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Knightly Orders

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Orc Knight, Sep 3, 2019.

  1. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

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    Obviousness is obvious. I quite like knights and all, be they the classic feudal sorts or those of Orders. Several times I have based them off of the likes of the Templars and Teutonic's. Though I've looked through plenty of other things, from the Arthurian mythos and their many offshoots in media to the Warhammer Orders, such as they are. And in I made a list of those that I remember. And if you've got your own orders and the like, throw them on in. Or thoughts on the Orders I'm throwing out there. Or even a discussion on them. This is probably more stream of conciseness at this point.

    The Order of the Iron Knights: Or the Thousand Years Knights. An orcish knightly order that has been around at least a thousand years. They ride dinosaurs, drakes (of the ironwood variety) and dragons into battle. In their most recent history has involved a near die out three times, all at the hands of the Golden Queen in one way or another. Unlike the collapse of many other Orders, they have stayed on, though much less powerful then they were. They are the protecters of the Greenkin's from their mountain fortress. That is now known as the Broken Fortress.

    The Order of the Hearth: An order dedicated to the goddess Hestia who protect hearth and home. They cross all racial lines and you can even find drow among them. Slightly tamer then they usually are. They are an Order of priests, priestess and knights with an affinity for fire and good food and family, biological or found. If they are found on different sides of the battlefield, they tend to go hang out with each other and have tea. Which has annoyed many a battlefield commander to just leaving them at home. They are likely the oldest knightly order in Eld.

    The Order of the Silver Spear: A wood elf Order that has gone extinct (as wood elf orders are wont to do). The personal Order of the Silver Queen Tiamia Sunleaf. An order rather well known for it's cruelty and willingness to burn everything and salt the earth and happily eat their enemies. So, it is a well known fact that they got exactly what they deserved when the Queen was burned to death by a hobgoblin Hearth Knight in her own armor and the Order butchered outside a goblin nursery. Only a few survived.

    The Order of the Crimson Hoof: The Golden Queen Inivia Sunleaf and the Order to succeed the Silver Spear. It was a highly trained Order that was known for it's horrific attrition rates and would eventually go extinct for all but it's leader and her squire who disappeared after the Lich Wars. They charged into battle against any odds and their training was known to be quite hard. To simply survive to knighthood was a challenge in of itself. Even then they still lost many knights regularly. And it had a large number of deserters, who would also be the remainders of it.

    The Order of the Silver Horn: Came about due to a deserter from the Crimson Hoof. An order of unicorn riders, the unicorns themselves being black coated and silver horned. Knights of half breed and monsters who ride against the Golden Queen. It was formed by a wood elf who realized just how frakked up his people were. They fight wherever the Crimson Hoof does and often suffer for it.

    Peach Knights: The drow's attempt at a knightly order. Chaos incarnate on the battlefield and eye blindingly colorful and with tactics and mounts not normally seen on any battlefield but one they happen to be on. This makes them a wild card on the field and much to many's annoyance, still hard to put down. They dance about the battlefield in full plate painted in bright neon colors.

    Some of them I remember. So, how about you? Or your thoughts? Whatever works.
     
  2. Nighty_Knight

    Nighty_Knight Scribe

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    Pretty good. I like yours. I also have a few knightly orders I my story. Lol, I like your Peach Knights best, between the name and what they are is a different take. Especially since the other orders probably raise their eyebrows when the see them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  3. Nighty_Knight

    Nighty_Knight Scribe

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    Some of mine are

    Valiant Order of the Chalice (of Loxmouth): More a prestigious Knight order than anything. 22 members living, the King and his eldest are always members. The other 20 are only accepted by the King. Pretty much an old boys club for higher nobility. While there are a few very respected knights in the Order, and they all are to be treated with the utmost respect, many are just family and friends to the King and not taken too seriously by the accomplished veterans.

    Order of the Silk Cloaks: With 73 members, they represents one of the 73 knights who had successfully defended the Silk Port 150 years ago, from being sacked by barbarians. After the City was defended, each knight both living and killed received a silk cloak from the city. To gain acceptance in the Order, one has to have a 2 year duty defending a foreign city, originally it had to be the Silk Port, but they have since branched out. Exceptions were made for well, exceptional knights. This order is very well respected and are made up of well trained knights.

    Order of the Hallowed Sanctum AKA the Knights Sanctus: Their full order name is actually the Pious Brotherhood of the Hallowed Sanctum and Defenders Sworn to the Virtuous. A holy order of monk knights, much like the Knights Templar. Going from defending pilgrims, to eliminating the Heathens of the Pagan Lands. They currently hold a land mass about the size of current day Romania, taken from the Heathens. Their goal has been nearly achieved, in taking the Pagan Lands in the name of their God, with only a moderate coastal region they have not been able to take. Most of the inland area was only defended lightly against them and most of it's people converted, and now they are meeting serious resistance closer to the water. These men are well trained and swear a life to monkhood and knightly service. People in the land under them who have converted have been well taken care of by these humble servants.
    The Heathens (as they are called) are just former viking peoples. Their nobility left with most of their wealth to a kingdom of islands called Vroska, where they advanced with the times and became famous for their explorers and trade. What was left behind in the Pagan Lands was mostly commoners and farmers, still stuck in their old ways of raiding and being more isolationists who are behind in technology, are looked down upon.

    Order of the Blessed Temple of Shoshannah: This order is directly under the Pontiff, and hold the Holy States of Shoshannah, (essentially Papal states) And has a 3 Kingdoms, a Grand Duchy, and a Republic under them as Vassal states. These Knights are highly organized, made up of many different specialties with the Church. These include many knights being ordained Priests, exorcists, demonologists, Elite Paladins who use Divine Powers (some of which is secretly dark). While this order does have a large amount of faithful humble knights, quite a number are corrupted, by things that corrupt all men such as power and wealth. It is not uncommon for many to participate or even host orgies and lavish parties.

    These are the most notable of the Orders I have. There are plenty others, but they play a much smaller role, mostly in nations that also play a much smaller role.
     
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  4. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

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    Yours are quite a bit more religious then most of mine. Then I was going for less holy and more military with many of mine.
     
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  5. Nighty_Knight

    Nighty_Knight Scribe

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    Yeah, those last two are founded on religion. And even under the same religion, but they have a bit of contrast in how the are. And the first Order I mentioned are inspired by the Order of the Garter.
     
  6. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    Man, I love that knightly orders are becoming a more popular convention in fantasy. They always make for cooler factions than noble houses or churches.

    Anyways, one nation in my setting, called the Red Banner League, is a military aristocracy in which how much money you have or how much property you own means very little politically compared to who will fight with you when push comes to shove. I would describe the country as a “stable anocracy” bordering on a military dictatorship.

    So, there’s 16 orders based on the different types of Pokémon. The Knights of the Wave, Knights of the Bloom, etc.

    Eight of these orders (Pillar, Wave, Bolt, Bloom, Third Eye, Sting, Torch and Foundation) have appointed members in the Court of the Red Banner which is the main governing body with one member of the court acting as “Court Sovereign” who is the head of state, head of government and de facto dictator of the country.

    Four of the remaining orders are powerful NGOs with the Knights of the Wing and Hive being mercenary companies while the Knights of the Claw and the Forge are megacorporations in all but name.
    The final four (Pale, Shadow, Blood and Blizzard) are affiliated with churches and have specific functions for the church (Blood Knights are an anti-banditry force, Shadow Knights work in espionage, etc.).

    The funny thing is that I don’t even really like Pokémon. I just thought this would be a fun idea that would give each order its own look and feel.
     
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  7. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

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    Hey WooHoo, and pokemon types to create Orders, it works. Hells, most my orders are quite directly named for some of the more literal things around them. And NK, I had to look up the Knights of the Garter, though I had some mild remembrance of them. As for them showing up more, might help that they can be connected to lot's of things like drama, action and adventures all rolled up in armor and weapons and a cool ride.
     
  8. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

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    Some more Orders I've remembered.

    The Order of Rose & Thorns: An all female order of knights that took in those who could get through their initiation, which meant it just didn't consist of wood elves. The leaders where a wood elf with the last name of Thorns and a gold elf named Rose. Inivia, the Golden Princess at the time would eventually take leadership of the group and turn it into the Crimson Hoof. Though about half broke off to keep the name and though they were all but killed off over the years they are re-founded again three decades after the Lich Wars. It lives on well into the future.

    The Sylvan Sisterhood: Another all female band, originally founded by the maiden aunts of the Sunleaf family when their line won the civil war to take control during the War of the Suns (which was also going on). It would later be destroyed by it's own family, mainly Queen Tiamia Sunleaf, using the orcs as patsies in a deal with the Silver Queen during their nights of celebration to both their goddesses and the Sylvan who was their patron. It became The Night of Shame for the orcs who destroyed them and called the Night of Reckoning for the wood elves. It was the action that led into the Fifth War of the Red Plains.

    The Orders of The Damsels Out of Distress: These were all formed in some form or another after a bit of training from their golden savior, Inivia Sunleaf. Most all are human orders as any elf maid in distress tended to end up in her band of knights if they survived. These are the following: Order of the Red Hawk, Order of the Broken Tower, Order of the Burning Briar, Order of the Bluebird and Order of the Greensward. They ended up usually being mixed orders but never forgetting to whom they owed allegiance at the end of the day. They also ended up surviving the Lich Wars far better then most and kept steady recruitment.

    The Order of the Sacred Rose: A greenkin order that is protected by a giant rose with a Sylvan that resides within it. It is a long lasting order that not only survived the Lich Wars but would go on to rebuild it's strength and hold out as one of the Greenkin's great protectors particularly during The Purges that were instituted by The Singer. It takes all types from goblins and even had a centaur in it and is a mixed calvary unit most the time. Though drakes are often preferred.
     
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  9. Danskin

    Danskin Scribe

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    Right... Historically, they were mostly religious in medieval times, but of course military as well. I like the idea of varying it and not sticking to the real world backgrounds, but I think that the orders have to have a purpose first and foremost. What are they trying to achieve? What did their founders want? You can take inspiration from real schisms in churches to see that people can all want something pretty similar, but yet disagree violently on how best to achieve it.

    I like the idea of knightly orders that act semi-autonomously from a church or state. In one of the worlds I write in (my RPGlit series), there are a lot of frontier lands, and I could see this being a good context as the knights, perhaps initially working on behalf of someone else, become increasingly a law unto themselves.
     
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  10. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    I figured (mostly in the interested of keeping this thread active) to talk a a bit about the angelic knightly orders, what with them being non-human/non-mortal so they're very much different from historic orders.

    Angelic orders are part-family and part-hive mind as angels "breed" asexually and every two angels are basically two parts of a greater being, sharing a spiritual and telepathic link. Generally, orders/families come about when an angel is commissioned by a higher power (divine or demonic) to fulfill a task and so they "divide" themselves into an order to better accomplish this task. An individual angel is capable of breaking away from the order under the right circumstances. Here's a rundown on the major angelic orders...

    The Holy Order of the Pale Throne: created when an angel known as the Guardian-Lion (formerly of the Order of the Burning Wheel) was commissioned by the goddess of justice/virtue to protect holy sites. The Guardian-Lion divided himself into five being (The Guardians) to better accomplish this task. They are as followed...
    - The Guardian of the Sanctuary is a gigantic being, described as looking like a cross between a dragon's skeleton and a cathedral with many eyes, wings and claws. He is so large that he covers the sky above the city of Aril where the order's earthly headquarters is located. He spends all his time fighting-off a never-ending invasion of millions of demons who break into the mortal plane to storm the city. Of course, he's so inconceivably powerful that he is able to fight-off this invasion with ease while doing other things. He's arguably among the most physically powerful beings in the setting. He created and controls a trio of angels known as Historian-warriors.
    - The Guardian of the Fountain is basically a living battery who supplies power to the other angels. His power is almost infinite but he cannot use this power himself, only distribute it to other angels. He directly created and controls a group of two holy sage angels. He resembles a ball of green and blue fire wrapped in chains with many eyes and a pair of large gauntlet hands.
    - The Guardian of the Voice acts as the majordomo to the order. He created and controls groups of angels known as five movers, four messengers and three prince-educators. He resembles a tall, cloaked man whose head is a crystal.
    - The Guardian of the Altar is in charge with actually protecting holy grounds. If anyone tries to commit a sinful act on holy ground, he smites them along with his legion of nine protector angels. He is said to resemble a living lightning bolt but few have actually seen him and lived.
    - The Guardian of the Ceremony initially was in charge with aiding mortals in worship of the gods but she was corrupted by demonic influence and separated from the order, losing her wings in the process.
    They are, in the end, one mind divided into four (once five) aspects among 30 bodies.

    The Infernal Order of the Outer Ceremonies: created by the Guardian of the Ceremony after her corruption and banishment, this group is in cahoots with demons to teach mortals evil magic, specifically demon summoning. The numbers and membership cannot be determined as they are a true hive mind and are all indistinguishable from each other, all resembling a beautiful pale woman dressed in black. They tend to address themselves to mortals by a title based on the roles they play or the tools they use in rituals (the Lady of Sigils, the Lady of Chants, the Lady of Torches, etc.) A character in a story I toyed with worked with five members and gave them nicknames based on apparent personality quirks, implying some individuality between them. One of these angels (called the Lady of Daggers, nicknamed "Gabs") was able to break away from the order, gain free will in doing so and become a rare rogue angel.

    The Holy Order of the Burning Wheel: were commissioned by the goddesses of justice and truth to run the cycle of reincarnation. Though they have some presence in the mortal plane (including an embassy in the city of Aril), they do most of their business on the astral plane and, as such, are rarely seen except when someone dies. They are said to take a variety of bizarre forms including not having any kind of physical/visible presence at all.

    The Grand Order of the Hidden Numbers: hidden in a large crater in an isolated part of the world, this order is building a very large mortal army - often buying weapons and equipment or recruiting mercenaries to train their soldiers. They takes the form of human-sized insect creatures. Their ultimate goal: an angelic-mortal invasion of Hell. It is unclear who commissioned them to do so but they have been working on this for at least twenty years. They hope to launch their invasion within the next century. They are currently in the top 10 largest armies and the top five best equipped armies in the world. Where they get the cash for all this is a mystery. They must have some very wealthy backers.

    The Grand Order of the Colored Prism: angels who are neither fallen nor holy who are tasked by the (de-facto) god of death to maintain Purgatory. They take the forms of androgynous grey-skinned humans who all speak in a very thoughtful and control tone.

    There are also some demonic orders who operate mostly in Hell and are all under the authority of the Hell's emperor who is currently in the Pale Throne's prison in Aril. These include...
    - The Grand Order of Other Powers: seven great demon-matrons and their 49 demon-chiefs along with their "priestly" caste known as the Order of the Worm. They are the provisional rulers of Hell at the moment.
    - The Lobby of the Soul-Bound Guild who are deal-making demons who manifest in the mortal realm as sentient cursed objects.
    - The Barons of Turn-Away who tempt mortals towards evil.
    - The Guild of Consuming Darkness who only seek to bring about chaos and destruction the mortal world.
    - The Masters of the Untold Revelations who consort mortals to bring them demonic prophecies and forbidden knowledge. Sort of a demonic equivalent to the fallen angels of the Order of the Outer Ceremonies. It was through them that the Guardian of the Ceremony was corrupted.
    - The Order of Engulfing Blackness are the demons in charge of invading the mortal plane, storming Aril and releasing Hell's emperor from the Pale Throne's prison. But they are powerless against the Guardian of the Sanctuary.
    In fact, all of these demons are sort of losers. Hell really got off course after its emperor was imprisoned.

    There's also a group called the Rebels of the Heart and Chain who are a drinking club made-up of the biggest badasses in the setting. They are mortals, gods, spirits, angels, demons and others who have been to the outer planes of reality, done battle there against beings who would make most gods and demon-kings wet themselves in fear and then they meet-up with their buddies for a drink at the local pub. They're technically more of a social club or a secret society than a knightly order but considering the battles that their members have fought and the kind of power their members can have, I figured they'd be worth noting. The Guardian of the Sanctuary, the rogue angel "Gabs" and the "death god" in charge of the Order of the Colored Prism are among their members. The member with the most authority and prestige among the Rebels (who appeared in any of my stories) is a member of the Knights of the Torch mentioned in my earlier post.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
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  11. Mathas

    Mathas Dreamer

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    These are really interesting. I am trying to understand more about this subject.

    My main ruling body is a monarchy, whose only concern is money. They are a chauvinistic society and basically the villain of my story. Profit and conquest are the only real goal of the monarchy. Their military consists of three divisions. The special forces unit, the army and the navy.

    My focus, for now, is developing the special forces unit, which is a combination of four orders of fighting monks. That suggests that religion plays a big role in my kingdom, and it is the driving factor for existence and really the whole motivation for the story. Each order of fighting monks are based on the Knights Templar, each has a different role outside of conquest.

    They are more specially trained than the army, so they have different roles to the army during combat, but outside the battlefield, in the walls of the keep, they are monks who attend the regular prayers ate certain times of the day. they also manage certain things that are important to the kingdom. One order manages knowledge etc. Each order plays a role in guarding the royal family during events and everyday life.

    They basically play a similar role to the Irish Guards, Scots Guards, Dragoons, etc, the foot guards in the British military, except they are more specially trained like the commandos and they integrate more with society.

    Each order has the same uniform, same standard-issue equipment, but each order is denoted by a different colour on their uniform, and each member wears the symbol of their respective order, as well as that of the overall special forces unit. Each order has a different salutation which follows the salutation that each member of the military has.
     
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  12. Malik

    Malik Archmage

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    I'm career Army, and worked in Special Operations, so I modeled my royal chivalric orders off the various Special Operations disciplines.

    There are orders for direct action (seizing and holding key terrain), which work in conjunction with the standing military. They're specialized shock troops, heavy cavalry, whereas the standard troops are fast-moving dragoons who ride to a battlesite and then fight dismounted. It's a pain in the ass to move heavy cavalry. There's a great article on this site about fantasy logistics, IIRC. Knights are highly specialized, expensive, and they take forever to mobilize. Plus, they can't hold terrain.

    Dragoons, the regulary standing army, travel light--one horse, minimal support personnel--and can cover three times the distance. They do the heavy lifting on the field, and the knights handle specialized tasks. Which takes us back to Special Operations.

    I have an order whose oath is to find lost travelers; an order dedicated to mapping and exploration (working closely at times with the traveler-finders); an order of pegasi-riders who specialize in rapid communication and battlespace reconnaissance; an order that operates beyond enemy lines and reports back (what we in the military call Special Reconnaissance); and the MC's order, which combines two aspects of Special Operations that I've personally been involved with: training allied troops, and counterespionage. His order does both, by sending their knights to allied castles and outposts to train their troops, and then keeping an ear to the ground when they get there--ferreting out spies, talking with their own embedded people, and so forth. They answer to the Lord High Inquisitor as part of the king's spy network, but only members of the order know this. The man in the street sees them as the king's master trainers and therefore the most accomplished fighters in the realm, so everyone gives them a wide berth. I thought it was a great way to work in firsthand experience, and also use it develop a different sort of chivalric order than you normally see in epic fantasy.

    The other side of this is that it's a feudal society, so the allied keeps and fiefdoms have their own orders, which are really just amalgamations of teenage thugs and anyone the local lord deems worthy. Most of them are crap. I have an ongoing stinkeye situation between the royal orders and the "border orders," which is fun to say. The MC's order takes great fun in pummeling the local toughs under the guise of "training," in the process reminding them that they don't have a prayer against the caliber of trained-from-birth badasses that comprise the royal orders. It keeps the lords in line when they see two knights from a royal order leaving a dozen of their best lying in the mud and making creaking noises. (The GOT scene with Jon Snow at Castle Black training with the Night's Watch recruits and beating the crap out of them one after another? Their training sessions are basically that.)
     
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  13. Aldarion

    Aldarion Sage

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    What I don't get here is, why no medical / health care / MEDEVAC order? Historically, that order - specifically, Knights Hospitaller - was one of the earliest knightly orders in existence (Knights Templar formed for escorting pilgrims).
     
  14. Malik

    Malik Archmage

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    I didn't need them; sorcerers are forbidden from using their magic to cause harm, so the majority become healers. Healers and sorcerers operate under the Lord High Sorcerer, in their own non-military order of sorts. They accompany the armies and groups of knights in the same way as smiths, cooks, or horsemasters.
     
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  15. James Wilson

    James Wilson Dreamer

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    The hero of one of my novels is a Knight Errant of the Order of the Chapel of Saint John of Ghendd, Fellowship of the Stanchion. The book, oddly enough, is Errant Knight (https://tinyurl.com/rchfj4g). There are two fellowships, the Stanchion and the Hammer, called the Stanchionites and Martelines, and members of the Order are generally known as the Chapelines collectively. The Stanchionites remain in charge of the actual Chapel of Saint John, while the Martelines moved across the sea to guard the sword of Saint John which is kept in a temple in Traws, which city and lands will belong to the Duke of Traws, if he ever comes along to take up the sword. Hmm. A bit too much foreshadowing there.

    The Chapelines only allow a knight to be a lay brother/knight errant for a few years, and any who completes his time without breaking his vows can then become a Knight Guardant, still remaining a lay brother for life at that point. Sworn brothers have different chivalric titles, and did I ever have fun coming up with them all!

    The Orders are segregated by sex at the time of Errant Knight, the female chivalric orders being called sisterhoods, such as the Order of the Sisterhood of Saint Valarey of the Shield, commonly called the Shield Sisters. There are two Saints Valarey, so they have to differentiate.

    When creating the main religion of my world I also designed many religious orders, some healing, some legal, like Order of the Advocates, who provide legal representation for those too poor to pay, Orders Militant that predate chivalry, and orders chivalric. There are quite a few, and cover many areas besides just fighting. I confess though I like the orders chivalric best, both male and female versions.
     
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  16. Gabriel Luke

    Gabriel Luke New Member

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    If you have any health related issue then there is a very simple way to get rid of it you can just use crystal for power for your mental and physical health.
    Thanks
     
  17. The Grey Pilgrim

    The Grey Pilgrim New Member

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    The Order of the Hearth appeals to my whimsical side. Interesting.
     
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