World:The Crimson Veldt/Places/Elui/Enclave of the Nine Orders

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Contents

History

The Enclave of the Nine Orders, or the Enclave as it is commonly referred to by members and locals, is a commune and academy for some of the Crimson Veldt's greatest wizards. Located on the southern reaches of the Sands of Elui in the town of Hadari, the Enclave was founded over a hundred years ago by a band of nine wizards who, according to legend, defeated a great sand demon on the very spot. Its gleaming sandstone towers stand watch to this day, unblemished by the passage of time owing to the powerful magics worked by the founders. Aspiring mages from across the Veldt come in search of tutelage, and seekers of knowledge have also made the pilgrimage to spend a lifetime in the vast library. Residents of Hadari, meanwhile, view the presence of so many wizards with a more jaded eye, having suffered misfortunes aplenty thanks to the ineptitude and greed of some of the Enclave's members.

Membership and Apprenticeship

Despite the numerical assignments of the orders, each is in fact equal in all matters. Each Order is headed by a Grand Wizard, who serves for life and from whose former students replacements are selected (though there have been less peaceful transitions of power). Members of the Orders pay dues of money and research, and are accorded an apartment of research and living space within their respective tower. Wizards must successfully pass the Ritual of the Stone and the Ritual of the Staff to be accorded membership. Wizards who did not apprentice at the Enclave must obtain the agreement of one Grand Wizard to take the tests.

Members of the Enclave are allowed to take on apprentices. Apprentices may also nominate themselves; such nominees are adjudicated annually at a Conclave of the Grand Wizards, whereupon they are assigned a master or expelled in perpituity from the Enclave. Apprentices serve for a term of two years, upon which their master may recommend them for the tests, continue the apprenticeship for another two-year term, or expel the apprentice permanently. Apprentices in their first term are lodged within the Enclave's dormitory and must thereafter pay for lodging on their own.

Non-Members

Non-wizards may not be members of the Enclave. However, for a set fee they may buy the privilege of the Hall of Knowledge, the most extensive library in the entire Veldt. This privilege is only valid for the hours between sunrise and sunset; during hours of darkness, only members and apprentices are permitted within the Enclave. As a result, quasi-permanent lodging is a major portion of the economy in Hadari. Additionally, books are not permitted to be removed from the Hall. Violators have been punished most severely in the past.

The Nine Orders

The First Order

  • Founder: Grimwald the All-Seeing
  • Current Grand Wizard: Justinarius

Philosophy: Time and space are the playground and battleground of wizards, none more so than the members of the First Order. By striving to study, understand, and control the fabric of the universe, they seek to gain mastery over life itself. Its studious members jealously guard their time, participating only in research that might increase their available time or rate of acquiring knowledge.

Notable Accomplishments: Grimwald is credited with the powerful Time Stop spell, a secret so dangerous that the Order has sealed it up and forbidden its study. More recent wizards have plumbed the depths of divination and developed control over sub-dimensional spaces.

The Second Order

  • Founder: Pythorac the Illuminant
  • Current Grand Wizard: Ovander

Philosophy: Members of the Second Order are more widely known as the Brothers of the Burning Eye. Their mastery of the element of Fire sets them apart from all others in the Crimson Veldt, even the servants of Laraoch, whom the wizards consider to be merely sycophants to the true power of flame. The order is fiercely militant, defending itself and the Enclave by whatever means necessary--whether or not the rules are followed.

Notable Accomplishments: During a particularly dry summer, flash fires threatened to consume much of the Veldt. The horse-lords of Aetan acquired the services of Second Order wizard Nustyl, who ascended a nearby mountain and tamed the blaze with nothing but his staff. When the unbelieving tribal leaders refused to pay, he called down pillars of flame from the sky to incinerate them and their families.

The Third Order

  • Founder: Drustag the Terrible
  • Current Grand Wizard: Makar

Philosophy: The Third Order holds that wizards should be respected, even feared, as gods among men. Collectively, they seek ways to cow lesser beings, supplanting their will either through terrifying displays of magical power, or through direct magical control. Gaudy and ostentatious in dress and behavior, wizards of the Third Order expect to be fawned upon by apprentices and princes alike.

Notable Accomplishments: Makar once put on a demonstration of magic so amazing, the Prince of Merui collapsed from the excitement and had to be revived on the spot. The Prince was later quoted as saying the experience was the best in his life, though it is not clear whether the Prince believed Makar to be within earshot at the time.

The Fourth Order

  • Founder: Alfahren the Wise
  • Current Grand Wizard: Ephanna

Philosophy: The hereditary keepers of the Enclave's library are the members of the Fourth Order. Members and apprentices of this order have a great passion for learning and knowledge; when they are not cloistered in their tower or ensconced in the vast reaches of the Hall of Knowledge, they are traveling the world in search of new information to bring home.

Notable Accomplishments: Aside from their crowning glory that is the Hall of Knowledge, the Fourth Order has provided advisors to princes across the Crimson Veldt for much of the last century. A notable exception is the Principality of Astan, whose rulers have historically distrusted magic in general and wizards in particular.

The Fifth Order

  • Founder: Khalend the Swift
  • Current Grand Wizard: Irastos

Philosophy: The Fifth Order turns its eyes to the heavens. They seek to control wind and weather, bending lightning to their will and coercing the sun's rays to their bidding. These wizards also extend their interest to the ethereal and astral planes, looking for glimpses of an even greater universe beyond that which can be seen and studied by the eyes of man.

Notable Accomplishments: Wizards of this order were the first to directly confirm the existence of the long-theorized four elemental planes. While they were not able to settle the longstanding debate over whether the four gods live in their respective planes or in some higher place of existence, they did not find any evidence of human souls among the elemental planes.

The Sixth Order

  • Founder: Horlund the Wicked
  • Current Grand Wizard: Iophas

Philosophy: The Sixth Order sets itself apart from the world, seeking a place filled with shadows and darkness. While the founder may have envisioned a terrible army of such beings to conquer, the modern interpreters see themselves in the role of protector, keeping people safe and unaware of the awful things that go bump in the night.

Notable Accomplishments: Horlund was deposed after having cursed one of the major cities of Elui to be consumed by shadow. His successors have managed to seal the curse so it will not spread beyond the walls of the now-crumbling metropolis.

The Seventh Order

  • Founder:
  • Current Grand Wizard:

Philosophy:

Notable Accomplishments:

The Eighth Order

  • Founder: Trenevir the Longstrider
  • Current Grand Wizard: Hyzarchan

Philosophy: The eighth order believes strongly in personal strength and rugged individuality. Its founder, Trenevir, was famous for his traveling magicks, and many strive to emulate him. The order also draws a fair number of evokers. Members, and even apprentices, are given wide latitude to operate independently, though misbehaviours that detract from the order's reputation are dealt with quite harshly. Its members tend to be secretive and well-versed in survival skills, both urban and wilderness.

Notable Accomplishments: Trenevir and his son, Balevir, are said to have developed the Teleportation Circle ritual. Whether this is true is a matter of scholarly debate, but the younger wizard used this spell to great effect during the Eastern Veldt War, teleporting legions of Elui skirmishers behind enemy lines; the resulting victory established the current geographical boundaries of Elui and Aetan. About forty years ago, shadow walking became fashionable in the order as a means of transport; a cabal of shadowtouched is said to exist to this day.

The Ninth Order

  • * Founder:
  • Current Grand Wizard:

Philosophy:

Notable Accomplishments: