Order of Light
Clerics of the Eternal Lantern are the sworn enemies of the undead and the minions of darkness. They dedicate themselves to the banishment of the evil that lurks in the shadows of the night by bringing all creatures into the purifying light of Radiance. The Order of Light preaches that only by walking in the light of the Lord of Luminosity can one save one’s soul from the taints of darkness. The main weapon against evil in the arsenal of the clergy is conversion. All clerics must go on a one-year mission to gain converts and bring them into the flock.
During the darkest hours of the night, the clerics act as sentries by walking through cities, towns and villages with lanterns and torches to help the Lord of Luminosity hold back the darkness. This ritual is known as the “Dark Watch.” Clerics of the Eternal Lantern are often found as members of adventuring bands who assist a town watch or city guard in protecting the settlement from evil.
Adventures: The principal reason for the Order’s adventures are, misgivings aside, ventures against the undead and their minions. An active vampire, lich or mummy is sure to spark vigorous activity from the Order of Light. Sermons at weekly services advise worshippers how to protect themselves from the undead, while junior clerics initiate exploratory missions to discover the nature of the threat. Higher-level clerics organize the final strike, usually leading them personally. Even the aged can participate in these holy quests, where the power of faith is tested against the evil of the undead.
Characteristics: Members of the Order consider their ability to turn undead the most basic and pure demonstration of their faith. Lacking the rigid structure of spell casting and stemming directly from a combination of the cleric’s faith and the Eternal Lantern’s favor, this channeling of positive energy is a cleansing experience. It’s a reaffirmation of the Eternal Lantern’s love for living things and hatred of the abomination of undeath. Great clerics often claim epiphanies during the moment of its use.
The Order of Light does not preach the value of physical might at arms. They know that the undead take many forms, and not even the mightiest warrior’s strength is a reliable weapon against an incorporeal opponent. Thus, they urge the mastery of divine spells over skill with steel. Nevertheless, they are quite capable of defending themselves in combat.
Background: The faith attracts a steady stream of people who love the feel of the sun on their backs and enjoy seeing a beautiful dawn start their day. These hopeful and generally cheerful folk make up a large portion of the followers and “working clerics” – those whose motivation ends at conducting weekly services.
Adventuring clerics and those with great ambition are cut from a different cloth. These people have lost friends or loved ones to the undead and join the faith that gives them the best chance at revenge. Maybe they suffered personally at the hands of undead, bearing their scars underneath their white robes as silent testimony to a horrific past. The fire inside these zealots drives them to become leaders or popular adventuring clerics, giving them an importance beyond their numbers.
Races: Humans and elves make up an overwhelming percentage of the Order. Halflings and gnomes are next in prominence. The remainder (a small number) are a mix of all races that have faced evil undead and sought out the Order of Light for support.
Relations With Other Classes: Members of the Order work well with paladins most of all, but they are willing to accept nearly any character who shares their belief. A similar outlook is more important than skills and abilities. Druids, to whom the undead fall beyond the natural order of life, are surprisingly easily accepted.
Relations With Undead: Clerics must destroy undead, and those that associate with them, at all costs. Animating, creating, or otherwise associating with undead may bring excommunication from the church. The faith allows for little flexibility with this rule.
Role: The Order of Light serve a useful function in maintaining bright city lights, keeping mundane criminals at bay. In this aspect, they resemble the Truthseekers. Unlike those clerics, however, they reserve their true hatred for the undead, those who maintain a mockery of life and the inner light of the soul.