Northern Factions (Dominaria Supplement)
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The Morivanian Orders
History: The Morivanians, or Knights of St. Cuthbert, are a monastic knightly order founded shortly after St. Cuthbert's ascension. They were originally devoted more to the paragon that was the man, rather than his ideals; but they have fluctuated back and forth throughout their existence. They originally built a massive citadel-basilica on Mount Maiden nearly 100 miles north of King John's wall. They dedicated their first several centuries of existence (measured in Charters, or number of Grand Masters they have had), 17 Charters, to the protection of settlers north of the wall and the pacification of the barbarians, Hill Tribes, and Beast tribes and bands that had flooded out of the Verge during the Kjeldon War. Over that period they built 23 fortresses and watchtowers and spawned two splinter organizations: The Order of St. Matthias (an order of healers and thinkers), and The Knights of St. Thomas the Traveler (a more 'rugged' order of Rangers and Scouts). At the commission of their 18th Charter, the Knights of St. Cuthbert called the 1st Conclave [of the North] and invited both other orders. At the commission they laid down The Law of the North and declared the formation of 6 Houses to rule the North from the six largest city states north of King John's Wall.
Since then, the three orders have all divided into chapters based around a particular fortress, watchtower, or chapel. The Orders all bow to a single Grand Master, and the three Grand Masters meet on the two Solstices each year and in times of emergency. During their long history, while their goals and outlook have changed, they have staid true to their first charter: protect the people of the West from the horrors of the Verge and beyond, and watch over those whom the powers in the West would neglect. Their Knights, Paladins, Rangers, and Priests are respected and loved across the North, although an intelligent amount of fear is also given to the men who stalk the foothills of the Verge.
The Knights of St. Cuthbert generally ride out from their fortresses and watchtowers in force, ranging from 10 to 1,000 men or larger especially when several Chapters unite. The expeditions generally include mounted and foot components, except on the smaller end or in cases where speed is essential. When not riding for the Order, the Knights will ride throughout their 'march' arbitrating disputes and acting as a stabilizing presence. The men and women of the Order of St. Matthias are organized around cities and townships wherein they have a church, library, hospital, or several of these that they act from. They will move throughout their 'territory' singly or in small groups, and those among them dedicated to knowledge have been known to range as far afield as the Najiki Archipelago. The Knights of St. Thomas the Traveller came out of the Scouts and hardened Soldiers who manned the Watchtowers. Each 'Watch' will operate from a Watchtower, small fortress, or fortified bridge and patrol their 'range' singly or in small bands.
In the Fourth Age, the Morivanians are solidly aligned with the Northern Alliance. The territorial spirit of their creation is strong since the fall of the 2nd Imperium and stayed strong during the rise of the 3rd Imperium. Even after the Northern Alliance bent the knee to Emperor Tionne and the last Morivanians surrendered, the Morivanian Orders continued to speak for the North. During the 20 or so years of peace following the North's surrender the Morivanians carried on as they had since their inception but watched the Imperium proper closely and with suspicion. They recognized the Logan Ingramar's (The Dragon) growing dissent and probable rebellion but chose not to act, a choice they now live in shame of.
During the War of the Dragon they largely sat out, invoking the right of a territorial home-guard or a religious order varyingly. Once The Wandering One returned however, they realized their monumental mistake. From then on they fought for the Imperium as ardently as any troops and more then most. Nearly a quarter of both Knightly Orders of the Meorivanians died before the Wandering One fell. In the year following his fall they mustered alongside the Northern Alliance and then marched south with its armies. the watchtowers and fortresses of their Order are still manned, but between the large hosts sent south and the massive recruitment and training efforts their visible presence in the North has diminished by about half.
Area of Influence: Misty Foothills/Northern Houses/Northern Ramosia, basically everything north of King John's Wall
Base of Operations: Many, but the Mount Maiden Basilica is the biannual meeting spot and biggest fortress.
Leadership Style: High Priest or Priestess with individual bishops overseeing countries
Patron Deity: St. Cuthbert and Heroneous
Symbol: Varies by Chapter, but all bear the crossed mace and lightning bolt of the Morivanians somewhere on their seal.
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