Order of the Dusksworn

From Bestiary of the Hypogriph

Template:Organization The Order of the Dusksworn is a monastic order situated in the eastern mountains of Gemmaushia. Dedicated to the principles of asceticism and penitence, those who wish to join or have been forcibly sent to the order are turned into vampires as part of their induction into their ranks, and go on to lead harsh and strict lives thereafter as monsters in the eyes of the rest of the world. For many among their number, however, this choice is a highly personal one, with their new existence as immortal beings allowing plenty of chances to repent for past mistakes.

History[edit | edit source]

While secretive about their past, the Order of the Dusksworn is known to have come to be prior to the uptick of vampirism on Aurelia following the establishment of the Analuhatean bloodline of vampires. Some Gemmaushian historical records from the nearby area dating back to the times of warring city-states also make mentions of failed sieges against the monastery of Thampaezi, although it isn't clear whether this was the order of vampires or its predecessor. At some point, however, the monks of Thampaezi Monastery procured the methods to carry out a necromantic ritual capable of turning a normal person into a vampire. The first to partake in this ceremony was the Order's first grandmaster, Saint ???, by whose example the order transitioned into its modern form.

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

Members[edit | edit source]

Referred to as dusksworn, the vampires who make up the Order come from far and wide, often finding the monastery by pure accident. Having come originally from so many different walks of life, various professions permeate daily life at the monastery; paladins, clerics, and more martially inclined monks from the Order being among those more often seen in the outside world. A clear hierarchy is also known to exist within the Order, with the grandmaster standing at the top and with several deacons in charge of day-to-day dealings answering to him.

Making a conscious effort not to spread their condition to others through the usual Blood Kiss, the Order's acolytes are instead turned through a necromantic ritual stolen from a god of vampirism who has gone unnamed by the Order for centuries - likeliest candidates being either Sutinn-Ur or Tlahvaratlam. In it, the acolyte's mortal blood is first drained out of their body in its entirety and their body preserved magically in this near-death state, with the blood then tainted with vampiric energies by the priests overseeing the ritual. This tainted blood is then finally fed back to the acolyte, who begins to undertake a painful and rapid transformation into a vampire almost instantaneously after ingestion. A small portion of the acolyte's untainted blood is also set aside, preserved, and contained in a silver signet ring that is given to the new vampire as a memento of their past life.

Goals[edit | edit source]

Strikingly different from the rest of their more organized vampiric peers, the Order of the Dusksworn doesn't crave domination over the mortal world and instead has its members devote themselves to the curtailing of criminal activity. They also believe that no crime exempts one from redemption; an outlook very much in line with the tenets of the archangel Saz'giras, even though the Order denies any real connotations tied to the worship of deities in their teachings. Additionally, as per their own crimes against life itself, the dusksworn are expected to contemplate their undead nature in meditation daily. While already allowed only to drink the blood of criminals, some dusksworn choose to partake in what is called a Blood Fast, where one intentionally starves themselves as a rather poignant method of self-discipline.

Relations[edit | edit source]

As a community of undead, the rest of the world is generally disinclined to approach the dusksworn in any meaningful way, provided that they even know of the seclusionary order's existence in the first place. The Empire of Gemmaushia tolerates the Order's presence within their lands but makes an effort to keep a close eye on the vampires, who could pose a problem were they ever to steer away from their teachings. Like all other undead, the dusksworn also need to contend with being hunted by the worshippers of Dominus Mortis and other death gods.

Notable members[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]