On its surface, the mission of the Order of the Golden Stag seems clear: enforce the laws of the land and the tenants of the Six-Fold Truth. The order has allied itself very closely with the Duchy of Riverton
, which is clear in how pervasively the order has integrated with the culture of the city and the region. Even further out, to Brisburgh and even neighboring kingdoms, the order seeks to gain the trust of local governments so that it can operate freely within those borders.
Again, the agenda of the order being the enforcement of the law merely skims the surface. With any organization as large and as powerful as the Order of the Golden Stag, there is always the potential for corruption. Within the ranks of the Order there may be those who are devout in their faith and pious in their purpose, but there are others who work to extend their own personal influence - often for their own personal gain. Even looking at something as simple as a patrol of Lawkeepers on the city streets, it is not unusual to see some groups acting more like local thugs than the representatives of a religious order. Patrols of Lawkeepers shaking down local merchants for a tithe
in return for their protection
is not uncommon.
The way the public views the Order varies depending upon whom you are asking. For those of noble rank, a clean conscious, and fervent devotion to the faith - such as Duke Elias Bartledge
himself - the Order seems as if it could do no wrong. In contrast, many on the streets have come to fear the oppressive presence of the Order and its patrols of Lawkeepers and Justicars. The absolute authority with which they wield their power - with the blessing of the government - leaves the common people feeling helpless in their presence.
Among those within the Temple itself and the other Orders-Militant, the Order of the Golden Stag is generally looked upon favorably. Those with a more libertarian mindset recognize the oppressive methods used by the Order, but few would ever publicly condemn them. Even among the pious, and among the nobility that supports them, the airs of corruption are obvious. In fact, many among the nobility support the Order merely out of fear of reprisal.