Author Topic: Question: The Eternal Order  (Read 1943 times)

Renegadelycan

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Question: The Eternal Order
« on: August 16, 2011, 07:20:51 PM »
Simple question, where do divine casters of the Eternal Order get their powers from? I can't seem to see it mentioning any deity in particular.
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Re: Question: The Eternal Order
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2011, 07:22:15 PM »
I don't think they do get divine spells. It's a made up phoney religion.
If they do, it's the DPs

ethinos

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Re: Question: The Eternal Order
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2011, 07:32:27 PM »
The Ravenloft campaign setting states that clerics of the Eternal Order "worship a patchwork pantheon of death gods borrowed from other religions."

I don't believe it's ever been more specific than that. I would assume any deity, outlander or native, that is a death god could be a part of that pantheon, but you would have to pick the alighment and domains of the Eternal Order (NE, and Death, Evil, and Knowledge).

You can see the rest of the thread here:

I don't think they do get divine spells. It's a made up phoney religion.

You are thinking of a different 'religious' group in Ravenloft.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 07:48:42 PM by ethinos »
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Renegadelycan

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Re: Question: The Eternal Order
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2011, 08:22:37 PM »
Thanks
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Truth_USMC

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Re: Question: The Eternal Order
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2016, 08:33:31 PM »
I'd like to bump this, with the question being what would the dogma/daily activities of an eternal order cleric look like?  I've read over the RP resources, but there isn't much in the way of what the dogma would look like and how it would be played out.  Thanks
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MAB77

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Re: Question: The Eternal Order
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2016, 03:05:22 PM »
For my part, I view them as a typical death cult, prone to dark masses in secret places, wearing dark robes with hoods covering their faces. Prior to the Requiem, they could come and go more or less unmolested anywhere in Darkon, but since the event I believe they would be more secretive about their faith and would try not to attract too much undue attention. Check some of the Books of S. on the Kargatane website. Some have suggestions for particular rituals or holidays, that might be of help, but you are pretty much free to portray them as you see fit. The fact they worship a patchwork of Death deities gives you a wide range of options as to what rites your cleric would perform. It would not be much of a stretch to think two different congregations of the Eternal Order to have quite different rituals.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2016, 03:06:58 PM by MAB77 »
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Re: Question: The Eternal Order
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2016, 05:55:51 PM »
They're not secretive. They're still the state religion of Darkon even if Azalin has lost interest in them, but they've lost a lot of power due to infighting.

Dogma:
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MAB77

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Re: Question: The Eternal Order
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2016, 06:19:21 PM »
True, but as the populace blames them for the Requiem it is quite risky to be too conspicuous in public. Most will still fear them, shun their temples and leave them to their own devise, but a lone priest of the Order is a tempting target for many now. Also my previous comment was more about the situation on the server, where a priest of the Eternal Order is "de facto" away from Darkon and therefore in dangerous territory most of the time.
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Re: Question: The Eternal Order
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2016, 06:29:07 PM »
I don't know where you're getting your information but I think you're generalising the beliefs of a minority. Most Darkonians still worship the Eternal Order.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2016, 06:31:20 PM by Apsalar »

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Re: Question: The Eternal Order
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2016, 06:34:04 PM »
True, but as the populace blames them for the Requiem it is quite risky to be too conspicuous in public. Most will still fear them, shun their temples and leave them to their own devise, but a lone priest of the Order is a tempting target for many now. Also my previous comment was more about the situation on the server, where a priest of the Eternal Order is "de facto" away from Darkon and therefore in dangerous territory most of the time.

IIRC Heretic mentioned how they were loosing a lot of ground to the Ezrites before. I assume that would also be the case for the Overseer faith(even though that is a kargatane trick.)

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Re: Question: The Eternal Order
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2016, 11:22:44 PM »
IIRC from the gazetteer, The Eternal Order lost many followers after the requiem when The Eternal Order publicly declared that the populace's lack of faith was the cause of the fall of Il Aruk during the Darkest Night ceremony (as TEO (The Eternal Order) believed it to be the hour of ascension).  That resulted in a divide between the general populous and The Eternal Order and the following for the Eternal Order has waned since.  That said, I don't recall any mention of the followers now having to be inconspicuous in public, in fact, I believe it still mentions a few different festivals that are performed in Darkon that are likely part of tradition at this stage of the indoctrination (The last part is just my interpretation).  Being the nationwide religion for so long would likely result in many people practicing the holidays (Festival of the Dead, Darkest Night, etc.) even if they weren't necessarily devoted to TEO faith.  Throughout my reading, I never got the impression that they were a hidden and covert death cult and if you read their tenets, they more seek to impede or slow down the hour of ascension (when the dead will return from the Grey Realm to reclaim Darkon back from the living) than to cause it to happen, even though they believe its arrival is inevitable.  The exception to this is a sect of the TEO within Il Aruk among the intelligent dead who wish to accelerate towards the hour of ascension, for obvious reasons. 

The Faith of the Overseer is predominately in Martira Bay where it has a stranglehold on the faith of the population and has largely kept out both the Eternal Order and Ezrites as its religion is the only one with a temple in the city.  Despite being originally a false religion established by the Kargat leader (Tavelia) at the time, it's dogmas greatly appeal to the populace and it is gaining in popularity.  With the way that I remember it written in the gazetteer, I didn't seem as if either the Ezrites or TEO were going to change that any time soon. 


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Re: Question: The Eternal Order
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2016, 11:23:50 AM »
All the background history is good and all, but I'm more trying to figure out how a priest of this cult would be played out.  Just like how Ezrans clerics are charged with protecting and ministering to their select chosen, or the Morninglord priests help the less fortunate, what does the worldly activities of the Eternal Order clerics look like, who do they offer prayers to as in is there anything more specific than "a patchwork of death gods" like death itself as a concept?  Rituals, sayings RP stuff.  That sort of thing, if anyone has been able to find it.  Thanks again
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Re: Question: The Eternal Order
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2016, 12:45:11 PM »
As previously mentioned, the Book of S. netbook series, sometimes contain info that are often accepted as canon on the server that may be relevant to the Eternal Order and Darkonians in general. The following info below comes to mind. Other than that, you may wish to pick up the Grim Harvest box set and the associated Ravenloft adventure modules: Death Ascendant and Death Unchained. Whatever few canon info there is about the Eternal Order will be in those modules, the RL Core Rulebook and the Doomsday Gazeteer vol. 2.

Quote from: Book of Sacrifice
Many legends and superstitions exist in Darkon about the rising of the dead to retake the lands of the living. These are codified in the teachings of the Eternal Order, and were reinforced by the catastrophe at Il Aluk. However, outside of the Order’s dogma, some other small superstitions remain popular among the common folk. One is that anyone passing by a cemetery gate must tip their hat, or give a small bow or curtsy before moving on. This is supposed to show respect for the dead buried there and let them know that they are remembered.

Quote from: Book of Secrets
Remembrance
January, first new moon
Necropolis (Read Darkon, as this was written during the time the domain was called Necropolis)

The holiday of Remembrance was created by the Eternal Order. The day serves several purposes. Officially, it is a celebration that the dead had not returned in the previous
year, and a way of warding them for the coming year. Unofficially, it simply serves as a way of beginning the year with a somewhat joyous occasion. The actual church celebration begins at sundown on the night of the first new moon of a year, when the dead are supposed to be close to the land. During the day beforehand, people put up decorations of paper skeletons and tissue ghosts, bake breads and sweets in the shapes of skulls, take offerings of food, flowers, or other items to the graves of relatives, and children create masks to wear during the celebrations. Jack-o-Lanterns are also carved, due to their supposed power over the dead and undead. (Some of these may manifest unexpected powers—see DRAGON Magazine #252.) In the urban areas, great masquerades are often held to commemorate the day, while in rural areas people may privately reminisce, or gather the family for a luncheon picnic among the graves of relatives, symbolically inviting them to dine with them. When sundown arrives, people go to the local Church of the Eternal Order for an all-night vigil, praying to the various powers of death, the dead, the undead, and ancestors to hold back the spirits of the deceased for one more year. Since the time of the Requiem, this holiday has become less popular among some in the community, as has the Eternal Order. In other areas, the religious aspect
has been de-emphasized and is considered more of a secular holiday. Oddly enough, despite the macabre flavor of the holiday, it is one of the few times in the Land of Mists where the undead are quieter than usual. Whether this is due to the influence and rituals of the holiday or simple coincidence is unknown.


Quote from: Book of Secrets
Festival of the Dead
November 12
Necropolis

In the time before Azalin used his doomsday device and devastated the land, the residents of Darkon spent much time honoring the dead, due to their belief that they would one day rise up and reclaim the land for their own. Since Darkon’s transformation into Necropolis, the nature of much of the honoring has changed somewhat, due to the belief that the Ascension has already begun. Originally a celebration initiated by the Eternal Order, this festival was designed to give thanks to the dead for both the protection they offered the people of Darkon (as evidenced by the dead rising against Falkovnian attacks), and for not yet reclaiming the land of the living for their own. The day was spent in a large town gathering, where residents would wear grotesque masks to represent the dead, and would celebrate with music, drink and revelry for many hours. The celebrations had to end by sundown, however, so that none of the living walked the streets after nightfall. The Eternal Order preached that since the living and the dead could not celebrate together in one place, the living would celebrate during the daylight hours, while the dead would consume the night with their own celebrations. Paintings on the walls of temples of the Eternal Order sometimes depict this event, with fetid corpses wearing human masks, and celebrating with torture and death. The events of the Grim Harvest, however, have
changed the way this holiday is celebrated. As the Eternal Order slowly loses its power without the force of King Azalin to support it, the people are slowly beginning to disregard the original premise of the holiday. The people are beginning to celebrate into the night, ignoring the original reason for remaining indoors at that time. This effect is less notable the closer one gets to the Falkovnian border. There, where the dead have risen yet again to defend the lands since the Grim Harvest, respect for the dead has continued almost unabated, so in towns like Nartok the holiday has been virtually unaffected.

Quote from: Book of Secrets
Darkest Night
December, Winter Solstice
Necropolis
Like the Festival of the Dead, this occasion is a result of the legends regarding the Hour of Ascension, where the dead rise up to reclaim the land. Unlike the Festival of the Dead, this day is marked by fear rather than celebration. On Darkest Night, the moon does not rise over Necropolis. It is said that on this night, the dead are closer to the land of the living than at any other time of the year. The Eternal Order preaches that if the dead have not been properly honored over the past year, this is the most likely time at which they will reclaim the land from the living. In order to avoid attracting the attention of the dead, on this night all lights across Necropolis must be extinguished. Not one candle may burn during the night, lest the dead use it to lead them to the living world. Since the Requiem in 750, this day has become even more feared by the people of Necropolis. Despite the declining power of the Church of the Eternal Order, this night continues to be commemorated with great fervor, as it is the anniversary of the wave of energy that destroyed Il Aluk. Many residents see this event as the Hour of Ascension itself, and that it was just the start of the dead’s reclamation of their lands. As such, the years since have seen even greater adherence to the tradition, with many households even covering reflective surfaces to avoid reflecting the dim starlight of the night. Those who lost friends or family in the destruction of Il Aluk also use this night to sit in silent remembrance of their lives. (For additional information on Darkest Night, see the Requiem: The Grim Harvest boxed set.)
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Re: Question: The Eternal Order
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2016, 03:18:14 PM »
I think it's also important to mention that a common Darkonian isn't going to know that Azalin Rex caused the Requiem or that he's a big bad lich, as far as my understanding goes.


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Re: Question: The Eternal Order
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2016, 03:33:58 PM »
Another potential ritual for the Eternal Order is the belief that the first corpse buried in any cemetery serves as the sentry for that grave site.  Therefore, many of the darkonians will kill or bury an animal first, they specifically reference a dog, to serve as the "grim."  These grims are the guardians of the transition between the living world and the grey realm.  TEO honor the dead to appease them. 

As for knowing that Azalin is a lich, the gazetteer states that rumors are abound that Azalin is undead, but it is commonly dismissed as paranoia.  The pervasive belief is that he secured the secrets of extended life when he overthrew Darcalus.  So ultimately, you could decide to believe the rumors that Azalin is undead or dismiss them as the general populace does with your character. 

Here is an excerpt:

Spoiler: show
"Azalin's extreme longevity does not disturb
his subjects. He is thought to have seized the secrets
of extended life from Darcalus during their fateful
meeting. Darkonians do not believe that Azalin is
truly immortal (mortality is inevitable), but they
assume that Azalin will live for many more centu·
ries to come. Darkonians acknowledge the rumors
that Azalin is undead, but have been skillfully
conditioned for generations to dismiss such rumors
as paranoia. Public opinion of Azalin has varied
widely over the decades, but he currently enjoys a
wave of popularity as he restores Darkon to glory.
Darkonians often see Azalin as the sole force keeping
Death's minions at bay."  -Gazetteer II pg 34

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Re: Question: The Eternal Order
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2016, 06:04:21 PM »
That's all really good stuff thanks.  Something that confuses me though, what actions classify them as neutral evil in alignment, that would imply going out of your way to manipulate or harm people, and being willing to bend the rules to do it.  This is a state religion, meaning if anything they should be lawful evil, or maybe even lawful neutral since it doesn't seem they're going out of their way to claim souls like other death deities require.  Also, am I correct in saying they seem accepting of undead?  The reason I ask is a lot of other death religions see undead as abominations.
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Re: Question: The Eternal Order
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2016, 07:51:50 AM »
That's all really good stuff thanks.  Something that confuses me though, what actions classify them as neutral evil in alignment, that would imply going out of your way to manipulate or harm people, and being willing to bend the rules to do it.  This is a state religion, meaning if anything they should be lawful evil, or maybe even lawful neutral since it doesn't seem they're going out of their way to claim souls like other death deities require.  Also, am I correct in saying they seem accepting of undead?  The reason I ask is a lot of other death religions see undead as abominations.

1) Being the state religion really has no impact whatsoever on a group's alignment. That is dictated by the group's motivations and actions. Note for instance that chaotic evil state religions do exist in D&D,  like the cults of Lolth or Ghaunadaur in certain drow cities

The very fact that the Eternal Order seeks to control the population through fear clearly marks them as evil. As for the chaotic/lawful axis, as they incorporate beliefs from countless Death deities of various alignments (some of whom may even be good). It stands to reason that the Order would use whatever method suits them to achieve their goals, without bias between order and chaos. Threats, blackmail, assassination, muggings. Whatever works. Hence "Neutral Evil".

2) It is important to bear in mind that the Eternal Order was created by, and reports to, Azalin himself. He amuses himself by pressuring his subjects to debase themselves just to see how low they will sink to curry his favors. So long as his will is done and that the perpetrator of a crime is discreet about it, Azalin will not care for a few broken laws. On the contrary, this even provides him with leverage to expose the crime at a more convenient time. You can bet he played this game with the high ranking clergy of the Order well before the Requiem. That would not promote a particularly lawful leadership and it could only grow worse after he removed his support from the institution. It is therefore no surprise that the Order's leadership is in such disarray today and riddled with infighting. A lawful evil organization would probably have has much infighting, but done on a subtler level while providing a public united front. The fact is, right now, the Order can't organize itself coherently.

3) I think they would use undead without hesitations to protect their holy places or even themselves. Some high ranking officials are likely undead themselves (and members of the Kargat at the same time), but those would always keep that information from the populace.
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Re: Question: The Eternal Order
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2016, 07:48:38 AM »
That's all really good stuff thanks.  Something that confuses me though, what actions classify them as neutral evil in alignment, that would imply going out of your way to manipulate or harm people, and being willing to bend the rules to do it.  This is a state religion, meaning if anything they should be lawful evil, or maybe even lawful neutral since it doesn't seem they're going out of their way to claim souls like other death deities require.  Also, am I correct in saying they seem accepting of undead?  The reason I ask is a lot of other death religions see undead as abominations.

Darkon on the whole can be confusing, I still see the people from Darkon seeing Undead as abominations, we mustn't get the concepts of the dead mixed up with the Undead in a fantasy game like this. Creating Undead is unnatural, but death is a part of life. It does get a bit blurred when it comes to Darkons though, and I think it's fair to say they would walk the line very carefully. In Darkon Necromancy is practiced but that is partly so they can understand and control the Undead. It's also worth mentioning that the Eternal Order doesn't want to hasten the return of the dead either.

You will have individuals or groups who's alignment is way off into the evil end of the scale, so you will have variations in attitudes and behaviors, but as a whole I can't see any reason for Darkon to do anything but fear the undead, perhaps loath them. The Requiem devastated parts of Darkon and a darklord referred to as 'Death' (confusingly enough) rules over the Necropolis with his Unholy Order of the Grave, the hint is in the name, unholy order.
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Re: Question: The Eternal Order
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2016, 02:47:46 PM »
I don't mean to bogart anyone's thread but well..

Lacking a more appropriate place to ask I'll simply do this here. Does anyone here have any further information of the Sect of the Hour of Ascension? I understand its a heresy of the orthodox Eternal Order views, but I'm curious if it's clerics domains are different, or the same as the orthodox clerics.

Thanks for your time, friendos.

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Re: Question: The Eternal Order
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2017, 11:02:47 PM »
Hello all, with a perspective NCE coming up, wanted to flesh out a few more ideas.  The Eternal Order allows for True Neutral clerics, and I think there's even some canon NPC's mentioned that follow this version with a different twist on that dogma.  Does anyone have the background on that or come across ideas of how a true neutral deviation would be played?
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Re: Question: The Eternal Order
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2017, 07:55:02 AM »
IMHO, I think a true neutral sentinel would foremost adhere to the codified doctrine of the faith, scrupulously observing the forms and rituals out of necessity because it is what must be done to keep the Hour of Ascension at bay. Other than that he'd be likely less involved in proselytizing than other sentinels would be, keeping his distances from most other

If you do start an Eternal Order faction for next NCE let me know. I will join you. We need to think of a good reason why they would be in Barovia to begin with.
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