The Order of Hollenwë

Copyright Robert J Defendi for Final Redoubt Press © 2008

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"The world is so much richer, so much deeper than we can see with our eyes."

The Order of Hollenwë dedicates itself to the more mystical aspects of magic. They study everything from divining to illusions to summoning. It is because of this Order and deep racial trends that magic is still accepted in the Elven kingdoms.

This Order is based in Ingrast.

Common Professions: Cleric, Illusionist, Mystic, Bard, Seer, Summoner.

Additional Base Lists: Divine Magic, Holy Trances, Natural Ways*, Spiritual Vision.

*See Part VIII.

The Saint

Hollenwë was a great seer who was born about the time of the awakening of the Humans and didn't die until the time of Almia. During his life he experienced so many visions that he surpassed the abilities of any other seer in history. To this day the Elves of this Order still study and analyze his predictions, especially those about the end of the world.

Hollenwë has developed into a mythical figure of prescience. He represents divination in its purest form to the Elven. It doesn't even occur to an Elf that he could be wrong any longer. They are more concerned with whether they interpret him correctly.

Dogma

The world is so much richer, so much deeper than we can see with our eyes. We can only see the crudest, most primitive part. Behind this is a world of wonder and spiritual power few can do more than imagine.

Mission

The Order is charged with seeking all things hidden, with exploring the mysteries of creation. They build and search and study, looking for new truths, old forgotten truths, and new interpretations. They are in charge of most of the prophecy and divination of the Order.

Membership

Members can join the Order at any time. Most of them are picked out as particularly spiritual or ethereal children. Others are singled out in the seminary. Either way, they find their way into the Order and excel at the secrets taught there.

Organization

While they use titles that correspond to the Shapers and translate easily into Human tongues, the Order views its structure a bit differently. For them, the Order is a series of concentric rings, each possessing its own secrets. Members start on the outer ring and work inward with each promotion. While this doesn't stop them from having a strictly hierarchal structure in practice, it's reflected in their views of the truth and their speech when talking to themselves.

Advancement

When a member's master or masters deem him ready, he is tested in some esoteric way. These tests are subtle and usually the Elf doesn't realize he's being tested. In fact, some of these tests can last years with the subject failing time and again until he finally passes.

Once he is ready, he is taken aside and promoted. This gives him new status in the Order even as he is indoctrinated into new secrets of Hollenwë's revelations. In game terms, this often means an ability to train to higher levels of skill or a core of secrets that the character learns. A GM should be careful not to worry too much about these secrets, unless he has a specific campaign idea. In fact, different members are often taught different secrets as part of their indoctrination, then given permission to study others on their own. This could lead to an interesting campaign where characters rising through the Order gain new epiphanies of Hollenwë . . . revelations that all pertain to the campaign storyline in a series of revelations.

Reward and Punishment

A member of the Order can be rewarded or punished in the ways of other Orders. The biggest reward and punishment would involve access to Order secrets, which can be granted or revoked.

The Flock

The Order has no flock. Sometimes, a particular member will gain a small following at a local public place, such as a wine shop where he allows himself to wax poetic about prophecy.

Clergy

The Order has invested priests within its ranks. These priests serve two masters, owing allegiance to the priesthood and the Order itself. Many are not promoted high in the Order because their superiors aren't certain where their first loyalty lies.

Magic

The Order promotes study of all magicks that aren't blatantly evil (such as necromancy). Certain types aren't their style-wildly overt elementalism, for instance-but they still try to promote its study.

Locales

The Order favors monastic-style retreats. They live in simple buildings but their secretive nature makes them more enclosed, often even walled like some Human monasteries.

The Order bases itself in Ingrast, outside the city of Dorwainen.

Family Life

Members of the Order have the normal range of family lives. They keep secrets from their families, but this is understood as a necessity. It's not an issue in most families.

Factions

There are factions in the Order, but these tend to be local phenomena.

Politics

Politics in this Order are fairly subdued. What politics you find tend to be of a local, personal nature.

Spotting a Mystic of Hollenwë

Members of the Order dress as they wish, though they have a proclivity for robes. When performing official duties, they don a yellow belt and stole. Many of them wear the belt even when off-duty.

Typical Usage

The typical Mystic is an ethereal and enigmatic figure. They speak in riddles and answer questions with questions. They follow all the fantasy mystic clichés.

Atypical Usage

A forthright and fast-talking Mystic would be an interesting choice. One that refuses to talk in riddles is another. One that tries to lecture at great length about mysteries would also be a good choice. It might be fun to have a mystic that constantly teases his companions for following the clichés.

Maranenya Inglanor

Inglanor is a mage of great power, using illusions and phantasms to bring against the foes of the Elven kingdom. No one knows this, but his secret hatred is against all Humans.

His father was killed years ago by an arrow fletched in the Elven fashion. He thought it was an accident, but recently he discovered evidence there were Humans bandits in the nearby woods and have been for some time.

Because of this, he's organized a resistance against the plans to help the Human children in Dorwainen. They've left notes, sabotaged plans and generally made themselves a nuisance, but he has plans to escalate matters if things continue unabated.

Inglanor is a short Elf, not exactly fat, but thicker than the Elven ideal. He has a friendly, round face, almost Human in shape, and is considered homely in Elven circles.