The Order of the Solemn
For two millennia we have ruled the Empire through equality, regardless of birth or creed. You have a place with us if you have greatness within you- whether or not you have the talent, it never hurts to have a little magic on your side. -Steward Mortimer Wells, Order of the Solemn
The Order of the Solemn is a club that blends mystical tradition with the pursuit of success and influence. They control the majority of the world’s wealth, and pride themselves on non-discrimination, accepting initiates from all races and walks of life, provided they have what it takes to succeed. The Order provides its members with tremendous economic and legal support in exchange for pursuing Solemnite interests where and when they can.
When humans landed on the continent Amara (about two thousand years ago), powerful captains of industry took control from the existing nobility and formed an oligarchic government that reigned supreme until recently. The premise of this governmental body was simple; power was earned through economic success. The elite members of the ruling council, all of whom were wealthy and most of whom were mages, formed the Order of the Solemn- a private club that more or less controlled industry and government throughout Amara from their private domain in the spire of Montus Mar. In the early days, the knowledge of magic was believed highly dangerous and carefully kept from the general public, which gave the Solemnites an ongoing edge over their rivals; though today the arcane arts are freely taught, the most skillful mages are still Solemnites, and the highest ranking Solemnites all possess some degree of arcane talent.
The Order of the Solemn lost their unilateral control of the Amaran empire one hundred and fifty years ago when descendants of the old nobility made a devastating power play, recruiting the greatest scientific minds of their generation to create a display of helatite-based technology that would astonish the continent; they raised the colossal Palace of Parliament in a single day. The Order of the Solemn, called by the people the "Council of Montus Mar", was forced to strike a truce with the nobles in order to prevent an Amaran civil war, leading to the tenuous balance of power that still exists today between the groups. Their silent war mirrors the conflict between technology and magic that is visible to the public.
The philosophy of the Order of the Solemn is simple, and
follows the oligarchic model by which they administrated the Empire until the
birth of Parliament; they believe in judging an individual's worth based on his
merit and potential for success, as opposed to his birthright or any
perceived “nobility of spirit”. Though some claim their pursuit of
economic, political, or arcane superiority is base greed, there
is no denying their fair treatment of potential members regardless
of race, gender, or personal history; their only vector of worth is
Solemnites in the Caravan
As a Solemnite in the Caravan, you are well placed to take advantage of innumerable opportunities to profit and gain important knowledge living on the edge of civilization. First contact encounters, land acquisition, development of infrastructure in previously untouched areas, all this and more could mean a fortune for any shrewd entrepreneur. In addition, being among the first souls to traverse the ancient Ki’Maran ground may yield more esoteric rewards in the form of ancient relics and records that are bound to be discovered along the Caravan’s path. Your motivation to join the Caravan may also be political- pursuing the Solemnite agenda on the frontier offers unique opportunities for advancement in the Order, and with such elevation comes greater Parliamentary influence and financial support.
Ranks and Powers
(Faction powers are legal abilities that rely on in-game compliance with the law and are not enforced by any game mechanic.)
The Order of the Solemn is divided into thirteen degrees, though only the Grand Master possesses the Thirteenth Degree. Attaining each degree requires a formalized ritual and approval from your superiors. The following list ends at the third degree- only after obtaining that rank will you learn the details of further advancement.
Initiate (First Degree)
Description: You are a newly recruited member of the Order of the Solemn, or a low level member who has never bothered to seek advancement in the organization. An initiate is no trainee, but a fully qualified member who has been recognized for their potential by their superiors in the order.
Power: At each check-in, you receive an envelope of sovereigns. The exact amount varies based on the in-game economy.
Catch: In each envelope of funds there will be a faction mission that you are expected to complete during the event.
Description: You have been recognized as a rising star within the order, potentially due to your skill at enterprise, your arcane talent, or your leadership qualities. You have attained a significant degree of privilege and responsibility, and will be greatly relied upon by your superiors.
Power: Once per month, you may invoke Parliamentary immunity for a single illegal act, from refusing a conscription to murder.
Catch: After invoking immunity, you must justify your illegal act to your superiors within the order. If they are dissatisfied with your answer, they may revoke your immunity and subject you to the full punishment for the crime.
Steward (Third Degree)
Description: You have risen to a position of considerable influence within the Order, and will often be charged with leading members of lower rank in the completion of faction missions or other tasks. In the process of obtaining the third degree, essential mysteries of the order are revealed to you, including the details of the next three degrees.
Power: Once every three months, you may request the presence of a wealthy investor to potentially support a well-defined business plan of yours. At the event following your request, barring in-game circumstances that might prevent the individual's arrival, an NPC investor will be dispatched and seek you out, whereupon you must present your business plan. If you can convince the investor that he or she stands to profit from the venture in a timely manner, you will receive generous support in exchange for a negotiable percentage of the venture's income.
Catch: If your business plan fails, you will be in great danger of retribution from the investor, and the Order of the Solemn will not protect you from such a failure.
- The Advocacy: "They're worse than the bleeding hearts they purport to be; they genuinely endanger the Foreign Legion with the sanctions they earn through ignorant political grandstanding in the halls of Parliament."
- The Caravan Union: "Common-born captains of industry ruling by virtue of true ability, as they should be. Assuming they remain in line with the interests of the Empire, they will continue to be valuable business partners."
- The Imperial Corps of Engineers: "A club of spoiled lordlings and their hired mechanics. Their influence has corrupted and divided the once great empire, all for the abhorrent cause of returning to a feudal society ruled by corrupt and inbred nobles."
- The Foreign Legion: "Truly the Amaran dream manifested; the Legion gives you a chance to be a part of something greater regardless of your past or your heritage. They are all that stands between civilization and the dark abyss of the Ki'Maran Frontier."