The position of the Gold Order of The Sand is unique among the other orders of magic because of its prior incarnation in the old Fold of Nine, where the old Gold Order was obliterated in the explosion that history refers to as The Great Orcish Destruction. In the ensuing years, orc mages were hunted down by their own kind and the practice of magic was suppressed among that race. Since most of the original members of the old Gold Order were orcs, this effectively prevented any mage order of that type from arising since. However, several years after the creation of The Trust and the new orders of magic, certain events brought the Archmage of the Ebony Order of the Moon, Damar Ogdem, to Valok's fortress deep within the Nine Hells. There, an immortal servant of Valok revealed to the Archmage that Valok wished for a Gold Order be reformed from the ashes of the old. Surprisingly, the deity’s message declared that the newly reformed order was also to include orc mages. After more than two thousand years of shunning the use of magic by orcs, Valok was willing to put aside the past to gain a foothold in the arcane arts once more.
When he returned to the Prime Material Plane, Damar prepared for the new order, recruiting some of the continent’s most renown spell casters. In time, Damar was introduced to Kasaan, a spokesman for many of Brekon's underground cults of Orcish mages. Kasaan and his companions had been sent to the city of Visimontium by a dream believed to have come from Valok. With Kasaan's help, the Gold Archmage recruited many of Brekon's mages who had been practicing magic in secret up to that time, which would form the core of the Order.
Hierarchy within the order is strict and many of its members undergo rigorous interrogation until they are trusted to work within the framework. Ranks and achievements are based not only on raw arcane ability of each individual member, but also on their ability to utilize their arcane talents to further their self-interest and maneuver themselves into the positions that they desire. Initiates sit at the lowest entry point and though they do not get to vote on concerns brought before the organization, they can verbally contribute. Member mages make up most of the organization and have voting rights. One step above the member mages are Senior Mages, who are tasked with representing the order in specific jurisdictions. A jurisdiction may be any particular city, nation, or region. The Senior Mages answer to Great Mages, of which there are three at any given time: Great Mage of Relations, Great Mage of Arms, Great Mage of Internal Affairs. Each of these officers has frequent access to the Archmage and acts as the voice of the order in most matters.
The Gold Order of The Sand enforces organizational laws and policies through a layered system of managing councils. The Archmage’s Council makes decisions by majority vote regarding the organization’s rules and diplomatic concerns. It is led by the Archmage and composed of all officers of the order and any number of member mages appointed by the Archmage or any Great Mage of the order. The Great Mage Council consists only of the Archmage and the three Great Mages. Compared to the Archmage’s Council, this group only meets rarely. Its prime function is to decide punishments for those that violate the rules of the order, or to discuss threats to security that are best left away from the prying ears of the membership. Finally, the representatives that sit on the High Mage Council of Avlis are selected by the Archmage and tasked with representing the order to The Trust.
The Gold Order of the Sand's philosophies share much in common with the religion of Valok. Ultimately, the acquisition of personal power is the goal of the mages in the Gold Order, as they dedicate their lives heavily to the arcane arts to yield the greatest dividends from its fruits. Overall the members of the Gold Order are generally more subtle and restrained in public than their peers in other Evil orders of magic, twisting law and order into a tool rather than a hindrance. Despite the selfish nature of the individual members, which is encouraged, the Gold Order has a strong sense of cooperation and political clout. Unlike the other Evil mage orders, which are intensely self-serving and actively seeking to destroy their enemies, the Gold Order’s subtlety carries over throughout the organization’s actions.
For these reasons, relations between the organization and the rest of The Trust are often cordial. Though the motives are often selfish, the Gold Order is open to using cooperative means to achieve them, and can regularly appear to work in tandem with some of the Good and Neutral orders of magic. This sense of cooperation extends beyond the mage orders, to other governmental and religious organizations as well, especially when it comes to the Dominators of Valok, with whom the Gold Order members have a troubled relationship. By cultivating favorable relationships within the political landscapes where Dominators are active, the Gold Order derives some safety from their ancient enemy.
The current Archmage of The Gold Order of The Sand is an orc named Kasaan Avasi. As a former refugee from the government of Brekon, Kasaan remains safely tucked away in the city of Visimontium, where he can use magical means to travel to the various outposts occupied by his order.
More information about the Gold Order can be found in The Gold Order of the Sand
Advanced Mage Specializations (AMS)