The Order of Lumis and the Fallen Paladin.

Edit* This piece was written before the character Ayron Gloran was established and there may also be changes and continuity differences since I’ve written additional pieces.

The Tower of Lumis is a magnificent structure of white smooth durastone, twisting skywards in a cylindrical fashion. Inside and out the surface was lined with intrinsically carved ornaments, laced with highlights of radiantly polished gold. The constant of clear skies is no hindrance to the barrage of Sol light – Hexterra’s primary star, from reflecting of every angle, showering the city in a spectacle of amber rays. The tower was quite literally the beacon of the city, both metaphorically and literally. The chamber at the very peak of the tower held the cities very own Magicron, the sixteen sided orb radiated with an aura of brilliant white light. The chamber had a series of closable partitions that prevented this light from keeping the city permanently lit during it’s night life.

The city was protected by a large towering squared wall, scaling over the horizon of the largest buildings, encompassing the entirety of the cities boundaries, broken only by the strategically placed watchtower. The city was in the middle of a open flat plain, so vast that no invading army would be able to approach without first being seen, during the night the Magicron would be used to illuminate any potential threat. It’s main use of protecting the city from invaders.

This wasn’t the limit of the it’s power, as the cities scholars eventually realized it’s true potential. The Magicron’s aura could be harnessed with a large lens than was positioned to pivot around the housing chamber, it could be focused to a point. The beam was capable of disintegrating any hostile force with an intense beam of super heated light and with complete impunity.

The city surfaces were meticulous cleaned and polished regularly. Every road stemming from the Tower’s base had lush greenery running parallel, from grass, shrubs and tall trees, breaking up the monotony of white marble and gold inlays. Every home had hanging gardens on every free balcony and ledge. It was truly a paradise to behold. However one that would came at a high cost.

The cities population consisted of a hierarchy, first there was Serfs. The Serfs were little more than a over controlled workforce and if they didn’t have enough money to buy full citizenship, they were basically slaves, and were only allowed to leave the city with permission from a sponsor. Most were even punished for the sightless of mistakes and there was no repercussions from anyone mistreating a serf, beyond murder, which was still illegal regardless of stature.

The rigorous attitude needed to maintain this high level of maintenance and in having to perform their religiously strict routines, would breed contempt from lesser serfs. Merchants and smiths were those who would craft anything required from; pottery and utensils, to weapons and armour, or furniture and decorations. Traders would only be allowed to leave with permission and even then they were required to have an armed guard service. Who would also act as chaperones, to prevent unwanted anti-Lumis propaganda or escape. Last was the ruling body of the city; the Order of Lumis.

The Order of Lumis dedicated to the Goddess of the same name, is the religious trinity that have absolute control over the city of Solaris. Promoting all the positive things that was expected of the general populous, by preaching goodness and respect. Those who did not comply were silenced with a ruthless authority that left many unable to express anything other than praise for the Order’s absolution.

The religious leader the High Priestess oversees the largest Cathedral in Solaris, consisting of priests and priestess’s tending the Shrine of Light; acting as the guides and heralds of the goddess of light; The Conclave. It’s members would also provide all forms of religious services such as weddings, festivals and seeing off the recently departed. Through the use of the Lumicron. An artefact in the shape of any standard leather bound book, although it has no pages beyond the two covers. Text would flow on either of the inside in a barrage of glowing cascading  columns.

The Inquisitor Council. A select group of members who write the laws in which all citizens must comply. Who also act as judge and jury for those who would commit crimes against the state or those who would refuse to believe in Lumis. They were feared by everyone and only those of whom were fully devote did not hide when one graced the streets.

The policing force of the city is the Kinship of Paladins, men and women of whom act as the enforcers and executioners of every law currently in effect. As order of extremely well trained elite warrior’s they are all trained both in the use of an wide array of weaponry, firearms and Sol magic. Magic which when used can both heal the wounded and smite the wicked. They become living examples of what everyone should aspire to be. The paragons that carry the eternal light of Lumis with in their souls to show the people just what it was to be a good honest person.

Paladins were also the force to impose the ideals and beliefs with impunity and if needed; a brutal resolution. One that left the cities general population uneasy around them. This had over time cause a development of a secret group with non-worshipers, members who wish to live their lives without the oppressive attitude of the Order, with in the cities walls. Hoping to do so without the strict rules and regulations imposed upon them.

One venerated paladin, who had become the Champion of Lumis after years of service to the Order, would soon start to question the strict jurisdiction of one particular member of the Conclave; Inquisitor Zhidar.

 The two never saw eye to eye and many of their arguments were broken up via third parties, whenever they would become heated. Zhidar was widely known for his rather callous methodology and almost zealot styled belief. Both were given the order to scrutinize a manor just inside of the cities wall. Under suspicion of harbouring anti-Lumis protesters. The Champion and Zhidar argued over the proposed methods of inspection, and after their debate both reluctantly agreed to a means, proceeding to the manor with a handful of squires in their charge.

After a rather vigorous search of the premises no trace of residence was found. No piece of furniture was over turned, no room ransacked. Zhidar however still judged them to be anti-Lumis sympathizers, such was his paranoia. So sure was the Inquisitor that he ordered that the family members of the house be immediately taken to the city square to be tried for their crimes. With out any indication of their guilt the Champion’s immediate protest that they could not be guilty.

The family; including two small children, were dragged through the streets by the other squires while constantly pleading their innocence. This was done so without the Champions order but Zhidar’s. Even though the squires themselves hesitated they continued through fear of punishment, they followed their ordered with a nervous compliance. The Champion and the Inquisitor would continue to rally their argued points to each other while storming to the cities centre. At this point a crowd had starting to form, following the noise from the streets.

The family was lined up in a row in front of everyone, they had silenced their persistent defense with a morbid sense of their impending doom, the children couldn’t help but wear tears on their face, streaks of salty water flowed down their faces to crash onto their crooked knees dirty knees. Regardless of being told otherwise many people had started to scream and hiss at the family. Pre-assuming their guilt. Such was the un-wavering loyalty of everyone of who saw no reason to question the cities authority. Others in the crowd merely stood still, petrified of not seemingly acting as one with the crowd.

The Inquisitor who was a rather stocky and over bearing type, with a bellowing voice that when speaking almost made the lungs of everyone in ear-shot to vibrate. Started to spouting various passages from the Luxicron. The revered book was a guide to some but viewed as a doctrine to many, saying so would result in extreme punishment. After a few minutes of preaching, Zhidar started to denounce the family as heathens and made statements to the fact, citing the reasons for his belief, and slandering their otherwise good nature with unproven facts.

Zhidar ushered the squires to strike down the family in front of every one. The Champion would take exception, his experience was far greater than that of the rest of his unit and called for a stay of execution. Defying the orders of an Inquisitor is at best a death sentence, worse still is to become a Penitent; someone who is punished by wearing a extremely heavy suit of made of thick plated gold, the armour would at best cripple those who could not wield due to it’s unwieldy weight. Those who were not as fortunate died an excruciatingly painful death.

The stay was at great expense to the Champion, as he became aware that Zhidar was merely using the family to cause his downfall in front of everyone. Forced to choose; condemn an innocent family to death, or face expulsion himself, for not complying with his oath to follow the Order in it’s entirety. The conniving Inquisitor had not anticipated what would happen next. The squires had also halted in confusion, unsure of how to proceed.

A frustrated Zhidar attempted to continue the execution of the family himself, by casting a magic spell. The area lit up blinding most of every who wasn’t quick enough to react by shielding their eyes. The spell built up charge but before it was cast the Champion had drawn his sword and cut down Zhidar. The spell fizzled into stray streams of light, as his upper torso tore away from the lower section of his body, collapsing in a heap of internal organs, the once stainless marble floor was covered in a enlarging pool of blood.

Members of the crowd who had up until now,  not regretted being there. Everyone including the squires were horrified, their faces wore a masked mixture of fear and awe at the powerful display of the Champions shear strength and ferocity. The Champion himself was at a lost. With no idea of what to do after his impulsive reaction to help those in need. He chose to remain disarming himself before the squires, knowing they were required to arrest the Champion sought solace in the fact that he would at least be given a more fair trial.

Under normal circumstances members of the public would only face a Inquisitor at a trial, however this was a rare occasion. The Champion was standing alone and in chains in front of committee of the Order’s highest members, the High Priestess, the Grand Inquisitor and the Prime Archon – lord of the Paladins. One after another respectable eye witnesses were summoned to accounted for what happened in the city square. After many had given their worded evidence, it was a full day before the three returned from their deliberations and in front of the court issued the punishment set before the Champion.

Much to his relief not to be executed or even given a penitent sentence. Knowing that the people of the city would not accept his execution, due in large to his reputation and valiant past deeds. Nor would he be imprisoned or forced to become a Penitent, to remain in the city as a symbol of defiance. Stripped of all of his past honours armour and he would be forced to leave the city never to return, an exile to everything he knew and loved. As the first in many centuries to become a member of the Fallen.

After the sentencing, his punishment was put into action immediately. With few clothes, no weapons and little money, he was compelled to walk the streets with an armed escort in tow. Streets which were lined with a plethora of citizens, polarized with a variety of views and objections of his innocence or guilt. Given his one remaining possession; a Luxicron. Held with both hands to his tightly to his chest. He would have to brave the wilds beyond the city wall alone.

Unsure of his future, he walked through the city gates. Turning once to see one remaining group of people. The family he had a day since saved, who had stayed to see him off, the children had refreshed the tears on their cheeks but now accompanied smiles and waving hands. Hoping that he might be able to assist those in need far from the boundaries of Solaris. The newly Fallen Champion walked further and further away, until the city had grown small in the horizon. Knowing he had lost his home he was not dishearten, his persistence of seeking justice in Lumis’s name was still intact. His internal light would still remained.

Author: Laura Steel

I am the 33 year old trans-woman in current possession of this website used to promote my chosen vocation of writing, as well as being a blog for general rants and ideas. I am also an amateur improviser, sketch actor and stand-up comedian.

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