Alsara: Requiem and Revolution
Order of the North Watch
When the Empire conquered the northern kingdoms of the Steppelands, it was the longest and bloodiest struggle of the Unification. In the end the Empire only barely managed to coerce the northern kings to sign the Pact of Unification, and even then after making several provisions that allowed more culture to remain in the North than the Pact normally dictated. One such provision was the Order of the North Watch.
The Watchers already had existed in a slightly different form before the Unification; back then, they were the absolute servants of the northern kings, called Watchful Companions. They served as arbiters of their lord’s will, and as such were also responsible for upholding and enforcing their lord’s laws. Their duties were considered a holy charge.
Once the Empire had convinced the north to surrender, the Watchful Companions were heavily influenced by the Order of the Falcon, and began to take on much of the tenants of their southern brethren. At the same time, the political landscape in the Steppelands swiftly became murky from the meddling of the Emperor and his court, and by 866 AT the Order of the North Watch had almost completely separated from the once-kings of the North, now serving the Emperor’s laws instead of the local ones.
Watchers are required to uphold and enforce Imperial edicts as well as Aenor’s, allowing them to effectively adjudicate nearly any crime, secular or not. If they are the only Watcher in a region, then they are bound to remain in the area as a judge until others can be found to replace them.
Most Watchers are locked to specific regions, and as such they are only expected to act in defense of their immediate area. While it is possible to request the intervention of a Paladin of the Watch in a military scenario, they rarely travel substantial distances. The exception to this is Imperial military campaigns, generally against Vokaya. Somewhere between half and all of the Paladins of the North Watch will accompany the primary fighting force during the campaign.
Vows and Restrictions
- Paladins are not permitted to own property of any kind.
- Paladins are not permitted to perform unchaste acts.
- Paladins are expected to prioritize mandates from their Order over mandates from any Lord, second to the Emperor.
- Paladins are expected to act according to the code of conduct befitting their station.
- Paladins are expected to perform holy rituals every day.
- Paladins are expected to make any necessary personal sacrifice in the execution of their duties, including death.
The major differences here concern property, intercourse, and ritual. They do not own anything, and all of their equipment, lodgings, and possessions belong to the Order. They are not allowed to marry or sleep with women under any circumstances. Lastly, they are expected to keep their own purity, as there are not always Septs nearby they can visit, and it is far too important for them to remain where they are then it is to remain close to the Gods. As such, Watchers will hold morning and evening prayer, and this is considered sufficient.