| Garrick Voyle
In the early 570's Garrick Voyle and Haveron Grayden, a scholar of the True Law in Icthier, spent considerable time studying old texts that described a harsh training and fighting regimen thought to have existed in the time of Cinot, and began to recreate this holy and ancient discipline. They deciphered the lost secrets of the ancient priest-kings and their guardians and blended them with the martial skills of the Idrians to create techniques meant to unite a mortal body with the eternal will of Menoth. Grayden and Voyle foresaw soldiers so filled with spiritual zeal and armored by conviction that they would require neither weapons nor armor to battle the enemies of the faith. With the permission of Hierarch Kilgor Ravonal, Voyle and Grayden founded the Order of the Fist as an internal police force. Having proven his capabilities, Voyle reached the rank of Vice Scrutator and swiftly joined the hierarch’s inner circle of advisors. Ravonal began grooming Voyle to become his successor and made him a visgoth in 575 AR.
Following Ravonal’s death in 580 AR internecine feuding divided the Synod. Many claimants to the hierarchy arose from the Temple’s higher ranks as visgoths and senior scrutators vied for power, each seeking to rally the priesthood to his cause. Consensus remained elusive, and the bitter and violent disputes continued for years. Garrick Voyle bided his time as his rivals exposed their vulnerabilities and were destroyed by their enemies.
Finally Voyle acted. First, he silenced all opposition, calling upon the Order of the Fist and many of the most feared scrutators to assist him. Making his movements known lured out would-be assassins, each of whom was destroyed once they had revealed those who had sent them. Proclaiming Servath Reznik as his high executioner, a position that traditionally could only be appointed by and only answered to a hierarch, Voyle has told his opponents in no uncertain terms that resistance means death.
Voyle defeated many of his enemies personally to show his own power and strength, but he sent Reznik when wanted to convey a particular message, bringing to the resurrected office of high executioner no small degree of legitimacy in the eyes of the common people. Voyle took absolute control of the Protectorate and proclaimed himself hierarch in 588 AR. Those present at this proclamation saw the text of the Canon of the True Law manifest on his flesh as an unprecedented visible miracle confirming Menoth’s favour, and so all bowed before him.
In 589 AR Voyle moved the capital from Sul to the Idrian town of Imer, giving rise to the nation’s third great city, one that soon grew to rival Sul itself. In a few short years the city was transformed into the capital Hierarch Voyle had envisioned.
Voyle knew the coming holy war would require his people to control their own means of manufacture. Accordingly, he greatly expanded the Protectorate’s military industries, discontinued the practice of executing citizens manifesting arcane power and instituted the Vassals of Menoth, arcanists who were charged with the creation of warjack cortexes for the Protectorate’s growing army. Realising that his nation’s ability to conduct war on a larger scale would require the integration of the Protectorate’s various military arms, Voyle entrusted the task of restructuring the Protectorate’s military forces to Grand Scrutator Severius.
By 603 AR, the Protectorate was better armed and more ready for war than ever before. Such efforts could not be conducted entirely in secret, and Cygnar began concerted efforts to sabotage the Protectorate’s growing industry. Voyle maintained contact with the Cygnaran crown so King Leto Raelthorne would believe diplomacy was still a viable option; all the while, Voyle prepared his people for the inevitable crusade.
In the midst of these preparations, the Harbinger of Menoth appeared, embodied in a young woman from a town north of Icthier who channeled Menoth’s will. The appearance of the Harbinger was met with scepticism in Imer until she presented herself before the Synod and the hierarch. She singled out individual visgoths by name, spoke of things they hid even from each other, and castigated them for not preserving the True Faith. Finally she turned to Garrick Voyle himself and simply smiled just as the great sand clocks struck the tenth hour since she began. The Hierarch stood and pointed to the floor where her shadow still fell in the same blood-red light, unfaded and unchanged after all that time. Voyle stepped down and bent his knee, saying he believed and asked she serve as his personal spiritual advisor. The Harbinger agreed.
At once Voyle took her into his counsel and bade her reveal to him all she had seen. The two kept the exact nature of their conversations to themselves, but Voyle later revealed that the Harbinger had forseen the war between Cygnar and Khador which would soon consume Llael and that this was the time to initiate the Great Crusade.
As prophesied, Khador strikes Llael in the last month of 604 AR. Once the Llaelese War is underway and Cygnar is busy defending Llael from Khador, Hierarch Voyle declares the independence of the Protectorate. He then launches the Great Crusade to reunite humanity in worship of the Lawbringer beginning with a siege of the walls of Caspia and strikes deep inside Cygnar. While this initial siege of Caspia is soon repulsed, it forced Cygnar to further divide its armies, sending forces to the capital and reinforcing its garrison. Soon Voyle authorises the Northern Crusade, led by Grand Scrutator Severius, deep into occupied Llael to take the message of Menoth deep into the lands of the faithless.
As the crusade continued north, the Harbinger ventures into the Thornwood with a smaller force, where she sacrifices herself to save the many Menite souls trapped in an ancient Orgoth temple. High Paladin Dartan Vilmon and the Testament of Menoth return her soul and body to Imer, where, before hundreds of thousands of witnesses, Hierarch Voyle channels Menoth's will and wakes the Harbinger from death.
As Cygnar, having secured its own borders, turns on its Menite population and arrests them, the armies in Sul prepare to renew the assault on Caspia. For over a year, the control of each city constantly fluctuates between Cygnar and the Protectorate. Though the Menites eventually retake Sul, Hierarch Voyle is not satisfied and decides to take command of the armies of Imer and march on Caspia. The Harbinger reminds Voyle of Hierarch Sulon's dying prophecy: doom would befall any hierarch who entered Caspia before the divided city is made whole, though the hierarch is too blinded by the dream of uniting Caspia to heed her warnings and presses on.
Garrick Voyle leads the Menite army into Caspia, crushing the bulk of Caspia’s defences almost single-handedly and effortlessly carving a tremendous path of destruction through the ancient capital. Along the way, Coleman Stryker attempts to stop Voyle by having his warjack Ol' Rowdy throwing a Reckoner over him, though it only serves to delay Voyle before he is able to extricate himself from the nine-ton warjack, without suffering any injuries.
Hierarch Voyle marches into the inner part of Caspia, with the Harbinger beside him, flanked by heroes of the faithful: Grand Exemplar Mikael Kreoss, High Exemplar Sarvan Gravus, and High Paladin Dartan Vilmon. Just behind walks the Testament of Menoth, the chained Omegus held tight in his grasp. At his side marches Visgoth Juviah Rhoven of Sul and his bodyguard. Next strides the Avatar of Menoth with its trailing red banners. Beside the Avatar comes Feora, Protector and Priestess of the Flame, and High Allegiant Amon Ad-Raza. Their army flow out endlessly behind them.
Coleman Stryker asks Voyle personally for a ceasefire; in return he would release all of the Menite prisoners that the Cygnaran army had taken. The Harbinger advises Voyle that accepting these terms would work to the greater good of the Temple, bringing yet more converts and weakening the will of the Caspian defenders against the proof of Menoth’s miraculous intervention. Once again Hierarch Voyle ignores her words, going so far as to order Feora to fire on the walls where the offered Menite prisoners are positioned. As the prisoners lay dying, Dartan Vilmon steps out and calls out against Voyle, saying that this it is not the will of Menoth for these innocents to die. The hierarch demonstrates both his hubris and how completely his fixation on conquest overcame his rationality by claiming this was the Order of the Wall finally revealing their treachery. He declares Vilmon apostate and attempts to summarily execute him, though suddenly the Harbinger interposes herself, taking the killing blow and saving Vilmon. Filled with hate, Garrick Voyle turns toward Coleman Stryker, holding him to blame for the Harbinger's fall.
Voyle easily overwhelms Stryker in single combat, sending his sword tumbling from his fingers and his body skidding across the stones of the street, near where the Harbinger lies. She silently offers him the holy sword Providence, and he stands up. As Voyle comes toward him, Stryker steps at Voyle and lunges. The hierarch raises an armoured forearm to deflect the swing, a gesture he managed so effortlessly before, but this time it accomplishes nothing. Providence sinks deep into Hierarch Voyle’s chest, and his head turns toward the Harbinger one last time before he falls heavily to the ground.
Hierarch Voyle’s body is returned to Imer, where he is buried with proper honour and dignity. Voyle will be remembered as a visionary who launched the great crusades and who strengthened the Protectorate of Menoth. The Harbinger chooses Grand Scrutator Severius to be Voyle's successor, and he swears to continue his work and that of Hierarch Ravonal before him.
Voyle was what a scrutator is expected to be: a relentless protector of the Temple willing to take every measure to increase Menoth's influence. Although he revelled in absolute authority as both head of the Temple and sovereign ruler of the Protectorate, he had no interest in glory or self-promotion. He despised what he deems heretical and was absolutely devoted to Menoth's will. He looked with great displeasure at the fraternisation between Menites and infidels, and anticipated the day when all of western Immoren will be reclaimed by the faithful.
| Preceded by:
588 AR - 607 AR
| Succeeded by:|