Order of the Fist
The Order of the Fist is a group of monastic warriors who undergo a particularly exacting and extensive ascetic regimen meant to refine their bodies and minds. They seek to internalise the message of the Canon of the True Law and to become an empty vessel for the will of Menoth. This order is young, having been founded in the Protectorate of Menoth less than forty years ago.
The Order of the Fist was founded by Vice Scrutator Garrick Voyle and Haveron Grayden, a scholar of the True Law in Icthier. They spent considerable time studying the walls of Icthier, drawing inspiration from some of the most ancient passages and reading 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 discipline. They deciphered the lost secrets of the ancient priest-kings and their guardians and blended them with Idrian martial arts 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 armoured by conviction that they would require no equipment to battle the enemies of the faith. With the permission of Hierarch Kilgor Ravonal, Voyle and Grayden founded the Order of the Fist. Voyle went to become a member of the Synod of Visgoths and later the hierarch, leaving Grayden with leadership, recruitment and training of the order.
The foundation of the Order of the Fist further contributed to the decline of the ancient Order of the Wall. The Order of the Fist was designed to root out heresy and sedition from the common people - the very people the Order of the Wall had pledged to protect. In the majority of conficts between these groups, the scrutators ruled in favour of the Order of the Fist.
Allegiants served as Voyle’s inner guard in the bloody months he consolidated his power. They prowled the streets continually, listening for treason and rooting out insurrection before it could begin. People dragged away by monks in the the night simply vanished.
Allegiants study the strength of stone and the fluidity of sand until the application of deadly force becomes as natural to them as breathing. Over the course of their training, they become living weapons who can perform seemingly miraculous feats of strength and physical control. While they are deadly with their bare hands, allegiants of this order employ a variety of weapons in battle, especially if engaging heavily armed enemies.
Though belonging to a relatively new order, allegiants consider their fighting style to be an evolution of ancient teachings gleaned from antiquity. They learn their techniques at the order’s secluded monastery in the Varhdan province. Voyle deliberately chose a desolate location for his monastery, believing the sun and sands would serve to forge his followers into the weapon he hoped them to become.
Members begin as initiates and generally endure nearly a decade of training and immersion in the order’s philosophies before being recognised as allegiants. Those who become particularly skilled may eventually become senior allegiants, then high allegiants. The leader of the order is Grand High Allegiant Haveron Grayden, who has held this post since the order’s inception.
Allegiants have naturally gravitated toward at least three different interpretations of their role in the Temple. No animosity exists between these groups and they share a fundamental ethos. Like the Knights Exemplar, the Order of the Fist obeys the primary doctrine of absolute obedience to the clergy.
Since it began, the Order of the Fist has served to maintain order within the population of the Protectorate. With the Knights Exemplar tasked to battle external threats, Hierarch Voyle deemed that monks, with their emphasis on unarmed fighting, nondescript attire and ability to blend into the populace, should police the people and root out treachery. In this way they serve as an unobtrusive secret police force in towns and cities. They complement the efforts of both the scrutators and the Exemplars in rooting out heresy and sedition.
Many monks of the order still serve in this capacity. However, in recent years this role has increasingly fallen to initiates. The few allegiants who remain at this task eschew matters of philosophy and religion, deeming them the province of the priest caste.
A second group composed of veteran monks focus not on policing the population but on developing their fighting skills for the battlefield. Many of these monks are just as pragmatic and devoid of spiritual sentiment as those in the first category. They are pious but not prone to reflection beyond what is required to focus their minds and discipline their bodies.
The third and smallest category embodies an evolution of spiritually inclined practitioners. They defer to the priesthood and do not deem it their place to offer religious opinion. These monks conduct a complex regimen intended to refine their bodies and minds to achieve absolute fighting perfection. They are capable of feats that verge on the miraculous.
Many Khadoran and Ordic Menites have thought of implementing the Order of the Fist outside of the Protectorate's borders, though it's unlikely that the order could serve its intended fuction in a secular state.