Disclaimer: You’re under no obligation nor expectation to acknowledge any of the following. It is purely player-made Canon, and is being used for a relatively private storyline that is nonetheless open to everyone. I’m posting it here for the use of anyone interested, as this will be a book released to the public by Lucius - that does not mean that you, or your character, has any obligation to believe a lick of it. Furthermore, full intellectual rights to Brandon Sanderson and his Stormlight Archive series for the inspiration to write this. The man is a legend, and my all time favourite Author. What follows is a fan’s attempt to bring his genius world to life in a way that Warcraft roleplayers can enjoy in as Lore-accurate a manner as possible.
"Herein are written the Words of Radiance,
that the beloved souls of the Light may see them
and in their exposure to the epitome of Grace
be guided from the darkness of uncertainty
and into the divine purpose of the Light’s Heralds.”
Heraldric Lore: The Ancient OathsSpeak again the Ancient Oaths,
Primarch of the Third Founding
Radiant of Valour
and return to Mortals the Shards they once bore.
-The Heralds of the Light
The Ancient Oaths are perhaps the single most integral aspect of the Orders Radiant, defining the very nature of their existences with unerring accuracy. Numbering Three only, the Ancient Oaths gives prophecy to the nature of a Radiant overall, and dictate the behaviour of all Orders without fail. Atop these oaths, are the Ideals, also numbering three, which are unique to each Radiant Order. The Oaths are as follows;
Heraldric Lore: The Everstorm & Shards
- Life before Death: The Radiant seeks to defend life, always. He never kills unnecessarily, and never risks his own life for frivolous reasons. Living is harder than dying. The Radiant’s duty is to live.
- Strength before Weakness: All men are weak at some time in their lives. The Radiant protects those who are weak, and uses his strength for others. Strength does not make one capable of rule; it makes one capable of service.
- Journey before Destination: There are always several ways to achieve a goal. Failure is preferable to winning through unjust means. Protecting ten innocents is not worth killing one. In the end, all men die. How you lived will be far more important to the Heralds and the Light than what you accomplished.
Of the great threats that assail Azeroth on a continual basis, none is more dire than the looming Everstorm, an event so terrible it threatens to rend the very fabric of the planet and reduce it to burning ash. Twice desolations have threatened the planet, first with the War of the Ancients, then again with the summoning of Archimonde upon Mount Hyjal. The third desolation, called the Final Desolation, threatens now. The Everstorm, a terrible rage of demonic fury, inevitably bears down towards Azeroth with increasing veracity, burning worlds in its fury to seek revenge against the planet that has twice thwarted it. It is against this ancient Evil that the Knights Radiant stand against, preparing for the worst, readying themselves to fight - and if needed, die - to ensure the final curtain of this Universal terror.
The Shards, or Shards of Victory, are the spiritual blessings given by a Herald. Because the Heralds themselves are simply greatly empowered Champions of the Light, the Shard is not a divine boon as much as it is a spiritual connection, a portion of the Herald’s power. A minor increase in strength, speed, magical power, intelligence, battle acumen, reflexes and rate of healing result from the Shard. More than anything else, it is simply a reassurance of purpose, knowledge that rests at the back of the Radiant’s mind, allowing them to understand the Light loves them; and that its Champions, while unseen, watch over them still. It is not uncommon for these Shards to ‘resonate’, allowing Radiants of same and different Orders to feel drawn to one another, as siblings of close birth often are.Heraldric Lore: The Hierarchy
Despite the existence of six differing orders, there remains an overarching ladder of influence that is associated to the Radiant Orders, primarily suited towards command in the face of the Everstorm. The hierarchy is as follows;
Heraldric Lore: The Light’s Chosen
- Primarch: The Leader of the combined Orders Radiant, the Primarch is a representation of the second Ancient Oath more than many. Leading by example, the Primarch is not given a position of absolute authority to reign over his or her peers, but to give the collective an overall guidance, to act as they expect their subordinates to act, and to gather newly awakened Radiants to the banner of the Heralds, while also seeking out and awakening dormant Radiants.
- Exarch: The Head of a Radiant Order, an Exarch is the ordained leader of one of the Six, representing the collective will to the Primarch so as to ensure fair representation of opinion and desire amongst the Six, due to the Primarch’s own nature as a radiant. Despite the fact the Primarch belongs to a Radiant Order, an Exarch of their own Order will also exist, to ensure fair representation, as the Primarch is expected to be neutral. In this manner, the Primarch is the first amongst equals.
- Avatar: A personification of the nature of their Herald, Avatars are able to enact great deeds of prowess and fervor on the field of war, gifted with abilities beyond the norm of a Radiant of their Order. Avatars are exceedingly rare, and the arrival of one is seen as a boon from the Heralds, a recognition of the efforts of the Order as a collective, bestowed upon the most worthy of the chosen group. Avatars hold no special rank above their fellows, save that inherent to the admiration and loyalty gained from being a Paragon.
- Exemplar: Veteran Radiants, they operate much akin to officers in the field, rallying their brethren, teaching the newer members of their Orders, and instructing aspirants in the path towards Awakening. Capable of judging the merit of an Aspirant on the path towards Shard acquisition, Exemplars hold the authority to recommend an Aspirant to the Exarchs for the Bond, a great responsibility. Though the levels of authority are different for each Exemplar, they are overall considered to be everything from a Sergeant to a Lieutenant, filling whatever role is required of them at a given moment. They are also responsible for finding and acquiring Aspirants for their Radiant Orders.
- Radiant: An Awakened Aspirant, a Radiant is a newly sworn member of an Order, or an existing one without desire for advancement. Both veterans and freshly added, the term ‘Radiant’ can be applied from the newest member, to the Primarch themselves.
- Aspirant: A squire, dormant Radiant and soldier of the Orders; Aspirants can manifest as Radiants as quickly as a day, or never at all. Willpower and aspiration only go so far; there must be enough spiritual strength to withstand the Shard.
Of the Light’s most beloved Champions, six stand atop all others in Radiance, epitomising the most important of the Light’s tendencies and mortal loves. In these pseudo-divinities, there is the representation of the multi-faceted, at times contradictory nature of the Soulstream, yet evermore are they the guidance that ushers aside the blackness, and prepares the world of the chosen for the coming darkness. The Everstorm approaches once more, and as they have prior and shall again, they have come to return to us the Shards of Victory, to reforge the Radiant Orders. They of the Light’s will are as follows;
Heraldric Lore: The Radiant Orders:
- Illum, Lord of Valour - Herald of War
- Vrael, Lord of Courage - Herald of Faith
- Kriol, Lord of Honour - Herald of Conquest
- Alaena, Lady of Hope - Herald of Mercy
- Lyca, Lady of Wisdom - Herald of Fate
- Silya, Lady of Virtue - Herald of Justice
As Six Heralds personify the Light’s Tenets, so too do Six Orders embody the traits of their Patrons, taking the motivations, commands and will of their Herald into the world and spreading the reality of their will through deed and action. Below are a list of the Radiant Orders, and the deeds and motivations inherent to their Herald’s Will;
- Starblades: Radiants of Valour, the Starblades are the chosen of Illum, fierce combatants who seek to personify the Valour of War through the camaraderie they hold so dear. Empowered by the Ideals of Protection and Selflessness, Leadership and Humility, the Starblades seek to defend all those who suffer under the oppression of the strong, looking always towards the way in which they can best lead their brethren, while also seeking to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Lacking personal desires, the Starblades never put personal ire or dislike ahead of duty, and will protect even those they hate, so long as it is the right thing to do. Combined with their natural lean towards camaraderie, and their aptitude for leadership and selfless sacrifice, Starblades will often be found in positions of overall command, and the tip of the spear as well - leading their Radiant brethren towards their overall strategic goals with purity of purpose.
- Faithcallers: Radiants of Courage, the Faithcallers are the chosen of Vrael and preside over all matters of doubt and fear, seeking to be living bastions against the encroaching of doubt, fear and anxiety. Self-tasked and widely accepted as the Chaplains of the Radiant Orders, the Faithcallers strive to embody the defensive stance of their Patron, working with Ideals to never allow fear to take root, to never allow strife or discord to prevail, and to retain a unity of purpose for the Orders Radiant. In a way, they are the backbone of the Radiants - ensuring combined purpose by whatever means necessary, save the violation of the Ancient Oaths.
- Stormstriders: Radiants of Honour, the Stormstriders are the chosen of Kriol, unwavering soldiers who throw themselves into the purpose dictated by their Herald. Tasked with Conquest, the Stormstriders seek to find and crush any group or belief that betrays the Light’s perception of Righteousness, and liberate those who are under the oppression of the malign. Not Crusaders, as much as freedom fighters, the Stormstriders embody the stern discipline of Honour without question, aiming to eliminate treachery, deceit and false faith from the world. They’re the truest soldiers of the Radiant Orders, and tend to fit a very rank-and-file archetype, preferring to be thrown against their foes in the name of righteous battle over leading or strategizing. Stormstriders lean towards individual prowess, over the united bond of other Orders, making them notable for their competitive natures.
- Lightsingers: Radiants of Hope, the Lightsingers are the chosen of Alaena and will abstain violence in favour of mercy, preservation and healing. Often at odds with the members of the other Radiant Orders for their more warlike leanings, the Lightsingers nonetheless offer their aid to any who may need it - unable to stand or abide the suffering of others while the ability to end it is within their power. Compassionate, fervent and earnest, the Lightsingers are perhaps the most gentle of the Knights Radiant, pursuing overall peace and prosperity with a near unquenchable thirst. They are the first to recommend a cessation of hostilities, and the last to agree to a conflict they believe can be avoided. The Lightsingers are noted for their dislike of combat to the point of refusing to defend themselves at times, though this reservation does not apply to Undead, Demons or other evil creatures, against whom their battlelust is nearly unmatched.
- Truthseers: Radiants of Wisdom, scions of Fate, the Truthseers are the chosen of Lyca. Bearing within them the gifts of foresight and discerning intellect, Truthseers do not often mince words, nor do they operate with the same level of outwards passion as the other Radiant Orders. Preferring a more logical route to life, these Radiants will often eschew the more frivolous pursuits and journeys in favour of scholary insight. Noted for their strategic intelligence and political savvy, Truthseers are often employed as mediators and ambassadors by the Knights Radiant, making use of their Ideals of honesty, integrity and scientific certainty in dealing with those outside the Orders, or with internal strife. Truthseers are widely considered both immeasurably useful and something of an oddity; but their warnings, when given, are never ignored.
- Nightslayers: Radiants of Virtue, the Nightslayers are the chosen of Silya. The Nightslayers are the most distant and vicious of the Knights Radiant, so much so that other Orders are often noted to avoid their company. Scions of Justice, the Nightslayers pursue corruption, evil and treasonous acts against the good of the world with single-minded drive. Stopping at nothing to crush the darkness that encroaches upon the world, they will dance the borders of the Ancient Oaths more openly and daringly than any other Order. A contradiction at times, the Nightslayers are both the most tightly knit and most separatist inclined Order of the Radiants. At times flat out refusing the company of other Radiants, Nightslayers will never accept a decision - unless it imperils the overall unity of the Orders directly - to cease hostilities against a creature deemed corrupt, evil, impure or unjust. They are Crusaders, single-minded avatars of judgement. Amongst the Radiant Orders, Nightslayers are considered Executioners, more than Justicars - for it is very, very rare that a target of their ire survives long enough to repent for their misdeeds.