The Stormwind Clerical Corps is purposed to organize and deploy militarized clerics of the Church of the Holy Light that served in the armed forces. As wars continued to deplete the kingdom's military strength, logistical concerns prompted King Anduin Wrynn to draft and authorize the creation of a new support branch that bridged the needs of the military with the resources of the Church.
The Stormwind Clerical Corps, in addition to serving as representatives of the greater Church of the Holy Light and its related orders, assists the Stormwind Army by providing dedicated healers and combatants to the kingdom's war and defense efforts. In the First Regiment, the Clerical Corps is part of the cumulative authority held by the Diocese of Westridge's appointed bishop.
The Stormwind Clerical Corps was organized during the onset of the Blood War by King Anduin Wrynn in an effort to organize and stabilize the deployment of clerics and lay faithful who served within the armed forces. Historically these priests, paladins, and lay faithful were assigned to serve within designated military units at the discretion of individual diocesan bishops within the Church, often resulting in catastrophic logistical shortages that crippled understaffed units in battle.
Taking note of these issues as reported by the kingdom's top military commanders, King Anduin Wrynn authorized the establishment of the Stormwind Clerical Corps with the support of the Church of the Holy Light. In order to effectively define the roles and powers of its militarized clergy, the Church sanctioned new jurisdictions of authority designed to be cumulative to that of existing diocesan bishops. These newly-created jurisdictions, called military ordinariates, were to fall within the purview of the same Bishop that led the diocese in which it was geographically located or attached.
The establishment and organization of the Westridge military ordinariate became the responsibility of Bishop Kristiana Greycliff who, with the guidance of her former mentor Bishop Edgar Richelieau, officialized the plans and procedures that allowed for the immediate mobilization of Westridge's military clerics and lay faithful to support the efforts of the ongoing Blood War.
Following the de-escalation and formal armistice that marked the war's end, the Clerical Corps continued to provide the support of the Church's priests, paladins, and dedicated lay faithful to the defense of Stormwind and its allies.
Having first formed during the First War, the Clerical Corps of the Stormwind Army's First Regiment, 7th Royal Infantry Battalion fields a contingency of priests, lay faithful, holy warriors, and inquisitional agents within three satellite orders that answer to the concurrent authority of the Church of the Holy Light through the Diocese of Westridge.
The Clerical Corps also functions within the authority of the Westridge military ordinariate - an ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Church of the Holy Light that is responsible for the pastoral care of the faithful serving in the First Regiment.
The structure of the Clerical Corps overlaps that of the greater diocese with many of its members serve as clerics, pastors, and protectors of Westridge's citizen population while maintaining their military ranks. As such, the Bishop of Westridge, traditionally a member of the regiment themselves, oversees both the Clerical Corps itself and the clerics and ordinaries of the geographical Diocese of Westridge.
The various combat roles that members of the Clerical Corps can take are listed here. Additional information about these roles and their paths of progression can be found below within the section of their related Order.
Subject to the greater Diocese of Stormwind, the Diocese of Westridge is the Church of the Holy Light’s arm in the duchy of the same name. Its priory has a storied history in the realm of Stormwind and has provided healers and battle-clerics to the royal army for generations. Those interested in becoming harbingers of their faith may take on trials to become fully ordained priests of the clergy. Due to the significant influence and popularity of the Duke, the Diocese of Westridge enjoys relative autonomy from the politics of the kingdom's capital.
ROLES AND PROGRESSION
The internal roles of the Diocese of Westridge and their associated requirements for advancement are listed below. In order to join the diocese as a recognized authority of the Church of the Holy Light, tyros must meet all requirements of the diocese's Ecclesiastical Curriculum and its Path of Ordination in order to take Holy Orders.
- TYRO: Initiates who seek to join the ranks of the Church of Holy Light may take on the title of Tyro. A Tyro will spend most of their time practicing their grasp of holy magic and learning the traditions of the Church. Tyros are expected to be able to defend themselves in melee combat should the need arise. In order to advance to Deacon, the Tyro must complete the "Local Process" of the Path of Ordination.
- DEACON: Able to serve in a variety of roles on the battlefield, a Deacon can wield the Holy Light to bless and heal their allies or smite their enemies. In order to become a fully ordained Priest or Priestess, an aspiring Deacon must complete the "Deanery Process" and the "Diocesan Process" of the Path of Ordination. After the Deacon finishes all three Processes, they will take Holy Orders in a scheduled Rite of Ordination.
- PRIEST or PRIESTESS: Ordained priests of the Church of the Holy Light are given the distinctive honor of serving as battle clerics in the Royal Army. Well versed in healing, defensive, and offensive magic, battle clerics shirk heavier armor in order to allow for greater maneuverability on the battlefield. While on the home front they might be found preaching the Light's graces to their parish, battle clerics zealously defend and inspire their allies when on the battlefield.
Following the banishment of Sargeras, the rise of death cults and covens of witches in the wilds of Stormwind prompted the Church of the Holy Light to establish the Stormwind Inquisition to combat their threat to the realm. By the authority of the High Inquisitor, any agent of the crown may join this holy order to receive training and agency to combat supernatural entities, rogue wizards, and others deemed maleficar by the church.
ROLES AND PROGRESSION
- WITCH HUNTER: Witch Hunters seek out maleficar using their keen senses and eliminate supernatural threats that plague the kingdom with their tools of judgment. Witch Hunters are equipped with specially crafted armor consisting of both cured leather and brigandine plates. They go out into the field alone, or in a pairing, using scouting techniques to find their targets. In order to advance to Inquisitor, the Witch Hunter must take Holy Orders through the Rite of Ordainment and pass the Trials of the Inquisition.
- INQUISITOR: Considered the most experienced of the Witch Hunters, Inquisitors represent the best the Stormwind Inquisition has to offer. Inquisitors are often dispatched to the field with an aspiring Witch Hunter in order to demonstrate the techniques and tactics of the Inquisition. Inquisitors work alongside the High Inquisitor to determine the locations of supernatural threats and are often accompany Witch Hunters in their hunt for maleficar.
So named after Saint Issac Degaullier, the Holy Order of Saint Isaac is a religious knightly order of paladins that strive to exemplify the values of the church while bringing swift retribution to the wicked and relief to the infirm. Aspirants of the order must take on several trials that test their resolve and adherence to the order’s values before they are recognized as Knight-Paladins. Despite claiming homage to the Order of the Silver Hand, the Order of Saint Isaac is sworn to serve the Diocese of Westridge.
ROLES AND PROGRESSION
- ASPIRANT: "Aspirants of Saint Isaac," also known simply as Aspirants, are the most introductory of the Order's initiates and may only undergo the first aspect of the Curriculum of the Knight-Paladin.
- CRUSADER: Crusaders are entrusted with more practical, hands-on, and advanced training. At the rank of Private, Crusaders (also known as "Aspirants of Saint Isaac" in proper conversation) are permitted to undergo the full course of the Curriculum of the Knight-Paladin. Once all sections of the curriculum are completed, aspirants can choose to initiate their Trials of the Knight-Paladin if they are deemed worthy.
- KNIGHT-PALADIN: 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.
Named after Saint Riode Janeiro, the Order of Saint Riode is a militaristic monastic order of monks that seek to spread the teachings of their faith and to combat wickedness wherever it would grow. Much like their battle-cleric brothers and sisters, they have a storied history as both feared combatants and stalwart healers. Those who seek to join the Order may do so as a novice and will be expected to living within the Prior of Westridge, where they will be trained upon the teachings of the Order and begin their trials along the Path of Saint Riode.
ROLES AND PROGRESSION
- NOVICE: Novices of the Order of Saint Riode are the introductory role of those who wish to follow in the path of Saint Riode and take up the monastic life in the Priory Westridge. They will follow a strict regimen set out by the monastery, training in both physical and philosophical matters in hopes of growing closer to the Light. They are garbed in undyed leather armor that has been layered with riveted metal plates underneath and equipped with blessed hand wraps and a sturdy quarterstaff. In order to advance to Battle Friar, the Novice must pass the first half of the Trials of the Saint Riode.
- BATTLE FRIAR: After passing the first half of the Trials of Saint Riode, one will be made a Battle Friar within the order. Upon ascension to this position, the Friar will conceal their face by means of an embroidered mask and will receive a new set of lightly tanned leather armor. Battle Friars are seen as experienced fighters and masterful in the more intense theological side of scripture, balancing both as they continue their training within the monastery. In order to advance to Hieromonk, the Battle Friar must complete the second half of the Trials of Saint Riode and complete the Rite of Ordainment.
The Order of Saint Zeliek is a small chapter of penitent Death Knights that serve within Stormwind’s Royal Army. Due to the events following the Fourth War regarding the Shadowlands, the Kingdom commissioned these Knights to serve closely within the Royal Army, under the guidance of the Diocese of Westridge. The Knights of Saint Zeliek are a mixture of third and fourth generation Death Knights that have forsaken the unholy magics bestowed upon them in undeath. Instead, the Order intends to uphold the Three Virtues of the Light: Respect, Tenacity, and Compassion. In addition, the Order places particular emphasis on restraint and penitence of their members. All Death Knights that seek to provide military service within the First "Honor" Company of the Elwynn Brigade are required to join the Order of Saint Zeliek.
ROLES AND PROGRESSION
- SUPPLICANT: After swearing the Saint Zeliek Oath the Recruit will be considered a Supplicant of the Order of Saint Zeliek. They are tasked with all the duties of a typical soldier of their rank but held to a high regard in how they perform their duties. The expectation is that they will exhibit the three virtues in almost all their actions
- BROTHER or SISTER: After successfully completing the Trials of Restraint, Resolve and Penance the Supplicant will be considered a Brother or Sister within the Order. While retaining all duties of the Supplicant rank, the Brothers and Sisters of the Order will have an emphasis on their personal progression on the path toward reconciliation with the Light. They are of course still expected to assist with the Postulant and Supplicant members of the Order to ensure their way along the path is successful.
Bishop Kristiana Greycliff is the current bishop and supreme authority of the Diocese of Westridge and the military ordinariate in which the Clerical Corps operates. Hailing from a family with close ties to the Church of the Holy Light, Kristiana was encouraged to take up religious vocations at a young age and was devoted to the ambition of joining the clergy. Her conviction in her faith allowed her to wield the Light to great effect, and Kristiana eventually took residence within the Cathedral of Light as a cloistered novitiate.
As she reached the end of her seminary studies, Kristiana sought out opportunities to serve the Church outside the physical walls of the Cathedral. She chose to join the Stormwind Army and serve among those who fought in defense of the kingdom and its allies. In time, Kristiana took her Holy Orders and was given the responsibility of organizing and guiding the development of the Clerical Corps, eventually taking on the office of the episcopate to lead both the Diocese of Westridge and the Clerical Corps as the Bishop of Westridge.
How to Join
All races of the Grand Alliance (with the exception of void elves and Worgen Death Knights) are automatically placed in the Clerical Corps at the rank of Recruit if they have shown a particular affinity for the church and holy magic.
- Recruits wishing to join the Diocese of Westridge will be initiated in the role of Tyro.
- Privates wishing to join the Stormwind Inquisition may approach the High Inquisitor or First Inquisitor directly. Upon acceptance, applicants will be initiated as a Witch Hunter aspirant. Recruits must advance to the rank of Private before any considerations for acceptance will be made.
- Active-serving soldiers of any rank wishing to join the Order of Saint Isaac may either approach a sworn Knight-Paladin directly or write a letter of intent to the Master of the Order. Upon acceptance, candidates will be initiated in the role of Aspirant.
- Recruits wishing to join the Order of Saint Janiero will be initiated in the role of Novice.
- Death Knight recruits wishing to join the Order of Saint Zeliek will be initiated in the role of Supplicant.