Swords of Justice
The Swords of Justice is a fanatical branch of Liðr Lys. While the Path of Balance is generally a benign and non-violent faith, the Swords are anything but. They represent Ohria, the særiþír (spirit) of judgement, and he is their patron and is often prayed to for strength and guidance in finding the unjust and evil. They share much in common with the religious sect Skálla Trímgi, but are fierce enemies in spite of it.
Historically the Swords of Justice were one of the four pillars upon which the religious hierarchy was built, together with the Flames of Eri, the Book of Eri and the Scales of Eri. Notable is also that the organization used to go under the name of "Swords of Eri", but with the reformation by the empress the new name is used more frequently.
The Swords of Justice are a far more aggressive, authoritarian and intolerant organisation than the Swords of Eri were, but they are still building on the same tenents as the original faith. While the sworders were always the executioners and justicars of the church, they are now also fanatical zealots.
Mythology and tenets
The Sworders, while certainly confessionate Lysians, put a very large emphasis on Ohria over Eri. Ohria and his function is the model on which the Sworders build their organization and their behaviour.
- Where the Flame may expose the unjust and evil to allow their evil to be cleansed, the Sworders execute and destroy the evil.
- Where the Book may try to teach the unjust the error of their ways, the Sworders cut the unjust down.
- Where the Scales judge the unjust to punishment, the Sworders do not wait for the afterlife, they exact punishment here and now.
Technically, the Swords of Justice live by the same tenets as the rest of Lysian faith, but they take it to such an extreme degree that almost anything can be construed as being against the goddess, and they seem to always go for a much harsher punishment than has been tradition.
As such, the Sworders have twisted an otherwise relatively benign faith and turned it into a tool of oppression and obedience by focusing only on its more judgemental parts, which by all means exist, but aren't as emphasized as the Sworders have made it.
With the new organization in place, a large recruitment drive has been put up to find new, young people who are impressionable and easy to manipulate. These new recruits will form the backbone of the ideology of the organization, being the eyes and ears of the leaders among those who would prefer the "old ways".
Organization and structure
Contrary to Lysianism, the Justicars are a completely authoritarian organization with the High Archon at the top, the Lord Justicar under him and then finally his justicars immediately below him, holding extreme authority over the populace.
Agenda and goals
The sworders make no secret of their goals: The utter eradication of anyone opposing the goddess and her tenets. With their zealous views, almost anyone can end up on the wrong side of an investigation by the sworders.
The Swords of Justice technically house their headquarters in Val Kvanda which also houses the Cathedral of Eri. However, with their recent rise to importance by the empress, they have relocated a lot of their activity to the capital of Dorholm. Whether this is to avoid the benevolent eyes of the goddess herself isn't clear, but some argue that the empress' meddlings with the sworders would raise the goddess' ire.
Their headquarters is a massively fortified fort in the northwestern portion of the city. Thanks to the support from the empress, the sworders also have almost unlimited resources which is why every single one of them is well armed and armored and have healthy steeds at their disposal.
The Swords of Justice sprung from the original organization of the Swords of Eri. They claim to be the same organization in essence, but in practice they're almost wholly different.
The sworders used to be the protectors of the people. Meant to fight the battles the weak could not and rout out injustice and corruption among the nobles. They would even participate in wars to protect the people, usually taking on a defensive duty near the theatre of war.
Very seldomly would they perform their ultimate duty of slaying the unjust and those who would threaten the church and its followers. Usually the functioned as teachers and judicators, helping to settle disputes among the populace.
With the rule of the empress, she has reformed the organization and made it a personal army, filled with vigorous zealots, ready to strike down anyone who oppose the empress or the church. As such, they've gone from being the protectors of the people to being the oppressors of the people.
No gradual change, but a radicalization
The change from a protector to oppressor wasn't as gradual as one might think. Through clever politics, the empress placed loyal people who were of her mindset in key locations within the entire clergy, particularly the Sworders. Her new decree and vision for the entire church became doctrine overnight, and with so many loyalist in positions of power, no one could object or raise alert without being declared a heretic, or at least get a stern warning. So with loyalist fanatics in positions of power, the benign muzzled, the underground fanatics quickly came out of the woodwork and joined the movement. The benign found themselves oppressed by the very organization they'd sworn to protect, and so silently "did their duty" with heavy hearts. There are those among the veterans who clearly do not agree with this new direction, but fear of persecution and the examples that have been made of those who did protest have effectively muzzled them.
In the field, these poor souls try to spare the populace as much as they can by being lenient as much as they can without raising suspicion among their leaders. They also have to fear being reported by their collegues who might be more radical.
Death to the unjust!
The Path of Balance, the dominant religion in the Gimroan Basin.
The Armory is a religious building, serving as the headquarters of the religious police, the Swords of Justice in the Kfandr empire.