The Order of the Ermine Sepulchre, or the Blue Lilies, as they were sometimes known throughout Arcadia, were a retinue of the Kingdom of Yndria and later the Empire of Ivryl. Although originally founded to protect the tombs of the Yndrian line of kings and suppress the usage of magic by force, the Order was reformed in the early years of the Blessed Era with far more benevolent intentions.
It would go on to aid in preserving the balance of magic in the world, ensuring that catastrophe never again fell upon the continent of Arcadia, but soon began to develop its own agenda.
Organisation and Structure
Each member of the Order was trained in full as an independent operative, and many took to hiding themselves amongst populations whilst receiving secretive missions from above. They were also trained in rudimentary magic whenever possible, with particular attention given to scrying and illusion spells. Those that wielded a greater command over their magic powers were made into more senior members of the Order and acted as mentors.
In 1416 B.E, the Grandmaster of the Order was Julian d'Arligny, an Astanién man who once swore loyalty to Yndria as a simple knight. The title passed to the Yndrian loyalist Anwyl Gedrych in 1434 B.E.
- Julian d'Arligny
- Orwell Brinyrd
- Anwyl Gedrych
The Shadows Within Yndria
Originally founded to defend the mausoleums of the past monarchs of Yndria, the nation that once stood proudly in Arcadia, the Order of the Ermine Sepulchre was an organisation that grew to have a fearsome reputation.
They were expanded during the reign of King Trellyn at a time of great crisis, and were notorious for the event known as The Culling, where thousands of violent anti-monarchist rioters were put to the sword. After such a bloodbath, they enjoyed immeasurable favour amongst the powerful nobles loyal to the crown, and were soon granted further duties and privileges.
They steadily grew in both influence in power, until eventually the Order was named a chamber militant of the Church of the Heavens. For a time, they acted as an arm of the Church's will within Yndria and often beyond wherever needed. With societal upheavals late in the Common Era, however, the Order came under direct management of the then King Tarquin, who outlawed both the Church and the practice of magic as a whole.
Under the rule of such a draconian sovereign, the Order was a honed weapon, and those accepted into its shadowy ranks were removed from society as if they were never there. It existed as an enforcer of the state apparatus, primarily hunting down and persecuting mages and their ilk. To those who practised magic outside of the Order, there was a constant risk of being informed upon. With an almost unquestionable control, the Blue Lilies went above and beyond the law to ensure that their prey was caught. This meant that the organisation was able to command such entities as the city guard, the guild chambers and most organisations barring the nobles and the crown.
King Tarquin instituted himself as the Grandmaster of the Order until his death during the Long Night in 1381 C.E.
Ivryl and the Reformation of the Order
By the time of the foundation of the Empire of Ivryl in 1383 B.E, the Order of the Ermine Sepulchre had been a defunct organisation for over two years. Under the newly crowned Empress, the Everchosen hero Emryn Ashbury, the Blue Lilies were reformed and brought back to serve a wholly more righteous purpose.
Julian D'Arligny, former knight and member of the Order as it existed in Yndria, was appointed to oversee the majority of the reforms, and would eventually go on to be named its new Grandmaster. He was not alone in his assignment, however, and he would carry out all tasks related to the reformation alongside a newcomer to the Order named Orwell Brinyrd, and the veteran operative Anwyl Gedrych.
Although the more extreme ideals held by Gedrych proved to be a hindrance to the process, the reforms were eventually successful. Rather than ruthlessly hunting down practitioners of magic and serving the interests of an all too controlling ruler, the Order became an instrument by which the balance of magic could be observed and kept in check. It maintained largely the same methods as it had utilised before, with most of its members blending in with the general populations scattered across the Empire.
It also served as a tool for the young Empress Emryn to preserve the peace that she had promised for Arcadia. Not all nations that had been stricken by the Long Night were keen to unify under one banner, and many more opposed the idea of being presided over by such a naive and idealistic young girl. As such, during the early years of the Blessed Era, the Order moved as a silent hand with which subtle but crucial influence could be exacted.