Mission and Goals
A member of the Order may not conceal, nor conspire to conceal the truth of any situation, nor shall a Brother of the Rising Sun show loyalty to any region over that of another. A member shall spread joy where he/she travels and will respect the Order of the Ranks.
The symbol of the Order of the Rising Sun is a simple, elegantly drawn lyre, modeled after the visage of Fafnir Elwynne's own ancient instrument. All Loremasters and Keepers bear a signet ring (Loremasters gold, Keepers silver) with the symbol of the Order. All members of the Order, regardless of rank either wear a badge with this symbol or have it woven into their clothing in some way.
The Order of the Rising Sun is meticulous in its adherence to law and to order. All members will give respect as due to a Brother by his or her rank. The hierarchical composition was formed to ensure that news traveled swiftly and efficiently throughout the realms. If the Chain of Command were to break down, rumors would spread rampant through the Empire and the Truth become lost in the chaos.
The Liege Lord was the Emperor's eyes and ears throughout the whole of the Silver Moon Empire. His duty was to serve the best interests of the Emperor and for the welfare of the citizens he ruled. Once sworn into this position, it was held unto death. In the event of such tragedy, a new Liege Lord was chosen by the Emperor from among the Masters of Lore. The role was held by Fafnir Elwynne, Imperial High Bard, until the discovery of the deception of the mad mage Icaruss and the beginning of the Klockwork reign. Elwynne used to reside within the Emperor's Palace walls. All other members of the Order reported to him, albeit indirectly through the group's hierarchy. Since his disappearance, and the disappearance of many of the other members during the Klockwork reign, the Order has been assumed to be defunct. Recent rumor has Fafnir Elwynne living in Arboria along with the other elven bards and sages. During the time of the Klockwork Master, rumors ran rampant across the land, but due to the recent re-emergence of members of the Order once again the Truth is slowly being spread across the lands.
The Masters of Lore are in charge of organizing and disseminating the news of each individual Region. There are usually only two Loremasters assigned to a post; one is more Bardic in nature, the other more akin to a Sage.
Bronwyn Belfante (Human Bard)
Bronwyn Belfante was also known as "The Lark of Dreven." The title was his most commonly known appellation, since he seldom used his own name in public, except in personal introductions. The title first came into use when Cytorak Brownleaves made a rare appearance in the city of Dreven and commented on Bronwyn's voice, noting that it held a startling resemblance to the song of a lark. Word and rumor spread and Bronwyn was more than happy to adopt the title. His current whereabouts are unknown and he is presumed dead.
Bronwyn's instrument of choice is the lute, was fashioned for him by the late independent bard Johann Kellner, perhaps the greatest lutenist in the history of the Silver Moon Empire. He was not a member of the Order, but apprenticed Bronwyn for some time. He passed away a short time ago on a tour through Luminii and was buried at the Imperial Cemetery to be honored for his lifetime achievements. With Kellner's lute, Bronwyn carries the legacy of a great master.
Although he only served as a Master of Lore for five years, Bronwyn's talent, social skill and sheer tenacity brought him under the favorable eye of Fafnir from the beginning. The two developed a sort of father/son relationship that was subtle, yet still present. Bronwyn was unyieldingly loyal to Fafnir and served the Order well.
Jethro Mullywhip (Human Bard)
Jethro Mullywhip has not been heard from since the Ocean surge that wiped out much of Oceanuus and is presumed dead.
Jesulyn Onasca'ar (Mer-Woman Sage)
Jesulyn Onasca'ar has not been heard from in some time and may also have died in the Oceanuusian tidal wave, but may have also returned to Hvannadalshnukur.
Gant Malefor (Human Bard)
"The Dark Messenger" was Gant Malefor's title. This largely-built man of forty-something originally began his career as a mercenary, in service to a number of Barons, Lords and others who had the coin to employ him. He traveled with a band of mercenary warriors known as The Shade until an incident involving the death of several peasants in Luminii forced the group to disband. Gant Malefor left his occupation as a mercenary and hired on with the Order as a bodyguard to Sarina Elamain.
Over time, a romance of sorts developed between Gant and Sarina. Sarina's gentle nature softened Gant's troubled spirits and she eventually took him under her tutelage and taught him the ways of the bard. Gant's instrument of choice is the pipes, though he seldom plays for the public, much less for free. His main function is as a messenger and an interrogator. In the more dangerous lands of Balthazor, his skills as a warrior also prove to be a significant asset. He was eventually released from Sarina Elamain's care, though the two still share a fond relationship, and made his way up the ranks of the Order until he was declared Loremaster by Fafnir Elwynne in 1249.
Sarina Elamain (Elven Sage)
Most of the Keepers of Truth in Balthazor reported to Sarina Elamain, as she was a resident of Malcoven and thus more easily locatable, though some would not hesitate to seek out Gant in times of war or conflict.
Both Gant and Sarina became infected with the Bloodsun Bloom virus. Sarina died and Gant disappeared, he is presumed dead.
Keannon Julani (Elven Bard)
Llorian Delvas (Elven Sage)
What little is known about Llorian Delvas is that at the time of the Order's inception, he was a trusted friend and ally of Fafnir Elwynne's, and remained so up to Fafnir's disappearance. Up to the Klockwork reign, he kept residence in Cennebrae and was the most active member of the Order involved in Arborian politics. Llorian was actually the one to originate the distinction between Bard and Sage in the rank of Loremaster when he suggested it personally to Fafnir in the early years of the organization. Llorian is slightly younger than Fafnir, though not by much, and is very learned. Since the closing of Arboria's borders in (insert year) the fate of both Keannon Julani and Llorian Delvas is unknown, but it is presumed they are both still alive and well.
Ranlain Belfante (Human Bard)
Ranlain Belfante was Bronwyn's brother. Last word of him had him meeting his brother near the Shadokhan/Luminii border. It is assumed that whatever fate has befallen his brother has also befallen him.
Hyrskul Dosris (Human Sage)
Hyrskul Dosris was in Luminii when last contact was received from him. His current whereabouts are unknown. It is possible the Klockworks discovered him and found him to be "unlawful."
Einsar Drugum (Human Bard)
Einsar Drugum was born of a gypsy tribe in the deserts of Thermador. He was a very hardened man, in the physical sense, and quite possibly the most-traveled member of the Order aside from Fafnir Elwynne himself. Einsar Drugum was famous for his numerous publications on the Badlands. Directly following several ceremonies pronouncing his manhood, Einsar took leave of the gypsy tribe, traveled across the desert with a single camel and some provisions, and disappeared into the Badlands for several years.
When Einsar returned, he was starving and near-death from a combination of wounds, malnutrition and weather conditions. He recanted some of his travels to Bronwyn Belfante and compiled what would later become his first book on the Badlands. Among his other skills, Einsar had always been a master of storytelling, melding voice and gypsy bone flute into an entrancing experience. Bronwyn noticed Einsar's potential and invaluable assets and presented him to Fafnir in Fall of 1256. Due to a shortage of reliable troubadours in Thermador, Einsar was immediately pronounced Loremaster after some rudimentary training. His last known dwelling place was in Wadi Medani at a private library where he continued to write of his experiences abroad.
Einsar Drugum was alive and well and even travelled to Shadokhan with the Ashmaker's Army in (1275). He did not survive as he was killed by one of the Mercenary armies helping the Steward of Dreven.
Brom Dim Saer'tok (Tribal Human Sage)
Brom Dim Saer'tok travelled to Shadokhan with the Ashmaker's Army. He survived the hostilities and is currently back in Wadi Medani chronicling the events he witnessed.
Aeolus Corindu (Human Bard)
DECEASED. Aeolus Corindu died in 1258, and Speaks-the-Wind-Secrets has not been heard from since the Cloosidian borders were closed in 1268.
By the time news reaches the hands of a Keeper, a story has already been researched and validated. It is they who decide which stories to pass on to the Lore Masters for dissemination, and which should be scribed to a tome. The Keepers are also responsible for mentoring the Troubadours and are often times found with one or more assistants at hand. There are six Keepers of Truth assigned to each Region, three of each type reporting respectively to a Lore Master.
All other Brothers of the Rising Sun fall into this general category, which is also the most commonly used name of the organization itself. Note: A member of the Order's higher ranks would take affront to being named Troubadour, as those who hold the rank of Keeper or Loremaster have earned it through diligence and dedication.
All members of the Order of the Rising Sun who have achieved the status of Keeper or Loremaster were granted immunity by the Emperor, in much the same way a diplomat or emissary would have immunity when travelling through foreign lands. This stipulated that they were protected physically, politically and legally from harm, imprisonment and other impediments when residing within any of the regions of the Empire. Most leaders and other central figures of the regions knew a Loremaster by sight and were familiar with most of the Keepers of Truth. If any proof was required of their rank, the rings worn by Loremasters and Keepers were proof enough. Note: In order for a troubadour to be granted the same immunity, the troubadour needed to have a written and sealed document from the Loremaster of their region stating the purpose and importance of their visit.
When the Klockwork Master took over in 1269 the immunity was lifted and the members of the Order went into hiding. It was harder to tell who was a member of the Order as they no longer wore badges and their rings were worn backwards or not at all. Many still had the symbol woven into their clothing, but it was stitched in with other things so one had to look hard to tell.
Since the death of the Klockwork Master in 1274 more and more members of the Order can be seen traveling through the land, gathering information and putting to rest many unfounded rumors with the Truth. They are wearing their badges and rings proudly, and their symbols are clearly woven into their clothing when they want them to be seen or displayed.
The life of Fafnir Elwynne is a spectactular one, spanning more than two centuries of strife and chaos. Indeed, the Imperial High Bard has lived through the Silver Moon Empire's most tumultuous times, and although not entirely unscathed, has risen to an honorable status very rarely witnessed in someone not born to royalty or nobility. He is a talented bard, a playwright, a clever advisor, and a master of communication.
The following account is an abridged version of how the Order of the Rising Sun was formed and how Fafnir Elwynne earned the right to sit by Emperor Dreven's side.
Upon Fafnir's arrival into the world, the Elwynnes called upon the Council to divine the fate of their new babe. Fafnir Elwynne was destined for greatness: the Elven Council had decreed it would be so. His fate was that of a leader and at some point in his life, his actions would help to determine the outcome of a bloody and terrible war. The prophecy was spoken over his cradle and hung over him like a heavy mantle for the duration of his youth. Always under careful watch by servants of Tequin Shaldolf-Sundew, Fafnir nevertheless shook off his feelings of paranoia and awaited the days to come with complacency and a sense of responsibility.
His childhood was not a happy one, to say the least. He spent most of his days wandering the forests alone, as other children his age were envious and cruel. His nights were spent in the libraries reading anything he could get his hands on. By the time he was forty, Fafnir possessed the largest library in his village. He became obsessed with his collection and his thirst for knowledge, insatiable. Such hunger caused him to rebel against his parents on many occasions. Unable to curve the appetites of their son, the Elwynnes sent Fafnir off to be schooled privately in the city of Cennebrae. Though his studies progressed considerably, Fafnir's wanderlust could not be sated. Without the consent of his parents, Fafnir left his tutelage in Cennebrae and set off on his own.
He spent the next sixty years of his life traveling from one land to the next, gathering what tomes he could and sending them back to his home. During this period, the Archmage of the Geomancers, upon advice from the Council, made contact with Fafnir. In order to prepare him for the still unknown role he was to play in the future, the Archmage's servants charged him with the task of gathering information on the other nations. Fafnir accepted, filled with a sense of purpose, yet still independent in his actions. During his travels, Fafnir managed to earn quite a reputation for himself. It was no easy feat, but his charm wore through the thickest of skins and the news that he bore was enticing to all who listened. In time, he found others who were willing to feed him news in exchange for information of worth to themselves. Folk began calling upon him regularly, wishing the enjoyment of his company along with any news or gossip he might share. Soon enough he had created a network of newsmongers who both respected and admired his work. For the first time in his life, Fafnir knew friendship and happiness. The woes of his childhood were little more than dark memories and a bright future lay ahead.
With his popularity increasing, it is no small wonder that Fafnir managed to be named the most eligible bachelor in all of the Silver Moon Empire. As he entered the third decade of his second century, Fafnir Elwynne fell in love. Astrainya was the third-born daughter of Rynwiar Calthzrathian, who faithfully served the mages Irmaa Vep. The family's involvement with Balthazorian matters was the cause of much protest to those who had come to care for him. By the time he announced the intended marriage between he and the woman, Fafnir's career and reputation spiraled in a turn for the worst. The two lived as man and wife for the next twenty years. By Elven standards, they were both still in their youth, and no children were spawned from their union.
At the end of the twenty years, rumblings of an impending disaster to the lands filtered down through Arboria. It was at this time that Astrainya Elwynne fell victim to a mysterious wasting disease. Fafnir was strangely quiet about the whole affair, and asked no one for aid. When Astrainya finally passed on, Fafnir spiraled into a long and drawn-out depression. There is no account for what occurred in Fafnir Elwynne's life over the next twelve years.
When Fafnir finally broke free of his depression, the Regions were in chaos. Icaruss had wreaked havoc upon the lands and the citizens of the Empire were a morally defeated people. By word of mouth he discovered the death of his own father and made the journey to Shadokhan to assume his role as the Emperor's Liege Lord.
Seeing the need, Fafnir began the task of reconstructing his network of newsmongers. It took some convincing, but in the end he was able to sway a considerable number of his former allies to his cause. To each Region he went, rounding up as many volunteers as he could muster. At this point, the group was comprised mainly of woman and youths, as many of the male citizens had joined the Silver Moon Knights or some other military faction. Still, it was enough and to some he charged the responsibility of gathering what news and information they could; to others, he charged the responsibility of spreading mirth and song through the realms. A structure of hierarchy was instilled and within the span of a year, the citizens of the Silver Moon Empire knew hope.
It is without a doubt that the Rising Sun's influence helped to tip the scales of war in a favorable direction for the Emperor and when the dust had settled, Fafnir and his group were awarded the highest of honors for their efforts. Three years after the Battle of Dawn's Early Light, the Order of the Rising Sun was officiated and the position of Liege Lord created. Tequin Shaldolf-Sundew sent his personal congratulations and support at this time, although due the beginnings of some tension between Tequin's court and the human populace of his kingdom, informed the bard that he was no longer welcome in Arboria.
Since that day the Order has continued its efforts to strengthen the Lands. Included as original members are: Jesulyn Onasca'ar, Sarina Elamain and Keannon Julani. Today the Order thrives, its numbers swelled to nearly five hundred (500) active members. Fafnir Elwynne shall go down in history as the man who made it all happen, and we, its faithful members will ever be grateful to him and remain steadfast in our vows to peace and unto truth.
~Johann Kellner (d.1250)