Order of the Inquisition Organization in The World of Cartyrion | World Anvil

Order of the Inquisition

Shut yer mouth, Evan! Don't be talkin' about the Prelate that way! I don't care if ye saw him chuckling when his carriage splattered ye with mud. Do ye want to bring the Inqusitors around here looking for you?
— Nervous citizen admonishing a tipsy friend
One of the three "Orders" within the priesthood of the The True Church of the Humanar is tasked with rooting out anything that could threaten the harmony of the faith by corrupting or twisting the teachings of Saint Ancelin. Because of the zealousness of the clerics within this Order, they have come to be feared more than respected by the commonfolk adherents to the religion. Nothing strikes fear into the heart of even the best, most devout of Humanar worshipers than the sight of a member of the Order of the Inquisition.

Officially Stated Purpose

Like any organized religion, the Church of the Humanar has had its share of "members with differing views" ever since the days St. Ancelin walked the world. But in the time after the Great Strife, the elders of the Church perceived what they believed to be the greatest threat ever to the purity of their faith.

The Grand Duchies of Eastguard and Elvenpass had successfully broken away from the political control of the First Kingdom, and shortly thereafter, not one, but two large "splinter" religions formed within these new sovereign states. Each of these - the Enlightened Church of the Humanar and the Reformed Church of the Humanar - claimed that the faith had lost its way, and a re-examination of what St. Ancelin was trying to teach all Humans and Halflings was in order.
Full Name
Order of the Inquisitors
Title of Leader
Grand Inquisitor
Current Leader
Glynnis Leighton

Naturally, the hierarchy of the Church in Elderkeep perceived this as a great threat. They instituted a special group of their most trusted and zealous priesthood to prevent the "heresies" being developed in the Grand Duchies from gaining any sort of foothold in the Kingdom. Ostensibly, their official purpose was to seek out proponents of heretical teachings and "help them see the truth". The first members of the Order were chosen for their knowledge of the teachings and interpretations of the faith, as well as for their skills at oratory and debate. They were to question their subjects publicly and in such as way as to make it obvious to any and all around them that their subject was mistaken.

The Order's Purpose Today

To those familiar with the The True Church of the Humanar, and its Enlightened and Reformed offshoots, it should come as no surprise that when the Inquisitors tried to question clerics of those latter two faiths, they were generally unable to uncover any truly religion-based errors in the teachings of their subjects. What they did find was a disdain for the hierarchy and ritual pomp that had come to embody everything the True Church did. Suddenly, the Church Hierarchy realized the threats these new religions posed to their positions as "sascred advisors" to the secular leaders of the Kingdom.

The Inquisitors were instructed to change their tactics. Instead of open-forum debates with their subjects, they were to conduct questionings in private. The Inquisitors were encouraged to use whatever methods of persuasion they deemed necessary to get subjects to see the errors of their ways and to be willing to publicly denounce whatever heresy they had been preaching. Such questioning was to continue until such a denouncement was offered - or until the subject was no longer capable of either pronouncement or denouncement because they were no longer alive.

With this change in tactics, the members of the Order of the Inquisition went from being respected church scholars to feared zealous terrors almost overnight in the eyes of the typical citizen of the First Kingdom - especially if one found the teachings of the Enlightened or Reformed Church more to their liking.

A Weak Attempt at Image Improvement

It did not take long for the hierarchy of the True Church to realize that their Inquisitors were looked upon in public with fear, intrepidation, and loathing. And while this image served their purposes of keeping the common faithful in line, they recognized that the "optics" were terrible. In an attempt to provide more justification for the harsh techniques that the Inquisitors had become known for, they created an other religious order to deal with questions of faith. The Order of Adjudicants was created to spare the Inqusitors from being viewed as judge, jury, and executioner.

Now, those who were expounding potential heresies were brought before a religious court headed by an Adjudicant. There, the heretical words were on trial, not the subject, technically. The new role of the Inquisitors was to question the subjects (persuasively) so that the court could better understand the nature and intent of the questionable teachings, and then make a judgement as to their correctness. If found heretical, then the Inquisitors were tasked with getting the subject to accept the correct teachings instead. It did not take long for all to realize that the trials were performances with preordained outcomes, and nothing had really changed.

Spotting an Inquisitor

Members of the Order of the Inquisition are easily identifiable by their garb. They wear hooded robes that are constructed exactly like those of the Prelates and Archprelates, but instead of the colors and trimmings that designate these ranks, the robes are a shade of red so deep as to be almost black. Trimmings are of the same color. It is a commonly held (though never publicly espoused) belief that this color was chosen to hide the bloodstains.

Qualifications for the Order

One cannot apply to become an Inquisitor; new members of the order are chosen by those already within the order. Contrary to popular belief, there are qualifications beyond simple cruelty in order to be considered a candidate for the order. First, one must have already undergone the Third Rite of Ordination which confers the title of Prelate. Second, one must show an thorough and precise knowledge of all Church teachings.

One who meets these qualifications is then interviewed by the Grand Inquisitor, and if the Grand Inquisitor approves of them, a petition to the First Among Servants is made requesting that the candidate be installed into the Order.


Character images made by RPGDinosaurBob using HeroForge™
Banner and side panel background images courtesy of various contributors to Pixabay


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Aug 22, 2022 19:02 by E. Christopher Clark

This has inspired me to write more about the religions of my world at some point in the future, especially the more controversial parts of them. Nice work!

Now it's time for the awkward wave.
Aug 23, 2022 12:43 by Bob O'Brien

Yeah... religion in the Kingdoms region is... complicated. It also figures heavily in the books I'm working on.   Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. It's always appreciated!

Check out my latest efforts:
Laurels & Loot is a new, lightweight TTRPG rules system that hearkens back to the early days.
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