Order of Avalon
When the Scourge treads upon any inch of Varia, they inevitably come: the Order of Avalon. The beacon of light to dissuade the Scourge's darkness and its Corruption. While most of the Order's great tales stem from their martial endeavors, the organization also provides humanitarian aid during Scourge-related events and in the aftermath. To the people of Grandia, they are everpresent.
A military-religious organization, the Order of Avalon's hierarchy follows a similarly mixed style. The Pontiff stands at the head of the Order of Avalon. Their word is considered absolute but receives counsel from the Golden Circle. The position of the Pontiff is said to be a mantle bestowed upon a worthy individual within the Order of Avalon at the passing of the current Pontiff. The true identity of a Pontiff can thus be conjectured but the Order of Avalon takes great measures uphold the sanctity of their secret against the public. The Golden Circles is a council of three Archbishops and three High Generals. Chosen for their accomplishments within and without the Order of Avalon, the Circle serves to consolidate the information passed onto the Pontiff and often acts as their mouthpiece for decrees. Below the Golden Circle, the Generals acts as more hands-on overseers to the Order of Avalon's military affairs. More numerous and slightly below in rank are the Bishops, who manage the Order of Avalon's various bastions, including churches and strongholds. The militant side of the Order holds more officer positions compared to its religious side, which only has Priests and Acolytes after the Bishop. At the lowest tier, there are the initiates who are the individuals still training to join either the Order's military or religious ranks.
The Order of Avalon's primary purpose is to address matters regarding the Scourge and its remnants on the continent of Varia, within Grandia's borders as well as beyond. However, they also serve as the continent's first line of defense to a lesser known threat in the creatures inhabiting the Barrenlands to the south. They also provide humanitarian aid through churches dedicated to Avalon but focuses their efforts in areas affected by the Scourge when the opportunity rises. Within the borders of Grandia, the Order of Avalon serves as the main governmental and military body of the country. However, it remains strictly apolitical outside of Grandia's borders due to the Avon Accords.
The Order of Avalon has the financial backing of a country behind it as well as support from various noble families regarding its strongholds outside of the country. The Golden Citadel, a massive complex of fortifications on buildings that occupies the coastal portion of Grandia's capital, serves as the Order of Avalon's main headquarters. Its members number in the hundreds of thousands, ranging from military personnel to clergy to support staff.
With King Avalon of Avon's ascension to godhood, the Order of Avalon was established in the aftermath of the War of the Scourge, from the remnants of the coalition once led by the king. A religious order at its inception, the Order of Avalon served as the amassed coalition of the continent's forces, acting as the main army versus the Scourge. At the end of the war and the ushering of the Second Era, the Order's purpose turned to that of defense and reconstruction of settlements torn asunder by the Scourge. The Order of Avalon played an integral part to the rebuilding of civilization in the southern parts of the continent. This focus garnered the Order enough influence that it became the effective governing body of what eventually developed as the country of Grandia. As the oldest organization on the continent, they eliminate lingering and upcoming traces of the Scourge throughout the continent as well as provided vigil to the creatures of the Barrenlands, a purpose which they fulfill to the present day.
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