Order of Candescence
Temporal Monks of Sullus
I have visited their Luminous monastery quite a few times, actually. Very inviting and welcoming people, I must add. They were very kind to let us stay for dinner and I couldn’t refuse lest it be impolite of me. I am glad I didn’t, as I got to really understand Sullus’ motivations with such deep and theological discussion. He may not like his kindred’s way of things but I at least support the spirit of trying to refine the Reverie.
Sullus, Cael of Light
At the top of the Order is Sullus, a cael who guides the Order’s wellbeing. He personally chooses those who may join the Candescent, rise in its ranks, and organizes missions. Far from the Reverie’s structure, he likes taking direct control.
Grandmaster of Inner Light
Grandmasters of Inner Light are those who have tried and tested Sullus’ teachings in many ways. They may have even expanded on those teachings with their cael’s approval. There are six maximum that take on this role in reference to the Reverie and the caels who blessed the province.
Grandmasters speak directly to Sullus often. They act as the ultimate defense for the Luminous Monastery and safeguard the local villagers outside it. Another critical duty is to ensure that lessons are consistent with Sullus’ preferences.
Disciple of the Light
Disciples often take on a variety of roles. Apprentices need someone to teach them so they can choose to have a dedicated apprentice they teach alone or share them between another disciple. Eyes and ears on news within the Kingdom of Ardentry are a necessity, especially considering that the Luminous Monastery resides in it. Agents often go out in the world to report back any information.
Apprentices are those who have a firm grasp of their martial arts and the philosophy behind candescence. In order to become a full fledged member, they must undergo the Trial of Praxis. They can take on this trial at any time but a member of higher rank ultimately decides if a grandmaster believes if they are ready. Should they return after applying their master’s teachings for some time, and Sullus approves of the results, the apprentice may be ordained as an official disciple. Should they return early with unsatisfactory results, they are given a little more training before being sent back.
To become an initiate, one must be taken in by a mentor or someone else of higher rank. Most often they require a lot of martial arts training and teaching of the philosophy behind candescence. They will spend quite a lot of time within the temple.
To the Candescent, the stock are either the local residents near the Luminous Monastery or candidates of interest to join the Order.
Perhaps out of habit for Sullus, every member may obtain a celestial-based name. This is seen more as an integration into the Order than something that is actually required.
Masks of Duty
Only those of apprentice or higher have a mask. A Celestial symbol is also inscribed to showcase that the Candescent is on duty. The purpose of these masks is that members must not remove their mask until their assigned task is done, within reason for sustenance, of course.
Once an apprentice is newly ordained, they are provided a basic blank porcelain mask with eyes. Overtime, they may provide more personality to it. If they wanted to, they could redesign their own mask but Sullus or a grandmaster must be the one to approve of it.
Refine the Reverie
At the heart of its founding, Sullus has always been restless with the way the Reverie was setup. He aims to replicate everything the Reverie stands for but refine the structure the mortals have so as to improve everyone’s quality of life.
During the recovery period for the Kingdom of Ardentry, the caels sent many faithful members to help rebuild both buildings and hope. Sullus became irritated as to why his own kind observed all of this in Haven rather than directly helping in some way. Even after Ardentry had time to breathe and recover, the caels still stirred their influence from afar and stepped in when Maledict got too bold. Even teaching the mortals below, their messages would be diluted through layers of clergy members and allowed many opportunities for miscommunications for demons to influence.
Sullus simply wanted a better alternative to all of this. He left the Reverie in pursuit of trying something new and direct. Of course, many of his kindred had mixed feelings with his departure. Some were optimistic if he could discover a new handling with the mortals. Skeptics believe he is more likely to doom his followers without his kindred’s help and stay in that hermitage, forever doomed to finding an answer he may never find.
Sullus would still muster a few mortal followers to a sequestered forest between Kalgarim and Haliah. The idea of living amongst a cael directly was already an interesting notion for many. The villagers were then taught to embrace and utilize the inner light, or candescence, that every creature contains. With many years of practice and teaching, the Order of Candescence became quite a capable bunch.
Dignity and Respect
Pride is a dangerous vice to fall into. That is why Sullus emphasizes to all members that to treat someone as lesser is to open a pathway to possibly more ill treatment. He wants everyone to see themselves and others with dignity and respect. Even with one’s own enemy, if unnecessary harm can be avoided, then do so.
Discipline helps to keep our desires and impulses under control. To resist temptation or repress impulses is to show one’s strength over oneself. Any punishments that are to be delivered should be fair. Alternatively, a focus on restorative punishments are taken as the offender and victim are placed to work together in something productive to foster respect instead.
Embrace Humility, Reject Ego
The Candescent are taught to embrace humility. They know any shows of pride or arrogance can bring out negative behaviors, whether from the self or of others. The sting of defeat is made far easier to undertake when the victor still provides their competition with dignity.
Gratefulness over Plenty
Sullus teaches that living with no possessions or luxuries is the minimum for living. We all should be grateful for anything more if it is granted, earned, or gained. Candescent monks will rarely ask for anything unless needed, such as food and water. Should anything more be given to them voluntarily, they will be thankful for it and to see it as a kind gesture.
Questioning is Important
Sullus does not only welcomes criticism to his Order’s philosophies but also encourages his followers to question their superiors. By keeping your superiors honest, they will stay truer to their ways.
One of the core foundations of Candescence is to be self-reliant. To them, it is better to be the one granting mercy than to be at someone’s mercy. Members are taught many survival and self-defense skills. To have a Candescent monk in an expedition or caravan is to have a reliable guard or scavenger that knows where freshwater rivers flow along a path.