Each of the nine major gods of Avlis has an order of warriors that fight for his cause. To be a holy warrior you must be a worshipper of one of these gods. None of the other gods in the realm are capable of giving this type of power to their warriors.
Paladins were the very first holy warriors ever to appear on Avlis. They are almost as ancient as the Church of Gorethar itself. Because of their longevity, they have become very organized and learned the best possible training methods over the millenia for recruiting and maintaining their order. For this reason, they are able to recruit people at a very young age (for whatever their race is), and to continuously make them improve in skill and standing among the paladins of Gorethar.
Though the very first paladins were dwarves, many other races have taken up the mantle of holiness and glory in the name of Gorethar. Originally, paladins favored dwarf weapons, i.e. hammers, axes, and other short, heavy weaponry with any sort of plate armor. However, over the years, this has diverged somewhat depending on which races have joined the struggle. Human paladins have been known to heavily favor swords, whereas the rarer elven paladins have sometimes been known to employ bows. In the end, it has all become mixed up. Paladins are taught how to use the weaponry and armor of their mentors, whatever it may be.
Organizationally, paladins work very closely with the Church of Gorethar. They are often the brunt of the fighting force, if the Church ever gets into a conflict. They also can act as guards or companions for clerics on Church business. Still, they have their own hierarchy based on the virtue and power of their superiors.
Champions are the youngest of the holy warrior orders and they were founded around 1950 A.O.D. by a half-nymph woman named Vanoviel Niltaurwen. She was the first Champion. Before a great battle among the gods Vanoviel was charged by O'Ma with the task of forming the Champions of O'Ma and spreading them throughout Avlis.
Before this, there was another order associated with O'Ma's church. It was known as the Templars of O'Ma. The Templars were slightly different. Instead of being fully integrated holy warriors, they were largely a mercenary force of fighters who were also trained minimally in the religious ways of O'Ma. They acted mainly as a bodyguard unit for traveling clerics. Throughout history, clerics of O'Ma have been subject to much distrust and sabotage by sympathizers of Titania, and other troublemakers. It was the job of the Templars to keep this nonsense at bay.
When creating the Champions, Vanoviel recruited heavily among the Templars. Eventually, they were dissolved and all of them were trained as Champions. Nowadays, the Templar program exists only as a first step in preparing for Champion-hood. Other orders of training also exist for the same purpose, such as the Order of O'Ma.
The Champion fighting style is modeled largely after its founder. Vanoviel was well known for her dual-wielding style of longsword and shortsword. Other dual combinations are also taught, but this one is the most common seen in a Champion. Heavy armor is also the norm, though some of the more slim-bodied members will opt for medium armor instead.
The Champions of O'Ma still do largely the same tasks as the Templars did. They guard the clerics of O'Ma in their work. However, they now also have missions of their own assigned by their leadership. Chain of command proceeds up from one Champion to the next most powerful, until the matters are decided by the leader of the Champions. Currently, their base of operations is in the city of Elysia. This is their headquarters, but there are units of Champions spread all over Avlis performing various missions.
Avengers have very little solid organization. It is known that they were formed by a cousin of Solerion Rinthon, named Eirias Ju'Lel, during the Great War. Eirias was Solerion's head commando in the war against the orcs. Known for his prowess with a longbow, and his ability to navigate the woods undetected, Eirias trained many others in his art. Eventually towards the end of the war these people became known as "Eirias' Avengers", and later simply "Avengers".
It is thought that the Avengers saved Le'Or T'Nanshi and T'Nanshi on so many occasions, that Dru'El himself came down one day and blessed them as his own. From that point on, the Avengers appeared as they do today.
In modern times, Avengers often serve in the T'Nanshi army, or they can be found in other struggles against what they perceive as wrongs. They make it a habit to help those that they feel are being treated unfairly, whatever the surrounding circumstances may be. If they have to, they are able to use some very dirty tactics to achieve what they think of as a greater good in the end. Their cunning ability to survive in the wilds, coupled with their strength and proficiency in a toe-to-toe fight makes them formidable opponents for any dictator or tyrant in power.
Avengers are excellent marksmen, and they usually favor longbows. It is rare to see them in heavy armor, because it impedes their ability to remain silent and unseen in the woodlands. However, in an open field where stealth is no longer an option, the Avengers are the first to take up heavy armor and battle it out. They are capable fighters in both conventional and guerilla tactics.
Organizationally, Avengers do not form massive units, nor do they report to any one leader. They receive training from various training orders who follow Dru'El's ways, and from each other. From there, they are known to head off to wherever they are needed, in which place they become one with the ranks.
Justicars originated in the lands of Toran Shaarda, where the centauroid race of dracon is dominant. The dracon live in a very hive-minded society, where all is done for the greater order of things. Non-conformity is a sin in Toran's eyes. Law and order rules above all, and to disobey that order is to become chaotic in their eyes.
The chaos of the Fairy War sparked the creation of the Justicars. The war began in T'Nanshi and quickly became in danger of spreading everywhere. In order to keep the fairies within their own country from fighting, the Dracon clerics of Toran decided it was time to employ some muscle. First, they made laws against participating in the fairy struggle within their borders. Next, they created the Justicars to enforce those laws... heavily.
The first Justices were Dracon warriors loyal to Toran who were charged with the task of quelling any struggle between the fairies in their nation. Once the war was finished, and the Great War started, their task expanded. They were told to keep the entire war away. Securing their lands against an onrush of Orc refugees was tough, and they almost did not manage. Many lives were lost on both sides, but in the end, the justicars prevailed and Toran Shaarda was saved.
After the war, the justicars were employed as a regular police force, at which point they began to expand. The first outside nation to realize their use was the Kurathene Empire. The Emperor, Kuras, took them in and allowed them to set up many churches to Toran on his lands. He knew that they would be excellent tools at enforcing whatever laws he made in his dominion, and he was correct. Until the end, Imperial law was enforced by the justicars, without question. Since then, many of them have taken up to serving the local lords, and the rest have started to spread to other nations. In this time period, non-dracon races have joined the organization. In Mikona, the Church of Toran is one of the largest in the city, and the justicars are welcome there.
Justicars like heavy armor, the heavier the better. Dracon are very strong creatures, and more than able to bear the weight, and this has carried over to the other races. The main weapon of the order is considered to be the longsword, though dracon have often employed greatswords as well.
The justicars have a definite hierarchy, which is the same as the hierarchy for the clerical church, though separate.
The Equalizers of Mikon
The Equalizers are the second newest holy warrior order to appear on Avlis. Their order was founded by a M'Chekian noble by the name of Nimonay Dunster, as a reward for his monumental contribution to keeping balance on the Prime Material Plane.
The Equalizers see it as their solemn duty to keep balance in the world. Any extreme is considered a problem, be it extreme good, extreme evil, extreme law, or extreme chaos. Even stereotypes are hated, because they are too perfect an example of something in their eyes.
Conflict is not necessarily a problem for them, and they have been known to use it as a tool for exterminating extremes. Equalizers also see conflict as a necessary part of the world. Without it, there can exist no peace, for the peace would not be realized. For this reason, the equalizers have been known to exacerbate some conflicts in the name of balance, i.e. to keep them going on indefinitely. Many people know this and do not trust them for this reason.
However, some are willing to take a gamble on it. Equalizers will almost always fight for the underdog. They do not like to see anyone get crushed in a fight, no matter what their persuasion. Whatever the argument, the equalizer will always take the side of the weaker, simply because.
Because of their frequent need to go to war, equalizers employ heavy armor for protection. However, they often use many different kinds of weapons. All of them answer to Lord Dunster, who trains most of them. Some smaller training orders have been founded to help Dunster manage his care as well.
Equaloria Keep is the home of Lord Dunster and the training grounds of the Equalizers. A shrine dedicated to the Equalizers is located in Eastshore.
The Confounders of Forian
It is not known for certain where or when confounders came about. Some people even believe that they arose in several different places at the same time. It's entirely possible. It IS known, however, that they all follow Forian, and Forian's philosophy of self-gratification. Any warrior who takes it upon himself to worship Forian for his ability to grant them their own selfish desires will often wind up as a confounder. Most confounders have no rhyme or reason in what they do in the long term. They simply exist from day to day. Many will hold that they are extremely holy people who know how to live in the moment. Others will contest that they simply are too lazy to think about anything other than what's happening right now.
World domination... too much work. Riches... sure, as long as it's enough to buy the next meal, though being able to buy meals indefinitely is a plus. Fighting the good fight... eh... maybe... if it can benefit ME somehow. Commonly, confounders will not do anything unless a reward is given. Because of this, they can wind up on all sides of conflicts, performing all kinds of actions.
Confounders are fond of flexible weapons, i.e. flails, morning stars, etc. It reflects their chaotic nature. Armor can vary, though they will usually wear whatever armor suits their purpose at the time.
There is no official confounder organization or hierarchy. They all pay homage to Forian, though that is really all they have in common. If given the proper compensation, a confounder will take an apprentice and teach them their ways.
The Dominators of Valok
Dominators are closely associated with the Church of Valok. They often act as guards or emissaries for church business. Long ago, after the Great War, the Dominators of Valok were founded as a deterrent against orc mages. Their mission was to finish the extermination of mages that began with the great explosion they caused at the end of the war.
Even today, the dominators are not fond of arcane casters, though they are willing to accept their existence, unless they are an orc. They still see it as their holy mission given by Valok to eliminate any orc arcane casters, whether covertly or overtly.
Dominators see the Church of Valok as their key to self-advancement. By serving the Church, they plan to find favor in Valok's eyes, and by that gain riches and glory. Serving their god is the price they pay for their own advancement, and they do it gladly, whatever it entails.
It was rumored that the first dominator was Valok's own immortal son, though this has never been confirmed. Even so, dominators see themselves as the sons and daughters of Valok in the image of the first of their order, and they run their life accordingly to his philosophy: gain power through subtle means, prepare for everything, if all goes wrong, fight another day, do not break your word once given, but do not give more than necessary.
Uniformly, the dominators wear heavy armor and carry shields. They have been known to use longswords or bastard swords. In the old days, this was the best method of attack against mages, and it is still traditionally employed today.
The Annihilators of Aarilax
Power through superior might has always been the way of Aarilax. Collect as much as you can for yourself, and beat everyone else to it (literally), and you will live a long time. Gain what you desire, for all you really have is desire itself. The annihilators arose out of a society based on these beliefs. The lizardmen of Drotid rule by might alone. Those who can impose their will get to be in charge. Everyone else is a slave. It is the way of Aarilax. Gaining troops to impose their will became a prime concern of the voivods of Drotid long ago. In order to gain a steady group of loyal and powerful troops, the clerics of Aarilax were forced to beseach their god for an answer. In return, Aarilax granted them the annihilators. These warriors became the muscle behind the voivods. Whether it is by frontal assault, or underhanded assassination, the annihilators are up for the task. Each individual holy warrior of Aarilax serves because he must. There is no other way. Aarilax keeps him alive so that he is not eaten or killed by one above him. In return, he owes Aarilax his obedience. This is how annihilators operate.
Annihilators will only serve those who are more powerful than they are, and even then, they will only do it when threatened. When they are in the fortunate position of BEING the one doing the threatening, they are cold-hearted and selfish, existing only to gain more for themselves. An annihilator who gains too much power can be an awful menace. A weak annihilator can often be cowed into doing anything its master desires.
The only organization annihilators know is that of strength. Whenever groups of annihilators exist together, they follow the strongest one, until he or she is murdered or otherwise disposed of. Then the next will take their place. When employed by nonannihilators, these warriors will do what they are told, until their leader slips up and finds a dagger in their back. Annihilators are always biding their time and calculating.
Most of the time, they employ spears and long weapons, which are reminiscent of their tribal lizardman roots. They also wear medium or light armor most of the time, though they are able to deck themsevles out heavily when needed.
The Blackguards of Maleki
Blackguards are the epitome of evil and slaughter. They often have no real reason for what they do, except that it is their own will or the will of the person subjugating them. Their existence is almost as ancient as that of the paladins, and often they are referred to as "anti-paladins". Maleki created these fighters as an answer to Gorethar's fighting force of holy warriors. Many of his creatures were being slaughtered by the newly empowered dwarves. Maleki would not have it, so he empowered some of his own minions to fight back. The struggle continues to this day.
Blackguards see the world in terms of will. Either they are following their own will, and thus serving Maleki, or they are following the will of someone who has power over them, which may or may not be serving the will of Maleki. In either case, Blackguards believe that it is ultimately up to them to be able to enforce their own will. The exact nature of their will can vary. Some want power beyond all dreams. Some just want destruction.
Blackguards pattern themselves after their good counterparts when it comes to weapons and armor, though in the same way, their exact preferences have been lost. Organizationally, they answer only to Maleki, unless they are roughed up by someone greater than they. Many times, they gain insights into their god's will through clerical intervention, and they have often been used as pawns of Maleki's church for this reason.
Holy Warrior OOC Info
To find out more about what's involved in each Holy Warrior class, check the Avlis Prestige class information. This page contains information regarding militant bonuses for spells cast on warrior classes.
- Discussion thread on how to become a Holy Warrior in Avlis - This is a very Old way of getting the class unlocked. Below is a newer option.
- Seek out a PC that has 10 or more levels of the Holy Warrior Type you wish to become, In Game. These "Holy Warrior Masters" are able to unlock the class for you, and can work with the DMs to secure the Holy Warrior gear for you as well.
- In case you can not get one of the Guilds to help you (First Suggestion), or find a PC Holy Warrior of Sufficent level, you can still approach the Avlis DM Team.