The Holy Triumvirate
The Triumvirate, the Holy Triumvirate, or the Golden Trinity
is the pantheon of the three living gods of the Imperium. These living gods, who each embody a different kind of conquest, are the divine rulers of the Imperium. They have ruled unopposed since the Abyssal Incursion of 873, when they supposedly appeared in a firestorm of holy light and banished the demons back to their home plane (the Abyss) in an instant.
Gel'Adin, God of War and Conqueror of the Body, is the most martial deity of the Triumvirate. He is the embodiment of martial prowess, keen strategy, and physical strength. His followers are almost exclusively Legionnaires, soldiers of the Imperial Legion. They fly into battle with bloodlust and faith, and rely on nothing but the strength of their bodies and the strength of their patron deity… not to survive, but to emerge utterly and totally victorious.
- Paladins of Gel'Adin are almost always Legionnaires, and master their god's own style of combat; intense melee fighting combined with an adept utilization of self-enhancing divine magics. These tactics have not failed them yet. Paladins of Gel'Adin may never harm creatures that are not enemy soldiers or being used to supplement their opponents. This restriction applies in part to criminals and hostile civilians; Paladins are permitted to maim, kill, or detain any creature that is blatantly harmful to innocent civilians. They are also never allowed to damage property of creatures that are not enemy soldiers, and are never allowed to lie, cheat, or steal unless specifically ordered to do so.
- Clerics of Gel'Adin typically are Legionnaire medics, and heal Paladins or Inquisitors that suffer injuries. They also tend to civilians of either party in a war; if they are innocent, a Cleric of Gel'Adin will do whatever is necessary to save their life. Clerics of Gel'Adin may never harm any creature unless that creature is specifically attempting to kill them, and cannot incite violence of any kind through actions, words, or deeds.If a non-combatant requests medical assistance (or requires it, but is incapable of requesting it), Clerics are obligated to give medical attention to the best of their ability. However, Clerics are never required to assist enemy combatants in any way, but they are not inhibited from doing so unless providing assistance would endanger allied personnel.
- Inquisitors of Gel'Adin serve as de facto police forces in Imperial cities, and are known for their keen minds and athletic bodies. Frequently, they also serve as detectives, but are always prevented from becoming legislators or judicial officials. They are extremely effective, but whether this discourages criminal activity or simply inspires law-breakers to be more effective is a subject of intense debate. Inquisitors of Gel'Adin are extremely lawful, and required to be Lawful Neutral or Lawful Good. They may never harm or interfere with a citizen unless they are hostile, in the act of committing a crime, or wanted for questioning/arrest in connection with a crime. They are required to refrain from employing deadly force against any creature, suspect or not, unless the creature attempts to kill them. They also cannot make an arrests or impede a civilian without a written warrant. When they make an arrest, they are required to inform their detainee of the accusations made against them and their right to an attorney.
Jan'Atir, God of Magic and Conqueror of the Mind, is the most scholarly deity of the Triumvirate. He is the embodiment of intelligence, the arcane, and education, and is known across the globe for his revolutionary contributions to the many schools of arcane magic. His followers are mostly the students, professors, and alumni of the many arcane universities (which he founded) of the Arcane Collegiate. He is both the god of magic and the president of the Collegiate, placing him firmly in command of the heart of arcane innovation and education of the world.
"Ego hominem posse facere mirabilia./I am a human being, capable of doing terrible things."
- Paladins of Jan'Atir are normally heavily-armored guardians of powerful magical artifacts and safekeepers of forbidden knowledge and power. They are content to be the stalwart defenders of that which no man should possess, but they are sometimes required to seek out such terrible works of arcane power, usually in the company of Inquisitors and Clerics of Jan'Atir. While both the vast libraries of the Arcane Collegiate and the divine mysteries of their god's power are open to Paladins, the vast majority of their skill-set is focused on disabling and countering both arcane and divine spellcasters. Paladins of Jan'Atir are sworn to safeguard great and terrible secrets of arcane and divine magic, which frequently entails standing guard in locations both remote and urban for very long periods of time, if not their entire lifetimes. If their charges are ever stolen or destroyed, Paladins are obligated to recover the lost information as quickly as possible. They are also required to obey the laws of whatever country they may happen to be in, so long as those laws do not put their lives in jeopardy while they are seeking stolen or destroyed knowledge. They must speak and write Atiri, a secret dialect of Elari, fluently in order to record and safeguard the secrets with which they are entrusted. They may never teach another non-Paladin the secrets of their unique mixture of divine and arcane magics, and can never reveal the contents of their charges to any other being, even each other, unless they are completely unable to continue pursuing or guarding that knowledge.
- Clerics of Jan'Atir are record-keepers and librarians, devoted to preserving every scrap of knowledge that passes into their hands. They sometimes journey with Inquisitors into other planes in order to gather such knowledge, or deliver it into the waiting, ever-watchful hands of the Paladins if it's deemed too dangerous for public consumption. Either way, they are the prized archivists and book-keepers of the Collegiate. Clerics of Jan'Atir are obligated to always seek new knowledge to add to the Collegiate's libraries, and as such, can be found conducting intensive research or studying abroad. They may never share the secrets that they have learned with any other being, even other Clerics, unless they are rendered permanently incapable of returning that knowledge to the Collegiate libraries. They are required to obey the laws of the land, unless those laws endanger their lives in the pursuit of attaining the secrets which they value so highly. Clerics are also required to speak and write a special dialect of Elari, called Atiri, and cannot ever teach this secret language to any other living being unless they are a Cleric of Jan'Atir. All information which they acquire must be recorded in Atiri. They are never allowed to teach another creature the secrets of their divine/arcane arts.
- Inquisitors of Jan'Atir are typically wayfarers of the outer cosmos, establishing their god's order and bringing enlightenment to other planes of existence, even (and especially) if that requires force. Inquisitors, when made aware of a significant magical threat to the Imperium, typically assemble a team of Paladins and Clerics in order to track down and eliminate it. They combine their god's affinity for the arcane arts with Jan'Atir's inherent divine powers in order to achieve a devastatingly effective mix of deadly martial skill, boundless arcane knowledge, and unassailable divine power. Inquisitors of Jan'Atir are required to accompany Clerics or Paladins on their quests in order to make safe passages through other planes and safeguard the journeymen of their god. Like many other Inquisitorial followings, they are not allowed to kill or injure non-hostile creatures (or violate laws) unless their lives, or the lives of their companions, are threatened. If a Cleric or Paladin becomes unable to continue their quest, Inquisitors must volunteer themselves to carry out whatever task was given to that Cleric or Paladin, and if the Cleric/Paladin confers the burden onto the Inquisitor, they must carry it out to the best of their ability. They are required to speak and write Atiri, a secret dialect of Elari, fluently, and may never teach another non-Inquisitor this language. They are never allowed to permit another creature to use their equipment, and cannot ever teach another creature the secrets of their divine/arcane magics.
Lor'Giol, God of Faith and Conqueror of the Spirit, commands the faithful legions of civilian worshipers of the Triumvirate. He is the God of the Temple of the Triumvirate and the embodiment of faith, belief in a higher power, divine mystery, and spiritual strength. He is the public divine face of the Triumvirate; all those who seek to bask in the divinity of the Triumvirate and worship them as living gods fall prostrate at his feet, crying out to the heavens that the Triumvirate are the only true gods, for what god in heaven could stand against a god that walks the earth?
- Paladins of Lor'Giol are peacekeepers and enforcers in the Temples of the Triumvirate. They teach the holy word of their god and dispense his justice in equal measure, and are known as the Bastions of the Faith for their unwavering devotion to the Temple. Some Paladins, called Gilded Knights, travel with Clerics on holy missions in order to safeguard them. Paladins of Lor'Giol are unshakable in their faith, and are charged with defending the holy places of the Triumvirate. They may never harm, detain, or kill a non-hostile civilian, but if an individual or group of individuals becomes or is about to become hostile, they are permitted to employ non-lethal force to prevent the hostile person(s) from causing any damage to civilians or property. Unlike Clerics, they are not sworn to provide assistance where it is requested, unless the individual(s) who require(s) assistance is a Cleric, Paladin, or Inquisitor of any god of the Triumvirate. They are also not allowed to lie, cheat or steal, unless it is absolutely required to defend the Temple or the clergy/worshipers inside. This is not public knowledge, but Paladins are required to assist Inquisitors with whatever mission or task they are asked to provide assistance for. This is the only topic about which they are allowed to lie.
- Clerics of Lor'Giol are priests and teachers, enlightening the masses with the holy power of the Triumvirate. They are typically priests, and are no strangers to peaceful demonstrations of the divine power conferred upon faithful followers of Lor'Giol. Some Clerics, called Gilded Prophets, wander the Imperium, living ascetic lives in order to present an example to the people. Regardless of their status, Clerics are known universally for their powers of healing and prophesy.Clerics of Lor'Giol are renowned as teachers, prophets, and healers. They are required to teach or heal any creature that requests either, to the best of their ability. They are never allowed to kill or injure living creatures, even as a mercy killing, and cannot lie, cheat, or steal, even if their lives are threatened. While this is not public knowledge, they are also required to aid Inquisitors of Lor'Giol in whatever pursuits they ask for assistance in, no matter what those pursuits are. This requirement is a secret, and the only topic about which Clerics are allowed to lie.
- Where Clerics and Paladins of Lor'Giol strive to publicly worship and teach,Inquisitors of Lor'Giol have no such inclinations. They are the quiet blade, the whispered word, and the swift vengeance. They are the only Inquisitorial order that has cause to be feared by the populace of the Imperium, for it is their sworn duty and holy mission to seek out and eradicate any heretical gatherings, followings, or events that take place within the Imperium's borders. Where other Inquisitorial orders are normally restricted, Inquisitors of Lor'Giol are given free reign. They are permitted, at all times, to harm, arrest, or even kill civilians or military personnel that they believe has engaged or will engage in heretical acts that endanger the well-being of the Temple or ardent followers of the Triumvirate. Once they have begun their Inquisition, no door is barred to them, no lock or order of law impedes them, and no blade can touch them. Once they have begun their manhunt, Lor'Giol is the only being on this plane that has the power or authority to stop them.
Before the Triumvirate's inception as the eternal rulers of the Imperium, the Valak Dynasty ruled a dying empire. The province of Esternost was slowly losing ground in an Imperial-incited war of conquest with Monthold, and the province of Valusa was living in constant fear of invasion by the Stygian island nations of Perskar and Rilskar, who were then known as the Perilskari Alliance.
During this time, the Abyssal Incursion began. Rapacious, powerful beings called demons began to spill from spatial rifts in the sky, burning and killing with abandon. The Emperor, Jalun Valak IX, was forced to withdraw all foreign Imperial troops and abandon all conquests in favor of defending his homeland. Unfortunately, even with the full (but weakened) power of the Imperial Legions, the Imperium was swiftly and surely losing ground to the demons where other nations were at least holding their own.
At this time, the Triumvirate appeared.
In a blaze of holy glory, they drove the demons from the Imperium in a single day, forcing them back through the rifts or into the ocean. Once the threat to the Imperium had ended, the people declared the Emperor and his kin unworthy of ruling, and staged a successful coup in the Trinity's name. When it was over and the Valak dynasty had been eradicated, the Triumvirate accepted the throne and became the living gods of the Imperium.
Under their rule, the Imperium flourished. The conflicts with Monthold and the Perilskari Alliance were resolved peacefully, while an outrageously successful war headed by Gel'Adin claimed a large swathe of Orinar's southwestern lands, creating the Imperial Province of Inregem.
Incredible advances in arcane theory were made, and the study of magic was thrown headlong into a new era under Jan'Atir. With his guidance, the Arcane Collegiate, a group of scholarly institutions devoted to exploring and teaching the arcane arts, was established.