The Order of the White Lotus
Not much is known about the original founders of the Order, but from what has been passed down by word of mouth, they lived during the last great civilizations of Arkhosia and Bael Turath. They were believed to be a group of travelers of different races and from different backgrounds who, by happenstance, ended up in league with one another (like us!). Although their differences caused some basic disagreements and friction (ex. in what is right and what is wrong), they realized that they all had an underlying desire for peace and mutual understanding, and came to understand each other. They realized the conflict and mistrust which can be created by the barriers of politics, culture, and isolation.
So they created a secret Order of Alamut (see: “nothing is true, everything is permitted”) to maintain lines of communication across these divisions. Moreover, members of this Order, in times of crisis, were dedicated to bring their fellow members together and punish the wicked, to keep peace. By having members secretly in many places in distant lands, this Order could have information about many parts of the world, and know where it was most needed, and why.
As the Order grew over roughly two hundred years, it brought order to the chaos, and promoted peace between nations by pulling the strings in secret – sometimes killing a few so that a conflict which would kill thousands might be averted. But as the Order grew to include members in many corners of the world, this second goal became more difficult. Members on two opposite sides of the world with inevitably limited exposure to each others’ people might have completely different allegiances and views on justice when it came to conflict.
With such a strong sense of dedication to justice abound in the Order, this lead to the formation of factions within the Order, and the war that led to the Fall pitted these factions against one another, causing the Order to nearly disintegrate. Many members of the Order were killed or never heard from again. The deep connections between the races and nations that existed during the Golden Age of empires were severed, and chaos reigned once again.
Years after the end of the Fall, Terenannen, one of the eldest surviving leaders in what was once the Order of Alamut brought together a few of his trusted friends in the Order once more. Terenannen was now a kind old man with a strange quirk of speaking in only song and parable (and speaking to animals). However, under this exterior lay a strong will, and a desire to see the Order whole once more.
They re-established a new Order: one not dedicated as much to justice, but rather on understanding. “Often times, the best route towards peace is not through killing the wicked, but through understanding him, and helping him to understand you.” The Order changed its name to the Order of the White Lotus. The white lotus flower represents oneness with the world, inner peace, and universal understanding: an emblem of the new ideals of the Order. This new order would take a less active role in the politics of the world.
The founding members foresaw that the great impending war would once more plunge the world into chaos. So they chose to establish an Academy (The Academy of the White Lotus) as a home base for the Order, and as a center of knowledge from all over the world, so that they could preserve knowledge and ensure the splinters of civilization would remain in contact (see Asimov – Foundation). This academy was built in the Thunderspire mountains, nearest to (but still far from) the cities of Fallcrest and Sarthel. With this in place, they could simultaneously achieve their goals of research, surveillance, teaching, and even recruiting for their Order. Moreover, the Academy would remain strictly politically neutral, taking no part in conflicts – this would keep it from being a target, or from disintegrating as the old Order did.
Terenannen appointed Daniorra, an arcanist in the Order, as the first Headmistress. In the words of Terenannen, “She had the sharpest mind I’d ever known, and as sharp a tongue to speak it.” As time passed (143 years to be exact, this time they kept good records), the Academy grew into its own entity. It became an esteemed institution of learning and magical research. Meanwhile, a few professors were always members of the secret Order of the White Lotus, which keeps an eye out for promising, open-minded students. From inside the Academy (and from the few pockets throughout the world where its members have permeated), the Order keeps an ear open for new, mystical knowledge to investigate, and what this knowledge means for the fate of the world. But the Order has been shrinking, and some of its members may be straying from the path…
Founding Members of the Order of Alamut:
Founding Leaders of the Order of the White Lotus:
Terenannen- Founder (a non member)
Wulken- Iron Circle
Morbihan a’Tethrin- Vailin
After the fall of the Order of Alamut, Terenannen brought together five of his most trusted companions. They were very powerful magic users from all around Trine. He told them, in verse, his plan for a representative group of “peace ambassadors” called the Order of the White Lotus.
His plan required that the group always maintain a five member leadership council, with representation from each of the large continents: Nerath, Karkoth, the Iron Circle, Vailin, and the island of Numoth.
After establishing the Order, Terenannen left to pursue other ends. However, there are some who say Terrenannen never truly left, that he continues to check in with the Order from time to time.