The Royal Order of Archons is an influential Paladin Order based in Leonen and tasked with apprehending anyone breaking Leonen’s strict anti-magic laws.
Predominantly men, serving the One-God, and local to Leonen, this Order is the official force tasked with enforcing the ban on all spiritual arts. With authority coming directly from the King himself, their power is considerable within their own borders; however, outside Leonen they cannot act with the same degree of authority, though they still work to protect Leonen’s interests, particular from perceived threats in the Tindermoot.
In the aftermath of the mage rebellion in Leonen the King, in cooperation with the Church, outlawed the use and teaching of any and all spiritual arts. The vast majority of the kingdom applauded the creation of the new laws, but there was still much power in the mage community and enforcing the new law was no laughing matter. With the Church now viewing the spiritual arts as a form of heresy, a new fighting force was created, drawn from male priests and pious knights, throughout the kingdom. This new order of Paladins was called the Royal Order of Archons. Once the mass exile was accomplished, the order was retained to act as sort of police force. To this day they remain vigilant for any sign of magic within the kingdom. While their jurisdiction ends at the Leonen border they do sometimes venture beyond on missions of special importance to their King and their Matriarch.
The forces of the Royal Order of Archons are split between rank and file troops called Archonites, and the Archon Paladins, all of whom carry a badge on their armor that when activated glows with Holy power. The exact function of these badges of the Order are unknown, however they seem to lose their powers if separated from their owner for too long.
Archonites are those who have joined the Royal Order of Archons and are loyal to their cause, but lack the faith to truly wield the powers of the Order. Lower ranking Archonites make up the bulk of the Order’s forces and are relegated to the role of rank and file troops. They are disciplined, well trained, and unwavering in their obedience to the Archons. Those that serve faithfully may be elevated to higher ranks within the order, fulfilling specialist roles as required.
Archonite ranks within the Order include:
- The Faithful: young men and women willing to take up arms for the cause and fight in rank-and-file units)
- Scourger: Medium ranged troops armed with crossbows and whips, employed in large groups as ranged support for Order forces but also as individuals with a talent for “extracting” information
- Seeker: Hound masters who travel with specially trained attack dogs who are capable of sniffing out the taint of magic
- Purifier: Long range heavy hitting shock troops that are trained to purify the taint of magic with holy flame, wielding one of the Order’s deadliest weapons, the Holy Lance
- Spellbreaker: Well armored and adept at combating foes who wield magic, spell breakers are the stalwart anti-magic defense forces of the Order
- Abolisher: Most powerful of the Orders Troops, Abolishers are believed to be former magic users whose powers were forcibly removed and replaced by an angelic force of unknown origin. They are a terror for any practitioner of the spiritual arts to behold. Completely hairless, with eyes that glow with holy light, they seem almost mindless, with but a singular purpose; to abolish all magic.
Though far less numerous than the Archonites, the Archons are the true power of the Order. These Paladins who have sworn a sacred oath to rid Leonen of the taint of magic. Though they are organized very similar to other Paladin orders, they are markedly militant in their beliefs and overly-zealous in their campaign to root out the evil of magic from even the darkest corners of Leonen. The Paladins of the Royal Order of Archons are also typically dedicated to a particular role as they gain titles within the Order. Of particular note, the Paladins of the Royal Order of Archons are so thoroughly convinced that the root of all spiritual powers is demonic in nature, that their Exorcism powers seem to work just as well on those wielding or even merely influenced by magic, as they do on the undead or demons themselves.
Archon ranks within the Order generally follow typical Paladin titles:
- Proselyte: The lowest ranking paladins are relegated to a combination of ranged and melee combat, mixing physical damage with holy damage
- Neophyte: Once advancing in rank, a Neophyte is trained to take on the role of front rank healer
- Acolyte: By the time a Paladin becomes an Acolyte they have trained long enough, and gained enough experience in combating the forces of magic, that they take on the mantle of protector
- Archon: Archons are the Paladin Regulars within the Order, trained to enforce the anti-magic laws and pass judgement in the field when required. The Archon is the shining pillar of the Order.
- Crusader: Those Archons who battle the forces of magic long enough, are granted the title of Crusader, and are given field command of their own force of Archons and Archonites to pursue specific campaigns and objectives
- High Templar: High ranking Archons who are given command of a particular region in Leonen or in rare cases granted a field commission in affairs concerning the security of Leonen, external to its borders
- Grand Marshal: A title held by a single man who commands the full strength of the Royal order of Archons and whose power and authority within Leonen is rivaled only by the King Himself
Machines of War
When on Crusade, the Royal Order of Archons have been known to utilize mobile war machines in pursuit of victory:
- Penance Wagon: a mobile light ballistae platform, with ample space to spare for several manned Purifier turrets
- Reliquary of the Archons: a heavy siege and anti-personnel weapon that uses Holy power to assault the foe
- Casket of Reformation: a powerful sacred relic that can be used to strip away the tainted spirit of a magic user, leaving them a husk of their former selves and allowing them to play host to a angelic being that is wielded as a potent weapon known as an Abolisher