The Chosen of the Temple


Overview

Out of the chaos of the Great War rose an order whose sole task was to protect the Priest and Priestesses of the Temple of the Four Gods while the Kingdom around them divided. They have but one, lifelong purpose to protect the Covenant and those who come to worship at the temples. They are deeply religious, and sometimes viewed as fanatical even by the most loyal of worshipers. Their swords, spears, and maces are all guided by the will of the Gods, supported by the word of the Covenant.

Throughout the course of nearly 400 years, they have remained true to their calling. They never falter in battle, nor have they ever retreated unless ordered by their commanders. They are highly skilled, aggressively trained, with their teachings rooted in both warfare and the codex of the Temple.

Both Rhaedan and Taniford often seek to gain favor of the Chosen to bolster their armies, but it takes serious negotiation and hefty donations to the Temple to concrete such an alliance — though it is never bound by fealty. Should it ever come to pass that a Chosen may stand against their own Brother or Sister, the alliance is immediately dissolved. Just as the Guardians would never stand against one another, neither would a Chosen.

Their Creed

Concerning Warfare:

  • A Chosen will never strike an unarmed opponent.
  • A Chosen will not taunt an opponent.
  • A Chosen shall pay respect to a worthy opponent.
  • When an opponent yields a Chosen shall stop the fight.
  • A Chosen will never retreat unless the enemy outnumbers him 3 to 1 and then only when ordered to do so.
  • A Chosen shall not falter in the face of his/her own death.

The Chosen's Oath

Thou shalt believe all that the Temples teach, and shalt observe all its directions.
Thou shalt defend the Temple at all costs.
Thou shalt respect all weaknesses, and shalt constitute thyself the defender of them.
Thou shalt not recoil before the enemy.
Thou shalt perform scrupulously thy feudal duties, if they be not contrary to the laws of the Four Gods.
Thou shalt never lie, and shalt remain faithful to thy pledged word.
Thou shalt be respectful of all, especially the weak and the defenseless.
Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil.

The Path of a Chosen

Most who join the Chosen are commoners, though there have been a few Nobles who given up their title and position in order to answer the call of their faith. Tutelage toward becoming a Chosen starts as early as childhood, particularly for orphans looked after by the Temples. Learners are called Acolytes, and maintain that title until at least age eighteen. It is over the course of their training that an Acolyte decides whether or not they wish to become a part of the Covenant or Chosen.

Those who decide to enter the Chosen are assigned to a mentor who grooms them to become a Chosen. Similar to squirehood, mentorship under another Chosen is rigorous, including long days and sleepless nights. They learn martial skill, as well as how to look after armor, weapons, and their horses. Along with lessons in warcraft, they are also given lessons in etiquette, protocol, and the codex of the Guardians. Just as in the Covenant, Chosen Acolytes often associate themselves with various sects within the Temple. Archers emblazon their stave of their bows with the symbol of Altheara, while those in heavy cavalry brand their horses with the mark of Ravas. Infantry Chosen mark their weapons with the sigil of Bornas to give them strength, though Stilltha is quite a rare Guardian to see honored by the acts of war.

Once a mentor believes their Acolyte is ready to ascend to full Chosen — usually at the age of eighteen — they undergo a ceremony where the oaths are spoken before each of the four effigies of the Gods, their foreheads are anointed, and their first tabard emblazoned with the heraldry of the Chosen is worn. Often times, a newly-named Chosen will remain with the same temple that raised them, but it is not unheard of for a Chosen to be sent to another Temple that requires them.

Knights vs. Chosen

Though a Chosen and a Knight might be similar in appearance, Chosen are bound by their faith and do not allow the prospects of monetary gain or fame detract from their path. They never hold land or titles, as they are often housed by the Temples; should a noble decide to follow their faith and become a Chosen, they given up all their blood rights and fealty, swearing themselves to the Temple.

Participating in tournaments is not foreign to Chosen, however. This is not to show power of faith or trust in the Guardians, but often just as an enjoyment. Any money gained through the tournament is donated to the Temple; should the Chosen lose their armor or horse, however, they must face the consequences from the Temple, and must find a way to earn the right to be issued new gear.

History

Visit the Religion of the Four Guardians page for the history of the rise of the Temples.

Political Relations

Chosen swear fealty solely to the Temple, though they still respect titles and etiquette within the Kingdoms; nobles and commoners customarily hold Chosen at a particular level of respect. This particular balance is always a fragile one as it is the Chosen's duty to remain out of politics — at least outwardly. The Temple may accept donations for the use of Chosen in squabbles of the Kingdoms, or certain Chosen may still retain some of the loyalties from the regions they come from.

Before the Chosen will enter a confrontation, an agreement between the Temple Priest and Priestess must be established between the Temple and the requesting Lord, King, or Queen, and the Captain of the local Chosen chapter must agree that this is the will of the Gods. It was only when the Corsairs attack were the Chosen free to fight without the requirement of this arrangement, believing that the Corsairs threatened the guardianship the Four represent. Though the Priests and Priestesses have tried to convert many of the barbarians across the sea, most of them died at their hands. Now the Chosen are merciless in the face of the Corsairs.

Organization

Once an Acolyte has decided to take the oath of the Chosen, they are assigned to a mentor that looks over their training and are responsible in raising an Acolyte to a Chosen. Often times, an Acolyte will continue to operate under the Temple from which they were trained, but some will travel to other regions of the two Kingdoms based on need. As every settlement across Eikeren has a temple, every settlement also has a number of Chosen — though the smallest hamlet may only have a handful of them.

The Chosen command runs parallel to that of the Covenant. The table below should help understand the rank structure within both the Chosen and Covenant.

Covenant Chosen
High Priest & Priestess
Chosen Commander
Temple Priest & Priestess
Chosen Captain
Chosen Lieutenant
Priest Chosen
Acolyte Acolyte

In general, Chosen are always deferred to in terms of military matters. There is only one Chosen Commander per Kingdom, reporting directly to the High Seats. Within each temple, no matter its size, is a Captain and Lieutenant. They look after and are the commanders of the Chosen assigned to that particular temple.

Should a Chosen be visiting another temple or town and their services are required they must follow the local Captain or the local Temple Priest or Priestess's orders.

Current Members

Brother Thomas Marbry
Sister Lieutenant Brigid Madigan
Sister Lieutenant Alyona the Still
Brother Destrian One-Hand
Brother Merrick Wulfgard
Brother Michael Bornin
Sister Aryn Elissa Zeva

Wanted

Male or female Chosen.

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