Blackhost is a city-state nestled in the foothills of the Lightning Ridge, and the headquarters of the Holy Order of the Sacred Topaz. It is grey and dreary, constantly in the shadow of the towering squalls that dominate the sky.
The Auran University is probably the greatest repository of human knowledge in Clador. It receives many pilgrims wishing to study its ancient tomes, as well as to learn the arcane arts.
While Blackhost is where the Topaz Knights receive their orders from, they make their base in Sol Invictus at the impenetrable citadel of The Last Stand. It gains its name from the notion that at the end of all things, their citadel would be the last to fall, and where humanity would make its last stand.
The Holy Order of the Sacred Topaz (Host) are an ancient organization dedicated to the preservation of mortal life and the protection of Oron. Branches of Host can be found worldwide, though over the decades they have drifted further and further apart in terms of dogma and orthodoxy.
The Order (Then known as the Cataphracts) was founded during the Great War of Oron (Otherwise known as the War of Divinity), when the mortal plane was invaded by the legions of Hell. An alliance of Aegians, Alfar , Sanhedrin and Humans, they combined their might in order to turn the tides of the war and drive the forces of evil back into Hell. Though the battle for Oron was won, it was a pyrrhic victory, and the mortal races were left in ruins. From these ashes rose the race of Men who took on the mantle of Oron’s guardians, and the Cataphracts were reborn as Host.
Sol Invictus was once humanity’s greatest champion, a dragon-rider whose virtue and might had no peers. During the Great War, he voluntarily gave up his mortal body in order to become a magical conduit through which all the magic of the Elder Races could be channelled. This conduit still exists today in the form of the Undying Flame, the source from which all members of Host draw their magic. Within Host and the eponymously-named Holy Empire of Sol Invictus he is worshipped as a solar deity and a paragon of virtue, strength and self-sacrifice.
Branches of Host
The Topaz Knights
The Topaz Knights are the most well-known members of Host. Clad in golden armour, they are the front line in the war against evil, cutting down doomsday cults and warmongering necromancers the world over. They are the poster-children for the Order, wielding fire and steel to protect the mortal races.
Topaz Knights of Godsward
The Knights of Godsward are exclusively human. Over the many years they have forgotten their obligations to all but the races of Men, who they exclusively view as worthy of being saved. In this regard they are steadfast and vigilant, but they have been known to refuse to aid Scion or Sanhedrin settlements if it would be too taxing on their resources.
The Topaz Knights of Aegia still hold the ancient name of Cataphract. Unlike the Knights of Godsward, they stare still true to the ancient bonds of brotherhood made by their forefathers, and show no hesitation in giving aid to any who need it.
The Silver Crucible
Keepers of the Undying Flame, Librarians of forgotten lore – They count amongst them some of the wisest and most powerful sages and wizards in all of Oron. They are the ever-vigilant eye that keeps watch over Oron, drawing upon centuries of knowledge to identify threats across the globe.
The Black Initiates
Heroes, Assassins, Outcasts all – The Black Initiates are famous for two things: The great and terrible powers they wield, and the spectacularly gruesome deaths that they all inevitably face. They are the elite and the doomed, soldiers warped and augmented by fiendish energies in order to become monstrously efficient killers. To become an Initiate is both a privilege and a death sentence.
- Ankou Morrigan – High Priestess of Achaea and Supreme Commander of the Topaz Knights.
- Vergil Apollinius – Grand Librarian of the Auran University and Master of the Silver Crucible.
- High Destrier Richter Abaddon – Destrier and Commander of the Topaz Knights
- Destrier Zermous Carceval – Destrier and Marshal of the Black Initiates