|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.
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, and generally tend to be white mages. More aggressive mages 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.
Mages that are set free from the Azure Spire are only released once the Laws regarding magic have been drilled into them. Generally, only the Grey mages of Regalia face any survivable punishment, having their identities and magic types recorded in the event of a magical disaster, for which they can be blamed, as well as warned not to publicly practice their arcane arts unless in urgent circumstances. White mages face no punishments besides their identities being recorded. The information of White and Grey mages is then passed onto the Arcane Ministry. Black mages released from the Azure Spire are practically unheard of, facing execution as soon as the Azure Order can facilitate it.
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 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.