The Order of the Scale

Written by Mark Sexton, Edited by Steve Tremblay

“…a lone woman sits in a comfortable chair near a crackling fire. The room is very well decorated. Through its statuettes and framed paintings, one could see a theme, an affinity for dragons…”

Gathering in shadows of Esterholt, small groups of dedicated zealots formed the Order of the Scale. Their beliefs somewhat radical in nature, they were dismissed as harmless while their numbers grew following the death of the red dragon, Straad in Odysia . The core of their beliefs lies with the unquestionable faith that the remaining dragons of Theria should be revered as demi-gods, each creature being ten times more valuable than any person walking the earth. They hold a nearly rabid belief that mankind has errantly removed dragons from their rightful place as masters of Theria.

 

The Order of the Scale has fluctuated in membership, but all true believers are welcome in the ranks. Much like the fledgling religion it is; it has attracted all manner of folks, from common townspeople to experienced fighters and magic users. The Order maintains a clear rank structure with new members beginning as Initiates, studying the burgeoning knowledge that has been collected through far flung travels and a scattered network of supporters. The second rank of the Order is an Acolyte. This is only conferred to those initiates that have provided a useful addition the order’s library, reverently referred to as “the horde.” This may be in the form of a true dragon artifact, a rare book or scroll about dragons, or a sizable monetary donation to further the cause. Those initiates who have neither the ability, nor affluence to achieve acolyte status, have a second path to advancement, becoming a Champion. Any member that wishes to bear arms for the cause of the Order must first cast off any oaths or allegiances that may interfere with their dedication to the Order of the Scale. Rare exceptions are made for those members that are especially useful to the Order in their current position (a sergeant of the guard, or head librarian, etc.) Initiation as a True Champion of the Order only comes once the member has taken a life in defense of the Order and its members.

The final rank of the Order of the Scale is that of High Priest. While this does not require the person to be a divine spell caster, magical ability IS a prerequisite. The High Priest is expected to be the perfect example for all lower ranks to emulate. They wear fully decorated plate armor, but it is of “parade weight” and crafted for style, not to protect from attacks. The High Priest officiates over all ceremonies, including those of rank, and wears a signet ring carved from dragon bone as a sign of their station.

The Order of Scale is proud of their beliefs and adorn themselves with many images of dragons and dragon related clothing. The ceremony of being named a Champion culminates with the presentation of a set of finely crafted pauldrons, the steel rolled and fluted into the shape of a dragon head resting on each shoulder. Beneath the various robes and armor of members of the order, tattoos of dragons are carefully awarded as a sign of accomplishments. Each initiate starts with a singular tattoo of a dragon’s egg to represent their infancy in the organization. As they work and progress within the order, a scene slowly unfolds across their skin, symbolizing their journey. Each member’s journey, and their tattoos, are unique to their own path within the Order. Many an errant adventurer has been unknowingly invited to a meeting because of a dragon tattoo or decoration on their clothing or armor.

Although their opinions on dragons are quite similar, there are not any known dragonborn members of the order. It is difficult to know if the dragonborn know of its existence or what their opinion of the Order of the Scale would be.


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