The Vigilant

History:

The Holy Order of the Vigil (also called the Knights Vigilant, The Vigilant, Vigilants, and least commonly the Order of Saint Paule) is the branch of the One Faith that is tasked with investigating and dealing with the supernatural elements of the world. They attempt to collect magical artifacts if they are not outwardly harmful, or destroy them if they are. They hunt the foul creatures that lurk just beyond the fringes of human civilization. They maintain the prisons of the Banshees. They stand ever-vigilant for any sign of the dark forces of the distant past. In Aequor and Galenthia (as well as the city-states), they are the first, and practically only line of defense against supernatural forces. Unfortunately…they are not the organization they once were, despite the dedication of its’ few remaining members.

In the early days of the One Faith, the Knights of Saint Paule were as large and prestigious an order as their brethren in the other Militant Orders. For a few centuries the Vigilants were one of the most public faces of the One Faith, traversing the nations to fight back against the lingering remnants of the Old World. They saved countless lives and purged many a beast with fire and sword, and their silver blades became a symbol of mighty heroes in the folklore of the common born. They hunted down and bound the Banshee to their current prisons. They sought out lingering cults of the Old Things and put them to the torch. As time passed, however, the need for the Vigilants seemed to grow less in the minds of men. The great cities seemed secure and the families that ruled them forgot the truth behind the tales and legends, even though the Church did not. Eventually the Order passed into history…or so most people think.

The Secret:

The Holy Order of the Vigil still exists, and is still very much an active force. Their numbers are far fewer than they once were (and less selective about who they chose for the honor), but they have become a secret to any but the Cardinals of the One Faith and a select few others. A very select few scholars may suspect their continued existence, but most of these are also affiliated with the church.

Please note that this means IC Knowledge of the Order of the Vigil is extremely rare unless you are a member of the Vigilants or the Holy Inquisition, or learn of it from someone who is. Also note that if you gain knowledge of the Vigilants and are not made a member or part of the Brethren, your character's life may well be in danger. The Vigilants cover their tracks.

All Vigilants are considered Elite Characters save for Prospects and Brethren. However, there will be opportunities to join the Order of the Vigil in-play.

Organization:

The Vigilants answer to the Pontiff directly, through their Knight-Commander (who resides in Rikton and advises the Pontiff directly). Most of the time the Knight-Commander is an Archbishop of the One Faith, but this has not always been the case. Technically any member of the order could become the Knight-Commander. The current Knight-Commander is Archbishop Sirrah Cantire. Sirrah is presently the highest-ranking woman within the Church of the One Faith, though she is greatly advanced in years and her health is not so great as it once was (Staff Run NPC).

It is important to note that in the case of the Order of the Vigil, “Knight” is a very loose term…the Order cannot afford to discriminate overly much in their recruitment…either you have the stones to face the darkness at the fringes of the world or you don’t, and when such people are found, it doesn’t matter if they have noble blood or not. So a “Knight Vigilant” is often not a Knight at all, by society’s standards, and it is perfectly acceptable and indeed commonplace for base-born individuals to find a place in the Order (though for full "knighthood" some degree of combat training is a must, otherwise they are likely to be placed as "Brethren"). Also, despite this rank hierarchy and organization, neither great nation (Aequor or Galenthia) has "full coverage" of Vigilant operatives. Their numbers simply aren't great enough and are spread thin in all but a few places.

Recruitment:

The Knights Vigilant recruitment method is harsh, but understandable. While they often keep an eye out for capable folk that may have the necessary wherewithal to fight for the Order (as well as the necessary level of discretion to maintain its’ secrecy), it is only when word of a supernatural incident is found that such individuals are approached. Often the Vigilant will claim to be operating under the auspices of the Inquisition, and after they have gathered their force (often comprised of a mix of seasoned veterans and potential recruits) they are quite literally marched into the flames of whatever the incident entails. Those who acquit themselves well and survive the experience with their faculties intact are given the offer of recruitment. Few refuse, but any that do usually meet an untimely end before they can speak of what they have witnessed.

Vigilants can come from all walks of life and backgrounds, but all have some degree of skill useful to the order. One may be a smith that secretly knows the workings of Lightsilver. One might be a scholar deeply versed in forbidden lore. One could be an Alchemist who can devise concoctions that assist the Vigilants in their investigations and battles. Another could be a skilled healer to mend the wounds of those that survive their forays against the beasts of chaos. Most, though, are warriors of some sort or another. Noble or Common, Man or Woman, Rich or Poor, Educated or Unlearned, it does not matter so long as one has the right measure of courage, discretion, and piety (and even the latter is considerably more fluid for the Vigilants than most other Holy Orders, though one IS absolutely expected to be an adherent of the One Faith). The ranks of the Knights Vigilant are not large, numbering no more than several dozen across the known world at any given time. Fortunately, if they have need of greater forces than they might normally be able to muster, they can call upon the Inquisition for aid. It should be noted that despite having close ties in both, the Vigilants never recruit from the Holy Inquisition, nor the other Militant Orders.

Missions:

The Knights Vigilant have three primary missions: To hunt down and either contain or destroy supernatural creatures, to recover supernatural artifacts and return them to the Silver Vault of Rikton, or to destroy said supernatural artifacts if they are too dangerous to keep in mortal hands. An additional responsibility of the Vigilants is to maintain the secrecy of their order, so they must often be extremely discreet, and at times even resort to assassination to keep the secrets of the Order intact. Most often, Vigilants masquerade as members of the Inquisition (often as part of the entourage of actual Inquisitors) which usually gives them all the excuse they need for the activities they might undertake. Other times Vigilants may be completely incognito, leaving their affiliations with the church completely secret and appearing as wanderers or passers-by (or simply as their "true selves"). They bear no identifying marks, though a preponderance of Lightsilver weapons amongst them does sometimes set them apart from the norm if they're spotted brandishing them about (most carry mundane "backup" weapons precisely so they won't have to).

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