Companion are the lead in squads of 9 by a Justicar. Nine squads are a command and are lead by a Brother/Sister-Captain and their command squad made of Justicar. Historically there were 9 commands to an order which was lead by a Grand Master, however you are lucky if each order has enough Battle-siblings to make up one or two commands, and therefore the Grand Master is just the highest member of the militant branch of any order. The nine orders make up the legion and it is ruled over by the Supreme Grand Master of the Crusade Legion the High Paladin of Gatagas. This is also the leader of the whole of the faithful because of the historical context that surrounds the group as a military force. The current leader of the Crusade Legion is Alidraden, High Paladin of Gatagas, and Supreme Grand Master of the Crusade Legion.
Historically the members of the militant branch would take honor names and that tacked on to their birth name and these names would be inscribed upon their shields and the most valiant of these would have names that filled the whole inside of their shield starting at the center and with their original name and spiralling out from their with each successive name. These names represented major events in the Battle-Sibling’s life and provided a way to keep track of the deeds that they had done. For instance when squires were first knighted they might tack the last name of their mentor on to theirs or when they survived a great battle they might add the name of the location on to their own. Each name telling a story of how they grew as a knight on their crusade.
Alidraden, High Paladin of Gatagas, and Supreme Grand Master of the Crusade Legion
The Monastery of the Holy City, in Cideron, attached to the High Basilica of Gatagas, home to the 1st Order.
The Monastery of the Rising Sun, home to the 2nd Order.
The Monastery of the Burning Fist, home to the 3rd Order.
The Monastery of the Golden Chalice, home to the 4th order.
The Monastery of the Searing Heat, home to the 5th order.
The Monastery of the Setting Sun, home to the 6th order.
The Monastery of the Unquenchable Fire, home to the 7th order.
The Monastery of the Holy Light, home to the 8th order
The Monastery of the Fervent Trust, home to the 9th Order