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The Order of the White Cloth
“We are the purity of spirit. We are the only protectors of the living. We are the cleansing hand that will bring salvation to all Aruneus. We are the law.”
–Order of the White Cloth Open Rites, book II, chapter 1.
The Order of the White Cloth is possibly the one human organization to profit greatly from the zombie apocalypse. Shortly before the undead rose the Order was large but politically not a strong entity. When they found themselves spread throughout all of the human realms(with small temples in several Elven and Dwarven cities as well) though their spiritual leader High Priest Dain seized the opportunity. He immediately communicated to all of his subordinates that they were to spare no effort in driving back the undead hordes and saving what they could of any settlements they found themselves in.
After the initial outbreak had passed, High Priest Dain found himself in the position of both the most revered spiritual leader on the planet and also in control of the largest extent network of Humans. He strove to live up to the ideals set for him from the existing governments and worked closely with their military and other spiritual groups to ensure that humanity and the other races would not be completely eradicated.
He was the first to propose elevated settlements and saw to it that the Human nations created laws mandating 2nd level living in any newly built or rebuilt settlements. He also worked closely with the groups responsible for the first lighter than air ships as well as
The strain was very large and High Priest Dain was already well into his sixtieth decade when the initial outbreaks occurred. In the summer of 7 AA he suffered a stroke while working with the Old Kingdom government on plans for a new settlement. His party was attacked and overrun by a large number of undead (who subsequently destroyed most of the nearby settlements). High Priest Dain’s body was never recovered.
The next leader to be selected as High Priest, Raynold, was the youngest appointment to the office at 43 years old. Raynold took a much different approach and saw that not only could he slow and possibly turn the advance of the undead but that he could seize political power while doing so. Increasingly power vacuums occurred when noble families were overrun or lost all of their offspring and potential heirs to the undead uprising. Raynold worked hard to set up puppet governments wherever he could, who were loyal to and often subject to the Order.
Realizing that the League of the Earth and the Colleges of Mages would oppose this he also worked hard to pass laws restricting the use of Magic. No fool, he realized the many benefits the magical arts brought to society and created his owned, Order licensed organization of magicians subject to the oversight of the the Order.
While it took time to consolidate the Orders political power, consolidate it Raynold did. In 45 AA he was able to pass a series of laws through the Order’s political arms which greatly restricted the ability of magic users to function in Human society. Raynold was directly responsible for the condemnation, arrest and execution of a large number of League of the Earth leaders. With this last flexing of the Order’s political muscle it became apparent to the few remaining noble families who supported the League that the Order of the White Cloth had gained full control of all things governmental. They quickly went in to hiding and the Order became both the dominant spiritual and political force.
Today the venerable Raynold rules the Order from their Great Temple. At 136 years old he is possibly the oldest human still alive and one of the few who have first hand experience with the growing undead horde of 100 years ago. Kept alive through various healing rights and by staff magicians, recent rumors say that he himself has succumbed to a kind of undeath. The Order has had to spend a large amount of time and money countering claims that he is the Necromancer risen again, a zombie himself or some other supernatural menace.
While still charged with the protection of humanity from the zombie plague, the Order is more concerned with exerting their political force to ensure they are never cast from power. They are actively working towards expanding the much dwindled human kingdom. Raynold and the Order strictly control all communications between Order protected settlements and have a hand in any trading and military actions that take place.
The League of the Earth seems to be just a troubling memory, although recent, hard to quash rumors of a wizardly cure for the undead plague are becoming harder for the Order to suppress.
[tags]role playing games, rpg, aruneus, zombies[/tags]