|Diocese of Westridge|
The Holy Order of Saint Isaac, sometimes referred to colloquially as Saint Isaac, is the order of paladins that hails from the Duchy of Westridge and its Diocese of Westridge. It maintains a rigid structure based on chivalry, humility, and devotion to the orthodox church. It rejects the evils of Azeroth with zeal.
As much scholars as they are warriors, Saint Isaac prides itself on spiritual strength and willpower, going so far as to call themselves some of the most faithful adherents to the original Silver Hand in their uncompromising doctrine and wealth of philosophies. As such, though the order is independent, they harken frequently to its ancestral order as founded by Faol.
At the close of the Orcish Wars that liberated Westridge from the clutches of the Horde, Duke Maxen established the Holy Order of Saint Isaac in honor of Isaac Degaullier, a valiant paladin who perished in the last battle of the war. Westridge's newfound order of knight-paladins would be known for their martial prowess, charity and chivalry.
The Story of Isaac Degaullier
Main Article: Isaac Degaullier
Isaac Degaullier was only 24 years of age when the Dark Portal opened. A humble monk of Westridge, he volunteered to act as a chaplain and healer amongst the militia raised by then-Duke Albert Montclair to battle the Orcish invaders. As the war dragged on, Isaac became known for performing miracles of the Light, healing grievous wounds previously thought beyond mortal means to mend. As such, when the refugees of Westridge arrived in Lordaeron after the First War, Isaac was among those called to Stratholme to meet with Archbishop Alonsus Faol and accept the trials to join the newly-formed Knights of the Silver Hand. While he was passed over at first, he soon proved his prowess in the Light on the field of battle, and was inducted into the Silver Hand.
In 6 LC, Sir Isaac joined the Alliance forces in the liberation of Stormwind. Accompanying the Westridge Cavaliers, led by the new Duke of Westridge, Maxen Montclair, Sir Isaac twice immortalized himself in the minds of his comrades. First, upon the reconquest of Elwynn, Sir Isaac defied the Alliance field marshal Albrecht, who had ordered the execution of Orcish children captured during the army's advance, and slew the field marshal in a duel. Second, during the reconquest of Westridge, when the Alliance forces were confronted by a void lord enslaved by the Horde, Sir Isaac sacrificed himself in a righteous charge that slew the aberration and claimed victory for the Alliance.
After Stormwind was liberated and celebrations were had, Sir Isaac was canonized a Saint of the Church of the Holy Light. He stands among legend as one of Stormwind's first paladins. On November 30, 2801 A.D., the Council of Bishops further venerated Isaac Degaullier by adding a special collect prayer to the Codex of Rites. All liturgical events in the Diocese of Stormwind read the collect on October 23rd, the memorial day of his canonization.
Rise of the Order
Written and compiled by Sir Heagan Lécuyer
Named in honor of the recently fallen Sir Isaac Degaullier, The Order of Saint Isaac was founded in the wake of the Second War. With desire to pull away from the tactics which many within the clergy of Stormwind considered barbaric, the Diocese of Westridge called for volunteers to assemble a military wing. While many men of the serf and the gentry supplicated themselves to the wishes of the bishop, it was determined that only those who would prove their faith would be accepted. The order would not fall victim to the same blood lust as their counterparts.
The so-called aspirants were instructed by the clergymen and trained in the ways of faith. Although the vast majority of the hopefuls were unable to meet the strict requirements of their instructors, those that did become noted for their ability to intertwine religion and warfare. A new generation of compassionate warriors was born. As each man made demonstration of his unwavering faith in the Light and in kindness, specialized vows of the order were taken to affirm loyalty to their new brothers and kinsmen.
As ranks swelled, a new obstacle was presented. The Westridge Priory was unable to effectively command both their paladins and dispense the efforts of their monks. To ensure no one warrior would place an iron grip upon the order, the Bishop raised three men to the Council of Saint Isaac. This new council stood equal in stature and were charged with the responsibility of maintaining the order and its members. While the council still answered supremely to the Bishop of Westridge, the order was trusted to act independently under their guidance.
Known for both strict membership requirements and severe losses in battle alongside the Elwynn Brigade, the number of brothers within the order has shrunk drastically. Given this void in leadership, many of the order's responsibilities have fallen upon the few veteran knights that remain.
The Holy Order of Saint Isaac is divided by experience. The counselors and knight-paladins are considered to be of a wider role of Knight-Paladin, while the crusaders and aspirants are considered to be of a wider role of Aspirant.
The master is one appointed by the Lord, Lady and Curate of Westridge to lead the order in battle, training, and organization. They are charged with overseeing knight-paladins in their quests and the promotion of aspirants to crusaders and crusaders to paladins.
Counselors have nearly identical duties to the knight-paladins, with the additional mandate of observing the progression of aspirants and mediating disputes between knights. Whenever a vacancy is deemed ready to be filled, a counselor is selected from the wider pool of knight-paladins.
Knight-paladins are those of the order who have completed all of the Trials of the Crusader and sworn themselves to the upkeep and code of the order. They are tasked with assisting aspirants and crusaders of the order in completing their trials, as well as to act both as elite troops and champions of the order. When time permits, they are expected to quest in the Light's, and the King's name. Each one is considered to be an army in their own right.
At the request of the bishop, a knight's task may be to guard the safety of any member of the diocese and, should the need arise, beyond.
No knighted-paladin may fraternize with laypersons of the Diocese as a whole.
All masters, counselors, and knight-paladins are to be referred to as "Knight of Saint Isaac" in proper conversation. In formal address, their specific title may be used.
Crusaders are entrusted with a more practical, hands-on and advanced training. At the rank of Private, they are permitted to undergo the full course of the curriculum, and may initiate the trials should they be deemed worthy. On top of any duties they may currently hold as soldiers, they will also be expected to undertake more dangerous pursuits on behalf of the Order should it be necessary.
Aspirants are the most introductory of initiates. Unlike the crusaders, these initiates are permitted to be from all walks of life provided they are in good standing with the crown, yet in practice those not born of Westridge find enlistment in the Royal Army to be their only means of acceptance. Aspirants may only undergo the first aspect of the curriculum.
Both Crusaders and Aspirants are to be referred to as "Aspirant of Saint Isaac" in proper conversation.
Main Article: Sir Valrik the Exalted
Sir Valrik the Exalted is the current Master of the Order of Saint Isaac. Since before the First War, Valrik served as a Cleric from his humble town of Darrowshire. A balanced life of hard work and scholastic prayer lead to his formative years being peaceful, yet constructive to character.
However, when the Second War struck Valrik found himself selected as a squire to one of the first knights in the order of the Silver Hand. Assigned to the Stromic knight Sir Harlon the Indomitable, a veteran warrior with little patience for nonsense, Valrik found the last of his weakness (at times literally) beaten from him, and thus Valrik found himself tempered by both his master and warfare.
By the time the Third War came, he was a promising paladin as any – so much so that his masters had deemed 'the Exalted' an apt title, but certainly not prepared for the horrors that awaited. Having lost his home town, and the entirety of his family to his perception, the traumatized paladin along with his equally distraught squire found themselves easy targets for the Scarlet Crusade's recruitment. It was only the realization of the Crusade's vicious atrocities that Valrik broke from this daze, and fled to Stormwind.
In hopes to rebuild himself once more through service, Valrik has served faithfully in service to Stormwind for many years, by all legal rights a knight of Wrynn, having considered any hope of restoring his home a lost cause. With his most posting with the esteemed First Regiment, what remains of Valrik is a body devoted wholly to his cause of righteous warfare. He is quick to forgive those he has vowed to protect, but is ruthless in his criticisms of any who would call themselves paladins, including himself.
Knights of the Order
A knight's duties first and foremost demand service in warfare. It is the Order's stance that paladins were created for the purpose of war against those who would threaten humanity, and thus it is that purpose that all paladins must fulfill. Per political mandate, this service is expected to take place within the First Regiment of Westridge, though no small amount of knights remain obstinate. When they are not waging war, however, they still are not permitted rest – knights will be expected to spend as much time as possible in training in practice, so that they are always as strong as they can be.
Knights will also be expected to take upon quests for the wider kingdom and Diocese of Stormwind. In pursuit of Saint Isaac's example, the Order holds, at times, a more liberal view that paladins must fight for justice and morality as a whole – a view in line with the majority of paladins today. As a result, when their military service is not required, Knights of Saint Isaac are expected to go out, often alone, to wage war against the forces of darkness. There is much glory to be had for this thing.
Below is a list of all current, active knighted members of the Order of Saint Isaac:
|Sir Valrik||the Exalted||Master|
|Sir Bertrand De Vries||the Kind||Counselor|
|Sir Vitallion Stansfield||the Defender||Knight-Paladin|
Though the views among the paladins are as varied as any paladin, to codify the Order's beliefs as a whole in an abridged philosophy is not impossible.
Knights of Saint Isaac value the spiritual to a greater extent than the material. A great degree of their focus is on the soul and the mind rather than merely the body, which at times may put them at odds with their more materialistic counterparts. They scorn compromise, particularly when it dons the mask of pragmatism, and a deep understanding of morality and philosophy is a requirement of any knight.
That is not to say that they are meek. This doctrine of inward focus creates knights who are unflinching in the moral principles of chivalry and righteousness. Knights of Saint Isaac believe failure in their sacred duty is among the greatest crime a paladin can commit, and thus in the eternal pursuit to purge weakness and doubt from their hearts devote inordinate amounts of time to prayer and meditation. Those extremists of the order, such as Sir Valrik, allow this focus to border on self-destruction for the selfless cause of defending humanity's body and soul.
As puritans to the canon faith, doctrine more often than not has these knights scorn deviations from the "original" Silver Hand, and thus both Argent and Scarlet Crusade are considered weak and unfit in their eyes – though the former is considerably more palatable to the latter. There are however, always exceptions among knights, who frequently engage in debate and civil argument with one another on the morality and ethics expected of them.
The combat roles that members of the Order of Saint Isaac may take on and their associated requirements will be listed below.
Knight-paladins of Saint Isaac don truesilver armor and weaponry blessed by the priests of the Diocese of Westridge. Some carry holy talismans to ward off demons and shadow magic, while all carry tomes that contain scripture, hymns, and blessings of the Holy Light. Matching the vigor and zeal of the most valiant knights of the realm, paladins are infused with the Light upon induction to the order. This holy ritual bolsters their strength and grants them protection from dark magics.
- Complete the Trials of the Knight-Paladin
How to Join
Those seeking to begin the path of knighthood may either approach a paladin-knight directly, or write a letter of intent to the Master of the Order regardless of rank, so long as they are in active service to the Royal Army. In either circumstance, a mentor will be found for the aspirant as soon as possible for the training to begin. A mentor may either volunteer, or may be conscripted from the pool of knights by a counselor.
Knight-Paladins, should they accept one under their charge, may begin their training as soon as they wish, however are encouraged to exercise good judgement and not fear rejecting a would-be aspirant. Upon their aspirancy, they will begin the Curriculum of the Knight-Paladin. Knight-Paladins cannot be romantically interested in their aspirant, though they can accept such partners into the Order. In this case, another knight will be assigned to mentor the aspirant.
- Order of the Silver Hand
- The Church of the Holy Light
- The Three Virtues
- The Diocese of Westridge
- Westridge Temple Law
- Trials of the Paladin Knight
- Knighting Ceremony of Saint Isaac
- Diocese Archives