Order of the End Times

The Order of the End Times is an organisation based on secrecy. They are a brotherhood of learned men and women with ties all across Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and along the Silk Road into Asia. Each member is sworn to secrecy, and the hunting of dangerous cults & entities that would threaten the world at large. These members are drawn from all walks of life and have highly differing backgrounds & skills. Many are drawn from people who have had contact with the myriad cults and survived encounters with them. Most major cities have at least one, if not a small band of them operating from these places. Many of the leaders are learned people with access to magic, religious schools, and/or combat skills. They have a number of associated groups, and enemies. The Keepers of the Feathers, the Vistani, the Order of the Guardians, the Church of Ezra, and the Ulmist Inquisition are regular allies where & when needed, or paths cross. A few enemies are the Star God Cults, the Necrocult, dragon cults, giant cults, demon & devil cults, the Priests of Osybus, the Yuan-Ti, and the dreaded Kargat & Kargatane.   Each region, nation or country all have members scattered throughout. When something attracts their gaze they will set out to investigate, and if need be, will subtly attract the gaze of local authorities (whether civil, military and/or religious) to sort out the problem. Sometimes, they will gather other members to quell the problem if there is not enough time, and will happily hire mercenaries & adventurers to sort it out. Though in the latter two, they will usually be led to believe this is standard work.   A few times the Order will take in new members and acquaintances, especially in the case if their numbers have been reduced. These are usually mercenaries & adventurers, sometimes they are people with skills and/or histories that may have benefits for the Order. A few are also chosen for their contacts. The Order has safe houses spread around each region they operate in, and usually have a few contacts in both the local administration and religious orders that can be used for shelter, food, and/or healing. In a rare instance they might help fund & pressure the local nobility to help with building & maintaining a stronghold or fort to better help with the cause.   The main mission of the Order is to thwart evil aligned cults from gaining prominence and taking over the world. If they do then the world will be plunged into eternal darkness, and most sentient creatures lives will be extinguished. With plenty of religions prophesying an End Times, as in the Christians with the Apocalypse, and Muslims having a similar belief, and the Northmen believing in Ragnarok, most Order members try to at the least forestall this happening, or preventing it altogether.

Structure

The Order is split into any number of regions depending on the vagrancies of members numbers, and threats. A council exists of 3 high ranking individuals called Immortals, with 10 below them called Marshals, and a further random amount of Officers below that. At the bottom are Initiates. Most would stay as Initiates and Officers with very few making it any higher. The identity of the Immortals are unknown at present, and rumours are they truly are immortal being drawn from ancient peoples started to propagate after the dragons & giants withdrew from the greater world.

Culture

The members believe secrecy is the upmost importance. This is mainly due their work. Only a few others are known to each member and very little is known of those above them, and next to nothing of those above.   Each member will have a skill set that allows for a number of unique talents. These will range from specific fighting styles, to investigation, to persuasive abilities. Usually when members combine into a single cell, they will have a broad range of these at hand. Contacts are used to, and usually looked after well. This is to keep them on side and to avoid potential harm down the line.   Everywhere in the world provides a safe haven for evil and the Order will happily go to any length to try to root it out. When they do they can be overly focused at the job at hand, sometimes being obvious to what is happening elsewhere.

Public Agenda

The public is to be protected at all costs, and the problem here is trying to keep things under wraps. It doesn't always work so damage control takes over. The Order avoids trying to reveal themselves and go to great lengths so will rely on a well-placed whisper to make sure a public body of some type takes over instead when necessary.

Assets

The Order has a number of safehouses scattered about different settlements in different nations. Nobody knows exactly how many or where they all are. There is rumoured to be a meeting place for the leaders but nobody can say anything more, along with just heresy about it.   In the safehouses, healing can be got, along with information about an exceptionally large amount of topics. Weapons, armour & equipment can be found, or at least someone who can get these, or even get rid of them. Basic magic items can also be bought or sold here.   The safehouses have hidden beds to use and food & drink are available. Escape tunnels and the like are also built in to allow the safehouse to act as an escape route.

History

The first such Order seems to have been set up in the Middle East over a millennia ago, but by whom or why is another matter. No trace stands in the archives of the Order, and it is likely such information exists somewhere out there waiting to be discovered.   Over time, the Order spread when contact with other nations & tribes happened, along with the rise of other cult activities became apparent. The whole system they work under makes the whole thing impossible to piece together correctly if at all.
"I work for an organisation. One that you do not need to know about. Just bear with me when I explain.   There has been cults around for millennia, before any of our members species existed in this world. They need to be watched and dealt with accordingly, even those that may appear good, may be hiding a dark purpose. We will investigate, gather information, and then strike ourselves. If not, then yourselves, or another tool will be accepted to do the job. If you join us, then you will know how this is done. If not then you will be manipulated into doing it.   We are everywhere, but no-one has to fear us. Unless there is something you want to tell us...."   An unknown fellow in the shadows talking to Father Tossil in Wien Cathedral.
Founding Date
Unknown. Suspected to be very ancient.
Type
Secret, Brotherhood


Cover image: by Alice Donlevy

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