Guild: Order of Valok
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Order of Valok
The Order of Valok is a holy order devoted to the worship of Valok. Disciples of the Order have sworn to further their Patron's agenda and to spread his message across southern Negaria through strict adherence to his teachings, with an emphasis on the perfection of the self, and the well-deserved accumulation of fame, honor, and riches that attend this perfection, known collectively as Glory. The Order stands as a single unified expression of Lord Valok, and is one of the primary instruments used to make manifest his will in M'Chek, and beyond.
The Order is largely composed of clergy and Dominators, but individuals from other walks of life have occasionally been granted membership if they are deemed worthy. Successful petitioners always worship Valok to the exclusion of all other gods, and take a keen interest in the governance of their fellow citizens.
The lofty goals of the Order are often achieved through political means, but should this prove ineffective, more discreet methods are employed. The Order does not cloister itself away in seclusion: disciples are expected to be visible and active at all times. The elite members of the Order have at various times earned roles as Generals, Housemen, and officers of the M'Chekian Guard and Army.
The Order is highly regimented. Unswerving discipline and obedience are not only expected, but required by Oath.
History of the Order
The Order of Valok was founded in Mikona by Fyren Tennimar, who served as its first Holy Guardian. From its earliest days, the Order played an active role in the national affairs of M'Chek; political involvement included a public call for banishment of the Order of Gorethar,
the group then entrusted to enforce law in Mikona, after it was revealed that they had declared war on a mage order and enlisted aid from the elves -- then at war with M'Chek -- in their cause. These actions not only paved the way for a permanent restructuring of law enforcement in Mikona, but also served as an augury of the Order's future work on behalf of the Nation's security.
It was under the reign of Holy Guardian II, Sugriam Undlendenboam, that the Order first distinguished itself as the Defenders of M’Chek, a role it has served countless times since. The fiend known as the Gentleman, a powerful Outsider with ties to the Shadow, Negative Energy, and Ethereal Planes - had risen once again, and desired nothing less than conquest of all Avlis. Entire armies fell prey to this creature, which was seemingly impervious to death, always returning with lich-like tenacity. Fear ran rampant among the populace, many of whom were scared to leave their homes,
and it seemed there was no hope - that is, until the Order of Valok managed to recover the Sword of Severing from far-off Tairis'nàdur. Dominator Magnus Khan, armed with the powerful sword and knowledge of the creature's True Name, severed the beast's ties to the planes from which it derived power, and then destroyed the shadow fiend once and for all with a mighty swing that was widely celebrated and commemorated in verse.
Khan, whose fame spread wide after the event, continued to make a name for himself as a Captain in the M'Chekian Army. He was named Holy Guardian III, and presided over the final years of the M'Chek/T'Nanshi War; a tumultuous time, certainly, but a time that offered opportunity to men - and women - willing to prove their worth in the face of tremendous odds. Dala Wennen was one such woman, and her rapid rise through the ranks of the elite Alpha Corps is well documented in her memoirs. Eventually ascending to Commander of the Corps, she engineered several great victories with a tactical mind rivaled by few.
Wennen, sensing that the territorial gains could still be made in Fishaven, desperately pushed for a military resolution to the War, but the Government instead opted for a diplomatic one. Khan successfully negotiated the peace treaty, and the conflict was finally put to an end, after decades of slaughter. In honor of their achievements, Commander Wennen and Captain Khan were memorialized on a monument erected in Mikona's Government District. As a result of her exceptional war record, Wennen was offered (and accepted) a position as Housewoman in the M'Chekian Common House. Recognizing that there was still a need for a police unit to manage postwar M'Chek, Wennen suggested creation of the M'Chekian Guards, an elite unit tasked with defensive operations and law enforcement.
Under direct control of the Joint Houses, and later Lady Emilia Finmaegen, the unit proved to be a great success. Dominator Jared Evershield rose to the position of Lord Provost, its Commanding Officer, and Dominator Gotthardt Staahl claimed second-in-command as Provost Marshall.
Wennen later stepped down from her House post to accept command of the newly created Blackhawk Company, a special operations division of the M’Chekian Army tasked with clearing the Underdark for colonization and farming. She served with distinction until her disappearance in July 2163.
Despite the loss of Wennen, the Order would not be deprived of political power for long: with the passing of Houseman Jenkins, a special election was called to fill two vacant seats, and Khan, having formerly been declared a National Hero, had no trouble securing the Northwest Commons seat.
Under Khan's leadership the Hall of Valok -- the Order's residence, chapel, and meeting hall in the Mikona Temple District -- was constructed at the site of the Temple of Angadar, which had remained boarded up ever since the Church of Angadar was convicted of conspiracy and treason against M'Chek. With his newly won political office requiring his full attention, Khan ceded leadership of the Order to priestess Seka Ravenswylde, who was to become its fourth Holy Guardian.
Under Ravenswylde, the Order continues to focus on national security while increasing its political influence. The Order was lionized for its critical role in the defeat of the Great Wyrm Tharul'Zhannadar and his force of pyrite dragons, a terrible menace that had plagued the nation and was powerful enough to have destroyed Equaloria Keep. After leading the efforts to raise money for the keep’s restoration, members of the Order took to the seas to pursue the dragons to their island lair. Khan, recently promoted to General, fought alongside Commander Staahl and Dominator Evershield, all of whom had key roles in the invasion force. Evershield was part of the Elite Unit that directly confronted the great dragon and is fond of recalling how he drove his blade deep into the monstrous wyrm time and time again until it eventually collapsed in a pool of its own blood. Evershield would soon thereafter take the hand of Lady Emilia Finmaegen in marriage, and with Ravenswylde presiding over the ceremony, was elevated to the ranks of the nobility, becoming Lord Jared Evershield of Finmaegen Keep.
The Order continues its tradition of excellence to this day. With the help of new generation of ambitious young aspirants, there is no doubt that its best days lie ahead, and that the Order will continue to play a leading role in shaping the future of Negaria.
The Book of Valok
The Book of Valok is the holy tome that guides and inspires the Order. An excerpt:
Not all that gleams is gold,
Tenets of the Valokian Faith
- enlightenment is within
- self improvement is the supreme goal
- glory is Valok's way of rewarding your success
- intrigue is Valok's gift to you - when you cannot go through something, go around it
- charity is a false comfort that only weakens its recipients
- discipline is vital if you are to achieve your ends
- make friends before enemies
Ranks and Advancement
The ranks of the Order of Valok are shrouded in mystery and are not a matter of public record.
Members, Past and Present
- Antonin Bross
- Atticus Krull
- Dala Wennen
- Druzus Girian
- Fyren Tennimar
- Gotthardt Staahl
- Isaud Elinorean
- Ishra Qiyun
- Jared Evershield
- Kastor Sygalis
- Kathea Nyht
- Magnus Khan
- Nija Vlahos
- Rakuug Yug'loz
- Rolan Fyne
- Rollek Heloc
- Seka Ravenswylde
- Sha-ek Blag-stan
- Sharla Strider
- Sugriam Undlendenboam
- Tomas Kelthran
- Thesda Gorlust
- Tyron Boldheart
- Warlen Vigniak
- Zaridoc Baffelbagger
Contacting the Order
Members of the Order are in close contact with High Priest Ther, who keeps a watchful eye on attendance of Mass at the Temple of Valok. The most devout worshippers may be approached directly by the Order.
The Order may be contacted directly by leaving a message at the Hall of Valok.