Order of Illumination

The Avenging Order of Illumination

Evil might lie behind any door, and shadow might hide in any heart. The Order of Illumination holds this maxim close as it seeks out and destroys evil wherever necessary.

The organization has two main branches, each dedicated to fulfilling one of the order’s two functions. The first is to ferret out evil wherever it hides, and it is the shadowbane stalkers who devote themselves to finding hidden evils and piercing the lies of evildoers. The second task is to confront these evils directly, and it is the shadowbane inquisitors who pick up sword and shield and take the fight to evil creatures.

Although many of its members adventure with their comrades (especially in partnerships between a stalker and an inquisitor) and with independent adventuring groups, the Order of Illumination is not an adventuring-oriented organization. The order is far more concerned with finding and combating the evils that hide within civilized communities than it is with finding lost tombs or raiding the lairs of dragons. The comrades are quick to praise such activity when it clearly serves the cause of good, but members are encouraged to look for evil closer to home whenever possible.

Becoming a member of the Order of Illumination is no easy task. A prospective member must prove his or her dedication, purity, and desire to fight evil by fasting for three days. During this trial period, paladins and clerics belonging to the order visit the candidate to pose difficult moral questions, engage in mock combat trials, and repeatedly subject the candidate to detect evil, detect chaos, and discern lies spells. Membership also requires an offering of 100 gp.

A potential member need not meet any specific class or level requirements, but he cannot be evil or chaotic. Although a very small number of neutral characters choose to join, the order’s strict requirements and rules mean that only lawful characters find it appealing for long. The majority of the membership is lawful good, with a significant portion being lawful neutral.

The resources of the Order of Illumination are vast, but the organization is careful never to put too many of these resources into the hands of one person, however trustworthy that person may seem to be. The Order of Illumination greatly covets holy weapons, and it will pay 60% of a weapon’s value if it has the holy special ability. Likewise, the order prizes the destruction of evil items and weapons and will pay 60% of the value of any such item turned in by a member. The order sees the procurement of holy items and the destruction of unholy items as among its most important duties.

Personalities vary greatly between the members of the two arms of the Order of Illumination. Those affiliated with the shadowbane stalkers prefer unobtrusive methods of finding evil. They lace their dialogue with subtle questions, use deceit whenever they feel such behavior is warranted by the greater good, and often hide their affiliation with the order in order to
better discover the true intentions of those they meet. Shadowbane stalkers are often quiet individuals who carefully watch the effects that their words and actions have on others. They are just as suspicious and reactionary as the inquisitors, but they are less open and vocal about both of these traits.

Members affiliated with the shadowbane inquisitors, on the other hand, rely on physical power and an unquestioning sense of what’s right to battle evil openly. Unwavering in their devotion to what they define as law and good, the inquisitors are blunt speakers who assume guilt or hidden motives in most individuals. They are highly suspicious of others and seem driven more by zeal than by regard for the facts.

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