Akira, Citadel elders (formerly)
Akira, Fiera, Erif, Xarya, Vorlik
The Citadel (Formerly), wandering group otherwise
The paladin order was founded in the ancient times, so long ago that no one can remember and no records exist. It is rumored that the original paladins were a team of four: A knight, a priest, a witch and a healer. Names and other details of these individuals have been forgotten, but their legacy remained. Together, they founded the paladin order, creating a powerful (at the time) group devoted to doing what their respectable Toa brothers could not: Removing the threat, instead of merely containing it. The paladins follow their own set of rules and rituals, even refusing to call themselves Toa after some time, simple referring to themselves by the order's name.
As their numbers grown, the paladins built themselves a command center known as the Citadel. The location of the citadel was carefully kept secret, as fresh Toa and destined Matoran were taken there to undertake their paladin training. At the peak of their power, dozens of paladins roamed the world, aiding Matoran on their travels.
Most of the paladins were operating alone - there was usually no need for more than one to be present. As time passed though, people's hearts grew darker and threats have manifested that were too much for a single person to handle. At that time, paladins slowly started creating teams much like their Toa brothers. While the tactic worked, they started to be noticed by even more powerful foes.
Soon after, the citadel was discovered because of a traitor. Being a surprise, the siege didn't last too long and over 90% of the paladins were wiped out. The rest scattered and never returned to their old ways, afraid of being hunted down. Eventually they all died out, taking the kowledge of the order to their graves.
Unknown to anyone, one paladin was spared. Akira was deactivated ofter being made an example. Being thrown into the sea, she eventually got buried at the beaches of what would be known as Ga-Wahi. After the tides uncovered her, she was reactivated by a passing patrol. She carries knowledge of the order and set her goal to reviving it, searching for potential recruits and training them.
The paladins were created with only one purpose in mind - to aid and protect the Matoran. Unlike the Toa, Paladins were allowed to use any means necessary to achieve this goal, be it stealing from members of other species, or a violent removal of the threat.
Structure and guidlinesEdit
Paladins mostly operatd alone, wandering the land and helping where ever they went. They were often contracted by local law enforcement or military for the duration of their stay, sometimes even settling permanently if they found the place appealing enough. They bounded into groups only to either train or to counter a significant threat. The order itself was led by the elders of the Citadel - the longest serving members of each caste.
There were four castes to the order, each resembling one of the founders, although the skillsets of various paladins might have combined two or more castes. There were the Knights, the warriors skilled in using weapons, the sorcerers, skilled in utilizing their elemental powers, the healers who were mainly focusing on aiding the matoran in non violent ways, and a numericaly inferior priests, mainly composed of astrologers and chroniclers.
Hierarchicaly, paladins had these ranks:
- Elder - Single, longest serving member of the caste
- Warrior/Arcane/Mender/Seer Elite - Elites were paladins who mastered the arts of all four castes, although they took the rank of their native caste. They were allowed to operate outside the rule of the elders. Only few ever lived long enough to achieve this rank.
- Duke/Adept/Doctor/Prophet - Highly skilled members of the castes.
- Knight/Sorceror/Healer/Priest - Accomplished members
- Lower ranks were the same for all castes:
The paladins did not follow the Toa code, as they felt it was what prevented the Toa from doing their jobs efficiently. While they still subscribed to the teachings of the Great Spirit, their most important rules were:
- Believe Mata Nui's teachings and observe all the Great Spirit's directions.
- Defend the Order.
- Respect and defend all weaknesses.
- Love your land.
- Do not recoil before an enemy.
- A single coward could discourage an entire army. Even if the paladins knew death was near, they would rather die fighting than show weakness.
- Show no mercy to the Wicked. Do not hesitate to make war with them.
- This clause allowed the paladins to kill their target outright, which is not permited by the Toa Code.
- Never lie or go back on one's word.
- Be generous to all Matoran.
- Always and everywhere be right and good against evil and injustice.
Training and equipmentEdit
Paladins were recruited from the ranks of freshly transformed Toa with combat practice (such as former members of matoran law enforcement) and high sense of self sacrifice. From time to time, when a Paladin sacrificed his or her power, the Toa stones they created were scattered around the World and monitored. If a matoran found it, the paladins believed it was because they were destined to be one of them, and the Matoran was taken to the Citadel for training. Paladins were trained the basics of all four castes, choosing a path after achieving the rank of Pioneer and joining a specific caste. In a way, their training was never done, as climbing to the top of the caste and studying the art of other castes was often a lifetime journey.
To distinguish themselves from the Toa, Paladins were given special equipment after achieving the Member rank. They were given a new armor, mask and tool, whose colors often didn't match the wielders element. The armors were ornamental plates made in metallic colors with different trim. Their masks, regardless of powers, alwazs came in a shape of the great Rode and inverted colors of their armor. Their most important features were their weapons. As the paladins needed to be skilled killers, they often emplozed unusual and exotic weapons, from the defensive combat shields to purely offensive weapons such as chakrams or elemental launchers.
- Anyone threatening the safety and well being of the above