House of Bastards|
Fraternity over Family. Creed above Blood. Justice for All. Honor until Death.
Bastards are not allowed to start families. Children must be relinquished once they are old enough to be weaned. There are two options here: they may be given to an orphanage or other capable guardian, or they may be given into the care of the house, to be raised as bastards. Parents are not permitted the knowledge of who or where their children are, and they are expected to relinquish all parental desires for the sake of the house.
The house of bastards exists to bring an end to the systemic, globally prevalent abuse of children by those who have the responsibility to care for them, with the ultimate end goal of eliminating both abuse and the family unit entirely. Bastards are raised to view the house as greater than family and are collectively schooled, educated, and reared by all members
Anyone may join the house and become a bastard if they are willing to take the bastards oath and are sponsored by a member in good standing.
All bastards forever relinquish their right to all family privileges and ties. No bastard can receive a family inheritance, own heirlooms, or rear their own children. To this end, bastards relinquish their old surnames upon entry, and it is not uncommon for a full fledged Bastard to choose a new name entirely for themselves, fully cutting ties with their former ties.
All bastards have an obligation to see to the needs of the less fortunate. Orphans, widows, and the poor and homeless may call on the bastards at any time for assistance.
All Bastards, either when they join or come of age, are required to complete a quest for entrance into full membership. On this quest they will be accompanied by their sponsor and must perform a service worthy of the house for those in need somewhere in Idalos. This service must create a sizeable impact for the better and cannot be completed simply by spending or gifting money.
Candidate- Candidates are those individuals seeking membership in the house. These can be either outsiders wanting in or house-reared orphans that have come of age. Anyone can be a candidate. Upon seeking entry, a member in good standing will be assigned to the candidate as a sponsor and will accompany them on their quest to perform a service worthy of the house. The Sponsor will assist in some capacity but is not permitted to take any unnecessary actions, meaning they cannot do more than enable you to complete your quest- you must do the hard work yourself.
Bastard- The baseline rank that the most members occupy. These are all those individuals who have completed their quest and have taken the Bastards Oath. Bastards have a variety of work available to them depending on their skills and will be accordingly allotted to the appropriate arms of the house as necessary. All Bastards have access to the house estate where they may train, study, and socialize with other Bastards.
Lieutenant- Lieutenants are individuals of higher skill and experience and as such have ascended into leadership in the house. A Lieutenant will generally hold command over 5-10 bastards, depending on the task they are assigned to oversee. Lt's, while in charge of organizing and utilizing their wards, also serve in a mentor and elder capacity, and are charged with maintaining morale and fraternity in the house. To become a Lieutenant, a Bastard must meet the following criteria: Member of the house for at least 3 seasons | One combat skill, one mental skill, and two of the following skills at competent or higher: Leadership, Tactics, Logistics, Psychology.
Hand- Hands are the highest rank in the house, only beneath the founder himself in authority. Each arm of the house has one hand leading it. Despite their immense power within the organization, it is of utmost importance that the authority they command is matched or exceeded by the respect given them by the bastards they oversee. For this reason, one can only ascend to the rank of hand by unanimous vote of all the bastards in the arm they lead.
Life as a Bastard|
Bastards are, at their core, men and women set free from the ties- and often from the oppression and abuse- of family. What may seem to some like an injustice perpetrated against them is actually a service in the eyes of the bastards. Borne from a vision of the world where there is no blood tie forcing anyone into abuse or suffering, of a world where those charged with the rearing of children do not take advantage of their position, those who choose to join the ranks of this fraternity often do so because they believe in it. Many of the orphans taken in and raised by the bastards are children rescued from horrific situations. In a world where sexual, physical, and emotional abuse is allowed to run rampant, a Bastard sets themselves free so that they might bear the yoke for the next child too scared to speak, for the next slave languishing beneath a brutal master, for the next man or woman cast out by those they once loved. The life of a Bastard, while free, is one of self imposed purpose and mission. To that end, Bastards are generally split into two categories and assigned to one of the arms of the house, where they will find employment, training, and be assigned to their squad.
Within their arm, Bastards are assigned to a squad of 5-10 individuals and serve under a Lieutenant. The Lt. will choose contracts they feel are suitable and lucrative enough for their squad. This is the primary source of employment for all Bastards. Bastards are not required to be an active part of their squad at all times, but are required to be actively working or questing for the house in some manner. This means that individuals who wish to travel are still welcome, though they will be given tasks to suit. Common assignments include guarding trade caravans, helping construct housing, clearing a region of certain threats(monsters, bandits, etc), or even investigative work. Contracts aside, from time to time, squads will be assigned missions by the house itself- these are generally situations such as raids on slaver caravans, or larger scale rescue or relief efforts. All Bastards that survive a mission are compensated accordingly- both with nel and standing in the house. When not working, Bastards are allowed full access to the house estate and any outposts or businesses owned by such. Many Bastards spend their non working days training, studying, and socializing.
There are two arms of The House of Bastards: The Open Hand and The Closed Fist.
The Open Hand handles all non-combat related duties, primarily dealing with the provision of aid to those in need. Members of The Open Hand spend their days improving the quality of life for those less fortunate. They help the homeless find work and shelter, help the poor get the food they need, and fulfill contracts in the service of organizations such as orphanages and even local governments, with the aim of improving stability and flourishing in the region. This arm deals with recruitment, with well versed individuals traveling across Idalos to find orphans and like minded individuals of particular aptitude. Clerical and educational duties also fall under this arm, teaching the bastards and their wards, as well as managing the businesses and employment contracts that keep the nel coming in.
The Closed Fist operates somewhere between a mercenary company and a small military. The primary duties of The Closed Fist are protection and liberation of those unable to do so for themselves. While members of the Fist often find work as guards for hire by merchant caravans and travelers, they are in reality trained and ready to do the work of killing those who need to die. Be that abusive parents, slave traders, or anything in between, members of The Closed Fist live for the day that they set captives free with steel and fury. Beyond just being idealistic grunts, however, many members of this arm are encouraged to develop specialized skills. This arm deals heavily in intelligence, always listening for more opportunities to strike and grow.
Religion and Mages|
The Bastards primarily give honor to Ashan, Pier & Pre, Ethelynda, and Vri. Ashan for Freedom, Pier & Pre for Justice, Ethelynda for Honor, Nobility, and Protection, and Vri for the death they bring to those who would seek to harm and oppress.. Each individual is free to worship or not worship as they please, however. So long as a spiritual practice causes no harm to other bastards, it is permitted.
The Bastards have a neutral opinion of magic in general. Mages are as accepted among the ranks as anyone else, and their unique skills are valued and put to use as necessary. As is possible, at least one mage is placed in each squad, though the ability for this to be done depends entirely on the frequency of their enrollment.
The Greater Bastards|
Outside of their home base of Ne'haer, squads of Bastards are specifically trained to roam the countryside, utilizing investigative skill and combat prowess to hunt down and eliminate criminal elements and slavers in particular. These Bastards also seek to establish safehouses and contacts in the various cities and villages of Idalos, creating a network that allows them to safeguard freed slaves, endangered peoples, and supplies, and bring them back to Ne'haer where they can be naturalized and gain true freedom. Bastards assigned to these squads are generally on the higher end of skill, as they will need to be prepared for endless perils, both on the road and in the far flung corners of the continents where slavers make their beds away from prying eyes.