Order of the Apostles
| Order of the Apostles|
This is an Official Order
- ~~ Order of the Apostles ~~
Sanctioning Province: Zoluren
The Order of the Apostles commits themselves to the organization of citizens in times of conflict, defends Elanthians against invading forces, develops an exceptional information network, sets strong moral values and educates and trains members in an effort to actualize their true prowess based on their race and their profession of choice, through instruction taught by individuals specializing in those fields.
While the leadership of the Order is most often felt during times of war, peacetime assessments are constantly made in the name of finding areas of weakness in the defense of the Crossing. Furthermore, the Apostles provide invaluable intelligence and reconnaissance, enabling the citizens under its protection to make informed decisions and act in their own best interests.
Sponsorship Required: Yes
Minimum Circle Requirement to Join: None
Guilds Welcome: All Except Necromancers
Races Welcome: All
Speaker of the Order: Ayliana
Vice Speaker: Kiks
Council Members: Erons, Glorgg, Zynell, Telamont
It is our belief that in times of turmoil, as well as times of peace, there stands a need for people of like mind and purpose to unite their efforts in order to guard and defend the greater good. To further this cause, the call has often been sounded and we, who have responded, pledge ourselves to a purpose beyond that of personal advancement or gain. We, who once fought alone and who now stand united, seek strength in unity while embracing the individuality in each member. Held together through strength of purpose, we strive to make the lives of all Elanthian citizens safer by providing leadership and valued service to the community.
The Order of the Apostles strives To protect, inform, lead and serve the law-abiding citizens of Elanthia.
Reason for Founding
In the early years, those adventurers who would become the founding members of the Apostles, began to draw people together to instruct the young, exchange information and strengthen the bonds of community. During the period of time known to some as the Red Winter War, when community resources were pushed to the breaking point, it was quickly realized that without strong leadership the invading forces of the Gorbesh would quickly overcome the defenders of Elanthia. The first members of the Apostles answered this need by organizing patrols, rally points and leading the citizens of Elanthia in repulsing the aggressors.
Once the war had come to an end, it became apparent that the need for leadership did not end in the absence of a common enemy. Quite the opposite became evident over time and led to the formal founding of an Order meant to fill this need. The Apostles stand ready to provide leadership in times of war; while continuing to gather the young and teach them the skills needed to thrive in times of peace.
While the leadership of the Order is most often felt during times of war, peacetime assessments are constantly made in the name of finding areas of weakness in the defense of the realms as a whole. Furthermore, the Apostles provide invaluable intelligence and reconnaissance, enabling the citizens under its protection to make informed decisions and act in the best interest of Elanthia. All members of the Order are rigorously trained to make full use of their talents, regardless of race or guild standing, to ensure the Elanthian public will have leadership they are able to respect and follow. The Order of the Apostles believes respect can not be demanded nor is it the "right of might". Respect is won through good deeds, friendship and conducting oneself in an honorable fashion. It is something each Apostle assists their fellow members not only to achieve, but maintain.
Goals of the Order
1. The Apostles will educate and train its members in an effort to assist them in realizing their true potential. Members are then encouraged to share their knowledge and experience with other citizens of Elanthia.
2. The Apostles will develop an exceptional information network and provide it to the public.
3. Individual members of the Apostles will set strong moral values and encourage others to uphold them as well.
4. Members of the Apostles will commit themselves to the organization of citizens in times of conflict.
5. The Apostles will work together with Elanthian citizens towards neutralizing any threat against Elanthia as a whole.
Badge: a ceremonial pauldron etched with a white shield overlaying crossed longswords
- Etched into the brightly shining metal is the image of a white shield overlaying twin, crossed longswords. A perfect circle of thirteen ruby stars crests the shield's center. Beneath the etching, fine lines detail the mission of the Order of the Apostles.
Official Description: The crest of the Apostles, two swords crossing behind a shield, stands as our symbol of leadership and strength. The shield represents the defense of Elanthia. The white in the body of the shield symbolizes goodness and purity. The thirteen red stars in the field of shield are placed for remembrance of those whose lives poured out on the field of battle defending Elanthia and her gods and goddesses. The two crossed swords characterize wisdom and purpose; that which guide the strike of a weapon. The shield and sword mounted on display declare the readiness and vigilance of an Apostle member.
Blazon: Argent, 13 mullets gules in annulo.
1. All members are required to attend a minimum of one official activity per month. Members will be provided with a calendar of events, including but not limited to:
- The general members meetings
- Subdivisions meetings
- Group training sessions
- Group hunting sessions
- Fund raising events
- Recruiting events
2. All members are required to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings to ensure threats are made aware of.
3. All members will maintain a code of good conduct befitting the mannerism of an Apostle during day to day behavior.
4. Members of the Apostles will refrain from non-consensual combat.
5. Consensual combat may be practiced for training, defense, and charity or fund raising events. Excessive practice of consensual combat strains the people and resources of Elanthia and should be kept to a minimum.
6. The Order will tolerate no acts of the following.
- Grave robbing
- Unjustified murder
- Harassment of citizens
- Practice of Necromancy
7. Members must attend the monthly meeting or notify an officer or council member in writing if they cannot attend.
II: Governing Laws
Loss of Membership
Members of the Order of the Apostles are members for life. However, the following exceptions can result in loss of membership in the Order.
- Repeated failure to attended activities without proper notification.
- Breaking of the aforementioned rules.
- Voluntary resignation.
note If a member is found guilty of the above, they will receive three written warnings after which the council reserves the right to repeal membership by a vote of the majority.
Once a meeting is called to order, all actions and talking should be stopped. Whispers are permissible. Only those acknowledged by the person in charge of the meeting should be speaking. Raise your hand and wait to be called on. All items that produce excessive distraction (noise, movement) must be removed.
The Order is required to hold an official council meeting every two weeks per order of the provincial government. Times for these meetings will be decided amongst the council members and the times will then be posted to members of the order. Meetings will begin with a call to order by the Speaker or assigned representative, after which will follow petitions from the Vice Speaker, Treasurer, Council members, Subdivisions, and finally Members, in that order. Immediately following the reading of petitions, all non-council members must vacate the council area to allow for discussion and voting by the council.
A council meeting will be declared official when convened in the council chambers with at least a majority of its members present. Council meetings will be held in private, excluding even the officers of the Order from participating once an official meeting has begun. Council votes will be secret with the members of the voting council kept from knowing the individual votes of its members. Motions to be voted on in the council may be brought forth by any council member. All motions put forward on the floor of the council chamber will be announced in the room directly outside the door of the council chamber. All voting results will be announced in the same manner.
A general meeting will be called twice per month. Attendance at one monthly meeting will be mandatory for all members. If a member can not attend he or she must notify an officer or council member in writing. Any issues of importance are to be submitted for the agenda three days prior to the meeting to the Speaker or Vice Speaker. Issues submitted after this time period will be carried over to the following month. The meeting will begin with an opening speech, followed by introduction of new members. Next will be a discussion of the issues on the agenda for that meeting, followed by addresses from the sub-divisions (optional) and a short open forum at the end of the meeting. Open forums are not guaranteed, they will only be held if time permits.
Council votes will be secret. There are only three possible votes: yes, no, or abstain. A majority of yes votes means the motion is carried. A majority of no votes means the motion failed. If there is no majority vote there is a declared NO VOTE situation. A majority is defined as more than half of the convened council.
III: Definition of Authority
Three officers and a voting body, otherwise known as the Council, govern the Order. The appointed leaders of the Order of Apostles will be responsible for the day to day governing of the order, in terms of ensuring members meet their required responsibilities and seeing that regulations of the Provincial Administrator of Orders are met in full. The Order governs upon the opinions of the entire Order, represented by a Speaker, Vice Speaker, Treasure and Ruling Council. These members will he held to the highest possible standards of the Apostles.
All of the officer positions are appointed by their predecessor, and ratified by the council by majority vote. The council may in some instances refuse the appointment of the nominated successor. If such a case occurs they will convene and appoint an officer based on majority rule. If an officer is removed by vote of the council, that position shall be voted upon by the council and a successor appointed by majority vote.
The Speaker's position is obtained through nomination and appointment of a predecessor. The speaker of the Order is the person who deals one on one with the Administrator of Orders. The Speaker speaks for the Order and has the authority to make decisions on behalf of the Order when dealing with the Administrator of Orders. When a Council of the Orders is held with the Provincial Administrator of Orders, or other government officials, the Speaker of the Order will be the individual who attends, representing his or her Order.
The Speaker has sole authority to negotiate treaties with other entities, which must then be approved by the council. This includes but is not limited to, all declarations of war, cease fires, allegiances etc.
The Speaker may present motions to the council at his/her discretion. The Speaker may at his discretion call an emergency meeting of the council.
During states of war the Speaker is responsible for organizing the efforts of the Apostles.
The Speaker is the officer of the Order that presides over official swearing in ceremonies of new members, officers, and council members.
In the event a council cannot convene enough of a majority to fill its seats, the Speaker of the Order will appoint members until a majority of the seats have been filled.
In certain situations it may become necessary to take a vote of "No Confidence" against the Speaker and remove him or her from the position. If this occurs, the Council will appoint a majority-approved Speaker. Otherwise there are no term limits on the Speaker's office, the Speaker position is held for life or until the Speaker resigns or is voted out of office or become inactive for a period of 6 months.
The Vice Speaker's position is obtained through nomination and appointment of a predecessor. The office of Vice Speaker will be considered the second point of contact for the Provincial Administrator of Orders in the event the Speaker cannot be contacted. The Vice Speaker will be the individual who attends provincial Councils of the Orders when the Speaker is not available.
During states of war the Vice Speaker is directly responsible for organizing the combat efforts of the Apostles. During times of non-conflict the Vice Speaker works primarily as a recruiter and personal relations specialist.
It is the Vice Speaker's responsibility to understand the Charter, Bylaws, and possible amendments. It is the duty of the Vice Speaker to support the Speaker in helping with the organization of the order.
In certain situations it may become necessary to take a vote of "No Confidence" against the Vice Speaker and remove him or her from the position. If this occurs, the Council and Speaker will meet to appoint a new Vice Speaker. Otherwise there are no term limits on the Vice Speaker's office, the Vice Speaker position is held for life or until the Vice Speaker resigns or is voted out of Office or become inactive for a period of 6 months.
The Treasurer's position is obtained through nomination and appointment of a predecessor. There are no term limits on the Treasurer's office, the Treasurer position is held for life or until the Treasurer resigns or is voted out of office.
The Treasurer is responsible for ensuring that all debts incurred by the Apostles are paid in a timely manner, including but not limited to all land/building leases, entertainment expenses, and other sundries. The Treasurer will have full access to all financial information concerning the Order. It is the responsibility of the office of Treasurer to keep the Speaker, Vice Speaker, and the Council, informed regarding financial matters. Not limited to but including financial default, building funds, and additional chapter house funding. The Treasurer may transfer money between funds, but at no time shall the Treasurer withdraw the Order's money into hard currency. The Treasurer will keep books pertaining to dues owed, and outstanding loans. The Treasurer is responsible for reporting members who have remained delinquent in their payments for more than 3 months and recommending punishments up to and including dismissal from the apostles.
In certain situations it may become necessary to take a vote of "No Confidence" against the Treasurer and remove him or her from the position. If this occurs, the Council, Vice Speaker, and Speaker will meet to appoint a new Treasurer or become inactive for a period of 6 months.
V: Council Members
The Council shall consist of 3 -10 seats, which are filled, based on membership numbers and qualified applicants. It shall be considered the governing body of the Order. At least 3 Council seats must be filled at all times.
No officer of the Order may sit on the Council while they hold office. The vacating council member may recommend their replacement for the Council but such replacement must be approved by a majority of remaining council members. Otherwise a qualified applicant may be chosen and voted on by remaining council members.
Any Council member voted into office will immediately vacate his or her seat, with the option of being able to recommend his or her replacement.
In the event that a council member has missed 4 consecutive council meetings, without written consent from the Officers, the remaining council members may choose to vote that seat vacant, and vote in a replacement member.
It is the responsibility of the council to allow the Speaker, Vice Speaker, and Treasurer to submit reports and motions to the council regarding official Apostle business.
Counselors will have the authority and responsibility of voting in the Officers of the Order. The Council will have the authority and responsibility of voting in new members or voting out existing members.
The Council will have the authority to amend the Charter and by-laws with a majority vote.
The Council and Officers have the authority to set required monthly tasks and are responsible for the planning and formation of events; the purpose of which is to recruit new members, foster good will or raise revenue to offset dues.
The Council will have the authority and responsibility of setting the dues the members are required to pay.
In certain situations it may become necessary to take a vote of "No Confidence" against a Counselor and remove him or her from the position. If this occurs, the remaining Council and Officers will meet to appoint a new council member.
There are no term limits on the Counselors, a council position is held for life or until the Counselor in question resigns or is voted out of office. In the event a council member cannot be contacted, and has missed four consecutive council meetings, the remaining council may vote that council member's seat vacant, and vote in a replacement member.
Council members and officers have the option to form distinct subdivisions within the Apostles. Subdivisions are approved by council vote. After the formation of subdivision, officers and counselors may appoint Sub-officers to help develop and carry out the subdivision's functions. Sub-officers are governed by and subject to the same rules and guide lines set for council members.
Subdivisions are formed for the purpose of expanding the influences and prestige of the Apostles. Each subdivision is given a name suited to the nature of its existence.
The Wolfpack as a subdivision of the Apostles is responsible for inter-provincial diplomatic and public relations, as well as the bulk of new member recruitment. Specific duties of the Wolfpack members may include recruitment eventing, interviews for new recruits, and attendance at ally organization events.
The Champions as a subdivision of the Apostles are responsible for training members in the arts of warfare, developing combat strategies, and hosting group hunts and other combat events. Specific duties of the Champions may include working with ally organizations to achieve combat-related goals, and hosting events for internal combat training and strategy development.
The Artificiers as a subdivision of the Apostles are responsible for providing members with training in trades and arts, collecting and processing information, and focusing on both practical and scholarly pursuits. Specific duties of Artificiers may include compiling historic or intelligence information, recruiting and hosting guest lectures, and maintaining the records of the Order.
The Attendants as a subdivision of the Apostles are responsible for tactical support to all combat troops during times of conflict and working to provide continued service to the community in times of peace. Specific duties of Attendants may include development of triage-specific strategies with ally organizations, herb collection, and triage duties during invasions, wars and Order events.
VIII: Admissions Procedures
An applicant seeking membership in the Order of Apostles must fill out the application. After they have submitted the application they will be contacted by an officer of the order and the Wolfpack council lead. The applications will be reviewed by council. If the applicant is accepted they will begin a recruiting period. They will then spend time with mentor member. After a month of recruiting, if the recruit is ready to join the order, they will be presented to council for approval. The Council will then vote on said recruit, and be formally sworn in by the Speaker.
In closing we hope you will add your strength to ours and find it within yourself to become involved. To pledge yourself to any group is to seek to become more than just one man or woman. You are seeking to be part of some larger picture. Never think that you are too young or inexperienced to start or to make a difference. Many of our members have spent year upon year, rank upon rank, leading and learning, and yet still discover something new everyday. Learning and self-discovery is one gift of being an Apostle. However, the greatest gift comes as a result of interacting with others. The chance to meet and help people will fill you with that warm intangible gift. It is a gift we hope you will accept and share with ever person you meet in the cities and wilderness of Elanthia.
By Former Apostle Tigerfang
Although the need for our organization and its subsequent creation did not arrive until our first true enemy pressed us, there were several important components that helped to pave the way for our formation. While the purpose here is to write of the Apostle's history, I feel it important to include a bit of prehistory so that our story is fully told.
Beginnings. One odd thing about beginnings is that they are often times hard to pin-point. Most of the time, people can easily remember the date something ends. The finishing of something seems to have a quality that makes it stand out, but beginnings are harder to date. So it is with our organization. If I had to place a date for our beginning, I would pick a time close to the closing days of passage through the mountain of Ker'lore. So with that in mind, here is where I will start our story.
Many moons ago, those with the knowledge and the purity of heart sought out a small flower that would grow in the stony gardens of Theren. If you were able to pick the flower and knew what to do with it you could travel beyond the great stone slab that blocks the Ker’lore pass. The great stone slab still sits up in Ker'lore and bears the mark of the great dragon, as it always has. However, I have not seen the little flower bloom in sometime, and perhaps it never will again. Why the flower stopped blossoming is still a mystery, but I suspect it was the doing of man, one way or another.
At about the time the last few adventurers were making trips through the pass, there was a great schism in the ranks of the Paladin Guild. A dark seed was beginning to bear fruit that would eventually lead to a change in the very leadership of the guild. Paladins were battling with themselves and others over questions of morals and ethics. A few began to study the arts of thieving to gain a better understanding whilst some fell prey to ill wishing and began to practice at theft. Others, fed up with the gross laziness of the town's guard, began to take justice into their own hands. At first, things were not bad. In fact, all seemed well, justice was being served and the unlawful being punished. Under the surface, however things were not so good. Stories were beginning to surface of paladins that had clearly crossed the line. Stories of paladins striking down a fellow citizen over little more than an exchange of words, stories of paladins taking up a bounty to hunt down men without bringing them to justice or a trial first and stories of paladins threatening and harming other paladins.
Beren, who was the guild leader at the time, always viewed us as his children. His flock to be pushed and nudged, corrected and scolded, but always, he was the father that allowed us to make our own mistakes and learn from them. The guild saw different, however, and before Beren could reign in those few stray sheep, he was replaced with Guild Leader Darius who was given firm instructions on how to handle the situation. Darius laid down the law. It was a law both popular and not among the ranks of paladins. Adding to that was the manner in which Guild Leader Beren was treated when he was replaced. Many found his forced seclusion a hard punishment, and instead of repairing the fractures among our ranks, they widened further. Some paladins swore off the light, and for the first time began to follow the dark aspects of the gods. On the other side, members that held strongly to the light banned together and formed the Order of Light, one of the first orders in the realms.
Many, however, found themselves sitting on the fence. Unwilling to swear to the dark and unwilling to follow the strict guidelines of the Order of Light, they bided thier time and waited for the day the guild would heal itself. Things remained that way for sometime. There was much infighting, many personal attacks, but there were attempts to resolve the schism as well. After several failed attempts at meetings to give the guild some direction, most folks let things lie dormant and fell back to hopes and good wishes for the future. Of all the people that bore the hardship of the time, the most to suffer were the young. Paladins grew up for the first time without help or a clear purpose. Much was lost in the teaching of both combat and magic among the guild and paladins were growing up never knowing their full potential. Into this void stepped Rock Loyalheart, a self-proclaimed dark paladin and follower of Chadatru's darker aspect, Betolf.
Rock was able to pull together senior guild members to lead informational meetings he called "jam sessions." He drew together paladins that defined themselves as unconventional, those that did not want to be labeled, and those that were able to look beyond his colored personality to support what he was trying to do.
For the first time, people came together to help one another with no questions asked. Choice of worship did not matter, and conflicts of personality did not matter. People were allowed to be who they wanted to be, as long as they respected each other. It was these people and the basic concepts of lending a helping hand that would lay the groundwork and prepare us for hard times to come. Enter the Gorbesh.
Always in the past, we had faced enemies that were smaller in number than our own. Always in the past, the information network was sufficient to keep everyone up to date and let them know where support or help was needed. This was about to change.
The Gorbesh were always present among the races of the realms, sending out raiders, called outriders, to spy and raid upon the Crossings and lesser cities. We knew little about them, but a larger part of their story was about to unfold with a fury.
The Gorbesh attacked and quickly exposed our weakness. Jadeite and kyanite mines were the first to fall, breaking our lines of information. Gwethdesuans, which had been our means of communication, were now in short supply. They attacked with siege engines and weapons of mass destruction and exposed us to threats we had never dealt with before. Their numbers were staggering, and for the first time, we were outmanned and outgunned in every imaginable way.
Rock and a few others used their contacts to gather in a core of dependable people, who then spread out to gather the resources needed to help turn back this threat. Without gweths, we needed coordinated places to gather for regrouping and information updates. Rally points were quickly established throughout the Crossings for this purpose. Places to tend to the wounded and dying were set up. Runners on foot replaced our gweths; primitive but effective. We gathered in and tied together as many orders of the realms as possible in an information exchange. We thought, planned and counter planned for almost every situation we could think of. Our efforts were rewarded. For the first time, over 300 souls stood with us with the single cause of turning back the attacks that were now pounding our cities.
The Gorbesh War, also called the Red Winter War, is a story too long to tell here, but a good bard can tell you the tale. The Apostles did not win it alone; no one person or group won it; we won it together. But I can truly say we played an important part. One week after the war was over, the number of people in contact with the Apostles was 400 plus. This was our first indication of the impact and effectiveness that a group of people can have on the outcome of events.
Shortly after the war, Rock saw his purpose over and stepped down from leading the Apostles. He gracefully bowed out and claimed status as an Apostle's member. He turned the Apostles' leadership over to Candidus, Wixlarcar, and myself, Tigerfang, to continue the work that he had started and to lead the Apostles in a new direction, a direction that centered on leading in times of peace.
As a group, the Apostles started off with no intention of being an order of the realms. Our concern was just to serve as an information and organizational force. Banding together whoever would come to us and accept the open hand we offered. Today, we still stand true to this calling; Accepting and offering help with no questions asked, and keeping to the policy that you need not be a member of the order to be an apostle. The drive to become an order was a secondary call, one that came from the Apostles themselves. Those that felt we should be more or those that found a home here that suited them better than a home elsewhere, this was the reasoning behind our drive to becoming an order.
Today, we stand as Apostles, both members and supporters, banded together in the cause to protect, inform, lead and serve the law-abiding citizens of Elanthia. Our focus has moved from the paladin guild to include all guilds. For we found that during the War, each person has his own special talents and abilities, and it is the adding of these talents that give us our true strength. We don't look down on others, rather accept what they have to offer, looking to bring out the best in each of us. This is the call of Apostles, and this is our history, to which we add pages everyday.