Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Center Cannot Hold 3: Eagle and Crow

The Center Cannot Hold is a series of vignettes and musing on a setting in my head for Pathfinder.  Crux: The City of Curses.  Its a attempt at Napoleonic Fantasy.  Let's see how well I do. 

The Eternal Order of the Eagle and the Crow

Even in its earliest days, the Marshals and Knights of the Twin Orders of the Eagle and the Crow was famous for its focus on hunting monsters, saving the innocent and creating justice had made it the target of a slew of political enemies.  The Eagle and the Crow is loyal to no one Flag, and in current age, that is political liability.  Or outright lethal in a few places.

The Eagle and the Crow ultimately began as a religious order, a knightly outgrowth of the Church of the Twins.  But the Order itself explains its origins and operation through a parable.  The parable of the Eagle and the Crow explains the story of a dark day where noble Eagle faced a nefarious enemy whom he could not defeat without the skullduggery of the Crow.

Hence, the two Orders: The Eagles, and the Crows.  The Eagles are honest, upright individuals who devote themselves to fighting the good fight through righteous means.  Paladins, Cavaliers and variety of others who seek to work within the law for the greater good are part of the Eagles.  Often they are those born of above average means, who often sacrifice their own inheritance to instead work to stop monsters and help others.

The Crows are their opposite numbers and more than a few are guilty of the same kind of crimes they work to fight.  Crows use the shadows and dishonorable means to help their fellows toward the same goal.  Where Eagles walk in day, Crows stalk at night.  Crows steal, lie and kill when Eagles's moral stances won't let them.  Rogues, Rangers and those who want to advance the greater good no matter the cost join the Crows' numbers.

Illegal and Going Underground

Although not made illegal in Crux, in many places throughout Ith and Ainesia have put severe legal restrictions on the Eagles and Crows.  Some communities ban any assemblies of Eagles and Crows, seeing their practices as illegal acts of vigilantism.  In the City of Crux, the Othebean Embassy has long been able to keep the City Council from enacting such bans.

The Senate of the Ithic Republic continues to push for further anti-Eagle-and-Crow laws.  The more risky their lack of National allegiance to Ith and closer associations with Othebea, the more citizens of Ith view Eagles and Crows as propaganda for another Nation-State.

Eagles and Crows have come to lean more and more on their Crow brethren, in some cases creating a third, secret order of Eagle-Crows who ignore their traditional lines of operation in order to survive.  For those in the order who refuse to give up the fight to protect innocent lives, it may be a choice they'll have to make.

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