- 1 History
- 2 Ranks
- 3 Divisions
- 4 Present Day
- 5 Traditions
Much of the Order of Vain's past is shrouded in mystery, but it is said that upon joining the order you are required to learn all knowledge of the order's past. What little that is known about them is held in the history books in Divinity's Reach. The guild has its beginnings in Elona and was established by Spearmarshal Vain about twelve years after the Ascension of the Goddess of Truth. The official wording is that the guild was created as a response to the lingering threat of Abaddon's demonic minions who hid throughout Tyria after his defeat. However, this statement is not entirely true... The Order of Vain was started as a response to demons, but not those lingering from Abaddon's failed attempt at Nightfall; granted these demons are also part of the order's "prey", but they were not the true reason why the guild was created. Spearmarshal Vain created the guild as a response to a much more powerful threat than that of Abaddon's minions. Three years before the establishment of the guild Spearmarshal Vain (who was but a Sunspear Castellan at the time) came across an inquisitive girl who wished to join the ranks of the mighty Sunspears. This girl was trained and quickly rose in the ranks, but little did any know that she was an infiltrator sent to study the power of the Sunspears and the magic they possessed. Vain discovered that she was anything but human when she came across the girl in her true form communicating with her superiors telepathically. She attempted to kill the creature but was unsuccessful. When she returned to the great hall to inform the others of what the girl truly was, she was beaten to the punch. The girl had convinced the others that she viciously attacked her for no apparent reason, most went along with the story and Vain was ordered for execution. But not all believed the girl's story and sided with Vain... several days after the order of execution, Vain and seven other Sunspears vanished. What happened over the next three years to Vain and the other Sunspears is a mystery to even the current members of the order. Three years after her disappearance Vain (along with the other missing Sunspears) appeared at the great hall to reveal the truth about the girl (who was now a Sunspear Commander). A Tribunal was held for both Vain and the girl so they could both present their cases. When Vain attempted to convince the Tribunal of what the girl truly was, she once again was not believed. So Vain revealed her wings (which we much larger than they had been previously) and cast a reign of light upon the girl. The girl was revealed... as a hideous, monstrous creature. The demon started to kill the people attending the tribunal and thus Vain and the others fought tooth and nail to bring down the beast. Vain delivered the final blow with a spear to the heart of the demon. Vain was then commended for her heroic actions and the tribunal apologized many times over. She was promoted to Spearmarshal and had planned to lead the Sunspears as they attempted to repair Kourna's government, but this plan did not last long. Vain discovered that there were more demons of the girl's kind throughout Tyria and then committed her life to eradicating all of Tyria of demon kind. The Order of Vain was officially established with the Celestial Ministry on 1287 DR, Season of the Colossus Day 326.
For many years the order was exclusive to humans only. After much debate between members the Asura and the Norn were permitted into the guild on 1382 DR, Season of the Phoenix Day 112. The Charr, however, would have to wait many more years before being permitted to join (this was due to misguided speculation about Charr Shamans worshiping demons). On 1479 DR, Season of the Zephyr Day 6 all Charr were permitted into the order, except those belonging to the Flame Legion. The Sylvari were up for debate as soon as the order discovered their existence. On 1524 DR, Season of the Scion Day 256 all Sylvari were permitted into the order. On 1524 DR, Season of the Colossus Day 302 Sylvari belonging to the Nightmare Court were forbidden from joining the order.
The Great Migration
During Palawa Joko's attack on the three provinces of Elona, the Order supported the Sunspears in their fight against the undead warlord. Their armies were small, but were blessed by the gods themselves and refused to fall to the hordes that Joko sent against them. Joko saw the Order as a great threat against his destruction of the Sunspears and sought a way to end them.
A several years before his complete take over of Elona, Palawa discovered the Altars of the Seven and proceeded to destroy each of them which in turn weakened the collective power of the Order. Altars present in Kourna and Vabbi were easily wiped out until only two altars remained, one is the Desolation and another near the ruins of Fahranur. The two remaining members of the seven realized that the Order would never survive in Elona and made a deal with the ruler of Kryta: The Order of Vain would become a vassal guild of Kryta and join the ranks of its military, so long as the nation provided a safe haven for the guild and its members.
In 1334 DR the Order of Vain made a treacherous journey through the Crystal Desert and the Shiverpeaks to reach their new home in Kryta.
The Order of Vain originally used a hierarchy similar to that of the Sunspears, however this has changed over time and is as such (highest rank to lowest):
- Bringer of Light
- Transcended One
- Light Apportant
- Light Apportant
- Transcended One
The Bringers of Light are the highest rank of the order, they have extreme experience and their blood has been completely purified. This rank was created to fill the vacuum of power after the deaths of the seven. There can only be three Bringers of Light at a time.
Over the past 250 years, The Order of Vain has grown immensely. They currently have several thousand members and even more affiliates that live in their territory. In 1438 DR the bringers made the decision to split the order into what was known as "divisions". These divisions would handle specific tasks for the betterment of the entire order. There are currently three main "divisions" in the order: Magical and Technological Advancement, Militia Development, and The Elite Council. When a member becomes a Général they are asked to choose a division.
Magical and Technological Advancement
The division of Magical and Technological Advancement is responsible for the development of weapons, armor, technology, magical devices, and spells. They are the second largest division in the guild and are, perhaps, the most vital. The division is mostly made up of Asuran inventors and scholars, who are constantly working on new developments for the order to use. Bringer Aishani heads the division and has complete control over its members actions and also complete responsibility for them.
The Militia Development division handles all military development and actions. They are the vast army of the order and consist of members of all races and professions. This division is the largest and most active in the order; they are extremely vital to the success of the order in battle. The high-ups in this division work closely with members of the Magical and Technological Advancement division in order to have the best possible equipment for the soldiers. Bringer Freya heads the division with an iron fist, inflicting pain upon those who dare refuse her orders.
The Elite Council
The Elite Council is the most prestigious of the divisions, they handle political matters and have a general rule over the entire order. All bringers are part of this council and have the most influence when discussions take place. Becoming part of the elite council is different than that of the other divisions in that you must earn your right to be part of the council. Performing some type of great deed for the order or becoming a Bringer guarantees you a spot on the council... for the most part. Bringer Esme heads the elite council, making her the single most powerful individual in the entire order.
The great decline of demons present in Tyria, and the fact that the guild is restricted to only fighting in Kryta, has caused the Order to become less of a heroic force in the world. The Order has occupied its time with other pressing matters.
The Golden City
When Orr rose, many people fled northward towards the Order's lands for protection. Many of these refugees settled near the prominent guild hall. Over time a small village surrounded the guild hall, then a town, then a city... then a metropolis... and so the Golden City was born. Today, the lands surrounding the guild's hall have developed into one of the largest cities in Kryta. Through negotiations with the Queen, Seraph are not present throughout the Golden City, members of the Order of Vain protect and serve the population. The Elite Council acts as the governmental system for the city, creating and enforcing laws and policies.
When Bringer Sorin came to power, he began to suggest independence from the nation of Kryta. It was his belief that the Order was large enough to become its own nation, separate from Kryta as a whole. Near his death, he was in talks with the Krytan government about possible independence. When his daughter took power after his death, things really started to be set in motion. Heated debates have taken place between the leaders of the Order and Kryta, only to end in stalemates with no results.
Tradition is extremely important to members of the Order of Vain, even more so for the much older members.
The Ritual is a ceremony that Recruters go through in order to become Officiers. The details of this ritual are not permitted to be discussed with non-members of the order. The ritual involves many spells and chants that have changed over the years, even I am unaware of what the spells pertain to. Perhaps the most important part of the ritual, however, is what they call "Purification". The Purification process involves more spells and the drinking of the blood of a Bringer of Light mixed with that of a slain demon's blood. According to the members of the order this drink purifies the blood of the Recruters. This purification makes the members of the order immune to demonic illusions and gives them the ability to reveal demons (starting with lesser demons and moving up as the blood becomes purer). Once the Recruters have drank the blood concoction they are promoted to Officiers and become permanent members of the order.
Another tradition that many find odd is the tradition known as "Vain". This tradition requires members that become Officiers to change their surnames to Vain. This symbolizes stripping away your old life in order to serve Tyria in the Order of Vain.
Once a member, always a member
This tradition goes back to the time when the guild was first started, once you are purified you are never allowed to leave. Spearmarshal Vain believed strongly that when you commit yourself to killing the demons that infest Tyria that you had chosen your death and the order was it. She did not permit any members to leave the order and any that did were hunted down and "put out of their misery". Through the years times have changed and so has the rules of the order, you are still not permitted to leave once you are purified but instead of killing those that leave, they are... "re-assimilated" into the order. Though no further explanation has been provided, it is safe to assume that this process is not pleasant.
According to the Order's lore, the seven were the immortal founders of the guild. They lived for hundreds of years to protect and serve all of Tyria. Their immortality apparently relied on the contents of altars placed at different points throughout Elona. Each of the seven altars were destroyed by Palawa Joko and his minions during his war against Elona; as a result, the members of the seven were wiped out in 1335 DR.