The Order of the Twilight Tunnels was, a “chartered group” from the Imperium. The main function of this group was to create and maintain a series of gate stations. To support them in that regard they had four branches, Staves (mystics), Swords (Security for Gate Stations and eventually to be the first line of defense for the Imperium), Scouts (Finders and Explorers), and Builder (makers of the Gate Stations). The Order is the backbone of the Imperium, allowing it unprecedented communication and transportation. This advantage allows them military and trade advantages that can not be compensated for.
The Order’s Color are Medium-Dark Blue with white “flecks” or stars.
While “ON duty” order members wear clothing marked with these colors. The members of the order wear short robes (kimono style) with over slides (Hakama). The Overslides and any light robe jacket worn over the short robe will be in the order blue with white stars.
For those that do not know
Happis or short Kimonos are the loose robes, Hakama is an outer garment worn over the kimono that are either split between the legs like pants or non-split like a skirt. http://www.japanesekimono.com/japanese_pants.htm .
This style became a compromise between traditional mystic robes (“Staves”) and the need of the Swords, Scouts, and Builders.
People outside of the order have picked up this “fashion trend.
Since this is an Order, rather than a guild, it has members of many different stripes. It has Magickers (responsible for creating and maintaining gates). It has Swords (military types, most are ex-soldiers but some are trained directly). It has Scouts (who find new locations for gate points to go). They have Builders (responsible for all the non magical buildings and plazas).
Rank is show by a number of Stars worn on a black belt or sash. This number will range from one to eight. Thus you can tell who is in charge in a gate plaza at a glance.
Additional Ideas (5)
These are the magickers of The Order, the largest of the four pillars. They are the dominant force in The Order, for without them no one else can create or maintain gates.
Apprentices are recruited from various first and second years in any respectable Mystic School. Besides respectable talents, they must show a strength of character. Receiving a commission to enter The Order's School is much like trying to get into a prestigious military academy.
In most respects, it is a standard mystic college, emphasis on mental and mystic aspecting. Unlike most mystic colleges, there are self defense classes, minimal wilderness survival, and engineering classes (which mages excell at, augmenting the designing group of the builders).
Besides basic cantrips, they will have access to know the standard counter-magics, a simple attack spell, and a few displacement spells. Communication and Scrying, which are related to Warp Elements, are emphasized. There are two specialty elements of The Order School.
*Warp Elements. This is the "art" of creating gates. These spells all involve teleportation and clairsentience of some kind. Teleporting of self (short distance), aporting of small items, displacing, and sensing of far away places are common effects.
The Signature Spell of this Element is "Gate", they ability to create correspondence between two points for long enough that entering one points causes one to exit at the other. This is the master spell, the ability to open a gate to any point you know. It becomes easier if one is targeting the spell with one or two anchor points (at either end).
The Journyman spell to master is the Gate Frame Spell. This allows the use the enchanted gateframes as your anchor points. These allow someone with a mere three years of training to create and maintain a gate.
Part of the Master Training is the enchanting of items with Warp elements. This allows them to create beacons, scrying tools, and most importantly Warp Frames.
*The Second Element is The Classic Battle Magics of the Myrmadon School. These are mostly taught to the other pillars (Swords and Scouts mostly), but Staves can utilize them as well.
The Swords are one of the main pillars of the Order. They are comprised of fairly elite fighter types. They are supporting one of the backbones of the Imperium (dominant culture), so these people need to be good. In addition to providing security for the Gate Terminals, they are often used as detached units for special missions.
The Order's Swords learn parallel to the Elite Myrmadon's of the Imperial Legions. They are expert martial artist, able to fight with many weapons and with only hand and foot.
The Swords of the Order have access to the Myrmadon's Battle Magics. At minimum, they know enough magic to access and utilize magical devices. If they are capable and desire it, they can learn a variety of Battle Magics. Besides spells to fight, they would learn communication and displacement spells as well. Battlemagics rock!
For many of you this provides a difficulty because of the game system you run. The Order Members are bi-classed fighter magickers. With a skill based system, (Gurps or Rune Quest) it is "easy". Heck Hero would do as well. You could make it a prestige class, but the spell casting fighting bit would change balance of normal D20 fantasy.
So the various spells they would add:
BladeSharp (Increase Damage of weapon and +5% per level) upto five levels of it.
FlameBlade (Fire covered blade for one scene)
Grasshopper: Allows Karumijitsu (Anime-esk, Wuxia like jumping abilities) for one scene.
BladeAscend: converts a blade of one type (including a piece of jewelry) into a specific blade type. An alternate to the higher level BladeCall.
ShieldHand (creates a small energy shield the dissipates after it takes about 30 points damage or one scene)
SwordHand (Creates a small energy swords (strikes as normal weapon) that lasts for one scene
BladeCall (Summons a predetermined blade. Blade must be ritually blessed to be so predetermined)
ShieldCall (Summons Shield like BladeCall)
ArmorCall (Summons Armor like Blade Call)
Add to this some displacement spells, a few limited communication spells and one good dispell, and these guys will rock.
Scouts might pick up a few scrying and communication spells.
Here is a list of RuneQuest spells and BattleMagics (as well as sorceries)
These are the third pillar. They are mostly a mundane unit. A scout may or may not have magical abilities, though most senior members do. However, magical training it is not required. Scouts are trained by and with the Swords for weapons and unarmed combat. They are also trained to climb, swim great distances, ride horses, used ranged and personal weapons. They must be familiar with mapping, navigation, codes, and a variety of languages.
Scouts were appropriate garb when not on mission. When they are on a mission, they will pack their "robes" and wear study outdoors wear appropriate for the conditions. They might carry a sash with appropriate Order colors, just in case they encounter "civilized" people.
Scouts have two real "missions":
a) To explore new territories. They explore the areas between gate points and in those areas outside the established border. They continue to explore areas around frontier and Periphery until all the edges of the explored maps match up. Remember there are areas of the world that were only accessible by gate (a new world, new continent, or large subcontinent), so they try to create "explored" maps around gate and match it up to the other maps.
b) To gate explore: Magickers of the order find areas that may be good places for a gate point. A team of scouts are sent through a gate to explore and survey a given area for either for a day or a few weeks. The magikers open the gate at a preset time or upon the magical call from the team. Upon returning they give a report on the feasability of opening a gate site there.
The Fourth Pillar of the Order has two missions.
1) To build and maintain all Gate Terminals. These people are expert craftsmen in stone and wood. Most gate terminals in Home, Core, and Long Term Periphery, are works of art in terms of design and execution. Most Frontier and Newer Periphery use the classic plaza design (weather permiting). Builders and inclined Staves compete to design new terminals.
Admittedly, the lowest levels only clean the terminals and offices. Those of Journyman rank do most of the building and repairs. Master superive and design.
2) To control logistics and supplies. These are the people who control the purse strings. They dole out stipends, buy supplies, and take care of all those mundane details. They are also involved in the logistic planning of the gate network's schedule.
Note: Builders collect the travel fees and oversee tarrif collection.
As time for departure nears, several members (builders mostly) will organize people and goods together in cues, checking "passes" and manifests/ tax papers. They are often followed around by "state officials" who collect taxes.
One to three Swords will be milling around the plaza/ station. As the cue lines up, they will take station by the gate frame. They will also assist Journier (low level Stave) with travellers who are "less than cooperative or friendly".
A caller begins to cry out the scheduled departures.
When it gets to be time, The Gatesmith, the senior Stave member present, will approach the gate and begin to harmonize with it. Eventually someone will hit the gong, signifying a gate opening. The Gatesmith forges the gate path.
The Swords monitor the cue, assisting the flow of travellers, and preventing those who try to dash the gate.
Eventually the Gatesmith closes the gate and the closing gong sounds. They then proceed to the lounge to rest. He will open a few twilight tunnels a day.
On the receiving end...
The Gatesmith, the most senior Stave on duty, will make sure the gate is appropriately set.
One to three Swords will be milling around the plaza/ station. They will make sure the area around the receiving gate frame is clear. They will deal harshly with anyone who tries to stand in the wrong place.
A caller begins to cry out the scheduled departures. They will hit the gong at the appropriate time.
As the transported people flow in, the Swords will make sure people are moving along and out of the way.
The closing gong will sound, sometime after the gate is closed.
A builder, followed by a tax collector, will make sure all taxes and tarrifs are paid. While a plaza might be somewhat open, there is only one way in and out, unless someone tried to jump the fence.
With frontiers entries: the Orderman on the "wild end" will do "mojo" over the gate. Usually making sure the control stone is twisted correctly.
If there are any swords on the frontier side, they will be on guard to prevent access through the gate.
On the opening side, a number of armed Swords will be standing. They will on guard as well. While most gate travel is one way, most frontier sites have one gate access a day... so the gong sounds for travel out... then a gong is hit to signify "all clear" and incoming travel can be attempted. Eventually it will close.