Zealots of the prime, the Lightbringers are an order of Paladins that operate in reverence to Istensia’s dogma. They are led by Cassandra du Soleil, a human that served Istensia as a Handmaiden of the Light as far back as before the Shattering. They seek to rid the world of undead and the influence of Etejeril, hunting nercomancers and other practitioners of the Dark Arts.
The Lightbringers were founded long ago, shortly before the Shattering. A devoted Handmaiden of the Light named Cassandra du Soleil banished the avatar of Etejeril from Varalon at the Fenal Tower. A more militant portion of the Handmaidens of the Light made the ideologic switch that eventually founded this Paladin order. They were viewed as too heavy handed and dangerous by the Handmaidens, leading to an uneasy alliance between the two groups. Since then, the Lightbringers have dedicated their lives to gaining strength and command of the Prime’s power through their devotion to Istensia.
Light is hope, and must be brought to the masses, even if by force. Bring it into dark places so that they may be illuminated by Istensia’s grace. Necromancers are a pox that must be eradicated, and rest brought to their pitiful victims raised to undeath. Be ever generous to those who choose to bask in the light, that they may further extend its reach.
Colors and Emblems
The Lightbringers’ main colors are gold and white, though they have an internal ranking system represented by colored mantles that correlate to the relative heat of a flame. Their symbol is a sun’s corona, for they see themselves as the extension of Istensia’s light and warmth on the shards.
Though there aren’t individual sects within Lightbringers, there is a distinction to be made between them and the other devotees of Istensia, the Handmaidens of the Light.
Militant and strong willed, the Lightbringers seek to spread Istensia’s influence throughout all of Orn. The majority of their time is spent combating practitioners of the Dark Arts, taking a particularly hard stance against necromancers.
- Handmaidens of the Light
The original devout followers of Istensia, this is the group that originated the Lightbringers. Staunch pacifists, they instead seek to spread the benevolence of Istensia to all who may seek it. Notably, only women are allowed to be Handmaidens of the Light.
The Lightbringers’ structure is modeled after the colors of a flame, with the brightest, hottest colors near the top and the less scorching but more radiant heat at the bottom.
- White Mantles
Lightbringers at the very top wear a White Mantle. This is reserved for only a select few who have done miraculous deeds in the name of Istensia, and conveys a sense of honor similar to sainthood. They are referred to as “Your Radiance” by all other Mantles, and are keen to the most powerful secrets in their order. The most widely known White Mantle is Cassandra du Soleil - leader of the Lightbringers.
- Azure Mantles
These are the ranking officials within the order. They are in charge of operations and organizational tasks.
- Gold Mantles
Gold Mantle Lightbringers lead squads of Paladins in the field. They are responsible for making quick decisions in the moment, and leading the charge into battle.
- Crimson Mantles
Crimsons Mantles are the regular members of the Lightbringer order. They are the most commonly seen Paladins within Doom’s End, and are generally sent as envoys to other Shards when reaching out beyond their order.
- Sparks of Hope
These are the initiate Lightbringers. They wear no mantle, but do equip the standard Lightbringer tabard. Sparks of Hope are expected to graduate to Crimson Mantles within a year - those who fail to do so by proving their merit and devotion to Istensia are stripped of their tabards and ineligible to reattempt their initiation for three years.
The Capital of the Lightbringers is Doom’s End, which is located in central Varalon. Constructed over the remains of the Fenal Tower, the age old throne of Etejeril’s avatar, Doom’s End is a constant reminder to all who lay eyes on it of the power and fervor of the Lady of the Morn. It’s layout is built within what appears to be a large crater, the center of which is approximately 25 meters lower than its outermost structures. Glimmering marble streets and buildings stretch outward as far as the eye can see, reflecting and amplifying the sun’s warmth to all who inhabit the massive city.
The Capital is divided into quarters encircling a central capitol district, known locally as the Radiant Court. It is separated from the rest of the city by a towering wall of mirrors. The mirrors amplify the sun’s light so immensely that it is said that any practitioner of the dark arts would suffer similarly to being in the near reaches of the Prime. The Radiant Court is home to the White Mantles of the Lightbringers, including their leader, Cassandra du Soleil. It also houses the Temple of Light, the city’s largest structure dedicated to the reverence of Istensia.
The southwest quarter is home to the Lightbringers, and is called Hope’s Ward. This region is set up in distinct horizontal banded tiers, known colloquially as the Steps of Faith. The Steps of Faith are accessible to anyone, and are mostly separated for organizational purposes. The outermost Step, called The Prominence, houses Lightbringer initiates. This district consists mostly of barracks, training grounds, and lecture halls. The central Step is home to initiated Paladins of Crimson Mantle status, and is known as the Body of Hope. They have traditional styled homes rather than barracks, and are able to live with their families. This is where most services intended for the Lightbringers are located as well, including restaurants, shops, and markets. The innermost Step is named the Dawn Vigil. This is the home of Gold Mantles and Azure Mantles, who live in lavish estates. Each estate doubles as their command post, and squadron leaders are expected to receive their subordinates within their homes for official business, and provide feasts and entertainment to reward the service of their teams.
The northeast quarter is the Reverent Domain, seat of the Handmaidens of the Light. Towering cathedrals, ceremonial grounds, and academies of faith make up the majority of the quarter. While anyone is allowed access and visitation to the Reverent Domain, only the women who have dedicated themselves as Handmaidens of the Light are welcome to reside within the quarter.
The northwest quarter is the legislative seat of Doom’s End, known simply as the Court. All governmental buildings are located here, and it has no residential district.
The southeast quarter is called the Commons. This section of the city is entirely residential and commercial. The name may be deceiving to outsiders, as there is no distinguishing factors that make this quarter appear lesser than any other. Due to the overwhelming benevolence of the Handmaidens of the Light, all residents of Doom’s End are allowed to live in comfort regardless of their personal worth.
The Lightbringers generally get along well with the order of the Crystal Fists, and are generally seen as a positive force on Orn - protecting the innocent from the perils of the Dark Arts. Surprisingly enough, their most strained relationship is with the Handmaidens of the Light, even though they were once the same organization.
Those who disagree with the actions and beliefs of the Lightbringers generally see them as extremist crusaders. While it is difficult to disparage their efforts and dedication to eradicating the undead, it is easy to find fault in their methods and zealotry.
The Lightbringers’ views on Immortals aligns directly with Istensia’s relationship to them, and Cassandra du Soleil’s experiences with the Company of Seven. Some of the more notable Immortals are the following:
- Istensia – The Radiant Maiden is the patron of the Lightbringers. Her ideals and dogma are perpetuated by their order to a fault.
- Antasia - Being Istensia’s sister, the Lightbringers mourn the disappearance of Antasia, and are especially accomodating to her followers.
- Avaren – Representing similar ideals and common foes to Istensia, the Lightbringers are generally welcoming to all followers of Avaren.
- Etejeril - The Great Shade is the antithesis of the Lightbringers. Most of their missions and actions are made in direct opposition to Etejeril and his followers - with particular hatred for necromancers.
- Lemesin - The Crystal Fists serving under Lemesin’s dogma and Lightbringers are close allies, often extending a call for aid to each other in times of strife.
- Loreyza - Similar to the followers of Antasia, the Lightbringers are welcoming of all followers of Loreyza, giving respect for the ascendent druid for undertaking the burden left by the Mistress of the Woods.
- Ressik - While Istensia’s own relationship is an uneasy coexistence with the Supreme Lawgiver, recent events have forced the Lightbringers to stand in opposition to him and all who follow him.
Cassandra du Soleil
The most famous member of the Lightbringers is none other than their leader, Cassandra du Soleil. Originally a Handmaiden of the Light and a member of the Company of Seven, Cassandra sought to destroy the avatar of Etejeril, exiling his influence from Varalon. Many sought to join Cassandra, impressed by her more militant nature and her prompt rise to action when the need arises. This caused the Handmaidens of the Light to split into two separate groups, the newer of the two becoming known as the order of the Lightbringer Paladins. During the Shattering, Cassandra joined with Istensia, allowing the Ageless One to survive the event within her mortal body. After Istensia removed herself from their binding, Cassandra’s attitude began to change. Being one with the power of an Immortal made her more arrogant and overconfident in her own abilities. That being said, something did remain from their time together, for how many humans of this age are able to claim to have lived before the Shattering?
“Your Radiance” - an honorific used to distinguish Lightbringers of the White Mantle rank.
“Light guide you” - used as a replacement for general parting phrases when speaking to other Paladins who are heading out on an official mission.
“They are lost in the dark” - used to refer to someone who has fallen to the Dark Arts.
“The pitiful” - used to refer to the undead, who the Lightbringers take pity on. They truly see the killing of undead as a mercy, allowing them to reach their final rest.