The Garnet Order is the intelligence service of the Kingdom of Prairies Endless. The original organization underwent a major reformation and currently exists as three separate groups.
HistoryWhen the five ancient elven kingdoms formed, they developed with different levels of centralization. It is often said that the Kingdom of Prairies Endless was the least centralized of the kingdoms, but that is mistaking the true political situation that led to the Garnet Order's creation. The High Queen of Waters Effluent did not have more say and control in the day to day affairs of her dominas than the Queen of Prairies Endless had in the affairs of her high chieftainesses. The key difference was that there were many dominas, each controlling a small part of the kingdom while there were only sixteen high chieftainess counting the queen, and each was roughly equal in power. The high number of powerful potential rivals among their vassals led the queens of Prairies Endless to form the Garnet Order to spy on their vassals. The original members of the Garnet Order quickly proved their effectiveness, and were given additional duties. Forging intelligence gathering was quickly added to their domestic duties and over the years counter intelligence, interrogation, torture and even assassination was placed in their portfolio. Members were selected for their extreme loyalty to the kingdom of Prairies Endless, as well as personal skill. They adopted the garnet as their symbol, it color representing the blood they were willing to shed (their own and others) in advancement of their kingdom's goals. The Garnet Order was very active behind the scenes during the Kingdom of Prairies Endless' visualization to the Empire of the Scale. Their help allowed the Queen to maintain the kingdom's position of a vassal and allowed the elves to escape destruction or enslavement. The Order developed the quench poison, a fast acting toxin that was especially deadly to the Empire's fire giant slave-soldiers. Their intelligence gathering operations made the elves of Prairies Endless the best informed about the various anti-dragon developments in the Empire and as the Shattering Scale began the elves were the only ones able to use the chaos to execute plans, rather than react to events. This would allow the Kingdom of Prairies Endless to extract itself from the ruins of the Empire of the Scale with minimal elven casualties. After the Shattering Scale the Garnet Order continued to grow in power and independence. Its members became increasing ruthless, determined to eliminate any threat to the Kingdom of Prairies Endless. Eventually this would extend to the throne itself. Rejecting the reforms of Queen Alasadris II, her aunt, Knimaris, head of the Order, commanded her assassination. This set of a series of murders and counterattacks that greatly destabilized the kingdom and started a civil war within the order between those who felt the Order should be the final arbitrator of the Kingdom's good, and those who believed the order needed outside accountability. When the dust settled, faction favoring accountability won. The Garnet Order was reformed, with its members splitting into three successor organizations, each initially calling itself the Garnet Order.
Current ActivitiesAll three of the Garnet Order's successors are still active in the present time.
Modern Garnet OrderOfficially just called the Garnet Order, this is the successor to the original order recognized by the Kingdom of Prairies Endless. Its mission is intelligence and counter intelligence work in the service of the queen. The order is tightly controlled by the palace and as mention, promotes the good of the queen rather than an abstract concept of the kingdom as a whole. This version of the order is reminiscent of its earlier days before its duties had expanded too much and they gained increasing independence. Unless on a mission members are generally open about their membership.
Garnet GuildThis splinter group was originally formed by Order members who prized the activities the order undertook rather than loyalty to the order's mission. This was especially true when it came to "wet work". These former members offered their services to whomever would pay to let them continue their assassinations, thievery and torture. Due to members expertise, training, and long lifespans, the group soon moved from being hired for services to directing and planning operations. Changing their name to the Garnet Guild, they became the most powerful criminal organization in Western Therrmordia. They currently have branches in most towns and cities and are either directing the illegal activity or taking a cut of the profits for all crime within their reach.
True Garnet OrderSome order members refused to abandon their mission to safeguard and promote the Kingdom of Prairies Endless no matter the cost. After the reformation of the order, these individuals faded into the shadows. Far smaller in number and limited in power compared to old order, they continue to monitor the Kingdom and work to eliminate threats as they arise. They recruit select individuals they think have the drive and will to ruthlessly protect their home. Their tools are less cloak and dagger and more subtle nudges, working to slowly move things in the right direction to achieve the desired outcome. This True Order is considered just as illegal as the Garnet Guild by the Kingdom of Prairies Endless and any suspected members would be hunted by the Garnet Order. Or maybe the True Garnet Order is just a myth. After all, a secret version of a secretive organization that doesn't act openly leaves no traces. It could have died out over the years and never existed to begin with.
Government, Secret Service