The Old Ones
The Order of Kites
THE ORDER OF KITES
Far from Vornheim are regions of stark mountains and dark forests, a wild, ancient land that the Church holds only the most tentative of claims upon. The Old Ways are still practiced in this gloomy land and hordes of heathens lurk in the lands on the far side of the mountains, and both of these forces threaten to plunge the region back into the firm grasp of evil as far as the Holy See is concerned. Happily for the Church, a martial brotherhood of soldiers arose in these hinterlands, defending the steep mountain passes from heathen invaders and purging the deep arbors of witches, sorcerers, and blood-stained priests. This military body is known as the Order of Kites
Although the Church maintains the illusion that the Brotherhood is a devout knightly
order, the truth is less glorious. The Brotherhood is a pragmatic body, one more concerned with their daily survival than any lofty vows or codes of honor. Bloody and battered, the Order clings to their holdings by their fingertips, bolstering their ranks with anyone desperate or mad enough to join. This policy means more than a few of the Order are former outlaws or other ne’er-do-wells who sought sanctuary and anonymity in the dark mountains, earning their keep by slaughtering pagans for God. And despite the pretenses they root out black magic whenever it is found. The Order skirts the line
between necessity and heresy on a daily basis.
Outnumbered and underequipped, the Order of Kites uses any advantage available to them in their war against the heathens—including the confiscated magical tools of slain pagan priests and incinerated witches. Brothers of the Order claim these trophies from their fallen foes, an occurrence which has developed as an unofficial rite of passage in the Order’s ranks. So common is this plundering of defeated heretics that the local diocese faces the uncomfortable position of unofficially acknowledging that the Order of Kites now owns more “heretical” tools than the enemy! The local priests try to police this custom when possible, but the effectiveness of such magical objects in the war against the heathens cannot be denied, and a blind eye is largely turned to the practice.