|Leader||Grand Vigil Harold McHaggis III|
|Headquarters||The Azure Spire|
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. While once known to be an offshoot branch of the City Guard, recent years have seen the once formidable organization turn inwards, as recent events have seen the Empire’s stances on Magic usage change opinions. Today, what is left of the once formidable order now resides in the Azure Spire once more, acting as a source of magical knowledge and history for the Regalian State, and very rarely showing their presence on the streets of the capital city.
The Azure Order was originally founded privately by Grand Vigil Aletta in 71 AC, a female Mage hunter. Fear and hatred for magic was rampant shortly after the Cataclysm, with the growing faith of Unionism festering on the paranoia concerning the implication of Magic with the Fifth Creed, 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, Arch Chancellor Maenarra I 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 became infamous for. Every Grand Vigil that followed afterwards would further strengthen the chokehold the Azure Order had on mages, and would create more brutal methods to control the mage population.
At the turn of the century, the Azure Order’s prestige began to dissipate. While it remained strong during crises such as the Anahera Dictatorship, the Lo Occupation ultimately saw the Grand Vigil captured by Deathling forces, showing that the organization was not as all-powerful that propaganda had led many to believe. The next act saw a chapter of the Azure Order created to be more public in the city, though it soon was disbanded in favor of an inquisitorial body. Finally, the last nail in the coffin came with Emperor Alexander I’s Imperial Decree on the Magi, which allowed for greater tolerance to Magic users that submitted themselves to State authorities. With Mages now freely able to work, the Azure Order’s enforcement methods became obsolete. Today, the remnants of the organization exist as a state-side organization, offering their centuries of magical knowledge to the Regalian State, while keeping away from the changing atmosphere of the city.
Grand and Lesser Vigils
The Azure Order is led by the Grand Vigil, who may be a 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 one of the few Regalian organizations that allowed both men and women to serve since the beginning, 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.
The Sentinels usually dealt with Mages once they were caught, though now only act as a security force for the Order. They man the Azure Spire, the Castle within Regalia that was 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 had to torture and use psychological warfare against rogue Mages on a daily basis, a mentality they still maintain even though their duties have shifted to security.
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. Mages that were caught without ever having been to the Spire were sent there for re-education by the Sentinels. The Sentinels then used 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 which were susceptible to these tactics were often released early, and generally tended to be “White Mages”. More aggressive Mages were more often than not killed as they were not susceptible to Regalia’s attempts to re-educate them, so the state decided it would rather have them dead than alive. A re-education lasted anywhere between three days to several months. It all depended on the mental strength of the person, as well as the persistence of the Sentinels. Usually, if Sentinels saw no progress or no point in attempting re-education, they would resort to execution. On average, six out of ten Mages who entered the Spire never come out. Since the turn of the century and the decay of the Azure Order, very few Mages have been sent to the Spire, leaving the building as an eerily quiet reminder of the fear that once plagued the minds of those who practiced Magic.
- Once, there was a Grand Vigil that practiced Magic. Upon discovery, he was removed and executed by means of burning at the stake to set an example.
- In 106 AC, the Azure Spire collapsed due to construction flaws. Several runaway Mages 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, which still stands to this day.
- There have been rumors over the years that the Azure Order employed a large number of Witchbloods, with several Grand Vigils assumed to possess this Affliction. Due to the Azure Spire being closed to the public in recent times, very few individuals are able to check the validity of such claims.
This organization isn't played in-game and serves only as a historical reminder of the Magic views of Regalia for most of the Empire’s history.