Calish-Al

The Calish-Al taken from an archaic Irian word meaning "Fated" was a coveted title passed down father to son. The Calish-El served as the personal honour guard of the Kings of Arumthar, but since they failed in that task the order is has been consigned to the annals of ancient history. This is not entirely true however. The Fated did not simply dissolve, and nor did they all die defending Arumthar's royal house. Instead many of their number were charged with smuggling away surviving members of the royal house out of the Broken Kingdom and scattering them to the corners of the world so that the Aruman blood might endure until the realm could rise again.

Now the Fated are not an honour guard. They do not wear resplendent burnished armour and bear splendid cloaks, but they do still protect the blood of Arumthar even though the blood have long forgotten their heritage. The Fated are now a secret society. Patriots of a land the even their fathers fathers don't remember. Defenders of a royal line who have forgotten their own lineage. Keepers of secrets that horrors beyond their contemplation seek to expose. These last loyalists watch and wait, because it is a charge passed to them by their ancestors. They protect the blood of Arumthar in hiding, following them as they spread throughout the world and revealing themselves only in times of direst need, waiting for the call to restore the Broken Kingdom. These men and women are called The Hidden. They keep their identities a secret from all but one or two contacts. They know few of their own number for reasons of security, and none know who has the power to recall them.

A handful of the Calish-Al have revealed their allegiance, and they remain in Arumthar acting as the personal guard of the regent and forming the militant arm of the Aruman Cult of Rhindur. Known as The Revealed they do not have access to the ancient armouries and so they are a rag-tag and dispirit lot, but to a man they wear a mark of their shame at being known to the world. A tattoo on the cheek beneath the left eye consisting of three lines each shorter than that above, forming a sort of triangle.

Membership: unknown
Master: unknown
Home: formerly Kerispur

Role


The Hidden exist solely to protect the lives and identities of the descendants of a single member of the royal blood of Arumthar. They do this by not reveling the identities of these individuals even to them, guarding them from a distance and gathering what little intelligence from the Broken Kingdom they can without raising suspicion. Each one of the Hidden knows only two of his fellows - neighbours who know two themselves - meaning that each pairing is part of a chain by which orders and intelligence can be passed, but none can reveal enough to expose the entire order, let alone more than a handful of their charges. Encoded messages are carried by agents who have no idea of the significance of the roles they perform, and the blood themselves are never aware of their unseen protectors nor their lofty heritage.

The Revealed differ considerably in their duty. They guard places sacred to the people of Arumthar, they defend the few followers of the Aruman Cult of Rhindur, they are the personal guard of the Regent and his household (though in practical terms Aerisfin provides all the protection he could need) and they are charged to keep the histories and customs of old Arumthar for future generations. They are not permitted to know anything of the Hidden - they may not even know that they exist - but amongst their number it is almost certain that those who command the Hidden are themselves in hiding.

Organization


The Hidden have no rank. They serve a secret master even they don't know, but beyond that all members are equal and none have the power to issue orders to another. The Revealed are organized into cohorts of about fifteen warriors commanded by a doyen of the cohort, and they are administered by the doyen of the Revealed who has a retinue of administrators as well as his own personal cohort. The current doyen of the Revealed is Keleb Charavas who has made his residence in Foel where he carries no formal rank, but is respected amongst Aerisfin's own military. Despite sharing a city with Faran Tohlgar he does not see to the regent's protection personally, instead cycling the cohorts protecting to honorary steward of the dormant nation month to month. Charavas relies on his own order's dwindling coffers to fund the Revealed, and only the hereditary nature of service allows them to continue to function at all.

The Calish-Al do not recruit, nor do they pay for the most part. To be Calish-Al you must be the son or daughter of one, and you carry a duty to produce at least one son or daughter to take your place when you die. Service is without reward - your assured place in the annals of the prophesied Woken Kingdom is payment enough - and you must give your life to protect what little memory exists of once great Arumthar.