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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 12:40 am 
WoC Architect
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Name of Main PC: Laurel Dy'ness
Paladins

Paragons of Virtue
Defenders of Faith
Warriors with Just Cause

What is a Paladin? A question that has many answers to be sure. The modern Paladin is certainly a far cry from those of old yet the basic tenets of their chosen way of life hold true even to this day. The best description of the modern Paladin is found within the meaning and interpretation of the following words. Prowess, justice, loyalty, defence, courage, faith, humility, largesse, nobility, and franchise.

Prowess: Is to seek excellence in all endeavours, martial or otherwise, seeking strength for use in service of justice rather than personal glory.

Justice: Is to always seek the right path unencumbered by bias or personal interest, Recognising that the sword of justice can be a terrible thing so it must be tempered by humanity and mercy.

Loyalty: Is to be known for unwavering commitment to the people and ideals that you live by. There are many situations where compromise is expected but never loyalty.

Defence: Is to defend those that you have sworn loyalty to.

Courage: Is to choose the path that sees the right outcome regardless of personal cost. At the same time the Paladin should seek wisdom to see that stupidity and courage are cousins. Courage also means taking the side of truth in all matters, rather than seeking the expedient lie. Seek the truth whenever possible, but remember to temper justice with mercy, or the pure truth can bring grief.

Faith: Is to hold true to beliefs, as faith is the foundation that allows the inward battle against despair caused by internal failings to be won.

Humility: Is to value first the contributions of others and not to boast of personal accomplishments. Accord others the renown due to them for righteous deeds.

Largesse: Is to be generous as far as personal resources allow thus countering gluttony. It also makes the path of mercy easier to discern when a difficult decision of justice is required.

Nobility: Is to seek great stature of character by holding to the virtues and duties of a Paladin, realizing that though the ideals cannot be reached, the quality of striving towards them ennobles the spirit, growing the character from dust towards the heavens. Nobility also has the tendency to influence others, offering a compelling example of what can be done in the service of rightness.

Franchise: Seek to emulate all other aspects of Paladinhood as sincerely as possible. Not for personal gain but because it is right.

The fact remains that there is no single perfect Paladin. Within the qualities described exist many possible interpretations and applications. However perhaps the simplest and most evocative picture one could draw of a Paladin would be the Paladin wielding their weapon in defence of those they love at the cost of their life. In other words, sacrifice.

So how did the Paladin as a lifestyle come to exist, and from where did today's modern Paladin spring?

The history of the Paladin is buried in the mists of time. Some say the first Paladin was the God Tyllar himself. Others say that the first Paladin was the first man to set foot on Etaria. Still others contend that the first true Paladin was Eliath, second-born son of the great Elf King Dumiath from the first age. Needless to say, the true origin of the Paladin as we know them today is not clear. What is known, with some detail is the more recent evolution of the modern Paladin and the roots that gave rise to this noble breed.

Around 1300 years ago, on an uninhabited stretch of coast of the land of Tyran, a 15 strong company of warriors from Genocise landed under the cover of darkness and proceeded inland. Their aim was the destruction of the Temple of Light. They gained access to the city through the postern gate and slaughtered the guard who were sleeping in their beds and murdered the guards on duty by using the cover of spells of silence and darkness. With the guards dead and their backs free from possible attack they made their way to the Temple of Light.

Inside the temple were some 45 clerics and monks of Tyllar. Also inside was a young fisherman, Johan Resile, who had cut his hand badly while cleaning his catch and had been taken to the temple for healing. Again, through the agency of arcane sorcery, the Genocise warriors entered the temple silently slaughtering all inside. However, their luck, good to this point, turned a little sour and the alarm was raised. The uncoordinated defenders were unable, despite superior numbers, to repel the well-drilled and ruthless attackers. They were slaughtered. Their bodies dismembered in the frenzied attacks. The only survivor was the fisherman, who had hid under his cot when the alarm was raised.

The attackers then set fire to the wooden supports of the temple and spread a large quantity of lamp oil around the place. They smashed the altar to Tyllar and the statue of the God. With the fire burning out of control they retreated into the night without opposition. Morning saw the Warriors from Genocise well out to sea in their boat and the temple a smoking ruin.

The fisherman who survived the attack, Johan Resile, attributed his life to a divine agency, he claimed Tyllar had appeared and enabled him to walk, unhurt, through the flames to the safety of the forecourt of the temple. His life was changed by this event and he took up a life of devotion to Tyllar and taught himself the use of a sword. The histories speak of Johan as the one who convinced the then Emperor to fund the rebuilding of the Temple of Light. He also established the first truly organised order of Paladins, known as the Order of Light. Their objective was the defence of the church of Tyllar wherever it was needed. The laws of chivalry and the traits of poverty and abstinence were the guide to these knights of valour.

For several hundred years the Order of Light was the only organized order of Paladins in the civilized world. Despite this, there were a large number of warriors who followed their own specific code of conduct and roamed the lands as Paladins of various Gods. Always seeking to do good and to enforce the Law and spread word of their beliefs. This was an age of peace and prosperity for Tyran. The warlike evil people of Genocise did not threaten the lands anymore, their attention diverted elsewhere by the rise of a new and powerful Kingdom to the West called Chail.

Then, about 1100 years ago, another dramatic event occurred. A small border war broke out between Tyran and one of its neighbors. Right in the middle of the war zone was a temple to Tyllar. The then head of the Order of Light, Cerestra De'falaise rode to the front to ensure the protection of this small insignificant temple. At this time she was Tyllar's champion and she died in his service during this war but her life, given selflessly for those in the temple that they might be safe was a gift to Tyllar that he could not refuse. Tyllar, who saw her devotion, made her a lesser goddess and gave her a part of his portfolio, virtue and valor. Interestingly, there is some evidence, mainly old temple records and inscriptions that indicate that Tyllar and Cerestra were lovers before she ascended.

With the death of Cerestra De'falaise the leadership of the Order of Light degenerated into chaos. Within 20 years it was no more. The Paladins sworn to Tyllar's service scattered to all points of the compass. Some started new temples to Tyllar; others followed the newly ascended Goddess Cerestra and set about eradicating evil on their own. Some even moved to Zenegral and joined the holy orders there, bringing with them faith in Cerestra and adding a fourth to the three Gods of Zenegral. (As a side note, the Emperor of Tyran reconstituted the Order of Light many years later and today it is a powerful force of law and order within Tyran. The original Order of Paladins is no more but their legacy lives on.)

Then came the Great Silence. The Gods disappeared from the face of Caenyr. Their voices were heard no more and their influence on life, death and nature dissipated. During this time many of the Gods were forgotten, their followers dwindling in numbers slowly over the years. Even the Paladinic Orders that had sprung up slowly withered. The number of Paladins dwindling away till only a few remained. Those that remained true to their vows and to their faith struggled to keep their tenets of faith and life alive. As the influence of the Gods disappeared so did the ability of the scattered and weakened Paladin Orders to keep true to their original doctrine.

From this almost lifeless and barren seedbed was to spring the new orders. With the return of the Gods a decade ago, the remaining Paladins and Paladinic Orders were reinvigorated. Faith rewarded and powers returned, the Paladins once more began to influence the land. No longer the singular and highly focused order that was the Order of Light, but a wide-ranging, multi-faceted homogenous mix with many faiths and many doctrines. Involved with life, at the forefront of the battle against evil, impartial implementers of Law and strident representatives for their chosen way of life.

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Last edited by Laurel on Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:44 pm 
WoC Architect
WoC Architect
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Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:10 pm
Posts: 1464
Location: Vancouver BC
GSID: Waterjules
Name of Main PC: Laurel Dy'ness
Histories of Classes:

The Assassins
Balancing of Chaos and the First Justicar
Blighters
Chroniclers – the Bards of Jaerik
The Green Knight – Paladin of Ath’endal’lynn
Hallowed Redeemer – Paladin of Mor’tep
Hands of Govannon
History of the Shields of Durin
Inga Anena
Modern Paladins – an Abridged History
The Tainted
Warlords of Raekhan
The Witch Masters

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Teehee(c) Laurelicious Inc.
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Bringer of Shiny since 2002
My Blog


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