|Holy Inquisition of Cardia|
|Alternative name(s)||The Inquisition|
|Symbol||A Gold winged "I" on a field of White|
|Title of leader||Lord Inquisitor|
|Title of lieutenant||High Inquisitor|
- "Nobody is Innocent. Some are simply more Guilty than others."
- —Common Inquisitorial saying
The Holy Inquisition of Cardia is an organisation in the Fourth Age that exists outside of standard hierarchies and kingdoms of the land, although it is ultimately answerable to the Kingdom of Valencia. Acting with authority granted to them by decrees from Valencia, the Holy Inquisition, led by Lord Inquisitor Nordstrom Weiss, polices a number of kingdoms in secret. Its goal is a simple one: hunt down and destroy the threats to the Land of the Living that lurk in the shadows. Despite its name referring to Cardia, the Inquisition is not a religious successor to the Clergy of Cardia but an organization that is devoted to unravelling conspiracies and plots that would upset the stability of the world and doing whatever it takes to maintain order with their vast resources. The Inquisition's primary base of operations is within the city of Valencia.
Throughout the Third Age, there had been many ongoing plots and conspiracies that had gone on unchallenged that brought with it untold destruction and change to the world. For many, these conspiracies were unknown or simply thought of as simple disasters. But for others that knew about them, they were seen as the cause for so much suffering that could have been avoided.
It was shortly after the return of Osmond Cordae Locke to the town of Ridgefort that the town's community learned of all the terrible occurrences of the world. During the period of settlement by refugees, the paladins of Ridgefort heard testimony from a number of individuals who explained that some of the great disasters had only come to be because of great plots, with the testimony of the wandering bard Arcturius among them.
It was after this that the paladins of Ridgefort had a meeting to lay out a basic plan for the future, which included the formation of the Kingdom of Valencia and the Holy Inquisition of Cardia, otherwise respectively acknowledged as Valencia and the Inquisition. Petyr Jackson, the leader of the paladins, died shortly afterwards.
The Inquisition was placed under the leadership of a paladin from Ridgefort called Nordstrom Weiss who through decrees gave the Inquisitors the power to detain, kill or arrest anyone bar ruling class elites without a trial. This authority allowed the Inquisition to do their duty with relative ease, but made them something to be feared and gave them no shortage of enemies since the dawn of the Fourth Age.
Inquisitorial Specialist ForcesEdit
Not all who work for the Inquisition are Inquisitors. The Inquisition boasts a substantial armed forces personnel that can be called upon to aid the inquisition in keeping order in specific areas or if a situation requires the use of force because local forces are unsuitable for handling a situation. They are better equipped than local town guards and are trained to handle a variety of situations from riot control and city defense to invasions and monster hunting. The Inquisition Armed Forces, or IAF as they are sometimes known, also have more specialist warriors to handle more specific threats, the most famous of these forces being the Paladins of Cardia.
Outside of the armed forces the Inquisitorial Specialist Forces boast a variety of non-combat personnel. Researchers, diplomats, spies and healers are just as important as their combat-oriented brethren. The corps of the Inquisition specialists are varied and have their own ranks. However, while they exist outside of standard military and state structures of the Inquisitorial Specialist forces, the forces do not have Inquisitorial Authority and almost always answer to an Inquisitor.
An Inquisitor is allowed to have a retinue of followers. These followers are normally specialists or individuals who possess tremendous talent that they use to aid the Inquisitor they are assigned under. An acolyte's role can range from bodyguards and assassins to scholarly knowledge or even a healer's magic touch.
Being made an acolyte normally means that the Inquisitor may also see in the individual the potential to one day rise to be an Investigator and, perhaps, even an Inquisitor themselves. It is rare to see an Inquisitor without at-least one acolyte for they are the one force that an Inquisitor can always call upon. IAF troopers may not be able to reach an Inquisitor's location, and it may take time for scholars in their employ to get back with information they need. An acolyte with the right skills, however, means that in either case an Inquisitor will have the means to complete their assignment.
When an individual is seen as having the potential to become an Inquisitor, they are given the rank of Investigator. An Investigator accompanies an Inquisitor and their retinue of acolytes. They are given limited Inquisitorial Authority, allowing them to arrest and interrogate anyone bar ruling class elites. However, they are not yet allowed to kill or carry out judgements without an Inquisitor there. In cases of self-defense or accidents, an Investigator is allowed to kill.
Investigators will remain at their rank until the Inquisitor believes that they are ready to handle the full responsibility that being an Inquisitor demands. This also means they do not have their own retinue of acolytes, although they are allowed to give orders to the acolytes that the Inquisitor has under their command.
The Inquisitors are agents of Order, bringing justice and balance to the world as they deem necessary. An Inquisitor has complete Inquisitorial Authority, allowing them to arrest, interrogate or kill anyone bar ruling class elites without trial. Local laws mean little to them, and they are allowed to request cooperation of local authorities regardless of nation; however, how successfully they can carry out their mission and disregard local authorities' power depends on the nation they are in. They are also able to draft local citizens if it is deemed necessary. In their task of routing out conspiracies and threats, they are allowed to have a retinue of acolytes.
While Inquisitors can sentence ordinary criminals, they rarely involve themselves in more menial crimes unless they have reason to or believe the case may be linked to a greater threat. They are tasked with uncovering plots and larger threats, not handling petty crimes. Regular crimes are normally left to local law enforcement.
An Inquisitor is unable to be detained without reason, and in cases where they are arrested it is required that they be taken to be judged by a High Inquisitor. Murdering an Inquisitor carries with it the death penalty, but in some cases if the circumstances are strange or justifiable (such as if the Inquisitor in question was endangering a major population without legitimate reason), the guilty party will be taken for judgement before the High Inquisitors.
Inquisitors are Judge, Jury and Executioner all in one. They are the first and last line of defense in the war against forces that seek to unravel the foundations of the world itself.
The High Inquisitors are a small body, but an incredibly important one. While having Inquisitorial Authority and the capability to perform the same task as Inquisitors as well as being usually involved in dealing with high-priority operations, their task is a much greater one than their inquisitorial underlings. While Inquisitors are the first and last line of defense in the invisible war, the High Inquisitors' primary task is to police their own organization from threats that would unravel it from within. They are to investigate and keep a check on Inquisitors to ensure that they do not turn traitor or begin to gravely abuse their authority while also ensuring no conspiracies or plots against the organization develop within it.
High Inquisitors also act as a board of authority for the Inquisition itself, aiding the Lord Inquisitor in matters of administration and authority. They also help ensure that relations between the Inquisition and non-inquisitorial entities (nations, organizations, etc) are kept stable. This can be difficult to manage given the reputation or the organization and the unease it ushers in by its very existence, especially among the Church of the Golden Dawn.
The Lord Inquisitor is the highest authority within the Inquisition. It is his task to manage and oversee the Inquisition, ensuring it is upheld and that methods that are utilized by the organization remain viable. The Lord Inquisitor is rarely seen, and on occasions that he appears he is never without his own cadre of specialist acolytes called "The Sirens" who always accompany him.
The Lord Inquisitor does have Inquisitorial Authority, meaning that he can undertake inquisitorial duties. But as the Lord Inquisitor himself is often too busy to involve himself in every single investigation, he will only involve himself in an investigation if he absolutely has no choice or the investigation itself is important enough to warrant his presence.
The Lord Inquisitor only appears in situations of extreme importance or if events are dire enough to require his direct interference. Otherwise his authority and presence is regulated only to the continued running of the Inquisition.
Armor and EmblemsEdit
The forces of the Inquisition wear white cloaks and armor. Inquisitors often wear white trenchcoats in lieu of cloaks, usually with the symbol of the winged "I" of their order emblazoned on their person somewhere. Inquisitorial operatives and Inquisitors that are undercover eschew this attire in favor of something less obvious.
The flag of the Inquisition is a gold, winged I on a field of white. This is to further separate them and their purpose from the Clergy of Cardia and its offshoots like the Church of the Memory of Cardia, which existed in the Third Age, and to emphasize their purpose as agents of balance who have been chosen to watch over and safeguard the world from what lurks in the shadows.
The people of the Inquisition believe that they are the only ones capable of bringing order from the chaos wrought by the previous age. To achieve this balance, they are prepared to utilise any means necessary and are fully ready to stoop to the same level of their enemies. They are fully prepared to use more direct and brutal methods if it means keeping order, showing their enemies no mercy wherever they are found.
The authority granted to Inquisitors also leads to a vast number of them being incredibly vigilant and suspicious, never completely ruling someone out of some kind of wrongdoing. In their eyes, while someone may not be guilty of the crime they are charged they could easily be guilty of something else entirely down the line.
Although every Inquisitor acts differently, some as executioners and hanging judges while others are more reasonable investigators, they all share a healthy suspicion and skepticism alongside a desire for peace by any means necessary.
|Fourth Age Factions|
|Andaria:||Birds of Prey · Church of the Golden Dawn · Goodfellas · High Legions (Ebon Blade · Emerald Legion · Ruby Legion · Sapphire Legion · Topaz Legion)|
|Trinity Gask:||Armata De Milan · Mullencamp · Vulfsatz|
|Valencia:||Holy Inquisition of Cardia|
|Zion:||Bold Brigade · Blue Ravens · Royal Company of Archers|
|Clergies:||Clergy of Artemicia · Clergy of Cardia · Clergy of Dionysus · Clergy of Ganesha · Clergy of Hephaestus · Clergy of Laverna · Clergy of Nergal · Clergy of Shakkan · Clergy of Tiamat|
|Fellowships:||Fellowship of Sarilstad|
|Others:||Bank of Wealthy Hands · Order of the Golden Lake · Red Sun|