Toran: Sects

Order of the Shining Hand

Formerly called the Order of the Unliving Hunters, this small sect within the church was also a part of the judiciary before the schism. The order is made up of paladins; at last count 301 men and women. The tie that binds this group is devotion. While every order boasts piety, the Shining Hand uses their faith as their primary weapon when hunting and dispatching unliving. In addition, many of the duties of the justicers that the Order of the Longsword has not picked up, have fallen to the Shining Hand.

The Order of the Unliving Hunters began as a subset of paladins who specialized out of necessity during a war on a group of necromantic practitioners over 1,000 years ago on Alindor. Trained in the most effective ways to battle and destroy unliving, the group thrived and found use, and the order came soon after. The meeting hall at the fallen temple in Prantz was said to hold portraits of the Hand going back 600 years. The order is led by the Hand, which until Quantum Windword has also been a paladin. He or she answers only to the Auscultare and Heart of Toran, and has tremendous pull inside the church. Under the Hand are two armsmen, chosen by vote. The current Hand is Theodosia Varamost.

Quantum Windword (former Shining Hand Elect) is a tall man with blond hair and deep blue eyes. He is not a paladin, but rather a cleric of Toran, and as such can never be a part of the order. With the previous Hand missing and no successor noted after the fall of Prantz, a general vote was called. Quantum vied for the post along with a number of others. Hand Windword's actions around Fort Llast got him the needed votes. He put a great deal of effort into rebuilding the order to its former numbers and made sure that the order was moving smoothly into its new role before relinquishing his position. He remains a strong influence in the order, however.

Learning and Lore

This small sect of the Ordained concerns themselves only with the teachings, lore, and history of the church. All the minutiae of Toran's knowledge falls into their reign, and they share that knowledge freely within the church. They work closely with the Office of the Registrar, comparing and fact-checking persons and deeds. Learning and Lore also dispenses the information they gather to those outside the church if they deem it appropriate. They often do gatherings to both set rumors straight and pass on the word of the Great Leader. While the organization is called Learning and Lore, only one person is called the Teacher; the rest are called students, regardless of their position.

Teacher Undre Camphallion came to the temple in Fort Llast as a young child from the Hammerbound Peaks. He has spent his entire life within the church and, in fact, in Fort Llast, dedicating himself to reading and sharing all the learning of his god. He is nearing the end of his life at 87 years but is still very vital mentally and is regarded as the premier expert on the history of the church. He was also instrumental in helping Loran Kor find the Quartos Toranis.

Champions of Toran

This is a title for those who have performed exceptional duty to the church--an honorary position. The first Champion of Toran was a simple cleric named Alphonse Matteo, for his role in smuggling out war orphans from under the nose of a dictator on Belinara in 1123. Forced to battle to protect the last fourteen children, he managed to cover their retreat from the labor-house they had been assigned to, even though he had no experience fighting. All in all he saved seventy-six children, and the Champion's title is sometimes called the Matteo Award.

Michaelis Draego is the Champion of Toran for his struggle to uncover the justicar's plan to take control of the church. He is tall and blond with blue eyes and looks to be close to 40. Although he appears stern, he is known to be an emotional man with a temper; however, those close to him note that he tries every day to be the perfect reflection of his god. His stated goal and that which he is working to create is first, the renewed confidence of the people of Layonara for the Great Leader, and second, a new temple for Toran appropriate to the size of the church. In that, he has succeeded as a new temple has been built in Huangjin on Tilmar.