The Supreme Order of Kren occupies nearly the entire known world, keeping a stranglehold on the supply of Kren within the Tyrenian Nations. This means that they have a great deal of authority, and their arm stretches anywhere it wishes with near impunity.
The origins of the Order are clouded in confusion and mystery, something that the Order itself propagates as a matter of security. Surely they wouldn’t like their status as the benevolent protector of mankind from the ravages of magic sullied by the fact that in truth they were nothing more than businessmen who saw a profitable trade once the Demon Wars were over.
Three centuries since the founding of the Order have left the people quite clueless about its beginnings, and the Order likes it that way, for they can take the stance that they have always been protectors and that mankind is not ready for magic with near impunity. All evidence to the contrary was stamped out 200 years prior when a country rebelled against an increase in the pricing of Kren and was smashed within a week.
The Tyrenian nations were then given an ultimatum: they could be smashed as the dissenters already had been, or they could give the Order supreme control of all matters to do with Kren. As a result of their submission, each nation also had its history books rewritten to reflect the “true” history of the Order (much like today’s history has been re-written to exclude “undesirable” facets of the past). The only country that didn’t submit was the Omari Empire, which to this day remains free of Order control.
As they see it
The Order exists to protect the common person from the mis-use of Kren, because he and his fellow man are not capable of handling such power safely and responsibly. As such, the Order must restrict and regulate all affairs that relate to Kren within the world. To do this, complete autonomy is required within each country, so that everyone is protected equally.
As it really is
The Order is a monopolistic organization that maintains a stranglehold on the sale, production, and usage of Kren. Thanks to this stranglehold, they can force any country to do whatever the Order wishes, for without magic any country would quickly fall to the whims of its neighbors.
The Order tries to take the moral high-ground to substantiate its claim to a monopoly on all Kren, because “Common men cannot be trusted with magic. They are too unpredictable.” However, the Order itself is not any more responsible with Kren than even the worst of commoners would be; using their autonomy and (near) unlimited magic, the members of the Order (called Nysi, Old Tongue for Protector) take whatever they fancy, whenever they fancy. And while the Order does have a complaint system in place to keep some sense of accountability, they rarely do anything even so harsh as reprimand the offending Nysi.
This has made many a person angry, and there is at least one organization that opposes the Order openly, to the point that their guerilla operations could be roughly compared to the exploits of Robin Hood. Every now and then a new report leaks out that this caravan or that running Kren and other Order supplies was ambushed and captured, instilling in the common folk hope that someday the tyranny of the Order might be lifted.
The symbol of the Order is a card with a starburst in the center, denoting the magic that the Order is responsible for.
There are three official ranks within the Order of Kren, as follows.
This is the top dog of the pack, the leader of the Order. The Mor’nysi is perhaps the most powerful single political figure in the world, and as such has an enormous amount of political clout. While not quite a world emperor, the Mor’nysi comes close, and rulers from almost any country would come at his call, whether they hate him or not.
The title of Mor’nysi is passed from one man to the next (never a woman, for what woman could ever be held responsible with such a powerful and dangerous thing as magic?), normally by the choosing of a successor. However, the Kirean (the “Law” of the Order) also mandates that one may become Mor’nysi through defeating the current one in a duel of Kren. The Rules of such a Duel are detailed later in this text.
Rol’nysi are those who handle the day to day affairs of the Order, watching over the lower Nysi and generally making a nuisance of themselves as administrators will do. They have nearly as much authority as the Mor’nysi, though there are a few things that they must get his approval for (executions, founding new Kren Houses, and the like). They are hand-picked by the Mor’nysi himself to insure loyalty to the Order and its principles.
The Nysi are the grunts of the Order, and these are the faces that villagers and city folk alike hate to see riding in. As a whole, they tend to be mean and disrespectful to anyone and everyone, secure in the fact that no-one can touch them by Order Mandate. The punishment for violating the law is left to the Nysi in question, usually resulting in death or worse. Think of royal snobbery at its worst, then double it. That should be what the common folk generally deal with.
Occasionally, however, there will be a decent Nysi who actually believes what he preaches (as opposed to the mouth service done by most). This one will help people with his Kren, and be saddened by the rampages wrought by his brethren within the Order.
Joining the Supreme Order of Kren is an expensive task, though anyone with the money can become a member. However, the exhorbant price generally limits membership to the sons of merchants and nobles, which leads to the all-pervasive mindset amongst members that they are superior to the common people. For many, taking anything without fear of reprocussion is nothing new, as they did it in their old positions anyways.
Females are, according to the Kirean, not capable of being trusted with magic or responsibility, and so no female is able to become a Nysi.
Generally, a boy is apprenticed at a young age, his family paying his training and membership fees until he becomes a full member of the Order, attaining the rank of Nysi. He starts his training under a regular Nysi, being taught the tenets of the Order and performing tasks set to him by his Trainer.
When his Trainer believes he is ready, an apprentice can attempt the Trials. The main purpose of the Trials is to prove that the apprentice understands the responsibility and usage of Kren, to better the state of mankind. However, where once the Trials were a hard and dangerous thing to try, their quality has steadily declined, until now they are nothing more than a joke, and almost anyone can pass (assuming they have enough money of course).
Arms and Equipment
A staple of the Order, this is what gives them their nigh-unlimited authority. By controlling the supply and use of Kren, not only does the Order control all magic within the world, it also controls each nation as well. Each Nysi carries a full deck of 52 Kren with him as standard gear, but the make-up of the deck itself is determined by the preference of the Nysi and his Guild Credit (a form of in-guild currency for buying Kren. Higher Tiers cost more Credits).
The Rol’nysi have at their disposal all but the highest Tier of Kren, as well as getting Kren at a reduced Credit cost. The Mor’nysi has access to every Kren available free of charge, for who would dare charge the Master for his services as protector of mankind?
Each Nysi gets to choose what armor he wishes to wear, so armor styles are as varied as the Nysi themselves, but they are required to wear the Order symbol somewhere in plain sight. Usually this takes the form of a tabard worn over armor and clothing, but some Nysi have taken to getting the symbol of the Order tattooed somewhere obvious.
Standard weaponry tends towards longswords, though there are exceptions. However, most Nysi consider mundane weapons beneath them, and only carry them because of an Order mandate. If given the choice, they would (and do) use only Kren, and most could hardly use their chosen weapon without cutting off their own foot.