Difference between revisions of "Villiers-Eclaire Order"

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The Holy Paladins are the most talented and skilled warriors within the Villiers-Eclaire Order. These fighters have mastered the skills necessary to defend the Unionist Faith, to the point where only a select few could challenge them in single combat. Holy Paladins are revered across the Empire for being paragons and holy warriors of the Unionist faith, heeding the orders of the Conclave regardless of their directive. Paladins often gain their own heraldry which they carry on banners into battle next to their family banner to identify a specific Paladin. Upon receiving their rank, Paladins are also able to choose a specific honorary title to differentiate them from other members, such as Francis the Horse Paladin or Charlize the Lamb Paladin. In order to play a Holy Paladin, one must have a Backstory Special Character Permission.
 
The Holy Paladins are the most talented and skilled warriors within the Villiers-Eclaire Order. These fighters have mastered the skills necessary to defend the Unionist Faith, to the point where only a select few could challenge them in single combat. Holy Paladins are revered across the Empire for being paragons and holy warriors of the Unionist faith, heeding the orders of the Conclave regardless of their directive. Paladins often gain their own heraldry which they carry on banners into battle next to their family banner to identify a specific Paladin. Upon receiving their rank, Paladins are also able to choose a specific honorary title to differentiate them from other members, such as Francis the Horse Paladin or Charlize the Lamb Paladin. In order to play a Holy Paladin, one must have a Backstory Special Character Permission.
 
===The Men-at-Arms===
 
===The Men-at-Arms===
The Men-at-Arms are those who complete their training at the age of 20 and are granted their Synodical Villiers Seal. Men-at-Arms are known to be paragons of faith to the Unionist Cause, with their members serving the Conclave as bodyguards, soldiers, or representatives. In combat, Men-at-Armsare known for being the best heavy cavalry units in the Empire, often taking the initiative when charging against those the Conclave deems as enemies of the faith. Despite their extreme political agenda to the Unionist Conclave and House de Gosselin, the Men-at-Arms are also known to be the most charitable of all other knightly orders, so long as those they help are not heretics.
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The Men-at-Arms are those who complete their training at the age of 20 and are granted their Synodical Villiers Seal. Men-at-Arms are known to be paragons of faith to the Unionist Cause, with their members serving the Conclave as bodyguards, soldiers, or representatives. In combat, Men-at-Arms are known for being the best heavy cavalry units in the Empire, often taking the initiative when charging against those the Conclave deems as enemies of the faith. Despite their extreme political agenda to the Unionist Conclave and House de Gosselin, the Men-at-Arms are also known to be the most charitable of all other knightly orders, so long as those they help are not heretics.
  
 
===The Matrais Dames===
 
===The Matrais Dames===

Latest revision as of 00:05, 29 June 2020

Villiers-Eclaire Order
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Organization
Leader King Florent de Gosselin
Headquarters Carainthais Monastery in Basta in the Regalian Archipelago
Affiliation Unionist Conclave, House de Gosselin

The Villiers-Eclaire Order is a military order that is relatively new and based out of the island of Basta in the Regalian Archipelago. The Villiers-Eclaire School was largely made to provide the Sancella of Unionism with a failsafe in case the more freely moving Lancyon Halberdiers would prove too disloyal to the Sancella, and also counter the less religiously-minded Knightly Orders. The School of Villiers-Eclaire is largely funded and supported by the de Gosselin family, many of whose members are also high ranking Elders in the order. It should as such come as no surprise that many of the Villiers Knights serve in the de Gosselin’s personal retinue and military forces, and accompanied King Florent I’s invasion and capture of the Ithanian Sovereignty. Despite their very political agenda to the Sancella and House de Gosselin, Villiers Knights are well known as paragons of faith to the Unionist cause, utilizing their Synodical Villiers Seal to enforce the will of the cloth.

History

The Villiers-Eclaire Order finds its beginning in 243 AC, the year in which the School of Lancyon separated from the Sancella of Union into its own self-sufficient organization. After this change, many staunch Sancellists worried that this new freedom of the Lancyons would result in them one day revolting against the church, especially on Basta where the Lancyon school was headquartered. At around the same time, one of the regional Dukes of Basta, Lord Francis de Gosselin, began to become disillusioned with the matriarchal and pacifist overtones of the Ithanian Sovereignty. He desired a return to a non-existent golden age when Ithanian knighthood was prominent in the nation. Seeing a way to kill two birds with one stone, Duke Francis petitioned the Supreme Reverend at the time, requesting the creation of a new knightly order tasked with defending the Sancella. Receiving approval for the endeavor, House de Gosselin began utilizing their stored finances to set up the beginnings of the Villiers School, which began accepting members in 245 AC.

Duke Francis and his family-appointed Elders took inspiration from the Viridian Order to form their own combat style, choosing to focus on swordsmanship from a horse instead of the ground-based tactics frequently seen. Another notable change was the focus on religious instruction, and instilling loyalty to the Sancella of Union above all else. This aspect was key to de Gosselin, as he saw the Villiers Knights as the true defenders of the faith, something that he felt the Lancyons had abandoned far too easily. To further emphasize their devotion to the Church, graduating Villiers Knights were granted the Synodical Villiers Seals, a document granting a Knight’s words with the weight of the Sancella of Union. While not fully educated in matters of theology, the Villiers Seal allowed the Order to go out into the world on missions for the Church, enforcing its will through the sword.

After Duke Francis passed away, the title of Primae passed through the de Gosselin heirs up until the present day under Florent I. Sharing the views of his ancestor, Florent was fortunate enough to inherit both a fiefdom to derive income from, alongside a knightly order fully maintained by his house. With these two resources secured, the Basta Duke began preparations to invade Ithania in order to overthrow their matriarchal system, and bring forth the Hilfrontist ideology to the citizens in the Sovereignty. However, Duke Florent was unable to push his invasions past Basta, as House Ivrae de Sange and other minor Ithanian nobles formed a coalition to oppose his invasion. With both sides equally matched, de Gosselin and the Villiers Knights waited for their opportunity. This would last several years, but eventually the Anglian Mist Crisis would give the Duke his chance. Mustering a majority of the Villiers-Order, alongside a blessing from a few members of the Regalian Synod, Duke Florent was able to overpower the Ithanian Coalition, landing in Ithania in 306 AC. With no army to oppose him, Duke Florent seize the capital and placed the Sovereign under house arrest. It was then that he proclaimed himself King Florent I of Ithania, and action which was immediately supported by the Regalian Synod. Upon his confirmation by the Noble Assembly, King Florent disbanded his army, keeping a few Villiers Knights as his Royal Guard, and sending the remaining forces back to Basta. With the revelation of the actual Tenth Creed and subsequent divisions within the Church, de Gosselin changed the objective of the Order, instead focusing them on upholding the Immovable Concepts as defined by Theomar, while acting as the enforcers of the Unionist Conclave’s Rulings. While they still remain fervent bodyguards to the clergy, the knights have transitioned their loyalties closer to their King-Primae, who now works with his Elder Council to steer the Order into a new future.

The Code of Gosselle

The Code of Gosselle is a code of conduct and honor inspired by the treatises of Heron Yvrize Chattelois. The code strictly dictates discipline and loyalty to the Imperial Spirit, and how Knights should view those who do not follow the Unionist faith.

  • To fear the judgement of the Spirit and to maintain his Conclave is the paramount duty of the Knights. To disobey or fail the Conclave’s rulings is treason against the Spirit.
  • To speak a lie is to take the Spirit in the mouth and spit it out. To speak the truth at all times is the natural state of all true Knights.
  • The Knights must make war on the infidels without cessation and without mercy, for the cleansing of non-Unionism can only be performed by the sword.
  • Each and every Knight shall be generous and give alms to the poor always, to go forth into the ill of repute and harlots and downtrodden, and to provide alms and food for the needy.

A knight found violating any of the aforementioned tenets is often harshly punished by lashings, with repetitive violations resulting in expulsion. As long as the Villiers Knights honor their Code and stay loyal to the Conclave, they are granted their Synodical Villiers Seal (which despite the dissolution of the Synod, has kept its name). If a Knight is rejected from the Order, either by severe breaches of the Code or by being cast away by the Unionist Conclave, this seal is revoked and the person no longer speaks with the weight of the Conclave’s approval. Once expelled, a Knight is never allowed to return under any circumstances.

Joining the Villiers-Eclaire Order

To become a Villiers Knight, one must first and foremost be a Unionist. This part is crucial, as the first several years of schooling are spent in the Unionist Seminary. Children enter the Villiers Monastery at age 10 and graduate around the ages of 20-24. During this time, Knights are given heavy religious instruction, lessons on the Code of Gosselin, discipline, and loyalty to the Conclave. The idea is to create a paragon of faith that is willing to put their own life on the line in order to secure the wellbeing of the Spirit’s chosen leadership. When a Knight is done with training, they will be fervently loyal to the Order’s mission, making them excellent bodyguards for the various religious institutions within the Empire.

Order Hierarchy

Taking inspiration from the Viridian Order, the Villiers-Eclaire Knights adopted the same chain of command, with responsibilities changes to reflect their Order’s focus. At the top is the Primae, followed by an Elder Council which does most of the management of the order. Below this leadership body are the Paladins, Squires, and Pages. Below is a more detailed explanation of each role.

The Primae

The Primae of the Villiers-Eclaire Order is the central authority of the knights, and the main contact person for external authorities. The current Primae is King Florent I of Ithania, whose ascension to the throne has led to the role becoming far more ceremonial in nature. While the King still has all his authoritative rights, he has delegated the running of the Order to the Elder Council in Basta, while he rules from his Kingdom.

The Elders

The Elders are the main leadership body of the Villiers-Eclaire Order, and since de Gosselin’s conquest of Ithania, the contact body for external authorities. Comprising mostly brothers and cousins of King Florent, the Elders spend most of their time training and tutoring the Pages, and also coordinating with the Université cléricale de Basta in regards to spiritual lessons for the Order. It is not possible to play an Elder.

The Holy Paladins

The Holy Paladins are the most talented and skilled warriors within the Villiers-Eclaire Order. These fighters have mastered the skills necessary to defend the Unionist Faith, to the point where only a select few could challenge them in single combat. Holy Paladins are revered across the Empire for being paragons and holy warriors of the Unionist faith, heeding the orders of the Conclave regardless of their directive. Paladins often gain their own heraldry which they carry on banners into battle next to their family banner to identify a specific Paladin. Upon receiving their rank, Paladins are also able to choose a specific honorary title to differentiate them from other members, such as Francis the Horse Paladin or Charlize the Lamb Paladin. In order to play a Holy Paladin, one must have a Backstory Special Character Permission.

The Men-at-Arms

The Men-at-Arms are those who complete their training at the age of 20 and are granted their Synodical Villiers Seal. Men-at-Arms are known to be paragons of faith to the Unionist Cause, with their members serving the Conclave as bodyguards, soldiers, or representatives. In combat, Men-at-Arms are known for being the best heavy cavalry units in the Empire, often taking the initiative when charging against those the Conclave deems as enemies of the faith. Despite their extreme political agenda to the Unionist Conclave and House de Gosselin, the Men-at-Arms are also known to be the most charitable of all other knightly orders, so long as those they help are not heretics.

The Matrais Dames

The Matrais Dames are the female graduates of the Villiers-Eclaire Order, having the same standing as the Men-at-Arms within the Order. While the Order under Primae Francis only allowed men to enter, it was through the workings of Charlize Matrais that allowed both genders to enter the school. The Matrais Dames are a physical representation of King Florent’s Hilfrontist Movement, which promotes gender equality in all walks of society. However, to appease the conservative members of the Sancella Seminary, Dames are trained in their own convent known as the Strahlender in Bastillion (which was given an Alt-Regalian name to make a political jab at the patriarchal New Regalians). Matrias Dames train in much the same way as their male counterparts, but with a focus on bodyguarding rather than front-line combat.

The Squires and Pages

Those who enter the Carainthais Monastery at the age of 10 are given the rank of Page, which they hold for the duration of their basic education, Pages are instructed in the ways of chivalry and religion, often mimicking those studying to become Curates of the Sancella. However, once they complete this part of education, Pages are promoted to the rank of Squire and are assigned a Man-at-Arms or Paladin who trains them in the ways of the sword and horse. Squires remain with their Mentors for the remainder of their training, though unlike Pages are able to venture outside of Carainthais Monastery with their mentors.

Training

Pages are taught by both Reverends and the Elders in the beginning years of training, going between theology classes and combat classes. These classes are split between indoor and outdoor studies and can be divided into three primary disciplines: The Sword, the Horse, and the Faith. Pages go through all of them for five years, after which they chose a discipline to specialize in. The former two are often the most popular choices, though a few Pages do choose to spend more time in the Seminary in order to understand greater details of the Unionist Faith. After selecting a discipline, a Page is promoted to the rank of Squire, and placed under the instruction of a Man-at-arms, or in some situations a Paladin, who trains the Squire for the remaining years in all three disciplines (though proportioned according to the Squire’s interests). Due to the religious nature of the school, women are barred from entering the Monastery, as the former Sancella institutions were opened only to men. Ventures outside the Monastery are surprisingly frequent, as Basta is home to many religious sites, which require the Villiers Knights to guard. However, Students are always escorted by an Elder or Paladin to ensure that they represent the Order well.

Deployment

As with the other knightly order, the Villiers-Eclaire Order works independently from the Regalian Military, as serves more as an auxiliary unit commanded by the Elders when they do deploy. Due to this reason, the Order maintains its loyalty to the Conclave first, which can sometimes make decisions that go against the Military’s wishes. On the battlefield, Villiers-Knights serve as mounted cavalry units and tend to be in the Vanguard in order to soften up the enemy for the main army to engage in. Villiers Combat theory is relatively ruthless, as Paladins view their opponents as heretics in the eyes of the faithful, leading them to waste no time in dispatching their foes. While orders like the Viridians prefer to face opponents of similar skill, Villiers Knights focus on quantity over quality, believing that the fewer heretics standing, the better.

Trivia

  • The Villiers-Eclaire Order is represented by the colors teal and purple, and the Two-Horned Horse is their favored symbol.
  • There was some talk in the direct aftermath of Florent d’Gosselin’s invasion of Ithania about moving the Order to Ithania. However, the King fervently rejected the notion, knowing that the Order would not be as effective in protecting the Conclave if they were a sea away. However, with the revelation of the Tenth Creed, there have been a few whispers that this decision may be reconsidered.

Accreditation
Writers FireFan96
Processors HydraLana, Lord_Immortal, Nesstro
Last Editor HydraLana on 06/29/2020.

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