|Leader||Grand Vigil Harold McHaggis III.|
|Headquarters||The Azure Spire, Regalian Religious District.|
The Azure Order is one of Regalia’s officially sanctioned law enforcement organizations, working with the government to further the goals of the Imperial administration. They are similar to the Violet Order and the Viridian Order in that they have rights to citizen arrest in the city, along with their own speciality in dealing with magic regulations and run away mages. Run away mages are referred to as “Shunners”: mages who shun the teachings of the Azure Order or try to hide from it.
The Azure Order was originally founded privately by Grand Vigil Aletta in 71 AC, a female mage hunter during the return of magic to the world. The return of the magicks was loosely related to the Virtues piecing Estel back together slowly, and it gave rise to an ever growing mage population. Fear and hatred for magic was rampant so shortly after the Cataclysm, Unionism was festering on the paranoia concerning the implication of magic with the Void invasion, and the population was generally convinced magic was at fault for everything. The Order quickly grew, but originally had to work under the law instead of being a part of it. Eventually, the aging Chancellor, Aldomir Kade, legalized the Order when it had passed to Grand Vigil Nicholas. Grand Vigil Nicholas set into motion a series of reforms that quickly promoted the organization to the powerful and elusive force that it is today. Every Grand Vigil that followed afterwards would further strengthen the chokehold the Azure Order had on mages, and create more brutal methods to control the mage population.
Grand and Lesser Vigils
The Azure Order is lead by the Grand Vigil, who may be female or a male. The Grand Vigil is chosen on the death of the last Grand Vigil by a vote of the Lesser Vigils. The Lesser Vigils are then disbanded and re-appointed by the new Grand Vigil. The Azure Order is the only Regalian quasi-military organization that allows both men and women to serve, as physical prowess is hardly ever required to perform the work of the Vigils. The Lesser Vigils always act as advisors both to the Imperial State as well as the Grand Vigil.
Under the lesser Vigils serve the Seers. The Seers are either sight mages or Antimages clad in lapis armor and equipped with vials of Magebane Tea. Using their tea and skills, they track uncollared or collared mages who use magic in Regalia. At any time, Sight Mages are present in the most popular and populated areas of Regalia, scouting the usage of magic by untrained and unskilled mages. Due to Sight mages being short in supply however, the poor district and back alleys are not patrolled. As such, it is still possible to cast magic in Regalia without being noticed, either by being very skilled at the form of magic performed and minimizing the Void footprint, or by using it in abandoned and empty areas or underground. When a mage is spotted or “seen” by a Sight mage, a squad of armed Seers are dispatched to catch the mage.
Bureaucrats under the Seers are the Sentinels. The Sentinels usually deal with the mages once they are caught. They man the Azure Spire, the Castle within Regalia that is used to re-educate the mages to accept the views of Regalia. The Sentinels are usually very brutal and the most ruthless within the Order, as they have to torture and use psychological warfare against rogue mages on a daily basis.
The Azure Spire
The Azure Spire is the Regalian Headquarters for the Azure Order, a thick circular tower that houses the entire Azure Order, as well as its prison and the Grand Vigil. Shunner mages or mages who are caught without ever having been to the Spire are sent there for re-education by the Sentinels. The Sentinels then use a mixture of scare tactics, torture and blackmail to reprogram the mages to accept the Regalian views on magic and vow to accept the Regalian laws on magic usage. Mages who are susceptible to these tactics are often released early, such as Hex and Light mages. More aggressive mages such as Shadow mages and Lightning mages however, are more often than not killed as they are not susceptible to Regalia’s attempts to re-educate them, so the state decides it would rather have them dead than alive. A re-education can last anywhere between three days to several months. It all depends on the mental strength of the person, as well as the persistence of the Sentinels. Usually if Sentinels see no progress or no point in attempting re-education, they will resort to execution. On average, six out of ten mages who enter the Spire never come out.
The mages who are set free from the Azure Spire are only released once the Law regarding magic has been drilled into them. Foremostly, they are taught that they may never use their form of magic in public, with the exception of in life threatening situations, on punishment of imprisonment and re-education. Secondly, they are branded with the “Mage Brand”, which is a tattoo circling the entire neck. The tattoo is around an inch in height, and consists of a series of numbers and symbols which indicate the date, magic form, Sentinel, and method of re-education, a scripture that outsiders do not understand and have not been able to falsify yet. Additionally they receive a gold coated collar on top of this tattoo, which is thick enough to need special tools for removal. Typically, the tool savvy Qadir are best tasked for this. The collars themselves have a number of empty slots to be filled with different colored stones; each marking the person in question for the act they’ve committed.
- Rehabilitated Mages have a slot in their collar being filled with Lapis Lazuli.
- Exorcised persons have a slot in their collar filled with an Achates stone.
- The safe Vilitatei are fitted with a large neckband that covers most of their neck and shoulders. This is composed of both steel locking mechanisms and hard, distinguishable leather. They also have a slot in their collar filled with an Amethyst stone.
- In the case of Vilitatei Mages, the neck collar is fitted below the mage collar itself, and the mage collar holds both the Lapis Lazuli stone, the Achates stone and the Amethyst stone.
- Rehabilitated Silveirall are distinguished by a special collar, which unlike the standard collar takes a crimson color, holding a golden trim. Due to the use of Solacrux, the entirety of the collar glows in the dark. Aside from this, three slots are available akin to the standard collar. The collar exists to prove that the Silveirall in question has been processed and rehabilitated by the Crimson Inquisition, the Azure Order or any other Religious Charter. Therefore, the Silvert in question receives one for the crime of existing within Regalia. Though replicas of the collar can be forged, it is near impossible to replicate the Solacrux coating necessary to prove its authenticity. Collars with the coating however can be smuggled into Regalia for a steep price.
Generally any Mage that has their collar removed automatically becomes a “Shunner”, as all mages must carry these collars in plain sight at all times. Concealing the collar is against the law. There are rumors circulating in the poor district that some corrupt officials have access to counterfeit collars. These can be put on and removed again with little effort, but there is obviously no tattoo underneath it. It will convince most city guards and citizens of its authenticity, but any Azure Mage can quickly tell a fraud from a real collar. Furthermore, stones are incredibly difficult if not impossible to remove from collars, due to the way in which the collars are forged. Lastly, mages must always report magical activity and Shunners to the city authorities, as failure to do so leads to execution.
- Once, there was a Grand Vigil that practiced Shadow Magic. Upon discovery, he was removed and executed by means of burning at the stake to set an example.
- The fourth Grand Vigil’s firstborn daughter was a known Shunner, who escaped her father’s household at the age of seventeen only to become possessed within a year, and unfortunately was executed by her own father’s hand upon discovery of her possession.
- In 106 AC, the Azure Spire collapsed due to construction flaws. Several Shunners had made a hit-and-run utilizing makeshift explosives to destroy several basic foundations. In 110 AC the reconstruction of the entire tower was finished that still stands today.
- Note: This charter isn't played in-game, currently.